Friday, July 09, 2010

A new chapter in our lives…SCHOOL!

(written yesterday~ Thursday~ afternoon)

So…yes…I have been absent lately because there have been some MAJOR changes in the Steece household! I have debated whether or not to put this on my very public blog, but I want to remember every detail about this time in our lives…and my blog has been and will always be, first and foremost, our personal family journal. So here it goes…

The kids have started a Mother’s Day Out program (we call it “school”) at a local church and attend twice a week!

(Stephen Joseph lunch sacks---each child picked out their own!)IMG_4798



(Reversible Lillian Vernon nap mats with attached pillow)



Here are the boys (Andrew, Ethan, and Ben), modeling their toddler backpacks that have been sitting in the closet for almost 2 years!

(May 2010)06 june 20103






I have been dying to use the packs, ever since Miss Barbara made them for the kiddos when they were wee little babes! (Thanks again, woman! They are perfect!)





The day I pulled the backpacks out of the closet, the kids would not take them off!



Ahh, the first day of school (this pic was actually the 2nd day, b/c the 1st day was filled with me running around like a crazy woman…organized chaos, if you will)

Sav, Drew, Ethan, and Ben- June 2010. Hate that it is so blurry.



Oh yeah, did I mention the part where I get to go back to work twice a week while the kids are at school? I cannot tell you how much I have missed nursing. When I had to go on bedrest with the quads, it was very difficult to quit working. Being a RN is such a huge part of who I am…so, needless to say, it was aIMG_0223 struggle for me to find a “new norm” once the babies were here. I never in a million years dreamed that I would be a stay-at-home-mom. That being said, I would not have traded it in for the world!

I am working in the recovery room and operating room at an amazing outpatient surgery center.  Great staff, great doctors, incredible boss! Despite the fact that my entire paycheck is going to pay for quad schooling…it is just the break I need to be a better Mommy/Wife/Person.  I LOOOOVE using my skills again and leave work every time, in an euphoric state! Not kidding. This is me on my way to work. :) Could my smile BE any bigger?!?!


We had been preparing for “school” by watching DVD’s and talking a lot about what takes place. The kids were SO unbelievably excited! We split the quads up into 2 different rooms: Ben & Andrew/ Sav & Ethan. (Sav and Ben are SO co-dependent on each other, and we separated the identicals to help the teachers. If their own father can’t tell them apart, then the teachers don’t stand a chance! haha)

(Drew, Ben, Sav, and Ethan during “Wear your favorite team” week.  One of my favorite pics of all time! My cute little brown babies!)



Day 1, who cried, who didn’t? Here are the stats:

-Andrew immediately walked in and started playing with toys, oblivious

- Ethan was a little weepy and teary eyed, lip quivering, but held it together, very quiet

- Ben started playing with toys but then lost it when he realized that I was leaving

- Sav threw a ROYAL fit…like, broke down the gate in the doorway TWICE. SCREAMING her bloody head off. YIKES! Lol.


As I was rushing to put the backpacks/lunches/nap mats/ and water bottles in their designated areas (while my daughter was having an absolute panic attack), the teachers were all looking at me with gentle eyes and furrowed brows: “How are YOU doing, Mom? You okay?…” To which I chuckled and said, “ABSOLUTELY! You guys enjoy!” and ran out of there beaming with a grin from ear-to-ear! Come to find out later, Ben and Sav cried for each other several times throughout the day…not for Mama, mind you…but for each other. How sweet is that?! The teachers had to finally let them hug & love on each other so that they would settle down. Awwwwwwww




It has been SOOOO good for the kids to be around other children and make new friends. They are learning to follow directions from other adults besides Mommy & Daddy. They are learning Bible songs and stories---coming home and telling me all about it. We have seen real growth from them as individual little people…amazing to experience.  I was nervous about the whole potty training, but they have been great at school and tell their teachers when they need to visit the “facilities”.  ;)

(Ethan, Sav, Andrew and Ben- the 2nd day of “Wear your favorite team” week)



Joe and I crack up at the crafts that they bring home. You look at Sav’s which are all decorated with stickers and coloring, every inch is covered with something, etc…then pull out her brother’s papers and they have like ONE sticker. Its hilarious. Sav is LOVING those crafts. And after the first week, they simply adore going to school and wave bye with a big ‘ole smile! (Well, Ben has had some rough mornings, but  we’ve finally turned a corner!)

