Thursday, June 26, 2008

Road Trip!

The weekend after Gammy's visit, we packed up the minivan and hit the road for a trip to Memphis. Wow! What a difference 6 months can make in the ability for four children to be amused while traveling! In other words, my sincerest thanks to whoever invented the portable DVD player and to my children for actually watching it this time! What a lifesaver! Not that we didn't have a few meltdowns, but at least there were no marathon screaming fits like we have endured in trips past.
Friday evening found us safely in Memphis where we didn't have to wait long for the cousins to show up. Kinley is enamored with "her cousins" and apparently talks abut them all the time despite having only been around them a handful of times. This was Kinley's birthday weekend, so I was really excited to actually be in town for her birthday, having missed birthdays 1 and 2 due to pregnancy and small children.

Birthday girl!

I was also excited about this trip because Kallen had just recently gotten her cast off, and I was looking forward to seeing her relish the return of her mobility. She was still holding her legs spread apart like they had been in the cast, but she was starting to get the hang of crawling and was pulling up on everything, the stairs seeming to be her favorite! And I have to admit, it was kind of cute to see her crawl across the room dragging one leg behind her. She hasn't yet really started using the leg that actually had the surgery. Or at least, she hadn't a couple of weeks ago when we were there. She's probably doing better now!

Little Kallen, what a cutie!

Reagan helps Kallen out at the bottom of the stairs

Kallen wasn't the only one enjoying the stairs. Since we don't have them at our house, stairs are a real treat. The kids love going up and down them, a skill we've been practicing at Michelle's house. It was nice nt to have to mess with the baby gate at the foot of the stairs this time, and we only had a couple of minor tumbles. Mostly, they are pretty good on stairs, as long as someone is there to watch them. Thomas prefers to descend sliding feetfirst on his belly. This is a pretty safe choice, as well as efficient. He zooms down past the other kids, but you have to watch him or he zooms down into the other kids and knocks them down. Not so safe or efficient.

Sat morning we took the kids to Kirby Pines to visit Uncle George and Aunt nancy. Here we are posed outside the grand front entrance.

Kirby Pines is a retirement community so you can imagine the attention we received from all the residents! We joined George and Nancy for lunch in the main dining hall, where the staff was very accommodating and helpful and even brought each of the kids a balloon, all of which we managed to lose before returning to the car.

Sat afternoon we attended Kinley's birthday party at a very nice but very crowded sprinkler park. The kids had a blast, except for one incident. There was a row of metal bars that curved to form a sort of sprinkling tunnel. The water was not coming out at the moment and Thomas ran through the tunnel cackling gleefully. Jonathan headed in to follow him, but the water kicked on then he got about halfway through. He ran forward into water, stopped, turned around to run the other way only to run into water again, found himself trapped by water and just hunkered down with his arms over his head. Jim swooped in the rescue him, but then stood up and brained himself on one of the metal bars, a hit which sent him to his knees. Eventually, both Jim and Jonathan made it out alive. Other than that, it was a pretty good time for the kids. If was much more stressful a time for the parents trying to keep up with four small, very active children in a sea of people. I'm glad we went, but it was a tremendous relief when we left.

Kinley was very nice about her youngest cousins wanting to "help" her with her presents.

Sun we all went to church and had plans to meet up with Jodie, Jeff, Kinley, and Kallen for lunch afterwards, the service ended with a couple of meltdowns, so we met them for lunch at home instead. We decided the kids were mostly just very tired after not sleeping much on the trip and having so much excitement the day before and being awakened early to go to church. They were kind of cranky even at the house, so I'm really glad we didn't decide that that would be a great day to take them to their first restaurant. Yikes! nightmare potential!

That afternoon we had a pool party and tried out Bud and KayKay's new Slip 'N Slide.


None of the kids understood the concept of running and sliding down the slope, so they had to be drug down the slide, but they had a good time! Daddy needed the exercise anyway, right?

Princess Reagan lounging in the pool

Reagan and Kallen splashing each other

Yeah, I know, I'm adorable!

At one point, the boys all sat down just like this. I swear they did it by themselves. So it was a no-brainer to stick Reagan in the empty spot and snap a pic of the four of them. Too cute!

Then it was party time! Kinley's birthday is early June, the quads is late June, and Kallen's is early July, so this was a perfect opportunity to celebrate all the birthdays together. Bud rigged up this little table for the kiddos KayKay gave them each a cupcake.



Then it was time for presents!!! Each of the kids got their own little folding chair, so perfect! Among other presents, JonZReaTom each got their own little Doodle Pad, a major hit! They played with them the rest of the evening and in the car the next day. They have also since been very well-used during church services and trips to the dr!




from the left: Thomas, Kallen, Zachary, Jonathan, Kinley, Reagan

Thank you so much Bud, KayKay, Aunt Jodie, Uncle Jeff, Kinley, and Kallen for all our presents and a really great weekend! We had a lot of fun!

