Monday, February 28, 2011

Ella, 7 months

Her favorite toy, the black and white piece is great for chewing.

This is how she sits in the bouncer. It's the best position for crazy bouncing!

Look at those gorgeous eyelashes!! So jealous!! She has the bluest eyes. At this point she may be the only one to get my blue eyes.

Ella is such a character. She is our little kangaroo. She loves to jump and jump. Mostly she likes to lay in her bouncer and get that thing bouncing so hard that her head lifts off the back and sometimes the back leaves the floor. She loves it!!!!! She could spend hours in there. Over a month ago we stopped bouncing her and Henry to sleep at night because we didn't want them to become dependent on it. Now, however, she can still bounce herself to sleep...and does. There will be times where she will wake up a little and get herself bouncing for even a few seconds back to sleep. If you try to stop her from bouncing she will not only use her legs for bouncing but will arch up to use her whole body. It's crazy!!! Not only does she bounce during play and night but now she is interrupting bottles with her bouncing. Her motto is, "Let's get moving, people!!!" I told Shawn that we ought to watch out that she doesn't some how get her legs around the boys, she's got such strong legs she's bound to squeeze the life out of them.

Ella loves to eat but is SO messy. Food all over her face and hands. There is a special trick to it as well, you have to get the spoon back and behind her tongue. She loves all of her food. Never turns it down. Never turns away. I think she would just eat and eat. Eventually though she makes little effort to swallow and the food runs out of her mouth. She has no favorite food. On Thursday she finally cut her first tooth. I think that there has been some drool but nothing horribly noticeable, thus the use of the word "think." She didn't sleep as well as normal. Nothing horrible, she awoke once ate 70ml of her bottle and went back to sleep. When I tried to put her in her crib she wouldn't sleep so she spent the night in her bouncer. I slept on the couch and she didn't wake again til we awoke her for the next bottle. I can live with that.

Ella has come full circle. In the first few months she was the BIG smiler. No matter what you did you were rewarded with a huge smile. Then she stopped smiling as much and as easily. She instead wore a steady frown, even in sleep. Now she is once again our biggest and easiest smiler. Nothing in particular causes these gigantic grins. She also gets to laughing the easiest. Click your tongue or even hint that you are going to tickle and she starts giggling. LOVE it!!! Ella is more of a yeller then a talker. Not mad yelling just she likes to be loud. Lately she's also developed a love of making noises like tongue clicking or blowing bubbles.

She's about to blow bubbles.

I feel bad for Ella in that she typical never has a first, first. However, this weekend she has a first before the boys: first to visit the ER. Poor thing, not the first you especially want. All of the kids have been battling colds, except Ella developed croup with hers. Not the worst symptom or problem you could have but it sure sounds awful and can lead to difficulty breathing because of the swelling of your voice box. We were in IA and she started developing stridor. We were heading home early because of a winter storm, so once home I took her straight to the ER. It was a short visit, they got us in and out, for once. She didn't look like a little girl who was ill. HUGE smiles, lots of jumping and excitement, to the point that both the doctor and nurse wanted to know if she's "always this happy?" They administered some steroids to reduce the swelling and by 10 or 11pm she was sounding so much better.

This is what croup looks like. She's so sick looking!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Henry, 7 months

It appears Henry has developed the A problem of blinking during pictures, just like daddy, Auntie Laura and Great-Grandma Maurine.

Evie loves Henry!!

Henry is such a character. He is content to suck on his hands, and be in a bouncer or under the play mat. His motto is "Whatever." Don't get me wrong, he does cry and can get very angry. Most often it involves hunger, and it involves the worst screaming, as evidence by his rage at Shawn Thursday morning for taking so long to change his diaper and get the bottle. Most often though Henry is our "talker." He yaks up a storm. And unlike the more gutteral noises of his siblings he is using more inteligible sounds. His favorite one by far, and to his father's pride and delight, is "da-da-da." He repeats this all day long and sometimes in the wee hours of the morning. We awoke Tuesday morning at 2:30 to these happy squeals and Henry calling "da-da-da" If he's not talking in this way he has begun to growl. Most often this occurs when he is "attacking" Shawn's fingers, arm or his toys. Something like "rrrrrrrrrrr" and then he gums whatever is near. As you guessed...adorable. Henry is also our breather. You can hear him breathing hard and he enjoys listening to himself. Connected to this is that he is also a snorer. He sleeps next to me still and it makes me smile every night to hear that little snore. I think I shall miss it intensely when the time comes that he can sleep in his own crib.


