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Friday, March 29, 2013

Some "firsts"

We have four drooly babies who have been working hard on getting teeth for a while now... and finally, on Tuesday March 26 we got a bottom tooth!  I noticed it when I took the boys to the eye doctor.
Guess who the lucky one is?
Mommy, this is a fun game we are playing: "Trying to take a picture of the tooth"
Tyler & Tanner at the eye doctor.  Tyler is happy because the doc says all looks good so far!


Last week we took the babies for the FIRST TIME to our church, Ada Bible Church!  The babies sleept in their stroller most of the sermon, and Andy and I just sat in the back trying to be nonchalant (with 4 babies) and enjoy the service.  Our church has the sermon on TV's in the common area, so when the babies started to wake we just went out there.  All in all, it went well!

This week all other babies (besides Hannah, who was already doing this) decided rolling around was a really cool thing to do... and now it's getting very interesting on our living room floor!  All four babies literally hour by hour get more and more independent with this rolling thing and it's hilarious.  They spread out and seek out toys and discover new and unusual things (like the bottom of a sofa) but they still always seem to end up congregated together.  It's not uncommon for feet to be in faces, elbows under bellies, bums on noses... you get the idea!
This is totally staged.  In about 3 minutes they were all around exploring, happy as clams.
The rest isn't really "firsts", but small slices of our life right now!

We have four growing babies for sure!  Here's the run down biggest to smallest:
Lauren: 16#, 7 oz
Hannah: 16#, 4 oz
Tanner: 14#, 8 oz
Tyler:  13#, 12 oz
Tyler getting a bath.  They are outgrowing this tub-in-the-sink thing, but until I have four really good sitters, I am not ready for the tub!
Our beautiful quartet!

Hannah in the tub.  Definitely outgrowing this thing!
Jenna and her cousin Elizabeth.  We celebrated Papa's birthday last weekend!

Finally, I want to encourage you to take some time to remember why today is GOOD.  A somber yet powerful day that changed history forever.  

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the father- and I lay down my life for the sheep.
...The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my father."
-Jesus (John 10: 14-18)


Saturday, March 23, 2013


I love all 5 of my children so, so, so much,
and four of them are now 8 months-- wow!!!

8 month beauties:  Lauren, Tyler, Tanner & Hannah

Whoopsy Daisy!
But having quadruplets, sometimes it seems like I have Jenna +4.  I get into the "4-pack" mode more often than not:  lining them up for diaper changes, outfit changes, baby massages, baths, feedings, comforting, naps... the list goes on & on!  Obviously many times I need to do go into my 4-at-once mode for pure survival.  However, I just cherish the times when I have 1:1 moments with them.  This is easy with Jenna, because she is so much older & easy to talk and do stuff with.  For the babies, lately I have been much more intentional about savoring individual time & moments with each one.

Tummy Time!

A few weeks ago I started a "Baby of the Day".  What I intended this to be was, when possible, to focus on one specific child versus all of them.  For example, when practicing rolling over, I line them up on the mats and sing the roll-over song ("There were 10 in the bed and the little one said 'Roll Over!'"); I roll everyone over 10 times, each way, but doing this with all of them sometimes I rush through it and don't have time to really observe their motor patterns or see how well they are gaining individual skills.  I know this is therapist talk, but just know I am too busy in my 4-pack mode to notice much: I just try to get er' done.  The last few weeks, I have had the chance to focus entire days on Lauren (Monday), Tyler (Tuesday), Hannah (Wednesday) and Tanner (Thursday).  I don't neglect the others of course, but I allow myself the opportunity to focus my eyes, ears, and full attention on my very individualized babies!  What I didn't intend on happening was that this intentional focus has actually merged into most every moment with them.  I feel that I am much more intentional at seeing them for who they are versus as "all my children".  Andy & I have 5 very different little individuals God entrusted us to!

