Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Well, I must have been a very good girl this year and made it on to the "nice list", because my Christmas wish came true!! Everyone was healthy by Christmas! Thursday morning Izzie woke up fever free. I was nervous that it would return, but she has remained fever free ever since! We began decreasing Drew's breathing treatments. He had one Sunday morning, but hasn't had any since-- Yay! Paige's second antibiotic seems to have done the job. Everyone is healthy!! It's a Christmas miracle!!

Friday evening we went to dinner at Aunt Connie and Uncle Mark's. We had a great time. The kids ate tons and were really good the whole evening. Unfortunately I forgot the camera, but we had a great time. It also kept Will busy so the anticipation didn't make him crazy (the quads don't "get it" quite enough for anticipation.) When we got home and put the kids to bed, Santa still had a lot to do! We were up much too late, but managed to get some sleep before Will woke up.

Christmas morning, Will burst into our room begging to go downstairs. I reminded him that we needed to wake the babies first. The poor quads had no idea what was going on when Will ran into their room jumping up and down and yelling. We got everyone out of bed. Rod went down first to check and yelled up the stairs that Santa really did come!!

the kids ready to come downstairs.
The quads trying to figure out what's going on
and Will trying to contain himself.

Santa came! He really came!
(we never got our outdoor lights up,
but Will really wanted the reindeer out
so they joined us by the tree)

Drew opening a gift and realizing that this is fun!

Izzie is all decked out in her new slippers and purse,
still using her binkie and dragging around her blankie.

Paige pushing her new stroller from Aunt Connie

Drew rearranging his Veggietales nativity set

The kids got a new castle!!
They love it!!

Paige checks out the slide

"The Sisterhood" holds a meeting inside the castle.

An updated picture of my parents and their 13 grandchildren.
Kate (2), Izzie (2), Paige (2), Julia (2), Nora (2wks), Ellie (2mos), Drew (2), Malcolm (1), Alex (5)
Huck (4), Gus (10), Max (8), Will (5)
My sister Karen had her second child just two weeks before Christmas. A little girl named Nora! She was born immediately before the plague descended on my house, so I hadn't gotten to meet her until Christmas day. She is absolutely beautiful!! She has a ton of dark hair. She was only 6lb 14oz at birth, so she is just a teeny little peanut. Love her!

The next day we went to my inlaws to celebrate Christmas with my husband's family. The last two nights in a row, the kids had been up late and this was going to be the second day in a row of no naps for the quads. I was very worried. I was certain that there would be melt-downs. I am so happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone behaved and had fun. I somehow forgot to take my camera out much, so I only have one picture of the entire day, but it was such a great ending to a wonderful weekend!

The kids got a new tea set and a tea cart.
This was a huge hit!
We are working on taking turns, but they love to push the cart around.

I am so grateful that everyone was healthy enough to enjoy such a great Christmas weekend. Most of all, I am thankful that we have such wonderful family with whom to share the holidays. We are so blessed in so many ways!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas! and a Look at Christmases Past

Today I was looking back at our Christmas card pictures since Will was born. We did send out a picture of Stella with Santa before we had (human) kids, but I'll spare you...

Christmas 2005
Will (4 mos)

Christmas 2006
Will (1yr)

I have no idea what happened in 2007. I couldn't find a picture and my addled brain can't seem to remember what our picture looked like. Oh well.

Christmas 2008
Will (5)
Izzie, Julia, Drew and Paige (3mos)

Christmas 2009
Izzie (1), Julia (1), Drew (1), Will (4) and Paige (1)

Christmas 2010
Izzie (2), Julia (2), Will (5), Drew (2) and Paige (2)

We wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I want for Christmas is...

