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This, That, and A Few Other Things

Good Times

This, That, and A Few Other Things

2 Comments 13 December 2014

 





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*I had this blog post written up and almost ready to post before Eliot had her little accident this week.  Look for a new post soon to tell all about what happened to our baby girl last Monday night!*

As I reported to you last month on the blog post titled, “No Pressure,” the kids were excited for a nursery rhyme lesson that they were doing at school.  They each chose a nursery rhyme and were supposed to dress up as the character in the nursery rhyme and present the tale to their classmates and parents.  One of our little blessings in particular had some distinct plans for her costume and nothing less would do.  Well, as you can see from the pictures, she got her wish…and I think we’re all the better for things going her way!  Fortunately, Ryan was the only one who had such a strong opinion as to how her costume would be so we just made the easy decision to buy her the costume online.  She was thrilled when the costume arrived and what a cutie she was wearing it!

Casey did an awesome job with the other costumes and had the kids looking super cute…as usual!
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No Pressure

Good Times

No Pressure

6 Comments 20 October 2014

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I mentioned in the last post that having 5 kids in kindergarten has added a new layer of crazy to our world.  Well….here’s a good example of what I was talking about.  The kindergarten teachers sent out an email last week about a new project coming up for our little scholars (first thought:  yay!  5 projects to do…so completely what we were hoping for!).  The kids are learning about rhyming words and being introduced to poetry through the use of nursery rhymes.  To make it memorable and fun (of course – fun – this is kindergarten – everything must be fun!) the kids are all going to pick out a nursery rhyme that they will present to the class on a tri-fold presentation board (which is thankfully being done at school and not at home!).  And here’s where the fun comes in – the kids are going to dress up like one of the characters in the nursery rhyme!  We get to figure out the what and the how of 5 nursery rhyme costumes….yay us!  So yeah…there’s that.

But here’s where the story gets funny.  Ryan picked “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” as her nursery rhyme.  Easy enough right?  Dress her in black, sew or pin some stars to her and we’re good.  Right?  Well, Ryan had other ideas.  She told Casey that she wanted a star costume – she wants to be a star.  Not several stars on a black shirt; a single star with her arms and legs as the points of the star.  Casey just kind of gave her the ol’ non-committal “uh-huh” that parents know so well and sent Ryan back to play.  But Ryan didn’t go back to play – she went to the drawing board to draw a picture.  She drew the picture you see above.  Yes, that’s Ryan on the pedestal with her star costume being sewn by her maid-servant, aka Casey Ann.  No pressure, mama…you got this!  Umm, yeah…….

The other kids haven’t yet provided us with vignettes of their costumes, but I’m sure they’ll get to it soon.  Here is what they’ll be dressing up as:  Brooklyn is doing Baa Baa Black Sheep; Britton and Lila are both Jill from Jack ‘n’ Jill; and Jack is Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.  Look out fun, here we come!

God bless……….Ethan

*Just to be clear and hopefully keep people from getting the wrong impression – we love the kids’ kindergarten teachers and know the kids will love this project.  Yes, it’s a bit much for us to do 5 costumes, but that’s the way it goes when you have quints – it’s what we signed up for when we told the doctors we would absolutely not consider reducing the pregnancy when we learned Casey had 5 little miracles growing inside of her.  It would be absurd for the teachers to change their lesson plans or projects for us and even if they did that, we would not accept the change because it would deprive our 5 from having the fun learning experiences that the other kids in their class would enjoy.  So, not complaining (well, maybe a little),  just sharing some of the challenges we face in a hopefully fun way.  Hope you enjoy!

Transition……….To Change

Good Times

Transition……….To Change

11 Comments 29 September 2014

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We’re no strangers to change around here – when you get the news that you’ll be welcoming quintuplets into your world, change becomes as familiar to you as your own face in the mirror.  We went from 1 kid to 6 and shortly after that we went from privileged to tightly packed when we downsized our house as our family nearly tripled in size…and we went from a fairly anonymous existence to a very public one along the way.  We changed cars, family budgets, and long term plans.  Our bank accounts changed quite a bit and so did our priorities.  Perspective, passions, pursuits, and pleasures, both simple and complex – no stone was left unturned in the last several years.  So yeah, change?  We got this.

Not surprisingly, the ongoing theme of our recent history did not alter course over the summer and heading into fall.  In May we decided to put our house on the market to take advantage of the sizzling Austin economy.  Favor was on our side and the home sold in three weeks!  We closed and moved in late July into a rental in our same neighborhood.  The move went well – we even got a break from the Texas summer heat on moving day when a cloudy, unseasonably cool day rolled into town.  Five or six weeks later we were 100% settled into the new home, a temporary one – it’s a rental so yeah, we’re already signed up for more big changes ahead…more on that later.

