Life here seems to FLY BY at warp-speed (like, five times fast!)! I can't believe our babies are 5 months old (2 1/2 months adjusted) and that Christmas is almost here! As I do the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, I have been hugging my kids close to me and saying countless prayers for the community and families in Newtown, CT. Life is so precious. We continue to pray for them.
This past weekend, our family was able to celebrate something very sweet: Andy's parents 50th wedding Anniversary. On Sunday, we all (babies, too!) went to their church and then spent the afternoon celebrating them. Fifty years of marriage is such an accomplishment! We are so grateful for all they have done and continue to do, and our family is so blessed by them. What a wonderful example they have set as a couple. We love you, Mimi & Papa!
As for our family, life hustles by for Andy & I, Jenna is smart as a whip & a busy girl, and the babies have been growing amazingly well and gain new developmental milestones every day! They all are about on the same track, so here are some of their grand accomplishments!
First our girls were the smiley ones, and they still will give you the most killer smiles, but recently our boys have also become social smilers!
|Both girls have smiles that can brighten up a room, just like their big sister Jenna. Hannah looks hungry here- don't eat Lauren's arm, Hannah!|
The changing table is my favorite place to glean smiles. Tanner started a couple weeks ago with a side smirk, followed by Tyler doing the same side smirk. Then their smiles became like rainbows: they didn't happen very often, but when they did it was priceless. Then, last week, Tanner decided he wanted to be in the smiley club. A few days ago, suddenly, our serious Tyler became a smiley boy, too! All babies lock eyes and connect when smiling with you. I just love having four social, smiley babies (five, including Jenna Joy)!
Along with the smiles, our children are very talkative. Tanner is actually one of our most frequent coo-ers, and talks all the time. Some of his favorite sayings are "Ahhhboo" and "umma". The other 3 are also cooing, Tyler just started a few days ago (along with that smile) and actually as I type this he is in a swing saying, "Hoo, ahgoo. Ummoo." Which means something really, really intellectual in baby talk! Earlier today Hannah was all out having a conversation with me. I just LOVE this stage!
|Tanner & Tyler resting in a boppy on my lap. Tanner loves to talk to me!|
Tanner, Hannah, Tyler & Lauren have all shown imitations skills already when it comes to facial expressions! Tanner loves to smack lips when I do. Hannah likes to stick out her tongue. Lauren and Tyler don't imitate as often as the other 2, but all are so fun to talk to and play with!
|Our crew is definitely outgrowing the pack-n-play basinnette!|
Our babies all have great motor skills that continue to develop daily. When holding them, they can hold up their neck, shoulders & upper body against gravity well. I also introduced the Bumbo last week as a alternative position for them to be in for short amounts of time. It was hilarious the first couple times I had the babies sitting in them! I quickly got a good feel for who had stronger upper body muscles and who seemed weaker. As an OT, I am not a fan of Bumbos for long-term use (in a nutshell they don't do much to help develop independent sitting). However, for short spurts of time, for their age & developmental stage right now, and because I have 4 kids, Bumbos are a great option!! The babies sit in them once or twice a day and it really does help in upper body development against gravity when I simply can't hold them! That, and they look darn cute sitting up. See?
|Tyler doesn't know what to think|
|I think Tanner likes it!|
|This is what happens when they are DONE with Bumbo time!|
All our babies are excellent at tummy time and all lift up their heads well, with Tanner being the strongest in this area. In fact, today he rolled over from tummy to back for the first time! WAY TO GO, TANNER! We even got it on video!
All kids during tummy time are gaining strength in their upper bodies and are learning & practicing the skills needed for rolling over, which I'm sure will come soon for the other three--- the competition is on! They all bring their hands together in midline and look both ways easily on tummies or back. They like to kick and are are starting to bat at objects. They are starting to grossly grasp at objects and put one hand on the bottle when eating (or hold my hand!). They are all doing so well, and I am SO proud of my quad squad!
OK, I felt like I had to include this because it is one of the areas we look at in kids. Not much to contribute here other than ALL babies have a very good demeanor and people often comment that they "are so well behaved". They know their routines and stick to them well, and they are all simply adorable and the best babies! Their little personalities are starting to shine. I praise God daily for every one of them. I just love them so, so, so, so much!
Tanner is laid back, not much ruffles his feathers, and when he is hungry or upset he does the BEST lower lip pout! He seems to be the leader of the pack and yet is calm, cool & collected. My little man!
|Tanner. Serious face.|
|The boys are definitely identical! Tanner & Tyler :)|
|Eeny, meeny, miney, moe- catch a Tyler by the toe!|
Tyler is starting to become more smiley and social, but is still a little more serious and sometimes needs more cuddles (because NOW as I type this, he is sitting on my lap. A swing, bouncer, and bed simply would not do. He needed some mommy love!). I happily oblige when I can! Love my snuggle bug!
|Cuddling with my boys|
|Daddy doing double duty|
Hannah is still our diva in the evening hours, but let me tell you she is the most smiley, talkative, and beautiful girl! She is bright eyed and lovely. Don't let the diva behaviors fool you. ;-). She is my beautiful, sweet Hannah Bean.
Lauren is just a happy, smiley, chubby, lovely little baby! She has a good demeanor and is almost as laid back as Tanner, but not quite as much. We just love our Joyful Lauren! She is my little ladybug!
|Lauren is the Queen of Nonchalant Spit-Ups|
|Big girl Lauren with Tanner (& his serious face again)|
|Some of our favorite NICU nurses came to visit, Kathy & Michele|
|A little too big there, kiddo!|
Of course, big sister Jenna is always a part of the gang also and is so very helpful and loving to the babies. She is so big and smart and independent, that sometimes I feel she is older than her 4 1/2 years! But let's not rush things... I'm not sure I want her to grow up yet! I mean, she was just a baby- where does the time go? Yup. Warp speed.
As we prepare for Christmas, I am thanking God for so many things. I hope you and your family can find Joy & Peace in this Holiday season. Many Blessings to you.