But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy days are here again!

I realize that's a pretty terrible title for this post given the tragedies of the Boston Marathon bombings and the plant explosion in West yesterday. It wasn't until late last night I heard about West, a town we've driven through many times. I know many of you are praying for the thousands of people reeling and grieving and recovering there. My dad heard the explosion here, although he thought it was thunder at first, and our volunteer this morning said she and her husband felt the shock wave reverberate across their roof like a huge gust of wind. They live 40 miles north of West.

My title of course refers to our little home and family, happily almost completely recovered from the "light and momentary trouble" of colds. In the middle of it, with five babies and Mom and Dad sick it seems neither light nor momentary. :} Thanks for praying; David and Marcie are just a tiny bit snuffly still. And Gavin had a great trip hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains with our church's men's group this past weekend, during which time I enjoyed the blessing of many wonderful volunteers helping out. For some it was their first time to care for the babies. I really enjoyed adding them to our crazy household, and what's even better is they are coming back to serve again, hooray! :)

My title also refers to some recent super big blessings:

We had an amazing day yesterday! We took all the babies back to the St. Paul UT Southwestern NICU to reunite with and thank the medical staff there. Just being there again with dozens of the people who saved their lives stunned and awed me by allowing me to see more of a "snapshot" of how far they've come. I was so thankful and overwhelmed with gratefulness last night I just wanted to weep and kneel before the Lord with hundreds of "thank you!"s over and over again.

David was such a goofball at the hospital NICU reunion yesterday, getting his hands on any sibling or person within reach, playing up for the crowd, grinning and laughing. All the babies were a hit, and we were thrilled to get to show them off and THANK all the amazing people who cared for them so tenderly and painstakingly! Dr. Burgess seemed particularly touched by Seth, no doubt remembering how much Seth's life was in question at various times (especially when he tested positive for surfactant gene mutation).

Speaking of which, Seth has come ALIVE! His talking is more advanced than any of the other babies. Lots of babbling "bababa's" and "gagaga's" and "eb's" and raspberries and all kinds of fun vocalizations and squeals and consonant-vowel combinations. He is just amazing! He plays like crazy with anything around him, has great head and torso control, is very nearly rolling over, can sit up for a few seconds, and other fun stuff we seem to discover every day. I think he just feels SO much better! He's only throwing up a couple of times a day now, praise God! And the pulmonologist was very, very pleased by his progress in every way today. He's breathing more fully and slowly, he's growing great guns - already on the chart for actual age (8.5 months) rather than just adjusted age (5.5 months, where he ranks in the 75th percentile for height and weight), and he should be completely off of oxygen and several meds within 2 months. Both the pulmonologist and the gastroenterologist have said as far as they are concerned we could return to PNG in January. We'll see what our Clinic there says, though. Still, it's nearly flabbergasting how far Seth has come! We are awed and amazed and grateful beyond words to our Father!

Will finally got his first tooth yesterday! He and David are both rolling back to front. Gracie LOVES to laugh out loud and try to engage with her siblings. She tried SO hard today to get Will to respond to her huge grinning "ha, ha!"s but he was too interested in Grandpadad playing with Seth in the background. Marcie and David and Will and Seth are all starting to cry if we walk away, and tonight when I tried to pass Marcie to someone else she started crying and looking back at me. Uh oh! It makes me feel good, though. :)

Aziza, the sweet NICU Manager who coordinated and set up everything in preparation for the quints' birth, Dr. Warner, the very supportive and kind CEO of the UT Southwestern Hospitals who also happens to be a self-proclaimed Jones Quint blog "addict" (Hi, Dr.  Warner's 12-year-old daughter! Thanks for caring and following our babies as they grow!), and Dr. Burgess, the Medical Director of the NICU and chief doctor the day they were born - he's the one who worked on saving Will's little life and getting him breathing well! He was always our favorite doctor. :) The babies are, left to right: Will, Gracie, Marcie, David - with a foot in the air, as always! - and Seth

The plaque Gavin made for the NICU. I can't believe how far the babies have come, looking at their newborn pics!

Goofy David

We loved seeing this fire engine because of the word on the back. One of the crew explained, "It's called a quint because it has four functions." (Hee, hee. The old "quint means four" confusion reigns everywhere!)

We think Seth is drop-dead gorgeous! We think all our kids are gorgeous, though. :) We are VERY biased!

Our gorgeous kids in front of Texas wildflowers so kindly planted by neighbors for everyone around to enjoy.
Seth, Gracie, David, Marcie and Will. Note that three of the five kids are sucking on their straps. Also note the boys are in diapers only. It was a really warm day! I just hope they don't use "Skins versus shirts!" to gang up on the girls during warm days in the future. ;)

Seth today at the pulmonologist. He got a little crazy with the fun crinkling paper on the table

A little smile
Goodbye and goodnight for now! On our way home from the NICU yesterday: Marcie, David, Seth.
(The really cute one of Seth smiling turned out super blurry, bummer!)

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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