Thursday, December 31, 2009

They're 1!

Christmas Eve has always been an exciting day in my family. When we lived in Uruguay, my parents let me and my brother stay up till midnight to shoot off fireworks (as is the custom there) and then open all of our presents (after all, it was technically Christmas morning!). After we moved back to the States, there were no more fireworks to stay up for, but we kept the tradition of opening our presents at the stroke of midnight. Every year, we would eat panetón, listen to my dad read the Christmas story, sing a verse of "Silent Night," and then open our gifts as the Pope celebrated midnight Mass in the background.

This year was totally different. A celebration took place in the afternoon, rather than at midnight. There were no fireworks, but there were plenty of balloons. The pile of presents was on the dining room table, not under the Christmas tree, and not a single one was for me. The panetón was replaced by frosted cupcakes. And rather than singing "Silent Night" once, we sang "Happy Birthday"—four times!

The Fab Four, 1 year old and ready to celebrate!

The birthday boys' and girls' personalized cupcakes

Because it's still RSV season, we kept the guest list to a minimum. In attendance were my parents, Ted's parents and grandmother, and my cousin Glenda (who lived with us this summer—that's a quarter of the babies' lives!), along with her parents. We had a great time watching the Fab Four dig into the cupcakes, tear into their presents (okay, more like eat the paper after Mommy and Daddy unwrapped the presents), and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Isaac: "Can I possibly use this as a ball?"

Lucia: "Hm, how can I eat this without making a mess?"

Jude: "I'm gonna take my time with this thing."

Dahlia: "I like all this attention!"

Yes, this Christmas Eve was certainly different. And this year I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dahlia's refrigerator surprise

Even after nearly a year, I still forget sometimes that, to a baby, the simplest things are often new and downright amazing. Last night, for example, I was carrying Dahlia around the kitchen while getting the bottles ready for bedtime. I didn't think a thing of opening the fridge to retrieve them, but Dahlia had a much different take on this routine visit to the big white box in the kitchen:

Who knew a trip to the fridge could be so exciting?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pass the Pedialyte

This week the Fab Four and I were laid low by a nasty tummy bug. This is the fourth time for the babies to be sick: They had a cold in August, roseola in September, another cold in November, and now this. Each time, it's been hard to care for all of them at once, but this time has been the most difficult to date.

For one, babies give you little to no warning that they are going to vomit. Therefore, they can crawl up to you, sweet as can be, and suddenly BARF! All over you. The resulting mess is not their fault, though, because another problem is that little ones cannot aim their puke. In the past few days, we have not only had to do a lot more laundry—theirs and ours—but also Ted (aka Super Daddy) has had to clean up vomit from the table, the carpet, the couch, the linoleum, the wall, the gate, a pack 'n' play, a crib, shoeboxes, and even a drycleaning bag! Each new incident would set off a circus, as we frantically tried to decide what to do first: grab some rags to soak up vomit, change our clothes, clean up whichever baby got sick (as well as any other baby that was in the line of fire), or keep all of the babies from crawling around in the mess.

The worst part of it all was that there just wasn't enough of me to go around. At one point, all of the babies were miserable and crying for me to pick them up. As I would hold one close and feel him or her relax, three others were tugging on my jeans, wanting the same attention. How do you choose who gets to be in Mommy's arms? I couldn't. I just had to rotate who got to be in my lap, temporarily ignoring the cries of the others so that one child could feel the comfort of being close to Mommy. A friend of mine speculated that this must have been heart-wrenching. Yes. Yes, it was.

Thankfully, Ted was able to take a day off work yesterday to run things around here while I was feeling my yuckiest. This also allowed me to concentrate on spending quality time with the babies, who were also still feeling puny. Ted is such a wonderful helper—I can't imagine how I'd cope without him! And now that the rest of us are on the mend, we are praying that Daddy manages to stay healthy. The entire family needs to be well in order to enjoy the babies' first birthday next week!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A (pearly) white Christmas?

