One Year Portrait – a little late!

For those of you in quad withdrawal, I wanted to share the portraits we had taken of them after they turned a year.  Just a quick post – I’ll update with what they are up to soon, I promise!

We took them to Picture People, which took over from Shooting Stars in our local Buy Buy Baby.  I was so disappointed!  I always had great experiences taking Easton to Shooting Stars (and I took him a lot!) and I am not a big fan of Picture People.  But they had this great deal, so I did it.  I had to just choose one photo, which is TOUGH, but really, there were only a couple I liked so it wasn’t too bad.  I did go back and purchase a second one, which you will see below.  *A little note to other moms of little ones – interview photographers and see their work first!  Find one you like that is competent with a group of little ones and stick with them!  The girl we had was so slow, and you have to be fast with one year olds!  She was trying to set each child, and actually expected them to stay while she set the rest!  Are you kidding???

Despite this, we managed to get a good photo of the babies in their birthday outfits, and they are super cute.  No smiles, but they are all looking and not crawling away, so that’s a success in my book!

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(L to R) Hayden Victoria, Brody Wayne, Emerson Renee & Deacon Robert

This is the one I just had to go back and buy – seriously one of the best outtakes I have ever seen!!

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It really just captures the essence of the quads, don’t you think?? :) I just love it – makes me smile because some days, this is just how it is!!  And if you don’t laugh at it, you will cry.

Hope you enjoy the pictures – more to come soon!

Easton Turned Three!

I can’t believe my little (big) boy turned 3!  Really, I can’t believe he’s ONLY 3 because I just can’t even remember life before him.  Not that I’d want to.  Easton is just – he’s my heart.  I love him so much I can’t even describe it.  He is the most amazing little being and every day (even the rough ones) I’m amazed that I had a hand in creating this wonderful boy, and even more amazed that I’m lucky enough to be his mom.

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So this little big boy remains off the charts, and weighs 42 pounds for his 41 1/4″ height!!  We always figured he’d slow down at some point, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  Guess we are looking at size 13 shoes and special ordering long length pants like his daddy!  He’s meeting all his developmental milestones appropriately, and is a healthy kid!  Who could ask for more?

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Easton has started preschool twice a week.  It took him a week or two before he was comfortable going, but now he’s running into the classroom no problem!  There are 8 boys in his class, and his teachers seem really impressed at how good of a group they have and how well they get along.  Yay!  I look forward to projects coming home (where will I store all these finger paintings???) and participating in all the school activities.  I love this stuff!

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Easton is also taking swim lessons at the Y now.  Mommy or Daddy go in the pool with him and he is learning to be comfortable in the water.  He’s great while clinging to Daddy!  Hopefully going every week will help him.  It’s nice for him to get out!

On the home front, Easton is slowly getting used to all these babies taking his stuff.  It’s hard for a 3 year old to share what has always been strictly his!  But he is working on it, and we are trying to give him plenty of Easton time.  Easton is also in a big boy bed now, which is great!  The transition was simple, and now he sleeps in a full-size bed with his big boy comforter.  So cute!

We had a nice little party to celebrate Easton’s birthday, and he had a blast!!  We did a train theme, with sort of a fall twist.

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Sadly, that post took me a month to finish!!  I was having trouble with one of my photos, and it was such a cute one I really wanted it in the post.

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Hope you enjoyed it!

Wow Cups – not so wow

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Based on recommendations, we decided to try these Wow Cups.  I bought them at Buy Buy Baby, where they were $9.99. If you’re smarter than me, you’ll remember your coupons and get them a little cheaper.
They claim to be spillproof, so I gave them to the quads to test out. Turns out they are not quad proof! Sure, if they fall straight down and land on their bottom, they don’t spill. But nine times out of ten they fall on a side or the top and milk splatters. Luckily I have a dog who will lick the milk off my ankles. Thanks Yoshi!
The cups are heavy, but my one-year-olds can pick them up okay. It took some help to get the hang of drinking it of them but they can do it independently now. Don’t ask me how the cup works because that’s not my forte. My husband well be happy to give you the lowdown on that :)

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Bottom line: I’ll keep using them because they are no worse than other cups, but I won’t buy more! And I will remain on the hunt for a truly spillproof cup.  (Although I don’t know if that will ever exist!) In the meantime, it’s water only outside of the kitchen!

