Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quint Update - 15 Months

As of last week, this mama took the pacifiers away. I only let the quints have their paci at nap time and bedtime. I probably picked a bad time to take the pacifiers away because they are all sick with a virus, but oh well. So far, they're doing pretty good. I decided to bite the bullet and take the pacis away because I'm so concerned about their speech. They are all delayed in speech so I am hoping now that they don't have something in their mouth all the time, they'll start talking more. Who knows, we shall see... All the quints are climbers, all of them! It's so hard to keep up with all of them. They like to escape the safe zone we have set up for them to keep them safe and corralled. They are starting to team up to get out of the safe zone.

Prayer Request:
*Please pray that they all get over this current virus soon.  Bless their hearts, they will catch a virus and no sooner when they shake it, they will catch a new one! I'm so ready for them to be healthy.
*Please pray that Mia will stop vomiting with all her feeds. I've talked on the phone with the GI doc in Dallas several times and I'm praying we're going to figure out a way to help her with her feeding issues.

Mia Danielle
Weight: 18lbs 8oz (15%)
Length: 28 3/4in (5%)
What's New: She is starting to stand on her own and is starting to get interested in walking more. She can walk on her knees and she's actually starting to take steps on her own. She is a climber. She's very quick, especially when she's trying to get away from you. She waves bye-bye.
Teeth: 4 - She's still missing her two front teeth, so she still looks like a little vampire, however, she's the cutest vampire I've ever laid eyes on!
Health Update: Mia has started vomiting again with every feed. She was doing so good and probably went 6 weeks without vomiting while eating (maybe a little vomit every once in a while, but nothing significant). We took the girls to the GI doctor at the beginning of June and he wanted us to speed up her rate on her feeds (she gets all her milk through the g-tube; it was taking an hour to feed her and the doctor wanted us to get that down to 30 minutes). When we started trying to speed her rate up, she started vomiting again, at every feed. We're now working on trying to get her to stop vomiting and we're leaving her rate at the rate it was originally. I've been so discouraged about her vomiting again. I'm so ready for her to be okay and eat normally. She is currently sick with a virus. I feel so bad for Mia; out of all the quints, she's the weakest and has the hardest time staying healthy. Our pediatrician said she's probably going to always be the sickest. :(
Personality: She is spunky! She has attitude! She is a diva!  She's very tough. She's funny and super duper cute! :)
Sweet girl

My little monster
Sleeping at the table

Selfie with mama
Us at the eye doctor. One of her eyes is more farsighted than the other. We have to go back in 6 months to have them checked again. I'm praying everything will look good when we go back in December; I don't want her to have an problems. 

Tessa Suzanne
Weight: 19lb 10.5oz (25%)
Length: 29in (5%)
What's New: She walks everywhere. She's talking and laughing more, we're starting to see more and more of her sweet personality. She likes to spit her food (all over whoever is feeding her) and then she'll laugh at you.
Teeth: 8
Health Update: She's been pretty healthy lately. She's starting to take her bottle more. She is consistently taking 3oz from her bottle. She's currently sick with a virus.
Personality: She's sweet, easy going, and happy. When I think of Tessa, I think of a lap cat; she will crawl up and sit in my lap, and she's just as happy as she can be (And I love every moment of it!).

Love that beautiful smile!

Sweet grin

She's seriously the sweetest baby ever!

Brant Lee
Weight: 19lbs 6.5oz (5%)
Length: 29 3/4in (5%)
What's New: He walks everywhere. He climbs on everything. And he knows how to escape from our safe zone. He hates being locked up in the safe zone. He gets his hair cut every two weeks. He's starting to talk more and repeat what you say.
Teeth: 8 - And he's not afraid to use them!!! He terrible about biting!
Health Update: He's been healthy. But currently fighting the same virus as his sisters.
Personality: Charming, demanding, full of energy!!! This boy wears me out!!! He's always on the go; he's always trying to escape from where we keep the quints (in the safe zone).
He climbed up on this table all by himself. 
My little monkey

Daddy and his boys

Half complaining/half smiling

Gracie Lou
Weight: 18lbs 15oz (15%)
Length: 29 7/8in (25%)
What's New: She's running from us!!! The girl walks everywhere, she hardly ever crawls anymore. If someone does something that makes everyone else laugh, she'll imitate them so she can get everyone else to laugh at her too. She is hilarious! She doesn't like getting her hair combed. She doesn't like ponytails, she always tries to take her hair down, and she tries to take everyone else's down too. She prefers hats over bows. She'll hit you. She eats everything and takes all her feeds from the bottle.
Teeth: 6
Health Update: She's been healthy lately, but has been running a low grade fever, so she's got the same virus as everyone else.
Personality: Full of life, loves to be the center of attention, drama queen. She's my social butterfly! She always makes me laugh! I sure love my wild and crazy Gracie!!
Gavin & Gracie

Sitting on brother

She loves to wear hats.

Her hair cracks me up.

These two are two of a kind..

Love this beautiful girl!

