Friday, October 31, 2008

What I thought ALL my days would be like...

Mornings at our house are always a little chaotic. The babies wake up between 6:00 am and 6:30 am. When they first wake up, they need a bottle. Riley and Kaiya wake up at 6:30 am to start getting ready for school. At 6:45 am we have family scripture study and family prayer, then Riley and Kaiya eat breakfast while I make lunches, sign homework folders and get backpacks ready. At 7:10, Riley and Kaiya brush their teeth and get their shoes on and they are out the door by 7:20 to catch the bus to school. During the frantic morning rush to get the older kids off to school, the babies all need to be changed and dressed. Most days I take the babies for a run/walk, so we also need to bundle the babies up in preparation for that.

This morning started off like any other morning, except that it was Halloween and the older kids were supposed to dress as a storybook character for school. Kaiya’s grade was going to be in a parade. So, in addition to the usual morning chaos, I had to make some mouse ears so that Kaiya could be Angelina Ballerina, get myself looking presentable enough to go to the school to watch the parade, and make the babies look as cute as possible (since people tend to look at us when we go out in public—especially when we take the stroller).

While I was hurriedly trying to craft mouse ears out of cardstock and a headband, I heard a loud cry from Kassidy in the family room. I looked over to find her flat on her face. She had tripped hit her head on the corner of the small trampoline in the family room. I picked her up and tried to apply ice to the rapidly swelling purple goose egg that was forming on the bridge of her nose, right between her eyes (So much for looking totally cute for our public outing--at least the bruise was purple, which matched her shirt!).

Kassidy--still able to ham it up for the camera, despite the earlier trauma

Meanwhile, Jayson was frantically trying to change all the babies diapers and find them some clothes to wear. When Kassidy calmed down, Riley brought over his homework log for me to sign. That is when I noticed the stench. I checked Kassidy, who was on my lap, but she was clean. I couldn’t imagine that Riley was the culprit, but I smelled him anyway, just in case his Harry Potter Robes were a little dirty. Just then, I saw Rustin out of the corner of my eye. He was completely naked, and there was poop smeared all over the lower half of his body! I ran over to where he was and saw that poop was all over the floor, wall, and stools in the kitchen. I yelled for Jayson to come quick, which of course was the WRONG thing to do, as it attracted all the other babies attention and THEY all came running instead. Jayson grabbed Rustin and took him off to the shower to be hosed off and I quickly gated all the remaining babies into the family room so I could clean up the poopy mess.

The Poopy Trail

More poop---it is hard to tell from the pictures, but I think Rustin must have dragged a couple stools through his mess because several stool legs were covered.

While I was cleaning, I glanced over to check on the babies, only to find that Kassidy had thrown up on the trampoline and she and Kaydence had decided it would be fun to finger-paint with the puke. Fortunately, I caught the “artwork” in its early stages, cleaned up the throw-up and went back to disinfecting the kitchen.

Kaydence and Kassidy--budding artists

Rustin's diaper, which ironically managed to avoid getting even a smudge of poop on it

About this time, my good friend, Virginia, showed up (she is such a lifesaver!). With only 10 minutes before we had to leave for the parade, I threw on some clothes (no time for a shower) while Virginia finished dressing the babies. We made it to the school in time for the costume parade with even a couple of minutes to spare!

Kyndall, Kassidy, Kaydence, Rustin and Ryder wait for the parade to start

Kaiya was the cutest Angelina Ballerina in the whole parade and the babies loved seeing all the costumes.

Kaiya, aka Angelina Ballerina

When I first found out I was having quints, I thought that every day would be like today was. I imagined that my life would be full of uncontrollable chaos and that I would always be running from one disaster to another. Fortunately it hasn’t been as bad as I imagined (at least not yet---maybe those days are still ahead of me!) In fact, having quintuplets has actually been easier than I expected. Don’t get me wrong---it is A LOT of work---but most of the time I feel like things are somewhat manageable. I think it is good to have a few crazy days like today so that I really appreciate how great most days are!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Photo Contest Winner...and more

My sister Tiare, who was my "Quint Nanny" for a couple months this summer, recently found out she was the 2nd place winner in the BYU Bookstore Photo Contest! The requirements for the contest were 1) that the picture depict what the student did over the summer and 2) that a BYU Bookstore bag was included in the picture. Below is the picture she submitted:

Kaiya, Tiare, Riley, Kyndall, Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder and Kassidy

Tiare won a digital camera for placing second. Of course, I think she should have won first prize--I haven't seen the first place photo, but I don't know how it could be better than this one! (yeah, I know I might be just a little biased).

Other recent happenings at the Wilkinson household.....

The week before last my good friend Liz came to visit with her daughter Megan. Liz is one of my best friends and she has helped me so much since the babies were born. I don't know how I would have made it through the first year without her! I was so sad when she moved to Colorado Springs a few months ago. We had a blast during her visit--it ended way too soon!

Liz with Kaydence, Rustin, Kassidy, Ryder and Kyndall

Liz with Kaydence

While she was here, Liz and my other good friend, Virginia, took care of all the kids so that Jayson and I could get away for a night. We went up to Dallas to go to the BYU vs. TCU football game. Unfortunately the traffic in Dallas/Ft. Worth is awful—we missed the tailgate party we bought tickets for and we barely made it to our seats in time for the game to start. The kick-off turned out to be the best part of the game—everything went downhill from there. I can’t remember when I have ever seen BYU play so badly! Despite all this, Jayson and I really enjoyed our two-day break. We were able to go to the LDS Dallas temple and I even talked Jayson into doing some shopping. We went out to eat and best of all we got to SLEEP IN!! Just driving in the car to and from Dallas was fun---we could actually carry on a conversation without being interrupted! The kids all had a great time in our absence. Liz and Virginia are super-women. Not only did they watch all seven kids for two days, but they changed all my crib sheets, shampooed my carpets and bleached my tile while we were gone. I truly have some of the best friends ever!