As the song says, "all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth"—and I discovered yesterday that Isaac's are coming in! Perhaps by Christmas, you'll be able to see them when he smiles:

Isaac at 11.5 months

Jude beat Isaac to the four-teeth mark, though: His canines have been making their way down over the past several weeks. Our little monster is going to start looking like a little vampire!

Jude at 11.5 months

The girls still have just their two bottom teeth. But these sisters are "two" cute, if I do say so myself:

Lucy at 11.5 months

Dahlia at 11.5 months

In non-teeth-related news:

Everybody is now clapping for real (even Lucy!)—especially when I either clap or say, "Good job!" or "Yay!" Lucy is a pro at waving hello and goodbye, and last night I taught her to blow kisses (she sticks out her tongue and licks her palm—hilarious!). Jude and Dahlia are starting to wave, too. Isaac doesn't wave yet, but he has finally started babbling like the others. And (drumroll, please) he is officially walking! Check it out:

Friday, November 27, 2009

11 months old ... and thankful

I can hardly believe it, but the Fab Four turned 11 months old on Tuesday! Unfortunately, all four of them (and I) came down with nasty colds the next day, so we were forced to skip Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws' yesterday and settle for eating the leftovers that they were kind enough to drop off later.

Still, it was definitely a better Thanksgiving than the one I had last year! And in spite of the snotty noses and crankiness, we have much to be thankful for: thriving babies, the loving kindness of friends and family, and God's faithful provisions at every turn. Oh, and let's not forget the smaller things, like the fact that the babies finally started sleeping allll night this month—I feel like a new woman!

If the babies could tell me what they are most thankful for, I think they'd pick the newly gated living room, which is giving them the freedom to play and explore to their little hearts' content (hmmm, maybe that's why they've been sleeping better):

The Fab Four at 11 months: Lined up at the gate to greet a visitor

Can't wait to see what life will be like with 1 year olds ... the big day is less than a month away!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giggly boys!

Although the Fab Four have been aware of each other for months now, their interactions have only recently begun to resemble that of playmates. On Friday afternoon, Isaac and Jude started doing this the minute they laid eyes on each other:

Isaac proceeded to chase Jude around the living room as they both giggled, Jude stopping and turning every once in a while to make sure that Isaac was still following him. And they've played the same game every day since.

Try as I might, right now I can't think of anything more delightful than seeing my babies become friends!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So you think you can clap

Lucy has recently started "clapping" whenever she gets excited about something. And when Dahlia claps, Lucy most definitely does not want to feel left out!

I wonder when she'll realize that clapping involves a horizontal motion?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Isaac steps up ... and up!

Isaac likes to stand on things. His favorite stepstool is a musical table (sans legs) that Tia Janine gave us a few months ago:

If the musical table is not available, no worries. Isaac will just find something (or someone) else to stand on:

I need to be more careful about what types of toys I put in the pen, though. The other day I came out of the kitchen and was surprised/alarmed/amused to see this:

Looks like we've got a little daredevil on our hands! (Hmmm, I wonder where he got that from?)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

10 months old ... and 10 new things!

When I was pregnant, I didn't realize what a wonderful resource (and source of support) my local Moms of Multiples (MoMs) group would be to me once the babies came. The women in the group share everything from quick and easy recipes to Halloween costume ideas for multiples to real-life horror stories (for example: lady in Target asks triplet mom who's shopping with her girls, two of whom are identical, "So which one is the ugly one?").

One of the most useful tips I've gotten from the veteran MoMs so far is to buy a notebook for each child and keep it in the kitchen. That way, every time one of kids does something new or cute, I can quickly and easily jot down whatever it is before I forget. The notebooks are not as fancy as baby books, but they're not as much work, either. Exactly what I need!

