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Stevenson quints enjoying life at new home
Keeping track of all five is current challenge.
“8-8-08 is a great day to remember,” Courtnee Stevenson said as she and her husband Mike sat down to talk as all five of Kitsap County’s first quintuplets ran about in the basement of their new home in Keyport.
Aug. 8 was the day the family of eight moved into their new home after spending more than two years living with Courtnee’s father in East Bremerton.
“It felt like we were always in transition even prior to the kids,” Courtnee said. “It feels great when you have a home of your own.”
Now, instead of living in cramped quarters, the quints and their older sister Lilli have plenty of room to stretch their legs and let their imaginations run wild, too much room in fact, Courtnee said.
“We finally had to put up gates because we couldn’t always find them all,” she said, pointing to the gates at the end of each stairway designed to keep the adventurous quints all in the same general area.
The quints even discovered the art of climbing out of their cribs during nap time, but thanks to a specially designed crib cover, Courtnee and Mike no longer have to worry about the almost 3-year-olds exploring without proper supervision.
“They love running around the island in the kitchen and they’ll keep doing laps,” Mike said, noting how much bigger everything seems to the quints at such a young age.
Their new home allowed the Stevensons to celebrate the holiday with several of their relatives and Mike said the family had about 16 people over for dinner with the kids sitting in their own seats at the kitchen counter, while the adults ate at the table.
“It’s worked out great,” he said.
Although Mike is currently looking for work after being laid off about a month ago, Courtnee said the family still has much to be thankful for.
“I think everyone is going through a tough time and we’re doing a three-present limit this year,” she said, adding the quints are young enough to where they haven’t noticed fewer presents under the tree.
The quints aren’t going to have everything they want all the time, she said.
“I want them to work for things,” she said. “You try to teach your kids to grow up and be thankful for what you have.”
One of the many things Courtnee said she is thankful for is how her kids are growing up healthy and have reached the point where she can take them places by herself.
“We try to get them to hold hands and we take them to as many free community events as we can,” she said.
While some toddlers are finicky eaters, Courtnee said all five quints are anything but when it comes to sitting down for meals.
“They eat like garbage cans. They eat everything,” she said.
The quints also are making progress toward being fully potty trained, although “there are a few accidents,” she said, adding that the quints are working on sleeping in their own bedrooms, but that is still in the preliminary stages.
The Stevensons have high hopes for the coming year as Courtnee said she plans on going back to school to get her teaching certification and enrolling all five quints in preschool.
Mike has joined the local 146 union and is hoping to find a local job soon, after spending last week in Issaquah.
“I never was union, but it’s good,” he said, noting that once he’s worked enough hours for the union his family will become eligible for health insurance and other benefits, which are currently coming out of his own pocket.