Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Smile for the Birdy!

Alas! I found the Portrait Innovations CD amongst a pile of bills. I should have known not to put it there.....I'm lucky I EVER found it!

Without further ado, I present to you the Graf Family Portraits, December 2008 edition.

I couldn't resist adding that last one of Pius "making eyes" at the photographer! It's one of those cute little tricks he does on command. I'll be posting a video montage soon of all the babies' latest and greatest tricks. They're pretty dern entertaining, if you ask me. I swear, they're like a bunch of monkeys right now....Monkey see, monkey do!
I didn't crop or edit these pics at all, so some of them are a little off centered.
Happy New Year, everyone! Have fun and be safe if you're going out on the town (or staying at home)....I'm working in the ER tonight and on New Year's Eve night, so I DON'T want to see you there!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back from Vacation

Our kids' response when we told them how long it'd been since our last post:

Laine: "I don't know which expression to use, so I'll use them all at once!"

Pius: "Are you flippin' kiddin' me?!"

Forrest: "I think that's rotten....and the stench may or may not be coming from my pants."

Danna: "That's okay, mom and dad. I still love you. I'm only sticking my tongue out because everyone expects me to do something cute. I couldn't let my loyal subjects, down. Right?"

We are back now from our 2 (almost 3) week hiatus. Sorry it has been so long. You guys all know how the holidays are so busy? Well, add four 1-year olds. We do give the prize to Jules and Jag for the most creative comments on our absence.

Our first Christmas with the kids at home went by quickly. We got our first family studio pictures taken a couple days before Christmas. The kids were tremendous during the shoot and the pictures turned out very well. As soon as Moni finds the CD we will post the pictures (Jac told you all about her absent-minded ways with her phone and things). The photo shoot took about an hour and a half and we had our pictures later that afternoon. Big-time kudos to Portrait Innovations and to Leslie for the gift card (from a baby shower in August 2007...yeah, it took that long to get them taken). Not to brag, but I think we were done with our FOUR kids in half the time that a couple families were done with ONE. Our kids were painted explicit depictions of what would happen if any temper tantrums were thrown, though. Plus, they might have been in a little culture shock because we rarely let them out of the cage house.

The kids got to finally see their Auntie Em and Uncle Andy for the first time in a half a year. They were back for the holidays from their post in Germany. It was nice having Em around because changing diapers, doing dishes, and entertaining the babies is still new to her. She was a great help for the entire week. Stubby and Ryno were happy to have their surrogate son and brother home too. Andy replaced me while I was in Phoenix last year. I think they would like to trade me for him, but keep Moni and the babies. As Moni has told them, "You can't have your cake and eat it too, so you two are just going to have to deal with Billy." It was very nice seeing them, and we can't wait until they return to the states permanently next November.

We think we did a great job of spreading the kids out to all of the families over the holidays. Moni and I have realized that we are no longer needed around....as long as we just leave our kids. We are only required to be their taxis to and from where they go. From the moment we arrive to the moment we leave, the kids get non-stop attention and lovin'. What more could parents ask for? We are a little bit worried that the kids aren't going to realize how broke we are, because the little knuckleheads made off like bandits this Christmas. They received great presents from their Godparents, Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends. I swear, I think we are going to be able to open a new toy everyday for a month, and the kids little eyes light up every time they see a new one (usually when they wake up from naps).

I think for our next post, we will do a personality profile for each of them after their first year of life. They really are turning out to be quite the little characters and they are each so different from each other. It is so fun watching them interact (when they are in decent moods).

Until next time...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Tribute to the Moose

Billy, Moni and Lainie here. We're gonna hand the computer over to Pius, Forrest, Danna and Laine now, because they have something to say.

Hi there, blog world. This is Pius. After checking the Tubre blog with my mama and seeing my "future cell mate's" SWEET spectacles, I begged for some of my own. Here in Kansas, you're not cool unless you wear glasses (which would explain my parents' dorkiness with their 20/20 vision). If you've been following our blog at all, you'd know how quick I can be with "the finger", and I was able to swipe Grampy Stubby's reading glasses right off of his nose. My siblings and I posed for a few pictures with the treasured specs, with the hopes of looking as debonair as Cullen. Here's my mugshot.....

