Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hard Working 4 Year Olds–Chore Charts!

Most of you have figured out by now I’m a bit of a germaphobic clean freak. People visit or see pictures online and ask how we keep our house so tidy with 5 kids. By no means is our housekeeping perfect, but I do put in a great effort to keeps things in order and I give the quads’ responsibilities too. With a family of seven and no budget for a housekeeper, everyone in our house pitches in to keep things nice. By starting them off little, I can only hope it’s not too big of a fight to get them to help when they’re older. At the age of four, it is fun and they all enjoy getting to help! Take a look here at the chores they were responsible for at age 3. chores9

I’ve continued to be happy making charts by using this website. They’re super easy and the quads love to color them! chores13


Baxlyn is a professional bed-maker. She is by far the most anal about cleaning and organizing everything to perfection. She’s always willing to lend a hand helping Kylee make her bed and Kylee is always up to let her…chores8

Them doing chores by no means indicates that I’m getting to relax. They usually all do their chores at the same time which mean I am plugging in the vacuum for this one, opening the Lysol wipes for this one while this one is needs help with something else. I long for the day they can have their list and do it all on their own, maybe age 5, ehh?! Below, Brody using the big cool vacuum…chores7

Kylee cleaning the kitchen counters…chores6

Baxlyn taking care of the wood floors – that vacuum is a lifesaver, I tell ya!chores5

This is another one perfect for this age, matching socks. I’m sure I’m not the only one who ends up with 33 individual socks after a few loads of laundry. I throw my random socks in this bin and then let the quads sort them and search for matches.chores4

We use our back deck on a regular basis. Between playing, swimming, entertaining friends and cooking out, it can always use a good tidy up!chores3

This is probably one of my favorites to hand off. Cleaning the bathroom floors. At four years old they still occasionally miss the toilet just enough to leave that nice odor in the bathroom. Ugh! Although a wipe down with a Lysol wipe from a four year old doesn’t clean to perfection, it get’s a temporary job done until I can truly mop. Nice work, Korbin!chores2

I’m always surprised to see people who are surprised at how well ours help out. Is it always fun, no. Are they perfect children, no.  I just reallllly think it’s important to teach them responsibility and preschool is by no means too young. We moms deserve a break!  If you make chore charts of your own, I’d love to see them. Leave me a comment/link below and I’ll be sure to check them out!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did YOU know? Cause I sure as heck did…

average 4yo

That’s approximately 1,748 questions a day at our house

… and I’m certain I have (at least) one ABOVE AVERAGE “questioner” Winking smile

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Butterscotch and Broken-Hearted Boys…

Our girls went to stay the night at Nana & Aunt Beth’s last night so Bret and I could get some quality time in with the boys. Bret decided to take the boys out riding four wheelers, one of their FAVORITE things to do and when they returned, they had a buddy with them that they had found in the creek. We live, what some people would consider, “out in the country”. Snakes, opossums, tarantulas & raccoons are unfortunately a part of our daily lives this time of year. Lucky for me, this critter wasn’t quite as bad.  Korbin quickly named their turtle Butterscotch or “Buttah-scotch” as he would say., and the boys we’re thrilled about their new “pet”. Here they are, with their thumbs up, proud as can be of their catch!turtle10


They made him a new home in a shopping basket and settled him in for the night. This morning, Butterscotch was the first thing they asked about. They spent all morning outside with their friend, enjoying their “just brothers” time!turtle4turtle2

I finally got the guts to get an up close and personal look for myself only to find our little friend only had ONE eye…turtle8


Our Blade had to get in on the action, too. It’s his first catch too, ya know Winking smileturtle7

The boys played and played and played until nap time…turtle11

During their nap, I walked out to find this… Mr. Butterscotch had indeed flipped his basket over and was a goner…turtle1

Knowing they would be upset when finding out their friend had escaped, Bret and I searched the yard but no sign of Butterscotch was to be found. To my surprise, the boys were not too upset when I broke the news to them. They were sad but managed to hold it together. “Maybe he went back to da cweek” Korbin said.


