Sneaky Donut Escapade

Sometimes when you're on bed rest, you get the urge to sneak off and do random things. And then you get busted for them. The husband came home from work today and we were sitting in my office/guest room talking. He remembered I was waiting on an order of baby clothes to arrive and we had suspected it might be stuffed in the mailbox (the group mailbox kind that's on a particular street in the neighborhood). The following conversation ensued:

Him- "Yeah, I should go check the mail for you real quick and see if it's in there."

Me- "I already did that this morning and yes it was, along with the Donkey Kong Wii game we were waiting on."

*a resounding pause as he raises his eyebrows suspiciously*

Him- "Cool. So did you go anywhere else today if you were out checking the mail?"

*I get a big Cheshire grin and an I'm-so-busted face*

Me- "Um, I may have driven to Shipley's down the street."

Him- "What?! You are so busted! That's really random, you never go to Shipley's. What did you get?"

Me- "Two chocolate cake donuts and a kolache. I ate it all."

And I felt like Batman the whole time, sneaking out of the house and speeding down a quiet neighborhood lane in my black Avalanche to get to the donut shop. I could practically hear the super hero music playing in the background. It was a thrilling moment—all I was missing was a cape that read "Bed Rest Evader."


{Home Decor} DIY Spring/Summer Wreath

A gal on bed rest has quite a bit of time to peruse home decorating blogs and come up with some creative "seated" activities with which to satisfy her creative itch. So I was elated when I saw this wreath and realized I had all the supplies on hand to make my own version.

First, I set up shop in my office—I spend a lot of time in here now that we moved the guest bed into the corner. It actually looks better than I thought it would and thankfully provides a space for us to accommodate overnight guests, now that the former guest room is full of cribs for the quadruplets! 

And of course I had a buddy with me the whole time...

I laid everything out on the floor, then started placing some of the items how I wanted them.

The main thing I wanted was a small banner, similar to the wreath that was serving as my inspiration. I didn't have any sticker letters and I didn't feel like printing some and taking the time to tediously cut them out. I did have some leftover iron-on letters and I liked the color, so I decided to use those. However, I didn't have all the right letters to spell "welcome" so I had to get creative!

I rough-handedly cut triangles out of decorative scrapbook paper (I could have measured to make them all even and the same size, but ehhh...), then whacked out smaller triangles from white stock paper and stuck them together using a glue stick. I used a hot glue gun to affix my iron-on letters, then attached the final pieces to twine using pieces of tape.

Next I cut small strips from burlap squares I had in my craft drawer, and rolled them up to make little rosettes before hot gluing them to the wreath.

Ta-dah! The end result, finished off with a simple hanger from zebra print ribbon.

The "B" I had on hand as well, and I used to twine to wrap around the middle, threaded the ends through the wreath and tied them in a sturdy knot in the back. I think it should hold, if not someone will eventually get, er, bonked with it!

Ah, now I feel better having done something crafty, pretty and useful...besides work on my laptop. Take that, bed rest! 


{Quad Squad} 21 weeks!

This post is coming to you two days early and my 20 week post came a day late, so didn't want you to think we're speeding up in some weird time warp here. And before I get into any specifics regarding this week's quadruplet preggers update, I can go ahead and haul off the biggest pain in my side that's popped up: rib and back pain. Dang! It really hurts, and I like to think my pain tolerance is pretty admirable. I don't know if it's my organs and body parts stretching to accommodate my growing brood or if one of the kiddos has taken up permanent residence in my rib cage (which I still can't seem to locate, all I can feel is, um, an inflated roundness if that makes sense). No position is comfortable, no amount of stretching and wriggling around seems to take the pressure off and after several hours of enduring the awful pain in my ribs each day it then begins to spread to my back—taking up residence in muscles that have sadly gone unused for quite some time now.

Alright, that's my biggest complaint for now and I just really thought you all should know about it right off the bat. Now that we have that out of the way, let's commence with some photos, shall we? The bump (if you even wanna call it that anymore, it's becoming more of a mass) is on the rise. I have gained four pounds in five days, racking up a total of 25 big ones since the beginning of the pregnancy. With multiples, 40+ pounds is encouraged (and a bit daunting!) but perhaps the two Ensure I'm now drinking every day are doing their job. Like I tell my husband, if you make me mad, I will just sit on you!

