Vacationing Quad style

Ahhh we did it! We went on our first vacation with the quads. A whole week at Clearwater Beach, FL. If only that week would have had at least 10 days… We had so much fun and enjoyed every moment. We invited aunt Lois to spend the week with us and she made a big difference. The babies still outnumbered us, but having her by our side made this trip so much better. We actually enjoyed date nights, walks on the beach, much needed kid free time for this tired mama and daddy. Not to mention that we were able to keep up with the kids at the beach and the pool.  As of last week, we have FOUR walkers !!! Miss Alexis decided to let go of her fears and complete the walking team :) And she picked a pretty good place for that, just to make sure it’s memorable enough.

A nice evening on the beach. We were not planning to walk on the beach and of course those strollers have us a hard time, but it was a gorgeous night!

A nice evening on the beach. We were not planning to walk on the beach and of course those strollers gave us a hard time, but it was a gorgeous night!

It really looked like we moved when we left for the beach. But packing for a week or a month when traveling with quads it’s pretty much the same thing. We needed 4 Pack & Plays, 4 Booster seats for meal time, and everything else you would normally pack (x4) for a vacation. It was the first time the quads spent the night somewhere else other than at home since they came from the hospital so I was a little nervous about them feeling comfortable enough to go to bed. Bringing their sound machines was a great idea and of course all their bed time lovies and friends made everyone feel almost like at home. They all went to sleep without a problem, well… except for Hannah – sometimes she needs extra snuggles with mommy, even at home. But that was such a relieve. After each busy day, they would all sleep a good 12-13h at night and a nap during the day.

This is how you travel with quads :)

This is how you travel with quads :)

Good morning :) Excited about our week. I could not make Andrew sit still for this one!

Good morning :) Excited about our week. I could not make Andrew sit still for this one!

There were so many really great moments that will stay with us forever. Their reaction when we finally got to our condo, so happy to finally reach our destination after a pretty long and hard drive. Isaac was running around saying “I did it! I did it!”. First time when they touched the sand with their feet…. priceless! The sand in Clearwater Beach is pretty amazing and they sure loved it. Hannah loved it so much, she would eat it by the handful (not good at all!)… Alexis taking her wobbly steps on the beach, Andrew chasing the seagulls (he really hoped to catch one)… these kids love the beach and that makes us so happy because we do too. The boys were excited for daddy to bring them buckets full of water from the ocean and Andrew actually carried his all by himself. This little boy is very strong. Isaac looked like a pro in the pool, goggles and all, and Daddy did such a great job with his little swim class.

The quadlings playing in the sand

The quadlings playing in the sand

Hannah on the phone :)

Hannah on the phone :)

Alexis walking on the beach !

Alexis walking on the beach !

Handsome Isaac <3

Handsome Isaac <3

Andrew following his little friend, the seagull. He really wanted to catch one

Andrew following his little friend, the seagull. He really wanted to catch one

Pier 60, Clearwater Beach FL

Pier 60, Clearwater Beach FL

Loved our 1st vacation as a family!

Loved our 1st vacation as a family!

The quads and our older daughter, Lois :)

The quads and our older daughter, Lois :)

Going to the beach!

Going to the beach!

This is how we roll :)

This is how we roll :)

<3 <3 <3 <3

Playing in the condo

Playing in the condo

Breakfast on the balcony

Breakfast on the balcony

Love this picture!

Love this picture!

Snack time by the pool

Snack time by the pool

Andrew and his auntie... he loves her, don't you think? :)

Andrew and his auntie… he loves her, don’t you think? :)

Daddy feeding the seagulls at Pier 60

Daddy feeding the seagulls at Pier 60

We agree!

We agree!

I do have to say that we draw a lot of attention everywhere we went. Complete strangers would stop to talk to us and ask us how we do it and so on. We never got so much attention before and sometimes it felt like a reality show! I think the person that topped all the comments was this man that after he took a good look at the quads, he turned to me and said : ” And you are still alive?!” . I took it as a funny comment :)

The joy of our hearts!

The joy of our hearts!

Missing this view already! Sunset in Clearwater Beach

Missing this view already! Sunset in Clearwater Beach

 

We took about 1,500 pictures (no surprise there!) but I picked my favorites to share on the blog.

Seeing everything through their innocent eyes, made it so special… One of the best things in life is watching them experience the world and the surroundings for the first time. I will never get tired of it!

I can’t believe we are already back from our trip… looking forward to a fun summer!

Love,
Lori.

18 months Toddlers

Hi guys! It’s been a while! I know, I know… I am not so good about blogging. Not that I don’t want to, but right now it is not a priority to me, even though it should be. It is our baby journal and I would love to be able to update it all the time. Here we are, the Romanian quads turned 18 months last week and all I can say is that we are busy, busy, busy. They are toddlers!! Some most days are crazier than others but we keep going forward and they are all doing awesome! Their parents too :) Just a little tired, just a little…

Last week  the quads had their 18 months checkup so everything is fresh in my mind (and in my notes – can’t relay on my memory that much anymore). All 4 are doing fantastic. You would never guess they were born at 29 weeks, or that their weights ranged from 2 pounds 13 oz to 3 pounds 9 oz ! The pediatrician is very happy with them and I think she had fun seeing them. Andrew did not skip a beat, he watched closely every single move she made, he starred at her and really wanted to be in the middle of everything that was going on in that tiny room. And he was, as always! It was actually the 1st time we took all 4 together to their checkup. I used to take two in the morning and two in the afternoon, on the same day, while my husband would babysitt. But finally the office was ok with us bringing all four so aunt Ada was able to help and in less than 2 hours we were out of there!

The quads and aunt Ada, at the doctors office

The quads and aunt Ada, at the doctors office

It is hard to believe that they are 18 months, six short months from turning TWO! whaaaat?! Time is passing by too fast I must say. Our babies are not babies anymore even though we like to call them like that. Some things are getting easier and others harder, but every stage had some great parts and some challenges. They are so much fun right now!

Family time is wonderful. We can actually play together or even go places. I know for most people going grocery shopping is not a big deal. Well, for us it is. And to be able to all go together and enjoy it, it is HUGE. They love being out, seeing new surroundings and interacting with people. And on top of that, they are behaving so well. That makes us so proud, as parents. A trip like this does need a little planning and team work of course, just like anything else we want to do. We like to go outside for neighborhood walks. When Daddy is home, the boys walk and push toys and the girls usually sit in a wagon or a little riding toy that we can push/pull. During the week, I take them for a stroller or wagon walk and sometimes we stop at the little play area in our neighborhood. A few days ago, as I was about to pass the playground on our walk, Andrew pointed at it and then showed me the sign for “more”. We’ve been working on sign language with them ever since they were about 6-7 months and at some point we thought it is not worth it, they won’t get it. But they did! They are all able now to ask for more food (or in Andrew’s case he was able to tell me he wants to go to the playground), a drink, tell us when they are all done eating or doing a certain thing, or that they would like to eat. It is exciting because it helps us so much. They do use a few words too, but the signs definitely help them express some of their needs/wants.

