Tag archive for "update"


What Day Is It…Seriously?

1 Comment 06 June 2009

Two days ago, which was Thursday, I thought it was Wednesday…all day long. I made scheduling calls for a project I’m running, I made plans for studying that night, and I did all of the other things that I would have done had it been the day I thought it was…Wednesday. This isn’t the first time since the baby invasion that I’ve lost track like this and I’m afraid it will not be the last. We have developed an irritating little habit of forgetting to feed Eliot dinner until she gently reminds us around 8:30 or so that she is about to start gnawing on the furniture if we don’t get her some food. A few weeks ago, several pieces of our clothes, Eliot’s blankets, and a few other things had to be thrown back in the dirty clothes pile right after they came out of the wash. Apparently, somebody forgot to put detergent in the machine and everything that came out smelled like baby vomit…awesome.

Yes, the baby invasion is taking its toll on our sanity. It is taking its toll on our everything, actually…energy, patience, sanity, civility…say goodbye! School started up last Monday and is in full swing for the next two months, Eliot is losing interest in her new role as daughter-in-waiting – very stressful, the inconsistency of our day-to-day has become a consistent source of frustration, and cabin fever has struck Casey with a vengeance – she left the house one time last week…one time! All in all, this experience has begun to tug at the ties that bind.

Despite all of this, we have found some peace amidst the storm as a sliver of light has appeared at the end of this tunnel. It’s merely a dot on the horizon at the moment, but it is there nonetheless, and it has provided us with renewed focus and a renewed sense of what life will be like once survival mode is a distant, laughable memory. Among other little improvements that have come in the last few days and/or weeks, Ryan’s colic seems to have settled a bit, all of them are sleeping slightly longer stretches at night, and all are smiling, cooing, and gurgling with great regularity, we’ve settled into a night routine that is more manageable than before, and there is a plan in place for Casey to get some time outside the house on a daily basis. None of this was happening or could have been managed just two weeks ago, but now it is and we plan on taking full advantage. It’s possible, rather it is likely, that these whispers of future freedom are the source of much of the frustration of late. We’re an impatient bunch, no doubt, and the hints of progress bring with them much anticipation of better days! And that sliver of light? I have to admit that it is more than just a sliver and it is more than just light…it is soul. Here is what we see when we look around the room at the faces that have already begun to shape our future:

Brooklyn Faith – She has the most unique look of all of the babies – huge eyes, wide lips, chubby cheeks, and male pattern baldness…adoreable! As you know, she also has the sweetest little cry we’ve ever heard. She has developed a taste for her hands which can be found in her mouth, sometimes both of them and sometimes the whole fist, almost all of the time whether she is hungry or not. Maybe it’s just the cry that leads us this way, but we think she is going to be our sensitive one, the crier who just wants everyone to be nice.

Britton Grace – Baby Bright Eyes is living up to her name, though today I started calling her Bobbles. Her eyes shine bright, seemingly all the time, and with her teency, tiny frame she almost looks like a caricature. I’m calling her Bobbles because she loves to stand up and when she does, her growing dome is too much for her little body and constantly bobbles as she looks out at the world. She is the one who we believe will give Eliot a run for her money in the personality department!

Jack William – Just call him ice because he is super cool, all the time. Seriously, Casey and I laugh that if he was our only baby, we’d forget that we had one at all. He lays back, taking it all in, never fussing unless he is hungry. When he is hungry, he eats – no fighting the bottle for this guy who often feeds himself with a bottle propped against the arm of the chair. He is built like a bowling ball and when you hold him he feels like one, too. Big boy doesn’t talk much, but when he does, it is sweet as can be. We don’t think he could have been designed more perfectly for life with five little girls competing for rule of the roost!

