Monday, August 3, 2009

Swimming Lessons

I have alot of updating from this summer to catch up on so here we go....

We started our summer off with a bang doing swim lessons for all five girls! Reagan's lessons were planned for the first three weeks of summer and the other four girls' were a blessing from up above....thanks to Mrs. Kim! Story to follow...

Reagan took 2 of the 3 weeks of lessons (middle week was VBS) and did fabulous! She didn't take lessons last summer, so it had been 2 years since she had been taught the basics. But she picked them up quickly and enjoyed her time in the pool. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the actual lessons (I think I was busy chasing/entertaining/feeding 4 other little girls for that very long 30 minutes).

Last day of lessons

Reagan playing in the water fountains

Mrs. Kim going over everything she learned in lessons and telling her what she still needed to work on. She graduated to the next level!

As we were getting out of the car on the first day of lessons, we noticed a very familiar face!

One of Reagan's very good friends from her Kindergarten class, Julianne, just happened to be taking lessons at the very same time. There are only 30+ classes to choose from, and we couldn't have planned it to work out that way...very cool! So Reagan got to kick off her summer with seeing Julianne every morning for 2 weeks. We even squeezed in a playdate at our house after lessons one day. :)

Julianne and Reagan

(We will miss Julianne this year, as she will be going to a new school...but look forward to seeing her at the softball fields in the fall!)

Then as I was saying before, our blessing from above came on the 3rd week. Monday at swim lessons, Reagan's teacher, Mrs. Kim, offered graciously to give the girls lessons at her house for a fabulous price that we couldn't pass up. So we said YES!!
Reagan's lessons were from 9:45 to 10:15 and then the four little ones were from 12:30 to 1:00!
It was hectic but so worth every penny and drop of sweat! Mrs. Kim was awesome!
She did great with Reagan and even better with the girls. I wasn't expecting much, just to gain a little confidence, learn some pool rules, and have fun....and they got a whole lot more!

Big Sis walking sisters from the car to Mrs. Kim's house for lessons

She has a beautiful pool...if we are ever able to build one ourselves, I would do it just like this!
Girls kicking their legs
Mrs. Kim, McKinley, Taylor, Kennedy, Madison

McKinley practing blowing bubbles
*Please note the dolphin picture at the bottom of the pool. This is where they were "supposed" to sit when it wasn't their turn. I can't tell you how many times Mrs. Kim and I said, "Where's the dolphin?" and "Are you sitting on the dolphin?". It was a constant battle....until

Dad came!
Then for some reason, they could hear again! It's amazing how that works!
Normally, they listen to me, especially when we are out in public, but for some reason, maybe it was the water in their ears, they would not sit and listen when I told them to. I threatened everything under the sun and even did time-out a time or two...but Daddy comes....and wah-la!
Look at Madison and Kennedy sitting in time out for him!! Please!!!

Kennedy having another turn....thinking about what she did wrong....or not!

But overall they did a great job. I guess I can't fault them too much....4 two year olds in a pool and 'you want me to do what mom?!?'. I know! But I just wanted them to get the most out of it and in the end, I think they did.
Mrs. Kim trying to get McKinley to go under and grab a toy off the step.

And then there is Taylor "Mrs. I Can Do It!"
Check her out diving down for a toy. Notice she is even a step lower than McKinley.
By the end of the two weeks, she could get a toy off the bottom of the pool. :)

Taylor floating
She was so comfortable and relaxed in the water. She is definitely going to be the one we have to worry about and watch the most until she can really swim. She has no fear!

Madison blowing bubbles and kicking

Kennedy working on her reach and pull

And the last thing they did at each lesson was jump into the water for Mrs. Kim.
As you can imagine, Taylor was the best at this. McKinley almost got to where she didn't have to be holding Mrs. Kim's hand to jump in (definitely our least brave of the bunch).

And while they girls were in lessons, Reagan was allowed to swim in the hot tub. This made her very happy and much easier on mommy as well. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

S'more Graham!

I couldn't resist using that as the title! :)
As dad likes to say...I like S'mores and I like Graham, so I LOVE S'more Graham!

As I posted previously, Graham was born almost 3 weeks ago, spent 1 week in the NICU, and has now been home for almost 2. Because of our crazy busy schedule and then an unexpected trip to Wisconsin, we hadn't met our new nephew and cousin....until Sunday!
Alli and Brad came to our house for a visit, what a treat! As you can only imagine the girls were very excited, especially Reagan.

Isn't that the cutest thing you ever saw?!!?
Baby Graham Kipton in my arms

About 10 months ago, McKinley and Kennedy sent their pacifiers to heaven on a balloon to Carter. Cold turkey, they were done. Madison had given hers up on her own months before that. Although, when we sent Taylor's up, up and away, she was not happy! She cried, threw herself on the driveway, and fought us at bedtime and naptime for the next 2 days until we gave in and gave it back to her. I know...SUCKERS! She just truly wasn't ready. I think she would have had a nervous breakdown. :) She was only getting it at naptime and bedtime, but those were "important" times for her.

