0

Jeffery Four Months

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

2015-07-05 11.50.23

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.

2015-07-06 19.55.06

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.

2015-07-09 11.58.59

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

2015-07-06 12.20.09

First real food!

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

0

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.

2015-05-30 08.56.02

2015-05-30 08.57.15

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.

2015-06-05 18.29.37

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

2015-05-19 16.29.41

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!

2015-06-05 18.25.52

0

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.

2015-05-03 12.21.38

2015-05-03 14.23.47

Rewind two months.

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

2015-03-05 21.39.00

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.

2015-03-06 15.17.25

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.

2015-03-07 13.50.17

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*

2015-05-01 20.07.56

Jeffery: 8 weeks

IMG_2730

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.

2015-03-06 15.33.07

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.)

2015-03-23 09.32.12

2015-04-20 10.13.26

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

0

Three Year Old Twins

2014-11-20 17.19.38

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.

2014-12-20 12.18.31

2014-12-29 13.14.11

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. 😉

2014-10-15 08.47.42

Big brother’s photography skills at work

2015-01-08 11.21.39

2014-12-21 20.26.37

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.

2014-11-14 14.18.52

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.

2015-01-07 20.34.01

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.

2014-08-30 15.15.57

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.

2014-09-12 15.09.56

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.

2014-11-20 09.28.43

Happy Birthday Cheesers

0

Isaac the Four Year Old

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

2014-06-09 20.17.28

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.

2014-12-06 14.38.36

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!

2014-07-11 09.20.11

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.

2015-01-24 13.54.30

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.

2014-07-25 18.02.54

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.

2014-12-17 21.09.12

1

November Holidays and Happenings

For the first few years of our marriage, Novembers were pretty momentous: a marriage, our first home and all three of our babies came in November. Now we celebrate all month long. This year we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary, the fifth year in our home, Isaac’s fourth birthday and the twins’ third birthday–not to mention birthdays of a grandma, a great-grandpa and an uncle. Oh yeah, and then there’s Turkey Day. This year we also welcomed a new little cousin to the month of festivities. We were sad we could only make his acquaintance via pictures and Google hangout.

The top accomplishment of November 2014 was potty-trained twins!

2014-10-13 22.49.39

This was the third attempt and it finally took. Disney on Ice was coming to Salt Lake on Isaac’s birthday. We decided that would be a good birthday gift for him so about 6 weeks before the event we told the twins we’d take them to see Buzz and Woody too if they learned to go potty. It was a good incentive and the boys caught on much quicker than I expected them to. I was so happy and grateful!

Disney on Ice was SO FUN. The boys helped me decide on having a Toy Story birthday this year so it was very appropriate. We rode the train up from Thanksgiving Point and they were super impressed.

2014-11-14 14.18.52

During the show we got to see Mater and McQueen first—which was awesome (Ariel and Tinkerbell in the middle—which was just ok) and the whole second act was basically Toy Story 3. The boys were in heaven. And of course for dinner there was pizza.  After all that we still got to take the train back home. It was a fun birthday celebration.

2014-11-14 16.48.32

We had a couple of family parties later in the month complete with Toy Story cake, decorations (Isaac insisted), gifts and photo ops.2014-11-16 19.40.32

2014-11-16 20.30.502014-11-16 20.28.052014-11-16 20.19.39

After all of the birthdays were over, Derek and I took off for a lovely anniversary weekend in Salt Lake. Every year we pretty much do the same thing: see the newest Hunger Games (it always coincides with our anniversary), eat at Settebellos (the restaurant from our first date), get a massage and do a little shopping. This year I got our movie tickets in the VIP theatre at the Megaplex in Sandy. I had heard about it a few times and thought we’d splurge. I’d probably make sure we got the recliners next time. The seats we got weren’t all that great. The experience was fun though.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family at Grandpa Hitchcock’s new house. It was just a few of us and it was really nice. Plus turkey and mashed potatoes are my favorite. We have a lot to be thankful for. I am grateful for a good husband, a warm home and three beautiful children. I love that we get to celebrate these blessings right before Thanksgiving every year.

0

Two Year Old Twins

best ba with twins

I’m usually not the kind of momma to get all emotional when my babies crawl or say their first word or have birthdays.  I don’t wish I could snap my fingers and have them be oh-so-tiny again.  I loved those stages but I love new milestones and change and progress.  I typically move my boys into the next size clothes as soon as ONE pair of their pants are starting to be a little bit flood-like before they are quite ready.  I chomp at the bit anticipating the day when I can upgrade them from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats (don’t worry, though, I’m a law-abiding and responsible momma).  I love and embrace the changes they make.  But this week I have to admit, I have been feeling a lot a bit nostalgic.

(I think it’s because I have a three year old. Three years old {and up through about 13} scares me but that’s a post for another day.)

The twins were a huge surprise (understatement of the century) but they have been perfect for our little family.  I LOVE having three boys so close together.

From the beginning, Carter and Cooper have been so very different from each other (which is why I was so adamant that they were fraternal).  Carter is Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky.  He is just a big goofball.  He loves attention and always tries to get us to laugh and be silly with him.

2013-04-07 17.54.12

He also has been so AWARE from the get-go.  It’s not something I can explain super well but there have been many moments when I’d look at him and could tell he just “got” it.  One specific example was when he was learning to walk.  At first, he thought it was just a big game.  He’d let us stand him up and then he’d just free fall into our outstretched arms.  I remember looking at him and telling him that he needed to move his legs.  I showed him how.  The next time I stood him up, he looked at me with his knowing look and just walked to me!  Now that his language is developing, he has started to be able to vocalize some of that awareness.  He amazes me all of the time with what he picks up from nursery, a movie, a book or just interacting with us.

