Monday, August 31, 2009

A week spent with a special friend

Jared's Kindergarten classroom (actually, I think all 6 of the Kinder classes) have what is called "Star of the Week." What is it? Basically, the teacher chooses a student to be the special "star" for that week. The child gets to 1) complete an "all about me" poster to discuss with the other kids in the class, 2) be line leader for the week, 3) bring in a jar containing items (usually candies) for the class to guess the number and then share with everyone and 4) have a special friend, "Pup," for the week, write in the class's journal about the fun things the child and Pup did for the week and then read the journal to the class.

So, Jared was the first child from his class to enjoy "Star of the Week." Yay! He enjoyed his special week. Although, it was getting close to the end of the week in which he needed to write about his adventures with Pup. Well, he hadn't done anything real special with Pup to write about :( So, Paul and I devised a plan that one of us would take Jared and Pup out for ice cream. That should be a fun adventure to write about! Plus, you know Jared loves ice cream...well, anything sweet (yup, he takes after Mama in that area :D ).

He and I had a good evening, after dinner, with Pup at Baskin Robbins. YUM! Here are some pictures of our time out with Pup.

Jared and Pup enjoying their ice cream cones. YUM!What flavor is it Jared? Mint Chocolate Chip? Ooooo!Jared enjoying his special treatPup enjoying his special treat too! - "thanks Jared and Jared's Mama for the ice cream! It was too yummy!"Awe! How sweet!Mmmmm! Mmm!post signature

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Special Visitors Today!

Today we were greeted by some special visitors...Paul's cousins and aunt! Aunt Lylia flew down from the "frozen tundra" ;) to visit with and help Jayson and Lisa. Before her flight back she wanted to stop by our homestead for a visit. So we got to see the three of them, Jayson, Lisa and Lylia! We put them straight to work - Ha! ;)

Jayson and his mom had fun feeding the girlies lunch. Jayson and Lylia, you two did a great job!Jayson being silly with Anna ;) He fed Anna and Brielle while Lylia fed Suzan and Bethany.Son and MomThanks again for the visit guys! Oh, by the way, Lylia I didn't mention this to you but I like your hair! Very nice coloring!!
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Friday, August 28, 2009

We survived our first outing, out by ourselves!

**Sorry no pictures of our outing. Hey! It was just enough to make sure I got things squared away for this morning! ;)

Yes, it took me almost 18 months to finally get out, BY MYSELF, with the girlies. Why? Well, in the beginning they were stuck in the NICU. Then, when they finally came home from the NICU they were so tiny and needed to be fed every 3 hrs. Plus, I was also pumping every 3 hours. Last summer was hot and we had 4 newborns to take care of so I didn't go anywhere with them alone. Last fall and winter we were in "RSV lockdown" and didn't go anywhere for 7 months. Then, they turned 1 year old and summer hit us...hot again! (actually still hot!) Now, I can finally get out with them, as they are bigger girlies and are a bit more independent. Plus no RSV/health issues to deal with.

So, yesterday morning we embarked on our first (first of many to come!) outing. YAY! I signed up for a chronological Bible study at our church. I am so excited for it! We will be studying the Bible in chronological order. Seeing the Bible organized by time, or chronologically, is new to me. It's a very cool way to study God's Word. This is the Bible we will be reading out of (in NIV) and the study guide for discussion questions, written by a woman at our church.

Okay, so back to getting out with the girlies ;) Here is how my morning went yesterday...
  • I got everyone dressed, fed and ready for going to church/school. It usually takes me about 30 to 35 minutes to feed the girls. Not too bad for 4x :D
  • I loaded everyone into the BHV (big huge van). Thank goodness Jared can climb in on his own and buckle himself into his seat! I timed myself and it took me 4 minutes to load the girlies into the van. Not too bad. I also pre-loaded the quad stroller in the back of the van the previous evening. No, we don't have a trailer hitch for the Run About stroller but the back of the van works fine. Just requires some upper arm strength and patience to lift the heavy thing up into the back!
  • The girlies and I dropped off Jared at school. I think he loves getting dropped off at school in the van. He kept waving "goodbye" to me and the girls. How cute! :D
  • The girlies and I arrived, in time, at church. I had to unload the stroller and then unload the girls into the stroller seats.
  • Then the fun begins! Lots, and I mean LOTS!, of stares, comments and whispers from the moms and kids. Ha! I guess they've never seen a huge 4-seater stroller before, let alone quads! ;)
  • The girlies did GREAT in their classroom! Anna cried a bit when I first checked them in (oh yeah, that takes some time too!) but she calmed down and all 4 of them had fun playing and learning about God. Yay! Praise God! I enjoyed my time with the Lord at my study! Yay again!
  • Study time is over! Time to check-out the girls (oh! more time clogging up the line! ;) ), load them back into the stroller, go out to the van, load them up in there, load the stroller into the back of the van and head for home.

