Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bloggers Anonymous (B.A.)

First and foremost, happy belated Easter from the Graf Family!

Now, it's on to the show!

Hello. My name is Monica Graf and I'm a quad mama blog-slacker.

I'm thinking of starting a self help group called Bloggers Anonymous. I have to admit....I've really let the blog go to the way-side lately, which is something that stresses me out to no end. I actually get nervous and anxious when I wait so long in between posts because it usually means we've either been super busy or sick (we've been busy, not sick...thankfully). I worry that I'm going to forget stuff I want to write down and remember for posterity's sake. Then I end up spending HOURS writing and uploading pictures/videos to play catch-up. And THAT, my friends, is the reason our posts are usually so dang long. This one is no different. I should start working on my procrastination problem.....but I'll get to that later ;) It really is a tad on the ridiculous side, though. So I'm sorry (Stacy) for the sloooooooow blog posts lately (oh, who am I's been this way since before I delivered the quads). It was too nice last week to stay indoors and sit in front of the computer. And a few weeks ago when KS got hit with a spring blizzard, I didn't post because we were enjoying a "snow day" with family. But I did take LOTS of pictures those couple of days when we were stuck inside.

Our crazy quatro.....Pi-man, FoFo, D, Zinski

I'm dreaming of a white.....Easter?!?! Doesn't quite have the same ring to it.


Fo-west Fudd....Weady to go hunt wabbits.

Such a little lady

It doesn't matter what it is, if one of the other 3 has something that looks even remotely fun, Pius will try to steal it. He has a special fondness for hats and will keep saying and signing the word "hat" until he can be distracted.

I think Laine is going to have that, "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed in you" look down pat in a few years. We'll have to teach him how to use it effectively with his siblings. I'm sure my mom could give him some helpful pointers! I was always a sucker for that.

On Saturday, April 4th, Billy and I took the kids to Sedgwick County Park to participate in the MS Walk. Billy's mom, Vicki, was our captain for Team Selenke. We walked for several people we know (our neighbor, a friend from work, other family members) that have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but mainly we walked for Gramma Vicki. MS can be such a debilitating disease and we hope and pray they continue to make strides in their research and treatment for this terrible illness. It was a VERY windy day in the park, but we managed to squeak out some decently warm weather (which is a crap shoot this time of year in Kansas....snow one day, sunny in the 70's the next day, rain and lightning after that). The kids just loved being out and about with so much to see! Next Saturday we'll be attending the March of Dimes walk with the Wesley Medical Center ER/Trauma team, along with some of my co-workers (hope the weather's nice, Shelia!). I think the Hanson Triplets will be there, too. We'll cause quite a scene with our 2 Choo-Choo wagons side by side. I'll be sure to take that's ever a problem.

I don't know WHY they stood out in the crowd! Surely the wagon and warm jester hats are not to blame.

The 2009 MS Walk's Team Selenke (can you spot all 4 of the quads?)

Gettin' some Gramma Vicki love

Aunt Lainie (Billy's little sister) has been coming over a lot lately to use us as subjects for her photojournalism class. I'm told she got some great shots of the kids, but I don't know personally because I have yet to see the CD (ahem, ahem, that's a hint Lainie, ahem). She is also using us as her final video interview project, so she came over to ask Billy and me a series of questions about our journey to quadhood during the babies' nap. I can't wait to see the finished product....maybe, with enough persuasion, we can post that on the blog after she's finished. This next group of pictures are just miscellaneous shots I took from those days. I didn't know where else to squeeze them in.

Great taste in sports NEVER goes out of season! Adios, Jay Cutler!

Cousin Steph and husband Cole brought these super cool Cars chairs over the other day, along with MORE awesome Usborne books and storage bin shelves for the kids. I love, love, love when they run out of storage space because we score BIG! Thanks again for all the great stuff Steph and Cole.

Pius making the sign for "chair". What a little show-off.