IMG_5357

Carter loves people.  He talks to everyone who will listen.  He loves to go to nursery to play with the kids and be with his teachers.  He always sings the songs and is unafraid to participate.  He likes to dance too.  I think we’ve got a little performer on our hands.  This week we took the boys to the musical Damn Yankees at Timpview High School to watch some of my former students.  About ten minutes in Carter kept asking me to “go up there.”  After the show was over I asked Isaac (who had stayed riveted to the entire show) if he was going to be in a play like that.  His answer was an emphatic “NO!”  Carter, on the other hand, said “I do it!”  We’ll see….

IMG_6538

Cooper… I don’t feel like I’ve got Cooper figured out yet.  He’s not very consistent.  He came out kicking and screaming.  He is an aggressive little fighter (and a biter!).  On the other hand, he is such a tender little cuddle-bug.  He’s quick to say “Wuv you!” and “Sorry.”  He has even started to ask me to put him in time-out when he makes his brothers cry.  And he always insists on giving them a kiss better (even when they want nothing to do with him…)

2013-06-04 16.48.32

Cooper has always done well on little sleep.  He is my early riser and is happy in the mornings.  He also is a really good eater.  I remember when I went down to the NICU to see the boys for the first time, Cooper was looking for me.  That was one of the hardest momma moments for me.  I had to watch him lying there on the bed wriggling and screaming and rooting around without being able to do anything about it.  (I won’t rag on the NICU in this post.  Just never go there if you can help it… ;)) Luckily, he didn’t lose his good-eater instinct.  He is a champ.  I can usually count on him to at least try everything on his plate.  He knows how to make me feel good about my cooking! Thanks little buddy!

IMG_6833

Cooper and Carter are both obsessed with their daddy right now.  I’m having a bit of trouble keeping them out of his office.  Whenever they get mad at me, that’s right where they head.  Good thing he has a lock on his door.

320-FM-Christensen

They also have their momma moments though.  Derek sent me a text last week while I was at choir practice and he was home trying to get the boys in bed.  “Carter: I want to see Mommy!”   That made my whole week.  Isaac has always been a daddy’s boy through and through so I’m glad they are all starting to share their love with me.  After all, I did give birth to them and stuff.

227-FM-Christensen

The twins are into all kinds of “boy” stuff right now: dinosaurs (they chase each other and roar while the other runs away screaming like a girl), planes, helicopters, motorcycles, semis, trains, soccer balls.  Two is so fun!  I’m looking forward to another great year with these crazies.

IMG_6918

 

IMG_6981

IMG_6510

Happy birthday my loves!

0

Three Year Old Isaac

Three years ago today I became a momma.

That whole first day of motherhood, I was kind of in shock.  Isaac didn’t come when I planned on him coming.  I still had sub plans to write and a classroom to organize and a semester’s worth of play production to clean up.  But ready or not, he came.

It’s strange how quickly my world went from this:

Alice in Wonderland

to this:

Isaac Update

and this:

img_37841

and this:

IMG_5970

It’s even stranger to remember how drastic, yet natural and complete the transition was for me.  I had to go back to school to conduct one final choir concert so my poor substitute wouldn’t have to do it alone.  I remember before Isaac came, imagining how emotional that last concert would surely be.  Two weeks after Isaac was born (and while he was still in the NICU) when I actually went to lead my choirs for the last time, my heart just wasn’t in it.  It had already been stolen away by this sweet new face in my life.  I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be to walk away from one life and begin another.

Pictures

Isaac has always been a very mellow kid.  (He takes after his daddy!)  That’s probably why he was in no hurry to leave the NICU, or learn to crawl, or walk, or eat.  He wasn’t SLOW at any of those things, just not in a hurry either.  He’s never been one to get really emotional about anything…until the last few months.  He’s getting into the “terrible threes,” which, let’s be honest, are way harder than the terrible twos.  Even so, his tantrums are pretty short-lived and he’s still a good-natured little guy.

Isaac is a great big brother.  He *mostly* includes “the brothers,” as he calls them, in his play.  He is taking on the bossy oldest child role really well.  He usually likes to control what everyone else is doing these days.  And when he can’t, one of his aforementioned-three-year-old tantrums occur.

IMG_6420

He loves to play soccer.  All of the time.  He likes to be the goal keeper so that he can pick up the ball and play keep away from “the brothers.”   He is obsessed with REAL Salt Lake.  He recognizes the logo.  He sings the song.  He watches the games.  (Did I mention who he takes after??)

2013-10-01 15.38.20

Isaac is an observer when he’s in a group of people.  He picks up on a lot even though he doesn’t say much.

He’s learning a lot of his alphabet in English and Spanish and can pretty much understand anything we say to him in Spanish.  He usually responds in English unless we ask him to repeat what he says in Spanish.  It’s been good to have neighbors that go to Spanish story time at the library and that can do a little Spanish preschool with us.

Isaac didn’t get to be in the spotlight for very long before “the brothers” came along.  He has never seemed to be resentful or jealous.  He is a good kid.  We are so glad to have him around.

Two WeeksFirstsTwins: Six MonthsIMG_6536

We love you Isaac! Happy Birthday!

IMG_6273