Well, I'm back from DC...what a great trip! For those of you who do not know, part of the curriculum of my MBA program is a week-long trip to DC to learn about how daily life in that town effects business in America. It wasn't a very restful week as I was hoping, but it was an incredible experience! Our schedule was packed all day, every day with lectures from various politicians, former Treasury Department staffers from the Bush administration, lobbyists, Chinese and Japanese Embassy officials, and various other "in-the-know" types who gave us a crash course in the ways of Washington. We got a private tour of the Capitol (AMAZING!!), attended a committee hearing on foreign government corruption, sat at the conference table at the Fed where the Fed board meets and decides how much more money to print that day for bailouts, and watched Bay Buchanan hammer her Democratic challenger in a debate put on just for our group. We got the inside story (at least inside the media curtain) on Nancy Pelosi's current troubles, the various reasons for the financial meltdown on Wall Street, the decision making that went into the economic stimulus packages and the bailouts, the pending battle over nationalising health care, how decisions are made at the highest level, and the transition from the Bush to the Obama administration. It was a fascinating week filled to the brim with a few of my favorite pastimes - education, high level debate of multi-faceted issues, and political maneuvering!
In between all of this, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Memorial Mall where I saw the Lincoln, Jefferson, World War II, and Korean War Memorials, the Washington Monument, and the White House. Washington is an incredible town with an energy to it like no other and I have to admit that I came away with a little more respect for those who devote their lives to carrying on the business of running this country.
While I was away, Casey kept the machine well oiled and running smooth with a little help from the normal carousel of volunteers along with her mom, Aunt Ricki, and cousin Kim...thank you, ladies! It was a wild week for them all, but that's nothing new anymore. The babies all made their third trips out of the house to visit the pediatrician and all received a clean bill of health. Eliot had a blast with the family in town - cousin Kim kept her running (or vice versa) and made it really tough on the little squirt to say goodbye when it was time to head back to Pennsylvania where she and Ricki are from. And Casey actually got a sliver of a chance to get out of the house on a couple of occasions for some free time!
The Fab Five continues to amaze with their health and persistent growth. Jack, the beef cake, is now over 12 pounds and is built like a bowling ball, literally - his head size is in the 75th percentile while his height is only in the 10th! Britton is still our little baby, but she is well over 7 pounds now and continues to pick up about an ounce every day. The quints cruise through over 100 ounces of formula and 50 diapers every day as they continue to dominate every aspect of life in the Jones home!
Here are the latest stats - height and weight with percentiles in parentheses. The percentiles are as compared with a 6 week old baby which is basically what they all are if you go by their original due date.
Brooklyn: 22 inches (25%), 9 pounds, 4 ounces (10%)
Britton: 20 inches (10%), 7 pounds, 9 ounces (10%)
Jack: 22 inches (25%), 12 pounds, 1 ounce (50%)
Lila: 21 inches (10%), 8 pounds, 4 ounces (10%)
Ryan: 21 inches (10%), 9 pounds, 4 ounces (10%)
*It doesn't seem right that the girls are all in the 10th percentile with the range of weights they are, but that is what the nurse wrote.*
Eliot just graduated from pre-k and also put the wraps on her first soccer season with a Memorial Day tournament...they won! She seems to really enjoy soccer and does really well when she's not too busy being the team clown and giving Mason, one of the boys on the team, mid-game live action hugs! She's growing up so fast! She is really doing well with all of the comings and goings in our new, little world. She has not complained about the babies one time, though she definitely has had her moments of major need of attention and clinginess...very stressful when that happens! She is helping out with the babies and helps to "entertain" the volunteers when Casey and I are downstairs catching up on bills, laundry, etc. Please continue to pray for her...this has got to be difficult for a little girl to understand. I'm a little worried about how the summer is going to go with her love of the swimming pool. It is almost impossible to get out of the house so I have no idea how we are going to keep her entertained on all of those hot summer days that are headed our way!
Casey and I are still very much in survival mode. We have more than our fair share of frustrating days and sleepless nights as we continue to try to navigate this crazy, mixed up world we are living in. It will be really, really, really nice when the babies sleep longer through the night and begin to settle into some sort of consistent schedule - who knows when that will be, but it cannot come soon enough! The health of the babies, the steady flow of loving volunteers, the prayers and support from friends and family, and the knowledge that it won't be like this for long provide the relief and encouragement we need to keep a smile on our faces. Keep it coming, people!!!!! :-)