Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happy Birthday David!

The Quads, especially Reagan, would like to wish a great big Happy Birthday to their good friend David! His birthday was yesterday and he turned 6years old! They are so blessed to have David to look up to and play with. They always think he is so much fun and totally super cool!

Happy Birthday, David!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Memphis Pictures!

See bottom of post!

It's the trip that just never ends! I think you'll like this post though. It has great pictures! So even though it's been almost 2 months since we went to Memphis, here's a little more! While we were there, the kids got their pictures made by Julie Torregrossa, owner of 1:17 Photography. She's my sister's husband's sister, if you can follow that branch of the family tree! And she's great! So here are a few of the pictures she took while we were there.

And if you're interested, especially you Memphis readers, check out her website:





All four looking at the camera at the same time and mostly smiling! A miracle!

These are just copies of the proofs. In the final product, she did amazing things, like edit out the people in the background of the last picture! She does great work, so if you're in Memphis and looking for a photographer, look her up! You won't be sorry!
Okay, here's the final version of the group picture. Notice that the people are missing from the background! Amazing!

Diggle Diggle Diggle

I don't know where kids get diggle diggle from, but every child I have ever been around in their early days of learning to speak has said diggle diggle or something really close to it. When they get older and learn lots of real words, they figure out that diggle diggle doesn't mean anything and they quit saying it. But I count it as a step to language discovery, a step we have finally achieved. Jonathan started saying diggle diggle diggle this past Friday, and has said it many times since, with several variations, flaggle flaggle gloodle piggle diggle. Or something like that. And the other kids are picking up on this fun new word and repeating it as well. Such fun! It makes me smile every time I hear it!

Monday, August 20, 2007

More Pictures!

These are the 12-month pictures that Michelle took. Note: (in response to Tricia's question on the last post) like the 11-month pics, these were taken in our living room in front of a blanket which we draped across the front of the entertainment center. I am not holding it up from behind, although there are previous older pictures that we took of the kids on the couch where we had Michelle's son David perched behind the blanket to hold up an end.
That's right, I can stand all by myself!
Look at me! I can stand too!
I could stand if I wanted to, but I don't want to!
I know, I have to hold onto this box to stand, but who cares? Look how cute I am!
We survived the first year and looked good doing it! Ha ha!
And lest you think these pictures were easy, here's just a FEW glimpses into what the picture-taking experience was like...

Ha! They'll never find me now!

Patty-cake, patty-cake...

Okay, I'm done...

You want me to sit STILL? Seriously?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pictures Galore!

Okay, I've got a lot of pictures spanning the last few months that never made it to the blog. So even though they are old, I'm going to put them on. They're too cute not to! Most of them just all came right around their first birthday, and that was just a really busy time!




These were the 11-month pictures Michelle took! They are some of my favorites!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baby Genuises?

Alright, I'm not saying my babies are any smarter than anyone else's babies...but let me tell you three stories. I swear to you, these are totally true!

A couple of weeks ago, I was singing "Old MacDonald's Farm" to the kids. When I got to "Old MacDonald had a cow..." Jonathan and Reagan both started crawling away. I thought, well, they're done with this song, but I kept singing. Then Reagan stopped, sat down, turned to look at me and HELD UP A COW! Then Jonathan did the same thing! He held up a cow! I just stared at them.

This weekend, Jim and I were playing with the kids in the playroom, and suddenly Jim says, "Did you see that?!" I say no and he tells me that Reagan looked at Zachary and jabbered some sort of gibberish at him. Then Zachary turned, looked around for a minute, picked up a block, and handed it to Reagan. She took it and smiled like that was exactly what she had asked him to do!

Then this morning, Jonathan had a toy phone. He pushed a button that caused it to play an instrumental version of the alphabet song. When it stopped, I started singing the alphabet song. When I finished singing, Thomas crawled over quite deliberately to the activity table and rolled the shaker that caused the ALPHABET SONG to start playing! The he turned and looked at me and smiled real big!

Now, I could be making a lot of something out of nothing. Perhaps these were merely coincidences. Perhaps all babies do this sort of thing, but I don't know because these are my first babies. Perhaps I'm just a crazy mom like every other crazy mom who thinks her baby is brilliant. Or perhaps, my babies really are brilliant! Perhaps, I've given birth to the smartest babies on the planet! Perhaps I should get Mensa on the phone right now! Perhaps I should stop saying perhaps!

