Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Local Rockstars

Hey everyone! Just a quick note to give you the link to the article on the babies (and us) making it to ONE. The Wichita Eagle ran it today. Please don't mind the picture of Danna and me...it's really scary of me and I'm surprised Danna wasn't screaming in terror.


I promise I'll get the birthday bash pics and videos together soon. You can get a preview on the Tubre site and Jac's take of the weekend here.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Swamp Thang meets the Prairie...

Can anyone guess who took this picture?

She's here! She's here! For all you Tubre Quad fans out there, you'll be happy to know that Jac made it to Wichita safe and sound this morning. I was gonna make her hitch her way to our house, but then realized she didn't have a chance of getting picked up because she was wearing her purple and gold LSU jacket. Poor girl, she stuck out like a sore thumb at the airport in those God-forsaken colors. I know she was just trying to make it easy for me to recognize her, though, since it's been almost a year since we were last together in Phoenix. What a weather difference....it was like 28 freaking degrees this morning! BRRRRRRRR. Now, Jac wants to tell you a little about her traveling experience today. So without further ado (drumroll, please)...........I present the lovely Mrs. Torey Tubre.

Thank you Monica. We are gathered here today...just kidding. I woke up and sprung out of bed this morning...it's K-Day (Kansas Day)! I made it to the airport in record time, got checked in and headed for the security checkpoint. I removed my shoes and placed all my liquids (Listerine, shampoo, hand sanitizer, Vodka, etc., etc.) in a little Ziploc bag as instructed and proceeded to walk through the metal detector. After some questions and a barefooted full body cavity search, I was on my way to the gate for my flight to Houston. Very uneventful :) After a short layover in Houston I was on my way to Wichita! When we landed I called Moni's cell and when she picked up I said, "Boy are you in for it...I'm here!" After an awkward pause, I hear "Um, Jac...hey this is Lainie, Billy's little sister...Moni forgot her phone." What's new? That girl always leaves her phone...impossible to reach. So then I stood out on the curb and the story leaves off where Moni began above. I was so happy to see her smiling face! There were big hugs and lots of chatting on the way to the house. I snuck in a shower (wash away the airport germs) and then the babies woke up from their nap...first Danna, then Laine, then Forrest, then Pius. They are SO FREAKIN ADORABLE and the pictures and video on the blog don't do them justice! Here is what we have been up today after baking cupcakes and eating the world's largest cheeseburger that Billy brought home for us...

Since she was the first to wake up, Danna got to experience a rare 2 on 1 attention. It was just the girls. She hasn't let Jac put her down yet, either.

Jac and the kids....rough-housing and destroying the living room. I seriously think Danna might be glued to Jac. I'm having a hard time prying her off!

Throwing a little daddy into the mix!

It's Moni again.....Doesn't it just sound weird to hear Jac's voice and see the Graf babies?! I LOVE IT!

Well, we've got lots of stuff to do to prepare for the babies' birthday party tomorrow. Plus, we're leaving the kids with Grammy Vicki and Grampy Stubby tonight. They graciously volunteered to quad-sit so we could go out and get Jaclyn smashed. Just kiddin'.....she'll probably be out cold by 8:30 tonight and we'll be sticking her hand in bowls of warm water and putting her bra in the freezer :)

Thanks to Lainie and Bucko for helping out this morning so I could get ready and then go to the airport! Anyone think it's funny that Pius's lion hood fit Lainie? My kids have gigantic noggins!


The Quad Squad and Cupcake Momma's

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to my babies!

Dear Pius, Forrest, Danna and Laine,

I can't believe one year has already come and gone with you four AMAZING blessings in our lives. You will never know how much joy and peace (even in the utter chaos) that your presences have instilled in my soul. You were each made so uniquely different and wonderful by God and there isn't a prayer of Thanksgiving that is long enough, elaborate enough, or even remotely sufficient to express our gratitude to Him. He gave us ALL we asked for and MORE.

My sweet babies.....you were SO worth the wait, the heartache, and the heartbreak that we went through to get you! Each one of you is always on my mind and will inevitably bring a smile to my face, even if you did just throw a tantrum royale. I love you from the tops of your heads to the very tips of your toenails, that probably need trimmed. You help make me into the human being that I want to be.

I love you forever and hope you have a GREAT FIRST BIRTHDAY! You are my sunshines, my pride and my joy.

