Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Little Princess

Quin loves her tutus, but they aren't always used around her waist. She loves to make them into manes as a pretend lion (see below) and lays them in rows of circles/hoops to jump back and forth.
She does LOVE to dance and sometimes actually wears the tutus to do so. In an attempt to bring out the, well, ... softer side of Quin, I signed her up for 'princess camp' through a local dance studio. I know I may kick myself later (because I really don't need her acting like a princess all of the time either), but I thought it may help her explore another side of herself.

The class focused a lot on ballet too. I danced for a combined 15 years between time at a studio and then on a high school dance team. I would love for at least one of my children to like dance. Why not start with the oldest, right?!?! Maybe they will all follow then (much to their father's horror I am sure!).

I figured she may as well look the part of a princess ballerina:
On the first day of class she was randomly chosen to be the 'princess of the day' and came home with a crown and wand. She couldn't keep her hands off of the wand, and is still trying to use it to turn her brother and sisters into frogs!
She went for five days, two hours each day. She loved going (and was so sad the following Monday when she couldn't go any longer). Good signs for me!
On the last day they had a 'gala' for the parents to come watch. She was quite a bit younger than the other girls, but still seemed to be interested. They talked about the positive attributes of being a 'princess' - such as believing in yourself, having good manners and being nice to others. (Okay, so this is the type of princess she can be all of the time!) They also showed some of their new ballet moves and even partnered with the parents for a dance. It was very cute!
I'm still not convinced that it softened her up a whole lot. Most of my pictures of her standing look like this with her arms crossed:
And most of the pictures of her sitting look like this, with the exception that her knees were up with her undie cover-ups for all of the world to see:
I was still impressed with some of her graceful floor crossing moves. Not too bad!
What got the biggest smile though??? Of course, the cookies at the end :)
A big thank you to Miss Wendi, Miss Mylene and W.E. Dance Academy! Princess Quin had a great time!!!


I'm not sure how, but an old post was accidentally sent out through the email (Feedburner) yesterday. I deleted my post about the garage sale, and somehow it triggered an old post. Sorry for any confusion!

On the subject of Easton (since that is what was sent out). They did test the mass that was removed and they were able to confirm that it was a dermoid cyst, and posed no threat to him. He had the top layer of stitches removed this morning and the doctor is pleased with his progress. There are a few stitches under the top layer that have not dissolved yet, so he needs to go back in a month. We are so close to putting this chapter behind us (or so I hope!).

Sorry again for the confusion!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Easton hasn't been phased by his surgery (with much relief to his parents!). This is a picture of him within an hour of being home from the hospital.
And, it didn't take long for him to start climbing again. Notice he still has the hospital bracelet on... and I took it off pretty quick.
I took him back to the doctor the morning after surgery. The doctor removed Easton's bandage, and thought that he looked better than most! Easton's eye is quite black and blue - makes him look tough, right?!?! The black and blue has quickly turned yellow, which is never pretty but always a good sign.

There are four layers of stitches - in hopes that he won't fall and break the wound completely open. Do they know this boy, or what! The bottom three layers should dissolve on their own. He goes back next Monday to have the top layer of stitches removed. What a trooper he has been. It amazing me how resilient little kids are!

Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers!


My three munchkins have reached their next milestone - they are walkers! Okay, so they really are toddling still but are well on the way. A little late for their 17 month age, but taking their adjusted age and the fact that Quin didn't walk until 15 months - I wasn't worried in the least bit. They have been walking along furniture for quite awhile now, so I figured they would be walking soon.

Gianna was the first to walk. She started walking close to a month ago. She was never a big crawler. She was the first to sit, and then just sat and sat and sat... Once she figured out how to crawl (she was the last), she quickly began to walk around on her knees instead. I think the balance that it took for her to walk on her knees helped her to progress to walking rather quickly.
Ellery has been taking a few steps for a couple of weeks now. She has finally started to want to walk, and is getting closer to doing well!
Easton has been the last to walk - he would much prefer to climb! I think he is motivated to walk only because he sees his sisters doing it. When he wants to get somewhere faster then them, he inevitably crawls or climbs there.
This new milestone leaves me with mixed emotions! No longer babies, I must now realize that they are actual toddlers :( I am excited though for them to walk well - it will help my back a ton! :) Now I need to work on training them to all walk in the same direction, instead of three different!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to our Dad

Yep - here it is... the best shot of all five of my faves. Ugh! At least Quin decided to face forward for this one :)
I have to laugh that all four of our children look different, yet all four seem to look like Jason! How is this?
There are a lot of great fathers out there, but I have to argue that my children have the best (not including my own dad, of course)! Jason is a full time team player. He can do everything I can do, sometimes better. If he is home, he is in the thick of things right there with me. He is my equal when it comes to making key decisions on their schedules, implementing routines and doing all of our daily 'chores'. The only thing he defers to me on is diaper changing, hmmm...

