Friday, June 27, 2008

The "big girls" are getting helmets

Yes, after much talking, praying and asking friends what they've done with their kids in regards to helmets, we decided to get them for Anna and Bethany. We don't know how long they will have to wear them, e.g. in months, but they do have to wear them 23hrs a day. Poor girls! But really, we don't want to look back and regret not doing it for them. Plus, I keep seeing them lay on the sides of their heads vs. the backs of their heads so I think that isn't helping to fix the problem. We've tried positioning their heads but they are getting so strong that we can't correct it that way.

So today we took Anna and Bethany in to Cranial Technologies (CT) here in Phoenix to get their heads digitally "scanned" so that CT can make the helmets specific for their heads and correct the shapes.

Now, CT used to use a plaster-of-paris type process to get an image of the baby's head. No more. Now it's all digital (aren't we all ;) ). So the girls each had a turn to wear a lovely netting over their heads/face, sit still (yeah right :P ) and have several cameras at several angles take pictures of their heads. Anna went first and then Bethany. Both cried :( and unfortunately Anna had to try it again, as she wasn't sitting up straight enough to get a perfect image. CT will take the images of their heads, manufacture the helmets and then we go back in 10 days to get each girl fitted with the helmet. Then the girls wear them until their heads look good. We also have to go back in to CT on a weekly basis, to adjust the helmets as their heads grow and are re-shapened.

So here are some pics of our outing...

Anna being the first to wear the lovely netting :(
Sit still little girl
Awe!, one of the clinicians trying to soothe and calm down Anna
Trying again (notice the beige and black column thing in the background. those are the cameras; and one was mounted on the ceiling)
Bethany's turn (she kept licking the netting - ha!)
Awe! Poor little girl!
:( Almost done sweetheart
All done and happy
Anna, almost done (had to try it again :( ) and saying "i'm ready to blow this pop stand!!"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Other GGGG

Yes, there are other sets of all-girl quads out there in the US. Now, these are the only ones I know of, or those that have blogs/family websites. There might be a whole lot more out there that we don't know about :)

Mathias Quads (these are spontaneous identicals!) - born in February 2000
Breedlove girl quads (all identical too!) - born in March 2005
The Urech girl quads (we know Misty and her brood ;) ) - born in November 2006
The Hudson girl quads - born in March 2007
The Murphy girl quads (they have 2 fraternals and 2 identicals, just like us!) - born in December 2007

So, not a lot of GGGG.

And not a lot of BBBB sets either...
The Yager boy quads - born February 2005
The Murray boy quads - born February 2007
The Malone boy quads - born August 2007

ETA: I found another GGGG set! The Hogans - born November 2004

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The "little girls"

I call Suzan and Brielle the "little girls." And really they are the little girls...they were the 3lb girls born and are still smaller than Anna and Bethany. Suzan is now 11lbs 3oz and Brielle is hot on her tracks, at 10lbs 15oz. FYI, Anna and Bethany are 13lbs 8oz and 13lbs 13oz, respectively. Oh my! They're just growing like weeds ;)

Suzan, just hanging out under a play gym
Cute little smirk :)
Awe, Brielle looks so sweet sleeping!
An angel!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Playroom Suggestions

We cleared out our dining room so we can turn the room into a dedicated playroom. For the first few years, we hope the playroom will provide a safe place for the girls to play. For ages 3 to 5, we hope to use the room for basic preschool activities.

We would appreciate suggestions on a few items:

- How can we gate off the 10' and 11' openings to keep our girls in the playroom? These gates from Summer Infant and Kidco look promising, but I question their ability to hold back four little girls who want to chase their mommy into the kitchen.

-The room measures roughly 12' by 13'. What would you put in the room for each stage of development for the next several years? A play kitchen set is definitely in our future, but at what age? When would the girls enjoy playing at an activity table?

-Any suggestions for protecting the carpet from accidents, messes, and spills?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What is with this silly (and strong!) little girl?

Okay, now Brielle has wiggled her way in bed and flipped herself 180 degrees! Man, is she strong! Besides, isn't she supposed to be sleeping instead of moving all over the place ;)
Any guesses who might be the first mover/shaker/crawler/walker in this group? Hm...