Henry is a good eater. He has no favorites and will eat everything I put in front of him. He does, however, make a sour face for the first couple of spoonfuls of most of his foods. He's become really good at moving the food to the back of his throat and swallowing. It makes for much less mess!!!! No teeth yet. None that I can even see under the surface or feel. It doesn't really matter as the few times I've put finger foods in front of him he's shown no interest. Hasn't even tried to pick them up, he doesn't even look at them.

Shortly after birth one of the NICU doctors noted that Henry had a hydrocele (similar to a hernia-except fluid filled instead of intestines) in his scrotum. We were referred to a pediatric surgeon at almost 2 months because his pediatrician and I worried it was a hernia (I had forgotten the doctor in the NICU mention it). That 2 second appointment (literally) reassured us that it would disappear on its own, likely by 6 months. At 6 months Henry still had it but on Monday during bath, I noticed that it had disappeared. Yeah!!!

Henry is an easy smiler. He has these big cheeks you almost want to pinch, but please refrain yourselves. We are still trying to get him to sleep in his crib because he is our most difficult night sleeper. He starts out in a bouncer and if he starts crying he gets moved to his swing. Only occasionally have we made it without the swing. We are not sure what we are going to have to do once he out grows them. Luckily he can be in the swing up to 30 lbs. He's big, but not that big. Soon he will outgrow the swaddle and it's my hope that by then he will also just become as easygoing in sleep as he is during the day.

Henry is a really good roller. He just does it slowly, taking half an hour to roll across around the room, but he does it. I don't think he realizes that he can cross a room with the rolling but he does enjoy it. He has started to enjoy kicking and thrashing around. He really enjoys this type of play. Henry would like to just chill with you. He doesn't necessarily need entertaining but just like to be with you. He's good at chilaxing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grant, 7 months

"I know that I've only been on the floor for 2 seconds and you are busy but I REALLY need attention and distraction!!"

Grant and his "lovie."

"Getting" Evie

This little man is such a character. We've finally figured out that he thinks he should be the center of our world, all the time. He must've thought that in-utero for all the drama he was causing with his high S/D ratio and subsequent umbilical blood flow stop which led to their birthday, July 23rd. Then he needed the C-PAP, had a pnuemothorax and required more NICU time. Now all he wants is our attention. He LOVES attention. He HATES being by himself. His motto is: "It's all about me!!" Perhaps he intuitively knows that he was/is the smallest AND the youngest and wants to overcome this by being the loudest and most demanding. Or maybe he is trying to establish himself as the alpha dog? Unfortunately, he is learning very early that as one of 3 babies and one of 4 kiddos, it can't be all about him. He certainly is NOT going to let us forget about him (as if that was possible) or let himself be steam rolled by his bigger and "older" siblings. The one area where Grant isn't the loudest is actual "talking." He likes to say "mmmm" a lot and has recently discovered his tongue and "ppllllllhhhh" at us but isn't the biggest contributor to our conversations.

Grant gives us the biggest smiles. He can be screaming bloody murder in his crib and the second he sees you SMILE!! He has already begun fake crying to get attention, no tears. His smile just got cuter because in the last month he has gotten his 2 bottom teeth. He gives us hope that this teething thing will be a breeze. No drooling, no fussiness, no disturbed sleep, no fever. If I wasn't on tooth alert we would've missed their arrival. He's going to need those two teeth because he sure loves to eat. We've tried peas, sweet potatoes, bananas and carrots in the last month. If I don't get the mixture just right and he finds it a little sour I can't get another bit into his mouth. He goes into "keep that stuff away from me" mode. This is completely and utterly adorable. Hands over his mouth in little fists, eyes closed and head down. If he had a protective shield he would've activated it.
Check out his first teeth!!!

Like all babies Grant enjoys putting everything in his mouth, especially his "lovie" and burp clothes. It's probably how he's managing the teething discomfort. He has always been the first to explore toys but his favorite thing is faces. He grabs hold of lips, noses, cheeks and "explores." I find it endearing, sometimes a little painful. I have to make sure to keep his finger nails short or risk getting scratched. He makes the cutest explorer face full of deep concentration. Maybe he'll be a scientist as he is always trying to figure out his toys instead of play with them.

Grant has been the mover and the shaker. At first I was afraid he'd never do anything "first" but now he's prone to leaving his siblings in the dust. Luckily he hasn't been the first for everything, giving his siblings a chance to shine. He is however, the master roller and though he doesn't officially sit yet, he has been able to stay upright seated the longest. Like everything else I look forward to this milestone and want to rush them and then on days like today I realize just how quickly time is passing and want to slow them down.

