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Friday, May 31, 2013

The Little Things...

A few fellow quad-mom bloggers do a "Little Things Thursday" installment to showcase the big and little everyday things that happen throughout the week.  They are Amber ( and Rebecca (  I can't commit to always having a weekly "Little Things" blog, especially on Thursdays (cause it's already Friday!!), but I love the idea.  Time is short and things happen that I would love to document, so here we go!  These are some of the little things that have happened this week:

1. My camera broke!  (wah wah wuuuh)
                       Because I dropped it.  (wah wah wuuuhhhhhh)
                                    And so now I am using my not-so-wonderful old camera until I can get new one fixed  (wah wah wah wah WUHHHHHHHH).
So this is how most of my pictures end up:
Un-edited.  Yup, I don't see anything either.

Edited- Tyler working on standing!

Roughly 1/5 pictures actually turn out good now.  I am kicking myself I am so frustrated with me!!!  On my to-do list is get the camera fixed.  Someday.  Grrrrr.

2.  As seen above, we have kids learning to STAND!!!!!
Hannah & Tyler are the most adventurous ones so far, but Tanner is starting to also.

Hannah showing off her skills tonight before bedtime.  That girl has no fear!
3.  Lauren, not to be out-done, decided to be the ONLY one so far who can clap her hands and who babbles incessantly (da da da da da, ba ba ba ba ba, etc.)  Go Lauren!

4.  Eating "real" food!
We use to eat dinner and then I would feed the babies right after, but this past week the babies have been howling as we sat down to dinner-- they were HUNGRY and wanted to be a part of dinnertime!  So when I made chicken & broccoli alfredo last week, I decided it was baby-friendly enough.  I cut the food up to tiny pieces, and voila!  We have instant eaters and instant mess at the same time!  The girls LOVE food.  Tyler is starting to enjoy eating food on his own now!  Tanner... well, he has not puked up dinner yet and is hating it less & less every day!  Hey, that's progress.
Jenna is always the greatest helper!  

We learned real fast that a tablecloth under the babies is a MUST!
4.  Play Dates!
Now that Jenna is all done with pre-school and the "germ lock-down" is done for the season, we are able to get out and have people over more!  We went to visit my very good friend Michelle last week, her daughter Sierra is about the same age as the babies.  I should have gotten pictures of her other kids Blake & Brooke playing with Jenna, but they were too busy all day playing outside to pose for the camera.
Clockwise, from bottom left:  Tyler, Hannah, Sierra, Tanner & Lauren.

Sierra liked her instant play group but it was a bit overwhelming at first, all those babies!

Oh, such a handome man my Tanner is!!!
We also are having more visitors & play dates.  Some work friends stopped by for lunch this week, and one brought her 4 year old son to play with Jenna.  They were instant buds!  We had another play date this afternoon, one planned for tomorrow, and probably some next week, too.
One of my co-workers, Laura, handling the babies with me

Jenna pushing Finn on our tire swing 
5.  Fun New Toys!
Now that our crew is at "the next stage" of getting around, it was time for me to break out the next-size up of toys.  It doesn't seem so long ago that we had these around for Jenna!
This chair is a FAVORITE!

We also have enclosed the play area thoroughly to ensure that nobody gnaws on shoes, sucks on markers, or eats dropped chips or other tasty treats (ahem... Hannah!)

So those are some of little things that are keeping us busy these days!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

10 months!

In the business of life, the babies suddenly became 10 months old!  Yipes!  How can they be almost a year already?!?  To celebrate, mommy forgot completely but life went on;)
The babies right after the "official 10 month" day- we had a lovely bbq with friends & babies did awesome!
The girls playing with hat strings- I love how they interact with each other!  They are very girly together and I think they will be such good friends as they grow.
Earlier on the same day, Jenna went to her friend Reagan's birthday party and had a blast! 

The day before, Jenna's school had a field trip to a local horse farm.  She loved it!
I am totally loving get-togethers where the kids outnumber adults!

You might ask, Becky, why have you been distracted (besides the usual)?   Well, our family hit a milestone this past week...
Hello, Graduate!

Our *baby* graduated--- from Pre-School!  I thought I would not be emotional over this, but when she came home on her last day of school with a graduation hat in her bag & she placed it on her head, tears welled up in my eyes and I realized just how fast time flies!  She then, like a good little girl, started to re-assure me by saying, "It's OK, mom... I will still be your little girl even when I graduate".  
<Sob sob!!!>
Andy and I are so proud of her and thank God daily for the gift of Jenna in our life.  Grandma & Grandpa also came to watch the ceremony:

The kids performing a song for the audience.  Jenna is front & center.  It was so cute!

So now we officially have a Kindergartener!

And the babies?  They are getting more and more independent by the day!  The days feel busier and busier too, which is ironic because I thought with their growing independence I would have more "time", but nnnnnnnnno. Quite the opposite, let me assure you!

First of all, they are very serious about being busy.  Below is what our living room looks like these days, but to maintain realism also picture it gated in on both sides, toys everywhere, babies getting stuck under toys & crawling over one-another, a puddle or two of spit-up, the smell of poop in the air, Jenna picking them up haphazardly, Curious George on TV, and me frantically doing what needs to be done next.  And that scenario is just at 8:15 am!
It never looks this clean.  This is after all are asleep & I have cleaned up & sanitized the mats.