...a healthy family! Our troubles started a little over a week ago. Paige started being fussy and running a fever. She complained that her ears hurt, so I took her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with a double ear infection. We started her on an antibiotic. It seemed to help. The next few days I was struggling through a head cold. Once I started to feel better, Julia and Izzie woke up cranky with fevers. Back to the doctor, more infected ears. They each got an antibiotic. Julia responded quickly, but Izzie didn't get much better. Then Rod was sick for a couple of days. After initially improving, Paige was beginning to take a turn for the worse. Then yesterday, Drew woke up wheezing.

Okay, so back to the pediatrician for the three sickies. Drew's chest didn't sound good, so he is on Albuterol breathing treatments and an antibiotic. Both of Paige's ears were still terribly infected, so we changed her antibiotic. Izzie was acting the sickest of the crew and had the highest fever, but her ears were improving and the doctor couldn't find any other infection. She was ready to call it a sinus infection and change her antibiotic, but decided to swab Izzie for influenza. All five kids got the flu shot a couple of months ago, but sure enough, the test came back positive for influenza B. Ugh.

So, we are hunkered down at home. Lots of medicine and cuddles. Long days spent in pajamas. We are hanging in there and have seen some improvement. We just need to get these kids healthy before the weekend. We have plans Friday evening, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. I would hate to have to miss any of them, so we are doing everything we can to get rid of the germs! What does that look like?

lots of coloring
(Julia tends to hoard the crayon bucket)

Paige creating a masterpiece

Izzie focusing on her artwork
(I had actually bought these pads of paper to give them for Christmas,
but broke them out early when we needed some sick-day activities.)

and of course, watching some Christmas classics
you know- Curious George's Very Monkey Christmas and
Elmo's Christmas Countdown
excellent cinema...
(and yes, binkies and blankies are allowed when sick)

We need everyone to be fever-free for 24 hours before they can go anywhere or we can have anyone over. The fevers need to break before tomorrow night. We also need to somehow keep Will from coming down with anything. I don't know how he has managed to avoid all of this illness running through the house, but we need him to keep it up!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Favorite Ornaments

So, Mandy over at My Life as Described by Twin Trials and Triumphs started a link-up about Christmas ornaments. I wanted to join in because we have actually been talking about this at our house lately. Last weekend we put up our tree. Rod has never liked to help me decorate the tree, so he played the "quad card." He offered to play with the quads in the basement while Will and I set up the tree on the first floor. Since four two year olds "helping" with the tree made me very nervous, I agreed. I actually ended up letting Will hang almost all of the ornaments. As I took each one out of the tote and unwrapped it, I would tell him about the ornament- when we got it, if someone else gave it to us... I told him that these ornaments held special memories for our family. Unfortunately, a few days later, Drew got a couple ornaments off the tree and broke them. As I cleaned up the mess, I heard Will scold Drew, "You broke our family's memories!"

We have a lot of ornaments and most of them are special to me. Many were given to us as gifts, so those of course are sentimental. We also have the "baby's first Christmas" ones that always make me nostalgic. I won't, however, bore you by sharing every single ornament on the tree. I'll just mention a couple favorites.

The Swarovski Crystal Co. has a line of snowflake ornaments. They release a new one each year and, like real snowflakes, no two are alike. Since Rod and I have been married, we have bought a snowflake each year. We have been married ten years now, so this Christmas is our eleventh snowflake. By the time we have been married fifty years, our entire tree will be snowflakes.

Back in 2004, we discovered that we were pregnant for the first time (with Will) the weekend after Thanksgiving. We decided to hold off on telling our families until Christmas. While I was out doing some Christmas shopping a few weeks before Christmas, I found this ornament. It is a little crib. On the pillow it says, "Parents To Be." The star in the mobile says, "2004." I had to buy it! I brought it home, but we didn't want to hang it on the tree, because we were afraid someone would see it and the secret would be out. We put it on top of our entertainment center. Whenever anybody came over, we would move it around and hide it behind pictures. I will always cherish this ornament because it immediately takes me back to not only the joy of my first pregnancy, but the excitement of having our big secret!

