{Weekend Recap} Judging By the Numbers

This past Saturday started off bright and early for me, not the usual way I ease into my weekends since my wonderful babies typically sleep until nine!! The husband happily rolled over in our comfy, cozy bed while I got dressed and grabbed a donut and a Sonic coke on my way to the pool to judge my first synchronized swim meet as an official judge. No more practice rounds, this was the real deal! It was an association meet featuring my home team, the Pirouettes of Texas. I swam for them competitively for 11 years, starting when I was just seven years old. There was an adorable eight-year-old little girl in the competition who swam a solo to the Little Mermaid, and she reminded me of myself when I was her age! She was so cute and swam very well considering she ad-libbed most of her routine as she went. A trait I also shared! My coach, Mary, used to start the music and tell me she couldn't wait to see what solo routine I was going to swim this time since they were usually all different. ;)

For this particular meet, I judged figures (a requirement for all swimmers and judged by a panel) then I judged the artistic impression category for all the routines. It really was enjoyable and always feels so natural. I think I make a pretty good judge and I'm also spending time at the pool where I spent 90% of my time growing up, smelling the all too familiar aroma of chlorine and watching the sport I love.

Plus my mom was there—also just like old times, since she was present at every practice and competition I attended and still is!—and one of my best friends and former teammates is now the head coach. She's pictured above in the white tank working with her swimmers during warm up in the competition. I'm so proud of her and how hard she works to keep the team going!

After judging concluded, I ran a couple errands all by myself on a sunny Saturday afternoon, which was a really nice change of pace. Then I headed home to make snacks for the babies since the husband had just gotten them up from naps. He was also glad to have some time at home by himself for once while they had slept and enjoyed his play time with them earlier that morning. He's been working so hard during the week, that we all miss him and are ready for some quality time when the weekend rolls around.

trystan cracks us up when she walks around with those rings on her feet, like high heels
Later in the afternoon, the weather was so warm (78 degrees!) and perfect that we couldn't resist taking the whole crew outside. The husband cleared out a bunch of the giant dog crap that fills up our grassy area courtesy of our two massive labs, and I hauled out some chalk, bubbles and the babies' water play table. They had a blast! Of course, the most entertaining item they went for were the dog bowls of water and the water spout on the backside of the house. They dumped it all over themselves and didn't mind being wet a bit! They also climbed and hobbled over all the dirt that daddy was hoeing in an area we'll soon be converting into a little playground for the quads. I can't wait for outside play time on the daily!

Everyone was so dirty when it was time to call it quits that we peeled their clothes off on the patio and toted them upstairs for bath time. The husband and I sat on the floor by the tub and laughed and laughed at our little munchkins squirting bath toys at each other and patting each other on the back anytime someone choked on too many bubbles! Dinner was enjoyable too—baked salmon, quinoa and veggies, green beans, cheese and berries. Yum!

Sunday was a truly relaxing, slow-paced, mellow day all the way through. We did breakfast about 9:30am, then chilled out in the play room and did a little bit of laundry and cleaning. Then we baked pizza for an easy lunch. It was all about keeping things simple and stress-free. The quads napped for over two hours then spent nearly another two hours very happily playing in their cribs, so the husband and I got a nice break! We caught up on some DVR shows while simultaneously working on our computers and knocking out a couple of our own projects. 

I really do love that the babies spend time alone in their cribs so well. It's important to me that they have some time to themselves during each day, since they are otherwise spending every waking second with three other siblings, constantly having to share things and crawl and walk all over each other and wait their turn. It's good for them to have a chance to play with their own toys without interference from anyone else, and makes for happier babies in the afternoon, too, if you ask me! Plus I truly think they start to miss each other as they're often cracking each other across their rooms by the time I head up their to get them all out. So cute!

Aren't they looking so much more grown up these days!? Logan was apparently putting herself in timeout for some unknown reason, so Trystan had come over to investigate. And I scheduled Harrison's first hair cut appointment for this Friday morning, so my nanny and I will be taking the whole crew with us to get his curly locks chopped. I will definitely be saving some baby hair!