As I looked over my entries yesterday, I realized that the babies started doing 10 new things during their 10th month (how appropriate!). One or more of them can now:

Feed themselves! Exactly a month ago, Isaac fed himself a Cheerio at the dinner table. A couple of minutes later, Dahlia did the same. Then Jude did it. And then Lucy did it! I find it amazing that, while the babies usually reach milestones days or even weeks apart, they all started feeding themselves within minutes of each other. We are now trying out various table foods, with varying degrees of acceptance.

Isaac at 10 months: Almost always the first to do something new!

Clap! Dahlia started doing this on her own one day at the breakfast table. At first she would get the cheesiest look on her face when she clapped; I wish I had gotten it on video because now she just claps like a normal baby.

Play with a ball! Isaac has discovered that some toys bounce if you throw them! So he now plays his own game of fetch, throwing bouncy toys in one direction, crawling across the pen to get them, and then throwing them in the other direction. Ted is certain that Isaac is going to be a pro athlete one day and make us all millionaires.

Bite! Everyone but Lucy has two teeth now (she has one), but some teeth have had more time to grow than others. Isaac's are pretty big, and, with more on the way, he will bite on anything for relief. Including our arms.

Throw tantrums! Okay, so this started before the 10-month mark, but I just recorded the phenomenon last month. Dahlia wants to be an only child, and if she doesn't get your attention when she wants it, she'll throw back her head, arch her back, and kick her legs wildly. This is accompanied by very loud screaming, of course. We've been using the "ignore" tactic—does anyone have a better suggestion? I am afraid that the other babies will get some bad ideas from Dahlia!

Dahlia at 10 months: Doesn't she look so innocent?

Dahlia and Lucy have been babbling for a while, but Jude recently joined them in saying ba-ba, da-da, and na-na. Jude has also started chirping and making other cute sounds when he plays—so cute!

Jude at 10 months: Happy to see Mommy after his nap!

Say words! As I related earlier this month, Lucy can say "Pepper," and she often will call the kitty's name when she is in the room. But Lucy has also added to her repertoire by repeating "banana" at dinner and "bubbles" at bath time. Oh, and while we were watching "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Lucy said "Obama"—twice!

Lucy at 10 months: Learning to pattycake with Abuelita Joanna

Call me! Everyone except Isaac cries, "Mamá, mamá," whenever they are upset. I am pretty sure that they are talking to me most of the time!

Sit up, crawl, and pull up! When Lucy decided to catch up with her siblings, she did it fast: She sat up and crawled on the same day, pulled up to standing 5 days later, and started cruising 5 days after that! She can pretty much keep up with the pack now.

The Fab Four at 10 months: Nothing can stop them now!

And, last but not least:

Stand alone! Isaac has been experimenting with letting go when he's standing up. I have seen him stand on his own several times in the past week. From this position, he can also squat to sit without holding on to anything for support. I have a feeling that walking is around the corner. Eleven months, here we come!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

'Tis the season

October means Homecoming, and all year I've been looking forward to taking the Fab Four to their first Homecoming Fair. In fact, I was so excited that I even had a friend pick up four matching college tees (not cheap!) so that the babies would be appropriately decked out.

What was I thinking?! Not only does RSV season start this month (running through April), but also H1N1 seems to be everywhere. Both viruses could pose a life-threatening risk to my 33-weekers, who have not been vaccinated against either one. After remembering this tiny detail, we ultimately decided to stay home.

Unfortunately, this will be the story of our lives for the next several months. If you plan on visiting us during this time, we have just a few requests:
If you are sick or have been in the 5 days leading up to your scheduled visit, or if anyone in your family has been sick during that time, please postpone your visit until you are well.

If you have a baby or toddler, please do not bring them with you to visit us until RSV season is over, as the virus is common among children and spreads very easily from child to child.

If possible, please get a flu shot. We plan on getting vaccinated for the regular flu next week, and the babies will be vaccinated for H1N1 when the vaccine becomes available at our pediatrician's office.

