July 28, 2013

Raising Children

There are days that I look at my kids and I wonder if I am cut out to do the job that I have been given. I know right now Paul and I are doing a good job of raising our kids, well at least in our eyes! But I will be honest to say I am scared, worried, and clueless on how to parent kids as they grow into tweens and then teenagers. I really am just fine if my kids never get older than six.
 
I think what scares me the most is looking at my children who are still so innocent and knowing they won't always be this way. I don't want to see them go through times of being hurt, feeling neglected, lonely or having to face the hard times to learn the lessons of life. I know we all had to do this but as mama bear I just want to protect my kids as long as possible. I am already watching Natalie & Aubrey learn that not all kids are nice. That there are people out there who take kids while they are playing in their own front yard. That people die and go to heaven. These things scare them and often will send tears down their cheeks because they just are not quite old enough to truly understand but old enough to be scared of these things.
 


I also wish there was a handbook on how to raise kids who will grow into respectable adults. How do we instill the values in them that they will need to guide them through the rest of their days? They test their limits to see what they can get away with and we often have to explain the rights and wrongs of being 5 and 3. They understand there are consequences for misbehaving but taking away their bedtime stories will someday not be enough. We often hear the older kids say 'God is watching you' to each other when one of them is doing something wrong and I hope they will know that their heavenly Father is always by their side and with Him they are strong enough to walk away from any peer pressure as they get older. Our family has values and I can only pray that we are doing the best job we can at making these a way of life for our children.



Paul and I were both good kids growing up. Neither of us pushed against our boundaries. We respected our curfews. We didn't sneak out to parties. I sassed back and showed plenty of attitude which probably hasn't changed much if you ask my family! Paul, well I don't think he ever did anything wrong and I truly mean it. So what did our parents do that got us onto the straight and narrow path early in life? This is the question I find myself asking a lot these days as my little man comes up sporadically throughout the day and tells me he loves me. When do children start walking down paths that are far more difficult than they need to be on? I wish there were signs on the road of life that would tell you to yield; the choice you are about to make will be one you regret later on. I want my children to have experiences, to make choices of their own and to also learn from these but in the end I want them to come out unharmed.
 


As the girls enter into the world of school I know it is a place that they will have so many wonderful times but I also know this is the time that we start to let go and have to rely on what we have exampled in our family over the last five years. Thankfully days of coloring, snacks and climbing on the monkey bars will be what they face this year but I know the days of classroom bully's, drugs, sex, and other things I am not ready to explain to my kids will be upon us. I am not ready for them to have to stand up against these and other pressures that are found in schools these days. I hope Paul and I are raising kids who will not be tempted by society.
 

So for today I am going to enjoy the task of washing my kids up after meals, of playing dress up with pretend make-up and bedtime tickles because it means my babies are still little. And for those who have raised your children to be adults what advice do you have on allowing children to grow and become independent but yet protect them from the world that at times is not so friendly? I am not sure I am ready for the next stages in life but I will be here for my children each and every step.


If you follow us on Instagram (thelittlestlesnaus) than you have already seen these but they are too cute not to post!


BROTHERS

A quick trip with mom to the grocery store.


Only 4 minutes separate these two!


Spiderman Toes


"It's 10pm and I am the only one awake with mom and dad to myself."



July 19, 2013

Time Flys....

when you're having fun and that is exactly how this summer is going. There is something to be said about fall and the return of routine as school starts back up but for now we are enjoying our time spent outside, summer afternoon naps, playing at the park, obtaining the summer glow at swim team, and later bedtimes just because it is still light out. Blogging has taken the back burner only because by the time we call it a wrap in the evenings this momma is done and uploading pictures and getting creative requires work. I am coming back soon though because it is cheap therapy for me and I miss it. I also have stuff to tell you all about!

My sister is now married and thankfully back from her honeymoon to Paris. Ten days out of the country was way to long without being able to call her. I will post all about her big day as soon as I get pictures. I was enjoying every moment of her day as my camera sat in its case but let me tell you my little sister was beautiful.

We also have some big things happening for our family that has come a year sooner than we had expected but we are so excited. I will share more soon but for now I will say the big news may or may not have something to do with the picture below.

I promise to come back soon with some pictures of my almost one year olds who are now VERY mobile and as Paul says follow us around like they are little puppies. Between them and some other kiddos who are often whining/bickering because it is the middle of summer constantly asking questions we know we are very loved!

