Monday, November 30, 2009

SO proud! Now It's Time To Get Shoppin'!

Hey everyone!

One of my extremely hardworking, dedicated, and downright fabulous fellow quad mommas and friend, Casey Gerwer, has put her creativity and drive to work and started an online business. On Cyber Monday DESIGNED FOR BABIES will be open for business!!!

Check out their trendy gear for moms, dads, babies, kiddos, expectant moms and even grandparents! They also have custom diaper bags/handbags, developmental toys and much, much more! I know we will be ordering some Christmas goodies from the easy to use site! It's so hard to find specialty clothing and items for multiples, so I'm to excited to have another shopping option for the quads.



Thursday, November 19, 2009


Can anyone believe that the Graf Quads are 2 years old? That's right. 730 days have flown by since they were born and our lives are so much more rich, blessed and satisfying because of them. They are so big and smart......and incredibly good looking, of course. They were born 9 weeks early with a combined weight of 11 pounds, 2 ounces. We marvel at how they have grown and flourished since being released from the NICU.

We are so proud of them for everything they have learned and for all the things they do and WILL do in the future. We couldn't picture our lives without them and thank God everyday for giving us these four blessings (and for giving us the family and friends that have helped us survive these miracles). Our children challenge us, love us unconditionally, learn from us, teach us, and make us better people each and every day. The world is a better place because our quads are in it.

Pius James @ 2. Hamming it up!

Forrest Michael @ 2. Big grin from a big boy!

Danna Lynn @ 2. Daddy you're so funny!

Laine Ryan @ 2. Isn't it amazing?

Happy Birthday Graf Quads!
Momma and Daddy

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Funny how I always thought "Good Lord" was a quick, 2 syllable phrase. Well, that is NOT the case down South. Billy and I realized recently that just about every word in the English/Cajun dictionary can, in fact, be drawn out 2-3 times longer than I ever thought possible. Blasted southerners! Secretly, just between you and me, I LOVE me some southern took Billy a good 2 weeks back home to rid me of my acquired southern drawwwwwwl. But it never fails......get me on the phone with Ms. Swamp Thing herself, Jaclyn Tubre or the Queen of the South Sandra Deeeeeee Cochran for more than a minute, and Billy has his bar of ivory soap out, ready to wash my mouth of that accent. I cay-n't hey-yelp mah-sey-elf!

If you can't already tell, Billy and I were FINALLY able to make the trip down to Louisiana to see our very best buddies,
Jac and Torey Tubre. I had gone since May without seeing my Baton Rouge Beauty and since December of 2007 (while we were still in Phoenix) without laying eyes on her handsome hubby! Far too long in either case. If you can recall (any faithful Graf Quad Followers out there?!?), this is the trip we were scheduled to go on LAST November 2008. The Louisiana trip got postponed, however, due to being on the exact same weekend that America's Funniest Home Videos wanted us in Los Angeles with the kids to be finalists on the show with our "Quads for Cash" video. It was a tough call, but money talks. And it only took about 10 hours on the phone with Priceline/Delta/Northwest Airlines to get our reservations re-booked for this trip. I can't complain too much......I ended up getting the two $150 ticket exchange fees waived AND the 14-day advance ticket price. Sheesh. What I won't do to save a few hundred dollars.

We flew into town on a Friday and thankfully, we had every child care hour covered until we got home on Tuesday afternoon. Have I ever mentioned how wonderful our family and friends are? They're freakin-A AWESOME! We didn't have to scramble and make any last minute frenzied phone calls, Billy and I never worried about the kiddos' well-being (although we did worry about the mental health of our helpers at times), we had a fantastic time away, and it's ALL thanks to our wonderful helpers. Grams and Grampy Stubby stayed every night with the kids at our house (and throughout each day too) and we had so many other VERY LOYAL Graf Quad-lovers to fill in every hour of every day we were away. Budda and Papa Rog, Bucko, Aunt Lainie, great uncle Slammer and great aunties Renee, Rosie, Donna and Gayla, cousins Sarah, Megan, Zach, AJ, Melissa, Taylor, neighbor Carolyn and "Aunt" Melody, just to name a few. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO!

