Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pretty Little Piggies

Back in my past life-- you know, before kids-- I liked to pamper myself. Nothing too over the top, but I got my hair done regularly and often went one step further and got a pedicure for myself. Since having the kids, I rarely get my hair done and never get pedicures. On Easter, I wore open-toed heels. I quickly threw some polish on my toes to at least be presentable. My girls were fascinated by it. They kept saying. "Mommy's toes are red!" (they weren't red they were sort of a peachy/coral, but it was still cute!)

I realized that I had never painted their toes, so today I decided to correct that!





The girls showing off their toenails and Paige admiring hers.




(I took a bunch of pictures like this and Izzie was doing that in all of them- goofball!)






40 pretty little piggies





they love them!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter

I already wrote about the Easter Bunny bringing the frogs, but I wanted to go ahead and briefly touch on the rest of the day. I was a very bad Mommy and took almost no pictures! I had my gorgeous family all dressed up in coordinating outfits and I didn't take a single family picture. I am still kicking myself so hard for that!

Saturday night Will lost another tooth, (This is his 3rd tooth and he is now missing both top teeth! He has a huge gap in his grin and I love and hate it. It is stinkin' adorable, but it makes him look like a big boy. How did my little man get to be a big boy losing his teeth?!?) so we had a couple big visitors come over night. (I was a little concerned about mythical characters running into each other in the house in the middle of the night, but it all went well.) Will woke up super early (about 5 a.m.) and came in to show us the money the tooth fairy left him. Luckily, we were able to talk him in to cuddling in bed with us for a couple more hours. Once we started hearing the babies stir, we all got up and went to see what the Easter Bunny brought.

Our silly Easter Bunny hides the kids baskets, so we spent a while running through the house finding every ones goodies. Once all the baskets had been found, we went to the kitchen table so the kids could sort through their treats.


They got magic wands, books, stickers, notepads, some candy... lots of stuff.

They seemed quite happy with their take.

After playing for a little bit (and eating more candy than they should consume in an entire week!), we had breakfast. Then everyone got baths and started getting ready. This was where things began falling apart. I somehow always think that I can get everyone ready in just a little time. This can not happen. I should know this by now, but in my head it all works. It just doesn't play out that way in reality. So, we were way behind schedule. We ended up missing Easter Mass completely. Yeah, the holiest day of the year and not a single member of our family went to church. Not our finest moment.

We rallied and managed to make it to my sister's house for Easter lunch. It was lovely. We had an Easter egg hunt. This was the first year the quads had some idea of what was going on. They still needed someone to walk around with them, but they found some eggs on their own and enjoyed collecting them. We also had a delicious meal and enjoyed some good time relaxing with our family.

Will was excited to play Mario Cart with his cousins



Izzie playing with a balloon with Aunt Sara




Julia had a blast!


We then went to my sister-in-law's for dinner. Again, it was great food and good times with family. The kids love getting to see everyone and had a great time. Just after dinner, we worried that we had to bail. After missing nap-time, the kids were just starting to melt down. After a couple of minutes, though, they rebounded and we ended up being able to stay and have a nice night.

We had a wonderful and blessed Easter!


Monday, April 25, 2011

That Easter Bunny is a Softie!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, Will wanted a frog for Easter, Really, really wanted a frog. I don't like frogs. I don't like them at all. But I love that my rough and tough little boy has such a tender spot for animals. What can I say? When that sweet little boy begs for an animal and tells me how much he loves it and wants to take care of it and make it part of our family, I melt.

Luckily, we were able to find a compromise. I found these little self-contained frog habitats. This plastic cube is a little froggy paradise. The frogs never come out and we never go in. We don't even take the lid off to feed the little guys (yes, they are both boys so we will not have any baby frogs.) There is a hole in the lid we drop four pellets through two times each week. Will gets to have frogs, but Mommy doesn't have to touch frogs. Everybody wins!



Will named his new little buddies Scooby and Shaggy.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Best Spring Break Ever!

Since we decided not to go out of town for spring break, we instead enjoyed something of a "stay-cation." We had a great week and never drove more than about an hour. Unfortunately, Rod wasn't able to take the week off, so I was on my own with the crew most of the time. That is my excuse for taking almost no pictures. I already wrote about our weekend stay at the Great Wolf Lodge and here is a quick rundown of the rest of our spring break:

  • We went to Dan and Evan's (the kids' twin cousins) 15th birthday party!

  • We drove down to Lexington to spend a day with aunts and cousins.

