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!


Moni Graf said...

I'm not going to give anyone else the satisfaction of being the first to post on this one. Deal with it. Now I'm going to bed!

Casey said...

Hi! Here was my daughter's schedule when she first started solid spoon feeds (around 6.5 months).

730a-wake, bottle
930a-1130a nap
145/200p-400/430p nap

I dont' know if this helps, but I thought I'd show you what we did. We were down to 3 bottles at this point and I found that this is the schedule that worked best for Avery and kept her full and happy but still hungry enough to want the solids. We kept the bottles and solids at seperate time until around 9 months or so when we started working to drop one bottle at a time. At that point we would do solids followed immediately by bottle except at lunch she got her formula in a sippy. I don't know if that makes sense. She was off the bottle by 11 months when she started refusing her evening bottle.

Sorry to write a book! We have always had a pretty set eating/sleeping schedule....flexible but still routine I guess. If you have any other questions you can feel free to email me at CaseyRN at aol dot com!

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures - the babies are growing so fast. I think the wagon is so cute. Keep up the good work!

God Bless.

Linda N

Anonymous said...

I'm still in awe of how the crew responds to Johnny Cash! What a hoot! They are still so doggon adorable (and even more so in person). Hope you get a schedule together that works for you. A schedule is hard with just one... I can only imagine trying to find one that fits with four youngsters. I love the fact that you are making your own baby food. I know it's time consuming, but so cost efficient and so much easier to move them up to chunks on a taste they already are used to. You'll be glad you're doing it, trust me! Hope you guys are surviving the rain storm.... Take care and thanks for sharing so many wonderful pictures!


OH! Almost forgot to ask you... How is Pius doing now that he's on his Prevacid? (It is Pius, right?!).

jamarson1 said...

So cute! I still can't imagine having 4 babies crying at the same time, but thank God for Jonny Cash for you guys! The fresh vegtable idea is great and definately has to be more healthy for the kiddo's.

Andrea said...

The Johnny Cash thing is really funny. I'd put one of those on youtube. It was also funny (in a good way) watching Billy pull a wagon train full of babies around...And they're all his:)The post was great. I can live with this post for awhile. Good luck with the schedule. Unfortunately I can't give you any advice bc I'm not who I'd like to be when it comes to staying organized and keeping a schedule:[ Love, Andrea

EMO said...

I could't get the video to work, but obviously it is working for others, so I will try again.

The post was worth the wait. I can't believe that you stayed up until 4 to finish it. You are crazy, but I am glad :) I hope you get a nap in today.

That is cool about the baby food. I hope it continues going good. I have my first garden this year, and would love to offer you some veggies, but I don't think they are the "right" kind. (onions, tomatoes, jalepenos, cucumbers)

I also don't have much advice on the feeding, but I do remember dreading when I had to start adding solids, since nursing was so much easier.

Thanks for all the great pictures! Everyone looks great! I also can't believe you are doing swim lessons. That is great. Quinn and I just got done with our lessons at the YMCA a few weeks ago. I hope you can get an extra helper to come take pictures of the lessons!


p.s I had a dream with both you and Billy last night. (It was probably the exact time that you were up posting!)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andrea about posting the Johnny Cash video on you tube. That is such a crack up! And Monica you have a nice voice too!! As far as a schedule I wouln't hold too much stock in one. Everytime I thought I had a schedule figured out something would change and you start all over getting a new one. You both are doing a fabulous job, your kids are precious beyond belief and you have made a ton of people happier because of all of you! Take it easy and thanks for sharing your life with all of us.
Love you,
Mary O

Anonymous said...

Great Aunt Dono and I just watched your post and we absolutely loved it! We couldn't stop smiling and you both amaze us beyond belief; you are such great parents and what blessings from God! We can't wait to spend more time with you guys; we are moving this weekend so things have been a little hectic, but I surely enjoyed babysitting them the other night and can't believe how much they have grown and are so adorable!
We love you guys!

Stacey Faber said...

Hi all!
Thanks for the post! Beautiful pictures and delightful commentary as always. It was great seeing everyone at the Open House and we hope to see you all again soon. Love the wagon--curious about how it takes the corners! Hopefully, the bambinos will love it for a long time to come but it seems like kids speed through favorite toys just as quickly as they do diapers. Keep up the good work with the spoon feeding and I hope you don't end up wearing more than they eat! Love you all!

Tubre Quads said...

Ok forget You tube, put that video on America's Funniest Home Videos and walk away with $250,000 for a nice winter home here in Louisiana! Seriously, upload it to and I guaratee it will make the show and win some cash. That is hilarious. Thanks so much for the wonderful post and videos. They are getting so big. Way to geaux Forrest, sitting up like such a big boy.

Love you,

Ashley said...

Hi there! I'm so glad to see a nice long post. I think solid feeding is challenging to fit into our babies schedules. I cannot imagine how hard it is with 4! I think I'm supposed to feed Lexi solids 3 times a day, but it seems like I can never get more than 2 in. I think Casey's got a good schedule going.

