Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crawlin', Teethin', Cryin', and Jammin'


Yeah, me here...that would be the Polish-blogmasta!

Just checked the blog and boy, bit of time has elapsed since Tonya's last blog.

So, I'll give a quick update:

Tonya is pregnant with twins!!!!!

Just kidding, but Caleb said he wants 2 more baby boys...

Quads are working on 11 months in this crazy world. Where does that put them? All over the freakin' house! It's nuts. I'm sure all of you can remember that one time, come on, you know it happened, when you set little Johnny down and went into the kitchen and then came back out and AHHHHH, where did little Johnny go!

At least there was one baby there...the other 3....AHHHHHH, where did they go!

Funny stuff. Didn't happen....yet.

Can't imagine what the heck kind of a corral we are going to need when the Rugrat 4 start walking!

So, crawlin' is cool. Funny when Summer and Cam are on concrete - knees don't touch - more of a bear crawl. Brock and Dane don't seem to care.

Also, man, you thought one kid ate a lot of crumbs, dirt, what-not off the floor...

Teethin' - God let it end soon!!!!!!!!!! Nuff said there.

Cryin' while Teethin' - I just lay there and pretend to be sleeping :) Shhhh, don't tell Tonya.

Jammin' is what Tonya does all day with Aiden and Cale and the Quads while I'm at work. Sounds like they pretty much party and have fun all day. Me, I'm still watering that money tree I planted in 2002 so I can join the mid-week party.

Caleb and Aiden absolutely rock. I never could have imagined how much love I have in me. Those 2 little dudes are my best buds!

Aiden is playing T-ball. Caleb and I are coaches. It's nuts, absolutely nuts. Caleb does a great job - get the lineup set, batting order, warmups, batting practice...Really he kind of wanders the field and stays by me, such a cutey. Aiden is good, real good, but we work with him a lot, which I don't think is a common activity with many others on his team. They are young though, but we have high standards in this house! He is an aspiring major leaguer. I remain optimistic - for a 5 year old, he can take an inside fastball yard and goes opposite field when it's low and away, something dad always struggled with.

I will get on Tonya to post some photos - ya'll will melt when you see recent photos of the Quads! Though, she is rather busy....

Peace -

Monday, May 25, 2009

Caleb turns 3 and us Lews are on the move...

It has been a long time... not much going on over in our neck of the woods... you know... just loungin' around and stuff.

Sort of.

The end of April our little heart throb Caleb turned 3 years old. It is so hard for me to believe that my buddy is growing up. He is such a lover and the cutest darned thing you've ever laid your eyes on... oh how I love that adorable sweetheart o' mine =) He too had a big ole bday bash (spidey. of course.). With two friends that came over to play and pin some spidey on the web with us - ha! Who says bobbing for apples is only for halloween time? Let's live a little, eh? And I thank our friends who have been creative troopers for the Lew family bday rules - hereby enacted and enforced since becoming a family of SIX kids - yeah - we GET it. Homemade or regifted presents only, ma man. That's right. Takes a little forethought doesn't it? But I'll tell you what - our boys have never coveted something so much as when they can run up and tell us "Did you know that BENNY gave me this monster truck? It used to be HIS, mommy! But he GAVE it to me for my birthday and now I get to keep it!"

We hope that our birthday gift tradition continues and will prove to be a valuable teaching tool in our childrens lives. Be grateful.

Other than fun stuff like watching Caleb devour his cake and nearly pass out with excitement at the baseball bat big brother Aiden got him (SERIOUSLY!!!) we have been a tad bit consumed with packing, cleaning, fixing, and moving out of the cottage we stayed in over the winter. And then - gulp - fixing, cleaning, packing, taking to storage, and UNpacking (bare necessities only!) back at our home in Bellaire.

That's right. Darned thing still hasn't sold.

And a very special thanks to my mom and dad, Grammie and Papa, who put in WEEKS of work helping us get it spruced up (and liveable again after our renters... but that's a whole OTHER story...)! New tile shower, new paint, new wood trim, etc... this place is fabulouso and is destined to sell within the next month I'll tell ya'!!

Optimism is all we have sometimes, you know?!?! So just go with it!

Yep. Packing and cleaning and fixing to fix and clean and pack and unpack all the whole HOPING that you'll be doing it all again VERY SOON to move once our house sells.

And doing it with 6 kids in tow.

Oh, and did I mention daddy was out of town for over a week of it? And then with his commute to TC we haven't seen him before 7pm... boy. Insanity levels are running at a high over here...

The first week was nothing less than emotional exhausting and physically draining. It was absolutely unbearable at times and I thought I might just crumble up. The problem being our house was left in shambles by the renters and every single thing - from our pots and pans, to the cupboards, to the bathroom toilets, to the floors, to the last glass and tupperware top... had to be cleaned before we could begin doing ANYTHING. Progress was painfully slow because the day to day business of LIVING still had to take place, you know? All our children still had to eat, there were still diapers to change and laundry and dishes to do... etc.

But it's been two weeks and we have almost made it. A carpet cleaner, a gallon or two of fantastic, soft scrub and bleach, a liter of windex, a 10' x 10' storage unit... yeah, we're getting close.