As usual, we'll ask you to wash and sanitize your hands before touching the babies, since the virus that causes RSV can live as long as 6 hours on hands and 12 hours on objects.
Oh, and if you're wondering whether I returned the tees I bought for the kids to wear to Homecoming ... no way! Look how cute they look in them!

Jude, Lucy, Isaac, and Dahlia get their first taste of fall in matching AU tees

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A truly GREAT-grandpa

The day we found out about the quads, my Abuelito in Peru was one of the first people I called. When I told him that his dream was coming true—that I was pregnant—he let out a celebratory whooooop! Then I told him to guess how many babies I was having. After a pause, he declared that he'd be happy with two. Laughing, I replied, "More like two times two!"

Stunned and overjoyed, my Abuelito immediately recalled the story of Sarah, who laughed when she learned of her miracle pregnancy. He then offered a prayer to God, thanking Him for his love and his gifts and for how He grants the desires of our hearts and always provides for us. And he prayed that the four beings growing inside of me would grow up in the Lord and to love the Lord.

The moment was bittersweet: Knowing the risks and challenges of traveling with premature quads—and keenly aware of my Abuelito's advanced age—I feared that he would never get to meet my children.

Saying goodbye to my Abuelito at the airport in Peru (November 2007)

Then, several months ago, my Tio Ner and Aunt Harriet started talking about bringing him to the States to meet the quads. As much as I wanted this to happen, I did not pin my hopes on it. There were too many obstacles—among them distance, age, money, and the U.S. State Department itself. So imagine my joy when I learned that he and my Tia Julia had been granted tourist visas to come see us!

They braved the long journey from northern Peru in mid-August and were in this country for nearly a month. I cannot describe what a special gift and privilege it was to be able to introduce my babies to my only surviving grandparent. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine my Abuelito here, holding out his arms to embrace me and my four babies!

I tried to make the most of our precious time together, but I did not take nearly enough pictures. Here are some of my favorites:

Abuelito meeting Isaac for the first time

Lucy studying Abuelito's mustache

Abuelito holding Jude for the first time

Abuelito cuddling with Dahlia

The quads with their Abuelito Nehiel and my Abuelito (their Bisabuelo)

Thank you, Tio Ner and Aunt Harriet, for your efforts to make this seemingly impossible dream a reality! Abuelito, nunca olvidaré los momentos que pasamos juntos acá en mi casita. ¡Lo queremos mucho!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lucy's first word!

When people ask me what I think the babies' first word will be, I invariably answer, "Pepper." The babies are absolutely fascinated by our kitty, and her presence is enough to pause even the loudest screamfest. In return for their adulation, Pepper tolerates the babies extremely well (although she's not quite sure what she thinks about this crawling thing).

Anyway, last night Lucy was in the Exersaucer babbling away as usual (baba, dada), when Pepper came around the corner and sat down a few feet away from her. As soon as Lucy spotted the kitty, she started bouncing and panting, which is what she does when she's excited. Then Lucy leaned in Pepper's direction and said, "Puh-puh."

Ted was sure that Lucy had only said "baba," so when I picked her up to change her diaper, I decided to see if she would say Pepper's name again. As Lucy twisted in my arms to look at the kitty, I said, "Hi, Pepper!" And Lucy whispered, "Puh-puh."

Pepper, aka "Puh-puh"

"Isn't Pepper pretty?" I asked. Staring at the kitty, Lucy repeated, "Puh-puh." Ted and I looked at each other in amazement. One more time, I said "Pepper," and for the fourth time in a row, Lucy called her name: "Puh-puh."

I think we can safely say that this was not a fluke! I wonder how I can get her to say "Beatles" next ...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

9 months old ... it don't come easy!

I won't sugarcoat it—this past month has been a hard one.

