Simple Sunday with Four Babies!

How are you spending your Sunday? The husband and I watched a movie this morning (Die Hard 4) while the babies took their naps. We are still recovering a little from closing out Chrsitmas yesterday—I still need to post about the babies very first Christmas Day!—with a visit from my younger brother and older sister and a big dinner prepared by my mom. It was nice to have a house full of family and the quads loved all the attention. It was my brother, Ben's first time to meet the quads and my sister, Summer, hadn't seen them since they were still itty bitty babies in the NICU at the hospital. They've come a loooong way since then!

Around here, though, simple things like a post-dinner cleanup, laundry, mopping floors and such takes longer since all these things must be done in between taking care of four babies. We absolutely love having guests but we are beat when they're gone!

My younger brother, Ben, with Harrison and Kailey. He quickly became a pro at holding multiple babies!

Me and my sister feeding the babies lunch!
The husband and Ben (closest) feeding the other two. Homemade zucchini and bananas, yum!

Card games always ensue at family gatherings.

Ben and his new nieces and nephews.

Love Trystan's smile!

My mom and three of her four children and the quads!

Grandma and Grandad with the babies. L-R: Trystan, Logan, Kailey & Harrison.

Summer, Mom, Me and Ben.

Goofy, much?
This afternoon, the husband and I played with the babies and enjoyed an extra-long tummy time. They are such good, well-tempered kids. But even amid all the smiling pictures I post, there is always a mini melt down around the corner! Thankfully they only last a few minutes tops.

I'm taking down all our Christmas decorations and piling them by the tree to box up tomorrow. It's always nice to feel refreshed with accessories and decor redistributed around the house in a new way.

Friday I made a HUGE haul at the grocery store and bought things to assemble 10-12 freezer dinners that we'll just have to take out and thaw in the crock pot or stove-top when we need them. I plan to make the short ribs and cilantro lime chicken from the Six Sisters blog. I also loaded up on all sorts of organic fruits and veggies to make several weeks worth of baby food since we were starting to run low.

It's the first time I've mentioned it on here, but I'm preparing for my big abdominoplasty surgery in a little under two weeks from now. It'll repair all the muscle tears and interior damage done from carrying quadruplets and will help me get my core back. I've dealt with physical issues and side effects on a daily basis, from rib and ligature pain to indigestion and nausea and more. It's exhausting to endure all this on top of taking care of four babies. I've had tests and blood work done to rule out any other issues, and everything's turned up normal. So we hope that this surgery will help my body to be able to operate the way it should, put everything back where it belongs and minimize the massive empty space in my abdominal cavity. It's a six-week recovery and we've lined up help with the babies for that time and I look forward to beginning my road to true recovery! It's been over a year and a half since I can say I've felt "good" at all, and that's too long!

In the meantime, there's a lot of preparation and a long to-do list to knock out before such a massive surgery, especially with the quad squad taking up priority and the clock ticking down each day.

Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!


{Quad Squad} Tummy time video + Happy New Year!

Every day is activity day for the quads, they are really starting to develop their motor skills and you can see their curiosity and awareness of their surroundings really flourish right now.

Tummy time 12-27-12 from Texas Take on Vimeo.

Happy 2013 everyone!


{Weekend Recap} Christmas with the In-laws!

Last weekend really felt like Christmas. The husband's parents arrived early Friday evening, just before we put the quads to bed, and unloaded like they had driven Santa's sleigh. There were presents and gift bags everywhere!!!

They also were kind enough to haul down our new (used) quad stroller, that we found through a friend of a friend of our sister-in-law. It's so kind of people to be looking out for us! It was a great purchase and even though I'd been dragging my feet at the idea of getting one, when I found out this one was for sale I knew it was meant to be. It will definitely make walks around the neighborhood and future outings, like trips to the zoo or parks, much, much easier.

We woke up Saturday and the husband sprang out of bed and said, "It's Christmas morning!" Ha, so we were a wee bit excited to celebrate the holiday early and we were looking forward to all the gift exchanges and food. For breakfast, we noshed on sausage balls, cinnamon rolls, fruit and Mimosas. Then I set out a huge spread with crackers, cheeses, pancetta and salami, dip, chips and more that held us over until dinner. And that consisted of ham, broccoli cheese rice casserole, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes.

