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Oregon: Day 1

On Friday, June 19th we left for Newport, Oregon. Derek’s sister and her family moved to Albany, Oregon last summer and we had wanted to go and visit. We got out there just in time to help move them back to Utah! We were glad to be able to spend some time with them, Derek’s other sister and his parents.

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Ready to go!

I was a little worried about the 14 hour drive with four boys. But we survived! They actually did a really good job. We left mid-afternoon to beat rush hour traffic and were able to go 3 hours before stopping for dinner. We went to Papa Kelsey’s Pizza and Subs in Burley, Idaho.

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So happy to be out of the car!

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Jeffery was a better traveler than any of us! He was as happy as could be.

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Best buds

After devouring a couple of pizzas, we found a park for the boys to play in while I fed Jeffery. When their wiggles were all wiggled out, the boys put on their pjs and got back in the car.

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We hoped they would fall asleep during the last 2 hours before getting to our hotel in Boise. Unfortunately, Carter was the only one who obliged. Isaac had napped earlier and so he was having a hard time sleeping. Cooper really likes sleeping in his own bed and refused to try and lay his head down to rest. We discovered that being away from home, over-tired and confined in a small space are not a good combination for him (and we were only 5 hours into our trip!!) He was READY to be at the hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites/Spectrum. It wasn’t until we arrived that I realized it’s right across the freeway from the Boise Temple! Seeing the temple is what finally helped Cooper calm down a little bit.

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Of course the second we got into the hotel room (around 11 pm), the last thing the boys wanted to do was sleep. They wanted to explore every nook and cranny, try out all of the light switches (woo hoo!!) and stomp back and forth across the room as loudly as possible. We finally got them settled and asleep around midnight.

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Jeffery Four Months

Baby Jeffery reached the 4 month mark on Sunday. He is almost 15 lbs and 27 inches.

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Grandpa Jeff used to wear this cute little outfit. I’m sad he was already to big for it the first time I tried it out.

He rolled over for the first time towards the beginning of June. He is playing with toys and grabbing at everything he can reach: toys, food, his toes, hair, noses… Isaac loves getting close to Jeffery and letting him grab his face.

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Jeffery is very social and will laugh and smile at anyone who talks to him. He is starting to notice if we leave him alone for too long. He likes to be right in the middle of everything going on in the house.

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This past month we’ve gone from breastfeeding to bottles and Monday we even gave him some pears.

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First real food!

He’s still sleeping great at night. He’s a content little guy and we love having him in our family!

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Jeffery Three Months

2015-06-05 18.29.30I love this boy! He turned three months last Friday.

He is adored by his brothers. They love to hold him, tickle him and feed him. One of the first things they do in the morning is ask if Baby Jeffery is awake yet. He never is. He is a champ sleeper: 10 or 11 hours a night.

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Other skills include smiling, giggling, cooing and generally being adorable. He has just recently started grasping toys and “exploring them with his mouth” as Isaac says. He seems really close to rolling from back to front but it may be awhile yet before he makes it over the whole way.

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He also loves to suck on his fingers and pull his hair.

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Actually, mostly he chews on his fingers. He never really sucks them or his binky or his bottle for a great amount of time. So they always fall out. And he never seems to mind a whole lot. He’s a really content little guy. We’re glad to have him around!

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Baby Jeffery

So I had a baby. And he is two months old today. And cliche of all cliches: he’s growing way too fast for my liking.

Derek got to give him a name and a blessing in sacrament meeting on Sunday. We called him Jeffery (for my dad) Dean (for my maternal grandmother, Deon). We had lots of family there to support us. It was a good day. I’m grateful for the gospel, the priesthood and eternal families.

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Rewind two months.

Here was our first good look at him and his swollen newness.

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He was a tad bit puffy and bruised from the trauma. Who can blame him? He arrived one day past his due date and weighed in at 9 lbs 1 oz. It was a fast delivery (which contributed to the bruising). He came 3 hours after we checked into the hospital but only about an hour and a half after contractions actually started. We went in to be induced as my water had been leaking all day with no contractions. Luckily things progressed on their own and our midwife barely made it in time for delivery.

This pregnancy, labor, delivery, and baby have been dramatically different than my other two experiences. First of all he was late. Secondly, he was HUGE! Pretty much double the size of my other three boys. Getting him born took roughly a quarter of the time. And the best part, no NICU.  It was pretty much a luxury vacation. After delivery, everyone left the three of us alone for a whole hour or more. We stayed two wonderful nights in the hospital where Jeffery and I slept in the same room. The nurses didn’t even bother me in the middle of the night.

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I could pick him up any time I wanted and just cuddle him. I didn’t have to wrestle with cords. I didn’t have to worry about wearing him out or him losing too much body heat. I didn’t have to weigh diapers or calculate how much he ate. Besides all of that, I got three meals a day that I didn’t have to prepare. We enjoyed lots of visitors including our three big boys (who seemed to have grown 3 inches and 10 pounds overnight). There was no car seat test. (They barely checked to make sure we had a car seat.) Best of all, we got to go home TOGETHER.

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Jeffery is such a happy easy-going baby. He eats well, sleeps well and loves his momma. (I finally got a momma’s boy!) Developmentally, he’s doing great. He holds his head up really well, is starting to focus on things in front of his face and gives us lots of coos and smiles. He has really good hearing. He responded super well to sounds right from the beginning. Really early on he would smile as soon as he’d hear me come into the room. I didn’t notice my other guys doing that. He’s growing like a weed. I had to skip right over the newborn clothes and diapers. Just this last week I got to pull out size 3-6 months. It’s crazy to remember how old the other boys were when they were wearing the same clothes he’s in now…. *sigh*

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Jeffery: 8 weeks

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Isaac: 4 months

The big boys love their new brother. Isaac wants to help me dress him every morning and often gets to choose his outfit. He also likes to sit next to him in the car and help him with his binkie or bottle as we drive.

