Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our little communicators

It is amazing to hear all the new words that they are saying! Of course when you want them to says something they just look at you like you are crazy but randomly they will repeat you or say something out of the blue. They are all starting to point at things and Cameron is even saying "wassat" when he points. Aubrey is great at answering yes and no and they all love to talk on the phone. It doesn't have to be a real phone, any item they put to their ear and say "hi" is considered their phone. I love that they are starting to really communicate with us!

All four of them are now crawling properly all the time and they are FAST! Of course they all crawl in different directions unless they are getting into trouble then they all seem to congregate in one spot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How many days does it take to make a habit???

Answer: Less than 3. The babies had shots on Monday and ever since have been super crabby. Matthew has been having an issue sleeping so for two nights he slept in our bed and on the third night we refused to let him so he cried...and cried...and cried some more. He spent a little over an hour in the playpen in our room with me going over and trying to calm him every 10 minutes before he finally gave in and fell asleep.

I had been so adament about them never sharing our bed but I have discovered that sometimes having a baby come into our bed in the middle of the night trumps being up with four screaming babies because one has woken up the other three. Invididually they have only slept in our bed a handful of times when they have been sick, stuffy or recovering from surgery but collectively it seems like it has been a lot. Call me selfish but I like sleeping without a little bed hog. I mean they take up more room then a full grown adult!

Over the past year I have learned there are things worth sticking to my guns on and things that are not worth being so strict about. I was very determined to have the bottles gone by one year old and we met this goal very easily. The pacifiers were supposed to be gone by one too but they are still getting them at bed time. Hey, can I count their adjusted age? :)

Let me tell you if you ever have a preemie in the NICU your thoughts on things are greatly influenced by the fact that the doctors and nurses scare the crap out of you about safety and SIDS. In the 11 years that I have done daycare I never thought twice about giving a baby a blanket to cover up during the winter months. To this day the babies have never used a blanket other than their swaddles or sleep sacks. They are getting ready to out grow the latest set so we are trying to make the decision as to whether to buy bigger ones or give them blankets to keep warm this winter.

Car seat safety has always been a big one for me. I have always made sure all the kids riding with me were restrained in age appropriate seats or seatbelts but have always followed the one year and 20 lbs turn forward facing rule. After much research and information from our doctor and NICU staff we have chosen to keep them rear facing until 2 years old or until they outgrow the manufacturers guidelines for height or weight.

The entire time I was pregnant I was adament that I would never dress the boys matching. At my shower I was less than thrilled to recieve many sets of threes but over time I have discovered that I like to match them once in awhile. I tend to dress them coordinating most days and other days I have them in just random outfits but it is cute to see them dressed alike other days.

I have stood my ground on is them putting themselves to sleep. I get to spend the entire day with them every day so they get plenty of cuddle time but bed time is bed time and they are put down awake each night into their cribs to put themselves to sleep. I vowed not to be the mom that has to rock each of her children to sleep each night until they are five.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1 year check up

It was time to visit the pediatrician again on Monday and she was very impressed with the progress that the babies have all made in the past 3 months. They still have not quite caught up with their actual age but are doing things well beyond their adjusted age. It seems each of them excels in a different category and hopefully they will all continue to learn from each other and catch up to their actual age soon.

Chicken pox are going around in our town so I requested that they get that immunization now as well as the flu shot so they only gave the babies one other scheduled vaccine. We go back in a month for the flu booster and they will also get the rest of the 12 month vaccines at that time. I worried that I would end up with 4 poxed babies that would in turn pass them onto the infants in day care.

They had their last hip checks and no issues! They seem to all have great eyes which I was happy to hear due to the fact Aubrey had ROP as a newborn and it took a little while to clear up. Their pediatrician was thrilled that they were done with bottles and she was happy to hear that we will be doing extended rear facing for all of them. We are going to start adding in some milk to the cups of formula to wean them off of formula and onto whole milk. She said we should give them each 20 oz per day so we figured it out to be 5 gallons of milk per week just for them to drink! I think we should seriously consider buying a cow!

