Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Calendar Outtakes--Part 2

Here is the second installment of calendar outtakes and "behind the scenes" stories...

May—55 Pictures taken
This was actually the first picture that we took for the 2009 calendar. My mom went with my dad to Hawaii last year and she brought back outfits for all the kids (Riley and Kaiya included), When I saw the outfits for the first time, I knew they had “Kodak Moment” written all over them! For this picture, I enlisted the help of my professional photographer friend, Kristen Duke. A nearby neighborhood has a waterfall at its entrance and I thought it would be the perfect spot for the Hawaiian photo. Kristen came to my house and we got all the babies dressed and ready and we all piled in the Beast. Kristen even brought her brother and sister-in-law to help out. We had just pulled into the parking lot, when out of no where, it started to rain. We waited to see if it would stop, but it just started raining harder. We knew that even if we waited it out, the ground would be wet and the babies would not like that, so we gave up and went back home.

We rescheduled the photo shoot for a couple of weeks later. We got there bright and early in the morning so we could have the best light. After unloading everyone and all our gear, we made our way to the waterfall--or at least to where the waterfall was supposed to be. For some reason, there was no water falling from the waterfall that day. We tried calling a phone number we found at the pool (located fairly close to the waterfall), but no one was able to help us. After standing around for several minutes debating what we should do, we finally decided to take the picture anyway. By this point, the babies were hungry, tired and not at all excited about having their picture taken. We found another spot around the corner from the waterfall and got some semi-decent (although not very smiley) pictures.

Kassidy voices her opinion of the waterless waterfall.

Virginia and Mimi try an old favorite (Cheerios) to get the kids to smile---or at least stop crying!

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

I love this shot of Kaydence, Kassidy, Ryder, Rustin and Kyndall all trying to escape.

This one isn't really an outtake, but I thought Kristen got such a great picture of Kaiya that I decided to post it anyway!

The Final Result: May's Calendar Picture

June—139 Pictures taken

I have always liked Anne Geddes photography, and having five babies has given me the perfect excuse to try some “Anne Geddes” style pictures of my own! Taking the flower pot pictures was easier than some of the other pictures because I shot each baby individually and then used Photoshop to put them all together in the end. My biggest challenges with this picture were getting the babies to keep the flower headband on their head and keeping them from tipping over (or diving out in Rustin’s case).

Kaydence trying to escape

Kaiya posing for my lighting tests

Kyndall getting a bit tippy---after she fell over, we got Riley to go behind the backdrop and hold on to the pot--if you look closely you can see his hands in some of the other pictures.


Kaydence--she hates getting her picture taken!

Rustin diving out of the pot

The Final Result: June's Calendar Picture

July—52 Pictures taken

Of all the pictures in the calendar, this one was the easiest to take. The babies were strapped down, so they couldn’t get away! (Not even Rustin could dive out of this one!) Our biggest challenge was keeping everyone from poking their eyes out with the flags. My sister, Tiare, was here to help me with this one---I am sure the neighbors enjoyed watching as we danced, sang, held props, and did whatever else we could think of to get the babies to look at the camera!

Kaydence, Rustin, Kyndall, Ryder and Kassidy---I am not sure what was so interesting about the fence!

Oops--prop overboard! I think it is funny how all the babies put their feet up on the chair in front of them.

The Final Result: July's Calendar Picture

August—192 Pictures taken

By the time we took the baby pool picture, it was well into September and baby pools were hard to come by. We were lucky to find the frog pool on clearance at Target for only $3! The lighting in the backyard was not very good, and there were lots of strange shadows from the trees, so we had to set up the backdrop behind me to create some shade.

Ryder was so fascinated by the frog eyeballs

Kaydence hates pools and she hates pictures, so this was a double whammy for her!

Once again, Rustin is doing his best to dive out of the pool!

The Final Result: August's Calendar Picture

To order a 2009 Wilkinson Quints Calendar, click HERE.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If you have ever wondered...