I said all that to say...about 1/2 way through Alli's pregnancy we came up with this great idea of giving Taylor's paci to Alli's baby when it arrived. Taylor was all for it, never questioned it or hesitated when we talked about it. I just knew it would be different once it was really time. Well, Sunday was the day. She found the two that she was currently using, put them in a ziplock bag, and happily gave them to baby Graham.

And I'm proud to say, that it has now been two bedtimes and two naptimes of "No Paci" Success! Way to go Taylor and THANK YOU Graham! She has cried and fussed each time, until today's nap...and not a word, not a fuss, just straight to sleep! I think it's going to work!

After mommy got some Graham loving, he was off to the arms of his big cousin, Rea Rea.
And boy was she in heaven! She held him on the couch for over an hour straight! She just sat there, smiling at him, singing to him, looking at him....hardly moved a muscle. And he was pretty content himself. :) Reagan LOVES Graham THHIISSSS MUCH!!

And the little girls were quite impressed as well. We had a talk before Alli and Brad came to remind them that we can't touch the baby's face or hands...just his feet. Hard concept to understand but they did pretty good.

While they were sharing Graham with Reagan, Aunt Alli and Uncle Brad got some sweet time with the girls as well. Our girls loves their aunts and uncles!

Allison and McKinley

Graham, Reagan, and Allison

Proud Cousin

Graham sleeping away in the arms of Reagan.
It was if he knew who was holding him and how much he was being loved on.

Baby Graham with all the girls
Graham, Reagan, Madison, Taylor, McKinley, and Kennedy

Thank you Alli and Brad for coming to see us. What a treat and a great welcome home from our trip to Wisconsin. We will never forget our first visit with sweet Graham!

P.S. Happy 2nd Anniversary Allison and Brad!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweet Baby Graham

We are so excited to announce that Graham Kipton is here!

My sister, Allison, and her hubby, Brad, welcomed their first child into the world a week ago today on June 24, 2009. Unfortunately, due to some complications with mommy, he was born a few weeks early. He weighed 5 lbs. 9 oz. but his little lungs just weren't quite ready to breathe on their own, so he had to spend the first 7 days in the NICU. As I have said all along, no one can prepare you for a NICU experience. And even though Brad and Alli walked beside us while we were there and now Brad has spent many work hours in the NICU, there still isn't words to express the emotional roller coaster ride you go through when it's your own child. They handled the situation beautifully!

He was born last Wednesday, but because of our super crazy schedule around here, I wasn't able to get to the hospital to see her until Thursday night. I took my side-kick and 'Aunt Alli lover', Reagan, with me. Even though she knew she wasn't going to be able to see Graham, she was super ecstatic to see Allison. And Brad too, of course! :)

When we first got to the hospital, Alli was MIA. We quickly found out that she was in the NICU visiting Graham, and would return soon. Reagan thought that would be a perfect opportunity for her to rest and keep Alli's bed warm for her.

When Allison returned to the room she was glowing! She was able to hold Graham for the first time that night. That was one happy (but still very tired and sore) momma!
And then Daddy was next...does he look proud or what?!
And check out those poor blood shot eyes. They had been at the hospital in labor since Monday night, and after about 36 hours, decided to do a c-section. No one had gotten much sleep around there. None the less, I know if you ask either of them, it was worth every minute!

Then Alli was pampered by Reagan.
She checked out her swollen feet and even put her sock back on for her.

Then it was time to get "snug as a bug in a rug".
Reagan covering up Alli for the night.

Visiting over dinner (or late night snack...extra calories for Graham).
I think Reagan was really sweet talking her for a bite of her strawberry shortcake.

Reagan giving Alli her "see you later" hugs. That girl LOVES her Aunt Alli.
It was very hard for her to leave her at the hospital...she even cried when we got in the car....mommy did too.

And then I got some Alli love!
BJ, Alli, and Rea

We are so excited and proud to say that as of yesterday, June 30, Graham was released from the NICU to go home! Hip hip hooray! The last 24 hours has gone smoothly. Grandpa and Beatie were there for his arrival last night and Grandma has taken a couple days off to spend with them now. Our girls are waiting patiently to see him, but we want to make sure they are 100% well before meeting their new cousin.
Congrats Alli and Brad! We love you baby Graham!
More pics to come.....
But please be patient, I think our laptop (that was very graciously given to us by one of Robby's co-workers when I was put on bedrest with the quints) kicked the bucket tonight. I'm praying that I can safely retrieve all of my pictures off of there...if not, it's going to be a sad, sad day at the Wells' house. :( Keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to You X 4!

