Sunday, June 27, 2010

18 months old ... we're lovin' it

The Fab Four celebrated turning one-and-a-half (!) by making their debut at Family Day, the reunion that my mom's side holds just about every summer. For most of my many (many!) relatives, this was the first time to meet the kids in person after following the blog for the last couple of years, so our arrival was greeted with big smiles and open arms—literally: While we were there, I didn't have to hold a kid unless I wanted to, which was simultaneously a very weird and a very wonderful position in which to find myself!

I wasn't sure how the Fab Four would react to such a large crowd, but they did great with all of the new faces—and they absolutely LOVED being able to run around in the park where the reunion was held. I think Dahlia actually ran nonstop, in any and all directions possible, the entire time we were there! Lucy and Jude preferred the shade (and attention) that they got in the shelter, and Isaac ended up splitting his time between fun in the sun and the shade. Keeping track of everyone was a challenge (and boy, was it HOT out there!), but we had a lot of willing helpers, which made it doable. I think it was all worth it to introduce the Fab Four to their huge family and show them how much everyone cares about them!

Family Day 2010:
Abuelito Nehiel with Isaac, Ted with Dahlia,
me with Jude, and Abuelita Joanna with Lucy

By the time we left the park, it was almost dinnertime, so we decided to stop at McDonald's and try eating out with the Fab Four for the first time ever! Once again, the kids were amazing, and all of us thoroughly enjoyed the novelties of using restaurant high chairs and eating in public. We were fortunate to have a quiet corner of the restaurant to ourselves and were interrupted only by a lovely old lady who told us that meeting our family was the highlight of her day. I told the kids that that should be our family mission: to spread joy wherever we go!

"Did somebody say quadruplets?"

Sadly, our McD's adventure came to an end after Lucy choked on a fry and threw up, but that was the only blemish on what turned out to be a pretty fun day. We drove home without incident, and the kids even went to bed an hour and a half late without melting down. It's amazing how the most mundane things can feel like huge accomplishments when you multiply them by four—thanks so much to everyone who helped make our big outing a success!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The leftovers

When you're pregnant with quadruplets, the only thing you really care about is getting those babies here safely. For me, that meant doing everything my maternal-fetal specialists recommended, including gaining a grand total of 80 pounds over the course of my 33-week-plus pregnancy. From the start, the doctors worried that my 63-inch-tall frame would not be able to accommodate the babies for as long as it needed to, but—as we all know—the Fab Four ignored conventional wisdom and made room. The five of us grew and grew and grew, and on the day I delivered, my waist measured 57 inches around:

More than ready for my C-section!
After the babies were born, my body did its best to remember what it used to look like. Indeed, on my very first day as a mother, I lost a whopping 35 pounds—fully half of which was babies! Within 5 months of the birth, I'd dropped another 35 pounds without even trying (call it the no-time-to-eat-or-sleep-because-I have-quadruplets diet). Now, 13 months after losing the first 70 pounds, I am actually back to my pre-pregnancy weight—but you certainly can't tell by looking!

On the day after I found out I was pregnant (left), and
at the same weight exactly 2 years later
and lifting my extra skin (center) and not (right)

Yep, carrying that much baby does a number on your midsection. The pregnancy twisted and rotated my pelvis (a condition that took 6 weeks of thrice-weekly chiropractor visits to fix), and my belly button is herniated. On top of that, my abdominal wall no longer connects in the center, which makes my belly protrude as if I were still pregnant. As for my skin, it looks like a big, deflated balloon—and I suppose that's exactly what it is. The stretch marks extend all the way up to my ribcage and around my sides, but they're nothing compared to the handfuls of wrinkly skin that hang from my belly.

What's really frustrating is that no amount of sit-ups can repair the damage to my muscles, and the more weight I lose, the more excess skin I have. In fact, I've been told by several doctors that, if I ever want to look "normal" again, I have only one option: a tummy tuck.

I never thought I'd consider plastic surgery, but I also never imagined that my body would be asked to do what it's done. And after nearly a year and a half of watching my post-quad body take shape, I know without a doubt that I do want to look normal again. Not just that—I want to feel like myself again.

So I've decided to take the plunge: On Wednesday morning, I am scheduled to undergo a circumferential abdominoplasty (look it up if you want to know how this is different from a regular tummy tuck). My mom is staying with us to help with the kids while I recover, Ted is taking some time off work to take care of me and help my mom, and a few friends and family members are graciously volunteering their time to fill in the gaps. If all goes well, I should be back on my feet after a week, and back in the trenches a week or two after that.

I'm a little (okay, very!) nervous about both the surgery and the recovery period, but I'm also getting more and more excited about the fact that I am so close to having something resembling my old body back again. After all, I already have four beautiful reminders of my extreme pregnancy—why hang on to the not-so-lovely leftovers?

Mi bella familia: Ted and I with
(l to r) Lucia, Isaac, Jude, and Dahlia

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bottoms up!

When life starts to get you down, just remember that it always helps to look at things from a different perspective:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Baby love

The Fab Four have been steadily increasing their vocabulary during the last couple of months: Lucy currently knows 29 words and 15 signs, Jude knows 15 words and 13 signs, and Isaac and Dahlia both know 8 words and 10 signs. Lately, it seems that every single day, at least one of the kids will learn to say a new word or make a new sign.

Out of all of those words, however, the one we hear (or see) the most is "baby." Lucy, in particular, is obsessed with babies and says the word about a million times a day. Baby, baby, baby—to her, just about anything with an anthropomorphic face, even a robot, is a baby!

Lucy's favorite babies are the ones that she and Dahlia got for their birthday and Christmas. Both girls (and sometimes even the boys) love to carry around their baby dolls and give them hugs. I often see the girls pretending to feed their dolls a bottle or give them a pacifier—it's so cute!

Lucy with her "quads" on Christmas Day (12 months old)
Here's a clip of the girls hanging out on the school bus with their baby dolls yesterday afternoon. Dahlia was not too interested in talking to me, but Lucy sure was:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Candid camera

Almost every time I try to tape the kids doing something cute, they stop as soon as they see me and/or the camera. This morning was no exception, so I decided to try something new: I improvised a "hidden" camera by perching my camera on the half-wall that separates the living room from the kitchen, hitting the record button, and then ducking behind the wall. As I'd hoped, business-as-usual resumed as soon as I disappeared!

I know the kids aren't supposed to be running on the couch, but how can I be upset with them when they're having so much fun together? Hopefully this new indoor toy (which made its debut this afternoon) will help to redirect some of those climbing compulsions:

The Fab Four check out their new schoolbus
(l to r: Dahlia, Lucy, Isaac, and Jude)

Friday, June 4, 2010


The kids are working on learning their body parts. All four of them know where their eyes and nose are, and Jude and Lucy can also point to their tummy, mouth, ears, and hair. Lucy is the only one who can show you her feet, which she loves to adorn with links.

This evening I caught the girls investigating yet another part of their anatomy—and a very cute part it is!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wasteland no more

Until recently, our backyard was a veritable toddler wasteland, barren of toys or anything else remotely fun. Thanks to a new-to-us picnic table and climb-and-slide, though, we are now well on the way to creating a great place for the Fab Four to get some fresh air and—most importantly—burn. off. some. ENERGY!

We introduced the kids to their new toys over the long weekend. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as Ted unceremoniously initiated Isaac on the slide, Jude refused to walk in the grass, Dahlia tried to escape, and Lucy made sure that she was a part of the action. Never a dull moment!


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