Anyway, it gives me hope since the kids aren't talking yet (except for dada and mama) least not in a language I can understand! We are learning some sign language though. Zachary is particularly good, having already mastered more, milk, and eat. Sometimes, Jonathan and Reagan will also sign more. It's really exciting!

So, I guess I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the super-smart children I'm raising. I take total credit for their intelligence. Jim can have credit for ball-throwing, which they are also pretty good at, I have to say.

We'll be signing autographs tomorrow at 7 in the playroom!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Typical Day

A few people have asked me recently what my day is like with the kids. A LOT of people have asked me how I do it. Well, here's a glimpse into a typical day with JonZReaTom. Maybe it will help answer some of your questions.

7:00-8:00AM-I start to hear noises of various sorts coming over the monitor. A few seconds of crying, some bouncing, jumping, kicking, chatter, laughter, etc. Most of the time, there will be a few seconds of noise and then they quiet down again. This could happen once or several times.

8:00-8:30-Sometime during this half hour, I will decide that I simply must get out of bed and get the babies up. I get everyone out of bed and let them wander about the nursery while I change diapers and relocate pacifiers that have been dropped. The usually hit the floor and roll as far underneath a crib as they can possibly go.

Then we eat breakfast. After that, I clean the kids up and put them in the playroom while I clean up the kitchen. Adult-free playtime consists of three things: contented playing, fighting with siblings over toys, and standing at the gate screaming at Mommy while she cleans the kitchen.

When I'm done, I join the kids in the playroom to play until naptime.

10:30-Naptime! Diapers get changed if needed and all babies go down for a nap! I use this time to take a shower, clean the house, do laundry, blog, email, etc, whatever needs to be done.

Noon-The babies get up from their nap and we eat lunch. The after breakfast routine is repeated.

2:30-Naptime! Naptime routines are repeated for babies and mom!

4:00-5:00-Sometime during this hour, I will get the babies up. They rarely wake up and start crying. The chattering and jumping just get louder and louder as each new child awakes and joins in the fun.

After the nap, we have a snack and play until dinnertime.

Usually around 6:30- We have dinner. Sometimes we eat as a family, and Jim cooks dinner. Other times, I whip up something just for the kids, and Jim cooks for the two of us after they go to bed.

The after-meal routine is repeated. Jim usually plays with the kids while I clean up. Then we all play together.

7:30-We watch Jeopardy! and get ready for bed. Jim brushes their teeth. As soon as Final Jeopardy is over, we turn off the TV, and I read a bedtime story.

8:00PM-Off to bed! We put the kids to bed, say a prayer, and kiss them goodnight.

It's Mommy and Daddy time for the rest of the evening!

And that's basically our day!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Four More Weeks! Go Vols!

I love the idea of marking the kids' heights on the wall. Lots of people have done it, and I've always loved seeing similar charts in other families. (We didn't have one) All the kids and grandkids' heights marked on the wall, spanning the years. But I always thought, what happens when you leave that house? Even if my grandparents, or my parents for that matter, had kept up with our growth somewhere, they are no longer with us and neither are their houses. (My parents are still with us, don't let me confuse you. But the house they now live in is not one that I grew up in) So what happens then? All those great memories get painted over by the new occupants, and they're gone forever.

I wanted a growth chart that was sturdy and lasting, but could be moved from house to house, wherever life takes us. So my sweet and talented husband made me this...

He painted it, including the checkerboard, and fixed it all up in honor of our favorite UT Vols and the upcoming season which starts in four weeks. I did the ruler part. Don't lay any bets on its accuracy! But it's close enough for me. We finished it yesterday, and Jim hung it up on the wall. Then last night we stood all the kids up and marked their heights for the first time. Easier said than done, by the way! I would also not place any bets on the accuracy of my measurements. It's incredibly hard to measure a wiggly 1-year-old who just wants to either sit down or look up to see what you're doing with the pen!

I'm so happy with it! It makes me smile every time I look at it. And I love the idea of charting my grandchildren on there someday!

So here they all are, somewhere around 2ft 3-4in. And yes, I'll brag a minute...I freehanded the numbers with a Sharpie. I'm pretty proud of myself!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Kathy!

We want to wish a great big 95th birthday to our good friend Kathy! She looks pretty good to be so old, don't you think? With love from Allison, all the babies, and your lovely friends in the English Department!

