They Must Be Twins or Something...

Ok, one more thing. I had to add this picture we got today of Jack and Brooklyn because it is the first time we have been able to hold them next to each other. We discovered something when we did - they look exactly alike!! Ryan has a strong resemblance to them both as well. We think Britton and Lila probably look a lot like each other, but it's too early to tell. Anyway, just wanted to share.

God Bless,

Five at a Time...Priceless!!!!

We got a very cool surprise today in the NICU today as Casey was holding Britton and I was holding Jack. I'm not even sure what started it, but one minute we're just sitting there chatting with the nurses and the next thing you know, we've got nurses bringing us the other three babies for a quick photo op!! It was really cool to have them all side by side and the pictures we got are absolutely PRICELESS!!!! The babies are in birth order in the picture from left to right - Brooklyn, Britton, Jack, Lila, and Ryan.
To be honest, I got a little nervous doing this because it meant that Brooklyn, Lila, and Ryan were disconnected from all of their monitors to make this happen, but we were surrounded by nurses and we only got to do this for a few quick minutes. Don't let my nerves fool you however, the babies all continue to do very, very well. They each still have their own little issues that they need to overcome before they are allowed to come home. Brooklyn needs to get better at eating, Britton needs to grow, Jack needs to stop having heart rate drops, Lila had a pretty big setback today, and Ryan just needs to eat, eat, eat!
Lila's setback was a really scary episode that quickly reminds us how important it is for the babies to be so closely monitored. For some reason she had a major heart rate drop coupled with a prolonged episode of very low oxygen saturation that required her nurse to artificially breathe for her for about four minutes. She never completely stopped breathing, but her oxygen saturation was too low to allow her to work through the problem on her own. This was out of character for her, but apparently isn't an uncommon event for preemies to experience. She's ok, but this little episode means that she will be in the NICU for a minimum of seven more days, probably longer.
One other quick note - Jack had his circumcision performed this evening. Casey's ob/gyn, Dr. Stephanie Reich performed the operation and reported that all went well and Jack did not make a peep. Atta boy, Jack!
It is possible that one or two of the babies will be coming home in the next 7-10 days, but it's really unclear at the moment. They are all doing very well, but these lingering issues with eating and breathing have to go away entirely and stay away for a good seven days or so before they can think about sending them home with us. Please continue to pray for their growth and maturity with eating and breathing!!!
God Bless,
P.S. Eliot is really into calendars and loves keeping track of the passing days on the calendar in her room. She gives us daily updates of lunar events ("Daddy, it's a full moon tonight!"), holidays, and other notes listed on the calendar. I only mention this because she just ran out of her room to inform us some important news - tomorrow is Flag Day in Mexico...very exciting stuff!!


P.S. Thank You!

I wanted to thank everyone for the feedback on my "God Did This" blog. The comments on the site as well as the emails and other comments I have received were very encouraging, not only to our positive spirit and outlook on the future, but also on the power of faith in people's lives. Thank you all - your comments are a great source of inspiration!!

God Bless,

Eliot's "Slipper Party" and a Night Out With My Lady

My birthday was last Saturday and we just put the wraps on one of the best birthday weekends I've ever had! It started out on Friday night with Eliot's "Slipper Party" which was a slumber party that we threw for her to celebrate her big sister status. Somehow, "slumber" got translated into 4-year-old speak as "slipper" - it was actually a pretty cute and fitting name so we let it stick.

We had multiple motives for throwing the party. The first was to thank all of the families who helped out so much with Eliot's care while Casey was pregnant and I was going crazy trying to juggle everything. The second motive was to reward Eliot for being so easy-going with all of the schedule changes and uncertainty that each day brought her as we shuffled her from house to house in order to give Casey the rest she needed and me the time I needed to keep my head in the game. We figured a night off for all of the parents and a night of giggles, movies, cookies, and cream would just about do the trick!!

Eliot had five little girls come over for the evening with four of them staying the night. We got them off to a quick start with a pizza party followed up by freshly baked cookies, ice cream sundaes, and a movie on the big screen! After they were good and sugared up, I worked as much energy out of them with lots of wrestling on the couch, games of tag and hide-n-seek, and lots and lots and LOTS of giggles...it was GREAT FUN!!! When it was time to settle down for the night, we put them all in sleeping bags in the gameroom and left them alone with Cinderella for the remainder of the evening. Believe it or not, the girls actually got some sleep, though probably not as much as they are used to on a normal night.

