{Quad Squad} Dallas Arboretum Fall Trip

While the husband and I recoup from our return home from Boston and spend some time catching up with the kids and stuff, I wanted to share photos of our recent trip to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden with the quad squad. It was one of the first holiday outings we've had as a family and technically our first pumpkin patch visit as well. (Though I did some pretty dang cute pictures with them when they were nearly five months old, involving some rolling babies and propping pumpkins.)

The weather kicked up some awful winds and a constant threat of rain all day, but we dressed accordingly and stayed warm. Luckily it didn't rain while we were there either, but the power to the park went out as we were standing in the ticket line so a lot of the attractions and the children's concert didn't happen. But it didn't seem to pose an issue for us, as we still enjoyed our visit!

There was a toddler-friendly area that the crew loved, they ran around exploring the path between all the mini trees, the play house, supersized wooden bugs to climb on, a treehouse with slide and more. It was a great chance for them to get out and run around and I got some excellent profile pictures, too!

From there, we headed through a few more trails with some interesting and pretty scenery...

...and found some picnic tables near the massive pumpkin patch and displays, where we ate a packed lunch we'd brought then let the kids go wild! There was some serious pumpkin love going on, ha. They kept saying "Pumpkins, pumpkinnnssss!"

The last photo of Logan is just the cutest, in my most humble opinion of course. She knows when we're taking photos now and they're all very familiar with the sight of my camera, God bless 'em, and she will dutifully say "Cheeeeeeeeeese!" when I flick open the lens cap. 

By the time we'd all chased each other through hay bales and over stacks of pumpkins, it was nearing 2pm and Harrison's grumpy face was making its grand appearance. So we called it a successful venture and cleared out to get them home for a late nap. Thankfully they obliged us with a short one and the husband and I got a chance to rest our own feet from the outing. I'm just so glad I finally got loads of pumpkin pictures and that the kids are getting a real sense of the fall season this year.

What's your favorite fall weather tradition?
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An Afternoon in Boston

Hi, I'm in Boston! The weath-ah here is gaw-gus and my ears perked up as soon as we arrived at our hotel and started overhearing that distinct accent.

"Welcome ta Bah-stun!"

It's a work-and-pleasure combo trip, so while the husband put in some valuable face time at his corporate office today, I've been walking my boots off all over town. I found Newbury Street where there's plenty of shops from Louis Vuitton and Valentino to Urban Outfitters and Ann Taylor Loft. I went into the latter and found some really cute stuff for 50% during a special sale they were having.

pants | top | sweater (similar style)

I headed back toward the hotel by way of a park in the middle of town and stopped to snap a few more photos. The weather here was originally supposed to entail loads of rain all weekend, but instead it's resulted in beautiful blue skies and mild temps. Today was around 72F, I think.

Just as I was about to turn onto our hotel's street, I remembered I'd spotted a TJ Maxx nearby and found some more great buys. Don't you love it when you find such wonderful things without even trying? Sometimes I think I shop better when I'm not in search of something particular. The two tops below are Michael Kors and I got them for $29 and $25, plus a bright blue bag that just looked like fun! I wanted to some more color in my wardrobe aaaannd I think that'll do it. Also snagged a cool Nautica tie for the husband, some acai berry face wipes for me and under-eye cream from Bliss (my fav spa).

Yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, the husband and I each loaded a suitcase and carry-on bag into the truck and headed toward the airport in the quiet of a not-yet-completely-awake Thursday morning. My parents had spent the night and both they and the babies were still sound asleep when we made our departure, and by the time they were awake we were boarding our flight to Boston!

| bag - sold out at Target (similar) |

It turned out to a busy day since we dropped our bags at the hotel room and freshened up then headed over to the husband's company corporate office and did a meet-and-greet with everyone. It was nice to put faces with names! After that, two of the guys from the office and their lovely wives drove us all out to the Patriots vs. Jets game at Gillette Stadium and we had a blast! The Pats won in the final seconds of the game and we met some really cool people around us in the crowd, like a local fireman who has three daughters. One of them is a police officer and was working stadium security that night, and his older daughter was sitting with him. He wore a patriotic red, white and blue custom-painted fireman's hat, which he said was his original fireman's hat that he had painted after 9/11 to commemorate the tragic event and our country. He wears it to every game! 

