Our Blessings, our Miracles

Our Blessings, our Miracles

Eighteen months.  Still in disbelief of it all.  Here are some precious pictures of the babies during the first few weeks of their precious little lives.  While in the NICU, I was hesitant to post any pictures of the babies.  I had many reasons, but mainly because I didn’t want people to talk about them as if they were weak or sick.  I didn’t want any negativity surrounding my babies.  Now that they’re 18 months, I look back and am thoroughly amazed at how far they’ve come.  These babies are my heroes who overcame so much in such little time.

I am still so amazed, blessed beyond measure and will never stop experiencing “Post-Partum Appreciation”.

Thank You, Heavenly Father for these blessings.

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Oh, the Personalities!

Oh, the Personalities!

It’s still so interesting to me that our babies are so very different from one another.  Their personalities are emerging ever so quickly and its not shaped by their surroundings, social media or society.  It’s just them; natural.

Makaio is an entertainer.  He loves to sing.  Songs he’s learned and songs he makes up.  He’s a natural with babies.  I’m not sure if its because he’s been around lots of babies in daycare, or if its an instinct, but boy is he a great big brother!  Now that the babies are getting bigger, he plays with them more.  With that, comes a lot of laughter and a lot of tears.  The tears usually come from him because he’s constantly getting scolding for playing too rough.  In his defense, the babies are cracking up laughing as they’re getting tackled by him, but its still something we have to closely monitor.  This boy is so smart and we’re hoping to get him into a good preschool later this year.

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Kapena.  He’s my lazy boy.  So full of smiles lately.  He’s the oldest of the quints and I often call him my crybaby.  In all fairness, I shouldn’t be calling him that because no one really cries too much.  He’s just the most cautious of the bunch.  When we’re out ‘n about, strangers can approach them and no one will cry.  But when we’re home and a stranger comes over or someone he hasn’t seen in a while comes by, he’ll begin to cry.  He’s like my very own guard dog.  I also call Kapena the romantic one.  His eyes are going to get him into trouble with the girls.  When he looks at you, its like he’s looking deep into your soul.  He’s very affectionate, observant and sweet.  Always hanging around Mommy or Daddy if we’re near.

Then there’s Kamali’i.  Our little girl.  I giggle a little just thinking about her.  She is another character but in a different way.  With so many nicknames come many different personalities.  She’s serious, but fun.  Stern, but gentle.  Smart, Sassy, Sweet, Bossy, Stubborn & very very caring.  She may not be quick to smile (especially to strangers) but she likes to entertain her brothers.  Whether its dancing, playing peek-a-boo or poking and prodding at them, it works.  Recently I’ve noticed how emotionally connected she is with others.  If someone is upset, she notices.  I’ve witnessed on a few occasions where Kamali’i offers a toy to someone who’s upset.  What a sweet gesture!

Kupono is my big boy.  He’s big, he’s clunky and oh so charming (and boy does he know it).  He has a thing with his eyebrows – so expressive.  I can tell when he’s done something wrong because his eyebrows are so far up his forehead, it’s a dead give-away.  The most “laid back” of the boys, he rarely gets upset over things, but when he does you can totally see it in his face.  Although laid back, he surely likes to chat.  He has a lot to say and I imagine he won’t hesitate to share what’s on his mind.  He’s head-strong, determined, a little bit of a flirt and just simply “Ku”.

My Keahi.  My firecracker, fireball, dreamy-eyed little one.  He’s still the smallest of the bunch, but don’t let his size fool you.  He’s not afraid to defend himself and is definitely not afraid to express himself when he’s upset.  He can get angry quick.  The good thing is that you can also calm him down pretty quickly as well.  He’s a silly little goose that giggles a lot and loves one-on-one time with Mommy and Daddy.  Along with Kamali’i, he loves to dance.  He’ll be one of the first to start grooving to any type of music we play.  His moves aren’t as aggressive as his sister, but he’s feeling the music…you can see it in his cute little face.

