Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Together We Can...

Every year, the PTA sponsors a "Reflections" contest where kids of all ages can submit artistic entries relating to the theme. The categories are: Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Literature, Photography, and Film Production. This year, the theme for the PTA Reflections contest was "Together We Can". Both Kaiya and Riley submitted entries---Kaiya in photography and Riley in Film Production. Last night was the awards ceremony for the school and they both got the Award of Excellence! Their entries will go on to the school district level competition.

I am so proud of them....I think they both did a great job! Of course it helped that they entered in categories that few people pick...This year there were 117 Visual Arts entries, 2 Music entries, 1 Film Production entry, 6 Photography entries and 1 Literature entry. Of course, being a statistician, I encourage them to enter categories where the odds are in their favor, but I think they would have won no matter how many entries there were :-)

Here are Kaiya's two photography entries. Both received the Award of Excellence:
Entry 1, entitled: "Together We Can Accomplish Anything"

Entry 2, entitled: "Together We Can Do Hard Stuff"

This is Riley's Film Production Entry. This is the third video he has done for Reflections contests and I think it is by far the best! He had to write, direct, shoot, and edit the film by himself!

Kaiya with her entries and awards

Riley with his entry and award


Monday, November 15, 2010

We're Going For a Record...

...Four theme parks with five three-year-olds (plus two older kids) in six months! This time we did Six Flags Fiesta Texas. We were able to get nearly free tickets through Jayson's work, so we figured, why not?? It turned out to be one of the best theme-park-days ever. The weather was perfect---not too hot, not too cold. The lines were short, and we had great company. My mom (aka "Mimi") was here visiting and came with us. My brother, Ryan, who recently moved to McAllen, TX (about 6 hours away from us) drove up to go with us. And two other families we are friends with met us there too. My mom and I spent the first half of the day taking the quints on all the kiddie rides, while Jayson and Ryan took Riley and Kaiya on the roller coasters. After lunch, my two friends Tammy and Natalie offered to go with the quints so that my mom and I could go on roller coasters with the big kids. I have awesome friends! The whole day was so much fun!

Arriving at the park

Hanging out with Bugs and Sylvester

Riding in "The Big Red Car"---Mimi with the boys--The park had an entire "Wiggles World" section, so the quints were in HEAVEN----they LOVE the Wiggles

Rachelle with the girls

The "big" boys: Riley and Henry (Riley's friend)

Waiting in line

Lunch! Kykndall, Ryder, Rustin, Kaydence, Kassidy, Riley and Henry

Ryan, Kaiya, and Jayson

Riley and Henry

Jayson and Mimi

Kaiya, Kaydence, Kyndall, Rustin, Kassidy and Ryder

Ryan, Jayson, Henry and Riley

The Whole Gang

PS On a completely unrelated note....if you have been saving a spot on your wall for the 2011 Wilkinson Quints Calendar, sadly there will not be one this year :-(


Friday, November 12, 2010

Bye, Bye Cribs...Hello Big Kid Beds!

Kyndall, Ryder, Kassidy, Kaydence and Rustin

We finally did it! Last night we made the transition to the "big kid beds"! It is probably long overdue, but I have been putting it off. They could all climb into and out of their cribs (as all of you who watched "Texas Quints" on TLC witnessed!!), so it didn't really contain them, however with the bars there, at least the kids knew they were doing something wrong when they climbed out.

I am not sure how things will play out in the long run, but last night went great! They actually all fell asleep earlier than they normally do---maybe because they were soooo excited about having big kid beds that they actually stayed in them long enough to fall asleep. I found everyone pillowcases in "their" color and it was fun to see how excited they were about them. Reaching this milestone in their lives just reminds me of how fast they are growing up!






No more Cribs! Rustin, Ryder, Kassidy, Kyndall and Kaydence


Friday, November 5, 2010

International Multiple Birth Awareness Week

This week (Nov 1 – Nov 8) is officially International Multiple Birth Awareness Week. Who would have guessed? In honor of this, I decided to answer a few of the most common (and some slightly ridiculous) questions I get about my multiples! (Note: these are meant to be humorous and/or informative and not offensive in any way. It does not bother me to be asked these questions, but after you get asked the same questions over and over, you start to see the humor in some of them!)

Are they all yours?


Are they natural?

No---some body parts are plastic and I think artificial coloring was used to make Rustin’s hair that fabulous shade of red. Just kidding---I know people don’t realize how silly that question is when they ask it. Of course they are natural, however they were conceived by the help of fertility medication (which I think is what people really mean when they ask that question!)

How many eggs did the doctor implant?

NONE. I did NOT have IVF. I was not ovulating on my own, so the doctor put me on medication to help me ovulate. He monitored me VERY closely and warned me that with the medication, the odds of twins was 20% and triplets was 5%.

So, what are the odds, anyway?

The odds of getting pregnant with quintuplets, if you are using fertility mediation, is 1 in 56,000. I actually had higher odds of getting struck by lightening in my lifetime than of having quintuplets.

Did you know you were having quintuplets?

I love my triplet-mom friend, Robin’s response to this question, “Uh... did you know you were having a singleton? Yeah, the same way you knew you were having one is the way we knew we were having three. This isn't 1922."

