April 26, 2014

April Happenings (aka Photo Dump!)

Right now we are suppose to walking the March of Dimes Walk for Babies but instead we are home with four miserable babies with green snot running faster than we can keep up, a 3 year old with an awful cough and a husband who fought cancer no problem but a cold knocks him down hard. I at the moment am sitting trying to ignore all the needy people who want me right now because one can only handle so much whining and crying for nothing besides the fact that one just doesn't feel well. It is almost time for an early nap time and I for one can not wait for the peace and quiet to fall over this house.
This is what I have going on right behind me. She is pitiful when not feeling well. Don't worry I am not neglecting her (well only sort of), her needs have all been met. 

I can not believe it is almost May. Where did April go and how is summer almost here? We didn't have anything exciting happen this month just a lot of ordinary stuff one does while raising kids.

We continued to celebrate the girls birthday by working on all the art projects they received for their birthday. Six is such an awesome age because for the most part they can work on an art project with very little direction from me. I finally don't feel like I am the one to do the whole project while a kid stands by and watches. They are also, most of the time, good at picking up after they are done working.

We also celebrated daddy's 33rd birthday which I know the kids were more excited for than he was. I also learned that 6 year olds can keep secrets much better than a 3 year old. What was I thinking when I shared details of daddy's day with Drew. He kept quiet for all of 5 minutes before he was already blabbing away. Paul started his day off with egg bake (the girls request for his birthday breakfast) followed by a massage. He then was 'share' at school for Natalie and he was sung Happy Birthday by the whole Kindergarten class. Daddy then got his birthday treat of ice cream. The babies screamed in between every bite of ice cream because they were not excited that they had gotten woken up early from their nap. It certainly was not a relaxing birthday celebration at this point. When we got home my sister showed up to watch the kids while Paul and I got out of dodge for a night. Paul could not figure out why we were driving so far for just dinner. Little did he know that I had booked us a room in Tahoe for the night and had a suitcase packed in the back of the truck. We had 18 hours away and it was so nice. We realized we need to plan a night away every couple of months because we enjoy spending time just the two of us. All in all I think he had a great start to his 33rd year.

Breakfast for 3
On a Saturday morning Paul and I were lying in bed listening to the older kids in the kitchen. They had decided they would make themselves breakfast. We heard them pass on chicken and marshmallows
but agreed bacon bits would be perfect. They were getting along great and at that moment I didn't care what they would be eating for breakfast because they were having so much fun. At one point they did come and ask us if we wanted breakfast and we both kindly said we were not hungry. I was quite surprised when we came into the kitchen to see their places all set and all the food they had used was put away. They did pile their plates very full but in the end pretty much ate everything.

Hanging Out & Being Goofy
We do a lot of this. The babies have such great personalities now and are little people. We still are working on our ways of communicating and so we have lots of screaming going on which could mean someone wants up, someone wants water, someone is being attacked by another human beings or who knows what else. I will be glad when one little girl who goes by the name of Kenzie learns a couple more words because boy can that girl screech.

This boy climbs everything. Some how he is very good at climbing and getting down so there has been very few spills. I am pretty sure though by age 2 he will be the one that needs stitches or a cast on some part of his body. 
20 months old and still fits into 3-6 month clothing. She sure is cute though but remains a peanut. 
Mommy wasting time before Drew's gymnastics. This cart was awesome and for some reason we drew very little attention to ourselves when using it compared to a regular cart with all four babies corralled in the center. Maybe it was because by the time they counted to 5 we were already pass?
We have a major shoe organization issue in our house, made even worse now with four additional people wearing shoes. Kenzie was apparently trying to help me with this problem. 
"These do not look like the same shoe."

It is sad to say but Tate tends to make Drew cry 'uncle' frequently during the day. Tate is solid and knows how to throw his weight around. I having a feeling Tate will be the tallest of all of our kids.

Watching Chickens Grow
Our chickens our getting bigger and the pressure is on for Paul to get the coop done. Like I have been hounding him everyday he is home because the chickens need out of my garage! They should move out to their coop today and then Paul will finish their fenced in yard this week, hopefully. The chickens went from really cute to not so cute (as in down right ugly) and are finally looking like backyard chickens. The first thing the babies do when they go into the garage is check on their chickens. Surprisingly Isabella is the biggest fan of our latest addition. 

