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!