{My Recipes} 10 Minute Pizza & Easy Chicken Raspberry Salad

These "recipes" are so simple, they're almost not even recipes. But both of them turned out very tasty so I'd thought I'd drop 'em on the blog if you're like me one evening and only have 10 minutes to make dinner. It happens more often than I'd like!

For the pizza, I started off with store-bought pre-made crusts, but you could also use bagels, English muffins or just about anything else you'd like. I grabbed a jar of regular pasta sauce (cabernet marinara, yum!), shredded mozzarella, Boar's Head turkey pepperoni (they don't have preservatives in their meat), garlic salt and dried Italian seasonings.


I like extra sauce on my pizza so I slathered it on, then did a layer of cheese, sprinkled it lightly with both seasonings and topped it off with the pepperoni. I baked them at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.


The result was delicious! They were so good the husband raved about them and the babies even ate several bites apiece. (Please excuse the drab paper plate presentation. We're packing to move and dishes are in boxes!)



Earlier in the week, I had some leftover chicken strips from Chicken Express. We'd gotten a family meal for dinner one evening when my mom and step-dad were over—the husband got me totally addicted to Chicken Express years ago when we were dating! Anyway, I decided to make a fresh salad for lunch and threw together lettuce, the chopped chicken, fresh raspberries, raisins, low-fat feta cheese and my most favorite croutons and light Greek dressing ever. Like, I seriously don't make a salad without both of those ingredients!



Like I said, such a simple meal it's really not a recipe. But I always like seeing quick and easy bites that people come up with and it gives me ideas for how to use things I have on hand. Bon appetit!
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P.S. Two recipe posts you may have missed: my white bean and chicken pitas and quick chicken tacos.

How I Made My Own Baby Food

Another milestone has been reached! We are at the end of spoon feeding the babies their meals.

Hello finger foods!

We've been working on finger foods for awhile but have now gotten to the point where the quads are eating them with much more success. Thus we're slowly building our food repertoire and they are beginning to munch on more and more of the same foods as the husband and I eat. I'll soon have a post on what they're eating and some new recipes I've come up with for easy foods I can also stockpile in the freezer.

But for the time being, our freezer is pretty spacious! I just recently handed off what was left of the frozen veggie purees I'd made to a friend's friend who has a baby just starting solids. I'm glad they'll go to good use! We kept our frozen pureed fruits to mix into oatmeal, yogurt and applesauce—just about the only things we still spoon feed to the babies for now.

However, since the crew began eating solids at just over four months old, I've been baking, steaming and pureeing like crazy. I'm not really sure when I decided to make all my own baby food, but I knew in the end it would be easier than trying to buy it all. Plus, once I started looking at the labels on the backs of the baby food jars and pouches and realized how many preservatives were in them, I knew it'd be the healthiest way for me to go. In the beginning, I did stock up on some Plum Organics pouches and Earth's Best jars of food to help me get started until I'd stockpiled enough supply in the freezer. And thanks to our nanny at the time, my husband, our moms and any other helping hands, we kept the food-making process going frequently and always had enough!

At first, I was overwhelmed with the thought of everything. I didn't know where to start, what to feed first. I ask some fellow quad moms for advice then just dove in. The majority of the food I made was done in my Cuisineart Baby Food Maker that my mother-in-law graciously gifted us early on. (Right now, they're cheapest on Amazon.) I loved that thing so much. It made my life easier. Even though I had to do several bowls of food to get a large ziploc bag full of frozen cubes (which would last around two weeks at most), it took out the guess work and helped me keep food going on the side. All you had to do was pour the water in the back, fill the bowl up with your food, close it up and switch the knob to "steam." When it was done, the light went off and I'd flip the knob to "chop" and have a smooth puree in about 30 seconds.

I started off buying all organic fruits and veggies and the first foods the quads ate were bananas then sweet potatoes, applesauce, avocado and then it spanned from there. I was cutting, chopping and steaming everything. Even apples. After a couple weeks, though, I realized I could just buy organic applesauce, I could bake squashes whole in the oven before cutting them up and I could also find organic frozen veggies in microwave bags that saved me a step in the prep and steaming part of the process.