More good weather was in store, so while the husband finished building the last of his work bench in the garage (now things will finally get organized!), I set up the quad's corral outside on the driveway and outfitted them with chalk, cars and sticky string from their Aunt Deanie. They happily entertained themselves while I basked in the breeze and made our meal plan for the week and finished my issue of Parents magazine.

Not a bad way to wrap up the weekend, and a vast improvement from last weekend when I ended up in the ER! Hope your Monday is off to a good start!

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P.S. Some recent posts you may have missed: what the quads have been eating lately and the things they're loving now.


{Five Things} Quad Squad Edition

1. Crayola Color Wonder Bubble Guppies coloring pad - Just recently, the quads tried out the Color Wonder markers and paper for the first time and it was a success! And I loved it for the mess-free aspect. Since they adore Bubble Guppies, they'll be getting a pad of these coloring papers for their birthday and hopefully some Color Wonder paint as well!

2. Mother's Cookies Coconut Cocadas - Momma and babies all love these crunchy, yummy cookies and they make the perfect after-dinner dessert. Just don't buy more than a bag at a time or you'll be eating your entire day's worth of calories in one go. ;)

3. Sweet Dreams Lullaby book by Betsy Snyder - The quad squad really enjoys a nightly tome or two before bedtime and I always keep this book set aside just for that. It's the perfect length, has great illustrations and it's a lovely, rhyming little read.

4. Munchkin Click Lock Deluxe Snack Catcher - My little Kailey, aka Bam Bam, figured out how to take the top off her normal Munchkin snack cup and would excitedly dump all her edibles on the ground in the play room every afternoon during snack time. I'd been searching for a solution and tried out these click lock snack catcher versions, and they work! No more dumped food. They are buy one, get one 50% off at Babies R Us right now so I just picked up two more so that I have a full set to use for everyone.

5. Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Neon Doodler - These are the doodle pads I purchased specifically for the kiddos when we embarked on our first official road trip to Houston the other weekend. They've been a huge hit ever since and keep the kids happily entertained. I only let them use them during nap time in their cribs or in the car and plan to stash them in the diaper bag when we go on outings, that way they look forward to using them for special occasions.

I'm all for discovering the next great thing, what's your favorite new kid-friendly find?

Happy Sunday!
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{Tyke Bites} Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup & More!

Here's a day of meals from this week in Quadville!

The quads love breakfast sausage and get it about once or twice a week, since a one-pound case now only gets us through one meal! This particular morning they had that paired with buttered blueberry biscuits, raisins, clementines and diced apples as well as honey orange-flavored Greek yogurt. My kids gobble down the Greek Gods brand of yogurt (their favorite flavor is honey strawberry), which also has the highest fat and protein content of most other yogurts I've checked. Good news for my skinny babies.

For lunch, I used an apple corer to punch out mini PB and honey sandwiches—I always use local honey for natural antihistamines to help stave off allergies. They can't have sandwiches without their beloved all-natural white cheddar Cheetoh puffs! Also served were fresh blueberries and grapes and a couple Smarties candies for dessert.

Snack time wasn't very inspired. I went with a quick and easy sweet and salty combo of pretzel goldfish and frosted animal cookies. Though the babies mostly drink milk with meals and water in between, sometimes I give them caffeine-free herbal tea (either unsweetened or with honey or Truvia) or watered down juice. I recently discovered an organic cranberry-blueberry juice blend that's really good, so I fill a community cup with half water-half juice for their afternoon beverage.

The photo of dinner was blurry (hungry hands were reaching!), but it was a delicious lemon orzo chicken soup recipe I found in an insert booklet in my latest Rachael Ray magazine. Anytime I make soup, I just strain out the good stuff for the quad's plates. We added blackberries and cheese for a very filling and very successful meal!

What's your favorite soup recipe?
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{Daily Pics} Things That Make Me Smile

Fresh flowers, happy kids, family and food are guaranteed mood improvers for me. And movies. I do love watching movies—but that's not included in today's gallery of photos, so I digress.

Here's what's made me smile this week...

The play castle that the kids are hiding in was a $4.60 find at Stein Mart this week! And the baby doll that Trystan is playing with in the last photo was mine when I was her age and it's dressed in a onesie I also wore as a baby. My mom has a soft spot for her children's keepsakes and now some of those are being passed on to mine, which makes them extra special.

