Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Makings of Quad Toddler Bed Boot Camp....Graf-style

Billy and i have known for several months that we just can’t keep holding on to the hope that no more babies will jump in their “mini-cribs” and break the bottoms out…..which was the unfortunate occurrence that happened with Big Poppa’s bed a few months ago. Pi-Pi’s bottomed-out crib became Danna’s night-time abode shortly after the incident because she’s the only one light enough to keep the bottom in place with a pink emesis basin wedged securely underneath it. Sad but true.P3030020

Pius: “Not me, mama! I NEVER do things I’m not supposed to….like climb up to the kitchen cabinet and scout out my next snack…..NEVER!”


Danna’s just content as can be in her own little world! I think she will be the roughest to train….toddler beds, potty training, sharing, anger management….you name it!


Lainer and Pi are DEFINITELY thick as thieves when they’re together. If you don’t see or hear Laine, then you’d better go find him FAST!


Frosty, here, does whatever the heck he wants, to whomever the heck he want to do it to. Hard-headed but the gears in his brain are most definitely working……he KNOWS how to get things done.

Discussions of transitioning to toddler beds were dealt with like the plague around the Graf house for many a-weeks. I felt we just had to get all our ducks in a row before starting. Billy was holding on to the dream of keeping them in cribs until they were 18 years old and ready for college. For ONCE in my life, Billy didn’t mind my procrastinating ways and petty projects that I thought up to get done before the training actually started.

Step 1: Find inexpensive toddler beds.

I looked on Craigslist for weeks and weeks without any good leads. Finally decided to look the retail route with all the price-matching and promo codes out there. I thought I could snake a good deal that way. Lo and behold, the sleigh-bed style toddler beds in cherry finish that we found IN-STORE at the local Wal-Mart actually WAS the best deal for what we wanted! Sure, it took going to 3 different stores around town to track down 4 of the same bed, but was most definitely worth it in the end. They were a good buy at only $55.00 a piece.

Step 2: Put the summabitches together.

After some trial and errors on the first bed (and maybe the 2nd one, too), I got toddler bed assembly whittled down to a fine art. I should go into business….or not. They are sturdy, beautiful, and will serve their purpose for the next 3-4 years.




Step 3: Find 4 toddler/crib mattresses.

Because we had mini-cribs (they’re about the size of a pack-n-play), we’ve never had the full-size mattresses that fit a crib and/or toddler bed frame. Again, looked on Craigslist and then quickly stopped…..FYI, there are some SHADY PEOPLE out there. Next, approached our ginormously large (and highly fertile) family and friends who may have outgrown their mattresses for the time-being…..or at least didn’t have another bun in the oven, and asked to buy their used mattresses. Score! Thanks to our friends Rhiann and Teena, cousin Erin, and sister Mollie, we were able to gather the 4 needed mattresses! Thanks again, guys!

Step 4: Find bedding and sheets for the toddler beds.

Does it piss anyone else off that it costs more to dress a child’s bed than an adult’s?! I settled on buying some basic sheets and then came up with a hair-brained idea to make my own toddler quilts. In all honesty, sewing is one of my guilty pleasures and I consider it a hobby. Half the fun is coming up with the design and layout! So I put my pen to the paper and my nose to the needle and started making 4 individual toddler bed-sized quilts for my fabulous foursome. It’s taken some time, but not nearly as long as I anticipated. I guess I was motivated! And I’m proud to announce that I’ve finished the last one tonight! Of course, our camera has been broken for a couple of weeks, so I can’t take the end results pictures just yet….but I did take some pics from when they were halfway done.



Danna’s 1/2 finished quilt (all done now)!



The front of Frosty’s new quilt



Step 5: MAYBE the most important step in this whole boot camp scheme……THE NEED FOR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE WHEN THEY’RE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!