Just a snapshot view of the bare minimum "helper" coverage. It really DOES take a village to raise quads!

We spent Friday night in "New Awww-lenz" (that's New Orleans for those who don't speak/read well in Cajun). Another quad mama and papa, Sandra and Matt Cochran, drove in from Mississippi so we could all have some much needed free time away from our litters. My cousin, Becky Brady, also met up with us (remember back when we were living with her in Phoenix?). She's been in NOLA since then. Hot Dog!

Cousins Becky and Moni hanging out and watching the Carroll/Kapaun game. It was fun reminiscing about the old Phoenix days. We would have met up earlier but the street car she was riding in got into an accident and she had to walk forever in the rain to get to our sports bar.

We suckered Jac and Torey into watching our high school football team, Bishop Carroll, play our rival "Brothers in Christ" school, Kapun Mount Carmel (boooooo!) on the nationally televised ESPNU channel in a sports bar. It was fun watching our Carroll Golden Eagles beat those Kapaun Crusaders on national television from a thousand miles away. Way to go BCCHS! On another good note, I got my first-ever authentic New Orleans beads at that sports bar! I found them hanging on the mirror in the bathroom. And FYI.....I felt obligated to flash myself in the mirror just so I could say I flashed someone to get them!

Hot diggity! My very own New Orleans beads!

After the game we met up with the Cochrans, who were just rolling into town. We got to experience the infamous Bourbon Street for the first time with our seasoned southern cohorts. Billy wasn't a big fan because it basically reminded him of Old Town in Wichita (except with more puke and beads in the streets) and he doesn't like to be so crowded. However, I was so proud of him when he morphed into an LSU fan (gasp!) after some drunk Florida Gator fans (possibly Ry and J-Walker, reincarnated for the night) started talking smack to Torey. Bill to the rescue. I'm sure the LSU-supporting words were cutting his tongue like razor blades on their way out of his mouth, but you do whatcha gotta do for good friends. It was all good hearted jesting and no punches were thrown. That's just not the way we roll.

Billy trying to intervene. Those tactless Florida fans started running their jaws without provocation (unless you call a flaming purple shirt provocative)! Something had to be done before Jac was taken to jail for "Murder in the 1st". We couldn't bear to see our innocent Tubre Cupcakes left motherless for 25 yrs to life.

Getting ready to hit Bourb-Street, Quad Mama style: Becky, Moni, Sandra, Jac

Jac had to separate Sandra and and black/red plaid tend to clash. LOVE these fine ladies! We picked up right where we left off in Orlando. Scary thought, I know.

Our Bourbon-ly bunch minus Billy....he decided to take the pic instead of risking asking some random party-goer to and getting our camera stolen. Way to take one for the team, Billy Joe.

No, that is NOT an abnormally large beer. Matt is just a wee-little man! Just kidding.....but picture it and laugh. I did. Does that surprise you?

What did people do before digital cameras? My guess is that there were many heads cut off in pictures while people tried taking self-portraits. Love those self-portraits.

We bid farewell to Becky when her fiancee, John, came by to pick her up that night. Then we scurried on up to our gorgeous Westin Hotel rooms that we got hooked up with by none other than the Triple-D Threat.......DeeDee and Dano Aucoin (Jac's 'rents)! Thank you guys for ALWAYS taking care of us on our travels (they were the ones responsible for the rockin' condos we rented while on our Orlando QuadMommas 2009 trip, too)!

Yep. This was the only pic I had of the two of them. It was taken 2 years ago in Phoenix and it does not do them justice. There's no mistaking that Jac came from good stock.

.....So I ripped this pic from Jaclyn. DeeDee is SMOKIN'!