As promised....Part 2 of the video montage.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions Answered (Finally) - UPDATED WITH VIDEO

Thank you all for the nice comments! It was hard to keep our little adventure secret and I'm glad that the cat's outta the bag. Now, to answer your questions.....

Andrea: The other top 2 videos were of a dog trying to run on a linoleum floor and a little girl eating a radish, thinking it was "a little apple". They were both really cute (from what I saw of them while trying to wrangle our little crew and stuffing Gerber puffs down their throats). They were pretty stiff competition, so I don't want everyone getting disappointed if other people thought they were more funny than screaming babies ;>

About informing the local media....I hadn't really thought about it. The peeps from AFV told us that if anyone from the media contacted us about the results, we needed to direct that person to AFV. So, I don't think we will. There will be a lady from the Wichita Eagle out on Tuesday to do a one-year follow up story on us (photographers in tow), so maybe we'll mention it to them. We'll let you know more about the article when we know more.

Maria Carlson: I don't know if you can Tivo it yet or not..... Unfortunately, our Tivo is something that got nixed from our bills shortly after we got back home from PHX with the babies. It's worth a try, though!

Aunt GGR: I TOTALLY spaced in all the chaos and forgot to ask Tom Bergeron for a group pic. I'm still kicking myself for that one. He really is a funny guy, even off camera. He tried to mimic a Johnny Cash song for the babies on set but they weren't buying it. I told him that they don't accept any imitation (insert studio audience laughing here). He was so nice and even went so far as to say that our babies were the BEST BEHAVED babies that he's EVER had on the show. How's that for a compliment?! But I'm sure he probably says that to all the baby contestants.

As for the other passengers on our flights....I could definitely see right through their silent stares and read their thoughts. Let me give you my interpretation of the mind-reading: Oh my Lord, THREE BABIES?! Oh crap, there's a fourth one, too!.....Please don't let them be seated next to me. Please don't let them be seated next to me........I'm gonna need all the adult beverages they'll allow me on this flight. I'll be sure to tell the stewardess to just keep 'em comin'...........Why in the Sam Hell would anyone take 4 babies on an airplane! Are their parents on acid? Stupid!......I hope they have clean diapers.....I wonder if those babies are all related? (We actually did get asked this several times)......I swear, I'm not above smothering a baby (or four) if it means a peaceful flight.......I hope they're as good as they are cute!........and so on and so forth.

I DID NOT promise them a pony for their birthday in exchange for good behavior. However, if their good ol' Great Aunt Gloria wants to buy them one, board and feed it, and care for it in every other way, then AWESOME!

Andria: Good idea on the ticker thingy. I'll have to see about getting that up and running sometime in the near future. I know that wasn't a question, but you're getting a response anyway.

Crystal: I WILL get back with you on the tips for flying. God knows I needed all the advice I could get before our trip. Mari Goerlich was kind enough to lend us some of her travel experiences with their quads. Can't wait to see your triplet crew this weekend!

EMO (Erin) and Ashley: We are having a big 1st birthday party for the quads this Saturday. We just sent out Evites today (sorry for the late notice). Which brings up another point....if there were any locals we forgot, please let us know! Billy and I are HUGE procrastinators when it comes to this stuff and we did it on the fly. Usually, pressure makes us fresher. I'm sure we didn't have everyone's email addresses, but you're invited! Email me and I can send you the details.

Michelle: That's right! T-H-E Jaclyn Tubre will be making her grand appearance in the Land of Oz this weekend for the birthday party. How's THAT for the most awesome birthday gift ever?! Jac will fly in on Friday morning (no babies this time :( but maybe for the next trip to KS) and fly out on Sunday morning. She says she'll be here to help with the party and squeeze some cheeks. I'm gonna make sure Billy is facing her AT ALL TIMES! Those are MY sweet cheeks. Hee hee!

Lianna: We'll definitely be sending out reminders about the show when it gets closer to the air date. Thanks for the hair compliment. You're too sweet! It definitely needs some work in the back, but that can wait.

We've got TONS to do before the birthday party and Jac's arrival, but I hope to get some videos posted to celebrate the babies' FIRST YEAR of LIFE! Woop, woop....we survived!


