Monday, December 23, 2013

More November stuff

I WILL catch up on November before December is over!  This post is just little random things, but since this is how I chronicle our experiences and their development, I like to make note of some little random things.

1. Boys outing.  I took the boys to a birthday party- just me and them.  It wasn't at the most convenient time, and knowing how are the girls are when they're hungry and tired, Dave stayed home with them.  The boys did great!!  They loved playing in the backyard and scoping out a new playroom.  Andrew kept squealing with excitement.  They ate quite a big lunch that I fed them, and then gobbled up the birthday girl's entire plate of food when no adults were looking.  Seriously, the whole plate.  And then cried when I pulled them away.

2. Time change.  No parent of little ones likes time changes.  Guaranteed to throw everything off for a day or two or more.  It was fall back time, so we let them stay up a tad later than usual and then put them down and refused to get them up until the new 6:30am rolled around.  It worked!  They really transitioned smoothly and I can't complain.

3. Dentist visit.  I LOVE our pediatric dentist!!  She is fantastic with the kids and explaining things to me and answering questions.  And her staff is excited to see us when we get there!  The kids did great, mostly because they are so kid friendly in the office.  They got to roam around the waiting area while I took 1 back at a time.  She just counts and looks over their teeth, so each kid takes 5 min.  Everyone checked out ok and I got a gold star for their clean teeth :)  Makes it easier that they all like to have their teeth brushed.

4. New activities.  Sliding is a new favorite.  So far, Andrew, Allison, Caroline, and Ben can climb up the ladder and slide on their own.  I just catch them at the bottom.  Levi I still have to assist the whole time.  They LOVE it!!  They're even pretty good about taking turns if I'm monitoring.  Only problem is they like to stand up at the top and make us worry about them falling off, so we have to keep the slide off limits when no adults are in the room.  They're also starting to grasp the concept of puzzles (the 3 piece peg board ones) and I'm trying to use that as a structured table top activity.  One rainy day I put together these sensory boxes of random things I found in my craft bin- feathers, gift bows, balloons, wash cloths, pipe cleaners- the more I pull them out the more they like them.  The love when I half way blow up a balloon and let it fly around the room.  Last thing here is that they're just starting to copy motions to songs and dances.  It's so cute!  Watching them do the hot dog dance from Mickey Mouse is so fun.

What's in the box?

Sensory Time!

5. Leah has a new specialist- a chiropractic neurologist.  I had never heard of such a thing before I got the tip to check out this doctor, but so glad I did!!  She has given us some seriously random exercises to do with Leah to help with her balance, vision, and digestion.  So far she has really improved!  It is amazing to watch and the skeptic in me has been silenced.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Few Firsts

I'm slowly catching up on blogging after the LightAide business and desperately trying to get everything Christmas done.  So, here are our few firsts that happened a few weeks ago...

Toddler Class
After the kiddos turned 18 months they were old enough to go into the toddler class at church.  We decided to go ahead and put them with everyone else and see how it goes.  So far they've done really well!  They absolutely do not sit and listen to the lesson or do the activity sheets, but they play with all the toys and don't cause trouble.  And I haven't heard any stories of them stealing food, which is really quite remarkable.  Since our friends who have always watched them at church just moved with them to the toddler class, Leah gets to stay with the other kids a little longer.  Our church has a special needs class which she will eventually move to.  One little boy in their class loves to talk to Leah and show her toys, it's really cute.

Night Away
Dave and I got our first overnight stay away from the kids!  I won a giveaway from for a free night at a local hotel and 2 free movie passes!  How awesome is that?!  Luckily, Dave's parents were willing to come babysit, along with some regular helpers, and we were able to stay away for a full 24 hours.  It was glorious.  I slept 8 hours straight and I couldn't tell you when I last did that.  Just the break and refresher we needed!

Big Bathtub
Yes, they're officially toddlers and we bathe them in the sink most of the time.  Assembly line style baths are what we've always done and they work and they're quick and I don't have to bend over or be on my knees.  But, they're getting a little big for my sit on top of the sink tub.  So, we got brave and decided to test out our big bathtub.  I got all the supplies including an Elmo no slip mat and a knee/elbow over the tub pad for me.  Leah went by herself and was perfectly fine.  Allison and Caroline went in together.  Caroline enjoyed playing with all the toys while Allison cried the whole time.  Ben was next and he LOVED it.  He was so excited to see Elmo on the bottom of the tub- then his brothers got in too and spoiled all his fun.  He screamed the rest of the bath.  The other boys weren't quite sure what to think at first, but then were tolerant of the big bathtub.  We haven't made it consistent practice yet, but we're working on it.

