Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mama T = Back in Action.

I'm so glad that I have my amazing hubby to rely on to keep you all up to speed on our appointments over the past couple of weeks since our transition to the Munson Manor. The last couple weeks have been chuck full of ups and downs, as you have read... but overall - I wake up every single day grateful. Grateful for my husband, for our amazing boys, for our familes, for our friends, for the fact that my water didn't break in the night (I'm serious about that... it's probably one of the first thoughts I have every single day!!), that we have 4 healthy babies still growing inside of me, and, above all, grateful for all your prayers and for God's grace which have gotten us this far. We are under no false presumptions that we have anything to do with how miraculously well this pregnancy has went and the continued health of our babies... please know that we thank God and every one of you and your prayers each night for carrying us through to this point. We love you all so much.
It's been a little rough on our boys being in a completely different environment, one where they have to WALK (not RUN?) everywhere, be QUIET (inside voice, huh?) everywhere, and (gulp) SIT in kitchen chairs while mommy prepares, they eat, and mommy cleans up from EVERY SINGLE MEAL. That's rough at ages 2 & 4... Think about it.

But, on the flip side - it's been GREAT having the beach approximately 5 blocks away, as well as a playset outside, a construction site right around the corner, tons of friends and playmates within 15 minutes, and sidewalks EVERYWHERE for us to ride our bikes and take walks!! If you know us, we spend as little time indoors as possible all year round, so as long as it's not raining (or as long as we have our swampers if it is!) we are doing just GREAT!!

So, I wanted to share with you all a little (or lot) of what we have been up to over the past 2-1/2 weeks and show you exactly what the Munson Manor is... we are so blessed to be here. As difficult as some aspects of living in a 10'x12' room are with 2 parents and 2 kids, and sharing every other living space with a lot of people (not all of whom are in a place or care to be surrounded by rowdie chitlins... for very understandable reasons) - we are literally STEPS from the hospital and the staff and volunteers who work here at the Munson Manor have become little angels in our lives.

Here's a few pics of the Manor:
The front of the Manor - it's GORGEOUS!! Yes, as Jeremy mentioned, it is on the Old State Hospital grounds and so it DID used to be occupied by some of lesser mental capacity... we feel this isn't a barrier with our coocoo family.

There is also a playset directly outside the Manor. We are allowed to reek havoc out there as long as the hospital daycare kids aren't using it... and havoc is our specialty...
Did we mention the Helicopter pad out the side door of the Manor... it breaks our heart every time one comes in or out, but the truth is that we need to be thankful TC has this service to help so many families around Northern Michigan. Oh, and the helicopter pad comes complete with pilots who LOVE little kids to sit up in the seat and pretend to drive (while they are waiting of course)... this is an unexpected gift of COOLNESS!!!

Here's a view down one of the halls of the Manor - yes, the place is gorgeous.

This is the mega-kitchen... mommies hardest times of the day are spent in here... playing at the park and beach and baseball and soccer are NOTHING compared to trying to rein in two little dudes while you prepare, eat, AND clean up from every meal. Think about it.... at your own house they can play, right? Here? They have to sit in chairs and (gulp) be semi-quiet... we're working on this one still =)

And then there are the belly pics that you all must be missing SO MUCH!!! (although it's a tad more embarrassing these days... HA! Just kidding! See you at the beach in my bikini!)

Here is week 27 - the night we arrived at the Manor:

Not too shabby a showing... I think I was measuring about 40" around that night... grow babies grow! What's that? You especially like the vein action? I know - it's hot. And it only gets better,

Our first week in Traverse City here's a little (OK, big) snippet of what we were up to:

Bonfire over at our friends the Schramski's house - they are our awesome friends who let us stay at the cottage prior to our discovery of the MANOR. And BONUS - they live in TC and so the boys and I are there a LOT to play basketball, swim, hang out... it's great to have them so close!!! And Grammie and Papa were up too - they are literally making the trek almost weekly to support us and help us out... there are no words for the love we have for our families!!

