11 months already!

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The last month has flown by! I can’t believe we are less than a month away from their first birthday. It’s amazing how many milestones they are reaching, how much their little (and big!) personalities are coming out, and how big they are getting!
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Brody continues to lead the pack. He’s now a walker! His confidence grows every day and now he will just stand up and walk across the room to a toy or a person. He looks so happy and proud of himself when he’s walking. It’s so cute! He’s been sticking out his tongue lately and it’s too funny. He’s quite a goofball!
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Hayden is a crawler now! For a while she was content to just stay in one spot, but then it seemed to start bothering her that everyone else was moving. She did a sort of army crawl for a while, and then she finally got that tush in the air and started crawling. Hayden is such a sweetheart. She’s just got this angel face, but you know underneath she’s calculating and watching and taking it all in. She’s got a funny laugh and has found her voice! Don’t delay in giving her food! You’ll certainly hear it! She finally got her first tooth this week!
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Emerson is the most vocal of all the babies. She’s a crawler, but she wants to be held. Most of the day! ESPECIALLY when she doesn’t nap well. When she’s in a good mood, though, she is super happy and has an awesome laugh. A loud one, of course :) Em wolfs down her food, and is growing so big! She seems to be the tallest, and I’m guessing she’s bigger than Deacon now! It’s close. Emerson finally got her second tooth!
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Deacon is another sweetheart. He likes giving kisses, which is so cute. He crawls, and now will stand on his own without holding on to anything. I think he will walk soon! He still has the most hair out of everyone, and the longest lashes. Such a handsome boy. Deacon has 2 teeth, with more on the way!
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Easton says “No mommy!” when I want to take his picture. It’s hard to catch a good shot of him unless you have a camera that’s good with moving objects. Easton is always on the go, unless he’s watching TV. He loves being outside! Although he’s generally a happy kid, you can tell that he misses some attention that is now on the babies. He loves “mommy daddy hugs” and being with Brian and I. We took him to his first movie last weekend! We saw Planes: Fire and Rescue and it was great! We had a blast. I hope we can continue to find time just the three of us and as the babies get older, I hope we can have more quality family time.
Right now I feel like we are still in survival mode, but are slowly coming to the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know where the tunnel ends, but I feel like getting to a year is going to be a huge difference. No more bottles, no more pumping, and the babies will be eating what we are eating. I think all of that will make life a little easier. I know that with each stage will come new challenges, but I think I prefer toddler tantrums to baby wailing. I may eat my words later on, but with Easton, I have enjoyed each stage we come to more than the last. So far, the same is true with the quads. I’m always trying to find the best in each stage and look forward to future fun.
Here’s a great pic of all five of my beautiful babies – I can’t believe we got this!
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10 months!

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I hope you all appreciate this photo – because now it’s game on for trying to get them all sitting still at the same time!!  Holy exhausting!!

Ten months…a lifetime, and also the blink of an eye.  My brand new baby nephew was over, and laying in one of our Rock n Plays.  He looked so tiny in there.  I said, “I can’t believe mine were ever this small!”. My mother-in-law replied, “Yours were smaller!”. I was like, “I don’t even remember them this small!” I’m trying to think back to the first month they were home and I don’t think I have any memory of it.  Either my mind blocked out the hardest month of my life, or sleep deprivation wiped it out.  It’s crazy!!  At least I took tons of pictures.

And now the babies are 10 months old, and quite the handful!  I don’t know what’s been going on, but for a couple days they are really trying my patience!  I know separation anxiety and attachment can start around now, so I’m going with that, but let me tell you, when you are trying to comfort one and two more are crying and pulling at your pant legs and the other is crying from across the room, you just want to run away screaming.  Or curl up into a ball and shut your eyes.  Except if I did that they would all just crawl over me and pull my hair and slap my face and yank my clothes.  It’s chaos.  It’s frustrating.  It’s never-ending.  Well, until naptime. 

