Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Have Seen the Future

And it just isn't fair.
It could be worse girl, he is pretty cute.

Overheard By Mommy

"No. I'm not making you chocolate water."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ah Sweet Sleep

How it should look.
A quarter of the way there.Half way there.
Cute, until he wakes up at 4:00 in the morning and starts strumming on the return register there like it's a guitar.
Ah Ha!
(Look closely at our blinds. The boys are sleeping peacefully after the beat down (yes, that sounds much harsher than it is) over that. There are only two things left that I can take out of that room before I pad it and throw just one mattress in the corner. But if it comes to that, I'm moving in and kicking the boys out.)
Oh, never mind.
Half way once again.
Oh, forget it. How can you sleep like that?
We would take this.We instituted night-night guidelines last night that consisted of allowing the maniacs to be for 15 minutes. We then tucked everyone in and very sternly explained they were to stay in bed, and we advised said maniacs of consequences. Benjamin heeded the warning. Nicholas had to experience the consequences but only once. And all were asleep shortly after 8:00 in their own little beds. This morning Nicholas was asleep in Ben's bed and Ben was asleep on the floor, but they were at least asleep. We are counting it as a small victory.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Photo Shoot

Enough time has passed. I am ready to re-live the experience for your reading pleasure. Over 60 photos shot. It was pared down to 30 something. And remember, these are the good ones.
We started with a family photo. Alida decided to show a little belly and flip out the second we got in the studio. My hand clutching Benjamin? That would be to cover the package of fruit chews given to coax him out of his coat and calm the fit that started the second we walked in the place.
And EVERY photo of Nicholas promptly displays the chunk taken out of his face the previous day. Seriously, she saw it, she couldn't turn him around once?
Here is Benjamin looking a bit, well, we're not sure. Presidential isn't really the word... Nicholas appears a bit stunned.The only photos where Benjamin attempted a smile? The ones where dad is behind the camera woman flinging a baby up and down screaming "Peek-A-Boo!" He thought that was funny enough to crack a smile. And for some strange reason it also calmed Alida down as well. At least it calmed her down for the moment. Once flinging was over, she resumed melt-down mode.
Elaine was a peach. Alida. She looks almost like she's smiling. That was just a pre-scream, lucky shot by the camera lady.
Elaine was a peach.
We confused Alida enough in this shot to get her quiet.
The crowning moment? That table there. That is the table from the waiting area for the studio. It is not a photo prop. Benjamin wandered off and became engrossed at one point, and the only way we could get him back in the studio was to haul in the entire table. Notice he is still not in the picture. He is off to the left in my arms throwing a fit.
Ah. We're a (fake) happy family.

It Will Be Dark Days Ahead

Operation Toddler Bed Enforcement begins this evening.

Monday, January 28, 2008

And She's Off

A week or so ago, Alida began working on the rocking thing in fits and starts.
Elaine also wanted to see what was going on but couldn't quite get the whole stance down.
In fact, she's mostly rolling around these days to get where she wants to go.
But Alida is killing us with her determination.
Elaine is still mostly rolling.
But Alida has figured out that if she wants that green frog teething ring thing, she's going to have to get it herself in this busy house.
Flying there sometimes works for now when the frog is close enough.
And in the end, rolling is still a pretty good way to get there too, but we fear that will not last long.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Six Month Stats Are In

15 pounds and 11 ounces
25 inches tall
3 shots, one oral immunization
No screaming fit until the needles, but who can blame her?
Smiles and pulling the nurse's hair was applauded by all.
16 pounds
26 1/2 inches tall
3 shots, one oral immunizationGirl was a bit more serious and none too happy about the physical examination, but who can blame her?
Pushing up and standing tall with assistance was applauded by all. The one infected ear earned her her first round of antibiotic.
Riddle of the day.
You have: 4 babies--2 in the car, 2 at home. You are due to relieve the nanny in 10 minutes. Your husband is out of town for the evening. You have one prescription to fill. How do you do it?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dinnertime At the Stubers: A Makeover