We kicked it off with all of the babies getting roseola (several days of fever, followed by a rash). Naturally, their symptoms did not all appear on the same day—Lucy was the first to have a temperature, then Jude, then Isaac, and finally Dahlia. To compound the sheer misery of dealing with miserable babies (thank God my mother was in town!), the air conditioner chose to die on the second day of fever (which happened to be my birthday). A new air conditioning unit was not the kind of birthday gift I'd envisioned, but at that point I would have paid anything for a little relief.

Then, just as the roseola subsided, Isaac started cutting his first tooth. Suddenly, the kid who'd been sleeping 10 solid hours a night started waking up screaming every 2 hours! He now has two teeth on the bottom to show for it, but his sleeping patterns have yet to return to normal (I suspect another tooth is on the way). Dahlia, on the other hand, cut her two bottom teeth around the same time Isaac did, with very little change in her mood or sleeping patterns. Are my kids proving the theory that women have a higher pain tolerance than men do? We'll see how Jude and Lucy react to the ordeal when it's their turn!

Of course, none of this—fever, rash, or teeth—stopped the kids from keeping us on our toes with their continuing efforts to become fully mobile. Isaac started cruising a couple of weeks ago (and will loudly protest when confined to the playard); Dahlia occasionally pulls to standing; Jude can sit himself up, pulls to standing like a pro, and is almost officially crawling; and even little Lucy is rocking on all fours (only when she wants to though—you can't make her!).

Freshly bathed and happy—but it's getting harder and harder
to get them to sit still long enough for a quad pic!
We ended the already difficult month with a change in our feeding schedule—never an easy adjustment for any of us. Specifically, we've added a third meal of solid foods (so now they have breakfast, lunch, and dinner—just like real people!), and we've taken away one round of bottles. (Thanks for the advice, Christy!) This means that we are now going through 4 pounds of baby food per day, while the formula we are using has decreased to about two-thirds of a gallon a day. Incidentally, we are using just over two dozen diapers every day now, but we change approximately twice as many dirty diapers as we used to (thanks, baby food!).
As for naps, they've gone from three a day to just two—one in the morning and one in the early afternoon. We have to fight to get the babies to stay awake until bedtime, but I'd say that it's been paying off: Last night Dahlia slept for 12 straight hours! Dare I hope that the others follow suit (and save my sanity) in the near future? Stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two-armed and not dangerous

The crime rate is on the rise around our house. The suspect is a female, nearly 9 months old and about 27 inches tall. Her assigned pacifier color is pink. Recently she has been spotted pilfering other babies' pacifiers in various locations around the playard. On occasion, the pacifier has reportedly been snatched directly from the owner's mouth.

The brazen thefts occur in broad daylight, and the greedy perpetrator is not always content with taking just one pacifier at a time:

Suspect sighted with two of Isaac's orange pacifiers

The suspect makes her getaway by crawling. She should be easy to spot since she prefers to place pacifiers in her mouth upside-down:

Suspect seen using one of Jude's blue pacifiers

In fact, she also has been known to experiment with using pacifiers backwards:

Suspect spotted misusing Lucia's purple pacifier

If you come across this suspect, do not attempt to remove the pacifier from her mouth. Her parents are just happy that she's learned how to soothe herself without their help!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Table for four

Move aside, Mission-style dining room set: You have been replaced by a glamorous quad feeding table!

One of our first times at the table (August 2009)

This wonderful piece of furniture came our way courtesy of the Murray Crew, whose four boys have graduated to using booster seats at the "real" table. Since I didn't really relish the idea of purchasing four highchairs and having to clean them up after every meal, this table is a dream come true for me! And we've been having a lot of fun in the weeks since we started using it; I think the kids are really starting to look forward to that time with me and with each other. This morning I left Isaac, Lucia, and Dahlia at the table while I changed Jude in the other room, and I could hear them "talking" to and laughing at each other in the kitchen. So cute! Here is everyone hanging out after breakfast yesterday:

