March 27, 2013

Lions, TIgers and Bears...

okay not really since we were at the Sacramento Zoo and it is really one of the lamest zoo's ever! But the kids have a ton of fun and sometimes that is all that matters. And the zoo does have a lion and now 5 giraffes so it is upgrading. Now that the end of the rsv and flu season is almost over we are starting to get out more as a family. Having our new quad stroller has been so helpful and we actually blend in with other double jogger strollers until someone from the upper deck voices their opinion.
The girls had so much fun putting the zoo key in and listening to what it had to tell them about the animals.

I think giraffes look so cool but what a boring life of eating leaves.

I could sit and watch this monkey all day. There are two of them and they so remind me of the closeness of Natalie and Aubrey. They love each other and all ways know what the other one is doing but they get on each others nerves from time to time.

We arrived at the zoo and started unloading everyone only to remember that we had a flat tire on the stroller from our last walk. So everyone got loaded back up to go find a bike shop. It was 30 minutes past feeding time so I went crawled into the back of the van with the babies and they ate while we got the tire fixed.It was then time to start seeing the animals. The babies did great and we had a lot of fun except for hearing from the big kids how hungry they were. Does anyone else have kids that the minute you get somewhere that has greasy, way over priced goodies their kids act like you have never fed them? Miss Isabella has figured out that if she fusses and acts totally uncomfortable in her stroller she gets held so guess who thought she was pretty cool stuff hanging out with her daddy. That little girl continues to be our drama queen. Luckily we only have one and she also is the best napper so we will keep her.
Da' boys!

The lion

I was totally impressed that my 6'6'' husband fit into the train. Even though I appear in no pictures I was part of this day!!

We did have a first though with this outing. While I was waiting for Paul and the kids to finish their train ride I had a lady pull up her double stroller (2 kids of different ages) and try to take our picture with her phone. I nicely asked her if she was taking a picture of us and she fumbled for an answer of 'ummm no I was just looking something up on the internet'. Okay lady I was not born yesterday. One holds a phone totally different when taking a picture vs being on the internet. As Paul Paul later pointed out that he is sure other people have snatched a picture of our quad squad before but if you are going to do it please be discreet!

We are so excited for more adventures as a family and we have a BIG one coming in about 2 weeks....DISNEYLAND!! Mickey & Minnie here we come!!

March 24, 2013

Solids and Writers Block...Big TIme!

The quadlings started eating real food the middle of February. I have started this post 2 other times and got half way done and then deleted the whole thing. Twice! I just can't figure out what I want to say. But I have to get it done because I have other post I want to work on.

I pushed off starting solids with the quads as long as I thought was acceptable. My older three kids I couldn't wait to start. This time I dragged my feet and maybe did a little kicking along the way...4 babies making a mess, 4 kids blowing raspberries at me with a mouthful of food, 4 set of bibs and wash clothes, 4 additional sets of clothing to get stains out of, changing yet another routine that was working so good for us. Yes, I stalled.

But I had to start. I love making baby food. Went to Costco and bought veggies and fruit in bulk. Had a blast making their food. Loved using my Christmas gift which was a Cuisenart baby food maker and my birthday gift which was a Vitamix. Made the following foods and pureed; broccoli, bananas, spinach, carrots, pineapple, kale, prunes, green beans and peas. Froze above items in one ounce portions. Already have apple and pear sauce which Paul made in the fall. Food done. Waited another week or so til I was mentally prepared to take on "solids".

My cuisenart baby food maker. Steams and purees in the same bowl!

Pureed, portioned, and then frozen.

My cute little helper.
Started with one feed a day of solids. With the girls I was a total rule follower in regards to introducing new foods. Waited the 5-6 days in between new foods to watch for allergies. Started with  soupy rice cereal. Then veggies before fruit. No dairy products before 9 months. With Drew it became 3-4 days in between new foods but still rice cereal, veggies then fruits. Drew went from purees to whatever the girls were having very quickly because he wanted to do things by himself and eat what the girls were having. Now the 3rd time around I have decided rules are meant to be broken! Our pediatrician also said a lot has been thrown out the window from what was even said 4 years ago. More allergies started popping up than ever before with all the waiting of introducing foods til kids were older. The quads got started on bananas, oatmeal before rice cereal but then I had my first kid ever that had a reaction so back to rice I went. They are lucky if they get 2 days in between new foods. We totally skipped the soupy cereal stage and went right to thicker foods. They even handled chunkier peas without a problem. Hoping to move quickly into the finger food stage!

"Get this stuff off my tongue."
The first couple of days were so not fun. It took me longer to get everyone set up, bibs on, food heated than it did for me to hopefully get 2-3 bites in each kid before they were done. Tate and Izzie figured it out the quickest which was no surprise and Rylan was soon after. It literally took Kenzie until this week to finally get the concept. As soon as the spoon would even touch her lips she would thrust out her tongue and there was no way anything was getting into her mouth. Tuesday morning was the first time ever she figured out that if she opened her mouth the spoon could go in and the food wasn't too bad. Now Kenzie kicks her legs in excitement when she knows it is her turn. Isabella lets you know that it is her turn and she does this quite loudly and usually it starts right after her turn which means there is three other little birdies that need a spoonful first. And yes we use one bowl and one spoon. I ain't got time for individual bowls and spoons. I also have too many little ones to tell you what everyone likes the best but I can tell you that Tate does not care for broccoli. He is the only one that has given us the stink eye with every. single. bite. of broccoli that gets put into his mouth. They all tend to like things that are mixed rather than on their own. And food has left us with some constipated kiddos so pear sauce and prunes are served regularly. We will be introducing greek yogurt soon to hopefully help with this issue too.
Around two weeks ago we started adding a second feeding each day. How did I know we were ready for this one may ask? Well we got more into their mouths than the bibs so it was worth the time to go through the whole shebang twice in a day rather than just once. They share about 6-8oz of food at each meal time. When we introduced the second spoon feed we were then giving a spoon feed before the 8am and the 3:30 bottle. We recently switched it up a little bit and it seems to be working great. For future quad mommas out there we now have the following schedule at 7 months of age (4.5 months adjusted):