I've been enjoying a break from miles of walking this afternoon at Starbucks with my trusty green tea, but now it's time to get ready for dinner. Both the husband and I can't wait to get some really good lobster bisque—one of our favorite soups—so we might be heading over to The Boston Chowda Co. And I am also booking tickets for a duck tour tomorrow to get a true feel for the city.

Happy weekend!
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A Good Morning & Good Night

My toes had just touched down into the fibers of my bedroom carpet this morning and I had yet to change out of my blue and pink polka-dotted PJs, when I decided being home simply wouldn't do. I wanted to get out of the house and take my babies with me (not that leaving them was, ahem, really an option). So I straightened up my bed, threw on some capris and a t-shirt and brought the kiddos downstairs.

As I was changing their diapers and trying to decide on the easiest thing for breakfast—completely ignoring what I'd pre-chosen on my weekly menu planner—I figured why not change things up from our usual routine and do breakfast on the go? So we all put on our shoes and filed out the garage door to the suburban and made our way to the local Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru! The sweet lady at the window obliged my request to separate my order of donut holes equally into four bags for the kids, and I indulged in a chocolate cake donut for myself. By the way, Kailey's squishy smile-for-the-camera face just kills me!

Next, we stopped at Target for some awesome deals (I'll be sharing a post this weekend on some of my recent clothing purchases) and also stocked up on some more Frozen goodies from the dollar bins. Seriously, there are days that I live for Target's dollar section and all their brilliant trinkets that keep my kids occupied for hours! Or that feed their latest obsession, like Frozen. I thought the Frozen bags (below) were really cute, especially for a buck, and would make excellent Christmas gift bags. Naturally, I had to get four of each of the rest of the items to round things out, except for the plates. Harrison got a choice between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Planes, and since he just saw Planes at the movie theater, he went with that option. As the only boy among three girls and being a quadruplet, I'm always keen on giving Harrison a choice or selecting boyish items for him when the girls are given girly things. He has no problem watching Frozen almost daily and having tea parties with pink tea cups, but he sure does love his big toy trucks, footballs, baseballs, dinosaurs and Paw Patrol!

It was my first trip to Target with all four in tow by myself and I completely spaced on taking a photo! Next, I grabbed a Sonic Coke to satisfy my carbonation craving and we headed over to a local park near our house for some outdoor play time. The kids really needed to run around and work off some energy and there was a decent breeze blowing from my shaded bench seat. Although I think most of my time was spent pushing swings, and I didn't mind for a second. It was a clear, sunny afternoon and we had the park all to ourselves—which made it easy for me to keep an eye on everyone.

Lunch was a quick meal of organic hot dogs, veggie chips and oranges, immediately followed by naps. Each of the kids picked out one of their new Frozen books we'd gotten at Target earlier and headed upstairs to their rooms. No one complained when I told them to have a good nap and shut the doors behind me! I spent the afternoon cleaning up, eating lunch, answering emails and working, running laundry and began setting out a few things for an upcoming trip. Before long, naps were over and our high school helper from church—she comes one or twice a week in the afternoon for two to three hours—arrived to assist me just in time for water coloring. The quads had done finger paints and brush paints before, but this was a slightly new concept and they loved it! I'm saving the papers and will laminate them once dry and create keepsake bookmarks for myself and some family members. It's often what my own mom did with some of our artwork, and I bet she even still has some in use all those years later.

The sky has been gathering piles of dark gray clouds all day but with no promise of rain, creating weather that's tamed the humidity just a bit and kept the heat hovering around 90 degrees. It takes forever for the Dallas-area to cool off and find it's way to true fall and winter temperatures. Despite the un-autumn like conditions, I've finished all our fall decor and hope to share that post soon. Whenever we venture outside, the kids have enjoyed playing with mini pumpkins I've kept stashed on the front porch. 