Kroger time!

Kroger time!

Quadlings

Shopping quad style :)

We also use the backyard for play time. Hopefully spring is around the corner so we can get out more and more, because there is a lot of energy in these little munchkins! It is work taking them outside, but I love it; I love seeing how happy it makes them and how excited they are to explore. I have a whole routine of getting everyone out and then back in without bringing too much dirt and grass inside too :)

The quads sleep about 12h every night. They are getting their molars in so there are nights when I have to cuddle one of them but nothing major. I am so used to getting my sleep that when I have a rough night, I can hardly function the next day! By 7.45 PM they are all in bed, tucked in their sleeping sacks that I absolutely love (I don’t have to wake up and cover anyone during the night, yay!) and most of the time by 8 PM all are asleep! They go through phazes when sometimes one of them is not happy to go to bed, but lately they’ve been cooperating really well and bed time goes really smooth.

About 2 months ago we switched the babies from two naps to one. They were not really napping well any of the 2 naps so I felt like it was time. They were still very tired around 10 when their first nap would be so it was a little bit of a struggle. I tried doing a little quiet time by letting each baby play in someone else’s crib but the boys hated it. The idea of having “Mama’s coffee break” sounded so good to me and when I read about it on my friend’s blog, I gave it a try. Did not work out for us. The boys got so upset and only wanted to escape. So I decided to entertain them with different things and projects every day. A walk outside helps tremendously but the weather was not cooperating with me for the longest time! So I hit the Dollar store and got a bunch of things that I can use for easy toddler crafts. There is not a lot to do at this stage but every now and then it’s Ok to try. I was impressed to see how much their scribble scrabble improved in just a couple of months.

Pinterest project ~ squeeze finger paint in a Ziploc bag and tape it to the table. I had a white sheet of paper under each bag for more contrast. They loved mixing the colors and I was happy nobody got messy!

Pinterest project ~ squeeze finger paint in a Ziploc bag and tape it to the table. I had a white sheet of paper under each bag for more contrast. They loved mixing the colors and I was happy nobody got messy!

I love being crafty and all that, but they don’t always want to cooperate. There is always one (not the same one though) that is not very happy with what we are doing so it’s very tempting to just let go and not try anything. But when I see the others being interested and actually participating in whatever we are doing, it gives me a push. Talk about trying to look at the bright side, huh? Quite a challenge sometimes!

Two weeks after switching the quads to one nap, the stomach bug hit our household. If you ever considered me a germ freak or just plain crazy for washing hands all the time and trying to protect the babies from getting sick, you should try to spend just a few hours with four very sick 18 month olds. It was BAD. Very, very bad. It lasted 2 very long weeks. We all went down one by one. Isaac was the first one to get it, then Hannah, Andrew, Daddy and Alexis and I was last. I thought I got it easy, but days later after the others recovered a bit, it got to me and I ended up spending a whole day in bed. Nighttime was horrible, we had two kids in our room, throwing up at the same time… ugh! Twice in the ER for dehydration, no sleep whatsoever, lots of sad babies and tired, very tired parents. Both Oly and I agree  that those were the hardest 2 weeks since we’ve had the quads. We had aunt Ada deliver us some Gatorade and other stuff that we needed but really the idea of getting anyone else sick was scary, so we were on lock-down. This stomach bug was hard on the babies. It messed up their stomach so bad. A full week of throwing up followed by a full week of very bad diarrhea. Glad it’s over and done… and believe me, I know they have to get sick sometimes and we can’t live in a bubble (even though sometimes I wish we would), but I am not looking forward to anything like this.

The quads are definitely growing into some wonderful little people that love exploring and discovering the world more and more each day. We finally feel like we are gaining our life back and we can be somewhat normal. They are so much fun right now. They recognize people and have their own little friends that we have regular play dates with. Discipline is hard and discipline X4 toddlers is veeeery hard, but we are doing our best and we stick to our guns. I am a firm believer (and my husband also is) that whatever we do or don’t do now, will affect the coming years. They are young but smart and they understand everything. We use Time Out (for 1 minute) as a discipline method for when it is needed. Biting and hitting means immediate Time Out. For other things we usually give them 3 chances to reconsider and behave. It has been working so far. The boys have been in time out and they know exactly what it means. We have a designated spot for it. Quads are a lot of work, but any kid is work! And it is our job as parents to invest in our children and give our all to make sure they become strong, confident, happy individuals that can do anything in this world. Romanians always talk about “the first 7 years of life at home” (Cei 7 ani de acasa). In that period of time, the child spends most of his/her time with the family, it is the time when his/her character is molded, the foundation is building. We pray for wisdom and a clear mind so we can do our best as parents and as examples for our littles.

We added plates and bowls at meal time for the quads and they’ve also been practicing using spoons. It’s been pretty messy :)

Practice makes better!

Practice makes better!

Isaac

Isaac

20150302_161623

Hannah

Alexis

Alexis (and Andrew’s hand)

Andrew

Andrew

Here are some updates on our crew:

Isaac 

25 lbs, 10 oz
32 inches tall
size 18-24 months clothes
size 5 diaper
size 5 shoes

Hannah

21 lbs 10 oz
31 inches tall
size 12-18 months clothes
size 4 diaper
size 3 shoes

Alexis

23 lbs 5 oz
31 1/4 inches tall
size 18 months clothes
size 4 diaper
size 3 shoes

Andrew

26 lbs 8 oz
32 1/2 inches tall
size 18-24 months clothes
size 5 diaper
size 5,5 W shoes

Seeing all these weights and measurements makes me so happy and thankful for our miracle babies! God has been so wonderful to us!

Mama and her babies <3

Mama and her babies <3

Love,
Lori.

Must needs ~ for a family with multiples

Weeks after we found out we were expecting quadruplets, I started making lists of things I thought we’ll need. Four times this, four times that and so on. It really seemed like a lot. Too much stuff! I read other blogs about families with multiples and it helped a lot. I was able to cut some things off my list, add some more and at least get an idea of what’s going to be like bringing lots of babies home from the Hospital.

I would like to create my own “must needs” list. Maybe along the way it will help another momma. I added the links to some of the products that can be purchased on-line, so just click on the highlighted words and it will take you there (if you want to take a look at them). We bought many things at consignment sales, and also, many people gifted us with a lot of the stuff we needed.

If you live in Georgia and you would like to find more information about consignment sales near you, click here.