On Saturday (game day), we dragged our tired butts out of bed and walked down the streets of New Orleans to experience some fine cuisine before loading up and driving to Baton Rouge. Anyone ever hear of a place called Cafe du Monde? The Louisianans taught us how to spot out the tourists.....they are the ones that wait in line for HOURS when the folks who "know" just bypass the lines and go seat themselves. Seriously. Cafe du Monde doesn't seat people so you just go jump in to the first open table! And while I'll say the menu options left something to be desired (they serve only beignets and coffee/drinks), the "ben-gays", as Billy so eloquently called them, were to die for! Literally.....I could almost hear my arteries clogging as I downed one.

Sure, we had to clear and clean our own table....but the important thing was that we didn't have to WAIT on a table. And try not to gag and vomit when you look at all that LSU apparel. Geaux=Goo in my vocab.

I don't think I've ever been on as big a sugar high as I was after eating one of these "ben-gay's". Good Lauw-rd that's sugar-coated heart attack!

Toe and Jac absolutely HATE these things. They think they are completely disgusting and only ate 5 of them to help us not feel so bad.....and the Pope is not Catholic.

After reaching maximum sugar high capacity, we drove to Baton Rouge for some tailgating. Now for those of you who think you've been to a us, you have NOT, unless it was in Death Valley. People in the SEC know how to do it up right. Jac and Torey had 3 parties to hit and all three of them were a blast. There was food, there were TVs set up to watch other games (so Billy was able to see Bama's destruction of Ole Miss), there was food, there was music, there was food, and there was a lot of partying going on. Did I mention there was FOOD? And to say these fans start early is the understatement of the year. The diehards start at 0600 in the morning! Keep in mind that the game didn't even kickoff until 7:00 pm that evening.

The 3 Stooges/Amigos/Musketeers watching the Bama/Ole Miss game at one of the tailgate parties. L to R is Bill-boy, Coach Cochran the Croc Hunter, and Mr. T......

.......And their better halves.

Of course, Billy and I showed up wearing our Alabama Crimson Red. We mixed right in to the sea of Tiger purple/gold and Gator blue/orange about as well as cats mix with water. Billy and I are alot of things......but one thing we are NOT, is naive. We definitely were expecting to receive SOME ribbing about our choice of clothing. We kept smiles on our faces through the comments and laughed along as the butt of passers-by jokes. But after we got our five hundred sixty four thousandth, six hundred twenty second comment that went something along the lines of, "BAMA?!?! You must be confused, sweetheart!", I'm pretty sure Billy started sweating bullets and thinking he was gonna be fighting a bunch of frat boys soon when I opened my big mouth and responded,

"Well Hell! Despite popular belief, I guess LSU fans CAN read! Good for you, sugar!"

Of course I kept a smile on my face the whole time, but quickened my step after blurting that one out. In fact, I think all 6 of us hurried our pace after that for fear of being spat upon or drenched in alcoholic was too early in the day to have to walk around in damp clothing.

Sometime between our 1st and 3rd pregame parties, we met up with ANOTHER quad couple,
Nick and Kami Lambe. They, along with the Tubre's, the Cochran's and Misty Urech, have the unfortunate curse of being LSU fans. But that didn't hamper the good times. I am continually amazed at how I feel like I've been friends for life with my fellow quad parents....even if we've never met in person before. I don't know what it is, but I can't even describe the comraderie that is felt. Not only are our children the biggest blessings of my life, but how having them has given me the greatest friendships too. It's a double whammy blessing! I don't know how I'd survive without my fellow partners in crime.....errr.....quadmamas, I mean. Okay, enough of that mushy stuff.

Jac, Sandra Deeeee, Kami and me

Mr & Mrs Tubre, Mr & Mrs Cochran, Mr & Mrs Lambe and Mr & Mrs Graf. Let's see....that's 17 children among us (not counting the hubbies).

Guess what?! The kid count will soon be increasing! Billy didn't get the memo that drinking alcohol while pregnant is not good for the baby(ies).

