Saturday, June 28, 2008

Playing Catch-Up!

Hey all. Sorry for making you look at Bill's mug for so long. We've been SO busy lately! Don't worry....we've been keeping track of our adventures on camera and have all sorts of good stuff to post. Hopefully the plethora of pics and video clips will make up for our absence.

Let's see, where did we leave off? Ah, yes....Father's Day (seems like FOREVER ago). Then was the Quad's "Coming Out" party at Mike and Vicki's. The babies got to meet so many people that day, and handled it with a much grace as any 7 month old would. They found nice, comfy shoulders to nap on and then were ready for more. They were having so much fun that they really threw fits when it was time for bed. Thank you to all who came to celebrate our 4 healthy, beautiful babies!

Forrest and Aunt RayRay. Forrest will try to put anything within 10 feet of him into his mouth. Freud would have something to say about that.

He especially likes cold, shiny things

Pius getting his feet wet

Pius with Great Aunt Glo

Crissy Elsen with Danna

Budda and Danna

Danna taking a catnap with one of our wonderful helpers, Janet

Laine snoozing on Monica Roberts

Pius sawing logs with Great Aunt Donna

Most of the reason we have been so busy is because our perfect little schedule has been thrown out the window. We really wish that kids could take bottles until they were eighteen. Who needs to spoon feed anyway? If any of you moms or dads (especially parents of multiples) know a good system of bottles, spoon feeds and naps, please enlighten us because we are going crazy! We wake them up with a bottle, put them down for naps a couple hours later, spoon feed them when they wake from their nap, and this is where it all goes to hell. We still are tinkering, but we have so many things to do that our schedule is always different. HELP US!!! Side note on the feeding... We've been attempting to make our own baby food. I bought frozen peas, carrots and green beans and steamed them. A few seconds in the blender and voila! I put the pureed food in ice cube trays and let them freeze, then pop them out into freezer bags and label them. Right now, the babies are eating about 2 heated cubes with each feed. SO much cheaper and (I think) more healthy. I need to get to the farm and art market for fresh squash, sweet potatoes and other fruits and veggies. I think we may even try a little avocado. Fun, fun.

We have started swimming lessons at the Y just like our friends, the Hanson triplets. The first day (and only day so far), was kind of chaotic. We forgot about the class until 11 o'clock the night before, so we had to wake early and start soliciting for help (there has to be an adult per baby...obviously). We pulled Bucko and Grandpa Rog out of swimming retirement that morning. We showed up about 5 minutes late, but there were so many kids there already so we were already going to be in the second group anyway. It turned out to be a three-quarters of a success. Pius and Forrest loved it the entire time. Danna liked it after she figured out that we weren't going to injure her, and Laine pretty much despised the water from the get-go. Overall, it wasn't too bad, and we think that when we are more prepared it will go better. Plus, Uncle Jim Selenke and good friend/regular helper, Melody Ramsey, volunteered to be regular assistants.

Laine and Papa Rog playing

The drop of drool is Laine's special touch

We bought the choo-choo wagon for the kids for their 7-month birthday...and it is AWWE-SOME. The kids love to go for their nightly walks around the neighborhood and see what everyone is up to. We originally saw this on the Murray Quads blog. This could quite possibly be one of the best purchases we ever make for the kids. Pros: one person can pull, each baby has their own compartment to erase any possible tussles that would occur (i.e. hair tugging, biting, eye-poking, etc.), they each have a cup holder (which will fit a 12 oz. can perfectly...HOLLA). Cons: Kind of bulky to travel with, the extra trailers only come in one color, only the first seat has a storage compartment, doesn't reverse well. All cons we can live with.

Daddy, Banana, Frosty, Lainer and Pi-man on their first train ride

Thank you to all the well wishers on our anniversary. We celebrated 8-years of volatile wedded bliss on June 24th. That's 7 1/2 years longer than anybody thought the two teenage idiots would make it. Look at us now. We said yesterday that the reason our kids are so cranky sometimes is because they are a product of our love for each other. Those of you who know us well understand, I'm sure. Billy's cousins Crissy and Jennea, and Jennea's fiance Jim came over to watch the kids so we could have a night out. We were planning on going to Tokyo's Japanese Steakhouse for dinner, but pulled in and realized it was closed for good. So instead we went a few doors down to have dinner at Lainie's place of work, Emerson Biggins. After eating, we spent the rest of the evening at Uncle Jim and Aunt Renee's house. It was there (after one or two adult beverages) that Jim volunteered to be the swimming assistant. It was a low-key and very enjoyable evening.