Whew! Yeah, it was a bit of work but TOTALLY worth it! And it was a success too! My first time out with the girlies and no one (especially Mama - Ha! ;) ) didn't break down and cry. I guess this means I can go out anywhere with the girls by myself now, huh? Target? Costco? To friends' homes? To play groups? To the mall? To the zoo? You name it! ;) Some very fun times ahead for us! Yay!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

100% Quality Work!

Jared came home from school today with "amazing news!" His words ;) He had this to show us.This is his first test from school. A 100%! Wow! Not too shabby for his first test, a practice test at that. He was quite proud of it!He told us "it's 100% quality work!" Ha! I don't know where that phrase came from, probably his teacher. It just sounds too cute coming from our little Kindergartner :D

This is the Kinders first "practice test." It was graded but not recorded. It is a math test, from their Saxon Math studies. Some of the assessments were:
  • Counting how many objects there were.
  • Comparing number values, e.g. greater than, less than.
  • Following directional commands, e.g. on the right, on the left.
  • Knowing how to write your numbers, 1-13.
He is doing great at school, in his math and his phonograms. He knows the first 30 phonograms down pat! Way to go Jared!
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Love You! You Love Me! We're a Happy Family!

Oh yes! You know what time it is! Barney Time! Ha! :D The last time I watched Barney, on PBS, was when Jared was about 2. Thinking back to those times, I enjoyed it. Enjoyed Barney? Well, not Barney, per se, but the times I had sitting with Jared on our sofa watching and talking about Barney with him. So, I thought to myself today "hm, I wonder if the girlies would be interested in watching Barney with me?" And that's what we did. Or should I say, attempted. The girlies weren't very interested in watching TV. GASP! Kids not interested in TV? You've got to be joking?! Okay, maybe they watched a little but they were more interested in running around the house, being outside the confines of the corralled-off play room. So we tried to watch a little bit of Barney and then some Bob the Builder. I thought, for sure, that they would watch the TV, as they don't watch any. GASP again! No TV at almost 18 months old?!?! They see bits of TV when Big Brother watches it but that's about it. No designated TV time for themselves. I just never got around to it ;) Alas, they didn't want to sit quietly on the sofa with me; sitting or snuggling next to Mama. Oh well. I am sure they will "like" TV in the very near future :D Maybe some Veggie Tales or Leap Frog Learning videos or just any TV/video with music (they like to "dance to the music!").

Suzan, Brielle, Anna and Bethany sitting on the sofa watching Barney for a millisecond - Ha!
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

This one's for you, Grandpa Carlson!

**Updated with a few more pictures from today. Check them out below!
Yes, this post is for Grandpa Carlson. Why? Because Jared built something today at Lowe's that is very near and dear to Grandpa's heart. A SCHOOL BUS! What do you think, Grandpa? Does it look like the one you drive? Okay, maybe a bit smaller but hey, it drives :D I think the driver resemblance is uncanny too ;) I'm sure Grandpa is always this smiley for his kidsJared wanted me to take pictures of each side of the bus - Ha! The driver's side...Whoops! Someone fell asleep on the bus!The passengers' side...And the front, again...Paul said they bused in (ha! get it? bused in? okay, another bad pun from yours truly ;) ) three buses from Jared's school district for the project clinic...1 full-size, 1 mid-size and then 1 remote controlled. Remote controlled? What?? Grandpa, don't you wish you could remotely control your bus? Hee hee :D Actually, it was Buster the School Bus. We've never heard of Buster before! Grandpa, maybe you could get a Buster for your district and route! I bet the kids would love it! Jared had fun checking out all 3 of the buses. Paul was pretty impressed that the local school district spent their $$ to bring these 3 buses to the Lowe's clinic.