Happy 3rd Birthday to
McKinley, Kennedy, Madison and Taylor

It's still sinking in my thick head that the girls are really 3 years old. I know this is normal, but it truly feels like it was just yesterday that they came into this world. If it wasn't for all the drugs they gave me that day, I'd probably be able to remember every detail. :) It was a crazy day, unexpected emergency c-section, birth of quintuplets, and the sad news of losing our Carter. June 16 is definitely a day Robby and I will NEVER forget.

After having two big parties for their 1st and 2nd birthdays, we decided to celebrate this year with just family at our house. It was a sweet time for the girls as they actually realized what was going on this year. All day Kennedy said, "It's my birthday!" with the biggest grin. She seemed to enjoy the day the most.

Here's a few pics for now, more to come...

Our family with the Birthday Sign
(gift from Signsational Signs for their first bday but we have used it every year!)

Daddy, McKinlely, Kennedy, Reagan, Taylor, Madison, and Mommy

McKinley Jo
born at 11:08am on 6.16.06
(seconds after her brother Carter)
weighing 1 lb. 9 oz.

Kennedy Lil

born at 11:09am on 6.16.06

weighing 2 lb. 1 oz.

Madison Kay

born at 11:09am on 6.16.06

weighing 1 lb. 14 oz.

Taylor Nan

born at 11:10am on 6.16.06

weighing 1 lb. 9 oz.

It was a great birthday party, weekend, and day for the girls. We sure do miss our Carter, but I know he had a big party in Heaven. And we sent him up some balloons! :) Thank you to everyone for the sweet cards, gifts, calls, and thoughts....I keep saying, one day these girls will REALLY understand how much they are loved. THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reagan Graduated...

...from Kindergarten this week!
I truly feel like it was just a few weeks ago that we were taking her for the first day of school. How does that happen?!? Ugh! Our little girl is growing up right before our eyes.
It was a fabulous year and as a parent, I couldn't have asked for better. The Lord was definitely leading the way! Her teacher was awesome, she made some great friends, and the staff met my expectations (and they were high). Thank you LSE!

Reagan had a Kindergarten Celebration on Tuesday.
They received their Certificate of Completion and sang a few songs on the stage. I'm including pictures and a short video because you have to see the facial expressions...she's a hoot! Although, she doesn't necessarily love being the center of attention, she enjoys being on stage and performing.

Reagan with her principal, Mrs. Fiaschetti

3 of the 7 kindergarten classes performed together on Tuesday.
Reagan is on the top row, 2nd one from the left.

First song they sang, "Jazzy Three Bears Rap"
This was the Papa Bear part...

Then the Baby Bear part...

And then the last song they sang was "Happy Trails To You".
Of course, I didn't have enough memory on my card to video the entire song, but you get the idea. It was very sweet!

Daddy and Reagan before leaving the house that morning.

Reagan and Mommy
I know, shocker, I'm actually in a picture!?!
I love that kid!

Reagan and Grandma

Nana and Papa with Reagan

Nana and Papa with all five girls
Little sisters LOVED watching big sis on stage. They were so proud!
Reagan waved to Kennedy from the stage at one point, and Kennedy could not stop smiling, she was beaming from ear to ear!

Note: the girls are all wearing Reagan's hand-me-down dresses. :) They are about the age that Reagan was when they were born so we started buying and saving Reagan's clothes, knowing one day they would be worn again... it was hard to imagine at that time though.

McKinley, Taylor, Nana, Reagan, Papa, Kennedy, and Madison

And Reagan with her two sweet friends, Megan and Julianne
These three were close buddies all year long!

So since Reagan officially "graduated" from Kindergarten and today was her last day of school, Daddy told her we could celebrate with a "date night". Although, she doesn't like to call it that anymore (she says, that's what mommy and daddy do, not little girls) so we call it a "Reagan Night" now. :) She chose to go to Incredible Pizza, so we dropped the girls off at Grandma's house and went to celebrate with our big 1st grader!

Reagan playing Air Hockey

Reagan scoring on Daddy

Reagan played her first game of putt-putt golf, and LOVED it!
On the first hole, Daddy stood behind her and helped with her swing....hole in one!

Daddy and his "little" girl

Mommy and Rea Rea

This was one of Reagan's favorite games, skeet ball!

And couldn't pass up the Ms. Pac-Man game...ok, this one was for Daddy. :)

Daddy teaching her how to "aim and fire"!

And the "big winnings"!
Reagan earned a whopping 72 tickets to buy herself a bouncy ball and a plastic ring.
She was happy,
but even more happy that she got to spend some one-on-one time with Daddy and Mommy!
And we were the MOST happy!

Congratulations Reagan!
We love you THIS much!
Summer here we come!