Daily life in this crazy house:
I am often asked what our days are like. Well, it has changed and become so much easier the past five months. At six months I took a deep breath and realized that things were becoming much easier. The first six months I really depended on the help of volunteers from our church and the most wonderful neighbor. These sweet ladies came two or three times a week to rock babies. I would NOT have been able to stay sane without these wonderful helpers. During these early months the babies napped mostly in their little bouncy seats, since their naps were so sporadic and short. It was just easier to tend to them if they were all within arms length. We even began accepting help a couple evenings a week since we had three very colicy little guys. Poor things would just cry and cry each evening. As you can imagine it was tough to even do the simplest things for Brock because all three little ones needed so much. After we would finally get them settled in we would rush to get caught up on bottles and some cleaning, then we would collapse into bed and get ready for the first wave of feeding which were every 3-4 hours. However, at six months Cade, Evan, and Lincoln began to be entertained more easily and started to stretch out their naps. Now they are on a pretty consistent schedule with a morning and afternoon nap and three meals a day with mostly finger foods. We are still having some difficulty getting them to sleep through the night. They are in three separate bedrooms, they had started waking each other up so we had to separate them. Now they are doing better at self-soothing and are getting up less and less. Brock is in preschool three days a week. I am so thankful that I am able to take him to school. My amazing friend and neighbor, Miriam, comes over three days a week and stays with the little guys while I take Brock to school. Most days the babies and I stay at home. If weather permits we do take walks and even enjoy outdoor play time in our giant playpen, aka Brock's trampoline. Most Wednesday's I am able to load up all three babies plus Brock and go to a local bible study with childcare. What an amazing gift that has been! Since August I have had over two hours of ME time on Thursdays, simply because a group of servant-hearted women, lead by Wynn, saw this as a need and arranged for two ladies to come and love on my little guys so I could leave. I am also blessed to be able to run to the grocery on Tuesday mornings because Miriam and Barb put the babies down for their morning nap and sit with them while I'm out. Without the love and servant hearts of Miriam, Barb, Wynn and so so many others I would have had to hire help.
Road trips with three babies and a five year old:
Yes, we have already been on several road trips. We have traveled to Illinois twice, Chattanooga twice, and Indianapolis once. For the most part they are good little travelers. Because there are three infants there are some very chaotic moments but we always make it through and have made it home safely each time. Every two to three hours we stop to allow the boys to have some time to stretch. This usually requires a stroller and finding the cleanest floor possible to allow them to crawl, not such an easy task. For Christmas the babies have received new "big" boy car seats that are hopefully more comfortable for them.
Each boy is doing very well and is reaching all monthly milestones. They are all crawling and have been for several months. I expect them to walk soon as each boy likes to pull up and cruise furniture. More recently, they have discovered the fun in pushing their walking toys around. We feel so blessed that they are doing so well and developing at a healthy rate. At this point you would not know that they are preemies. It is a true testament to the dedicated prayer warriors we had during our pregnancy and still have. Thank you for all of your continued prayers!
Big brother Brock:
Brock has amazed us! He has adjusted so well. As you can imagine, adding three very needy little people to our house has completely turned his world upside down. We really try to keep some things similar to before, however it is also so important for him to understand that our lives are different and will never be the same, but that we are so much more blessed now. He has an occasional moment of sadness if we aren't able to do something with him, but he recovers so quickly and is back to loving on his brothers. Brock is a very protective big brother and often worries and frets over them more than we do. Now that Lincoln, Cade, and Evan are more able to interact and play, Brock often creates pretend games around the babies. The past couple of weeks Cade has been his puppy named Chow. Chow is a very good puppy and the only kind we will have for years to come. Evan loves to wrestle with Brock. They are a little rougher than I would like and I'm sure it is a sign of things to come. Brock loves to hold and cuddle Lincoln. Lincoln's sweet, calm personality tolerates all of this cuddle time.
Very different little boys:
We have noticed differences in the boys' personalities from almost day one.
*Lincoln is a thinker. He has always studied us and his surroundings. If I place food on his tray, even if it is a familiar, favorite item he will pick it up and turn it around before eating it.
*Cade loves a good party and is always happy to have people around. If you talk to him he will give you a big smile and probably clap and wave for you.
*Evan is our active man. He is a climber and can scale almost anything. His new favorites are up the slide or the lip on the outside of our stair case.
They are all so much fun and we are so thrilled God has entrusted us with such amazing and perfect gifts!
Thank you for joining us on this journey! The past year has been the most amazing, difficult, exciting, and blessed year of our lives. We are looking forward to what 2013 has in store for us. It is sure to be another year with hopefully a little less craziness but a ton of blessing!
Some recent pictures
(sorry don't know how to rotate the pictures)
The Zoo Keeper with his animals
(special thanks to Mema for the costumes)
Cade, Lincoln, Evan
Christmas Eve in their matching "old man" jammies
This is what happens most of the time when you are trying to get three babies to cooperate for a picture. Trust me, these elf hats (created by Mema) are adorable.
Cade enjoying some bday cake tonight.
Out for a walk
Evan, Cade, Lincoln