{Quad Squad} Survival Mode

We used to refer to the term "survival mode"often in our house. Of course, at that time our house was a tiny little place in Houston and we'd just brought home our fourth and final baby from the NICU and were dealing with 36 bottles every 24 hours and babies that didn't know night from day.

It's been a little while since I've uttered those two words, but they've been more than accurate to describe my household for the past two days. I'm completely exhausted and run down and the babies are the sickest they've ever been since being discharged from the hospital. Which is amazing, since they're two years old and the worst things we've dealt with have been colds and low-grade fevers. This go-round, it's been high grade fevers and the type of runny noses, snot, sneezes and more than require warm wash clothes just to unmat their faces when they wake up in the morning. After they've woken up 4,523 times in the night. And the husband's been out of town on business, to boot. Peachy, huh?

I'm certainly grateful that our kids seem to be healthy overall, and that they don't come down with stuff like this often. We don't avoid public outings like we did when they were new preemie babies and were trying to quarantine them the first six months for risk of catching something. Now we live life normally and don't worry about that stuff so much. But somewhere along the way this past week they must've picked up a lovely little virus that has reared it's ugly head and left me droopy-eyed and stooped from lack of sleep. I literally bought our Kroger out of Cool Touch Kleenex—the only kind we use when the babies are ill, because it's gentlest on their noses—and stocked up on all our usual arsenal of sick-fighters from Children's Advil to Pedialyte.

i love the cucumber & green tea huggies wipes i found for soothing dry faces,
and we keep teethers in the freezer for cooling hot foreheads or munching on for molars
I've got a notepad going so I can remember when I gave what meds to who, as Logan has needed alternating doses of Children's Tylenol and Advil. Two nights ago, Harrison refused to go to bed as usual since his daddy was gone and he wasn't happy about it. So he stayed up with me until 11pm, which is when Grandma arrived, and I so enjoyed my one-on-one time with him.

Unfortunately, no sooner had I put him down for bed when Logan started having a nightmare and I raced back upstairs to comfort her. As I picked her up, I noticed she was steaming hot and checked her temp to discover it was 103.7. My mom and I gave her Advil immediately and some ice water and I called the doctor on call to see what course of action was best for me to take. I'd never dealt with such high temps before and wanted to be sure I did everything right. He told me to keep up with the meds and fluids and give her a lukewarm bath for five to 10 minutes, then bring her in the next morning if her fever hadn't gone down enough.

a very sick lolo
Fortunately it had broke before lunch, but I didn't get to sleep until 3am and woke up two more times after that. The babies have been pretty tolerable of this crud, but get needy off and on and sometimes they want to be the only one in your lap and not have to share with a sibling. I totally feel for them and wish I had more arms! Though they did get excited when I surprised them with Bubble Guppies pajamas for the girls and Cars pj's for the big man. (Those are the girl's first night gowns, by the way, and they spent a few good minutes looking for their pants!)

And I'm certainly blessed that my mom is such a trooper and has been right down in the trenches with me. She told me when I first brought my crew home that she would never leave me in a time of need with four babies. And she hasn't! I am so grateful for her and my step-dad, who is like a father to me and adores my babies, and they never hesitate to come over when they are needed. They even come just to visit, too! ;)

I just realized I must not sound too crabby and miserable through this post, though the improvement in my attitude is likely from the wonderful three hour break I just got. The babies actually napped today!! It was a welcome relief after last night, when I went to bed at 9:30 so I could get some sleep before anyone woke up. Around 4am, Logan was getting a bit loopy and crying as her fever topped out at 104.7. It really had me worried and I followed the doc's same instructions and had it down to 102 within an hour. My mom said I have handled everything very well and she said she was impressed I stayed so calm, since it's easy to get panicked and frantic when these things happen. I told her I appreciated the confidence boost and that I always just immediately focus on a course of action and a solution to solve the problem. Which, apparently, I've been an avid problem solver since I was little!

Logan slept in bed with me the rest of the night and wasn't even warm to the touch by morning. Needless to say, I'm still scribbling down meds and times in my notepads and am not missing a dose on anyone for awhile. I've even been giving them Benadryl today, which has helped tremendously with the runny noses. The husband will be home shortly and my mom will finally head back home tonight where I'm sure she'll enjoy a night of uninterrupted sleep! She feels for me since I'll still be right here, in the trenches and in survival mode until this is all over. But I'm so glad for the break she gave me this morning to get out and take a little time for myself, since I was in tears before I left and had pulled myself together by the time I returned.

my nightstand to survive: liquids, soup, emergenC and eye mask
'Course I'm taking some valuable advice and trying to remind myself often that the piles of dirty laundry and sheets, the cans of Baby Lysol, the mounds of toys and the messy floors are all signs that I've got four babies, alive and well (for the most part!) and am very blessed to have the means to provide for and take care of them.

Hopefully regular programming will resume shortly....!
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  1. I love your mom's blog and I love reading yours too. It seems like you both have a good relationship and value your time together.

  2. Sure hope everyone has a good night and awakes much better in the morning. I just hate when kids get those high temps.

  3. Amber - I so admire you taking such good care of your babies! How blessed you are. We had twins in September - two and a half months early and also a two year old. Wow! These are my great grand babies and it takes us all to care for them.

    Good health to you all.


  4. Have you ever heard the saying "The days are long but the years are short"? It is so true when children are little and you think you will scream if you don't have 10 minutes of silence! Then they grow up and you rattle around in a big house all by yourself and think, "Boy would I like to have my kids little again and be young myself" - So enjoy these long days all you can!

  5. Try Children's Motrin. I have 4 kids (ages1-4) and used to use Advil and Tylenol. We have dealt with many crazy high fevers and an ER nurse at the Children's hospital once recommended Motrin. It's all we use now for fevers. I have found it to be more effective and easier on their tummies than Advil or Tylenol. Get the dye free kind

  6. You and all yours have my 100% admiration. No doubt. Good job! Hopefully the sweet babies will get over this cold ASAP!! My thoughts are in their recovery and in you all!!!

  7. Second what Christine said on Children's Motrin. My oldest ended up in the ER at the local Children's hospital and bought herself overnight admission there about two and a half years ago with a weird virus (healthy as a lark and has not been sick since). They gave her Children's Motrin, and they recommended it for future illnesses.

    I can only imagine what it's like with four sick little ones. Poor Logan - even with my own, I always had a hard time with the flushed looks on their faces and eye droops that go along with high fevers. You're doing a great job taking care of your crew, and you're so lucky to have your parents close. When mine were little, the hardest thing was being up all night rocking a sick kiddo and feeling so bad they were hurting. And the second hardest thing was having to function at work with little or no sleep while praying they were okay (and hoping the daycare didn't call as all of our parents lived out of town and were not yet retired).

    Keep being awesome, and hug your crew and parents. Another shout out to Nicki - these days are long, but the years are short. I probably would have drop kicked somebody if they told me this when my kids were tiny and sick, but now that my youngest is three I see it and feel it. :)

  8. Nice family! I think a family of four means fun and non-stop activity inside the house. Children are beautiful and their innocence will make you feel unquestionable happiness.

  9. I can't imagine how difficult caring for all four sick ones must be. Sick babies are just draining physically and emotionally. Hope they are all completely well very soon. Mother's are such a blessing aren't they? I know I sure couldn't make it without mine.

  10. What fun you've been having.The kids are growing so fast. NOT! Hope everyone is on the mend.


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