Friday, May 22, 2009

Mugshots & Rapsheets

Ahoy matey’s!

Navigating from within the helm our pornstar-like tub IN the bedroom of the condo, we have your Captain and First Mate, Jac and Moni. We (J & M) would like to share with you all a few mugshots taken of some of our favorite QuadMommas. Of course no post from us would be complete without a good roasting of the ladies for your reading and viewing enjoyment…

As a proper disclaimer, we must mention that the “rapsheets” may not make a whole lot of sense to the layman, AKA almost ANY person on this world but the 2009 QuadMommas (and many of us STILL won't get it). However, they could cause some of our travelmate friends to shoot drinks from their noses. So put that Coke Zero down before proceeding, ahem, Jenna.

Kelly Trullinger:

Anyone that can room with us for 3 days and live to tell about it is an ace in our book…..not that we award cookies or medals (we’re not the freakin’ Girl Scouts). She has unbelievable eyes that aren’t even puffy from being sleep deprived from having the youngest set of quads of all the QuadMommas on the trip. She is so easy-going, completely approachable and such a trooper for putting up with all our shenanigans. Maybe next year, with a little more preparation and conditioning, we can bring her over to the dark side....We think the dark progression is already coming along swimmingly.

Beth Walker:

We hit the Mother Load with this fine lady, folks! She has FABULOUS lips (especially while dancing), she’s hilariously sarcastic (picture a blond Janeane Garofalo), and has an undiagnosed disorder that prevents her right knee from tanning. Lastly, she possesses a soft spot for nuances named Bob which, sadly, can not be cured by any known antibiotic or any form of hand sanitizer. This girl is an absolute RIOT!

Charity Donovan:

Sweet Charity fits the bill for our trip motto, S.L.U.T.S (Sexy Ladies Under Tremendous Stress) by gracefully juggling her 1.5 year old quads and 6 year old singleton. She served as the official “Beth wrangler”, but even Charity can only do so much – after awhile it is just damage control. She is an absolute pleasure to be around!

Suz Steece:

Talk about a woman who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! With the most beautiful and contagious smile, she can make you see ALL situations from a positive perspective. She and Gen made an awesome team in the powder room. The woman can work hair magic with a little water wax and enough Pantene texture hair spray to style the entire American Idol crew (or maybe just Adam Lambert).

We mentioned how beautiful she is, but neglected to mention how effortlessly and naturally it comes for her...

See?! We totally caught her off guard and she still looks smokin hot while reading about the latest Lindsay Lohan debacle!

Casey Gerwer:

What can we say about our little Mother Goose mamacita…she did everything but wipe our butts for us! And that is the only reason we can overlook her attempt at sending our 15-passenger van careening into the concrete interstate divide. Talk about a doting mother; she felt the need to share her briefcase full of Gerwer baby pictures with our driver, Mon, while he was doing 70 mph and navigating a curve on the highway in the rain. After the van stopped swerving, we began to imagine what was ALMOST the morning’s national news headline: “56 children left orphaned due to overzealous mother armed with a butt load of mesmerizingly adorable quadling pictures.” There’s a whole lotta heart and spirit wrapped up in this tiny little package.

Misty Urech:

Whew! Girl’s got some eyes! She was the resident master masseuse for the group, which came in handy for the knots in our backs after we all decided we could bring “sexy back” at the clubs like we were Justin Timberlake. As a mom to one of the older sets of quads in the group, Misty shares her experiences for us up and comers. Those 4 girls have made her well prepared to dish out quad momma advice, which we eagerly lap up. Her girls are beautiful, or in the words of Tony the Tiger, “They’re G-Great!”

Sandra Cochran:

Gotta love how sweet she is, but truth be told, Captain Clutz could stub her toe in a padded room without corners! How she’s survived 25+ years WITHOUT being swaddled in bubble wrap is beyond our comprehension. Sandra has a gift for sniffing out a camera and can ALWAYS navigate herself into the background of an obscure picture. Many a tourist will be looking back through their family vacation portraits only to find a deliriously happy, no holds barred southern belle in the shot. She’s like the “Where’s Waldo” of QuadMommas 2009 – the proof is in the pudding every single flippin’ picture. Just look for the sick arms in the air!

