Bounce House & Grill Dinner Outside {Summer Bucket List}

For their first birthday, the quads received a mini inflatable bounce house from a family friend.  Although there tends to be a short season when we can use it, this toy earns it’s keep at our house.  It’s very popular with the neighborhood kids and about 30 minutes of bouncing almost always guarantees a good nap (my favorite part!).

Thanks to torrential floods early in the summer, we only enjoyed the bounce house a few times.  One temperate day we decided to grill burgers while the kids bounced.  Almost as soon as dinner was finished, we began to feel tiny droplets of rain.  George and I sprung into action, deflating the bounce house and folding it to keep it dry.

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©FourtoAdore.com

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©FourtoAdore.com

Mason was pleased with himself when he independently captured Diamond for a snuggle.

©FourtoAdore.com

Rylin and I decided to enjoy watching the rest of our family dance in the rain from our dry porch.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Sea Life Aquarium {Summer Bucket List}

Last summer we visited the Sea Life Aquarium and the babies really enjoyed it.  I wanted to revisit again this year because I knew they’d understand even more of it.  Just like with the zoo, we went right before they turned three so their admission would still be gratis.

All summer we practiced getting out without strollers and the kids proved themselves quite capable of walking independently.  I knew the aquarium would be lots of walking, but figured we were up for the challenge.  I asked Grandaddy and Carol to join us for the quadventure, which made getting around stroller free much easier.

All four kids were in awe of the sting rays who greeted us, and this year they were able to identify the sting rays as well as many of the other creatures.

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©FourtoAdore.com

They were impressed by the dome-shaped aquariums that made them feel part of the scene.

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©FourtoAdore.com

After exploring the aquarium, we headed to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch.  The wait was shockingly long for a weekday at 11:00 am.  Thankfully the shop and animated animals entertained the kids.

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©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

Later that evening we asked the kids what they liked best about the aquarium and several mentioned the crocodile with pennies in his mouth.  I couldn’t recall seeing this fella at the aquarium, but then realized they meant the animated crocodile outside the Rainforest Cafe.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Nature Walks {Summer Bucket List}

Either in the morning or before bedtime, we take a walk around the neighborhood together.  I picked up tin buckets from Target’s One Spot, and sometimes the kids bring them to collect treasures found on our walk.  They received butterfly nets as birthday gifts, and we take them along sometimes.  We haven’t captured a butterfly yet, but George caught another flying insect one night.

It’s always a great adventure searching for acorns, pebbles, flower petals, and leaves.  Taking walks together has been great for burning off extra energy, making and sharing observations, chatting with our neighbors, exploring the world, and practicing walking independently.  Since the kids do really well walking together, we rarely ever use strollers and are less reliant upon cart containment in stores.

When we take walks close to bedtime, the kids usually wear pajamas.
  

In our neighborhood, there’s a wide walking trail that curves around a creek.  It’s the perfect place to spy animals in their habitats.   We have to keep an eye out for snakes though (YIKES!!!).
  

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Party Animals

Birthday parties are one of the few times it’s more cost-effective to have four children at the same time. Instead of hosting four parties throughout the year, we throw one big bash for four kids.  For the big one, we hosted a splash party at our home, and when they turned two we had a pirates and princesses soirée at the house.  I enjoy decking the house for parties,  but it’s hot outside in July and guests end up cramped in the den.  This year I decided the party would be away from home with limited prep and clean up.  We rented a local church’s jungle themed playscape.  I ran with the existing decor for a safari party.  My friend, Amber, designed custom invitations, which I printed myself.  She is expanding her Etsy shop, Texas Take, to include invitations and other printables.  For your next shindig, check out her collection.  If you don’t see something that fits your theme, she can create something unique for you.

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©FourtoAdore.com

I was disappointed at the lack of safari party supplies and favors at our local party and big box stores, but Amazon did not disappoint.  I scored paper bags at Hobby Lobby in the kid’s colors and filled them with Amazon trinkets including: neon animal print pencils, animal print notebooks, make-a-zoo animal sticker sheets, and flashlight key chains, all of which coincidentally came in the same four colors as the bags.  I also ordered each party guest a beige pith helmet to add to our party ambiance.  Keeping with our prior party tradition, my friend Jen, snapped photos of the party.  It means so much to me that she takes pictures because if it were up to me, we’d get home without a single picture.  I struggle to host parties and preserve memories of them at the same time.