Once the food was ready, I'd pour it into my Mumi & Bubi trays I purchased on Amazon. These were another great necessity for me. I'd actually researched food trays because I wanted something that held the most food portions and was easy to empty and clean. No wrestling with old-fashioned ice trays, no time for that! These worked wonderfully and held 22 one-ounce portions. I bought two sets for a total of four trays and it was perfect. Once the food was frozen, I'd run warm water over the back of the tray, push down on one end of the frozen cube and it slides right out. Then I stored everything in large freezer ziploc bags labeled with the food and the date it was made. This also freed up my trays for more food, and we were always making more with four babies!





For any kind of potatoes, I peeled and chopped them then steamed and pureed. For zucchini and yellow squash, I washed thoroughly then chopped (no peeling, those are nutrients!) and steamed. When it came to larger squash, like acorn and butternut, I figured out I could bake them whole at 425 degrees for about 60-90 minutes then simply slice in half, spoon out the flesh and puree. Done!

Kale and spinach were the most troublesome items to make because you had to steam A LOT of it to get a tray full. But they're packed with protein and vitamins so it was important to me. I'd buy fresh organic kale at the grocery, wash the leaves and strip the greens off the stems then I'd pack the bowl on the Cuisineart baby food maker chock full. Once you steam and puree it, it shrinks drastically, so you can really stuff it in there to get the most out of each batch. 

Other items, like green beans, peas and corn, I started out making fresh but then quickly realized I could find them in organic frozen bags in the frozen foods section. I steamed them in the microwave and then pureed. Anything you pre-steam or bake first you can simply puree in a food processor, especially if you don't have a baby food maker. I would use my food processor often while I had the Cuisineart baby food maker going with something else so I could double-up on foods and save time.

When it came to fruits, those were often easy as most of them don't require steaming. You just peel, core, chop and puree. Bananas were great to stockpile as well as fresh pears, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries. You could also buy frozen bags of fruit, like peaches, for a short-cut. I'd pour the frozen food into a bowl in the morning and let it thaw, then puree and pour into my food trays to create the portion cubes. Using the freezer trays was handy because each frozen cube was one ounce of food, making it easy to monitor how much feed the quads were eating when we started out. 


Whenever we traveled somewhere and needed to take baby food with us, I prepackaged their meals into ziploc freezer bags so all I had to do was microwave and serve! We used organic oatmeal and/or rice cereal to thicken any of the foods that might be watery once thawed. Sometimes it was hard to get the consistency just perfect, but there's always a fix. Add water to it if too thick or mix in some cereal if it's too thin!


One of the most frequent questions I get is about the food combos I served the quads. For breakfast foods, we did baby organic oatmeal cereal mixed with fruit and, eventually, Greek yogurt. Below is a list of some of the combos we served frequently for lunch and dinner. Feel free to copy and paste this into a printable document for your own fridge! It helped our grandparents and other volunteers who were assisting us often in those early days to know what foods mixed well together.

Squash + apple
            Peas + pear
            Sweet potato + apple
            Carrots + apple
            Carrots + sweet potato + apple
            Zucchini  + banana
            Zucchini + pear + apple
            Corn + apple
            Corn + sweet potato + apple
            Corn + squash
            Kale + peas + pear
            Kale + spinach + pear
            Kale + apple
            Spinach + pear
            Spinach + apple
            Butternut squash w/ cinnamon
            Broccoli + apple
            Avocado + apple
            Mango + apple + kale
            Green beans + pear
            Zucchini + pear + rice
            Sweet potato + carrots + peas + green beans + rice
            Spinach or kale + zucchini + carrot + pear
            Carrots + kale + sweet potato
            Cherries + corn + Greek yogurt
            Strawberries + spinach or kale + applesauce
            Squash + banana + sweet potato


So there you have it! Any questions? Leave 'em for me in the comments section and I can shed any other details I may have up my sleeve. Making all that baby food was a very proud accomplishment for me, I knew exactly what my babies were eating and they really seemed to enjoy it all.
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{Daily Pics} Sunflowers & Things

The drywall repairs and new paint started on the house today. Which is great news, because this apartment got even smaller yesterday. One of the kiddos didn't think nap time was such a swell idea (even though I insisted that it was) and I really just wanted to go sit in a room where I couldn't hear the protesting. But even with the baby monitors muted, it's just a two-bedroom apartment and there's nowhere to go. Unless I close the door to my room then to my bathroom then get in the shower and turn it on.