In the morning, the girls got in a good round of cartoons, Lucky Charms, and playing house before their parents came to get their tired little angels. There was no rest for the weary Joneses, however, as we had to run out the door to get Eliot to a princess party thrown for one of her friends' birthdays. She had a blast, of course, dressing up like a princess and playing with all of the other little girls!

After a trip to the NICU and a little bit of rest time, Casey and I got to go out on our first real date in who knows how long. Casey's mom and brother came to town (Uncle Kyle's first visit to see the babies!) and they entertained Eliot for the night while Casey and I did some shopping and fine dining at The Domain in Austin. What a night we had! Good wine, good food, and good conversation about what was, what is, and what's to come in this oh so boring life of ours!!! This was without a doubt one of my best birthday's ever!

God Bless,


God Did This

The stress got to me today. It hasn’t happened very often and it usually doesn’t last long when it does, but when it comes, it comes like a flood – abrupt, painful, and pervasive to every aspect of my life. Today it was more like a tsunami. While these episodes have yet to be crippling, the suddenness with which they come and the relatively minor events that seem to trigger them always leaves me wondering if I’m falling back into some old habits, my old ways of “dealing” with stressful events in my life. It frightens me to think that maybe I’m not ready for all of this, that maybe I’ve tricked myself and others into believing that it’s all going to work out just fine. What if my faith isn’t strong enough to carry me through? What if the reason that we’ve been able to enjoy this adventure up to this point is simply that we haven’t yet been hit with the fatal wave of circumstances that is certain to wipe us out? What if we can’t possibly handle what’s coming our way? What if our marriage suffers? What if Eliot is overshadowed, over-stressed, and overwhelmed? What if my career, my company doesn’t succeed? What if, what if, what if…

Stress and, more specifically, recognizing the stress in my life has been an issue for me for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been pretty good about sucking it up, dealing with it, ignoring the pain…fill in whatever other cliché you can think of here. Problem is I never dealt with the stress; I just got really good at not allowing myself to feel it; essentially I was ignoring it. Sounds great, right? Never feel stress again…who wouldn’t want that? Unfortunately however, I learned the hard way that you cannot confine this talent to just the stress in your life. At least I wasn’t able to; maybe others can, but I couldn’t and didn’t. I also learned the hard way that ignoring the stress is not the same as dealing with it and just as the rubber on your tires only has so many miles it can handle so also does the tread on your soul. The miles add up, the tread breaks down, the soul falls apart…

While I was busy ignoring the stress in my life, I was also ignoring the wounds that were being inflicted by stressful events in my life. To make matters worse, my ignorance of my own stress level allowed these wounds to grow instead of heal. The hurt, anger, bitterness, and frustration from these events was building up inside of me and never found release. Possibly worse than that or at the very least equally unhealthy is the fact that I was also ignoring the needs of those around me - close friends, family, and strangers alike. Without even realizing it, I was shutting people out of my life, including those closest to me, and I slowly became aware that I was living alone, inside the very constricted, cold walls that I had built up over the years. Walls that were initially intended to protect me were now walls that confined me. My growth as a person, as a member of the community God created, had become like that of a fish, restricted to the size of the container that bound me.

Well, as you might imagine, you can’t go on living life this way until something eventually gives. And give it did…big time! I’ll spare you the details, but know that thanks only to the Lord above, the effects of a life lived this way, though certainly life altering was not life destroying. And the damage that was done, with help from good friends and good people in my life, was quickly undone and I was soon well down the path of reclamation and restoration of a soul that had lost its way.

I learned a few lessons along the way - I learned a little about life and I learned a little bit more about the God who made this life possible. Now that I look back on the course of events of my life, I know that I was never alone in all of this. Though I never asked for it, never would have admitted it, and oftentimes was never even aware of it, I had a lot of help in keeping it all together when it very easily could have all fallen apart. There was a hand at work, busy filling the cracks and holes in my life that had begun to accumulate as a result of my choices and the bumpy, dark, and dusty roads I decided to travel. Back then, I never stopped to reflect on my life, I just kept moving, onward and upward…or so I thought. I never stopped to give thanks and I never stopped to consider just how blessed I was.