Rayleigh Ann
Weight: 19lbs 13oz (30%)
Length: 29 1/4in (10%)
What's New: Rayleigh walks everywhere. She loves to climb. She's still a mama's girl. She likes to be held. She waves and says bye-bye.
Teeth: 4
Health Update: She also has the virus.
Personality: Easy-going, chill, and sensitive. If you look at Rayleigh wrong, she'll start crying (I hear she got that from me). She is a loner; she's perfectly content at playing on her own.
Her hair is so long..

Rayleigh at VBS

Crazy hair

Climbing with Gracie

First time to have pig tails

I caught her climbing...

Sweet girl

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

All About Me

The other day, I was thinking about stuff to blog about; I'm always blogging and updating everyone on the kids, but I never talk about myself (not that I'm very interesting). I'm sure there are a few readers out there that really don't know me; so, here's a little, getting-to-know-me post.

Name: Michelle Leigh

Age: 35 (yikes!!!!)

Marriage Status: I'm happily married to my best friend, Steven. We were married December 16, 2006 (8.5 years of marriage bliss). We had a beautiful Christmas wedding. Our honeymoon was at a Sandals Resort in the Bahamas!

Kids: Brady (3 years), Mia - Baby A (15 months), Tessa - Baby B (15 months), Brant - Baby C (15 months), Gracie - Baby D (15 months), and Rayleigh - Baby E (15 months). If you're brand new to my blog, I'm a mom of a singleton and GGBGG quintuplets!!!  :)

Home: We live in the great state of Texas!! (northeast TX)

General Description of Me: I'm a christian and I love God with all my heart, body, and soul. I'm a wife. I'm mother. I'm a sister (I have 2 younger sisters and 2 younger brothers). I'm a teacher (public school and I teach classes at church).

Personality Traits: I'm a happy person and I love to laugh. I try to be calm, but deep down I'm a worrier. I'm shy and I don't like speaking in public. I'm loyal, trustworthy, and honest. I'm try to look at the positive side of things and I like to surround myself with positive people. I work hard on being patient; most of the time I do a pretty good job. I'm protective of my family-- I'm usually easy-going unless someone messes with my family. I'm peaceful and I forgive easily.

Education: I graduated high school in 1999. I attended Texarkana College in Texarkana, TX and graduated with my Associates in Art - Behavioral Science (2001). I attended the University of North Texas in Denton, TX and graduated with my Bachelors in Science - Recreation & Leisure Studies, emphasizing in Recreational Therapy (2003). I attended Texas A&M- Texarkana, TX and received my teaching certification through the alternative certification program in 2007. I attended Texas A&M- Texarkana, TX and graduated with my Masters in Science - Curriculum & Instruction, emphasizing in reading (2012).

Career: I'm currently a stay-at-home-mom; before my quints arrived I was a 1st grade teacher. I plan on going back to work as soon as I can; we've got lots of mouths to feed and one income is going to make it hard to provide for a family of 8!

My Dream Job: My ideal of a dream job would to replace Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune. I mean seriously, there is no one in this world that has a better job than Vanna. (And if you think I'm kidding, I'm not!!!)  ;)~

When I Retire: Some day, many, many, many years from now, I hope to retire, and when that happens, I want to be a volunteer in a NICU where all I do all day is hold precious premies. Baylor had NICU volunteers, and I immediately knew, that's something I want to do someday.

Hobbies: I love reading blogs, surfing Pinterest, hand/footprint art with my kids, shopping, hanging out with my family, and sunbathing (on the beach preferably).

Favorite Blogs: I've read Mix Match Mama for several years now and love her blog. After the quints arrived I stumbled upon some moms of HOM (higher order multiples) blogs and my favorite HOM mom blog is Four to Adore; this quad mom gives lots of good information to newer moms of HOM.

Favorite Places to Shop: I love, love, love, love Hobby Lobby. The second I walk into HL, I immediately feel happy. Target is a close second.

Favorite TV Shows: Grey's Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, Downton Abbey, Pioneer Woman, Wheel of Fortune

Favorite Movies: You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, We Bought a Zoo, The Vow, Top Gun, My Best Friend's Wedding, Love Actually

Favorite Movie Quotes: "You can't handle the truth!" (A Few Good Men); "You're Killing Me Smalls" (Sandlot); "Are you crying? There's no crying in baseball!" (A League of Their Own).

Favorite Types of Food: TexMex, Italian (I could eat chips and salsa everyday!)

Places I've Traveled: Disney World (3 times); Washington D.C.; Bahamas; New York (2 times); Boston; Plymouth; Kennebunkport; Las Vegas; New Orleans; Orange Beach, AL; Red River, NM; Tampa, FL; Pensacola, FL. I've taken a cruise to Key West, FL, Grand Cayman, and Mexico. I've been to Mexico twice. I love traveling (now that we have 6 kids, traveling has come to a halt, but I love going as much as possible).

Places I'd Like to See: I want to take my kids to Disney World, I'd love to take them to Atlantis (Bahamas), I want to travel to Europe, I'd like to travel to all 50 states, and I'd like to watch a baseball game at all the MLB stadiums. I'd love to go to Ireland.

