Friday, August 14, 2009

Spring Break

This was our spring break (April 13-18th). We had so much fun. We stayed in Kimberley, BC at our condo (which by the way is available to rent, it sleeps like 19 people). Anyways....I had gone there with all the kids as Stephen was busy with work. I took along 2 dear friends and their kids. This was the only way that I could manage my crew. So we spent the week hottubbing, swimming, jumping off bridges, running, playing games, watching movies and of course eating.
These pictures we took of the kids having a hoot at the swimming pool of the hotel at the base of the skihill. It was an unbelievably warm spring day, yet there was still plenty of snow on the hill.
It was a good thing that I had some help recruited because I spent a day at the Cranbrook hospital with Raygan and Sawyer with ear infections. Thank goodness for antibiotics.

This is the full Johnson crew. We spent Easter at my parents in Hillspring and this is the fam lying around after the easter feast. Left to right is Xander, Cohen, Riley, Andraya, Raygan, Sawyer and Avery.

I absolutely love these outfits on the babies. Cohen is on the left and Sawyer is on the right. The easiest way to tell the boys apart is by their eyes, Cohens are blue and Sawyer has hazel.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The month of March.
My goodness...time flies, even more so when there are a few babies. We are going to attempt to get this blog caught up. Because we have 5 months to update all you lovely readers it will happen with more than one post. We still only get short burst of time to accomplish anything, so we will see if our plan happens. One thing that we have learned in the Johnson family is that ANYTHING is!

This is Auntie Gayla with the babies. She and her daughter Cassie came from Chicago to visit for a week in March. It was wonderful to see them and receive their help. I am sure that we got a picture of Cassie to but I can't seem to find it. She is really sweet and a joy to have around.

I must mention Heather. The much beloved part-time nanny, friend and playmate to us at the Johnson household. She attends university in the states and the last few months have been her summer off. It has worked great for us as the babies have required so much attention and it coincides with Stephen busy time at work. We were really sad to see here leave at the beginning of April. Here she is with the crew. She has gratefully returned for the month of August which may be part of the reason there will even be a post on the blog.

This is a picture of Stephen with his Grandma Muirhead. She came for a visit at the beginning of March. Now that we are posting so much later than March I wonder what we did in March. I look at my scanty notes on my calendar, it really doesn't say much. It was all just so much of a blur with babies, bottles and diapers. Not to mention all the laundry. I tallied it for a while just to see how much laundry we actually do, it averages about 26 loads per week.

The babies started rolling this month also. They have started with more distinct sleep patterns this past month, usually giving it up around 11:00 p.m. and sleeping till 6 or 7. Yeah, some rest. Sawyer perforated his eardrum which wasn't any fun. It only takes one baby to keep you awake as we have experienced, but hopefully the sleeping through the night will stick around.
Well that covers most of March, except for our trip to Lethbridge for the Kiwanis Music Festival. Avery participated in the Musical Theatre compitetion and placed first. She did such a good job and it was so much fun to watch her. She was definately in her element. We did have pictures but they accidently got erased so we need to swipe them from Grandma before we can post any.
Well, we have a birthday party planned for Avery for this afternoon and I should go and start getting ready for that...I guess we are starting on yet another new adventure now that we have a teenager in the house!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Three Months

After a couple of months I am finally sitting down at the computer to update this blog. It is rare to be at home and not have a baby in my hand. That is also my excuse for any unanswered emails or facebook posts. I used to think I was busy but now I have taken busy to a whole new definition. We went to church today, and all three of our babies disappeared within seconds with our friends. They decided also to take them home with them. If you like today's post you can thank them.

So lets get started and show you some recent pics. There isn't much for events as our life just evolves around babies and more babies. It has been quite a challenge while still parenting the other four. Riley and Avery have proven to be great help and quite attentive. Riley will even pick the boogers out of the babies noses. He also uses them to watch TV as we have a rule -- no TV or computer unless you have a baby in your arms.

Within 7 weeks the Christensen grandparents had 6 grandchildren. We decided that it would be great to bless all six of them on the same day. It was a very special and unique day. This is picture of all six cousins together on that day (Dec. 17). In the back is Bryce, Lucy and Sam with Cohen, Andraya and Sawyer in the front (L-R). This was 4 days before the triplets official due date.

Wal-Mart had a special on diapers. We figured we were in need of a few. Dirty diaper production has slowed a little, but we figure we go through about 20 diapers per day. I can honestly say that I have never bought so many diapers at once before.

Here is Cohen at one month. He used oxygen for the first three months of his life. We just returned the oxygen machine last week. Hurray! It is so nice to not have the tube dragging behind him...but the machine was great for white noise and heat in the room.

