October 30, 2014

No Carving Needed

There are a couple activities that make me cringe when I think about doing them with 4 two year olds. The two that come quickly to mind are dyeing Easter eggs and carving pumpkins. The biggest reason these activities are way low on my list to complete with multiple toddlers is the mess they make. Sticky, stringy pumpkin guts and dye being spilled brings way more anxiety than thrills. This year I was feeling the guilt of Halloweens past when we would spend the evening before Halloween creating our pumpkins and it is something we have never involved the quads in. I was trying to figure out how to incorporate the babies into this tradition without my stress level going through the roof. Then a couple weeks ago I saw the cutest little pumpkins in the store and the idea of painting pumpkins popped into my head. It was quite funny when 2 of my other quad momma friends also posted blogs this week which showed of their quadlings artistic pumpkin painting skills! I was so excited because I was going to be the mom that actually did an art project with the babies. I tend to be more of the mom who will load them all up and go to the park, the mall or anywhere rather than create a mess on purpose. Preschool is a great place to do all that messy fun stuff.

So last weekend we picked out four of the cutest little pumpkins along with a handful of water based paints. We weren't even to the car yet and the big kids were talking about how they were going to paint their pumpkins. There was no talk of carving, of slimy hands pulling out pumpkin seeds or what designs they wanted dad to make on their pumpkins. I think I may have even seen Paul do a happy dance because it meant no staying up til 2am to finish a pumpkin carving of Elsa after a 6 year old got bored after 15 minutes. See in years past this is 100% a dad task. I will roast the seeds but that is where my part ended.

We ended up having the most awesome pumpkin 'carving' night ever. A new tradition has been formed in our house. I love the idea that our pumpkins will last into November on our porch instead of finding the green waste bin 2 days after Halloween. It was messy but no where near the mess I was expecting with 4 toddlers and multiple cups of paint. When we had rotated all 7 colors we carried kids to the shower and they had fun watching all the paint wash off their bodies. A no stress activity in which the parents got to enjoy watching each little artist create their masterpiece.

She did not like the first paint splatter that landed on her hand but it didn't take long before she decided being messy wasn't so bad after all.
Can you guess who was the first to decide to find another canvas besides his pumpkin?

My pumpkins are now asleep eagerly anticipating their costume parties at school. I am praying the rain can hold of until at least 7pm. And our painted pumpkins are hoping to at least greet one or two trick or treaters tomorrow night.

Do you have any traditional activities that you have added your own twist to? May everyone have a very safe and fun Halloween and if you get any Reeses Peanut Butter Cups you are welcome to send them my way because for some reason my kids all inherited the same favorite in terms of Halloween candy.

The hired help, aka husband, was deciding if he wanted to be a chimney sweeper for Halloween. He has decided to pass.
Every time it came time to rotate this is how Kenzie protested until she realized she would be getting another cup of paint.
Originally she was going to paint Elsa but it quickly changed into 'I'm just going to paint' after Elsa's hair was completed.
Yes you really are seeing a painting of Spiderman. Just go with it to make the 4 year old happy.

The paint also doubles as beautiful lipstick if you run out of your favorite color.

Only one paint brush hit the floor.

6:00 in the morning and my kids were more than happy to show of their pumpkins. Why, oh why, do they need to get up so early? There is nothing that exciting going on at that time of the morning.
Only one more holiday (Thanksgiving for all you stores and commercials that skip right over it) until Santa Jesus will be coming!

October 17, 2014

The Salem's

Long before I even thought about being a blogger I had a handful of blogs that I enjoyed reading. One of the blogs I fell in love with is 'No Greater Joy Mom' and in it Adeye shares her journey in life and her ever growing family.

Adeye and her husband, Anthony, have 3 sons of their own but their family did not stop there. They have been blessed with 6 more children through adoption; 2 special needs princesses from China, 2 adorable kiddos who have Down syndrome from Ukraine and 2 more blessings from Bulgaria who have profound special needs. They have now been called to adopt 4 frozen embryos who they will be transferring in December and giving them a chance at life.

Once reading about the next journey the Lord has called the Salem family to follow I couldn't remain the silent reader I have always been. I shared with Adeye our story of our 4 frozen embryos (2 of which we were told were non-viable) and she asked me to share our story with her readers today on 'No Greater Joy Mom'. 

You can follow Anthony & Adeye on their blog and I know they would appreciate an extra prayers for the right paths to be paved as they are called to add another blessing (or more!) to their amazing family. 