He and Brody walked through the yard yelling “Buttah-scotch, Buttah-scotch, come home!” “Where did you goooo?” Poor boys.turtle13

They finally gave up and got over their friend. As you can imagine, Kylee LOST it when she came home and learned she had missed her shot at meeting their first turtle. For now, it’s back to roly polys & worms. Who knows what our little peeps will find next!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Banded Blade

Looks familiar, huh? Our little buddy didn’t quite escape the DOC band after all. We fought a little bit of torticollis (tightening of the neck) when he was just a couple of months old and it resolved, the head shape, not so much. banded8

Although it’s not horrrible, he does have noticeable flattening in the back, known as brachycephaly and a bit on the side (hard to capture in picture) known as plagiocephaly. For those of you who have followed us since the quads were itty bitty you know they all dealt with plagiocephaly as well. This is the, count ‘em, NINTH DOC band to enter our household. Mr. Brody broke records with his multiple bands and was in his cranial helmet for nearly a year.  Most babies are “banded” for 6-8 weeks, depending on their growth. Those who grow rapidly, allowing the head shape to improve quickly are in for a shorter time than those with slower growth. Blade will go back weekly to every two weeks to track his progress and alter the band as needed. Here’s a few pictures of his noggin…


Not only is he starting to sport the duck hair that Brody once had, he has a hemangioma just like his big brother too :] (back of his ear)


Our happy dude didn’t mind at all when he had to wear his sock for imaging! No worries, this “sock” type of mask is totally harmless and totally breathable. They wear it to help get near perfect digital images of the skull shape.

banded blade1

Click here to see the not-so-fun time we had with the quads when they had their imaging. Bret and I couldn’t help but join in the misery that night ;)


Each DOC band is made special for each baby and their exact head shape. We went a week later to get his helmet and my rarely sad baby was indeed sad. For those of you who thinks he never cries, check out these crocodile tears… poor buddy :(


It took some time but he adjusted and is doing fine in it now. He wears his band, which weighs approximately 6 ounces, 23 hours a day. We take it off when he’s being bathed or when we’re cleaning the band itself (which is a quick rub down with a cotton ball with alcohol). To my surprise his first night in it was like any other night. It took the quads a bit longer to adjust so I’m thankful he got over it quickly!


Here’s a look back at the quads before their DOC bands. Can we say WOW?! bumbos

Here’s a good look at Brody’s poor head. He literally couldn’t lay on his back and look up without his head rolling to the side… Rarely are babies’ heads this bad, because of his prematurity, being the gate holder in utero AND a shunt on the opposite side of his head causing him to want to look the other way his torticollis and flattening got bad, fast.


Cranial Technologies has been great over the years and although we’re not thrilled about Blade having to be in a band, we are grateful they’re an option for babies with flat heads like ours! The staff, same as back when the quads were there, is great and we feel like we’re back at our second home once again! To learn more about plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, visit Cranial Technologies by clicking here. Their website explains everything in detail, shows additional pictures of head shapes, ways to help prevent needing a band, reasons why babies are in them…etc. If you question your baby’s head shape at all, I strongly encourage you to go in (they have facilities in many locations) for a FREE evaluation. Although helmets are NOT cheap, insurance companies usually cover some of the cost. For sure worth looking into!

Take a look back at the quads’ journey to rounder heads by checking out these links:

We’ll keep you posted!

Monday, May 13, 2013

I’m the Mom who wanted the Vacuum Cleaner for Mother’s Day…

I’ve always been a bit of a clean freak. I remember growing up my mom would blare the music (98.7 K-LUV – oh I can hear it now!) and clean the house from top to bottom. Laundry going, windows open and the smell of Pine Sol would fill the house as I played teacher or daycare with my 17 baby dolls. I’ve found myself doing that same thing since becoming an “adult”.  I love a good cleaning day and the more I get done the better I sleep that night. When Bret and I got married, unknowingly, I amused everyone who looked over our gift registry. I thought it was normal to register for multiple mega-packs of Lysol wipes, huge jugs of Windex & Bleach out the wazoo! Lucky for me, people gave just what I asked for and we were set on cleaning supplies for quite a while.