Thank you to Jason for all that you do for us! Happy Fathers Day!

Our Popa

My dad, who I have always called Popa, is a pretty amazing guy! Quin affectionately calls him Popa also, so I am sure that this name will live on as the grandchildren grow. Next to her dad, Quin's favorite guy is her Popa. She pretend plays with him all of the time! (She loves to spend time with him in real life too!) He is a hands-on grandpa as you can tell in both of these pictures.
Easton and Popa
My nephew Lincoln and Popa
I couldn't have asked for a more caring and outward loving father. I never had to guess where I stood with him, and knew that he would do anything for me! This has continued with his grandchildren. All five of them are so lucky to have him.
Happy Father's Day Popa - I love you!!!

Happy Father's Day

Yesterday, my side of the family came to our house to celebrate Father's Day. It was a beautiful day to spend outside! Great food, great company and great fun is usually how I feel when we are all together!

Besides celebrating the four men of the day (my grandpa, my dad, my brother-in-law and Jason), I looked forward to seeing Lincoln. I could just eat him up, he is so cute! He has grown so much over the last month or so since I last saw him :(

We tried our very best to get all five of the cousins together for a picture. We (or they) are slowly getting better :) I still don't know if Lincoln quite knows how to take my crazy foursome!
The highlight of the afternoon was getting out the new pool. Quin, Lincoln and Ellery loved it! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of Quin or Linc in it, but Ellery was in and out so often it was easy to capture her. The water was freezing, but she didn't seem to mind!
On the other end of the spectrum were Gianna and Easton - they both stayed as far from the pool as possible.

Being the boy that he is, Easton would much prefer to play with his riding toys. His whole body actually shook each time I carried him closer to the pool. Yikes!
Gianna hung out in her chair. Close enough to people watch, yet far enough away from the pool.
I have to add this one of Ellery. I caught her 'climbing' all over the cornhole boards, looking very model-esk. If only she hadn't covered up the State logo :)

I hope you all had a fantastic Father's Day! There are so many wonderful fathers, as well as men who have stepped in to act like fathers. Kudos to all of them who are amazing role models for children!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Curve Ball & a Bandage

Poor guy didn't know what he was in for :) Jason took this at 6:45 this morning.
Easton’s actual surgery went well. The doctor/surgeon was able to remove his dermoid cyst easily, and intact. It was slightly larger than last month when the MRI was done, so it was a good call to have it removed now rather than later.

Easton did “throw them a curve ball” (quoted from the doctor). After the surgery was complete and Easton was coming out of the anesthesia, he had a laryngospasm. (Yay, that term was new to me too) It happened without warning, but thankfully the anesthesiologist was near by and helped. From my understanding (which could or could not be correct  ), it happened as he was being extubated. It basically is a muscle spasm in the throat. He stopped breathing for a very short time and they had to use a bag to help him breath. After he was breathing, they gave him an albuteral treatment to help relax his muscles even more. They kept him longer than anticipated for monitoring, but he recovered well! The eye surgeon would like our pediatrician to follow up given his history when in the NICU. I am just happy we didn’t know about it while it was happening! Thank God for the wonderful doctors, specialists, nurses and extra team players!

I was in heaven! He cuddled/slept on me for what felt like hours. At one point I had my feet up, was reading a magazine and listening to him breath. That is like a vacation for a MoM like me :)

We were home by late afternoon, and Easton was himself within an hour or so – pushing his sisters around, pulling hair and climbing on everything. It was a wonderful sight (for a few minutes anyways…). He was starving, and ate much more than normal for dinner, poor guy. I am hoping that he is already back on schedule (and sleeps through the night!)

He has a post-op appointment tomorrow morning. They will take off the bandage then and we will see how well it is beginning to heal.
Thanks again for all of your positive thoughts and prayers - we could feel them all!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Easton's Surgery {Prayers Please}

Easton's surgery date has finally arrived. He will be having the dermoid cyst near his eye removed early tomorrow morning (his check in time is 6:30am, ugh!). The surgery is supposed to be at 8:30 am, and last around an hour and a half. It is out patient, so we should be able to bring Easton home later in the afternoon.