And although it's not ideal and we did not want to be back in Bellaire... we have a home for our family that we can call our OWN for the first time in nearly a year... and that DOES feel good. It was the middle of June when we relocated to the Munson Manor last year per my doctor's orders while pregnant with the quads. It was such a hard goodbye for us to our home in Bellaire because, at the time, we honestly didn't think that we would ever call it "home" again. We cried our tears and remembered all the good times and all that had happened for our family during our lives in Bellaire... this home was truly a labor of love for us. We have our Meadow's Garden up front filled with so many plants and flowers from family and friends in memory of our Angel Meadow... we have our fire pit in back where we have hillbillied it up many a nights enjoying the outdoors... we have our garage for crying out loud (yeah... almost didn't have that due to budget constraints during building...)!

Anyhow, we're back. Aiden and Caleb are remembering all there is for them to explore here. And now the quads too are learning to love this home with us and are making memories every single day. Yes, THREE ARE CRAWLING!!! Little Dane (formerly known as Heavy D... now the incredible shrinking D) just can't get 'er together yet - but he will soon! Summer was the leader, thanks to her idol Cousin Avery showing her the way =) Summer is just in AWE of Avery - it is SO CUTE!! Cam came next and then Brockee. But Brock is by FAR the most adventurous of the group so far - all you have to do it blink the kid is across the room exploring the kitchen! He may be BIG but he's pretty darned fast!!

And at the end of the day we are loving life - no matter how hectic it has been the past month or so. The quads are SO FUN right now!! One of my guilty pleasures right now that they can all pretty much get where they want to go (even Dane... it's just not a CRAWl, per se...) is when I will be on the floor playing or whatever and next thing I know they have all made their way over to me and are crawling up on me!! I just melt!! They are learning to reach for us to get picked up and saying "Da Da" all over the place (even in light of my persistent "MA MA MA MA" !). They are playing so well together and then, blam! Stealing toys and leveling one another in the next second! It really is fun... slobbery kisses all around every day...

A huge shout out to our big boys too for being such troopers through this whole move. We have relied on them so incredibly heavily to play together and be independent while I try to get things put together and take care of the babies... and they have stepped up to the plate 110%. I love you guys. You rock my world.

Thank you Grammie for all your hard work and being here as my moral support and crutch. I would truly be lost without you.

Thank you Jeremy for loving me in the midst of madness. And for letting me sneak away to the Bayshore marathon (only a 10K for mama T and some hot mama friends - but we did it!!) and have some me time. I love you. I love you. I love you.

I will try to post some pics soon... thank you for reading and thinking of our family.

Peace out.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mommy and daddy getting in some luvin' for the cameras - Holy Hottie - look at that man! I am one lucky gal - that's for darned sure...

Yes, Jeremy is amazing as he gave me the ultimate "hall pass" - an all-girls trip to Vegas for 2-1/2 days!!! No better place to finish healing up from surgery than poolside, right? Right. All systems a-go for mama T feeling about 90% and rising by the day!

Now let me be very clear here - the Vegas trip was almost entirely free otherwise I would not have even considered the possibility. But, as luck would have it, I was offered frequent flier miles for the flight, we stayed in my parents timeshare for free, plus we had a kitchen so the first thing we did was head to the grocery store and stock up on beer, booze, and ummm... something else, something else... think, think... oh yeah, some food too. We split it all up between the 6 of us groovy gals and I think it cost something like $28/person for all that. And I don't gamble to boot.

Nice. Double nice.

Yeppers - It was all about getting some time away in the sun by the pool, relaxing with my girls. And boy did we maximize! Thank you to my mom, sister in law Jess (fellow pumper - thank goodness!), Steph, Dana, and Kris for a rocking good time - love you girls!! I have some pics... if only I could download them off of Aiden's underwater digital camera he let mommy borrow. That's no joke by the way.

Oh, and just for the record, we watched the MSU game poolside in a cabana that day... hope it wasn't snowing TOO hard up here in Michigan...

Hee, hee, hee...

But in all seriousness, I was sick for 3 days before we left panicking about leaving. Not that I doubted Jeremy could do it with me gone for crying out loud (Okkkkkkkkkk... so I was nervous about that a SMIDGEON too) but because the babies are only 8 months old and I knew that I would miss them and the big boys like the dickens! It's weird to go from 24/7 with your children to just taking care of yourself... whoa. That whole concept of "free time"? Whoa whoa. Laying by the pool WITHOUT water wings, sunscreen, plastic boats, balls, and kamakazee children jumping in with no regard for the depth and the fact that can't REALLY swim alone in 12 feet of water?


And let's not underestimate the power of a good mid-day buzz. I mean it. Those of you who have children understand what I'm saying here - and ESPECIALLY anyone who is a nursing mommy! It just doesn't happen. Period. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that you don't go around slammin' 'em back while your kids are awake and in need of a fully functioning parent. And so, us Vegas gals did the best we could to start mixin' up the pina colada - strawberry daquiri's by noon or so.

Just doin' our part, ladies. Just doin' our part.

Then, just like THAT it's time to come home again, straight into the welcoming arms of your loving spouse (THANK GOODNESS) and beautiful children who offer you nothing less than a heroes welcome everytime with their messy kisses and smiles so big their lips crack!

I love life.

Our family is in the midst of greatness right now, with the babies on an amazing schedule and growing and changing so much every day, the big boys rocking our world with the darndest things they say and do to make those little babies laugh (and mommy and daddy in the process)... these are the days. We couldn't love our family more. Cam and Summer are thinking about crawling about any second now - it's SO EXCITING!!!