Seriously, we were afraid of developing carpal tunnel so we stopped hitting upload after the first 3 pictures we came across.

Jenna Walker:

AKA supermodel – eat your heart out Gisele! She is very modest despite her ravishingly good looks and monokini-rockin’ bod. Adding to her attractiveness, she has a certain affinity for Arsenio Hall – Hoo Hoo Hoo, baby! We had the pleasure of meeting her quadlets, mom and dad in their home while on our trip (after all the other lightweights were homeward bound). All we can say is that those kids came from GOOD STOCK….and IT SHOWS! She is so selfless and an utter joy to be around!

Nicole Golden:

This BABY of the group has overcome more obstacles with her pregnancy and sweet preemies than most families can imagine…and she did it with grace. She is such a supportive wife and mother who would do anything for her family – including moving across the country! We secretly hate her for not having stretch marks or extra body fat. Not really, but it kind of makes us puke in our mouths a little. While she wasn’t able to join us until later in the trip (in fact, Charity and Beth missed the pleasure of her company altogether), we’re sure that watching her husband graduate medical school was MUCH more fulfilling than watching us….well, being us.

Gen McNulty:

Miss Genevieve is unbelievably disciplined and motivated in her workout regimen. You know the saying “Strong as an ox”? Well, from this day forth, it shall be referred to as “Strong as a Gen”. Workout Nazi by day, skilled makeup artist by night – she gave us willing subjects beautiful eyes! Also, she always had her kids on her mind the entire trip – Russ, Ally, Libby, Molly and the lesser known McNulty child, Zach. There's even been rumors of a 6th named Zoe, but it's all speculation at this time.

Despite her repeated attempts at knocking her front teeth out, she still has a captivating smile and laugh!

Jenny Burkett:

“We went together like peas and carrots, me and Jenny.” Surprising to many (as we have seen pictures of her in a black fro that she SAYS was a wig), she has knockout blond hair and a fun-lovin’ attitude to match. She definitely won the award for biggest shocker in the “get to know you” games. She was evil Casey’s sweet step-sister because she always made sure everyone was abiding by the buddy system. In true quad mom fashion, she was an excellent counter of heads. And despite being out of practice, she WAS able to count higher than 4…..which is more than we can say for Jac and Moni.

No roast would be complete without the roasters going at each other so without further ado…

Moni Graf

Alrighty folks, I (Jac) have secured control of the keyboard and sent Moni to empty the trash...what a tool. This is further proof of why I am Batman and she is Robin :) Anyway, there are a MILLION things I could say about Moni, but most would just drag my image right in the gutter with her and others would probably land us in jail so I think I’ll keep those little gems to myself. What I do know is that there is not another woman ON THIS PLANET that can hold a candle to Miss Moni. She is my best friend and I can’t imagine life without her. I am amazed to this day that God chose to bring us together, hundreds of miles from our homes (in Phoenix, AZ) while pregnant with our quads…what are the odds?? She loves life, loves her husband, LOVES her children and she is just the best thing since sliced bread. Well, enough of that mushy stuff, let’s get down to the nitty gritty…

It’s a tough pill to swallow for me to admit that I love a Bump-it wearing, Bama-loving, Amazon beast of a woman who constantly goes “ahh” after a round of laughing, but I do. Keep winking while laughing girly – and look good doing it!

Jac Tubre

Now for the true captain of the ship......(Moni, in case you were wondering). Taking out the trash?! My butt! Really, you honestly think I'm that naive? I was secretly using your LSU shirt as toilet paper after a nasty case of newly developed irritable bowel. Ha, ha....jokes on you. But really, I don't even know where to begin. How do I love thee, let me count the ways. Batman, I'll ALWAYS be your Robin (minus the tights and slightly homosexual attributes). You've inspired me to keep my mouth (or at least my cheeks) clean by flossing daily. I hear Victoria's Secret is coming out with a new line of floss soon. You are so task-oriented yet completely go-with-the-flow, and you help keep me on task. That is NOT an easy job (pretty much impossible), but one you've mastered without pulling out too much hair.....yours OR mine! And while you've made me totally self-conscious about my laugh and my tall stature, I'm glad we have a strong enough friendship to withstand any mud-slinging we can muster......Like when I call you a webbed monster footed, spoonin', crappy LSU-lovin', early bird risin', lightweight, flashin' piece of swamp trash from the bayou. My cheeks are killing me from laughing so much on this trip! You're my best friend and I can't wait for our next adventure and the next time I get to party with you again. I love you!!!