  1. Rock & Plays (x4)
    We used the Rock & Plays since day 1 of being home for each baby and throughout the first year. Preemies most likely end up having reflux and these rocking “chairs” help a lot with that. We used them for sleeping, in the beginning, and later on we even used them for bottle time. Our babies never held their own bottles, so we sat them in the Rock & Plays and propped their bottles (always under supervision!). Worked great!
  2. Cribs (x4)
    Each of our babies has his/her own crib.When they were really tiny, we used two Pack & Plays in our bedroom and always had two babies in each.
  3. Pack and Plays (x2)
    We only had 2 in the beginning and didn’t even need more. They are easy to put together or move from one room the another. At some point, one of the boys had a sleepover in the girls room, for a few nights, because his brother was having a hard time going to sleep. So we used a pack and play in the girls room. We ended up buying 2 more pack and plays just in case we’ll need to travel somewhere with the babies.
  4. Motorola Video Baby Monitor (with 2 cameras)
    After all four babies came at home, it was too hard to get some sleep having them in our room, even when they were asleep. Little babies make so many noises!! We joked around saying that our bedroom is like a little petting zoo :) So we moved the girls in their own room and the boys in their room. In each room we have a camera up on the wall, facing down towards the 2 cribs put one next to the other. This way we are able to watch four babies using only 2 cameras. The Motorola Video Monitor does its job, so we are extremely happy with it.
  5. Dr.Browns Bottles (tons of them!!)
    Loved these bottles! The best for preemie babies that have reflux! You can find them in different colors or just use a marker to label each bottle with each of your child’s name. Some families use colored rubber bands which I think it’s brilliant. We used 32  4oz bottles every 24h in the beginning and then we moved on the 8oz ones and as the babies started sleeping through the night and also eating solids, we went down on the bottles. Only went up one size on the bottle nipples – around 6 months. Two babies needed their formula thickened with rice cereal, because of acid-reflux, but I made a bigger whole into the size 1 nipples for them. And it worked great.
  6.  Bottles drying racks (x2)
    The First Year Spinning Drying Rack worked best for us. We also had a big bath towel, folded in half, on the counter top where I dumped all the small parts after taking them out of the washer.
  7. Dishwasher baskets (3 sets)
    Washing bottles took a very long time and so I decided to use the dishwasher. One load of bottles every night. It made our life easier. They were clean and sanitized at the same time.
  8. Bottle Brush (x1)
    Since the bottles were getting washed in the dishwasher, we didn’t use a bottle brush much, but we sure did need it every now and then.
  9. A large pitcher and a large whisk for mixing formula
    When preparing gallons of formula, it doesn’t make sense to get ready one bottle at the time. I made a big batch and poured the right amount in each bottle. Simple things that made our life with quads easier. This is what was going on at our house every night. Prepared formula is good for 24h if refrigerated.
  10. Boppy Pillows (x4) and covers (x6)
    Very useful for us. We used them all the time with the quads. When we started feeding two babies at the same time, we propped them on the Boppy Pillows. Later on we learned how to feed all four at the same time and the Boppys really helped! And of course for tummy time, learning to sit up on their own and so on.
  11. Bottle proppers (x4)
    These worked great when we were feeding all four babies at the same time. And we did that most of the time unless we were at church or at our family’s house. I got ours from another quad mom but you can find them on-line among with many other different types. Very useful especially if you don’t always have extra help around.
  12. Noise Machines (x2)
    Again, we bought one for each room. We always use them during nap time and even night-time. At night we select the “rain” option. If one baby wakes up crying, having a background noise helps not wake up the others.
  13. Burp cloths & bibs (lots and lots and lots)
    We used so many! I got some new ones but I was able to buy most of them at consignment sales! You would not believe how many “like new” items you can find there.
  14. Wubbanubs (x4 or more)
    I have never heard of Wubbanubs until I got pregnant with quads. These cute pacifiers have a little toy animal attached to them and so the baby gets to snuggle with it and it is soothing for him/her. When you have four babies, these things are pretty helpful! We had 2 for each baby but now only Hannah wants them. The other babies are not interested in pacifiers anymore (unless they want to tease Hannah).
  15. Baby Bathtub (x2)
    You don’t need four of these. Most of the time we only used one but the second one was handy when both my husband and I gave baths at the same time or when auntie Lois stopped by to help with bath time. She called it “spa time”.
  16. Clipboards (x4)  and baby schedule
    Just regular clipboards where we clipped our baby log and schedule that we printed out. It made a lot of sense and this way it was easy to keep up with each baby. From feedings to medicine given, everything was written down.
  17. Humidifiers (x2)
    We bought one for each of their rooms and we usually use them during the cold seasons.
  18. Car Seats (x4)
    We opted for the Chicco Key Fit 30 because it secures babies from 4 to 30 pounds. Not all infant car seats are made for preemie babies, so make sure you choose the right one.
  19. Strollers
    Baby Trend Double Stroller Frame  worked for us. We had a hard time finding something that will match our car seats. They didn’t snap on the stroller but they were safe. We found it to be the easiest way to get around with four tiny babies. For the most doctor’s visits we took 2 babies at once, so we only used one stroller.
    Runabout Quad Stroller – Fits four babies in a row. Great for walks and hikes.
    Foundation Quad Stroller – Fits four babies, two in the front row and two in the back. It is heavy but it fits in the trunk of our minivan. We used it at church and other places when we wanted all four babies in the same stroller.
  20. Quad Table
    Love, love, love our quad table! We purchased the seats at Justformultiples.com and got our table custom-made by a local cabinet company – Kitchen and Bath Design Group.

I am pretty sure there were other things we used a lot but for now, that’s all I can think of :) I will try to update the list if my memory helps me. Have fun shopping!

Lori.

Disclaimer:
Please keep in mind that these are all personal preferences. What works for our family might not work for another family. We do not benefit from any purchases you make by clicking the links I provided. 

World Prematurity Day

Years ago, when we were newlyweds, my husband and I used to talk about having babies like it was as easy as baking a pie. The thought of having a premature baby never crossed our minds, because even if we don’t live in a perfect world, we tend to create our own and so we never thought we could end up having a premature baby (or four!)

Life is unexpected, as we all know. For my hubby and I, life followed an “untraditional” route and God choose us to deliver 4 miracles and to show His glory – for that we are forever grateful. Because it was such a unique situation, we knew from the early days of my pregnancy that the quads will be born premature. How many weeks was I going to take this high risk pregnancy? We hoped for as many as possible. Thankfully, we reached all the milestones we hoped for and we passed the 28 weeks mark which was so important. I did get some steroids shots in order to rush the development of the babies lungs and some other organs, which greatly increased their chances of survival. No one knew how much longer I’d still be pregnant.

At 29 weeks and 4 days, the quads were born. Tiny little peanuts, 2 and 3 pounds babies, that started their lives in a battle. We were not allowed to hold them, not even touch them right away. We couldn’t see their faces for days because they were covered with the CPAP tubes or oxygen cannulas. Healthy babies but small and fragile and not quite ready for the real world.