Those are just a couple ornaments that will always be special to me. I look forward to adding to our collection as the crew grows.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Little Pioneer

When Will started kindergarten this year, we got information about all sorts of sports teams and classes for which he was eligible. One of them was an instructional basketball league hosted by our local high school. The high school's mascot is a Pioneer, so this is called the Little Pioneer League. We've had a few weeks of practices now, but today was his first game. To be honest, Will was really starting from zero. He couldn't dribble and move at the same time and he was no where near making a basket. He may not be Michael Jordan yet, but he has improved quite a bit! He can dribble and walk (not that far yet, but he can move!) and while he still hasn't made a basket, he regularly hits the rim now. So offense may not be his strong suit, but he is a monster on defense! He sticks his arms out and gets right in their face. I'm glad to see that he has learned and improved, but mostly I'm just happy that he is having fun.

warming up before the game

getting a pre-game pep talk

guarding his player

passing to a teammate

after the game. home and happy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TSM Santa Luncheon

This weekend my multiples group had our annual Santa Luncheon. The crew had a great time! When it was our turn to go and get our picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the kids were a little nervous, but still walked up one at a time and shook the big man's hand. Getting a picture with all of the kids is quite a challenge, but we were able to get one where you can see every one's face and they are smiling or at least looking pleasant. We'll take it!

back row: Me, Izzie, Julia, Rod and Paige

front row: Will, Santa, Drew and Mrs. Claus

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saint Nicholas Day

Yesterday was St. Nick's Day and of course he came and brought some treats for the crew! St. Nicholas visits the night before his feast day (Dec. 6th) every year and leaves treats in the kids' stockings. Not much and nothing big, just a few small gifts. Will was the first one to the stockings which are hung on the staircase, but went back and got the quads so they could dig in together.

Everyone got a personalized ornament

Each girl got a little tiara

My little princesses

Julia hanging her new ornament on the tree

Will put his on too

The boys got Lightning McQueen notebooks

Julia was very excited to open the M&Ms

But Mommy made them eat breakfast first.
Princess Paige eating her Cheerios

After breakfast, I let them watch their new movie, "Curios George's Very Monkey Christmas," and eat some M&Ms. (Well, except for Will-- he doesn't like candy. Yes, I'm serious. People exist that do not like candy. I'm not convinced he's my son...)

Izzie really liked the candy

Will also looked pretty in a tiara

The kids definitely enjoyed Saint Nicholas Day! It has certainly gotten them ready for Christmas. They now look in their stockings each time they go up or down the stairs!

christmas 2010

Family Wall Red Christmas Card
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Yes, we did celebrate Thanksgiving. Twice, actually. My husband's family has celebrated the weekend before for years now. This works out perfectly for us. We get to spend an entire day with each family and don't feel rushed.

Our Thanksgiving at my in-laws was lovely. On that side of the family, most of my nieces and nephews are already teenagers. My niece Ana is nine and she is the only other 'kid' on that side. Of course, we still take up an entire 'kid's table.' Rod and I sat there as well with my Mother in law.

Everybody settling in.
(yes, Will is wearing a hard hat-- he's Will)
The kids ate a ton.
Their favorite was Grandma's homemade apple sauce. They ate bowl after bowl after bowl.

A few of the ladies hanging out after dinner, chatting and washing dishes.
(my SIL Laura, her daughter Taylor and my MIL Judy)

After dinner the kids had a great time running around and playing with their cousins.

Ana enjoyed dressing the kids up

Then on Thanksgiving, we had my family over for the day. It was also a great day! On my side of the family, there are 12 grandchildren (with #13 due in a couple weeks) with the oldest being only 10 years old. Eleven of the kids were there and boy was this house crazy! It was fun, though. The kids have fun together and behaved really well (for the most part.)

We are so unbelievably fortunate. Not only do we have an incredible immediate family, we have wonderful parents and siblings on both sides. We are truly blessed!