Adventures in Legoland

I feel very fortunate to have the Bell family nearby so that we can share the experience of parenting quadruplets and the babies can be raised with other quadruplets.  It normalizes the experience so much.  We’ve taken turns hosting play dates in our homes, and it’s always been great.  Now that we have toddlers, Amber suggested taking the quads for a play date away from home.  Naturally, any type of outing means a great deal of planning and W-O-R-K, but I thought it was brilliant.  I sequestered the assistance of my friend, Kristin, on a day when Amber’s nanny was available.  Thus, four of us set out to take eight babies to Legoland.

In case you ever wondered, this is what four twin strollers filled with eight babies looks like.  I do not envy Nadia Soulman one bit, eight babies is  A LOT of babies!

In case you ever wondered, this is what four twin strollers filled with eight babies looks like. Amber said it looked like a Combi convention since we have four of the same model stroller.  Maybe the two of us can start hosting “Combi Cons”.

Since we were all Leogland rookies, no one knew quite what to expect.  After purchasing our tickets, the 12 of us were greeted by electronic doors leading us into a Lego factory where a “Professor” greeted us and explained how Legos are made.  While the babies probably had no idea what the Professor was saying, they seemed to enjoy watching Legos progress through the factory, except when the batch spilled into a bucket causing a commotion.

Following our tour, we were led to an area of low light surrounded by several long ramps cordoned off by ropes.  There, a zealous pair enthusiastically greeted us and directed us to park our strollers in the “stroller park” as if this was the protocol for entry.  I’m sure the four adults in our group stared at this pair gobsmacked trying to work out how we’d manage to park four twin strollers and lead eight babies (with various levels of mobility) up a series of ramps.  Somehow we learned the ramps lead to a ride so I inquired whether it was appropriate for babies to which they replied, “everyone is welcome”.  Still the four adults were hesitant to 1. park our strollers 2. heave all the baby gear 3. lead eight babies up ramps 4. take babies on a mysterious ride.  About twenty questions in we knew it would be startling for the little ones so we opted out.

Apparently each Legoland boasts a miniature of the city where it is located.  We were thoroughly impressed with the Lego version of Dallas-Fort Worth, which was complete with Cowboy Stadium, Southfork Ranch, and my favorite, Reunion Tower.  While looking at Legos is interesting, it doesn’t help harness toddler energy.

Amber and I both snapped pictures of the babies next to Cowboy Stadium for the Quad Fathers.

Amber and I both snapped pictures of the babies next to Cowboy Stadium for the Quad Fathers.

Within the play area, we stumbled upon a giant pit of rubber Legos.  In multiples fashion, we overtook this area by encircling the pit with our strollers and dumping eight babies inside.  Our gaggle of babies undoubtedly confused the other patrons.  Most people presumed we were a twin play group, which was probably far less novel than when they realized it was two sets of quads.  Amber’s nanny dared me to claim all eight as octuplets, but there’s no way I could have done that with a straight face.  It was a humorous thought.

I think eight babies in a Lego pit is about capacity.

I think eight babies in a Lego pit is about capacity.

Well, maybe one baby was upset for a bit.  Thankfully this lasted only momentarily.

Someone was not keen on the Lego pit. Thankfully this lasted only momentarily.

I'm not sure that Kristin knew what she signed up for, but she was an amazing help during this excursion.

I’m not sure that Kristin knew what she signed up for, but she was an amazing help during this excursion.

Everyone had an opportunity to go out with just one sibling to explore and practice mobility.  I was especially proud of Sydney who began standing unassisted.

Everyone had an opportunity to go out with just one sibling to explore and practice mobility. I was especially proud of Sydney who finally began standing unassisted.

Each of the babies had a turn on the spiral slide with their mommy.  I snapped a picture of Amber & Logan.

Each of the babies had a turn on the spiral slide with their mommy. I snapped a picture of Amber & Logan.

The babies did really well handling the small Leogs and attempted connecting them.

The babies did really well handling the small Leogs and attempted connecting them.  They all tasted said small Legos, but we tried to ignore the thought of germ infestation.

I was extremely proud of all of the babies.  They explored their surroundings and remained calm during our stay with only a few exceptions.  After about an hour, the adults were totally drained so we gathered our troops and headed to the food court.  By that time, the babies were so exhausted, a few of them nodded off during lunch.  It was a successful adventure for all!

This is how you feed eight babies in a food court.  No need for strollers- simply dish out finger foods and strap sippy cups onto the stroller.  I love that these strollers have three snack catch/ drink holders per stroller.