Paul and Jared building the school bus. They have these cute litte hammers for the kids to use (see in Paul's big hand). Ha! They are too cute!Everyone at the clinic. There is always about 25+ kids at these clinics. WOW!Jared (off to the right) and some of the other kids with Buster the School Bus and Miss Gert, who leads the clinics. Thanks again Gert!Jared also received a little packet of school bus coloring pages and helpful tips. Here are some of the tips I thought I'd share (in case some of you forgot what are the school bus rules and etiquette :) ).
  1. Can you see the bus driver? Can the bus driver see you?
  2. Stay in your seat (yeah, I bet this is a constant battle for the bus drivers!).
  3. Talk quietly.
  4. Never throw things in the bus or out the windows.
  5. Keep head, arms, and feet inside the windows (reminds me of the ride rules at Disneyland :D )
Grandpa, we thought of you today with this Lowe's project! Happy driving Grandpa!
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Just curious, how much do you weigh?

Ha! No, I'm not talking about those of you reading and following our blog. That would, um, just crazy and rude. And NO, I'm not talking about me or Paul. That would be, um, TMI ;) I'm talking about the girlies. Just tonight I was curious how much each girl weighs. I only thought this because Anna and Bethany, for some strange reason, seem a bit heavier these days when I carry them. Now, they are our "big girls" and are more built like Dad and Big Brother so they do have the bigger Carlson genes there. Suzan and Brielle are more built like me, short and stubby - Ha! :D

So I plopped each girl on our baby scale. We've had this since they were born.Any guesses on how much each girl weighs? Perhaps you could look back at their 15-month stats and give an estimate based on that. So????

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Okay, I won't make you "weight" for a follow-up post. Ha! Get it? WEIGHT? Okay, bad pun ;) Here is what our scale said.

Suzan - 21lbs 9oz (~17th %tile)
Anna - 26lbs 8 oz (~82nd %tile)
Bethany - 26lbs 14.5oz (~88th %tile)
Brielle - 21lbs 2.5oz (~11th %tile)

My guess was correct! The girls, especially the "Big Girls," are getting a bit heavy for me. Almost 27lbs for Bethany! Wow! It looks like they are right on track with their last growth chart curves, maybe even up a bit. Some great weights for preemies born in the 3lb and 4lb range! God is doing a great job growing and developing them!
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

What's happening? Not much...

I see it's been a while since I/we last posted. What's happening with us? Not much. Well now, or should I say "not much?" Hm...

Since we last posted...
  • Jared and I went to another Lowe's Build and Grow clinic. It was so much fun! Jared got to build a power boat. Well, really it's a paddle boat but it really works! He and I also toured a real, live speed boat while at Lowe's. I guess they have guest "speakers," if you will, that come to the clinics and speak on the item to be built. For example, a nice couple towed in their speed boat to this power boat clinic for the kids to tour and ask questions on and at the previous helicopter building clinic a helicopter pilot came in to speak to the kids about helicopters and flying them. So it's neat that the kids get a little education on what they are going to build.
  • We went out on our VERY FIRST party as a family. Woo hoo! We took ALL 7 OF US to our friend's going away party. It was SO fun to see all of our friends from our former church community group again! We had a blast! Plus, our kids, the girlies especially!, did AWESOME! It took the girls some time adjusting to being in someone else's house and seeing a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. But, they got into a groove and were having fun playing with our friend's little boy's, Wyatt's, toys. Thanks to the Henrys for hosting! And good-bye to Mason! We will miss you!