"Big Fo" in da HOUSE! Uncle Ryno got holda me, so now I talk all "rapper", like him. On to Cull-dawg's new shades...... I axed myself, "Self, what could possibly make me any mo down than I already is? Playa, you gotsta has FO eyes!" So I done dat. I dit-int know it be possible, but damn! I'm even betta lookin' dan beFO! You betta check myself befo yall wreck yo-self! Now, if my homegirl, Emma (you foxy lady) likes whatcha see, come check out my crib. I chill der evey night from bouts 8:00pm to 7:30am. Now don't be lettin dat front toof scare ya....Ma says if Fo bes good tonight, den Fo be gettin a new golden grill for Christmas. Fo-dawg OUT!

Oh my gosh, Forrest! Daddy's going to whoop your butt and then go hunt down Uncle Ryno and whoop his next. Hello all my loyal subjects. Pretty, pretty princess Danna Lynn here. While Tyger is MY MAN, I can't help but drool over my future brother-in-law, Cullen. See, I'm ALL about accessories, as any princess is. I love how they accentuate those big brown eyes. Tyger doesn't need any help in that department, because his eyes are already so big and brown and beautiful. Enough about them, let's talk more about me. This is my head shot that I'll be sending in my portfolio to all the modeling agencies around. I'm still trying to develop my "Blue Steel" pose. After my big break in modeling occurs, I plan "to open a school for children who can't read good and want to write good, too. I plan to call it: School for Children Who Can't Read Good and Want to Write Good Too." Sidenote: Any Zoolander fans out there?

For me, Laine Ryan Graf, glasses would help me to complete my look as the most intelligent Graf quadruplet. As most of you know, I have repeatedly demonstrated my intellectual superiority. Father is increasingly enthusiastic regarding my athletic prowess as well, since I can easily walk the length of our familial abode at this time. All of my other imbecile siblings continue to waste their time on all fours... like canines. Enough about MY genius....Cullen, thank you for inspiring me to not only PLAY the part, but LOOK the part, as well. And I must also send my fondest regards to the love of my life, Ms. Abbey Tubre.

In closing, we the Graf Quads, would like to say how nice Cullen looks in his glasses.

In the words of Forrest and Uncle Ryno, "Peace out, home slice!"

Love to Louisiana,

Pius, Forrest, Danna, Laine, Mama, Daddy and Aunt Lainie

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tooth Count and 1st Haircut

Okay, so I meant to add in how many teeth everyone has with their birthday post, but I forgot. More for my records, I want to remember how many chompers each baby had at 12 months.

Pius: My sweet, wide-eyed, snaggle-toothed wonder had his 2 bottom teeth at 12 months. And what a set of teeth they are! I didn't know it was possible for 2 teeth to go in 8 different directions. The Pi-man is currently trying to cut his top 2 now, and they're giving him (and us) a run for our money. He's miserable and cranky and drooling enough to keep Noah's Ark afloat. I let him gnaw on my pear core the other night, which seemed to help...until Forrest ganked it away.

Ding, ding, ding! Round 2 with the pear (mama had round 1)

Aargh! The dreaded finger strikes again.

Rock Chalk Jawhawk, baby!

Forrest: Frosty was the first to start sprouting teeth (several months ago) and had his 2 bottoms and 2 uppers as of their one year birthday. We're beginning to wonder if his top left tooth will ever stop growing. Billy made the joke that the tooth fairy is gonna have to pay him $9.00 for that thing! Forrest will have to loan some of that money to Pius, who will have to PAY the tooth fairy to take his! Man, sometimes I feel bad for making fun at my childrens' expense. But these are the things I want to remember! And anyway....it gives them character (that's what I tell myself to justify it).

Don't you just LOVE how his hair is starting to curl up around his ears?! He had just woken up in this pic.

Danna: Miss Priss barely had her 2 bottom teeth at 12 months. They were just little nubbies at the time. They're still not all the way grown, but much more visible and just as sweet and perfect as she is. I think she has probably handled teething the best out of the 4. But what do you expect? I am woman, hear me roar. I hope she always deals with dilemmas with as much grace and poise.

Danna had round 4 with the pear, just after Forrest tossed it aside. I think we got our money's worth out of it.

Danna with her beloved horseys (okay, just 1 horsey....the other one is a unicorn). These are 2 things she WILL NOT let the boys take away from her. She'll fight tooth and nail for them. Giddy up, cowgirl!

