Friday, July 30, 2010

Crackin' up

Some days I feel like I could go nuts. On those days, it seems like someone is always whining, no one wants to eat what I've made, everyone acts like I'm killing them on the changing table, and nap time is unexpectedly cut short by more than an hour.

And then, out of the blue, God will send me a moment like this, a moment that makes me forget all that stuff and bask in the sheer joy that these little people bring to my life—every single day:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Four little cholos

Today is the Peruvian independence day, and guess what? The Fab Four just happen to be one-quarter Peruvian!

Being expatriates, we didn't have any parades to attend, but we didn't let that stop us from commemorating this special day in our own way. To kick off our celebration, the kids modeled the warm chullos that their Bisabuelo brought them when he came to visit last year:

Later they took turns admiring the beautiful Peruvian flag:

And then, to top it all off, the whole family enjoyed some lively huayno music in the van:

The only thing missing was a Peruvian feast. Maybe next year I will have time to fix some yummy food—or better yet, Abuelita Joanna can come cook it for us!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scary toy story

Nothing's creepier than standing at the sink, washing dishes in the blessed silence of quadruplet naptime, and suddenly hearing this:

Methinks it's time for this toy to R.I.P.—or I might just die of a heart attack when it goes off in the middle of the night!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

19 months old ... reining 'em in

This morning we FINALLY took the kids to church. We'd been meaning to try it ever since we dropped the morning nap, but we hadn't gotten around to it yet because, frankly, the idea was supremely intimidating. I mean, getting four toddlers ready for church—feeding them breakfast, changing their diapers, dressing them up, and preparing the diaper bag for an extended outing—while also having to get ourselves ready, all before 9am? A daunting task, to say the least.

But this morning I got the itch to try it and, since Ted didn't have any strong objections, we decided to go for it. After breakfast, we raced around to find outfits for the kids and make ourselves presentable before rushing out the door (right on time) for our first family trip to church since the babies were dedicated.

When we got there, we quickly unloaded the van and each grabbed two kids by the hand to walk inside (in the most meandering way possible, of course, as each child desired to walk in a different direction). We registered the kids in a flash ("yes, they all have the same birthday ... no, they are not two sets of twins ... yes, I do have my hands full") and dropped them off in the toddler room.

Notice that I have no pictures of the chaotic momentous occasion.

While Dahlia was thrilled to go in and make new friends, the other three cried as soon as they realized what was happening. Although I felt bad for leaving them when they were so sad, Ted and I quickly left the scene and made our way to the sanctuary. There I tried to put the kids out of my mind in order to focus on the message (which turned out to be a very interesting exegesis of a portion of Matthew 5—see, I paid attention!).

As soon as the service concluded, we booked it back to the toddler room to see how things went. I could hear Isaac crying down the hall and immediately thought the worst, but the caregivers claimed that he had been fine until just then. In fact, they assured me, all of the kids had actually had a lot of fun while we were gone. It would seem that our first church nursery experience hadn't been too bad after all!

My relief, however, was premature, as leaving proved to be even more difficult than arriving: Isaac was inconsolable, Dahlia repeatedly bolted at the slightest decrease in hand pressure, Lucy insisted on being carried, and Jude absolutely refused to walk through the double doors. Somehow, we were eventually able to get all four of them to walk back out to the van among a throng of exiting churchgoers, but it was no picnic!

To be completely honest, the whole endeavor left us sweaty and grouchy and utterly exhausted. But at least now we know that taking the kids to church on our own is not an impossible feat! We will be repeating the attempt sometime soon, but definitely not until we receive delivery of these nifty little contraptions:

The key to controlling our
four little monkeys in open spaces?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's dance!

Today Ted and I marked our 10th wedding anniversary. It was a quiet day (well, as quiet as a houseful of toddlers could make it), just like any other day.

The Fab Four, however, were not content to let the occasion go unnoticed. After dinner, I caught them celebrating by holding an impromptu dance party (listen for Lucy calling roll toward the end—"Ju, Zach, Da-ya-ya-ya!"):

This weekend Ted and I will hold our own celebration by dressing up and going to a fancy restaurant while our dear friends Rebecca and Steve hold down the fort. I think we'll leave the dancing to the kids, though!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The boy who cried wolf

There once was a boy named Jude. His favorite things to do were to be chased, to hide from Mommy and Daddy, and to giggle his head off when tickled in just the right spot. Oh, and he also loved to WHINE.

