Sunday, November 16, 2008

Isn't this a fun scene to walk into? No, not staged.

Dad just chillin' in the back room with Summer and Cam watchin' some... TV.

Hey - you can't win 'em all, eh?

The point being it was so stinking cute to stumble upon - arm up around them both and all =) Melt a mama's heart!

And then of course I have to share our fall leaf-jumping pics with you too! Aiden, Caleb, and I worked dilegently - in the 70 degree weather TWO WEEKS AGO (not the snow we are currently enjoying... ) to rake up the backyard and make some SWEET leaf piles for PRIME TIME LEAF JUMPING!!! We had a great time... it's so nice to have time to spend with the big boys - really. They truly are the ones who were the most affected when I was pumping - there was about zero time for them by the time the baby-cycle was complete. I am absolutely flabbergasted by how much time has freed up in my life now that I don't pump! Granted there is a bit more prep-time with bottles using formula instead of just breast milk - but not that much of a difference. It's amazing! And, as much as I'm not loving the formula in our life - we are getting by and I would say that it has been a good change for our family overall. The babies might disagree because their little bodies are still in a state of flux trying to get used to the new goods - but I have confidence that they will adjust. I just PRAY that they stay healthy this winter!! And, no, I'm not saying that formula=sick babies... I'm just worried that in an already-fragile situation less breast milk immunity can NOT be BETTER. We already went for our first round of RSV shots - yahoooooooooooooo.... more shots? Certainly no fun but certainly worth it. I just hope that the fact that the majority of the milk they drink is still breast milk will keep them safe and healthy, healthy, healthy this winter!!

Oh, and prune juice works. Prune juice works. We have a go on the poop.

But what about the excess gas issue we are having too with this formula? One of our volunteers told me to go with the concentrate vs. powder and that should help? The docs say there is a "less gassy" formula out there, but to wait a while to switch to see if thier bodies figure it out first? Let me tell you, this could be one painful waiting game for our babies! Just curious what success any of you have had with waiting it out vs. switching over for gassiness... wow... I need to hush up about things that come out of our babies bums, eh? I'm getting down right grossed out myself!

Ahhhhh... the glamourous side of being a hot mama.

In the end it all boils down to poop and gas.


Although I guess I might as well freaking get used to it with 5 boys... oh, make that 6 boys with daddy, in the house. I'm sure I won't have many laugh fests over gas in my future with all these boys... nooooo...

I say that and then realize that the other night it was my sister in law Jessica and I who were consumed with the poop/gas conversation... not so much the boys... hmmm.... if I remember correctly I believe that Hans and Jeremy were solely focused on their Natty Light vs. Light Ice taste test... yeah, yeah... nothin' but the good stuff up here kids. We are a pretty high ball group.

And while I'm on the subject, a huge thank you to Jess and Hans (and Avery!) for everything they have done, and continue to do for our family. I mean, they ARE our family - and we couldn't be more grateful that they picked up and moved up north to be with us. It's SUCH a different world for Jeremy and I having FAMILY here! First my mom and now them - it's just crazy how cool it is when they just "drop by" and how we have dinner together as a family at LEAST 3-4 times/week!! Jess and I have 'girl's night' together on Thursdays with a couple other gals at yoga and then meet up with more afterwards and Jeremy and Hans take on the chitlins together!! This is my new "hall pass" night - and, yes, to ensure that daddy Lew doesn't change his mind about mama T getting out of the house once/week I do bring over 2 babysitters that night to help out.

It's all about insurance, folks.

But seriously, having Jess and Hans and my mom here is so rocking cool - our kids now see them all as part of their everyday lives instead of some rare treat (I suppose that could go either way) and we love it. Grammie was sick for the past week and a half (SHINGLES - WHAT!?!?!) and so she was downstate - the boys were beside themselves trying to figure out why she left and constantly asking when she was coming back. And the same with Jess and Hans - even though it's a little different because they have their own house and don't actually live with us. For example today, after we had already all went to church together and then went our separate ways (us to race home before feeding frenzy started in the van with the babies!), Aiden looked at me just before dinner and asked "Hey mom? Where's Aunt Jessie and Uncle Hans?" "They went home, honey." "WHY?" It's just so funny to us... a conversation that two months ago we would have never dreamed of taking place. I love that our family is HERE living life with us... it's like we have an extended immediate family now - oh - what's that? You're stopping at Target? Could you grab us some Butt Paste please? Great. See you in 20. Oh, and it'll just about be dinner time so plan on sticking around for a bit. Cool. (insert the Lew's snickers here... hopefully they enjoy dinner whilest holding babies, eh? HA!)


And we certainly could not do it and be as happy as we are without the help of all our family, friends, and certainly our volunteers. So many of my girlfriends kid around that they are going to have quads so that they can have volunteers too - uhhhhh... I hear that. Seriously - we are incredibly blessed to have such an amazing out pouring of support for our family. I feel like a broken record and I am... well... I guess I'm not sorry that I am. We are truly blessed in so many aspects of our lives. With the help of the volunteers I get help with about one feeding 3-5 days/week. During that time I dedicate 100% of myself to the big boys - because they need it and do not get it unless I have help. I also try to sneak in some me time at the gym when I can (if the boys are napping or at school) - this is my stress relief and keeps a mama sane! Sorry Jack. Sorry Jose'. This mama prefers to sweat her way back to level ground. Maybe I'll see you for one or two next Thursday - if you're lucky... nahh... if I'M lucky - ha!