…and then there’s Kaolu.  I call him my very own Curious George.  He gets into anything and everything he can get his paws on.  Adventurous, Rascal and full of life.  This boy is always smiling and laughing.  I don’t know what he’s smiling at half the time, but i’ll take it!  He’s also the most aggressive.  Don’t mess with his toys.  He’ll fight you for it, or shall I say he’ll BITE YOU for it.

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January Down

2017 has only just begun but an entire month has gone…buh bye January!  I’m horrible at keeping this blog up to date, but there’s no rules, right?  I mean, I guess I have an excuse or two…Mommy to six kiddos 3 years old and under, Wifey, Full-Time employee…

The main purpose of this blog was to have something that I could look back to and remember moments in life.  Time just goes by so quickly that you forget the little things that make you smile.  Pictures capture those moments, but the story behind those pictures is what I want to remember.

I’m thinking I’m going to just start posting lots and lots of pictures (other than what’s on Facebook or Instagram) and captioning them.  Find us on Facebook @Hawaii’s Quintuplets or on Instagram @quintuplets_of_hawaii I’ll also be uploading videos to our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Shakababymommy

January brought many firsts:

  • First Slumber Party
    • The kiddos were so afraid of the fireworks that were going off on New Year’s Eve that we brought all our pillows and blankets out and had a Slumber Party!  I think this will be a traditions for us.  Perhaps next year we’ll have our own sleeping bags.
  • First Steps
    • Kamali’i is the first to walk.  She’s a girl, so it was totally expected.  From 2 steps, to 11 to almost running, that little girl is strong!
  • First Fights
    • Boys will be boys – nuff said!
    • Girls are bossy.  Need I say more?
  • First Bites
    • Everyone got lots of teeth, so its inevitable that this was going to happen.  I always wanna bite their cute little faces, so I guess I understand 🙂
  • First Kisses
    • So much germs get passed around in my house.  Everyone learned to kiss and they love to give em out.  Seeing them kiss each other is absolutely heart-warming!
  • First Words, First Sentences
    • You’ll hear “dada” and “mama” from everyone, but Kamali’i says “I love you” and “Hi Daddy”
  • First time to:
    • Seal Life Park.  Makaio has been there a few times, but this was the first for the babies.  Makaio had a blast!  His favorite part was feeding the fish (lettuce) and getting splashed by the Dolphins.
    • Ala Moana Shopping Center.  Shirokiya, Food Court, Jungle Fun and the Disney Store were the few places we explored although we were there for FOUR HOURS!
    • Sam’s Club & Costco.  The babies are now big enough to be able to sit in the carts and only a few stores here have carts that will hold two kiddos so it’s Daddy with Kupono & Kaolu up front, Makaio in the cart, and Mommy with the triple stroller with Kamali’i, Kapena & Keahi.  It’s fun to finally be able to go to a store as a family.  I know soon I won’t want to bring them with me at all, especially when they’re toddlers, but for now, it’s awesome.
    • Target also has those awesome carts so we took advantage of that too!
    • Wal Mart.  On a Saturday afternoon.  What was I thinking?  Wal Mart has the most interesting (not in a good way) people.

I think that pretty much sums up our January 2017.  Just add in a little bit of crying (mostly from Makaio), some screaming, scratches,smiles and lots of LOVE…

Babies from L-R: Kupono, Kapena, Keahi, Kaolu & Kamali’i

Kupono on Kaolu

Keahi

L-R: Kupono, Kapena, Keahi, Kamali’i and Kaolu

Kapena in the back, Keahi in the front

Kupono

Kupono

Kaolu

Kaolu

Keahi

Kupono

Kapena

Kapena

Keahi

Kupono

Keahi, Kaolu, Kamali’i, Kapena & Kupono watch as Makaio strikes a pose!