Seriously- they change daily!  Here is where the babies are today:
A typical feed.  The boys are nice & neat- because they don't like to pick up & eat food!  Hannah is ready to jump out of the highchair she is so happy over food.  Lauren is messy & happy.  The floor?  ugh.  Don't get me started.

HANNAH is the fastest crawler in the Mid-West.  We now have the play room gated but if we leave the gate open, don't you know there is a happy little escapee on the loose.  She likes to steal toys and is mesmerized with every finding.  She is dangerously close to pulling herself to stand and is so proud of her endeavors.
A typical Happy Hannah Face.  That girl has such a zest for life!
"Oh Lauren, what a pretty bow you have!  It's just like mine!"

Hannah loves all. kinds. of. food!!!  She is like Jenna was at that age- ravenous for "people" food, and just can't get enough.  With Jenna, we simply fed her cut-up portions of what we ate for dinner.  However, since others are not as in love with food as she is (ahem... brothers), we can't realistically do that every night.  I fear we have about a week before she boycotts spoon feeds in general.  Tonight, she fussed like crazy as we ate dinner so I sat her down & fed her portions of our pork & potatoes- which she LOVED.  She then ate her fair share of the regular babies meal, too.  Hungry girl.
Hannah does not babble much, but she is very animated and gasps, giggles, and "ooohhhh's" a lot.  She is a happy girl and still a spark-plug, and we love her so very much!

"Yo.  Whats up.  This is my serious face."  
Tanner does a mean army crawl.  Although I work with him to get that belly off the floor, he really is not interested.  I mean, why would he when he can army crawl almost as fast as Hannah?  He can be so serious but mama can ALWAYS get a special smile from her boy.  I love it!
Tanner's reflux is kept at bay with Prevacid and he still does not like food with texture.  I try to offer him a variety of foods in a nonchalant way, and the looks he gives me are hilarious.  He is slowly getting textures down:  he will take ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and level 3 chunky baby food, but is not at all interested in picking something up with his fingers and placing it in his mouth.  Yet.  Tonight I did sneak a teeny piece of pork in his mouth and he did not throw up.  So let's call that progress.

Tanner is not much for babbling yet.  He will coo & say "hi" and "hey" (not sure if it's purposeful or not) but he is a smartie.  I know he is figuring things out in that handsome head of his, so I just continue to model lots of sounds & give him opportunities to grow.  I am so glad I am a pediatric OT and these are not my first children, because it helps me not worry so much.  I am doing all I can-- and I am confident he will get it in his own time!

Lauren doing her "scrunchy face".  It is Trademark Lauren: she scrunches her nose and breathes in & out fast all the time, just because!
Lauren is our little talker.  She just recently started babbling, and I love hearing her sing "dadadadada" and other sounds!  When I talk to her & make sounds, she looks intently at my mouth as if thinking, "Hmmm... if I put my lips like that I could say 'pa' too!".  She is so smart & sweet.
Lauren can roll anywhere really, really fast but she is also starting to realize there are other modes of mobility.  She is learning to get up a little more off her belly & move in that prone position.  She also watches the others for tips, I think.  Lauren has made such gross & fine motor progress in the past 2 months that I am certain she will be crawling soon!
Lauren likes solid foods and is learning to eat at a regular pace.  She gets as much food on the floor as she does in her mouth sometimes, but she is exploring and liking the foods she tries.  Tonight she enjoyed the pork & potatoes, but she also gummed & rolled the food in her mouth for a while before swallowing it as if to savor it (vs. Hannah, who I think just inhales & swallows).


Tyler may be a little peanut, but he crawls, creeps, and scoots anywhere.  He also does a mean "downward dog" and will bear crawl too.  He is very fast at getting around and was also my first to successfully transition from tummy to sitting!  What a motor boy!
Tyler, like Tanner, is not a big talker or babbler but he LOVES to scream and laugh.  Man, that boy giggles.  He just cracks himself up!  And, if you hear a high-pitched scream just for the heck of it, chances are it was Tyler.  He gurgles and coos but is not too interested in saying mama or dada... yet.  Food-wise Tyler is like Tanner, but every day he seems to tolerate more.  He can eat some textures and he also did not puke everything up after I snuck a small piece of pork in his mouth tonight.  So, yeah.  Progress!

So that is what's new.  I can't believe the babies are almost a year old and I need to start planning a birthday party for 5!  (Jenna's BD is the day after the babies, so it will be busy).  I am hoping the nasty mosquitos get better soon, because they are putting a serious damper on walks lately.  Hannah has 6 bites on her face right now!  Vampires.  They must think she is sweet, too!

Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Who needs toys?

My favorite thing for the babies to do after we eat is have a "social time".  Really, this is a fancy way of saying I need to keep the babies contained while I clean up!  Plus, after the boys eat they really should be upright for a while because of the reflux, so there are multiple reasons why I love doing this.  

Most of the time I clean them up, push them all together, and throw some toys on the trays in hopes they stay at least a few minutes before all landing on the ground (seriously, the other day I taped bead necklaces to the trays & attached all toys to the beads... and they still managed to get all the toys on the ground in 10 minutes!).

The other day I was bored with the regular toys, and then I realized--- hey!  I have lots of "toys" for them that are free and easily accessible--- in the kitchen!  Oh, what fun they had!

Who knew cookwear could be so much fun?!?