So basically we're all happy to hear that things are progressing on the new digs and should be ready for our grand move-in date of July 4. Although I don't intend to make it a habit to move on holidays, seeing as we left our last house in Houston on Easter weekend. The quads do consume our daily schedule so a holiday tends to be like any other day...and a weekend day tends to be just like a weekday. Sometimes it's a bit anti-climatic because I'll get all excited thinking, "Oh, tomorrow's Saturday!" But in reality, I have breakfast ready by 8am and start the day like usual and we have all the same feeding times and nap times. It's wonderful to have daddy home, though, and we're usually game to gather up the group and get out for a little galavanting. (See how I did that there? With all the G's?)

Anyway, here's some photos from the past couple days and expect some more house updates soon. My trigger finger is gettin' itchy and I'm about to start sneaking boxes of things to the new place. I've been going over in the mornings to meet with contractors and check on the repairs, so a little drop-off might be in play soon. Just gotta find something I can pack that I don't need in the next eight days...

{i always keep fresh flowers wherever i live....love these blooms for summer}

{kailey discovers the simplest curiosities can be so entertaining}

{an active shot of my four one-year-olds}

{logan's face cracks me up every time in this photo}
Happy almost-hump-day!
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{Quad Squad} 12+ Month Update!

I have to say I was a little sad when I took the babies 12 month pictures and realized that marked the end of their month-to-month photo shoots. (Of course, around these parts, photo shoots are never truly over!) I really enjoyed chronicling their impressive transition from teeny premature babies to healthy almost-toddlers. Now, I guess, it'll be on to yearly family portraits!

12 months, left to right: trystan, kailey, harrison & logan
1 month old (first photo shoot!), left to right: trystan, kailey, harrison & logan
In just the past month, which entails most of their 12th month of life, we've begun transitioning into a lot of new things. For starters, we're officially done with jumperoos and swings. We used those darn things right up until the last minute but now the babies' attention spans don't appreciate being stuck in one place and they do better in their play pen. Which involves another change, that corral just keeps growing! I can't wait until we're in the new house and they will have an entire room as their play area.


We just recently went to the pediatrician for the 12 month appointment—we were running a little behind schedule on that one. They got great reports and everyone is in fantastic health and right on track. In fact, we're evening measuring ahead! Developmentally (cognitive, motor skills, etc.) they are measuring 16-17 months!! I couldn't be more proud of my fantastic four, they're doing awesome


After the doctor appointment, I went through Chick-Fil-A and treated us all to lunch at the drive-thru. The babies got waffle fries and chicken nuggets (I dice them up and they gobble them down) and myself, my mom and my nanny all ordered our favorites. I also got some ice cream that I let the babies try out after lunch as a special treat. Harrison and Logan loved it, Trystan was too tired to care and Kailey just kept spitting it out, totally confused as to how it melted.


I was also glad to hear I was on the right track with our bottle weaning and increased table foods. Bottles are just about over. We introduced milk over a week ago and two of the babies have taken to it very well and two have not. One of the latter being Harrison, who makes the best this-tastes-absolutely-terrible-why-are-you-making-me-drink-this face every time he has to take a sip. (They drink out of sippy cups with straws.) But he still chugs along and does his best to take a gulp now and then. Spoon feeds are slowly coming to an end, as well. More and more table food is gradually being introduced, although the quads still struggle with slimy textures, like fruits, pasta, lunch meat and so on. But with continued practice, they're improving so we'll keep on with some spoon feeding to ensure they're getting enough to eat until they're more table food-capable.