Quads from Heaven <3

Quads from Heaven <3

They all spent some time in their own incubator and they each had a special cushion that was soft and kept them warm and comfy. The incubators were covered with a large blanket, just to keep them dark. This way, they felt somewhat like in the utero. Usually babies move on to an open crib once they are able to mantain their body temperature; that happens around 34 gestational weeks, or even earlier. The incubator protected the babies from infections. A mother’s antibodies don’t cross the placenta until 32 weeks, so the immune system of a baby born before that doesn’t protect him much. We washed hands SO much. Besides that, we used hand sanitizer A LOT. By washing hands I mean a good 15-20 seconds of handwashing with soap and water, every time we entered the nursery and every time we wanted to get close to an incubator. Even when we were just moving from one incubator to another, without touching anything, we had to at least use hand sanitizer. If we touched our phones, purse, keys, a water bottle, pretty much anything and everything, even our own hair or clothes, we had to wash hands. It felt crazy in the beginning, nobody was used to that, I mean it was hard to teach ourselves and not forget that we always had to wash our hands. Even after we brought the babies home we continued this habit as crazy as it sounds. But we managed to keep the babies healthy through the flu season and throughout the first year of life.

Isaac sleeping peacefully in his warm and comfy incubator

Isaac sleeping peacefully in his warm and comfy incubator

It’s pretty scary to see your babies attached to all these machines. But it is even scarier when a machine goes off and the beeping doesn’t stop; that means something is wrong with the baby. There are many frightening moments in the NICU, everything is uncertain. As a parent, you would give ANYTHING to help your baby, you would do EVERYTHING that it takes to help their situation. But you can’t do much. Usually the nurses teach the new parents how to handle their preemies, but I remember that for a good amount of time we were only allowed to change diapers (at specific times that were called “touch times”) under their supervision of course. Later on, after spending a few weeks in the NICU, I felt brave enough to give my babies baths and both Oly and I were allowed to take them out of the incubators/open cribs by ourselves. Still, we felt better knowing the nurse is near by just in case we needed her. There are many things to be said about the NICU but thinking about those days that we spent there, is pretty hard on my heart.

Baby Hannah in her incubator

Baby Hannah in her incubator

Yesterday we went back to visit  the Northside NICU and say another “thank you” to the doctors and nurses that took care of our babies. I knew there will be a lot of emotions and flash backs but I was really hoping it will not affect me that much. It did… Even though I was there with my family, our four thriving preemies that are now 14 months and absolutely perfectly healthy and beautiful! Seeing that first nursery where Isaac was admitted right after delivery… it was very hard on me. Even after we came home, the thoughts in my head were giving me a headache.

Daddy next to Alexis' incubator

Daddy next to Alexis’ incubator

While we were there, many parents walked by to get to the nurseries where they had their babies. Moms of singletons that had emergency deliveries due to different complications, that were not prepared to bring a premature baby into this world. I could see the sadness on their faces. I could see their uncertainty and worry. There was a granddad in the lobby, playing with his grandson. He told us that his granddaughter was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound 8 oz. This micro preemie has been in the NICU for over 50 days now and she still has a long way to go but they really hope she will make it home in time for Christmas. 40 gestational weeks is a full term pregnancy. 24 gestational weeks is considered the point of viability and the baby has 50-70% chances of survival after reaching this milestone. Premature babies often deal with different conditions, some of them are treatable but some can stick with them for the rest of their lives. To have all four of our babies perfectly healthy is such a blessing and we know that only God was able to make that happen.

Kangaroo Care with baby Andrew

Kangaroo Care with baby Andrew

When you go through the NICU journey and have a preemie baby (or more), the only things that can help you from going nuts is a good support system and your faith in God. Many times the support system is not that strong and that’s just because people are not familiar with the NICU life and they don’t know what the parents of preemies have to deal with. And that is understandable. Without our God… we would have lost our minds, that’s all I can say. But believing His word and His promise, made us tackle one day at the time. He is in control at all times and that was proven to us. This is what the Bible says in Matthew 17:20 ~He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”~ and it is true! Instead of letting fear and desperation take over, we had our hearts full of gratitude and we embraced our faith will all our strenght.

Today is World Prematurity Day and it is special to us. There are a lot of parents of premature babies out there. People that never thought they will end up in this position. But premature births happen so very often. It could happen to any pregnant woman at any given time. But I am praying and hoping for less and less premature births. I am praying for the research teams and organizations like March of Dimes, that work hard to find ways to stop and help premature births.

Tonight, in honor of World Prematurity Day, at 5PM Eastern Time, Fox 5 News will air a story about preemies! And the story is ours! We are excited to tell the world about our miracles and how blessed we have been to have the March of Dimes Organization on our side.

Fox 5 crew at our house

Fox 5 crew at our house

Preemies are superheros!

Love,
Lori

Happy 1 year homecoming anniversary to our super girl, Alexis!

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 12 months old

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 12 months old

I wish I would have taken time, a year ago, to put my thoughts down and write about one of the most amazing days of our lives, when the last baby in the NICU, finally came home. There was an overwhelming amount of mixed feelings from happiness to uncertainty and so on. It was exciting to have all four babies home. A new chapter about to unfold…

I will never miss the days when half of the babies were home and half in the hospital. I wanted to somehow clone myself so I can be with all 4 at the same time. Once the boys came home, we were not able to visit the girls every single day. And they were getting slower and slower in learning how to take a bottle (and finish a whole feeding by bottle) among other important things that kept them from coming home. The NICU nurses and doctors have told us that the babies knew our voices, recognized our smell and it did make a difference if we spent time with them in the NICU or not. In the beginning I didn’t think it mattered that much or that the babies really knew I was with them the whole day. But later, I realized that they did know I was there, they did know when Daddy was there. And so this dedicated father went to visit the girlies by himself after work while I was home with the boys. On the weekends we always took the boys with us back in the NICU and spend a whole day there with Hannah and Alexis.

