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Monday, July 20, 2015

Birthday Bonanza

On July 17, 2015, our "babies" turned 3!!!!!
               HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HANNAH!

And on July 18, 2015, my first "baby" turned 7!
<<<<<Tyler, Lauren, Jenna, Hannah & Tanner>>>>

We celebrated everyone's birthday on Friday at a local bounce-house with friends.  It was a fantastically overstimulating, sugary & awesome time!    

 Dancing in neon lights & bubbles to one of our favorite songs, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"

This invite was made by my fantastic fellow quad-mom & friend Amber.  I showed her my sketch of what I envisioned the invite including, and she turned my quick sketch into a cute, polished invitation!  Amber also makes unique, creative invites and jewelry.  Check out her etsy shop here.  
I wanted the cake to have the same picture & had fun decorating it while Jenna watched and offered to lick any extra icing.  It was not perfect & I am learning every time, but cakes are so much fun to decorate!  And by the way, I do not MAKE the cake.  Costco does- they are so delicious why mess with a good thing???  
My Type-A quirks were evident when I instructed everyone how to do the cake: we sang one birthday song but for all the kids, saying their names in birth order- Jenna, Lauren, Tyler, Tanner & Hannah.  Then, the birthday kids all had a chance to blow out their own candles.   

The drive on the way home: 5 very tired & sweaty birthday beauties.
On Saturday, we had more of a laid back affair with family over for burgers & watermelon cake to celebrate.  
I carved this cake out of watermelon.  I made one last year for Jenna and it was a hit, so we did it again this year.  It was served with ice cream cones and leftover cake.  
This time, I forgot to request an order of names, and this is what we got!  In case the video doesn't work, it's a birthday song with a 21 people all singing a different random order of the kids' names!

So how big are these kids now?  Here are the latest stats.
Jenna: 4', 1"-- 56.8#
Lauren: 3', 3/4"-- 30.2#
Tyler: 2', 11"--  26.6#
Tanner: 3', 3/4"-- 27.8#
Hannah:2", 11 3/4"-- 29.6#

Hannah & Tyler are just about the same height and Lauren & Tanner are just about the same height; however, Lauren & Hannah are about the same weight and the boys are a few less.  
Girls: Solid.  Boys: String-beans.  
Interestingly, Tanner & Lauren are by far the best eaters out of the four.  Go figure!

Jenna is such an awesome girl.  Many a day Andy and I look at each other after she leaves the room and say, "Man is she such a good kid!".  Not that we don't have our days, but Jenna has a heart of gold and is such a great big sister.  She is curious and playful, full of joy & smart.  She loves to read and we are enjoying reading through the Ramona books this summer together.  I couldn't ask for a better first child and I thank God daily for gifting me with Jenna.
Our sweet, curly-haired cherub!  While I absolutely adore my Baby A, I must say the sweet laid back lady has turned into a Threenager recently.  It is not uncommon for me to make ludicrous requests (like please try to go potty before leaving the house) and have it met with a stink face and either a loud cry of, "NOOOOOOO" followed by a sob and strike in the air to punctuate her anger at my request, or with a sassy, "OhKAY" and elephant stomp to the bathroom.  Ahhh, Lord give me PATIENCE!  Beyond this, Lauren is actually a very vocal and smart little lady.  And she is a sweetie.  Thankfully I went through this exact same thing with Jenna when she was 3, and more recently with Hannah, so I am no rookie.  Love and Logic and looking like I am keeping my calm will hopefully turn this Threenager back into the sweetie I know she is.  Still, I would not trade her for the world!

My monkey-daredevil Baby B is trying to give me gray hairs by nearly killing himself daily .  He is full of life, personality, and independence but still will cling to me like velcro and beg for me to hold him when he is tired or hurt.  He both drives me nuts and melts my heart at the same time.  Here are some real life, recent examples of "normal" things Tyler does all the time.  Tyler has:
>Un-deadbolted our tricky front door and escapes to outside; whether to chase the cat into the woods or play with outdoor toys.
>Un-locked side slider door and escaped outside WHILE a heavy-duty battery was charging in the front yard and Andy specifically told me to not let the kids out because it would kill them if they touched it (unbeknownst to me because I was vacuuming his room from a daily diaper ripping episode).  Grr.
>Climbed up and tried to climb over banister of stairs (a 9' drop)
>Climbed up and perched on top of second floor deck of house (a 14' drop)
>Climbed up tries to climb over deck of beach house we visited (was about a 20' drop)
>Opened my van door, climbed, in, and locked doors.  While honking repeatedly.
>Opened Andy's car door, climbed in, and puts key in ignition.  While honking repeatedly.
>Tyler can totally and completely un-strap himself from his 5-Point harness child car seat.  And he likes to do it when I am driving.
>Climbed on various John Deere and other tractors and started engines if keys were in ignition.
>Climbed over baby gate and snuck into kitchen to eat crackers from pantry.
>Climbed over baby gate in kitchen and almost pulled a butcher knife down while I was in the middle of cutting watermelon.
>He loves to ride tricycles and other riding toys outside & go reeeeeally fast down the driveway, crash into others, and/or go off-roading.

We are in trouble!!!  When not trying to kill himself, Tyler is talking up a storm, showing signs of potty training readiness, figuring out how things mechanically work and operate, trying to break the rules, or cuddling.  For as much of a handful as he is, he is even more a sweet, special, smart, and treasured boy.  He is a keeper!

My sweet cuddly boy is growing & talking up a storm.  Out of all the kids, Tanner looks so much like a little boy to me versus a small child. Tanner is sweet and playful and curious and thankfully slightly less Evel Knievel-ish compared to his brother.  Not saying that he doesn't also climb banisters, start tractors, break into vehicles or hike over the baby gate into the kitchen 1046 times a day, but he is slightly less crazy than his identical twin brother who is 2" shorter, 1# lighter, and apparently has 9 lives.  Tanner is my buddy and mostly good-natured (unless he is tired, then all bets are off).  While I still see some motor clumsiness here and there (with my OT eyes that cannot be turned off) he is fully capable of doing anything and everything & has made amazing strides.  I love that boy more than words can say and am so proud to be his mommy.  I often remember that we almost lost him on day 2 and trust me, I say prayers of gratitude to God all the time that we have him.  Not to mention he and Tyler are the best of friends, and Tyler would be lost without him (and vice-versa).  I love having boys, even when they make me want to claw my eyeballs out sometimes.

Our Resident Diva who spent a lot of the 2's challenging my every. single. word, has started to soften around the edges and instead of battling me, has become quite the little helper!  She is smart as a whip and catches onto everything.  Hannah still has her bull-headed moments and likes predictability, but offering her choices makes all the difference in the world.  She likes to be my helper and actually helps me often!  At the same time, she has also become quite the tattler and brown-noser.  For example, when Lauren is throwing a fit, Hannah will give me a cheesy "I'm the good one!" smile. She has even said, "I'm being good, right mom?  Lauren is making bad choice." That girl!!!  She is playful and curious and is the only one who can dependably wear undies all day long or accurately tell me the truth about a situation if I missed something (she even will tattle on herself!).  Hannah is very particular about what she wears.  Heaven forbid I try to pick her clothes out or even her underwear.  She keeps me on my toes, my sweet loving baby D!

So that is the update on our four 3 year olds and 7 year old.  Our sugar buzz has faded, the kids are settling into the new ages, and life is good in the Niemeyer household!  Thanks to all of you for your continued love, prayers, and support.  God is so good!!!