Saturday, June 07, 2014

Claire's first piano recital

Claire started piano lessons last summer with Andrea, and she has made a lot of great progress in the months since.  She has been mostly diligent at practicing daily, and has even started giving Jacob beginning piano lessons (she's checking him off on songs in some of the books she's completed).

This week she had her first piano recital at the church.  She played a beginners version of The Imperial March.  In all honestly, it was probably a bit above her level, but she really loved playing it and it was coming together so quickly that she and Andrea decided it would be her piece.

Claire was close to the end of the program, and she confidently went up to the piano, and Andrea, recognizing that Claire would be a bit too shy to announce her own piece, announced Claire's piece for her, then Claire sat down and played the piece well!  She was beaming after she finished! 

Dani (and 2-day-old Torin) got to listen to her piece from the hallway.  We look forward to many more recitals!

Baseball season

Jacob played his second season of rookie-level baseball this year.  His team was the "Red Slammin' Sox" (much to Jared's chagrin... he may not have called the team by its name all year!).

Jacob started the year telling his coaches that he loved playing catcher the very most.  He got a cup and played catcher for at least an inning in all the games, but by the end of the year, he decided he liked playing 3rd or 2nd base better (probably because there are more opportunities to make outs in the field, which he did a few times).  He also got braver behind the plate by the end of the year.

He did pretty well swinging the bat, too.  He hit the ball in nearly every at bat during the season, many of them going right back up the middle.  He even got it through the outfielders on his 2nd to last at bat of the season for his first double.  He was pretty excited about that.  I like this picture because it shows Jacob's swing on a ball he hit in the air.

His coach was very enthusiastic and encouraged the boys  

The team was pretty energetic (aided by root beer floats!) for the last team picture.

The support crew kept in pretty good spirits throughout the season, even as Dani approached her due date (Torin was born the day before the season-end tournament).  On games at Boone's Ferry, Claire brought her scooter and Kate and Liam brought their balance bikes and cruised around the track.

Liam took some interest in playing baseball during the season.  He would often play catch with Jared or one of the other parents.  He would occasionally watch the games for a few minutes and cheer Jacob on (here he is cheering for a Jacob at-bat).

Friday, June 06, 2014

Meet the family

A few hours after Torin was born, Claire, Jacob, Kate and Liam were all introduced to their new baby brother.  Kate was even excited that our new baby was a boy (she was the one hoping for a girl).

The siblings all wanted a turn to hold Torin

Except Liam who growled when we asked him if he wanted a turn.  Liam also growled at the questions, "what do you think of being a big brother" and "what do you think of your new baby brother."  In the end, Kate, Jacob, and Liam were way more interested in watching cartoons than continuing to watch and hold their newly-born baby brother in the hospital room!

Eventually, once we got him home, Liam begrudgingly "held" Torin for a couple seconds.  He has, however, been very aware of him and way more soft with Torin than he is with anything else!

Nana had arrived the day before and was excited to hold her newest grandson.

As the birth date approached, Kate and Liam came down with a stomach bug, Kate first, then Liam the next day.  We were quite worried when Kate's turned into a 48 hour bug instead of 24 hours that they wouldn't be able to come to the hospital, but both recovered fully before Torin was born so they could come visit in the hospital.

Buckle in, little Torin... it's going to be an exciting ride with these people!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Introducing Torin Luke Jensen

At 11:43, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Torin, into the world.  

A few weeks earlier, Dani was told that if she reached this day, Dr. Farley would induce her, so we were prepared and ready to go into the hospital bright and early that morning.  Relatively quickly after having her water broken, Dani started having hard contractions.  She got the epidural in, and a few minutes later, she was fully dilated and ready to push, but feeling much better!

Dr. Farley was called and arrived pretty quickly.  She had gone through most of the pre-pushing hard labor right before and while she got her epidural in, so she pushed the button a few times to get a little extra medication, and that ended up slowing the contractions to 8 minutes apart, making them weaker, and nearly putting her to sleep.  A little pitocin got her ramped back up, and, after over an hour and a half of pushing (and waiting), our little purple baby was born!


After he had been laying on the bed for probably 4-5 seconds, Dani asked, "what is he?"  It took me a few seconds to realize she was asking his gender and to tell Dani.

Dr. Farley was great throughout the entire pregnancy - we were so happy to have such a kind and caring doctor!

From the first hours that he was out, he was a peaceful little guy, and we were so grateful to have him as a part of our lives and as a part of our family.

The last trimester, by weeks

4/4 - 30 weeks

4/16 - 32 weeks

5/20, 5/22 - 37 weeks.  The laces tied to the inside, but feet are still visible!  Though now pregnant 2 weeks longer than before, this is an improvement over the last 2 pregnancies.

6/1 - 38 weeks, with Dani Apkin, who was 39 weeks

6/5 - 39 weeks, the morning of Torin's birth

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Pregnant Head Stands

Last summer, Jared was trying to do headstands in the room (who knows why), and Dani showed him that she could do headstands easily.  Jared asked Dani if she could do a headstand while pregnant, and we documented her pregnancy growth upside down!

2/14 - 23 weeks

4/10 - 31 weeks

5/16 - 36 weeks.  I love the way Dani now gets up into the headstand, with her knees around her belly!

5/30 - 38 weeks

6/4 - 39 weeks - the day before the baby was born!  Amazing!!!!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Berry picking season has begun!

The family (including a very pregnant Dani) went strawberry picking at Baggenstos Farm.  We met with our friends, the Johansons, who are expecting #'s 3 and 4!  Dani felt like it may help put her into labor to get low into the bushes to pick the strawberries!

The boys found their way up on to the tractor

We ended up with a whole bunch of strawberries and some yummy strawberry jam!

We love the fresh Oregon berries all summer long!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014


Our Memorial Day weekend was filled with putting together a 750 piece puzzle (labeled Niagara Falls, actually American Falls).  Jacob and Claire loved helping out, and it was a true family effort.  As a bonus, we got a great picture of the kiddos!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

First Tennis Lessons

Tennis was a big part of my life growing up as I took tennis lessons a few times per week for many years, then ended up playing on junior high and high school tennis teams.  My first job, at 14 years old, was teaching tennis lessons to the pee wees during the summer, and then the next year and for the 2 following years, I taught for 6 hours per day for a tennis camp at the club I played at.

For Jacob and Claire's birthdays, we got them tennis racquets, and we finally made some time to have a first tennis lesson!  It was fun to be back out on the court, and it definitely was a beginner's lesson (contact was the goal - we'll get to getting it in the court later), but both Jacob and Claire began to get the hang of swinging a racquet by the end of the time we spent.

We were definitely helped by our own personal ball boy.  Liam ran around the court gathering the tennis balls and throwing them back toward the middle of the court.  It was quite helpful, really, and we loved his enthusiasm!