Pool Time
We have been spending two nights a week at the pool and this week we will start spending four nights a week there. It is a good thing the babies enjoy popcorn and it takes them a while to eat it. Rylan and Isabella are ready to jump in, following in their sisters footsteps so now I only need to get 3 more into the water and I can call it a success. I hope all my kids are swimmers even though Paul would prefer some of them to be football or basketball players.

Allergic Reactions
While I was talking to Paul one morning at work I hear him ask Drew what is all over his face. He then proceeds to tell me he has a rash all over his body and that his face looks swollen. Like a great mom of 7 kids I had no benadryl in the house so I told Paul to have Drew take a cold bath and change him out of the clothes he was in. He then would have to head with the kids to Target to pick up some benadryl. Paul then sent me a picture and I knew I needed to head home. Half way home I get a call from Paul telling me to hurry because his eye was now swollen shut, he was freezing cold and he wanted to scratch everywhere. When I got home I gave him a dose of the benadryl I had picked up and carried him to the car to take him to urgent care. There he received a shot of IM steroids and got started on a week of prednisone. We have no idea what caused his reaction but are pretty sure it was not food related since he had not had anything new to eat that morning. Since we do not know what the cause was we now have an epi pen at home just in case this happens again and causes issues with breathing. The week of prednisone was awful because Drew got so mean on it. My sweet loving boy was telling me 'never' to everything I asked him. He also continued breaking out in a rash for a couple days which caused him a lot of pain and itching.

Boys Will Be Boys
No story needed except they were left alone for 5 minutes and Tate's shirt says it all!

Another Reason I Love Vinegar
Our kids love fruit and it doesn't last long around here. When we do go shopping we try to buy a fair amount of fruit but some of it does not stay fresh as long as we want to have it around. I had read online that if you washed fruit in vinegar it would last longer so I decided to try it on some strawberries we had bought. I washed the strawberries in 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar, rinsed, let them dry and put them in the fridge. A week later we were still eating strawberries that looked like we had just bought them. Of course a couple of them were more smoothie quality than eat off the stem but I will for sure be using our vinegar for another use in this house.

Exploratorium Fun
Instead of having a birthday party for the girls this year we spent a day down in San Francisco at the Exploratorium. I had originally planned for us to spend the day at the California Academy of Science but when I mentioned it to people they always corrected me and said the exploratorium so I started to think I had it wrong and they were the same thing. In the end they were not the same and we realized it after we were already half way through the exploratorium. The kids were disappointed because I had told them we would be seeing butterflies, a rain forest and fish but they still had fun. We did promise them we would go back soon to the Academy because the exploratorium, though fun is geared, for older kids.

Auntie Nikki came along and that was Natalie's favorite part of the day.
Right side up and upside down all at the same time.
Remember the green snot we are dealing with today? Yup this is when it started for 2 of the 4.

My favorite part of the day was playing at a little park down by the piers. Funny that we drove 2 hours to go play at a park!

That pretty much sums up our April. A couple days of work and then this mom is heading off to Texas to meet up with 5 other quad mommas. We all had our babies within 6 months of each other and though we have never met we feel as if we have been friends forever. I do have a small amount of guilt leaving daddy with all of the kiddos but this mom needs a break and I know Paul will do just fine. I do have a little bit of anxiety though because I can not remember the last time I have gone anywhere without the kids or even Paul. I hardly even get to the bathroom alone and now I am flying on an airplane to Texas by myself. A kindle and a hot cup of coffee are in my future.

April 20, 2014

Easter Shenanigans

Holidays with school age kids is so much fun. I have always enjoyed the festivities of each holiday since having kids but as the girls have gotten older I have started having more fun mainly because they have a better understanding of what we are celebrating. Also their enthusiasm tends to spill over and gets Paul and I a little more in the spirit of things. The effort we put into making the day special does not go unnoticed by two 6 year olds, where the babies could care less with all of our hard work we put into making the day special. My oldest 2 have pointed out repetitively that I am majorly slacking on decorations though so Pinterest will be in my future and I will have to start preparing more than a week beforehand. Guess I better start looking for ideas for 4th of July now because it won't be long before we start decorating in red, white and blue!

