Quintuplet Dad

This is a blog for Jayson Wilkinson farther to the Wilkinson Quints as well as Riley and Kaiya.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Programming for 5

This week's episode is a bit different than the other ones. I did a joint episode with the VI Road Show which is a weekly video blog that I work on for National Instruments. The VI Road show is something we originally started about a year ago to showcase the lighter side of VI or virtual instrumentation. Virtual instrumentation is a method of making measurement systems by using computer boards and software instead of big, expensive boxed instruments like the kinds you might see at a doctors office.

This episode covers the LabVIEW program or virtual instrument I wrote for keeping track of feedings and other things. I wrote most of it in the airport on the way out to Phoenix. It was really fun to make even though we don't use it yet. The reality is that I probably don't have a computer that can withstand getting wet from occasional milk, water, or baby throw up accidents. The computers they used in the NICU are mounted above the babies and now I understand why. If you don't know what I am talking about, then I urge you to take a look at Rachelle's blog. Anyway, making the program was fun and, at the time, was a good way to occupy my mind while I was worrying about Rachelle having all those babies.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Episode Number 4

OK, we still haven't officially determined what the long term name will be but that is partly because I haven't found the time to make a new title segment. When I find some time, I will come up with it. I have had some good suggestions and I know that at some point, I will decide. In the mean time, however, it will continue to be the Wilkinson Quints Show.

Last week, one of the volunteers mentioned the Reflections contest that is going on in Elementary schools. She said they had a new video category and the theme was, "I can make a difference by..." Well, we looked it up and the rule for videos was that the student had to write, direct, shoot, and edit their own video by themselves without adult interference. That seemed a little bit hard but we went ahead and asked Riley what he thought. We told him about how he needed to write a storyboard so that he knew what he was going to do before he started using the camera. He actually came up with a great little storyboard and decided all the things he wanted to do. I next showed him how to use our smaller video camera and set it up on a tripod. The rest was up to him. After he finished videotaping, he had to edit it. I showed him the basics of how to use Windows Movie Maker and gave him some pointers along the way. He actually chose all of the clips and trimmed them all himself.

Although it may not seem very impressive when you watch it I thought it was great. The lighting is a little inconsistent and the audio isn't perfect but, heck, he only turned seven in June so I guess I can cut him some slack. In reality, I was totally proud of him! The only problem with the whole thing is that now he thinks he wants to grow up and make videos for a living even though Rachelle and I really would like him to be a Statistician, Engineer, or doctor of some sort. Well, we will see.

The likelyhood of him actually winning the contest is probably pretty small but it was a great thing for him to do. He said his next one will be titled, "Riley and Kaiya having fun".

Aside from that, we determined that the van will not fit in the garage without taking air out of the tires. Our garage is actually long enough but not tall enough. I might take another look at it but for right now, we are going to have to park it outside which is OK because it helps people find our house. The van is really fun to drive but we determined that we will probably need to get one of those little rear view cameras so that we can see what is behind us.

Well, we have some really good ideas for our show coming up. Now, if we can just get the time. If we can't, then I guess Riley will just do them for us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lots of busy this weekend

Well, I didn't get to make any videos this last weekend. Rachelle's mom left on Friday afternoon and we were a little short staffed for much of the weekend. Rachelle and I did come up with some good ideas for future episodes if we can find the time this week. My aunt Victoria will be coming on Monday so that is exciting.

Something really cool that happened this week is that some people at my work including Joe Silva (my boss), Karen Villarreal, and Amanda Webster put together and finished up a diaper drive for us. A lot of people at work must have contributed because they were able to raise over 2000 dollars worth of diapers for us! I have been really impressed with the generosity of the people at National Instruments and am very appreciative. With coupons and sales, we should be able to make that last quite a while.

Something else that happened over the weekend was that we had a few miracle visits by people to help us out. In particular, we were having some issues on Saturday evening and one of the youth in our ward, an almost 17 year old girl named Kayla Hancock, thought we might need help and came over. How many 17 year old girls do you know of that would be willing to drop everything on a Saturday night and go hold screaming babies for 3 to 4 hours without pay? How cool of a person is that? I just have to say that her parents must be doing something right for her to have an attitude like that. With her help, we were able to sit down and watch a forty minute TV show (The Office) in only an hour and thirty minutes.

Another nice visit came on Sunday night. First Kayla showed up again for a brief but helpful visit and then at around 8:00, our oldest two were getting ready for bed while Rachelle and I we were trying to comfort and/or feed the other 5 who were all having some grumpy time. At 8:00, Colleen Bontrager, also from our ward, and her Mother-in-law dropped by to give us an extra swing. They saw our situation and ended up staying two hours which gave us some time to put the other kids to bed and make up all the bottles for the next days feedings. It was really nice of them and we really appreciated it.

I am just amazed at all of the many people who have helped us out. One of the most common questions I get from people at work is whether I am getting any sleep. I can honestly answer that I do get a decent amount of sleep every night because of the many volunteers we have. These faithful women who almost all have families of their own, come every night and often get little or no sleep. Without them and the many people who come during the morning, midday and evening, I don't know how we would deal with all of this. It is truly a blessing to be surrounded by so many good and trustworthy people from both church and work.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I will be able to do a video some time this week or during the weekend so watch for it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

WilkisonQuints Show episode 3

Well, thanks to our many volunteers and to my Father-in-law who was in town this week, Riley, Kaiya, and I were able to make episode 3. Without all the help from so many people, this whole thing (the having 5 babies thing) would be nearly impossible. I know that it wouldn't be totally impossible because there are people that actually do it without help. Without help, though, I think we would simply go nuts. We have even become accustomed to the many different people coming to our house. A side benefit to this whole thing is the opportunity to get to know so many interesting people in our area. We were pretty low profile before and didn't really know that many people but now... Anyway, I am constantly so grateful for the people that come over during the night especially. Without that, I don't know what we would do. Actually, I do know what we would do. We would get no sleep and would live in utter chaos.

Anyway, in today's episode we measured the van to see if it would fit in the garage but our results were inconclusive. We found that the van was approximately 10 measurement units high and the garage was approximately 10 measurement units high. See the video to find out what our "measurement units" are. Anyway, I guess we will have try it again another time. I think we should try using the preemie version of our measurement units because they would give us a little higher resolution.

Here it is:

Monday, October 1, 2007

WilkisonQuints Show episode 2

Well, we still haven't settled on a better name yet but I did like all your suggestions. For this episode we show the new van that National Instruments got us. We were able to go pick it up on Saturday thanks to a few extra people who came and watched the kids while we went. The van is really big and actually pretty comfortable.

I am still debating on how often we do the show. It looks like it might be every other week instead of every week but I think I will be able to get one up next Monday as well because Rachelle's mom and dad are both going to be in town. I actually edited this episode while holding Kaydence for some of the time, Kyndall for some of the time, and Ryder for some of the time.

I originally thought I would have time for these on Saturday and Sunday but we have found that those days tend to be some of our more difficult days because we take care of them with fewer people. We have found that we can do it with just Rachelle and I but it requires almost all our time. On Sunday when Rachelle and I were taking care of them by ourselves, I actually found myself carrying around three babies (Rustin, Kassidy, and Kaydence) for a brief period because Rachelle already had her hands full. I wish I would have got video of that but MY hands were full. I guess I need to train Riley on how to operate the video camera.