  • We spent an afternoon at the Cincinnati Zoo with 2 other sets of quadruplets (and one little sister.) Three Moms and fourteen kids! We tried to get a group shot of the kids, but...

take one...


take two...



  • We spent a day at Totter Otterville, a local play area.


  • We took Will to see Shrek the musical! He loved it! I mean, there are fart jokes- perfect for a 5 yr old boy!


  • We had planned to go to an Easter egg hunt, but it got rained out (or so we thought.) Just after we had put the quads down for their nap, my sister-in-law called and said they had not cancelled it, they just changed it. There was no hunting for eggs. The kids could go and get their pictures taken, then they were given a bag of candy. We didn't want to wake the little ones, so I just took Will. He had a good time. He asked the Easter Bunny for a frog. Ugh...

He was a bit afraid of the Easter Bunny, but wanted to ask for that frog so badly,

he went ahead and braved it!



  • We went to our friend Eva's 3rd birthday party!


  • Rod took Will bowling for the first time. Will loved it!


It was a great week, but very busy and Mommy is tired! I'm ready to slow back down a little bit, but very happy that everyone enjoyed spring break.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Drewser the Bruiser

We have had a fabulous time together this week on spring break! We have taken some trips and really enjoyed being together. I'll post more details about our fun later. Unfortunately, we also had a big scare last night. Yesterday, Rod came home from work early. Will had already planned out the baseball field he and Daddy were going to make in the back yard. He had made the bases out of a cardboard box. Rod and Will went out back to get everything set up and I was getting the quads ready to go out so we could all go play baseball together. I had my head in the hall closet getting the kids sandals. I looked around to check on the kids and saw all three girls playing. Then I saw Drew had somehow gotten out the back door (we have a door knob cover on the door) and was standing on the back deck. I turned and closed the closet door. In that second, I heard Rod yell, "Oh crap!" I looked up and I could no longer see Drew on the deck, but I saw Rod running across the back yard. I ran out and found Drew lying on the concrete landing at the bottom of the deck steps, still and silent. Fortunately, by the time I reached him, he had started crying. I was still scared, but the silence was terrifying. Rod got to him before I did and picked him up. He was screaming and crying, but not actually bleeding that much. We brought him in and checked him out. He had several bumps and bruises around his left eye, but really that was it. I gave him some Motrin and put ice on his boo-boos. Once he had calmed down enough to talk he said, "I want to play baseball!" Well, we figured if his biggest worry was playing on our cool new baseball field, he must be okay. We kept an eye on him for the rest of the night, but he never acted out of character and finally I was able to breathe normally again. Thank God my little man managed to avoid serious injury!
the bumps and bruises around his left eye.

they looked even worse this morning.
Ever since we brought the quads home, Drew's nick-name has been "Drewser the Bruiser." We called him that since he has always been significantly bigger than his sisters. Well, he certainly has earned his title! I still feel so bad that this happened. I have no idea how he got out on to the deck or what made him fall. I'm incredibly grateful that his Guardian Angel was able to pick up where Mommy left off!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Will's Weekend

This weekend was the beginning of Will's spring break from school. We had been considering taking a trip during spring break, but decided against it. We still wanted to make sure that it was a fun break from the daily routine of school for our big boy. We started out big! Saturday, we took Will and his best friend Zach up to stay at Great Wolf Lodge. If you do not have a Great Wolf Lodge near you, it is a hotel with an indoor water park. My wonderful sister Sara stayed at our house for the weekend and kept the quads so that we could focus on the big boys and play!
in the car on the way up

they were so excited!

(and yes, Will lost another tooth- love that gap-toothed grin!)

they loved our suite!

they (sort of) had their own room with bunk beds and their own tv!!

(they seriously would have been happy just to spend the weekend in the room)
We did manage to pull the boys out of the room with the lure of the water park. We had so much fun. It was great to watch them run around and be so excited. Everything there is very family oriented, so it was easy to let them take the lead and have a blast. One thing that was funny to watch, was Will's odd sense of fear. The water park has a multi-level splash tower. There are tons of geysers spraying up from the floor, water cannons, and waterfalls. They were having a great time squirting each other and us (and anyone else walking by...), but suddenly Will was too scared to go up to the next level. This is a completely sturdy structure with rails on both sides, I have no idea why this would be scary. The next place we went was the wave pool. Will immediately swims up to the deep end. He could not touch bottom and is only on 'okay' swimmer. He goes from complete scaredy-cat one minute to fearless wild-man the next. One funny moment in the wave pool. Will had gotten a wave in the face and came up sputtering. I asked him, "Are you okay?" He answers, "Yeah, I'm still alive." Wow, guess it takes a lot for him to not be 'okay'!
Rod and the boys getting ready to leave the water park

The boys and me

We went back to the room for dinner and the boys loved sitting in their bunk bed together!
At night, the hotel has "story time" in the lobby. They encourage the kids to come wearing their pajamas and slippers.
Will and Zach are ready to go!


it was packed, but we found a spot on the floor


the people and creatures came to life and sang a song

(frankly, it was more than a little creepy if you ask me...)