I always said that I would never have any Christmas babies. Six of the seven children were born in November and December. We have grown to love Christmas babies. The extra challange this year was determining which baby got to play baby Jesus. I look at all my kids and sometimes am still floored that they all belong to me. WOW what a challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Christmas sleepers under the Christmas tree. From left to right (Sawyer, Andraya, and Cohen)

Xander and his mad eyes. He practices this regularly. He is just so expressive!

Dad asleep with his new boys. It is common for one, two or three babies to sometimes end up in our bed by morning. Thank goodness for king size beds. The babies are starting to figure out the importance of sleeping through the night. We get them all down around 11:00 p.m. Andraya always sleeps until 7 or 8. She has been doing this for about a month or so but the boys haven't caught on quite as quickly. Sawyer sleeps through about half of the time and Cohen can be depended on for a 3 or 4 oclock feeding. Though last night he surprized me greatly and slept until 8:30 this morning. It was the very first time....I made Stephen go and check on him as I was scared that maybe something like SIDS happened. I know it is the crazy nurse in me. All was well and now they have each proven that they can sleep the entire night at least once I am raising my expectations and awaiting the night that they ALL do.

Cohen, Andraya and Sawyer at two months. I love pictures of them all together. At this age it was hard to get them all awake at the same time as they still slept alot. Now I am trying the opposite to get them to all nap at the same time. By the time I get the third asleep the first is usually awake and even if they napped together consistently Raygan and Xander keep me busy during the day.

Xander feeding Sawyer.

Grandma Christensen holding Cohen and Andraya. Grandma has been a great help. She has lived at our house for at least a month during the past four months. If you notice Cohen does not have his oxygen tube, the last month was nighttime only...I hadn't got the stickies off of his face yet that morning.

Sawyer at 2 months. I have decided that I like getting puked on. Really I don't but because it happens so often I figured it was just better to embrace it all together. Sawyer is the baby that can be counted on to give me such love. The others contribute also but nothing like him. Just feed him once (or hold him)and you'll know what I mean.

Raygan. What to say about her...she is still as cute as ever but has increased our workload. The older kids have figured out that Mom is not as mobile with a couple of babies in her hand so I often find messes quicker than I can prevent them or clean them up. She can also be a great help as she runs for soothers, diapers, blankies, burp clothes, the phone, etc. This past week when I was on the treadmill I observed her feeding her Cabbage Patch doll. She bottle feed it like a pro, complete with a burp cloth to prevent drips on the clothes and a burp afterwards.

Andraya and Cohen. Cohen has always been bigger than the other two. Hence the nickname Moose. He now weighs almost three pounds bigger than his wombmates. Andraya and Sawyer continue to remain within a few ounces of each other. At the last weigh in they were 9 pounds while Cohen was 11 pounds and 12 ounces.

Please note that this bottle propping is highly supervised. It is the best way to feed three crying babies at the same time. As a side note...yes, I breastfeed them, just not all at once.

This was a typical scene in our fridge before retiring for the night. They are starting to sleep more through the night, so it does not look this crazy anymore.

Xander and Cohen

Here I am with the four youngest. Raygan loves playing behind the couch. Cohen was in for a cuddle, I was burping Andraya and bottle feeding Sawyer. Sometimes it is most effective to have one parent take the babies and the other to take on the other four. Stephen is not around as much anymore. He has started a new job with local accounting firm here in town and is really enjoying it. So you ask how we do it. Here is how. You take help when offered, ask for help when it is needed, pray alot and laugh alot. Our part time nanny has alot to do with it too. We have a great network of friends here in Strathmore, who have been a great support.

Sawyer is beginning to smile on a regular basis. (3 Months)

Cohen (3 Months)

Raygan with the triplets

Sawyer, Cohen, and Andraya (3 Months)

Sawyer, Cohen, and Andraya (3 Months)

Cohen and Andraya (3 months) - Thumbs up!

Cohen and Andraya (3 months) - Smiles!
I had to get pictures of all three in these sleepers before Cohen outgrows his. Well I now have two of the three home and my time to update this is done. Who knows when it will happen next.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Four Weeks

The triplets are now home, and we have been in the process of adjusting to this new big change in our life. Stephen has managed to take some additional time off of work which has been great. The amount of laundry that is produced by our new expanded family is unreal. We are constantly trying to clean up and catch up on the house, and are managing to fall slightly behind on the paper work. Most of the day there is one baby that is awake that requires holding. Occasionally all of them have slept at the same time, which is usually our opportunity to join them in a nap. I think we are getting used to the night routine, if you can call it a routine. Stephen and I will get up twice during the night for feeding time. We have used the time to talk, or to catch up on some of the of TV shows that we have recorded on our state of the art VHS recorder. If we manage a nap the following day, we consider ourselves fortunate. That has been the real secret to us keeping our sanity. Thanks to the extra vistiors who also help us get in an afternoon nap, it is appreciated.

