June 04, 2013

Your Questions Answered

I want to thank everyone for their kind words with our loss of Bailey. We are still hurting and I wish I could say the ache is getting better but it is the opposite. Each day we are missing her more and more. Today Aubrey called out for me that Bailey was barking and I had to remind her that it was the neighbors dog. I would give anything to hear Bailey barking all day long. I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye throughout the day and when I turn I have to remember she is gone. Bailey girl we sure did miss you last night when we were out riding bikes. We know you would have been running right next to the girls. We will keep missing you and in time we will think about you without crying.

I love doing Q&A posts because the questions that are asked often make me stop and think. I have so much fun reading what others want to know and it allows me to share about our family rather than just what is going on in our day to day life. There were a ton of questions this time so grab something cool to drink, put your feet up and learn a little more about us.

"Why do you dress your baby boys alike so often and your baby girls not?"

When we go out I often do dress the kids in coordinating outfits. Why? Because I think it is cute! The reason the girls are not always coordinating/matching is because we got a lot of hand-me downs for the little girls and I had clothes that I had saved from the big girls (got rid of one set of everything that was matching though because I wasn't expecting to have multiples again!) so I have a lot of outfits that I only have one of. I am not allowing myself to buy the little girls any clothes right now because their side of the closet is overflowing so they do not get to coordinate the majority of the time. The little boys side of the closet has way less to choose from so when I do buy more clothing for them it is easier just to grab two of the same outfit. I do like to coordinate more than match but for pictures or special events I do love matching them.

Natalie and Aubrey have very few matching outfits but many that coordinate. Some days when they are getting dressed they will tell each other they want to be "twins" and dress the same and other days one will tell the other that they don't want to be. I dressed Natalie & Aubrey matching a lot until they were 1 and then I got tired of having two of the same outfits that looked exactly the same so that is when I started the coordinating.

Yes I know all my kids are individuals but I do not feel that until they are old enough to pick out their own clothes does their clothing show off their individualism. Until then I am okay with them coordinating or matching because their style reflects what mom finds cute! With the twins we know that Natalie loves dresses and anything that makes her look beautiful. Aubrey is more into shorts, occasional skirts and comfy pants. For the most part they pick out their own clothes with me maybe helping with what color leggings to wear under their skirts and they almost always need help with socks because they will wear Christmas socks anytime of the year.

I do not keep tons of the girls artwork. Lots of it gets sent to MN for grandma and grandpa but I do take pictures of their art and someday I will make a digital scrapbook of all of their creations.

"When did the girls get their ears pierced?"

There was suppose to be a post about this day but my camera was on a funky setting and all the pictures were blurry. I also didn't care to get 25 comments on why piercing the babies ears at a young age was wrong. We have always told Natalie and Aubrey that they could chew gum when they turned five and get their ears pierced at six. They were very excited for their 5th birthday because it now meant they could finally have gum. Drew also scored because I just couldn't fight the battle of not letting him have it! Paul and I decided to give the girls the option of getting their ears pierced too for their birthday because Natalie is everything princess and loves wearing jewelry. For two weeks so she was so excited. She could hardly contain herself. The big day finally came and all nine of us went to watch Natalie get her ears beautified. Aubrey did not have much interest but did tell us that if she liked any of the earrings she would get it done. We did not pressure her at all and did not care one way or the other. I had mentioned to Paul that I have always liked baby girls who had earrings but nothing else was said. We got to the store and Natalie was still giddy with excitement. She looked over all her choices and did not stop talking. She watched an older girl get her ears done and she was still okay but a tad more nervous. Then it was time for her to get in the chair and she FREAKED. We could not calm her down. She wanted nothing to do with it. I felt so bad for her because she had been looking so forward to it. We now had a almost 5 year old in a full on cry because she was scared, the twin phenomenon in full affect which meant Aubrey was crying just as hard because Natalie was, and 2 of the 4 babies were letting us know it was time for nap. Paul and I were now at our breaking point because this is not how our family usually is even at home.

