July 04, 2015

Let Freedom Ring...

I literally could have hit "repeat" from last July 4th for today which means we had 7 kids who were so excited to celebrate the mid-summer holiday. Sometimes when you find something that works there is just no sense in changing it. My guess is for the next couple of years our Fourth of July will continue to be very similar with just a few minor tweaks as the kids get older.

Big kids 2012
Babies 2012 (26 weeks preggo)
And yes Kenzie is wearing the same shirt as last year because when you only gain 1.25lbs in a year you are able to keep wearing the same clothes over and over. And I found it funny when pulling the pictures that Tate wore the shirt that Drew wore last year!
To sum up our day; woke to Natalie and Drew coming in to our bedroom to wish us a Happy 4th just as if it was Christmas, had breakfast and left for the parade we have attended the last couple of years, got wet (minus some babies that had complete meltdowns every time a single drop of water hit them), headed home with 7 overtired kids which created a crabby mommy, naps were needed for all and we did just that by taking a family nap of 2.5 hours. It was awesome!! We then woke up much happier and had friends over for dinner. Now the babies are asleep and the big kids are out enjoying evening festivities which will end with a couple big booms. I do find it hilarious that Natalie, Aubrey, & Drew were more excited for the annual stop at 7/11 for pure junk food. The things you get to do when mom stays home!

And just to show that mom was actually there!! Us mom's are always missing from pictures.

Hands down the babies favorite part was the airplane fly over to start the parade off.

I could fill in the blank spaces with more words but I personally think my kids are way cuter than anything I could say so enjoy our 4th in pictures. Hope y'all had a wonderful day celebrating our independence.

We got smart half way through the parade and sent them to the other side of the street. That way they could literally get hosed down and we only got sprinkles.
This was him all morning every time a drop of water got on him which pretty much means he spent the whole parade in tears and not even a sucker cheered him up.

June 21, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday Drew-Drew

You may be turning "5" today but no matter how many years the calendar says you are you will always be my little man. And I may be wrong but for some reason I have a feeling you will always hold a special place in your heart for your mama. There is just something unique about the relationship you and I have. It started the minute the nurse brought you back from the warmer a couple minutes after you were born. From the moment they handed me my perfect son, my mama heart has never been the same.

For the first three years of your life you were by far my easiest child. As long as you got to be one of the big kids you were happy. And then you turned 4 and I can easily say you gave me a lot more run for my money this year. Hello tantrums....over anything that meant you did not get your way. I do not like my little boy when he finds the need to melt down and unfortunately it happened many times a day this last year. You are still so super sweet but seriously who did you learn this new act from? You often found yourself in time out because when you went off the deep end it usually meant you were over stimulated and needed space to yourself or were over tired. Even though mom and dad knew sleep helped you so much you decided to give up naps this year and always put up a good fight when we would lay next to you to allow sleep to win. Always amazed us though how after you told us over and over that you were not tired, you would sleep soundly for over two hours. But don't worry buddy you always got us back at bedtime when you would come downstairs a million times with a different question or need.

This year you started preschool and though you were so excited on the very first day of school you would have been more than happy to make the first day your last. Once you realized nap time was included in your school day you hated going. As in, clung to mom and dad's legs when we tried to drop you off. All because they made you lay down from 1-3. Luckily by Christmas you stopped putting up the battle and instead told us each day "I'll see you when you pick me up before nap" with the biggest grin on your face because you thought you were so funny.

Even with all your tantrums and your never ending persistence I wish I had 10 more of you. You are amazing. You are all boy, yet at the same time you are so gentle with your tiniest sister. You play hard but you love even harder. You are the perfect middle child. You love to work with daddy outside but you are also content helping mom in the house. You could easily go to Kindergarten next year because you are socially ready but you are more than happy to still spend the majority of your days at home and so that is what we are doing. You are my only singleton and somehow became my little sidekick. You are only turning 5 but you seem so much older than that to me but yet not too big to find the need to crawl into mama's lap for cuddles. You are mine and I am so thankful to God for surprising us with you when we were least expecting it. He knew I needed you in my life.

Who says that 5 year old's can't have a good time riding their baby sister's pink horse!
Drew today is your 5th birthday and I am so very proud of you. You are becoming the most amazing little man and I pray that you will continue to grow into the man you are already becoming (though with a few less fall-to-the-floor-with-your-legs-thrashing moments) because if you continue being the person you are today you are going to be something special when you are a husband and father.

Happy Birthday Drew Bear!

May 09, 2015

2nd Annual QMBFF Weekend

Last year I had the chance to meet my online friends in real life. It was amazing even though we all wondered to ourselves how it would go since online 'friends' are not always what they appear on the computer screen. Within 5 minutes of being together in Texas we knew no one was crazy and instantly we became quad mom best friends forever, or qmbff's as we have nicknamed ourselves. Last year when we all tearfully parted ways we promised this would become an annual tradition of meeting up the weekend before Mother's Day. Maybe two months later we decided our 2015 qmbff trip would take us to Lake Tahoe and we began to make plans. Paul thought we were nuts for planning so far in advance and I often rolled my eyes at him because seriously who doesn't start planning a trip 300 days out? Men just do not understand!

Finally those 300 days passed and even Paul couldn't believe how fast our girls weekend crept up. Last year our time in Texas was from late Thursday evening until early Sunday morning. It was way too short and we knew we needed to make the weekend longer. At first we planned Thursday-Sunday but in the end three of the girls came in Wednesday. I really think the best part of the whole weekend was having them all meet Paul and the kids and then spending a night at our house. It is so cool to now be able to talk to the girls and have Paul know exactly who I am talking about. He has now become more involved in my conversations about my qmbff's rather than just nodding his head and acting like he cares. 

