Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Missing Sunglasses?

There are two pairs of sunglasses currently residing in my home that do not belong to any of the people residing in my home. One pair is a recent addition most likely showing up after the big birthday bash. The other pair has been here for months and months, seriously forever! So if you have been to my house anytime in the last 9 months and have lost a pair of sunglasses, let me know. I may have them!

A Good Checkup

We just got back from our 12-month checkup and everything went great! Except the shots! They hated those! But other than that we're totally healthy and developing right on schedule. Here are their new weights and percentages. Remember that the boys are measured differently from girls so that's why Zachary weighs more but Reagan's percentage is higher. Anyway, Zachary remains top dog at 21lb 12oz but has dropped percentage-wise to 35%, not that that's a problem though. Reagan maintains her spot in second place weighing 21lb 4oz, but takes first place percentage-wise with a whopping 60%. Thomas, my prize eater, has overtaken third place with a weight of 20lb 1oz, finally climbing up from 3% to 15%! Jonathan has dropped into the fourth spot with a weight of 19lb 2oz and 8%. None of these weights or percentages are cause for concern. All four babies are growing and developing and healthy and that's what really matters!

Just as an update, we still have no walkers, but Reagan took about a step and a half last Friday night. She has taken no steps since then. In fact, she is kind of refusing to even try. Little Miss Strong Opinions! All babies will walk behind the push walkers, and Jonathan and Zachary have even gotten pretty good at steering them. Jonathan is especially good, steering his around obstacles and in between jumpers with ease. Everyone but Thomas will let go of their supports and stand alone momentarily. Reagan does it most often. Every day we seem to have evidence of their growing understanding of language. Although they aren't really talking yet themselves (although they do occasionally say dada and seem to actually mean Jim) they understand the words of the world around them more and more. It's a lot of fun! I'm sure that as time goes on, there will be lots of stories about language development!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Birthday Bash

June 16th, we had the big party here at the house for the kids' birthday. It was a crazy day full of family and friends, just a few of the wonderful people who have been such an important part of the babies' lives.

Jonathan monopolizes the conversation with Papaw and Nene

Wow! You can see everything from up here!
Reagan and Daddy Bud

What do you mean we're giving this exersaucer to Cousin Tyler!?!

Morgan tries out the pool before it gets overrun by babies

Carter thinks Morgan is loads of fun

Zachary catches up with former night nanny Jean

Opening presents--notice the bow on Jonathan's head!
(Also, Thomas isn't king of the day, he just happened to be the one that ended up in Carter's high chair because Carter was using one of ours--long story!)

A cake for each baby and one for the rest of us!
I put each baby's initials on their slice in Cheerios! It was a sure bet to entice them to dig in!
Aunt Jayne made the big cake! It was delicious!



Reagan, right after she picked up the whole slice with both hands!

Thomas, right before he rubbed his face and got icing in both eyes!

Okay, you jump out first. I'm right behind you!

It's not a bloody nose, it's chocolate!

Racing each other to see who gets the blue ball first

So much pool, so many babies!

Hmmm...Carter is big and cool with all his fancy walking and stuff, but I'm not sure I want to share my ball with him!

The kids try out the tables and chairs that Daddy Bud made (that's right, he MADE them!)--one set was Mommy's on her first birthday and a matching set makes it just right for four!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Great Big Thank You!

Well, folks, the babies are a year old, and I couldn't have done it without you! So I want to take a moment to thank you for everything you've done. I hope I don't forget anything!

Thank you to every single person who prayed for me and the babies, even if it was only once! Your prayers kept us safe and healthy during my pregnancy, ushered four beautiful babies into the world, rescued me from the brink of death after their delivery, watched over us all in the hospital, and helped us maintain our sanity to survive and thrive over the last year! God has done amazing things for us this year, and He did them because you prayed and asked Him to. Thank you!

Thank you to our families who have been endlessly supportive, especially to KayKay and Daddy Bud, Grammy Pammy, Granny Kat, Aunt Jodie, Uncle Clay, and Aunt Carey, who all stayed with us at different times and helped out when the babies first came home from the hospital and many times since then. Thank you for your visits, your advice, your encouragement, your prayers, all the many, many ways you have helped us, and most of all for your love!