What about Jenna?  Glad you asked!  Every day is Jenna day!  I certainly don't have the focus on her all the time (You have no idea how many times I say,"Mommy has lots of chores to do today, sweetie").  But we definitely have quality time every day.  I learned a secret a few years ago with Jenna:  "quality time" means locking eyes with her and really listening to what she had to say.  That is her love language.  I found I was getting in a bad habit of being distracted and would look at her, but not really look at her.  Believe me, kid's notice.  So I have also been much more intentional about locking eyes with those other 8.
Here is what I am seeing:
The Lauren-ness of Lauren:
"Mommy, I love getting all clean!"

Sitting up! (with a little help from my feet)

"Seriously, Hannah?  Your elbow does not belong on my eye!"

Happy girl!

Lauren loves blowing raspberries these days.  She has such a deep chortle when I breathe or kiss into her chubby neck.  She has beautiful sleepy eyes that widen & brighten when we lock eyes.  We say so much to each other by just using our eyes!  She just started rolling over from her back to her tummy yesterday-- way to go, big girl!  She can almost sit on her own.  When hungry, she scrunches her nose and breathes in & out real fast in just the most adorable way as if to say, "Mom, I'm wasting away here!".  She is a great eater and loves sticking her fingers in her mouth and smearing food all over her face as she sucks it off her fingers.  It is so cute I don't mind the mess!  She is starting to talk in a sweet, raspy voice.  I worry that being intubated for so long when so little has something to do with it, but daddy thinks I am being a worrywart.  Lauren is in one word: sweet.  She is my joy and just a glorious gift from God.

The Tyler-ness of Tyler:  
"How you doin'?"
Sitting up! (with help from mom's legs)

Happy brothers
"Hannah, don't spit on me, ok?"

Oh, he is just such a sweet little peanut!  He gives me the most adoring looks that melt my heart every time! 

Tyler has joined Hannah in rolling all over the living room floor.  He is really proud of his new skill and loves to show us how he can go from back to tummy to back & on and on!  Tyler laughs.  All the time!  It is the most infectious, adorable laugh and all I need to do is simply lock eyes with him and smile.  He is just so happy!  Tyler is still so small but he continues to amaze us with his strength and skills.  He likes to stand up and he literally catches air when he does the jumparoo.  He now loves to eat but his favorite part is in the end when I cheer for all of them... he smiles like he just won a million bucks!  He is learning to sit and loves to sing/chirp right now.  Tyler is a snuggler and gives me goo goo eyes all the time (daddy says he's a momma's boy right now, which I absolutely 100% adore and cherish!).  He is my joy and just a glorious gift from God.

The Hannah-ness of Hannah:  
Look at Hannah, almost sitting up on her own!

"Hey sissy, I have s secret to tell you!"
Happy Hannah halfway under the couch-- and loving it!

Hannah is such a happy baby!  She loves to show off her skills of rolling and she also is getting pretty good at sitting up.  She is so curious of her environment and can really move all over with a variety of rolling and creeping moves!  She literally will spend an hour canvassing & exploring the living room learning how things work.  Hannah is still very social.  When we lock eyes she smiles with her face and has a mischievous twinkle in her eye like we are sharing special secrets.  When I breathe into her chubby neck or kiss it, her laugh sounds like a "ha ha!!" and she laughs so hard it almost sounds like she is crying, but one look at the glee on her face lets you know all is right in the world!  Hannah is the best eater and opens her mouth like a birdie hungry for every bite, but watch out if you are slow: that girl will complain in a heartbeat that you need to go faster!  Hannah definitely has spunk and personality!  She typically is the only baby who can go from wailing as loud as can be to smiling contagiously 10 seconds later.  Hannah is still our little diva but we would have it no other way.  She is our joy and just a glorious gift from God.

The Tanner-ness of Tanner:  
Look at my little man sitting up! (with the help of my feet)
Looking at me with one of his Adorable Looks.  Oh, those eyelashes!!!
Tanner LOVES bath time!