Feeding four at once can get hairy since they don't yet understand the concept of taking turns, so I usually try to start out feeding two; once they're close to being finished, I add a third, and eventually a fourth. Doing it this way also lets me focus a little more on each individual, which means that I am quickly learning about all of their little "eating quirks." For example, I've discovered that Isaac likes to dance in his seat, especially when I sing "The Wheels on the Bus." Jude is usually too busy looking around to care very much about the next bite, which can make feeding him quite time-consuming, but I can't shovel the food in fast enough for Lucy, who's our little solid-food-eating machine. And although Dahlia is the most finicky, she will almost always laugh and take a bite if I do the "airplane" with her spoon.

Thanks again, Murray Crew! We cannot express how grateful we are to be on the receiving end of such a generous hand-me-down, and we're looking forward to making many more special memories at this table in the months ahead!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

8 months old: Jude and Lucia

Things are changing so fast around here. When I wrote my update on Isaac and Dahlia a couple of weeks ago, Jude and Lucy were not even close to sitting up by themselves. Now, although neither can get into that position alone, they can both remain seated if someone puts them that way. This is revolutionary for life around here because it means that, despite their acid reflux, all the kids can play somewhat independently without needing to be propped up in a bouncy seat or swing. Woohoo! Here's more on what's been going on with our "middle" children lately:

Jude is a very sweet little boy who loves to observe the world around him. In the past week or so, he has started to show affection by putting his arms around my neck and giving me wet, sloppy kisses. It's a good thing he's so darn cute during the day because he's long been the main reason I can't get any sleep at night! Since his sleep study back in July turned out normal, we are thinking that he might just be a light sleeper; with that in mind, we moved him into a pack 'n' play in the guest room a few weeks ago, and he's been doing much better.

Jude, hooked up to a bunch of sensors but very
happy to see me after his 3-hour sleep study!

Jude cracks us up because he loves people, but he hates it when any of the other babies touch him or even get near him (not that he has a problem touching them!). I keep telling him that he's just going to have to get used to being crowded all the time! Fortunately for him, he has recently started to army-crawl; the newfound mobility seems to have ease his frustration somewhat. And I know that real crawling is not far away because he will occasionally get on all fours and rock now. Or perhaps he will just skip crawling altogether: A couple of days ago, he surprised us (and himself, I think) by pulling up to stand in the playard—go, Jude!

"Whoa, what did I just do?"

Lucia is pure sunshine: She wakes up happy, loves to talk (she can say "ba," "da," "ma," "na," and "nigh"), and is generally a very content baby. Unfortunately, Lucy hates taking her bottle, which has caused her to fall behind the other babies in the weight department. Thanks in part to Abuelita Joanna, however, Lucy has finally started to fill out. During Abuelita's recent visit, she used her grandma magic to get Lucy to drink everything—all the time! It also helps that Lucy loves her solid foods. As soon as you give her a bite, her little mouth is open and ready for the next one!

Lucy, sitting just as pretty as her sister does

Lucy also loves to stick out her tongue. It's always out there, sometimes with its tip curled up. That little tongue is so cute that we often find ourselves sticking out our own in response (a habit we should probably try to break before the babies start thinking this is a socially acceptable greeting!). As adept as she is with that muscle, however, Lucy is the only baby that hasn't yet attempted to get on all fours. In fact, if you even try to put her in the position, she will absolutely refuse to bend at the hips (stubborn!). We are working with her on that, since she can clearly be quite flexible when she wants to be:

Oh, and I happen to have some news about the other babies, too: Dahlia has mastered crawling, and Isaac cut his first tooth the day before yesterday! Yep, things sure are changing fast around here!

