Quints home at last
DANVILLE – At about 6 p.m. Tuesday, it looked like a mid-February block party was brewing near Pete and Jenny Ferrill's house on Meadowlawn Drive.
By 7 p.m., it sounded like a block party.
Neighbors and friends cheered and clapped as the Lincoln Navigator stretch limousine carrying the Ferrill Five rounded the corner, honking all the way to the house.
Pete Ferrill hopped out of the limo to cheers of, "Yeah Pete!"
"We did it," he said and, one by one, began passing the quintuplets, in baby carriers covered with blankets, to various relatives, who whisked them into the house for the first time.
Neighbors counted and cheered as each baby emerged, and then for Jenny, who was last out of the limo.
"Way to go, Pete and Jenny," yelled a neighbor.
As Jenny and her relatives went inside to get the babies situated, Pete Ferrill told everyone that it was the second biggest day of their lives, second only to the day the quintuplets were born – Dec. 21 in St. Louis.
"It's good to be home," he said.
The last of the quintuplets – three boys and two girls – was released from St. Louis Children's Hospital on Monday afternoon. Kieran, one of the girls, was released first, then the three boys, Layne, Landyn and Drayden, and Irelyn last. The Ferrills packed up the babies and their temporary living quarters in St. Louis and headed home Tuesday.
Pete Ferrill said the drive home was wonderful. They had a great sunset, and the babies "crashed" after eating.
Neighbors and friends eagerly anticipated their arrival, keeping each other posted on the Ferrills' estimated time of getting home.
Five snowmen, two with pink scarves and three with blue, decorated the Ferrills' front yard. Pink and blue streamers and balloons and welcome home signs hung in the babies' nurseries.
Ken and Marilyn Cox, who live next door, said the Ferrills are like a son and daughter to them.
"We're just going to have five new grandbabies in addition to the ones we've already got," Ken Cox said, standing in his driveway about an hour before the Ferrills' arrival. "It couldn't happen to a nicer couple."
The Coxes pledged to help the new quintuplet parents in any way they could.
Across the street, neighbors Ryan and Jennifer Lane, who don't have kids of their own yet, have pledged their help, too.
Last week, Jennifer Lane said, Pete Ferrill gave them a lesson on how to hold two babies at once in the sliding rocking chair.
"I will be there whenever they need us," she said. "I can't wait to play with them. It's going to keep the block lively."
And lively it was Tuesday night with cars lining the street and at least 25 people, including media, neighbors, friends and relatives, jammed into the Ferrill's kitchen and living room, where the babies were lined up in front of the couch.
First-time great-grandparents George and Rose Lipousky of Westville held two of the quintuplets as the other three slept amid all the commotion.
It was the first time George Lipousky had seen the babies, because health reasons prevented him from making the trip to St. Louis.
"We're overjoyed," he said while holding Layne.
"There are no words to explain how happy we are," said Rose Lipousky, who held Drayden.
Great-grandma and great-grandpa plan to be there helping, too.
"They're not going to keep us away," Rose Lipousky said.
Jenny's mom, Karen Butikas, was already in the kitchen washing baby bottles Tuesday night, and pacifiers that fell on the floor had to be washed off a few times.
Jenny Ferrill said the babies have doctor appointments coming up, but all five are doing very well.
"Everything's good," she said. "They're very strong babies."
Across town Tuesday, the Danville City Council honored the city's newest little celebrities by proclaiming Feb. 20 to be The Ferrill Five Day.