We had a few at Amber's house, since my crew was still smooshed into our two-bedroom apartment while we house hunted, and we met up a couple times for birthday parties or places like Legoland. But our last play date, hosted at Amber's, was stressful and exhausting to say the least. We had kept to our usual schedule, the visiting momma arrives around 11am for a little playtime with all the kids before lunch (served in shifts at the quad table, as we both have one!) then everything's cleaned up and babies are put down for naps. Before, we had to live through some screaming protests but eventually everyone would go to sleep. This time, my kiddos refused to nap at all with blasphemous screeches the entire time. In fact, Kailey had crawled out of her pack-and-play in about two seconds and was running around the room crying and hollering at the top of her lungs. So I had to haul them all back downstairs, sweaty and tired, and entertain them with puzzles and some of the Shawver's toys.
Amber and I salvaged a small portion of the afternoon and gulped Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet wine and tried to chat over the shrieks and babbling of the babies. By the time I got home and unloaded my crew, I was so tired I actually felt sick. But during our wine-downing sesh, Amber and I had come up with a new play date plan and scheduled it for the following week. We were both actually excited to test a new theory and were thrilled when it worked! We realized that even though play dates typically take place during the daytime, having quadruplets has always been a game changer and why were we trying to adhere to the norm? We needed a time that enhanced our schedules and fit easily into our lifestyles—and we did not want to tackle naps during a play date ever again!
|that's me with my unruly crew on the left, and amber and her quads on the right!|
Amber and her quadlings arrived at my place about 4pm and we got everyone unloaded and into the play room, where my babies were waiting, having recently woken up from their naps. There was only one party foul to tend to, one of Amber's boys had upchucked his goldfish in the back of their van so a little cleanup was involved. An outfit change later and we had eight babies all situated with snack cups and drinks in the play room! Harrison is cutting a few eye teeth so he wasn't in the best of moods and wailed most of the time when I wasn't holding him. But other than that, we enjoyed a very peaceful afternoon of double quad playtime and conversation among the adults. My mom had very generously offered to come over and help out and she was so excited to see Amber's babies. (You can read a quad-grandma's account of the afternoon on her blog!)
Amber's babies eat dinner about 6pm and mine about 6:30, so I got the food cooking a little early so we could start the first round of meals. I sauteed turkey sausage and onions (which were pre-cut in a ziploc in the fridge to save time!), garlic green beans and organic mac and cheese. I wanted to offer foods that I knew were kid-approved to feed the masses without any issues! Both sets of quads gobbled down the grub with happy faces and even got chocolate chip cookie cake (a birthday surprise for my husband from his mom over the weekend) for dessert. Success!
The husband arrived home just as we were starting the dinner process and got to hang out with all eight babies. He was all smiles seeing so many happy kiddos in his house! The quad table was busy that night—once Amber's crew was done, we wiped them down and put them back in the play room, cleaned off the table and placed my squad in the table with four more plates of food. Amber got hers into pajamas and brushed their teeth while mine finished eating, then the rest of the adults tag-teamed cleaning up and dressing the Bell babies in pjs. We let the whole group of eight run around together in the play room for a few minutes so we could snap some cute nighttime pics and because the babies are always in a good mood after dinner and a fresh diaper. And our absolute favorite thing from the whole event was watching them form a line and take turns on the slide. Not only was it comical that between the two of us, we had more than enough babies to form a line but that they also knew how to wait their turn! Life of a quad!
Once it was time to part ways, the husband and I helped Amber load her van full of kiddos and I whisked one back inside for a quick diaper change so everyone was good to go. Hers lulled off to sleep on the way home and Amber's husband, I hear, happily greeted them when they arrived and helped get all the kiddos to bed. We put ours in bed not long after our buddies left and everyone drifted off to sleep, except for Logan, who was so cute talking away to herself in her crib. So we snuck into her room and brought her into our bed to hang out with us while we watched a little TV, read her a book and talked to her.
Often, the husband and I will be catching up on the day's events in the evening over a glass of wine and I'll be telling him about something new that one of the kids did that day or we'll be gushing about how cute they all are. Then we jokingly say, "So who are we going to go wake up!?"
It's always amazing to me that I can spend all day with my four kids—or even eight!—and still miss them just moments after we put them down for the night. One-on-one time is a very cherished experience in our house, so we usually don't hesitate when we get the opportunity to enjoy it. Even if it means sneaking someone out of their crib to stay up a few minutes late!
All in all, this quad play date went swimmingly and Amber and I high-fived at least a couple times during the evening because we were so relieved we'd found an amicable solution. Getting out of the house and enjoying each other's company is so important—as much so for our sanity as it is for the babies to explore a new place. And having quads, or any kids really, always calls for change. I've mentioned before that we adjust our schedule about every two weeks, even if it's just a minor tweak, because as the kids grow and mature so must our daily routine.
And just for kicks, here's a photo of my quad squad this morning watching a laughing baby video on Youtube. ;)
Thanks for reading!