  • Us with our friend, Mason. Paul, Jared, Brielle, Anna, Mason, Suzan, Maria and Bethany
  • Jared enjoyed 3 weeks of Kindergarten! He still enjoys recess and lunch time the most :D He does say he enjoys his class's "special days," such as P.E., library and music. He has learned SO much too. He has already learned over 20 phonograms and knows them perfectly! I sort of laugh when he and I do homework time after school (yes, there is homework in Kindergarten ;) ). His teacher wants us to go over the phonograms they are learning that day/week. Well, he is about done in 3 minutes reciting the 20+ phonograms. He knows them that well! So I had to improvise and stretch our homework time. So, we go first phonogram to the last, then backwards last to the first and then I lay them (they are phonogram flashcards) on the floor, facing down, and have him pick one and recite. Yeah, now we can bump up his practice time this way ;) Here is a cool website about phonograms. It even includes the pronunciations.
  • The girlies and I have been walking Jared to school in the morning. He loves it! They love it! I love it! Do we get a lot of stares walking to school? Oh yeah! Do we get a lot of pointing, whispering and "oh my!" comments? You betcha! It's funny because most of the comments come from the kids at school. The girls and I walk Jared to the playground entrance and then walk to the other side of the gated playground and watch Big Brother play until the school bell rings. We always, ALWAYS, have at least 5 to 8 Kindergartners hanging on the fence talking with us. Some kids say "are those your babies?" Or "are those all girls?" Or "how do you push that stroller?" (yeah, it's big kiddos ;) ) The best comment came from some little Kindergarten girls last week. They said "excuse me?" I said "yes?" They said "your babies are adorable." Awe! You big girls are too sweet! I replied with "oh! thank you!" It's also fun to see Suzan, Anna, Bethany and Brielle watch all of the big Kindergartners play on the playground. Ahhhh, one day girls, that will be you (as CRAZY as that seems!).
  • We started taking the girls to church with us! Woo hoo! For the past few months, we've had someone stay at home with the girlies while Paul, Jared and I attended our church. We finally decided it was time to take the girls to church with us. I am so glad we did! The girls have done SO well in the church's nursery. I think the ladies in there enjoy the girls too :D Just today, one of the ladies said "it was so fun with them! they are so fun!!" I have to say, the girlies are fun :D It's nice that all 7 of us are able to attend church now!
  • Speaking of the girlies being so much fun, it's been cool to see them interact more and more with each other lately. Just tonight, I saw Suzan give Brielle a ball that was taken from Brielle and Anna gave Brielle a book when she saw Brielle crying too. Awe! They are starting to take care of each other! Wow! Also, they really know what I am saying. REALLY!! Again, just tonight, I was asking each of them if they wanted "more bread" or "more milk" or just "more please." Guess what? They all signed "more" and/or "milk" and/or "please." Wow again!! Then they just signed "more," "milk" and "please" as need be, without me prompting them. Wow! Suzan seems to be the one that consistently knows what I am saying or asking. I asked her to give Bethany the play hammer...and she did! I asked her to give me Anna's PJs...and she did!! I asked her to give me a diaper...and she did!!! She's as sharp as a tack, that Skinny Mini! :D Oh man, this is why they are so much fun!

Hm...okay, so maybe much has been happening with us these days ;)

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Maria's Latest Gadget

Okay, so I know everyone probably already owns an Apple product, whether it be a Mac (ahem, sorry I'm a PC person through-and-through on that one ;) ), an iPhone (yeah, I just have a simple LG) or an iPod (again, I just listen to music online or over, gasp!, radio waves ;) ). I never saw the need to purchase and own an Apple product. Nothing against them, again I just never saw the need. Until today!

Oh yeah, I now own an Apple product! An iPod, as a matter of fact ;) Here is how this all played out. My deal-seeking, freebie-watching husband saw a promo on Angie's List where if we submitted 8 legit and honest reviews we could win a free, FREE!, iPod Shuffle. So he told me about this promo and I pondered about it..."is it worth my time to do this? what am i going to do with this little iPod thingy anyways?" I thought "oh, go ahead maria. just take the time and try it. the worst from it would be my loss of time." So that's what I did. Well, just this afternoon I was greeted by a little box from our mail carrier. In it contained my green apple colored (Ha! get it? apple? ;) ) Shuffle. Ooooo! Needless to say, I opened it right away, plugged it into my computer, registered an account at iTunes and subscribed to our church's podcasts and imported music from a few CDs of ours. VoilĂ ! I have the tiniest portable media player. I think it will be great if/when I go to the gym or go on neighborhood walks with the girlies. Or just to listen to around the house.I am still learning about Apple and iTunes and all of that. I'm still looking for some more sermon podcasts (any suggestions folks?) to subscribe too and maybe see if there are free music iTunes downloads out there (is that even possible?). Yeah, it's a pretty sweet little freebie gadget of mine :D
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

17 Months Old Today

Suzan, Anna, Bethany and Brielle walking Jared to school this morningToday, the girls turned 17 months old. They are doing great and they and Jared are such joys!