Now that I’m a mom (and one of preemies, at that) the need to clean is even greater, almost obsessive at times, I’ll admit. While most husbands would get scolded for buying cleaning items or any such thing for a birthday or holiday, I ask for it. Diamonds are nice, but let’s be real folks, I’d get way more use out of a nice leaf blower, the latest Swiffer product or sweet vacuum cleaner.

I love our new house and the space it offers more than anyone could know but the extra space also means extra floors. Dark colored, hardwood floors that require sweeping a good 3 times a day with 5 kids. Apparently my complaining of backaches paid off and for Mother’s Day I received this bad boy to help me out…


A BAGLESS, CORDLESS Hoover and boy do I love it! Next to being cordless my favorite thing about it is that little people can use it too Smile


Hope all you Mama’s had a great Mother’s Day as well!

**Update**It’s December and I have LOST COUNT of how many moms have reached out to me asking “what that vacuum was that I blogged about a while back” since this post. So here it is for future reference. It's the Hoover LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum. Here is a direct link.

You’re welcome, Hoover, feel free to send me a referrals check at your convenience ;)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

6 Month Old Blade & Botox Round 2

Blog slacker – right here, I know! Kylee & Brody had their second round of Botox this week. We were up at a verrrryyyyy early 3am in order to get to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth by 5:30 but these two were troopers. It’s amazing how a certain little boy can talk non-stop even when being woken up so early ;)

Our two little {trying to be} brave hearts before beginning. Brody rocks the fake smiles now days…gahtonight8


Brody & his thumbs up In love ready to go!


Some of you were lucky enough to catch the video of Kylee singing Pontoon by Little Big Town while she was high on happy juice during their last procedures. Unfortunately the happy juice didn’t have the same effect this time. She hated the taste and it made her nauseous. Her main concern while being there was getting the “IB” (IV). She is NOT a fan about IVs at all. Luckily we got a few smiles out of her before she went back and lost it before being put under…

tonight10They had injections to the same spots as the first round, minus Kylee’s left hand. Brody came out first and met us in recovery awake and happy. It wasn’t long after that that we could hear Kylee down the hall SCREAMING at the top of her lungs as they woke her and tried to get X-rays of her hips. Brody heard her and immediately worried “I need to go see Kylee, what are they doin’ to Kylee? I need to see what’s happenin’…” poor guy. Makes me happy but breaks my heart at the same time when I see them worry about each other. He wasn’t content until they rolled her bed up next to his, in which he INSISTED on jumping into with her…that, by the way, lasted all of 35 seconds until she kicked him out! She was easy going once she got her popsicle that is until she realized she had the IV…holy moly. All in all everything went great and we’re hoping the second round will help their spasticity even more. We’ll follow up with the neurologist in  a couple of months to determine whether or not they will benefit from additional rounds in the future. Thanks to all of you who said prayers for our two and a special thanks to my mom & sister for watching the others!


Our Chunky Monkey is now 6 months old (seriously, how does this happen?). He is without a doubt THE most precious thing on this planet. His little personality continues to shine through and he continues to amaze me as well as others with how super easy going he is. He’s still a rock hard sleeper and gets a good 10-12hours in each night & wakes happy and content. I seriously couldn’t ask for a better baby!


At 6 months our sweet number 5 weighed in at 20lbs8oz which landed him in the 90th percentile. He fell in the 95th percentile for height at 28 1/4in!


Brody & Kylee were at school and missed Blade’s appointment. When I told Brody that Blade got two shots, the look on his face was priceless. He immediately wanted to hold him, kiss him and make sure he was ok. The love his has for his little brother never ends, ugh so sweet!tonight4

Stayed tuned, lots coming up Winking smile

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