We even had a fireplace! Though not the real thing, my famous fireplace DVD did the trick for a festive ambiance. (The baby's swings are in front of the fireplace and I'm not about to risk smoking the place up just yet!)

We put down the quads' play mats and let them roll around for a little bit, then we pulled out all the Christmas gifts from under the tree! We "helped" the babies open up their gifts and went ahead and gave them the plush animal rattlers I'd found several weeks ago. Mom and dad will save the rest for Christmas day!

But Grandma and Grandpa spoiled the quad squad with loads of thoughtful things! The girls got a PILE of new clothes, PJs and adorable headbands...

Logan was busy picking out her new pajamas to wear later. :)

Kailey in new PJs from Grandma!
...and Harrison got his own pile of new duds, shoes and books. Everything was super cute! Grandma was smart and helped us stock up on some 12 and 18 month size clothing, too. It was hard to believe that one day soon Harrison will fit into them, they looked giant!

Uncle Mark with Harrison in his new hat. Love it!
Daddy made a good Santa for the day!
At the end of the day, we fed the quads their nighttime bottles then settled down on the couch for our nightly book reading. This month, we've been working our way through a pile of Christmas books my mom brought that belonged to me as a little kid. This particular night, Grandma and Grandad had brought Twas the Night Before Christmas—perfect for their first bedtime tale to the babies.

The next day, Sunday, the husband's parents met up with his younger brother for lunch and so we had a quiet afternoon at the house. You wouldn't believe it, but all six of us took a nap! I laid on the couch with Trystan, Kailey fell asleep in her pack-and-play and the husband got comfy in the recliner with Logan and Harrison. 

Afterward, we all hung out and watched football. Naturally, the husband is pretty thrilled that all four of his babies will sit and watch the colorful football game on TV. Makes him feel like he's got game day buddies during NFL season! (Logan was still sleeping so she didn't make the photo below!)

"Why yes, I am watching football!"
The in-laws spent a few more hours playing with the babies before heading home. We had a great time and can't wait for their next visit! Now, we're getting ready for the real Christmas day with Grandma and Grandad C!

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday!


{Quad Squad} Everything's Better in Fours

My life revolves around the number four. There's the obvious: four babies. There's also four bottles, four blankets, four diapers (okay, four million diapers), four boppie pillows, four outfits, four swings, four bumbo chairs, four spoons, four stuffed animals, four sleep sacks, four hooded bath towels, four sets of socks (half of which are constantly missing) and four beautiful little smiles that melt my heart every day.

And speaking of four, great things are happening in fours around here! The babies are all rolling around like crazy, standing flat on their feet when you hold them up and babbling and laughing every chance they can—mostly when they make eye contact with someone. Kailey will talk to anything with "eyes," including toys. And Logan, who is usually a tough crowd to crack, has been turning up smiles nearly every day. They're also flying through the foods now. We've introduced, in no particular order, sweet potatoes, spinach, apples, pears (a fan fave), mangos, bananas, peas, squash and carrots and will be tackling blueberries, zucchini and broccoli in the next two weeks. We've also started mixing some foods, most of which I make myself, and they love carrots and apples together as well as peas with pears. 

They are about 6 1/2 months old now and Harrison weighs 14lbs 11.5oz; Logan is 14lbs 1oz; Kailey is 13lbs 15.5oz; and Trystan is 13lbs 10oz. I think it's so cool that, even though there's only about a pound difference between the lightest and heaviest, their body shapes are all quite different at the moment. Trystan is very petite and all muscle right now, while Logan is a bit shorter and chunkier and Kailey and Harrison are both long and lean. Kailey likes to hold her arms open to either side when she wants to be picked up and girl's got some skyscraper arms and fingers!

Weeks and weeks ago, I promised a post on how we accomplished 12-hour sleeps at night for those who have asked how in the world we did it with quadruplets. And it's coming, I promise! It takes me forever to get anything done these days. No, seriously. It took me five days to put away one basket worth of laundry that sat in my room for a week before that. Just as soon as I set out to do a particular task, about three more pop up in its place and then a baby starts crying for attention or my phone rings and then I can't even remember what I was trying to remember to do in the first place. I tend to go through that cycle about three more times before ever touching down on a project and even then it doesn't always get finished. How the hell I meet deadlines for work I'll never know.