Look at this big boy standing tall!
Tanner is such a happy guy and he smiles like a politician whenever I look at him!  He seems to be so wise and observent, and I find myself talking to him as if he clearly understands everything I say.  Like Tyler, he makes goo-goo eyes with me all the time and daddy thinks he also is a mommy's boy right now: makes my heart sing!  Tanner chortles uncontrollably whenever I kiss him or tickle him, and his eyes communicate volumes.  He definitely catches air every time he does the jumparoo and stands up like he is going to start walking any moment now.  Tanner loves to play with toys and I love how he grabs & inspects them or brings them to his mouth.  He even pushes large buttons of electronic toys to see & hear them!  Tanner is finally starting to like food now as he opens his mouth for each spoonful.  The more I cheer him on, the better he does!  Thus, we have highly energetic meal times, but I love his messy smiles & twinkle in the eye as he sees how proud I am of him!  He is my joy and just a glorious gift from God.

The Jenna-ness of Jenna:
Best. Big. Sister. Ever!

Helping wash Tanner (after taking a shower herself, silly wet girl!)

Sharing giggles with Hannah

Just look at that precise cutting!
Jenna continues to thrive and keep very busy!  She loves school but says she gets "tired".  Just wait until Kindergarten next year, big girl!  She is such a big helper with her brothers and sisters and really has a love for them.  She loves to color and cut out images from her coloring books.  She is really good at cutting out shapes.  She then usually will ask for help writing people's names, and then stuff the "mail" in an envelope for that person, whoever is on her mind at the time.  Jenna also loves going outside to play.  Bless her heart, she often stays very busy and content just playing alone because there is no one to play with, but she has fun anyways!  Swinging, exploring, making snowballs, stalking cats, shoveling, capturing icicles .. it is great living on 10 wooded acres!  Jenna continues to be an absolute joy and is such a glorious gift from God.

Who can you lock eyes with today to enjoy some more personalized "individual" time with?  Hmm, something to think about.  Happy Spring, Everyone!


Friday, March 15, 2013

The Feeding Evolution

Yes, I said "Evolution"-- because as the babies have gotten more use to spoon feeds, they have evolved into four very good eaters!  Even with the babies sick this week, apparently their appetites were not affected.  Check out our new spoon feeding system:
My mom demonstrating how easy it is to feed the babies in their big-kid, cheap, IKEA-stackable high-chairs!
The "old system"- at first, the bumbo's gave them better trunk support but this system was obsolete for many reasons.  First, it was harder for other people to feed them on the floor like this.  Second, we were not on eye-to-eye level so I often would have to "help" a baby look up at me.  Andy recorded it one day- it looked like I was shoving their foreheads up with my hand!  NOT good.  I love our new system, and so do babies!

Hannah:  meet spoon.

Our Happy Man Tyler!

Surprise Surprise!  Tanner realizes he really likes food!

Lauren often will make a "whoo, whoo" sound when she wants more (basically the moment right after I feed her a bite!).  Hannah will often spit angrily as she waits for another bite (today I have green speckles all over my right arm due to this form of communication).  Those hungry girls!
The babies like just about everything they eat!  They still take a bottle in the morning, spoon feeds prior to our noon and 4 pm bottles, and a bottle before bed.  They all share one spoon & bowl.  Every feed consists of a large bowl of a veggie mixed with cereal, followed by a large bowl of  a fruit mixed with cereal. Today for the first feed they had oatmeal, carrots w/cinnamon, & wheat with an apple-banana-strawberry-prune blend; for the second meal, they had rice and green beans w/garlic salt (just a dash) & oatmeal, avocado + pears for the second.  Yum yum!  
Thankfully, everyone seems to be (mostly) over that darn cold.  I spent all last night sanitizing every single baby item used currently in this house.  I bleached all the toys and washed all the washable ones, blankets and sheets.  Be GONE, nasty germs!
Some of the toys, squeaky clean!
Here's to good health for everyone!

Sisters sharing secrets.  I love how comfortable they all are with each other!

Play time!

Tyler wishes everyone a fun & safe St. Patrick's Day!