I have to constantly remind all my lovely family and friends that, though I may still look "normal pregnant," I am only five months and one week along! Most pregnant gals are just starting to show a bump, and I'm already measuring past nine months with child(ren). Another eight weeks of growing? I have no idea where it will all go. Or how it will fit. Or how I'll keep from tipping over. Or sitting down. Or standing up. 

The doc gave me another good report this morning. Normally, we see him a little later in the week but he's off to Costa Rica for two days—that's all the vacation he would spare, since he said you can't be gone long with quads running around! We are so blessed to have such a great doctor that's positive, pro-active and even excited for us. He truly is a great influence and we trust him completely as he guides us through this pregnancy. I prayed for weeks prior to finding our doc that God would lead us to the right one, and now I pray for our doctor each week that he knows exactly what we need. I'd say so far, so good...

In addition to my cervix still being completely closed (random personal fact, but this is a good thing y'all!) and measuring just over 4 centimeters (anything two or below gets me automatic hospital admittance), I've had minimal cramps and contractions. Even still, doc's starting me on a low dose of procardia, which was initially developed to lower blood pressure but is now quite effective in keeping one's uterus relaxed and contractions at bay—if you should ever need that sort of thing. I'll be taking mine sparingly and keeping a close eye on my blood pressure several times a day to be sure it's not getting too low. I haven't had any issues with high or low blood pressure thus far, so hopefully this doesn't cause any adverse effects. If it does, the doc said to stop taking it and it's out of my system within six hours and my blood pressure will return to normal.

Next up, is another nurse visit each week. I already have one nurse that comes out weekly to give me a shot of progesterone in my hip—also another source of support for my uterus, since it decided to play host to not one but four babies. This second nurse visit will monitor me for contractions to be sure I'm not having too many, another cause for immediate hospital admittance. But it's all helpful in attempting to prevent any sort of complication, which I'm all for, and is ultimately keeping me at home longer and out of the hospital one less week at a time.

But enough medical jibberish, on to the fun stuff! I was ecstatic to get some time in our neighbor's pool the other day, and being outside really does lift my mood and break up the monotony of being on bed rest and inside our house all the time. Today's weather was so nice that I (carefully) moved my "bed rest" out to our back patio with my lap top, some magazines, my iPod and, of course, my camera. Couldn't let you miss out on my four-legged-outdoor-bed-rest companions!

Here's Shiner, our white lab who's normally quite serious but decided to take an out-of-character roll in the grass:

This is Reese, an abandoned pup we adopted over six months ago and is quite the goober:

And last but not least, my baby girl Jersey, a lab/mountain cur mix who loves her momma (and the hot sun) dearly:

Then of course, there's the work station "set up" and yours truly, keeping a serious face as always:

And this is generally my view, especially when attempting to intensely work on an important email or, er, blog post:

Silly doggies.

Wanna know what's jamming on my iPod that's totally got me in the mood for summer time, four babies at home and an ice cold beer for mom during their naptime!? (Hey, a woman can dream.)

I'll leave you with the lyrics from "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" by Kip Moore...
Something about beer sitting on ice
After a long hard day makes it taste just right
On that dropped tailgate on a summer night
Something about beer sitting on ice
Something about a truck in a field
And a girl in a red sundress with an ice cold beer to her lips
Begging for another kiss
Something about you and me and the birds and the bees
And Lord have mercy it's a beautiful thing
Ain't nothing about it luck, something about a truck!


{Prego Pics} Pool Time!

Let's face it, bed rest isn't always very exciting. I work from home and have kept up with a fair amount, watched movies, read books, made jewelry for my Etsy shop and more—but at the end of the day, I'm still stuck inside. And on beautiful sunny days it can really get to you!

Thankfully we have some pretty awesome neighbors, and one of them cleaned out their pool this weekend and turned on the heater so the husband and I could come float around. Entertained us for several hours, kept me off my feet (and weight free, loved it!) and gave us a chance to relax together doing an activity that even my doc approved.

Nothing like a PB&J poolside to break up the monotony and get some sweet Vitamin D! (All while staying hydrated, of course, and slathered in sunscreen.)

Happy Sunday, y'all!


{Quad Squad} 20 weeks!