These days I do look back - almost daily - and I do give thanks after carefully considering just how blessed I am. I consider how fortunate I am to have the wife that I have and I consider all of the ways that she was designed perfectly just for me. I also consider how amazing my daughter is and how her attitude and happy-go-lucky-ready-for-anything nature will be just right for the challenges that lie ahead. I consider how truly incredible my parents are as are many of the other folks they brought into my life who have all contributed to the person I am today. I consider how amazing it is that the people who have selflessly and tirelessly carried us, cared for us, and loved us from the day the Quint Invasion began entered our lives only 18 months prior.

When the tidal wave of emotion and stress comes over me and sends me reeling into a backwash of doubt and anguish, these are the things that I consider. And after careful consideration, there is only one conclusion that I believe any man who has his wits about him and has in place a rational view of his role in this world can come to: God did this. God chose to knit me together in my mother’s womb, to place me in my parents’ care, to bring me together with my amazing wife, to bring Eliot into our little world, to bring us to Riverbend Church and the Marriage Builders group. He chose to smooth out the rough patches of our lives, to challenge me, shape me, mold me, and to love me too much to leave me the way I was and am today. And he chose to breathe life into those five little babies that now breathe life into ours.

So this is how I make it through and this is how I know I’m not falling back into those old, dangerous habits. When the stress strikes, the world begins to tighten its noose, and the air suddenly gets really thin, this is the place I always return: God did this; there is no doubt in my mind. God did this and he will see us through. How he’ll do it, how he’ll answer the what if’s that seem to come up every day, no one can say. To be honest, I don’t know much of anything beyond how I’ll handle today. And, strangely, I’m comforted by that. It takes some getting used to, but yes, I’m comforted by the fact that I have little clue as to what road I’ll be traveling when I wake up tomorrow morning. I’m comforted because I believe that this is exactly where he wants me - living one day at a time, living a life completely dependent on him. God did this just as he has always done this, with or without my permission. God did this and he will continue to do this. God did this, and with his continued guidance and direction on my life, we’ll continue to be able to do this…somehow, some way…one baby step at a time…

God Bless,


No Wimpy White Boys!!

As we've come to find out, white males typically do not perform very well in the NICU. They don't eat well, they don't grow very well and are generally outperformed by their female counterparts. White males have apparently done so poorly in their NICU stays that they have earned themselves a nickname - Wimpy White Boys. Well, I am proud to say that my boy, Jack William, is an exception to the rule! Not only is he doing well, he is outperforming all four of the girls. He is the first four pounder, weighing in at 4 pounds, 2.5 ounces, he is the first one to be moved out of an isolette and into a regular crib, and if he keeps it up, he is likely to be the first one we get to bring home! Go Jack!!

Though she is nowhere near as well off as Jack, Brooklyn is doing the best of all the girls. Ok, I may have exaggerated just a bit with that statement. Truth be told, Brooklyn is a close second to Jack's supremacy. She was moved out of her isolette today and will stay in a crib if she can do well with the change. She weighs in now at 3 pounds, 12.6 ounces.

Britton continues to be the baby of the bunch weighing in at only 2 pounds 12.3 ounces. The doctors are a little concerned that she hasn't been gaining much weight so they are increasing her calories and monitoring her red blood cell and platelet count. It probably doesn't help her weight gain that she is still the diva of the bunch. She spends much more time than the rest letting the nurses know about every little discomfort she experiences, of which there are many! I do not believe it will be necessary, but if she does not start picking up the pace, they are considering doing a blood transfusion to get her red blood cell count to pick up. Other than that, she is doing very well in all categories. Please pray for her to respond to the increase in calories and to begin growing faster! A bit of good news on Britton is that she is no longer on any oxygen support which means one less cord strapped to her face...yeah!

We have wonderful news on Lila's and Ryan's hearts - they double checked the PDA's that they had with great results! Lila's PDA was completely gone and Ryan's was classified as "trivial." Thank you to all who prayed for their little hearts to be healed!!! Both are growing well - Lila weighs 3 pounds, 2.4 ounces and Ryan weighs 3 pounds, 8.2 ounces. Lila has been removed from oxygen support, but Ryan will be on it for a few more days at least.