All in all it was a great check up and the babies were pretty good about getting their shots but they are all super crabby still and I am thinking it is from the the shots. They all got weighed and measured for the first time officially in 3 months. I still cannot believe that Matthew and Cameron are both the exact same weight and height. Matthew looks much smaller than Cameron but they double checked and they are! Their current stats are:

Matthew
weight- 21 lbs 12 oz 25th percentile
length- 29 1/2" 30th percentile
head circumference- 18 1/4" 50th percentile

Brady
weight- 25 lbs 5 oz 90th percentile
length- 31" 80th percentile
head circumference- 19" 90th percentile

Aubrey
weight- 18 lbs 6 oz 5th percentile
length- 28" 25th percentile
head circumference- 18" 70th percentile

Cameron
weight- 21 lbs 12 oz 25th percentile
length- 29 1/2" 30th percentile
head circumference- 18 1/2" 70th percentile

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday!

Happy 1st Birthday Matthew, Brady, Cameron and Aubrey! Mommy and Daddy love you guys!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Four Little Piggies

I think these little piggies are going to eat us out of house and home! The four of them eat as much as Ben and I do at dinner time. Breakfast is typically consists of toast, french toast, pancakes, nutragain bar, yogurt or cereal with some fruit and a 5-6 oz cup of formula. Lunch is whatever the day care kids eat that day, we follow the USDA food program guidelines so they get the protein, bread, fruit/veg, and formula with lunch too. Snack is a healthy snack with juice then dinner is whatever we are having (meat, potato, veg) with another cup of formula. Then they finish off the night with an 8 oz cup of formula at bed time.

Usually I try to make them eat pretty healthy with the occasional sweets, like birthday cake or ice cream. Ben has other ideas! He thinks that there is nothing wrong with junk all the time so he is constantly asking if the kids can have this or that and I am constantly saying no. Yesterday he REALLY wanted to bring them to McDonald's since it is his favorite restaurant of all time so I gave in and the kids loved it! Between the four of them they gobbled up a double cheeseburger, 4 pc nugget, small fries and a vanilla yogurt. I know we are winning parent of the year award for treating our almost one year olds a McDonald's feast! Hey you only live once!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sleeping fun

Ever since Brady learned to pull himself up he thinks that when it is time to go to bed he should just stand up and laugh about it. As each baby learned to pull up in bed Brady would cheer them on. Tonight Cameron pulled himself up for the very first time ever. I am sooooo proud of him. Brady was even more proud than I was I think. He was jumping up and down in his bed and saying "YAAAAAAAAAAAYY!"

Nap time has become a bit of an obstacle. Brady and Matthew think that they can sleep a half an hour per day and be good to go. I tend to disagree with them. I am tired of the crying and whining all evening long because they are overtired so I started letting them cry it out and found Matthew will give in within minutes and go back to sleep but Brady, that kid is persistant! Yesterday he screamed for over a half hour before I gave in and let him up but regretted it all afternoon because he wouldn't stop whining and wanted to be held the entire time then fell asleep eating dinner...LITERALLY! He was chewing a bite then fell asleep so Ben yelled "Brady, wake up it isn't bed time" and he woke up and kept chewing.

The babies are loving their new playroom. They are not very happy that they are not allowed in during daycare hours. Matthew and Aubrey stood at the gate screeching and shaking it until I diverted their attention towards something else. Brady discovered he can go down the slide head first and the other two boys love to sit at the top until you pull on their pants and they come down the slide. Aubrey is not so sure of it but she does love to swing and Brady is more than happy to push her.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Party

The babies had their very first birthday party yesterday! It was so bittersweet to see them hit yet another milestone in their lives. All in all it was a good day shared with many friends and relatives. All my family and some friends even travelled up from Connecticut to share in this special day.

Much of the party was a blur to us as we attempted to help the babies open gifts, visit with our guests, keep food and punch stocked and deal with four, cranky at times, almost one year olds. Thankfully Sam McMann came and took pictures of the day and we are able to look back and see how blessed we are.