Mama and her little cheer-peanut

A very sober Forrest. He took the news of QB Cutler being traded pretty hard.

Laine didn't.

This boy loves him some books! Pius will walk up to you, grab your hand, place a book in it and park himself in your lap. Not reading to him is NOT an option! Sidenote: Notice how he "W" sits? We always try to correct his legs when he does this because sitting this way is not good for the hips.....but knee-walking (which he still does often) is actually good for his hips. How does that work?

It's so rare to actually capture a Laine smile on camera. He's like a clam that closes every time he catches wind of the camera. Frustrating!

Pius, on the other hand, can ham with the best of 'em! We used to say Forrest could charm his way into selling a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. I do believe the charmer title belongs to Pius now.

Back to serious-faced Laine (but still irresistible)

Long gone are the days of setting them all in line for a picture without them scurrying in 4 different directions. This is a typical attempt at a group photo. Gone in 60 nanoseconds.

And what caused all the scampering away and commotion during our photo shoot? Our OUTDOOR kitty somehow snuck inside while we weren't looking. Talk about a raucous! The kids loved it, so we let her stay in for a few more minutes. Don't you just love how Pius still has the bunny ears on (that boy is a "hat" fanatic, I tell ya). And yes, Forrest likes to open the wipes container and suck on several of them at a time. I hope he's not a toilet paper eater later.

Danna finally getting her one-on-one time with kitty.

Last Friday, Aunt Delilah Donna came over to give Forrest ANOTHER haircut. That boy is his father's son, through and through! His hair grows like crazy and we were tired of him looking like Don King every morning and after every nap. He got a big-boy clipper cut and looks SO different now! His shorn head constantly reminds me that I have toddlers now. Those newborn days are gone like a fart in the wind. Sigh. I can definitely see how some people get the "baby itch" about this time. And before you, there is NO underlying hint hidden there. Billy and I are most definitely NOT trying to have another baby at this time! Aunt Donna also cleaned up the persistent mullet that Pius keeps trying to grow. Danna and Laine were able to skirt by without any trimming this time around. Donna, thank you so much for being our own, personal hairstylist that makes housecalls! We appreciate it SO much!

I don't know who was more proud of the short cut....Forrest or Billy.

Okay, tell me honestly....does anybody else's kids do this? All 4 of mine LOVE to suck on the baby lotion pump. Surely they're not alone. baby's growing up!

I never thought I'd see the day when Pius had longer hair than Forrest.

The Twin Towers (Pius left, Forrest right)

Those two bottom teeth.....HOLY! They are ONE reason we call Pius "bulldog". But I've gotta admit, his charming smile would be missing something without those snaggle-teeth. He'll steal your heart, but watch out....he could poke an eye out with that grin if you're not careful!

Danna: "See, Pius? All you've gotta do is file them down a little here and BAM! Good as new."

We hope you all had a great Holy Week and Easter! Ours was rainy and chilly, but filled with lots of family lovin'. Billy and I decided to brave early 7:00 a.m. Easter morning Mass with our foursome. It gets a little tricky when the kids realize they outnumber us 2 to 1. Fortunately for us, they didn't pick up on this until sometime after the homily. Billy and I were each holding 2 throughout the service (really makes me miss those infant carseat carriers), but they started getting a little fidgety towards the home stretch. All hell broke loose when we decided to try and distract them with Gerber puffs. Turned out to be a bad idea. Ahhhh, lessons learned. I'm just happy we were able to entertain the entire cry room with our sideshow! Which brings up a HUGE issue with me that I'm going to lay out there.....PLEASE, unless you have young children or are an adult with a condition that prohibits you from controlling yourself (i.e. Tourette's syndrome, certain mental disorders, frequent hallucinations, etc), DO NOT take up valuable seat space in your church's cry room/nursery! We were running late (imagine that) and arrived in church at 7:03. We were greeted by a packed cry room, but oddly enough, there were only about 3 small children in there with over 30 adults. Standing room only. Now, either those 3 children had seriously dysfunctional parent figures, OR people wanted to duck into church late and/or out of church early without too much detection. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but PEOPLE.........give me a break!!!! Some of those "child-less" adults must have felt guilty after seeing us struggle to get in the door with 2 babies in each of our arms and no pew space to call our own. One row scooted closer together to make room for us (mighty chivalrous, huh?). Sheesh! I hope they felt a small amount of shame. I know I'm probably guilty of doing this very thing a time or two in my teenage/high school days, but never with a packed house and families with children standing. My oh my, how karmic retribution can really come back around to kick you in the proverbial balls.....just a warning. Alright, I'm coming back down off my little soap box now.