We had the time of our lives with all you lovely ladies! Lookin' forward to Round 2!

Jac and Moni

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I've Got All My Sistas With Me!

What's the first thing you did when you found out you were having 4 babies?"

After the shock wore off, each of us got online and googled "quads." One by one we found each other…THANK GOD WE DID!!

We quad moms have an incredibly special bond. We have spent countless hours chatting with each other online and on the phone. A day does not go by when our in boxes aren't full of funny, frustrating, tear jerking and loving emails addressed to the group. We have seen each other through our pregnancies, NICU stays, health scares and countless moments of triumph and hours of desperation. We have shared our stories, good and bad. We cheer each other on and pick each other up when the going gets tough. We have found strength in numbers and as a group we can solve any problem.

A few months ago Casey and Jac sent out an email that would forever change us all. They were bound and determined to organize the "first annual quad mom get away!" They were not going to take "no" for an answer and were willing to do whatever they could to help each and every one of us make it. Yes, they are that sweet and wonderful!

This past weekend our trip became a reality. We quad mommas, from all over the country, flew into Orlando, FL. We spent the weekend effortlessly bonding and enjoying each others company. Seeing our best friends for the first time in person is one of those things that words cannot describe. Each and every woman was even better in "real life!"

Not every single one of us was able to make the trip, however the turn out was AMAZING! Those of you who missed this year, we can't wait to see your smiling faces next time!

Casey and Jac, THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming up with this idea and for not taking "no" for an answer. It was truly one of the best weekends of our lives and we can't wait for next year!

In the words of sweet Sandra, "I'm so glad I had quads…it gave me all of you!"

In true Quad Momma fashion we took tons of pictures, here are just a few...

Official First Annual QuadMommas 2009 Shirt Front

Official First Annual QuadMommas 2009 Shirt Back

Orlando will NEVER be the same...
Not pictured is Nicole Golden who is living in the ice age and does not have a blog...YET...we are working on corrupting her. She was not able to join us until later in the trip (some other ladies were already back home).

Thank you to all the husbands, family members and friends who made this trip possible. We could never have done it without you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Five down...a half to go

Hi everybody. We have made it through five days, and five nights now without Mommy. I think the kids are probably sick of me. This morning we woke up and went to breakfast at the O. Miss Ellen had some Johnny going for us and the best cook in the world, Donnie, made us some scrambled eggs and peanut butter toast. Actually, he made the toast, and Aunt Lainie put the peanut butter (that Miss Ellen bought for us) on it. All four of them ate like champs...the entire time looking at me in disgust because I can't make eggs like Donnie.

After our breakfast at the O, we headed for the zoo. We decided that maybe it would work better in the morning when it was cooler. I guess everybody in Wichita thought it would be nice to be at the zoo today because it was packed. Now remember from my post yesterday..."I am kind of a jerk"...and I didn't want to go in, fight the crowds, and answer the same questions that we have answered five million times. I think I am just going to get a shirt that says: "Just check out for answers to any of your questions." I told you, I am kind of a jerk. Trust me, we don't mind questions from you guys (our loyal followers) at all.

Anyways, we didn't get out and go into the zoo, we decided to head for the park for the first time ever (as players of the park, not walkers of the park. We have been to the park for the MS Walk, but never played there.). We found a small playground that wasn't already full of people and stopped there. Forrest would have graded the playground an A. He loved it. He just started doing his Spazzy McGee yells and running around, going crazy. The other three were interested in the jungle gym (especially the tic-tac-toe) for about 5 minutes. All the boys went down the slide a couple times, but Danna was not interested. Do you think a princess spends time on slides?