I can't believe it but we have finally entered "the 20s." Now things are really, really getting intense! The 20s are where its all at, since it will be a miracle for me to make it outta them and on to 30 weeks with these little quadlings. But the husband and I are holding out hope that I'll stay strong and get as far as I can. Yesterday's doctor appointment was very uplifting, as I got a great report and the words "You're at home for another week" delivered with a smile. He even dared to speculate I could make it three or four more weeks at home, which is saying a lot since he's pretty conservative most of the time.

The anatomy scan appointment two days ago wasn't quite as enjoyable, since it always seems to be a very chaotic couple of hours every time. This particular appointment was scheduled to perform a doppler reading of the twin girls they think we have, basically measuring the blood flow and growth to be sure they were on track. (Twins can occasionally "steal" nutrients and blood from the other, potentially stunting one or the other's growth and progress.) It took an hour for the technician to get babies A, B, C and D all straightened out before she really even started in on the dopplers, which she stopped after about five minutes because she was getting frustrated. The doctor then reviewed all our images from the last scan plus new ones the tech had just taken and surmised that the twins could still very possibly be twins but that they did not share blood vessels via the placenta, so the dopplers were no longer needed. Several hours later, we basically had showed up for nothing—though they did run a basic check on all the babies, took their heart rates and snapped a couple 3D photos, our first ones! So it wasn't a completely wasted trip but frustrating, to say the least. We were glad, though, that it seemed we had avoided one potential issue with the quads/twins and were still in good shape. Such a roller coaster!

After the appointment and battling traffic to get back home, I was pretty fired up. The husband knew exactly what I needed and whisked my mom and I to the movies to see "This Means War" and ordered some yummy fried appetizers and a big glass of iced tea. It worked! I was relaxed in no time and we all really enjoyed the movie. Thank God for such a fantastic husband who can read me so well. :)

Thus far, 20 weeks has gone pretty smoothly. I am starting to get big enough that moving in general is a bit of an effort sometimes, especially getting up from the recliner or couch or finding a way to roll off my bed like a giant manatee. Oy! I've gained exactly 20 pounds since the beginning of all this and my doc finally made his first-ever comment on my caloric intake by mentioning I needed to add two to three Ensure a day to my current eating plan. He wanted me to have the extra protein and calories as we get into the last two months of this pregnancy. Right now, our biggest goal is for the babies to grow, grow, grow. I also feel like I've sort of reached "max capacity" in that I'm as big as I would be with a singleton at nine months. So now it's literally a stretch for my body to accommodate more, though I know it miraculously will find a way. The skin of my stomach hurts pretty much all the time from constant stretching and growing, I keep it slathered with a thick lotion from Bath & Body Works that I swear by. I can't feel my ribs unless I reach around to my back, and even then I'm not sure where they've gone until one of the babies finds one and decides to either burrow under it or give it a good ol' kick. Keep it up, kids...

With the babies' room being all done and most everything else as I want it before the kiddos arrive, the husband and I are just trying to make the most of our time together over the next couple weeks or at least until I get admitted to the hospital. The other night, we sat in the babies' room together just reflecting on how much our life has changed and will continue to change as we experience this new adventure of not only becoming parents, but having four at the same time. It was one of those special moments, we even turned off all the lights and flipped on a constellation nightlight that projects stars on the ceiling. Think we are just as entertained and soothed by it as the quads will hopefully be! I thank God nearly every day for such a wonderful husband who "gets" me and who is strong enough to handle all this right alongside me. I make sure he knows I'm there for the days he gets overwhelmed with everything and he wraps his arms around me on the days that my body and my spirit struggles with new challenges. 

Today has been a fantastic day, you need one of those every once in awhile. My mom leaves tomorrow so we wanted to spend some time together before she heads home (she comes back every other week, love it!) and I was dying to get out of the house for a minute. So I went to get my one-hour massage at my favorite nail salon—they prop me in a reclining leather massage chair and rub me head to toe then load me up with water bottles, it's great for my circulation and my non-active muscle groups. Meanwhile, mom got a mani/pedi. Then she dropped me off curbside at Chili's so we could grab some lunch together. It was such a pretty day outside, I was loving the warmth of the sun every time I stepped out of the car and just wished I could be on a beach somewhere drenched in coconut oil with an icy beer in my hand!! Buuuuttt since that's not quite feasible at the moment, I settled for propping my feet up on an outdoor bench—because I'm good and observe my bed rest around the clock!—with a cold Starbucks green tea and the sun on my face. Bliss! (It's also a funny way to get inquisitive looks from passing folks, they probably think I'm about to pop... little do they know.) 

