First of all, thank you to Elle Mendenhall of Ella Bella Photography for these awesome pictures of the babies!! She came out a couple of times to photograph the babies, volunteering both her time and talents to capture these pics. Elle specializes in newborn photography displayed a unique talent for keeping the babies calm. Too bad she can't hang around more often! Visit her website at www.ellabellaphotos.com!
It's been awhile, hasn't it? Sorry for my absence - school has been working me over lately! Summer session is in full swing and is every bit the wall that everyone told me it would be. The work is intense, the topics are complicated, and the summer school blues are in full effect!! I'm ashamed to admit that for the first summer ever, I didn't get a sunburn until this past weekend...pathetic, I know! I'm used to having my first burn no later than April 1st so this is a bit tough for me to accept! Alright, onto what you really want to know about...The Fab Five!!
The babies are all doing really well and have started to calm down after sufficiently punishing us for being away for a couple of days. The original three - me, Casey, and Eliot - headed south to spend a couple of days at the beach last week and get some much needed time away from Babyville. We had a blast!! We put the little one in charge of the agenda and she wasted no time lining out the plan, complete with a list of events in order of priority! We spent time at the beach, in the pool, in the ice cream shop, and at the movies and even managed to get two solid night's sleep!! It was really good to be back in the normal world even for just a bit and remember what our life used to be like, but it was also good to get back and see the babies.
Obviously, we had loads of help from several different volunteers with the Harrison family staying over at the house to coordinate everybody and handle the night shifts. We can't thank all of you enough!!!!! Supposedly, the Fab Five took it easy on them while we were out, apparently saving their energy for when we returned. We got back on the fourth and spent the next two days mostly without volunteer help as the babies took turns seeing which one could chug the most formula then scream the loudest. I think they set it up as a double-elimination tournament format because the competition, which began around 2:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, didn't wind down until around midnight on Sunday evening.
As expected, Ryan the Lion took the prize for longest period of unstoppable screaming fit throwing. Brooklyn and Britton came in a close second while Lila took the trophy for loudest mouth of the south though it must have taken all she had because it didn't last very long!! Brooklyn was the formula eating champion, putting on an amazing display of back-to-back full bottle chugs several times during the tournament! Even Big Bad Jack had to pay his respects to her bottle management mojo. Let's just hope she doesn't carry that skill with her to college life... :)
All of the babies are rollers now, though only Brooklyn and Ryan can do so from their backs to their tummies. Jack is trying for all he is worth to get the back-to-belly roll down, but his big ol' dome just won't cooperate! They are all smiling with great regularity and Lila, Ryan, and Jack have started to laugh from time to time...it is too dang cute!!! They are also starting to grab toys and interact with the different dangley things that hang from their bouncey seats and other rest stops. Ryan appears to be the strongest right now - she stands all the time and holds her head up for long periods of time when she is on her belly. I guess that's the benefit to her regular screaming fits - strong back and neck muscles from arching and flexing all the time! She's building some serious core muscles in the process as well!
Other than that, they are all still acting like normal babies - restless, hungry, and inconsistent. The longest stretch of sleep we can expect out of them is about five hours, but that is a pretty rare feat. Most nights, one of them will wake up after about 3-1/2 or 4 hours and we wake the rest up to feed at that time. Dear Lord, we are looking forward to them sleeping through the night! Consistency to the schedule is still little more than a dream that can't come soon enough!
I did a very unscientific weigh-in of everyone about a week ago using a bathroom scale. Here are the weights (the scale only reads in whole and half numbers):
- Broolyn Faith - 12 pounds
- Britton Grace - 9 pounds
- Jack William - 14 pounds
- Lila Addison - 11 pounds
- Ryan Elizabeth - 11.5 pounds
In the personality department, Ryan and Britton are the stars of the show for the time being. They are both bursting with smiles, coos, and other flashes of personality while Jack, Lila, and Brooklyn are still pretty laid back. It's so cool to watch their personalities develop and to see how they differ from each other. From their cries to their smiles, all of the babies are incredibly unique from each other! Here is a short video that the Harrison's took while we were gone of Britton saying hello and showing you why we call her Bobbles:
So life continues to roll on in this crazy new world of ours. We're still one day at a time and finding that some days it can be a lot easier to keep it all in perspective than other days. We laugh, we cry, we get really stressed and frustrated, then we laugh some more...and we can often cycle through all of that in about an hour or two! If you've been praying for us, please keep us on the list! And if you haven't been praying for us, why not? Kidding!! Y'all take care!