Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grandpa Peterson

Those of you who don't know what has been going on in my life probably expected to see some Florida pictures. We did not make it to Florida, and for a very sad reason. Dan's grandpa who just turned 80 passed away last Wednesday. Before that he was in the ICU for over a week because of a severe staph infection. The family brought him to the hospital initially because he was in a lot of pain. They sent him home with muscle relaxers. Well, he ended up going back because he wasn't himself and they found the staph- and it really had taken over his body. He had very little chance against this awful bacteria.

80 doesn't sound very young to some people, but Grandpa Peterson (Jim) was a VERY sprightly and active guy. A couple days before the hospital admission, he was lifting weights at a gym. Only a couple of weeks earlier, he and Grandma Peterson (Sue) were in Vegas going to shows! He was still going to the cabin, snowmobiling and fishing. The family is still shocked by this rapid illness. I can kind of compare it to what happened to my uncle Steve who was hit biking by a drunk driver- a maddening fluke.

The funeral was this past Saturday. This man was loved by so many people- the church filled up quickly so some had to stand. Some of the family members shared some lovely memories and tidbits about his personality. There was no chance I could make it without crying- even before our little James was mentioned twice during the service. The girls were in the nursery and had a fun time playing with the new (to them) toys. After, they ran around like crazy people making their mom nervous. (They can navigate through crowds WAY faster than me- not good.) People were quite entertained by them. One tidbit that I need to share- when my sister-in-law and her family were on their way to Grandma Peterson's house after he passed away to see family, 3 1/2 yr old Dane asked his mom, "Are people going to be sad there?" She said, "Yes they will be." He answered, "I'm not! He's fixed now and happy!" Sometimes the littlest ones have the best insight!

Family was the most important aspect of Grandpa Jim Peterson's life. He made it to all the sports games/meets, and other activities. I know he was at a handful of football games when Dan played at St. Olaf. (He was actually IN his deer stand on a morning of one of Dan's football games, when he changed his mind and drove all the way to Northfield instead of hunting.) He made everyone feel loved- and since I lost one grandpa before I was born and the other at age 4, it was nice to have him in my life for almost 9 years. He is the ultimate grandfather you would picture in your head. His other passions included sports (he was a phys ed teacher and football player), fishing (small lakes, Lake Superior, and Florida), hunting (deer and birds, etc),  the cabin (snowmobiling and boating), and I'm sure many more. A lesson all of us have learned is to live life to its fullest.

Here are a couple of pics...
Great-Grandpa Jim with his favorite great-granddaughters.
Florida, 2011

I don't have too many updates right now, but here are a couple that stand out (plus some more pics).

*They are very good at telling us "Nigh-night! Love you!" every night. Melts my heart.
*They are working on singing the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and the Wheels on the Bus. They know a couple key words here and there but kind of mumble most of it. It's so cute! 
*They are way more comfortable at ECFE! They run around and talk as much as they do at home. Everyone was so shocked to see it but I just told them "This is what they're like at home!" Now they know the chaos.
* They got to see 2 puppies being born! The first time I have seen it too! I'll include some grainy pictures from my iPod. 
*Sadly, everyone is getting a little more strong willed, from Sofia believing she can take any toy no matter who has it and throwing tantrums when I say no, to Josie hoarding a pile of toys and screeching at anyone who gets too close (including me), to Madeline who needs a moose (or dad), like, NOW! PS, do most 2 yr olds differentiate between deer, elk, and moose? They have to be Dan's kids!
*Almost forgot- Sofia is having surgery in one week for a bilateral inguinal hernia repair! She has had a surgery under way more precarious conditions, so we know she will be fine, but surgery is surgery. It's outpatient and the surgeon said most kids are like themselves the next day. Have her in your thoughts!
Puppy! (Sofia)

All the cousins with puppies! Too precious!
All the cousins in one picture. Hard task to do.
Their first snowman! (more like Snowtoddler... L to R Maddie, Sofia, Josie)
Sofia loved the snowtoddler the most.

Sister love! (S and J)

Josie thinks she's pretty cool holding her blankie with an OVEN MITT on!
Madeline could NOT be happier on Dad's shoulders!
Josie's telling us with her eyes, "Don't you dare come near my toys!"
The duck obsession is not limited to Sofia (pictured). Also caught in the picture- the classic Sofia expression that she does with her lips/mouth. She is usually unsure of a situation when she does this.
(sorry you have to turn your neck for this video- still worth it)

Since we canceled our trip to Florida, we have 5 plane tickets that we can transfer. We are thinking of either Scottsdale (and use my late uncle's condo) or LA in May to see my brother's premier. Not sure if LA would be ideal with tots but we'll decide 
Hope everyone's doing well. I think our family is due to have some happy streaks now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lots of Love!

Happy Valentine's! Don't look at the card from a year ago- apparently I really like that design...I didn't realize I used the same one last year, haha!  Hope you have a good day.
Click to play this Smilebox greeting

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

March for Babies (teeny tiny babies!)

Countdown to Florida begins! We leave in a week from Saturday! I will be bringing entertainment and snacks on the plane to lessen the chances of meltdowns. Once we get there, my parents will be helping us at the condo so we can have some down time too. I can't wait!

