Sunday, October 30, 2011

Goodbye Meemaw

Last weekend my husband's Grandmother (Meemaw to her grandchildren and great-grand children) passed away. She had battled Parkinson's and Alzheimer's for several years. She and her husband, Peepaw, moved in with my in-laws a few years ago. My mother-in-law, Judy. and several home-health nurses took excellent care of her. She passed away in the comfort of her home surrounded by those she loved and that loved her dearly.

Meemaw and Peepaw had been married for 64 years and were a wonderful example to all of us of a loving union. Peepaw was with her until her final moment and his devotion to her was beautiful. They showed all of us what our marriage vows truly mean.

This was also the first time my children have lost a human they loved. I explained to the quads that Meemaw had died. I told them that she had gone to Heaven to be with God and that she would look over us. "Like Stella?" they asked. Well, yes. Stella was their only experience with death. I told them that Meemaw was in Heaven with Stella and God. They understood this as well as three year olds can. Will, on the other hand, has a slightly better idea of what this means. He asked a lot of questions and I answered them as well as I could.

While we were certain that the quads were too young to appreciate the funeral and would bea distraction, we had to decide if we were going to bring Will with us or not. We decided that he would come with us to her layout the night before, but not attend the funeral. Once her headstone is on place, we will take all of the kids to lay flowers at her grave. We talked to Will about funerals and what he would see. He knew that he would see Meemaw, but that her soul is already gone and it is just her body. We had told him that even though we are glad that Meemaw is with God, people will be sad that she is no longer with us.

The evening of the layout, I was a bit worried about Will and how he would handle everything. I did not want him to be scared or overly upset. He really impressed me. He did a great job. Me hugged Judy and told her he was sorry her mother died. He hugged Peepaw and told him that he was sorry his wife died. At one point I saw him, completely unprompted by anyone, standing in front of Meemaw's casket with his hands folded and his head bowed. He told me that he said a prayer for her. He behaved very well and we stayed the whole time. I was so proud of my big boy!

Well almost all night... Toward the end of the layout, most of the guests had left and Peepaw went to the casket to have a moment with his bride of 64 years. Will joined him for a moment and they talked. Later, I asked Peepaw what Will had said. He told me that Will had told him that soon Meemaw would be a skeleton. Oh man! We almost made it! Luckily, Peepaw understood and wasn't bothered by it. He just said, "But doesn't she look pretty right now?" Of course, Will agreed with him.

We love you Meemaw and we are so grateful to have had you in our lives for as long as we did! The love you gave us will always be remembered and passed on through our family.

Meemaw and Peepaw with the kids and us at the quads' first birthday party

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Binky Fairy

My quadruplets turned three last month. I am embarrassed to admit this, but they also still slept with pacifiers. I know, I know that is way too old to be using a pacifier. I started off with good intentions. I let them use their binkies pretty much whenever they wanted until they turned one. After that, they were only allowed at naptime or bedtime. My brilliant plan was to then take them away completely by age two. Well, they are three, so clearly that plan went out the window!

The problem is, I like to sleep. I really, really, really like to sleep. I love that my children let me sleep all night and I have been afraid to mess with a good thing. For the last week or so, my kids have been suffering from seasonal allergies. Nothing too serious, just some majorly stuffy noses that have made sleeping much more difficult. Our nights have been pretty rough as different kids have been waking up fussy at different times. It may sound kind of crazy, but I figured if we already weren't sleeping, this was the perfect time to go ahead and take away the binkies.

Since this had gone on for so long and the kids had developed such an attachment to their binkies, I decided that we had to make it a big deal. So we had the Binky Fairy come visit!

Before bed one night, the kids gathered all of their binkies and left them on the kitchen table for the Binky Fairy. All of the binkies out of their bedroom (even a Halloween pumpkin one.)

Then the Binky Fairy came and took all of the pacifiers to give to little babies that need them. In exchange for the binkies, she left toys for the kids.

Yes, Will got a toy as well.

(I have no idea why other than that Binky Fairy is a sucker)

The last couple of nights, the kids have gone to bed to without their binkies. The first night was pretty rough, but I could still blame that on their stuffy noses. I am very happy to report that last night everyone slept all night long. With no binkies!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An Important Reminder

I didn't think that I would post about this since I mostly just write about the kids. What I have again been reminded, however, is that every single thing that happens to me now, is about the kids.

I recently went through a health scare. Specifically, I had a breast cancer scare. During my routine appointment, my gynecologist found a lump and sent me for a mammogram. After a mammogram and ultrasound, the radiologist expressed his concerns to me and scheduled a biopsy and an appointment two days later to receive my results.

Just a brief side note--A good nurse is an angel on earth. I actually learned this during all of my hospital/NICU time with the babies, but it was reinforced. All of the nurses at St. Elizabeth's Women's Wellness Center were so wonderful. None of this was fun, but a gentle hand on my shoulder and a kind nurse asking about what my kids will be for Halloween made an uncomfortable biopsy bearable.

I am very happy to say that everything is fine. I do not have cancer! From the moment my doctor told me he felt something until I was told that everything was fine (nearly two weeks later), I was very anxious. I worried about everything, but mostly I thought about my children.

While I worried about missing big moments in their lives, I mostly was upset thinking about not being there or being too sick to enjoy all of the little moments. I want to be the one playing with my kids. I want to push them on the swings. I want to cuddle and read books. While I like to think that they need me, I know that I need them. I am greedy and want to suck up as many moments with these kids as I can. As hard as some days are and as tiring as my crazy crew can be, I am so lucky to be the mother to these sweet little people. I need to remember that all of the time and I hope that I never get a reminder quite this big again.