Happy weekend!
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{Quad Squad} Reading Spaces & Birthday Crafts

I had totally forgotten about Pinterest for awhile. Not even sure how that happens. Either way, this morning I remembered about it and jumped online to scout ideas for toddler reading nooks. And then promptly thanked my lucky stars that Pinterest exists! I've been pinning a couple ideas here and there to my Quad Squad board and during my search found this pretty little pin of a styled cube shelf that would be perfect to replicate for Trystan and Logan's room! I plan to imitate it closely soon as I can get my hands on some shelving!

My kids are expressing a love of books and several of them, especially Logan, will sit in complete contentment flipping through a book while babbling a "story" to go along with the pages and point out pictures and characters to themselves as they read. It's really sweet. Even if they like to tear some of their little tomes apart out of frustration or a fight of possession, hence the turquoise duct tape on the hefty novel Harrison's holding in the photo below! And also hence the reason they are mainly given all board books right now to help improve the longevity of their books. (All the paper-paged books reside on the mantle above the fireplace in their play room until further notice.)

So for now, I put together two impromptu reading areas, one in each of their rooms. I didn't think they would make much of the subtle change, but they Love it. Yes, with a capital L! Soon as they enter a room, they quickly make themselves comfortable in the chairs and grab for their books and puzzles I stored in baskets within arm's reach. A rug that my mom scored at a resale shop helped set apart the space in Trystan and Logan's room and also stuck to the color scheme I have going in there. 

And since we currently keep the baby monitor stationed on the bench (it has to be a little distance away from the sound machine or we can't hear the babies at all), I installed an outlet cover to keep them from messing with the plug. Those things are super cheap and very easy to put on and they work great. I highly recommend them if you have a pesky outlet that your kiddos keep messing with. I have now installed these in both of the kid's rooms! I get mine at Babies R Us and Target, but you can also order them online, too. My safety tip for the day. ;)

For Kailey and Harrison's room I didn't have a spare rug, so I used one of their car mats and mixed and matched chairs (all four of which my mom also got at resale shops!) to go along with a basket of books and their new mini doodle pads I grabbed at Target before our road trip last weekend. Those things have been a major hit and they are only given them to play with during nap time or in the car. Keeps the "new" from wearing off so that they are guaranteed to entertain!

Have you seen the rain gutter book shelves on Pinterest? That's another idea I'd like to replicate in each of the kid's rooms as soon as I can find the time. And I'm thinking an Ikea cabinet like this one would be good to add to Kailey and Harrison's room. Plus I'd like to create an area on a wall where they can display their latest art projects, like this or this.

Speaking of art, I'm beginning to work on plans for the quad's second birthday party. Can you believe it's coming up?! May 31....they will be TWO! We're doing a Bubble Guppies theme since the kids love that show, and I've pinned a gazillion ideas on the birthday party board I started to keep track of all the fun ideas that are out there. I even scored some Bubble Guppies party supplies at Party City last week when I found the tiniest corner display of BG stuff, just as I was about to give up my search and leave.

While at Hobby Lobby a couple weeks ago, I wanted to get some more craft supplies for an easy project to do with the kids since I've really enjoyed the Easter crafts we'd done lately. And the quads are surprisingly adept at doing crafts, especially when it comes to coloring, gluing and stickers. It was much less stressful than I had anticipated!

I found some cuter summer-themed craft kids that included everything you needed with all self-adhesive backing so there was no extra supplies required. Today, my mom helped me man the quad table and we assisted the babies in putting their creative touch on their projects. They turned out super cute!

I put the door hangers on the quad's bedroom doors so they can see their artwork every time they go in their rooms. And I'll save the little crabs to string up with some foam fish I plan to use as decor for their birthday party.

What craft projects do you enjoy, whether on your own or with your kiddos?

Also, don't forget to shop my Origami Owl jewelry party, where you can get 10% off your order through April 4!! To get the discount, email Kasey at locketsbykasey {at} gmail {.com}—and also check out the giveaway I'm hosting, which ends tomorrow! Pop in to enter for your chance to win a beautiful locket necklace!

It's nearly the weekend...
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