...what a woman's stomach looks like after having quintuplets, watch "The Doctors" today to find out. Today's episode shows fellow quint mom, Sara Tyre, getting a tummy tuck. In Austin, it is on at 3:00 pm on NBC (channel 36).

Sara has an amazing story. She found out she was pregnant with quintuplets on the same day that their adopted daughter was born, so she essentially had six babies all at one time. Her quints are now five years old and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Calendar Outtakes--Part 1

The older the quints get, the harder it is to get a decent picture of them! Getting TWELVE decent pictures to make the calendar was really a challenge! Just for fun, I thought I would share some of the “inside stories” and outtakes from the calendar photo shoots!

January—41 pictures taken
My mom and I really thought that this would be the easiest picture to take. After all, we were only taking a picture of the babies backs, so we didn’t have to get them to smile or anything---just sit still five seconds so we could take a picture. So we took off all their clothes and diapers and sat them down, facing backwards. We gave each baby a little bowl of Cheerios to entertain them (an idea we thought was brilliant at the time). We soon realized the complete un-brilliance of our plan. No one wanted to sit and eat their snack. Within seconds, babies were standing up and running around the room naked. Cheerios were spread all over and several babies had some stuck to their bottoms. It was chaos! My mom and I kept trying to pick the babies up and put them back in place, but by the time we got the last baby down, the first one was up and running again. I knew we were not going to get this picture unless we had help, so I called Virginia to see if she could come over. I must have sounded frantic on the phone, because she said all she heard was “naked babies, need help!” Virginia was out shopping when I called her, but she was at my house in about 10 minutes. When she got there, we came up with a plan that really was brilliant---we got out the portable DVD player and put on the Wiggles. Thanks to Virginia (and Greg, Murray, Jeff and Anthony), we finally got a good picture!!!

Kyndall, Kassidy, Rustin, Ryder and Kaydence---foiling my "brilliant" plan

Kassidy, Kaydence, Rustin, Kyndall, Ryder and Virginia who saved the day! Notice also the princess crown dangling from the top of the backdrop---we were trying everything to get the babies attention and keep them sitting down!

The Final Result: January's Calendar Picture

February—95 pictures taken
Finding the lollipops was one of the biggest challenges for this picture. I checked several stores before I finally found them at a world imports store in the mall. I was worried about everybody becoming a giant sticky mess before we could get a good shot, so at first I didn’t even take the wrapper off the lollipops. The babies were completely uninterested in the lollipops that way, so I peeled off a small corner of the plastic and tried to get them to suck on that part. This worked a little better. One of the hardest things for all the pictures is that the boys, especially Rustin, did not want to sit still. The second you put them down, they would try to escape.

Kassidy, Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder and Kyndall

The escape artists in action

The Final Result: February's Calendar Picture

March—58 pictures taken

My original idea on this one was to have all the babies together in the laundry basket. That didn’t go over too well, so I finally settled for any shot that had all five babies looking in the right direction!

Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder, Kassidy and Kyndall

Kyndall, Kaydence, Rustin, Ryder and Kassidy

No matter what prop we used for pictures, Rustin was always diving out of it.

The Final Result: March's Calendar Picture

April—232 pictures taken

I made the little chick costume by taking two turtleneck onesies, putting one inside the other, and then filling the middle section, in-betwen the two onesies, with batting. Then I took three feather boa’s and tacked them around the outside. The resulting costume was very hot, so the babies were not very excited about it. It was also a bit difficult to get on and off, so halfway through the shoot, I cut off the arms of the turtlenecks to make it a bit easier. After we got done taking the pictures, I posted the best ones on my family's blog. My brother, quickly pointed out that chicks are YELLOW, not white (I guess he really does deserve that PhD he has). I must have been thinking of chickens, not baby chicks, when I made the costume! After all the work we went through to take the pictures, I did NOT want to re-shoot. Instead, I became very good friends with Adobe Photoshop!

Of all the babies, Kaydence hates getting her picture taken the most!