We left the store. Paul was walking quickly trying to get to the car while I was walking slower with Natalie discussing what had happened. She then told me she wanted to get them done. I told her if we went to the store again she had to get it done because we were not going to go back until she turned 6 if she started crying that hard again. She confirmed that she would get it done so she ran up and told Paul who looked back at me and if eyes could have killed I would have been lying dead in the hallway of the Galleria Mall.  We walked back and after a couple more tears and hands over the ears we finally had her ears pierced. As soon as it was done she looked at me as if to say 'that was it?'. Paul then said if I wanted to get the baby girls done to do it because he was not going through this two more times. Kenzie and Isabella did great with only a very short scream cry. By the time they were back in the stroller they had forgotten what they had been crying about. Later that day Aubrey told me she was waiting til she was 8 to get her ears done and now she has changed her mind to waiting til she gets married! I am hoping she waits for a couple things til she gets married!!

Before the freak out

"When did you first feel like a mother?"

I LOVE this question! I think as women we feel that we are suppose to instantly feel like a mother when we are shown our children after we give birth. Yes we love them. Yes we think they are the most beautiful children to have ever been born. But many of us can't believe we are responsible for this little being. How can I be trusted to have any clue what to do with this human being?  I read books. Babysat since I was 13. Wanted these kids more than anything. But a Mom I had no clue how to be that. 

Thinking back I feel the day I realized I was a MOM was when the twins were a week old. I ended up back in the hospital hemorrhaging. They tried medication after medication and nothing was stopping the bleeding. I knew I was going to be hospitalized and total fear of separation from my babies kicked in. Nothing else mattered at that moment except staying with my babies. I knew the girls would be okay at home with their daddy and that grandma Pat would be able to stay with him but I would not survive. I talked to the er doctor and asked him please admit me to postpartum so the girls could stay with me and that was the plan but I quickly became too unstable to go to a regular floor and needed to go to icu. The house supervisor came and saw me and I called my manager of the icu I worked in to see if there was anyway I could stay in my own unit with the babies. The hospital was amazing and everyone worked together so that my worse fear could be avoided. It is that experience that I think I truly knew what it felt like to be a mom. 

There are still days though that I look at my kids and cannot believe that they are mine and I am their mom. I don't feel I am old enough for such a huge responsibility and I am no where near smart enough to have that job. Moms are suppose to know everything and I don't have all the answers and that scares me!

 "I would love to know what tips you have for taking all of the children out together when you do things like dinner out or even Disney."

Since we have had the twins we have been a family that gets out of the house often. Once we had the quads it  didn't happen as often as I wish it could and that was mainly due to the rsv/influenza season and the fact that some places are not convenient to bring four babies at one time. The biggest tip is to be organized and allow yourself enough time so that you aren't rushing around at the last minute because it just causes more stress. I think the thing that helped us the most with getting out was having to take and pick up the big girls from school this year. We often would have a neighbor (thank you Stacey and Lorae) come down and watch the babies while we took the girls but Paul or I would pick the girls up and this often meant we had to bring the babies with us because one of us was usually working. Loading everyone up for a 10 minute drive was a pain but we got fast at loading and unloading everyone.

I usually always have a diaper bag ready either in the car or sitting by the front door. I have it stocked with wipes, diapers (I also always have a package of diapers in the back of the car), a change of outfit for both boy and girl, spoons, food pouches (the only time the kids get store bought baby food and it is for the convenience of it), puffs, a couple burp clothes, 4 bibs and some toys. I then try to plan ahead. Let's say I know we are leaving the house at 10:30am. After the morning feed I will get all the babies dressed right before I lay them down for a morning nap. I wait until I am putting them in their crib to do this so that while they are playing they are still spitting up on their pj's. While they are taking their nap I will gather anything else we may need while we will be gone. I also scramble to get myself and the other kids ready. I will make sure the stroller is in the van. At about 10:10 I will start heating the next round of bottles that are due at 11:30 and the big kids will get themselves loaded in the van and I will often turn a movie on for them in the van so they stay put. It is then time to wake babies one by one. They each get a diaper change and hair is tamed for those that need it. After their diaper is changed I will load them into their car seat which is already in the van. After this step has been repeated 4 times I make one last walk through the house and grab four wubanubs, the diaper bag, my purse, my pump if we will be gone for a while, the bottles which have been now placed in a thermal bag and usually my cold cup of coffee so I can get my one cup of caffeine in.

We enjoy getting out and our big kids need it as much as we do. As the babies are getting older is is more fun to take them out because they are really aware now of their environment and it is fun to see them take it all in. The more you get out the easier it does become. I feel we have traveled a lot with kids and we now know what we have to take and what we can get by without. Also when traveling we figure if we forget something a store is never too far away.