All the kids are getting big! I hope Lexi can meet her fellow Scorpios soon. AND the Johnny Cash video was awesome!

Tubre Quads said...

Hey Moni - it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - you look GREAT!!!!! I guess Bill doesn't look too bad either :)

Keep up the great work Graf parental units. Only a little over 4 months until we convert you to Swamp Trash.

Love yall,
Jac & Torey (somewhere over the atlantic right now)

Melissa said...

Thanks for the update! I have been checking your blog for one ever since I got the address from the Advance Article.
Hmm... I have only had to deal with one infant at a time but I pretty much fed them very little until they could start eating finger foods - cheerios, graham crackers, that kind of stuff. I would not worry too much about getting them tons of baby food. Kudos on making it yourself, that is awesome and so great for them! They are getting pretty much all of what they need from their milk right now, baby food is more for practice at this point! Give yourself a huge pat on the back, it sounds like you are doing great!

Anonymous said...

You are doing a stellar job of clothing the cutie pies. Idea: Dress them up in red-white-blue outfits when you have a minute (ha..okay, an hour) and send it by E-mail to Wesley by the 4th of July. We, of course, also want you to post it here. It will make him very teary but, WOW!, what a great tribute and sweet way to show him how proud we are of him and the other soldiers. It's just an idea. We'll still love you if you can't find the time or energy. Aunt GGr and Sammy

The Gerwer Babies said...

OMG, that post terrifed me! Our pedi wants us to start solid foods in two weeks when the kids are 6 months. They are so good at their schedule so i am just wondering how in the world we will do this. I will do some investigating with other quad moms too, then we can compare notes. i need tips too!!!!!! You are doing great and the kids look so happy!

Anonymous said...

You need the Magic Bullet!! This is the best baby food maker ever! (Even the knock off version works.) It's so much easier to clean up than a big blender, but you might need two for your family to speed the food making along. Keep making your own food - it's worth it!!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know the legend of Johnny Cash is on at 7:00 tonight on tv on FX? Not sure what channel that is but I thought maybe the quads could stay up late to watch it! Just trying to give them an opportunity to learn more about the man. Love ya,
Great Aunt Mary O

Anonymous said...

The kids and I have watched "Walk the Line" a couple of times now. Thanks for the heads-up though.


Anonymous said...

Hi there guys! We started the triplets on solids about two months ago but we just started with the cereal. Now we are up to Cereal and two solid feedings a day and it is going well. Our schedule works for our kids great and I don't feel like I am feeding kids all the time. Here is our schedule:
630AM- wake bottle
830AM- cereal (with bananas, they don't like the plain stuff)
1000AM- bottle and they go straight for morning nap
1130-Noon - Veggies
200pm - Afternoon Nap
500PM - Fruits
600PM - small bottle (we will probably cut this one out soon when they start eating more food.
730PM - Bedtime Bottle
800PM - The best part of our day! The kids are all asleep. :)

When we first started I just did the cereal in the morning. I wanted the kids to get used to eating solids at lunch time and dinner time. Now that the kids are taking more solids they do not drink as much formula(which is nice.
I think it is great you are trying to make your own, you are a better woman than I! I think I need to buy stock in Gerber. :) At the beggining I thought it would be all I was doing feeding kids but once they get the hang of it, they eat it pretty fast.

I am glad to here you tried the swimming. We have been twice now and the kids really love it. It sounds like our classes are a lot smaller than yours though. I think that probably might help if the classes were smaller. My kids love the water and I think it is great for them to learn these skills early. It is pretty funny to watch too.
I LOVE your wagon, I might steal your idea and by one for our kiddos for their first birthday. I know it is in November but by the time it is summer I think they will be just the right size. Call me some time soon so we can plan a trip to the zoo.Sorry such a long post.
Talk to you soon!
Crystal Hanson

Squiggle Wiggle & Maggers Moo said...

Moni & Billy, the kids look terrific. Also 4 kids in 8 years sets you way above the national I think you are doing great!!! One of these days my girls and I will be able to meet your little tykes at another Graf Quad Event. We are forever rooting for you guys. You do a terrific job with them.
By the way...we use to have Monsignor Gillsenen at Blessed Sacrament. You are so lucky to have him as your parish priest. We miss him dearly. Also do you know Tiff and Scott Wegerer? I think they go to your church. Went to high school with both of them 10+ years ago.

Love The College Hill Girls

Anonymous said...

I love Pius in the video...all pimped out riding caboose. It's so cute.

KelNosz said...

Your kids are too cute!

Solids are a pain at this age (and I only have one 6-month-old and a 4-year-old to deal with). It's gotten a little easier for me now that my son can hold his bottle. I use the Avent bottles with the handles and he can feed himself the bottle while I get lunch ready for my daughter. When he's done, I feed him a jar of food.

I love the Johnny Cash video. My daughter loves the Man in Black too. Her obsession started when she was about 18 months. "Get Rhythm" is her favorite song!

Good luck with the feeding schedule. I really enjoy your blog. :)