Sunday, July 20, 2008

Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh, Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive! - UPDATED

Fourth of July Family Picture
(Laine, Danna, Forrest, Pius)

Mommy and Forrest - No, he's not our favorite....the others were all down for a nap.

Forrest and Daddy all decked out for the 4th (if you're wondering why you can't see Forrest's bottom half, it's because he's in camo)

Danna snuggling up to Uncle Jim (AKA Uncle Slammer)

Despite Forrest and Laine's best efforts at sending mom, dad and themselves to an early grave, we're all still alive and kicking! We took our first road trip to Colorado for the Selenke Family Reunion last weekend. We tried to keep the babies on schedule as closely as we could. It worked pretty well, for the most part.

We decided to have everything packed before their 4th feed of the day (they get 5 bottles total). After their 4th bottle, we loaded them and any last second items and took off for the 3.5 hr trip to Grainfield, KS. This is where Billy's Great Aunt Laverna lives and is, conveniently, almost exactly 1/2 way to Denver (from this point on referred to as "The greatest city on earth because it houses the Denver Broncos" or TGCOEBIHTDB. Not exactly an abbreviation, but we'll make that sacrifice). The trip to Grainfield got a little rough towards the middle. Fortunately, Pius has an infinite infatuation with his feet and kept himself occupied with them until he fell asleep. Danna was a sweetheart almost the whole way - totally un-diva-ish. Laine and Forrest, on the other hand, had enough diva for all the babies and the next group of ladies on "America's Next Top Model". After about 45 minutes on the road, they decided they'd had enough and let us know about their dissatisfaction for the rest of the trip. I know I've said it before, but I think our kids have Sundowner's Syndrome. Normally reserved for the elderly with dementia, our sweet, darling children seem to completely melt down at twilight and then magically turn back into the sweet babies they are after it turns dark. After what seemed like 10 hours, we made it to Aunt Laverna's. We let the babies roll around and play awhile, then we changed them, fed them and loaded them all back up and headed for TGCOEBIHTDB. They slept the ENTIRE way there and Billy and I talked about what we would name our next set of quads.

Had to take a moment to remember the 15 minutes of quiet that Forrest gave us after he passed out sucking his thumb.

Pius pretty much kept himself occupied with this baseball, his feet and the carseat strap. I think he may grow up to be like MacGyver and will be able to build a bomb out of a string, a paper clip and a piece of cat hair.

Don't be fooled by this sweet smile. He's the devil in disguise.
Laine TRYING to be a good boy

Danna wanted me to be sure we got her pretty toes in the picture!

We made it to TGCOEBIHTDB at around 0200 a.m. Colorado time and unloaded the kids at Billy's Aunt Debbie's house. We fed them a small bottle and put them to bed in their PeaPods. The next morning my sister, Rachel, drove from Colorado Springs to meet up with us at Debbie's. She spent the weekend with us at the reunion. She laughed when she saw the little tent-like contraptions, saying that they reminded her of the little Gremlin pods. I really don't care what they look like.....they're AWESOME (thanks, Murray Crew, for the idea)!

Danna with her Great Aunt Debbie

Pius with 1st cousin TWICE removed, Joanie (my mom taught me all about geneology)

No, Forrest didn't pass out after a few Bud Lights.....cousin Kristen talked him to sleep (see his poor, chapped cheeks?)

In the morning, we fed them their 1st bottle at Aunt Debbie's and then headed to Arvada to see Great Aunt Armella and Uncle Bill Gerber and many of their children/grandchildren. My Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Dale and cousin Carmen also came from Littleton to see the babies and us. After a wonderful breakfast, we fed the babies and headed to the reunion site near Fort Collins.

Billy and me with Aunt Armella, Uncle Bill and the quadsies

Uncle Dale, Aunt Charlotte and cousin Carmen with the babies

We had a great time showing the babies off to their aunts, uncles and cousins. I think Pius had a little altitude sickness because he wouldn't eat very well and always wanted to sleep. They also all came home with red, chapped cheeks from the dry mountain air. Although they all had bouts of fussiness, Danna and Pius easily took first place in the behavior department while Forrest and Laine continued their high maintenance ways and tied for last.