And you, readers, can look forward to posts to come about the BIG present the kids got from Bud and KayKay, which they absolutely LOVE, and the kids' birthday shindig here at the house last weekend! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gammy!

The weekend after Uncle Clay came to visit, Gammy (the grandmother formerly known as Grammy Pammy) came to visit. Gammy is what the kids seem to be calling her, and I think it's pretty cute!


Hey, Gammy, have you tried this creamer? Pretty tasty!
It's empty, of course!




Reading Zachary a story




A little Gammy-cuddle time with Jonathan





Peek-a-boo!




In honor of Gammy's visit, we blew up the pool for the summer's first pool party! Luckily, it didn't leak, and Zachary was much happier to be in it than last year! Last year we had to hold him while he cried and cried!





Zachary




Jonathan




More Zachary




Reagan is having a good time here, but please notice the giant elephant in the background. He makes a fun tunnel to slide through, normally. But today was a little windy, and inevitably, every time the wind blew enough to bend the elephant over, Reagan would be standing just right for the trunk to come down and poke her in the top of the head. She was none too pleased, so eventually Daddy came to his daughter's rescue and removed the elephant from the pool. However, for the boys, this was just an invitation to go elephant-hunting and take down their first wild beast!




Jonathan, you hold his feet while Zachary kicks him in the head!
He won't mess with OUR sister again!



Alright, boys, let's show this beast the door!




Reagan watches from afar




Thomas has him by the nose




Do you think he's learned his lesson yet?





Thanks for a big fun day, Gammy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Let the Festivities Begin!

To start off this quadruple second birthday post extravaganza, I need to tell you a little something about the kids that I'm not sure I've mentioned before. Actually, I probably have mentioned it, but you might not remember! However, if you've ever physically been around the kids, it doesn't take long before you notice something about them.


They like to jump and bounce pretty much every waking moment of the day, and sometimes in the non-waking moments too! They jump when they dance, they bounce-rock back and forth when they're seated (in their high chairs, on the couch, in the floor leaning against the couch or the wall, in their beds against the sides), they jump in their beds until they fall asleep, the first thing they do if they happen to climb on top of a table or platform is jump on it.


They just really like to jump! Given that fact, this first birthday present was a HUGE hit! So take off your shoes and join them in their BOUNCE HOUSE!!!!!!!






Ready to inflate








It has this great big slide on one side! The kids like going up and down the slide almost as much as jumping in it!







The back has an opening as well










Everybody out!




Come on in! I won't jump on you too much!



Silly Daddy!



Up and down, up and down...


Hey! Have you guys SEEN this thing? It rocks!

So the kids want to say, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" to Uncle Clay, Aunt Carey, and Cousins Tyler and Avery for the great present! They would also like to say thank you for the picnic table! We use it all the time!


If you'd like to learn more about the Bounce House or the picnic table, both of which are quad-tested and approved, click on the item you're interested in and check them out! Both are made by Little Tikes. The House inflates in seconds; it's SO fast! And it stores pretty easily too. And although I haven't tried it yet, the table folds up for easy storage also.

Oh, and what post about a Bounce House would be complete without a video clip of the kids actually bouncing in it! Enjoy!


video

No Time to Breathe!

Boy, you know that Allison is busy when she doesn't even have time to post a big Happy Birthday to her own children on their own birthday on her own blog!

Sorry kids!

Sorry readers!


JonZReaTom Turned Two!!!!!!

Happy Birthday!!!!
(last Friday)

Thomas, Reagan, Zachary, and Jonathan


Yes, I hang my head in shame at the tardiness of this post. And the brevity of it! But there are many more posts to come! I promise! There are so many birthday festivities and travel and new goodies to talk about! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Handprints, Lowe's and Video

Father's Day was not our typical Sunday. Of course, it shouldn't have been because it was, well, Father's Day, and therefore special, but aside from that it was different because the kids are sickly. So we didn't go to church like we normally would. The kids aren't bad sick, but Reagan has had pink eye and the boys are passing around a mild fever so we thought it best to not go spread our potential contagion to our church friends. I'm sure they're grateful!