P.S.-Somebody owes me a dollar for this!

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Special Day

I want to wish a great big Happy Anniversary to my parents! Today marks 34 years of marriage for them, if I did my math right! Math has never been my favorite! That's why I teach English! I scanned in one of their wedding pictures, but I can't seem to get it to upload. I could probably figure it out if I had more time, but I don't. Sorry! The kids are starting to wake up! Anyway, Happy Anniversary! I love you!

And also a quick Happy Birthday to my friend Becky! You should all go visit her blog (I Think- it's in the sidebar) and wish her a happy birthday!

And if you're wondering what prompted this sudden 2-day outpouring of birthday and anniversary wishes, well, I woke up at 4:00 in the morning yesterday with the bizarre sudden thought that I had missed one of my friend's birthdays. It was a month ago! I totally forgot it! I didn't even send her a quick email or anything. So I'm trying to do better and this seems like the best way for me to do it!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Bryson!

Just a quick post to say Happy Birthday to Bryson! I'm pretty sure he turns 7 today!

And the Walking Award Goes To...


Reagan took about a step and a half before we went to Memphis, but by the time we left Memphis she was taking several steps at a time. By the time she turned 13 months old (July 20) she was walking around, turning, and continuing to walk. Now, she's a great walker, walking almost as much as she crawls. She still falls down pretty often, usually from getting so excited about whatever she's walking to that she starts waving her arms about and loses her balance.

Zachary is coming in second, having taken his first couple of steps July 24, as did Jonathan. However, since then, Zachary has really stepped up his efforts (get it? stepped up?) taking several steps in a row and walking without being prompted. He generally looks around after he's walked somewhere and waits for you to clap for him. He's even willing to start you off by clapping himself! Jonathan still has to be prompted to walk, but I don't think it will be much longer before he gains the confidence to try it more on his own.

Thomas will probably not be too far behind. It's a challenge to get him to stand still because all he wants to do is jump, but he is getting better at standing unassisted and took his first step Tuesday.

In honor of these blossoming walking abilities, we used the Stride Rite gift cards Aunt Jodie gave us for the kids' first birthday and bought everyone new shoes!

These babies were made for walkin'

Peanut Butter

Okay, one last story from the trip to Memphis...

Step back in time. Before Memphis. I'm picking up the kids at Mother's Day Out at church (which was SO great this summer and I'm so grateful to Juli and all the girls in the youth group who did it and I'm so sad that it's over because school is starting back) and I run into my friend Jessica. Jessica is holding her daughter Anna Katherine who is happily munching on some Ritz Bits (tiny Ritz crackers with peanut butter, in case you don't know) and she asks me if my kids have had peanut butter yet. I say no, that we're a little leery of giving it to them because Jim has a cousin who is allergic to peanuts so that potential is there lurking in the futures of my children. Jessica tells me about her pediatrician telling her not to worry about it because she would not be the first person to give her kids peanut butter. And she says the doctor was right! She went to get Anna from somewhere one day and some random other child had given her a peanut butter cracker. She survived the peanut butter exposure, so now she gets to eat peanut butter. So don't worry, Allison, she told me, you won't be the first person to give your kids peanut butter!

Now, skip forward to Memphis. We're at my sister's house, all of us. Children are crawling everywhere. Kinley is eating a snack and Reagan is jealous. So KayKay goes looking for a snack that Reagan can have and spots a bowl full of bite-size snacky-looking things on the counter. She gives a bite to Reagan and then asks Jodie, "Do these have peanut butter in them?" Jodie answers yes and turns to me, "Have your kids not had peanut butter yet?" I say no and explain about the cousin and spend the next half hour glancing constantly at Reagan to see if she's broken out in hives or stopped breathing or exploded. Nothing happened. So I guess Reagan is safe with peanut butter. KayKay has yet to expose the boys, so I don't know about them. I can't bring myself to give it to them yet.

"And someday, Kallen, I'll give you peanut butter..."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Quads on the Way!

Hey, everybody! My friends Suzanne is having her quads today! She started having contractions and they started her on some medication and now she's having babies. In fact, they've probably already been born by now. Anyway, please send up a prayer for her and the babies-Savannah, Andrew, Ethan, and Benjamin. She's just over 30 weeks and will need all our prayers! We're with you Suz! If you're interested, you can check out her blog- life through my eyes. There's a link in the sidebar. Thanks everybody!