Danna trying out the swing, and Laine trying to get bonked in the head...again...with the swing.

Pius giving the swing a go.

Forrest had this grin on his face the entire time.

Laine waiting on Danna's next move in Tic-Tac-Toe.

Laine giggling because Pius blocked his line.

Pius was playing by himself because Laine discovered the drawbridge, and Danna was watching Forrest slide down the slide.

Forrest's second trip down the slide. He wanted us to get a shot from the ground so everybody could see his cute butt.

Laine trying to figure out how to get away and cause some shenanigans.

Back to tic-tac-toe.

This was Pius's favorite activity at the park...obviously.

Danna looking like a weirdo.

We came home after about 45 minutes and went down for a much needed nap. We got ready for their next They have eaten pizza before and they loved it, so for the first time I ordered them their very own. They liked it so much better this time around. I even cut up and warmed a third piece because they weren't satisfied with the first two. After we washed up, I called in Bucko so I could make a run to Walmart. Laine had a great idea for Mommy's coming home present.
Isn't it cute? Normally we are a Pizza Hut family, but Gambino's is closer so they got a small deluxe.
While I was at Walmart I saw a gigantic tube of big bouncy balls on sale. I knew the kids would love one so I picked one up. Yet another of my decisions I would regret. Why wouldn't I just go ahead and buy three? I got home and revealed their newest toy. Let me tell you all, I hope that if the world ever has another world war, it isn't as bad as this. All three boys had to have the ball. They were going completely crazy. Finally, I stepped in and took the ball away. Well this REALLY pissed them off. I'm not kidding you guys though! We had our first brother on brother crime in the house. Forrest and Pius were hitting AND kicking each other. Laine was so mad at me for taking the ball away he wouldn't even let me put my hand out towards him. I think that this episode let me know, for sure, who has my horrible temper. Pius and Forrest calmed down easily enough, but Laine would have nothing to do with calm. Holy Moly!!!
After WWIII, and the dust settled, we had dinner and took a bath. They fell asleep for good tonight in 14 minutes, 48 seconds (that was for you Andrea, good idea). I wonder if GG Bucko and Gramma Vicki notice what was different from tonight compared with last night? The fact that we didn't have loud talking and playtime was probably the biggest difference. I want you guys to know that I am only teasing you, and I appreciate the adult interaction that I got on Monday night. I am just messing around with you. PLEASE COME BACK!!!
That does it for day 5. We are so excited to see our Mommy and my wife again. I am going to do my best to survive one more half-day on my own. Until next time...
B, P, F, D, and L

Monday, May 18, 2009

We've Made it Through Four Now!!!

Okay. Last night without bottles? I said last night that the kids went down after 20 minutes and they made it through the entire night, no problems. They even slept a little later than normal. Since the kids have been waking up at 7:30 I set my alarm for 7:00 so I could make them a special breakfast. My alarm went off and there was only heavy breathing. I got up and started on my specialty, french toast (from scratch), for the kids. (They had a rough ending to their night and I was so proud of them I had to do something special for them.) I heard the princess start in around 7:20, but nothing too crazy. I finished making their three slices of french toast and went in to their room. They were awake and so happy to see me. It relieved some of my worries because when I put them to bed without their bottles they were not very happy with me.

We got to the table and I started putting their french toast bites (with peanut butter and syrup) in front of them. THEY LOVED IT. The thing about french toast is it is a little bit chewier than the regular toast they are used to getting. I swear, Laine had about 9 little squares of french toast jammed into his mouth at one time because I was circling the table as quickly as normal, but they weren't eating as quickly as normal. They couldn't get enough, though. They were mad at me again because we ran out. Even one of their normal favories, a fruit cup, didn't make them happy. Anyways, we finished breakfast and took a bath. (How about that Mommy, three days in a row with a bath.)

We spent the rest of the morning watching our Baby Einsteins that emphasized animals. I had to get them ready for their afternoon adventure. They went down for their naps and I got their diaper bags ready, did some laundry, and got the house picked up. Lainie came over to help with our afternoon excursion, and when they woke up we ate an early lunch of veggies, some fruit, and some yogurt. We put on our shoes and they were very unhappy with my decision of putting on sunscreen. I know, though, that they have my complex with burning after 1 hour in the sun.