But we are sad to announce that it doesn't appear that ANY of the quads will be getting teeth until they are about 10 years of age. Or at least that's what I'm going to start telling myself and everyone else because I'm sick of saying "They must be teething" to everything that gives them a hard time and being made a fool when 8-1/2 months later... NOTHING!!! What gives man? Oh well, we like yogurt and ice cream well enough... we'll be FINE with no teeth - ha!

Enjoy these pics of our family as of late -

Aiden turns 5 and LOVES Caleb's birthday present this year...
HELLLLOOOO new Tigers baseball jersey! Nice pick Cale - brownie points here. Quads loving storytime with mommy... (l to r - Dane, Brock, Cam, Summer)Cutie Summer Girl...Cam my little man...
Brockee lighting it up...
Ahoy Matee! Swash-buckling Dane laughs so hard it's contagious!
First time duel tubbing it up for the Lew quads (l to r - Dane and Summer) - A PLAYMATE IN THE TUB??!! HOW FUN!
Dressed to impress the illusive Easter Bunny... and melt mommies heart... l to r - Cam, Dane, Brock, Summer
The Lew crew - minus mommy and daddy - l to r - Caleb, Cam, Dane, Brock, Summer, Aiden

Mommy and Grammie win a Mother-Daughter makeover - WHAT!?!?! THANK YOU GTWOMAN magazine!!! 6 hours of pampering later, whoa! Check out these two hottie mommies!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Boys and The Babies...Alone?

Tonya went to Vegas...Jeremy, the boys, and the babies DOMINATED!

That's right, total, complete, absolute DOMINATION!

While mommy was out soaking up the sun and sucking down the strawberry daquiri's, we were sucking down ounce after ounce of formula! Well, Caleb and Aiden tend to steer clear of that stuff and my formula tends to be more of the "daddy variety"...

While mommy was out dancing the night away, we puts the Quads on the flo and partied to Jimmy Buffett, John Denver, and The Wallflowers! The Quads love Jimmy Buffett!


One question remains - could Jeremy have done it all by himself?

For the most part, I did it alone. Tonya's dad was there in the morning and evening. During the day, he was off at our pad in Bellaire making that puppy more sellable. Volunteers came over on Thursday and Friday for a few hours which allowed me some quality time with Caleb and Aiden.

I will say, the volunteers we had over appeared to be quite suprised when they waltzed into the cottage. I think they were expecting to see Caleb and Aiden impersonating Spiderman by clinging to the ceiling with their ears plugged while daddy frantically tended to four screaming babies. What they did waltz into was a tightly run ship! DOMINATION! Clean house, Aiden and Cale rockin' it, babies sleeping or playing happily on the floor, etc, etc. Heck, even found time to do the laundry, sweep floors, vacuum carpets, etc, etc.

I will say my patience about wore out Saturday night. Just needed a breather. Those Quads wear you down man. Getting a couple hours out with Caleb and Aiden is great, but it was essentially during baby nap time so it wasn't a break per se, rather extremely fun quality time with Caleb and Aiden.

What did I ultimately get out of Tonya's vacation?

A much greater appreciation for the Number 1 wife and mom in the world. I know she rocks. But until you do it alone, though I did have some help, you just don't really know what it's like. The days when she doesn't have any help, she's the best, without a doubt, and it really is amazing that she does what she does. Love that girl of mine. Need to tell her that more often...

So what else is new? Quads are 8 months, Aiden just turned 5, and Caleb will turn 3 at the end of April. Where does the time go?

Caleb and Aiden are my best buddies - I just love spending time with them. They are the world to me and it is tough not being able to spend more time with them. Really tough.

At the same time, spending time with The Quads is amazing, especially when you consider that whole time thing. Hard to believe we are at 8 months already. Won't be but a couple weeks and they will be crawling and teeth will be coming in and all that fun stuff!

On another note, our house in Bellaire is not sold or rented.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, life's a bitch man. At least we have a house. When you look at what's going on throughout Michigan and beyond, having a house has come to be a big deal.

So, in all likelihood, we will be back in Bellaire in May. It's not what Tonya and I want, but we will definitely make the most of it - you can count on that! Something miraculous could happen, but we are initiating plans to move back home. Although it's not where we need or want to be, we will have a place that is our own and a place with space. No doubt we'll miss the luxuries of the cottage, but at the same time, we will have space.

For the record, I could have done it all by my little self...

DOMINATION by Quad Daddy and the Lew Crew!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

These are the days...

Hey everybody! It is so great to finally blog again and... PICS AT LAST!! This has gotta' be a short one, but wanted to confirm that mama T made it through her surgery and I am TOTALLY going to post pics once I get the stitches all out of my belly button (WHAT? Yeah, it's cute...had to secure that puppy back down after lifting up my skin from my nether-regions to my freaking ribs!). I'll warn you though - it's noooooooot pretty! But heck - I'd be curious so why not?
Anyhow, enjoy these beautiful pics of our chitlins... I know we did and a huge thanks to Tera for taking them!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Long Time Listner, First Time Caller?

Hi -

It's me. Haven't blogged in a coons-age. Good to be back. Felt like cybercizing a bit today...

Quads are great. Dane is shaving. Cam has a beer gut. Much to her mothers dismay, Summer is wearing makeup. Oh, and Brock ran away.