It’s not all bad, though!  They are so cute, that every day I wonder how I got so lucky to have five adorable kids, each with their own special personality.  It’s awesome how different they are!

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Brody is my mover!!  He’s crawling and cruising, and so fast now!  Sometimes he lets go while he’s standing, and it’s like he forgets that he isn’t holding on, and then all of a sudden he realizes and grabs on.  Before we know it he will be walking!  Brody loves to be held and played with, and seems to get jealous when someone else is being held!  Lately he’s been following me around a lot and wanting me to pick him up.  Brody loves his big brother, and can’t wait to be able to run around and play with him!  Brody has six teeth now, and is an awesome clapper with his big paws!!  Seriously, this kid has huge hands… and feet. He has many nicknames, including Brody Bear, Bruiser and Tank.  He mows right over all the other kids to get what he wants!

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Deacon…is just the frickin cutest thing ever, and so sweet!  He seems to be the sensitive one of the bunch, as he does not like when the other kids touch him or take his toys!  Deacon still has the most hair and is so darn handsome – he’s going to be popular with the ladies for sure!  Deacon is so chill, and just hangs out.  And now that he can crawl, he’s exploring a lot!  Deacon also got his first tooth!!  Finally!  But now I think we are gearing up for more to appear because he’s waking up at night crying and not doing to great with the bottles.  Teething can end any time now!!!!

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Emerson…watch out everyone!!  She may look sweet, but she is the fireball of the group!  She makes herself known, and definitely tells us how she feels!!  She’s always been that way.  My strong girl is a crawler now, but she does kind of a bear crawl thing with her butt up in the air.  It’s funny.  Pappy calls her the crab, doing her crab walk.  She can pull herself to standing also.  Like Brody, she also wants attention, and seems jealous when the others are getting it and not her.  She doesn’t want to share Pappy’s lap with anyone!  Em’s also got her first tooth in!  Hooray, finally! 

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My pretty Hayden has the most amazing eyes.  Love them!  This one may be quiet, but she’s analyzing and observing everything around her.  She’s going to be my smarty pants!  There’s always a little smirk on her face, like she has a secret that no one else knows.  She’s so funny!  Hayden is a great dancer.  I don’t know where she learned it, but she started rocking back and forth, then added in a head bob, and now there’s shoulder shrugs in there too.  Who knows where she got her rhythm from, but she dances, even when there’s no music!  She also claps and plays peek-a-boo.  She is just a darling sweetheart, and will just chill on her own, like Deacon.  However, lately she seems to get frustrated by not being able to crawl like the others and has started pulling herself across the floor on her belly, kinda like a military crawl.  Go Hayden!

So there you have it!  Four babies, all moving, all growing wonderfully, all totally thriving.  I’ll say it again, we must be doing something right!  We have baby proofed almost as much as we can, removing all we can out of our room, and putting up gates to contain them.  They keep us on our toes!!  If we forget something or leave something lying around, Brody is sure to find it!

Now on to the big bro…

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Since the answer every time I say, “Can I take your picture?” is “NO!”, this is the best we can do!  Only candids for this boy I guess.  Easton is such a card… really the coolest, funniest, most entertaining kid I’ve ever met.  He makes me laugh so much, and the other times he makes me want to rip my hair out.  In my head it’s just a reaction to having four baby siblings and getting less attention, but he is pushing and kicking them a lot.  He doesn’t like when they touch him or his toys, so he shoves them away.  Guess I can’t blame him, but obviously we are working on this.  Redirection, positive reinforcement, taking away toys and now time-outs, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.  Hopefully this is something he will just outgrow or learn to deal with, but he’s still so young.  With him being so big it’s hard to remember that he’s still just two years old.  Mostly I just feel bad for him.  It used to be just Mommy and E all day, and he got to play with Pappy all the time, and now there’s babies in the mix that need attention, and Easton can’t do everything he wants anymore.  And with him being so young he doesn’t get it.  I know that someday he will and when the quads are bigger he will have playmates and we can all do more stuff together, but for now it’s tough and I feel bad for him a lot.  I try to spend as much quality time with him as I can.  Love that kid and just want to do the best I can for him!