Thank you to West End and Hardin Valley (formerly Parkway for you faithful readers) Churches of Christ for so many things! Thank you to everyone who brought us food, from the time I went on bedrest until months after the babies were born. Thank you to everyone who came to the house to help us take care of the kids, Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, for months! Thank you to those of you who came on the weekends, occasionally took a late night shift when there was no night nanny, who brought extra help with you and allowed me and Jim to get out of the house for some time by ourselves, and to those of you who come now and give me an afternoon out on my own! And a special thank you to Kim who organized so much of that help!

Thank you to everyone who made a donation to West End's Harris Fund, making it possible for us to hire a night nanny to watch the kids overnight, so we could get some sleep.

Thank you to everyone who gave us diapers, wipes, formula,baby food, and handmedowns. We are SO grateful for all of it!

Thank you to Michelle who came over every weekday I was on bedrest and made sure I had lunch without having to get up, who has been an ever-helpful presence throughout the babies' lives, who has been my dearest friend these past twenty years and a continuous source of encouragement, sanity, and perspective, and who has taken so many fantastic pictures of the kids! I'm so glad I'm getting to share this experience with you!

Thank you to our night nannies--Jean, Bradley, Linda, and Kendall. It takes a special person to want to stay up all night caring for four infants, but all four of these women did at some time or other. I especially thank Bradley who was with us five nights a week for four months and got all the kids sleeping through the night and Jean, our first night nanny, who graciously took vacation time off her real job to work for us and give us time to find some one more permanent!

Thank you to everyone at South-Doyle High School, both staff and students, for being so good to me while I was pregnant and still working, and for all your help and encouragement since the babies were born. A special thanks to Stephanie and Frank who have volunteered their time more than once and watched the kids so Jim and I could get out together.

Thank you to Cingular/the New AT&T and everyone who works there, for being so good to Jim, especially to his boss Ken and all the wonderful people in his office. Thank you for letting him off work when I had to go to the dr or the hospital or when I call up and say, "Hey, sweetie, we're going to have babies this afternoon!" or when I nearly died or the kids have to go to the dr or any number of other baby-related issues. Thank you for all your support outside of work, to those of you who have spent time with the kids or brought us food or just dropped by for the fun of it.

And a great big thank you to my wonderful husband. Your daily presence has been a bigger comfort and support than I could ever have imagined. You take care of our whole family, cooking and cleaning and taking care of the yard, all so I can take care of the babies. You feel guilty because I spend all my time with the babies, and I feel guilty because you do all the hard stuff and I get to spend all day with the babies! You are completely supportive of every new change I want to make in the babies' lives and of every opportunity I find to get out of the house to do something that will be fun for me even though you almost never do anything that's fun for you. I hope you know how much I appreciate all you do for us. I thank God every day for you!

And finally I thank everyone else that I haven't already thanked, all our friends and family, near and far, all the strangers I've met because of my babies, and all those I haven't met but you know about us anyway.

Thank you everyone for whatever part you have played in the lives of my family and the raising of my beautiful babies!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Catching Up

The babies are one year old today!

But before I talk about their birthday, I need to do some catching up...

First, on June 5 Thomas had a checkup with the pulminologist to make sure his lungs were still doing okay. They did a chest x-ray, and he looked and sounded great. He has not been getting regular breathing treatments for months now, so that was good news! He weighed 19lb 4oz that day! But this was only a small part of the big day Thomas and I had.

Since I had generous friendly helpers coming to watch the other three kids while I took Thomas to the dr., I decided to just make an afternoon of it. Thomas and I left the house at noon and went to meet Daddy for lunch at Wishbones. It was Thomas' first time at a restaurant, fast food or otherwise, and mine and Jim's first attempt at eating a meal at a restaurant with a child of our own. It was a pretty successful venture! Although he did make quite a mess in the floor, he didn't scream or cry or embarrass us in any way. He was perfectly sweet and adorable enough than a stranger stopped by our table to ask how old he was and tell us how cute he was. The nice man was pretty shocked to hear that we had three more at home!