Four of the babies can now be held by grandparents as they can now maintain a good body temperature while bundled outside of their isolettes. Britton still can only be held skin-to-skin by me or Casey. Eliot has now held Jack and Britton while Grandma Stevie has held Ryan, Jack, and Brooklyn (that is Jack that Eliot is holding and Ryan that Grandma Stevie is holding in the pictures). All of the babies had a second cerebral ultrasound to check for problems with their brains and they found no issues whatsoever!! They will all undergo an MRI before they go home as one last check for any complications that may lead to long term developmental problems.

As of yesterday, the babies are one month old and continue to impress all of the doctors and nurses in the NICU. We expect that Jack will come home in the next 2-3 weeks and the rest will be home shortly after that. Then the real fun will begin!

God Bless,

Oh, one more thing. Someone asked why Eliot was allowed to go into the NICU. Seton allows siblings of any age to go into the NICU once they have been checked by the nurses to be certain they do not have any sniffling, coughs, etc. We are so grateful that Eliot has been able to experience the NICU with us!!


New Slide Show on JonesLife.net

Check out the new slide show that Tracey Taylor, owner of Taylor Made Portrait Studio, did for us after a visit to the NICU. The link is on the front page of the website directly beneath the small slideshow that is posted there. We were actually a little reluctant to have Tracey come up to photograph the babies as we didn't think she would get much given the environment of the NICU. Boy, were we ever wrong!! She did an amazing job of capturing the essence of our experience with our babies, a talent Tracey has shown all along as she has chronicled this adventure!

Also, we were interviewed today by KVUE who wanted to update Austin on the baby's one month birthday. They ran the report on the six o'clock news. We'll have the link up on the website in the next couple of days.

God Bless,

A Rockin' Valentine's

As has become our annual tradition on Valentine's day, Eliot and I went to Build-A-Bear to find the perfect bear to add to her collection. I started this tradition for her first Valentine's and we've been every year since. In years past, it's been a lot of fun for me to watch her take it all in and try to get her to understand what was happening. Every year she did better than the last, but she never quite got the concept which made for some fun times. This time was cool because it was the first year that she really knew the program and fully understood what she was there to do. The result was one very fluffy panda bear named Spots and one very happy little girl!
As you can see from the pictures, I decided to add a little adventure to our annual Valentine's tradition. Once the Build-A-Bear mission was complete, off we went to The Main Event where they have an incredible indoor rock climbing facility. Eliot had tried to do climb one of these walls about 18 months ago at one of our church events, but she was way too small. I really don't think she was officially big enough to do this one either, but the staff didn't check her and we didn't offer it up. As you can probably also tell by the pictures, what she lacked in size, she made up for in attitude...there was no fear in her as she attacked these 30' walls!!

On the first couple of tries, she got stuck after she got about 1/3 of the way up on the vertical walls so I moved her over to one of the angled walls. She quickly scrambled her way to the top and rang the bell! After that, there was no stopping her. She handled about five of the different walls, including two that were vertical and one that had a pitch change about half way up. She went for an hour non-stop - I had to drag her off the wall when our time was up!!

To understate it just a bit - I was one proud daddy! Not so much with how well she did, but with the spirit she carried as she took on this new challenge. I didn't tell her anything about what we had in store for the day so she knew nothing about the rock climbing walls until we got there. When she saw the walls and realized what we were there to do, she was all in. She didn't get frustrated when she got stuck and she even ignored my attempts to coax her over to some of the easier walls. She simply said, "I just have to try, Daddy. As long as you try, you can do it, right?" Though not 100% accurate in her statement, I was bursting when she echoed back to me one of the many lessons Casey and I have tried to teach her from the day she was born!

I've always been a little cynical about the most pernicious of the Hallmark holidays, but I've got to say I am now a full fledge convert to the ways of the Valentine. To put it simply, Valentine's ROCKS!!!

God Bless,


The Busy Life in the NICU...Busy...Good...Busy!!

The blog title says it all, but the pictures say more...the last two days have been BUSY GOOD in our home away from home! On Tuesday, Ryan got a bath which happens about every three days for each of the babies, but often does not happen while we are there. So far, we have only been there to help bathe Jack and Britton. No sponge baths this time around - real baby baths - in a tub, with real water, soap, and all the other amenities of baby bath time. I haven't gotten the chance to pitch in just yet - we have to be fairly economical with our NICU time so I am generally holding the other babies while Casey and the nurses tend to the bath. Thanks to the nurses for lending their photography skills!

