Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas drill

Mema & Pepa with the "4"

Brotherly love - Finn & Noah

Well, the Christmas drill was a success! It took quite a bit of planning, checklists, and choreography to pull it off. Here's a rundown of our plan:
Tuesday PM - create checklist and pack
Wednesday 10 - 11:30am - feed babies, baby play time and pack car with last minute items
11:30 - 11:50am - put babies in car seats, and head out
1:30pm - Galveston ETA if driving approximately 60mph the entire trip so as to arrive right at the scheduled 2pm feeding - yes, we got there early because it is very hard to drive 60mph.
Sophia is safe in Pepa's hands

The smile says it all
It was fun to hang with mema & pepa so they could be with the babies for the 1st time since they were born. Pepa was amazed at how beautiful their heads are and mema was upset that we woke the babies to feed them. Grammie came over after work to cuddle and feed the babies. Our good friends, Heather and Todd, also came over and hung for a while. The babies did very well despite the slight change in routine and different surroundings. We look forward to more road trips with the babies.
Heather & Todd were frisked before they left

Watch out Todd, Heather's got a new man

Grammie lovin' on the babies

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Noah's On the Up and Up!

We've been biting our nails, pacing the floor, just frantically awaiting today's appointment for Noah. Last week we went to the GI/Liver Specialist it was grim and grim. Most babies should gain 150 - 200 grams a week and our little Noah had lost 25 grams for the week - putting him at 6 lbs 7 oz. On top of that, his billirubin count had gone up. So last week we went up to 27 calorie formula and doubled his Liver medication. Today Chris took Noah in and he gained a whopping 800 grams! Now, he and I both think the scale was a bit amiss or he was moving a bit too much becuase the pedi's office had him at 6lbs 12 oz yesterday and the specialist's office had him at 7lbs 9 oz today. Still, on either scale the boy is on the up and up with his weight gain! They drew blood to check his billirubin levels and we should see the good results later today. You know you've been in the hospital too long when you don't fuss with shots but wail with a diaper change - something's just wrong about that. Still, this news is a huge answer to prayer!!

Cohen 11# 9.5oz Sophia 8# 13.5oz Finn 8# 9oz Noah 6# 12oz

Wrestle Mania
Things at home are still crazy fun. We find ourselves hearing babies cry or monitors sounding, but it's only in our heads. Chris and I have mastered feeding the four babies on our own - putting all four in boppies and each feeding two at a time. We've gotten it down to about 40 - 45 min to feed, change and put them to bed in the middle of the night. We've switched to a 4 hour schedule which means one less feeding during the day and more time in between feeds to get things done around the house. We now feed at 6, 10, 2 around the clock and have wake time for about 1.5 - 2 hours. Waketime conists of switching the kids from one station to another - usually swing time, bouncy time, tummy time, bumbo seat time. Every so often we throw in bath time or a walk in there to mix things up. The days fly by and before we know it we're doing it all over again! :)
Burp one and feed 3 at the same time

4 hands - 4 babies

The crying game is getting a little better this week. The babies are able to calm themselves down a little more quickly, it seems. Though, as I am writing this Sophia has awakened and is sobbing for help. :) I usually peek in to be sure she's not stuck in an awkward position or has an unwanted hand in her face. If all is well, I let her work it out for a few minutes and she'll put herself back to sleep. Noah is getting a lot better as well. He used to cry and cry when we would put him down for a nap. Surprisingly, now that he is on the four hour schedule and getting more rest between feeds, he seems to be more content to go down and sleep more. The days are so much more pleasant. We still have the proverbial question when it comes time for the 2am feed and they are still sleeping - I think they'll make it through the night; should we let them sleep or wake them up? Inevitably, one of them will wake up and answer the question for us.
Hungry? or Kisses?

We plan on doing a "Christmas drill" this week to see if we can get everthing packed and babies in the car in record time before the Holidays and festivities. As you can tell, we are getting a little more brave by venturing out of the house with the babies, whether it be for walks or to run errands. This is making things a little more fun and satisfies our quest for things to be "normal". The challenge comes with trying not to mess up their schedule - do we go for a walk during their waketime or during their sleeptime?