Other than that, oh, totally forgot, Aiden now drives the van and Cale rides on a snowboard behind it.

Sounds crazy eh?

Bingo! Come on over and witness it for yourself?

Life remains grand, crazy, a bit trying at times, but grand nonetheless. Our marriage is stronger, has to be. In darwin-esque fashion, we have evolved, in mere months, to be fully functional on a daily basis with 4 hours of sleep.

Hard to believe The Quads hit 6 months on January 31! Time, oh where does it go?

Really though, Dane and Cam and I think Summer can roll from back to belly. Brock seems to prefer lying on his back. Summer was recently described as "stiff" by the "developmental" people. I'll give them stiff...

Sitting is first and foremost on the to-perfect list. While sitting, Brock seems to lean forward to a point where he cannot do really anything. Summer sits with very good posture, reminiscent of her mother. Dane sits rather well and Cam is right there with him.

Summer and Cam appear to have eye color of the hazel variety while Brock and Dane appear to have blue eyes. Mailman? No, there's definitely some polish in these kids...

People seem to like to voice their opinion on who looks like who. Recently, an acquaintance indicated Summer looks very much like yours truly. I liked that Hurley. Brock seems to have a striking resemblance to a long line of polocks from my dads side of the family. Cam is Cam - unique - his own man. Dane, funny guy, over took Brockie as the funny guy. If you recall, when they were in the NICU, we would comment on how Dane would give us a "gummy smile". Kid has a huge smile - and it is very contagious - and very beautiful.

Summer is by far the cutest baby girl I have ever seen. China doll. She has come a long way since she first came home. Gone is the serious, scowl look. In is the cutest little cooing with simply put, a distinguished, confident smile, that melts her parents hearts. She could start growing some hair sometime in the near future.

Speaking of hair, Cam has this sweet little patch down the middle of his head. Considering his age, it is quite thick and probably best described as a pro-like divot/army sort of flat top.

Back to cooing, all The Quads have become rather vocal, in their own ways. Summer and Dane seem to have taken the lead over Brockie with regard to holding a conversation with themselves. Cam doesn't talk as much - he seems to prefer to grunt...

Feeding...Come on over and help feed The Quads cereal. You want crying? Come on over and help feed The Quads cereal. You want cereal all over everything (thanks to mom, not dad)? Come on over and help feed The Quads cereal. You want mass chaos that makes dad sweat with the thought of babies crying very loudly? Come on over and help feed The Quads.

Pooping...Come on over and help change The Quads diapers. You want poop? We got poop. You want buckets full of poopy and pee diapers? Come on over and stick your head in a bucket. You want an industrial size bucket of Butt Paste? Come on over and change some diapers.

Diapers...You want cloth diapers stacked to the ceiling? Come on over and I'll put one on you!

We think teething has started, or is very near. You want sleep? Don't come over at night...

So it has been pretty neat observing Aiden and Caleb interacting with The Quads. Both have impressed mom and dad in ways we could only have hoped for leading up to this circus. Watching them put on "Rock Outs" for the babies is extremely entertaining. "Rock Outs" is their way of playing guitars with whatever toy-of-the-day they have and, well, yelling goofy lyrics to The Quads. The amazing part is that it is actually rather annoying, yet The Quads will be lined up on the couch just laughing away.

When I say annoying, imagine Aiden, probably for the past 3 months saying something like this:

Banananana, banananana, it's a rock out, it's rockin, banananana, banananan, it's a rock out, it's rockin. And so on and so forth for what seems like hours on end. Get the point? The point is, The Quads love it and we love our kids.

Cale's signature move is playing his guitar for like 2 seconds and jumping as high in the air as he can landing on his butt. Funny!

So, Tonya goes under the knife soon to get the world's worst umbilical hernia patched up. I don't think I can talk about some of the details, but I will anyway. She has seen I think 3 different doctors, third of which is a....plastic surgeon. Insert evil chuckle here. This dude will go in through her C-section scar. Cool. Great. That's what she wanted to hear and that's what she wants done. She won't have a scar extending up her entire torso. I am supportive of whatever she wants to do. I'm really starting to get fat. If she has a scar up her belly, I don't care, I have a beer belly. But, yes, plastic surgeon...he just can't go in there and not do something that he specializes in, can he? No, apparently he cannot. Now we just need to figure out how to get a tummy tuck, belly button reassignment or whatever, boob job, just a titch of lipo around the hips, and butt implants taken care of for a $10 copay...

Tonya and I went to a seminar last night. Topic was "The Strong Willed Child". Presentor was John Rosembaugh? I think that's his name. If any parents ever have a chance to hear this dude talk - GO! Tremendous. Fabulous. Entertaining. I can't even start to tell you how basic it is to stop your child from owning you, you as in you parents. Now, let me get this straight, our kids are perfect. We only went for the entertainment aspect. Right. Our situation is such right now that it is very difficult on all of us. As you can imagine, most of our time is spent dealing with The Quads. Please don't take "dealing with" as a mean way, or sarcastic way of what amounts to dedicating the majority of our time to The Quads. You've all raised a baby. They need your time. So with us, yeah, that's a lot of time. Needless to say, Aiden and Cale being cooped up in the cottage kind of makes mom and dad want to rip our hair out and jump through the window and run like dang Forest Gumpp - Run Lew Run...