While Casey had her hands full with Ryan's bath, I had my first opportunity to feed one of the babies a bottle and Jack was the lucky recipient of my baby bottle skills! I can't explain what it is about feeding a baby a bottle, but it gets me every time. That's the way it was with Eliot and I knew immediately that it would be the same with these babies the moment I got hold of Jack and got him going on the bottle. There's something amazing about watching them work through the bottle, taking their little breaks to think about what's happening and to catch their breath. I think it's just one of those moments where you realize how fragile their little lives are and how much they depend on you for every ounce of their survival. Truly incredible!!

Today was another busy day and we've got more pictures to prove it! While I held Ryan and Lila, Casey held Jack and Britton and Big Sister Eliot got her first go round on the baby holding carousel. As a proud mom and dad looked on, Nurse Melissa and Nurse Jeannie helped one suddenly serious 4 year old hold her biggest little sister. The look on her face was well worth the price of admission, but unfortunately this time I don't think the picture quite captures the moment just as it was. The conflict of emotion was written all over Eliot's face as she oh so carefully held our biggest three pounder - excitement, wonder, and curiosity were on the verge of bursting forth as she struggled to maintain her very solemn little face. This was serious business and she wasn't about to let her excitement overtake the moment. It was absolutely priceless!

Busy. Good. Busy good. That's life in the NICU these days. It seems every day we show up now there is something new that we get to do which makes the time fly by. Life in the NICU is at times frustrating and at times, the time we spend there seems to never be coming to an end. But days like today and yesterday remind us that this special time in our lives will be over sooner than we'd like. Days we will always cherish as we watch our babies grow, days we will never be able to relive. Like I said, NICU life is a busy life...NICU life is a good life...
Oh yeah, how could I forget?! That other picture is of super mom Casey holding three at a time - Brooklyn, Britton, and Jack! At one other time, she was "kangaroo'ing" Britton and feeding Jack a bottle all at once. Way to go Super-Mom-Elasti-Girl Casey!!!
God Bless,


Jack Gets Some Nana Time

We got a great surprise when we showed up to the NICU with my dad on Saturday. Jeannie, one of the nurse superstars, said to us, "So, it looks like we've got three holders." Huh? Say that again? Did you say THREE holders?? Up to this point, Casey and I have been the only "holders" - we were the only people allowed to hold any of the babies. Jeannie, however, had a little surprise for us - Brooklyn and Jack had grown big enough to be bundled and held. Apparently, when the babies' weight gets to 1500 grams (somewhere around 3 pounds, 6 ounces) they can maintain their body temperature well enough that they can be held without being skin to skin with their holder.

My dad, or "Bapa" as the grandkids know him, chose to relinquish his chance to be the third holder, however. My mom, "Nana," wasn't with us at the time and my dad wanted her to be the first to have the opportunity to hold one of these little bundles. So after church on Sunday, we made an unplanned visit to the NICU for the express purpose of getting Jack some well earned Nana time! My dad had to bow out again because the girls (Eliot and the two adopted little additions to the Jones family, Angel and Summer) couldn't come into the NICU and time was limited, but I imagine he'll get his fill of baby holding in the coming days, weeks, and months. To say the least, I think the visit went well and we are very happy to have new holders in the mix!

God Bless,
P.S. Check out the website when you get a chance...we've updated the front page and I think it turned out really cool!!


Our New Normal

Sorry for my silence the last few days. I've been playing a lot of catch up with work, bills, school, getting to know my wife and daughter again, and simply getting back into life...a new life, but life nonetheless. We've found a mini-rhythm to our days which will probably change in the next few days, but we're enjoying the beat we're marching to at the moment. We have had Grandma Stevie (Casey's mom) and Nana (my mom) in town since Casey got home from the hospital which has been a huge help - laundry, dishes, dropping off and picking up Eliot from school, grocery store runs, cooking meals - these are all activities we have not had to worry about, thank God!! The help leaves on Sunday so, like I said, the rhythm will change...soon!

