Tag archive for "sleep"

The Fab Five

Baby Boot Camp

5 Comments 05 August 2009

August is officially Baby Boot Camp month in the Jones house as we launch an assault on the Fab Five and begin the reclamation project…at least that’s the plan any way! Maybe we’ve completely lost our minds or maybe we’ve been sipping from a few bottles of our own as the babies gently nipple their daily nourishment, but we have decided that this quintet of crazies can no longer have control of our lives…at least not total control!!!! And so it begins…
There are three goals for the months: get all five sleeping through the nights, get them into a night-time routine and down by 9:00, and get them all eating cereal with ease (ok, relative ease)…stretch goal – naptime routine. It’s ambitious, we know, but something must be done! Well, it’s August 5th and I can tell you that we have opened all three fronts of this baby battle with some early success to report! Four out of five slept through the night for two nights in a row, but then the babies launched a counter-attack on night three, waking us up SEVEN times in one night…aaaaaggggggggghhh!!! We’ve actually had them all down between 8:30 and 9:30 on all four nights (it’s 9:55 as I type this…yeah!!). And as you can see from the pictures, the cereal feeds have begun. As you can also see, Jack and Brooklyn just LOVED it… I’m pretty sure that if Brooklyn could speak, she would have been saying something along the lines of, “Just what the……….do you think you’re putting in my mouth????!!” :)
So here’s the battle plan for the night time routine, with a huge thank you to the Wilkinson’s, victorious veterans of their own quintuplet home dominance battle, for lending us their expertise! First, we hit them hard with the ultimate baby killer – low lights and classical music! Ruthless, I know…we mean business here! Next, a new diaper, a change of clothes, maybe a little lavender lotion and then we hit ‘em wear it hurts – right in the belly with a big, warm bottle of the good stuff! After that, we continue the assault with story time while their food settles and the classical riffs softly lead them to lullaby land. Finally, we go in for the knockout blow by zipping them up in their sleep sacks and topping ‘em off with another couple ounces of the frothy goodness. It’s a combination they can’t resist…well, almost…but it is working pretty well so far!! I mean, why wouldn’t it…who wouldn’t be ready for a long night’s sleep after that kind of treatment??
Seriously, Jack and Ryan LOVE the new routine! Jack goes into smiley, happy chill mode while Ryan thinks it’s party time and she’s the star of the show…it is the cutest thing ever! She smiles, she gurgles, she laughs, she screams a little bit, then does it all over again…hilarious!! Britton is the biggest fighter of them all and doesn’t go down without a scrap-fight every time. Generally, that’s how Britton is all of the time these days…never sleeping unless she’s being held, never happy unless she’s held, never content unless she’s…yeah you guessed it, being held and walked and bounced…for hours on end…not fun!
Brooklyn and Lila are battling it out for the sweetest of the bunch. We thought all along that Brooklyn had it, hands down, but Lila has shown a sensitivity in the last few weeks that we didn’t know was there. She got so upset with me two times, I thought her little heart had broken right into a million pieces. Once, I was tickling Eliot and Lila did not like it one bit! The other time, she and Ryan were in side-by-side bouncies and both were fussing. Since Ryan was making more noise (no surprise there), I picked her up to calm her down…bad move! Lila was crushed and she let me know about it!! Really sweet, but broke my heart as well! Don’t get me wrong, Brooklyn is still our little sweetheart, but Lila is positioning herself right alongside her in the sweetness department.
One other quick note – Jack loves the bouncey seat these days and all of them love their activity tables. Jack will bounce and laugh for the longest time, happy as can be. I loaded up a short video of him getting a good laugh at some of my antics and you can see it here:
So there you have it…the battle has begun! Pray for us, my friends, we may not make it out of this in one piece, but we must prevail…no matter the cost!!!!!! ;-)
God Bless,
Ethan

The Fab Five

8 Comments 11 April 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

The Fab Five

The Baby Feeding Factory

11 Comments 03 April 2009

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

The Fab Five

JonesLife Nights…Good Times!!!

5 Comments 24 March 2009

This is absolutely hilarious so I had to share. One of our good friends, Tricia Harrison, aka The Velvet Hammer – JonesLife coordinator, Casey’s bedrest hairdresser, brownie baker, lasagna maker, and frequent volunteer – took the first night shift last night. As she reports, she had a pretty wild night with the triplets – Jack, Lila, and Brooklyn – and is ready to come back for more good times. Here is how the night went in her words…

“Good Morning Ethan and Casey!!!!! I thought I would share my experiences with the triplets last night before I catch some zzzzzzzzzz’s for the day.”

“While you both were catching up on some much needed shut eye, I had an eventful night. Thank you for letting me invade your house last night, and take care of the triplets all by myself. Oh, by no means was it simple, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“It all began soon after you went to bed. I was finishing up feeding Brooklyn, and I heard some strange spitting noises coming from Lila’s bed. So Brooklyn and I got up to see what was the matter. Poor sweet little Lila had spit up and was beginning to let me have it!!!!! I put Brooklyn in her bed to attend to Lila. I noticed that she would do much better if she was propped up on the bobby pillow. She wouldn’t spit up at all if she was there, and she liked it much better anyway.”

“Finally everyone was all snuggled down for at least an hour before feeding started all over again, so I decided to lay down myself. WRONG!!!!!!!! Cute little instigator Brooklyn, which I have nicknamed Squirmy Wormy, decided to stretch and wiggle her way out of her blanket while moaning and groaning…and farting. Then she would get pissed and cry because she wiggled her way out of her blanket and was cold. She would then cry and start the others crying, one by one.”

“All I could do was chuckle – it was like a trickle down effect. Brooklyn would moan and groan and then Lila and then Jack. I am totally sure they were trying to tell each other to be quiet because they were tired and wanted to go to sleep. Oh yeah, boy do you have some little tooters on your hands. Lots of unpleasant sounds can come from them…he he :) Who new they could make up a song with little toots.”

“Feeding was an experience in itself as well. Lila was first so she would cry and start Jack going because he new he only had to wait just 30 more minutes and it was his turn. But low and behold, Brooklyn was like, “hello, I am starting to get hungry, feed me too!” :-) One time I had to sit on the fireplace to feed Lila and keep putting Brooklyn’s pacifier in her mouth so she would stop crying, and walk over and do the same to Jack, all while I was still feeding Lila. Whatever works, right!!!!!! Lila didn’t mess around. She was serious about eating, but gets lazy really fast. Jack doesn’t waste anytime. That boy can down a bottle in 15 minutes flat!!!!!!! Brooklyn on the other hand would just rather use the bottle for a pacifier instead of eating. She does like to suck on something and hold your hand during feeding time.”

“All in all I had a fabulous time, and wanted to just share what you missed out on last night. Thanks a million for allowing me to be a part of it all!!!!!!”

Hugs and good night!!!! :-)
Trish

All that and we’ve got two more babies coming…oh my gosh!!!!!!! The full time volunteer schedule kicks into high gear this Sunday as we expect to have at least four of the five home with us. It’s going to be WILD!!!

Tricia – you rock, girl! Thank you so much for all that you do…we love you, you are a superstar, your treasure pile in Heaven is overflowing!!!!!

God Bless,
Ethan
www.JonesLife.net


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