Me and my babies at the beach

Chris was so excited to "christen" Cohen and Sophia at the beach last weekend. The beach is in his blood, especially since he is BOI (born on the island for those not in the know); and as his pepa says, "He's got sand between his toes".
Finn, Noah, Cohen, Sophia relaxing seaside

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Remembering to Give Thanks Today

I have found myself living these past few weeks just wishing that the days of bottle feeding, sleepless nights and four babies that require us for all of their needs would pass us by and we could skip on to the next chapter and truly start enjoying this new family. I know it sounds awful but it hasn't really been a cake walk, thus far. After having these thoughts day after day, I realized how much I will miss if I continue this way. If I'm always looking toward the future for my happiness, I'll miss the gifts we have right now. So I thought I'd make a list and give thanks for the things we were blessed with today.
-2 hours of uninterrupted sleep - no alarms after the 6 am feed and Chris and I took a rare uninterrupted nap!!
-Chris is home until next year!
-A perfect vacation with the Glass family - what a huge help they have been - THANK YOU!!
-4 babies at home - I am so thankful to have them all together

Here are some fun photos from last week's vacation
Sophia & Daddy
All The Cousins

A Beautiful Walk On The Beach - And We Only Got Stopped Once!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Family Vacation

Galveston Island - Thanksgiving 2007 Vacation

So it's our first vacation as a family of 6 and let me tell you this is a vacation unlike any we've had. When you have 4 newborns it's not so much fun in the sun as it is the same routine with a change of scenery. Nonetheless, we are making the best of it and enjoying being with the rest of the family who came down from Iowa and Minnesota.

The Cousins Enjoying The Beach

On a pre-quad vacation, we would have no clocks, spend lots of time napping in the sunshine and chilling on the beach. Now we live by our watches so the babies stick to their schedule in hopes that one of these days they'll sleep through the night. The beach is a short trip in between naps while someone else stays here to watch the babies and man the monitors. Okay, it sounds like I'm complaining but I'm not - just observing how different our lives are now.

Aunt Emalee & Uncle Jim Sunning
(This is what we have to look forward to once our kids are all over the age of 4)

The Cousins Meet

Jakob & Noah

Makenna & Noah

Hannah & Sophia and Josh & Noah

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Day In The Life Of....

Quadruplets!! So it's been 4 nights with the fab 4 and we have survived! Defeated at times, but nonetheless alive. We have had to make a few adjustments now that all 4 are re-united. For example, we have a bottle of wine every night to de-stress, at least 3 cups of coffee in the AM to re-energize, and the babies are now allowed to cry themselves to sleep (thus the need for the wine in the PM and coffee in the AM). Mari's sister, Emalee, has been in since Sunday and she has been a huge help with getting the babies on a schedule. They are doing much better on this schedule - here's a rundown:

change diaper, feed babies, keep babies awake for 1.5 hours, put babies down for 1.5 hour nap, Rinse and repeat.

Auntie Em - Looks like she has done this before

The Quad Squad has been in full effect, providing 2 volunteers every 3 hours from 6am til 6pm. They are such a help keeping the babies awake and extra arms for feeding. Much love Susan for all of your hard work getting things together!

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving and making plans to head to the beach. Hopefully, I'll get to take the surfboard out a little for the 1st time and introduce the babies to my first love - the beach.
Grandma and Grandpa Lovin' All Four!

Noah had an appointment today with the liver specialist. Noah was on TPN for 2 months and this stuff is super-hard on the liver. So now he basically has a mild case of liver damage and Simpson-like jaundice, which will only resolve with time. He has lost a little weight according to our scale but Dr. Quiros wasn't concerned at this time but does want to monitor Noah for the next week. Thankfully, doc said we could start feeding Noah as much as he could handle but had to be careful to monitor for signs of intolerance (ie too many loose dirty diapers).
Noah finding comfort with Sophia

Finn is adjusting well to this crazy home. We are pretty sure he is the sensitive one in the bunch because he will cry with his bros and sis, feeling their pain. He also loves to cuddle which makes Sophia happy because Cohen could care less about snuggling with her.

Bathtime with Finn

Cohen is still a little linebacker, breaking the scales at over 10 lbs now. For the past week, he has been having crazy meltdowns in the evenings, sometimes lasting from 6pm til 12am. With the new schedule, he may cry for 15min then fall asleep. Also, we decided to take him off reflux meds and is now chowing down his bottle in half the time.
Cohen in the Bumbo

Sophia is our primadonna - who would've guessed? She is adapting very well to the schedule, but demands a lot of attention. Who can blame the gal...after all she has 3 brothers to compete with.

Naptime Melodies

Mari and I were laughing together the other night at just how naive we once were. We were thinking God must've thought we had some great characteristics to give us four babies at once. We know now He knew some very important traits were missing and we needed a swift kick in the pants to change. We're getting there, just feeling some bruises on the backside along the way.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Let the Good Times Roll!

We are in awe that the day is finally here! Tonight we picked up Noah and now, after 72 long days, we have our family together again under one roof! It's an exciting and anxious time.

