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!
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.
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.
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 :)
Here are some updates on our crew:
25 lbs, 10 oz
32 inches tall
size 18-24 months clothes
size 5 diaper
size 5 shoes
21 lbs 10 oz
31 inches tall
size 12-18 months clothes
size 4 diaper
size 3 shoes
23 lbs 5 oz
31 1/4 inches tall
size 18 months clothes
size 4 diaper
size 3 shoes
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!