(E, S, A, B: “Red Rover, Red Rover, let Shiloh come over”)



However, as with many children in daycare…my kiddos have been hit hard with the “crud”. Ben has pneumonia, strep throat, pink eye, and an ear infection.

(I just went and snapped these pics as they awoke from their naps- yikes!)


Ethan has bilateral ear infections, and bilateral pink eye.


Both are running crazy high fevers (Ben was up to 104 yesterday) and Ben is coughing like crazy. Last night, Sav started running a high fever and coughed all through the night…waking up crying, and drenched in sweat. NEW UPDATE: Spent last night and this morning with Sav in the ER because her symptoms progressed to tachycardia, tachypnea, wheezing & diminished lung sounds in all lung fields (yes, I pulled out the trusty ‘ole stethoscope) and a fever that would not budge. Sav has joined the ranks of Ben with pneumonia. Poor gal. :( She looks a LOT worse than this pic from yesterday.


I ended up sleeping with her in the guest room.  Drew was very sick a couple of weeks ago and I’m guessing that he passed it around to all of his siblings…aww, wasn’t that sweet of him?: (tsk, tsk)



I guess this is part of it---since our kids haven’t really been around other children on a consistent basis. But like my sis-in-law, Ashley told me (God love her positivity):  “They are just strengthening their immune systems. And better now, during the summer, so they will be better equipped to fight off the same bugs this fall/winter.” So wise. Love her.


So in between breathing treatments and frequent medicating… (Yes, type-A Suz had to make a chart to keep up with all the different meds, ending on different days, taken at different times- now I need to add Sav’s meds to the list!)


…we are resting, eating lots of soup, watching our favorite movies, and washing our hands like crazy.


***For the safety and privacy of my family, specific information regarding the school and my place of work will not be disclosed. Thank you so much for your understanding.***


suz signature


Jess said...

How fun!!!!

I can't believe how grown-up they look. They are losing that "baby look" and are starting to look like big kids.

LOVE, love, love Sav's purple striped dress. Too cute.

Besides getting the sickies, I'm glad they are enjoying "school." It's got to be such a learning experience for them, both in your normal learning stuff, as well as learning to be more independant of each other. However, so cute that Ben and Sav need quick loves to get through the day, lol.

Also, how nice for you to get back to nursing!!!

Thanks for sharing!! :)

Cameron and Rachel said...

We will be starting the MDO program in September with my 2 yr old and I am a little nervous. Thanks for sharing this. And where did you get the backpacks...they are ADORABLE. We have a camo lunch bag and I have been trying to find the perfect backpack.

Love Being a Nonny said...

Wow! Just Wow! You amaze me. You don't even have to do it still amaze me! Your children are precious! So sorry to hear they are sick. They look so pitiful...not to mention that you must be exhausted!!! Pray they are well soon!

Murry Mayhem said...

Bless their sweet little hearts! I hope they all get better soon! I bet your enjoying having a few days to do something else that you love! I always thought I would be a stay at home mom, but after staying with mine for a while, I knew it was better for us to have some time apart! LOL!!! But I wouldn't trade any of it for the world!

Shosh said...

my daughter, who is exactly 20 days younger than your kids, just started "school" which is actually camp at a local community center. i was nervous id feel guilty about sending her but she LOVES it and it makes me a better mommy. So glad the kids are doing well, they are adorable!

Stephanie said...

Those pictures melt my heart! They all love eachother so much and those smiles are precious!
Of course the last few pictures broke my heart. Poor babies :(
Hope they are feeling better soon!

I agree, they will either have to strengthen their systems now or whe they start kindergarten!
Get it out of the way now!

So excited to hear about their new journey through school! (we called it school too!)

And last..congrats on the new job! I know that you are going to enjoy every second!!

Crystal said...

How ADORABLE! Your kids are absolutely precious. Love them. And how exciting for them to be in school and you to be working again!!

