4.29.2009

A Rare Feat

video

Believe it or not, there is some peace and quiet in our lives. All five sleeping at the same time is not terribly uncommon at night, but during the day...not so much... :)

God Bless,

Ethan

www.JonesLife.net

4.27.2009

I Was Going to Update the Blog, but...

Choose one:
- I was feeding a baby
- I was changing a baby
- I was trying to calm a baby
- I was sleeping
- I was too tired from not sleeping
- I was brain fried from my Finance class
- I was playing with Eliot
- I was showing a first time volunteer the JonesLife Operation
- Most likely, I was feeding a baby

Ok, so life is a little busy now, but I just finished my finance final exam...side note: it was brutal...which means I should have some more time soon to update everybody on the happenings of the fab five. It's craziness x 5 but also good x 5...

God Bless,
Ethan
www.JonesLife.net

4.19.2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

More wiggling going on here than a can or worms...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feuAamgP21w


First Family Photo Shoot!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55cC2uQrOzk

God Bless,
Ethan
www.JonesLife.net

4.18.2009

Welcome Home, Britton Grace...We've Been Waiting For You
















She's home!! Enough said...? No, of course not!






Britton Grace came home today, weighing in at 6 pounds, 1 ounce...probably more than 3 pounds less than Jack and 1.5 pounds less than the next smallest, Lila Addison. She is a dainty little thing and she's going to be high maintenance for awhile, but oh my gosh is she cute!!! The acid reflux thing is definitely going to be tough to manage so please keep the prayers coming for her (and us!). She is on a three hour feeding schedule (the others are now on four hours), Casey and I are the only people allowed to feed her, she has to be held upright for at least 45 minutes after she eats, and if she doesn't eat enough, Casey and I will have to put a tube down her nose to get her the rest of her bottle...not easy. Goodbye to the little sleep we were getting... ;-)

I've got to say that despite the challenge that lies ahead, we are so relieved and happy to have Britton home with us. Today was her three month NICU anniversary - far longer than we ever expected - and it was getting really difficult to get up there to see her. It's also so gratifying to finally have our whole family under one roof...can you tell by the smiles on our faces?? We had a lot of fun taking these pictures...good times today and many good times to come!!

I'm going to bed now...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

God Bless,
Ethan

4.14.2009

Baby Bright Eyes is Coming Home!!


Yeah...Britton is coming home on Saturday!!!! We are so excited to finally have the fab five together under our roof!! Hopefully this is one of the last pictures of our little spa girl getting the royal treatment in the NICU... :)
She is still working through the reflux and having some trouble feeds, but she has shown some improvement since her Prevacid dosage was doubled. Hopefully by the time Saturday rolls around she will have ended her battles with the bottle. However, if she has not done so, she is still coming home with us after we get trained on how to insert a feeding tube in case we are not able to feed her a full amount on a consistent basis. Feeding tube or not, we are really excited to have our baby girl home with her sisters and brother!! Please continue to pray that she will respond to the medication and outgrow this little issue sooner than later!!


God Bless,
Ethan
www.JonesLife.net

4.11.2009













Hey everybody! We're alive and well, just a little sleepy! All is going very well with the rapid transformation of our lives and assimilation of four (and eventually five) babies into our little world. Our theme of the week is "control them or they'll control you..."!! Kidding...a little. Seriously, it's all about the schedule these days. Keep them on schedule, get them as much formula as you can get down them in 30 minutes and life is good. Do not follow the schedule, let them slack on the bottle and you can be certain your life will be very chaotic for the next several hours! Side note, why don't they make baby bottles squeezable?? Is that wrong?
Here are a few pics of daily life in the Jones house. We can't seem to feed Jack enough formula lately so he decided to take a bite out of Brooklyn's head!! That's Ryan with Eliot in her bed - she has been taking one of the babies down to her bed before night time while we read to her. The picture of Eliot by herself is at her school's Spring Fling where she sang western songs with her class and played lots of games. Nana has been down a few times to pull some overnight shifts for us...thank you!! Only thing missing from these pictures is Baby Bright Eyes Britton...come home soon, baby girl!!

I actually don't think Britton is ever coming home. It's really surprising to us that she is taking this long and I think it's time to crank up the prayer machine! She's doing ok, but it is believed that she has acid reflux which is making it very uncomfortable to eat. Actually, the nurses and doctors have told us that if we didn't have four other babies, Britton would be home by now. Apparently they think throwing a high maintenance baby in the mix with four others would be a bit difficult. Got to give the NICU staff credit for thinking about that...once again, they are AWESOME!! Please pray that Britton conquers the bottle and battles back the reflux so she can come home soon!