Note: Updated with this Part One of Two Video on 11/17/08 at about a minute to midnight. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

America, America, this is you! (doo-doo-dut-doo)

Okay, most of you figured it out. We were at America's Funniest Home Videos in Los Angeles, California. A couple of months ago, by the urging of Jaclyn Tubre (we give her full credit for being on the show AND for us missing the LSU/Bama game), we submitted a video to AFV. It was the one where all 4 babies were lying on the floor screaming bloody murder until we played Johnny Cash's song, "Folsom Prison Blues" for them. Forrest, if you can recall, was especially grumpy that day, so we had to keep replaying the first part to keep them all calm. Unfortunately, that clip now belongs to AFV and we had to remove it from our blog in October. I still have a copy on the computer for safe keeping, but we are not allowed to post it. So you'll just have to wait until the show airs on January 11th to re-watch it. We'll send out another reminder when the air date gets a little closer.

We found out last week that our video had been chosen as a finalist for the show. We only had that time to prepare for our trip, which was unfortunately scheduled for the same weekend as our Baton Rouge trip.

This is how our weekend went down:

On Friday morning we boarded our first of four flights. We had a connection in Dallas, so it was only about an hour flight. AFV bought seats for the 4 babies, Billy, myself and 2 extra adults. We asked Aunt Lainie (Billy's sister) and Ashlyn (good family friend that helps us out ALL the time with the kids) to be our helpers on the trip. The babies were AWESOME on the flights to L.A. and slept a good portion of the time.

Sleeping beauties, Aunt Lainie and Pius

The devilishly handsome Forrest and Billy. Or maybe they're just devilish.

The pretty princesses Ashlyn and Danna (sidenote: Ashlyn and I got asked alot if we were sisters on this trip. Must be the short, dark hair and sideswept bangs.)

Last but not least, Laineman and Mama

When we arrived in Los Angeles, we felt like rock stars because there were suited men in black holding "Graf" signs. Things started going downhill after the chauffeurs helped us with our luggage. I guess in California, they have some sort of law that states parents are responsible for latching in car seats. Well, they brought 4 very different (some older than me) car seats and pretty much said, "Have at it!" After buckets of sweat, curse words that would make a sailor blush and pure frustration, we finally got the kids (who were screaming and hungry by this point) loaded into the 2 vehicles. We arrived at the Manhattan Beach Marriott and got settled. The hotel provided 4 pack-n-play cribs for us, and the babies were ever so grateful. They had hit the proverbial wall and were SO ready for bed.

Saturday morning we lounged around, got the kids fed and bathed and ready to head to the studio by 1:30 p.m. Of course, it took 2 car rides to get all 8 of us there. After meeting the other contestants and the producers, they took us to hair and make-up for any necessary touch ups (Billy was totally not digging this). Then Lainie, Ashlyn and I headed out to the studio audience to watch the show while Billy hung out in the "green room" with the rugrats. He was glad to take baby duty because his brother, Ryno, was constantly sending text updates on the score and time of the Alabama/LSU game. While in the green room, Billy had lots of help from the producers and the other contestants (including their 6 year old daughter who sang to the babies). We weren't allowed out on the stage until all the voting was complete. When it was time, all the contestants marched out onto the set, where we were met with all sorts of oooooh's and aaaaaah's. The babies totally stole the show!

Back in the Green Room after the show (Moni holding Danna, Lainie holding Forrest, Billy holding Pius and Ashlyn holding Laine). Didn't they look so cute all pimped out in their dress, cords and sweater vests?!

We had to sign privacy agreements that will not allow us to reveal the outcome of the show. However, be sure to mark your calendars for Jan 11th so you can see the Graf Quad Squad in action on national T.V.

We finished up with the show around 4:30 p.m. and headed back to the hotel. We had to leave for the airport at 5:45 a.m. the next morning, so after walking around the neighborhood strip mall and eating at Johnny Rockets, we called it an early night.

Sunday went off basically without a hitch. Our flight from LAX to DFW was pretty uneventful. Our flight from DFW to Wichita went fairly smooth with the exception of Lucifer, uhhhh, I mean Forrest acting up. Ashlyn was the sucker that ended up holding him. Despite Forrest's fussiness at the end, the babies were SO good. We got comments from people on all the flights about how well they did and some said they didn't even know there were babies on the plane! They were such dolls at the show that the host, Tom Bergeron, told us they were the most well-behaved kids he's ever had on! How's that for a compliment. Good job, babies!

