18 Month(ish) Update - We're all walking!

Fourth of July Parade - Round Top, TX

I'm very behind (what's new?). It's been a while (again) since I last posted and so much has changed. I've actually drafted several blog posts but by the time I got around to actually publishing them, it was a little late and I felt like I should just go ahead and write a new post. In fact, this original post was actually done a day or so ago and in the time between drafting and proof-reading, we have even more growth and development!

My last published post was about Adam losing his job in the oilfield. I am happy to report that he's since found employment but we haven't been without struggles. Most importantly, we have learned some very hard lessons this year about sacrifices and savings and therefore, we are making huge changes in our lifestyle. I'm sure I'll blog about that more later.

Today's blog is an update on where the babies are at developmentally at 18 months for posterity's sake.

We've had a summer of firsts. 

Quadller Antics

Baby A - Baby A has been walking for several months. He's also working on his vocabulary with phrases like "what's up", "what's that", and "bad dog" not to mention the favorites of "Momma" and "Daddy". (Can you tell what he hears a lot in our house?) He also knows that sheep says "baa".  His favorite foods are anything that doesn't eat him first! Seriously, this kid is a BIG eater. His favorite toys are trucks/cars and he can often be seen pushing them on the floor making go noises. He loves to climb things and often tries (with no success thus far) to get on the couch by himself. He absolutely loves his siblings even though they do make him mad. One recent morning, his brother was particularly upset about something so I was trying to comfort him. Baby A, ran as fast as he could to his brother, gave him a big open-mouthed kiss followed by a hug and then put his forehead to his brother's forehead as if to say "I got you bro. It's alright". Water is a huge interest: he loves the beach, the kiddie pool, and yep, the bathtub! Baby A also loves music. When certain songs come on, he will stop whatever he is doing and dance. In the car, he almost always has his hands in the air and jams out to what's on the radio. 

Baby B - Baby B spent most of the summer walking around on her knees. In fact, the only time we could get her to walk on her feet was when one particular therapist came. She was able to convince her to walk on her own or holding hands but Baby B when I would try to walk with her, her legs would suddenly "break" and go limp. A favorite was to walk was using the giant exercise ball that we used for occupational therapy to push while she walked. About a week after turning 18 months old, I was able to finally get both girls to walk unassisted. On the same day. They say women have to do everything together...I guess our girls are no different when it comes to milestone. Baby A loves stuffed animals more than anything else. She has a collection of them amassed in her crib and she loves to pull them out one by one. Often, she'll be spotted dragging them around the house along with her favorite blanket (which she stole from one of her brothers). We've also found where one of her "bunnies" took a swim in the toilet. While Baby B thought said "Bunny" could swim and go, she was quite distraught when she learned that Bunny had to go through a full-service bath in the washing machine prior to returning to her side. She loves to wear pretty clothes and loves to wear her shoes. She knows how to brush her own hair. Her vocabulary consists mostly of "BB" (what we affectionately call our dog and she since has started calling all animals - real or stuffed), "no", "Daddy", "Mommy", "uh oh", 'hello", "hi" and "ball". Her favorite foods are cheese and fruits. She also loves most vegetables but will often leave meats on her plate and head straight for the fruit. She is not such a fan of the beach, but is warming up to it. She does however love the pool and on most nights, she's somehow able to be the last one in the bathtub giving her plenty of room to splash and laugh.

Baby C - Baby C was our first walker and is now an accomplished runner, spinner, and climber. He can climb in and out of the bathtub on his own. An accomplishment, but one that can be quite frustrating for his parents considering he even knows how to turn the water and the shower off and on on his own. (Don't worry, we keep the bathroom doors shut for this reason along with drowning of stuffed rabbits.) Baby C is quite possibly his Dad's biggest fan. He can often be spotted with his Dad working on projects in the garage or around the house and gets his feelings hurt if he's not including. Baby C's vocabulary consists of "no" (he hears that a lot), "Daddy", "Momma", "uh oh", "hello" (especially on his toy phone) and "Go". He also repeats phrases. There's a particular short we've grown fond of from Disney Jr. in which the chorus goes something like "Oh, oh, oh! You'll never guess what I put in the soup." (You can see the video here if you're really into it: https://youtu.be/_Bap_sr7yHQ). We play with him often with the phrase "look what I put in the soup" and he responds with "Oh, oh, oh".  He also has taken to the movie Rio and will sing along to a song from it with the phrase "Hey, hey, hey". He still loves Mickey Mouse and is taken with turning on and off the TV (until recently, I honestly had no idea how to do it on our flat screen which we've had for years). Baby C, like most mean, is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He'll eat his veggies and fruits, but not near as fast as the  meat!

Baby D - Baby D is our perfectionist. She wouldn't even try walking on her own until she knew she'd get it right. She'd walk holding on to furniture, walls, etc but wouldn't try on her own. Then, the day that her sister started walking, she decided, "well, I can't be the only one still crawling so I better walk too." And that was it, she's walked ever since! Her favorite phrase is "Momma" but she also knows "Da da", "no", "shoes", "hi", "hello",  and "socks". Baby D is a great eater but her favorite food is probably cookies! Uh oh! Her favorite toys are baby dolls and she will hug them and kiss them. Baby D is definitely a Mommy's girl and loves to climb on Mommy's lap or try to convince Mommy to carry her. She loves to wrestle with her brothers in their cribs during our bath/story/prayer routine every night and she also loves to brush her sister's hair. Another favorite game is to get in the dresser and take out all of the clothes Mommy has matched together in pairs and carefully folding and throw them out all over the room. She also loves the water and has no fear of the beach. We have to keep a very close eye on her at the beach because she will take off in the water if you aren't watching. She loves to swim! 

As for us as parents, each age comes with new challenges and new rewards. We're now officially entering the toddler phase and if I'm honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I honestly thought the newborn phase was tough at the time going on essentially three hours of sleep a night in one hour spurts was brutal, but honestly, those days seem like a cake walk compared to chasing after four toddlers. Our therapists have told us that while these "throw myself on the floor" temper tantrums may seem brutal to us, they're actually very good developmental milestones indicating that each of them has the ability to recognize their frustrations and take any action is a good thing. I choose to focus on the blessings of each age and try hard not to "wish away" any single day with them. As I watch many of my friends whose "babies" are getting ready to start high school, or graduate high school, it's hard not to think about how fast the moments will go away. I'm having a hard time adjusting to calling them "quadlers" (coined word for four toddlers) versus "babies" and often find myself looking back at pictures of them since birth and thinking how fast it all (including the pregnancy and NICU time) has flown by. As our life seems to be coming back online, we are settling into much more of a routine and adjusting to being able to get out and do more with them after spending the greater part of the last year and a half confined to indoors activities out of the sheer logistics of leaving the house with four infants in tow! But just like one of my favorite summer TV shoes, I'm quickly learning that in this quad life, you've got to "expect the unexpected".

This is how you handle quad lunches at the mall when there aren't enough high chairs!

That's all for now but I look forward to hearing from you guys and posting more soon!


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