 "How could you not find out the gender of any of your children? I told myself I wasn't going to find out, but the ultrasound tech let it slip with the first and we couldn't wait for the surprise with our other two"

I hate surprises but for some reason I have always known I did not want to know the gender of my children ahead of time. For me getting through the pregnancy is easier because in the end I get to finally see who my little one is. I can completely say I loved my labors and I think this was because my reward was finding out if it is a girl or boy. To me there is nothing better than giving that final push, seeing your child held up by the doctor and hearing who they are.

We were always very nervous that our techs would spill the beans at our ultrasounds so we reminded them at every. single. appointment that we did not want to know. Our techs did awesome with all three pregnancies and never once said a 'he' or 'she' that left us thinking we knew for sure what we were having.

"If you were to give each child a different name based on personality, what would they be? Maybe a sporty name, a long/elegant name or a unique name?"

I still love each of my children's name. As I have seen their personalities grow and change I could not imagine better fitting names for them. It did take Paul and I about four months before we felt Isabella was the right name for our Baby B. It was the only name that we had not really picked out prior to the birth of our kids so it wasn't one I can say we loved. One of the names I remembered I really liked about two weeks after the birth of the quads was Brenna and if my mind would not have been so scattered the 60 hours it took us to name the quads I have a felling that Izzie would have been Brenna. Paul and I even talked about changing her name when she was three months old to this name because we were really struggling seeing her fit into the name of Isabella. About a month after that Izzie really started to blossom. Some of the coliciness she had started disappearing, she started smiling more and she was developing a personality. I can now say at nine months Isabella is the right name for her and we love it. It just took her a little while to grow into it.

There are two middle names that I am very sad we never used. They were the names of mine and Paul's grandfathers. My Grandpa Gene died when Paul and I were freshman in college. A better man I never knew. He was sarcastic, bigger than life and a person I can not wait to meet again in heaven. I am sad my children never got to meet him but I am so thankful that Paul knew him. Paul's Grandpa, John, passed away very unexpectedly 3 months before the girls were born. We never will understand why he had to be called home so early in life. He did go to heaven though with an ultrasound picture of the twins and we know he was the one of the first to know that we were having two little girls because it is a question he would have asked when he got to the gates.

We talked a lot about using these names for our children but we didn't feel we wanted either of them as girl middle names and they did not fit with Drew at all. And then when we had the quads and ended up with only two boys we had to decide which names fit our sons the best. We knew we wanted to name Rylan after my Uncle Jim and that left us with one boy to name. We talked about naming Tate after one of his great grandfathers but how did we choose which one. We even tried to come up with a name that we could use part of each name but in the end we named him after his daddy.
Naming your children is hard but I feel we picked names that our children were intended to be named. Their names fit them perfectly. 
Aubrey's "Teddy" that she sleeps with every night is made from a shirt of Grandpa John's.
"What type of baby equipment were your 'must-have's' with your children?"

Anything that keeps them happy!!! The twins hated and I mean hated their swing but all my other kids loved it. The rock-n-plays were a life saver with the quads because they slept so well in them. A play mat that had hangy toys above it that also lit up. A portable bouncy seat or swing that can be moved around to the bathroom so mom can get a shower in or so it can be taken outside. An exersaucer and a jumperoo. A boob or unfortunately a pump with the quads. A nose frida (this is the most awesome tool to have when a baby gets a stuffy nose. Good-bye bulb syringe hello frida. You literally suck the boogers our of her kids nose. Don't worry they can not get into your mouth!). I also love my ergo baby carrier. I had a Baby Bjorn with the twins but ended up getting an ergo with my heavy weight son and I could not believe I had missed out on this before. When we recently went to Disneyland I could carry my almost three year old for hours without once complaining of him being heavy. I also think a good cup of coffee is essential but my husband would disagree and say an energy drink in the morning and a beer in the evening are must have's.

"Do you think your profession as a nurse helped prepare you for the NICU journey more or did you knowing the possibilities scare you more?"

I think both. When I had the twins I was a trauma nurse and had no clue what having a preemie was about. I knew I didn't want them early but I assumed they would come somewhere between 32 and 35 weeks because that is what the books said and I knew they would spend time in the nicu but I didn't see the big deal. Luckily they made it to 39 weeks because I was clueless to what it meant to have a preemie. Fast forward four years, which included a job transfer to the nicu, and I found myself pregnant knowing that I would have premature babies. It added a whole new level of concern to my pregnancy. I knew the risk I was taking with carrying four babies. Each week I was so grateful that I was still pregnant because I wanted to give my children the best start to life that I could. I tried really hard to never complain about discomfort during my pregnancy because being uncomfortable meant that my babies were still inside me. 

