It's amazing to stop and think back on just how far we've come. I was measuring more than 50 weeks pregnant by the time I had the quads and they were born a full two and a half months early. At 10 days old, we nearly lost Harrison to various complications mostly caused by his premature lungs. I'll never forget that day for as long as I live. The small scar underneath each of his arms from the chest tubes he had will always be a small reminder at what a strong boy he is and how much he had to overcome. While thoughts of those scary days and fear of the unknown during the pregnancy are beginning to fade every so slightly, they're always in our mind. We feel blessed and eternally grateful on a daily basis for where we are today. There are little moments that happen often that make our minds jump back in time for just a second, and squeezes our hearts for these four miracle babies that make up our instant family.
One Year Video from Texas Take on Vimeo.
The quad squad is truly beginning to evolve into toddlers. We're slowly leaving "baby things" behind and beginning to recognize speech sounds, eat more real foods and I'm certain we'll have two walkers very soon. Their personalities are becoming stronger and you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they figure out new toys and surroundings.
Currently, each day we go through 64 ounces of formula, 72 ounces of homemade baby food and 25-30 diapers. Our daily schedule has also continued evolving, reflective of the babies' ever-changing needs. At 12 months, this is what our morning-to-evening looks like:
8am - morning spoon feeding & bottleI worked really hard to set up those two mandatory nap times about two months ago. At first, they wanted nothing to do with it and I maybe only got 20 minutes out of them. Now they typically go to sleep within 5-10 minutes and last anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. There are days, though, that they fight it so hard and only sleep for a tiny bit. I put soft toys in their cribs and try to let them stay in there as long as possible. If one's going haywire and hasn't calmed down after awhile, especially after waking up, I'll get them out. Those two naps are my real breaks during the day! A time when the babies are confined in a safe place and I do not need to keep my eyes on them. I can shower, update this blog, watch a show, start dinner, make baby food or simply sit and read a magazine. I try to do more of the latter because I tend to work really hard during the rest of the day when they're awake.
10am - nap
11:45am - lunch time & finger foods
2pm - nap
3:30pm - bottle
4pm - finger foods
6:30pm - dinner & bottle
7pm - bedtime!
Slowly but surely we're coming around with the food. We dropped down to three bottles a day a couple weeks ago and it's been going fine. We plan to switch to milk around 13 months as I just feel they aren't ready for it yet. They still rely heavily on their spoon feedings for most of their nourishment and seem to have begun weaning themselves off the bottle a bit. They all drink out of straw sippy cups wonderfully and are guzzling water and decaffeinated herbal tea all day. They love it! My mom got them started on it one day several months ago and now I literally make a small pitcher of tea each day just for the babies. We use this instead of sugary juices and I sweeten the tea with a little bit of Truvia for flavor. So far, they love decaf green tea and lemon zinger. ;)
I've struggled with finding new finger foods to introduce to the babies that they will actually eat. Trystan has decided when it comes to food on the table, she wants no part of it unless it's a carbohydrate. Every now and then I'll see her eat a piece of cheese or fruit, like she forgot that's what it was and then immediately grimaces when she swallows as if she made the biggest mistake by even putting it in her mouth! Kailey doesn't do so well with slippery or squishy textures and tends to gag on those. Sometimes she manages fine, but once the gagging starts we stop feeding her that food item or she'll throw up her entire meal. Ugh! Harrison and Logan are both good eaters and Logan will literally try anything at least once or twice and hasn't completely refused much at all.
Current finger foods on the docket are: all-natural baked Cheetoh puffs, strawberries, cheese crumbles (I crumble up a stick of it among all four), graham crackers, Annie's organic cheese bunny crackers, Plum Organics teething wafers, puffs, (a HUGE favorite on the daily), small pieces of banana and strawberry, Gerber's graduate cookies (they'll eat 1/2 of one at a sitting), bread & cheese (microwaved for 20 seconds and cut into cubes), rotisserie chicken, sweet potato fries, cheerios and, most recently, mashed potatoes.
I'm still making pureed foods for their three spoon feedings each day and they eat them all so well. I worry sometimes that most of their snacks are cookies or crackers, but they get a ton of fruits and veggies in their daily spoon feedings. More recent combos are raspberry, spinach, Greek yogurt & applesauce; sweet potato, spinach or kale, strawberry, applesauce w/ rice cereal; squash, banana & carrot. Once they are able to actually eat enough table food to better sustain themselves, we'll begin to back off on the spoon feeds, they're just not quite there yet.
The babies all have such distinctive laughs and I've learned they're ticklish when I squeeze their thighs or poke them in the sides of their stomach. I'm guilty of doing this all the time because I LOVE hearing them laugh! They are happy so much of the time, although Kailey still yells and grunts a lot to be sure she hasn't been forgotten for one second. We doubled the size of their play pen several weeks ago and look forward to moving into a house soon, in which the entire dining room will become their play area. Can't wait for them to have lots of room to roam around and practice walking! Harrison and Kailey stand on their own completely unassisted quite often and Trystan and Logan have both begun to do this as well. All four babies, especially Kailey, can walk along the edge of something for support. Mobility, here we come...
Everybody has multiple teeth and three out of four now have their top two teeth. Poor Kailey has only sprouted one top tooth on her upper gums for the time being (she has three on the lower gums), so we lovingly refer to her as Snaggletooth. I'm sure she'll thank us for that temporary nickname in the years to come.
Over the past several weeks, we've taken the babies on their first trip to the zoo, which they seemed to really enjoy. They behaved so well and even ate their lunch spoon feeding in the quad stroller in front of the giraffe and elephant exhibit. It was a lot of work hauling them all there, loading them in the stroller, pushing that thing around and packing all the necessities for several hours away from home, but worth it all.
We've also gone out to lunch and an early dinner with the quad squad, taken a shopping trip to Sam's and Target, visited the husband's grandpa for a second time in Weatherford, had more multiples play dates and visited with their great grandma on my side of the family, made our first trip to a mall (on a busy Saturday afternoon - be impressed!) and learned that bathing four babies at a time is the worst idea ever.