Guess who this guy is? No family resemblance, I know. Grandpa Lew, Stacy and her girls were up as well the end of that first week to take in some Cherry Festival fun and pick up the Babeliner... that was a rough goodbye for us... but thanks again to Dad Lew for keepin' 'er in the family!! At least we know she's in good hands... and the memories will live on. (or at least the beer stains in the carpet)
Here's our group photo on the beach as we waited for the Blue Angels and the fireworks on the 4th. That's my dad in the back by me... not Greg Norman (much to his dismay when he's on the golf course - ha!).
Look at these freaking cutie-patooties!! Had to throw in a pic of our boys luvin' each other (and their suckers) up on the beach.... if that doesn't melt your heart... well...
Golfing for the Lew fam - suprise, suprise... we found our new favorite family friendly course that you can walk for like $12!! And it LOVES kids - so we LOVE them! Bay Meadows rocks... I don't think there is a single water hazard on the par 3... nice!
LOOK AT THAT FORM, PEOPLE!!! Seriously, the kid is FOUR!! Aiden seems to have a knack for any sport that he gets to use a hard object to whack something with... gets to be a hazard on occasion, as you can imagine.
Gotta' give our Caleb some props too - he may not hit 'em far yet, but he is darned consistent with actually making CONTACT. Yep. And at two he's just so cute that it really doesn't matter =)
Take me out to the Ball Game! Take me out to the Park!! HELLLLLOOOOO Beach Bums! Our boys are in love with that ball park - Sun Burn (red) is Caleb's fav and Sun Tan (brown) is Aiden fav... (anyone wondering how mama T got her arce UP from this position? Me too...)
PLUS they were able to run the bases this year!!
Aiden was awesome, waiting for Caleb... who got a little sidetracked...
in like left field...
And then, POOF!! Just like that - another week gone by...
28 weeks prego - WHAT A MAJOR MILESTONE!!!! This is the average gestation (per Dr. J) for quads, as well as an enormous landmark in terms of development for the babies. We were ESTATIC to cross the finish line!!! Again, I know that Jeremy did a phenominal job of filling you all in our doctor's appointments over the course of these past few weeks - so I decided to limit my first BLOG TIME back strictly to the fun stuff!!!!
That next week we were blessed with more family up - Jeremy's sisters Kristy and Jessica both made the trek - complete with Uncle Hans and baby AVERY!!! We were finally able to hold and kiss our new little niece!!! And the boys were just PUMPED to hold her.
What's that? You want to see a pic our baby Avery - WHAT A DOLL!!
And here's mommy Jess giving Avery some love... the picture says it all... she was made to be a mommy and I was SO EXCITED to have her up to share in so many of those precious moments and experiences with her.
Here's a pic of Jess & Hans on the beach - aren't they cute??
And then there is me with my two sister-in-laws... let me tell you all - if you've never had the chance to meet Jeremy's sister's - I could not hand-pick two more amazing women to have in my life as FAMILY!! They absolutely love to laugh - I'm talking the kind that is contagious and can brighten any room!! And they give themselves 110% all of the time to those around them.... I LOVE YOU GIRLS!!! Thank you for being such a special part of our lives.
Here's Auntie Kristy with the boys and I riding the "train" - holy moly - little guys were just JACKED!!! Kristy is so much fun - we are so sad (for ourselves - but so happy for her) that she's leaving us the first week in August to attend grad school in Florida - she'll be a GATOR!!! This little lady is one smart cookie and we know that when she returns she is TOALLY going to want to move up north by us so we never have to miss her again!!!
Group photo - group photo - group photo!!! I DID mention that I am still wearing my bikini to the beach daily, right? Avoid West End beach at all costs.... I'm only trying to save your eyesight...
Here's some pics of us all just playing at the beach:
Poor Uncle Hans doesn't get much down-time when he's around the boys - they LOVE HIM!!! What a trooper... and never a complaint (as he sets down his beer for the 23rd time to build yet another sand castle)!!
And there's the Lew fam - tearin' it as usual.
What's that crazy white band around my belly, you ask? THAT's the bella band I wear for support UNDER my ultra-secure velcro belly band (I believe I've mentioned them before) - listen - a girl never can have enough support for those babies!!! And since we've turned into bonafide beach bums living here in TC, I decided that it would probably be prudent of me NOT to get a stellar tan on my belly in it's current ultra-stretch condition. RIGHT-O. THAT took a genius to figure out, right? So, I rotate between the black and white at the beach during the day and then at night I typically let 'er all hang out a little more (low UV rays, you know?).