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The twins are a little more flighty so they don’t spend as much time with him. They like to be silly to try to get a smile. Sometimes they are a little rough…. By the time Jeffery was two weeks old Carter had already tripped over him as he was lying in the boppy. He landed right on his belly. Jeffery was sore for a few days but otherwise ok. (It’s amazing that younger siblings survive their first year.)

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Overall, it’s been a lovely two months for our little family. I am grateful for good health, supportive family and kind neighbors. I’m happy to have my husband at home everyday to keep me sane and provided for. God is good.

Two Month Stats– Weight: 12 lbs 9 oz Height: 24 3/4 inches

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Christmas 2014

Christmas is my favorite. With the kids, every year gets better and better. Except for the puke. I think every year since we started having kids someone has puked on Christmas. Next year’s goal: No Puke.

I love all of the things about Christmas.

Christmas Cookies

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Scary Santa Photos

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Family Parties

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Christmas Decorations

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Christmas Eve Traditions

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Christmas Morning

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We had a busy and fun season. It was fun to have the boys understand more of the meaning of Christmas this year. They loved talking about baby Jesus and trying to do nice things for each other as their present for Him.

And we’re still singing Jingle Bells.

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Three Year Old Twins

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The twins officially survived their Not-So-Terrible Twos in November and dove head first into the Oh-So-Terrible Threes. There is at least one good thing about this stage: no more diapers. I’ll take it.

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Carter enjoys playing cars and trains, pretending and being with people. He has a pretty good imagination and likes to talk to us about all sorts of things. He is sensitive and emotionally expressive…at both ends of the spectrum. ;)

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Big brother’s photography skills at work

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Cooper enjoys playing with cars, balls and puzzles. He is a pretty feisty little guy and can go from giving sweet hugs and kisses to swinging fists in a matter of seconds. He loves music and can recognize a tune from the first few notes.

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The twins are mostly really good at playing with each other. They come up with all kinds of games. A recent favorite is Tractor Tipping. They take Mater, McQueen and all of the tractors they can find into the dark den (because obviously tractor tipping happens at night). Then they get Mater and McQueen to make noise and all of the tractors tip over. They can play this for hours. They also play house, Toy Story and Mario Brothers Soccer regularly. Sometimes they let their big brother join.

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They got big boy beds for Christmas and all three kids are now in a new bedroom in the basement. Isaac is very good at reading a few books to himself and then going to sleep. Carter and Cooper are very good at laughing and playing and jumping on their beds. Usually Mom and Dad have to intervene so that some actual sleeping occurs. I am glad that they are such good friends.

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These boys are looking forward to being big brothers soon. They think it’s funny to invent names for their little baby. Sho-sha is their most consistent creation. They like to give my belly hugs and kisses and often tell me that they are going to help the baby drink his milk and play with his toys. They are also excited to read him stories and make him laugh. I hope they are not too disappointed by the newborn non-laughing stage. I’m actually really looking forward to all the “help” I’ll have. My last experience with new babies was very much lacking in the helpful sibling department.

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Waiting “in line” for a turn on the bike.

The twins graduated from Nursery to Sunbeams at church in January. They love it. They are actually getting better and better at sitting through sacrament meeting too. The amount of times Derek takes them out (roughly 1-5 instances a week) hasn’t changed, but the reasons have changed: fewer tantrums and lots more potty breaks.

They are growing up both too fast and not fast enough.

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Happy Birthday Cheesers

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Isaac the Four Year Old

Isaac turned four in November. He is such a good natured little guy.

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He is the stereotypical oldest child: obedient, responsible and protective of his younger siblings—practically perfect in every way. He loves to “help” work around the house. He’s pretty good at gathering, sorting and folding the laundry. He needs a little help getting the machine going but other than that I think I should maybe turn the whole job over to him. He also loves following his dad around the house with his tools and helping him work on whatever project needs done.

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Isaac is starting to notice words everywhere and wants to know what everything says. Dad can even get him to sound some things out. We’ve been doing a little neighborhood preschool exchange with four other boys Isaac’s age. He goes two times a week and it’s been a good experience so far. I think it’s helped him solidify some letters and sounds. It’s also been fun for him to have a few little friends in the area. I thought the couple of hours that he’d be gone wouldn’t be much of a break for me since the twins are still at home but it has turned out to be a great block of time for all of us. The twins really enjoy playing together without their big brother The Supervisor. And when the twins play well together, Momma gets a couple of hours to get things done. Win for everyone!

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Isaac is very sensitive to the Spirit and easily understands the gospel. I am always impressed that he can retell some of the lesson he had in primary or in Family Home Evening.

He loves to dress up and play pretend.

We started Suzuki piano lessons in September for Isaac. He has really enjoyed it. He’s progressed quicker than I expected he would. He even helped me record some of his songs on a cd as a Christmas gift for grandparents. He has a great teacher and he’ll have some fun opportunities to perform this coming year. He just had his first recital a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been taking Suzuki teacher training classes as well, so being Isaac’s piano “coach” has been a good learning experience for me and a fun, new way to interact as mom and son. I hope we can keep enjoying it together.

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Overall, Isaac is happy and fun to be around. I have been dreading these school age years (ages 4-12) as a mom. I just really enjoy baby and toddler-hood (and am even looking forward to the teenage years) but have been unsure of how to parent these years in between. Isaac is easing me into this next phase and helping to make it a pleasant transition.

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I’m grateful for this quiet contented boy that reminds me so much of his dad. They both bring a calmness to our home that we (especially me) really need.

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