Don't worry, we super-cleaned the table before letting him eat off it!

We LOVE Wishbones! When can we do this again?

After lunch, Thomas and I went to Target and did a little shopping. He was perfectly well-behaved there too, grinning at every passerby and charming the cashier. Then we went to CVS to pick up a prescription, and the only trouble he caused was wanting desperately to pick up and chew on the pen I used to sign off at the pharmacy. Eww!

After all that, we went to the dr. and he was super-good even though he was getting really tired by then. He fell asleep almost instantly once we got back in the car. He was exhausted from his big day out on the town!

On the 15th, all the kids had an appointment at the High Risk Clinic. We went there back in Dec. where they passed all their developmental evaluations with flying colors. They did the same this time. What a shock! I had really hoped that one of them would be walking by the time we had this appointment, but no, we had to settle for everyone crawling and pulling up and beginning to stand. They didn't write down the weights for me, so the only one I know is Reagan at 21lb 7oz. This is interesting to me as it puts her having gained only 1 and a half lbs over the last three months, whereas Thomas has gained almost 3. I'm really looking forward to our one-year checkup next week and getting their weights and percentages. It would be nice to see that Thomas is no longer at 3%!

Okay, I think that catches us up for the most part. I'm behind on the monthly pictures, but at least you're caught up with what's going on in our lives, up to birthday time! Expect it soon!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Sorry for the long break between posts. We had the kids' birthday party with the family this past weekend, so I spent all last week preparing for it! We were SO busy, but it was worth it because the party was great! I'll tell you all about it later!

This post is to wish you all a Happy Father's Day. In honor of the day, I asked the kids to tell me what they liked most about Daddy. To the untrained ear, their answers sounded a lot like dada deeda da gaboo dadeeda baba, but with my keen mommy-senses, I am able to interpret for you. Here are their answers:

Our Favorite Things about Daddy

Jonathan: I like how he throws you up in the air and never drops you. Mommy isn't strong enough to do that. But he also knows when to stop in case you get scared.

Zachary: I like how his face gets all scratchy. I want to have a scratchy face someday.

Reagan: I like that I'm his favorite daughter. I know I am because he told me so.

Thomas: I like the funny sounds he makes. He makes way better sounds than Mommy.

Then they all yelled, "Let's hear it for Daddy! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Yea! Daddy!!!!"

I had a hard time calming them down after that as they each tried to scream "Daddy" louder than the last one did. So thank you Daddy for being so great! We love you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mean Games Babies Play

Lest I give you the wrong impression, my kids are quite capable of mean games too. They aren't always adorable, just most of the time! Ha! Anyway, here are a few of their meaner games...

1. The previously mentioned Evil Snatch

2. The Cry Hysterically and Hope Everyone Else Joins In Game

3. The Everyone Climb on Mommy at the Same Time and Drive Her Crazy Game

4. The Roll Over in the Middle of the Diaper Change Game, often followed by the Screaming Roll-Over--This is a solitary game unless combined with game 3, as it generally is, because Mommy LOVES being climbed on during diaper changes.

5. The My Sibling is in my Way so I'll Just Crawl over Him Game

And best of all...

6. The This Is My Sibling's Eye (or Ear, Nose, Mouth, Hair), Watch What Happens When I Poke (or Pull, Gouge, Scratch) It Game--Zachary's personal favorite

Oh, wait...I also don't want to forget The Stare at Mommy and Daddy with Blank, Innocent Faces When They Yell No, even though We Know What It Means Game.

You single baby families may be unfamiliar with some of these games too. And aren't you the lucky ones!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Games Babies Play

This is SO much fun!

I don't know how many of you have had the pleasure of watching babies play with other babies. I don't know how social babies are if they aren't surrounded by other babies all the time. Other people's babies seem to always be a little overwhelmed when in the presence of mine because they aren't used to being with so many other babies, or so much constant noise! It's not quite the same as babies laughing at the antics of older children. Older kids entertain on purpose. Babies don't really know what they're doing, they just know it's fun on some weird baby level. So for those of you who have never had this pleasure, here are some games my kids like to play.