Grant is the poorest sleeper. He continues to nap on his tummy and most of the time goes to sleep easily. However, he refuses to stay asleep for long periods. At this age babies should sleep between 2-3 hours each nap, of which they have two. I'm lucky if he will stay asleep for over an hour. Then there is today when they took a nap over 3 hours long. And like any other mom I was at a loss for what to do. "Do I start a project, nah, they'll probably wake up at any moment. Crap they've been asleep a long time, I missed out on a big project maybe I ought to start a small one. But they will probably wake up any minute." Then my thoughts shift to "Geez they've been asleep for a long time, what if something happened, what if they've suffocated, what if...." Then I look in on them, sometimes put my hands on their chest. Today when I finally gave in and checked on Grant he was un-swaddled playing with the tail and tags of his stuffed elephant. Adorable!!! I'm sure this won't happen again tomorrow as NOTHING is ever consistent. The only thing normal around here is that nothing is ever normal.

What else can I tell you about Grant? He loves his feet. He was the first to "discover" them and if you come over and he is hanging out of his sleeper with one sock on and one sock off, it's because I'm trying to give him easier access to his new toy. Grant has hair. He currently looks like a little bald elderly man, especially when he frowns and gets all sorts of forehead wrinkles. But if you look close you'll see that he actually has fine, light blond hair. He thinks it tickles whenever you rub your nose on his belly, along his sides and in his armpits. He laughed yesterday when he was "attacked" by a large bear (daddy playing with a stuffed bear). Over the weekend he developed a new "face" where he smiled while squinting his eyes. It is beyond cute, but trying to catch one on film is like trying to catch a fairy. When he gets excited, while laying on his back, he will do a little butt shimmy with both legs bicycling. It is funny, and adorable, and cute. Pretty much how I would describe everything he and his siblings do.
Silly eye squint faces-he does them while talking too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Am I Crazy????

So here's the big question: to make baby food or not to??? With Evie it was an easy decision. One kid=less baby food...make it myself. I enjoyed the task and felt great 1. saving money and 2. knowing what was in her food.

With these guys I am not so sure. I would like to and in fact have made both peas and green beans both of which were loved by the babies way above that runny baby jar food. They didn't appreciate the canned stuff to much unless I disguised it with pears, bananas or other fruits. Not to mention the weird color of the canned stuff compared to the stuff I made. Makes you question the validity of the ingredients. So I am seriously contemplating making it for them myself. Most days I don't have time to shower, add in making my own baby food and even I think I've jumped off the deep end. I think in the ends it's going to be make the veggies, buy the fruit. Can we get a YA-HOO from the babies??

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anma's and Anpa's

Evelyn LOVES her grandparents. To the point that if we say "guess who's coming over tomorrow" (answer most often: best friend Abi) her first guess is anma and anpa. She even asks to go to their house every week sometimes more then once. We love it, as I'm sure her grandparents do.

I love my parents and my in-laws. I think that they are awesome parents, and have raised some pretty great children, if I do say myself. However, one of the MOST AWESOME things is watching them as grandparents. They ADORE my children (who wouldn't) and it's so fun to watch them interact. They get on the floor with them, they read to them and all of the amazing things that grandparents do. It is such a special relationship and I feel lucky to have two sets of loving grandparents. Grandparents who take the day off just to come and watch the babies while I go to a rheumatoid appointment. Grandparents who call to ask me to post about Evie, because "I miss her." Grandparents who bought so many clothes for the boys, I ran out of room to put them. Grandparents who can barely wait til the babies wake up to pick them up. Grandparents who spend over an hour in Evie's room being bossed around. Grandparents who drove 5+ hours to be at the hospital when the triplets were born. Grandparents who stayed up all night, or slept in cramped chairs, or froze in the hospital to be present when Evie was born. Grandparents who bought a camper so they'd have something to stay in when visiting (though they also wanted it for camping). Grandparents who volunteer night shift duties. Grandparents who change messy diapers and help a toddler on the toilet. Grandparents who get excited to take them out on the tractor, boat, lawn mower, zoo, etc for the first time. Grandparents who take 100,000 pictures every time they see the kiddos, almost as many as I take. Grandparents who write down statistics such as weight and length of every checkup.

