Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thank You Jenny

I often wondered if that was hard writing that out when you were expecting your own baby and likely thought that perhaps your own husband was probably the Best Dad.

But even after dealing with our millions of children day in and day out, you still went and thought it would be a good idea to have your own baby.

And that baby will now get to do his or her own art projects with you in the future, and we will miss them.

And the ladies have had the opportunity to stay home and stay healthy with many thanks to you.

You were even brave enough to go on an outing with this mess of kids. Thanks for all of your commitment and help. We hope that this past year will make having your own little one feel like a piece of cake. Good luck and best wishes. But don't think you won't be hearing from us because we're too nosy not to pester you for updates now and again.

And thank you for loaning us your sister too! I now have both your cell phone numbers, and we plan to use them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The 12 Month Stats Are In

Elaine: Trying to Break Free
31 inches
19 pounds 3 ounces
4 shots
And other than having her feelings hurt at that, doing lovely

Alida: Did Break Free
30 inches
19 pounds 10 ounces
4 shots
Annoyed at getting her finger pricked for a blood draw, mad at all the shots, and doing lovely

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Dance Party

ANYTHING to beat the heat during these million degree days.

Queue The Elevator Music

I destroyed the Blog and will rebuild as quickly as possible.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh The Things That Mulch Can Do

Out of no where, Nicholas began giving out shots the other night with a piece of mulch. We've not played doctor with him; Jenny says she's not played doctor with him; and, my mental check of movies and cartoons turns up no doctor scenes. Yet here we are, and it is cute. Very cute until it becomes creepy in a Little Shop of Horrors sort of way when he takes too much glee in my over-reaction to the shot hurting. This resulted in me getting about 50 shots while he laughed hysterically.

And then on to the not-so-fun tongue depresser piece of mulch. Not-so-fun because I wouldn't allow him to cram it down my throat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's Hot Here

So during our code orange days, we make attempts at keeping them hydrated.

Even the girls get big cups.

And we hope some makes it inside of them.

But if it doesn't, they just suck it off the table.

You can give the children cups of water, but you can't make them drink it correctly.

Oh well. We try.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Name Is Stuntman Ben

Looks kind of cruel, huh?

Refusing to stop and allow him in the wagon and all.

You'd think Patric would notice that he was dragging his child across the yard.

Over and over.

And over again.

But that wagon is getting so small.

And to tell the truth

It's really Ben's new game that he loves to play.

Monday, July 21, 2008

These People

Who are ALWAYS a wrong breeze away from this:

Went and surprised us yesterday.

"Should we go out to eat?"
"Really? Um, maybe."
"We could try. We can always leave."
"Yeah, okay."
"Where should we go?"
"We only have two restaurants we go to."
"Yeah, let's get a steak."

We walk in pushing the double stroller, discussing what a poor choice that was, ask for a table for six--two highchairs, two booster chairs please. And then we shuffle off to the side to wait because we imagine it may take a minute to get that together, and we need to coordinate getting this stroller out of here. Boys are seated. One girl is given to me, and Patric begins to take the other girl in the stroller back to the car to put it away while we wait. But then they call us.
We get the same table every single time we come here. It is in the back; it is by the wait station; and the couple of booths that they don't fill so that their staff can sit down are right there. This is fine with us. We do really try to minimize the attention we get when we're out. So when we trooped off to the table they called us for through all of the people to get to the back of the restaurant, Patric abandoned the stroller in the middle of the room thinking he would plop down a girl and run back out. Except here we were with a table set up for six adult people, no booster seats and no highchairs. He begins getting a little steamy. So the six of us stood around the table staring at it. Our black-clad hostess asks did we need a high chair? Um, yeah, we said...oh never mind. So we stood in the middle of the restaurant waiting. One highchair is presented and two booster seats. They can't find the other highchair. Three children are seated, and I stand with a girl. Patric takes off with the stroller. A few musical chairs, an unending wait, a stroller shuffled back off to the car, and we're seated.

