Friday, November 28, 2014

Archibeque Quads First Christmas Wish List



We are so lucky to be surrounded by sweet family and friends who love our babies (and us) so much! Recently I've been asked several times what our babies need for Christmas this year. Since they are still too young to really understand, we hope they'll enjoy unwrapping a few packages. We've purchased a few developmental toys so far to put under our tree along with Christmas jammies but here is a list of items they are in need of:


Diapers - size 4 and up


Along with formula, diapers are one of our biggest needs. We go through about 20 diapers a day or approximately 140 a week right now. We aren't brand loyal and usually shop for the best price. 





Carseats  

It's getting close to time for us to upgrade from our infant carriers and into Convertible (Rear-Facing Seats). After much research, I think we are going to go with the Evenflo Symphony™ DLX All-In-One Car Seat. It is the top rated seat for safety as well as affordability plus it should last us both rear and forward facing as well as a booster seat.





Boon Edgeless Saucers

These are highly recommended by fellow quad mommies. With four, it's difficult to make sure plates stay on the table where they should. As we are transitioning into eating solids and starting to self-feed, these are high on our want list!








Wooden Blocks
Wooden blocks are an excellent developmental toy for children on many levels. Especially good for cognitive development, as far as toys go, a good set of wooden blocks is high on our list.











Northstates Superyard
As the babies become mobile, keeping everyone safe, away from electrical outlets and dangerous pieces of furniture, is becoming important and with four, needing a way to contain everyone, but still allow them room to play and explore is crucial. I think I'd like to start with one yard and eventually move up to two to allow them more space.








Another highly recommended product from fellow quad mommies, here's a video of another set of quads trying out their choo choo wagon for the first time. We'll have to get one set and then two add on wagons to accomodate our whole family but this will be perfect for outings to the beach, park, city, and the country to visit grandma and grandpa!

Hooded Bath Towels & Wash Cloths
We love these! We got a set before the babies were born and we're already wearing holes in them! So these are definitely on our list for Christmas time. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Our Family's First Thanksgiving (And Other Life Updates)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you're reading this, chances are very good that you've made a strong impact on our lives for the better and we want you to know how thankful we are for you.


Our Turkeys First Thanksgiving (And 10 Months Old Picture)

We have A LOT to be thankful for this year. We are so blessed to have our four children home with us, happy and healthy. We are thankful for each other. We are thankful for the family and friends who have prayed for us, helped us with various acts of kindness, and generally showed their love for us. Most of all, we are thankful for God looking out for us and always seeing that our needs are met. And...in keeping with how our lives have been for the past year and a half, we celebrated anything but the normal way. 

We were blessed that Adam's parents were able to come down this week to celebrate with us and enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. They arrived on Sunday evening after a long drive in from New Mexico. Our two-year wedding anniversary happened to be the next day. When we woke up, they surprised us with a card and the gift of a date night complete with childcare. This was quite possibly the most moving gift ever as Adam and I didn't think we were going to have the time or the money to do anything except a movie on the couch after the kids were in bed. We also haven't had many opportunities to date one another in the last year so dinner and movie was a rare and much appreciated treat. It was also easy to relax knowing that the babies were in good hands with Grammy and Granddad caring for them. Our anniversary also included a special moment for Adam and I. I have not worn my engagement ring since I was first pregnant and it has not fit me right after the pregnancy. Without me knowing, Adam took it from my hiding place, had it resized and the diamonds tightened. He took me on an adventure. Since the day we moved, we've been saying we wanted to climb the Harbor Bridge. We gave it our best shot but about 3/4 of the way up, the close passing traffic and shaking bridge made Adam want to turn around. I went along with it. After that, he took me on a walk on the fishing pier that goes along the USS Lexington. We went out as far as it goes and sat and watched a couple ships pass by. Then all of a sudden, Adam surprised me by getting on one knee and asking me to be his wife all over again and to spend the rest of our lives living in Corpus. That was a totally unexpected and sweet memory!

Our Thanksgiving feast was a little bit unconventional this year. Because Adam had to work on Thanksgiving Day, we had our feast on Wednesday. Adam and his Dad fried a turkey while his Mom and I made all the sides. We enjoyed our feast and then the babies woke up just in time to taste turkey, mashed potatoes (Grammy was sweet enough to make them without any salt), and cranberries. Baby B was super excited to try the cranberries and she was pretty upset when her Daddy made her leave the table to go sit in the recliner with him. After our dinner, we headed to a park near us to snap a quick picture for our Christmas cards before heading downtown for a walk near the harbor so that we'd have room for pie. 