This is how you feed eight babies in a food court. No need for strollers- simply dish out finger foods and strap sippy cups onto the stroller. I love that these strollers have three snack catch/ drink holders per stroller. (Sydney is craning her neck to see the carousel behind the strollers).

Since the babies seemed more interested in Legos than ever before, we had a little Legoland experience at home today.  I gated off our hallway, shut the doors and put only Legos Mega Blocks and their accessories out.  This kept the babies occupied nearly 30 minutes.

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Today, Harper worked very hard to attach blocks together.

Today, Harper worked very hard to attach blocks together.

After our DIY Legoland, we worked on putting everything back in the bag.  The babies did pretty well with this, but once all pieces were in the bag they tried to take them back out.

After our DIY Legoland, we worked on putting everything back in the bag. The babies did pretty well with this, but once all pieces were in the bag they tried to take them back out.

Where is your favorite place to take toddlers?

hugs!

Amber

The Little Things Thursdays: Installment #34

In honor of Thursday, it’s time to link up with A Beautiful Ruckus as we recall the little things that brightened our week.

1.  Three times is a charm for scheduling quad play dates.  Since our quad buddies, The Bell Quad Squad, settled into their new home, we’ve been trying to arrange a play date.  Thanks to toddler hood and increased outings, both sets of quads have gotten a few colds, causing us to postpone.  On Monday, it FINALLY happened!  I brought the babies for their first play date in the Bell Romper room (e.g. amazing, over sized quad-proof living room).   The babies and I always enjoy time outside of our home, exploring new places.  There’s no place better to visit than the home of other multiples.  The Bell home is equipped with everything we need from four pack ‘n’ plays to a quad table.  Plus, other parents of multiples are tolerant of multiples.  For example, Amber wasn’t ruffled when three of my four screamed bloody murder after being put down for nap.  Amber and I really enjoyed each other’s company and have exciting plans for another play date in the near future.  Stay tuned for that!

The Quad Squad has many familiar toys and some novel ones too.  The babies enjoyed playing with this toy, which is identical to one we used to have (I got antsy and purged it a few months ago).  They LOVED seeing it again.

The Quad Squad has many familiar toys and some novel ones too. The babies enjoyed playing with this toy, which is identical to one we used to have (I got antsy and purged it a few months ago). They LOVED seeing it again.

Capturing four toddlers in a single picture proved impossible.  This was my best attempt.  I spy seven babies and it looks like total mayhem.

Capturing four toddlers in a single picture proved impossible. This was my best attempt. I spy seven babies and it looks like total mayhem.

For lunch time, each set of quads took turns in the quad table.  I thought it was cute how they peered at each other through the bars on the fence as if they were jailbirds.

For lunch time, each set of quads took turns in the quad table. I thought it was cute how they peered at each other through the bars on the fence as if they were jailbirds.

2.  With the promise of fall weather coming, I brought the babies’ fall clothing boxes down, washed and sorted everything.  My friend, Jen, helped me work on the girls portion Tuesday and I was incredibly thankful for that!  I started going batty trying to match twin sets, coordinated outfits, and sort by size and gender.  With each seasonal change, I find the task of clothing transitions daunting.  At the same time, I am overjoyed with the generosity of our friends and family who clothe our babies with gifts and hand-me-downs.  We are abundantly blessed by others, and in turn we are able to share our things with many other families behind us.

As I sorted, babies had fun jumping onto the clothes pile and carrying items away.  Harper was a willing model to try new sizes from our fall collection.

As I sorted, babies had fun jumping onto the clothes pile and carrying items away. Harper was a willing model to try new sizes from our fall collection.

3.  We order many things for our home online these days so we are no stranger to UPS boxes.  This week, I was delighted to find an unexpected delivery all the way from Italy.  My mom’s cousin, Debbie, sent us these stunning blown glass turtle figurines.  She told us that she spotted them in a store front window and immediately recalled our sea turtle story.  There’s nothing that warms my heart more than when seeing sea turtles remind others of our story.

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I found the perfect place for our new turtles in the entry way below our family portraits.

4. Since Mason’s plagiocephaly was corrected by his DOC band, he was given a formal assessment by Early Childhood Intervention this morning.  I was so proud of our little man.  He worked very hard to follow directions and scored within his age range or above in all areas.  Therefore, he’s graduated from Early Childhood Intervention services!  Hooray!!!

What brought you joy this week?

hugs,

Amber

P.S. I’d like to extend a thank you to the Itz, Reese, Clements, McKenzie, Lawson, and Parr families for sharing their clothes with us!  You should be seeing some of your clothes show up on our babies in the near future.