Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Say Ketchup, I Say Catch-up...Park

Have you heard of the game, "I've Never"? Well, today I get to check something off my list of "I've Never's". I'm excited to use it next time I play the game (I wonder why this one never came up in Orlando, girls?!).

I've Never......

1) Taken quadruplets to a REAL park before.


2)Taken quadruplets to a real park SOLO before.

That's right, my deprived kids had never been to a real-life park before and I was insane enough to try my hand at wrangling 4 toddlers at one by myself! Billy was working, the kids were going stir-crazy at home, and I needed a little distraction. I'm happy to say the trip was a success. Sure, I picked one of the hottest days of the year, but that just adds to the sense of accomplishment.

Just one swing shy....Laine got the shaft.

There is a great new park at the Sedgwick County Park (right next door to the Sedg Co Zoo) that is fenced in and has different sections for different ages of children. It even has an area suited for children with handicaps! How awesome is that?!

The kids got a little (okay, A LOT) dirty playing in the sand and water features, but I know they had a great time! Pius was my little wanderer/escape artist. He would see an opening and RUN for it.

Forrest loved playing in the water with the cup. I swear, my kids would be happy with a sleeve of plastic cups for their birthday!

Danna's favorite feature, by far, was the swing. She was perfectly content swaying in the stiffling heat while the boys got dirty.

Pretty sure Pius just ate sand and Forrest was getting ready to drink some. That's'll put hair on their chest.

About 30 minutes before we were getting ready to leave, my mom showed up and surprised us. She was on her way home from her Jazzercise class and stopped in to lend a hand.....a much needed hand! Before she left to head home, she helped me herd the little squirrels and load them into the Choo-Choo Wagon. We waved bye-bye to Budda and took off for a stroll around the park to see all the ducks and geese.

The kids can also check off a new thing from their list of "I've Never's".....chocolate chip cookies!!! Saying they enjoyed them would be the understatement of the year.

Up next......a break in the "Ketchup" series for details about last weekend's girl trip! If you just can't wait to hear about it, you can read here, here and here for more information. Stay tuned!



Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Say Ketchup, I Say Catch-Up...Nebraska Trip

Hi everyone. The second post of our "catch-up" series is about the kids' great-grandpa, Pius "Papa" Selenke's induction into the BCRA (Big Car Racing Association) Hall of Fame. As some of you know Papa was a regional legend on the dirt-track racing circuit. He was a car owner for many years, and he was inducted into his 2nd hall of fame last month. The hall of fame is actually in Colorado, but the ceremony was in Lincoln, Nebraska.....or "stinkin' Lincoln" as SOME would refer to it as! Bucko, Uncle Jim, Aunt Paula, Moni, Laine (yes, just Laine) and I went to represent the Selenke family.

Laine had been being quite the terror for the couple weeks leading up to the event, and while Aunt Lainie wanted to take on the challenge of all four of them, Moni and I decided to take our little butthead with us to lessen the work for her. We also thought that some special two-on-one time would benefit our little man. On the ride up, everything went pretty well and that night at the ceremony things were good. The place where the event was held, Bill Smith's Museum of American Speed, was an incredible location with lots of cars for Laine to look at.

Laine is obsessed with cars, and saying the word "CAH" every time we see one. That is another reason we took Laine with us. I am not kidding, he will sit and watch a NASCAR race for 30 minutes (which is a long time for a 20-month old). We have also taken the kids to the dirt-track races at 81 Speedway and Laine was so entertained. He thought it was so funny when the cars and the noise would pass by. He'd sport the biggest grin and start giggling with each lap.

Laine was very well behaved for the entire trip up, the ceremony, and the next day...until McPherson, KS on the way home. From McPherson to past Park City he SCREAMED. For those of you who don't know, that is 45 uninterrupted minutes of some of the loudest screaming I have heard from any of the Quad Squad. We learned that 5 hours straight in a car is too much time for them to handle. Valuable lesson to learn for future reference! For the trips that we have planned for the fall, we will either travel through the night or take a couple breaks during the trip (about every 3 hours would be ideal).

