Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blog Thief

That's right, I am a blog thief. That means I read other people's blogs and copy things they do. Not that everything I say isn't true! It is! But if the McNulty quads are doing something interesting and my kids do it too, then I'm likely to write about it on my blog too. Or if Suzanne just found out that she is having three boys and a girl and is having trouble particularly with choosing a name for that last boy, just like we did, then I'm likely to write about where my kids' names came from. Which I did. Or if Becky has a particularly interesting blog element, like a list of the other blogs that she reads, then I'm likely to add a similar list to mine. Which I did. Thanks Becky, for the idea! Telling you what book I'm currently reading I got from Becky too. Actually, having a blog at all I got from Becky! It's a good thing Becky is around!

Now, Tooth Totals...that was all me!

Mt. Rushmore

A lot of you have heard this story before, but some of you haven't and may have wondered... where did the quads get their names? Well, here's where...

First of all, Reagan's name was easy. Ages ago, before we were even pregnant, we had picked Reagan as our daughter's name, if we ever had a daughter. There is a street here in Knoxville named after Ronald Reagan (Jim's favorite president, by the way). We were driving past it one day when I happened to mention that I had a Cabbage Patch Kid named Reagan Hannah. Jim had never thought about Reagan as a girl's name, but he liked the sound of it and so did I, so we decided on Reagan right then.

Then we found out we were pregnant.
Then we found out we were having quads.
Then we found out we were having three boys and a girl.

And everyone wanted to know if their names would rhyme (Thanks anyway, Steph, for Max, Jax, Wax, and Frax) or all start with the same letter. As if remembering their names in the heat of a moment won't be hard enough!

So anyway, our girl became Reagan. Pretty much the very next day, my sister called and said, "Since you're naming the girl Reagan, and Reagan is a president, why not name them all after presidents? You can name the boys Jackson, Tyler, and Grant!"

I said, "Uh...right...sure, great idea!" and hung up on my hilarious sister and her hilarious idea. "Jim! No need to worry about names anymore! Jodie's named all our kids for us! She named them all after presidents! Ha ha ha!"

Only, Jim didn't think it was a hilarious idea. He thought it was brilliant! My patriotic, America-loving husband loved the idea of naming all his kids after American presidents. Can't say it's all that surprising!

So we looked at the names of all the presidents and decided on Jonathan (John Adams, yeah, I know, it's kind of a stretch), Zachary (Zachary Taylor), and Thomas (Thomas Jefferson).

So there's the first names. The middle names are all family names. Jonathan Carl (Carl for Jim's dad and paternal grandfather), Zachary Franklin (Franklin for my dad and paternal grandfather), Thomas Ervin (Ervin for Jim's maternal grandfather), and Reagan Leanne (Leigh is my middle name, Ann is my sister's, and Lee is a popular middle name in my maternal grandfather's family).

So, patriotic and family-oriented, that's us!

As for the title of this post, when the nurses in the NICU heard that the kids were all named after presidents, they started to affectionately refer to them as Mt. Rushmore.

The future face of a mountain!

And the Pulling Up Award Goes to...

Jonathan again!

Mr. I-was-born-first-I'll-do-it-all-first strikes again!

He actually did it for the first time on Mar.31, so he's quite the pro-puller-upper these days! Thomas is closest to really pulling up to a standing position, but he only does it on objects that are about 2-3 inches tall, so his legs are standing, but he's all bent over! It's a step!

Reagan and Zachary are trying and will pull up on your hands, but aren't very successful anywhere else. They tend to pull things over on top of themselves. They've just got so much more weight to lift!

Guys! You should see the view from up here!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Easter Pictures

Despite the chaos of our Easter weekend, I did manage to snap some pictures of the kids in their Easter outfits...except for Thomas, somehow his diaper came loose inside his outfit, don't ask me how, and he had to come out of it. I was thrilled to get pictures at all because the kids were so distracted. I tried to get one of all four of them together, but I couldn't get them to all sit still for one full second, much less long enough to take a picture, so there is no group shot. Just use your imagination and enjoy!
Jonathan does his Easter dance

Zachary thinks it's funny that he managed to snatch some Easter grass, and I haven't taken it away from him yet.

Reagan is also amused by still having the Easter grass. Who knew it could be so entertaining?

