Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

I spent my Mother's Day doing what I do best, mothering my babies. The quints were recovering from the stomach virus, but I didn't want to take a chance of spreading the bug to other babies at church, so we stayed home for the second week in a row. I hated not being able to go to church with all my babies, but at least I got to spend the day with all of them. Last Mother's Day, the quints were in the NICU and I had to split my time between them and Brady. I hated being split between my kids; I'm so thankful we're finally all together. For Mother's Day I got a new bracelet with all my kids names on it and I got the cutest footprint painting. If you have read my blog long, you know how obsessed I am with my kids hand & foot prints.

I'm so thankful I'm a mama to my six sweet Seals. They are each so special in their own special way. My journey to motherhood was a really rough journey. I know Mother's Day is not always a joyous day for some women. Some women are grieving over a lost child, or maybe it's a mom who's had several miscarriages, or maybe it's someone who is trying to get pregnant, or someone who can't get pregnant at all, the list goes on and on, my point is, I get it. I completely understand what it's like to have lost a baby and have to put a smile on my face for Mother's Day, when what I really want to do is stay in bed and cry. So, if you're a woman/mom who hurt silently or publicly on Mother's Day, just know, you're not alone.

Because my journey to motherhood was hard fought, I am especially thankful for the fact that God gave me Brady, Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, and Rayleigh. I take my job as a mom very serious. My number one goal as a mom is to raise strong christian men and women. I love my babies with all my heart and it is the most special honor to be their mama.
March 15, 2012 - Love at first sight. My 8lb 2oz bouncing baby boy had arrived!!! I was finally a mama!

Brady was the center of our universe.
We prayed for ONE more blessing, and God said yes FIVE times!!! We got the shock of a lifetime when we found out we were expecting quintuplets!!!
My quints were born at 29 weeks 1 day gestation. They spent from 3 to 4 months in the NICU. (Tessa and Gracie)

My first Mother's Day as a mom of 6!

My birthday last year. What a difference a year makes.
Sweet Tessa. She was 3.5 months old.

Brant and I support my alma mater, University of North Texas.

Brady and I at my sister, Kayla's wedding last June. The quints were still in the NICU.

If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!!! (Tessa and Gracie)

Rayleigh

Gracie

Tessa
Mia

Brady

Brant
Mother's Day 2015
I'm so thankful God blessed me with my six sweet Seals. They fill my life with so much love, joy, laughter, and happiness. I am one very blessed mama.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015

The saying goes, April showers bring May flowers.... Well, if that is true, we will have flowers galore around here. This has been the wettest spring! There are parts of our yard, Steven has yet to mow because it's too wet. And, because of all the rain, Steven is worried about his garden. He's thinking the watermelon, corn, and green beans aren't going to make it. :(   This has been an exciting month for the kids. The quints are getting out more these days. We go for walks in the neighborhood. We're taking the babies to church & Sunday school. They didn't miss one Sunday all month! I think all my kids suffer from allergies, just like Steven and I do. All the quints are on antibiotics right now, due to ear infections and sinus congestion. Here's a look back at our April.

The kids had a blast at Easter! We hosted the family for desserts and and egg hunt. It was a beautiful day and so much fun!
Easter Sunday was so special. It was the Quints first time to go to church. They were on their best behavior. I'm so thankful we can finally go to church as a family.
We make up most of the Sunday school class. They went to church every Sunday in April.

The Quints went to their first baseball game and the Cardinals won!
I'm sure these five will spend many days & nights at the ball field. We've already been to 3 games! We love our Cardinals. 

We participated in the March for Babies in Longview, Texas.
Our awesome support group.
Brady - April 2015
Brady's vocabulary and speech continues to improve. We are working on potty training, but it's a "work in progress". I was pushing him hard until I finally realized, he just wasn't ready. We still work on it, but I'm not pushing him like it was. I'm hoping in a month or two, he'll be completely potty trained. He likes everything color coordinated (if he has a blue bowl then he has to have a blue spoon). He loves to watch tv and play with his trains. He says the sweetest prayers and loves to sing Jesus Loves Me. He likes it when you read to him and he loves to go outside and play.
My silly guy. 
He loves suckers.


Mia - April 2015
Mia is trying to replace Gracie as the diva. She has a lot of personality and a BIG attitude! Lord have mercy on us! lol  She's going to be a hand-full, I'm afraid. She can give you the meanest evil eye and she will yell at you; I'm sure she's telling us off, we just don't speak her language. She can shake her head no. She has 4 teeth, her 2 top front teeth haven't broke through but the top side teeth have, so she looks like a little vampire. She's becoming more vocal, she can say the /t/ sound and make vowel consonant vowel sounds. She bangs toys together, holds 2 blocks in one hand, and reaches to grab objects. She can clap, point, and shake her head no. Her hair is getting longer and it's very curly.
She climbed in the Bumbo herself.
Here she is giving us the evil eye. lol

Tessa - April 2015
Tessa is such a sweet baby. I know I say that all the time about her, but it's so true. She's so stinkin' sweet! She's got a huge smile. She loves to clap and wave. She can crawl, and she's pretty fast at it. She can now stand unassisted and she can take one step. She can shake her head no. She has a mouth full of teeth. She can throw a ball and retrieve it. She can point at things. She can say the /l/, /v/, and /b/ sounds, she can say mama, dada, and hi; she's also making vowel consonant combinations. She's got the least amount of hair out of all the quints. It's getting a little darker and I think it may be curly.
Tessa having fun.
She's usually always happy.