Random question... I can't remember. Are the kids in 2 separate rooms now? Do you have pics to share of their rooms?

A Living Hale said...

This might be one of my favorite posts! Minus the sickness of course, I hate that for them! But the lunch sacks, backpacks, day 1 stats, etc., I love how informative and fun to read it is! You are so blessed with 4 absolutely beautiful children! Your blog is always, always one of my favorites to read!

A Living Hale said...

This might be one of my favorite posts! Minus the sickness of course, I hate that for them! But the lunch sacks, backpacks, day 1 stats, etc., I love how informative and fun to read it is! You are so blessed with 4 absolutely beautiful children! Your blog is always, always one of my favorites to read!

Jamie said...

You are such a great Mommy!!! Those kids look so happy and well adjusted.. not to mention beautiful!!!! I hope they feel better. Watching them "grow up" via blog is fun!!! Go organized mommy!!There would be no other way to keep yourself sane. Gig Em'!!!!

Baylee's Mommy said...

Poor babies! Those pictures are hard to look at :( I was crackin' up major about the kids referring to the potty as "facilities". HILARIOUS!

Barbara Manatee said...

Congrats on your return to work!! I am a teacher and while I often long for the chance to be a SAHM, I love my job and the challenges it provides. I worked hard to get where I am and love that I am making an impact in other children's lives each day AND....getting the chance to give my OWN kids a variety of learning and social experiences as they grow.

Sorry to hear the kiddos are all sick already. Its a tough road to build immunity but whether they do it now or when they start kindergarten, it'll happen. Hopefully nothing gets too serious (poor Sav!) and you're all healthy and happy again soon!

Halli Matheny said...

I've been following your blog since you were pregnant, but haven't commented much. I have 3 kiddos (ages 13, 11, & 9). I've been a stay at home mom since my oldest was 7 months old but they were all in preschool and all were sick a lot when they first started school. Now, they are hardly ever sick. In fact, it's been at least a year since any of mine have had a fever. When they do get sick, it is usually very mild and short lived. So, like your sister in law said, this is great for their little immune systems! They are so cute!

Casey's trio said...

Oh Suz! Love that the kiddos are enjoying "school" and God bless the "vacation" that work brings! There are still days I have to peel the girls off me when I drop them off and then I RUN like crazy with a grin on my face too! I'm sorry that the kiddos are sick :( It's so rough when it gets passed around. Knock on wood, we've yet to experience pink eye or strep. Hoping the kiddos bounce back quickly!

Sarah said...

I don't know why you would ever feel the need to leave a disclaimer about your childrens school! With the Internet you never know who is actually reading your
blog! If people get offended something is wrong! LOL I am blessed to have a chance to read about your sweet babies.
Good luck with "school" I always loved when my kids could say the pledge of allegience so adorable!! Isn't it funny being a stay at home Mom and going to a part time
job for a break?! That
is awesome and tooo funny!

Kristen and Andy said...

Wow - you really are supermom!! :) My daughter is also at 'school' a few days/ week (summers only 2 days and fall is 3 days) and it is just so great for them to be out with other kids. Makes a world of difference in them (and for me -ha!) Can't wait until her little brother joins her next fall. So glad you got to go back to a job you love - and yes I agree it will help in every aspect in your life - enjoy your time away :)

Sorry to hear about all the 'crud' the kids got from daycare....but I say the same thing - get their immune systems used to it now so when they are in real school...they will be just fine :) Hope they feel better soon!

Nicole said...

Poor things!!! But your sister in law is right...better now in the summer so they should be all prepared for the fall and hopefully won't catch as many bugs or get it as bad.

Hope they all start to feel better soon and hope Mom & Dad can survive it! :)

Erin said...

gah! can I say how JEALOUS I am that your MDO goes through the summer?! Mine was over the 3rd week of May and doesn't start again until September. Makes for a LONG summer home with a 3yo and 2yo twins.

Chelsa said...

they look so much older!
they are all precious!
too bad they have the sickies :( hope they feel better soon!

their lunch pails are PRECIOUS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Phew - those ARE big changes! I'm so happy for you that you're nursing again. That's great! And it sounds like school is awesome for the kids. Congratulations all around!