My mom kept asking if the sun was bothering me, then laughed hysterically when I told her that I hadn't sweated in nearly four months due to lack of physical activity and eventually bed rest with this pregnancy. The things we take for granted, huh!? Bring on the perspiration, baby.

So with a fresh dose of Vitamin D, a great week behind me and a new Wii and several video games the husband purchased (he insists I need another form of bedrest entertainment!), I'm set to enjoy a nice weekend sans any boredom. I might even get lucky enough to float in our neighbors heated pool, since my doctor said I could enjoy the water as long as I stay hydrated. Plus it's supposed to be 85 degrees this weekend. Coconut oil might be on the agenda after all...


{Quad Squad} Babies' Room Reveal!

At long last—well it seems long, because we've been working on it forever—the quad squad room is ready. I wanted it done before I get admitted to the hospital, and since that's on a week-by-week basis, it was really looming over my head. What if I get admitted all the sudden, and everything isn't finished? Although I do realize that not everything is going to be in perfect order by the time I go in, nor will it ever be as organized as it all is now! With four kiddos on the way, our house is sure to be plunged into sweet and utter chaos for the rest of our lives. I can't wait... I think.

In the meantime, with my mom's incredible energetic help, all the baby clothes have been washed, sorted by size, sorted by gender and either put away or stored in labeled tubs until they get to the appropriate age and we can switch out threads. Toys have been tossed into bins, blankets washed and neatly folded, crib mobiles assembled and attached and diapers stacked and stacked and stacked in the closet. (My friend with triplets goes through roughly 576 diapers every two weeks... imagine what we'll be burning through with four!)

So many generous folks have kindly donated gently used baby clothes for the quads, knowing how hard it is to keep one baby clean-clothed, let alone four. Many of those folks had girls and many of them didn't have the issues I do with pink—and now I've got three girls of my own!! You can see where this is going! I am so incredibly grateful for all the goodies and boy, I sure do have enough of that rosy little hue to tide me over for a long time... including enough baby girl clothes to clad our trio of gals until they are 12 months! I did buy four light pink shirts that I customized with some iron-ons recently, but I'm determined to get creative in the color category as much as possible. Plus, my mom keeps reminding me that when I was little, my favorite colors were pink, purple, gold and silver. Oh, how times have changed, ha!

Wanna see how the babies room turned out? It's pretty nice and came together well. I left a lot of the beach-inspired pieces in there from when it was formerly the guest room and just focused on selecting coordinating colors versus trying to achieve a real theme. For now we have two cribs and plan to put two little pea pods to a crib for the first six to nine months. They are used to crowded quarters anyway!

I can rest assured that the quads can come home to a completely completed room. 

*Sigh of contentment*

Now if only our new baker's rack would arrive so we could put away the 60-something bottles, bottle nipples and drying racks we've accumulated. I really need to have that done before I get admitted!

Juuuust kidding. Maybe.



{Quad Squad} The Parties!

You can't have babies without a party. Or at least we can't. The husband and I absolutely love hanging out with our family and friends, enjoying a cold drink (even if I have to settle for non-alcoholic) and catching up with everyone. Which is exactly what we wanted when it came time for our baby showers quad parties. You may or may not recall my proclamation on this here blog that I don't do pastel-colored, baby game-playing, cutesy showers. And I don't do a lot of pink. Soooo it was to our great delight when our friends and family all jumped in and put together some pretty amazing parties that were just our style! 

Originally they were all scheduled for this month, to boot, but when my doc got wind of our plan he quickly shut it down—with good intentions, of course. He knew very well I'd be on bed rest by this time, which I am, so he advised us to move 'em up to February or have 'em in the hospital! Well, I'm not the hospital celebrating type either, so we called our parents, told them the news and within that same day they'd rescheduled everything for the end of February and swooped into action to get it done. Awesome! It never ceases to amaze us how incredible, supportive and positive all these folks have been throughout our quad pregnancy so far—we really couldn't have done all this, be as prepared as we are or feel the massive amounts of love if it wasn't for each and every one of them.

