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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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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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October and Halloween

I love Halloween. I was feeling ambitious this year and the boys were pretty excited about bats and spiders and things so we spent all month making decorations and costumes.

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I should have taken this picture when it was really dark out. Oh well. The witch silhouette was pretty awesome.

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For Fall Break my mom invited us down to Palisades State Park for an overnight trip. We had a fun time playing with cousins and the boys loved the cabins complete with bunk beds. Here’s a picture of the littlest boys playing on the big rock.

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I love coordinating our family’s costumes every year. My kids are still fairly easy to convince young so we’ll see how many years I can indulge in matching attire. The boys are old enough to have somewhat of an opinion so I gave them a few matchy options and let them vote. I thought Toy Story would be fun or Monsters Inc. I was also keeping twinner costumes in mind like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum and, of course, Things 1 and 2 were options. The boys unanimously voted for Mario Brothers. I don’t know why that was the top of the list (we don’t play it all that much) but I have to admit I was super excited to make a Princess Peach dress.  I was also really lucky to find some awesome tutorials for Mario and Luigi hats and even a Hammer Brothers outfit (adapted from this Bowser costume). Isaac was super insistent on his choice of character.

I was working on costumes until the minute we walked out the door for the ward trunk or treat. I still had finishing touches before Halloween night but I think they turned out pretty cute. At least they were a fun challenge for me to make. (Derek is a good sport to put up with me.)

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We went down to Jaker’s in Springville for a pre-school field trip. I should have gotten a picture with all of the boys but here’s me and my boys at least.

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My friend Anna from high school invited us to go to Cornbelly’s for a family date night one Saturday night. I forgot jackets but it was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun.

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Our friends hosted a Halloween party the week before Halloween. Look at all those boys! We forgot to get a picture of the kids before all of the families with girls left.

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On Halloween night Derek took the boys around the neighborhood trick-or-treating while I stayed home to hand out candy. I should have just gone with them. We only had two groups of kids knock on our door. That happens every year. You’d think I would learn… After trick-or-treating we went down to Springville to show off our costumes to Grandma and Grandpa and the cousins.

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Airplanes

We got to celebrate our cousin’s 2nd birthday last weekend by visiting the Hill Aerospace Museum. We went there last fall as part of Isaac’s potty reward but the boys were way more excited about it this time. Everything is more fun with cousins! They love the movie Planes and I was impressed at how quickly they recognized all of the different types of planes. We saw a Chupacabra and a Skipper and jets like Echo and Bravo. I don’t think I would have made those connections if they hadn’t pointed them out. It must be a boy thing…

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Happy Birthday Christian!

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R is for Rabbit and Rana

We colored some R letter pages and jumped like rabbits and ranas.  The boys LOVE jumping right now.  Every time they see a picture of a frog in any book, they immediately get down on all fours and leapfrog around and yell ribbit.  It’s pretty adorable.  Not so adorable is that they prefer to do this on my furniture.  I know jumping is good for toddlers (are these called gross motor skills, I think??) but I was going a little crazy with them always trying to jump on my great-grandma’s old couch that I love that already has springs falling off the bottom and *ahem* potentially lethal wooden corners.  So our compromise was to allow them pull off all the cushions and use them as mini trampolines on the living room floor.  They like to jump from one cushion to the other like ranitas on their lily pads.  The boys are happy, mama is moderately happy. Their leg muscles are being developed and the wiggles are all getting jumped out.  Win for everyone!