The babies are fully outfitted for the winter season with all of their new clothes and pajamas. I cannot wait to put all the cute outfits on them! We have been very fortunate not to have to purchase many clothes for them so far between my baby shower, gifts they received when they were born, hand me downs and random gifts they have been dressed in style all the time.

Their new playroom is now filled with some brand new toys and I cleared out their totes of all the rattles and other infant toys to make room for everything. They kept busy most of the day by trying out everything they now have as Ben put stuff together and I organized everything so it has a home. I bet it won't take long for them to completely destroy my system...LOL!

They all received some money for their bank accounts and savings bonds to help ensure a good start to their future. It is never too early to start saving!

All four of them seemed to really enjoy their cake and made a huge mess except for Cameron who loved the cake but hates getting his hands dirty. Matthew would have eaten the entire cake if we would have let him I think.

Even after all that sugar they were pooped when we got home and gathered at the bottom of the stairs signaling they were ready for bed by 6:45. It had been a long day for us all and I think I was just as happy to see my bed last night as they were!

Thank you to Kaycee, Kate and Tom who helped set up for the event. Thank you to everyone who helped with food. Mom, Cathie, Diana, Charlie, Celena, Dan, Kate and anyone else who I am forgetting for helping clean up and get things home for us. Thank you to Auntie Sam and Auntie Tonya for giving much needed baths after cake time. Thank you to our special guest ELMO, and of course thank you to everyone for attending and all the gifts for the babies!

Ready for the party!
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Our Special Guest...Elmo
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Do they look impressed or what?
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The birthday princess
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Double trouble
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Is it cake time yet???
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Our guests
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Opening presents
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Ready for Cake!
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The cake for our guests
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The smash cakes
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Yummy!
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All clean and ready to tackle more gifts!
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Their new playroom all set up!
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We love our new toys! Thank you everyone!
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little Jabber Jaws

The babies have all become so vocal, talking, yelling, screaching. They have been experimenting with putting words together. Matthew is saying dada, dad, momma, ma, baba, and more. Brady is saying BaaBaa when Ben says to say dada so he thinks he can't say the D's yet, I tell him he is saying Ben...LOL! He also says momma, up, more and his favorite, Haha. Aubrey is saying momma, dada, daddy (sounds more like da-ee), hi, and yeah. Cameron says momma, dada, baba, gunk (when you tell him to say uncle) and Ben and I both swear that he is saying a naughty word!

Still no walkers but they are getting around like crazy now. Cameron and Matthew are still doing the belly crawl but Aubrey and Brady are up and fast! Matthew, Aubrey and Brady are all pulling up and Brady is walking the furniture thinking he can let go whenever he wants to.

Cameron is going to have a P/T evaluation to look at why he only moves one leg when he crawls. He always used one leg more than others so his new Early Supports Coordinator thinks an evaluation is in need.

The boys are definitely bigger drama queens than Aubrey. Matthew will fling his head back and cry while looking around be sure people are paying attention. Brady plops himself on the ground, spreads his legs, puts his forehead on the ground and cries. Cameron will clench his fists and grunt then cry. It kills me!

They all love music and love to dance to it. Aubrey has figured out how to make our cell phones play the music and can even record herself. That girl is going to love the phone.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our life in numbers

We waited 10 long years to welcome these 4 little blessings into our life and now that they have been here almost 1 year I look back and wondered how we made it this far all healthy and happy.

When we first came home from the hospital we would have approximately 250 diaper changes per week. Now we are down to about 200. We go through about 4 tubs of wipes a week as well. Due to the generosity of our friends and family who attended my shower and brought diapers with them, gift certificates from diapers.com, and our very own diaper fairy we have yet to spend 1 cent on diapers! AMAZING! Unfortunately that is going to be coming to an end in another month or so when our diaper stock is depleted.

We now give at least 16 baths per week, do 15 loads of laundry per week, and go through 56-84 change of clothes/pajamas per week.

During our formula only days we would go through 13 cans of formula a week, thankfully we are now down to 8. The 32 bottles per day, every 3 hours has now evolved into 16 sippy cups of formula and 8 cups of juice (2oz juice, 6 oz water)per day. Before they began table food but after they began eating baby food 3 meals a day we would go through 84 jars per week of fruits and veggies as well as 2 containers of rice and 2 of oatmeal. Now they can eat a whole container of Gerber Puffs in a sitting for snack!