Partying like Rock Stars

we survived

Credit for this awesome edit on the Survivor logo goes to our friend Brian Dunbar

On Saturday we celebrated the quads’ first birthday, Survivor style!!  Ok, not everything went according to plan, but I think everyone had fun and it was a success.  As the hostess, I wasn’t able to snap more than a couple pictures, but luckily a friend took my camera around to capture some of the fun.  Hopefully other guests took some great shots also, and will send the pictures to me!!  But here’s a little glimpse of the babies and some of the fun.

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Brody

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Emerson

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Hayden

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Deacon

Here are the four guests of honor, sporting their awesome personalized shirts made by a fellow quad mom.  (Check out her Etsy shop Sweet Dumpling Boutique!). The girls also had tutus specially made by their Aunt Crystal (you can check out her handiwork on Facebook – see InspiredbyCourtney) This was the best I could do in the minutes before I brought them downstairs because once everyone saw them, there was no chance on taking a nice group picture!!!  The babies were all amazing at the party, and were more than happy to be passed around and to be entertained until bedtime!

We had a bounce house and an inflatable water slide, and despite the rain at the start of the party (it was POURING as I was putting tablecloths on the tables!) the kids could not get in there fast enough!!  Some even jumped in with their clothes on! 

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Here is the slide – the babies’ gift from their Grammy and Pappy – the day after the party

Here are some more pictures from the party:

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Our tiki piñata, filled with tiki gummy snacks, plus tiki and tropical-themed toys

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One of the favors, filled with a beach ball, a fan, a tropical tattoo and a tropical stamper. Our infant-aged guests each got an Oball toy instead :)

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The candy buffet

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The beautiful cupcakes, made by Walmart of Hamburg, PA – thanks Aunt Kristy for picking them up!

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We also had a chocolate fountain (thanks Aunt Kelly!) and a bunch of treats to dip… we couldn’t get a picture before everyone started digging in!

Oh and by the way, we had Famous Dave’s cater, and it was amazing!!!  Not to mention a reasonable price.  Go Dave’s!

Hope you all enjoy this glimpse into our celebration.  It was crazy, but I’m glad we celebrated their first year (our surviving the first year, I mean!) in such a big way.  Can’t wait to see what the second year has in store for us!

 

 

Happy First Birthday!

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We made it through a year!!!  In some ways, it feels like an eternity, but in some ways it feels like, “They’re one already??”. Someone told me this, and I totally get it: The days are long, but the years (or weeks or months or whatever) fly by.  My mom was here for the quads’ big day today, and for some reason we decided to give the babies cupcakes… in the high chairs, fully clothed, after the cleaning lady had just left.  What were we thinking???  Should have put a tarp out on the lawn with naked babies!!!  Well, in any case, they enjoyed their cupcakes, and I hope you enjoy the before and after shots of their enjoyment.

 

Brody

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OK so maybe Brody wasn’t super into his cupcake… he ate some, but left most of it.  Surprising from our heaviest dude!  Brody weighs 22lbs10ozs; a big leap from his last weigh-in at nine months.  He is 30 inches tall, putting him in the 50th percentile for both length and weight.  Brody is super fast walking around!  He will also be the one to help you figure out what you forgot to child proof… if there’s a remote left out or a cup of water, he makes a beeline for it!  He’s still such a happy baby, with a great toothy smile, but lately is a bit of a momma’s boy (not that I’m complaining!).

