Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Well, I'm back to being behind on this blog- but I have a good reason (really a few but only ready to share one).  I was chosen as one of the new contributors for Houston Moms Blog!  I did a guest post for them back in November (read it here) and now I get to write for them regularly for the next 6 months.  I'm super excited to be apart of the team!  They are some awesome moms who are much better at blogging than me, so hopefully I can learn a thing or two.  :)  So, I've been busy figuring the moms blog thing out, but no worries, I will maintain this blog for all things Perkins Pack!

Without further ado...  check out my debut post!!     ABC's of Me

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Unstoppable Mom

I'm writing this post on behalf of my Aunt Betty who threatened to literally hijack my blog if I didn't post her letter.  So, I'm doing it!  Here it is....

Dear Friends of the Perkins Pack,

I am Lauren’s Aunt Betty, and I am hijacking her blog.  I know Lauren is too humble to post this information on her own, but I know you will be interested.

The television show Live with Kelly and Michael is teaming up with Children’s Motrin to find the Unstoppable Mom of 2014.  The winner of the national contest will receive $100,000!  I don’t know anyone who fits that title more than Lauren, so I decided she should be nominated!  With help from the people who know her best, the things that Lauren does all the time were listed.  There were too many great things to include, so the challenge was limiting the letter to ONLY ONE PAGE!  Whew!  With the help of Lauren’s cousin, Heather, the letter was composed using carefully weighed words to deliver the greatest impact.  The letter was submitted earlier this week… and now we just wait. 

Here is the contest link if you are interested in finding out more.

Whether Lauren is acknowledged nationally as the winner or not, I know that she is definitely a winner in our eyes!  (I’d like to meet the woman who outdoes her!) Rest assured, we will keep you informed if there is good news to share!  A copy of the letter we submitted is shown below.

In October 2011, Lauren Perkins was a school psychologist, busily caring for the kids at her school and running marathons in her down time. In April 2012, she became a first time, stay-at-home mother           –- to sextuplets! How can we even begin to tell you how unstoppable she really is?

Lauren and her husband tried to start a family for years, without success. Eventually, after receiving fertility treatments, Lauren learned that she was pregnant with multiple babies – not one, not two, but six! Like most women would be, she was overwhelmed at the news. From the beginning, though, she understood the blessing as well as the challenge. Lauren knew that God would provide for her and her family, and she has loved each of her six children unconditionally since before their sensational birth. The babies were delivered at 30 weeks, followed by several months in the NICU. The family drew large amounts of media attention, but elected to walk away from the spotlight and the associated financial benefits so that they could maintain as normal a routine as possible.

To make “normal” happen, Lauren works from the dark pre-dawn hours until long after the sun sets. She usually gets only 5 hours of sleep per night, and even that is frequently interrupted by her six little ones. They are nearly 2 years old now, and Lauren always has something to do! She is constantly feeding, changing, playing, encouraging, helping, and loving them. Each child is treated as an individual, with unique interests and his or her own personality. Lauren is applying her training as a school psychologist in her own home, introducing a new sight word each week, reading stories every day after lunch, and taking all of the kids for educational outings. Lauren and her children attend play dates and birthday parties, and frequently visit fun spots like the swimming pool, the park, and the zoo. The kids have even been in a parade and a fashion show! With all that they do on their highly regulated schedule, it’s understandable that the whole family feels stressed sometimes. As a fun stress reliever, Lauren and the kids have “freak out” time each day to let it all out!

Lauren has the additional challenge of raising a child with special needs. One of the sextuplets requires extensive care to overcome GI complications and neurologic, motor, and visual impairments. She still requires overnight feedings, as well as additional medical and therapy appointments. Lauren has also learned to handle all of the specialized equipment so that she can help her daughter on non-therapy days – all in her “free time” while the other 5 kids are napping.
Since the birth of her children, Lauren has made her physical health a priority so that she is able to keep up with and care for her family. She regularly attends fitness boot camps before dawn, works out with exercise tapes at home, and takes the kids (and the dog) for an hour long walk in their 6-seat stroller every day. Lauren has also returned to competition in multiple 5k runs!

Lauren recognizes the importance of her mental health, as well. She still makes time to be in friend’s weddings, host events, and participate in phone conferences with medical professionals and other parents to stay abreast of the latest options for helping her children. Lauren also maintains a family blog and contributes to 2 groups for ‘Moms of Multiples’ so that she can share her insights with others facing similar challenges. She even finds time to complete the required continuing education hours to maintain her license as a school psychologist so that she can return to her career in the future.

