Saturday, December 15, 2012

First solids!

The babies' will be 8 months old (8 months?!?) next week, and are a little over 5 months adjusted. We were aiming to start solids around 6 months adjusted, but we decided to go ahead and start yesterday. They have really been showing us that they are ready the past month or so by sitting up, watching intently and smacking their little mouths while we eat, grabbing our food (Corbin's first food came very close to being a chocolate cupcake), etc. While thawing out some breast milk a couple of weeks ago, I got curious and gave them all a spoonful of slushy milk to see how they would do. Their tongue thrust reflexes were completely gone and they did really well, so I knew we would be starting soon.

First time in their table!
Our quad table came in, which was a Christmas gift from Larry's Mom and Santa.... but we really wanted to get it set up. The day after we did, I decided to give solids a whirl, and was really nervous. I know that babies' that had been tube fed for a while could have issues with eating solids, and ours were tube fed for quite a while. Thankfully, it is looking like I may not have to worry, because they did GREAT! We originally wanted to start with sweet potatoes, but we had an avocado on hand, and they are also a great first food. I just mashed it up with a fork really well and stirred in some breast milk to thin it a bit. In a perfect world, I would use four bowls and four spoons, or even four spoons and one bowl... but we live in quad world, so one bowl and one spoon is looking like the route we are taking.

Yum yum yum
We just stuck them in their table, buckled them in, and away we went! We got lots of hilarious faces, but overall they did so much better than I expected. They chewed it around and swallowed it down. Allie kept making the most awful faces but kept screaming at me until I gave her more. I think Abby was the least thrilled with it, she did great eating it but I do not think she liked the flavor too well. The boy's both did really well, too. I gave everyone some more avocado tonight and even made it a little more textured, and they devoured the entire bowl and screamed for more. Or everyone but Abby, that is. She still was not a big fan of the taste but still ate quite a bit. Hopefully she will like it better when we move on to sweet potatoes in a couple of days.

Ella helping out
Happy babies'!
These videos aren't the best because I was videoing with my phone while feeding them, and you can hear Larry taking an insane amount of photos, but it's all I have! These are of their very first bites.

And that's about it! Christmas post and FAQ post hopefully coming up soon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How time has flown!

Abby, Allie, Ella, Corbin, and Carson
It's been a couple of months and SO much has changed around this house! Things have gotten tremendously easier in most ways, and a tad harder in others. It's gotten a little trickier because they changed Larry's schedule at work, he now works both days and nights, and it took the babies' (and Mom!) a bit to adjust to that.

We have made some big changes since my last update 2.5 months ago:

- Sleeping through the night 12 hours. They have been doing this for about 2 months or so and it is heavenly!

-Dropping to four feedings a day. I can not begin to explain how much easier our life has gotten because of this! I have always been very hesitant to drop feedings. Ella at this stage was still nursing 7+ times a day, but the babies' were not eating well because they were not hungry that often, so they have done so much better with the four feedings a day.

- Putting each baby in their own crib. We did this about 2 months ago, since the babies' learned to roll back to belly, they kept rolling onto each other and waking each other up.They like to snuggle so I thought they may sleep worse, but they did so much better.

- Switching from Swaddle Me wraps to Halo sleep sacks. I was VERY scared of this transition, I had heard a lot of horror stories about making the transition from swaddling. Ella always hated to be swaddled, so this was new to me. The first night everyone but Abby woke a couple of times, but after that first night they went back to sleeping well.

- Saying bye bye to the paci. Ella had a paci until two days before she turned TWO, and it was hell getting it from her... and I did not want a repeat of that. I learned with her the older they are, the more dependent they become on it, so we decided to go ahead and get rid of the paci while they still weren't a huge deal to the babies'.

- Napping at the same time. This one took me FOREVER to get them to do. This has just happened over the past month or so. Some babies' sleep longer than others, and it's not always the same babies', but I usually get at least one hour of them all asleep at one time.

- Switching formulas. The babies' receive one bottle of formula a day, and we had gotten the okay to switch from Neosure to a regular formula. We switched to Enfamil infant powder since Enfamil will be sending us 16 cases of formula, which should get us past their first birthday since we do not use that much of it.We slowly transitioned them to the new formula so it would not upset their tummies, and they did great!

There has also been huge changes in the babies' development. Everyone started giving us big ole' belly laughs a couple months ago, and this has been my favorite! They love to laugh at each other and talk to each other which is soooo cute! They have become a lot more mobile as well. It's always a shock the first time you put your baby on the floor and walk away to do something, and then come back and they are no where to be seen! Lot's of shrieks, happy screams, squeals, and talking going on as well.  All of the babies' are wearing size 6 month clothes and size 2 diapers, but the boys will be moving to size 3 diapers when they are shipped this week (the 2's are getting pretty snug), and it wont be long before the boys' are in 9 month clothes.Their weight gain has slowed a tad since they have become more mobile, but they are still growing great.