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Just as we got ourselves settled into the home, the biggest change we’ve faced in a long time, one that we’ve anticipated for years came on August 25th at 7:45 am – KINDERGARTEN!!!!!  Yes, it finally arrived, the big day we’ve been waiting for……and waiting for…………aaaaaannnnnddd waiting for for what seemed like foooooorrrreeeevvvvveeeeeeeerrrrrrrr!!!!!  I’m guessing you can tell by that last statement that no, we are not homeschooling.  (And yes, that’s a question we get a lot because I guess people for some reason equate large families with homeschooling.  Thanks Duggars?  Mormons?  Who gets the thanks for that utterly insane perception???  God bless those who can do the homeschooling thing and do it well.  It’s not us, not in our DNA.)  Back to the subject – so yeah, kindergarten is here and it’s going very, very well.  And of course we cannot forget about our superstar 5th grader, Eliot McKenna – she’s doing awesome in school as well, loves her teachers, taking on some tougher course work and responsibilities (it’s a big jump from how fourth grade was), and is all and all being the usual rock star that she always is.

So here’s the lowdown on the kinder program.  I believe it is recommended that you split up your multiples when they hit the classroom so that they can develop their individuality.  Uh-huh.  That’s all fine and good for you parents of twins, triplets, and quads slackers, but we’ve got 5 and you’re nuts if you think we’re going to have the bandwidth to deal with 5 different teachers (plus Eliot’s 3 teachers), 5 sets of school projects, 5 classrooms full of 20+ potential inviters and invitees to birthday parties, 100+ classmates and their drama, and all the other madness that would come with that.  Five different sets of emails and friendly “volunteer donation” reminders from 5 different homeroom moms……..seriously, no one is strong enough to handle that! ;)  But we didn’t want to put them all in one class and Texas has a law that allows the parents of multiples to decide how their children are placed in their classrooms so we decided to go with a 3/2 split.  How did you decide who to put together you ask?  Of course you asked that – if not out loud, you definitely thought it in your head as soon as you read that last sentence.  Yeah, we get that question a lot.  Well, we tried to think of how the pairings would work out best and well, we failed, but that’s a good thing.  The kids all do pretty great with each other and when they’re not being pretty great they’re being pretty awful – there’s really no in-between.  But they treat each other pretty great and pretty awful at a pretty even rate.  In other words, they don’t really have any alliances.  The two who are best friends today will be best friends with another one of their siblings tomorrow.  The three that are filing down their toothbrushes to make shanks so they can settle things once and for all with each other will all be best friends tomorrow and the next day they’ll be in the love/hate cycle with another one or two of the kids.  This phenomenon is known as the circle of siblinghood, I believe.  Kind of like the circle of life but without the death and killing and eating of each other kind of stuff…..so far.

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The 3/2 split is working out pretty well.  We’ve got Lila and Jack together in one class and Brooklyn, Britton, and Ryan in the other class and their classrooms are right next to each other’s.  In fact, their classrooms connect with a little hallway at the back of the rooms where the cubbies for their backpacks are.  It’s funny to watch them wave at each other from across the hall when they’re hanging up their stuff at the start of the day.  Actually, the one thing we thought would be good with the split was for Lila and Ryan to be separated.  Those two are as competitive as the ladies on ‘The Bachelor’ and we thought it would be good for them to have some other kids to try and dominate for awhile.  (I overheard this from Lila to Ryan just today – “You always think you’re better than me!!!”  Oh boy…..)

Like I said, kindergarten is going great.  All of the kids love their teachers (and we love them too – they both rock!) and are excited to go to school every day!  And…and…AND!!!!!  Not one of them has been in a lick of trouble in the first four weeks!!!  Not even Britton!!!!  OOOOOOOHHHHH YEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!

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As for me and Casey, well, we’re in transition.  For me, it’s pretty much all good except that I have to get up so dang early now to get them all off to school.  While I’m getting myself ready for the work day, Casey pretty much handles getting the kids ready for school, fed, water bottles filled up, backpacks packed, lunches handled, and of course hugged and kissed on their way out the door.  I drive all 6 to a neighborhood right near the school and walk them in just like I’ve always done with Eliot and then Eliot stays with me and helps get the littles dropped off at their class.  After that, I walk Eliot down to her class….I love it and I’m really going to miss it when she doesn’t let me walk with her anymore which is probably coming really soon…uggggg!!  I’m usually home working when the chaos gets home from school (Casey picks them up) so I still get to enjoy a little bit of family madness while my work day is winding down, but the quiet days are pretty nice!

