Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Potty Soccer

With all the sitting the girls have been doing, they get a little bored, so they've been coming up with some interesting activities. Today it was "potty soccer". Gwyn and Lana were passing the ball back and forth.

I was glad that they occupied themselves today, because Lana seems to only be able to sit still for about two seconds. It drives me crazy! She sits, she stands up and looks in the potty, she sits down again, she stands up and switches potties, she stands up and looks in the potty, sits down again, stands, sits, stands, sits--you get the picture. Sometimes she gets her business done right away and then is so excited to go into the bathroom and empty the potty and flush. (I really don't need rewards for these girls right now. They are so proud of themselves, and so happy to flush!)

This little soccer game kept Lana sitting until I started putting diapers back on everyone. Then she ran around the livingroom without a diaper, climbing on the furniture until I nabbed her--about two seconds too late. This was our first accident.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Daddy's Shoes

Here's Cary with his special shoes:

DSC00804 Daddy's shoes GM DSC00805 Daddy's shoes EL

I have fond memories of a similar activity from my own childhood.  When my dad came home from work, he was almost invariably immediately covered in ecstatic children.  There were four of us, and after a hug (maybe), we'd each latch on to a limb.  Dad would make his way to the kitchen, walking in some kind of exaggerated imitation of Frankenstein, where he'd finally get to greet my mom.  Happy times!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Little Ducks

We decided to take the kids to a local wading pool a while back. We don't really know anyone with a pool, and the public pools around us don't allow flotation devices of any kind, so we're pretty much limited to the kiddie pools right now. (We don't mind--the kids are happy!)

I arrived at the pool first with Gwyn and Maddie. They stood there checking it out, and didn't want to get in until I stepped in with them. Then Cary arrived with Lana and Everett. Lana charged right in. She wanted to go everywhere, and do everything the big kids were doing. She got a nose-full of water at one point, but it didn't phase her. Gwyn and Maddie got into it too, but were more cautious about everything.

Here's Cary trying to get one of them to actually sit in the water:

DSC00752 snoopy pool

DSC00754 snoopy poolDSC00769 snoopy pool L

DSC00773 snoopy pool

(I was the one behind the camera, so there are no photos of me that day.)

The children generally come out of the pool happily, especially the girls. They are excited because they get to be "my little ducks", which is what I call them when they're wearing their little hooded towels. They love it. Everett is my little frog.

DSC00775 Little ducks 2

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Corn Huskin'

I love the look of concentration on their little faces.

The Potty Party has begun

I don't know what possessed me to do this, but I started the potty training on Sunday. It wasn't something I really planned out in advance. It was an idea that struck me and I went with it. It seems that a lot of things have to be that way, or they won't get done.

I don't think the girls are really ready yet (except maybe Lana), but the train is moving now! I don't know that there's any going back at this point. I went in the den for a couple of minutes yeaterday, and when I came out both Maddie and Gwyn had removed their diapers and were wandering around. At least all three of them are interested at this point! Everett was a bit of a "late bloomer" in the potty-training department (perhaps partly because I had so many little ones to take care of) but it seemed like I blinked and we were done with accidents. It was smooth sailing. This time around, I have a feeling I'll have some interesting blog posts!

So I have rolled up the only carpet on the main floor of our house, and so far no accidents. I know the time will come. For now, we are doing a lot of sitting--sitting reading books, sitting singing songs, sitting watching movies. I can see that I will not be able to get as much done as usual because I am sitting too. And being vigilant. But we are having a nice time together.

Lana, Gwyn, Maddie, and Everett (who is not sitting on a potty)

PS--If you have multiples, don't even think about trying this potty-training thing without a potty for each child. (Yes, I was crazy the first day and thought we might be able to use two potties and the cushioned seat on the actual toilet. That wasn't going to fly. They all want to do it at once, and all on a little potty seat.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Marriage = Kissing on the Lips

Everett was telling Cary about part of a movie we watched today. "...and they got married and then they could kiss on the lips..."