The weekend officially began Wednesday when Ashley and Amber arrived in Cali.
All 5 back together again.
On Thursday, we spent a quiet morning, or as quiet of morning as it can be with 7 kids, 4 women and 1 husband, at our house before heading to pick up the last member of our sanity at the airport. It was so awesome to all be together in person again. The weirdest part for me was even though it had been a year since we saw each other you would have thought it had only been a couple of days. We talk every day multiple times and so there was no need to catch up on what had occurred during the past year, instead we just kept talking like we do everyday. After a yummy Italian lunch and a unique qmbff experience we were ready to head to Lake Tahoe. Thankfully I did not feel guilty one bit for leaving the husband for a whole weekend because he got his 5 day guys weekend in March so it was a guilt free girls weekend for me. 

I think I take this exact picture every time I go to Tahoe but it never gets old.
The most beautiful, amazing twin mom allowed us the use of her cabin near Tahoe and it was the most spectacular place to relax and forget that we had 25 kids between us. Well maybe we didn't forget about those kids since not even an hour after we got there I got a call from Paul and I had a 7 year old sobbing into the phone because she 'accidentally' cut all six of her siblings hair. I am not even kidding you!! I am so glad that her father was home to deal with her because I gave her an ear full over the phone and am not sure exactly how I would have reacted if I had been the one who needed to discipline the accidental hair clipping. After questioning myself again of why my daughter thought cutting hair was acceptable it was Christmas for us. I quickly realized I lack in having artistic/creativity skills! Good thing I have a year before we see each other again and hopefully Pinterest can help me do better than a Target run next year. 

The cabin
Christmas: quad mom style
A triplet mommy makes our annual weekend even more special by sending us the most delicious cookies ever. I also had ice cream cones and poker chips/dice/cards sent as a special treat for Paul and the kids. The shirts were created by the amazing Ashley. Necklaces were hand stamped with love by Amber. Becky brought us the best hand lotion and salve made by her sister. And then in case we ever forget that we have the best cheerleaders in the world Amber made us picture frames for our annual qmbff picture (My frame was updated to the 2015 picture by Sunday afternoon).

Friday we found ourselves being ummm...rather lazy except we failed miserably in sleeping in. What is up with not being able to sleep in when one totally has the opportunity? After a late breakfast of quiche and caramel rolls it was time for some pampering. My good friend and masseuse drove all the way to Tahoe to give in-cabin hot rock massages to each of us. We were totally in heaven. Some of us even got in a game of Scramble which I have not played for years but love. After all the hard work of getting massages we found ourselves soaking in the hot tub. Yup it was a great day.

Paul's comment when he saw this picture, "That place is a mess"! I agree that if I was at home this scatterness would drive me nuts but it was so nice to have a weekend that we didn't worry about everything being all tidy.
I am only adding this picture because this would never happen at any of our houses in the middle of the afternoon; a nap, eating while sitting, and a game being played.

Saturday we got a tad more active and the day actually left me with some sore muscles. We went to Tahoe City and went zip lining. Some of the girls will tell you it was not zip lining but rather a rope obstacle course but either way it was so much fun. Maybe only Becky will feel the same as I did but I know the others were happy when they had food and beer following the challenge. I have already told Paul we are having a date day and heading up to Granlibakken soon so we can go back and we also plan to take the big kids as soon as Drew hits the minimum age of 5. Following lunch it was time to head back to the hot tub. Three different groups of people joined us during our time of relaxing and the reaction we got each time when the groups of people found out how we knew each other was YouTube worthy every time. We especially loved the gentleman who asked us if we were on a trip before we graduated college. He made our day and we had a good laugh since this is the second year in a row we were asked this question. Apparently we don't always look like the over exhausted, stressed out moms' that we really are. Wonder if we can get this question for a third year in a row? 

And then Sunday had to come. Though I think we were all ready to head home to see our kids it was bittersweet because we were not yet ready to say goodbye to each other. But don't you worry we already have next years trip planned. We will be visiting Michigan but even better, we will get to meet Becky's family and stay at her house for one night since we are all coming in Wednesday. Who knows a couple years from now we may just make our annual girls weekend a full week; just don't tell the husbands or they may boycott any future plans. And because getting together only once a year is not adequate we have already begun planning our annual fall weekend with the husbands which will begin taking place in 2016 and then a family vacation during the summer of 2017. Do you think there are any Type A personalities among us?!? 

This had to have been the worst obstacle on the whole course and Becky is up there acting like it is no big deal. 

When we arrived back to the cabin a box awaited us. Inside there were 2 dozen chocolate dipped strawberries from the Lesnau kiddos! Major kuddos went to the husband. Paul said he just wanted to make sure we had gifts for the next several quad mom trips as each husband out did the husband before. 
So though we are all separated by way too many miles, the time we are able to spend together recharges us and reminds us that we are all pretty darn awesome moms. Some days we rejoice at the milestones our 1, 2 and 3 pound miracles have met, some days we laugh at how wild this ride is, some days we have pity parties for ourselves but in the end the five of us are so thankful that we are able to share this part of our life with one another.

In case you want to follow these amazing moms check out their blogs:
Amber B: http://bellsandkilts.blogspot.com/
Becky: http://ourmultiplesjourney.blogspot.com/
Amber S: http://fourtoadore.com/

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