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!


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