July 10, 2013

30 Days Until It's TIme to Celebrate

How can it be that I am only 30 days away from saying my babies are ONE? How have we almost survived the first year of having quads? I can honestly say most of those days we have had smiles on our faces which was also quite honestly accompanied by some awesome dark circles around our eyes from lack of sleep but we still had those smiles! I feel as if we just brought home four teeny tiny newborns but only taking one look at them I know so much time has passed from the days of watching my little ones from the outside of their isolettes.


This is the group shot you get at 11 months because...

this is what happens in a blink of an eye.

Kenzie:
You my dear are the stars in your daddy's sky. You are his little princess and if you ever want anything go to daddy first because I can guarantee he will say yes to anything you ask of him. You are 11 months but still wear 3-6 month clothing and there are probably many 0-3 month pieces you could fit into. A porcelain doll you are but one that is not afraid to try anything. You were the first to start crawling, an army crawl which included many face plants, but you got to where you wanted to go. You have now perfected that army crawl and pull yourself up on everything. Keeping you sitting in the bath tub is entirely a lost cause. I am sure it will not be long and you will be walking. You are not a fan of anything with avocado in it and will let us know by spitting it back at us. Actually as soon as you have decided you have had enough of anything we are serving you make sure we know by allowing us to wear whatever we are feeding you. You have gotten a couple taps to your lips for this and you give big alligator tears when you get in trouble. You love to talk and your favorite word is 'dada'. I believe this is one of the reasons daddy is so in love with you right now even though he knows that you say 'dada' to everything! Your big sisters still can not let you be alone and they are often getting into trouble because they are always picking you up, holding you or taking you somewhere. It amazes me that you have reached any milestones with the amount you are held. You my little girl have always been small but mighty. When we pictured a Kenzie while pregnant we always pictured a feisty little girl and you are just that.



Isabella:
As Daddy is always saying 'you just keep getting more and more beautiful'. You grace us with your smiles more each day and you love your mom and dad. You are not so sure about much of the world but give you a second or ten and you will warm up. Within days of watching your sister take multiple head butts you decided you needed to show her how it was done. You took off as if you had been doing it for ages and you had it mastered to a T. We will seldom find you in the living room but instead you will be hanging out in the hallway, the kitchen, under the dining room table or your absolute favorite- your sisters' room. You still are perfecting your rolling R's when you cry and if you ever do a voice over someday no one will ever guess that you are anything but Mexican the way you can roll those R's. You are a very good little eater and eat anything we give you but you do enjoy feeding yourself table food. You usually are grabbing for more food off your tray as we are trying to wipe you down. Isabella you are my littlest girl and I just can't believe I have been your mommy for 11 months already.



Tate (aka: Taters or Tater Tot):
You remind me so much of your big brother Drew. You are fuller than life and have a big cheesy grin for anyone that looks your way. We did find out during the last month though that you do have a grumpy side to you. Put you down in one spot without the ability to move when you really want to and we have one unhappy little boy that voices this frustration quite loudly. Thankfully in the last two days you have really figured out how to get places very effectively and have even managed to get yourself lost in the hallway and had to yell to get back to the rest of your family. If another baby is playing with a toy your main mission in life is to steal said toy. NO other toy will work for you except for the toy that someone else has. That is until another toy is picked up by another baby then your mission changes and you now need that toy. You have become too heavy for the big girls and they will often refuse to move you or bring you to the table because you are 'just to heavy for them'. I have a feeling the reason you are so solid is because you down your bottle in no time and then go around and literally steal a bottle from someone who is not quite as fast as you. I am seeing a trend of stealing going on with you and I hope it ends in infancy. Of all the babies you are probably the one who likes to sit and snuggle the most and I soak those moments up and absolutely love when I put my nose to your hair you still smell like baby. Please don't grow up Taters because I am so in love with the little boy you are.
"You want me to sit for what?"

"A picture? Yeah right mom."

"I ain't got time for things like that."

"Mom right now is not the time for pictures. Help a man out?"