The girlies are doing much these days...
  • 3 out of 4 of them are proficient at walking now. Yay! Anna isn't walking just yet but is getting close. She loves to cruise around and is very proud to stand up on her own.
  • Even though Anna isn't walking, she and Bethany have mastered the talent of climbing (go fig! ;) ). They like to climb up on the slide and swing in the playroom, up on the chairs we have at the feeding table and, yes, dare I mention this?!, climb from said chairs to the top of the feeding table. ACK! Once on the table they like to STAND on it. What are you girlies doing?!?!? We're always there, immediately, to bring them down!
  • They all like to wave "bye bye" and put their hand to the side of their head for "night night." They also know the signs for "more," "please" and "milk."
  • Brielle likes her babies and even says "be-bee." Ask her where her baby is and she will seek it out and proudly say "be-bee!" She likes to feed her baby and give it kisses too. Oh, but don't take baby away from her or else she screams holy terror! ;)
  • Suzan says "baby" and "uh-oh."
  • Bethany and Anna can say "mama."
  • They are saying animals sounds now, e.g. moo, nay, meow. It's funny because if I say "what's the doggie say? ruff, ruff!" or "what's the cow say? moo!" they mimic me and 1 or 2 of them will run off to find the book with the dog or the Little People's farm cow. How smart!
  • They like to explore outside of the playroom, which is understandable.
  • They love going outside, even if it is 105+ degrees.
  • They love any kind of treats, e.g. cookies, cake, ice cream. We don't have them a lot in our home but when we do, oh boy do the girlies enjoy them!
  • They all have been drinking 100% from sippy cups for several months now. What's even better is they are now drinking them at the feeding table, versus in the Boppies in their rooms. Hallelujah! The light at the end of the tunnel!! (if you are a quad mom, you know what I am talking about ;) ) Now, we are just beginning to work with them on using utensils at the table. Can you say "mess!"?
  • They enjoy our table food! Hallelujah on this too!
  • They REALLY (especially Suzan and Anna) love splashing in water, whether it be in the kiddie pool with Big Brother or at group bath time.
Man, I still can't believe how much the girlies have grown, developed and changed, especially since last year when they were little 5 month old babies. We give all praise and glory to God, the One who gives us wisdom in training and teaching our daughters and who created and is molding, shaping and growing them!!
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Saturday, August 01, 2009

A "Thumbs Up!" First Week of Kindergarten

Yesterday afternoon, when I picked up Jared from school, I asked him "so, what did you think of your first week of Kindergarten?" He said "thumbs up!" Well, he more gave me thumbs up than said it ;) He did say "good!"I do have to agree. He did have a great, "thumbs up!" first week of Kindergarten. I was so proud of him and how well he did, as it was a new school, new teacher and new kids. He had fun the first day and was so excited that evening for the next day! And it continued on and on and on. Yay! He enjoyed telling us each day (and frankly I enjoyed asking him questions and talking to him each day about his day :D ) about what he did and learned. What's his favorite part about school? Can you guess? 'Cmon, it's every kids' favorite ;) Recess! That and lunch. He enjoyed eating lunch in the lunchroom. He even enjoyed breakfast with Dad one morning at school, which he has been asking to do again ;) Oh, he also has a few friends from last year's pre-k class attending his school. It was nice for him to see a few familiar faces. He has designated days for music, P.E., computer lab and library time. He brought home several fun drawings and projects each day. No homework yet, but that is coming up. Our school sends homework home with kids M-Th, due back the next day. No homework on Fridays, as they want the weekends to be left to the families. I like that policy!

Some silly pictures of our silly boy :DWhat a fun first week for our boy!
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