Jayson and I during the most exciting part of the game (ie just before it started)

Kaiya was the student of the week last week and was recognized for exemplifying “Pursuit of Excellence”. She has been doing really well in Kindergarten and I have been amazed at her progress in learning how to read.

Kaiya's Poster for Student of the Week

Riley started taking piano lessons this summer and he recently had his first piano recital. He played Baby Bumblebee and did a great job!

Riley at his first piano recital

A family in the community generously collected diapers for us, in lieu of presents at their son’s birthday party. I was amazed at pile of diapers we received! People were very generous, and I was especially impressed that the family would do this for someone they didn’t know.

Kyndall, Ryder, Kaydence, Rustin and Kassidy check out the new diapers

The babies continue to get bigger and smarter. It seems like they learn something new every day. Whenever we have family prayer, several of them will fold their arms too (which I think is totally adorable). When asked, "Where's your nose?" most of them will point to their nose. They are starting to mimic more sounds and actions. They recently learned to say "Uh-Oh" and Kaydence and Kyndall walk around the house saying, "uh-oh, uh-oh" over and over all day long. They have discovered the great outdoors and love running around outside. They are really changing from babies into little people.

My favorite part of the day is when we get them ready for bed. We rub them with lotion and put on their jammies. Then we read them a story (which they love) and put them in bed. They all stand up in their cribs and wait for me to walk around the room to give them a kiss. When I am done, I blow them all a big kiss and say goodnight. The sight of all five of them standing in their cribs smiling and waving back at me is so sweet--it makes up for all the challenging moments that happen throughout the day.

Ryder and Kassidy






Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

This week my mom was here helping with the babies. She is so great to try to come every month---I always love having her here to help! Now that the babies are a little older, we have been a lot more adventurous in taking the babies places. It is always a lot of work to get out the door and manage the chaos wherever we go, but it is usually worth it to get out of the house for a while. The babies really enjoy a change of scenery as well. It is amazing how fast the day goes when we have some kind of outing!

This week we took the babies on their first trip to the outlet mall---I figured I better start getting them used to it, since I love to shop and the Children's Place outlet has come great deals! The babies also had their first experience with a fast-food play place. We took the family to eat at a new Chick-fil-a that opened near us. I have a really favorable opinion of Chick-fil-a---especially after this weekend. We made a huge mess and the workers didn't even glare at us---instead they came to our table and offered to refill our drinks! It is a very family friendly establishment. They have little containers of Cheerios for younger kids. They also give out place mats that stick to the table to make things a little bit more sanitary (of course my crew thought they were more fun to rip off and play with, but it is a great idea!). The kid's meal toys are always educational--usually a book or craft project. The chicken nuggets are actually pieces of real chicken that they cut up, bread and cook on-site, and the lemonade is fresh squeezed. This particular Chick-fil-a had plenty of high-chairs (which is not always the case when we go out) and they had a great toddler area in the play place. Ryder especially just loved it. He couldn't stop laughing and running around. I am bummed that I didn't take any pictures of it!

Saturday we took everyone to the pumpkin patch at Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls (about a 45 minute drive from our house). Jayson got called, at the last minute, to go down to Galveston and help clean up the mess left by Hurricane Ike, so it was just my mom and I with all seven kids. We met Jayson's brother Joel and his wife Tobi and their two kids (Alec and Cora) at the farm. The farm is always a fun place to go in the fall. They have all kinds of different pumpkins, a hayride, pony rides, goats to feed, pumpkins to paint, fall flowers to pick and corn field mazes. It has been our tradition to go there every year. We missed last year because the babies were too young, so Riley and Kaiya were really looking forward to it this year. It was a hot day and very dusty at the farm. Having the babies along also limited what we were able to do. But despite all this, I think that everyone had fun---at least part of the time!

Kaiya, Riley, Cora, Alec, Ryder, Kyndall, Kassidy, Rustin, and Kaydence.

I can't get the babies to even try most of the yummy food I make for them at home, but they all wanted a bite of the pumpkins! (Ryder, Kyndall, Kassidy, Rustin, and Kaydence)

Kaiya and Riley--I know that this isn't the best picture of them, but I thought it was so funny. Kaiya was really mad that Riley got to sit next to the big pumpkin. Life is soooo unfair!

Playing on the tractor--Kyndall, Kassidy, Rustin and Ryder

More fun with the tractor

Kyndall, Ryder, Rustin's back, Kassidy and Kaydence. It is nearly impossible to get Rustin to sit still long enough to take his picture!

Kaiya and Riley

The Hayride! Riley and Kaiya had their hearts set on going on the hayride. Joel and Tobi didn't want to go, so we took everyone by ourselves. I think this was the only part of the day where we seriously considered having ourselves committed to the insane asylum when we got back. Before we got on the ride, we didn't realize that part way through they were going to drop us off, have us walk through a tunnel to the other side of the road, and get on another trailer to finish the ride. Luckily Riley was able to carry Kyndall and my mom and I each carried two babies and somehow we made it! As long as we were moving, the boys thought it was fun. Kyndall also gave no complaints. Kassidy hated the whole thing (did I mention that it was really dusty???).

Playing in the pumpkins--Kyndall, Ryder, Rustin, Kassidy, and Kaydence

The big kids--Alec, Riley, Kaiya and Cora