Friday, August 28, 2009

8 months old: Isaac and Dahlia

The babies turned 8 months old this week, and if you're wondering why I skipped the 7-month update ... well, I have quads! I have no free time! And now that I'm officially a full-time, stay-at-home mom (yes, I finally took the leap and quit my job a few weeks ago), blogging time is even more scarce. Since there is a lot of news to share and I can't seem to write more than a sentence or two before being called away, I've decided to divide the 8-month update into a series of shorter posts ... perhaps this way I'll be able to catch everyone up before the 9-month mark! Now, without further ado, the latest on the "oldest" and the "youngest":

Isaac is a happy, energetic boy who gets a kick out of life: He loves to interact with people by giggling, squealing, and cooing—sometimes for no apparent reason. In the past couple of weeks, he has started to give hugs, sometimes pulling hard on my ears or hair (the better to grip me with—he's very strong!), and occasionally he will even give me a "kiss" by sucking on my face. Isaac has been our champion eater from the beginning, and it's really paying off for him. Not only is he the longest and the heaviest (18 lb. at last check), but last week he was also the first to sit, crawl, and pull to standing, all within the space of a few days! It's funny because Isaac initially hated tummy time so much that he was the last to roll over (both belly to back and back to belly)—now he's ahead of the pack. Check out some of the trouble he's been getting into lately:

"Now that I can stand, I think I'll climb in here for a nap!"

"Hmmm ... I wonder how I can break out of this joint?"

"You think you can fence me in?"

Queen Dahlia (as my cousin Glenda calls her) is a fiery ball of energy. When she's happy, she beams; when she's not happy, she lets you know, and loudly. Dahlia needs more naps than the other babies, but when it's time for bed she gets so excited that it can take forever for her to calm down enough to fall sleep. She loves music, and her favorite place to be is in her daddy's lap while he's working. Dahlia can now say, "ta, ta, ta, ta," and she loves to try to talk to (read: squeal at) her brothers and sister. Developmentally, this girl is hot on Isaac's heels: She sat up by herself for the first time on the day she turned 8 months old (exactly a week after Isaac sat up), and although she isn't technically crawling, she can definitely get wherever she wants to be!

"See how pretty I can sit?"

"Ah, so this is what you're doing all day!"

"I may be stuck, but I'm still smiling!"

You know, being home with the babies may be physically and emotionally exhausting, but the fact that I've been present for these milestones makes the utter fatigue worth it. Bring on the energy drinks!

Monday, July 13, 2009

6 months old ... going on 7!

Yes, this update is late. And yes, it's because the Fab Four are keeping me terribly busy!

Despite my long silence, a lot has happened in the past few weeks. Most importantly, we dedicated the babies on June 28, just days after they turned 6 months old. The occasion was made extra special because all four grandparents, a great-grandma, Tio Johnny and Aunt Holly, and nearly 100 of the quads' closest family and friends were able to join us to celebrate this milestone. It really was a family affair all around: My dad officiated, personalizing the ceremony by extracting meaningful qualities from each baby's name; my brother read Scripture; my dad's brother Ner (a classical guitarist) provided the music while his wife Harriet led the singing; my cousin Glenda took video; and two of my mom's sisters (Priscilla and Esther) catered the reception that followed. The babies must have known that I would need more energy than usual to get through the big day: The night before the dedication, all four of them slept until morning for the first (and, so far, only) time!

Isaac, Lucia, Jude, and Dahlia in their dedication outfits

Speaking of sleeping, the babies have gotten so good at rolling over both ways that all of them are now making a habit of sleeping on their tummies. The girls, in particular, are so skilled in the rolling department that we cannot leave them playing on a blanket anymore without coming back to find them eating carpet across the room. Here's Lucy the first time I found her flipped over in her crib—she was so proud of herself!

The babies have also started eating all kinds of fruits and veggies. Isaac is the best (and least messy) eater; Lucy has been the most difficult to feed (as usual), but she's getting the hang of it. It's so much fun to see the different reactions to new foods. They will often make a face and act like they don't like it—but as soon as they see me smiling and saying, "Yummy!" they decide it's okay after all. Here's Dahlia taking her first taste of sweet potatoes (do you think she likes them?):

Other events of note:

While my parents were here, the quads went to college for the first time! During our church's North American convention, we walked around my alma mater's campus, visited a couple of friends who work there, and got a lot of practice in dealing with curious passersby. The admissions office even announced the Fab Four's visit on its welcome board!

