Spring has [finally] sprung here in Madison! So, what have the quints been up to while they awaited spring?
Well, they have been eating like champs and are up to 3 solid meals per day. A typical day of meals would be 2-3 T of oatmeal with yogurt and bananas for breakfast, 2-3 T of beef or chicken with squash and potatoes for lunch, and dinner rounds out the day with 2-3 T of a green veggie, vegetarian protein (chickpeas, tofu or eggs) and a healthy fat (avocado).
When the kids aren’t feasting at meals, they tend to be trying to gum each other or anything within 5 inches of their mouth, munch on their toes, or blow raspberries.
Another favorite past-time at 8 months is teething. Frank and I joke that getting teeth is a very inefficient process… 2 years of tears times five, well may be times seven. When all start moaning and groaning, hoping for those choppers, we gently ask them for results, and no more excuses. All are also working hard on learning how to crawl. They are all pros at the infamous Sphynx pose, as well as, rolling over. Theo is the closest to getting wheels. His efforts and dedication to learning to crawl are truly admirable. However, at this point he is easily frustrated and tends to opt for rolling like a log to get to and fro.
The kids are also barely big enough to fit into their dining table, which- for now- is a play place.
It is also the official meeting space for Girl’s Club Meetings…sorry no boys allowed!
The V-5 have also been patiently awaiting their first adventure around the neighborhood. They took their first stroll this past weekend…and they appeared to be less than thrilled about it.
Despite, the lack of smiles and giggles that we anticipated, they looked pretty darn cute sporting their new spring jackets!
The Vanderwall quints have started the New Year with a celebration!
This past Saturday we dedicated our children to God at Blackhawk Church here in Madison. It was an amazing experience to gather with family and friends. I have to admit it was difficult to take in the service as I was surveying our children and trying to keep track on when it was our turn. But, as I sit and write this post I am reflecting on the “village” that was present to support our family in this intentional dedication, and what dedication truly means. I- again- am overwhelmed by how God’s love and provision continues to wash over are family.
Overall, the day went very well. The kids looked adorable in their outfits, they did great in church, and we were able to celebrate this faith-filled moment alongside the people that mean the most to us: their grandpa’s, grandma (Nana), God-parents (Alex and Danielle), and very close friends.
The dedication concluded with a personal blessing for our children, read by Alex, and a prayer from the youth pastor.
Our personal blessing reads:
Dearest Theo, “God’s Gift” to us, Isabella, who we “Devote to God,” Lillian and Kali, our “Pure ones,” and Elliott, who reminds us “Jehovah is God.”
May the Lord always walk with you on your journey in life, and sprinkle you with His love and light.
May you learn to love with kindness and grace, and know within your soul: Truth, courage and faith.
You will be wrapped in the warmth of family and friends, and our love for you will never end.
Today, we present you to God, your Holy Father, and commit you to Him for His glory and no other.
We also chose a life verse for each one.
For Theo, Corinthians 16:13-14. “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.Be strong. And do everything with love.”
For Bella, 1 Peter 3:3-4 “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
For Lily, Ephesians 2:8-10. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand,that we should walk in them.”
For Kali, Philippians 4:8-9. “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
For Ellie, Psalm 139:13-14. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
As many of you remember, Ms. Elliott Rose, formerly known as Baby E, has been quite the fighter from day one. Today, she continues to fight and has pulled ahead of the quints and is now breathing on her own! She can even hold her own pacifier and has successfully taken milk from a bottle on one occasion. God’s handiwork and healing is truly miraculous. This little peanut is still the smallest of the bunch, but you wouldn’t know it by her resiliency.
Ellie Rose is another fabulous self-soother. She will lie wide awake for an hour if you let her just looking about her isolette, chewing on her feeding tube and exploring her face with her miniature hands. She also is quite the smiler and can steal your heart in a minute. Of all the quints, she knows our voices the best, which could melt anyone’s heart.
Elliott also loves bath time and being clean. She enjoys being snuggled in her blankets and nest, but will bust out of her swaddle like Houdini if she wants to. We are so proud of our little Rose for how she has bounced back from her obstacles early on.
Praise God for His mercy on Ellie Rose and please continue to pray for her health and healing.
Big sister, Isabella Marie, is the oldest girl but one of the smallest at birth. She is our “I don’t do drama” queen. This blonde Bella has very keen senses of hearing and sight. When the others’ start sounding their alarms, or she has had enough photos for one day the little hands go up and shield her little eyes and ears. Bella also takes the cake (literally) as our best eater and grower. She is tolerating 6 times as much milk as her siblings. “Beautiful Marie” gets her looks from her Daddy with her light hair, long face and tendency to crinkle her forehead. We are excited to introduce you to our little Bella Bean.
If you click on an image, it will give you a full-screen slideshow of all the pictures.
Not pictured above:
When Daddy gets the camera too close or her neighboring brother causes a racket, little Bella flashes her hands Vogue-style until peace resounds. Her little spirit finger-spread has caught on in this NICU pod as her signature move.
Our big sis also knows how to grab your attention. She’ll hold her breath just long enough to get mom or dad to pay her a visit and then rebounds back to healthy limits.
We are so thankful that Bella has been the most well of the bunch, evading spontaneous ruptures and breathing issues. Prayer requests for Isabella include her continued tolerance of her feedings, as well as, sustained growth and development.
Keep coming back to meet Lily, Kali and Ellie, too!