Family picture before we left the NICU. The babies were 70 days old

Family picture before we left the NICU. The babies were 70 days old

You would probably ask me “what in the world did you do 10 hours (or more) a day in the hospital?!”. I was SO busy that sometimes many times I didn’t even have time to grab something to eat! Taking a lunch break meant leaving the NICU nursery, because I wasn’t allowed to eat there. But my meals were also important because I was pumping around the clock, every 2 hours at that time, to get my body to produce more and more milk so I can keep up with all 4 growing babies. And even though it was hard and time consuming and I was dreading it, I was happy to do it because it was one of the few things I was able to do for my tiny babies those days. Along with that, I did Skin to Skin therapy (also known as Kangaroo Care) with each baby daily. This practice helps babies maintain body warmth, regulate their heartbeat, and gain weight (and also gave us the opportunity to hold and cuddle with them). I had days when I couldn’t cover all 4 because I needed at least 1 hour with each and in between that and pumping and trying to eat, there was just not enough time. I always felt very guilty for the days when I couldn’t do everything I planned and I felt very bad when I wasn’t spending the exact amount of time with each baby. But again, super daddy was there to help out, every day after work. He would stop by our friends house to shower and change (they lived 10 min away from the hospital) and come spend time with our little peanuts. At the end of each day, both of us would do Kangaroo Care with a baby, sometimes in the same nursery, and that felt awesome (we had 4 babies in 3 different nurseries in the beginning). That was family time for us. The time didn’t matter anymore; the fact that we were very uncomfortable sitting on those wooden chairs for an hour without moving an arm, did not matter; all the noises that the machines in the nursery were making on and on and on didn’t matter; not even the wires and the tubes that were in our way and all the things that were making it so hard to hold our babies, didn’t matter anymore. We were spending precious time with the most precious little people in the world. After that, we said good night to everyone, grabbed the laundry bags and headed out to get some dinner in the hospital cafeteria if it was still open. Oh those nights… when you are hungry but don’t want to go out and sometimes don’t even have the money to go out for dinner, but there is nothing at home to eat. I don’t think I made time to cook dinner in that period of time. Stopping by the grocery store? Ummm that would have taken away from the time I needed for my babies. Don’t ask how we survived, we just did. We were getting so tired of those long drives to the hospital (we lived about 40 min away from Northside at that time). We just wanted everyone home, under the same roof.

I feel like my mind is all over the place. While I try to stick to Alexis’ homecoming story, I jump to many other things, hopefully you can keep up with me :) Glad I still remember these things, but then… how could I forget?

NICU nurses rock! Kaitlyn and Lori saying goodbye to the Quads

NICU nurses rock! Kaitlyn and Lori saying goodbye to the Quads ~ November 16th, 2013

Lori & Kaitlyn today with the Quads! November 16th 2014

Lori & Kaitlyn today with the Quads! November 16th 2014

Alexis took her car seat test the day Hannah came home, right before we left the hospital . At least one of the parents was supposed to be there for that so we were glad that she passed and we got that out of the way. We were really hoping that in a few days she will come home too. And she did. 5 days later Alexis finally got discharged! After spending 70 days in the NICU, our super girl was coming home! We took our time leaving that hospital. You would think we wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Not really. We made friends and memories for life. There are some very special people that work there and had a huge impact on our lives and they will forever be special to our family. We took some pictures with some of our favorite nurses that were at work that day. It was kind of crazy :) But thankfully we had auntie Ada with us to help out while auntie Lois was out and about, shopping for some last minute stuff that we needed at home for the quads.

Ready, set, go! A full load :)

Ready, set, go! A full load :)

My heart was pounding as I was getting pushed in the wheelchair, with my little fighter in my arms and 2 strollers with the other 3 babies were following us. My hubby and Ada were trying to get everything on camera, push the strollers, don’t lose the balloon, make sure we have all the bags and all the stuff with us. We were leaving the NICU for good. Wait, what ?! Really? Finally we were saying goodbye and talking about maybe visiting our Northside friends one day… we were going home. All six of us were going home !!! Oly and I no longer left the hospital empty handed but with our hands full and our hearts even fuller! I cannot help myself but cry just remembering those moments…

Going home!

Going home! November 16th, 2013

Our family, a year later, in the same spot :) November 16th, 2014

Our family, a year later, in the same spot :) November 16th, 2014

We strolled our way out on the Northside Hospital’s corridors and there was the Quad Taxi waiting for us. Oh how I dreamed of that day…  I used to see families leaving the hospital with their babies, daily. Balloons and flowers, excited parents and tears of joy. I wanted that every single day of our NICU stay. Finally it happened! Our minivan was packed. And off we went!

Home sweet home <3

Home sweet home <3

First night at home, Hannah reached out to her sister as they were sleeping. Love this picture!

First night at home, Hannah reached out to her sister as they were sleeping. Love this picture!

I would like to talk about our Alexis since it’s her homecoming anniversary. Maybe you wonder why I call her our super girl. It is because I feel like she fought the hardest throughout the NICU journey and even after she got discharged. This whole year has been a complete transformation for her and we praise God for answering our daily prayers. Each and every one of the quads has their own pace and their own way of learning things and reaching milestones. Like I said before, we need to give them extra time to accomplish things (because they were born premature) but also we work with them to get there. Andrew has been the leader and sometimes we call him the big brother just because he has a faster way of learning and figuring out things. It is funny because he is our baby, he is baby D of our set of quads.

Our little elf!

Our little elf!

Well, Alexis is the one that needs more time than the others and she is also an observer. Before she tries anything new, Alexis needs to make sure she knows exactly what to do (Andrew just goes for it, such a risk taker). And I think she is also a perfectionist (ahem, like her mama) because she easily gets upset if something goes wrong. On the other side, she has been a leader herself! First one to sleep through the night! (sleep training was so worth it!!) We were waking her up when the others wanted to eat (that was one of our rules – one for all and all for one). First one to say bye-bye and also wave. First one to get over baby formula and eat big kids food!  I have to say that a lot of her progress happened because of a very special person, Ms. Aimee. I mentioned in my post about Hannah’s homecoming anniversary, how this amazing lady works weekly with our girls. She puts her whole heart into it and loves our babies so much! We are very thankful for her.

Alexis is one of a kind <3 She is so friendly and ready to play even with people she sees for the first time. She is Daddy’s girl (I think a very strong bond was built back in the NICU when Daddy spent his nights with her) and loves him so much that sometimes calls him “Mama!” :) . We are truly blessed to have her as our daughter. Her sweetness is contagious!

Four peas in a pod

Four peas in a pod

1st Christmas

1st Christmas

IMG_3747Dear Alexis,

Even when you were a tiny baby in your Mommy’s belly, we knew you have a big personality because you were taking your space by kicking everyone all over the place! You are such a strong girl and we are excited to see God’s plan for your life. The first time I got to hold you in my arms, I felt like God is pouring his grace all over us… You transformed from this tiny helpless preemie baby into a strong, beautiful and gracious little lady. Coditza, you are and always will be our miracle baby, along with your sister and brothers, and we will never stop thanking the Lord for you guys. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much and we are SO proud of you!

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

Love her so much!

Love her so much!

Those eyes!

Those eyes!

6 months old

6 months old

Busy bee :)

Busy bee :)

Our little piano player!

Our little piano player!

Cutie!

Cutie! Look at that hair!

Out for a walk

Out for a walk in the Runabout stroller

March of Dimes with Daddy

March of Dimes with Daddy

Her smile.... <3

Her smile…. <3

Coditza :) (pony tail)

Coditza :) (pony tail)

1st time at the pool

1st time at the pool

our little crawler! so proud of her!

our little crawler! so proud of her!