I gave the boys their first haircuts!  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and briefly watched a YouTube video beforehand.  I knew the baby curls were out of control and had to go.  So, I grabbed my kitchen scissors and a baby comb and hacked away.  I think the results weren't half bad if I say so myself ;)  I did a bangs trim on the girls.  I did this all while they were eating a snack and listening to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse songs.  They were surprisingly cooperative this time.  The boys do not look like babies anymore- completely little boys- which makes me both happy and sad at the same time.

Each pile of hair- cut off way more than I thought!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

LightAide for Leah!

The most common question/comment I get about having sextuplets is "How do you do it?"  My response..."don't.  I have a phenomenal support system and God is always looking out for my family."  I have countless examples.  The latest came in an anonymous email yesterday that said:

Twas two weeks before Christmas
Amidst all the stress
With more important things to worry about
Than an online contest

It can be hard sometimes to
Enjoy the Christmas season
Maybe now it will be a little easier
And here is the reason

Leah's LightAide has been ordered,
Just waiting on UPS
Merry Christmas from the Perkins XOM (ExxonMobil) Support Team
To a family that deserves the best

We were a little in shock when we read this- but of course I appreciated the rhymey poem!  I cannot thank you all enough for the time you spent voting for Leah this past week!  The amount of people voting, sharing with everyone they know, and getting creative on how to get extra votes  was astounding to me.  There's nothing better than seeing so many people care about your child.  This whole experience has yet again proven that we have the best support system ever!!!  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanksgiving Fun!

To get us in the Thanksgiving spirit, my mom and I made these super cute and yummy Turkey Oreos!  It was a Pinterest find that actually turned out ok.  All you need are Oreos, candy corn, chocolate frosting, and decorating gel or a pen for details:

It's so easy!  Just ice the oreo, then place candy corn to make a turkey tail and head.  Use the gel or pen to draw the turkey face. That's it!

All done!  Here are the finished turkeys.  Great idea for a kid craft or to bring to a school party!

Actual Thanksgiving Day was spent at my grandmother's house.  She's the best hostess!  She had the toddler table already set up for the kiddos when we arrived and her living room was full of toys and books for them to play with.  They loved exploring the new play area!  Did I mention that she and my aunt did all the cooking too?!  And it was delicious as always.  Last year my kids were still on formula, so this year was their first REAL Thanksgiving meal.  They literally gobbled it down!  Green beans were definitely the least favorite, but they still ate everything.  Sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie were favorites- smart kiddos :)  

After the meal, adults tag teamed eating and playing in the front yard with the kids.  They really loved running up and down the driveway and throwing leaves and trying to sneak by us to get into the street.  The highlight was my grandmother doing bicycle kicks in a pile of leaves to entertain the kids!  Too bad I didn't have my camera around then.  Once they started getting cranky and tired, we packed up and headed home.  They really did great the whole time and it was a very Happy Thanksgiving for us!  

Soaking up the one-on-one attention

Ben and his fake ice cream

Caroline watching the parade

Dave singing to Leah

Levi and his Swiffer

Andrew being a turkey

Pushing the limits

Gobble Gobble!

Levi trying out the Professor look

Monday, December 9, 2013

Vote for Leah

Voting for Leah to keep the LightAide is open!  You can vote once a day Dec 9-15.  PLEASE VOTE!!!!  It just takes a second- really.  Leah loves this device, I haven't seen her respond to anything like she does with the LightAide.  It's something she can do on her own, and with her siblings- it's amazing!  And it's way too expensive to buy ourselves.

Voting is now officially open at this link:


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Leah LightAide wrap up

Well, our 2 weeks with Lily LightAide have come to an end.  We sure are going to miss her!!  The more time Leah spent working with this device, the more she figured it out and seemed to truly enjoy it.  Whether she was watching colors change on the screen or activating switches to control the screen changes, she was always content and motivated.  She went from needing someone with her to work the device to being set up in her stroller with a tray and working it on her own!

Her therapists also LOVE the LightAide.  Obviously her vision teacher loves the visual stimulation of colors and lights.  Her OT loves her use of the switches, her PT loves her working on positioning while using it, and her speech therapist loves Leah's vocalizations when she gets excited about what she is doing.

Leah working the switches with a therapist
This device shows great potential for Leah.  I've really enjoyed watching her progress so quickly.  Although we will soon be shipping LightAide off, there's still a chance Leah can win one for free!!  There will be a voting week where people vote on which of the 6 kids (who tried out the LightAide) gets a free  LightAide to keep!!  Don't worry, I will be campaigning for Leah- stay tuned!

For more information on this product...