For now, water coloring was a great activity for indoors. After their masterpieces were complete, the kiddos hung out in the play room while I prepped food. One dinner for all six of us, four baths and two showers later, we've reached the end of the day. No big surprise that it's taken me hours to compile this post!

My energy is now officially spent and that big ol' bed is calling my name as is the latest installment of The Tonight Show that's sitting in my DVR. (Have you seen Jimmy Fallon on there? He's rockin' it, so hilarious!) Time for my toes to retreat from the carpet back into the comfort of my bed and my favorite grey-blue sheets...
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{Weekend Recap} Relishing Family Occasions

I'm so grateful for mobile offices and a wonderful nanny that I can entrust my kiddos with while I am away from the house! It's important to me to maintain some semblance of my former self, which includes continuing to work. I established my freelance writing company when we moved back from Scotland in August of 2010, and have continued it ever since.

It used to be full-time, then I went part-time toward the middle of my pregnancy and worked all through bed rest and even hospital bed rest! In fact, the only time I didn't work at all was the month the babies were born! Otherwise, I've been writing articles for books and magazines in between bottles, diapers and baby cries ever since. Occasionally I conduct phone interviews for stories in the peace and quiet of my car or during nap time or rush to Starbucks for an hour or two to try and pound out some features on my laptop. Which is where I was at this morning for a bit, after wrapping up a strong session at physical therapy (I'm continuing my post-knee surgery recovery and only have one session left!).

This morning was a welcome chance for alone time, and the weekend was a busy but good one! We all partook in a brand new experience on Saturday when Meemaw and Grandad came to pick up Trystan and Kailey to attend a family event a few hours away, leaving the husband and I with Harrison and Logan. That's only two kids, half my crew, a piece of cake!! So excited at all the possibilities, the husband and I jumped at the chance to take them to the movies to see Planes. It was showing at the dollar theatre, which made it very affordable to attend and possibly even leave early if they weren't overly interested!

They did great! Harrison led me into the theatre like he'd been there a million times, and we decided on a row of seats not far in. We put the kids each in their own seat, but the bottom half of the chair kept folding up on them since they don't weigh all that much and weren't big enough to keep the chair flipped open! Plus they were a little too low down to see the screen very well. So we plopped them in our laps—which worked perfectly, mind you, since we only had two kids!—and they were very content to watch the movie this way and shovel popcorn into their mouths. Harrison fell asleep for the last 15 minutes but woke up as we were leaving and promptly said, "Good movie!" He talked about all the planes and cars in it the rest of the weekend, sweet boy. :)

Meanwhile, Trystan and Kailey soaked up all the attention they received from family members and enjoyed their outing with the grandparents very much. And I think the grandparents enjoyed it, too. Quality time in a family of multiples is a prized and precious thing!

Back at home, we all attended church on Sunday morning as a family, which is also a special occurrence for me. I've always sort of daydreamed about the day we'd have a family and be lucky enough to have grandparents living nearby that would come over at church for Sunday dinner. Even better, those wonderful grandparents attend church with us so that it's possible to bring all the kids and then come over for dinner and continue to lend a helping hand! We are loving the church we found and have had so many nice people come up and introduce themselves after the service, though it's mostly to check out the kids and talk about how cute they and how busy we must be. ;)

Dinner was a success and this time I even had the kids sit at the dining table with us. (I love a full table.) I try to incorporate the crockpot for Sundays to make things easier, and this time I cooked a creamy Ranch chicken I found on Pinterest and it was a total hit! My mom brought tons of fresh fruit, like cantaloupe and peaches, plus a delicious Dr Pepper cake that I've always been a huge fan of and now the babies love it, too.

The Cowboys won their game against the Houston Texans, so that made for a happy afternoon, then I ran off to the library to get some books and videos for this week (we're working on shapes) and got home in time to join the husband and kids in the backyard to build sand castles and take tons of photos of my handsome husband and cutie kiddies in some excellent natural light. (Including a couple of me watching them throw sand at each other in the sandbox, ha.) Below is Kailey making the face she does every time you tell her to look at the camera and say, "Cheese!" She is such a goofball.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! 
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