During this time, Casey and I have spent as much time at the NICU as possible getting to know our babies as best we can. We live in a different world when we pass through the NICU doors - the babies in their protective environment of the isolettes, tethered to the multitude of chords and wires under the watchful electronic eyes of the monitors, the gentle hum of the nasal canules that help them breathe, the frequent sounding of alarms, and the ever present care of the nurses and doctors surround us. As yesterday's heart rate drop on Britton quickly reminded us - we are very grateful for this environment and acutely aware of how necessary it is to our babies' survival. The nurses and doctors are absolute pros at what they do and they do it with a unique sensitivity to our needs and concerns that can only come from bringing your heart to the job. They are truly a credit to the nursing profession!

It is frustrating for us on some levels that the first 60+ days of the Quints' lives and of our relationships with them will be spent in this environment, however. Despite the necessity of their stay, the quality of their care, and the amount of love they receive from this special group of professionals, it is hard for us to connect with the babies here. The separation is very real when they are in their isolettes. Though we can reach in and touch, it is very difficult to talk to them or interact in any way while they are in there. When we hold them, they sleep, and we generally have to hold them up so high on our chest that it is difficult to even see them. We must be mindful at all times not to overstimulate them in any way which, among other things, means no looking them directly in the eye, very little movement when they are held, and keeping their heads held in a very specific position.

Though we spend 4-5 hours with them every day, we are not truly responsible for their care at the moment and this is a strange feeling to us. They are not fed at mama's breast, but rather with milk which is pushed through a tube by a pump. They are lulled to sleep by the hum of the machines they are connected to, not by the sound of our voices singing them lullabies. And their cries are placated not by the gentle warmth of Daddy's chest as he rocks them slowly, but generally by something only one of the nurses can fix. All of this is necessary to the babies' well-being, and as the multitude of moms and dads who have been through this same experience will tell you, it is also heart-wrenching to the parents.

There is one other thing that is different about our interaction with these babies - being as premature as they are, they are not expressionate and interactive with you. Mostly they sleep with their mouths slightly open and very little expression on their faces. I didn't even realize this was different until Brooklyn stole my heart yesterday with all of the faces she was making at me as I was holding her. For about 10 minutes, Brooklyn was wide awake and ready to please! She was smiling, working her little tongue around her mouth, her eyes were darting back and forth in response to different sounds around her, and generally acting like new born babies act. It was really cool and it reminded me of how fun it was to get to know Eliot in the first few days of her life!!

We know that all of these activities I am now lamenting the absence of will come to us in due time...and when they come, they'll come like a tidal wave!! They are making great progress every day and, honestly, they'll probably be home sooner than we are ready. Brooklyn seems to be the leader of the pack - she is completely off of breathing tubes as of yesterday, she is the first to show us some personality with her facial expressions, and she is the first one to take a full bottle feeding (Lila took a small bottle feeding before her). Brooklyn was also the biggest at birth and continues to be the biggest girl. Jack continues to eat and grow and sleep and not much else. Britton is still our little diva, making everyone aware of her displeasure at a moment's notice, though Ryan has emerged as a close competitor for Britton's diva title! Lila has settled into Jack's way of thinking and spends her days on the chill side of life.

So this is our new normal, at least for now. The beat changes pace and rhythm often, and when it changes, we change along with it. Though it seems like an eternity from now, the babies will be home soon and chaos will be the new rhythm to life. Until then we'll keep praying, waiting, and hoping for our babies to come home soon, come home healthy, and to come home ready for their new lives to begin...

God Bless,


Perspective...Quick Note

Several have asked why Jack and Brooklyn can't be held together so I thought I'd clarify. The only reason is that Britton's bed is between theirs and the cords that they remain tethered to will not reach far enough for them to be held together. The unfortunate thing about holding a baby in the NICU is that they are hooked up to a feeding tube, a heart monitor, a temperature monitor, a C-Pap or other breathing device, or any number of other little cords and tubes at any given time. Because of this they can't venture too far from their little incubators.