Best friends :)

Best friends :)

Sisters <3

Sisters <3

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 14 months ~

Alexis Madeline Lupei ~ 14 months ~

We wanted to do something special today, to celebrate this day. So we took a trip to Northside Hospital to visit our friends. It felt surreal to be there, to see everyone. Tears of joy and hugs and cuddles with the babies – pretty much sums it up. We stopped by the NICU first and then we made a quick visit to the High Risk Pregnancy floor, where I spent two and a half weeks. Loved seeing everyone and it was well worth going back.

Some of our NICU nurses, I wish we could have seen all of them today!

A few of our NICU nurses, I wish we could have seen all of them today!

Some of the nurses that cared for me on the HRP floor and Brandee (first on the L) that made sure I always had plenty to eat so I can keep the quads growing big and strong in my belly :)

A few of the nurses that cared for me on the HRP floor and Brandee (first on the L) that made sure I always had plenty to eat so I can keep the quads growing big and strong in my belly :) 

We had such a busy, fun but full of emotions day, I feel drained! Taking a peek through a window at one of the NICU’s nurseries made my heart sink… I couldn’t help but tear up because I will never forget those days spent there with our miracles. God is so good!

Love,
Lori.

Hannah’s Homecoming anniversary!

Sweet baby Hannah ~ 12 months old

Sweet baby Hannah ~ 12 months old

I never got a chance to write on my blog about the day Hannah came home from the hospital. Today marks the 1 year anniversary and I think it is the best time to reflect a little at that special day. After a few weeks of not being able to spend much time with the girls since we had the boys at home, we were so happy to welcome sweet baby Hannah home. Bitter~sweet once again, since we had to leave Alexis by herself in the NICU for a few more days… It was probably one of the hardest days of our NICU journey, to leave the hospital knowing that only one baby is left behind. The nurse promised me to cuddle with my Alexis and give her extra hugs for us that night. Hannah spent 65 days in the NICU.

Ready to go home!

Ready to go home!

Mommy and the trio!

Mommy and the trio!

Hannah's first car drive

Hannah’s first car drive

Hannah looked better than ever :) We could tell she was READY. Ready for her home, ready to be next to her brothers, ready to be spoiled and pampered, like a real princess, by everyone around her. On our drive home, my mind was going crazy. I started counting how many bottles I had to prepare, how will the feedings go since we have 3, how things will change having baby number 3 at home. Yes I was nervous, of course I was. More happy and excited than nervous this time around. When we got home, we sat the car seats in the livingroom one next to the other. It looked really cute. But we kept repeating ” can you imagine when we have all 4 in a row? ” :)

3 home, one more to go!

3 home, one more to go!

That week was pretty challenging because having 3 at home and 1 in the NICU was tough business. Since we wanted to get Alexis home ASAP, Daddy went to see her every day after work and that really made a huge difference. So needless to say the exhaustion started to settle in.

Daddy, Hannah, Andrew & Isaac

Daddy, Hannah, Andrew & Isaac

This little lady of ours sure has a big personality. Hannah has always been a feisty girl (even in the womb – she was the 1st one to kick!). I remember giving her a bath in the hospital, you would have thought something serious was going on, that’s how loud she was! She just didn’t like anyone to mess with her. And now… the boys get in trouble if they grab her toys or paci. She fights them! But she is also a sweety-pie and gives the best hugs! She likes to follow Isaac and Andrew everywhere they go. Loves her pacifiers, her lovies and chatting with her sister at nap time. They are so cute together and we love seeing them being best friends. One of the best things about having multiples is watching their unique bond grow and become more and more special as the time goes by. She can be very,very serious, especially when we have people over or if someone approaches her, but she gets very bubbly and happy once she feels comfortable. Hannah loves Ms. Aimee, the world greatest Physical Therapist, that comes every week and plays with the girls… God works through this amazing lady and we all appreciate and love her so much!

First doctor's checkup

First doctor’s checkup

Angel <3

Angel <3

Sweet baby Hannah

Sweet baby Hannah

Chubby baby :)

Chubby baby :)

1st Christmas

1st Christmas

Hannah Liana

Hannah Liana

6 months old

6 months old

Precious baby girl

Precious baby girl

March of Dimes Walk!

March of Dimes Walk!

Hannah in her 1st bathtub from the NICU :)

Hannah in her 1st bathtub from the NICU :)

Loves books !

Loves books !

Love that smile!

Love that smile!

Hannah and her best friend and sister, Alexis <3

Hannah and her best friend and sister, Alexis <3

Love you so much!!!

Love you so much!!!

Dear Hannah,
You brought so much love and joy in our family that words are not enough to express that. From the day you were born there was something special about you! Your smile and your giggles are precious and you make our world so much better everyday. We are so proud of your progress, you are the cutest crawling peanut ever! We love seeing you try new things and even though new things can be scary, you don’t give up! Such a fighter and a brave little girl! We thank the Lord everyday for you and your siblings and we are SO blessed to be your parents!

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

The Quads at 14 months :)

The Quads at 14 months :)

Isaac & Andrew’s special day

Handsome boys <3

Handsome boys <3

A year ago today our house became a home. The boys came home together, after 46 days spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Thinking back at that day… oh man! We were SO nervous! I don’t think I have EVER been that nervous in my entire life. We spent the whole day at Northside Hospital, signing papers and checking off some last things on our to do list before we were able to take the babies home. We had to take a CPR class too -one the hospital’s rules when it comes to preemies. So many emotions combined, heavy hearted because we we’re leaving the girls but excited to bring the boys home! I can’t even remember how many times I cried that day. I felt sick to my stomach all most all day long worrying about how things will be once we’ll get home. No machines to let us know if something was wrong or if someone wasn’t breathing right or breathing at all, no nurses, no doctors… Are we going to be OK? That’s what was going on in my head. My husband was holding it together better than me, at least that’s what I thought. But I know that it wasn’t easy for him either. There we were, at the end of a long day, getting the boys ready for their first car ride. Oly gently took all the wires off the boys and I got them dressed. It was weird to not have them connected to computers and different machines. We were not used to that at all. Every time we wanted to change their diapers or clothes it just felt weird not dealing with the wires. I will never forget that. One of our favorite nurses, Kristi, was the one that discharged the boys and prepared us for this next step. She stayed with us an extra couple of hours after her shift ended just to make sure we are fine and ready to go home.

First car ride! Andrew (L) ~ Isaac (R)

First car ride! Andrew (L) ~ Isaac (R)

And off we went. And we were fine… We did have to be really careful handling them especially during feeding time; Andrew had a few episodes when he would “forget” to breathe while taking his bottle, very scary! But it was amazing to finally feel like a parent! We were missing the girls so much but in a little while they got to join us all at home too.