Much bigger news is that Harrison is walking! He's like a wee little old man shuffling around on his cute little feet, and he's doing a great job. He can walk all the way down the hallway of the apartment, which I got on camera recently. He also loves to grab your hands for support and have you just walk all over the place with him! Kailey is starting to appreciate the practice as well and Logan has recently begun trying to take a couple steps on her own with Trystan right behind her.

Harrison Walking from Texas Take on Vimeo.

The baby bathtub has been mostly eliminated and the babies are now bathed two at a time by two adults—you might recall my disaster attempt at sticking all four kids in the tub! They love their rubber duckies and bath toys, and I recently got those little foam shapes that stick to the side of the tub and those were an instant hit.



As they continue to work on their mobility, the quad squad as a whole wants to climb on everything. Over their toys, under their toys, on top of your lap then on your head, and occasionally they'll latch a toe or two in the corral fence surrounding their area. That's as far as they've gotten but I'll cry real tears of sorrow when they can no longer be contained by a simple barrier. The crew has also taken a real interest in mommy's hair and like to tangle it up in their fingers then yank it out. I've joked that these babies are causing me to lose my hair, but not over stress—because they are pulling it up by the roots!





Everyone has at least four teeth with three to four more cutting through. That's a lot of teething and it's certainly made for grumpier babies here and there. We'll have a decent day or two then teething rears its ugly head again and everyone's in utter turmoil for 24 to 48 hours again. Infant Advil, cold teething toys and random objects seem to suffice. When all else fails, I give them a cookie to crunch on. Thank God for small mediations that curb the insanity once in a while!

daddy and trystan
Lots of changes made with more to come and soon, so very soon, we'll have a big ol' house to adapt to...and baby proof. Which could be a week-long event in itself. Either way, these days are not ticking by fast enough and I'm about to pull out my own hair. We are currently slated to begin the moving process on July 4. Do we move the babies first? Or do we move them last? But what time do we move them to the new house to least disrupt their schedule? Do we feed them before we go or after? When should we schedule the movers to empty out the storage? Except, everything we have in the apartment are necessities, so when do we pack that up? Decisions, my friends, decisions....
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New House Progress Report + Baby Bedroom Sneak Peeks!

So right now there's a hole in my living room ceiling. And one in the formal living room wall. And another in the wet bar. And the entire area behind the refrigerator is quarantined. I've got dry wall contractors and painters booked, and air duct technicians just finished sanitizing and cleaning one of our two a/c units that had become infected with mold.

In fact, mold has been to blame for much of this mess! We knew upon purchasing the house that there had been some ongoing leaks for the roof, which was in dire need of replacement. Before we closed on the house, the sellers had the roof replaced, which repaired the leaks but they were not budging on anything else. So the husband and I decided we loved the home so much that we'd just deal with it ourselves. Pouring a good amount of money into the place wasn't exactly what we had in mind before we could even move in, but I know in the long run it'll be worth it. It's our "forever home" as we keep calling it and having it in good shape is important, both now and later.



Several areas of baseboard had become rotted and infected with mold so they've been pulling out foot after foot of baseboards and several sections of wall, treating the mold and spraying it as they go. I'm happy to say that once everything is completely wrapped up, our house will be very clean! Which is good news for my bad allergies and the four babies we'll have within its walls.

Regardless to say, it's been very taxing (both emotionally and physically) to investigate contractors, meet them sporadically for estimates, select workers, oversee the progress and keep everybody from bumping into each other or overlapping too much. I leave the babies with my nanny or my mom for an hour or so when I need to run out to the house or the husband escapes work during his lunch hour, it's like playing wack-a-mole and we're popping in and out all over the place!

In between all of this, of course I've been contemplating new furniture, decor and details for how I want to set up our new place. Many (many, many, many) things will have to wait until we've settled in, taken stock of what we have and re-calibrated our budget. Sigh. But I have picked up a couple things to get me kick-started on one of the kid's bedrooms and found some other helpful photos on Pinterest that have inspired a theme.

Logan and Trystan will be sharing this room...

that corner bench opens up as a laundry chute to the washer/dryer below and will be bolted shut once we're in the house. no little babies need to go for a flight test!
and yes, that's a weird shaped window. with a weird shaped custom blind, ha.

