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