The Way We Are Now

Yesterday I had a few quiet moments and I stood outside on the back patio watching all the trees and leaves creak and sway in the wind while the locusts buzzed their warnings about a summer's end approaching. In what was probably a mere 30 seconds, my mind flashed through the last two years of my life. The struggle to become pregnant, the shocking surprise of quadruplets, the difficult pregnancy and recovery and our first year as parents to four. I've never been so tired yet so happy as I am in my life right now. Nothing is perfect, lots of things aren't as I thought they'd be (who thinks they'll have quads? Not I). Some things are better than I'd hoped and other things are still a work in progress. But I want to remember to remember how far we've come and how much the future holds and to appreciate the moment I'm standing in right now.

Having kids certainly changes your life. I don't feel as though my life wasn't worthwhile before I had kids but they've undoubtedly added a richness and a passion that comes specifically with parenting. There's been a lot of phases and decision making in our past year, like deciding to move from Houston to Dallas and my choosing to stop working for a few months while we got settled into a new home (it had all just become too much to keep up with). The babies are basically toddlers now. They walk and talk—at the same time, ha—and reach their arms up to you to be held. They point at things of interest like the fan, or their cup of milk when they want more. They mimic our facial expressions and even pick out syllables in the words we're saying. Today, Harrison repeated "pie" after I said "surprise" a few times in a row. Be still my fluttering heart. 

I really wasn't sure how I'd take to parenting. I was even less sure when the plan quadrupled. And on a daily basis, I'm figuring things out and trying to sort out the next step, the best way to help them continue to grow and learn, to challenge four impressionable minds and 40 curious fingers. My husband is busily adapting to a new job with a new company (it's going great and he loves it so far) so we only have a little time in the evenings together right now. We've begun putting the babies to bed a little bit later, letting them have extra playtime after dinner. They run around the room clad only in their diapers, to their complete delight. They pat their stomachs like they've just eaten a huge steak and pull and poke at their diaper tabs, each other's mouths or their toys with unfettered curiosity. They screech and smile and jump into your lap, then rush up again to chase one another around the recliners and stop to tap their fingers on the windows overlooking the backyard. I'd do anything for these kids, I'd give my life for them. Nothing is ever too much, every day I wake up completely full of excitement about what they'll do next. My heart overflows with a passionate, bonding love for my children. They are my life's work and always will be, from the moment I saw their four tiny heart beats on the screen.

Things lately are good. The house has turned out to be exactly what we'd hoped for, though a bit more work to get into then we'd initially planned. Now that we're here, though, we slowed down. There's no timer ticking down that mandates all the boxes be emptied by a certain date. We take turns reminding each other that we promised to enjoy the settling in process and not get stressed over things that didn't really matter. We have all the necessities unpacked and have been functioning since Day 2 in our new home. We love the woodsy view into the backyard, it's very serene and calming. And we love having a real living room with our couches and a coffee table and not a single baby toy in sight!

The babies have, in turn, come to love their new space as well. We finally got two more cribs and they all began napping and sleeping alone at night—though two each share a room—and it didn't phase them one tiny bit. I'm so glad that we transitioned to one solid nap time a day before we moved. It's made all the difference in my sanity. By 11:30am, I'm usually getting very tired and the babies are getting to be a bit much. At noon, they go down for two hours (crying, playing, sleeping, whatever) and stay in their cribs. They usually sleep and then wake up and quietly play with the non-musical toys I put in their beds for them. Sometimes they last even longer than two hours. Then I retrieve them all and we either play in one of their rooms for a change of scenery (I rotate all their toys between their two bedrooms and play room to keep things fresh) or go downstairs to the play room for a Baby Einstein video. 

With new experiences and outings becoming more commonplace for us now, the husband and I both continually look forward to the next great thing. Without ever getting too caught up in our expectations that we miss the time being. The first year with our kids went very s l o w l y. They were preemies for the first four months of their life, then they entered the newborn stage and it seemed ages before we were out of that and onto being babies. And all those feedings every three hours, diaper changes around the clock, making baby food every day and doctor appointments out the wazoo...it was the most unhurried, lethargic year of my life. But yesterday the husband and I agreed that things are picking up now. The pace is quickening and the kids are reaching milestones much more quickly and the days are passing with more intensity. 

Right now, my life is raising my four babies, settling into and decorating our home, finding ways to interact with friends and family we'd missed while in Houston and, eventually, kickstarting my business again with Dallas-based clients. I want to reopen my Etsy shop where I sell my handmade jewelry and I'd love to continue to improve and expand my blog as well. It feels good to have priorities with goals to meet, creative junctions to reach. Even if all I did that day was chop food into bite-sized portions and change diapers, it still matters. These are truly the days of my life!
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  1. How can I tell you how much I like this post? It is so good to be content with our lives. You are doing a very important job -- what I consider being the most important. Being a wife and mother. Still praying for you and your family each day. -- Kathy S.

  2. What a wonderful post, you are doing what you love(and that is apparent with each post) and what is most important right now, raising those beautiful babies.
    All the other stuff will come in time, continue to enjoy all the wonderful moments "babies/toddlers" provide, as they are little only for a short time.
    Thanks for sharing:)

  3. You are such an inspiration.....you are capturing the NOW...and treasuring each moment. What a joy to read. Thank you for encouraging all of us to really live in the present and not forget to make the most of each day!

  4. I love this type of reflection, it's good for the soul. Quads most certainly help you recenter and evaluate what's important.

  5. Isn't it amazing how life is when you stop and think about it? Your toddlers are beautiful. Toddler. I can't believe it, I still refer to mine as "babies" but they are transitioning into toddlerhood before my very eyes too... glad you are enjoying the little moments!

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I love the reflection. You reminded me to stop and smell the roses too. Thanks girl. Anh Tu

  7. Oh you mean you didn't plan on having Quads the whole time.. JK Well you've done an awesome job and you've had a great support group of family and friends that a lot of quad parents don't have.
    You're doing a great job or those little Darlings wouldn't be so darn happy all the time.


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