I just love it! We've been explaining to Everett that only people who are married kiss on the lips. We kissed before we were married, but I don't think it will hurt his 5-yr-old brain not to know that. Things like this really make me treasure my little ones.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Everett has been picking out his own clothing each morning for some time now. His independence has been nice in many ways, though at first there were some rather unusual color combinations. He's doing really well at this point in choosing coordinating and weather-appropriate clothing.

One day a couple of weeks ago, he walked into the girls' room wearing a sweater and long pants.

"Hi Dada." He plops himself down in front of the vent. "This is my friend Coldie. He helps me to be cool." "Sometimes he's Hottie."

"Oh really? Everett, I think you had better go put on a short-sleeved shirt."

The girls also really like the vents--especially Lana. Last summer (she must have been about 15 months old) I went into the playroom to check on her. She had removed two vent covers from the floor and was sitting in the duct work.

She's tried it a couple of times this year, but mostly we just have pushing and shoving as children jockey for a place in front of the vents. The funny thing is, the AC doesn't even have to be on!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bath time

I usually bathe one or two children at a time.  I finally took some photos of what goes on with the kids who aren't being bathed.

First, they remove all of the stuffed animals from the large drawer in Everett's bed.  (The bed was made by my Grampy and was mine when I was a little girl.)

Then they take the mattress off the bed and strip off all the bedding.

Then they do this:

Maddie, Gwyn, Lana DSC00713

Gwyn DSC00722 Gwyn, Lana, Maddie DSC00735

Nothing like working up a good sweat after your bath!

Talented Kids

My children are very talented. Here are some of the girls' recent accomplishments:

Lana - has now removed a TAPED diaper on two occasions
Gwyn - can fold her arms and suck her thumb at the same time
Maddie - can turn any frustration into a "booboo" which may be easily cured with a kiss

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was our 9th anniversary. It was a sweet and special day, with a little bit of drama in the middle. I decided on a whim that it might just be a good day to finally get our family photo done again. We already had two beautiful white dresses for the girls thanks to a friend of ours, and I decided to go in search of another inexpensive one while the girls were napping. After looking in six different stores (and giving my little helper Everett two turns down the mall slide and a slushie), I finally found one at WalMart. It was the last one on the racks, just the right size, and on clearance.

We got everyone ready, loaded them in the van, and drove to the mall. Unfortunately, Lana got carsick and threw up on her dress. Thankfully I had left all their bibs on as a precaution and I was able to clean it up pretty well with the Clorox wipes I keep in the van. Next time she'll be getting dressed at the portrait studio though!

Afterwards we had dinner in the food court and took them all on the carousel for the first time. This photo was taken on Cary's phone while the carousel was stationary.


After the kids were in bed, we got to go out and celebrate some more. I say some more, because the children are a beautiful part of our marriage too. We went for a nice, long drive (which made me extremely curious because Cary didn't tell me where we were going), and had a nice dinner. Then Cary took me shopping. Though he doesn't give a lot of input on the clothing choices, I love having him around so it was a treat. And we didn't talk about the kids the whole time.

I've been thinking about a lot of fond memories from our dating and early marriage. One of my favorites is how we used to go grocery shopping. I don't know why, but we have always enjoyed doing the grocery shopping together. We still go as a family almost every time. As a young married couple without a car, we would take our backpacks, strategically fill them to capacity, and carry bags in our arms as well. Sometimes when we got back to our apartment we'd weigh ourselves to see how much we were carrying.

I loved walking everywhere together. We also liked to go to The Malt Shoppe on Tuesdays. (It was buy one get one free night with your University ID.)

We used to have tickle fights all the time, but it seemed like I always ended up getting smacked in the nose. It sticks out pretty far I guess.