These two munchkins were quite a pair from the beginning. We could tell there was something special between them and it is wonderful to see how amazing their bond grows with each step of the way.

Morning nap in their Pack  & Plays

Morning nap in their Rock & Plays

Brotherly love <3

Brotherly love <3

We always hoped that the boys will become friends and really get along and play together. But we never imagined that at the age of 1 they will entertain each other and have such a great relationship! It is so adorable to see them interact.

Dear Andrew & Isaac,

Today we celebrate your homecoming and could not be more proud of you guys. You have showed such strength and courage from the first moments you were born. In the NICU they say that the boys are much slower and lazier than the girls but you proved everyone wrong! You really, really wanted to come home! Isaac, you are such bubbly baby! You laugh fill our hearts and our home. You were the one that came into this world first, I guess you just couldn’t wait anymore to meet Mommy and Daddy.  Andrew, you are the energy of our home! It is such a joy to see you accomplishing new things every day. You bring excitement and enthusiasm in our home. We love you both so, so very much and pray that your lives will continue to be true miracles. God has truly blessed us with the best pair of boys we could have asked for!

While visiting the girls, the boys got their own crib just to hang out.

While visiting the girls in the NICU, the boys got their own crib just to hang out.

1st Christmas A & I

1st Christmas A & I

Sleeping buddies

Sleeping buddies

Chubby faces :) A & I

Chubby faces :) A & I

Isaac & Andrew

Isaac -baby A & Andrew -baby D

Isaac & Andrew

Isaac & Andrew

6 months old A & I

6 months old A & I

Tough love :)

Tough love :)

Reading buddies

Reading time in Andrew’s crib

Getting ready to swim for the 1st time

Getting ready to swim for the 1st time

:) When Andrew wants something, he gets it!

:) When Andrew wants something, he gets it!

Always together! A & I

Always together! A & I

Here comes trouble.. double trouble!

Here comes trouble.. double trouble!

Playtime!

Playtime!

One of their favorite things, to carry this green blanket all over the place!

One of their favorite things, to carry this green blanket all over the place!

A & I

A & I

13 months old, Isaac & Andrew

13 months old, Isaac & Andrew

We try to video record them all the time, because there are so many cute moments that we want to hang on to forever. Here is a video from a few days ago – this is what the boys do when we put them down for a nap. Sometimes it takes up to an hour for them to actually go to sleep, they are busy having fun :)

 

Now I have to get some stuff ready because tomorrow we have a very important day! Daddy’s Birthday! What an amazing bday present he had last year, having both boys home!

 

The Birthday boy and his little presents <3

The Birthday boy and his little presents <3 (2013)

Love,

Lori.

 

 

Bye bye bottles!

Finally we said our goodbyes to the bottles. I was dreading this transition thinking it is going to be so hard (X4) but it was actually not that bad. Yesterday I even cleaned out the counter space where we had our “bottle station”. It has been 5 days and everyone is going strong, yay! At the 12 months checkup, the pediatrician was happy with their weights and their growth si she gave us the OK to quit formula. But I wasn’t ready! I thought it is going to be the biggest deal ever!

Look at that big smile, she is so proud!

Look at that big smile, she is so proud!

Like I said in my last post, Alexis was the first one to be done with formula. She just didn’t want it anymore.

So for a while, while the others were still taking their morning and bedtime bottle, I would sit her at the quad table and give her finger foods. She always looked very proud of herself :) Because I was nervous to take the bottles away from the other 3, we continued to offer them each morning and night. But then Andrew wasn’t really interested anymore so he joined Alexis at the quad table. Hannah and Isaac did not show any intentions of being done with the bottles, instead they would gulp up 7 oz every.single.time! I was nervous. Ever since the quads came home from the hospital, they were all on the same schedule, they all did the same thing and now we had 2 in the Rock & Plays taking bottles and 2 at the table. Not good. So I woke up one morning last week feeling very brave and decided to hide the Rock & Plays since the babies associated them with “bottle time”. Once everyone was awake, I sat them at the quad table and I acted like that is our routine. Isaac looked very confused… but he went along. Hannah concerned me the most since at that point she was the only one that was not interested AT ALL in whole milk. Not even a sip. Well, breakfast went pretty well, but I decided to offer a bottle to Hannah and Isaac, just in case. They didn’t want it and I didn’t insist. Same thing at night. Next day I stopped the bottles completely and that was it, no turning back. That day Hannah started taking little sips of whole milk out of her sippy cup, she loved the water but she still wasn’t happy with cow’s milk. To our surprise, just a couple days later she started drinking whole milk like it was her favorite thing ever, phew! :) At bedtime, instead of a bottle, the quads get a snack with milk of course. They’ve been sleeping well and seem to be very happy.
When we first introduced sippy cups, we got the Nuby Sippy Cups. They worked pretty well for the quads since they were beginners. They mostly chewed on the silicon spouts but we considered that “training” :) Then we switched them to the Playtex Twist ‘n Click Lid because we happen to have them at home. We use those for milk. They babies really like them and so we adventured to Babies R Us one day to get them some more, but we couldn’t find any so we tried the Tommee Tippee  Explora Training cups. Great cups! No spills and fun colors. But it took a few days for the quads to get used to them, the flow is a little faster than what they were used to. As of right now, everyone is very happy drinking water and milk out of big kids sippy cups and once again Mommy & Daddy couldn’t be happier! I have to admit…. I was sad cried a few tears yesterday while cleaning our the bottle station… But I looked forward to this moment every night back when I used to fix 32 bottles for the following day. From 32 we went down to 24 and so on. One shelf in our fridge was designated to bottle only and not all were able to fit in there!

32 bottles ready for the next 24 hours

32 bottles ready for the next 24 hours

Our fridge almost a year ago!

Our fridge almost a year ago!

Less bottles, more sleep :)

Less bottles, more sleep :)

Here are the quads, mastering their sippy cups!

Andrew

Andrew

Hannah

Hannah

Alexis

Alexis

Isaac

Isaac

The crew

The crew

I love this picture of all 4 drinking out of sippy cups!

I love this picture of all 4 drinking out of sippy cups!

Smiley faces :)

Smiley faces :)

Have a great week everyone!
Lori.

Look who’s ONE ~ updates & pictures ~

Happy 1st Birthday Quads!

Happy 1st Birthday Quads!

Many times I ask myself… Is this really happening? We managed to survive the hardest year of our life and I am pretty sure my husband agrees with me. Looking back… whew! We made it! A short pregnancy that kept all of us on our toes, endless doctor’s visits, bed-rest, hospital admissions, aaaaand boom! Here they were, the Four babies we kept talking about, saw them on ultrasounds, felt them kicking and turning, dreamed about holding them and how much fun it will be…also how hard it will be… the Four that turned our world up side down, left to right and gave our life a new meaning. The Four that surprised all of us, arriving sooner than we thought… the Four that fought a great fight from the beginning. The Four that were so tiny and helpless but so strong and courageous. The Four that God had in His mighty plan, and no matter what the statistics said, He gave them life, health and helped them strive every single day. The Four that made us a family and made us realize what true LOVE is.

