Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Top 10 Reading List

Multiples & More's question of the week is

What are Your Favorite Books to Read With Your Children?

I love to read and all of my children love to be read to. We have tons of books and everyday read some. I had a hard time trying to pick my favorites, so don't consider this a thorough or exact list. These are the first ten books that came to mind which we read often or that I treasure.

10. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw

Yes, this is a classic baby shower gift, but there is a reason for that. It is very sweet. It gets a little nutty (climbing through you grown child's window?), but it is about a mother's love never ending. As the mother in this book says, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

9. I Love you Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

Sweet book about how we love every part of our little ones. My kids love the illustrations and laugh at them.

8. How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Love this series of books!! If you have a dinosaur lover (like my big boy Will) you need to check these out. They ask how dinosaurs do everyday things, such as say goodnight. They ask if the dinosaurs are wild or loud or rough. Surprisingly, the dinosaurs are very well mannered. These books are funny and cute and encourage good behavior.

7. How do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
Our other favorite in the series.

6. Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton
We love Sandra Boynton!! Her books all have wonderful rhythm, making them so much fun to read out loud. They also have adorable illustrations of her silly animals. I had to go ahead and list a bunch of hers (they are probably the most read books around here) and I could recite any of them to you anytime. They've been read that many times.

5. Moo, Baa, LaLaLa! by Sandra Boynton

4. Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton

3. The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
This was the first book that Will loved. We read it over and over and over. It will always hold a special place for me.

2. You Are Special by Max Lucado
Absolutely LOVE this book!! Will was first given this book by his Aunt Cathy and I have given to many others since then. Wonderful Christian fable about not judging others and, even more so, not letting others' judgements of you affect how you see yourself. A must read!

1. I Love You the World by Allia Zobel-Nolan
This is my favorite children's book. Will calls it, "The book that makes Mommy cry." It is a sweet book exploring how much mommies love their "bunnies." If you haven't read it, it is certainly worth checking out.

I love reading with my kids and they love to be read to, so I'm really excited to look at everyone else's favorites! Hopefully I'll find some new books to add to the mix!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Three Years Ago Today...

February 26, 2008. A date which changed the world. Well, our world anyway. By this date, we had already had a positive home pregnancy test. I had blood drawn which confirmed that I was indeed pregnant-- my level was really high, but the nurse that called said that didn't necessarily mean multiples (yeah, whatever...) This was the day of my ultrasound to get our first look at that little baby. Since this was my second pregnancy, I was pretty certain I was indeed pregnant. I had all the same symptoms I had with Will and, in fact, they were stronger this time.

We got to the RE a little early. I am never early for anything! That tells you how eager I was for this ultrasound. When the doctor came to see us, he could see that I was nervous. I told him I would feel much better once I got to see a heartbeat. He reminded me that at 6 wks, we wouldn't necessarily see a heartbeat. This sort of small talk continued while he started the ultrasound. Then the room fell silent. I could feel the change in the room. I asked what he saw. He said, "There is definitely more than one."
I asked how many and it was Rod who answered, "Four."
The doctor said, "Yes, there are four." He snapped off the monitor and said, "Get dressed and we'll talk in my office."

The rest of the appointment was an ugly blur of talk of reduction, tears and, by the end, yelling and storming out. Rod had to go to straight to work, so we had driven separately. I was still a wreck and couldn't drive, so Rod and I sat in the lobby of the building for a long time (I honestly have no clue if it was 15 minutes or an hour.) I sat and cried, while he held my hand and told me everything was going to be alright.

Finally, we left. I had to go pick Will up at my sister Joanna's. On the way I called my sister Cathy. I told her there were four. She laughed excitedly and I quickly cut in and said, "Nope, it's not good news. The doctor wants us to reduce. We won't. He told us most if not all will die before they are born, then any that are born will be severely handicapped!" I talked to her and cried the whole way to Joanna's. God drove my car that day, because it is a miracle I wasn't in an accident (this would be the first miracle of many for us.) When I got to Joanna's I told her and we looked online for information about quadruplets. It helped some, but my head was still spinning when I left.