We also liked it when our car broke down. Just kidding! But our car did break down on just about every big trip we ever took. Cary waited for me to graduate before we moved for the start of his grad studies. Then we placed all of our earthly possessions in a small U-Haul trailer and drove the 2000 miles to PA. But first we broke down about 15 miles into our trek. Since we had already officially moved out of our apartment, we spent the night at Cary's sister's all girl apartment. We spent the whole next day trying to figure out what was wrong with the car, and spent the next night in a campground. Finally we were on the road again. Then we broke down in Podunk, Illinois. After some more adventures there, we made it "home" without further incident. Somehow all the times we have broken down have become fond memories for me. We were always together, and though it was somewhat stressful at the time, we stayed positive and had fun in the circumstances. Changing the brakes together, rollerblading, camping, and other somewhat unusual situations brought us closer together. We wanted to have children sooner than we did, but we really cherish the time we had as "just us". Knowing what we know now (getting four children in 2 1/2 years), it is really confirmed to us that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and has a plan for each of us. We have been so richly blessed.

Summer water fun

We pulled out the kiddie pool for the first time the other day. Ever our intrepid adventurer, Lana was the first one in. She kept dumping the cold water on herself, followed by a gasp and a giggle.

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The other kids weren't far behind, of course. We all had a lot of fun.



 Lana Everett

Any guesses why this little girl is so happy?

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She just got her brother good! (She's Maddie, by the way--at least I'm pretty sure she's Maddie! I didn't take the picture. Am I a horrible mom, or what?)

DSC00690 ELM

I like using these pots as pool toys because they can't really drink out of them, and I don't get quite as wet.

DSC00695 pots

I couldn't resist putting this one in. I just love those little toes!


(Maddie, Gwyn, Lana, Everett)

The pool came out again today, and Gwyn and Everett got into a major water fight. I got in the line of fire a couple of times, but I didn't mind so much. It was a nice day. I felt all environmentally friendly afterwards because I watered the garden with the pool water (and the water from our dehumidifier). I realize that's pretty silly, considering the other ways we waste things every day. I'm trying to think about it more.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Special Day

Happy Anniversary Mandy
I love you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Catching Up

Once again, a whole week has gone by without a post from me. I wanted to write sooner, but we had a great late date night watching Indiana Jones (and having an impromptu footrace when we had to walk halfway around the mall because we weren't allowed to go through), followed by me retiring at 7:30 PM the next day! I didn't intend to go to bed that early. I was just "resting" for a little while and finally decided to just give in and went to sleep with contacts in and teeth unbrushed *gasp*! The next night I was overwhelmed by the 100 cute pictures sitting on my camera. Then I had a disastrous evening of shopping at WalMart. I am starting to really dislike that place. We like the "convenience" of having everything in one store, and the fact that Sam's club is right next door so that we can snag a cart--or two--that seats at least two children safely. These factors keep us going there despite the drawbacks. We were thrilled the first time we walked into our new Target and discovered that they have awesome carts that seat three children with seatbelts! Woohoo! Too bad they don't have a large grocery section. Where was I? Oh yeah: I'm finally trying to catch up a bit on last week's events. For now, here's another cute picture of Maddie:

DSC00706 Maddie

The girls still LOVE those hats! If Target has them in the $1 section again next year I'm going to get a bunch. Since Everett is constantly coming up with fun games for the kids to play, they have served as hunting hats and cowboy hats too.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sweet Sweets Rats

Cary guest blogger here with a confession to make. It was me. I did it. While Mandy was out of the house, I tried to abscond with some of her Dove chocolates (if anyone wanted to know--maybe even send--her favorite, it's the milky kind) while she was escorting Everett across the street to our neighbor's house this afternoon. The twins were just done with a nap and caught me doing it, so I had to buy them off with a bite each. Gwyn handled it just fine, but they're both pretty much drool factories right now with 2-year molars coming in and all, so I just wasn't in time to prevent Maddie from ratting me out with the above evidence on her dress and mouth. I immediately exclaimed, "Oh no! Mama's going to be so sad! (about stains on dresses, not pilfered chocolate)", and Maddie thought for a split second before replying: "Hug her!" Even as a chocolate drool-bombing rat fink, she's a sweetie.