Saturday, March 26, 2011

My First Baby is Getting So Big!!

This weekend is my multiples club's sale. All week I have been sorting and tagging clothes like crazy trying to get ready. This evening, I went to start setting up. My sister Sara was home with the kids (Rod had plans as well.) Late in the evening, my cell chimed that I had a text message. I opened it up to find this picture waiting for me.

Will lost his first tooth!!

I know it is hard to see in the picture, but one of his bottom middle teeth came out. Earlier this week he had shown me that it was loose, but I still can hardly believe that it is out.

So, since I have been home, the tooth fairy wrote a letter thanking him for letting her take his tooth and encouraging him to continue taking such good care of his teeth-- she only wants healthy white teeth. He also, of course got some money.

Unfortunately, I have to leave bright and early tomorrow to get to my sale. I wish I could be here when he wakes up. Oh well, I'm sure this is the first on many, many teeth to come.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Bedtime Routine

I have always been grateful to have kids that are good sleepers. Right now the quads go to bed at 8:00 p.m. and typically sleep straight through until 8:00 a.m. Not too bad! I get a few hours awake with my husband, then a good night's sleep before facing each day. I love to sleep. Love it. So, I am paranoid about my kids losing their good sleep habits. Because of this, I will do anything if I think it may help them sleep. At this point, the bedtime routine (at least for the girls) has become a bit absurd, but I want to document it.

Each of them has a few toys they keep in their crib which must be put in a special place. They each have several blankets which must be tucked in a certain order or laid in a particular place (I sometimes wonder how they don't melt at night!) Here is a break down of the drill which I must complete before my little princesses will go to sleep.

Izzie: Izzie has the biggest assortment of toys in her crib. Probably the oddest is an old wallet of mine. I got a new wallet a couple of months ago and gave my old one to the kids to use for play. Izzie took it and decided it should be in her bed with her. (Don't ask me. I have no idea.) Last time I washed their bedding, I took it out and didn't put it back. Sure enough, that night we're getting ready for bed and Izzie stands up in her bed and yells, "Where's my wallet?!?" (Yes, she got it back.) She also has a bunch of stuffed animals which must be arranged just so. She must be tucked into her purple fleece blanket "snug as a bug in a rug." Then she has a white blanket and a blue blanket laid on top of her. The final layer is a Snoopy quilt, but she doesn't know who Snoopy is, so she calls it her "doggy blanket." The animal print quilt which matches their bedding must be hung over the top of her crib.

Julia: Jules is the only one with a true "lovey." When I was pregnant and on bedrest, Rod's Aunt Connie taught me how to knit. I made a small (about 18in. x 18in.) yellow blanket with a green and blue border. Will carried it around for a while, but once the babies came home, he gave it to Julia (what a sweet big brother!). She has not slept without it since. So once she is lying down with her blankie, she has a pink fleece blanket I use to tuck her in "snug as a bug in a rug." Then she has a blanket her Godmother Taylor gave her with her name embroidered on it. This is the next layer, with her animal print quilt going on top. She also has a Lightning McQueen blanket of Will's she wants hung over the foot of her crib.

(you can see her little yellow blankie under her cheek)

Drew: Drew is my dude. He doesn't require all the details that the girls demand. He wants his pillow, a few blankies (but he doesn't like to be tucked in,) and his stuffed Elmo and Tiny. Then he conks out and typically sleeps on top of everything.

(Unfortunately, he is a finger sucker. Always sleeps with his first finger in his mouth.

Yeah, those orthodontist bills should be a lot of fun!!)

Paige: Our little Paige has her own unique list of bedtime demands. She also has a group of stuffed animals (and a yellow rubber duckie,) which must be positioned by her pillow. Then, I use her yellow duckie fleece blanket to tuck her in "snug as a bug in a rug." Next, I cover her with her Mickey Mouse quilt and a yellow afghan. She needs her music blanket hung over the side of her crib and her animal quilt hung over the top. Her funniest request, though, is when I kiss her goodnight, I have to kiss her forehead, then each of her ears. For a while, this request made me paranoid that her ears were infected, but nope-- she's just a funny little girl!