Many will not agree with our actions, but we decided to discharge Noah against medical advice. The doctors wanted to watch him for a few more days to play with his feedings a bit and show that he's gaining more weight, but we just felt like we could monitor him at home. The medical staff has done a great job with his medical treatment, but we feel like bonding at home is the last piece of the puzzle for him to gain weight. In addition, he has been very fussy in the hospital for the past week and we're hoping that being here will help to calm his anxieties so he can hold on to as many calories as possible. Please pray that Noah will thrive at home, gaining weight and find peace being back with the fam.

Thankfully, Mom and Dad were due to leave but have delayed their flight until Sunday morning. Busha will come for the day on Saturday and Sunday to help with feedings and my sister then comes in Sunday evening. Quad Squad volunteers start bright and early Monday morning. What a wonderful blessing all of this help is, not only for the babies to get some extra one on one time, but for our sanity! :)

Hopefully we'll have time to post details over the weekend or at least post a few pics so you know we survived!

Funny monitor story of the week: Sophia's monitor went off in the middle of the night. With much gusto, Tim sprang into action and ran into the closet to save Sophia. He quickly realized we stopped letting her sleep in the closet and instead was in the crib:) Good 'ol Grandpa was just checking for monsters.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the For(s)um

Remember reading that Shakespeare play in high school? The last several blogs have been pretty serious. We greatly appreciate all the responses we have gotten so far on the last post. Let's get back to our roots and have a little fun with this one - Chris and Mari style.

Sophia, Finn & Cohen

Cohen, Sophia and Finn are home now and all 3 are on heart monitors. When they sound a long beep (much like a smoke alarm) their leads have come off; these things don't stop beeping until the problem is fixed. If they make short beeps, then they have not been breathing for about 20 seconds and it will continue to beep until they are breathing again. Not funny so far, but you throw this in at 3am when you are sound asleep and it is dark, some funny stuff happens.

Our three little fire alarms all lined up

The other night, the apnea alarm was going off so in a hurry I sprung out of bed got halfway out of the bedroom and realized I didn't have my shorts on. So I grabbed my shorts off the floor, stumbled around in the dark while I tried to pull them on but could only manage to get both legs in.....the same hole! I figured I didn't have time to fix this since one of my babies wasn't breathing and waddled into the nursery to save my baby's life. But, Tim was already there. I still had both legs in the same leg hole and hurried out of the room hoping he didn't notice.

A few nights before that, the alarms had been going off like crazy. I have a tendency to not hear them when I am sleeping; or maybe I act like I'm sleeping so I don't have to get up. Well, Mari hears these things and she is the closest to the door so she usually hops up and takes care of it. After doing this several times in a row and after Tim stubbed his toe racing in there as well, Mari kinda got upset with me. She tried to make me feel guilty about her dad stubbing his toe and me not getting to the nursery before him. So the next time the alarm sounds I get up and head toward the nursery, the alarm stops on its own, I come back to bed. Mari comments that I didn't seem to be in a hurry to get to the nursery - suggesting I run a little faster next time. She asks me how the baby's color was and I told her I didn't know because I didn't have my glasses on. Mari responds, "Well, I sleep in my glasses." (I think she just decided that at the moment because I don't recall seeing her glasses on while sleeping before.) The alarm sounds again. Mari jumps up in superhero fashion and sprints through the bedroom trying to prove a point. THUD! Mari runs into the wall racing around the corner to the nursery! I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but now I'm dying laughing just writing this.

You might imagine it is tricky trying to keep all the monitor beeps straight - you never know who is going off- especially in the car or stroller when the monitors are somewhat hidden. It has happened a couple of times now where the monitor is going off and Mari is trying to startle Sophia to wake up only to find that it was Cohen's monitor the whole time. Sophia is rudely awakened and Cohen is still beeping away!

Another funny thing that seems to happen is we all start running after any beep in the house. The microwave is going off and Dawn is running to the nursery. Our old coffee machine would beep three times when it was finished brewing - it would get us every time! Our baby monitor beeps when the battery is low and we all find ourselves in the nursery looking at the monitors and laughing as we realize we were tricked again!

The most amazing thing thus far is that Finn, our little guy who has had so many breathing problems, the one who we recite the infant CPR method in our heads for, has not had a single alarm yet! Cohen and Sophia's apnea alarms are still going off in the night and Finn is calm as can be, breathing strong - proving us wrong! (Update: His Apnea alarm just went off as I was posting this - darn!)

Noah - Look How Strong He Is!
He Says "Send Me Home - Wireless, Please!" :)