Sofia, Madeline, and Josie seem to definitely be on the mend, but I don't think they're quite back to 100% normal. We're still having clingy moments, which I don't mind because I still love cuddling.
Sofia showing me the gorilla
Sweet Madeline
Josie is so serious!
My friends Chelsey and Jess and baby Nolan (Chelsey's baby). Sofia was the only one who would pose with the baby. They did have a fascination with him though :)
Sisterly love! (J on left, S on right)

A friend from my multiples group here in St. Paul started a team called "Multiple Blessings" to raise money for March of Dimes. The walk, called March for Babies, is in April. I joined her team so I'm hoping to raise a couple dimes (or more) to help out with the cause. Here is my shpeal from my
personal site on the March for Babies:

When I found out I was expecting quadruplets (spontaneous- making it quite shocking), I immediately knew March of Dimes would become an important organization to my family. Two of the four were mono-mono twins, so the doctors warned me they wouldn't even let me go more than 32 weeks. I expected to go that long with no doubt, so I was stunned when I went into preterm labor at 27 weeks.

Everyone calls the NICU a "roller-coaster". I hate to overuse a word, but it exactly was a roller-coaster. There were so many ups and downs- a lot of times in one day. Our biggest "down" was our son, James's bilateral grade IV brain bleed. The neurologist called it the "worst brain bleed she had ever seen". We lost him a week later but we remember him everyday. Among the girls, we experienced four surgeries and some infections scaresa. Our biggest "up" was of course seeing our girls wean off the breathing help and ultimately bringing them home with a relatively clean bill of health.

Today, we don't have too many reminders that were born at 27 weeks. Their scars are the obvious reminder, but they are for the most part extremely healthy. We sheltered them the first couple of winters which is one of the reasons their lungs are so strong now.

Neonatology is an amazing field- I was in awe of how preemies are treated. Both the non-life dependent efforts- physical therapy, diligent head placement, the conscientious effort to keep the blood saturation at the perfect level (too high contributes to eye problems) to the life-saving efforts of ventilation, surgeries, and infection-prevention.

March of Dimes is a very special organization to me and I know they are responsible for many of the advances in public awareness- from pushing folic acid and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, plus the money they give towards neonatal research is so important. Please donate whatever is comfortable! Also, visit my blog to see how healthy my three surviving quads are.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
Sofia, born at 1lb 11 oz
Madeline, born at 1 lb 14 oz
Josephine, born at 1 lbs 13 oz
James, born at 2 lbs 8 oz
My three surviving quads all snuggled together (when they were sick). Sofia, Josephine, Madeline

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Uncle Steve

The last couple weeks have been very rough in many ways. The most tragic was an accident my uncle Steve was in while in Scottsdale. Three weeks ago this Friday, my uncle was riding his bicycle and was hit by a drunk driver in an SUV. Steve was NOT wearing a helmet- actually he had promised his friend that he would the night before. Sadly, he was a stubborn guy. This drunk driver was at a BAC of .18 in the early afternoon crash. It sickens me to think of such a senseless act. The court system in Arizona is maddening also... this guy won't even see the court room for another 2 years because everything is so backed up. He gets to just keep hanging out like normal until then.
   Enough ranting about the drunk driver, sorry. My uncle was in a deep, deep coma right away. The prognosis even at the start was bad and he kept getting either worse or the same. All the scans showed no brain activity. He ended up passing away this past Thursday, January 26th. We are all devastated by this accident. My parents were down in AZ as soon as they heard about the accident and just got back this past Monday. They did all the logistical work, which was so draining in itself.
   Steve was a great, fun guy. My brother, Andy, started a memory blog post about him if you want to see our memories. Another memory I didn't add to my brother's blog was when I was younger, he used to take me to Best Buy when he was in town. He drove a sparkly corvette and I just felt so cool in it, and any chance to look at the newest music was a treat (especially before internet and iTunes were the main sources for music). We always kidded around with each other and when I started drinking coffee we even had a couple coffee outings at Caribou. Talk about a cool uncle. We didn't see him too often, but when James died he made a point to come to the funeral. He was pretty invested in the quads even if most of the time from afar. He hadn't met the girls yet, but he was probably going to this summer when he was back in Minnesota. When he was younger, he was a bit of a wild child- the complete opposite of his brother, my dad. He was living a really happy life as of his accident. He had just bought a condo in Scottsdale for winters and was biking all the time.  Here's his official obituary from the Willmar and Scottsdale newspapers.
Steve in Scottsdale, probably at a coffee shop

    To top off the emotional turmoil, our family was hit with a stomach bug. I don't have to give you the details- I'm sure it would be TMI. Let's just say we had three mornings in a row of walking into their room with a surprise. Josie started with a fever only Jan 22, and we only just now can say we are healthy (as of yesterday). I only had a fever for one day, so I was spared. We really didn't get out of the house and everyone was just tired, sick, and crabby. Elmo was on TV a lot. When I think of my uncle's accident, we really shouldn't complain of a little virus.
  Minnesota is in Spring-time mode and it's only February 1st! I'll include some pictures from a walk yesterday. Even getting out of the house for walks these past couple weeks was a big relief and refreshing. Today, since they have been healthy, we made it to ECFE. The girls had fun and didn't care when I left for the parent discussion time. I was told that they don't usually stick together while playing. I wish I could spy on them and see what they do!
Josie: slow and steady wins the race! (she walked for the longest)
Madeline off-roading it
Sofia found my hat! Someone graciously left it on a bench after I lost it yesterday! Thanks, whoever you are!
Sofia is way in the distance! Run, Sofia!!

Even though we can't walk as long, I really love when the girls can run free instead of being cooped up in the stroller. I always feel a little bad when they just sit there for a half an hour walk! I don't have any other fun pics this post...just wasn't in a camera happy type of mood! Anyways, hope you all are avoiding the winter bugs, but if you aren't,  "this too, shall pass!" Thanks for reading.