We were at the reunion Friday, Saturday and then left on Sunday. Headed back to TGCOEBIHTDB and hung out until their 4th feed. Left for Grainfield, dealt with Forrest's 2 hours of screaming, fed them at Aunt Laverna's and headed home sweet home. I think the babies were WORN OUT because they ended up sleeping until about 1000 a.m. that morning. It's taken us about a week to recuperate, hence the delayed posting.

Sidenote: The banging on the roof of the car was caused by the topper we borrowed from our neighbors. We figured out that the driver side roof rack was loose and caused the topper to continuously bang. We tried cushioning the blows with beach towels jammed under the point of impact. Now there are 3 beach towels somewhere along the roadsides of Colorado and Kansas. We ended up pulling over at a weigh station and unloading everything from the topper into the van. That way, if the topper managed to fly off, we would only have to worry about one thing smashing into nearby drivers. Plus, it would've been awful trying to recover all the other items from the highway. I can just see it.....human Frogger (think Atari).

Billy trying hard to keep smiling on the stretch of road from TGCOEBIHTDB to Grainfield

Me trying really, really hard not to smother Laine and Forrest with a pillow. Insanity, anybody?!

Other than our Colorado adventures, not much else is new. Danna will be getting a weight check on Tuesday. No teeth yet. No "official" crawling - just alot of rolling and scooting (working on installing the stair gate now). Forrest has learned to hold is own bottle and Pius isn't far behind (HALLELUIA!). We feel comfortable leaving them home alone now.

We have lots of activities planned next weekend, including a visit from my sister and brother-in-law, Emily and Andy, from Germany (this will be their 1st time meeting the babies), a Haag Family reunion at my cousin's lake, cousin Jennea's wedding, and other family get-togethers. Should be LOTS of fun!

Swimming at Grampy and Grammy Graf's house

Enjoy the pics and videos! Sorry the video is so long....I didn't have time to clip and edit.

P.S. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how stupid I sound in these videos? I need to learn to keep my mouth shut while filming. I apologize for the unnecessary commentary.

Pius would eat, sleep and live in this thing if we would allow it

Okay, so who wants to wake a sleeping baby, anyway!

Danna Banana

Laine Man


The Graf's


Andrea said...

Yay! What a fun post. They are all so cute. That was hilarious how Pius(I think) kept bouncing in his sleep on that horse. And Danna finally started talking to you when you were talking to her.Cute! They all looked really tired it must have been close to nap time. I feel the same way when I here myself talking on video. You sound fine! Hannah cried the entire way to Oklahoma last summer so I know exactly how you feel. Thanks for the update. Looking forward to seeing them (and you 2 of course) at the wedding. Love- Andrea

Rachel Haag said...

Great post always. I will try to remember to send you some pics that I took in Colorado so you can put some up from vacation days. Me and Serg were glad to be of assistance to you guys during the trip, I was just appreciative that I got to see everyone I missed so much! I'm coming home this Thursday so I'll see you then! Love you guys!
Aunt RayRay

EMO said...

That was worth the wait!!! Thanks for the adorable pictures and video. I agree, that horsey thing was hilarious. They all seem to love it. I am glad that your Colorado trip was, for the most part, successful.
See you at the wedding!!! (well hopefully, unless I am in labor...) I am being induced on the 31st, so, I am crossing my legs until then, so I can watch my sister get married.


Anonymous said...

I'm posting, so you better be happy! It was a great post! I would love to write more...but your youngest child is sitting on my lap and he won't quit crying! So I'm going to have to be done for now! Until next time!
Love, Auntie Lainie

Andrea said...

Ok, either you added a ton of pictures since I first read this post or I've totally lost my mind!! Andrea

Anonymous said...

Hence the "updated" in the title.

Anonymous said...

What a great post & beautiful family photo to start it all off. Glad to hear you all had a safe trip to the mountains & back. But, I must say, you guys are either crazy or the most patient duo alive to take four 8 month olds that far with two fussing part of the way! (I'm banking on the latter!) I'm not even near that good.. I would have turned around! The boys look like they are getting so big. And Danna looks to be really taking the world in. Watch out when they get even more mobile... in four different directions!
Hope all is well at the home-front. Take care.

Miriam said...