So, I will now start beating Aiden and Cale when they act up. No really, John told us to walk in the house last night, look at Aiden and Cale, and shout "It's over"! We will now have "a presence" in our house. We will now be view by Aiden and Cale as "Leaders". We will now command respect from Aiden and Cale. We will not have to give a 5 minute justification on why they have to eat all their dinner, or whatever.

Actually, I felt as though I was sort of on par with a lot of John's thoughts and theories. I believe in the old school. Cause I'm an old fool. Love that song. Anyway, John is a shrink by trade and openly criticized his colleagues for "making stuff up". It's true - think about it. Did your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa have kids in school that were depressed? No. Did they have ADD, AHD, ADHD and all those other acronyms to throw around? No. Did you know the average size of first grade classrooms back in the day was like 3 times the size of an average first grade class today? Yes, it's true. Why? Because back in the day, sure, a first grader came to school and didn't know their ABCs, but, they had respect for their teacher. They learned. And they left the first grade at a higher reading level than what kids today do. Look it up. If a teacher called home back in the day and talked to mom and said little johnny did "this" at class today. Mom said "okay" and that was that. Little Johnny never did "that" again at school. How does that same conversation today go. Yeah, mom vehemently denies that Little Johnny would do "that". Vehemently defends what Little Johnny did. Talks to Little Johnny and gets his interpretation of what he did and calls the teacher back and tells her what Little Johnny told her. It's crap. If you know a first grade teacher, ask them. Parents today, though they try hard and think they are helping, we are not. We need to get our shit together. All of you parents out there need to go listen to this guy. Just phenomenal.

Sorry, could have gone on and on there.

Would like to take the time here to thank Heidi Schramski for assembling a phenomenal group of people who take time out of their busy lives to bring us dinner 3 times a week. For those that come over and see dinner time, yeah, we have like about a 15 minute window to get it done. A million thanks to all of you.

When The Quads are crying and Aiden an Cale are acting like Spiderman clinging to the ceiling, I just drink a beer and smile and think "This is our life, and we love it". At this point, I couldn't imagine life without The Quads. I mean that. It has tried Tonya and me, tried us hard, and we are doing it.

Roger that, over and out.

Couldn't sign off without a shout out to the one person that, in the past 6 months or so, I have gained more respect for than anyone on the planet - Tonya. Can't wait for that boob job...

Yours truly

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Here we go -

Here we go - no pics again - stuck with my witty commentary... or something like that.

Well, our cereal feedings are getting easier - day by day - they are finally figuring out that - HEY! THIS STUFF IS GOOD! And that they actually need to OPEN their mouths and refrain from pushing it back out to enjoy all those filling benefits - hee, hee...

I'm sad to report that little Dane had a bout with something, nobody knows or can diagnose what.... if that's not frustrating? I love this - I bring all the babies into the ped for their 6 month check up - this is a 2 hour sweat fest for those of you who have never corralled 4 babies into an 8x10 room before. THANK GOODNESS they were all so great for us while we were there (thanks mom for helping me out!) - those walls close in in a hurry when they all decide to let 'er rip! (nice double word usage there... is that legal?) Anyhow, poor Dane is screaming all night long, not eating well AT ALL, and I'm literally watching him lose weight - he lost like 1/2 a pound in one week and I am a wreck about it. These little babes go from so healthy to SO SICK, SO FAST it's just scary.

They check him out and it's not an ear infection, which they initially thought. They assure me that teething won't do that... sooooo... "Just watch him for a couple days and then we'll bring him back in. We're not sure what it could be." Love the peds - don't love the "just haul them back in" mentality.

DID YOU MISS THE FACT THAT I HAVE 6 KIDS!?!?!? "Just" coming back in is a MAJOR production in my life - I need at least 2 people, preferably 3, at the cottage to watch the other babies and big boys - unless I am lucky enough not to find any and bring them all with me.

Now there's a good time =)

Anyhow, I called twice over the course of the next couple days and thankfully Dane is now on the mend. But so skinny!! It's just weird - he was always our little porker and now I think that Summer looks bigger than him! We are just praying that nobody else catches that bug... or whatever it was. Ugh.

All in all a lot to be grateful for - our first "sickness" since bringing the babies home. I CHALK IT UP TO ALL THAT GERM-X!!! Say what you want, being a germ-phobe can't hurt the health of our family...

And on the mama T front - yep - surgery on March 9th. I don't have time to drag you all through my months of appointments, second opinions, third opinions, etc. - but it was quite the ride!! In the end I just have to say LISTEN TO YOUR GUT AND GET THAT NEXT OPINION IF YOU NEED TO!!!

With three different surgeons I got three COMPLETELY different surgery options to fix the same exact hernia!! I was blown away. I am not well versed on our medical community and how it all goes down, and being an outsider I was floored. Here were the three opinions, in order in which I received them:
#1- Open cut from rib cage to below belly button to insert mesh and contain massive umbilical hernia. Out of the question to bring ab muscles back together, can not just "fix" abs (my question - wanted to fix the root of the problem!). No laproscopy.
#2- I have three options: laproscopy to insert mesh over hernia, open cut ribs to belly button to insert mesh only, or open cut (same enormous vertical cut) to insert mesh and then bring abdominal walls back together over top... OK. Not possible to use low horizontal incision.
#3- Horizontal cut near c-section scar to insert mesh and fix abs over top.