To start the day off, I made Jim coffee and set out the present the kids and I had made for him.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord..." Psalm 127:3




I really hoped he liked it because it had been a near-nightmare to make! I had mixed up the blue paint first, which immediately set Reagan off because she wanted to be first, so she got more and more upset every time a picked another boy instead of her. I had a step stool pulled up to the kitchen counter and everyone wanted to be on it at the same time. If one child had already had his turn he was still right there trying to climb back up. So I did Thomas' hand, then Jonathan's hand, and then it was Zachary's turn. I had managed to tempt T and J into the living room by turning on the TV. Reagan is wailing by now and keeps pleading "Next! Next!" with the tears streaming down her face. Zachary was delighted to get up on the stool, but once he realized that he had to get something gooey on his hand he was done. He doesn't like gooey, messy, slimy hands. It's a constant problem during mealtimes! So now he's screaming to get down and Reagan's screaming to get up and I can't get either of them to calm down and I can't just have three handprints on my picture, so I end up forcing Zachary to put his hand in the paint and then on the picture and let me tell you it took everything I had because that boy is strong and he finally started to calm down when I washed the paint off his hand. Then I set him in front of the TV and he was fine. Thank goodness! And Reagan stopped crying immediately when it was finally her turn!


So I was really glad to see the joyous look on Jim's face when he saw his present. That made it all worth it!


And since the kids were sick and we didn't go to church , we were able to give him a present of one of his favorite things...a full day to work outside! He's always got a project going on out there! Currently he's working on a swingset for the kids for their birthday and sealing the fence to help maintain that pretty new-fence color.


So he got to work, but later in the morning he invited us all to go with hij to Lowe's. Yea! An outing! The kids were too potentially contagious to be at church where they would touch things that other kids would also touch, but not too sick to go to Lowe's where they would only touch our own choo-choo wagon. That's right! We took them in the choo-choo wagon! It was great! They loved it! We certainly got a lot more attention with the wagon than we would have with strollers or even with the kids in shopping carts. But that was okay! It was fun! And I think jim enjoyed showing off his beautiful children on Father's Day!


I helped Jim with the fence during naptime, and he got the kids up from their nap and played with them while also watching his favorite Dale Jr. win the Nascar race! Yea!


Later Jim and I enjoyed a lovely dinner out side after the kids went to bed.


It was a good day!


Now for the video...I took this video trying to get on tape Thomas saying everyone's names because it's so cute, but he's a little hard to hear. But I'm including it today because I want you to see how Zachary gets upset at the end when we mention Daddy and remind him that Daddy just left to go to the grocery store.




video

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you great dads out there! We moms tend to get most of the credit for the child-rearing, but we all know that the moms couldn't do nearly as good a job without the support of all those great dads!

The kids think so too! Daddy is way more fun to play with than Mom! He's much better at wrestling and twirling kids about in the air! Sometimes I'm jealous of how excited they get when he comes home from work in the afternoon! And oh the tears if he has to leave again to run an errand!


We love you Daddy!




This picture was actually taken back in April, but it was so good of Jim and the kids that I decided to save it for Father's Day. Jim had pitched our tent in the backyard to see if it was still usable, and he and the kids had a blast crawling all through it together!




Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

480

This is approximately how many diapers we go through in a month these days.



That's an average of 16 diapers a day. Sometimes there are more, rarely are there less!



With that in mind, and the fact that the wonderful and generous members of Hardin Valley Church of Christ are STILL providing all of our diapers (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!)and probably looking quite forward to not needing to anymore, I am considering attempting to potty train the kids this summer. They turn two really soon and I've always heard that it's better to do it in the warm months when clothes are lighter and easier to remove. And I hate to wait a whole year!

Also, with Jonathan's love of removing his diaper, it's really only a matter of time before someone discovers that you can get to the poop and it can be fun!

So, does anyone have any advice for me before I begin the potty journey? I've never potty-trained a child before, but I do have a few ideas. However, I am open to any and all suggestions. Currently, I'm hanging on every typed word of my friend Gen McNulty who is currently potty-training her quads (see the blog list in the right-hand sidebar). They are about a month older than mine, so it makes a good example for me. Please leave me any thoughts you have on the topic. I'd love to have a wealth of information and ideas to choose from!

Double Diaper Duty

Jonathan, like many other pre-potty toddlers, enjoys removing his diaper. Generally, he only does this when he's supposed to be sleeping. I'm pleased and surprised that he's the only one so far that is doing this. At nap times I just put him to bed, telling him how happy I'll be if he keeps his diaper on, hope for the best, and give him lots of praise when he keeps it on.

But at night we have to be more creative.

So since Jonathan likes his diaper to be here...



FIRST we put on the diaper



SECOND we put on the pajama shorts



THIRD we put on the one-piece pajamas BACKWARDS so they snap in the back. The one-piece pajamas used to work by themselves because he hasn't figured out how to get out of them, but then he figured out how to get the diaper off and pull it out through the leg hole.






Yeah! This diaper is staying on!!!