You guys are amazing...and very very brave, my mom and i took my 2month old twins from phoenix to LA...and that was rough.

I think my favorite part was the description of your kids having sundowner syndrome.

Pius, Forrest, Danna and Laine are lucky kids...

Anonymous said...

I love all the videos and new pictures. My Evan also falls asleep in the jumperoo. It is so cute...I think he jumps in his sleep. I can't believe you took them to Colorado! You rock. The kids can last for about 3 hours and then want a break. It looks like you all had a great time. I really like those pods you have for them. They are probably a lot easier to set up all the the pack in play's like we have. The kiddos are looking great. Take Care...hopefully we can get together soon. Crystal Hanson

Anonymous said...

Awesome! They look so flippin cute on the 4th. I feel like your family is sort of line jon and kate plus8. I'm so addicted! Monica, I love your short hair by the way. Billy, your hair hair is always cute ;) I'm glad you survived the trip to Colorado!!

Mallory W.

Ashley said...

Hey Moni! I am in shock and awe of the road trip to Denver. Great job! I get stressed just thinking of a road trip w/ one baby. You guys are Super Mom and Dad! I've never heard/seen of those Pea Pods. Are they easy to use? I also love the floatation devices the kids have in the pool. I might just have to invest in one of those. Do they make them in adult sizes?! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved all the pictures and videos. I just sit here and smile the whole time. God Bless you both!!! Talked to Debbie last week and she really loved seeing all of you. See you on Sat.
Love ya,
Mother of the Bride
Mary O

Moni Graf said...

Thanks for all the great comments so far, guys! Erin, Andrea and Shelia you three are so awesomely consistent (hope that little bun can stay inside a little longer, Erin)!

Ashley and Crystal - Yes, the peapods are extremely easy to use and they pack up SO small. You just have to be careful when opening them up because it's like they're spring loaded and could pop an eye out! Ashley, I'll check into whether or not the baby floats come in adult sizes. Tee Hee!

Keep 'em comin'!

Jamie Brown said...

what a great website you guys have here. It's fun to be able to check up on you guys. PS... I am Jealous... Karson REFUSES to hold his own bottle. You guys probably dont feel sorry for me : ) ~ Looks like everyone is doing great. Take care

Jamie Brown

Squiggle Wiggle & Maggers Moo said...

Wow, this blog gets better and better each time I read it. Moni, you guys are going to have to convert this into a memoir or something when the kids are older. It would make great reading. I guess needless to say I enjoy it everytime I peak at it.
Sounds like you all had a hopping good time in Colorado. Your little guys remind me of my youngest Maggie. She is not a car baby at all. It only takes her being out of Wichita on the road for 20 minutes when she is crying to get out of the seat. She is 2. Scary. Let me know when you have another Graf showing. Maybe then I will be showing. 9 weeks along now and nauseated as hell.
Talk to you later. The kids are beautiful and are developing so wonderfully. God Bless.

The College Hill Girls (Sarah

Anonymous said...

GIRL, you are my hero. I dread taking the kids to friends houses 30 minutes away. I will take notes! Where did you get the pool rafts? I love those?
Ilove the kiddos fourth of july outfits, the boys look so grown up!

Suzanne said...

you guys are too frickin' CUTE!!!! glad yall had a good trip! sheesh...i feel ya on those car rides!

Anonymous said...

Moni and Billy The new pictures and updates were great tey are growing up so fast. I was so glad that you stopped both ways going from Denver , you know you are always welcome. I have shared the picture with many of my friends. I was showing the church secretay she copied it and was going to put it on the bulletin board in back of church. I tell everyone they looked like little worms ( CUTE ONES)rolling around on the floor. Moni enjoy you talking in the background ,please don't stop. Love you all Aunt Laverna

EMO said...

I forgot to say, that I cannot belive you video taped poor little Dana taking a crap... Although it is funny, because I remember Quinn doing the same thing. (Sometimes even louder) I was always afraid she would do it doing the quiet parts of Mass) :)

the schirano triplets said...

wow...what a great post! i love all the pictures, but that picture of you all in the beginning is my favorite!

Anonymous said...

I had a horrible day at work and was playing on the internet and just looked at Forrest's face on that 2nd picture w/ monica made my night so much better. That picture is magazine-worthy!