These are our babies at 8 weeks.
The doctor didn't give us pictures from the six week ultrasound.
Since he was still hoping we would reduce,
he didn't want us to get too attached.
Baby A&B
Baby C&D

They couldn't get all four in one picture,
so he had to take two separate pictures.
Just the first time we witnessed how hard
it is to get a decent picture of all four ;o)

I want to write this all down while I still remember how I felt that day. In a matter of minutes, I went from excited and hopeful to devastated and hopeless. When I look back at that day, the hopelessness is what breaks my heart. I want other women to know that things can be fine-- even great! I have four smart, funny, beautiful 2 1/2 yr olds. They are all healthy. Completely healthy, although the last three years have taught me that even if they weren't, we would have dealt with it (yeah, I know-- easy for me to say.) I'm not saying it would be easy, I just mean that I've learned that you take what you get and make the best of it. Like I say when people ask me how I do it, "You just do it." I never planned for quadruplets and certainly never thought that this would happen to me, but it did. And I couldn't be more grateful.

Friday, February 25, 2011


The other evening, I was so excited to see that Andrea at The Mays Twins had given me The Stylish Blogger Award! I love Andrea's blog. She has boy/girl twins that just turned three years old, Luke and Molly. They are absolutely adorable (and I love their names!) She works full-time outside of the home and still manages to keep it all together. Very impressive! You should go check out her blog.
Thank you so much Andrea!!

So, yes. initially I was excited. That is, until I realized that I was supposed to list seven things about myself. The problem here is, I'm not particularly interesting. I was so unsure of what to list, that I put it off for days! Finally, I decided that I would make a list of things I love or hate. Simple, but still gets the idea across, right? Well, I hope so. Here goes...

1. I LOVE the sitcom Friends. I know all of the story lines and can quote way too much. I love singing Phoebe's terrible songs. It has been off the air for years and I still reference it nearly daily. It is still probably my favorite television show.

2. I HATE laundry. I'm not a great housekeeper, but try to keep the house decent. In order to achieve this, I must close the door to the laundry room. It is horrible!! I have dirty clothes waiting to be washed. I have clean clothes waiting to be put away... I fear I will never be caught up.

3. I LOVE white wine. Yeah, maybe that isn't okay to say, but it is true. I never have more than one glass, but I love, love, love that glass!

4. I HATE driving in bad weather. We have had a rough winter around here which means I don't go anywhere. I am a nervous driver no matter what, but if there is ice on the roads, no way! We'll just stay home, thankyouverymuch!

5. I LOVE reading. After the quaddies arrival, I took a break from reading. Just didn't have time and I was so tired I would fall asleep after one paragraph when I tried. Things are somewhat under control at this point (I said somewhat...), so I have picked up my books again. Yay! I am still reading the old fashioned way-- from books. I swear I change my mind at least once a day about purchasing a Kindle or some other e-reader. (If any of you have a strong opinion about them, leave a comment and let me know what you think.)

6. I HATE night terrors. Seriously, Will had them as a toddler and they have resurfaced. Even though I know what they are now, they still scare me. Not to mention waking me and the rest of the house in the middle of the night. Not much fun.

7. I LOVE getting the kids out of bed in the morning. Well, truthfully, this is a LOVE/HATE. I am not a morning person and I usually hate to get out of bed, but the quads are always so happy to see me. I walk in the room to clapping and cheers! Shouldn't we all start every day that way?

I know that technically I am supposed to pass this on to other bloggers, but I am wussing out. I love a bunch of blogs and can't pick who should get it, so... I'm cheating and just avoiding that whole part.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Boy's Best Friend

Last evening, Rod was playing with the quads downstairs while I was making dinner. Will came in and asked me to play Sorry! with him. I told him I wasn't able to right now, but promised to play with him after dinner. I feel terrible telling him I don't have time to play, but sometimes it is just a fact of life. While fixing dinner in the kitchen, I looked over into the family room and saw that Will had found a solution on his own.

He was playing Sorry! with Stella.

Will was green and Stella was yellow.

Yes, she looked this excited the whole time...

In case you are wondering, Will said that he won. Stella took the loss pretty well, though. My little guy is so funny and I love how much he loves our dog. She is the sweetest dog ever and puts up with his antics. They are best friends!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

That's EnterTRAINment!

Yesterday we took the crew to EnterTRAINment Junction for the first time. EnterTRAINment Junction is a train themed play place. We took all five kids, my niece Ana and my in-laws. Everyone had a really good time!

Jim(FIL) and Julia looking at a train crossing a bridge overhead

Judy (MIL) helping Paige check out the display

Will and Ana checking out the trains.

The kids liked the train displays, but the quads are still a bit young for that to hold their interest for long. They need things a bit more interactive. Luckily they have a nice play area.

Izzie climbing up to the slide

Paige ready to come down the slide

They also had smaller displays where the kids could work some features by pressing buttons.

Drew loved this!!