Well as we dive into full-on first birthday planning mode, I’m reflecting a lot on the past ten months.  Most of it I don’t remember, LOL, but I do document a lot so that helps!  We’ve come so far, and it’s been a rough road.  I know the rest of the road is still going to be rough, and we will just trade challenges for new ones, but I’m still so excited for the future and a little more freedom.  Being a Mommy of multiples is TOUGH.  You might not get it if you haven’t lived it, but it’s been such a hard adjustment to not be able to run out to the store when I need something, and there’s so much to coordinate to get out to play soccer or have a date night out with Brian (which is why that hasn’t happen in a couple months!) It’s nonstop and it’s chaotic and it’s frustrating, but we are trucking through and are trying to meet each new phase of this life with as much organization and happiness and love as we can manage.  It will always be up and down, but hopefully more ups than downs.  I’m eternally grateful to those who have helped us, and continue to help us. 

I’m always floored by the good fortune we’ve had.  I still can’t believe that I’m Mommy.  I don’t feel like I should be someone’s Mommy.  Much less five someone’s!  I feel so lucky that I get to be their Mom.  So many people around us and just in general go through so many tough times and terrible experiences, and I’m still amazed at how much good stuff we’ve had come at us.  Sure, four babies is more than a handful, but all of our kids are healthy, strong and so good!!  I’m thinking in our past lives we were like saints or something because this could be going so much worse.  All we can do is to appreciate what we have, and who we have in our lives, and hopefully pay forward the kindness that we’ve received from so many people. 

Ok I think I’ve gotten sentimental enough for now.  Better get back to the grind – I hear babies waking up!

 

A Cool New Product for Us

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You can imagine how tough it is to feed four babies at once, especially with a toddler to take care of at the same time.  Feeding them one or two at a time is just not an option for us because of the time commitment.  It takes long enough already!  Emerson already holds her bottle, but when it’s full it’s a little heavy for her.  It would be so much easier if they could all hold their bottles.  Then maybe we could even bag the Rock n Plays.  They are almost too big for them anyway! 
So I did a little Googling, and found handles made by Avent that you can attach to your Avent bottles.  Genius! 
So we’re working on learning to hold our bottles now and become a bit more independent.  It’s slow going, but it’s already made a difference if they can put their own bottle back in their mouth.
I’m not sure if other bottle makers offer the same thing, but I’m glad Avent does! 

The Babies Take on Wendy’s

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We received some advice from a quad family before we had ours, and they said to start taking them out to dinner as soon as you can to get them used to it.  Start small and work your way up to fancier places.  Obviously we haven’t done that yet, just due to the sheer exhaustion we face when we do venture out.  Do we really want to add in potentially screaming babies to the mix? 

But yesterday it hit us that we really should start trying to get them out more.  Maybe they’d be happier with a change of scenery.  Maybe Easton would.  Maybe we would, too!  Our starting point was Wendy’s.  There’s one by us that doesn’t seem to get too busy, and we chose to go at like 4:30 to hopefully not have many other people around.  Not wanting to be too ambitious, Brian asked his sister and her husband to come along, so off we went with our two families. 

Brian ran in first to see how many high chairs they had.  Since they only had 3, we either would bring a stroller in (we brought the double just in case) or someone could just hold the fourth baby.  We opted to just hold the baby, so that saved us some trouble.  With four adults, it was easy to get them all in to Wendy’s.  They had just woken from their nap and had a bottle, so they were very content.  We brought toys in with us, and I had Puffs, yogurt melts and a zippy cup of water in case we needed it. 

The babies were super good, and didn’t make any noise!  They happily played with their toys (and by played I mean threw them on the floor so Mommy could pick them up).  I somehow drew the short straw and ended up in the middle of three babies while Brian was tucked in the corner with Easton, but it wasn’t too bad.  We all managed to eat our meals without rushing, and then we even stopped for ice cream on the way home!! 