This is my crazy life. And I love it all.


Our First Night(s) Away from the Quads!

With four babies at home, it's no secret that it's hard for the husband and I to find time to get-away. About once a month, we sneak off for a quick dinner or to catch a movie. But sometimes we need a real break. Our first night away was actually in November, when we attended a friend's wedding in which I was a bridesmaid. It took several months of planning and I must've told my mom the same things over and over and over. I printed out the quad's daily schedule, feed times and amounts and emergency phone numbers. Plus, we had dogs and cats to contend with too and both the cats receive medications every day—although my mom and step-dad took care of all the pets often while I was in the hospital for two months before having the quads.

The husband and I going baby-less!
The newlyweds during their first dance.
So it really just boiled down to one really nervous mama and lots of reassuring texts and phone calls, but we did it! My mom and step-dad took care of them like pros and we successfully stayed away one whole night! I think it helps tremendously that we have such a set schedule, that my parents know the schedule and that the quads know the schedule. Granted, the husband and I have to reevaluate the schedule every couple weeks as feed times change or decrease/increase, more activities are introduced and nap times become more mandatory rather than voluntary. Whaaattttt is that? A fan? A laundry basket? A TV? I must look at it. No babies, you must sleep.

This time, however, we booked a hotel room not far from home but just enough into town that we could enjoy the festive decor and Christmas lights, do some shopping and relax without any type of agenda. Plus, I love the holiday hustle and bustle—as my husband well knows and grudgingly accepts!—and there was plenty of that to take in this past weekend!

We set off on Saturday while my mom and step-dad kicked off the second feeding of the day, kissed all the babies goodbye and threw our bags in the truck. We got a hotel room on Priceline.com the day before, $55 people!! It was the Westin attached to the Memorial City Mall, which meant once we parked the car we didn't have to retrieve it again until we checked out the next morning.

Next, we headed out to the busy mall to browse the shops, find some dinner and catch a movie. It was so nice to have everything in one place, which made the early holiday crowd much less of a bother. As soon as we crossed the skywalk into the mall, there was a holiday show going on in the skating rink so we stopped for a few minutes to watch. I couldn't help but smile at all the little girls in pink tutus wobbling around on their ice skates and wondering if one of my three girls will turn out to be a skater—I'd love it!

We sprung for a tub of popcorn at the movie theater and caught an afternoon showing of the final Twilight movie installment. I'd read all the books when they first came out years ago and we'd seen all the movies, so we figured we might as well watch the last one! The husband said it was entertaining, at least. ;) 

But my favorite part was finding the perfect ornament for our first Christmas as a family of six. The husband loves all things penguins and when we spotted it, it had to be ours! The penguin family now hands proudly on our tree at home...

After that, we grabbed sandwiches at Chick-Fil-A and ate them by the huge fireplace at the end of the food court. The husband and I love those hours—or moments, rather—that it's just the two of us sitting at a restaurant or in a quiet place and getting to talk about our plans for the future, the things we love most about our life now and, of course, our amazing fantastic quadruplets. We've come so far!

We spent the rest of our night hanging out at the room, basking in hot showers that didn't have to be under a five-minute limit and plush bath robes, tons of movies on TV and no baby monitor waking us up at night! I'll admit to tossing and turning after the 6am hour since the quads usually start rustling around about 7, but it was nice to get away and recharge. 

I remember when we found out we were expecting quadruplets and we talked about how we'd work it out and how we'd approach the future of such an instant family. The one thing that's always been at the top of our priority list since Day One is each other. It was just the two of us before we had kids, and it'll be just the two of us when all the kids are grown and gone. There's nothing I treasure more than spending time with my husband and making sure he knows he's always the center of my world. Our children are more important to us than words can express, but by maintaining a healthy, happy relationship with each other, we feel we can give more to them as a thriving family and confident parents. We will always have each other's back, we'll always be each other's best friend and confidant and we'll always be a unified front when it comes to parenting our kids and setting a good example.

If you have kids—no matter if it's one or eight!—I challenge you to treat yourselves to a night out this holiday season and spend time with your wife or husband! Get the grandparents to pull a shift with the kiddos and hit up your favorite restaurant or movie theater or wine bar. It's all in the moments you make for each other...and those moments are my absolute favorite. ;)
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