Mommy and Daddy didn't like for Jude to whine. They tried all sorts of things to get him to stop. The only approach that seemed to work was Abuelita Joanna's trick of asking Jude, "Are you whining?" Upon hearing this question, Jude would invariably shake his head vigorously and stop whining—at least for a little bit.

One day, Mommy was working in the kitchen when she heard Jude whining. Although she was used to hearing this sound, she still looked up to make sure that he was all right. He was standing in the corner by the gate, against the wall so that he could see her. This was his favorite spot in which to whine at Mommy for being in the kitchen.

Mommy called out to Jude for him to stop whining and went on working. After a little while, she noticed that he was still whining. Although it wasn't even close to nap time, he was sucking on a pacifier and gripping his night-night. Mommy figured that his teeth must hurt, so she gave him a dose of Motrin and went back to the kitchen to work.

A few minutes later, Daddy passed by the gate and noticed that Jude was still whining! "Jude," said Daddy. "Are you whining?" Daddy was ready to whine at Jude so that Jude could hear how ugly it sounded, when Daddy suddenly noticed that something was wrong with Jude's leg. It was stuffed between the wall and the gate, all the way past the knee, and Jude couldn't get it out! No wonder he was whining!

Lucy investigates the scene
Daddy quickly began to disassemble the gate to free Jude's leg, while Mommy ran over to see what was the matter. Jude began to cry, but only because of the commotion; he wasn't hurt.

After Daddy saved him, he reminded Jude about the story of the boy who cried wolf, and he explained how this situation was the perfect illustration of that story: Because Jude whined all the time, Mommy and Daddy looked right at him and didn't even realize that he was in trouble!

Did little Jude learn his lesson? Only time will tell ...

Sad Jude after his release

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vowel-uable knowledge

Remember how, once upon a time, I was sure that my babies were geniuses? Well, more than a year later, I am still not convinced otherwise.

Case in point: Dahlia, at the tender age of 18 months, already knows her vowels. It's true! Just try to tell me that she does not recite "a-e-i-o-u" at least once (possibly with a Spanish accent) while reading aloud from Dr. Seuss:

And, let's face it, it takes a beautiful mind to create an ensemble such as this:

Einstein himself couldn't have pulled off this look!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Give me a sign

When the Fab Four dropped their morning nap a few months ago, I started showing them sign language videos in the late morning to keep them happy until lunchtime. I had halfheartedly tried to teach them signs prior to this, but demonstrating the sign and then helping the kids to do the sign—four times—every time I said the word I wanted them to learn was just too difficult to do consistently. So I gave up. Once we started watching the videos regularly, however, the kids rapidly picked up signs on their own—all I had to do was watch the videos with them a couple of times to learn the signs myself. Sweet!

Being able to communicate with the kids in this way has been thrilling, and I am constantly surprised at the things they are noticing in their environment. If they did not know signs, for example, I would have no idea that they sometimes hear a dog barking in the distance, or that all of them are obsessed with cars, or that they are often dying to wear shoes indoors. Among many other things, they can also ask for food, tell me when they're thirsty, and let me know when they're full. I love it!

The challenge is that not all of the kids necessarily make the same sign in the same way—or in any way similar to what we learned on the video. Sometimes, in fact, I can only differentiate signs based on the sounds the kids make along with their gesture of choice, or based on the context in which they are making the gesture. I guess it's their way of making sure I'm paying attention! Check out this clip, and you'll see what I mean:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is that your final answer?

Newsflash: "Baby" is no longer the most popular word around here. I'll give you one guess as to what has taken its place:

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's pool time!

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of our nation by eating hot dogs and introducing the Fab Four to their new kiddie pool. (Yes, it's July and we are just now getting them into the water. Baby steps, people!) We filled the pool early in the day to give the water a chance to warm up, and then we initiated the kids into some of the most beloved rituals of summer: Swim diapers? Check. Bathing suits? Check. Sunscreen? Quadruple check!

Ah, summertime!
(clockwise from top left: Dahlia, Jude, Lucy, Isaac)
Once everyone was ready, we put the Fab Four in the water and waited for their reactions. They all seemed interested in the new experience—until the moment Ted activated the pool's fancy spray feature:

The unexpected blast of water scared Lucy away from the pool for pretty much the rest of the afternoon, and Jude was right there with her (kind of like how he refused to walk in the grass the first few times we were out in the yard). Dahlia, on the other hand, was not fazed and thoroughly enjoyed walking around in the pool and squirting the water out of bath toys. Isaac, too, was totally in his element, splashing and rolling around, climbing in and out of the pool, and sticking his face in the water like a pro.