8am- Spoon feed of fruit or fruit/cereal
9:20- Nap
5:00-Spoon feed of veggies
6:15-Bottle followed by bedtime

The time between bottles and naps is spent taking walks, playing with mom, dad or siblings, or playing on the floor or the multiple contraptions we have. The babies have slept 12 hours each night for months now and we are so lucky. Only maybe 3-4 times a week do we have to get up with one of the babies and it is always just to put a paci back in. I can't remember the last time one of them needed to be rocked after they have been tucked into bed. Naps are getting more and more consistent with only a hit or miss of a kid not wanting to take a nap. As they are interacting more and more with us they are ready for naps when it is time.

Kid's first time in the new chairs. Don't think it was a hit with Kenzie!

So there you have it. The babies are eating solids and I am now calling this post finished because I want to move on to more interesting topics like Easter egg hunts and the zoo!!

March 14, 2013

For all of our MN family & friends...

"The Littlest Lesnau's" created by uncle Ryan

a snowy hello from our family to yours!! (& just so you know it was a beautiful 70 degree day here in California...just thought you might like to know!)

Family Walks

I remember growing up after dinner was done my dad use to take us for a bike ride or a walk. The best walks were the ones that we would end up in the open field looking for treasures. Years later a school would be built in this open field and our walks were never the same. I am pretty sure my mom stayed home and did the dinner dishes and now that I am a mom I am sure she loved these walks as much as us kids did because it gave her thirty minutes with a quiet house even if it meant cleaning up from dinner. 

Paul and I now love taking our kids on walks and we take them often. Actually as I am typing this I am home with the babies while Paul is out with the older kids getting "exercise" as we call it. They are also swinging by the grocery store to pick up some cauliflower for dinner! We have a bike path behind our house that is paved and is great for walking with the stroller. The girls have recently discovered that there is a creek that runs down the hill and they LOVE being able to explore. It is so fun watching them walk on rocks and I get many hand picked bouquets of weed.

Someday Paul and I hope to own our own piece of property that will allow the kids to go explore daily and use their minds to take them on many adventures but for now we will enjoy the bike path!
It took our girls forever to learn how to steer any of the battery operated toy. It was so bad that I told Paul there was no way I was going to teach them how to drive when they turned 16 because I was getting so frustrated with them at age 3. Drew jumped on right after his second birthday and knew exactly what to do. Boys and girls brains are programed so differently.

Tate loving his walk

Someone is getting sleepy!

They love picking weeds flowers

"Mom why don't you ever take pictures of me only Natalie?"

Our superhero went to far ahead and after getting in trouble with daddy came to mommy.

When I have the camera out one of them will yell hug and this is how they pose for the camera.

March 12, 2013

Making Changes Around the House

So this momma gets bored easily around the house. I don't have the skill or the money to constantly be making big changes so it usually ends up with me making things more organized. Go figure! I am not a decorator by any means. I get so frustrated because I will go to other peoples homes and they will have all these adorable accent pieces and I think I could so do that. I go to the store and I swear on the days I go they take all the cute stuff off the shelves and hide it from me. I am also one of those that would like to go into Pottery Barn and say "I'll take it" to a whole display area. But there is no way I can afford a whole Pottery Barn display but it would be awesome. My mom has always said that I am a nurse and not an interior decorator and I totally agree. I have already made it very clear to Paul that when we move again I am hiring someone to find all those neat accent pieces for me. Maybe they will have better luck.

I have been getting frustrated with my house because everything kind of needs replacing. A lot of the big furniture is almost 10 years old and I am tired of it and with three kids constantly running something into it, jumping on it and spilling some form of liquid on it I need a change but with four more little ones that are going to be doing the same thing to it soon I just can't fathom doing a big change out yet. So it was time to get creative on how to spruce up some of the things around our house. The solution: a can of spray paint! 

I knew I wanted to change the color of a couple of items but I did not have the time or patience to sand, prime and then paint. I totally took the easy way out and spray painted the items and am perfectly happy with the changes. And the cool thing is if it gets a nick in it I don't have to sand and re-stain I just whip out my can of spray paint and the touch up is done.

It was time to help this poor beaten up table.

The older kids have added many of their own dings marks to the table

First it had to be wiped down

We picked a color from Lowe's that the girls and I thought was pretty. A perfect way to find a color.

Then you start spraying back and forth back and forth. And coat after coat until you get intoxicated from paint fumes or until the color looks even.

Then take a can of polyurethane and spray the piece to help prevent scratching. Table done...time to move onto the second area.

Way too much brown. The mirror needed to be changed. Paul wasn't thrilled that I was going to paint it until I told him its either I paint it or I buy a new mirror. Guess what it got painted!

Move mirror to area to paint it.

Cover mirror with old newspaper to avoid paint getting on glass part. Some did get through but fingernail polish followed by glass cleaner got it looking brand new.

If painting outside make sure it is not windy because any little gust of wind sends sand and leaves to your project as if the items were magnets.

Once dry start enjoying your new pieces. I love this little table so much more now. It doesn't look all worn out. Now I just need to find another kid chair and then paint it to match and we will be all set. The art board was a cork board covered with fabric that was stapled to the back.  
I also painted a brown candlestick black and now I just need to go get new candles.

In all I was very happy with what a little can of spray paint can do. Hmmm....wonder what else I can paint?!?

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