Adam & Dad Frying our Turkey

Staging a funny frying photo

Our Thanksgiving Day started early when Adam woke up at 4 AM to head back to work. I woke up with him, made him breakfast and leftover Turkey sandwiches, and then tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't. I knew that in a few hours his Mom and Dad would be leaving too. We are so extra thankful to them for their visit. They gave our family so much love that we've really been needing. I spent the day with the babies getting them back on their regular routine. They were pretty tired from all of the extra love and attention they got for a few days so they spent a lot of today sleeping. It was worth it though because it was so nice to be able to hold all four babies at one time and not feel like someone was missing out. Tonight, as I bathed them, read them a story and said our prayers with them, I sure did miss my mother-in-law. It was so easy having two extra sets of hands around to help with our daily routine. I know the babies loved it too. They demanded their Grammy and Granddad's attention of you can be sure they got it! 

All in all, even though our Thanksgiving wasn't the traditional celebration, it was, so much like our life, OURS. It may not have been cookie cutter and perfect, but we made it work just like we do our daily life. God has not only blessed us beyond imagine, He provides for all our our needs in His own perfect timing! We are so thankful for a Thanksgiving filled with love and family. We hope yours was too!


Grammy & Granddad with babies! (Grammy took them shopping!)

Love and Prayers,
Misty

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Have you tried Ebates yet?

**Disclaimer - this post does contain affiliate links (that means if you do sign up for Ebates, I will receive a small commission in my own ebates account; it costs you nothing).



I'm sure by now everyone has seen the commercials for www.ebates.com. I've seen them over and over again but never really checked it out because I was certain there was some sort of gimmick! Until recently! I got my first ebates check for $7.50 for buying things that I already buy online (things like diapers, bottle liners, baby wash, baby lotion, and coffee for myself)! All you have to do is sign up at www.ebates.com and instead of going directly to the sites you already shop at, go to ebates, do a quick search for the store you want to shop at and then you're on your way to automatically earning cash back for each of your purchases! I ordered contacts online for both Adam and I today and got $7.77 back! It may not be a lot but why wouldn't you make just a few clicks to save money! 

In the meantime, I'm working on a post containing a few tricks I've learned to save money around the home! Do you have a favorite money saving tip? I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bayalage Highlights

As probably anyone would guess, four babies carry a pretty hefty price tag. One baby is expensive. Four is insane. So, logically, we've been making regular cutbacks in our household to try to help the budget go a little further. I'll try to post about a few money saving tips I've learned in the future but for now, I want to talk about something new I recently did. 

My close friends know that I've been blonde for a REALLY long time. I've been seeing the same hair stylist for over ten years in fact. And like clockwork, every six weeks, you used to see me in her chair having my roots touched up. Now that my miracles are here, not only are highlights a pricey indulgence, they also take a lot of time that I usually can't find to tear myself away for a couple hours at a time. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was going to go in and get my natural, dishwater blonde color done all over my head to try to avoid the strong demarcation line I'd been sporting for the last couple of months. (Seriously ya'll! I'd gone about two-three times as long as I normally would and it was BAD!) I couldn't even wear my hair in a ponytail without being embarrassed! 

Finally, I decided that something had to be done. After a bad experience using box color in college that cost me $300 to have corrected, I decided against going that route again. I checked with some local MOMs via a local Facebook group and made an appointment with a salon they recommended. Then I broke the news to Adam that he'd have the squad all to himself for a few hours on that day! 

When I arrived at Atelier Salon (late no doubt), I was greeted by a friendly receptionist. Almost immediately, my sweet stylist, Chloe, came up to greet me. We talked about what I needed and I told her that I had nine-month old quadruplets and needed something low-maintenance for both time and cost considerations. I told her I wasn't against going all my natural color, but that I'd seen that in old pictures and it really washed me out. Chloe suggested something to me called bayalage (pronounced bah-lee-AHZGE). A French technique, basically, bayalage means to paint or sweep. So instead of putting on color and wrapping my hair in tons of foil, Chloe spent her time painting on the highlights (or in my case, lots of low-lights). The goal for my new look was to make it look like my hair had just been lightened naturally in the sun. Hence, the top layer still looks very blonde, but underneath, it's very, VERY dark. This means that as my roots grow in again, it won't be as obvious. The strong line of demarcation will be much more difficult to see and I can go basically as long as I'd like until I have to have my hair highlighted again! (In my case, because I was so blonde before, she said I'll probably see some fading of my new brown color, so it will probably need to be touched up again in about eight weeks due to fading but after that, the color should start to stay.)


(Don't judge, I wasn't going to fix my hair to go have it fixed! I was late already!) But see how my hair is now blonde on the top layer yet, brown underneath?


So far, I'm pretty happy with it. The brown hasn't washed out yet but then again, it's only seen a couple of shampooings since I did the color. I'm pretty thankful that I found a way to still keep some of the blonde, but I'm not tied to the salon chair and my pocketbook can focus on what's important: diapers! 