Here's the fun part. We had a great meal. The children ate. We ate. We even had half a conversation. No one screamed. The waitress wasn't dripping with hatred. No one threw anything on the floor or spilled any cups. No dishes were broken. Nicholas danced a little in his chair. The ladies smiled. It was nice. And at the end of the meal, a woman approached us and said she just wanted us to know that she had really enjoyed her meal and that she was very impressed with how organized we were. Another woman leaned over and told me that I have beautiful children.
Yes. Yes we do have beautiful children.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Girls!

Man. You would think we were planning a huge shindig or something. This is just how I dreamt it might be.
With lovely Gerber Daisy cakes for each guest.
Instead it started with French Toast by daddy and some picture refusal very early in the morning.Then we made an outing to run some errands, but Alida was ready for well wishers to call.
After no one took a nap, we finally got out to play in the yard.
And Elaine refused to show her slide skills off to anyone since there were two adults and a camera around this time.
The we had dinner and cake. Nicholas was a good sport.
The Review from Benjamin?
Elaine did well for the camera on this important shot.
But Alida not-so-much.
Then we opened some gifts.
I wonder which one Jenny meant for Alida?
Elaine did love the yellow tissue paper.
And then we loaded up the new Radio Flyer walkers for the girls and went on a careening stroll about the house.
But the girls got the hang of it quickly.
And even did their part to give rides too.
Then it was off to our new pink stools that fit three little Stubers for teeth brushing.
And off to bed. They should be tired, but I swear I can hear a few of them in the background right now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Say It Five Times Fast

I have two two-year-olds and two one-year-olds.The other day I filled out some paperwork that asked first how many children I have: 4 and then the age of the oldest: 2. I'm sure they thought I was an idiot and didn't know how to read.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


That was a shock.
And after making me pretty fat (really fat) you were here. And we took you home and amazed at all these people.
You both slept so well in the beginning. Then it ended.
You woke up. And life really began.
You really did sleep well. And then the boys figured out what fun playthings you were.
We did our best to dress up all of the boys' gear in pink and went on many woks.
We've wondered many times if you are identical.
And it didn't take long for you to discover each other and discover how lovely it is to be held.
We dreamed of the day our house wouldn't be filled with infant gear. We still have a full dinner table and imagine that won't end any time soon.
But you've quickly shunned all of those baby toys.
And we've watched you grow.
We've had some good times and some bad.
We've had several fun outings. And some that weren't so fun.
And now you're turning one. And I am packing up the infant things and making way for toddlers. It has been amazing ladies. Absolutely amazing. And while our time was divided in two before you, it has been torn apart and ripped to shreds since you arrived. But as we sat last night putting together your birthday gifts for Saturday (because we've learned that you put things together before you give them) neither of us could imagine our life any other way. We love you. We love you all, and nope, we wouldn't trade it for the world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It was a year ago Saturday that you got the party started and gave me the distinct experience of feeling my water break. When I was in the hospital over two hours later still waiting for pain meds, which I had no problems requesting the second I walked in the door, we knew it wouldn't be long until we met the girl who would never cooperate during those millions of ultrasounds.And, do you want to know a secret? We had two family names picked out: one for your fiery Greek blood and one for your industrious German heritage. When we finally met you, we immediately knew who Elaine was because you made sure everyone else knew of your arrival in the delivery room. And then my little, floppy girl, you quieted down.
And became the most content baby we've experienced (and we've experienced more than a few babies).
You are happy.
And you let us dress you up like the Devil, which is becoming a tradition. And you were a very good sport about it. Although you are not shy about letting us know when you are ready for some new clothes.
And I know that you have been watching us from the beginning. You've been cautious and content to clap and smile on many occasions. But, we know, that you don't intend for a minute to be out-done by anyone.
And, pretty girl, you look lovely in white, but don't grow up too fast because we don't want to be posting wedding photos too soon, although we know it will be sooner than we like.
You have the distinction of having your father's crooked expressions, which leads us to believe that you are a little skeptical or concerned for your safety. Perhaps for good reason. I'm so sorry little one.
But in the midst of all the chaos, you shine girl.
And we can see it in your eyes that you have no intention of sitting on the sidelines.
But for now, we love that we can amuse you.
You are full of life, and we can already see your resolve is strong.
Now. Continue to know that we are watching you as much as you're watching us. And we cannot wait to some day see the woman you become.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Was it really a year ago Saturday that the doctor had to drag you feet first into the world, I believe against your wishes? You were so quiet and alert.And you were our biggest baby at 6 pounds and 9 ounces. The one that should have been the best sleeper.
You quickly fit nicely into our now ginormous, chaotic family.
And then you smiled. I will not experience my own baby's first smile again, but it's okay because yours was enough for the ages. You quickly laughed, and even when it was the middle of the night (because, as we all know, you did not turn out to be our best sleeper), your amusement at getting us up to attempt to get you back to sleep melted our hearts.
And you've really been such a good sport.
And you're very cooperative for the camera.
I admit I have had to fumble around trying to figure out how exactly to dress a little girl, and I will work on it. In the meantime, you've done an excellent job of making sure that you are in the middle of the fray on most occasions. From the moment you began moving with your lunging crawl, you have found yourself in a pile of boys who weren't always kind. But you've held your own and made me proud.
You've been in such a hurry to make all your milestones. Slow down girl. We have time. Also, did you know that some consider sleeping through the night a milestone?
I don't care what you say, that girl looks good all dressed up.
And pretty girl, I can see in your eyes that we will have many adventures in the next years. And I can't wait to see what things you dream up that will make me crazy.
Yep, it's right there in your eyes.
I should have known that it was you, but I didn't. And I'm afraid that won't be the last time that your sister gets credit for some accomplishment of yours. We'll muddle through girl.
Now. Go be the toddler you so want to be. We're ready.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Touch of Cornhusker Blood In There