Anonymous said...

Mallory, Big Fo is Big pimpin...HUH? That is fo sho! Of course they all are... whenever I am having below par day I check the blog and it gets me going! It keeps me Stayin Alive! Great Post! Ready to drink some barley Pops this weekend. Check you all soon!

Ryno is outta here home slices!


Moni Graf said...

You're such a dork, Ryan.

Anonymous said...

See when I get snide comments like that... I don't want to post! I will post no longer Monica...You dork! I get tired of hearing you never post, you never post, because when I do I get these jabs back. So...the verdict is out, I am done posting on this stupid thing!

Anonymous said...

Amen Ryno, I'm with ya. They always get on me for not posting, but there is never any updates. So I second the no comments. I'm on strike.

By the way, did anybody notice in the family picture at the top that Billy is holding the two littlest and Monica is holding the two brutes. That's why you were a DB/WR. Oh yea and I'll say it before you do (All City 98).


FYI: I'm on strike after this comment

Anonymous said...

soooo here ya go....happy?! nah, just playing BUT i had a GRRREAT time feeding laine last night! it was crazy hectic til we got those nipples in their mouths, then it was smooth sailing! hope all is well and cannot wait til the wedding tonight! YAY!

Alex Bunton

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, good to see that everyone is doing great and still smiling! Ronin and I have been keeping track of your blog site and I finally thought it was about time we said hi. We are both doing great and Ronin is coming along in leaps and bounds since he started mixing with other kids at nursery. He has a few words he will say, juice, shoes, dirty and kiss, no mama or dada though yet for the most part, but he does quite a good growl with his dinosaurs and a brum brum noise with his cars. Well guess I had better get him outside since the sun has decided to shine; I got him a new tricycle so we will see how he does on it. Love and miss you guys. Tracy and Ronin. Give the babies a kiss each from us.

Beth said...

What a GREAT post!! I loved the family picture! Everyone looks so happy! Thanks for sharing.

Rick & Jenn Payne said...

WOW! What a trip! We're leaving Saturday morning for a five hour trip to a cabin down in eastern Oklahoma. I'm pumped about it...but then I feel like this might be the STUPIDEST thing we've done yet. I'll have to let you know how it goes. I already know its going to be Carson and Griffin that will be the HOLY TERRORS! If you have any pointers please send them my way. You know Wichita isn't that far from us...maybe some day we can meet. That would be fun to get our kids together. I'm so glad you survived the trip! I'm going to check into the peapods. Love, Jenn

Tubre Quads said...

I am such a slacker I know, but remember it is the quality, not the quantity of my comments that counts (I hope for my sake at least)! I have been silent far too long...these kids are trying to kill me!

Forrest is a total rock star. I love how he just sits up on locked arms looking at you like "yeah, I'm a stud". Pius sleeping and jumping in the horsey bouncey cracks me up. He is going to be one of those kids that sleeps while eating I bet. Danna banana is too cute in her little Bumbo...the time she was talking to you, not when you filmed her doing #2...shame on you Moni. Tyger is totally grossed out. He thought for sure his sweet Danna couldn't possibly do that :) And last, but not least, my Laineman. He always has the most curious look on his face like if he could just crawl somewhere he would get into a lot of trouble. Abbey is the same way...we are in trouble.

Love your circus. Thanks for sharing. Gotta go strangle some Cupcakes who are screaming while they should be napping :)

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

HEY!!!! I had so much fun with the cute little babies at the wedding and such! I can't wait to see y'all again...

I'm just trying to pick up the slack for the Tom Graf family and all... :]



Anonymous said...

Did you guys die?!?! I haven't seen/heard from you guys in what seems like FOREVER!


Anonymous said...

This is your Quality Control Coordinator once again. They are still alive and doing fine. The babies are getting bigger so they are taking up more time. A new post "is in the works" and should be ready to go at about 7:45 pm CDT. Thank you for your patience.

Anonymous said...

Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh.....Di Di Di Di Di Diiid, we forget how to post.

Moni Graf said...

D-d-d-d-do you wanna come over and suck the snot out of 4 babies' noses for me so I can post. I didn't think so. Quit being a jackass.