Hopefully the quads will return in 2027 as freshmen!

Later that week, we packed up the quads and took them to visit my Grandpa M's grave. As you may remember, he passed away just a couple of weeks before the babies were born. Although I don't believe there's anything magical or supernatural about a gravesite, I did feel like it was important to take the babies out to the cemetery, even if just for a few minutes. I really wish they'd been able to meet my grandpa and, until they're old enough to understand stories about him, this is as close as we're gonna get.

With Abuelita Joanna, at Grandma and Grandpa M's gravesite

On a final note (pun intended), Michael Jackson died just after the quads hit the 6-month mark. Okay, so he was a tad eccentric, and it's widely held that he led a questionable lifestyle—but hey, his songs are the soundtrack to a large chunk of my childhood! In the past couple of weeks, I've been playing his music for the Fab Four so that perhaps they can become fans, too. I can't think of a better way to sign off on this month's update than with Dahlia's brief tribute to the King of Pop:

(Special thanks to Glenda for her dancing assistance!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ain't no dad like a quad dad

Ted, ever since the day we decided that we were ready to start a family, you've been a great dad. From the beginning, you made sure that I took my vitamins, that I ate the right things, and that I took good care of myself so that our future child would have the best start in life.

Then we found out that we were having four children:

With Dr. C, a few days after finding out about the quads

You were instantly worried about me, worried that I was too small to carry these babies. And you were equally concerned for the babies themselves. As I got bigger, you did everything you could to keep me off my feet—even though sometimes I did not want to listen!

After I went into the hospital, you were there for me every evening and weekend, helping me to do basic things like eat, shower, and stay sane. Without you, I could not have carried these babies for as long as I did!

In the hospital at 29 weeks
(a month before delivery)

You had no previous experience with children, so when the babies came, you were subjected to a crash course in fatherhood. You handled the NICU like a pro. As soon as we were allowed to touch the babies, you learned how to cradle them in your arms:

Holding Lucia for the first time

... how to change a diaper (in an isolette, no less!):

Changing Lucia for the first time

... how to give a bottle to a baby that was still learning to suck:

Feeding Isaac for the first time

... and how to burp a tiny baby that couldn't hold her head up:

Feeding Dahlia for the first time

Then, when it was time for the babies to come home, you were the one who buckled them safely into their car seats:

Getting Jude ready to leave the hospital

In the months since the babies came home, you've grown more and more comfortable as a father of four. The hours are long, but the rewards are great:

Tuckered out and snoozing on the couch
with Jude and Lucy

You now know there's nothing like making your baby smile:

Cuddling with Jude

Or being greeted first thing in the morning by a sweet little face that's so happy to see you:

Saying good morning to Isaac

The babies know you and love you. When you talk, they listen (for now, anyway!):

Tummy time with Jude and Dahlia

And they count on you to teach them new skills:

Demonstrating to the girls how to burp a baby

Showing Isaac what a lawnmower looks like
(so that he can take over lawn duty someday!)

Like any good dad, you occasionally even encourage them to try new foods:

"Trust me, Dahlia, this tastes better than formula!"

Most impressively, you have learned to multitask like nobody's business:

Entertaining Jude while feeding Lucy

Taking a phone message while holding Isaac

Bringing both girls out from their nap

Feeding Isaac and Dahlia at the same time

And after all you do for our family, you amazingly still have enough energy left to get dressed up and take me out on a date once in a while:

Ready to attend Boss Tammy's wedding last month

You truly are a Super Dad. I love you, Ted, and I couldn't do this without you. Happy Father's Day!


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