Brant - April 2015
My little guy is becoming a mama's boy, and that makes me very happy. He used to be so high-maintence, but over the past few months, he's really calmed down. He likes to be cuddled and is just so sweet. He has 6 teeth. He stands unassisted and can take a few steps. He can walk and dance on his knees, but he is too scared and doesn't have the confidence to get on his feet and walk. I think it'll be soon, but he's just not sure about it right now. He can open doors and drawers, crawl over objects, bang blocks, hold 2 blocks in one hand, reach and grasp objects, clap, and point. He says mama, dada, and hi. He's had 2 haircuts.
Trying to keep the sun off while cheering on the Cardinals.

He reached the tissue box and started to demolish the tissues. He loves to make a mess.


Gracie - April 2015
Gracie is starting to lose her diva status. She, just like Brant, is starting to settle down. She is our first quint to walk (her adjusted age is 10 months, and that about when Brady started walking)!!!! She prefers to crawl but will walk when you encourage her. She stands unassisted. I am so happy to report that Gracie is taking most of her feeds from a bottle!!!!! She is doing SO well. She still gets some milk through her tube, but for the most part, she's taking her bottle. She can bang toys together, hold two blocks in one hand, reach and grasp objects. She likes flipping through a book and "pretend" that she's reading. She claps, points, and shakes her head no. She will give toys to you. Her hair is getting longer and it is straight as a board. She's known as the "Boss Lady".
Enjoying a ring pop.

Being a big girl and feeding herself.

Wild hair for my wild girl.

Rayleigh - April 2015
Rayleigh is so easy going. She's usually happy. I think Rayleigh inherited bad ears from me, bless her heart. She has an ear infection as we speak. When she's upset, she says mama mama over and over. She's definitely a mama's girl. Her hair is so long. I'm going to have to start clipping it back so it won't be in her eyes. She can stand unassisted and take a step or two. She loves to eat baby food. She can bang toys together, hold 2 blocks in one hand, reach and grasp objects. She can crawl over objects and shake her head no. She can say mama and dada.
This is where Rayleigh spends most of her time, at my feet begging to be held.

She's got some wild hair.

Such a little sweetheart.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

March for Babies 2015

We participated in the March of Dimes/March for Babies this past Saturday and it was such an awesome day! I'd been looking forward to this event for a month now. I really want to teach my kids to give back, help others, and bring awareness to important issues. Of course, prematurity is near & dear to my heart after our experience with our 29 weekers. Our last quint home, Rayleigh, came home after four long months in the NICU. I hope the money we helped raise for the event will help other expectant moms and premature babies.

The event that was closest to us was in Longview, Texas, which is an hour and 15 minute drive. We had around 40 people drive that far to participate in the event with us. We all meet at the church parking lot so we could follow each other; when we drove up and I saw everyone who'd gotten up early on a Saturday morning to come support us, I had tears start to swell in my eyes. I seriously had tears of joy. We have the most awesome support system. We will never be able to convey to all the people who help us out, just how much we love and appreciate them. We are so blessed.

Another reason I was so excited for the event to arrive, was because I knew I was finally going to get to meet my fellow quint mom, Darcy. When I found out we were going to be in Longview, I knew I had to get in touch with her and see if they were available to come out. Darcy has 10 year old quints. She is from a small town that's about 20 minutes from where we live and she still has family in the area. When word broke about me being pregnant with quints, she reached out to me. She sent me pictures of her quints and offered advice and was always so supportive. Darcy spearheaded a diaper drive for us and to this day, we have yet to buy any diapers for the quints. She is such a special lady. The moment I saw her, my eyes filled with tears; once again, I was overcome with joy. We talked the whole 3 miles. I probably asked her a million questions. She was so easy to talk to and we have so much in common.

Me & Mia
Mia was styling!

Tessa and Kara

Paula & Brant

Kayla and Mia

Gavin and Brady

Tessa

Rayleigh and Mia

Brady and Brant

Getting ready
Gracie and Tessa

Mia
Walking for a great cause!
After the walk, we were ready for some Mexican food!!!













We are so loved! 
Quints holding quints plus a little sister and a big brother!!
Austin holding Mia (Baby A's)
Mackenzie holding Tessa (Baby B's)
Kaitlyn holding Brant (Baby C's)
Peyton holding Gracie (Baby D's)
Caleb holding Rayleigh (Baby E's)
The Bryant Quints have a little sister, sweet Olivia.
And we have big brother Brady.
It was so nice to finally meet a fellow Quint Mom.
I have the most amazing friends, who also happen to be very talented. My friend, Channing, designed our team shirts and my friend, McCall worked on the quints' shirts. I am so please at how all the shirts turned out!





We walked for our 29 weekers!!!! I wanted to make it longer in my pregnancy, but that didn't happen. I did everything I could, but my body just gave out. I'm so thankful for modern technology and the awesome staff of doctors, nurses, aides, and therapist at Baylor University Medical Center - NICU. They saved our babies. Today, the Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, and Rayleigh are happy, healthy, and thriving 13 month olds.
Sweet little Rayleigh was about 2 weeks old in this picture. Look at her tiny little legs.
Tessa and Gracie were so little I could fit both of them in my shirt (of course I was still wearing my maternity shirts then). They were about 3-4 weeks old.

The first picture of them all together again. They were 2 months old.
This was the day we took Brant home. They were almost 3 months old.