I'm so sorry about all the sicknesses. When you listed off everything Ben has, I did a double take: "Wait, you mean he has all of those AT ONCE?!" Wow. Hang in there - I hope everyone feels better soon. And Ashley's perspective about their immune systems is spot on!


Betsy Black said...

So cute! Gig'em!

Katie said...

I'm so sorry the kiddos have been sick, but so true that their immune systems will be so much better for it. I am so happy for you to be getting to go back to work, that is wonderful! The kiddos will have so much fun at school!! By the way, LOVE the Aggie outfits!! ;)

Sonya said...

You are busy! That's cool that you were able to go back to work for awhile! I'm impressed that you were able to leave when the kids were upset! I know it's hard, but so much easier than dragging the good-bye out! They always survive!

Charla Liedahl said...

I got tired just READING this post. You have your hands full...but with wonderful little people! I love reading about your cute little family and watching the kids hit milestones. When my oldest started preschool our entire (formerly healthy) family was hit hard with illness, as well. It suppose it's par for the course. Anyhow, I hope you are all healthy soon and enjoying this phase!

Paige said...

Yay!! I am the driector of our churches mother's day out program and love it mor me (I am a teacher before I was a mommy!) and for my daughter. I know the quads will just love it! And it is so good for them developmentally to be around other kids their age (that weren't in the womb with them!) and to have other authority figures than mom or dad. So glad you are also getting to do something you love again! Thanks for sharing!

KatieB. said...

I love this post! The kids look so happy (except the sick pics...) and so do you. Good for you for going back to work!!

asplashofsunshine said...

I am so jealous of your mommy skills with 4. I only have 2 and I am so completely overwhelmed more often than not. ANYWAY... the school is probably the best thing you could ever do for the kids. Enjoy your time at work, and any free moments you happen to muster up.

The Cochran Crew said...

You never cease to amaze me Mrs. Lautner! You can make even a medicine chart look cool! Love you to the moon and back!

Ling! said...

I love it when I find another mama who loves to work because it makes her feel like a better mom when she returns! It's rare to find. I looooove my job (teacher). Just wish I could be a bit more flexible with it like you have with nursing! Good for you for having the best of both worlds. :)

Loved this post!

Gig 'em!

Michael and Hannah said...

Suzanne, you are SUCH a great mom... so glad you're getting some time to yourself (sort of) to do something you love!

Anonymous said...


Love your blog!
My husband is a chiropractor. My kids have been adjusted since birth. They are rarely sick. Research it and do a test. Have two children adjusted regularly all year and see for yourself who gets over sicknesses quickest. You'll be impressed.
Again, love your blog!

Cori said...

Your kids are sooooo cute! Love those backpacks too!! Enjoy your "freedom" of going back to work! Thanks again for sharing your beautiful family with all of us!

Mama Llama said...

Good for you! And for the Quads! I love the pics of their first days! I was shocked and impressed when you said you were nursing on those days. I soak up my School days when kiddos are gone to do all my errands and cleaning and fun lunches out with friends... Hopefully you have another day of the week when a sitter can help you?

But I agree... my children started their summer program last week and on the first day later at Dinner my husband asked why everything was running so smooth and I was so calm and refreshed... I just looked at him and said "we've had a really great day... because the kids were gone from 9-1. And I was able to get things done and the fully enjoy and engage them"

I am a better mom with my kids in school. Not sure what we will do now with our move to DC... not the best public options, and private is SO expensive here.

Becca said...

Keep on keepin on, girl. You all have been on a quite a journey recently. Thanks for sharing. Love the pictures. See you at work.

Annetta said...

Wow, getting out is worth all that crud??? Ugh. Not for me.

Anonymous said...

