Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our guitar hero

What could possibly be better than jamming with your great-uncle on your toy guitar?

How about having a great-uncle who will give you a real guitar of your very own!

You read that right: My Tío Ner hand-carried a little guitar all the way from Peru just for the Fab Four! Lucky for us, he's a classical guitarist who believes that it's important for young children to be able to explore an instrument—to climb on it, hit it, feel it, and pluck its strings—in order to hear the effects of their actions. The kids seem to discover something new every time they play with their guitarrita!

Ted and I are so grateful for my uncle's investment in our children's musical education. We also love it when he gives us a private concert. Here's a clip of the first time he performed for the Fab Four, just about a year ago:

My dad's side is blessed with several gifted guitarists (including my brother), so hopefully all of this early exposure will pay off. I certainly wouldn't mind having another guitar player (or four) in the family!

Monday, May 24, 2010

17 months old ... stayin' alive

Our living room has undergone a makeover during the past month. Actually, several makeovers. Not because we're redecorating, but because we're rapidly discovering that "baby-proofed" does not equal "toddler-proofed"!

Scaling fences, climbing on tables, tipping toy boxes, running on the couch—we've seen it all and more in the last few weeks. Ted has spent a lot of time moving furniture around (and around) to make the living room as safe as possible, but as soon as we think we have a foolproof plan, the kids (*cough* Jude *cough*) immediately find a way to subvert it. Just yesterday morning I about died when I turned to see Jude clinging to the top corner of the couch like a little, sideways koala!

Being naughty!!

I know, I know—everyone tells me that kids are resilient and that it's normal for them to fall (after all, that's how they learn, right?). Nevertheless, visions of horrible accidents flash before my eyes when I see my four little monkeys behaving so dangerously. I'm not a worrier by nature, but I do find myself praying that the Fab Four will make it to the 18-month mark in one piece!

An increasingly rare moment of sofa zen

The next (admittedly extreme) measure would be to completely remove the furniture from the living room (as we know other families of multiples have done). However, our house is tiny, and there's simply nowhere else to put our stuff. Oh, for a basement ...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jammies can wait

"Onesie time" in the evening (formerly known as "naked time") is my favorite part of the day. The kids are happy because their bellies are full of dinner—and also because they love being free of those pesky clothes! I feel more relaxed, too, knowing that any remaining chores can wait until they are in bed. Our nightly pre-pajama party is a great time for chases and giggles and general silliness, which everyone knows is not as much fun when you have jammies on! Here's a small glimpse into a typical evening at our house:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Light terrors

Do you see anything scary in this picture? (And no, I'm not talking about the feeding table!)

According to Lucy, the light fixture above the table is what is absolutely terrifying. It hangs directly over her designated seat, and it's never posed a problem. Until this week.

Before I go any further, let me confess that, earlier this week, I did bump Lucy's head on the light fixture as I was putting her in her seat for breakfast. But since she didn't cry and barely seemed to even notice the collision, I just kissed her head and we proceeded with our meal. Later that day, everyone got back in the table for lunch and for a snack, and both times Lucy acted normally.

Then came dinner. As soon as I put Lucy in her seat, she FREAKED. OUT. I've never seen anything like it. She was screaming so hard that she was beet red, her teeth were gritted, her fists were clenched, and her eyes were tearing. She would not eat or drink, and nothing I did to try to soothe her had any effect.

Eventually I took her out of the table and back into the living room. She calmed down almost instantly, so after a few minutes, I put her back in the table. Immediately, she reverted to full-on panic mode. I noticed that she kept looking up at the light like she was spooked, so I turned it off, thinking that perhaps the glare or heat were bothering her. No dice.

At this point, I decided that she was just having an irrational tantrum, so I took her out of the table for good, and little Lucy did not eat dinner that night.

The next morning, I put Lucy in the table for breakfast. Immediate SCREAMING. Again, I noticed that she kept looking up at the light. In a moment of inspiration, I asked Ted to help me switch her place with Jude, who usually sits the farthest from the light fixture. Right away, Lucy stopped screaming, and we were able to eat our breakfast without further incident. I haven't put her back in her old seat since then, and she's been completely fineat the table.