Yes, some nights it seems like I am jumping through dozens of hoops, but if it means that Mommy gets a full night's sleep, I'll keep jumping through them! You notice after all of the positioning and tucking, they end up completely untucked and sprawled across the bed. Sometimes I think they're just messing with me- seeing how far I will go for my desire for sleep.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Potty Training Setback

I wasn't sure if I was going to post about potty training at all. I started this blog as a baby book and potty training is certainly a big step for toddlers. It has also been used as a place for me to get down my thoughts and feelings (if I ever need therapy-- potty training might send me there.) While both of those make me think I should, I do realize that this is being put out to the world and one day my children may look back and read this. I have no memories at all of being potty trained. I clearly was (not bragging, just saying...), but aside from one or two cute pictures of me on the potty (and yes, I did have to take a few of the crew), no memories. And I'm okay with that. I don't really need to know the details of me earning my big girl panties. Just when I decided against blogging about it, I realized how interested I get when another quad-mama blogger writes about potty training. Knowing that this was coming up for us, I would wait and make sure I read the post when I could really devote my full attention to it. I wanted to hear what they tried, what worked, how long it took, how they knew the kids were ready, how they knew they were ready... I couldn't get enough! I finally decided that I was going to write about this, but probably be a little vague about things.

I have been dreading the whole idea of potty training. I thought the kids were kind of ready, but I knew that I was not ready, so I just kept putting it off. Last week they officially turned 2 1/2 on Tuesday. That same day, one of the girls announced that she didn't want to wear a diaper-- she wanted panties! I kind of tried to ignore the panties and put her in a diaper, but she insisted. She actually started crying! I figured that I needed to "Mom up" and take the plunge. I put her in panties. Once she was wearing panties, the others wanted them as well. Heaven help me. I had four toddlers wearing big-kid bottoms. Yikes!

I'll spare you the details of an insane first morning. I had the kids' potties in the hall outside the bathroom. Well, I was running myself ragged trying to sit kids on potties while trying to keep an eye out for accidents or other mischief from the others in the family room. By evening, I had worked out a system.

The potties came into the family room. I sat the crew on them at the same time (putting them in the family room also allowed us to watch Elmo's Potty Time while sitting on the potty.) Still not easy, but I had a system.
We had some highlights. Almost everyone had at least one success on the potty. My favorite moment as a mother-- I was giving M&Ms as rewards. On our second afternoon, the crew asked if they could have baby carrots as a reward instead. Um... okay!
We also had some disappointments. One girl simply does not have the patience to sit on the potty for more than a minute. What's worse, is having an accident didn't really bother her Even if each kid only has a couple of accidents each day, times four that is a lot.

Before actually starting to train the crew, I had been hopeful that once one quad had it down, he/she would kind of teach the others. If only. Instead, my child who was least ready, brought everyone down with her. A day or two into the process, she decided she didn't want to wear panties, she wanted a diaper. Since she clearly wasn't ready, I agreed and put her in a diaper. Well, by yesterday, all four kids were back in diapers. No one is willing to wear panties no matter how nicely Mommy asks or what she gives as reward.
I'm trying not to make too big of a deal over this. It is just a setback. I'm considering the last ten days to be my trial run. It was the crew's way of telling me that this is coming. I better get used to the idea and figure out a way to make this work. Now Mommy is ready. As soon as anyone (or the whole crew) feels like they are ready, I'm going to start getting these kids out of diapers. As much as I'm dreading the process, I dream of the end result. No more diapers!!! I can hardly imagine such a thing, but it sure sounds lovely!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Swinging Good Time

This winter has been long. Way too long. That made today even more exciting! It was warm (well warmer) enough to take the crew to the park! It was nice to get out for a little while and let the kids run around. It was really windy, but we were willing to put up with the wind to actually get to spend time outdoors again!

Julia and Paige on the swings

It is incredible to see how much the kids have changed since the end of last summer! My crew has always loved the swings! Our problem is that most parks don't have enough for all of the kids. We used to be able to put 2 quads in 1 toddler swing. We would sit them back to back and put their legs through the opposite holes. No way was that working anymore! I tried with Julia and Paige (the two smallest) and nearly squished them to death! The good news is, they are big enough now that they can sit and hold on on the big kid swings. Paige (always our daredevil) couldn't go high enough. I was a bit nervous with her on the big swing, so I didn't want them to go too high. She kept yelling, "Higher! Higher!" When it comes to physical things, that one is fearless! Now put her in a room with a stranger and it's a different story...
Anyway, everyone had a good time and burnt off some energy. We are keeping our fingers crossed that this is only the beginning and we will see more spring-like days ahead!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

As the crew gets older and bigger, it is crazy how much is changing around here. One big difference is when we take everyone out somewhere, we no longer discuss which stroller to take. We instead decide if we are going to use a stroller. We have taken a few outings completely stroller free. This is a whole new world for us! Overall, the quads do a great job of staying with us and holding hands (Izzie is having the hardest time, but she is getting better.) Will is a big helper and will often hold hands with one (or even two) of the little ones. So far we are loving this! The quads behave better with a little bit of freedom. They are able to get out and see everything better and interact more with their surroundings (this is good and bad...) One perk to this that we hadn't considered is we are a bit less of a spectacle. We blend in much more and get far fewer comments and questions.
The family walking around the museum center last weekend