Jenny was amazed when I left corn on the cob for the boys to eat at lunch one day. They've been mowing down on that for nearly a year like it's a birthright. So, we're practicing to really amaze by getting the ladies going early.
We're practicing with the play variety currently.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thanks For A Good Weekend Guys

You helped me wash the sink. And, you refused to wear clothes most of the weekend, but it's hot and I don't blame you.
We got out for some water play. Nicholas you still won't let me take a picture without protest. What's up little man? And Benjamin, you simply refused to wear clothes, period. Well not period because you are suddenly obsessed with the dinosaur pool shoes I actually got for your brother. We put them on even in your pajamas Saturday night, but I made you take them off for bed. When I came up to get you Sunday morning you were sitting on the floor next to your shoes patiently waiting for me to help you put them back on. How long had you been up quietly waiting? You did allow me to dress you when we actually made it to church Sunday, which I thank you for. And even though you refused to wear any shoes but the dinasaur pool shoes, they did match your green pants, so off we went.
Alida, you slept all night both Saturday and Sunday, and you were only up once Friday night. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.And Elaine, I never would have guessed it, but when you got in that pool and fought for your place in line on the slide, well, I was just so proud of you. I even put on my own swimsuit for the first real time in 2 years so that I could catch you as you flew head first down that thing plunging into the water and coming up with the biggest smile and your face every single time. Thank you boys for only finding my squishy tummy interesting for a few moments and not dwelling on it.
And then you ate spaghetti like no one's business.
And Alida, once again, perhaps it's pasta that keeps you content at night.
Proud moment number two Elaine? When you started exerting your right to snatch stuff right out of everyone else's hands for a change. Way to go girl.
And then you just up and walked over and started snatching things everywhere. It is going to get a lot louder in this place now. And how on earth are we going to tell you two apart now that you seem to think walking is a good idea?