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Since our party wasn’t at home, our menu consisted of easy to prep and serve kid-friendly fare: fresh fruit, veggie straws, animal crackers, popcorn, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and juice boxes.  I intended on ordering a Costco sheet cake too, but George insisted on baking and decorating blue and pink velvet cupcakes himself.  He did a fantastic job!

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As part of our party decor, I printed our three-year photos Jen shot the week prior and mounted them onto canvas using a tutorial from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body. My little project set me back about $20 and maybe 30 minutes of time.  I believe I’ll be making many more canvas photos in the future.

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©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

As party guests arrived, we snapped a quick family photo.  As usual, we weren’t successful in capturing four smiling kids, but we got this one.

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Our venue was ideal for our mix of party guests.  The quad’s little guests included another set of quads, a set of triplets, two sets of twins, and five singletons.  If you do the math, that’s lots of little people!  We also had their teenage cousins, parents, and grandparents at the party.  The littlest ones were content hanging out on the playscape while the older kids (and adults) were entertained by the arcade.

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©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

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©FourtoAdore.com

This year, we sang Happy Birthday to each of the kids individually.  They may share a birth date, but they are individual people so I try to honor that.  Rylin and Harper were slightly bashful, while Sydney soaked up the limelight and danced to the tune.

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©FourtoAdore.com

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©FourtoAdore.com

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©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

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©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

When it was time to open gifts, we lined the kids up at a table where they could be seated.  It worked really well for organization.

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©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

©FourtoAdore.com

We managed to wrangle up both sets of quads for a quad squared photo.  EIGHT three-year olds and two Ambers in one frame.  Wheesh!

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Here’s to a year with threenagers….stay tuned!

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Zoo {Summer Bucket List}

Just before the quads turned three, we took one last trip to the Fort Worth Zoo while the kids still enjoyed free admission.   We thought it was ideal summer weather with cooler than average temperatures and cloudy skies.  Shortly after our arrival, the skies fell and showered us in a drizzle.  We were able to take cover while also feeding the Koi.  The humidity following the rain chased us home sooner than we planned.  Texas humidity is miserable!


The kids received zoo memberships as a birthday gift so we’ll enjoy many more zoo visits this year!  We are really looking forward to the seasonal activities the zoo hosts annually.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Summer Reading Club {Summer Bucket List}

Starting in June, we went to the library every Wednesday morning for preschool story time.  Following story time, we headed to the children’s section where we spent about thirty minutes perusing books.  Before leaving, each child chose two books and a DVD to borrow for the week (thankfully our library system allows each borrower to check out 99 items).  To protect our loaner materials, we kept them in a basket on top of the refrigerator out of reach for little hands.


 We keep libarary books in a large basket on top of the refrigerator and only get them down when there is adequate supervision.

Since library story time typically includes a craft, we haven’t done many projects at home this summer. I really enjoy crafts with the kids so I came up with one to accompany our book/ DVD rental of  Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.  We made a cow using a paper plate, googly eyes, scraps of construction paper and glue sticks.   The majority of the crafts done at the library involve glue sticks so I thought a little practice at home was appropriate.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type Craft

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type Craft

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type Craft

I always love how when given the same materials, each child’s artwork is unique.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type Craft

Every night before bed, we choose two of the books to read on the sofa.  Sitting on the sofa gives everyone a decent view of the pictures.

Daddies Do it Different


For every 15 minutes we read to the kids, they earned a check on their Summer Reading Club chart.  Each time they filled a row on the chart, they earned a bag of prizes from the library.  We didn’t quite fill up the entire chart before the Summer Reading Club was finished, but they earned plenty of trinkets and had fun doing it.  Even though the Summer Reading Club ended, we still visit the library regularly and read daily to help the quads build vocabulary, develop early literacy skills, and use their imaginations.  Today I stumbled upon an article on Huffington Post about how reading to young children impacts brain development.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs, Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Sprinklers {Summer Bucket List}

I remember running through the sprinkler on hot summer days as a kid and wanted the quads to have the same experience.  I found this Banzai Wiggling Water Sprinkler, which is perfect for a lot of kids since it stretches long rather than spraying one small area.  Since the quads aren’t huge fans of surprise sprays to the face I left the water running on low pressure, just enough to spritz them.  The boys and Sydney had a blast running through the sprayers, but Rylin was not interested at all.  Instead, she stayed cozy and dry on the sidelines.

sprinkler

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As summer comes to a close, I’m furiously trying to update our summer bucket list.  Stay tuned!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Water Table & Sidewalk Chalk {Summer Bucket List}

Between Texas heat and potty training quadruplets, my sanity is questionable most days.  One lifesaver has been water play.   Our Little Tikes water table and iconic pink NICU bathtubs have been well used this summer.  I try to introduce novel items with water play to keep it engaging.  If I’m dressing four kids in swimsuits and setting up water, it has to last at least an hour, preferably longer.