The first shindig took place at my mom's house and had a nice country theme to it, complete with boots full of flowers, one helluva cake, hay bales, home cooked brisket courtesy of my step-dad and more. A lot of our close friends from the DFW-area were able to attend as well as all of my family, and we had an absolute blast.

Party number two took place at a home of friends of ours who were gracious enough to host quite the crowd for the four leaf clover-themed bash—which aptly represented our quad squad! There was also an entire group of ladies, all close friends with my mother-in-law, who were in charge of putting the celebration together as well. It was so thoughtful, complete with delicious coconut-topped cupcakes, pots o' gold for favors and perfectly orchestrated decorations... none of which were pastel colored, thus right up my alley. We got an incredible amount of gifts and were able to mingle with a lot of people we hadn't seen in awhile, all of who had been following along our journey so far and sparing many prayers for us and the babies. So touching! You can also see below that my husband took an immediate liking to the duck towels from his mom. I've since dubbed him in charge of bath time, since it seemed to be a natural fit. ;)

Our final party took place at our own home, since it occurred the first weekend of March and was creeping over into my ordered bed rest. My mom, sister and a few close friends were responsible for putting together the Texas-themed shindig that perfectly capped off our string of quad parties. I was able to sit in our recliner for most of the event, occasionally getting up to stretch my legs and greet guests. Everyone loved the super cute preemie-sized onesies my sister helped me assemble that looked sort of like jerseys for our little quadlets. Our marble cake was so good and came with four little hearts on top of the state of Texas to represent our four kiddos and a close buddy of ours graciously provided and fried all the chicken that was served for dinner. Did it right on our back patio in his own custom fryer! It was completely amazing and incredibly delicious. My mom made a "Quadfather" sign that hung on that patio as well, and we served drinks in mason jars and the guys were all provided cigars that they enjoyed late-night around the outdoor heater. (The husband also found another duck towel among the gifts!)

We had an awesome time at each of our parties and thank everyone involved from the bottoms of our hearts for such special occasions. They will be remembered for a long time to come!



{Quad Squad} Work in Progress

I can finally say that the babies' room is taking shape. We have both cribs set up now and in the right places, though the rest of the furniture still needs to be moved around and bins need to be organized and stored and decorations to be finished. (We'll be putting two little babies to a crib for the first 9-12 months. After that, we need a bigger house, stat.)

My mom has been a champion at washing and organizing all the baby clothes and toys we've received over the past two months, and I've been in awe of everyone's support, generosity and willingness to help! Our quadlets are going to be very appreciative kiddos. ;)

Today's mundane routine—which is sleeping, working from my laptop in the recliner and drinking gallons of water, if you must know—was pleasantly broken up by a good friend's visit. Which also involved a hamburger and fries. And a baby gift. And lots of well-enjoyed conversation with another human being. I had a great time getting to hang out with someone and was so touched she thought to drive all the way out to my place and see me! C's also got a great blog, which you can read here.

Things are trucking along smoothly at home, other than the occasional spaz-out I want to have over being inside/seated/reclined/laid out so much and not able to do the 456,834,012 other things I feel like I could be doing. But then I know I can't, because I have four babies and myself to take care of and it will all be worth it in the end.

There was, however, a monumental occurrence just moments ago: I felt my first baby kick. Or fist bump. I've felt them squirming a little bit before but nothing that you could really feel on the "other side" when placing your hand on my stomach. But right underneath my belly button something jabbed and actually moved my hand a bit. Whoa nelly, what happens when they all four decide to party rock at the same time? Not a lot of room for antics!

Just looking at these photos reminds me of that and how fast I'm growing. Jeez, my stomach is getting big. I'm one day shy of 19 weeks. I also just ordered bigger shirts. (Target's maternity pocket tees rock my world.)

Here's lookin' at ya kids.


"Pregnant" Food

During the course of my quadruplet pregnancy, I've not encountered any odd cravings or unusual urges to eat massive amounts of particular foods that I might not have favored before. In fact, I've done less eating than before I was pregnant due to either the extreme nausea and sickness I had for the first four months or the new issue of an insanely small amount of room for my stomach. (Might have something to do with the four kids that are rapidly taking up space. Just a wild guess.)

