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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2005
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4 Joy
Rearing quads is as easy as laughing, not sweating small stuff, couple says

By Lauren Howard
DAILY Staff Writer

lhoward@decaturdaily.com 340-2447

One son and three daughters — all 18, all needing money for college.

Bath time is a favorite of the Dozier quadruplets, 2. Jayla admires herself in the mirror while Taylor plays with a toy, Jenna gets a scrubbing from mom Dawn, and Ty checks out the faucet. Below, dad Stacy helps Dawn dress Jenna and Taylor for bed.
DAILY Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Bath time is a favorite of the Dozier quadruplets, 2. Jayla admires herself in the mirror while Taylor plays with a toy, Jenna gets a scrubbing from mom Dawn, and Ty checks out the faucet. Below, dad Stacy helps Dawn dress Jenna and Taylor for bed.
That scenario is worries away for Stacy and Dawn Dozier, parents of quadrupulets. The Southwest Decatur couple make sharing toys and laughing a lot their priority.

Several miscarriages, expensive fertility drugs and in-vitro fertilization, a sonogram that showed four fetuses, one quad born with spina bifida, complications from premature births — the Doziers haven't defied all the odds. But quad-life challenges have an ironic effect on the parents: They don't sweat the small stuff and sometimes put off the stress of tomorrow.

Stacy, 39, and Dawn, 31, kiss each other almost as much as they love on Jenna, Ty, Jayla and Taylor. Dawn is a rare personality, demanding with discipline, brimming with energy and rolling with the punches. She keeps her two-story house clean, washes 15 loads of laundry and changes 100 diapers a week. She and her husband make quick, cheap meals, take advantage of "kids eat free"restaurant specials, tend to the toddlers assembly-line style and tune out the high-pitched squeals that characterize their home off U.S. 31 South.

"I don't know how easy it is to have just one kid. Everything we do is in fours," she said. "You figure out every trick there is."

The laid-back and sometimes pushover Stacy works the midnight shift at Wolverine Tube, cooks breakfast and helps at bath time.

On a recent morning, Ty gives in to his parents' begging to see his dance moves.

"Who's the man?" Stacy bellows.

The quad with the biggest smile shows some teeth, before giving with his trained response.

Dawn's voice drifted from the den later that morning. "Git 'er done," she cheers in her best Cable Guy voice.

She giggles at their unique quirks, such as Taylor's gifting a "booger" (pancake chunk) to a guest. But she switches on "mean mommy" to disobedient children,

"They all take turns being bratty, so you can't be partial," she said.

Pauline Miller may provide the insight to Dawn, her granddaughter. The Scottsboro woman is an 80-year-old great-great-grandmother, with 58 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren she helped raise. The veteran caregiver may have rubbed off on Dawn, who lived with her at one time.

Like her parents, Pauline believes a little bit of fear and a lot of love are the ingredients to well-rounded children.

"It's more to do with how you treat your children and how much love you show them," she said.

The parents don't try to do everything on their own, she'll most likely keep them at home for several more years. Grandmothers live nearby, allowing the couple to have time to themselves. Dawn's mother, Barbara Holoway of Hartselle visits nearly every day, and friend Stacie Puckett is Dawn's constant companion.

"I don't want to let go of them until I have to," Dawn said. "It's been an amazing journey. I'm sure it's only going to get more fascinating," she said.

done," she cheers in her best Cable Guy voice.

She giggles at their unique quirks, such as Taylor's gifting a "booger" (pancake chunk) to a guest. But she switches on "mean Mommy" to disobedient children,

"They all take turns being bratty, so you can't be partial," she said.

Pauline Miller provides insight to Dawn, her granddaughter. The Scottsboro woman is an 80-year-old great-great-grandmother, with 58 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren she helped raise. The veteran caregiver may have rubbed off on Dawn, who lived with her at one time.

Like her parents, Pauline believes a little bit of fear and a lot of love are the ingredients to well-rounded children.

"It's more to do with how you treat your children and how much love you show them," she said.

Stacy and Dawn don't try to do everything on their own. Grandmothers live nearby, allowing the couple to have time to themselves. Dawn's mother, Barbara Holoway of Hartselle, visits nearly every day, and friend Stacie Puckett is Dawn's constant companion.

"I don't want to let go of them until I have to," Dawn said. "It's been an amazing journey. I'm sure it's only going to get more fascinating."

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