Laine: The LaineTrain had barely 1 bottom right tooth for his birthday. I was beginning to think he was NEVER going to have teeth! As of today, his other bottom tooth is beginning to bust out. Speaking of busting out, Laine has also just taken off with walking. He's been the best cruiser on furniture for awhile, then started free-standing like it was nobody's business. He took a few steps a couple weeks ago, then lost interest in it. He stands up and walks when he wants to, now. Being the smallest boy at birth (2 lbs, 4 oz) and still the smallest boy at a year (19 lbs, 13 oz) , I guess he feels he has something to prove. What a stallion! I was able to capture a short clip of his walking, but it doesn't truly encapsulate his abilities. We'll work on getting a better video, but this will have to do for now....

Laine even amazes himself sometimes!

On to the first haircut..........Can anyone guess who got snipped? It was the shaggy wolf-boy we call Forrest. Duh! I was TOTALLY against it from the start because I love how his hair was starting to curl a little on the sides and in the back. Plus, it seems that they aren't babies anymore once you cut their hair. BUT, Billy put his foot down and said he didn't want his son lookin' like a little hippie (no offense to anyone in my family) AND he talked Aunt Donna into coming out of retirement, SO, I caved.

On Friday, Aunt Donna made a little house call. Forrest and Laine watched through the gate (which has been AWESOME, by the way! Thank you to all the "gate fairies" who were responsible for this) while she cut Billy's hair and trimmed up the back of mine in the kitchen. They really did watch and take it all in. When it was Forrest's turn, he sat on Billy's lap like a big boy and let her snip away. Donna and Forrest both did such a great job! She trimmed just enough to get the hair off his ears, but not enough to take away his baby look. Both Ma AND Pa Graf were happy....and that's not an easy task to accomplish! THANK YOU SO MUCH, Donno!

Just checkin' out the kitchen barber shop through the gate

"What?! My turn already? Who says I need a cut?"

"Please, mama! Don't let them do this to me! I'll be a good boy.....I'll even wipe my own a**!"(Big Daddy, anyone?) Okay, maybe Forrest didn't say all that. It was just my imagination. But there's no imagining that tooth! That upper left monster could poke someone's eye out.

Forrest better not get used to this profiling bidness.

"I'm not so sure about all this...It looked like more fun when mom and dad were in this chair."

"This isn't so bad!"

Forrest telling Aunt Donno how much to take off.

All done!

I'm too sexy for my onesie, too sexy for my onesie, oh baby, yeah!

And a little video footage of the event.....

That about sums up this post. We've been taking pictures like crazy, so maybe I'll try to do shorter, more frequent posts next (such grand aspirations). So much to do, so little time (insert big sigh here)!


Monday, December 1, 2008

The 1st Birthday Post

Our first ever self-portrait together!

Welp...the birthday, the party, Jaclyn and one year has come and gone. What a flippin' whirlwind! Here's a review of the weekend. Better go to the bathroom and grab a snack before you read any further, cuz I have a feeling this one will be a doozie.

We pretty much worked hard and partied hard the entire weekend. Billy stayed at home with the chitlins Friday afternoon so I could work Jaclyn like a dog. She helped me get the place set up for the birthday party on Saturday. Lots of heavy lifting and re-arranging, but it turned out just right. I can't thank her enough for all her input and help!

Friday night before the birthday party, we were invited to get together with some other friends (one of whom was turning the big 4-0!). My good friend from nursing school and one of our weekly baby helpers, Melody, was there with us. Unfortunately, she was forced to sit at our table and endure the endless debating between the LSU/Bama FREAKS also sitting at our table.

Melody and Jaclyn at On the Border (smile, Melody....dinner's almost over!)

This is just a short example of how die-hard sports team fans can morph into irrational, loud, gremlins if provoked accordingly.....

After we left On the Border, we went across the street to Emerson Biggins (nice name....I know, right?) where Lainie was working. We PROMISE.....we only had one beer each!

Sure.....they probably weighed more than our combined 8 kids at birth, but that's irrelevant. It was only ONE beer (a red beer in my case). Good times, good times. We won't mention the Vegas Showgirl shots ;P

Jac and Lainie (pretty much the BEST waitress/college student/babysitter/sister/aunt/and everything else EVER)!

Jaclyn had a hard time finding her way out that night. As it turns out, walls (even with windows in them) don't open too easily. We pointed her to the door just to the right after making her pose for a picture to commemorate the event.

Needless to say, a GREAT time was had by all and morning came MUCH too quickly. Which brings us to..........PARTY DAY! Billy's Aunt Paula and Uncle Nick were gracious enough to let us borrow their heated, decked out barn for the event. We arrived there at about 12:30 pm after the kids woke up from their morning nap, and we fed them before any guests arrived.