Were you trying for multiples?

Seriously?? No one in their right mind TRYS to have multiples and no sane doctor would help you. Multiple births, especially high-order multiple births, have very high risks associated with them for both the babies and the mother.

Are they all identical?

No---other than the obvious fact that they all look completely different, I have three girls and two boys, so biologically it just isn’t possible for them all to be identical.

Are they twins and triplets?

Nope, they are called quintuplets.

But you have some boys and some girls?

Yes, but they were all in the womb together, so regardless of gender they are still called quintuplets.

How much did they weigh when they were born?

They ranged in size from 3 lbs 6 oz to 5 lbs 1 oz. Their combined birthweight was 21 lbs 7.6 oz, which is the current World record.

Are they…okay? I mean, are they healthy?

Yes, we have been very fortunate. All of the kids are happy, healthy, and progressing exactly how they are supposed to be. They are very normal three-year-olds.

How are you going to put them all through college?

Teach them how to work!

Are you going to home school?

Are you crazy? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children, but the school system here is just fine and I am counting down the days (21 more months to be exact) until they go to kindergarten! Right now I have to put “keep children alive” on my daily “To Do” list, just so I can get one check mark at the end of the day. I am looking forward to having time to clean, organize, decorate, shop, etc.

How do you do it?

How does any parent do it? Let’s face it---parenting is a tough job, but somehow we all take what we are given and do the best we can! My life is busy and challenging, but we have a routine and we just take it one day at a time. Raising children is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but it is also the most rewarding.

Wow, you have your hands full!!

If I only had a nickel for every time someone said that, I wouldn’t have to worry about funding the kid’s college educations! One of my fellow quint-mom friends, Sara Tyre, has a quote on her blog that I have always liked. It says, “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”

I am so grateful for all seven of my children. The fact that five came together certainly makes life interesting, but I can’t imagine life without even one of my precious children. Each came with his/her own personality and each adds a new dimension to our family. I love my life, despite the challenges, and I am grateful every day for the miracle that all of my children are.

Do you have the cutest quintuplets ever born?

YES....ok, no one has ever asked me that one, but here are some recent pictures and you can be the judge!

Rustin, Kyndall, Kassidy, Kaydence, and Ryder




Ryder & Rustin


Monday, November 1, 2010


The kids had a blast with Halloween this year! They were definitely old enough to "get it". They loved looking at all the Halloween decorations in people's yards, making their own Halloween crafts, and dressing up. And of course, they loved the CANDY. Last year, we took them trick-or-treating, but they didn't really care about the candy. This year was another story! They loved getting candy, with lollipop's being the favorite. We practiced saying "Trick-or-Treat" and "Thank You" all week and they were so proud of themselves when they did it right. Last year Riley and Kaiya did not want to go along with any theme, but this year they wanted the quints to dress like them. The little girls were already planning on being fairies, since my mother-in-law made them cute skirts and shirts for the birthday and all I had to get to complete the outfit was wings wands. Kaiya had no problem going along with that idea. Riley wanted to be a ninja and talked Rustin and Ryder into wanting that too. They were hilarious doing their ninja moves.

Ryder, Riley and Rustin doing their "ninja" moves. It is amazing how much different Rustin looks when you cover up his red hair!

Kaydence, Kassidy and Kyndall---the little fairy princesses

Princess Fairy Kaiya

Ninja Riley

National Instruments, the company that Jayson works for, held a big family Halloween event. The kids loved playing the games and doing the crafts. This is the group shot with the photo background they had set up.

Doing crafts at the NI Halloween event----I thought it was funny that all the quints (with the exception of Kassidy) are all coloring with "their" color of crayon. This is so typical---I think I have branded them for life with these colors. When I asked Rustin what kind of candy he was going to get trick-or-treating, he quickly replied "blue ones!"

Halloween morning I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. The kids were so confused----they kept telling me that the pancakes did NOT look like pumpkins. I had to explain that the pumpkin was IN the pancakes.

With all the confusion at breakfast, I tried to make lunch a little more visually Halloween---we had mini mummy dogs and jack-o-lantern apple slices.

Kaiya, Riley, Rustin, Kassidy, Ryder, Kyndall and Kaydence....we did all our "Trick-or-Treating" this year at our church "Trunk-or-Treat" on Friday night. I was so excited to find pumpkin pails in all the quint's colors (except Kaydence who had to use orange, which isn't too far from yellow). Riley and Kaiya opted to carry pillowcases instead because they hold more :-)

It was so entertaining to watch the kids---their little personalities really came out. Kaydence was always lagging behind the rest, Kassidy always remembered to say "thank you" (and then made sure to tell me that she said it), Rustin ran from trunk to trunk and was super excited every time he got something, Ryder wanted to finely examine each piece of candy before he would put it in his bucket, and Kyndall was her usual sneaky self. When we got back to the car at the end of the night, Kyndall's bucket was fuller than all the other kids buckets, even though we went to the same number of trunks. While we were out, I noticed a few times that Kyndall would wait until the person handing out the treats was busy putting candy in someone elses bucket, then she would sneak her hand into the bowl and grab an extra handful for herself!