Despite all that life requires of her, Lauren is grace under fire. She always wears a smile, always listens to her loved ones, and always finds a way to balance the often opposing needs of her children, her husband, her friends, and herself. Lauren Perkins is the very definition of “unstoppable.”

Ok, I'm back.  I cannot begin to tell you how honored I am that they would even think to nominate me, much less actually do it- and believe I can win.  I did not see what everyone submitted to her for the letter, but I did see a few snippets from a couple of friends and I was literally moved to tears by their heartfelt words.  I am extremely blessed to have the amazing support system I have and I would be nothing without them.  As I believe, God may give you more than you can handle, but He'll provide you with what you need to persevere. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Phil 4:13

PS- If I do happen to make it to the final round for public voting, I will be sure to spread the word!  Who wants to be in last place?!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

21 months?! And in a rut...

1. I can't believe my kiddos are getting close enough to 2 that I need to start party planning. And already have.

2. I blame the crazy weather for the rut-like feeling.  We're still busy busy around the house, but we've been stuck inside more days than not and it's getting old.  They are missing playing in the backyard and let me know it every time I block them from escaping when I let the dog out.  They really couldn't care less about my explanations of the wet and coldness outside.  So, we've been busy doing indoor things like reading on the couch, drawing with AquaDoodles, being pushed in the Cozy Coupes, stacking stuff, playing chase, singing and dancing, and all their typical stuff.  I even broke down this week and took the play food out of the package!  As I suspected, play food can be found anywhere and everywhere around the house.

Couch reading- nothing better.

AquaDoodles- new fav activity

When taking turns fails
3. We've had some big changes going on!  The pacifiers have been gone now for about a month and they never missed them.  Now, sadly (for me), the 2 naps a day are gone.  They weren't consistent and now it's been over a week since they've had a 2 a day.  I am grateful they went to 21 months before dropping a nap and that their 1 nap is a long one- 3-3 1/2 hours.  Sleep training is a wonderful thing!  We've recently changed up the nighttime routine by letting them walk to their cribs.  It's funny to see them walking in a line to their rooms and being silly by going in the wrong room or trying to get away from us.

4.  New skills are coming... we've been working on learning to share, taking turns, and clean up.  These skills are slowly coming along.  They'll now help me pick up things by stacking them and bringing items to me I've asked for.  Sharing and taking turns is hit or miss.  We do have plenty of teachable moments between the Cozy Coupe and the slide.  With individual toys, stealing is rampant.  However, it is typically obvious who the victim and thief are because one is crying (usually Levi) and the other is running away giggling (usually Andrew).  We're also trying to encourage expressive language as that's the biggest area of delay.  They are slowly picking up more words and sometimes I can't really tell if they're saying a real word or not.  On walks they love to point out ducks, dogs, cars, trucks, and fountains and they'll say their version of these words.  

5. The boys!  Andrew is into cars, trucks, and ducks lately.  Especially ducks.  He even found a book with a duck on every page and he loves to point out every single duck.  Ben loves his play food, particularly his fake spaghetti and fake fried egg.  He has also started savoring his last bite of real food; he scarfs it down until the last bite which he'll nibble on until everyone else is done.  One time he held on to a cheerio for 45 minutes!    Levi is probably the most vocal.  He says "bye bye" and "uh oh" all the time and can almost "moo".  He is definitely the most musical with his dancing and guitar playing.  I use the term playing very loosely.

6. The girls! Caroline is my Maggie lover.  I often find her under a table with the dog giving her kisses, petting her, and giggling.  She is the only one who likes Maggie's kisses.  She's also the cautious one and is wary of new people.  Allison stole Dave's heart the other night when he walked in from work and she yelled "DaDa" and blew him kisses.  She also likes to pretend hand sanitize by touching the container and rubbing her hands together.  Miss Leah has just been doing awesome lately!  We've added tasting and smelling trials into her therapies and she's actually been handling these without gagging most of the time.  She really likes peppermint stuff.  We have learned she loves Larry the Cucumber from VeggieTales and cannot contain her smile when she hears his voice.  We've had her LightAide for a few weeks now and she's really starting to get the hang of it and enjoy it.  The others all like it too.  And her hair is finally starting to grow- but only on the top of her head.  

Caroline and Maggie
That's us at 21 months!  We do have some fun and exciting things planned for February and March, so me may just get out of this rut. :)