I stress "at the table" because, just before naptime today, Lucy began pointing at the living room chandelier. She does this all the time, and I always tell her what it's called—no big deal. This time, however, I thought it would be fun to lift her up so that she could get a closer look at it. BAD MOVE. Lucy instantly dissolved into terrified tears! Nothing consoled her except for taking her out of the living room (which happens to be the only baby-proofed room in the house!).

"Here I come, baby—comin' to getcha!"

It appears that dealing with this new fear of light fixtures won't be as easy as switching places at the table, after all. Anyone have any advice on how to cure this sudden chandelier phobia? I'm stumped!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Free to a good home

Anybody need four dozen bottles?

How about close to a hundred nipples?

A ton of rings?

A whole bunch of caps?

We don't need this pile of paraphernalia anymore because the Fab Four are DONE with bedtime bottles! Which means that they are done with bottles, period! And they don't even seem to care—hallelujah! Can you tell that I never want to see another bottle again?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our first playdate!

This morning the Fab Four finally got to play at a friends' house like normal kids do. These particular friends, however, are far from normal—Kenny, Emma, and Grace are 16-month-old triplets!

Their mother Megan and I met when we were both new residents of the high-risk L&D unit at St. V's, but our real friendship began when we reconnected at a Moms of Multiples get-together. Since that night, Megan and I have exchanged countless e-mails about schedules, sleep problems, feeding ideas, and discipline. Having a friend like her—someone who has multiples the same age as mine and knows exactly what I'm going through—has helped keep me sane, and I know that she feels the same way about me.

Me and Megan at the last MoMs get-together
Unfortunately for me, the Megans (as Ted calls her family) are moving away later this week. In light of our shared experiences, Megan and I felt that it was only right for her trio and my foursome to meet each other before the big move, so she rearranged her schedule just to make it possible for us to come over for a last-minute playdate.

I was a little apprehensive as to how the Fab Four would react to the new surroundings and the other children, but it turns out that I had no reason to worry. They got along great with the triplets—although the boys were pretty much loners and Lucy was a little shy, Dahlia got in a quite few hugs and kisses with Emma and Grace! There were lots of toys to keep everyone busy, and my kids loved running around and exploring the big basement that serves as the triplets' playroom.

Seven sets of busy hands

Due to our schedule, we could spend only a little more than an hour with the Megans. We were all having such a good time that the minutes flew by, and everyone (including the mommies) was sad when it was time to go. I really wish that we could do it again soon—keep in touch, Megan!

Triplet and quad buddies, together at last!
(left to right: Kenny, Grace, Emma, Lucy, Dahlia, Isaac, and Jude)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chop, chop!

On Monday morning, we had a very special visitor: my wonderful hair designer Dawn. Because it's hard for me to get away long enough to go to the salon, Dawn's been coming to me periodically ever since the babies came home.

The last time she was here, I mentioned that I was wanting to cut the kids' hair soon. She told me that she'd be happy to perform the honors here at the house, and I jumped at the chance. After all, not only do the kids already know her, but they also have seen her actually cutting my hair! I figured that this familiarity (as well as the familiar surroundings) might lessen the chances of any first-haircut hysteria.

Thankfully, I was right: The kids acted like getting a haircut was no big deal, and the only (brief) tears came when Dawn tried to use the hairdryer on Dahlia. Whew!

Having a ball with spray bottle, clips, and hair clippings(clockwise from top left: Lucy, Jude, Isaac, and Dahlia)

Lucy's haircut was the simplest. Her curls already looked so cute that all Dawn had to do was snip off some fine ends, and voila:

Lucy, before and after
Jude had adorable curls in the back at one point, but as his hair grew longer, the curls had morphed into an unfortunate mullet. Dawn trimmed up the back and made Jude look like a little man:

Jude, before and after
Dahlia was also a victim of the baby mullet. Dawn cut a couple of inches off the back to give her a super-cute swing bob:

Dahlia, before and after

Isaac's transformation was the most dramatic. His mass of gorgeous blond curls had gotten out of control. I asked Dawn to tame them without obliterating them. He looks like such a big boy now:

Isaac, before and after
Later that day, the kiddos debuted their new dos in the backyard:

Strutting their stuff in their Beatles duds
(clockwise from top left: Lucy, Jude, Isaac, and Dahlia)

So my Fab Four are moptops no more—and we love it! Thanks, Dawn!


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