We had lots of help from our families with transporting and setting up the boatloads of cupcakes, ice cream and chili that we served at the party. I know, I know....you're thinking, "What the crap kind of combination is THAT!" It was cold and chili sounded tasty and easy (easy being the operative word here). Huge thanks to Bucko, Vicki and Budda for helping us out by making huge pots of beefy goodness to feed the masses! Another big "thank you" goes out to our frosting fairies who stayed up late icing the cupcakes so Billy, Jaclyn and I could go out partying. Aunt Laverna, Vicki, Bucko and Brenda (with Ross and Stubby to supervise) were delirious from the sugar high when we got home Friday night!

The party was crazy, chaotic, fun, and memorable. Thanks to Jaclyn (AKA quad party queen) for helping Billy and me stay organized AND have a good time. You'd think she'd done this sort of thing before, or something! We also need to thank cousin Jack for allowing us to use his inflatable bouncer. That, my friends, was the hit of the party (as evidenced by the squeals and constant motion coming from it in all the videos we took that day)! We're seriously looking in to getting one for us!

We had a great turn-out of family and friends. They were all way too generous with their gifts.....the kids made out like bandits! Many of our local blog buddies were able to make it, including: Brent and Crystal Hanson with their 1 year old BBG triplets, Ashley and Lexi Wasser, Shelia Rupp and her girls Emmalie and Bethanie. Thank you to everyone who came! It meant alot to us that you were there.

Now, on to more pictures of the babies' big day!

Jaclyn trying to get Laine ready to go. She tricked him into good behavior by telling him there'd be Cupcakes at the barn. Naturally, he was expecting to see his favorite Tubre Cupcake, Abbey. What a sad misunderstanding...Jaclyn's already getting the "bad mother-in-law" repoire.

Mama M and Pius....COLLEGE?!? Who needs COLLEGE when you've got PRESCHOOL! The parties are WAY cooler when you're a pre-schooler!

The mountain of gifts astonished me. Good thing Jac was writing it all down....now I have high hopes of getting Thank You cards written before they turn 2 years old.

These were the "personalized to a T" onesies that Jac had made for the babies. They were PERFECT and nailed each baby's personality on the head!

PIUS: I'm the charmer...look into my EYES

Forrest: I'm the Ringleader of this Circus

Danna: I'm the Pretty, Pretty Princess

Laine: I'm the Brains of the Bunch

I mean....how perfect were those! Anyone who knows the quads would HAVE to agree. Maybe we'll take our next family portrait wearing those....that way the photographer knows what to expect from each of them. Jac, if you were to make one for Billy and me, WHAT WOULD IT SAY?! I might have to open that one up to all our blogger buddies. I'd be interested in seeing what comes out. SOOOOO all our blog readers, let us know what YOU think should go on a "Moni" shirt and a "Billy" shirt....keeping the babies' onesies style, of course. Please don't hold back (we've got a good sense of humor).

Speaking of good sense of humor.....Frank the Tank! Frosty is holding his Godfather Brad Goertz.

Laine gettin' some berf-day lovin' from his Godmother, Aunt Mollie

My co-worker and friend, Shelia, with her youngest, Bethanie. It was so cute! Bethanie gave Danna hugs and kisses when she was sitting in her Choo-Choo wagon, trying to open gifts.

Fortunately for Bethanie, the princess had already been de-iced.

Bucko trying to control her FIVE great-grandsons and ONE great-granddaughter. News flash, Bucko.....You cannot control them. You can only hope to contain them.
Front Row: Frosty, Pi-man, LaineTrain and Banana
Back Row: Jack-Jack Attack, Bucko and Mr GQ Austin

My Danna girl got worn out during the party. Good thing Brenda was there to snuggle and cuddle the little Princess.

And now for the video, which features one of my favorite songs. This song really makes me think about my life, my husband and all my babies EVERY time I hear it on the radio. Enjoy!

Hope everyone had a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving with LOTS of good food! We sure did and I'm pretty sure I heard Forrest say that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. That boy likes to eat!


P.S. I guess that wasn't as long as I was anticipating! Long overdue.....that's for sure. Thanks for being patient everyone (except Jaclyn, who continually called/texted/sent hate mail and emails until I posted this. That girl is BRUTAL! J/K! Love ya, girl and thanks again for making the trip to Oz to help us celebrate. Can't wait until I can return the favor!