Because of the reflux, she takes about half a bottle then throws in the towel...great if you're on a diet, awful if you're a three month old baby! She has been on Prevacid for about a week now and it has helped some, but not enough so they are doubling her dosage as of yesterday and increasing the calorie count of the formula she is getting. She was on 22 calorie formula, now she'll be on the 24 calorie. Amazing that 2 little calories per ounce could make a difference!

The four at home are doing fantastic! They are all eating very well, sleeping very well, and growing very well!! So well, in fact, that we are in the process of moving them from a three hour feed schedule to a four hour feed schedule...yeah!! That simple move will free up four hours per day...can you believe that?? It doesn't help a ton with the sleep, but it is very helpful, nonetheless.

The volunteer help continues to be incredible as well! The only reason I get to write this blog right now is thanks to volunteer help. Everyone who has pitched in has been great and we are starting to get a few regulars that are really learning the system well and helping out a ton. The nights are still pretty rough as the overnight help is hard to come by, however. We have hired a night nanny to help us out two nights a week starting in two weeks. Hopefully by doing that, it will take a little pressure off of our moms and the others who have been helping out with nights and we'll all survive the next couple of months!!

So far, Miss Eliot appears to be handling everything with ease though we have seen our share of clinginess from her. We are keeping a close eye on her state of mind and making every effort to keep life relatively normal for her as we move through this process - she makes it very clear when she feels she hasn't gotten enough of the focus! She got to go to an Easter egg hunt this morning with Casey and later went with me as I did a couple of things for a project I'm running. We are also enlisting her help whenever we can with the babies and she really seems to love doing that...as long as it doesn't involve poop, she's in!

I know I sound like a broken record here, but we continue to feel amazingly blessed with everything that is happening right now! Life is busy, hectic, and very challenging at the moment, to be sure, but there are about a million different ways that it could be much, much more difficult. God is good and he is carrying us through to a better day...one with a little bit more sleep... :)

God Bless,
Ethan

4.03.2009

The Baby Feeding Factory





These pictures aren't our best work, but it was the best we could pull together for the purpose of this blog. We promise to do better this week! I had to include the picture of Eliot because it was just too cute. That was her first soccer game and needless to say, she was not happy! The weather played a nasty trick on us and blew in a good 30 mph wind and temperatures in the 40's. The game was called early because none of the kids wanted to play!

We're trying to come up with new names for our home. Since the purpose and activity level of this house has changed pretty dramatically lately, "home" just doesn't quite tell the whole story. Here is what we've come up with so far:
- The Baby Feeding Factory
- Babyville or Baby Town
- The Baby Place - Where Serious Suckers Get Their Fill
- The Poopin' Shack

I don't think Casey will go for the last one, but I think it has a nice ring to it... ;-)

Our days start no later than 7:30 am because that is when the first feeding begins. Since they aren't stable enough to be set up in a boppy to be fed and we often only have one person available for feeds, they get fed one at a time. To get all four taken care of, it takes about two hours. The babies are on a three hour schedule so after the feed is done, there is an hour break before the next feed begins. This schedule continues around the clock...every day...seven days a week. Is it possible that they've only been home a week and a half??

The schedule has also been really hectic because of all of the doctor visits we've had to get them to. Each of the babies has had three different appointments since their discharge which ended up being a total of six trips because of their different discharge dates (Jack goes by himself, the three girls all go together). Today, however, was a unique experience because we got an actual house call from their eye doctor! Pretty cool, right? Actually, much thanks go to Jeannie, one of the NICU Superstars, who arranged it all with the doctor and came out ahead of him to dilate their pupils and assist with the appointment.

Right now, we're just trying to hang on and catch as many zzzz's as possible. The schedule is definitely more packed than we would like, but we know it will not be this nuts for too long. The volunteers have been great and have been a huge help. Thanks to them, we have been able to have a little bit of breathing room. We've been able to go to Eliot's first soccer game, I'm able to write this blog, and Casey has been able to shower almost daily (kidding, Baby, but you know I love it when you're a little funky!). Despite all of the help we have received, we are looking for a night nanny for a couple of nights a week to help with the long nights. We're hoping that combining that with help from grandparents and the volunteers, we ought to be able to survive until they get off of the three hour feeding schedule.

Though the days, and especially nights, have been long we are having a good time with it all and couldn't be happier with the way they are all doing! As has been the case from the day this adventure began, life is crazy, but life is good!!

God Bless,
Ethan

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