1. The Laughing Game
This is a very easy game and a personal favorite of mine. It involves two or more babies laughing with complete glee at each other for no apparent reason. I have no idea what gets them started. Just out of the blue, one will bust out laughing and another will laugh back and they'll just sit and laugh at each other. Laugh and laugh and squeal and laugh!

Squealy-squeal, laugh, laugh, squeal!

2. Chase
That's right, believe it or not, my kids sometimes chase each other. Usually this game starts out as the laughing game, and then one baby will turn and start crawling away. Then he stops, turns around and laughs at the other player(s), and then begins crawling away again. The other player(s) then squeal with laughter and crawl after the first one.

3. Snatch

This game involves usually just two babies. The first baby is playing happily with a toy, minding his own business, when the second baby crawls up and snatches it away while squealing with laughter. Baby A then snatches it back and squeals himself. baby B snatches and laughs, baby B snatches back and laughs, and on and on it goes back and forth.

Another variation on the game is when Baby A has a toy, crawls up to Baby B, waves the toy in Baby A's face and then squeals. Let the snatching begin.

Come and get it!

Unfortunately, this game is often confused with evil snatching which involves no laughing at all, only crying, or laughter on only one side. Jonathan thinks all snatching is evil, unless he's the one doing it. Reagan and Thomas think all snatching is a laugh riot.

4. Dogpile
This game involves one baby deciding that a particular area of the room is a fun place to be. Then all the other babies realize that Baby A is having an awfully good time over there and they want to be a part of the fun, so all babies then converge on the same spot and crawl all over each other, laughing all the while. You have to keep an eye on this game, however, as it goes bad really quickly and babies get all tangled up and stuck under one another and tears are shed.

Dogpile on Cris!

5. Copycat
This is another easy game and a relatively safe one. Baby A starts clapping for no real reason, so other babies start clapping. Or baby A starts waving her arms around and saying ah-ah-ah, so someone else starts doing it too, although the sounds aren't always the same. The most often played version of this game, and the least popular with Mommy, involves baby A realizing Mommy has left the room, so he flings himself dramatically against the gate and wails his heart out. The other babies who had been perfectly content, realize that A is wailing at the gate and mommy must be gone, so they all fling themselves upon the gate and wail in unison. I really don't like that version.

So there you go...games babies play with other babies, for all you poor people out there who only had one baby at a time. I can't imagine what you did all day with just one baby. Left the house probably...went to the store...the mall...a restaurant...a friend's house...the bank...the post office...the library...McDonald's...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Big First!

As hard as it may be for some of you to beleive, today was the kids' first trip to a store! That's right, they are almost a year old and today was the first time we ever took them to a store of any kind. We went to Lowe's.

We were on our way home from church, and Jim mentioned needing to go to Lowe's at some point, and jokingly asked if I wanted to go right then. He should know by now that I'm always ready for the kids to have a new experince, so I said, "Yeah, let's go! I'll bet the kids will love it!" About that time, Thomas shrieked his displeasure about being in the car, and Jim suggested he just run in real quick and grab what he needed. He would be super fast. I told him he was chicken and the kids would be fine. He didn't comment, and it could be merely a coincidence, but he drove to Lowe's and asked if we should get one cart or two!

So we parked near some carts, got the kids out of their car seats, grabbed two carts and put two kids in each one. They LOVED it! They just looked around and smiled at everyone and laughed with joy the whole time. They were much better behaved than the slightly older child we passed who was screaming loudly at his mother. I felrt bad for her and her son who didn't know how lucky he was to be able to go to the store anytime someone wanted to go.

So it was a big time and we strolled around Lowe's longer than we needed to since we had gone to the trouble of unloading the kids and all. We got a lot of looks, but surprisingly few people accosted us. Other stores would probably have been a diiferent experience entirely.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a camera with us, but the faces looked a lot like these...