Monday, November 30, 2009
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.
PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND PASS ON THE LINK!!!!!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
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.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
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!
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.
Jac had to separate Sandra and me....pink 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)!
.....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 tailgate...trust 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 beverages.....it 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).
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
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.