{Weekend Recap} Aquariums, Swimming & 2 Happy Tails

It's been a fabulous weekend. The kind where you sort of lose track of time and instead lose yourself into the memories you're making, the smiles you're eliciting and squeels of delight made during first experiences. It started Saturday morning when the husband and I painfully creaked and groaned our way out of bed and into the kitchen to make breakfast for the fab four, then dressed and fed them before we loaded up the suburban and headed off to the Dallas World Aquarium. When we pulled up, there was already a crowd of people making their way to the entrance and my stomach tied in knots immediately. We had brought the quad stroller because we haven't bought new twin strollers yet (our other twin ones are just for infant car seats only), and I knew it was going to be close quarters inside. Something always grips me with a little trepidation when I'm about to go into what I know is a crowded place with my four babies and a massive contraption. Quad-claustrophobia, perhaps? I don't know. But my chest tightened and my stomach flipped as we parked and got everyone out and strapped into their seats. My husband asked if I wanted to abandon our plans but I said, no, we need to have these experiences and the babies need to get out and see things!

We made it all the way inside the aquarium and had already earned about 52 smiles from passersby and aquarium workers, all who were so polite and opened doors for us and the stroller, or pointed out where the elevators were or grinned at the babies and carefully stepped out of the way so we could pass. I started to relax and by about half way through our journey, all fear was gone and I was really enjoying things. We only had one comment bestowed upon us and the man was very courteous and told us were we amazing. I made sure to look him right in the eye when I sincerely thanked him for the compliment.

The babies were perfect. They looked around at all the people, the animals and the scene. It was like walking through a jungle in the first half of the trip, with exotic birds and even an anteater, an alligator and fast-swimming otters. One came right up to the window and sort of waved at the babies and they were enamored! And in front of a large fish tank, the round fat manatee rolled its way in front of us and even the husband and I were fascinated. I had been wanting to go to the aquarium for some time and it was so nice to enjoy our trip and also share the experience with our kids. Plus, it was complete with a lunch run through Chick-Fil-A on the way home and they gobbled up their chicken nuggets and fries before a solid two-hour nap. Success! Well, partially. Because when we got home we realized I'd managed to lock us out of the house. I flipped the deadbolts on the front door then locked the garage door behind me when I headed to the car. We have some rekeying to do, since it turns out our master key doesn't unlock the garage door. Or any of our back doors. Awesomesauce. My handy engineer husband sawed off the door knob to the garage door and knocked out the lock, replacing it later that day. In the meantime, I set up camp on the front porch with the crew and fed them bites of french fries and sips of lemonade until we were in!

Later that afternoon, the husband went to his parents house to pick up our two labs. They'd been staying there ever since we moved back to Dallas and were bunking in a too-small apartment. We've since closed up the apartment and ended our lease there and have finally emptied out our storage units completely. This was the last step! It felt so good to bring our "first children" home at last. The husband had installed the hot wire fence that runs around the backyard to deter them from digging out and prepared everything else for their arrival. When they came into the backyard, I was there to greet them and the babies all eagerly looked on through the windows of their play room, banging their hands on the glass and screeching. Jersey and Shiner explored the backyard and settled in with a contentment that seemed to say they knew this was home now and had just been waiting for us to bring them here. I believe Trystan got a leg-length of wet dog tongue when I took her out for a visit with the doggies later that day. :)

Saturday we lounged around and wore our PJs all day. After lunch and their nap (plus a short rest for mom and dad), we slathered the kiddos in tons of sunscreen and put on swim diapers and swim suits. Logan got her first ever pigtails and I managed to coerce a few strands of Trystan's hair into her first ponytail! The cuteness killed, it was the sweetest thing.

We loaded up our massive pile of baby stuff (stroller, floats, towels, food, drinks, toys, diapers...) and drove the five minutes to my girlfriend's house where she and her husband had graciously opened up their home so we could take the babies swimming. Several other of my best friends came as well and everyone was so helpful and eager to pitch in and help with the babies. We let them run around their living room first to get acclimated then put them in the pool for swim time. Trystan and Kailey ended up loving the water and splashed and dunked their faces in it later while the husband and a friend each held one. Logan relaxed in her floatie and Harrison enjoyed one-on-one time with me for awhile before agreeing to sit in his float and play with duckies. (By the way, big thanks to my friend Rusty for taking all the pool photos for us!)