Thomas in his backup Easter outfit--the first one was cuter!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It was not my intention to be confusing, but I have been. If this post is new to you, but the previous one "Correction and Addition" is not, then please continue past it to an older post which is actually new, not old. Sorry! I started the post about our Easter weekend but didn't finish it. Then wrote a different post before going back to finish my Easter post. I thought I could just move it, but I can't, or at least I don't know how. My apologies! And our Easter pictures aren't on there either. They'll come soon. Everything is all out of order. Very annoying!

Correction and Addition

This post goes along with the one of the kids in the flowerbeds. First I want to say that it was presumptuous of me to talk about the cold weather killing off MY flowers. At best, they are OUR flowers, and really when you get right down to it, they are JIM'S flowers since he is the one who has done all the work in the flowerbeds this year and last. And he has done a fantastic job, too, considering our circumstances. He has managed to weed and mulch all the flowerbeds, and the yard is the prettiest in the whole neighborhood! Maybe all of Knoxville! Well, okay, maybe not all of Knoxville, but it is definitely up there with the best of them!

I would also like to add a thank you to Jennifer from church who made the adorable monogrammed onesies that the kids were wearing in those pictures. They are so cute, and I'm so glad the kids are big enough to wear them now! Thanks, Jennifer!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Easter Weekend

Easter was a big weekend for us, full of family visits and more than one singing rabbit! The festivities began on Friday. It was Jim's birthday to start off with, and we enjoyed the arrival of our first guests. Uncle Clay, Aunt Carey, and Cousin Tyler arrived Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with us. It was so great to see them all, especially Tyler because I had never seen him before, and Jim hadn't seen him since he was born three months ago! He is the cutest thing! And much quieter than mine ever were! The kids didn't really pay him much attention at first, being too distracted by the attention they were receiving themselves from Clay and Carey. Carey hadn't seen the kids since just before Thanksgiving, so she couldn't believe how big they had gotten! The kids paid more attention to their cousin as the weekend wore on, but were never overly interested in him unless he was down on the floor where they could see him well or they happened to hear his cry and know that it was not one they are used to.

Clay wonders if it's always this loud at our house.

On Saturday we had a house full of people! In addition to the six of us and Clay, Carey, and Tyler, we were also joined by Granny Pam, Great-granny Kat, Papaw, and Nene.

Granny Pam and Tyler

Great-granny Kat and Jonathan

NeNe and Jonathan

We took advantage of having so much of Jim's family together at the same time and snapped a few family pictures. We had hoped to do pictures outside, but it was SO cold that weekend that we couldn't. So we all crammed into the playroom and snapped away.

Later that afternoon, Josh, Cris, and Carter also came over to play and see Tyler.

Cris and Tyler

Zachary and Carter share some smiles

The grand-folk all went home that evening, but we had more guests the next day. The whole household managed to get ready and make it to church for Easter. Josh, Cris, and Carter came too! I was disappointed that the weather was so cold. It made it difficult to choose outfits. Still, we made quite a procession, all of us trailing into church, with just as many babies as there were adults!

Then that afternoon, Aunt Jayne and Cousin Koda came to visit and joined us for dinner, as did Josh, Cris, and Carter. Clay got Jim a rotisserie for his new grill as a birthday present, and he tried it out that day with pretty tasty results! Of course, Jim's results are usually pretty tasty, especially if his grill is involved!

Aunt Jayne and Thomas

Cousin Koda and Reagan

Koda and Zachary

Monday morning, Clay, Carey, and Tyler headed back to Indiana and put an end to our big weekend. It was busy, but we had a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone! We can't wait to do it again! Maybe next time, Tyler will be old enough to play!

Weekend Visitors

A couple of weeks ago, we had visits from some people we don't see very often. First, on Sat, Brent and Rhonda stopped by on their way to the Orange and White game. The kids had a lot of fun playing with them, and we enjoyed seeing them.

Zachary gives Rhonda's arms a workout!

Jonathan shows Brent how to make the banjo play

Then on Sun, Bradley came by. She was in town, visiting from Michigan. It was so great to see her. It's always a treat for Bradley to get to see the kids during the daytime! Most of the time she spent with us, she worked on getting the kids to sleep, so she didn't get to play with them very much. I'm glad she was able to come by and play with them this time!