Rod is holding hands with Izzie and Paige
Will is holding hands with Julia
I was bringing up the rear with Drew

One downside to this is we do not get anywhere quickly. We only go stroller-free at places where we are going to be doing a lot of wandering. Getting everyone to move their little bitty legs in the same direction is not a particularly fast process, but we are working on it. Lots of small steps for my two year olds, but a really big leap toward growing up!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Will's Army

I am incredibly fortunate that my big boy is able to entertain himself for good stretches of time. One of his favorite things to do is to build and play with his Legos and Playmobil figures. He has a bunch of characters and things to make his medieval castle. This morning he was up in his bedroom setting up his castle and an army to protect it. He was very proud of his work and brought me upstairs to see it. He did a great job! It was awesome, but my favorite part was the army he assembled.
His castle and its guards
(can you see Shrek in front?)

Spiderman backed up some soldiers
MegaMind, the tiger from Kung Fu Panda and a couple of Robin Hoods stand guard

Align Left

The blue Power Ranger

This area was heavily guarded by a shark (on land?),

a dinosaur and a couple Star Wars guys

My favorite was Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

Wasn't he supposed to be a scaredy-cat?

And he's armed with a giant hamburger!

I absolutely love my little guy and his wild imagination!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Julia's Gems

Little Miss Julia has spoken very well for quite a while now. She speaks clearly, has an excellent vocabulary and definitely speaks her mind. This week she has come up with some really good ones (including her fairy tails comment earlier.)

-- One day I was wearing a t-shirt with a heart on it. She said, "You have a heart on your shirt. It is because Daddy loves you!" I thought it was adorable and told her she was right. When Rod go home that night, I asked her, "What is on Mommy's shirt?" wanting him to hear what she had said earlier. She looked at my shirt and said, "Um, applesauce?" Okay, she was right, I had spilled some applesauce on my shirt. Still, it didn't need to be pointed out! Not the cute moment I was hoping for.

-- While playing the other day there was a minor collision (nothing major, just Julia and Paige bumping into each other. Happens all the time around here.) Julia burst into tears and yelled, "Paigey bopped me onto my booty!" Not sure how she learned that word, but it cracked me up.

-- The other evening when Rod came home from work everyone yelled, "Daddy!" like they usually do, but sweet Julia says, "Daddy, you look so handsome!" He did look handsome (of course) but I'm not sure what drew the comment. He was wearing the new shirt we bought him for his birthday. Maybe that was it? Anyway, it certainly put a smile on Rod's face!

-- This afternoon we went to my nephew's second birthday party. Before bed tonight, I asked the crew if they had fun at Malcolm's party. Julia replied, "Yeah! I like partying!!" Uh oh! Better keep an eye on that one in her teen years!

I love this age and listening to their language explode. It is so much fun to hear their view on this funny world. I certainly never know what these guys will say next.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Yesterday was Rod's birthday. The big 3-5! It was pretty low-key (funny how unimportant your birthday is after you have kids), but we still had to celebrate a bit. The kids used finger paint to make cards for him.
Julia working on hers

Izzie was being very particular about how she painted hers

Will is an old pro at finger paint

Drew loved it! He went through a ton of paint.

Paige showing her red finger


(ever notice how nearly all kids' finger painting turns into a grayish-brownish blob?)

Then that evening we gave him his cards, a few small gifts,
sang Happy Birthday and (most importantly) had cake!

Will actually ate an entire piece!
(very unusual-- he doesn't usually eat sweets)



(he was so excited to eat cake he was actually in tears by the time we finished singing)


Unfortunately, Mommy was lazy and did not put the finger paints back in the closet (I thought I had put them high enough the quads couldn't get to them. I should know better, they can get almost anywhere.) This morning I was playing with Izzie and Julia in the family while Drew and Paige were playing in the dining room-- or so I thought.

They got the finger paints and partied in the living room!!

Spread them around...

Made sure to even get the dog!!!

Not a fun clean-up, but thank God we buy Crayola washable. Almost everything is clean tonight (including the poor dog!) I'm still working on a couple spots, but the chair and carpet are fine.

When will I learn?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fairy Tails

This morning we were watching Sesame Street while I got the kids dressed. The girls were going through their hair things and picking out what they wanted me to put in their hair. Julia brought me two ponytail holders. I asked her if she wanted pigtails. She said, "No. I want fairy tails. Like Abby."

Abby Cadabby is one of the kids' favorite Sesame Street characters.

Julia wearing her 'Fairy Tails.'
Seriously, could these kids be any cuter?