Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mama & Me Outings

A couple of weeks ago, I answered a phone call that was for Steven. He'd forgotten to sign some papers that he faxed off to a company. The lady on the other end of the phone was very nice and personable. She knew about our family and she told me she had quints in her family as well. My first thought was yeah right, there's no way! But it was true! She told me about her quints and how they're grown and doing well. It brings me so much joy to hear quint success stories. It gives me hope that I really can do this job!! ;)  After we hung up, I immediately looked up her quints. They were the first quints born in Texas (4 girls and 1 boy, just like us)!! And they are 5 years older than me! They are alive and doing well. I read some news articles about their mom and how she raised them. In one of the articles, the reporter asked the quints some questions. One of their answers really hit home with me. The reporter asked the quints to give advice to a newer quint mama and this was one of their answers, "Enjoy them and try to spend one-on-one time with each. Give them their own identity and don't compare one to another."

Since my pregnancy, I knew I needed to do my very best to give all my kids as much individual attention as I possibly could. However, when the quints arrived, and the reality of how demanding 5 infants are sank in, I quickly went into survival mode. There was no having fun, no going out and doing anything for fear the quints would get sick..... nothing. We stayed home every day, unless we had a doctors appointment, and tried to keep everyone fed, clean, and happy. It was tough. I didn't enjoy my job as a mom like I should have, I was just too busy.

After that phone call, I realized, my kids deserve to get to know me one-on-one as much as possible. I need to enjoy my role as a mom instead of being overwhelmed all the time. I'm trying to sit in the floor and play with the kids more. Of course, my house is a mess, but being present in my kids' lives is the most important thing right now. I'm hoping I can start doing more one-on-one outings with each kid, but that all depends on if I have help with the other five that are at home. When school starts I'll lose most of my help, so that'll make it harder to get out. But I'm going to try.

Mama & Brant
I took Brant to Spring Lake Park, to eat his first snow cone, and on his first grocery shopping trip. He had a good time just walking around and looking at the ducks. He is all boy; he loves to be outside as much as possible. He enjoyed his first snow cone; he helped me eat my coconut snow cone. He did really well riding around in the shopping cart. Brant is a totally different kid when you get him away from all the other siblings. He loves having all the attention on him.
Swinging at the park.

My handsome little guy.

Love his grin in this picture.

Checking out the ducks.

He found a leaf.

Eating his first snow cone.

Grocery shopping with mama.
Mama & Rayleigh
I took Rayleigh to the Splash Pad, Hobby Lobby, and on her first grocery shopping trip. Rayleigh loved our first trip to the Splash Pad so I thought that would be something fun for her, plus it would be 100% easier for me to keep up with her as opposed to keeping up with 6 kids! She actually was very timid at the Splash Pad this time. It was later in the day and there were a lot of big kids running around everywhere and I think she was a little scared. All the big kids made me nervous, so we only stayed about 10 minutes. She loved Hobby Lobby, I knew she would. Then I took her grocery shopping and again, she did great!

My little swimsuit model.

The only thing that would make this picture better is the beach behind her!  :)

So serious.

Checking out the turtle.

Loving Hobby Lobby with Mama.

Such a sweet smile!   :)

Mama & Gracie
I took Gracie to my dentist appointment, Hobby Lobby, out to eat at a local cafeteria, and grocery shopping. I got brave with Gracie and took her with me to my dentist appointment. I was nervous about taking her but she was wonderful. I put her in a stroller, with hopes that she'd stay put while I got my teeth cleaned, but that didn't happen. The receptionist and hygienist took her and off she went. I think she explored the whole office while I got my teeth cleaned. She had a great time and I was so thankful all the ladies were so wonderful with her. Gracie got to go to Hobby Lobby with mama too! I'm trying to teach my girls at a young age to love Hobby Lobby. Gracie and I had a lunch date to Bryce's Cafeteria. She ate so good! We had fish, broccoli and cheese casserole, and mashed potatoes. Afterwards we went grocery shopping and she did fabulous!
Shopping with mama at Target.

She's so silly and funny. 

She did so well eating at her first restaurant. 

I wore this baby girl out!!!

Mama & Mia
Mia's outing was our trip to Dallas for her upper GI. I know that sounds bad that she had to go through a medical procedure and the others got to do fun stuff, but let me tell you, Mia got lots of quality time with mama and daddy! We drove to Dallas the night before the procedure because we had to be at the hospital at 6am that morning. We met our friend Dave and ate Mexican food once we made it to Dallas. Dave and Paula were sweet and let us spend the night with them so we didn't have to pay for a hotel room. Mia got to stay up way past her bed time. She also didn't sleep well, so she ended up cuddled up with me for most of the night. After her procedure we stopped for lunch on the way home, so she got to eat a two restaurants!

Eating Mexican food for the first time.

Up early and at the hospital for her procedure.

The hospital had a cute little play room so we let her play before it was time to be put to sleep.

Waking up is never easy or fun.

This girl did awesome in the car going and coming from Dallas. 

Mama & Tessa
Tessa and I had lunch with Pops (my stepdad, Melford). She had so much fun looking around and taking in all the sights and sounds at the restaurant. Then, of course, we had to stop by Hobby Lobby. We finished up our trip at the grocery store.
Walking around Olive Garden.

Happy girl

Munchin' on a bread stick.

Pops had lunch with us!!

Shopping at Hobby Lobby with mama!

Mama & Brady
It's easier for me to do one-on-one outings with Brady because he's able to do more stuff. I took him to swim lessons, we've gone to the library a couple of times, and I took him to the water park. Steven is really good about taking Brady with him whenever he's running errands. We do our best to get Brady out of the house as much as possible.
My movie dates

My little fishy loves the water park.

Library fun
Family fun at Magic Springs!
I'm so very blessed that my family loves to spend time with my kids. My dad and stepmom, Loretta, took each quint on a fun outing for their NICU Homecoming Day. My mom is good about picking up one of the kids and taking them grocery shopping or to run errands with her. My mother-in-law is also good about take Brady out and doing fun stuff with him. And my sisters take the kids whenever they have a chance. I think it's so great that the kids get to get away from each other every-once-in-a-while. They are together every day all day long, so time apart is fun. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family that love my little darlings!

I loved and enjoyed each outing with my Six Sweet Seals. We had so much fun together. I'm so thankful God blessed me with all six of these precious little people. They bring me so joy and happiness.

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