Crissy with Pius and Danna

Laine and Jim just kickin' it

Forrest and Jennea

Four kids in 8 years is a pretty good average, I guess!

We were such young pups, back then!

Also that day, we attempted to take our first professional photo shoot. My co-worker, Gary, also dabbles in photography. Actually, he had a very successful career in his homeland of Japan. We were his first attempt at quadruplets...imagine that. Unfortunately, as we stated earlier, our schedule is still in a transition phase, and the babies were not down with all of the shenanigans. We did get a few good pictures, and we will post them when they are available. Good thing that Budda was there to help distract and hold and appease.

Cousin Becky is in town from New Orleans for a visit home. She came over to see the babies on Wednesday and was amazed at how big they've grown. We will never be able to thank her enough for everything that she did for us in Phoenix. Thanks Becky, we love you.

Miss Becky with Forrest, Danna, Laine and Pius (look at those cheeks!)

As for Dance Wars. We have taken some footage of the babies' mad dance skillz, but we still have A LOT of editing to do. We promise the videos soon. For good measure, here are a few more miscellaneous pictures.

Think she'll always see the world through rose-colored lenses?

Daddy and Big Poppa (Bill got slimed)

Angela with a laid-back Danna

Adam trying to imitate Forrest. Forrest says, "You have to be cute to be able to pull this off!"

Forrest can KINDA see his dimples

Pius James

Danna Lynn and Laine Ryan

Bucko with a "just waking up" Laine

B,M,P,F,D, and L

P.S. I just wanted to point out that I stayed up until almost 4:00 a.m. JUST to finish this post. I was starting to fear for my life because of our recent abstinence from posting. Now, instead of hating so much, you can come over and watch the quads so I can get some sleep. Sheesh! Don't make me regret all this time and effort!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy 1st Father's Day, Billy!

The kids are all in bed, I'm finally home from work, and I just wanted to tell you what a great daddy you are to our beautiful babies. We are so lucky to have you! I hope you had a good first Father's Day, even though the kids tried to test you tonight. Unfortunately, you never let me get any pictures of you with the babies. Otherwise, I might have made a spectacular video tribute. Maybe by next year I'll have sneaked enough pictures of you to make a good 15 second video! I know I'm not the only one who wants to see more of your dashing, dimpled face and baby blues on this blog.
I had to dig deep for this picture... don't look so excited, my furry, handsome man! Roll tide.

Love you more than all the tea in China!

Monica, Pius, Forrest, Danna and Laine

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Video

Just wanted to post a few random videos. The first part is of Danna - her little lips just crack me up. We had a girls day out to my cousin, Megan's, bridal shower. The boys got left at home with dad. The second part is of Laine trying to scoot. They're a little long, but Budda doesn't know how to take her finger off of the record button. Just kiddin', mom!

Getting excited for everyone to meet the quads on Saturday! Hopefully they'll be on their BEST behavior.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Man, are we HOLY!

Hey everyone,
Graf Quads here. We thought we'd give mom and dad a break from posting since they've been SO busy lately. Plus, they've been bustin' out posts left and right for the last couple of weeks.

My name is Danna Lynn Graf, and I'm running this show. You can call me Princess. We had our "official" baptism in the Church this past Sunday, and boy was it exhausting! We all behaved pretty well.....except maybe Forrest throughout the ceremony. I let my voice be heard at picture time because they kept trying to shoot from my bad side. Anyway, we had 3 different priests there and 2 seminarians to help. Seminarian cousin Daniel Duling and his friend, Isaac, assisted the priests with readings and prayer intentions. Needless to say, they anointed the Hell out of us. Pardon the french. Father Gillsenen was in charge of me. My Godmother, Aunt Lainie, took good care of me during the ordeal, except that she had a really hard time fixing my hair pretties. Great Uncle Jim stood in for my Godfather, AJ, because he had to drive a racecar in Wakeeney, KS that evening. Now I don't know a whole lot about that yet, but Daddy says all he does is drive real fast and turn left around a circle. Daddy says he's going to take us to the racetrack soon so we can watch AJ and JD race and see all our 81 Speedway friends. I'm a little concerned about the amount of dirt there, but I suppose a Princess can get her hands dirty every once in a while. Okay, my little fingers are tired of typing. I'm turning this post over to my little brother, Laine.