Gramma Vicki and GG Bucko picked us up from the airport. We came home to a delicious pot roast dinner from Bucko and a clean house with laundry done by my mom and dad. Those two even got my tulip bulbs planted while we were away! Thank you also to cousins Steph and Cole for bringing over lots of kick-a** baby books and a HUGE train table, complete with tracks and trains! I'm sure Eason had a hard time parting with it. Be sure to tell him that the babies were IN AWE over it!

I'm sure we missed a bunch of details, so feel free to ask questions and I'll try to get them answered (either in the comment section or a new post). I'm pooped.

Moni and Billy

Monday, November 10, 2008

Open for guesses!

We're back from our trip. Any stabs at where we went or what we did?

More to come.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Disappointing News

I'm sure many of you are expecting me to post about the disappointing McCain/Palin loss. Actually, what I'm about to say is WAY more devastating to me than the presidential election.

It is with deep regret, immense heartbreak and total despair that I have to announce the postponing of our Baton Rouge trip to see Jac and Torey Tubre and their sweet lil' Cupcakes.


We are not allowed to divulge the details of our extenuating circumstances at this time, but there WILL be good coming from this disaster. So, instead of having a baby-free weekend with good friends, watching Alabama schnocker LSU this weekend.....we're having a baby-filled getaway to somewhere warmer.

While we are deeply saddened about delaying our Louisiana get-away, we are ecstatic about the VERY GOOD REASON for it (and so are the Tubre's). However, Jaclyn did inform me that she went into a deep depression. Her friends, family and co-workers have been calling their house, concerned about her new habit of curling up in the fetal position in the darkest corner. Last report I received was that they have been unsuccessful with their attempts to pry her thumb from her mouth. She has also been noted bursting into song and dance (then sobbing) at the most inopportune times and attempting to swerve her 'Burb into the nearest bridge embankment. Don't worry, though....she's now seeking professional help. Despite the huge boost it would give my vanity, I'm afraid I cannot take credit for these bizarre and desperate behaviors. I think it may have something to do with the fact that LSU is only 3-2 in the SEC. Oh no I dit-int! Yes I did. SNAP!

Now, back to the matter at hand. We will be flying (I know....a germ-filled airport in the the midst of RSV season....eeeeewww) with the babies, Billy, Aunt Lainie, our good friend Ashlyn and myself. We're thinking of putting signs around the babies' necks that say, "Stay back at least 10 feet. We have leprosy. You can also catch it by coughing in our direction." That might draw more attention, so I think we'll just be carrying around 40,000 4 oz bottles of hand sanitizer. And if it comes down to it, Mama Bear will emerge and tell the little old ladies to keep their snotty tissue-laden hands away from us. If a curious, straying, snot-nosed kid tries to get too close, I have plans to tell them that the babies are actually monsters that will morph in their dreams and attack them while they sleep. Sick and demented, you say? Totally. It's a curse that I have to live with. But my therapist says I'm making great strides.

We promise to let the cat out of the bag as soon as we can. In the meantime, please send extra prayers and happy thoughts our way on Saturday, Nov 8th. And also send up requests to the Big Man that our travels are safe and everyone stays healthy.

Lots of Love,

P.S. - If you already know about our big plans, we ask that you NOT mention them on this blog. Otherwise, we'll be forced to delete your comment. You KNOW how painful that would be for us, since we treasure each and every one that we get.

P.P.S. - Guess who has a double ear infection..... IT'S ME, IT'S ME!!! I can hardly hear a thing, so make sure you TYPE LOUDLY if you comment.

P.P.P.S. - We got tagged by the Donovan Clan. Thanks alot, Charity! We're supposed to post the 4th picture of the 4th folder on our computer. So, here it is.....

This was one Sunday morning at the Graf house. Man, why didn't anyone tell us our kids used to look like little alien monkeys. I'm glad they grew out of that! And you call yourselves friends...

P.P.P.P.S. - Say extra prayers for the Tubre family, too. Emma was so distraught about not being able to see her Aunt Moni that she reverted to eating dead lizards. Grody to the MAX! Yes, I'm a product of the '80s and that used to be my favorite saying.

P.P.P.P.P.S. - These post scripts are getting out of hand. I'm calling it quits for the night. Peace out, my Peeps!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bumper to Bumper

Just a few bumper stickers I found humorous to get you in the VOTING spirit today!

Please no hate mail. It's all in good fun.....I mean, it's only our country at stake, right Uncle T?