I was so hoping you'd blog about the quads going to school. Loved reading all about it. I think it's wonderful they are going to school and you're doing what you love. Heck..even if you weren't going to work, I still think it was a great thing. Most kids love going to preschool and it really helps them to prepare for big school. I can't wait to read little updates on them during the school year. (Christmas programs, etc)I'm a 3 year old teacher at a church's MDO program.
Hope everyone gets well soon and stays well!
Cathy in Frisco

Ashley said...

oh. mygosh. suzanne! these chillins is freakin ADORABLE!! i know you are loving having a break and using your intellect once again (not that out-witting toddlers doesn't take several brain cells). i mean, seriously, what is cuter than four tiny kids in a row with their little backpacks, all dressed up in matching clothes?! you are so blessed!

Nina @ Momma Go Round said...

That's so awesome! I only have 1 and I would LOVE to have 2 days a week without him. I love him to pieces, but sometimes mommy needs some adult time.

Glad it's going so well at school, but sorry about the sick ward!

Miranda said...

So sorry that the Quads are sick. I hope that they all will be well soon for you guys.
I love hearing about their new adventure with school. Its crazy that they are even old enough for that kind of stuff already. LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures. Abslutely adorable

Lainey-Paney said...

OMG, the sickies. So sorry!!!

Kimberly said...

New to your blog! Your children are adorable. Its great you are going back to work - for YOU! that's important and the kids will enjoy making new friends/crafts and its good for them to be away from you for a bit!
ENJOY!! Love your SMILE!

Kristi said...


I can't wait to find the twins a MDO here in G.P. I am having no luck what-so-ever!!! Glad you were able to find on :)

Charity Donovan said...

Such big kids! I LOVE their lunch fun!!!! I'm so glad you are nursing again & enjoying it!!! Awesomeness all around! Hope everyone is feeling better soon momma & you are able to get some much needed rest! LOVE you!

Anonymous said...

So glad you are able to get out a couple days a week!! What a refresher!!! You are a beautiful quad momma. Good luck with you "job"/vacation!!!!

Janessa said...

Congrats on starting back to work! Everyone needs something to call their own besides motherhood!I'm sure it must be so hard to see the kids get ill after starting school, but you're positive attitude is AMAZING and inspiring. Hope everyone feels better soon!!!!

Tamara said...

Ohh, the poor kids being sick :-(

It seems like a break for them and you is needed and will be very beneficial in a lot of ways. Good luck with the new schedule!

Alissa said...

Been there, done that, with regards to the sickies and wanted to give you LOTS of encouragement that it does get better! Sounds like you and the kids are all benefitting from this - terrific! Beautiful photos! :o)

Kalle said...

I love how big your smile is in the going to work picture. So glad you get to do what you love.

Hope the kids feel better soon.

debi9kids said...

How fun for them! (the school part, not the illness)
Some mamas just need that :)

I have been trying to figure out what to do with Emma in the fall since Will will be attending the special needs preschool. I'm hoping I can find a good Christian preschool like what you are using for your kiddies.

Stephanie said...

I think I have found my new favorite blog!!!!!

I saw your giveaway blog posted on Kelly's site - 3 kids and a minivan and then I saw your link on there so had to hop over.

Caleb and Allie (my 3 and 2 year old) are starting a preschool this fall for 2 days a week in the mornings. I - on one hand can't wait bc I get a little break but I know Allie is going to have a horrible time. I struggle with the guilt of leaving her there and how she is going to react. She has a panic attack almost if I leave the house so it's going to be interesting.

your children are absolutely beautiful and I can't help but love another busy mom since I have four (though different ages) myself :)

Hope you don't mind if I tag along for the ride.

beth ewing said...

how exciting. this was my son's first year of preschool and he loved it. i think it was a great decision for him and i think it's gonna be great for your kids. and although nothing as severe as you're going through, my never sick kid was sick alot this year. i hear it's normal for the first year of school.

beth ewing said...

how exciting. this was my son's first year of preschool and he loved it. i think it was a great decision for him and i think it's gonna be great for your kids. and although nothing as severe as you're going through, my never sick kid was sick alot this year. i hear it's normal for the first year of school.

Lisa said...

Where are those DARLING camo backpacks from on your DARLING children?!!!

Amy said...

Hurrah for WORKING! Doesn't it feel great?! And it's so good for them, making friends, learning to share, interacting with others outside of your normal home environment. Happy for you!

Heza Hekele said...

So hard when they are sick!

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