As a prelude to these next pics, please repeat after me: "Do not lose your enthusiasm. Do not lose your enthusiasm."
Noooooowwww you get it.
The boys LOVE holding babies... literally argue over who's turn it is... and we certainly don't want them to lose that EXCITEMENT before the quads have a chance to wear it out!!!!
As if you didn't get enough of my belly through those last round of beach shots - but too bad!!!
WE MADE IT TO 29 weeks!!!!
I have no idea what's up with that AWESOME green glow in these shots - but I'm thanking the hospital lighting at the Manor for it...
Oh, and it's official - I was measuring in at 41-1/2" this night!!! WOWZERS!!!! I'll also note that I have somehow managed to stave off any stretch marks still at this point - which is some crazy act feat considering my size!! But as the old saying goes "Don't count your chickens, before they're hatched..." right. I'm thinking any day now I'll be able to tell you otherwise as those purple/red/whatever color things will surely crop up...
Grammie (uhhhhh... that's my mom in people speak) made the trek back up again the next week - bless her freaking heart. She wants to be here to HELP OUT. That's the part that blows me away.... she has zero interest in fun or a suntan when she makes the drive - she literally has one thing on her mind: helping me out. OK. Let's be honest - AND SEEING HER GRANDSONS DOESN'T HURT THE CAUSE EITHER, right? Hee, hee... but regardless - she has been up every single week since we've been here for a couple days just because, bless her freaking heart, she's so worried about me doing it all on my own... I love you so much, mom. And this was the time that she came up for TWO DAYS ONLY so that Jeremy and I could go to our doc appointment alone and she watched the boys. This was the appointment that we weren't sure which way it was going to go with little Baby B... and it was very nice of her to think of our well being. But our week of euphoria began with that ultrasound - BABY B = THE COMEBACK KID!!!! I never gave up, I NEVER allowed myself to believe that we would get anything other than great news... and I mean that. I'm not just saying it as some weird "I told you so." But Jeremy and all my family will verify for you that I ONLY operate under the cup is half full mentality at all times - IT'S THE ONLY HEALTHY WAY TO BE!!!! Yes, realism is necessary... but I keep that shoved in the back corner in case of emergency. It does me, our family, and certainly our babies NO GOOD to constantly look at the empty half of that cup... agree or disagree with me - that's the way I feel.
YEAH BABY B!!!! YEAH to ALL our amazing quads for staying healthy and inside me for this long!! As doctor Madion told me earlier this week "You have defied all the odds, Tonya." Only it's not ME, Dr. It's simply those prayers and God's good grace.
While Grammie was up she also gave Jeremy and I a "date night" after our fantastic news at our ultrasound on Monday - did I mention how much we love her? Quite possibly our last "date night" for a while here... so we were really happy to have that time alone together... dinner downtown... watching the sunset by the bay... we have so much to be grateful for and it was wonderful to have the time alone (away from the Manor, no offense.) to let it all sink in.
Love you all... and glad to have completely bogged you down with this crazy 3 week blog!!! I hope you enjoyed some of the pics and I'm going to do my best to make it to the library at least once/week so I don't have to make you suffer like this anymore....
Oh, my new favorite pic of Jeremy and I... comparing bellies... so maybe he's TRYING to stick his out - but so what?


Tubre Quads said...

You look great! Thanks for the awesome post. Grow Babies Grow!


stranger friend said...

Oh my goodness, I am in awe of how active you are at 29+ weeks with quads! (I was on bedrest after 20 weeks with only twins.) Way to go!

Dana said...

You certainly define the phrase "all belly!" Enjoyed the family pics and hearing from you (although Lew has been keeping the info flowing amazingly well). Those boys of yours are so darn cute--can't wait to see the next 4! Much love coming from Cajun country!

Anonymous said...

I still have you beat with that belly(and I was only having one). You look great! Keep on a truckin' sista. Love you bunches. The Salladay Clan

Kara said...

I received your blog address from an e-mail sent by an AGD alum from MTU. Congratulations on your quad pregnancy. You look amazing and I am in awe on how active you are.

I had identical twin girls and was on bedrest from 20 wks until I delivered at 34 weeks. I had TTTS and had laser surgery at 20 wks.

Congratulations again!!! We will be keeping you and your precious babies in our prayers.


Moni Graf said...

You really are AMAZING! I'm so glad that you're still able to be out and about (for your sake and your boys'). Don't push yourself TOO hard - you still have a few more weeks to go! But congrats on making it to another milestone (every day is a milestone in my opinion).
I had to laugh at the picture of the boys in the corridor. It looks like one of them is peeing in the plant!
Hope you haven't had any more run-ins with old lady hacker. You don't need crap like that to bring you down.
Thanks for the great update and pics. You look great!

Love from KS,

P.S. I was thinking the same thing about you squatting down in the baseball mascot pic! Don't be poppin' out any babies doing that!

damien said...

wow you look great for quads ive been reading your blg for a month now . eat eat eat the next 3 weeks you wnat to have at leat 3 lbs babies . my prays are with you that you have a healthy delivery in the comming weeks .

Brooks Family said...

You look so cute! If someone saw you from behind they would not even know you were pregnant....let alone with quads :)

Love the updates - your family is in my thoughts and prayers often!

-Melissa Brooks
MTU alum 2003

Suzanne said...

WOW, woman! you rock that belly--you look amazing! i'm so glad someone posted your blog under my comments. congrats on your quads and your awesome are doing GREAT! keep cooking those babies and as i'm sure you already have found, us quad moms are here for you, every step of the way! hugs from texas!
the steece quads

Jennifer Walker said...

I agree with Suz's comment above. You look great! I actually just came across your blog from a comment on Suz's blog too.

I have a parenting site called, that launched after all of my friends kept talking about their baby blog addictions. We say addictions to multiples blogs are the strongest.

In fact, we are hosting a Quadathon and have interviews with four amazing quad moms this week and next, including Suzanne Steece. You should check it out here.

Best wishes on a healthy rest of your pregnancy and a smooth delivery.


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Anonymous said...

dad pregnant mmmm..