Next mission:  attempting the same thing with just us and no extra hands!!  We are working up to our goal of making it to Olive Garden.  Baby steps!

9 Months!

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The quads are 9 months old!  Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been nine months, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s only been nine months.  But we are all doing well… the babies are doing beyond well actually!  We couldn’t have hoped for more healthy, happy little ones.  They really are amazing little beings!  I can’t wait to see their personalities emerge even more as they grow.  It’s so exciting to see them hit milestones and demonstrate their different personality traits.  I’m happy that they are all little individuals with their own identities.  It’s great to see them interact together as they discover new things!

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Deacon is our shortest kid, at 27 3/4 inches(50th%).  He weighs 18lbs1oz (10-25th%), which makes him our second heaviest though!  He is a handsome boy and is just too sweet!  He’s a lot more vocal lately, blowing raspberries and babbling all sorts of different sounds.  One look at him gets you a big smile!  We joke that we need to toughen him up though, because if any of the others touch him, he cries.  When he’s happy or excited he does this funny tensing up thing and his arms are outstretched and he wiggles his fingers.  It’s so cute!  Deacon can now sit up on his own, and he gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth.  Next step will be crawling!

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Emerson is by far our most vocal little one.  She yells loudly, but she also giggles loudly!  She weighs 17lbs13ozs (25-50th%), and is tied for tallest at 28 1/2 inches (75th%).  Emerson can sit up and is starting to crawl!  She gets up on hands and feet with her butt in the air, and then falls backwards into a sitting position.  So funny to watch!

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Hayden is our lightest munchkin, weighing 16lbs13ozs (25th%).  She pretty tall though, at 28 1/4 inches (50-75th%).  Our skinny minny!  Someone said she looks like me, but I think she looks just like Brian.  Hayden is our quietest little angel.  She is just so sweet and so funny.  She nods her head, like she’s answering a question.  She also sticks out her tongue, and today she started dancing, rocking side to side while sitting up.  Although she can’t reach the position on her own, Hayden can sit up on her own.  She also will clap her hands and play peek-a-boo. 

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Brody is our biggest baby in both weight and length.  He weighs 19lbs3ozs (25-50th%), and is 28 1/2 inches long (50th%).  Brody can sit up, crawl, pull himself to standing, and is now cruising along toys and furniture!  He’s always on the go, and is so fast!  You can’t turn your head!  We now have gates up and make use of the superyard.  Brody is also the only one with teeth, and he has six of them!  You can kind of see them in the picture.  He’s such a silly boy, and always has a smile on his cute face.

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Easton is probably the awesomest two year old ever.  He is just so funny, silly and sweet, I just can’t get enough of him.  Granted, there are times when I want to scream “What are you thinking???” but overall he’s such a good kid.  He’s now discovering he can interact and play with his siblings, and it’s too cute to see.  He loves when Brody “chases” him.  He’ll get down with him and say “crawl baby!” (He doesn’t call them by name – they are all just “baby”). He loves to be outside, and has discovered worms now.  Lovely.  But his favorite thing by far is “I keem cone!” (ice cream cone). He asks for them all day, everyday.  We just adore this kid and try to spend as much quality time with him as we can so he still feels like he’s getting enough attention.  He asks for “mommy daddy hug” a lot.  We’re happy to oblige!!

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This was just a wonderful moment I caught of Brian with the babies before he left for work one day.  It was so cute to see all of them together!  I just picture them all jumping on him at once.  The wonderful chaos to come!

We are still managing this crazy life we have going.  I meet new people around, and a question I get asked a lot is “How do you do it?”  My answer is, “You just do.  You have no choice!.” And that’s just it – the kids need to be taken care of, fed, bathed, napped, played with.  We do all of these things because that’s what you sign up for when you have kids.  Granted, we didn’t anticipate so many at once, but that’s what we were given, and that’s what we do.  Unfortunately other things have to give, like some housework, and the “me” time, but that’s the way it goes.  I figure I’ll get some “me” time when they are in high school perhaps.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Quads’ Dedication Ceremony

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Over the weekend we had a Dedication Ceremony for Brody, Hayden, Emerson and Deacon, where we named each of their Godparents.  It turned out to be a beautiful day, with the rain thankfully holding off until after the ceremony and pictures.  We even managed a family picture, which turned out pretty good, considering! 

