Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Prior Home - In Foreclosure

Our prior home, which we sold two years ago, was foreclosed on over the summer and is now listed as a bank sale. We were fully paid on the sale of the home and were not damaged by the foreclosure.

A few notes for those who are not aware of severity of the Phoenix housing crash.

November 2005 Appraisal $480,000. The home was appraised for tax purposes, so there was no pressure for the appraiser to make a predetermined sale price. Local comparable homes were selling quickly for higher amounts.

December 2006 sold for $397,500. By this time, houses were not selling and we had to aggressively price the home for it to sell. We kept lowering the price on the home until it was priced less than smaller homes with fewer features.

Summer 2008 friends told us about the foreclosure notices at our prior home.

September 2008 house listed on MLS for $299,900. That is $180,100 (38%) off the market high and $97,600 (25%) off the last sale price.

Our prior home is in a nice, established neighborhood relatively close to central Phoenix. The homes in less established, more distant locations are even more distressed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Eh, What's Up Doc?

Carrots! That's what. We fed the girls carrots today for the first time. They'll be eating carrots for a few days here. Let me just say carrots are messy. And stain so easily! I don't remember carrots staining so badly with Jared. Hm... In any case, the girls loved them. Carrots are tastier than the green veggies. The squash and sweet potatoes should taste yummy too...and then the girls will be in heaven with the fruits :P

Here are some pictures of the orangey girls :)

Suzan - "finally, Mom, you give us something that TASTES!"Suzan - "no, i'm not gonna let go of the spoon"Suzan - "did you say raspberries? i can blow raspberries anytime. here, let me show you! ;)"Suzan - "all done? that was it??"Anna - "okay, let's get this show on the road. put the camera down Mom and FEED ME"Anna - "nummy, num!"Anna - "um, do i have something on my face? and my bib, you say??"Bethany - "oh, here she comes at me with the camera now. don't you see i am trying to eat?!"Bethany - "mmmm, does this orange stuff taste good!"Bethany - "we ran out? oh no!!!!"Brielle - "hi cousin lisa! how are you? can we chat while we eat? i love to chat!"Brielle - "yay, i'm the cleanest of them all! woo hoo!"

Lunch by big brother

The other day, Jared decided to make lunch for his four sisters. He called to us "mama, i made them lunch! it's ready for them to eat!" So we went to the play room and this is what we saw...How cute is that? He is such a sweet big brother, to have made lunch for his four little sisters. Awe!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

After dinner pictures

I was feeding Anna and Bethany at dinner the other night (Paul had Suzan and Brielle). Anna and Bethany were being so cute that I decided to take a few pictures of them. It was Anna eating the burp cloth that got me going for my camera ;) Ha!

Anna - "Feed me Mama! Oh wait, you just did. Ha, just kidding ;)"Anna, getting so bigTwo twin peas in a pod (Notice that Bethany has propelled herself up out of the boppy and Anna and pushed herself down out of the other one. This is VERY common with the girls. all four of them are too wiggly now ;) )Bethany's outfit comes with a matching headband so Mama had to put it on her real quick :) (FYI, I just moved Anna and Bethany into the size 9 to 12mo clothes and Suzan and Brielle into the 6 to 9mo clothes. They're growing like crazy!)All four girls have been LOVING the solids. Now we are on sweet peas...then we have some jars of the mixed green veggies and then orange/yellow veggies, e.g. carrots, sweet potatoes, squash. I am sure they ALL will be chowing down on these :)

Oh, and here's a funny dinner story for you all. All of the girls do really well sitting and eating at the feeding table (oh, do we LOVE that table!). How we feed them is I usually get two babies and someone else, e.g. Paul/helper/volunteer, gets the other two. Lately I've been feeding Suzan and Anna. Well, apparently I cannot feed Suzan fast enough. She has been giving me these wet, veggie-filled raspberries that cover my left arm in whatever she just ate. It's like she is saying "'cmon Mom! Put the pedal to the metal and feed me faster! If not, you get sprayed!" I think we need to get it on video because it's just too funny :P

One year ago - 9 weeks with quads and already showing

Crazy to think just a year ago, around 9/24/07, I was 9 weeks pregnant with our quadruplet girls. People thought I was crazy when I said I was already showing but pictures don't lie...

Ah, little did I know back then HOW big my belly would get ;)

It was also around this time that we got our first "group" picture of the girls. From this picture, Anna and Bethany (the identicals) are sharing the sac at the bottom and then Suzan and Brielle are at the top (don't ask me which is which ;) ). Their "locations" in the uterus would shift over the course of the pregnancy and Suzan would end up at the bottom, Anna and Bethany off to the center right and Brielle at the top left.

From this ultrasound appointment we also learned that we had, at one point, FIVE babies! We saw that there was a fourth, yet empty, sac. Sadly, the fifth one didn't make it.

Now, these four precious little girls are almost 7 months old, laughing, rolling around and eating green beans and peas at the table. How much can happen in one year!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is this normal?

Is it normal for a baby to eat 3/4 of a jar of baby food at one meal? Or even 1 entire jar? That's what happened with our girls at lunch today. Suzan ate 1/2 a jar, Bethany and Brielle 3/4 of a jar and Anna? Anna ate an entire jar of green beans! Girls, that's a lot of food! They also ate their 5+oz of breastmilk on top of that.

Is this normal? Is it a growth spurt? Is it that we just need to feed them meat and potatoes from here on out ;) ? In any case, if they keep this up they are going to eat us out of house and home!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sew, what are you doing?