During the week we have been the target for many acts of kindness. We have been overwhelmed with the great support from friends and family over this time in our life. Although our home seems crazy at the moment it would definitely be a little more insane without the help that we have received in the past while. Even the teachers at Avery's school put together a little fund raiser to purchase us some diapers. One teacher knitted each of the babies a little sweater and hat. These are people that we do not even really know. We are truly grateful for all of the kindness that has been shown.

As a gift my sister Holly brought her camera equipment, and all of her kids to boot, so we could get a photo shoot. This is one of the shots that she took. I love it. We are looking forward to seeing the rest of the shots. It was alot of work for her but also alot of fun, and we had a great time visiting with her family for the weekend. Thanks sis!

From left to right. Cohen, Andraya, and Sawyer just before we packed them up to bring them home from the hospital.

Here we have them all packed up the cars seats. Once we got them to the van we realized how difficult it was to get them all in. The seats are big enough that they are a tight squeeze into the back seat. I think we need to consider a larger van. I guess that will happen after we move into the bigger house.

Andraya and Sawyer.

We like to keep the trio with us in our bedroom so we can hear them at night. Cohen's oxygen concentrator is noisy and I am not sure that I would hear them over it, if they were in the other room. They all fit snuggly into this bassinet, which a friend lent to us. I wonder how long it will be before they have outgrown this little bed.

Coming Home

On Friday November 28th when the triplets were three weeks old we were able to bring them home. The night before we went to pick them up our house was ransacked by some unknown individuals who must have known they were coming home. We have inquired around town, but no one is talking. I suspect they know, but are turning a blind eye to the incident. I am sure that it must be the work of a secret combination. I have inquired of my friends who are all adiment that they were home in bed. All of them have a hint of frost bite on their noses though which is a little suspicious.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Triplets - Two Weeks Old

I have recently got a couple of comments about being behind on this blog. "They are two weeks old, not one!" They look very much the same as last week, but it has been eventful none the less. All of the babies have returned to and exceeded their birth weights. Cohen is now 5lbs 10 ounces. Sawyer is 4lbs 11 ounces,and Andraya is 4 lbs 10 ounces.

Cohen has continued to struggle with his breathing. We have tried a few times to reduce the amount of oxygen that he is on, but he has not responded favorably to room air yet. We are planning to bring him home with an oxygen tank. About three weeks after he comes home we will go to the Children's Hospital for assessment and testing of his lungs to see if he has outgrown his need for oxygen or not.

Sawyer has been the healthiest of the three. He was well enough to come home last week, but we thought it best not to split up the group. The doctors have detected some defect in his kidneys, called mild bilateral hydronephrosis. That just means that his kidneys don't dump the urine effectively into the bladder. It is a condition that is commonly outgrown within a few years. We are planning for some special imaging studies and a pediatric nephrologist to see him in the New Year.

Andraya had a brady with apnea on Saturday. She has to go five days without a brady before she can be released. A brady is when the heart rate slows down, and then picks up again. They are going to give her a stimulant (straight caffeine--yeah!) to help her get through five days with no more issues. Hopefully they can all come home on Friday, the 28th.

All babies are feeding well. They all have regular feeds of breastmilk from the bottle every three hours. The feeds take about 1 1/2 hours to complete with burps and cuddles. That does not leave allot of time between feeds, especially with pumping but they are growing well so it is worth it. I am looking forward to getting them home. In some ways they do not feel like they are completely ours yet. Life at home has returned to the same way it was before the triplets arrived. Raygan is very glad to have her Mom back after two weeks in the hospital. It was rough on her for me to be gone for so long. We feel like we have two very seperate families. Their arrival home will result in one more major adjustment--the next phase of this great adventure. It is a good thing that we have got such great support from family and friends.

Raygan with Andraya.

Riley and Andraya.

Xander with Sawyer. These two look alike, except maybe the size.

Avery and Andraya

Avery is already showing signs of being a great mother.

Here is Cohen with his oxygen tubes. He does not seem to want to let go of this.

This video shows the boys with their eyes open. I love it when they are awake, as rare as this is. I am sure that at some point I will wish for them to be asleep.

Friday, November 14, 2008

One Week Old

Today the triplets celebrated their first week in this world. It has been a very eventful week. All of them have made great strides. They are almost back to their biirth weight, and they are all beginning to get the hang of bottle feeding. Cohen is scheduled to have his IV removed this evening. Below are some of the pictures from Day 7.

Left to right are Andraya, Sawyer, and Cohen

Last night the triplets were put into one crib for the first time. It is so nice to have them all together in the same place. Sawyer and Andraya have been in the same bed for a few nights. It is nice that Cohen is now able to join them. He always seems to be a little left out.

Here is Andraya with her arm around Sawyer.

Andraya and Sawyer enjoying some time with mom.

From left to right are Cohen, Sawyer and Andraya.

Andraya and Sawyer together again. I actually got these two mixed up today. I know that they are different, but they do have some similar facial features, and they are exactly the same size. I wonder how many times I will mix them up.