This was during the aforementioned 45 minutes of hell. Notice the disheveled hair, red face, and if the picture would have been more clear, you'd have seen the snot running down as well.

The calm before the storm.....he was giving us a false sense of security.

After the ceremony we stopped at a steakhouse for dinner. Laine decided to drink his dinner.

On the way to the ceremony.

Bucko holding Papa's plaque. Uncle Jim gave the speech and did a great job.

Looking at all the cars really wore us out.

But, boy was it fun before we were tired.

There he is with the Selenke tongue, looking for some more "CAHS" to see. He was also CRAZY-FASCINATED with the shiny, smooth brick floor. He kept bending over to touch it.

One of the cutest things he has ever done: When we first got to the place, he was so quiet and awestruck. I was holding him and he was looking all around and was just whispering "CAH, CAH" in my ear. It was so cute.

Laine really enjoyed having free reign in the hotel room, too. He finally grew accustomed to the idea that he didn't have to compete with anyone else for play time and attention. He seemed to be having fun climbing all over the furniture, jumping on the bed, sticking his hand in the Kleenex dispenser (you know, the really big things) and roaming around without worrying about who was gonna knock him over and take over his space. I think he could have assumed an "only child" role without even batting an eye!

Like I said, he REALLY enjoyed all of the roaming room.



Monday, July 20, 2009

You Say Ketchup, I Say Catch-Up...The Inaugural Post

Are you wondering what the heck is going on with the title? You'd better just get used to reading that little gem of a phrase, because that's how each of the next 8 or so blog posts will start, followed by the event. We've been SO busy lately and have SO much fun stuff to report, that if we tried to do it all in one HUGE post (typical Bill and Moni style), we'd probably get booted from blogger......or at least hung by our toenails. Soooooo, we'll be updating the blog in installments until we're caught up.

Now, none of this would be possible without the latest addition to our family.....our new HP Entertainment Notebook PC.

Yep, this is where all the magic happens. This baby is awesome! I can't help but stroke it's keys with a little extra love and finesse while I type. I'm hooked.....not only to the new computer, but also to Best Buy who financed this puppy. Man, I hate owing people money. Unfortunately, our old laptop got infected somehow (I say "somehow", but I blame it fully on a Facebook the words of Suz Steece, it was dirrrr-tay!). So, being without a computer for awhile slowed us down some. But we are now rearing and ready to blog! And boy do we have some catching up to do.

In case you've forgotten what the kids look like, here's a refresher:

Pius: He's been putting in long hours at the gym, practicing his hoops. He plans on going to The League straight out of pre-school. Eat that, LeBron.

Forrest: Still loves his thumb and blankie. He has the most teeth and we are witnessing some grueling molar action going on (tops and bottoms).

Danna Lynn (looks like a little old man who forgot to put his teeth in here): The Diva is now a full-time walker! Since our last post towards the beginning of the month, she has made up her mind to get off all-fours. While she still falls often and looks like a drunken sailor when walking, she keeps popping right back up. Her brothers accidentally knock her down alot (it doesn't take much), and I wonder if she feels like one of those inflatable punching bags with sand in the bottom that always spring back up after being hit. Maybe we should just start calling her Timex.....takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!

The Laine-Train: Oh dear....what can I say?! He's had a rough couple of weeks (months might be more accurate). He's had a nasty rash from the waist down for several weeks now, and despite a 2 week course of oral steroids, it's still hanging around and spreading to his arms and hands. Doc calls it Erythema Multiforme, I call it "My child has turned into a monster" rash. In all fairness to Laine, I know that it stings and itches and he's probably handling the discomfort better than I would. Fortunately, his symptoms seem to be improving. In fact, he has been jockeying for the lead on good behavior for the last couple of days! That's a BIG step for him, considering he's usually the last place contender!