Usually we end up dying eggs the Saturday before Easter. It is a rushed event right before bed which means mom is a tad frazzled and just ready to have it over so kids can be tucked in. This year because of my work and not knowing if I would get Friday off and the fact that we were celebrating Easter on Saturday with  my family we ended up doing eggs Thursday afternoon when the babies were taking a nice long siesta. Two mistakes I made were 1) not buying eggs early enough. I hate when you buy fresh eggs and they are a pain in the bunny's behind to peel. 2) don't tell kids when you are going to dye eggs. They will remind you for days that you are going to color eggs and not just once a day, like every single minute of the day.

I have to say I was grumpy when we started eggs. Why? Because I wanted to be and I was tired and I was so over kids asking when we were going to dye eggs. But by the end I was laughing and actually just hanging out with the kids because this was the first year they pretty much did all the egg coloring by themselves. We had one huge splatter when Aubrey dropped her egg accidentally into the cup but Natalie was right there helping Dad and Aubrey clean up. We also had a couple eggs that were still a tad 'runny'. I did 4 dozen eggs using the oven method (I will never boil another egg) and I think I needed to cook them a couple more minutes because of how many there were in the oven. But in the end we had some pretty great eggs of many different colors.
After the first egg the uniform came off and she dyed eggs in undies which I was extremely thankful for when she was covered in green.

My grumpy face. It took a while for me to enjoy the moment.

Saturday we had a very small family get together for brunch. We had one sick Grandpa who kindly stayed home to not get us all sick, an uncle who stayed behind to shingle his roof and an aunt and uncle who went to the coast for the weekend. Luckily my mom, sister and her mother in law came to celebrate with us. Of course the kids were looking more forward to the egg hunt than the company but they brought the plastic eggs so they couldn't wait for them to show up. We may have started a new tradition of having brunch the day before Easter because it was easy, relaxing and allowed my sister to spend Easter day with her husbands family.

Kenzie hiding eggs around the house with her sister Aubrey.

This picture just melts me. Love these boys, chocolate lips and all. 
After the girls had been tucked in they sneaked into the bathroom and wiggled Aubrey's loose tooth until it came out. She was so excited to lose her first tooth and then she started crying right after because she realized she was in pain.  
Today is the day that Jesus Christ has Risen and we have spent it just with our little family of 9. It has been a day with absolutely no stress which says a lot for a holiday. The Easter bunny along with the tooth fairy came during the night. Three big kids couldn't wait to find their baskets but within 5 minutes were near tears because the Easter bunny hid them too hard. It amazes me we literally have to tell them where their basket is. "Drew is their anything under the fireplace?" "Natalie can you go fold all the blankets in the basket in the living room?" "Aubrey can you help dad pick out a pair of pants for church?" Amazing when I give them these chores they come out all smiles afterwards but somehow the tasks never get completed!

So glad the Easter bunny takes a picture of the baskets before he hides them!
Didn't take long for Rylan to spot his basket. 

First taste of jelly beans and I think they were a hit. 

Lego building
Church with four 20 month olds was interesting today. We got there 30 minutes early and there were still seats but I could not get anyone to move into the center so that we could park our stroller next to us but not block anyone's view of the alter. A tad frustrated I found a row for us but we had to have the babies sit with us. They were content for oh 5 minutes and then they wanted be up, then down, then next to mom and the game went on for the entire mass. All in all they were excellent for four toddlers squished in a pew but by communion time they were DONE. I carried a screaming Rylan down the aisle for communion and I am sure everyone stared but oh well. I just pray Paul and I received many graces for attending mass today because it was not the easiest of Sundays.
The best we could get with all 7 when in a hurry. 

We have all shared in a meal of mac & cheese and deviled eggs, a family nap and now the kids are happily playing outside together (an Easter miracle) while dad works on the chicken coop. It has been a great Easter filled with mass, time together and way too many jelly beans for some cute little kiddos. The kids are now all tucked into their beds and sleeping bags for a very sound sleep. It was very different than our past Easters but I have to say it was probably our most enjoyable one yet. Well I am off to start searching Pinterest for decoration ideas so I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

A neighbor had this bike at the end of their driveway with a 'free' sign on it when we drove home from church. You have never seen a little boy more excited. I told Paul we could have bought him a new bike and he would have rode it for 5 minutes. Give him a free, used bike and he rides it all afternoon. 

Camping in the living room. Daddy won major 'coolest' daddy points tonight. 

And a little glimpse of daddy silliness...

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