Jared wearing some ASU colors (I got lucky here, as I didn't expect Gap to carry ASU colors :P )

Brielle being strong again

Brielle holding up her head (again)
Brielle about to roll over to her back (again)
She's just too strong for her own good ;)

"Don't kick me!"

Now why would Bethany being crying? Oh, Brielle is kicking her in the head. Okay ;) (and yes, Mom had to take a picture of them :P )
Both of these ladies went to bed laying with their heads to the left. Somehow (the strong girls they are!) they rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Silly girls!

Monday, June 16, 2008

That's My King!

I first saw this video one Sunday at Grace. I thought it was awesome. I recently came upon it again and just thought I'd share it with you :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers we know! Thanks to my mom coming over and helping with the babies for a few hours, Paul took Jared out to lunch and an after-lunch treat of ice cream. Yum! Jared and the girls are very lucky to have him as Dad! He is the best daddy, giving up SO much to take care of us! We thank God for Paul and his dedication and love to our family!

Anna - "Daddy's Little Girl"
Brielle - "Favorite Things...Daddy, Hugs, Kisses"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some things we've noticed about our girls - Part IV

Part four, and the last installment, of the series...

Brielle - our baby girl, the last one born, "baby D." She has always been "baby D," even in-utero. I think she was the baby "on the top" and has always been the smallest baby, even in-utero. Although lately she is giving Suzan a run for her money, as Brielle is 10lbs 5.5oz and Suzan is 10lbs 13oz. Go Brielle ;) She has her own look to her...dark brown hair, big eyes (a color mix of blue and brown, versus the other girls having blue eyes) and an expressive mouth. I think she has a sweet little mouth :) She gives these great big smiles that are just so cute. She, like Suzan, has a distinct cry and we can always tell that it's Brielle crying. She is my best nurser, nursing about 4oz at a feeding and one time nursed 5.5oz! She also is our most physically advanced, if you will, baby. She rolls over and holds her head up the most.

Previous "Some things we've noticed about our girls..." posts:
Part I
Part II
Part III

Next, "Some things we've noticed about our boy" :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mama taking pictures of Anna

I'm trying to get better with my picture taking. So this morning I tried playing around a bit. And what better subjects in my photos than our kids :)

Here are some pics of Anna

The kids with family

So, we had a good run of seeing out of town relatives these last few weeks. First, we saw Paul's Aunt Lylia and Cousin Nikki from ND. Then, Paul's parents were able to come down from ND for a week's visit. It was so nice seeing everyone again, as we won't be making our yearly ND trips for a while! Here are a few pics of the kids with the relatives. More pictures at our website, under "The Quads" and "Jared."

Jared with Aunt Lylia Suzan with Cousin Nikki
Anna with Cousin LisaBethany with Grandma Martha
Brielle with Grandpa Wes
And all five grandkids with Grandma and Grandpa Carlson

Monday, June 09, 2008

Say Cheese!

This morning we had two wonderful women come and take pictures of our family. We planned it so that we started the shoot immediately after the girls ate. That way they'd be happy :P

The photographers, who are Jen and Sarah (thanks Amy K for Jen's info!), took pictures for a little over two hours. Wow! The girls did great. They did get tired near the end and started the crying fest, but really I think they did wonderfully!

So, we got a couple of family shots taken and then several more of the girls individually and as a group. I am excited to see how the pictures turned out! We won't get to see them for a few weeks so all of you out there will have to wait a bit to see them ;)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Swimming with Dad and Grandma Carlson

Jared's been having fun playing with Grandpa and Grandma Carlson while they are in town. Today, Jared went swimming with Dad and Grandma. Looks like the three of them had fun :)
More pictures of Jared swimming at our website, under "Jared" and "Four Years Old."

Helmet Appointment

So I know some of you know that we took all four girls to get their head shapes checked out with a doctor. The appointment was yesterday, Friday, with Cranial Technologies here in Phoenix.