Hayden

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Hayden thoroughly enjoyed her cupcake!  However, we’re not sure how much actually made it into her mouth!  Hayden is a tall skinny girl, in the 75th percentile for length at 30 inches, and the 25th percentile for weight, at 19lbs10ozs.  She feels like a feather after holding Brody!  Hayden is still such a sweetheart.  She’s also quite the imitator, and continues to add new dance moves to her repertoire, like the booty shake and the duck face.  It’s great!  Hayden is cruising the furniture a little now, and is working on standing on her own.  She is also babbling all the time, and loves bling.  She’s our little princess!!

Emerson

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Em was so excited to get her cupcake!!  But after cleaning out her high chair, I don’t think too much made it in her mouth!  She is by far the messiest eater, but also the one who eats the most, which is why she also had a huge jump in length and weight.  She is the second heaviest now, at 22lbs (75th percentile) and the tallest at 31 inches (90th percentile!!!)  She has certainly caught up in size, and then some!  Em has taken her first steps, but she’s in such a hurry to move, she doesn’t take the time to steady herself.  She’s just gonna take off running when she finds her balance.  Emerson is still our outspoken quad, and has recently learned to make this awesome high-pitched, shrill scream.  Wonderful.  Make sure you don’t delay in giving her food!  She is a bottomless pit, and would eat all day if we kept feeding her!  Em will never need her brothers to beat up anyone for her; she will be able to take care of herself.  I see Emerson wearing pink cameo, driving her quad through the mud someday.  Tough girl!

Deacon

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Deacon eats slow and steady, and made his way through most of the cupcake.  He is still our little preppy GQ guy, with his great head of hair and to-die-for lashes.  He is such a chill boy, and is usually content to play by himself.  Deacon is 30 1/2 inches tall, which is the 75th percentile, and weighs 21lbs3ozs (25th percentile), so he’s just a little smaller than Emerson.  Deacon took his first steps today on his birthday, towards his Grandma, so that was really exciting!  He’s still a little sensitive, but has toughened up a bit.  He doesn’t cry all the time when someone touches him!  Just when they steal his toy :) Deacon loves kisses still, and will give them too!

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Here’s the winner of the messy cupcake award… Hayden!!  But she’s cute and she had fun, so it’s ok!!

 

Well, there you have it… our babies have survived a year, and Brian and I have too!!  It’s a major accomplishment, and I’m excited for what’s in store for us.  Sure, lots of chaos, noise, and herding kids, but for me it gets easier when they walk on their own.  It’s TOUGH to load up 4 babies in the van and take them out again!!!  I welcome the day when they can climb in on their own and I don’t have to break a sweat before we even leave.  Then maybe we will get out more!! 

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Here’s their 12 month picture – it’s hard to believe that just one short (or long) year ago, they were in isolettes in the NICU, with IVs and CPAPs.  Now you would never know they ever arrived too early!!  I’m thankful that I was able to carry them so long, which gave them such an amazing start at life.  Though they each have their own distinct personality, they are all strong little fighters, and hopefully will carry that trait through their lives. 

My wish for them, as I reflect on their birthday, is that they will be happy and healthy throughout their lives, and successful in whatever they want to do.  If their first year is any indication, they can overcome whatever they are faced with, and apparently so can Brian and I!  I look forward to the upcoming year, and all the wonderful memories it will bring.

Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful (or not) Evening with your Quads

DO have your father-in-law take your toddler out for a few hours to tire him out

DO provide plenty of toys for the quads to play with besides your pant leg or your hair

DO have bottles and food prepared so quads don’t cry at the kitchen gate while you prepare them

DON’T expect to get anything done from your To Do list

DO have a meal cooking in the crock pot because you will not have time to cook!