We have put it off as long as we can it seems. Those girls just weren't getting a very good view of things happening around the table during our previous routine. So amongst all of the changes last weekend, we added hauling out the new highchairs for the ladies.
And, they love it. We now attempt to feed ourselves, get our boys to eat, and offer some yummy mush to the ladies during dinner. And, amazingly, the past few nights we've actually enjoyed dinnertime.
And sweet Benjamin is happy to provide the pre-dinner entertainment by blowing kisses and generally jumping around to quiet the ladies as they wait. When he's not running around having his own melt-down of sorts at least.
So now our table, purchased 10 years (10 years!) ago as a newly wed couple with the dreams of one day adding a family member or two to the mix has two seats left that adults can sit in and four filled with mucky kid seats. We like to say--"Living the Dream. We're living the dream," with perhaps a bit of irony dripping from our voices.In other news, I'm quickly running out of shots from the camera that got spiked this past weekend. Never fear, we got a new camera. And then last night, the memory card filled up at 6 photos...what? I don't have time to figure this out! Six photos?
Where did the five-million point harness go on the highchairs you ask? Are you kidding, that was one of the first things ripped out of those lovely new little seats. Unless we're in a moving vehicle, all five-point harnesses are ripped, cut, tugged, or otherwise removed from all things baby in the Stuber house, lest someone languish while we attempt to buckle and un-buckle our brood from all of their things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bye, Bye!

No, not like the stock market, which is a little scary at the moment. That's toddler speak for "bite."
Aw. One of those cute, little teddy bears with it's tiny paw reached out and scratched my little guy.
Oh, I see. It was this little maniac that BIT my little guy on the face.
Don't feel too bad for Benjamin. He exacted his revenge on my wall.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lights! Camera! Benjamin! Yohoo! Benjamin?

Benjamin and I went to get our hair cut together on Saturday. He walked right in like he owned the place, as usual. And he sat right down when Audra put him in the chair.
And did not move. A muscle. The entire time.
Audra said she has grown men who do not behave as well as he did and he can come back any time. After, he played quietly on the floor while my hair was washed, cut and dried. One tiny glimpse into what it might be like to have one child.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Pitter Patter of Little Feet

D-Day. Friday evening we worked furiously after work to dis-assemble the cribs, move them into the playroom (now play room/girls' bedroom), set up the toddler beds and introduce the boys to their new freedom before the girls went bananas at 6:30 wanting to suck down a bottle and get to sleep so they could start their nocturnal screaming matches. We got Alida down in her new crib, and Elaine would have nothing to do with it. Eventually around 9:30 Elaine gave up, vowing her vengeance for 1:30 in the morning. We jammied up the boys and attempted to stick to their routine as if there was nothing new to see here.
Nine-thirty Friday evening. Two hours past the boys bedtime.Ten o'clock Friday evening, two and a half hours past the boys bedtime. What you can't hear is the thunder of boys jumping and running and throwing and screaming for that entire two and half hours.
Ten forty-five Friday evening. They've given up. Not as comfortable as we imagine it could be, but pretty cute none-the-less.
Checking in at 5:30 Saturday morning after the ladies completed their evening of drama. Again, not as comfortable as we would think they could be, but a cute photo.
Saturday morning--7:30 a.m., after listening to the maniacs jump up and start thumping much earlier. Safety first. First order of business, take the plastic bags out of their apparently not high enough pouch hanging on the door so they cannot become further playthings for the boys.
Two o'clock Saturday afternoon. I had taken Benjamin out with me to get his haircut for the first time by someone who knows what they're doing (photo op later). Benjamin was tired. Nicholas was apparently also tired.
Two-forty Saturday afternoon. Adding the night table was reconsidered. Nap time was abandoned.
Saturday night--7:30. After utter melt down at being exhausted, the boys were put to bed at 7:00. They did not fuss. They did not thunder. They snuggled up and passed out.
Saturday night 10:00. A little rearranging and all is still well. Then a baby cried. Then we heard a thump in the boys room. I went to baby; Patric went to Nicholas, who was a bit stunned and laying on the floor. He was given his own bed and settled back down.
And all was well.
Until the nap time that didn't happen on Sunday afternoon during the thundering-knock-down-refuse-to-sleep-take-a-chunk-out-of-your-brother's-face time.
Wonderful. Family pictures are tomorrow morning.
And if I hadn't dropped (Patric says spiked) my poor over-worked camera this evening and broke it (although thankfully I was still able to get our pictures off of it), we would have picture to share of two boys who, exhausted again, were snuggled up together in the corner, both sleeping on the floor.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Elaine, Darling

The scene last night at dinner time. We're working on it.
You've come a long way girl. Happy six months.
Now go to sleep.

Alida, Darling

The scene last night upon arriving home. The girl just blatantly disregarding the help of that bumbo.
You've come a long way girl. Happy six months.Now go to sleep.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Some Aggravating New Tricks

The Scene: National Guard Weekend, the living room, winding down for bedtime, feeding the girls.And then the boys disappear behind the couch, but I have a bottle in each hand, and the toddlers are quiet. I really just want to get the girls to sleep, so that I can get the boys to sleep, so that I can go stare at my coffee.And then they start giggling. This is cute because they are playing together for once. And then they emerge, very proud of themselves, without their pants. So lovely.These days the escape artists can take off their clothes at will, although we are working on how to get them back on--it is January after all. And, doors? Forget it. They are in and out and back forth. Childproofing through shoving everything behind a door is now over. Until we get some big baseball childproofing doorknobs that is.