Blue Stroller Back: Kapena & Keahi, Front: Kaolu & Kupono

Kupono on Kaolu

Makaio & Kaolu

Kapena hugging Makaio

Everyone waiting for Mommy to get her Starbucks @ Ala Moana Shopping Center

Jungle Fun @ Ala Moana Shopping Center

Shirokiya @ Ala Moana Shopping Center

Kupono

Kaolu

First trip to Sam’s Club

 

Keahi

Kapena

Kupono

Kaolu

Keahi

Keahi, Kaolu & Kapena with their cousin Sydney

Kaolu, Keahi, Kupono & Kapena

Babies with Daddy L-R: Kapena, Kaolu, Keahi, Kupono & Kamali’i

Makaio’s favorite part @ Sea Life Park

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The Wall of Hope

We were so honored when Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children asked us if we’d like to be featured on this years’ Wall of Hope.  The Wall of Hope is a photography exhibit which features former patients who have endured and overcome a health crisis.  Although our babies have overcome a lot so early in their lives, I am in awe to be accompanied by such inspirational stories of all the others that participated this year.

Photo shoots took place in August, and on October 16th (the day after the babies’ first birthday luau), the hospital hosted a brunch for all the former patients and their families.  The photos they selected to be featured on the wall was strategically placed around the room.  For the first time, we got to see what everyone would see walking through the hallways of the hospital.

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The photo (shot by Elyse Butler) selected to be on the Wall of Hope.  The statement below accompanies the photo.


Shocked. That’s the most appropriate word to use when you find out you’re expecting five – yes, FIVE – babies.

“I found out I was pregnant with quintuplets when I was just a bit over 16 weeks,” says Marcie Dela Cruz, who became the first person in Hawaii to give birth to surviving quintuplets on Oct. 10, 2015.

“I went into pre-term labor at 23 weeks and was admitted to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, where I remained for five and a half weeks before giving birth,” Marcie recalls.

All five babies were in the Kapiolani Neonatal Intensive Care Unit until December.

Kapena (the oldest) and Kupono (the middle) were the first two babies to go home one Dec. 13.

Kaolu (the youngest) joined them the very next day.

Keahi (the smallest at birth) and Kamalii (the only girl) were the last to arrive home on Christmas Eve, two months and two weeks after their birth.

Now 1 year old, the babies are doing great. They have no known complications and have not only caught up with, but surpassed the normal weight of babies their age.

And while having six keiki under the age of 4 (she and husband, Ray, also have a 3-year-old son, Makaio) is certainly a life-changer, Marcie says it was her experience at Kapiolani that left the real impact.

“I saw so much compassion, patience and willingness to make patients happy from everyone I encountered,” she says. “I’ll forever be thankful for those who took care of me during my pregnancy and those who cared for my babies during the first couple of months of their lives. Mahalo nui loa!”

Hauoli La Hanau

365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, 1 year.  No matter how you say it, I can’t believe it!  On October 10th, we had a small celebration with family at home for the babies’ first birthday. It was a last-minute gathering, as we knew we’d be celebrating with 300 of our closest family and friends in less than a week.

Their Luau was nothing short of a success.  The music was great, the food was ono, and most importantly, the babies were on their best behavior while surrounded with love. They were all lined up in their high chairs at the entrance of the hall greeting their guests.

We’ve created so many memories during this first year of their lives.  We welcomed them into this world not knowing what to expect at just 1 and 2 pounds each.  I could’ve never imagined how much I would learn in the next few months.  Having a baby (or babies) born prematurely sure teaches you a lot.  Life is so fragile.  We’ve been blessed that all of our babies are strong, healthy and happy today.  We pray that their lives are similar to what they’ve experienced in this first year; that they remain healthy, strong and happy and that they continue to be surrounded by love and positivity.

Ray and I are so honored to be their parents.  We’ll continue to do our best to guide them in life.  We are a team.  We thank everyone who’s there to help us along the way.  After all, if it takes a village to raise a child, we may need the entire state!  Happy Birthday, Babies!