Hopefully I can get everyone accustomed to the water so that we can try out the big pool in our neighborhood at some point. What I'm really looking forward to, though, is the day we get to take them to the beach for the first time—a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Thursday night, I did something I rarely get to do: I sat down to watch a movie with my parents after the kids went to bed. During the show, I started feeling like my stomach was becoming rather hard and swollen, but I thought maybe it was because it was the end of a pretty active day. After all, things had been going swimmingly so far: I was 2 weeks out from my tummy tuck (during which the doctor removed 9 pounds of skin and fat!), and it had already been a week since I had put on my pre-quads clothes and amazed the doctor and his staff by walking into my post-op visit upright (rather than hunched over, as is usually the case after an abdominoplasty). The doc had examined me and called me a "toughie" for how well I was doing after what he termed "the worst thing we can do to you in this office." A few days after that appointment, I was running after my kids in the park and picking them up to pose for a family shot.

So I was surprised that I would be swelling so much and so quickly. I decided to get up, mid-movie, to check out what was going on, and was shocked by what I saw in the mirror: My lower abdomen was so distended that it appeared I was wearing an inner tube around my hips! I called the doctor right away, and after he listened to my symptoms, he said that I probably had a fluid collection, and that I should call the office in the morning so that they could use needles to aspirate the fluid. I asked what I could do between that night and the next morning to alleviate the problem, and he just said to get some rest.

I knew there was no way I'd be able to rest, though. My stomach was quickly growing larger, and I could feel my incision pulling as my skin stretched to accommodate the new bulk. I couldn't lay down and I wasn't comfortable in the recliner, but sitting in a chair or standing up all night weren't options, either. So I decided on the lesser of several evils, and sat down in the recliner with my laptop to ride out the night.

Around 1am, I finally dozed off. An hour later, I woke up in pain from the swelling. Just for an excuse to get up, I decided to visit the bathroom. On my way there, however, I started feeling nauseous. As soon as I got to the bathroom, I laid down on the counter, with my face over the sink, thinking I was going to be sick. The room was spinning, and I was so disoriented. I think that was the first time I passed out. Then I decided to sit down, but instead I passed out again and came to when I hit the ground hard. I laid there for a while, trying to regain full consciousness and figure out what was going on.

After a few minutes, I got up and told Ted what happened. We called the doctor, and he said he'd meet us at the ER. I was so relieved because this is what I'd wanted to do in the first place. Ted woke my parents (thank God, they were still here), and they came out in time to catch me in their arms as I blacked out again. This time, I thought I had died. It was the most peaceful feeling. Then I heard a voice saying, "Just a minute, just a minute," and I realized that my dad was holding me. I got a burst of energy and was able to walk quickly to the car for the half-hour ride to the ER.

At the ER, I threw up twice while they registered and evaluated me; my blood pressure was 70/40. The doctor determined that it was not fluid building up in my abdomen, but blood. He said that, very rarely (and, in his experience, never this long after surgery), a stitch can shear a blood vessel and cause internal bleeding. He said that he needed to perform exploratory surgery in order to find out whether this was the cause of the bleeding. At this point, I would have done anything for some relief, so at 4am I willingly submitted myself to my second surgery in as many weeks.

I woke up a few hours later to learn that an artery had been severed, and that's what had been causing my problems. The doctor was able to find it and close it up using the same incision he'd made during my tummy tuck. I lost a lot of blood (he ordered four units for me), but I hadn't needed a transfusion during surgery, after all. I stayed at the hospital another 24+ hours to heal up a little and make sure that I didn't need a transfusion before leaving. Thankfully, I recovered very well and was able to come home with all of my own blood this morning!

I still feel very weak, and my incision is very sore, but the doctor says that I should be back on my feet quicker than last time (since there was not any cutting of muscle in this surgery). My parents are here for another couple of days, and I'm hoping that I can get my energy back during that time. Please pray for me to make a quick recovery, and for Ted and my parents as they take over childcare duties in the next few days. We did not foresee this scary situation, but we are so glad for God's timing in this matter. It is perfect, all the time!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...