Once everyone was pruny enough, the husband and I took them into the guest bath room and gave them the fastest baths ever done, dressed them in clean, dry diapers and put them in the quad stroller for dinner. They had grilled chicken, some apple cider coleslaw I'd made, blueberries and strawberries, avocado, grilled polenta, cookie and a little homemade coconut custard pie (my friend made two and they were delicious!).

By the time we hauled everything and everyone home and got them in bed, I was dead on my feet. So worth the trouble and a great first swim, but so exhausting! A good night's sleep must have helped because this morning I decided the babies should try their hand at painting for the first time—especially while I had my nanny around for a couple hours to help. Turns out, Logan does not like painting (so she wasn't in any photos, poor thing). I don't know if it was the texture or the messiness or just that it was something new she wasn't ready for, but girl screamed and hollered in her seat so I had get her cleaned up and hold her until we were done. Harrison actually took to the project and smeared paint all over two pieces of paper and Kailey also created two masterpieces, while additionally smearing paint on her hair and stomach and taste testing it a few times. Even though each time it was as unappealing as the last. Trystan poked and prodded at her paint until she held her hands up and admitted she was quite finished.

One not-so-bad cleanup process (thank God for washable paint), some playtime and a lunch later, the kids were off to bed and the Verizon tech was leaving after hooking me up with cable, phone and Internet. I am so excited!!! I haven't had cable or DVR in forever and we've been using crappy pay-as-you-go Internet since we moved to Dallas. At long last, I have all my shows, DVR capabilities and high-speed connections I've been missing. Plus my new vacuum cleaner arrived today (a simple Hoover Pet Rewind that we've had great luck with), a phone and new Aden + Anais crib sheets and sleep sacks for the babies that I can't wait to try. I got a great deal on them on Amazon and they're super soft.

In my opinion, it's been one of the best Monday's you can have so far and it's been 2.5 hours and the babies are just now moving around. Time for a kid-friendly TV show and snacks...

Happy Monday to you. ;)
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  1. What a wonderful weekend, even if you did lock everyone out of the house;) The babies sure love water,any plans for a pool in your backyard?
    Now your little family is complete with the homecoming of your furbabies, didn't you have 3?
    Thanks for sharing, especially the pics of the kiddos, love love the little pigtails.

  2. so glad the aquarium worked out! those pics painting are too adorable!!! aghhhh. so cute!

  3. Sounds like you all had a wonderful weekend! As the kids get older it just becomes more and more fun to do activities with them. And there is nothing better than wearing them out doing fun stuff to reward yourself with easy naps and bedtime!

  4. Sounds like the perfect weekend (except for locking yourselves out).

  5. What a busy weekend making such sweet memories with your Fab Four. I love the little doggie in the pool hanging with the kids. I also notice them baby floaties make a good beer holder. BOL Glad to hear the four-legged kids are home with you and your family is complete. Have a great week. Sherri

  6. Girl, I'm tired just reading this! Way to go being so adventurous (don't know what is more adventurous- the aquarium, pool or finger painting?). Your babes are looking so toddler-ish!!!

  7. I'm so happy you carried through with your aquarium plans even though you were nervous. When I saw your FB picture there I told George I was totally jealous and we needed a field trip like that too. It can be intimidating taking four babies in a very public, busy place, but always worth it. Since writing "what to say to multiples" I have seriously had the NICEST comments. Not that everyone's read it, but coincidentally I think. The world really is a good place I think. We just bought a used Combi Twin Saavy stroller off Craigslist. LOVE it! They fold up easily and are about like a bag of golf clubs. See if you can score two as well.
    I know you must love reuniting with the fur babies. I can't imagine what we'd feel like without ours for so long.
    Love the baby art work and swim pictures. The dog on the baby float is precious.
    I can't wait to crash the Bell Romper Room!

  8. Wow you have been busy! I love all the pictures. I love keeping up with your family through your blog! I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! http://www.mccleary-family.com/2013/08/feeling-very-honored/


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