Then a lady read a story with Violet, one of the wolf mascots



After the bedtime story, there was a showing of How to Train Your Dragon. It was a very cute movie-- all four of us enjoyed it! The boys were exhausted from a busy, exciting day, but they were interested enough in the movie, they managed to stay awake.


the next morning, we woke up and did it all again!!



Such a great weekend and just the beginning to a fun spring break!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cousins!

This week my oldest sister's boys are on spring break from school. They live about an hour south of us. Not far, but far enough to keep us from spending as much time with them as we would like. Yesterday they came up for the day and we got nearly all of the cousins (on my side of the family) together to play. My sister Karen and her two kids weren't able to make it and were missed, but we had eleven of the thirteen grandchildren there. We had a great time!
Everyone gathering for lunch

Will and Alex ate at the craft table
All of my kids love little baby Ellie (she is 5 mos old now), but Julia simply adores her!

At one point Eleanor was playing in her Exersaucer and Julia pulled a little chair up to sit near her and play with her.


My favorite picture of the day!

We turned on The Princess and the Frog for the kids and Drew cuddled up with his oldest cousin (Gus, 10) to watch.

How adorable are they?


I love how much my kids enjoy playing with their cousins! They are very lucky to have so many cousins near their age and I hope they remain close as they grow up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainy Day

The last couple of days have been rainy and yucky. All of this rain is no fun...
Well, unless you're a five year old!

Splash!

Will talked me into letting him puddle-jump after school today


He had a blast


and got to burn off some energy

He got so soaked, that we had to dump muddy water out of his boots!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fair is Fair... Or Is It?

I grew up in the middle of a large family. I am the fifth of eight children. As a child, I remember being obsessed with everything being "fair." I had to have the same number of cookies as my siblings. It was the end of the world if I felt like I was doing more chores than someone else. I was always watching to make sure that things were even and fair. My mother did a good job and went out of her way to make sure that we all were treated well and had everything we needed, but I still remember her reply when I thought I saw injustice and cried, "Not fair!" Mom would simply reply, "Life is not fair."

Now, I find myself in the opposite role. I am the mother of a (somewhat) large family. My struggles with being fair began as early as the NICU. I worked out a rotation for holding babies during my time there. Paige, however, struggled some at birth and I was not able to hold her for a few days. Once I could hold her, should she get extra cuddles to make up for lost time? How could I be most fair?

In the 2 1/2 yrs since the NICU, my worries about being fair have surfaced in dozens of other areas. When I am out with the kids by myself, Paige really craves freedom from the stroller. Not only does she want to walk, she can be trusted to stay close to me and keep her hands to herself. Well, some of her co-quads simply can not be permitted to walk on their own yet. They wander off or touch things they shouldn't. Is it fair for me to allow Paige to walk, while others are forced to stay in the stroller? Is it fair to force Paige to stay in the stroller even though she can behave so well?

This is an issue even just in "Mommy time." Some of the kids really want to be with me nearly all of the time, while others are more independent and are completely happy by themselves. I feel guilty sometimes about how much time a couple kids spend in my lap or arms, but if all of the kids are happy, is this really unfair?

I even already worry about the future. What if one does well in school with little effort, while another struggles to maintain a 'C' average. Am I going to set the same standards for these kids?Is it fair to reward one child for an 'A' and another for a 'C'?

I have worried about this for years now, and I have finally reached a decision. I don't discuss politics here, but the is not my position on world politics, only my parenting in my family. In parenting, I am a socialist.

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."-- Karl Marx

From here in, my focus is going to be more on my children as individuals. This doesn't mean that I'm going to stop trying to be fair. They will likely always receive similar size gifts etc. I mean that I will try to fill each child's individual needs, while encouraging each child's individual abilities. This may mean that one child seems to be getting more assistance at one point or another may receive more praise at. I cannot guarantee things will be equal. The only thing I can promise will always be equal will be my love and commitment to each child. I love each of these kids with all of my heart. I am completely committed to filling each child's needs and assisting and encouraging each child's growth. I can hear my childish self crying, "That's not fair!" Yeah well, "Life is not fair."