We were thinking the small girls, Suzan and Brielle, were probably safe as their head shapes look pretty good and symetrical but the big girls, Anna and Bethany, probably needed the helmets. We were right. The doctors said that Suzan and Brielle have really good shaped heads but that Anna's and Bethany's head were long and not very wide. In fact, they said they thought the shape of Anna's and Bethany's heads were probably an in-utero caused thing. Interesting. So our next steps are to see what our insurance will cover and also talk to friends that had helmets on their girls (Amy K, expect a call from us ;) ) and see how bad it was for their girls to wear them. FYI, the girls would have to wear the helmets for 23 hrs a day (only an hour off for bath time). Don't know how long, e.g. weeks or months, they'd have to wear them also. It depends on how much reshaping needed. Thank goodness they said Anna's and Bethany's head shapes were not severe!

Here are some pictures I took of our outing :) Those double strollers are a beast to drive! Thank goodness we had Grandma Carlson with us! And thank goodness we didn't get too many looks, stares and comments on the four babies :P Oh, and I have to say that our girls did WONDERFUL with the 1.5hr appointment. The nurses and clinicians were totally amazed at how well they did and hardly cried. They said "boy, your girls did SO much better than the single babies we get in here!" They are good babies :)

The girls in their carriers and strollers in the waiting room. We took up almost all of the room!

The girls and Grandma C, waiting for the helmet evaluation process (which included lots of "mug shot" pictures and head measurements)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

3 months old

Our quad girls are already three months old! Their weight stats are...

Suzan -
10lbs 2.5oz
Anna -
12lbs 4.5oz
Bethany -
12lbs 5oz
Brielle -
9lbs 12.5oz
Wow! They are growing SO well! You'd never guess they were preemies and born two months early! So far, they...

  • can hold up their heads
  • roll over from tummy to back
  • smile at you and hold your gaze
  • are finding their hands and fingers to suck on
  • and eating tons! (~4 or 4.5oz at a feeding!)

They are such joys! Wonderful gifts from God!!!!

Here is a picture we took of them today, at three months old

And here are some outtakes :P

Brielle says "Get off of me!"

Suzan says "I've had enough!"

And Anna says "Me too!"

And all the while, Bethany says "Huh? No big deal." ;)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bragging on our boy :)

I have to brag about Jared right now :)

For the longest time (like over a year), Jared has been going to the Starfall website where he learned his ABCs and recently his phonics. I think we heard about the website from Amy K (thanks Amy!) Jared also learned his ABCs from a Leap Frog train. I think we learned about the train from Carol T (thanks Carol :) ! ) So Jared has known the alphabet for a while now.

Well, since he's been stuck at home with us and the babies we thought we'd purchase some media items to help him with phonics now and help him to read. He already knew the alphabet. So Paul did his usual research and purchased a couple of Leap Frog videos that go through the phonics and how to sound out words and a Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Kindergarten system. Jared's been doing great with it! I am AMAZED that a little four-year-old can already sound out his letters and read books! Well, sort of read books...he sounds out the letters of the words and then puts the words together that way. For example, the word RAT...rrrr...aaaaa... ta...RAT. Awesome! He just read his first book in the HOP system! He and I read some words at dinner one time too, like BUTTER, CHEESE and MIST. He got them all. Wow! Some teacher friends of ours are amazed that he is already doing this.

So the next time you are over just ask him the sounds of certain letters. He knows them all ;)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tuckered Out

The girls always get tuckered out from playing on the gyms.

Bethany (how cute!)

Buff Suzan!

Suzan holding her head up!


Here, Bethany and Anna while on the play gyms (BTW, Paul put Anna's arm on Bethany ;)

Buff Brielle

We think Brielle might be our most physically advanced baby, even though she is the smallest/most preemie one. She moves all over the crib (sometimes getting her feet or head on Bethany - ha!), rolls over the most and does a great job holding up her head. Just last evening, she was awake (little stinker didn't want to sleep :P ) so I held her for a bit. Well, she insisted to not lay her head down but instead hold it up the entire time! What a buff little girl :) ! Here are some pics...

With Mama

Still holding her head up!

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