Yes, I am sewing. I know, that sounds crazy, with all of the time I have on my hands ;) (actually, I am trying to sew while the girls are sleeping and Jared is at school) I've decided to make, or sew, Halloween costumes for the girls' first Halloween. Are they going to really know it's Halloween? No. Are they going to actually go trick-or-treating and eat the candy they might receive? No (although, I thought we'd take the girls in the RunAbout stroller while we treat-or-treat with Jared. That will be fun!). In any case, I thought it would be fun to do this for the girls' first Halloween :)

So I thought, and thought, and thought again about what the girls could dress up like. I thought it would be cool if I could get costumes in each of their "colors." I finally came upon a sewing pattern for a Halloween costume in which I could make one in each of their colors. See below.Can you guess which one I am going to make? Yes! The flower! Won't that be cute? To have the petals in each of their colors? I think so ;) Here is what I have done so far.

Cutting out the petalsThe pink petals for Anna's costumeHalfway there! The front, back and sleeves sewn togetherThe backThe front, with zipperThe hood, with petals attachedJust seeing how it will look on Miss Pink. Too cute! - "Mama, what in the world are you doing???"And then, here is the first one, Anna's, finishedOne down, three more to make :P Call me crazy :) The difficult parts were 1) sewing in the zipper (hey, it's been a while since I've sewn, especially sewing in a zipper!), 2) sewing the petals onto the hood and making sure they were evenly spaced and 3) sewing the elastic into the yellow trim. Other than that (oh, and the time it takes cutting out the pieces - blech!), it went pretty well.

Guess you'll have to wait till the end of October to see the other three...and then them on each baby :)

**Oh, and total cost to make all four of these costumes? $50 (not including time). When I looked for flower costumes for the girls, the average cost for one was $25. That's crazy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

First Neighborhood Walk

Today marks the girls' first neighborhood walk. Yes, it took us 6 months to finally venture out for a walk. You've got to remember, we live in HOT Arizona. It's now just s-l-o-w-l-y cooling off. I think it was about 86 degrees on our walk; bright and sunny too. Paul wanted to take Jared on a bike ride/stroll around the neighborhood and at the last minute I asked "can the girls and i come?" So that's what we did. Here are some pictures.

"Let's go!" - Jared all ready with his bike and the girls in the quad RunAbout strollerFour fuzzy little heads :)On the moveAh, it felt good to get out of the house. It was my first walk too. Can't remember the last time I got some exercise - maybe a year ago? Uff! We look forward to the cooler months ahead, where we can go out daily with the kids! Yay!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just Mama and Brielle

After lunch today, all but Brielle went down for a nap early (Anna, Bethany and Suzan got up early from their mid-morning nap). So Brielle was the only baby left to play. That meant lots of one-on-one play time with Mama :) Here are some pictures of Brielle playing.

"yummy toy! what flavor is it?""hm, what's goin' on outside Mama?""yeah, i'm cute...and can sit up by myself!"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Bites of Solids Video - Rough Cut



First Bites of Solid Food from Pelikan on Vimeo.

Our videos at Vimeo are in high definition. Be certain to:

  1. Turn on HD by clicking the "HD is Off" icon on the above video and follow the link to watch the video in HD at Vimeo.
  2. Expanded the video to fill your computer screen by clicking the odd "X" on the lower right corner of the video. Unlike other hosts, HD videos at Vimeo are sharp when played at full resolution.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Feed me!

Today marks the first day of feeding the girls solids. Yay! I will have to admit I was scared of starting this (along with changing their schedule to every four hours). They have been doing so well eating and napping/sleeping that I was afraid the solids and new schedule were going to mess it all up. But I was also excited to start solids with them too...and as Paul said "we have to do it sometime."

So, we started the girls with rice cereal, not runny but not extremely lumpy. Sort of like applesauce consistency. Well, our girls did awesome! Anna and Bethany just chowed down on the cereal, opening their mouths, moving/chewing the food and wanting to use their hands to feed themselves. Suzan and Brielle did well too, eating all of their cereal, but took some time to warm up to the food. And you know Jared wanted to get in on the action and feed his little sisters too :) All of the kids were so cute!

Here are some pictures I took of the feeding frenzy. Paul also took some video, which we hope to post sometime soon.

Suzan - "um, do you mind Mama? i am eating here.""hm? what is that thing?"Anna - "oh yeah, just shovel it in!" and looking at her bowl like "oh, is that mine? i'd better not be sharing any food with my sisters!""here, let me help you Dad"Jared, being the big brother and helping out by feeding AnnaBethany - "mouth is ready Dad. bring on the food!""yum, yum, yum!""is that it? isn't there more? i can handle more, Dad!"Brielle - "look at me Mama! i'm eating cereal!""hm...it tastes different than i was expecting."Since they did so well at breakfast this morning we're going to feed them cereal again at lunch here...and then if they do well with that, maybe dinner. Our pediatrician also told us "if they do well with cereal, move them on to veggies. then fruits. then mixed meals." Paul asked "okay, then cereal for a week or so?" The doc said "no, like 2 or 3 days. then just move on." So we'll see. So far, the girls love it. Yay!

Beep! - Beep! - Beep! Here comes the trash truck!

Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Carlson for the get-well card and gift for Jared, for when he was sick with croup. Jared has been having fun playing with his new Lego Trash Truck. He had to have some help putting it together but he loves playing with it. And I have to say it's pretty cool too :) The one thing, the little man doesn't look a thing like Grandpa. Man! That's a bummer ;)

Here are some pics of his truck. Pretty cool!

The truckThe man using his dolly to haul the trash canThe man sweeping up the trashThe man, with his trash and trash canDumping out the trash!
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