The Seals Family

The Seals Family

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Quints Baby Shower

This past Sunday, various churches in our community worked together to give us a baby shower. It was a wonderful shower, all the decorations were cute, and we loved visiting with so many of our friends and family. We are so blessed to have so many people love us and we greatly appreciate everyone's generosity. Here's a few pics from the shower.
Several local businesses donated the cakes and cupcakes. They were all so cute!

The beautiful centerpiece.


The theme was little ducks and I loved it.


Of course Brady had to lend a hand with cleanup. I'm so thankful Ms. Melissa watched him during the shower so that Steven and I could visit with everyone. He kept her very busy.



Thank you again to everyone who helped make our shower a wonderful success. Everything was beautiful and we had a wonderful time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our New Ride

This time last year we bought a new 4 Runner. I love my 4 Runner. We thought it would be perfect because we were trying to have another baby. It has 3 rows of seats. It was perfect, so we thought! Now, a year later, we are not a family of 4 (like we thought we'd be) but a family of 8. Six of us are in carseats. We needed a bigger vehicle, and soon! So about 2 weeks ago, we bought a new ride. It's big, really big, but it's nice and our whole family can fit in it comfortably and we can even take a few people with us. No, I never thought I'd be a van mom but I am, and it really doesn't bother me. I'm thankful for my big family so a big van comes with the territory.






Monday, August 25, 2014

Career Change

It's back to school time and today is the first day of school. This morning I would have welcomed my new class of first graders, but instead I'm sitting at home. I resigned from my teaching position last year when the quints arrived and it became apparent how much work was going to be involved in raising six children ages 2 and under. My new job is full-time mommy and I love it! I thought I would be sad when school started back and I wasn't up there but I'm not, at all. It does seem weird that I'm not working, but I'm plenty busy being a mommy. I wanted to stay home with Brady after he was born but didn't think we could afford it. I felt so guilty leaving him; I felt like my students got the best of me and Brady got the leftovers. But now, I'm so excited to be home with all my babies. I'm excited that I'm going to see the quints' firsts. I'm excited to spend lots of time with Brady. Being a mom is the hardest job ever but it's also the most rewarding. I'm so thankful and blessed to be a full-time mama to Brady, Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, and Rayleigh.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Framily

No, I'm not misspelling family, I'm simply "borrowing" a word from a phone commercial. Here's my definition of framily: it's people who aren't blood kin (relatives) but are more than just friends. Dave & Paula Foster are my framily. They are such wonderful people. And I love them so much. They've always been there for me when I needed them most.

Back when I was in college and in-between places to live, they let me live with them. I moved back in with them when Steven & I started dating and stayed with them for about a year. They have some special way of making you feel so comfortable. They are funny, sweet, caring, generous, and loving. You honestly can't find better people than Paula & Dave. After I had the quints and was discharged from the hospital, they, once again, let me move back in with them. Before, when it was just me, it probably wasn't that big of a deal to have someone else in the house. But this time, they had me, Steven, Brady, the babies, and whoever came out to help me with the babies. It was a big undertaking, to say the least, but they were very hospitable, as always. They did all of this for us while Paula is going through chemo (she's kicking breast cancer's butt!!!) and Dave had neck surgery! 

After all the babies were out of the hospital, and it was time for us to come home I felt a bit of sadness. It was hard to leave them knowing we're not going to get to see them as much as we have the past 5 months. I really miss them and I know they really miss the babies. I can't wait for them to pay us a visit soon!

Thank you Paula and Dave for everything! We love y'all very much!

Paula & Gracie matching zebra outfits.
Dave & Brant


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Quints: 5 Months

It really doesn't seem possible that Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, and Rayleigh are FIVE months old! All of a sudden, it seems like time is really passing fast. I was looking at pictures of their birth and first days and it's amazing how much they've grown and changed in five short months. They are all so alert and active these days. They all have the sweetest smiles that will melt your heart. They are all healthy and growing. All together, their total weight is 57 pounds! That's a lot of baby!! They are the sweetest blessings and I'm so thankful to have them home.

Fun Quint Facts: 
*Their feeds have increased from 90mls to 100mls. (Which means more formula.) We go through about 2-3 cans of formula a day.
*We are going through 4-5 bags of trash a day!
*We do 1-2 loads of baby laundry a day!
*The babies have almost outgrown their 0-3 month clothes. They're mostly in 3 month clothes now.
*They still wear size 1 diapers but getting close to size 2 diapers.

Coming Up:
I wanted to invite all our friends and family to our baby shower this Sunday, August 24th from 2-4pm at the Maud School Cafeteria.
Ready to cheer on the Maud Cardinals!!!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Brady - 2 1/2 Years Old

Brady has changed so much over the past few months. Here's what he's been up to...
*His vocabulary has increased and we're now able to really communicate with him.
*He's very playful and loves to have everyone's attention.
*He has good manners (he'll say yes mam, thank you, and please).
*His favorite color is blue. If you ask him what color something is, he's answer is always blue.
*He loves watching Thomas the Train. He would watch it all day long if I'd let him.
*He loves taking bubble baths.
*I love it when he says, "I love you mama".
*He loves to be outside. He likes riding his tricycle and swinging on the swing set.
*He sleeps in our bed (and I'm not happy about it...) he likes to sleep sideways so its very uncomfortable.
*He loves to take naps and is very whinny if he doesn't get a nap.
*He also loves to watch Curious George.
*He loves to be read to, which makes my teacher/mama heart very happy.
*He isn't potty trained yet (I hope that changes very soon) but he has been practicing. My niece, Makenna, can get him to go to the restroom so I'm trying to con her into potty training him for me. I'm not looking forward to the actual potty training process but I'm SO ready for him to be potty trained. It will be nice to only have 5 kids in diapers instead of 6.
*He's rough. He likes to climb on you and wrestle with you.
*He's got the cutest laugh.
*He's loud. He doesn't understand the concept of 'inside voice'.
*He loves to eat bacon, strawberry waffles, oatmeal, and yogurt. He loves drinking orange juice, Sprite, and tea.
*He's a good helper. He can get his waffles out and bring them to me to heat up. He also gets his oatmeal out and brings it to me to cook. He will also throw stuff away for me.
*He loves his brother and sisters. He will hug them and pat on them.
*He will say, several times a day, "I want to go home, mama." I think he's talking about he wants things to be like the used to be or maybe he doesn't fully understand what 'home' really means. I worry that he's very confused about our home situation now. I keep telling him 'we are home' but he just doesn't get it.
*He still loves Frosty the Snowman. He doesn't watch it as much as he used to, thank the Lord.
*He still has his beautiful blue eyes and blond hair.
*He's wearing size 2t clothes.
*He loves to brush his teeth.