Rustin, diving off his seat

Of all the babies, Kyndall is the easist to take pictures of. She loves the camera and will smile and pose. She also has lots of really great expressions.

Kaiya agreed to be my model while I tested the flash settings

The Final Result: April's Calendar Picture

If you are interested in purchasing a 2009 Wilkinson Quints Calendar, it's not too late! We still have several left! Click HERE to see more pictures from the calendar, or to order your own! Any proceeds will be used to support the consumption of diapers and wet wipes by the Wilkinson Quints!


Friday, January 16, 2009

No Longer the Only Quints in Austin...

Today Casey Jones, fellow Austinite, gave birth to quintuplets! Four girls and one boy. The babies were born at 30 weeks and weighed between 2 lbs 2 oz and 2 lbs 13 oz. From all reports, mother and babies are all doing well. Please keep them in your prayers! You can follow their story on their website/blog at:

Casey and Rachelle a few days before delivery (Doesn't she look great?? You'd never guess she was over 29 weeks pregnant with quints!)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The other day a friend asked me what I thought was the biggest milestone the babies had reached so far. Of course, sleeping through the night was a biggie, but I think for me, the biggest milestone happened when the babies were about 8 months old. About this time several things happened. First, the babies transitioned to two naps per day, and I was able to get all of them on the same schedule. They ate at the same time, played at the same time and slept at the same time. Until that point, there really wasn’t a time of day that I could count on having some time for myself to get things done. Around 8 months the babies became a lot better at eating finger foods, which meant that meal times could be managed with less help. It was also at this age that the babies started crawling and scooting, which meant that they could entertain themselves a little bit.
About 8 Months Old: Kyndall, Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder and Kassidy

My friend also asked what future milestones I was looking forward to. Here is a list of the ones that came quickly to mind:

Top Ten Milestones I am looking forward to in 2009

1—The ability to eat with a fork and spoon
3—Talking in sentences
4—Old enough to be allowed into the Nursery at church (2 more Sunday’s to go!)
5—Ability to drink from a regular cup without dumping the contents into lap
6—Kyndall gaining enough weight to face forward in her carseat
7—Being able let them out in the front yard without all of them immediately heading for the street
8—Ability to walk up and down stairs (without looking like they are going to tumble to the bottom at any moment)
9—Ability to put on clothes by themselves
10—Switch from parallel play to more interactive play with each other

You might have noticed that "potty trained" is NOT on the list for this year----I don't think I will be able to brave that one until 2010!!

In other news….my mom was in town this week and we had a great time! As you can imagine, with five babies I don’t get out of the house much because. It is wonderful having my mom here because with an extra set of hands, we actually can get out. During this visit, we planned an outing every day---we went to Sam’s Club (twice), the mall, IKEA, the outlet mall, and lunch at Chili’s. We don’t actually accomplish a lot of shopping on these trips because people stop us to ask questions about every three feet, but we really enjoy just getting out----and it makes the day pass amazingly fast! Below are some pictures from her visit:
Eating Chick-fil-a at the Mall foodcourt: Kaydence, Kyndall, Ryder, Rustin and Kassidy

Eating Cheerios with bowls and spoons for the first time: Ryder, Rustin, Kassidy, Kyndall, Kaydence

Waiting for a Table at Chili's: My friend Halli, my mom, Kaydence, Kyndall and Kassidy

Me (Rachelle) with Ryder and Rustin

Kassidy checks out the toddler plate they brought out---the cherries, orange, olive and cheese were arranged in a smiley face

Riley on the new stilts "Mimi" (what the kids call my mom) brought him


Kassidy--the next American Idol


Rustin wearing the earing he stole from Virginia


Ryder kissing the baby doll (or maybe he is trying to eat it...)

While my mom was here, we tried to take a group shot of all the babies. They were not very cooperative, so this is the best we could do!

Kaydence, Kyndall, Kassidy, Ryder and Rustin

The boys: Ryder and Rustin

My favorite shot from the group picture attempt!