Reagan makes herself comfortable in Bradley's lap

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Easter Weather, but not on Easter!

Here are some pictures Michelle took of the kids in the flowerbeds a couple of weeks ago, before it got too cold to go outside and the frost killed all my flowers.

This picture was snapped half a second before Jonathan began crawling away...again. The child refuses to sit still ever these days.

The only person able to distract the kids and get them to smile, instead of try to eat the flowers, was David. That is who Zachary is smiling at. He wasn't around for Jonathan's pictures.

David works his magic again, although getting Reagan to sit still and smile for the camera is not nearly as difficult as it is with the boys.

All Thomas really wanted to do was eat the mulch. Here he is distracted from his tasty meal by David, who is jumping around on the other side of the window facing the porch. This was not nearly as effective at getting smiles as actually jumping around on the porch itself.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

9 Month Checkup

Last Wednesday we went in for our 9 month checkup! The kids didn't have to get ANY SHOTS!!!! Yea!!! They did have their fingers pricked for a blood test, but miraculously Thomas was the only one who cried. So this was a big first for us. We had a doctor's visit with virtually no tears. It was great!

Here are their weights and percentages...still the reigning champ, Zachary came in at 20lb 3.5oz and 50%. Reagan is close behind at 20lb 0.5oz, which puts her at 75%. As we've discussed before, the percentages are different for boys and girls, so where Zachary is totally average for his age, Reagan is big even though she weighs less. Jonathan came in third at 18lb 1oz and 10%. This is a smaller percentage than last time, but nothing to worry about. Mr. Crawler is so active! He doesn't sit still long enough to gain weight! Thomas brings up the rear at 16lb 8.5oz and 3%. The kids all seem to be following the growth trends they started months ago, gaining at about the same rates just at different levels.

We've been cleared to start table foods. We had already been giving the kids some finger foods, like Cheerios and zwieback toast, but now we're giving them all sorts of food. We have some official stage 3 food which we give them sometimes, and we also save leftovers from our meals to give them the next day. So far, Jonathan is the pickiest eater. Reagan seems to be the champ. She has eaten everything we've given her. They all like apple slices and Nutri-Grain breakfast bars. They've also had cheese, macaroni, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Some liked them, some didn't. We're working on getting them to take sippy cups too, so far with very little success.

We've also started switching Thomas over to the Similac that the other kids drink so they'll all be on the same formula. That will make things easier, plus it's a little cheaper. We've also been cleared to start mixing their formula with whole milk after they turn 10 months old. Our doctor doesn't normally suggest that until 11 months, but said we could start early since the formula is so expensive when you're buying for four! Milk is a lot cheaper!

I guess that's about it for this visit. We go back at 12 months and will get shots then. It should be an interesting visit as they will probably all be crawling and walking by then! Scary thought!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Picture Questions

This post is mostly for Becky, but since I thought others might be interested in the answers to her questions about the last post, I thought I'd answer here rather than sending her an email. So here it is...

I used a black blanket that Jim bought at Target. It's just a big fleece one that didn't cost much. We use a similar one when Michelle does her pictures, but hers is much nicer. She got hers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It doesn't seem to pick up lint quite as easily as my cheaper one. My mom has the same one that Michelle has. I hung mine up in the playroom using those big chip clips (you know, for potato chip bags) to clip one end to the window blinds and the other end to the computer desk we use to hold the TV.

For the standing pictures, I turned a big plastic storage tub upside down and slid it under the blanket. It worked pretty well for the kids who were really bracing against it by pushing down on their hands, and less well with Thomas who just wanted to lean on it, because it kept sliding out from under him.

We first started doing pictures this way back in September when Jodie, Jeff, and Kinley came to visit. Jeff's sister is a professional photographer and let them borrow her camera and a big black drape. She had a professional stand to set up to hold the drape up. The pictures Jodie took turned out great, so Michelle bought a big black blanket to use when she did the kids' monthly pics. Later, she also bought a brown one and a light blue one. Usually we just drape the blanket over the couch or a chair or someone stands behind it and holds it up. If you look back through the blogs, you can see all the pictures we've taken. They were all done at the house. Our kids have never been anywhere professional for any of their pictures.

Hope that helps!