Rylan:
I should have written this letter to you yesterday because today you were very trying but I will act as if today never happened for the next five minutes! Just like Tate you love to greet everyone with a smile but where your brother's is big and cheesy yours just makes people melt. You love to be tickled and have an awesome laugh that comes out when the tickle monster gets you. You have no problem crawling over your siblings or pulling their hair but if one of them even touches you you make sure we all know someone has just violated your personal space. Each milestone you hit makes mommy and daddy so happy and we were giddy when you were the first to go from lying down to sitting. You have now figured out crawling and are right there with the others pulling  yourself up to standing. We have discovered you are not a fan of falling from standing height though. Rylan James you give your mom so many reasons to smile.


Tate going in for the steal with brother keeping a watchful eye.

Personal space has just been infringed on and we are all being made aware.

In less than one month you will be 12 months old. To me it is truly amazing. I have already begun to put myself in the places I was this time last year and I know those moments are going to happen more and more frequently in the coming weeks. The day you were born holds so much meaning for me. The emotions I felt I can still feel almost 365 days later. Emotions of joy, fear, amazement and compete awe of God's master plan. The four of you have taught me so much in the last 11 months and I will forever be thankful that I am blessed to be the one you call mom.

Going public with multiples

I have mentioned many times how it is for us to go into public with our kids. It has gotten so much better or maybe we are just getting use to it. There will always be those people who get under your skin with comments such as "I knew to stop after I had twins" or "You must run a daycare". My friend and fellow quad momma, Amber, wrote an amazing post on life in public with quadruplets and I wanted to share it with all of you because I could have written this exact post. 

Amber, George & their quadlings

I began drafting this post a few weeks ago after a reader politely noted concern for how we handle ourselves in public, possibly shunning people who ask questions. Yes, some parents of multiples completely avoid answering questions about their multiples. This is generally because they feel it invades their privacy and also there is harsh judgment from the public regarding infertility treatments. No one wants to feel judged. I understand and respect some families’ tendency to avoid answering questions in public. However, I hated finding that someone gleaned that impression from reading our blog. I suspect it came from comments I’ve made about wanting to be clandestine at times or encouraging people to “walk and talk”. I’ve mentioned things such as putting the babies in twin strollers or separating them somehow to avoid inquiries.

The babies are still very young and we rigidly adhere to our schedule to keep things running smoothly. While we know it is inevitable, George and I go to great lengths to avoid four babies melting down in a highly populated place such as Walmart. The day it happens, I assure you that George and I will crawl out of wherever we are on hands and knees with our tails between our legs.
 
Even with our best efforts, people often realize we in fact have quadruplets in tow and we are asked many questions. For the most part, we have received nothing but earnest questions and genuine compliments. George and I feel that the energy you put out is often what you get in return so we try our best to kindly answer all questions from passersby. We even entertain questions that could be construed as rude or off putting the best way possible because we feel those questions are asked out of lack of knowledge regarding multiples. Sometimes, the asker is a person dealing with infertility and they are seeking reassurance or hope. Our answers are often attempts at educating people in diplomatic ways. We are fully aware that quadruplets are a novelty. Prior to expecting quadruplets, we had not seen any out in public and would probably have questions or comments if we were onlookers. In fact to date, we’ve only met three other sets of quadruplets! There are only about 300 quadruplet births in the United States annually so most people will never lay eyes on a set.

All that being said, George and I appreciate manners from people we encounter. A good rule of thumb if you see us strolling about in our Runabout or cruising with two double strollers is to consider, “Would I ask that of someone with one baby?” and “Is it okay for children to hear what I am asking?” It is not customary to ask parents of singletons exactly how they conceived their babies so it’s not polite to ask parents of multiples either. Do you want a complete stranger asking you about bedroom behavior or medical conditions???? I highly doubt it.  There are perhaps a few exceptions of things that are not offensive and apply only to multiples (e.g. How may boys? Girls? Do they share a room? Are they fraternal? Identical?).
 