I had a blast dressing everyone up.  For the boys, I got them matching khaki shorts and cute khaki shoes, with white button down shirts and cute ties that I ordered from JetsandLilys on Etsy.  The ties were in their colors, blue for Deacon and green for Brody.  So cute!  They also had cute little fedora hats, but you can imagine how long those managed to stay on :). The girls were in adorable eyelets lace dresses from Target, with matching shoes and beautiful headbands made by WinterScarlett on Etsy.  Hayden had a pink flower headband, and Emerson had her purple one.  Easton coordinated, with a light blue linen shirt from the Gap, khaki shorts and a tie incorporating each of the babies’ colors, also made by JetsandLilys.  He also had some cool shoes on, but style unfortunately gave him blisters :(  Brian matched Easton, with khaki shorts and a chambray button down, and I found a cute eyelet lace dress from Old Navy to match my girls.  Corny, I know!  But it made for cute pictures.

It was great to get our family together, as each of our four sisters and their husbands were the Godparents.  All of the cousins got to run around and play together, while the adults got some quality time with the babies.  All around a great day!

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My sister designed and brought this cake from her local Walmart. Beautiful and yummy!

I can’t wait to get all of the pictures back and make a photo book to remember this event.  We also had professional portraits done with the babies in their outfits, which we should get to see this week.  I’m excited!

More updates to come, and hopefully some more great pictures…

Turning Godzilla Days into Mary Poppins Days

Days like today are trying.  They are tough.  They test your patience.  They push you to within an inch of your breaking point.  Sometimes you reach that point and lash out.  Then all you’re left with is guilt and sadness, not to mention the situation that put you there in the first place.

Then I sit down and try to think of how we got to this point.  Why is Easton so cranky?  He was sad that Pappy went to the doctor and he couldn’t go with him.  He was upset that I couldn’t take him down to the playroom to play because I had the babies.  Why were the babies so cranky?  Two of them were up for a while in the middle of the night.  All of them woke up early.  They were getting bored, and it was almost naptime.  Why is this all hard to deal with right now?  Well, Brian is away, we have movers coming tomorrow to switch around some rooms and the quads’ dedication ceremony is Saturday.  I’m trying to figure out how to get everything done and ready, plus the day-to-day stuff that needs to be done on top of that.

It all makes sense.  They aren’t just doing it to get on my nerves.  They aren’t just trying to anger me.  They aren’t trying to push me to the brink of insanity.  They really are good kids who are just being kids. 

Now is where the hard part starts.  Transforming myself from Godzilla to Mary Poppins.  These are the terms I use to describe how I feel.  There’s a middle ground too, but what I strive to do every day is NOT have Godzilla days.  I don’t want to raise my voice at my kids.  I don’t want to storm around and throw stuff, roaring to blow off steam.  I want to be happy with my kids.  I want to enjoy these special moments with them because no matter how I feel right now, someday I may be nostalgic for these cute, innocent baby days.  I want to play with the kids and take care of them, take care of the house and maybe even throw in a fun craft for Easton or some outside time.  Or holy crap, both!  I love how I feel on Mary Poppins Days.  It’s like a cycle; the better one day is, the easier it is to bring that to the next day.

It’s a challenge, and it takes work to turn a Godzilla day into a Mary Poppins day.  It takes self-control, organization and coffee!  It takes having something to look forward to.  It takes just taking a moment to do something for myself.  Sometimes it takes help.  Sometimes it just takes an email from a sympathetic friend.  Sometimes it takes writing it down and letting it go.

I hope you all have a Mary Poppins Day!