HUH!?!??! Thank GOODNESS the second surgeon INSISTED that I get the third opinion - I really wasn't going to because I felt like I was making a mountain out of a molehill... I knew in my heart that I wanted to actually FIX my abs not just cover up the problem. We are not talking about some small hernia, folks. This puppy is HUGE and is getting worse by the week - I am going to take pics and post them - I swear. Freak you out it may - but heck! I'd be interested in what having quads can do to those abs!!

So, I called 4 days before I was going in with surgeon #2 with some reservations and last minute questions and he really did INSIST that I call surgeon #3 - I felt like a fool doing so at the time but now I couldn't be happier!!! Both docs will actually be in the surgery, #2 does mesh #3 fixes abs... interesting how it all plays out.

March 9th it is - overnight stay, what? Ugh - I hope all will be well on the homefront with mommy laid up for a while but docs encouraged me to get it fixed ASAP and my weight limit will still include holding babies since they are still pretty small... thank goodness!!

Pray for daddy? Perhaps....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where to begin...

It's been a while, folks.

Glad to be back... without pics once again. Sorry Charlie.

We have had a LOT going on in our little Lew Crew world - it's amazing how much can change in a month!

Most importantly in our lives ALL of our children are all thriving, healthy, and coming into their own more and more every day - it's an awesome experience to watch it all transpire around me daily. The quads turned SIX MONTHS OLD on January 31st - WHAT? Where in the heck did time go? And they were rewarded with their first taste of real food - that yummy mush cereal mixed with breastmilk.

How lucky can one get in life?

Talk about upping the anty at feeding time - whoa. It is all out war-fare in our house during cereal time!! Some days are better than others, but for the most part it's just nuts on wheels. Here's my thoughts on it all: babies are used to either breastmilk/formula straight from the tap or from a bottle. With either of these feeding options there is very little WAIT time involved. Hence? Impatient eaters, right?

But when you have four little mouths looking up at you from these gargantuan chairs and bibs twice the size of their bodies (that's no exaggeration - it's a coverall for cryin' out loud!) it is extremely difficult to KEEP UP! Shovel, shovel, shovel, shovel... that's all I can say about it. These babies are HUN-GRY and they are NOT in the mood to WAIT!

From the first feeding, in which approximately 89% was wasted on bibs/neck creases/shirts/the floor (sorry Julie!) there were clearly some stand out eaters.

Or eater. Singular.

Brock the Rock.

This kid is like "forget the freaking cereal - order me up a chili dog!" He's always been our best eater and this cereal stuff is no exception! We all clamour to get Brock at feeding time... hee, hee...

Oh, and just so y'all know - we had the quads in for the RSV clinic last Friday and (drum roll please) Brock is now the heavy weight of the group!! From the smallest boy quad - coming in at just 2#9oz - to the BIGGEST quad at 14#3oz!! Dane is now a sullen second placer at 13#12oz, Cam is ticked off at 12#13oz, and little SUmmer Girl is representing at 10#15oz. Brockee kept his eye on the ball chasing Dane for that title and has finally succeeded!! And, really, it's amazing even to ME and I see them every single day all day, how much they have filled out and changed over the past month.


Hooray! And the personalities are so distinct now too. I will try to get some pics on soon that clearly display each of them - it's so cool to watch them interact now too. They LOVE checking each other out when we have "baby olympics" around the cottage (play toy, to mat, to

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year, New Beginnings...

Check out the diaper bum on little Cam... that's right -it's official.

We have went cloth folks!

My mom and dad are fairly convinced that I am going to scare off any help I have by taking on this new endeavor - but seriously - it's going great! And, thankfully, BLESS THOSE VOLUNTEERS!!! Most of them used cloth anyhow so they are being good sports about it all =)

We are about 3 weeks into the new system and, yes, there is certainly a reason I waited to write. We had our ups and DOWNS figuring it all out for the first week or so. But that Ruth from Eastfield Laundry has been AMAZING and acutally came out to the house to give us a private tutorial on how to get 'er going - wow - night and day with a bit of practice.

Let me be the first to tell you that there is nothing fun about CHANGING FOUR BABIES OUTFITS EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU CHANGE THEIR DIAPERS.

Wow. Talk about time consuming.

But now we are pros - and we are using the most simple system ever - the one that most of our mother's or at least grandmothers used. Good old fashioned prefolds with rubber pants.

Roger that.

It's ubber cheap and it works. Period.

We tried some of the super fancy stuff but honestly like this system the best!! We have some really nice handmade cloth diapers and a bunch of different brands of the fancy smancy expensive pocket/all in one/etc. ones. But when you are diapering FOUR at a time - you don't want any additional laundry with those covers and the plastic is totally LEAK PROOF.

This is key to survival.

Plus, Eastfield Laundry - whom we LOVE because they took a chance on this whole diaper laundering thing for us - actually PICKS UP and DROPS OFF the prefolds. And even gives us these big ole pails with a awesome smelling "green" solution to dump them in and they take it from there!


Cloth is good.

And, to add to our thrifty-save-the-world campaign we are also using washclothes instead of wipes... Jeremy isn't quite THRILLED about that one, but he's being a trooper. And it is astounding how much money we have saved by changing over to reusable resources!