Brady has done remarkably well with all the changes that have gone on around him this past month. He's such a sweet and loving little boy and I'm so thankful I'm finally home with him now. I'm looking forward to lots of fun times with him.
He loves his Ninna

Sleeply little boy

Look at that serious face.

He loves Gavin, but they both enjoy aggravating each other.

On his way to see mama in Dallas.

He loves popsicles & cereal.

He crawled into the babies' pack-n-play.

This face makes me laugh.

Making Mia laugh.

Bath time with Pops.
Brady is what you'd call 'all boy' and I love it! He keeps things interesting around here and I don't know what I'd do without him. I'm so blessed to be his mama and so thankful God blessed me with him. He's a great big brother and I can't wait to watch him play with the babies more as they get older.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thank You Baylor!

Before too much time passes, I want to write about a place and the people who work there that is very near and dear to my heart. When I was about 10 weeks pregnant with the quints, my OB/GYN in Texarkana referred me to a Maternal Fetal Specialist in Dallas (her office was at Baylor). We fell in love with Dr. Y and that's how we ended up at Baylor. On January 31st (I was almost 23 weeks pregnant) I was put in the hospital for bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. For over 7 weeks I laid in my hospital bed and tried to take it as easy as possible so that I could stay pregnant for as long as I possibly could. During those 7 weeks I grew to love my nurses on the Antipartum floor. They were wonderful, loving, and very caring. Each day they would cheer me on. They always told me how well I was doing and did a fabulous job of keeping my spirits high. You'd think I would have been very sad, lonely, and depressed to be away from my home and family for such a long time, but I wasn't. Of course I hated that I couldn't be at home with my family but I knew that being at the hospital was the best thing for the quints. My focus was to do everything in my power to stay pregnant so they had a better chance of being healthy. So while I lived at Baylor, my nurses became my second family.

My Antipartum nurses had this cookie cake made for me when I hit the  28 week milestone.
After the quints were born, I started spending every day in the NICU. Those first couple of weeks were a whirlwind. It was difficult to wrap our heads around everything that was happening. Our babies were born 11 weeks early. That means they were forced to eat, breath, and function 11 weeks before they were suppose to. It's heart wrenching to see your tiny babies attached to so many machines, but I was so thankful for the machines, they help keep our babies alive. During the babies NICU stay I fell in love with the NICU nurses. They were so good about explaining everything that was happening. If a doctor told us something in "doctor terms" the nurses would follow up and put things in "regular people terms". I loved how the nurses loved our babies. I'd walk in the room some days, and one of the nurses would be holding one of the quints while she was charting. I can't describe how happy that made me feel. I grew to trust our nurses and I knew that my babies were being loved even when I wasn't able to be there. The nurses not only took excellent care of the quints, they in turn also took care of me. It would have been very easy for me to fall apart and be depressed during such a trying time, but I never did because the NICU nurses treated me so well and took the time to get to know me and talk to me. There would be some days I'd leave feeling bad because I'd talked so much with the nurses, I know they were scrambling at the end of the day to get everything caught up. I loved my conversations with the nurses, and I find myself missing them now that I'm at home. A couple of the babies night nurses wrote them letters before they were discharged and those letters were so touching, they brought tears to my eyes. The nurses truly touched my heart and I will forever be thankful for them. The doctors at Baylor were also great. We are continuing to see one of our NICU pediatricians because we love him and trust him to manage our babies health care. I loved everyone in the NICU. We had wonderful respiratory therapists as well as occupational therapist. Everyone we met were awesome!

So, if you find yourself looking for a good place to have a baby or have a sick baby, I strongly suggest you go to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Sara (in yellow) with Gracie the day the quints were born.
Lindsay holding Brant and "trying" to chart.

Lindsay, Chrysty, & me with (I think) Mia all dressed in our lead armor. This was my "Grey's Anatomy" moment. I appreciated how they always included me.

Sara, Chrysty, Tessa, & Me -  the equipment in the background is a x-ray machine used to see if the formula was going in her belly or lungs.


Chrysty, Mia, & Lindsay the day Mia was discharged. 

Chrysty with Tessa. Chrysty was our OT and she was fabulous! She's awesome at what does but an even better person. I love her and miss her so much!

Chrysty, Brant, & Julie. I loved Julie, but Steven really loved Julie...she was a straight shooter and we really loved that about her. 

Rachael and Tessa. Rachael is such a sweetheart and I love her!


Steven, Chrysty and (I think) Mia. Steven just had to have his "Grey's Anatomy" moment too.

Sara & Rayleigh the day Rayleigh was released.

I love my Baylor girls!

One last good-bye

The Quints say, "Thank you Baylor for taking such good care of us! We love you!!"