Monday, November 3, 2008

My how the tides have changed....

Okay, so I have to get these photos out of the way so I can continue on to the Halloween post. I had to go back, digging through the archives, but FINALLY found these bad boys. Remember way back when we were in the NICU and received these really sweet, angelic clothes from Gary and Monette? I believe that post was appropriately entitled, "Further Proof of Their Angelship".

In birth order: Pius, Forrest, Danna and Laine

Were those not the most precious angels ever?! Well, that was then. I was re-reading through some of the comments on that post and came upon Uncle Ryno's. It read as follows:

ryno said...
I already got them lil devil costumes for Halloween. I figure that will sum them up better here in a couple of years. lol jkRyno
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 1:02:00 PM CST

As it turns out, it didn't even take one full year for them to grow horns and tails. This is now:

Pius, Laine, Danna and Forrest

They even had little tails on them! See Forrest's hiney?

They are about the cutest little devils I've ever seen, though! These were not their Halloween costumes, but they were super cheap at Babies R Us. We've already been able to get alot of use out of them with the chilly weather we've been having! Our good friend and super baby-wrangler, Ashlyn, came over and took some fall pictures the other day. Another way in which we are SO BLESSED by our family and friends. For good measure, I'll add a few more shots of the quadsies in their devil sweats.

Pius James

Forrest Michael

Danna Lynn

Laine Ryan

The 3 Amigos: P, F & D

Laine being his irresistible self.

My dear Danna....I don't think she takes after her mother. She HATED being on the grass.

Pius, on the other hand, couldn't keep the grass out of his mouth (or leaves, sticks, small bugs, etc, etc, etc)

Forrest LOVES being outside and able to crawl anywhere and everywhere. The kitty-cat kept him busy for a good 15 minutes. Good thing she's quick.

Like the other 2 boys, Laine also loves being outdoors. He, however, doesn't like to put his hands down on the grass or leaves (unless they're headed to his mouth). I put him out in a pile of leaves and it was the longest time Laine has ever stayed in one place at one time. I went and rescued him by offering my fingers to hold on to.

We had fun going through the old costume box. Forrest looks so natural in horns, these days. Okay, before I start getting hate mail from the grandmas, I'M JUST KIDDING! Forrest is just a bit more stubborn and strong-willed than the others.

Fast-forward 16 years and this MIGHT be more accurate. In the meantime, we're really enjoying our sweet lil' toothless wonder.

But anyway.....Happy Halloween! Yah, I know I'm a few days behind. My bad, homies. I was scheduled to work in the ER that night and tried for a month to find someone to cover the first few hours of my shift. Everyone was either already working or planning to take their kids out. Bummer. So our festivities were cut short and the trick-or-treating was limited to Bucko, our wheelchair-bound neighbor, my mom and dad and Billy's mom and dad. We spend most of the time driving and loading/unloading our munchkins. The kids and Billy escorted me into work and everyone enjoyed the little Wizard of Oz parade. That's right, the Graf's and the Donovan Clan were thinking alike this year! Leave it to the darn Midwesterners.....

Pius was the lion (we figured we'd give the mane to the baby with the least amount of hair), Forrest was the scarecrow, Laine was the tin man and Danna, of course, was Miss Dorothy Gail. Billy and I wanted to dress up like the flying monkeys, but that would've required more work and money than it was worth. My next thought was for Billy to be Toto (because he IS Danna's little b***h) and then I would go as the wicked witch. What can I say? Here at the Graf house if the shoe fits, WE WEAR IT! We ended up only dressing the kids in costumes due to time constraints. But there's always next year....

Our Ozzy Crew at Bucko's front door

The darling Dorothy, Danna

The tender Tin Man, Laine (minus his pants)

Our stubborn Scarecrow, Forrest

The loving lion, Pius. Poor guy got the shaft with his costume. We kept taking the hood off because he was getting hot. You should've seen him try to crawl around in this thing! Priceless.

That's about all for this time around! We've been super busy and have a full schedule ahead of us. LOTS more to come, including a special announcement that is SO bittersweet. But that's a whole 'nuther post in itself and I need to get to bed.


Moni from the Land of Oz

P.S. To make a long post longer, I couldn't resist adding a few pictures of the babies' FIRST Halloween. They were dressed so cute! Anyone remember The Great Pumpkin? Man! Can't say I miss those days!