...which we are having painted these colors (the light green goes below the chair railing)...



...and these are my inspired room pics. I want a few owls but nothing overboard and a light, airy color scheme with mostly light green, pale pink and cream.



So far, I've found a great starting piece in this owl wall hanging, a colorful picture frame for $3.99 and some sheer curtains, a score for $8!


This gem of a room is going to be Harrison and Kailey's. But I'd seriously like to knew who the hell authorized these paint colors. And those diamonds. Shudder. But I do like the nifty built-ins.


I'm putting white and gray in their room, with the gray to go on the bottom half of the wall. (The white is pretty white in person, it's looking very creamy in the image.) At some point, my mom and I will go in and paint gray stripes on the white wall that'll be above the chair railing. We did a similar striped painting job in my office at our previous home. In fact, you can read my how-to here.


I envision it looking something like the image below, and I definitely intend to use turquoise as an accent color and I'd already planned on working in a couple elephants. I know, I'm on an animal kick here!

Currently, we're planning to go with Behr paint since we've had great luck using it in the past. However, depending on the dry wall/paint contractor we end up with, we may transition to a different brand with the same hues.

I'm also ordering two white cribs as soon as we start to move, since they'll be on two-day shipping. They are going to be the same brand and model as the two cribs we already have that are dark brown (those will go in Trystan and Logan's room) and the babies will finally get to quit sharing beds. Even though they snuggle at night and sleep very well together!

I love how the two rooms are close to each other and also connected with a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. It'll be great as they grow older! The kiddos will be splitting rooms until the day someone comes up to me with a serious issue about it. I'm hoping I get at least 10 years. ;) When that day comes, we'll likely move Harrison to the remaining downstairs bedroom—which has it's own bathroom and shower—and let the girls divvy up the rooms to their liking. Although with three teenage girls in my future, I'm not sure that hair pulling, lipstick smearing and name calling won't be involved.

(For curious minds puzzled as to why we aren't immediately using the downstairs bedroom: We want all the babies upstairs with us at night for the time being, and the downstairs room is for overnight guests like grandparents who come help us with the babies frequently!)


In the meantime, excitement is mounting and we're just dying to get into our house and start unpacking. I've purchased a few other small things but have now put myself on a buying freeze (that may have been mandated encouraged by the husband) until we are farther along!

pretty blue bath towels were $5/apiece at Home Goods as well as two beige curtains for $12!

this rug and basket were clearance buys at target, i know they'll find a good home ;)
We keep joking we're going to start hauling boxes over there, except that we literally only kept necessities in the apartment so there's not much to part with that wouldn't impact our daily life. Thus I'll have to settle for paper towels and toilet paper in the new place and a bottle of spray cleaner in case I have to wait on a contractor and feel like wiping a few things down.


Not much longer...
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{Quad Squad} The One Year Birthday Party!

I spent about three, nearly four, months planning the quad's one year birthday party. Even in our cramped two bedroom box apartment, I stashed party supplies, cake mixes and decorations weeks ahead of time. It was a major event for us, marking the survival of our first year with quads, the babies' own huge milestone, my birthday—which was a few days before the party—and a chance to get out of the apartment and enjoy time with friends and family. So we loaded up our suburban (with the babies) and a small U-Haul (with our, um, haul for 2.5 days) and headed to Cedar Creek Lake!

the home owners were gracious enough to provide four high chairs.
after the cake smashing, they got hosed down and left in the sun to dry :)
It had already been a colossal week of preparations. My nanny and I had worked hard to make extra baby food, both to pack for the weekend and to be stocked up on when we returned home so I didn't have as much on my plate. (Whenever I travel, the conditions upon returning home are almost as important to me as the condition in which we depart.) I'd been hoarding party supplies in the babies' tiny closet in their room at the apartment and packed bags by category, so all the paper goods were in one bag, decorations in another, etc. It made set-up easier when we started hauling stuff out later!