So being a nicu nurse during the pregnancy was hard but after they were born I feel it gave me a step up. The babies came home earlier than they probably would have if they would have been born when I was a trauma nurse. I feed preemie babies every single day. Feeding a preemie is much different than feeding a full term baby so by already knowing how to do this I was able to bring them home because I could get them to take a full feeding. So being a nicu nurse had its good and bad parts during our journey.

"How many children did you want before you started having children? How do four infants compare to one or two?"

We always said if money was no issue we would love to have six. But money was an issue so we had planned on having four. Our fourth just happened to be four at one time! 

With the twins we really didn't think it was that hard once we got through the sleep deprivation that all new parents deal with. We had never had a baby before so two is all we knew. Then when we had Drew as a singleton I couldn't believe how easy it was. I really couldn't figure out how a parent with only one baby could find anything to complain about. Having four at one time really has not been that hard for us. Our marriage is in the best place it has ever been in the almost 11 years we have been married. We know how to communicate with each other (the majority of the time).. We had already been very routine with the twins so we knew by having a routine our babies would know what to expect and it would keep our life sane. The hard part with four compared to two is going out in public. Thankfully the babies are usually very happy but if one or all four start to get crabby it is hard to hold all four at once. With twins we could easily take them out of the stroller and both Paul and I could carry one and push the stroller. It is a tad more difficult to carry two babies a piece, push a stroller, keep our attention on the three older kids and avoid the paparazzi. Having quads seems totally normal to me but having quints blows my mind! 

"What do you do when its just you home and all 4 babies start crying at once?"

Rarely are all four crying at the same time. The only time that all four often sing in a quartet is when they are done eating their solids and are waiting to get their bottle. We move everyone from the table to the living room and they tend to get impatient. We are quick to quiet them down though with their bottles so it does not last long. We did have an episode the other day during therapy were Kenzie was dealing with major stranger anxiety which then set off Isabella who then had Rylan screaming all while Tate sat grinning form ear to ear. I took Kenzie away from the situation which then allowed the other two to settle down since they had no idea why they were crying. Thankfully this does not happen often.

 "Do you secretly want to run off for a couple hours and leave the kiddos with your husband so you can have time for yourself?"

Usually by the time I am ready for a break it is time for me to have my two day stent at work. Even though it is work that I am going to it does give me that break away from home. If it has been a rough couple of days I will sneak out for a pedicure. Paul enjoys running errands so that is often his excuse to get out of the house. Paul has no problem allowing me to have some time away just as I know how important it is for him to get out. 
"How in the world do you find the time to take a shower and get ready for the day?"

Getting ready is a must for this momma. I don't think I have had a day since the quads have been home that I have not showered. I try to shower by 10am otherwise I get lazy and in a slump. On days that we do not have to be anywhere early I will put the babies down for nap at 9, finish cleaning up the kitchen and then jump in the shower. The big kids either spend that time playing outside or I will give them a thirty minute cartoon so that I can try to shower in peace. Does not always happen but I try! 

"How does your little boy who isn't a twin feel about not having a twin?"

I don't think he even realizes what being a multiple is yet. If you would ask him if he is a twin he would say yes because that is how his sisters answer. Drew is a very strong little boy and does not have any problem doing things on his own. Now his momma is having a harder time knowing that he is going to preschool next year without a sibling. It is hard for me to know that he is going to be alone without a sister or brother with him. He is my only child I will ever have to send off alone and it makes me sad. 

" Budget...certain method you use? Or ways you have found that cuts costs. Clothes swaps vs buying? Veggie garden at home? Buying Christmas gifts way ahead during store clearances, etc."

I wish I could say we are a family that runs on a budget but I hate budgeting. We have even taken the Dave Ramesy course which helped our family out so much and I will hopefully be doing a post later this year regarding this man. But having a budget I still fail at. We are currently in a streak of paying off all of our debt as fast as possible so that we can start saving for a down payment on a larger house so this means we are really only trying to buy what we need. Paul is much better at this than I am! I have a terrible addiction to buying kids clothes but I only buy if things are on sale. I very, very seldom buy kids clothes at regular price. I have learned over the years that it is worth spending a little extra money on higher end clothing than Target or Old Navy because they wash up so much better and often allows me to pass them down to younger kids. 