Can You Believe It?

2 days shy of 6 Months
5 Months
4 Months
3 Months
2 Months
1 Month
0 MonthsSo what have we learned in these chaotic six months? We've learned that babies that slept well once, don't always sleep well thereafter. We've learned that we can do this. We've learned that not all babies suck down their bottles on schedule. We've learned that no matter how many babies, when they smile they at you for the first time, your heart melts. We've learned that, even though we hate to admit it, our house was utterly lacking pink and it goes well amongst all of the trucks. We've learned that the ladies have completed our family very nicely (please, please, please let this be the completion of our family). We've learned that Alida, who is now on her knees rocking, is strong and determined. We've learned that Elaine, who breaks out in a smile every time she sees you from her bed, will eventually break hearts. And, we also know that all of this will change as their personalities develop and we learn more about these little girls who have come to steal our hearts. And while I joke about giving them away due to the sleep deprivation, I dare you to come and try it because we've grown very attached and can't imagine our life any other way.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And He's Off

But only a little bit really. Stopping to pose with your hat on during the chase around the house does make the chase a bit more manageable. Hmm, I wonder why Nicholas has things on his head the past few might have something to do with the way-too-short guard I used to cut his out of control hair the other day. Great. Family pictures are a week away; that's long enough for it to grow back out a little isn't it?

Monday, January 14, 2008


They must have known it was coming yesterday when we fed and put them down for naps a little early because they did not go to sleep. When I went up to rescue them from the cribs, I held back mentioning a car ride until the very end. Because after that, it was all over. Gagees were thrown to the side and the stairs were descended in slide fashion as they ran toward the door without socks on their feet. And little did they know that they would be seeing an "AIRPANE!" I see a very exciting ride of a different sort with grandpa in the future, and I will close my eyes and remember that grandpa is a great pilot, and I will just repeat that to myself over and over and over again.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More To Say About That

Friday night: down at 7; back down at 8.After that? Who cares, because I married well. He tucked me in and trooped off with the monitor to sleep upstairs in the children's ward. I didn't even have to ask.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Note To Self

The next time that dad and the boys mercifully make dinner, don't let former egg allergy-look-at-every-label-why-do-they-put-eggs-in-everything-Nicholas touch eggshells. Apparently the reactions haven't entirely stopped even though he's been on eggs for a year now. His poor little hands puffed and reddened within minutes. Yes. It takes a big old bucket of sugar to make French Toast dad's way, and it is fabulous every time.

All I'm Going To Say About That

Wednesday night--Dad's night:To bed at 7. Slept until 5 the next morning.Thursday night--Mom's night:To bed at 7. Put back to bed at 8.Up at: 12, 12:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 5

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Supplies Are Running Low

The supply pre-second-set-of-twins.
What do you do when you find out you have your second set of twins on the way? You start buying diapers while you still have some pretend disposable cash laying around.
The supply this morning.
What do you do when the supply runs out and you are down to your last package of diapers that the girls fit over there on the right? You buy two Potty-Me-Elmos and start dreaming of the end of diapers. And then you hit reality and go over to and fork over some cash in the hopes that they make it to your doorstep before you run out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What I Did Over Christmas Vacation

I've got nothing today. We're exhausted. We're getting over colds. We're trying to re-figure out sleeping through the night. We're nearly all back on track after the routine shake ups of the holidays. And we are beginning to look toward the end of winter and beginning of Spring, which isn't too far off in our Southern home.
And just for today, I'd like to remember that we smiled a few times through the whole thing called the holidays.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Back Off!

It seems Nicholas has taken a bit of a shine to Aunt Lori.
Which borders on possessive at times.
And can really be downright confrontational if Uncle Brian doesn't watch it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Please, No Coffee Snobs