the best shot i could get of all four at the party without them being held. wiggle worms!
I'd already bought all the non-perishable food items about a week before and two days prior to leaving for the lake house, I made a big trip to Sam's and Walmart for the rest. The morning of,  I went to pick up the sheet cake I'd ordered from Sam's for all our guests....only to find they had no cake and no record of an order anywhere. I was both very upset and disappointed, since we've gone through many sheet cakes from Sam's for various family events with no problems at all. They've always looked nice, tasted great and been very affordable. After giving me lip and asking repeatedly when I'd placed the order (like I was the one who lost it), the bakery lady I was dealing with finally said she'd throw something together. And throw, she did. She spelled Kailey's name wrong, put the punctuations in the wrong place and didn't do the cake decorations how I'd asked. She even argued with me about the colors! Finally I got it close enough—but it still wasn't what we'd originally ordered—and the bakery manager gave me a 50% discount with her apologies. I was livid by the time I left but decided upon arriving home that if that was the worst thing I had to deal with all weekend, I'd survive!

the "disaster" sheet cake for the birthday party
The husband and I long ago had decided we wanted to do a lake house party for the big event. First off, it just sounded fun. Secondly, we knew we wouldn't have a house ready to host a big shindig. And thirdly, not only did we end up not having a house yet, we were living in a small apartment. After tossing around a few weekend dates and various locations, we settled on a newly rented-out casa right on the shores of Cedar Creek. When we walked in, I was smitten with the wall-to-wall view of the lake right through the oversized windows. Loved it.

sunset view from inside the house



It was Friday afternoon when we arrived, so we set the babies up in their new play area and unloaded and unpacked everything. Our friends arrived soon after, which included my roommate from college, Lisa, and her husband and their baby (who is 16 days older than the quads!), the husband's brother and, later, the husband's parents. We grilled fajitas for dinner after the babies all went to bed and drank cold beers on the patio then played a rousing game of Mad Libs in the living room while I decorated—and occasionally hooked someone else into hoisting a banner or setting up a few odds and ends with me.




me with my crew!
Unfortunately, our babies didn't take to their new nighttime surroundings flawlessly, despite our best efforts. It'd be hot in the house all day because the a/c had been set high, so it had finally cooled off but teething had also recently hit a crescendo among the group and Logan wasn't having it. The others had finally fallen asleep but she kept waking up off and on, even though we'd given her Advil earlier. She spent some time in bed with us, cried in her pack-and-play some more, spent more time in bed with us and by 3am had to work it out in her pack-and-play while we held pillows over our heads and tried to rest.

our sleeping arrangements
Morning came far too soon and, of course, all the quads were sleeping peacefully as their normal breakfast time of 8am came and went! We decided we could all use a few extra minutes so none of us got out of bed until after 8:30. I had my nanny help me prepackage their frozen pureed foods into ziploc bags, labeled by day, so all I had to do was microwave it to melt, add rice or oatmeal cereal or yogurt or whatever and we were good to go. I'd also prepackaged finger food snacks for the babies, like bags of cheerios, animal crackers, graham crackers, fruit pieces, etc. Made meal times a cinch so I could concentrate on everything else!

pre-packaged pureed meals for the quads made feedings easy!
The adults ate homemade breakfast tacos then I got to work prepping food for the birthday party and making sure stuff was as ready as it could be. Those around us were so sweet to pitch in with anything and everything and our former nanny we had in Houston and her fiance showed up late morning and she was all too excited to see the now-toddler aged quad squad!

i hung several banners i'd handmade for the event


a display table with items from the quad's stay in the NICU, like preemie-sized pacifiers and onesies,
teeny tiny diapers and their decorated name tags (in the frames) that hung on their isolettes



the coffee table held scrapbook-like albums i've made
for every three months of the babies' first year of life...one left to go for the 9-12 month stage!