Getting ready to head to Mass. Check out our new carseat configuration. Danna's still in her infant seat on Laine's right side. And before anyone gives unsolicitated advice on carseat safety, we feel these seats are very safe. While we know about the research that shows rear-facing seats to be ideal, it just isn't feasible at this time. So, unless you're willing to fork over the cash for outrageously expensive Britax seats (times 4), we'll just be grateful for the ones we have.

Laine and Angela (Uncle Ryno's girlfriend....I know, we're surprised she hasn't kicked him to the curb yet too). Our 2nd stop on Easter was at Uncle Jim and Aunt Renee's house for the Selenke get together. The kids had so much fun playing with their cousins (and a different set of toys).

This is Austin, the "cool" big cousin. He was so good about sharing his toys!

In true Danna fashion, she is sitting alone reading a book to herself. These are the times that she is truly her happiest. And that's spilled water on her dress....not drool (for once).

Pius loved exploring his new surroundings.

Forrest was our shy, clingy one at first. Then he got used to all the people and found the cars to play with.

It was great getting the kids together with family. Especially their other "cool" big cousin, Jack. Boy did they get rowdy!

Danna quickly became a victim of the boys' rowdiness. She voiced her disapproval of getting a car chucked at her head to daddy.


Gramma Vicki with the princess

After the Selenke celebration, we headed out to the Haag Family Easter get together. My cousin Kevin and wife Kim hosted the event in their hangar just outside the city. Talk about a kid's paradise! There were car arcade games and playhouses and MARKERS there to play with. Pius was content being a backseat driver for cousin Taylor.

Billy and his mini-me....right down to the pursed lips and and gaze. I kid you not, Forrest is a spittin' image! Don't you love the artwork on his hands?

Did I mention they had markers there? Laine took part in helping to color the playhouse (and his face, clothes and siblings). By the time we left, our boys looked like colorful Easter eggs.

No, there is nothing on your computer screen. They LOVED getting dirty.

Danna spilled cold water all over her dress, so she borrowed Ronin's spare shirt. Danna was exhausted and grumpy by this point, so Aunt Mollie gave her lots of cuddle time.

Another "cool" big cousin, Ronin. This picture taken just after he was attacked by a rabid marker. I swear, it was like "Toddlers Gone Wild" there!

Pius and Danna with their favorite Aunt Cathy....of course, they only have one Aunt Cathy, but that's beside the point.

On the way home from a busy, rainy day. Pius was on the brink of delirium.

It was a nice, quiet ride home. The ink from the markers must have leached the fight out of them.

And he's spent. I wish I would have captured the little pool of drool Pius left on the chest buckle. How uncomfortable does that look?!

After we got back home, we got the kids fed (for the 5oth time that day) and bathed. The bath water was a nice murky brown/blue color when we finished. It felt good to wear them out with a full day of activity, and I'm sure they were just as excited to see their beds and blankies as Billy and I were!

In closing, Pius wanted me to inform everyone that he hates brown-nosers.....he prefers brown-MOUTHers!

On that rather distasteful note, I wish you all a great hump day. I'm bowing out and exiting stage left. That is, if I can get my legs to work now that I've been sitting here for several hours.....