So the best part of this National Guard weekend was by far....
Getting this package in the mail (and perhaps the discovery that The Incredibles NEVER gets old no matter how many times you watch it).
Yes. Benjamin was in his pajamas already when the mail got here on Saturday. What?It was as if Sarah had magically known what I would be needing this weekend. Because quickly snatched out of that box was my very own J&S Coffee (otherwise known as the Dukes' coffee shop).
And I lovingly lined them up on the counter next to my new [possessed (but that's another story)] coffee pot. Yes, I even arranged the fruit around them like an art school still-life. Yeah, yeah, we'll leave the art to Patric. What? Leave me my fun. And I stared at them. I considered making my very own pot of new coffee at 5 in the evening. I decided to wait. I took pictures. I walked away. I came back. Really, I'm so tired, the caffeine wouldn't really keep me up would it? I walked away. No, I'll get up early and go sit next to my Mother's Day bush in the yard. It will be a new day and a new pot of coffee, and I had a special moment planned just for me--even if it was for 4:30 in the morning.
And while they look like they both just shared a pot of coffee themselves, they acted even more like they had just shared a pot of coffee all night long--beginning at 10 in the evening and ending at 3:30 in the morning when every last what-could-it-be had been checked and the darlings were left to figure it out for themselves so that mom could get 2 hours of sleep please. Seriously, does anyone have an answer for the babies that flip themselves over, are perfectly capable of flipping themselves back over, refuse to and instead just lay there and scream during the night? I was lucky on Friday, they waited until 12:30 to start the show.
But I had my coffee as they slept-in after sucking down bottles at 6:00, and I got half an hour to shower and relax before the boys popped up. And I drank the WHOLE pot. And then I made another pot, and I have to say, that was excellent coffee that I shared with no one yesterday. Many thanks Sarah.

Friday, January 4, 2008


So it should have looked something like this. As the holiday wound down and the final guests spent their last evening wondering at all the chaos in the Stuber house, we had a touching evening of "night, night" and "luv you" and hugs and smiles and fond farewells as family bid the boys a good night. The ladies had already been tucked quietly away, storing their energy up for the 2:30 wake-up.And Patric took the boys tromping upstairs and checked diapers and put them in bed, and all was quiet. We swelled with pride as we were complimented on our bedtime routine. "Do they really just go to bed that easy?" Of course, we said. We have great kids. And as part of the great kid routine, we leave the light on after putting them in their cribs so they can flip through their books and chatter for a few minutes. Then we go in and tuck them in like burritos with their blankets and turn off the light. Except sometimes, we forget to go back and turn off the light.So some time later, there is a thump and we shake our heads because they are throwing books again, and we remember that they've been left with the light on for a little longer than usual. Patric goes up for burrito duty. And instead of winding-down-boys-ready-for-slumber, he finds Mr. Nicholas OUT OF HIS CRIB taking all of the parts for the crib-to-toddler-bed-conversion, which we've nicely tucked away under Ben's crib, and he's handing them to Ben--slats, packages of bolts, instructions. When he sees daddy, he runs toward him handing him various pieces and yelling "tank you, tank you," which is toddler for "please don't murder me."And our pride deflated, and he was tucked back in his crib. And ever since we are skeptical that thumps are not books but that thumps are boys making the great escape. We must now seriously consider toddler beds, and we so very much don't want to go to toddler beds.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

How Tired Are You?

There should be an amazing story of some sort to go along with that. But there isn't. Why? Because I am so tired that I remember thinking, "That'll leave a mark." But, honestly, I cannot remember how that happened. Cropped out of that photo is my seriously-in-need-of-repair-sole-of-my-foot, which is just too embarrassing to post here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Alida skipped her nap.
Benjamin refused to take his nap.
Elaine would have nothing to do with a nap.
Nicholas thought a nap sounded funny.

Welcome 2008, Goodbye 2007

We took some road trips to Atlanta, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. And we bought a minivan to hold all of the people we were looking forward to having.
We passed the cold days, just the two of us, in doors dreaming up new activities. And we spent some weekends with Gracie while mom and dad prepared for these new people we were looking forward to having.
We got our first hair cuts, which didn't go over so well, but mom wanted us to look sharp for the big event of welcoming Aunt Lori to the family. And they needed something easy to care for because of these new people we were looking forward to having.We broke outside as soon as the weather let us, where we found a pool, a new sandbox, that crazy red hoe, and many woks.But we still took some time to use our imaginations on days that we couldn't get outside because it was just too darn hot, which started right around the Fourth of July when mom was really ready to welcome these new people we were looking forward to having!
And about that time, these little people came along and changed things forever.
And we became a big, crazy family of six.
And the ladies learned the ropes and fit right in to the chaos
And after a bit of a rough start, the chaos has ground back down to an acceptable level, even though you wouldn't know it from any group photo that has been attempted since July.
We were thankful.
And finally, we learned to climb and work together, celebrated Christmas, and continued to charm, enrage, frighten, warm, and bring joy right on in to the new year.On the docket for 2008: getting toddler beds since the great Christmas break-out by Nicholas (stay tuned), potty training, meaningful conversation, crawling, walking, talking, and (fingers crossed) consistently sleeping through the night. Being finished with bottles and formula! Oh, and one two-day train trip--Patric and I are already like little kids talking about that one.