We got to the zoo and all started off well enough. We went through the amphibian exhibit and they really liked the turtles. When we got to the jungle I said to my self, "Self. They really enjoyed this last time. Lets do that again." I made a poor choice. It is so humid in there and I was sweating like a banana in a monkey cage. I think that my little buddy Laine got some sweat/sunscreen mixture in his eyes because he got mad about something. His eyes got really red and he was not happy. From the time we got out of the jungle on, Laine was in my arms. He wouldn't have it any other way.

Right after the jungle exhibit we did run into a friend of a friend of a friend. We met one of our local High Order Multiple buddy's sister-in-law. I didn't catch her name (Lainie did all of the talking...I am kind of a jerk), but she is the Hanson Triplets' aunt. I will say it is kind of neat being "recognized."

Probably one of their favorie sites, the geese, they came close and even squawked a couple of times.

I'm not sure what we are looking at, but the Towers are interested.

Beautiful Danna kept her hat on the entire time. She didn't want to get her head sunburned and she did not trust that I put enough screen on the top of her head.

This is the part of our trip where I am saying, "My belly is bigger than that bear's belly. I can beat him up so don't mess with me."

Finally we see an animal that we recognize off of Baby Einstein.

This is poor Laine after the Jungle.

Forrest is pointing at the turtle saying, "That turtle looks as lazy as you, Daddy."

The turtles were probably one of their favorite exhibits.

This caught all of their attention.

They really liked the exhibits that were low to the ground...for obvious reasons.
When we got home from the zoo, they were pretty worn out. They wanted Lainie or me to hold them. I was sitting on the couch and we were waiting for dinner to cool. Pius waddled up to me and tried to climb up on the couch to sit with me. Here is a replay of the conversation:
Pius: "Wah. Wah. Poor me. Daddy pick me up!"
Me: "Pius, I think you are going to live. Toughen up buddy."
Pius: "Wah. Wah. Pleeeease Daddy, pick me up."
Me: "C'mon Pius. Daddy is tired, too."
Pius then gives me the saddest, sweetest face of ALL TIME. Think: the cat in the Shrek movies when he is showing his kitten face. I am serious. Osama bin Laden could have been sitting there and he would have picked him up and loved on him. I have NEVER been suckered into anything ever like I was then. I picked him up instantly and we had a good cuddle for a couple of minutes. I think in Moni's absence I am getting soft.
As for the rest of the night...pretty normal. I set a timer to keep an actual time on how long it took the kids to calm down and go to sleep without bottles. Surprise, surprise, Danna was the last one to finally give up. 18 and 1/2 minutes without a bottle and she was the last one asleep. I am so proud of all of them giving up the bottles as easily as they are. My only worry is their dairy intake. They won't take their milk as well if they aren't left alone with it in their cribs. I have tried to make up for it by feeding them more yogurt, but I still worry a little.
That does it for day four. Thanks for everyone keeping up even though Moni isn't doing the blogging. I know she is missing the kids like crazy, and I like to think that she even misses me a little.
Until tomorrow night,
B, P, F, D, and L

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We're still rolling!

Day three report:

The kids decided to wake up earlier this morning. I guess they just can't wait to see what we are going to do next. We ate some pancakes with peanut butter and lots of syrup! They loved them. After that, I remembered why not to put too much syrup on their pancakes for them. All four of them were a big, sticky mess...even Forrest. We hopped into the bath to clean off and head to our first adventure of the day.

Our good friends, Chris Snook and his wife, Donna, invited the kids over to look at his gigantic salt-water aquarium. Chris spent 2 1/2 hours last night cleaning it up and getting the chairs ready for them so they could stand and see in. I am pretty sure that Forrest set a new record with his favorite question, "Wazzthat?" Pius and Forrest were amazed. Forrest made Donna hold him so he could see better and ask her "Wazzthat?" five million times. Pius stood on the ottoman and watched and pointed and talked and pointed and smiled and pointed. Danna and Laine were pretty indifferent until Snook went and fed the fish. All 10 or so of his fish started swimming all over and eating and then all four of them were staring for awhile. Thank you guys so much for letting us come in and watch the fish for awhile. Wazzthat?"