It is hard for me to write all this, tears fill my eyes and I get overwhelmed looking back at this last year. We started off unprepared and inexperienced (first time parents). From an ordinary couple that had no children but really wanted a baby, we were launched into this crazy adventure almost overnight! Suddenly we became responsible for FOUR little persons by becoming parents of quadruplets.

1st pics

First day of life 9/07/2013

And here we are, a year later, with our hands full but our hearts fuller. Loving every second and cherishing every moment! Time is flying by as I said many times and even though we celebrate every milestone and every accomplishment of each baby, it is SAD!!!! They are getting bigger and bigger and we can’t turn back time so I try to hold on to every moment as hard as I can!

In this past year the babies took numerous trips to the doctor’s office, not only for regular check ups but also different screenings just to make sure everyone is on the right path. We’ve had  some scares, but thankfully every single time we got great news and all four passed all tests.
We’ve used TONS of diapers and Formula of course but good news – slowly we are saying goodbye to formula! :) Actually we have a little “big” girl that decided to eat only solids and drink whole milk and so she’s been done with formula for a few days now… miss Alexis <3
All the babies are doing great eating whatever we eat. No more pureed baby food, which is awesome! I am very happy about this, it was one of my goals for them to be able to feed themselves and eat regular food when they are one. They’ve tried a bunch a things including peanut butter and honey (they love this combination).  Also, they are doing pretty well drinking out of sippy cups, such a hard transition! Big boy Andrew is rocking at this task, he picks it up easily and drinks lots of water or milk with each meal. The other 3 still need a little help but they all improved so much. Hannah doesn’t really like whole milk so I am hoping she will give in soon. Here is how the Quads’ schedule looks like at 12 months old:

7AM: bottle (Alexis gets cereal with milk in sippy cup)
We usually go outside for a walk if the weather is fine.
9AM: breakfast & sippy cups with milk/water
9:30AM: nap
12PM: lunch & sippy cups with milk/water
playtime, books, walk outside
1:45PM: snack & sippy cups with milk/water
2ish PM: nap
4:30PM: dinner, sippy cups with milk/water
play time
7PM: bottle (Alexis gets a snack & a sippy cup with whole milk)
7:30PM bedtime

Their weights at the 12 months checkup:
Isaac: 21 pounds 4 oz
Andrew: 21 pounds 4 oz
Hannah: 19 pounds 1 oz
Alexis: 19 pounds 10 oz

The days are really busy and sometimes I can’t believe how tired I am after we put them to bed. More tired than when I used to work! The babies are keeping us very busy but this stage is so much fun, we loooove it. We’ve been able to get out more and have a taste of what is like to be out in public with so many babies. Well, it’s been pretty ok. I think we (the parents) need to get used to people asking questions and being curious about our life. Sometimes it can get pretty overwhelming and weird, but some people are really nice and even offer to help us any way they can. We live in a nice neighborhood, with lots of wonderful people. I had the chance to meet a few moms and their babies, a few parents and grandparents that love to chat and I actually enjoy telling them about the babies. They offer their help every single time we see them and I think that is very sweet.

None of the babies walk yet, Andrew takes a couple of steps and stands up on his own all the time. Isaac loves to follow him everywhere and they always play together. When they go to bed, they sometimes spend 30 minutes playing with each other. Their cribs are still one next to the other so when they stand up they can touch each other. Isaac loves to throw all his friends (his little loveys)  in Andrew’s crib and they both laugh so hard! The girls are so funny together, Hannah grabs Alexis’ pig tails and they both laugh (or cry haha!); it’s so cute to see them together. Alexis loves to stand up but she needs help so she gets mad at us if we don’t pay attention and surely gets her point across in no time. Hannah is a little trouble maker, she likes to bite. I don’t think she does it on purpose though, she’s been chewing everything she gets her hands on, including her siblings.

For their 1st Birthday we had friends and family over to celebrate an amazing year. The party theme was their 4 colors – blue, pink, purple and green. Thanks again aunt Adina for giving me this idea! We wanted to do so much but you know what? The simplest ways end up being the best. I made some tissue pom poms with each of their colors, we used their first outfits, their tiny little diapers from the NICU and pictures of the quads to decorate and illustrate this first year. It looked beautiful and everything had a story behind it, so we loved it. We had cupcakes and of course each baby got to smash/eat one! They did a great job :) Oly and I ended up with icing all over us, we like to be kids sometimes too! :)
One of their birthday presents was a professional photo session so I will share some pictures from the party and the photo shoot.

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

My loves!

My loves!

We did it! Survived the 1st year! Happy Birthday quadlings <3

We did it! Survived the 1st year! Happy Birthday quadlings <3

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Isaac Nathan Lupei

Isaac Nathan Lupei

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Hannah LianaLupei

Hannah Liana Lupei

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Alexis Madeline Lupei

Alexis Madeline Lupei

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Andrew Davis Lupei

Andrew Davis Lupei

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com
Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com
Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com


Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Here are some of the pictures from the 1 year old photo shoot of the Quads :)

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com


Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com
Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com
Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com
Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Love them SO much <3

Our girlies!

The boys :)

The boys :)

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

Photography by Axsys Design - www.axsysdesign.com

We are happy and so blessed to call these precious angels our babies. We fought for them and prayed hard along with many of you and they are truly amazing. We can’t thank God enough for His grace and mercy… There are days when we struggle and stumble but we try our best to be good parents, good examples and so on.

I wonder how this year will be, transitioning from babies to toddlers! I would love to be able to update my blog more often ~ that’s one of my goals for this year! Thank you for keeping up with us!

Lori

 

Happy 1st Birthday Quads from Heaven!

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Yesterday was a very special day for us. It has been ONE year since we’ve been blessed with not one or two, not even three, but FOUR miracles. A year ago, these precious jewels entered our world and changed every aspect of it. It has been the most challenging year of our lives, the most difficult but by far the most amazing! If someone would have told me and Oly how exactly things are going to be and that we are actually going to survive,  I would have laughed in his face. But through all and all, we had God on our side each step of the way and here we are, happier than ever, blessed more than ever, thankful and accomplished. 
Isaac, Hannah, Alexis and Andrew, you mean the world to us! Nothing fills our hearts the way you do little munchkins! We wanted you so badly and we fought for you as we’ll always do! Life is not perfect but you made our family perfect and that is our little corner of heaven. We love  and cherish you with every string of our hearts and every breath we take!
We pray that God will continue to use you and us as a family, to show his glory, to remind everyone that he is the God of miracles and you are the proof!

Happy Birthday Quadlings!
Love,
Mommy & Daddy