Tailgating.....Jac-style. I wonder how many flies she caught. Guarantee you that it wasn't even close to the number of pictures that were taken of her in this position. I'm just happy that the 30 60 minute nap was just what she needed to make it to the end of the night.

Rested up and ready to smack-talk. And do you see that knee in the background?

Here's a closer look. It was nice to commiserate with a fellow Osgood-Schlatter sufferer. I've had the same problem with my knees since grade school. That would be Coach Cochran's knee next to mine. And yes....I really am that pasty white, which is almost as disgusting as the alienhead-shaped form protruding from below our kneecaps.

This pic is just for Gen! Remember that hair clip you let me borrow in Orlando when it started raining? The torch has been passed and your clip now resides with Sandra in Mississippi. Sidenote: never knew it was customary to bring your own T.P. to port-a-potties. Good thing everyone else was on the ball and lended a sista a hand! Not actually a "hand"...that would be gross. They brought extra paper for me.

I've gotta get to the end of the game so I can post what I have so far. I'm feeling the pressure from all sides so our trip will have to be posted in increments. Dang always gets in the way of blogging!
Where was I? Oh yeah...STILL tailgating. Unbelievable tailgating. Due to some communication errors, we only had access to two game tickets. We all set out to see if we could find any extras among the masses. It was a big game and the scalpers knew that. They were asking ridiculous amounts so we kept searching and searching until gametime. Jac and I headed to our seats in the stadium and left the boys to fend for themselves. Matt and Sandra hadn't planned to go to the game so they stuck with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum after we left. They never did end up finding tickets and went to a big building on campus to watch the game on a big screen. P-Nut Hall? P-Mac Hall? Something like that.

Jac and I found our seats and settled in. I must say, LSU puts on a good show. But Dow Chemicals put on a better one. Sometime during the 1st, 2nd or 3rd quarter (I had no concept of time), we saw a BIG flame in the distance. Jac's eyes got wide and she immediately got on the horn calling work. Like usual, I thought I missed something and she told me that the flame was coming from one of the Dow Plants that she works at. Fortunately, it was not from HER specific Plant and things were being taken care of, so we got back to our game-watching.

See the bright orange fire in the distance? Maybe it was just a premonition of how the Tigers would be going down in flames by the end of the game. Cruel, I know. I couldn't help myself.

That's ONE DEDICATED EMPLOYEE! Talk about putting your gameface on.
The game didn't go as well as the Tigers were hoping and the Gators won. I realized just how much of the game I overlooked when I realized about 10 minutes into the FOURTH quarter that the quarterback, Tebow, did NOT play for the Tigers. I was shocked. All day I'd been hearing disputes about whether or not this Tebow dude would play that night. Billy and Jac kept bickering back and forth about it so naturally, I assumed Tebow played for LSU. Well you know what happens when people ass-u-me. I must have sounded like the hugest moron when I turned to Jac in the 4th quarter and with disbelief in my voice said,
"You mean TEEEE-BOW (visual me making the hand-to-elbow gesture that goes with his name) plays for Florida?!?!"
Jac looked at me and stared for a second just to make sure I wasn't joking. When she saw that I was serious, the jokes started....and they haven't stopped yet. Pretty sure I'll never live that one down. We'll be 90 years old and getting our diapers changed by our 8 kids and she'll STILL bring up "that time back in 2009 when it took a full day of tailgating in Death Valley and most of the game for Moni to realize that she was cheering for the wrong quarterback". Oh well. It makes for a good (slightly embarrassing) story.
The rain didn't dampen our good time....but Tebow sure did.

After the big defeat, we muddled our way out of the stadium and met up with the rest of our group at the 'burb. Torey drove our partied-out hineys back to their home and we unloaded our bags and hit the sack. We had to get rested up for the Cupcakes' arrival in the morning so we could give them the proper Kansas lovin' they are due.
I'm gonna go ahead and stop right here. This post is beyond "too long" and I want to be sure to give the rest of our Louisiana Trip the credit it deserves. Too many memories I want to preserve to squeeze it all in one post.
Until next time......