Individual updates:

Ella has been doing great. She still just goes along with the flow and is not really jealous at all. She had her 3 year check up recently, and she is 30 pounds (30th percentile) and 36.5 inches (23rd percentile). She is a tiny tot but very healthy and smart! She is totally into her "doctor phase" right now and is constantly giving everyone checkups and telling them what their "dianosis" (diagnosis) is. She was quick to tell the doctor that she needed medication for her stuffanemia, ha. She keeps me amazed with how smart she is and with her wild imagination. I feel bad that she is stuck in the house most of the time, I can not wait until RSV season is over and we can get out and about! She is such a good little Mommy to her two baby dolls, and the dolls have to do everything our real babies' do.

This picture CRACKS me up, crazy girl feeding her babies'.
Abby is hilarious. She has the most infectious laugh and has really developed quite the personality. She has also become the master at convincing us she is drinking her bottle when she really isn't... she moves her mouth, makes the sucking noises, and really looks like she is drinking. She will do this for 30 minutes and will have only had an ounce to drink. Since going to four bottles a day her appetite has improved drastically. She did go through a spell again recently where she would not eat, but it only lasted a few days thank goodness. At her 6 month appointment, she was 3.66% for weight (up from 2.32% at 4 months) and 0.85% for height (up from 0.02% at 4 months). This is on the chart for actual age, not adjusted, so we were happy that she is slowly climbing the chart. She now weighs 14 pounds 6 ounces at 7 months.

Allie reminds me so much of Ella it is crazy. Even the way she acts and laughs reminds me of her. Her eyes have turned hazel like Ella's while the rest of the babies' eyes remain blue. Her blood pressure has been good, we go for a follow up in a week. She is very strong and active, Larry thinks she will be the first to crawl. She eats so well and is usually first to finish her bottle, but she remains the smallest and is so tiny! She was 2.19% for weight (up from 0.32% at 4 months) and 4.7% for height (up from 0.71%) at her 6 month appointment. She now weighs 14 pounds 5 ounces at 7 months.

Corbin is still my flirty boy. He loves most people but boy does he love his Momma! He is so funny and has a great little personality. He is the most mobile and I think he will be the first to crawl. He always gets himself into tiny spaces or ends up weird places, so i have to really keep my eyes on him while they are on the floor. He has to see a urologist for a hydrocele and possible hernia, but that was the only issue at his 6 month appointment. He was 3.26% for weight (up from 0.9% at 4 months) and 0.95% for height (up from 0%) at his 6 month appointment. He now weighs 15 pounds 9 ounces at 7 months.

Carson, oh my Carson. He has decided to beat the other babies' down in the weight department. He now almost has a pound lead on Corbin, and is becoming quite the chunk! He eats SO well despite his reflux. The OT said we are working her out of a job because the only reason she is seeing him and Abby are because of eating issues... And he has none. She wants to make sure that he has no problems with solids when we start them, but I have a feeling that he will do really well with them. He is a little behind the other 3 babies' in development, but he is still ahead of his adjusted age on most things, so I try not to worry too much. His hair is insane and I don't know what to do with it, so he now gets a comb over, ha. He has also FINALLY quit screaming bloody murder during his baths, which makes bath time much more enjoyable for everyone involved! He has to see a doctor to evaluate his head shape, but we are praying he will not need a helmet for this. He was 4.16% for weight (up from 0.22% at 4 months) and 1.95% for height (up from 0%) at his 6 month appointment. He now weighs 16 pounds 8 ounces at 7 months.

I have also cut down to pumping 3 times a day the past couple of weeks. I knew I would probably take a small hit to my milk supply, but I really needed to drop down for sanity reasons. The babies' are awake much more and demand a lot of attention now, and it's really hard to sit down and pump for 1-1.5 hours when they are awake. So now I wake up and pump for 1.5 hours before they wake up, pump an hour during their nap, and pump for 1.5 hours after they go to bed. This has worked out so great and I feel like I have so much more freedom now! It's also nice not to have to drag the pump every single place I go, I can actually get out for 5 hours if I need to without bringing the pump along. I did lose a little of my supply, about 10 ounces, but I am okay and content with this. We have a little over 2,000 ounces left in the deep freeze, so I am hoping we can at least get to one year between the pumping and the milk in the freezer.

We are getting excited for Christmas, we still have not put up our tree but will be doing that this week. Our Elf on the Shelf is also on her way to us... the thing is kind of creepy but I think Ella will have so much fun with it! Ella has picked out her name, and it will be "Melinda". Christmas has always been my favorite holiday but having kids to share Christmas with makes it even more amazing, especially once they can really understand it.

I've been working on this post a couple of weeks, so I am going to stop here so it isn't a mile long! I think I am FINALLY going to try and finish my FAQ post, so if you have any questions for me just leave a comment and let me know!

P.S. If everyone who reads this could please say a prayer (if you pray) for my brother in law Chuck, it would be SO appreciated. He is not doing well at all and his liver and kidneys are failing. Our God is an awesome one, and we are praying for one of His miracles! THANK YOU! XOXO