The only things that sound good on a regular basis—and by regular, I mean since a week and a half ago—are cherry limeades from Sonic, corn and hamburgers from Wendy's. Otherwise I eat what happens to strike my fancy or, most often, what sounds appealing and is least likely to make me gag. On this particular day, it was a very specific set of food groups that called my name for lunch. Pan-fried potatoes, beef sausage, corn and mac and cheese. Thankfully my husband dropped by the house for lunch, so with his help I was able to get up long enough to whip together exactly what my heart desired.

I sauteed the potatoes with lots of olive oil (trying to get fats wherever I can these days, feeding five people and all!), Lawry's seasoning salt, pepper and dried parsley. The beef sausage I tossed with more olive oil, garlic, paprika, Lawry's, pepper and dried parsley. The mac and cheese was an organic box mix that I seasoned with, you guessed it, Lawry's and pepper. Then I steamed a bag of sweet corn to top it all off.

And I ate every single bite.

The end.



{Quad Squad} 17 & 18 weeks

Oh gosh, you probably clicked on this blog post link just to see me half naked, huh? I kid, I kid... it is just my stomach and I don't know why I've avoided showing it thus far. I guess I feel like it's so cliche, pregnant women bearing their rounded abs for proof of growing pregnancy. It's all about the bump, right!?

But I'm also a stickler for moving in chronological order so you have to start with my 17 week picture first. At 17 weeks, I started growing rapidly again and by 18 weeks there was a definite size gain. It's happening more frequently now. For those of you who are sweet to comment on Facebook, my blog and in real life that I don't really look all that big for someone preggers with quadruplets, well, you may have to start changing your tune. I'm pretty much nearly the size I'd normally be if I was full-term, 40 weeks pregnant with a single baby. And I've got roughly two to three months left to go. That's a lot of growin' left to do, y'all!

Although then again, I'd be perfectly fine with you continuing to tell me I'm not as big as the side of your grandma's barn (wait, your grandma has a barn?). I guess I'm just trying to prepare everyone—and myself—for the eventual reality that size might truly become an issue. This pregnancy certainly defies the norm and I find motivation and inspiration through all the women who have done it before and the few (two) I know who are currently in it with me! I've come across two other gals near the Houston area that are also pregnant with quadruplets and are four to six weeks ahead of myself. We three are the only ones we know of in Texas currently expecting quads.

Oh yes, but on to photos....

And yet bigger (probably wearing my quad shirt for the last time, *sniff*)...

Just for fun...

Ta-dah! The exposed stomach!

Was it everything you were hoping for? I'd hate to disappoint, ha. No stretch marks yet, but trust me my friends, they'll be on the way before long. And for some reason the sideways photo makes me look smaller than I am—probably because I hiked my pants up, all worried about modesty and what not. You'd think I'd gotten used to baring, um, things a little bit with all our doctor appointments, ultrasounds and scans. 

At 18 weeks, I'm developing a bigger appetite. It's still nothing consistent but when I'm hungry, I eat. As much as I can handle. Then I take up the corpse pose in our recliner until there's room in my stomach to move again. Or one of the four babies has stomped the food in my stomach into submission. I've also discovered I can't take a full deep breath anymore, my lungs actually stop inhaling for lack of space. Interesting, huh? Or not, I don't know. Sometimes these small findings are truly the thoughts that entertain my mind that day. Others aren't as appealing, like the realization that none of my pants fit anymore and I've resorted to mostly sweat pants and stretchy pants. My mom helped me pack up all the pants in my closet into a sad cardboard box and replace them with drawers of maternity bottoms and spandex-like accommodations. Not that I get out much anymore to impress the masses with my stylish maternity threads.

And there you have it! We're cruising through the next two weeks, excitedly anticipating arriving in "the twenties" and getting ever-closer to that all important first goal of 24 weeks. This will be the quadruplets' first point of viability and I believe it's a 25% chance of survival with a 40% chance of premature complications from cerebral palsy to issues with the heart. Every week after that improves their chances and we hope I can make it to 28 or 30 weeks. The more weight they can gain and the more their lungs can develop will certainly aid their efforts to survive once born. The husband and I pray for this each and every day, and I'm trying very hard to observe my modified bed rest as much as I can. My body is working overtime to get our one boy and three girls ready to meet the world!
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