I admire my parents and Shawn's for many reasons. They both have sacrificed for their families. They've both maintained loving marriages for over 30 years. They've dealt with physical challenges. They've been amazing, loving parents. They've cheered us on and prayed for us. In this new season of grand-parenting they've shown another facet of themselves I've come to admire, appreciate, and respect. Love you guys!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Love, Evie, Ella, Henry and Grant

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cookies for Santa

For Christmas this year Evie and I made sugar cookies for Santa. It was a special Christmas activitiy as it was something just Evie and I could do and it involved using my Grandma B's sugar cookie recipe. We used to make them with her for Easter. I even made her special icing and they turned out quite delicious. We left two for Santa (the only thing I didn't get a photo of), goat's milk and some carrots for the reindeer. Evie was quite thrilled Christmas morning to see that he had "enjoyed" her treats. She also wanted to leave out some for "baby Desus" but I told her that the treats were for Santa only as he only visited once a year. Jesus on the other hand was with us all year long. I told her that Jesus lived in my heart. Now she repeatedly tells me and others (including my mom who was quite confused because of her mispronunciations) that "baby Desus bibes in my heart."

Another, quite adorable story of Evelyn took place as I was putting up our many nativity scenes. We were talking about the characters and asked Evie who Jesus' mother was (Mary) and who his earthly father was (Joseph). Then I explained that Mary had baby Jesus in her belly like I had the babies in my belly. To this Evie explained, "I've got baby Desus in my belly too!" It was a Christmas miracle! She is always making me laugh!!

Mixing together the sugar cookie ingredients.

Mixing the cake batter for Jesus' birthday cake. I was delicious too! Evie was at first scared of the mixer but then grabbed hold and mixed away. We did this as the cookie dough chilled.

Mmmm....chocolate batter! One of Evie's favorite parts!

Cutting out cookies. We had stars, trees, angels, snowflakes, bells, candy canes and of course a moose.

Icing the cookies, hard to resist eating all of them at this point. Evie and dad each had one before Evie went off to bed.

The bakers!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


One of her purses. She loves to stuff all her bags and purses to the brim. Then she tells me she's going to "peskool."

With her "triplet" stroller from Anma and Anpa V.

"No pictures please!"

I am a bad parent, I admit it. For even though Evelyn is slightly behind in her language skills, I secretly LOVE her mispronunciations. They are adorable. I have a hard time correcting her. For instance, I think that "namies" are a lot more comfy and enjoyable then plan ol' pajamas. I love to put off today what I can do "manara." I have a hard time just calling the babies Grant, Henry and Ella instead of "Nant, Enry and Ayla." And finally my parents and Shawn's will never be known as anything other then Evie's and the babies "anma's" and "anpa's." Here is some other Evieisms.

Peskool: preschool
Do-Do-Dora: Dora
Andy-ane: Candy cane
Not et: Not yet!
Darbage: garbage
I wan ugs and isses: I want hugs and kisses.
Can I hab some ocen, peas?: Can I have some lotion, please?
baby Desus: baby Jesus
Q-numbers: cucumbers
Pebutter an delly samich: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Ot-og: Hotdog
I'm Hungee, mommy: I'm hungry, mommy!

Obviously she has a little difficulty in the "hard" consonants like "k" and the like. She also has problems with the first letter to words. My name is Tawnda and she pronounces it "Awna."

Other completely adorable things she does is every morning da-dee asks Evie "where's my hugs and kisses?" Pointing to her lips and then chest Evelyn tells da-dee "here and here!" Evelyn gets up at about 7:30a everyday. By 8am all of her toys are out and lined up all over the house, including her cars. She then gives them books or food to "eat." Maybe she believes as Sara Crewe does, from the story she and I are reading together: The Little Princess, that dolls and toys come to life when we leave the room. Her favorite movie, Toy Story, certainly confirms this.

Nearly every toy she owns has a mama, daddy and baby. Including her cars, animals, dolls etc. Anything she sees either gets labeled mommy, dadee, baby and sometimes if they look a little older anma or anpa. Lately she has at least been playing with toys other then her babies. She builds robots, plays with Mr./Mrs. Potato head (usually she dresses up a spud as me, the other day I had a pig nose for eyes, a tongue for one ear among other interesting features-not sure how I should take her demonstration of me), reads books among other things. Playing house is by far her favorite activity still, even if the only toys she had were rocks.

Up next a few pictures of Evie and I baking cookies for "Santa."

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I spend a lot of my time and energy focusing on the kiddos and thus some people are often neglected not only on this blog but also in our scrapbooks. Thus my post today. I finished these 3 pages about Shawn. I wanted something to document where he is RIGHT now. Simple things like favorite food (pepperoni pizza) and more complex like his favorite verse right now (Romans 15:13). The third page is dedicated to something I talk about all the time to people and Shawn: my ideal man list. This is the wishlist I always had in my mind about characteristics I wished my future husband to have. Would you believe that Shawn fulfilled 9 out of 10??? I guess I can live without a Scottish accent!! Check out #10. That was truly something I thought would be great after watching Titanic. I thought the name was (admittedly) dreamy and sexy. What can I say? I heart Shawn!