We hope you all follow along with us as we chronicle the Graf Quads' June and July engagements in the posts to come. And because we don't want to be perpetually behind on EVERTHING we've done this summer, we're including a look at how we spent the weekend in this "Inaugural Post" of the series.

We spent the days and nights out at Grammy and Grampy Graf's house on both Friday and Saturday (and most of Sunday). And although Mike and Vicki are both too kind and much too in love with our children to say it, 4 toddlers DEFINITELY know how to wear their welcome thin! We only live about 5-10 minutes down the road, but sometimes it's nice to have a change of scenery, especially when the children are climbing the walls at home and ready to do something different. Plus, they have a pool! Laine and Danna both took after their mother's love of water. Forrest and Pius also like the pool, but only on THEIR terms.

Vicki with Danna (in the recently recalled crab float....yes, we got that memo and will be calling for a replacement/refund) and cousin Ashley with Forrest.

Pius: "Uh....Which way to the gym?!"

Pius with his "ma'am-maw"

Laine keeping guard over the balls....he was perfectly content to stay away from the mower (I know.....surprised me, too.)

Danna kept getting the biggest kick out of hitting the shrub branches in the background (no, not the rose bush......I'd like for you to give me a LITTLE more credit than that). Strange, but true.

Forrest couldn't get enough mow time with his gampy. LOVED the riding lawnmower!

And when it was finally Pius's turn......

.........We had a little melt down and fit. So what did Stubby do?

AWWWW! Talk about a Kodak moment! Of course, not a lot of grass got cut and I'm pretty sure it was the longest mow of grampa Stubby's life!

On Saturday night, Billy had to work and Mike and Vicki had already made plans to watch the races at 81 Speedway. The kids and I had the whole house to ourselves that evening. Baths are always good time killers and I thought they would love to take one in a new setting. So I led them all to the master bedroom where I had drawn the bath water, turned around to go pick up Danna who was dawdling at the top of the stairs, came back 10 seconds later, and found this....

Little turds!!! Do you know how hard it is to scold your child when you kind of want to laugh? The smiles went away quickly when I realized Pius had dropped a massively huge load in his diaper that he was still wearing, and was now filling with water and swelling up like Will Smith's face in Hitch (you know the scene.....after he has an allergic reaction). What to do, what to do.... Well, we got it figured out and bathtime proceeded like usual. Near drownings, attempted jail breaks and enough splashing to drench their mama. You know, the norm.

Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub. Oh crap, where's Danna?!

There she is....taking up her rightful (in her mind, at least) 3/4ths of the tub. She loves to lay down and kick her feet. Hands down, the biggest bath-lover we have.

After removing, drying, wrangling, diapering, lotioning and dressing all the monkeys, they drank their milk, jumped on the bed, and headed to their peapods for the night. And I was ready for a drink!

Until next time!


P.S. Changes to the blog are almost ready! I'm excited to show off the new look and can't wait for the big unveiling!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Think I See Pigs Flying

We've had an exciting week.....well, month, really. We have about 9 posts lined up to share about all our recent excursions, but I had to get this one in first.

Billy and I never thought we'd see this day come. But the stars aligned just right, Hell froze over and pigs are a-flyin'! Danna FINALLY took her first steps on July 1st at just over 19 months of age. Our little 1 lb 10 oz miracle princess finally decided she'd had enough of the boys walking all over her. Sure, we had to trick her to walk because she thought I was still holding on to her overall straps.....but I still chalk that up as a success in my book!

We hope you enjoy the video. You may have to wear ear plugs while watching because Danna and Pius were both partaking in WhineFest 2009. The constant dull roar is something we've learned to tune out for the past 19 months. Take special note of Pius at the end.....he gives Danna a congratulatory tackle and shove (and then claps for her).

Yay for Danna! We're so proud of you, little girl!