Hello all my faithful followers. Laine Ryan Graf here to give my 2 cents on the eventful day. Father Brungardt anointed me on Sunday. I feel special to have had him because he was the one who unified my Mother and Father in the holy sacrament of marriage. Who would've thought that fateful day 8 years ago on June 24th would lead to all this! I was very respectful throughout the ceremony because I save all my naughtiness for home. I know I have to be a good boy at Church. I even said a special prayer for my Godfather, JD, who was also racing in Wakeeney with AJ. My Godmother, Aunt Mollie, and mom and dad's good friend, Sergio, made sure I was well taken care of and content. I really love them. That sums up my take of the day. I'm handing the wheel over to Forrest now. I'm happy to report that HE was the turd of the ceremony, instead of me.

Whatever, Laine. I could eat you in 4 bites. This is Forrest Michael Graf, and I was NOT as bad as everyone says. Mommy says I'm just her hungry little angel, but daddy thinks I eat too much as it is....especially for my shorter stature. I tell them I'm just trying to follow in Grampa Stubby and Uncle Ryno's footsteps. Enough talk about food. It's making me kinda hungry. Father Pat York anointed me. He is mommy and daddy's good friend. Boy did he lube up my head! Mommy says I still smell like a priest. Aunt RayRay and Frank the Tank are my godparents and they were both there to hold me and bounce me and try to appease me. I think my bottle's ready now, gotta run. Here's my big brother Pius to finish it off.

Jeez, Forrest. Take it easy. I know you're trying to catch me in weight, but it's also important to keep PROPORTION in mind. Fathead. Father Pat took me under his wing that day, too. I really paid attention to every word he said. I had my fussy time prior to the ceremony, but after a little cat nap, I was good to go. Great Aunt Renee really has a way with me. She didn't even have to give me "the look". She did give my Godfather, Uncle Ryan, the look when he mosied in 5 minutes late. Father Pat also took care of his tardiness by flicking his ear. Mommy understood because she's always late. Daddy almost came unglued, though, because he's never late. His ears were more red than Uncle Ryno's after Father got done with them. Because my Godmother, Auntie Em, is stationed in Germany, Aunt Renee (my Thursday night buddy) stood in for her. As the oldest Graf Quad, I must say that everything went pretty smoothly. The priests said they were even surprised at how well it went. We want to send out a special thanks to all who attended this blessed event, including: Uncle Jim Graf, Aunt Ginny Penney, Uncle Phil and Aunt Cathy Brady (our proxy-godparents when we were emergently baptized in Phoenix), Nick and Paula Duling, Nicholas and Jennifer Duling with cousin Jack, Sarah and Jake Duling, Uncle Travis with cousins Taten, Madison and Mia Mule', and of course GG Bucko. We also want to thank Grampa Stubby and Gramma Vicki for hosting the after-party, Budda and Papa for helping with drinks, and Aunt Paula for getting us a cake. Mom and dad bought pizza from Gambino's in Colwich for everyone. They say it's the best pizza ever. I wouldn't know. All I know is that Maria from Gambino's really gave them a good deal on all that food. All this typing is too much exercise for my chubby fingers. I don't want Forrest to steal my heavyweight title. We hope you enjoy the picture montage and music!

Pius, Forrest, Danna, and Laine (and mom and dad)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Not too shabby!

Well, the majority of you were correct. The answer is "D" (thanks for the give away, Uncle Tommy ;D). But to be quite honest, I used a trick picture that sucked in about 19% of you all. See, Pius was sticking out his tongue and that's normally Forrest's trademark. I know, I know. I cheated. As for the one percent who thought Danna was Pius....we'll just try to overlook that and tell Danna to stop worrying about it. She already started making plans to begin the Adkins diet of all protein and no carbs! And that's hard to do when you're supposed to be starting cereal. Let me know who you are and I'll send you the bill for years of therapy. But really, thanks for your participation. We here at the Graf house had a good time watching the polls. We may have to try more of those in the future.