The babies have grown so much from the preemie clothing and diapers to now being in size 3 and 4 diapers, 9 month, 12 month, 18 month clothing, size 2, 3 and 4 shoes. Teeth are big here! They collectively have 17.

We have dealt with 1 bout of pneumonia, 11 ear infections, 5 cases of the croup, 2 cases of bronciolitis and several colds. We have gone to 6 well child check ups and collectively they have had 68 immunizations with more to come in 2 weeks. They recieved 24 shots of Synagis to prevent RSV.

In the past 355 days these 4 babies have tried our patience 1,000,000 times but have taught us more about love and life than we could ever imagine. I am sure in the coming years they will continue to try our patience but it is just a reminder of how lucky we are to have the 4 of them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fun at the fair

I guess I have to admit it, the babies love the fair just as much as their daddy. How lucky am I to have 4 babies who are going to grow into big kids that want to go to the fair everyday? Luckily it is only 6 days a year.

The babies of course draw all sorts of attention and for the most part people were friendly and just wanted to look at the babies but there were a few people that I just wanted to kick. At one point I was standing in line getting us some lunch when two ladies behind me were talking about "the people with the four babies" and saying how rediculous it was and how their tax dollars were what was raising the babies while we sat home. Needless to say I spun around and informed them how us working was what was supporting those children and some other choice words before they got out of line and walked away as the vendor waiting on me got a good laugh. Yet another proceeded to tell me "that's what you f@#$ing get" for using fertility treatments. And a couple other random comments that pissed me off.

It really isn't anyone's business how these babies came to be ours or how we are raising them. We are doing the best we can with what we were dealt and I love these babies more than life itself. It still is very hurtful to hear strangers, or even people you know, act like they know what is best better than I do.

Anyways...at the fair the babies got to meet a couple characters from Yo Gabba Gabba and take a pony ride. The boys loved being on the pony, Aubrey of course hated the fact that it was bump. That girl is so girlie!

Cameron playing with the jumbo ball Ben won for them
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Watching the orangatang show
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Checking out the tractors
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At the petting zoo
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Riding the pony
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Yo Gabba Gabba
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The rainbow as we were walking to the van
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is it really September already?

It was such a beautiful summer but it went by far too quickly. We were fortunate enough to take a few mini vacations, spend some time at the lake and the babies were able to play outside a lot. The weather is still unusually warm here right now but I am sure that will turn around soon enough so for now we are trying to get in as many walks and as much outdoor time as possible. I definitely can wait for the snow to come. The thought of bundling all four of them up to leave the house does not excite me one bit. Last year it was so simple with their bundle me's in the car seat.

September is a big month for our family. Ben's birthday is tomorrow, the big 1st birthday party is next weekend and of course the big day when our babies become one year olds is on the 17th.

A few more pictures to share...

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cameron Jacob

Cameron was our Baby D, all over the place in the womb which is why I think he came out the smallest of the boys at 3 lbs 11 oz and 16.5" tall.

CAMERON

Cameron

Cameron

Our little Cam Cam Man is definitely a fighter, he was the only one to ever need to be on the CPAP or any sort of assistance, he endured two surgeries and he is still the most mild mannered of the bunch. Cameron was the first I was able to do Kangaroo Care with and I truly believe it was what helped him overcome the need for the CPAP. Within hours of kangarooing he was breathing perfectly on his own.

In the beginning he was the one with the least amount of personality, always straight faced and hard to get to smile, now that boy is the first to laugh, always happy and most talkative.

Cameron loves to wave, clap, talk and laugh. He plays peek a boo with his snuggy, or better yet his sister's. That boy is attracted to pink! He loves to eat even though he still needs some assistance getting it to his mouth. He prefers his straw cup over the ordinary sippies but is beginning to master both kinds.

My littlest man is trying to catch up to his big brother Brady and is now weighing in at 21 lbs 12 oz and 28" tall.

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