October 16, 2014

Not Wanting to Jinx It

You know those times when everything just seems to be going in the right direction? Well we are in that moment of life right now. By no means is life perfect because I really don't think there will ever be a perfect on this side of heaven but we have found our rhythm. School is 2 months in and we have adjusted after being home for the summer. Drew is no longer crying every morning before preschool telling me he doesn't want to go for the single reason of not wanting to take a nap. He also is no longer clinging with a death grip to my pant leg as I try and usher 4 two year olds out of preschool who only want to stay and play with all of the toys. The girls love doing their homework so they quickly complete their packets the minute they get home on Mondays which leaves us with only spelling words the rest of the week. So far preschool and first grade are working for us. 

Always amazes me how well they can get together when they know their only other option is taking a nap.
Hello swimsuits in October. I prefer jeans and a sweater in October but Mother Nature has different preferences. 

Work for Paul and I are busy but it is okay. Sad to say but often it is the only free time out of the house that we get. Who ever thought going to work was someday going to classify as 'me time'? Lately Paul and I have been day dreaming often, as in daily, about the days ahead when we can go on vacation again just the two of us. We didn't appreciate it before when we could just pack a bag, board a plane and enjoy time alone. Why? Probably because we didn't realize how important it was to have that time together. Now we find ourselves loving each other more than we ever have and we yearn for that time to reconnect. Not sure when it will happen so for now we will just continue to day dream together.

The first ramp which was quickly followed by a second ramp when the big kids could not get time on it due to 4 little ones riding their bikes and taking their baby strollers on it. Dad put a stop to building when they asked for a 3rd one.
Is it a reflection of my parenting when instead of telling them to get down a million times, my thought is at least it is a short fall onto the small landing before the stairs go into their full descent?
We have had our first fall cold and I definitely got hit the hardest. Talk about sinus pressure. Everyone else but Paul got it but it was short lived except for the cough that has decided to stick around. The kids sound like some kind of off tune orchestra at night but thankfully no one got super cranky, clingy or whiny with this round of colds. Hoping by continuing to use essential oils all of our colds will be short lived this winter. 

The biggest milestone this last month has been the fact that after almost 3 years we are back at the gym. As soon as we found out we were pregnant with 'triplets' Paul took away my gym rights. Then when we found out we were really expecting quads the doctor quickly told me there would be no going to the gym period for the rest of my pregnancy. After the babies were born workouts were the last thing on my mind. Sleep was far more important than getting back into shape. Follow that by two winters of being on lock down during the cold & flu season and before you know it 2.5 years have passed since we stepped foot inside a gym. Paul and I decided at the beginning of the school year that we were finally ready. The big kids were in school, the babies were down to one nap and their immune system is hopefully past the crucial preemie stage and to be honest Paul and I just need sometime to ourselves on the days that we have the kids alone. The first day I took just Drew and Rylan. The other 3 babies still had a barky cough and I wasn't going to be that mom who brings her kids to the gym sick and Natalie & Aubrey had lost gym privileges earlier in the morning for lack of listening skills. Rylan was all smiles and he was so proud of himself as we walked into the gym. I had a harder time than he did knowing he was without all his sidekicks but he proved to me that he is an individual and did just fine. The next day it was just me and the quads. I was nervous since they have never been without someone they know but as soon as we got inside the daycare they were off, even Ms. Isabella. I got in 90 minutes of working out without being called once. It felt like freedom. I need this time for me and to finally do something for myself besides laundry or cleaning up dishes. I expect many of our mornings spent at the gym this winter and the best part is I now have en excuse to eat a cookie every now and then!!

Yes you may see a theme here of Tate wearing his sisters' pj's. Some days it just doesn't matter what one wears to bed.
Kenzie is in love with her big brother. I love seeing how 7 sibling split off; Natalie & Aubrey, Drew & Kenzie, Isabella & Rylan, Tate &...currently he just plays with  anyone who will let him in their group. He also happens to be the loudest and the biggest rough houser. Have a feeling there is a reason he is the odd man our right now.
I am nervous to say that we are in a good place because the moment that I do something is going to throw it all off balance. Yes some days we are scrambling and trying to be in 6 places all at once. And there are days Paul and I are ecstatic when 7pm rolls around but for the most part life is good. So I am knocking on wood and trying not to jinx it but if life can just keep rolling on like it is I would be very content.

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