Interesting Facts About Me: I have been bitten by a Copperhead snake; I was 7 years old. I'm am a very picky eater! I don't eat anything that's mixed up (no casseroles). I'm not a huge dessert fan (I like chocolate and plan white cakes - nothing fancy). I drink hot chocolate all year long.

What's Near & Dear to my Heart: Babies, especially premie babies. I've always loved babies; an unexpected battle with infertility made me think I might not ever be a mama, so I love and cherish everything about babies. People struggling with infertility is also near and dear to my heart.

Things I Like: Baby's laughing, baby's smiling, baby animals, summer time, the beach, Starbucks hot chocolate, chocolate almond ice cream, facials, pedicures, and Hershey bars.

Things I Dislike: Drama!!! I hate drama with a passion. I dislike cleaning house. I dislike laundry (I especially dislike folding and putting up clothes). I don't like talking on the phone, I'd rather meet you and talk face-to-face. I hate politics! I don't like cutting my kids' finger/toe nails.

Favorite Holiday: I honestly love all the holidays and I like to decorate for all the holidays. But if I had to pick my favorite holiday, it would be Christmas.

My Pet Peeves: The windshield wipers being on when it's not raining. People who are hibitually late. People asking a million personal questions about the quints (like how they were conceived, etc.). People who lie.

Top Item on My Bucket List: I want to go on a mission trip.

Well, there you have it... a little information about your's truly. I'm just a good ole country girl with a pretty awesome life. I'm incredibly blessed. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tessa's Big Day

Today is Tessa's homecoming day from the NICU; she was the second baby to come home. She stayed in the NICU for 90 days. Bringing Tessa home was a exciting time. We already had Brant at home, so adding her to the mix was crazy yet exciting.

When Tessa came home she didn't have a g-tube. Her formula had to be very thick, the consistency of honey, because she had problems aspirating. Well, after a week at home she got to where she wouldn't eat at all and stopped urinating. So, I had to take her to the ER (at Children's in Dallas). Children's admitted her into their NICU. So, I had Brant at home, Tessa at Children's, and Mia, Gracie, and Rayleigh at Baylor. And while all this terrible stuff was going on with Tessa, Rayleigh was very sick (so sick that I thought she was going to die). I seriously don't know how I didn't go insane during this time. So much worry, stress, uncertainties, and lack of sleep was almost more than I could handle. Thankfully, God heard my prayers and the prayers of countless others, and pulled us all through that very scary and stressful time. I count today as Tessa's homecoming day (even though she was technically released from 2 NICUs) because Baylor was our home NICU.

Tessa is my happy and sweet baby. She usually always has a huge smile on her face. To me, she looks the most different from the other quints. She's lighter complected, her eyes are blue, and her hair is sandy blonde. She actually looks more like my sister, Kristian, than she does Steven or I. I do think she favors Brady, because he is fairer complected too. How Steven and I produced blue eyed, blonde hair kids is beyond me!
Loaded up and ready to head home.
Family pic with our sweet girl
She looked so beautiful in her blue smocked dress. 

Smiley Tessa

Happy Tessa

She makes me smile with that sweet smile of hers.


Her eyes are so gorgeous!!!

Oh how I love and adore this sweet baby girl!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Brant's Big Day

One year ago, we brought our only boy of our Fav 5 home from the NICU! He was the first baby home! Brant stayed in the NICU for 80 days. I remember the day he came home so vividly. I had so many emotions running through my head. I was overjoyed that we were finally bringing a baby home. I was thankful that Brant was healthy and doing so well. I was so, so, so scared; even though he was the size of an "normal" baby, he was still little and he was a premie. I think all the machines, tubes, and alarms of his NICU days were such a scary experience that I was worried something would happen to him once he was home and away from the medical setting he and I were used to & comfortable with. I felt guilty for taking him away from his sisters. It was so hard to leave the girls in the NICU and just take him home. I was stressed because we weren't taking him to our home, we were taking him to our friend's home. My quints were born in Dallas, and we live 3 hours away; my friend's Dave and Paula let us stay with them while the quints were in the NICU. I had to have  family members and friends come stay with Brant so I could still go to the NICU and visit the girls. (Baylor will not let you bring a discharged baby back to the NICU, so I had to have someone come stay with Brant so I could go love on the girls every day.) But, most of all, I was happy to have Brant all to myself.

Brant is such a little sweetheart! God knew I needed another little boy in my life! He's funny, charming, and full of energy. I'm so in love with my little Brother Bear.
His last moments in the NICU. All dressed and ready to go home!
He was 2.5 months old at discharge.

Home with our little boy.

He was so little.
Sweet little boy; love that little smile.

Getting bigger and starting to try food.

Sticking his tongue out at me.

Hanging out with Big Brother. Brant adores Brady.

Mama's baby boy!
Having fun with his smash cake at their first birthday party.

My 3lb 6oz miracle! He's a tough little 29 weeker!!