Fortunately for me, I have some GREAT friends, who are also mothers to quadruplets, to bounce ideas around with. Suz Steece just made it through the transition from cribs to beds and was a wealth of knowledge for me. A video baby monitor was at the top of the list of necessities. I started searching high and low, not wanting to break the bank buying new. To make a long story short, I got jacked around with the used one I bought off of Ebay (it was a piece of crap and wouldn’t turn on, even though they listed it as working in great condition). Fortunately, Safety 1st has an excellent customer service department and I played my cards just right, and our brand-spanking-new monitor should be at our door sometime next week! I’d like to think I got dealt a little good karma there.


Step 6: Figure out a consistent disciplinary approach for the detainees/escapees! They already know NOT to stand on their “big kid beds” and know what the consequences will be if they do. I’m hoping this whole ordeal will be nothing more than a minor bump in our day and the kids will surprise us with their compliancy, like they usually do. When you dream……DREAM BIG, right?!

So, as soon as we get the cameras here and set up and new furniture arrangements made, we’ll be sending updates on our progress. Wish us luck and say extra prayers for our patience and sanity!




jag said...

Well, I have missed you!

Lets see... Beds are adorable! Can't even believe the deal you scored on those bad boys! I'm also frustrated at the prospect of dressing the beds when they transition. They've already almost outgrown the crib blankets! I, however, will not be quilting! You have crazy talent. If you get a wild hair, you just haul it on down to FL and teach me, would ya?! Love ya! Love those kiddies! Can't wait to hear more!

Hilary said...

Hope the transtion go good!! The beds and quilts are too cute..I can't believe that they are big enough for big beds!!! So crazy!! Good luck :)

Kimberly & Alex said...

i love those beds, and the quilts are gorgeous! what a talanted women you are. hope the tranision goes smooothly

Charity Donovan said...

Beds are beautiful & I LOVE the quilts! So cute!!! Wish I had your sewing talent. Can't wait to hear your advice...we will be doing this in the Fall. Hope it all goes well momma! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Beds look cute but I do not think you really need the video monitor.

EMO said...

I think the kids just might surprise you and do great with the new beds! Good luck though, just in case you need it :)

Anonymous said...

I think the video monitor is a great idea! Darling pictures too! Can't wait to see it all set up.
Love ya! Budda

Stephanie said...

Oh wow..this is going to be a fun journey!!
You got some awesome deals girl!!
Love the quits so far, cant wait to see the final product!!

Anonymous said...

Girl you are a professional shopper...quilter too! I'm very impressed! Beautiful! I'm thinking there's gonna be lots of funny entertainment when that monitor is hooked up! Can't wait for the blogs!
Love you all,

Suzanne said...

ahhh....good ole toddler beds! (a thorn in my side!) hope you have a nice and smooth transition, monster! love you so much!!! the beds are gorgeous! and the quilts---goodness woman! you amaze me, daily!

you kiddies be good for your parents! and stay in the bed like the little *angels* we all know you are! ;)

hugs! (and a big bottle of wine!)

The Cochran Crew said...

I'm with anon, no need for video..... April Fools: ANON, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!!! Four toddlers, massive amounts of trouble they could get into with out having Mommy's eyes right there! Just think, the pinky toe hits the carpet she sees it from her handheld remote and they hear Moni yell, GET BACK IN BED! They'll be like Holy Crap, our mom has some SKILLZ! I just purchased one too Moni!!! Love the beds!!!! Love you!

Shelia said...

Toddler beds already?! Seems like just yesterday you were celebrating their first public outing. Boy how time flies!

You are so right... it seems like a sham to pay so much for toddler bedding. I love the quilt pattern you came up with. And the quadlings are going to appreciate having a hand-crafted piece of their past ala Mom when they grow up! Good luck on the toddler bed progression;)

Jac Tubre said...

Yeah Monster, just ditch the video monitor and live with NO sleeping in your house :)

quilts look great you talented thing you!

Love u and miss you!


Anonymous said...

Hi, your kids are adorable-especially Danna! I wish you'd update more often!

Anonymous said...

Can you please post a picture of all 4 kids standing together, I want to compare their heights!
PS. I know it's hard!

Rachel said...

You guys are hilarious and I love reading your blog! My quads were born at 23weeks and 5 days a little more than two years ago! Your blog was one of the first I found and started following. I just got my blog started, so check it out if you get a chance!