Although the surgery itself isn't terribly dangerous, it is still nerve racking to think about him under anesthesia, and being cut open. We pray that the cyst is able to be removed without rupturing, that Easton tolerates the anesthesia, and that he comes out of it with little side effects. We also pray for his doctor and his team of nurses/assistants. We ask that you join us in positive thoughts and prayers. Thank you! I will try to post tomorrow night with an update on how things go.

Getting Closer to Green

A few of the blogs/sites that I follow have talked about Square Foot Gardening. I had toyed around with the idea of starting a garden this summer, and thought this method might be the perfect way for me to begin. I love the idea of working together as a family to grow our own food! I think it will be a great learning experience for Quin (and I)!

A square foot garden is basically a raised box that is visually broken up into square foot sections. Each square is planted with a different kind of plant, without empty rows between. There is easy access to all of the squares from the sides, making the space that the garden takes up very minimal. Our garden is 8x4 - so there are 32 square foot areas. I am far from being a gardener, so I am hoping that this will be an easier way for me to get my thumb a little closer to green.

I first mentioned my idea to Jason about a month ago and asked him to make the box for us. Within a week he built, stained and installed the box for me. It has taken me a couple of weeks to figure out the soil and what to plant - he makes me feel like such a slacker sometimes! I chose to plant things that I know we will eat - different types of peppers, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peas, butternut squash and different herbs like oregano and basil. We planted sunflowers along the back.

Last week Quin and I bought all of the plants, and this past weekend we planted everything.
She started out really interested, helping me dig holes and plant the front row. Unfortunately the swing set soon started to call her name :) Actually, that was alright. I think the back three rows took less time to plant than the first row.
I know it is hard to see the finished product - Jason put up the 'doggy fence' before I snapped the photo (there he goes being efficient again!). I am so excited to see if anything actually grows!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Festival Fun

Jason and I used to love to go out to eat, at least once or twice a week. Name a restaurant, we probably had eaten there. Quin's arrival didn't slow us down - we just would go during times when she would be in a good mood. Boy, how things have changed since the triplets arrival! I have to say that every so often I drool when I read about new restaurant openings, or listening to people talk about going out to eat. The thought about bringing all four kids out to eat is daunting, and not worth the trouble. Getting a sitter is equally tiresome. We will get back to going out to eat someday! Good thing I don't mind cooking :)

In the meantime, we try to find different ways to eat 'out'. This past weekend we took our crew down to Festival in Grand Rapids. There were some super yummy food booths. I liked that it was different than your typical carnival food - it felt healthier. I also like it when we can each get the type of food we want. Quin had a banana wrapped in a tortilla with peanut butter and nutella - how come I never thought of that! It was yummy!

We made it out to the kids area. Quin reluctantly made a hat - can you tell by her smile?!?
Festival itself is billed as a festival of the arts. Lots of singing, dancing, artist/crafters. We stopped at a few stages. We saw a kid's music singer, a group of belly dancers, a rock band and a dance studio. Quin loved watching all of them (while eating her pickle on a stick, of course).
Gianna loves music - and can keep the beat amazingly well! She was in heaven while watching the dancers. She swayed back and forth so much, I thought her stroller may tip.
Kudos to Grand Rapids! We had a great time eating 'out', and loved the entertainment too!

All Dressed Up & No Where To Go

We were all disappointed last weekend when the weather forced our local Memorial Day parade to be cancelled. My class (along with all of the first and second graders from our district) march in the parade. This year Quin and the triplets were going to march along with us. The parade was cancelled at the last minute, so our family was all dressed and ready to go. Needless to say, Quin was the most disappointed. Within a half hour after the start time, the sun was shining. Trying to explain to a three year old why we can't march even though it was nice out now... tricky!
I found these 'silly glasses' on the dollar rack. Quin still had a good time with them (Now I just have to remember to get them back out on the 4th of July).
Ellery couldn't wait to take the bow out of her hair!
'All American Sweetheart' ~ Gianna's shirt couldn't be more true :)
Easton's shirt isn't too far off either ~ 'Little Firecracker'
We tried to make up for the lack luster morning with a trip to feed local ducks and a yummy BBQ.
We are hoping for better luck next year!