Julia checking it out

There were some craft projects for the kids as well.
Drew coloring

A small train they could ride
Julia, Paige and Izzie

Will, Drew, Izzie and Ana

We had a lot of fun, but probably won't be back for a while. In a few years, I think my crew will like it even more!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!
(Izzie, Paige, Will, Julia and Drew)
Hope everyone is having a good of a day as we are!

We started our day off with yummy heart-shaped cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Everyone loved them--

Especially the frosting!!

Also-- Grandma just stopped by with some really good looking cupcakes.
Valentine's Day is the prefect day for sugar-overload, right?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Valentine

So the question of the week over at Multiples and More is- How did you meet your Valentine? This story goes way back and varies a bit depending on which of us is telling it. Well, it's my blog, so you'll get my version. His is a gross exaggeration anyway...

Anyway, when I was 13 years old and in the eighth grade, I met a handsome young man named Rod. He was a freshman in high school and super dreamy ;o) I had a crush on him right away. My older brother, Tom, was in his home room, so I had him pass notes to Rod (in hindsight- what a nice big brother! I'm sure he wanted no part of his little sister's crush, but he always delivered the notes for me.) Rod replied with friendly notes, but being a big man in high school, he wasn't going to go out with a little girl in middle school, so eventually my crush faded away. We both moved on and dated other people. I dated a couple of his friends over our years in high school and he actually dated a good friend of mine for two years!

So, years passed and we were friends, but nothing more. Then in December of 1996, we were both home from different colleges for winter break. I went to the movies with my friend Alyssa and he was there with his friend Jon. We ran into each other and ended up sitting together, then going out for a bite to eat afterward. Our first official date was January 2, 1997. We knew right away that this was it, but since we were still young and in school we dated nearly four years before we got married. And the rest, as they say, is history-- those kids had no idea what lay ahead.

For those of you wondering about Rod's version, he likes to tell people that I never really got over my eighth grade crush and stalked him for six years until he finally gave in. The truth is, I did not pine for him for all of those years, but I did get my man!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

When Will was around two years old, he saw his first movie at home and fell in love with it. It was Dumbo. He loved this movie and would watch it as often as we would allow. I had seen the movie as a child, but it was a whole new experience for me to watch it as a mother-- specifically a mother who had struggled with infertility. The opening scene can move me to tears if I am feeling sensitive. The storks are delivering babies to all the circus animals. Mrs. Jumbo (Dumbo's mom) watches each little bundle drop hopeful that this little baby is for her only to be disappointed to see the baby go to someone else. She watches all the other animals get babies to cuddle while her arms remain empty. Finally, her stork (who had gotten lost) finds her and delivers little Jumbo Jr. (Dumbo.) Yeah, some of our storks are really bad with directions...

Then we watch Mrs. Jumbo fall in love with her sweet baby. She is fiercely protective when others are cruel to her son. This leads to the scene that makes me cry regardless of my mood. When Dumbo goes to visit his mom in "elephant jail" and she rocks him in her trunk and they play "Baby Mine"? Waterworks every time! Then at the end, when Dumbo is the star of the circus, he makes sure his mom has her own fancy train car. I would make sure to take the opportunity to remind Will that when he makes it big, he needs to remember to take care of Mommy ;o)

Anyway, the point of this long story is that we decided to show the quads Dumbo a couple of nights ago. When Rod mentioned it, I told the babies that we were going to see a movie about a Mommy that prayed for a baby and loved him soooooo much and protected and defended him... I was met with blank stares from all four quads. Then Rod jumped in and said, "Who wants to see a movie about a flying elephant?!?" Everyone started clapping and asking to see the flying elephant.

They'll see my perspective one day...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Little Superheroes!!!

I can't believe what a terrible blogger I have been! I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted anything until I signed in today. Well, not too much going on here, but I'll catch up on some posts and pictures. For today, though, here a my little superhero girls! It is absolutely freezing here, Check Spellingso we aren't going anywhere we don't have to go. This means a lot of playing indoors, but luckily my kids are great at entertaining themselves and each other.

This morning, the girlies got out their capes they got for Christmas from their wonderful Aunt Cathy. They had so much fun running around "flying", but what was so adorable was they were a team. They wanted to stay together and tried to hold hands as much as possible (though Mommy had to step in when we saw that running and holding hands is a dangerous combination-- someone always seemed to be being pulled to the ground.) My little crime-fighting trio...

Julia, Izzie, and Paige
Yeah, it's February and they are wearing Halloween shirts and sandals. Long story...
Izzie and Paige holding hands

Izzie flying

Julia flying