We grocery shop at Costco with small runs to Wal-Mart to buy items they do not sell at Costco. We have a very small garden (if you can even call it that) that only consist of tomatoes but once we move we hope to have a much larger garden and we also would love to have chickens. We use to eat out a ton but after going through the Dave Ramsey course we realized how much money we were literally throwing away so we now eat out as special treats. The only fast food we do is occasional runs to Taco Bell because our kids love tacos so we will pick them up on our way home.

As far as gifts go I am very bad at buying something and then waiting to give it. If I see something for extended family members I will pick it up and stash it but as for the kids we usually pick a night before the holiday and go get what we need. We do not buy our kids many gifts though so it really is not a problem. At Christmas time they get a gift from Santa which is usually a bigger priced item and then maybe one or two smaller gifts from mom and dad. For birthdays they usually get something they can use outside to promote burning energy. 

Maybe someday I will budget but I highly doubt it! More power to you that can write a budget and stick to it. 

"Do you have help either paid or volunteer? Any big donations from companies? These are all things portrayed on tv shows of multiples. Also would you ever do a tv show...lol?"

This is a question we get all of the time and people are shocked with our answer. We do not have any help. When the babies first came we had a lady from church that came over once a week to help with the babies and laundry for about 2-3 hours. She came for about 6 weeks and then Paul and I have done it on our own. We prefer it that way. Our house runs very smoothly and both Paul and I are very good at taking care of our kids. Paul and I alternate our work schedule so that days that I am working he is at home and days that he works I am in charge. It works for us. Help is great but sometimes help can actually be more work. 

Having high order multiples does not bring in any donations. I had tried getting a larger discount when buying four car seats but the stores offered the usual 10% discount for multiples. There are actually people out there that fake having quads. Us quad mommas can not figure out what they gain from this because there are no hand outs for having multiple kids of the same age. 

TV Show....people are always telling us we need a tv show. I can't figure out what they would want to see. We are just a normal family getting though the day with lots of kids the same age. If we were presented with the opportunity it would have to benefit the kids immensely.

" Do you want more kids?"

I have not posted on this subject ever on the blog because people will think we have gone completely crazy but if I loose a few readers so be it! Paul and I both regret getting my tubes tied. Paul more than me only because I am ready to get my body back through some cosmetic surgery. We have had a lot of discussions between us on this subject and we both think one more would totally complete our family. And can you just imagine how easy a singleton would be after having four at one time?!? I don't know what we will do in the future but nothing will be decided until the quads can walk themselves to the car and climb into their car seats. If we would not have gotten a tubal we would probably start trying for another one in about a year. Paul has brought up doing ivf again which is a big fat no for me. I only want one and I do not want to end up with extra embryos again. If I am going to spend that kind of money I would rather adopt. Paul wants to adopt a newborn and I am totally okay with adopting a toddler. We will see where life takes us. If we are done I am okay with that and if we are called to have one more we will keep our hearts open. 

"What's the question most asked by strangers in public?"

'Are they all yours?' is the question we get most often and this is after they figure out how to count to four.  And then we get, 'You must have a ton of help?'

"How did your family feel about you having quads." 

I think at the beginning I was so stunned that I really don't know how my family felt. They 100% agreed with our decision not to reduce but other than that I am not sure. I will ask my sister and get back on this one because I would like to know the answer too!
Doesn't everyone have Superman to cook breakfast with?

 "Was everyone supportive when you denied doing the whole selective baby thing when you found out you were having quads?"

Yes. We only had one person ask us if we would be reducing. If you know my husband and I then you would know that this was not an option for us. It was brought up once by my fertility specialist and I think the look I gave him was enough to know never to bring it up again. They were not happy with our decision because it makes their numbers look really bad but that is a whole other post.

"What's the ONE piece of advice you got that had been the most helpful?"

This is a hard one for me to answer. I think having a set of multiples really prepared my husband and I for having another set even though we added two additional babies this go around. I think the one thing that has been most helpful is being able to talk with other high order multiple moms to work out kinks and to feel normal. Even this morning a group of us were discussing how to drop the fourth bottle and what our nap schedules are since there are four of us that all had our quads within three weeks of each other. I can not imagine going through this journey without the internet. 

"How do you give them one-on-one time?"

