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:


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