I am cancer-free, but the doctors do want to keep an eye on things with mammograms every six months for a few years. While having a mammogram is not that much fun (I could think of many better ways to spend an hour...), I will be certain to make each and every appointment. I have too much I'm not willing to miss!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

Yes, I know that it has been way too long since I have posted anything. Time just seems to slip away from me! Well, here is a quick recap of the last few weeks. Some things seen, heard (Will is always good for some great comments) and done around our little corner of the world.

-- This summer, Will joined Cub Scouts. He absolutely loves it! Recently he earned his first badge, the Bobcat Badge. He is very proud of his badge- and we are proud of him.

Will getting his badge

Will with his Den Master

--Lots of playing around the house

Izzie taking her Calico Critters for a ride in the dump truck

--Will has been an interesting kid since he was born. You just never know what he will say or do. He often says funny stuff. One recent quote that is both funny and sad-- I was picking him up from Tae Kwon Do and had the little kids with me. A woman commented to Will that he has a lot of siblings. He replied, "Yeah, I have one brother and three sisters. One fish (one of our festival fish has died. more on that later), one turtle and one dead dog." I'm pretty sure that woman was not expecting to hear that!

--So yes, another fish died. I never really knew which fish was Dad and which was Emilio, so I'm not sure which one it was. Since our surviving fish seems to be sticking around for a while, we had to find a place to put him. Will's room was the best spot. Since the fish is in his room, he talked the other kids into letting him re-name it. Will's BFF Zach is a Nascar fan. Because of this, Will says that he likes Nascar too. The thing is, Will has never seen a single Nascar race, so he just roots for Zach's favorite- Jimmy Johnson. Therefore, he named the fish Jimmy George(Will's favorite name) Johnson Lachmann. Pretty big name for a teeny tiny goldfish.

-- We went to the zoo for my nephew Huck's birthday. Shortly after we arrived, my niece Kate found Drew and announced, "I am a princess and you are my prince." She then insisted that they hold hands all day. If Drew dropped her hand or wandered away, she hurried over and grabbed his hand again. They were so darn cute holding hands all day!

Prince Andrew and Princess Kate

group shot of all of the cousins that made it that day

(except baby Ellie. She was in her stroller.)

--After the zoo, my parents joined us all for dinner. Will was sitting with his cousins and I heard him suggest, "Let's go talk to Grandpa. He's really smart!" Then he walked down, leaned on the table by my dad and asked, "So Grandpa, you want to talk about anything?" I love how much this little man adores his grandfather. We certainly made the right call naming Will after him.

--My multiples group had our used clothing and gear sale last week. Afterward, I was sorting through my remaining clothes and putting away some of the kids' summer things. I had a couple of totes sitting out while I sorted everything. The girls were playing and this is what I found when I went to check on them-

Julia and Paige put Izzie in a tote!

(don't worry she loved it- I could hear her giggling the whole time)

--The injury reports just keep coming. A few days ago, the kids were playing inside and playing 'Ring Around the Rosie.' They were all laughing and having fun. They had played many rounds when the ashes fell down a bit too hard. Paige bonked her head. I cuddled and comforted her, but she was really upset and kept telling me, "My head really hurts!" She hadn't broken her skin and I couldn't feel a knot or any swelling, so I wasn't too concerned. (Paige has always been quite sensitive and can carry on much longer than the others.) So, I was quite shocked and scared when she began vomiting. I called the pediatrician and they told me to bring her right in. I called the lovely Aunt Connie to come over and watch the others. When we got to the dr's, she gave Paige a neurological assessment. Thank God, Paige passed with no trouble. The doctor said that it was probably a very minor concussion and as long as she did not vomit again or show any other symptoms (which she did not), she wouldn't need a CAT scan or any further testing. I just kept a close eye on her for the day.

--To prove that Izzie had way too many injuries this summer, when I explained to the kids that Paige's head was hurt and I was going to have to take her to the doctor, Izzie asked, "Are you taking her to my hospital?" My hospital? Yeah, she definitely spent too much time there!

-- I'll file this under, It Will be Funny one Day. Just last night, we put the kids to bed like normal. Nothing out of the ordinary, tucked everyone in, gave kisses and didn't hear anymore from them. Then a couple of hours later, I heard voices in their room. I went upstairs to see what was going on. I found Drew and Izzie awake. In the dark, I went over to tell them to be quiet and go back to sleep. When I got closer, I could see something all over their little faces. That was when I saw a tube of lipstick and a lip liner in Izzie's hand. The little stinkers had snuck into my bathroom and swiped some of my makeup! I grabbed them and brought them into my bathroom where I could assess the damage in the light. I did make sure to snap one picture since I'm sure this will be funny eventually, but last night I saw red. Or more specifically, Clinique Berry Freeze lipstick!
It was awful! They had done quite a number on themselves and lipstick does not wash off easily. I ended up putting them both in the shower and scrubbing. Then I had to go in and examine their bedding. Not pretty! (thank God we have not gotten their new beds and bedding. I was angry enough with old sheets!) The bedding is currently being washed a second time in hopes of getting at least a bit more out. Is it wrong to put kids to bed in cages? Just wondering...

-- One last funny Will comment. This afternoon he and I went shopping for his Halloween costume. We bought one and he was so excited to get home and try it on and show Daddy. He said, "I'm going to go try on my costume. If I look fantastic, you can tell me." That little guy keeps me laughing!