Two is a big number in the Ferraro household these days:
- Charlie, Claire, Henry & Dillon turned two last month...and it's still all they can talk about
- Today marks two years since our last quad Charlie came home from the NICU to join Molly and the rest of the babies all together for the first time, and...
- We are expecting two more babies next month!
So, here's a little update about what's going on with our gang of 5 and soon-to-be 7 kids!
The Quadruplets Turn Two
Charlie, Claire, Henry and Dillon rang in their third year of life with a snow-themed party in our San Diego driveway. Our kids have only seen snow once - last year in Big Bear - and Molly is certainly the only one who remembered it.
For party preparation, our Grammy Ann did a fantastic job of hyping up the snow party, teaching the quads all about what snow is, what a snowman is, what a snowball fight means, etc. She spent almost a month with us over Christmas, made cookies, went to the park, took everyone to the zoo a trillion times, and did all the things their pregnant mom was way too tired to even think about tackling!
But basically by the time the big day rolled around, thanks to lots of help from our family to get ready, the quads were pretty excited and very well prepared for their snow party.
Aunt Kelly showed up to the birthday party big time with her homemade Sesame Street cakes, each in the quads "own color". The kids were so excited to not only get to eat cake, but also to have a whole cake to themselves!
To be fair...Aunt Kelly has not been a huge fan of the quads' color coding since birth situation. Color coding started accidentally when they each had a different color infant car seat to help us keep them straight...but it's maybe gotten a little out of hand as they've grown into toddlers.
For example, Dillon (who is green) ONLY wants to wear green socks. He asks to sleep in his green sweatshirt. He wants the green plate at every meal. You try to touch his green helmet or scooter...you're dead. You get the picture....
Kelly actually pointed out the other day that the quadruplets don't even know the names of real colors, they just recite the name of their sibling associated with that color. What color is the sky? "CHARLIE!!" What color is this Valentine's Day card? "CLAIRE!!" I need to work on this problem, I know.
But back to the cakes, our kids are pretty into Sesame Street right now, so Charlie (blue) got Cookie Monster, Claire got Elmo (red), Henry was Big Bird (close enough to orange, right?) and Dillon was Oscar the Grouch (green). They are still talking about their birthday cakes pretty much every day and it was certainly the highlight of their birthday.
Last month we also had our 2-year check up and it was largely uneventful, which is always welcome news. The quads were born exactly 6 weeks premature, but at this checkup our pediatrician informed us that they have all now officially "caught up" in stature, weight and head circumference.
They're all still a little on the low side when it comes to the growth chart percentiles, but they're steady and not dropping off, which I would like to think is a testament to their good diet, but probably due more to good genes. Interestingly, Henry and Claire continue to weigh EXACTLY the same at every doctor's appointment - this time they were both 25 pounds (and despite the fact that Claire steals food off of Henry's plate at pretty much every meal).
Here are a few pics from the doctor's office at their 2 year checkup.
Two Years at Home
I was looking at some pictures earlier today and I can't believe it has been two whole years since our last baby Charlie came home from the NICU.
The quads were born at 34 weeks and it was exactly 1 month after their birth when the last one graduated from the NICU and they spent their first night all together at home with us.
I like to point out that there hasn't been a quiet moment since, but we have had a lot of fun with everyone all together - especially the last few months as the quads start talking and Molly can interact more with them.
It's been awhile since I last posted here - but I want to share a few of my favorite pics from the last few months. We've been hanging a lot in our neighborhood with neighbors and getting together with family. We finally got our yard project started so the kids have somewhere to play and we dressed up as the Wizard of Oz for Halloween.
We traveled a ton during the last half of 2017: went on a month-long road trip to Texas, flew to Pittsburgh to spend time with family and got to attend and even be in Aunt Charlotte and Uncle David's wedding in Maine as well as went on a family trip to Kauai.
Big Charlie and I were recently talking about the last 2 years, which led us to think about the upcoming year and all of the things that are going to happen. Some of them seem so crazy since they're "big kid" things and it seems like just yesterday that we brought 4 babies home to their join their tiny toddler sister Molly.
This year, here's what we're expecting:
- Two more babies - twins - born next month...more about that in a second
- Molly will start her 3rd year of preschool in the fall and the quads will begin in the 2's class 2 days per week
- Aunt Kelly promised to teach the quads how to swim in her pool along with their twin cousins, her youngest kids Anna and Griffin
- Someone is going to have to potty train 4 of these children and I'm hoping I'm on vacation that week
- We have an au pair moving in with us from Germany in a few months. Her name is Julia and we are so excited to have someone younger with way more energy than us help out with the kids
- Despite what Molly and Dillon say, we are not going to Hawaii anytime soon. Every day Molly tells me she would like to have her birthday in Hawaii again and when Dillon puts on his green sweatshirt he says it's because he's going to Hawaii. (If anyone is going to Hawaii, it's me during potty training month and that's it :)
Two More Babies on the Way
It took us 2 years, but it does feel like we finally got a handle on handling 5 kids. So no better time than the present to mess up the perfect schedule and system by adding 2 new babies!
Just kidding about the messing things up...we are of course so excited to be welcoming more additions to our family. This should hopefully happen in about a month, provided these babies stay in there and cook a little more like they're supposed to!
We did IVF with this (final :) pregnancy and transferred 2 embryos, which is pretty standard protocol for someone with my "advanced maternal age" and infertility diagnosis. We had done the same with Molly and ended up with our sassy little singleton - and there was an initial hope that this time around would result in another singleton to round out our family with a nice even number of 6 kids.
So you can imagine our surprise when the doctor told us we were having twins. Of course the possibility was always there, but still it was a shock at first. Not the same kind of shock as finding out we were having quadruplets...but still a shock to see on the ultrasound (and in the same ultrasound room with the same doctor and the same nurse telling us this news...it was kind of deja vu).
I'm one of 6 kids, which to me sounds totally normal. But the thought of having 7 is so foreign and seems like so many more...although I'm sure we'll figure it out once it actually happens.
It took me awhile to get accustomed to the idea that we're going to have 2 more kids. But nothing like our oldest nephew Joe, who was devastated when he found out it was twins - because to him that means our 7 kids will be greater than the 6 in his family, and as a very competitive 9 year old, this is tragic news. (I offered him Baby Charlie to put them back in the lead, but Joe declined.)
With regards to the impending siblings, the quads have no clue what's happening - but Molly gets it that we're having more babies. Today she asked me if they will come out big enough for her to wrestle with.
Wrestling is very popular in our house right now. As is yelling, biting, throwing food, dropping my keys down the heater grate in the floor (Henry), painting the walls with marker (Charlie), pouring all of my spices from the pantry on the floor (Claire) and opening the gate and walking to the corner by himself where a neighbor found him the other day (Dillon).
Frankly I'm a little nervous to think what these 5 rambunctious toddlers will do to 2 newborns; but I still have about a month to work on a plan for protecting them from their big siblings until these guys learn how to behave around new babies!
We don't know the genders of the new babies, and I also have no idea where they are going to live or sleep. We're out of bedrooms, but thankfully babies don't care about bedrooms, so I think they'll be good in the corner of our room for the first few months until we figure it out.
Until then, that's it from San Diego. We will be laying low and maintaining the chaotic status quo just waiting for these new babies to arrive sometime in the next few weeks. (And if you do have any room in your thoughts and prayers, send us some good vibes for a safe arrival into the world for the 2 newest Ferraros!)
Katie (& Charlie, Molly, Charlie, Claire, Henry & Dillon and Babies 6 & 7)