1. Little People Bath Station

I was inspired by My Nearest and Dearest to set up a Little People water park and bath station on the front porch.  I gave each of the kids a tub filled with water, a mini bottle of baby wash, a wash cloth, and a few Little People dolls.  They spent the entire morning scrubbing dolls and squirting soap.  Lots of clean fun!

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little people bath station

2. Dish Washing Station

I borrowed this idea from a neighbor because it was brilliant.  I gave each child tub of water, a stack of play dishes, a scrub brush (I found super cute ones with animal handles at the Dollar Tree), and a Softsoap bottle filled with a little bubble bath and water. They got busy washing their dishes, and then scrubbing the patio before they jumped into the tubs themselves.  It’s hard to imagine they used to take a bath in these tubs and can barely fit inside now.

As the quads splashed around, my tootsies enjoyed a Mary Kay foot soak followed by energizing mint lotion.  I was in a foul mood that day thanks to countless potty accidents paired with many tantrums.  My little Mom foot spa worked amazingly at changing my demeanor.  I felt rejuvenated and the kids behavior seemed drastically better when I felt better.


Then….

NICU bathtime

Bath time in the NICU. Rylin is on the left and Harper the right.

And now…

NICU bathtubs

water play

3.  Condiment Bottle Squirters

Another day, I set up shop on the front porch.  I situated myself on an angle so I could supervise water play on the porch and sidewalk chalk drawings on the driveway. For water play, I used the NICU tubs and Softsoap bottles with bubbles, but also gave each of the quads an assortment of empty condiment bottles filled with colored water to mix.  I enjoyed another foot soak, this time whilst sipping fresh lemonade.   From time to time, the kids would give me a little foot treatment by pouring bubbles over my calves, which was sweet.  When we were finished playing we dumped the water tubs over the sidewalk chalk art to clean the driveway.


I love knocking out two bucket list items all at once!  Stay tuned as we wrap up the bucket list.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Bubbles {Summer Bucket List}

Earlier in the summer, we visited my grandmother in her new home.  I knew our visit was beneficial to both Grandma and the kids so I wanted to make another before summer ended.  I chose a day when my mom could help me because it’s quite an undertaking visiting with the quads.  As soon as we entered, the faces of staff, residents, and visitors illuminated.  Each bright smile made all the effort worthwhile.

To entertain the quads, Nisey brought an art kit and bubbles.  The weather was nice so we enjoyed everything on the large covered patio.  Grandma seemed to enjoy the littles in action as we chatted.

bubbles

bubbles

After we had enough outdoor fun the quads helped Nisey push Grandma’s wheelchair back to her wing of the residence.  It always warms my heart seeing the kids with Grandma.

visiting Grandma

Believe it or not, we’ve tackled nearly every item on our summer bucket list. There are just a few more to go!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Community Pool {Summer Bucket List}

Our neighborhood boasts a lovely community pool with a kiddie pool that we rarely use. Other moms have invited us to join them several times, and I’ve politely declined each invitation.  Taking four small children near water is terrifying and I’m only comfortable if we have a 2:1 child to adult ratio. The few times we’ve taken the quads swimming in larger pools, puddle jumpers were a piece of mind, but even with them the quads need very close supervision until they are strong swimmers.

George had a week off from work, which was the ideal time for us to visit our community kiddie pool.  Because the water is 12 inches deep in the kiddie pool we didn’t use puddle jumpers.  We had the place to ourselves making supervision MUCH easier.  This outing reminded me why we are extremely cautious around water.  Three of four kids lost their footing in the shallow water and went face down.  We were always close enough to perform a rescue, but it scared me nonetheless.  I think it helped the quads maintain a healthy fear of the water. Even though I’m gaining confidence taking the quads places myself, swimming is not an activity I plan to do solo anytime soon.

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The quads had a blast filling their watering cans then pouring them repeatedly

community pool

Rylin spent most of our visit scowling in a lounge chair, and therefore she was never photographed in the water.  Fearless Sydney was the only brave soul willing to stand under the mushroom.

community pool

I’m glad we used our community pool at least once this summer, but I’m not sure we will go back until next year.  I was on edge the entire time.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!