When the first guests began to arrive, I was still getting food and drinks ready and it was a mad dash to get the chicken and hot dogs grilled—the husband did a phenom job on those, by the way—all the fare spread on the table to serve, beer iced down, wine and soft drinks, tea and lemonade set out, bake the babies smash cakes (I totally should've started those earlier in the day but was still tired from someone who didn't want to sleep in their pack-and-play!) and greet everyone who came through the door. But a sweaty, hectic hour or so later and I sat down to eat a plate myself and chat with family and friends. It was also so awesome that so many folks brought appetizers or drinks to contribute, and we definitely had a feast!


i'd had caprese skewers on the menu from the beginning, they are simple toothpick skewers of grape tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar. my friend lisa sat and assembled them all. ;)



daddy and kailey

grandpa and logan
After everyone had eaten, April helped me ice the smash cakes. There were two things I forgot on this particular event: the sprinkles to decorate the top of their cakes with the numeral "1" and to empty the video camera memory card so it wasn't full. Alas, the babies had to get yellow cakes iced with plain white icing and the video stopped recording about five seconds after everyone started singing Happy Birthday. I wanted to be upset and was very frustrated with myself, but at the end of the day we got tons of photos and snippets of video and it ended up working out just fine. Some things you just have to let go, so I did. Albeit with a white-knuckled, clenched fist. ;)







We had stripped the babies down to their diapers for the cake smash, which was one of the smartest decisions I'd made all day. Trystan took to cake smashing like a fish to water. In went both fists, grabbing and squishing as much cake as she could muster. She smeared the icing on her face, her arms, her diaper, legs and even my shirt. I also had a streak of cake icing in my hair, which I'm sure is all the rage these days. Kailey was a little more timid but did get the hang of it and became a bit more ambitious with her cake smashing after Trystan reached over and took some of it. Harrison was slow to destroy his dessert but also enjoyed it once he got steam rolling. Meanwhile, Logan was very calculated about she wanted to tackle her cake and Grandma eventually gave her a spoon, which Logan stuck in the icing and then licked it off. Smart girl!

Smash Cakes! from Texas Take on Vimeo.


April and I tag-teamed baths so once the cake smashing was done, we took two babies at a time and bathed them in the tub—in what, inevitably, became sugary cake water—then dried and dressed them. They smelled like baby lotion and sweet icing. Yum.

Next were gifts, of which everyone was incredibly kind and thoughtful to even bring and the kiddos got some great stuff. We're so excited they are becoming mobile and are able to play with more toys, ride around on their little toddler rides and climb on anything they can manage a foot hold! They helped the husband and I tear the wrapping paper and eat pull tissue paper out of the gift bags. We can only imagine the excitement that will continue to mount over the next couple years as they grow older and understand gift giving, opening presents as well as birthdays and holidays!








Shortly after, we put the babies down in their pack-and-plays to cool off and rest for awhile. They all took naps (their third for the day!) and we got a chance to sit down and have a beer and chat with guests. That evening, after the babies had their dinner and were off to bed, we baked French bread pizzas in the oven and sat around a patio table outside with the remaining group playing Mad Libs, drinking and eating. It was the perfect way to unwind and enjoy our scenery!




Our getaway on Sunday was quick. We had breakfast, fed the babies breakfast, I made pink lemonade cookies for my niece's birthday party that afternoon and we loaded. And loaded. And loaded. It was no secret we took a ton of supplies with us to the lake and we knew it'd be a lot of hard work, but it definitely paid off to have everything we needed and it was nice to have the space to host family and friends for the celebration we knew we wanted. Plus, the lake views were beautiful!




We stopped by my sister's house for her daughter's birthday party on the way home and let the babies roam around and play with their multitude of toys. They had a blast, which wasn't a surprise since they inherit the majority of their toys from my sister's house once her kiddo has outgrown them! We fed them their 3:30 bottles then packed them back in the suburban and headed for the apartment. I can't quite end that we drove off into the sunset and fed the babies dinner and put them to bed without including this photo...


...because that's what it looked like when we unloaded most of the stuff we'd packed. And by most, I mean some of it went to storage that same evening and isn't even pictured. Why yes, we live in a shoe. But it's only for a few more weeks and then those one-year-old babies of mine will have a wonderful new home to roam and grow up in. One year down, many more to go—and I'm loving every second!

mom & dad with our kiddos
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P.S. Upcoming posts: a new house progress report with room sneak peaks for the quads and a "12+" month update...are bottles truly over?!
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