I honestly believe that it is not THAT much more work for us at this point - and the babies seem perfectly fine with them. We had to bump them all up a clothes size because the cloth really do take up a LOT MORE space than disposables - but no biggie there... except mommy trying to do the clothes swap/put away again. Holy toledo!

I will say that I think this cloth diaper cover thingy has a lot of room for improvement, though. And I KNOW that everybody and their brother has come up with their own system! But, seriously... doing 4 at a time has given us a pretty good idea of what works and what clearly does NOT because we have very little tolerance for the latter. We want plastic pants with velcro closure. That's it. It'd still be super economical (these fancy ones are OUTRAGEOUS!) and work with the prefolds. I have tried looking but can not seem to find anything that is still on the market like that? It looks like their USED to be, but the products are "no longer available"? Maybe it doesn't work as great as it sounds? If you know otherwise, let me know!

Here is the problem we have found with the traditional plastic pants over prefolds:

Scenario #1: You have a really wet diaper. Pretty much HAVE to touch the wetness to get at the diaper and get that elastic cover off. If you check to see that it is ONLY wet you can test your ability to get off the prefold and cover in fell swoop - after you unhook the prefold (pins or other closure). If you don't get it off all at once? You pull off cover and then have a really wet diaper sitting on your changing table/next diaper (preloading a good idea)/outfit - ick. Granted, not the end of the world - we use a prefold under them and then can just throw it in the bucket and get a new one each time if needed - but it adds to laundry.

Scenario #2: You have a dirty diaper. No option to pull everything off at once. Why? Because you will quickly find your baby's legs and feet doused in poop, folks. It is what it is. I can't think of any other way to tell you and it's repulsive. DRAGGING a poopy diaper down their legs and off just is not in the cards. So once you get the prefold un-hooked (I always do this first by reaching inside), you have to take off the cover on it's own and try not to let the dirty diaper touch the changing table/next diaper/outfit (Double EWWW!!!). If you do not just use another prefold here you are going to go through a lot of changing pads!

Anyhow, I think I just made this cloth thing sound bad - but it's really not. I'm just walking you through the two worst scenario's that we have found after using them for a month incase you are interesting in giving 'er a go! And, let's be honest, they are NOT that bad. I totally think velcro, like with a disposable, would solve 90% of these issues!! But I have yet to find an inexpensive velcro, WATERPROOF cover.


Here's some pics of our fam... enjoy!

Jeremy and the big boys when we got out sledding!

Summer Girl fell asleep sitting up watching (guess?) football with daddy...

Smiley Cam - melt your heart!

Aiden and Caleb enjoying Miss Stephanie's jello in the tub... they heard it's good for your skin? Hmmm...

And the cannibals at the end would like to thank Miss Heidi for starting up our meals again - what an enormous blessing!!! And her chicken dish made them feel so manly - getting to eat it with their HANDS and OFF A BONE!!!

What a hero you are in our house, Heidi - thanks for everything you do for us...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happiest of New Years!

Would you look at this family picture?


Yes, it is a bit on the nutty side - BUT WE LOVE IT!

Obviously, this crew wasn't going far from home base so we are eternally grateful that our family all made the trek up north to be with us at some point over the holidays. Auntie Kristy wins first prize for longest drive, all the way from Gainsville, Florida baby!! Every single member of our immediate families were up over the course of the last 3 weeks - yahoo!

And our chitlins tried not to disappoint with mayhem as usual over here - I swear people are almost bummed when they are over and it's all Q-U-I-E-T... but it does happen now that we are on a pretty regular schedule! (all subject to change on about 5 minutes notice)

Plus, the big boys and I had a blast making all our Christmas presents this year - every single one was homemade... we have never done 100% before and we may never go back - it was so rewarding for our whole family to work together and see the boys satisfaction in what they had created ALL ON THEIR OWN! We made cookie jars, drink coozies with puffy paint personalization, wood picture frames, candy baggies, and - the monster of all cool ideas - our personalized wine and beer gifts for the adults! I would show you pics, but, seriously, Jeremy think we are the FUNNIEST people ever coming up with this idea!! Oh, and until we brew our own beer and wine we may have some copyright issues - hee, hee... but a hint? Six pack for six kids, folks. And Jeremy and I spent a date night laughing our heini's off as we came up with all the names - Cale Ale anyone? SHOOT!

Genius... simply genius around here.

Anyhow, we also set records with the coolest Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. You think this is some joke? Nuh uh. Sucker only held plastic 'indestructable' ornaments and our hand made popcorn strings... one for the string, one for us, one for the string... we didn't get TOO far on that task...and our angel at the top nearly capsized our little beauty. Truck only lights? Forget about it. This is the stuff that memories are made of.

Other awesome highlights? Our spectacular gingerbread cookie decorating contest - you wanna' talk heated competition - whoa. Auntie Jess and Auntie Kristy were squaring off something fierce - with Grammie pulling the sneak attack at the end. Thankfully Aiden, Caleb, and mama T were all about our mounds of icing to ensure maximum candy stackability.

Where it's at.

Also had the opportunity to take the big boys ice skating for the first time (uh - mommies first time as well - yikes!)! Wow. I've really tried resisting for a long time because, well, because I wasn't sure that I could handle the two of them when I couldn't keep off my arce myself, and because I was petrified they would take it as a green light to play ice hockey. Uhhhh NO. This fam does not have the time nor resources to pour into a sport like that - we have watched our friends and neighbors do it and they are NUTS. But - ice skating certainly was a huge success and we had papa here to pick up the pieces... of mommy.