The one time a day that the quads get one-on-one time is during baths. We do baths every night and they take about 40 minutes from the first kid to the last. So it is maybe only 10 minutes per kid but it is time that we are only interacting with them. We also spend lots of time on the floor now and we will often have just one child sitting on our lap or next to us while we show them how to play with a certain toy. It may not be long time periods but added up throughout the day they do each get time with just mom or dad's attention. The older kids are now at the age that they will choose if they want to run errands with a parent or stay home. The other day Aubrey choose to stay home with me to have 'Mom Time' as she called it. I really don't stress over it. My dad came from a family of 8 kids and I have never heard him wish that his parents would have had more one-on-one time with him. Kids adapt and our kids have never been only children so they have no clue what it means to have a parents focus only on them.

"Did having twins previously help prepare you for having quads? Or did it add a whole additional level of complexity?"

Yes they totally helped us prepare. We knew how important having a routine was. I can not imagine having quads as your first children or your second. We were already good at juggling more than one kid. And we didn't have to go through the anxiety that our only child would now be one of 5. I think the hardest part was figuring out how to decide when to make the big kids wait a couple of minutes while we tended to the babies vs. having the babies wait while the big kids needs were met.
"How do you make them feel "normal" when the world treats them as unique? Or do you even try?"

I don't know if we have really had to try yet. I see this may be an issue down the road when they enter school but as of now we have not had to deal with it. Natalie and Aubrey know they are twins and started understanding it when people kept asking them if they were 'twins'. They started saying yes before they knew what it meant only because we told people 'yes'. Natalie and Aubrey think its cool that they were in my belly together but other than that they know nothing different so it is not a big deal to them. The biggest thing is we want each of our kids to be treated as individuals and this is where I can see school becoming an issue. I do not know what we will do once we sign the quads up for school as far as splitting them up or keeping them together. So far Natalie and Aubrey have been in the same preschool class and will be together for Kindergarten. We will take it year by year to see what works best for our children.
I'm adding this picture only so Paul and I can remember what we use to do on our evenings once the kids went to bed. Totally romantic!!

"Can you distinguish their cries?"

Yes. Even Drew can tell them apart. It took me longer with the quads to figure them out than the twins but they all have very distinct cries.

"Do you ever wonder what your life would have been like without any children?"

Oh my gosh I would have so much free time!! I really think my life would be so boring. Paul and I were ready for kids. We had more years with just the two of us than we had planned and we were ready to move on to the next stage. I think I am excited for the kids to get a little older only so we can start doing a little bit more traveling than we have been able to do the past couple of years because we have had babies after babies which makes traveling a little less fun for us. One may wonder how we will travel with a family of 9? Paul has already been researching RV's so it may take us longer to get places than an airplane would but we will get there. Airplane rides will be big trips that will be thought out and may only happen every 2 years or so. They will happen though because I can't drive to the Caribbean which is my heaven on earth.
Absolutely nothing better than seeing your kids all playing together without someone doing something to someone.

"Where do you go on holidays to suit everyone and do you take more adults to help?"

I know who this question is from and where she lives 'holidays' are our vacations! Yes when we went to Disneyland we did have Paul's parents come with us. It just makes things easier while the babies are still babies. As the quads get older doing family vacations on our own will be totally doable. Our first big family trip will be a Disney cruise when the quads are three. This will be a trip for Paul and I to celebrate getting the quads through infancy! We may do a trip back to MN before then but we have lots of family that will be eager to help us wherever we may need it.

"I'd love to hear if you would ever do like a reality show of your family's life. You all appear to have it so together, Id LOVE to see a day in the life video blog if you ever were inclined to do one."

Answered this one above. I do have to say our house runs pretty smoothly but I am sad to say I am a yeller. I wish I wasn't and I often wonder how Michelle Dugger is ever heard in her house? I wish I didn't have a need to raise my voice but my children do NOT hear me because they are so loud. I would have to work on this before a tv camera showed up!!

"I'd also love to hear about the stupid things people say in public and how you deal, you know us twin moms CANNOT stand it so I have no idea how you deal, especially in front of your older kids."

I try to make as little eye contact as possible in public only because I do not have time to answer everyone's questions. My husband does better with the questions and so I will often busy myself with something. I don't mind questions if people ask their one or two questions and continue to walk away. It is the people that stop and want to know everything that drives me crazy. If people say stupid stuff we give a one word answer and we move on. We seem to be correcting everyone lately on what four babies are...they are QUADRUPLETS. Not fourdruplets. Not two sets of twins. Not Quadtriplets. This always makes us laugh! We try to be nice so that our big kids don't get nasty and there are not many quads in our town so if a person goes and tells their friend that they meet quads today and the parents were you know whats and then that friend runs into us they are immediately going to think we are the rudest people around. We really try to be nice to everyone but some days it is more exhausting than others.