Anyhow - these volunteers come and hold and love our babies. Thank you. Thank you all.

Gobble Gobble.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Times are a Changin'

Yes - it is a very real possibility that I am the ONLY mother on the planet who has not yet shared halloween pics of her kids with the world yet... don't go there.

But DARN are we worth the wait, or what?!? The quads were... well... quads. Sounded pretty original to us - why fix it if it ain't broke, right? Yes, we are aware of how freaking pathetic we are... but thanks for reminding us anyhow.

Truth be told, the beloved quads never graced the streets of TC on halloween with all their cuteness... we had some amazing volunteers VOLUNTEER to come to our house and watch them that night so we could take the big boys out (we NEVER EVER broached the subject or had THOUGHT about it)! It honestly felt really weird to be out without the babies - but it was also really nice to dedicate 100% of ourselves to Aiden and Caleb for a couple hours... those boys sure deserve it! We had a blast - our first year where both them really "got" it and were nuts running from house to house - hello Mr. Transformer and the cutest darned Batman you ever did see... holy moly... they were on fire that night all the greater good of mommy and daddy's sweet tooth! Ha ha ha...???So - Halloween also marked a huge milestone in our babies lives - they are THREE MONTHS OLD!!! Wow - it really is hard to believe that a baby can be 7# and 3 months old... but they do seem HUGE to us! And all so healthy - we have been truly blessed. And on their 3 month birthday mama T decided that it was just about time to say "Adios" to pumping... a very, VERY hard decision for me to make - but a very necessary one for the sake of my sanity... and my marriage =) As I have remarked in previous blogs (I think) with nursing all the quads and THEN pumping I had approximately 10-12 minutes before the whole cycle started again. I found out first hand that this process will lead to the occasional meltdown if you keep it up for months on end. I am, and always have been, SO committed to nursing my children for as long as possible (or until I deem it inappropriate). Aiden was a year and Caleb was just a hair over... OK - FINE! Caleb was close to 16 months or so... I was a total closet nurser "I am SO done... like tomorrow... or next week..." But keep in mind with Caleb we honestly didn't know if we'd ever be able to have more children and so I was hanging on so tightly to that bond. Yeah - laugh it up, folks.

Have any more kids... RIGHT.

ANYHOW - I am so grateful that I have been able to nurse/provide breastmilk for our quads for three solid months. Their little bodies need all that immunity and I couldn't be more proud to say that they haven't seen a drop of formula... UNTIL 5 days ago. That's right. It had to happen. I knew it was coming as they "caught me" in production of breast milk. And then when I quit pumping and only nursing them... well... it was obviously only a matter of time before my breastmilk STASH was depleted. Those little suckers can CHOW! But it really is hard to believe that they burned through all my stored milk so quickly - I had an ENORMOUS rubbermaid container FULL when I left the hospital - ENORMOUS! Our entire deep freezer was chuck full!! I was so proud carrying that puppy outta' that NICU!! OK - so I guess it wasn't ME carrying it - but I watched my hubby do such a good job!

And now? Well - this formula stuff blows in my book. I know we'll get used to it - but it's just an extra step in the feeding process and our babies can't poop to save their lives. They get so full of sh*t that they actually can not eat. It's nuts how quickly this junk has jacked up their systems! And they only get 25% of their bottle as formula - WHEN they get a bottle! I still nurse them all in the morning and then throughout the rest of the day they each get nursed at least 3-4 times/day (and the other 2 get bottles) with the mix. So say hello to suppositories and other gross things that I never, EVER thought I'd have to do. And forget me - those poor babies! Can you honestly imagine being so chuck full of poop that you can't eat?? And when you DO get brave enough to try, you projectile barf it all up? Not fun.


I really just sat here and ranted about poop for a long time. Sorry dudes.

Please feel free to share any stories of your own you may have or any other solutions that stinking suppositories. The docs today told me to start giving them prune juice. Aren't they too young for that? This poop talk is insane!

Onward and upward - I HAVE to share some of these baby pics with you before I run out of time here... only cutting into my sleep time - sleep??? Sleep what???

These are a little sneak peek into our babies:

From left to right: Cameron, Summer, Brock, Dane
Hey, hey - the gang's all here!! Note little Brockee - off his stinking rocker! This kid is a hoot - he is his own best company and loves to laugh!! Oh, and nevermind Dane - we woke the poor guy up about 10 nano seconds before this pic and he was having a tough time getting his game on.

Our little Summer Girl... melting hearts one at a time... wait a minute - is she POSING already?? I'll tell ya'... that girl is going to be a heartbreaker!!

Cam (left) Dane (right).
Cam "DUDES!! Someone get this kid OFF ME!!! Do you know what he WEIGHS!?!?! And he looks HUNGRY!! What if he takes a bite?? HELP!!!"

Awwwwwwwwwww... shucks, folks. Who can resist Dane's gummy smiles? He's gorgeous and those big blue eyes and long eye lashes are irresistible!

Our lives have been transformed by the recent addition of all these amazing personalities coming forth!! The smiles abound and we are (gulp) making some serious headway in the SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT department!!! (yes - consider my foot shot) The babies have started their RSV shots (that continue through APRIL) and all we can do is pray, pray, PRAY for healthy kids this winter - it's so scary having these babies so fragile during the sickness seasons...
Oh, and if anyone out there wants to volunteer to help with some adorable birth announcements... let me know. I'd love some creative help!! Love to you all -