We also had some huge weigh-ins over holiday at the RSV clinic - fierce competition and some restructuring of the weight line up with the quads:

Dane - 12#3oz

Brock - 11#14oz

Cam - 11#12oz

Summer - 9#6oz

WHOA! Yes, Dane is still holding his heavy weight title - but Brock has made some serious gains in his quest to over take the lead! Poor Cam - he's not so happy about relinquishing his 2nd place status... but the lil guy was sick! And Summer, well, she's just our peanut. She doesn't appear to have any interest in this race to bulk up - she throws her weight around in other arenas around here (how can dressing a little girl be SO MUCH FUN!?!?!)!!

Being home with all the kids for about 2 full weeks with just myself and papa (Grammie and Jeremy still worked except the holidays) really gave me a chance to get a GOOD schedule in order and try for some consistency. So - here it is - a typical day in the life of a Lew Quad:

5:30-6:30am -- wake up and EAT, EAT, EAT! Exhausted. Fall back asleep. (chalk one up for mommy and daddy!)

7:30-8:00am -- wake up again and SMILE, PLAY, SMILE! Another day - WOOHOO!!

9:30am -- morning snack (~2ounces) After all the playing need to refuel!

10:00am -- Exhausted. Nap...

11:00am-noon -- wake up and CHOW! Then play as hard as possible!

1:00-3:00 -- nap/play/nap/play... I just can't decide! Mostly nap...

3:30-4:00pm -- wake up and EAT! Play, smile, play!

5:00-5:30pm -- little siesta to prepare for night time fun? usually about 1/2 hour nap.

6:00-7:30pm -- No holds barred at the Lew house - all systems a-go! That "after dinner" hour: big boys are nuts, babies are lovin' the entertainment... mommy and daddy are wondering what the noise level would register?

8:30-9:00pm -- Nighty night babies! See you in your dreams...

11:30-midnight -- dream feed (refer to previous blogs for details...)

Repeat sequence.

Not too shabby, eh? We think it's going awesome! But we are getting a little nervous that we should be done with dream feeds soon so that they don't get in the HABIT of needing to eat around midnight - you know? Maybe in another week or so we'll give 'er a whirl.. start b y decreasing the amount they get at those feeds and wean them off it. It's weird because, again, we never did these "dream feeds" with our other kids and we had them sleeping through the night by 3 months (YAHOO!) - but because the quads were 2 months early we feel like they are just at that 3 month mark now anyhow... or at least that's what everybody keeps telling us to remember =) I really think that it's just tougher to get 4 little ones sleeping through the night because they really do get each other going if you allow them too much time to "figure it out" on their own before intervening. There is just a lot riding on the fact that you could quickly go from one awake to, gulp, 4 wide awake! We'll see how it goes as we transition here.

Cross fingers.
It's just so freaking fun with these little critters over here - a giggle fest now with all of them checking each other out and they LOVE watching their big brothers entertain them! Our favorite past times include dazzling the babies with our high-flying acrobatics (as performed on Grammie's bed... hey - even the Ringling Brothers had to start somewhere, right?) - we are off the freaking hook if Ifailed to mention it.
And speaking of fun - our New Years was great! Jeremy and I actually had sitters and were able to go up to Jess & Hans' house to enjoy some adult time with my girlfriend Dana, her hubby Steve, Cousin Mandy, Auntie Kristy, and my 'rents!!! How on earth did the Lews have sitters on the most coveted babysitting night all year? Well, the text message I received went a little something like this: 'Hi! Just wondering what you are doing for New Years? Bradley and I would love to come over and watch the kids if you want to go out." Uhhhh... what? Yes, it is at this point that we want to give a GI-NORMOUS shout out to our long-lost Bellaire babysitter Lauryn Alger and her fiance' Bradley. Not only did they CONTACT US about New Years, but they DROVE ALL THE WAY FROM BELLAIRE to be here! Oh, and by the way, they are in college, like 21 years old, and could probably think of a FEW OTHER PLACES they might rather hang out on New Years... FYI. But Noooooo... instead they lugged themselves over to Traverse City (about an hour away) to chill wit' a 2 & 4 year old and 4 little 5 month olds to ring in the new year!!
And I'M nutty?
I don't have ANYTHING on these two!!
No, but really, they are not nutty - they are just two of the sweetest, most mature people you could ever meet.
Alright, let's be honest... I'm SURE that Lauryn bribed Bradley - at first I honestly thought that maybe she was trying to scare him off or something? I mean, who DOES that? Poor dude didn't know what was coming, that's for darned sure =) Especially since we made it mandatory that they stayed the night too.
I know.
Do we know how to push our luck or what? But there was NO WAY that we could live with ourselves putting them back out on the road at like 2am on New Years - it was WAY too far to drive.
And yet they still agreed!
We love you Lauryn and Bradley!
Happy New Year, y'all! Our family has so much to look forward to (we think?) - this is the year that we will find our new family a home, Aiden will go to Kindergarden, Caleb will finally run the roost with Aiden gone during the day, and our beloved quadruplets will learn to walk and talk... holy smokes.
You'd better hope that we don't end up in YOUR neighborhood.