Here are some examples of polite things that have been said to us or asked in public:
  1. How old are they?
  2. What are their names?
  3. What a blessing!
  4. They are adorable/ precious/ beautiful/ cute (any complimentary word is perfect)
  5. Wow! Amazing! Cool! Neat (again, any single word noting amazement is appreciated)
  6. Are they sleeping through the night?
  7. You are so lucky.
  8. They must bring you so much JOY!
  9. Can I put you on our prayer list?
Not everyone is impressed with multiples, and that is okay! If you don’t have something polite to say, it’s best just to keep unkind commentary to yourself. In our experience, most people have keep unsavory comments to themselves or at least had the courtesy to be discreet; we appreciate that.
In addition to asking polite questions, also be mindful of the amount of time you are commanding. George and I happily entertain a few pertinent questions, but our babies are young and we don’t have 15 or 20 minutes to chat with each person who eyes us. At times we may well be totally preoccupied handling four babies in public too and may not even notice someone trying to ask a question.  This type of courtesy is not only appreciated by families with multiples, but anyone who is different for any reason (e.g. Medical condition, disability, religious attire, ect.) I brought only Mason with me to Walmart once and let me tell you, he garnered nearly as much attention with his “helmet” as all four babies do. People love to gawk and make comments when they see something out of the ordinary. Bottom line is that sort of behavior hurts feelings. No one wants to feel like a circus freak show or exhibit. Everyone wants to fit in and enjoy a bit of leisure time.

Amber over at Texas Tales recently wrote about this very topic. Clearly it is something that is common place for both of us these days as we are increasing our family outings.

Hugs,
Amber



We love following Amber and her quadlings because they are only 3 weeks older than the Lesnau quads and it is so much fun to see what is in store for us in the weeks ahead. If you too want to follow four more munckins visit Four to Adore for more quadville adventures.

July 02, 2013

June wrap-up and Instagram

The house is quiet. All seven kids are napping and I should be ironing or packing for my sisters wedding which is in 3 days. But instead I find myself sitting at the computer baffled that we are already into July. Where does the time go? How do the days turn into weeks which then turn into months? Please someone tell me how to slow things down. The time is slipping by and I really don't want everything to be going by so quickly.
Santa diapers in June? Anything goes when you have quads!


We are always watching underfoot now since we have crawlers.
Since I have not found how to slow down my days and add more hours to my day this blog is not only the happenings of our day to day life but also my photo album so today I must add some more photos from June before they get lost in the file 'June 2013' on my computer. Does anyone really print off pictures anymore to keep in a photo album anyways? I can remember the large photo albums my mom kept in our basement and I loved looking though them but over the years the pages started tearing and pages would be out of order. The photos themselves became yellow and often I would wonder why my dad took so many pictures of the deer he shot during hunting season that had now found itself hung upside down in our garage. What will my kids think of the pictures I take and find absolutely adorable? 
 
"Dad I have no idea who made this mess but I know it wasn't me!"


Saturday morning cartoons. They had set it up all by themselves.

Crawling can be dangerous around here.


Someday I WILL take a class on photography because I love capturing my kids. My camera sits in our kitchen for easy accessibility (except for when the SD card is sitting in the printer. The only thing I do that frustrates my husband!) so that I can quickly grab it if the kids are looking cute. I have found that I take so many more pictures this way than when the camera sat in its bag in my bedroom. Also since my phone is usually within reach I take a ton of pictures on that too. At the end of the month I make a folder on the computer and download all pictures to it for the month. I seldom go through and delete any. Why? Because I have a fear of something happening to one of my children and not having enough pictures of them. Even the blurry, bad ones would mean so much if my worst fear would happen so I don't delete any and I will get a bigger hard drive when I run out of storage space. We all have our fears and this just happens to be one of mine.


Oh my, Paul not only included me in the family photos once...

but twice!!
Because I know everyone doesn't think my kids are as cute and adorable as I do and I often feel like I am posting pictures all the time on Facebook and people probably roll their eyes when they see another one posting from me so I have now succumbed to opening an Instagram account. My husband's remark on this was 'you joined another thing?' I told him it wouldn't take up nearly the amount of time Facebook does AND it has some really cool editing features. So if you want another way to keep up with us you can follow us at littlestlesnaus. I promise to only post cute pictures!
"Hey Rylan did you get one of these bagel things too?"

"Is it this round circle thing?"
"What do they expect us to do with this?"

"People stop talking about it and just eat the thing."
Okay now I really do need to get ironing before the kidlets wake because once they are up my time is not my own. And I have a date night tonight with the handsome husband of mine so I must get busy now. Oh and if anyone has a good program that you use for automatic updating of your hard drives to an external site please let me know. We currently use one but want to switch to a new one. Another fear I have is loosing all of my pictures either due to a computer issue or a fire. Can you tell I have lots of fears regarding pictures of my kids?!?
I have noooo idea where she gets her ocd from.

Sistas



"Some people came and put us over here. We did not move over her by our self. We are telling the truth."
Playing school during summer break


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