Until next time,
Love & prayers,
Misty


Sunday, November 9, 2014

This Post is Going to Make You Uncomfortable (or it should)

I'm sure by now everyone's heard me talk about how difficult it is going out in public these days.  Nothing has changed in that regard. In fact, just for fun the other day, I counted how many people approached me in the grocery store. I had a pretty short list of eight items. A trip like that, mid-day after the lunch rush, would normally take a person about 15 minutes. For me, with four babies in tow, by myself, from the time I parked until the time I was ready to pull out of my parking space, it took one hour and 14 minutes. During that time, I had 28 (TWENTY EIGHT!!!) people approach me to ask questions about my babies. (This count does not include the additional pointing and staring or the comments made about us but not directly to us. My brain can't calculate all of that AND get shopping done AND care for my babies all at once. Sorry.)

Now, I could definitely blog about how this count, combined with some other invasive questions sometimes makes me want to be a hermit and how if I could have groceries delivered at a reasonable price I would; but today I want to talk about a few questions that I often receive that pretty much send me through the roof. 

Let's start with an easy one: "Are they quadruplets"?
Variations of this questions include: "Are they all twins"?, "Two sets of twins"? "Are they all triplets"? and "Are they quatriplets"? (In case you didn't know, quatriplets is not a word.)
How I answer: "Yes they are" or "Actually, they're quaDRUplets". 
What I want to say: "Yes". Or on a particularly stressful day "Nope. I run a daycare."

Next up, one that really irritates me: "Is it hard:?
Variations: "Is it really hard"?, "How do you do it"?, "You must have a lot of help".
How I answer: "I don't know any different" or "It's what you'd expect having four babies would be like". And, on a stressful day, "I've actually said, the hardest part is going in public and not being able to get my grocery shopping done because of all the attention:. (What can I say? Sometimes the truth has to be told." "Is it hard having one baby"?
What I want to say: "It would be a lot easier if I didn't have to stop every five feet to fend someone off from touching my children or to answer questions that I've probably already answered a half a dozen or more times today." "If I had a lot of help, do you think I'd be here in the grocery store alone with four infants frantically trying to get everyone on my list before someone has a dirty diaper or it's time to eat"?

Next, more of a statement posed as a question: "Oh, so you're done"?
Variations: "Are you going to have anymore"?
How I answer: "We're very blessed and we're not trying right now."

What I want to say: "Thank you for deciding how many children is right for our family". Adam has actually answered this one with "We want four more". 

But the real reason for this post, and the question that tops them all is: "How did this happen"?
Variations: "Did you get artificially inseminated or something"?, "Did you take medication"? "Are they natural"?
How I answer: "We had a little bit of help in the form of medication". 
What I want to say: "Why? Do you struggle with fertility"? "How did you conceive your child"? "No; we did it four times in one night." "No; they're plastic".

I'm not kidding. The other day, Adam and I were out shopping for some items for our home and an entire sales team from one particular store gathered around us as we were trying to leave. One lady walked up to me and basically screamed out "So did you get artificially inseminated or something"? I'm pretty sure there's only a few times in my life where I've ever been so embarrassed. I had an entire store staring at me, my husband, and our children asking about our intimate relationship. I looked at Adam and then my children before I answered. I was thankful that at this time, my babies couldn't understand the conversation, but imagine being older and hearing this question asked of your parents. In my opinion, it certainly shouldn't matter how my babies were conceived. I mean, does anyone walk up to parents with singleton babies and ask what position they were conceived in? Now don't get me wrong, if someone is truly struggling with fertility, I'm more than happy to share my fertility struggle and the battle we went through with them. I'm happy to pray with them as well. But I don't think it's asking too much to expect a little bit of respect and common courtesy when I'm in public. 

I'm not sure what it is, but seeing four babies at once must do something to the human mind to suddenly think there are no etiquette rules for what is and is not appropriate to ask someone. The other request we often get is to take pictures of our children. I can assure you that at no point in my life I have gone up to a family that I did not know and ask them to take a picture of their child. It's weird. It's awkward and what the heck would I want a picture of someone else's family for?  Now, I get that most people have never seen quadruplets before and they want to be able to share their experience with their friends and family. Most people are quite respectful when I tell them no and explain why. I understand that in today's culture, it's just human nature to take our your cell phone and snap a picture of every cool thing you see. BUT, please try to remember that we are a family too. Having strangers snap your picture in public is weird. I try to envision what they're going to do with our picture and some of the thoughts just creep me out.

All in all, we are able to take most of these questions in stride no matter how many times we hear them. I try to remind myself that most likely, it's the first time they've ever seen four babies at once and my everyday reality, is something that they've likely only seen on TV. Still, it can be particularly frustrating when one just needs to grab some milk and be on their merry way!

That's all this time.

Until my next post,
Love & Prayers,
Misty