In other news, we've had a pretty eventful week. Laine continues to be the most high maintenance of the bunch and he decided that he needed some alone time with just mom and dad.....and all the wonderful nurses, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians and physicians that mom works with. Yep, we had our first visit to the ER last Saturday. Here's how it all went down..... Mom worked the previous night so Dad and the quadlets had a sleepover party at Gramma Vicki and Grampa Stubby's house. They got home in time for their 2nd feeding of the day around 10:30. Bucko was over to help dad so that mom might be able to sleep in a little longer, but to no avail. Laine's antics ALWAYS wake up anyone that might have been sleeping. That Saturday was particularly bad, so mom emerged from the bedroom to see if she could help. While trying to get Laine to calm down and take his bottle, we noticed that he was having a hard time breathing and had a pretty nasty cough. Mom, RN to the rescue. After listening to his lung sounds we discovered Laine was wheezing and had some crackles, and probably couldn't breathe very well with a bottle in his mouth. We called the doctor to see if they had a weekend immediate care clinic...that was a no-go, so they told us to go to the ER. Called Vicki and Stubby to see if they could stay with the other 3 while we took Laine to Wesley West ER (the best ER EVER! Sorry, had to give our livelihood a plug). Of course, Laine got the royal treatment by everyone. A few breathing treatments from Tonia, a chest x-ray by Ali, steroids from Vickie (gotta juice up so he can compete with Frosty and Big Poppa) and some all around good lovin' from Kellie, Dr. Secrist and Emily. He was doing much better after all that and we got sent home with a couple prescriptions and a nebulizer for home breathing treatments. All's good in the hood, now. He's still a little under the weather and fussy but is really looking forward to the baptism this Sunday and the "coming out" pool party the following Saturday. He told me so.

Laine: "Thanks, mom, for helping me breathe better!"

We had another "first" last weekend. We all went to Mass together with Vicki, Stubby, Budda and Papa! The babies were SO good (thankfully, Laine slept the entire time)! Then we all went out to eat at Chili's. Wow. Talk about a once in a while ordeal.....a once in a very LONG while, that is! They were okay at first, but then they definitely let us know that they were hungry, too. It all worked out in the end and it gave us an invaluable lesson on ALWAYS being prepared.

On the subject of "firsts"... Forrest getting his first taste of baby cereal. More of it ended up ON him rather than IN him, but it was fun, nonetheless!

We have a few more videos to share. I know we've mentioned before how Johnny Cash always seems to take the wind out of their sails, but here, we actually caught it on video. I don't know why it works, and I don't think I really care. They also really like when mom sings "I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley in a really high-pitched shriek. Whatever it takes, I guess.

I think that's about it for now. We'll have more to post soon, so keep checking in!

The Princess gets prime real estate ON mom while the peons have to deal with what's left over. As it should be, since Pius took up all the room while IN mom! Pius actually fell asleep like this....oh, to sleep like a baby again.

The Grafs

P.S. Thank you to those who've let us know about their plans to attend the baptism and/or the pool party. If there is anyone else interested and needs more details, please just email Billy or Moni and we'll get you in "the know".

P.S. #2 Jaclyn, to answer your "questions" about the Memorial Day post....of course cousin Katie is wearing clothes! What do you think we are, Swamp Trash? Tee, hee, hee! Before anyone gets offended, this is an inside joke not meant to degrade ANY Louisianians, except of course the Tubres.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I've Got a Name....

Okay, so this is a TOTAL rip-off from the Tubre clan....but hey, families share. Last night's bath time presented photo opportunities. I wondered if all our blog fans would be able to recognize the babies without any help. So, pressure's on....the polls close on June 5th at 5:00pm. Enjoy the music!


P.S. In case you're having trouble figuring it out, the order goes from the top left corner to the top right corner to the bottom left corner to the bottom right corner. Also, be sure to click on the slideshow to hear the music. Good luck!