God Bless,



Today, we got a special treat. As the pictures show, we got to hold two babies at the same time! This is the first time we've gotten to do this - very cool!! Casey held Ryan and Lila while I held Brooklyn and Britton. After we were done with those four, Casey and I took turns holding Jack. The babies' beds are situated with Brooklyn, Britton, and Jack on one side of the room and Ryan and Lila on the other side. Because of this, Ryan and Lila will always be held together when two are held at the same time. Britton will either be paired with Jack or Brooklyn, but Brooklyn and Jack can't be held together. We generally hold each baby for an hour each day, but oftentimes we only get to four before we run out of steam or time or both. Now that we can hold two at a time, we'll be getting all five held every day and we'll probably get a little more than an hour each time. As you might imagine, we are very excited about this new development!!
And now, onto "Perspective"...
We've gotten a lot of comments to this effect and even we've noticed it ourselves - the babies look like "normal" babies in most of the pictures. In a lot of ways, that is accurate, but I thought I'd try to provide some perspective that the pictures don't quite communicate...I guess these pictures need more than 1000 words!

- The babies' toes are the size of a grain of rice.
- Take a match and break it into thirds. One of the pieces is the size of their fingers.
- Britton's whole hand wraps only half way around the tip of my pinky.
- Their arms from the elbow to the tip of their pinky is the same length as my pinky.
- Their heads are about the size of a baseball.
- You could probably fit at least three, if not four legs (around their calves), into my wedding ring.
- Jack weighs about 15 ounces more than Britton. Not much until you consider that this is 33% of his body weight.
- Jack and Brooklyn (the two biggest eaters) are fed 24 mL of breast milk every 3 hours...that's about 5 teaspoons.
- Their total caloric intake over 24 hours is 90 for Lila and Britton and 120 for Jack, Brooklyn, and Ryan...that's one beer, a single serving of pudding, or 1/4 cup of ice cream (Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream to be exact!).
- Their hearts are about the size of a grape.
- Our friends' baby girl who was born a week before the quints weighed 8 pounds at 41 weeks...that's roughly 4 times the weight of Lila and Britton on their birthday.
- One more - the babies sneeze a lot when they are out of their isolettes, maybe 10-20 times an hour. Funny thing about their little sneezes, while it is a full-bodied sneeze, it wouldn't blow a feather off a flagpole...funny stuff!!
I have new weights as of Saturday, the 31st. Here they are:

- Brooklyn Faith: 2 pounds, 13 ounces
- Britton Grace: 2 pounds, 2.1 ounces
- Jack William: 3 pounds, 1.7 ounces
- Lila Addison: 2 pounds, 11.3 ounces
- Ryan Elizabeth: 3 pounds, 1.3 ounces

And let's wrap it up with some GREAT news. All five babies have gotten their PICC lines removed which means that they no longer have an IV!! The PICC line is a really long IV that goes in their wrist and feeds all the way up to a blood vessel right near their heart. They were able to remove this because they are getting as much nutrition as they need from their milk feedings. Removing the line greatly reduces the risk of infection and hopefully means they will not need another IV!!! Life is going exceedingly well for all five!!

God Bless,


There's a New Superhero in Town...

Fair warning to the ladies reading this blog: DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING BLOG!!! I'm serious about this, don't read it. If you love Casey and want to continue loving her, stop reading, close your webserver, and walk away. I promise reading the update below will definitely change the way you feel about her so please, please do not continue reading past this point!!

Now that we've gotten the fair warning out of the way, here goes. We've apparently got a new superhero in town and her name is Casey the Elasti-Girl. She can stretch her body to amazing lengths and pack on pounds like an NFL lineman in the off season all while nurturing five babies to good health inside her womb! Now that the babies have been born, we've discovered her new talents: snapping her skin back to its pre-pregnancy condition and dropping pounds like a beauty queen before the pageant!!

Ok, seriously, she weighed herself this morning and discovered that she had already lost 64 pounds. 64 pounds gone in just two weeks! For those of you keeping score at home, that's 64 pounds gone out of the 72 that she gained while pregnant!!! I know, I know...it's disgusting (unless you happen to be her husband!) and if you ignored my warnings you are probably plotting her demise at this very moment. You should have heeded my advice and just walked away, but you had to keep reading, didn't you? Please, don't hate her...!!

P.S. In all seriousness, part of the reason she lost the weight so quickly is that she lost a lot of muscle while she was on bedrest. We didn't discover this until all of the swelling had subsided, but it is clear that her arms and legs are not near as muscular as they were before she got pregnant. She was actually in the best shape of her life when the pregnancy began. She is excited to get back in shape as soon as she is able...Go Elasti-Girl, GO!!

God bless,

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