For Casey, it’s a little more of a mixed bag as she’s working on reclaiming a little piece of what she once knew as a life while she works on keeping these kids on track.  She’s catching up on some organization projects, digging into some new meal plans for healthier eating around here, getting back into a workout routine, and preparing for when the kids get back home and turn the house upside down again.  Contrary to what you might think and what I generally accuse her of doing, she is not laying around eating bon-bons and her life has not gotten any easier since the school year began – my girl’s a worker, a tireless worker!  Getting into a rhythm with all of these changes has been a bit of a challenge and we’re still working out some kinks, but she’s getting there and feeling better about things every day.

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To sum it all up, this family is currently in a period of transition…to change.  And we’re used to that change thing.  It’s just a different kind of change this time around and it’s bigger than our typical every day kind.  Change.  That’s what we do around here and we’ve been doing a whole heckuva lot of it lately.  It’s been a new kind of crazy in an otherwise crazy life, but we’re handling it well I think.  At least I hope so because 2014/2015 promises to be a whirlwind of a time for us!  Oh yeah, that other big change I said we’re signed up for?  We’re planning on hopefully, maybe early next year, starting construction on a new home……oh my, oh my….good, busy, crazy, stressful, blessed times ahead!!!!

Until we chat again…God bless!!

Eliot

Eliot’s First Week of Kinder, The First Walk, Boot Camp Update and Other Random Notes

5 Comments 30 August 2009

I just wanted to give a quick little update on all of the happenings of last week since, as we have become accustomed, everything has changed about our days and once again we have a “new normal.”

Eliot Begins Kindergarten…The biggest change this week involves the little princess, Eliot McKenna, who started Kindergarten on Monday, which, with this being our first experience with having a child in public school, apparently changes just about everything in the rest of a family’s life! Here are the highlights:

- Eliot LOVES just about everything to do with going to big girl school…except getting out of bed at “night”! She is not used to getting out of bed before the sun comes up and on the first day of school as we were preparing her breakfast and getting her ready to go, she asked, “why are we doing morning stuff at night?!” Hilarious!
- Talk about loving the whole experience: as she crossed the street with the help of a crossing guard for the first time, she exclaimed, “That was totally awesome!”
- She loves PE, but is really looking forward to going to the library, which didn’t happen last week for some reason. Hopefully this week she’ll get to go!
- She is also not a fan of the 30 count rule at the swingset…each kid on the swings has to count to 30, then let the next kid go after that. Obviously, that is not a popular rule!
- She is all about riding her Razor (scooter) to and from school every day like all of the other big kids…too cute!
- On Tuesday, before she discovered the Razor phenomenon, she wore her new tennis shoes which, according to her, make her run really, really fast. I’m not kidding when I tell you that little girl sprinted the entire way to and from school that day to show how fast she was!!

The First Walk…We finally took our first walk today with the whole gang, something we’ve been looking forward to for quite awhile now. Casey, Eliot, and I used to take pretty regular walks around the neighborhood, but have had to put those on hold since Casey went on bedrest nearly a year ago. For whatever reason, we decided today was finally the day to get the babies out on the road for a little stroll. I don’t know if it was the heat or the newness of being in a stroller or if that little demon that shows up in our house from time to time to torment us, but the babies did not enjoy the experience one bit! You’ll notice in the picture above that four out of five are very eagerly expressing their displeasure with this whole walk idea! There was at least one baby crying…no, check that…screaming is a better word for it…the entire time we were out there and usually it was two or three that were…uh, yeah, SCREAMING!! Regardless of that, I’m glad we got them out there and knocked another first off of the list…maybe we’ll wait for cooler weather before we try that one again!

Boot Camp Update…I am very happy to report that we have logged significant victories in the battle for house control! The babies are just no match for the classical music, the soft, cuddly sleep sacks, the warm, frothy goodness of a bottle of formula, many talented baby-helpers, and two very determined parents!! For much of the month of August, we have managed to get them all down no later than 9:30, with at least two of the babies (one of them is always Britton, Baby Bright Eyes) getting up in the middle of the night for a little snack bottle. But for the last three days it’s been closer to 8:30 with only Britton getting up. It may be too early to stake this claim, but, what the heck, VICTORY IS SWEET!!!

And finally, a couple of random notes. Britton is the first to be able to sit up without any help…see the picture! She’s awesome…doesn’t even do the baby-forward-lean to do it! We now feed them all cereal two times a day, mixed with green beans for dinner…hmmm, yummy! Jack and Ryan are not fans of the cereal, but Lila loves it and the two B’s, Brooklyn and Britton are pretty ok with it all. Actually, Ryan the Lion pretty much screams her entire way through her bowl of cereal!! Ryan seems to have all of the necessary skills for doing a real crawl, but hasn’t figured out how to coordinate it all just yet. She’s soooooo close!! Last note: I begin school again tomorrow so say your prayers that I’ll somehow remember how to juggle this madness once again!!!

God Bless,
Ethan

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