Lila Addison – Another little chill bug, Lila is generally kicked back, eyes wide open, watching the chaos swirl around her. With her blond hair, big eyes, and perfect little face she is in competition for the prettiest of the bunch. Just about everyone who comes through here says she looks like Eliot and we agree. Almost every time she falls asleep, she does so with her hands and fingers laid out like she just got a manicure and she’s waiting for her nails to dry…funny! She is a sweetheart who never seems to be too bothered by much, but we haven’t quite figured her personality out just yet. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Ryan Elizabeth – She used to be Ryan the Lion because of her constant roar. Now, she is Ryan the Smilin’, Cryin’ Lion because that’s all she ever does – cries or smiles…no in between. She’ll go from screaming so loud you think she’s going to pop to smiling the biggest, flirty smile you’ve ever seen and back to screaming in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, her crying doesn’t come in two hour spurts anymore…thank the Lord! Britton and Eliot better keep their eye on this little firecracker if they hope to continue their diva dominance!

As the metaphor goes, we are still climbing the mountain and probably will be for awhile. But the terrain seems to have leveled out a bit, the trees are clearing, and we can finally see clearly the first of what is sure to be many summits on the path that lies ahead. We still could use your prayers, we still needs loads of help to make it through each new day, and we continue to rely on God’s provision to help us enjoy the craziness we call life. But as these five little lights, souls of the most innocent kind, continue to teach us how beautiful this life can be, we cannot help but feel fearfully, wonderfully blessed.
God Bless,

The Fab Five

Lots of Happenings in the Jones Life!

6 Comments 24 May 2009

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!!!!! :-)
God Bless,

The Fab Five

I Was Going to Update the Blog, but…

1 Comment 27 April 2009

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,

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,

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,

The Fab Five

Still Here, Just a Little Busier These Days…

9 Comments 30 March 2009

This is going to be quick because I’m tired and I’m a little cranky…really tired, more than a little cranky. Here goes:

– Babies: awesome, totally, completely, incredibly, awesome and perfect in every single way!!
– Britton: started to take her feeds really well, thought she was coming home today, first heart rate drop in 15 days on Saturday has her on lockdown until the end of the week… We miss her terribly because it is next to impossible to get back to the NICU these days. We’ve been there twice in the last week…not cool… :(
– Jack: Big Boy continues to dominate the bottle and spend his hours in chill mode…loves the TV, even when facing away from it, he does back bends to try to see it…just wait ’til college football starts, my boy, just wait!!
– Lila: Competing with Bright Eyes Britton for the brightest eyes and social butterfly title…too incredibly cute!
– Ryan: Total trouble maker! Likes to be held…a lot…also doesn’t like to wait her turn to get the bottle…already living up to the baby of the family role she earned by being born last. Gets cuter by the moment, however!!
– Brooklyn: might be taking over as the ultimate girlie-girl…her cry is so sweet I actually want her to cry so I can hear it again and again…she sleeps, fusses, falls back to sleep, fusses, falls back to sleep…flipping adoreable!
– Volunteers: totally ROCK! All have been incredible – thoughtful, respectful, good with the babies…huge relief, answer to prayers…AMAZING!!!
– Night Time Volunteers: Really hard to come by…Tricia, The Velvet Hammer, is a ROCK STAR!
– Feeding Schedule: Difficult…feeding takes two hours, babies eat every three…do the math…zzzzzzzzzzzz…
– Casey Ann: AMAZING!!! Nuf said…oh, wait…BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
– Grandma Stevie and Nana: Rock solid…thank you, thank you, thank you!!
– Sleep: next to none, contemplating night nurse, but muy, muy expensive…something must be done, however. That bullet is going to hurt when we finally convince ourselves to take the bite…
– School: Timing – bad, Baylor – fantastic, current class (finance) – very interesting, light at the end of this semester’s tunnel – pretty bright…
– Noteworthy About Today’s Blog: no pictures…this time it’s the lack of pictures that speak a thousand words. Casey was born with a camera in her hand…hard to take pictures when your camera hands are full of baby…
– Future: Never better…

God Bless,

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