Laine was interested in the fish food.

Now Laine is bored and trying to think of what he can find to break.

Okay, interesting again.

Danna is trying to convince me to pick her up.

Pius was definitely the most interested of the four.

It is a beautiful aquarium that Snook had built into the wall while he was building his house.

Pius could have stood there for hours.

After the visit to the aquarium, we went home to take a nap. When we woke up we ate a lunch of chicken pot pie and got ready for the next adventure...bowling. My good friend Jen, my sister Lainie, and Budda met us at the lanes for all the excitement. Now I have to say, I thought it was a great idea at first and then I talked to Ryno and Moni about it. They thought it was going to be a disaster. So the closer I got to it, the more I started to think it was going to be a disaster, too. My kids have amazed me yet again. I think we have 3 future PBA professionals on our hands. Once they figured out that they get the ball back after they throw it down the lane, they were all about knocking the pins over. Danna sat in the back at the ball return with Jen and laughed at us boys and our stupid hobby. I think Danna must feel the same way about bowling that her mommy does.

Forrest wanted to put every single ball in the house on our ball return.

You can see Laine's gigantic grin as they watch their shot.

Danna says, "You guys are so stupid!"

Once again, notice Forrest's grin and their attentiveness.

They are trying to see if they can read the oil pattern.

Laine giving the ball the push.

This picture is of Laine when Forrest smashed his finger in the ball return.

Forrest was easily the most entertained. When he figured out the ball return's job, he would roll his ball, watch the pins go down, and then turn and run to the ball return.

Forrest is checking out Pius's shot.

Laine fully recovered from his smashed finger in no time. It didn't even turn red. I think it just barely got him and it scared him more than anything.

This is Forrest after we told him that he couldn't carry the ball to the line on his own. I asked our physical therapist tonight if it was normal that our 18-month old son could pick up a 9 pound ball and she said no. We always thought of Forrest as a Bam Bam Rubble type. He is super strong.

This is Forrest two minutes later checking out his next shot.

Laine watching his shot.

Laine getting super pumped about his line towards the pins. Hey Ryno, do you think that is a foul?

Danna trying to make a break for the arcade to see if she can pick up some boys.

Anyways, we made it through 2 games and 8 frames before we finally lost interest (except for Forrest). Our bowling debut scores were: 94, 77, and 80 (through 8 frames). I am telling you guys, the boys rocked it. One time, Bam Bam...err, Forrest, pushed the ball when I was turned away and it made it all the way down the lane without any of my help...he picked up 9, left a solid 10-pin. Yes, we did have bumpers. Yes, i did give the ball an extra push on their shots. The boys were diggin it though. We had a lot of fun.

Tonight when we got home from the alley, I was a little nervous. Moni and I had talked about it with our Rainbows people, and knew it was probably time to start taking the bottle away. Before we hear any crap about them needing to be off the bottle by 9 months, or 12 months, or anything else...WE KNOW. We have 4 toddlers, though, and are going to do it how it works best for us. The kids have at least taken bottles at nap time and bedtime since we have been home. They are getting too old though, so we decided that while Mommy was away, I would try it.

I called our physical therapist, Pam, and told her my plan for "Graf Quad Squad Bottle Removal." (I name everything). She said it sounded good, and she wanted to hear how it went. Let me tell you what I text to Pam, word for word, at 7:33 p.m. "My kids are freaking ROCKSTARS! Twenty minutes in their room, and they are all asleep. I need to make a parenting video." Now that I think about it, I don't need to make a parenting kids need to make a childrening (is that a word?) video. I am so proud of them. Their first night without bottles and they are out like lights after 20 minutes. That first 5 minutes was hard but, they calmed down and fell asleep like angels. I hope that I am not blogging about waking up at 4 in the morning with 4 screaming kids tomorrow.

That about does it for today. I will let you all know how the rest of tonight and tomorrow goes...tomorrow night.

Good Night,

Billy, Pius, Forrest, Danna, and Laine