"I notice all the babies are wearing amber necklaces. Do they really work? What are your views on them as a choking hazard?"

I bought the amber necklaces very early on because I had heard amazing things about them. For those that do not know what an amber necklace is I will give a quick description from hazelaide.com: 'Baltic amber contains analgesic properties and helps take the edge off of many types of discomfort associated with dental issues, headaches, joint pain, etc. It is a well known European method to help decrease the pain associated with teething.' With four kids teething at once time I had no problem trying them out for $20/each. I started having the babies wear them around 4 months when we started noticing them drooling more. At first we only had them wear them during the day because we were worried about chocking. But reading more about how baltic amber worked they really needed to wear them 24 hours a day so we started wrapping them around their foot like a bracelet. This did not work well though because they wold fall off and then the babies would get them stuck underneath them and have bead marks on their back when they woke. Seeing how the necklaces wore around the neck we started leaving them on during sleep. They are made to break away if they get taunt. Only one of the quads have teeth and that is Isabella. One day we looked in her mouth and she had four teeth all popping through. Not a single day of fussiness leading up to this or since with her teeth. I am certain the amber helped. 

I started reading more about the amber and learned about hazelwood which was suppose to help with eczema. Isabella had it awful but anything that was suppose to help with it made her break out. I spent a small fortune in lotions and potions trying to find something to clear up her reptile skin. I decided to order both her and Tate who also had some small areas of eczema. The first week I noticed no difference but by the second week Izzie's eczema was gone. Her skin was totally smooth. Tate has one area on his leg that does not want to clear up so results weren't as good with him but I still keep the baltic/hazelwood necklace on him. 

I ordered my necklaces from hazelaide.com and was very happy with the quality of their necklaces. 

Tate still sleeping after surgery.

"With 7 kids do you manage to fit in any "me time" and if so, how do you do it?"

This was answered above but I will write about how Paul and I find time for us. First the kids go to bed all by 7:30 so after that it is just us. We may spend the time folding laundry, prepping the next days bottles, relaxing in the hot tub or catching up on tv shows or facebook/blogs but it is time when we have no kids. Some days we do a lot of talking with each other during this time and other nights we just need the time for our own thoughts. 

We have also been trying to go out once every two weeks for a date night. The babies go down for the night at 6:30 so if we have our sitter come at 6:30 then the babies are asleep and the older kids get an hour playing with the babysitter. We usually grab a sit down dinner and then for some reason always end up at Babies R' Us. Sad but at least we get out. We are still trying to figure out why there are never any 8:00 movies anymore. So frustrating. We love our date nights and usually they are planned about two hours before we go! It is hard to plan things ahead of time because we just never know how the day is going to unfold. We do hope to eventually get away overnight which will be pure heaven.

"If you got all 4 babies on the same sleeping schedule, how did you do it?"

Yes the babies are all on the same sleep/nap schedule. I will do a separate post on this because the process of getting everyone to sleep through the night was a bit lengthy but hopefully I can give other moms of newborns some hope that their babies will one day sleep through the night. Currently the babies nap at 9 and 1 and sleep for about 2 hours each time. Tuck in is at 6:30pm and we get them up around 7:30 the next morning. They do spend time happily playing in their cribs when they are first laid down and when they wake in the morning.

Okay I think I got them all. I think people often think of us and feel we have a totally crazy life and they can not imagine so many littles but for us it is our norm. There is very little down time and we always have a task list but our days are filled with so many smiles, giggles and tantrums that one can't help but love the life we have been given.


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  2. You were such a smart mommy for piercing your baby girls ears early. Like you, I've always liked the look of babies and little girls with sweet earrings. They look so feminine with them especially with little pearl studs.

    We did our twin girls early also. This was a perfect age when mommy cares for them and they heal up great. Not to worry about the older girls having them done. Peer pressure seeing how cute their baby sisters look with earrings will do the trick.

    Our ped encouraged me to have it done early for our dd. Her office didn't do piercing, but she gave me some suggestions for moms wanting their dd's ears pierced. They included how to find the right person, place and type of recommended earrings for infants.

    Any moms on the fence, wanting some info or just curious, I'll be happy to send them to you..



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