DON’T expect to remember to cook the pasta or bread or cut the veggies for dinner

DON’T expect to eat or drink anything without quads trying to grab it from your hands

DO expect to cut some calories when you give quads half your snack

DO make up for the calorie loss by finishing a big bag of m&ms before dinnertime

DO enjoy containing your quads in their high chairs to feed them dinner

DON’T feed your quads ravioli filled with ricotta cheese

DO expect your quads to get ricotta cheese EVERYWHERE

DO expect your quads to style their hair with ricotta cheese

DO expect to have to give your quads a bath immediately after

DO give your quads Cheerios to munch on while you prepare the bath

DO expect your quads to yell to let you know they finished their Cheerios while you prepare the bath

DO take the quads that finish their Cheerios first for the bath

DO expect your quads to kick and splash water all over the floor and counter while you bathe them in the sink

DON’T expect to stay dry while bathing your quads in the sink

DO clean the ricotta cheese out of every nook and cranny on their little bodies

DO continue throwing Cheerios at the quads who have not been bathed yet

DON’T expect the quads who are bathed and dressed to play quietly in the next room

DO cry with gratitude when your mother-in-law comes home from work in time to entertain the clean quads while you finish bathing the others

DON’T collapse with exhaustion when you finish bathing the quads

DO heat up the bottles ASAP so the cranky quads can drink and get to bed

DO expect the quads to be wide awake at their bedtime

DON’T expect your toddler to have burnt all his energy while he was out

DO nag your toddler to finish his dinner while you put in a movie to keep him in one spot

DO get a good workout bringing four babies up to bed

DON’T forget to eat when all the quads are in bed

DO remember there’s an open bottle of wine in the fridge calling your name

11 months already!

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The last month has flown by! I can’t believe we are less than a month away from their first birthday. It’s amazing how many milestones they are reaching, how much their little (and big!) personalities are coming out, and how big they are getting!
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Brody continues to lead the pack. He’s now a walker! His confidence grows every day and now he will just stand up and walk across the room to a toy or a person. He looks so happy and proud of himself when he’s walking. It’s so cute! He’s been sticking out his tongue lately and it’s too funny. He’s quite a goofball!
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Hayden is a crawler now! For a while she was content to just stay in one spot, but then it seemed to start bothering her that everyone else was moving. She did a sort of army crawl for a while, and then she finally got that tush in the air and started crawling. Hayden is such a sweetheart. She’s just got this angel face, but you know underneath she’s calculating and watching and taking it all in. She’s got a funny laugh and has found her voice! Don’t delay in giving her food! You’ll certainly hear it! She finally got her first tooth this week!
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Emerson is the most vocal of all the babies. She’s a crawler, but she wants to be held. Most of the day! ESPECIALLY when she doesn’t nap well. When she’s in a good mood, though, she is super happy and has an awesome laugh. A loud one, of course :) Em wolfs down her food, and is growing so big! She seems to be the tallest, and I’m guessing she’s bigger than Deacon now! It’s close. Emerson finally got her second tooth!
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Deacon is another sweetheart. He likes giving kisses, which is so cute. He crawls, and now will stand on his own without holding on to anything. I think he will walk soon! He still has the most hair out of everyone, and the longest lashes. Such a handsome boy. Deacon has 2 teeth, with more on the way!
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Easton says “No mommy!” when I want to take his picture. It’s hard to catch a good shot of him unless you have a camera that’s good with moving objects. Easton is always on the go, unless he’s watching TV. He loves being outside! Although he’s generally a happy kid, you can tell that he misses some attention that is now on the babies. He loves “mommy daddy hugs” and being with Brian and I. We took him to his first movie last weekend! We saw Planes: Fire and Rescue and it was great! We had a blast. I hope we can continue to find time just the three of us and as the babies get older, I hope we can have more quality family time.
Right now I feel like we are still in survival mode, but are slowly coming to the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know where the tunnel ends, but I feel like getting to a year is going to be a huge difference. No more bottles, no more pumping, and the babies will be eating what we are eating. I think all of that will make life a little easier. I know that with each stage will come new challenges, but I think I prefer toddler tantrums to baby wailing. I may eat my words later on, but with Easton, I have enjoyed each stage we come to more than the last. So far, the same is true with the quads. I’m always trying to find the best in each stage and look forward to future fun.
Here’s a great pic of all five of my beautiful babies – I can’t believe we got this!
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