Monday, November 29, 2010

Stripping down

Dahlia has been hard at work on a big project: Learning how to undress herself. As you may recall, it all started with the girls figuring out how to pull down their pants and remove their diapers. After that rather alarming development, I began to dress the kids only in one-piece outfits, hoping that the snaps would provide protection against further diaper-removal episodes.

This tactic has been a success in that it has banished bare tushies from the playroom (for the time being, anyway—read on). It has not, however, kept Dahlia from continuing to experiment with clothing removal. Her next challenge was to learn how to unzip and shed her sleepsack. Mission accomplished—this is how I found her after a nap a few weeks ago:

To prevent her from taking off her sleepsack again (and possibly causing further naptime mischief, such as learning how to unsnap her onesie to remove her diaper, or figuring out how to climb out of her crib by gripping the rails with her toes), we started putting the sleepsack on her backwards. Problem solved.

But for how long? Even with the zipper in the back, she can still unzip it up to her knees. And her zipper-mania is no longer limited to just her sleepsack. Last week I found her in the playroom like this, almost completely out of her zip-up jammies: 

Of course, none of this unzipping business matters, as long as she doesn't know how to unsnap her onesie, right? After all, it's the taking off of the diaper that I am really worried about. Well, here's the newsflash: As of a couple of days ago, Dahlia has figured out how to work snaps, too. And she is very happy about it:

What am I going to do with this girl? She will not be contained, but I can't afford for her to have access to her diaper (I shudder even thinking about the possibilities that this could entail!). And I know that if Dahlia is becoming adept at taking off her clothes, the other three are probably not far behind. Could duct-taped diapers really be in my future?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

All together now

On Thanksgiving, the Fab Four got to play Grandma T's piano for the first time. It was a momentous occasion, but I guess no one told them that—the carefully staged quartet stayed together only long enough to give us the shortest concert ever:

Does anyone else get the feeling that they were just humoring us?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tower power

Much to Ted's satisfaction, the Fab Four are finally past the stage where they knock down every tower of blocks that he builds for them. As a matter of fact, the kids themselves have started stacking more than just boring old blocks. Check out the multimedia masterpiece that Jude assembled single-handedly the other day:

You don't think they're collaborating on plans to stage another jailbreak, do you?

Friday, November 26, 2010

23 months old ... and fasting

Fasting is not the first word you'd associate with Thanksgiving, but that's exactly what our kids did at their very first Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (you may recall that we had to skip the holiday last year because we were all sick). Given the fact that they've been pretty picky during the past couple of months, I must say that their refusal to eat came as no surprise—at least not to me and Ted (hopefully Grandma T didn't take the rejection too personally).

I know the kids will eat when they're hungry, so I don't get too worried about how much (or how little) they're putting in their mouths these days. But I have to admit that it's still frustrating to spend time making a meal and then see perfectly good food go to waste! Even worse is when one (or more) of them decides to whine and/or throw a fit about what I've put on the table. I'd much rather they just shake their heads and laugh—preferably to the tune of a Beatles song, like this:

Let's hope that they don't turn up their noses at birthday cake next month!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prison break

Our gated community has been compromised!

Fortunately, I arrived on the scene not long after the attempted escape. From what I can tell, one or more individuals (Isaac being the suspected ringleader) pushed the school bus up to the perimeter of the "secure" enclosure, and then everyone except Jude scaled the bus in order to surmount the gate—all while Mommy was distracted by dinner preparations. Thankfully, they launched over into the relatively non-dangerous area of the hearth and not into the rest of the house, which is far from childproofed!

I keep telling Ted that we need to get a plan together to let the kids have the run of the house, especially now that winter is upon us and we'll be stuck indoors. He is in denial and thinks that removing the school bus from the playroom will do the trick. But I think it's clear that the kids are determined to force our hand!

Pretty soon Isaac won't even 
need to use the school bus!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Telly laughs

Friends often tell me that their kids love to watch the videos I post of the Fab Four. Well, guess what? The Fab Four like to watch themselves onscreen, too. They usually get a big kick out of identifying everyone in the video, and even the most mundane clip can keep them entertained indefinitely. Just the other night, in fact, watching and re-watching a video of Lucy pestering Dahlia gave Isaac a delightful case of the giggles—I hope his sisters can always make him laugh like this!

For those wondering just what was so hilarious, here's the clip he was laughing at (toddler humor—who can understand it?):

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The Fab Four have recently acquired a raging obsession with the Wiggles. They constantly beg to watch the one Wiggles DVD that we have, they insist on looking at the cover of our one Wiggles CD when they're on the changing table, and our one Wiggles toy (a not-so-gently-used guitar) is one of the most sought-after items in the playroom.

I love the Wiggles, too, because they are teaching my kids to sing and dance, something Ted and I have been trying to do for months without much success. In fact, Lucy starts dancing the second she hears the opening song on our DVD. Check out her moves:

I don't know which dance step I like best—her hands tapping her knees at the beginning or the Frankenstein walk at the end. One thing's for sure: The Fab Four just can't get enough of the Wiggles!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The pudding song

The Fab Four haven't mastered using spoons yet, but they're getting better all the time (especially Dahlia). Several months ago, I discovered that a great food for them to practice with is rice pudding. I make it from scratch about once a week, and the kids absolutely love it.

As good as rice pudding is for honing the kids' spoon skills, however, I still think it's much more fun to spoon-feed it to them while singing "Arroz con leche," a song I remember from my early childhood in Peru. This little ditty never fails to magically put everyone at the table in a good mood:

(In case you're curious, the lyrics roughly translate to: "Rice pudding, I want to marry / a maiden from Portugal / I want to marry this one / I don't want to marry that one / This is the maiden that I will marry." See, nursery rhymes in Spanish don't make much sense, either!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time to change

Fall back? Not us. At least not today—this year I actually anticipated the switch in time to gradually adjust our schedule (in increments of 15 minutes) before having to set back the clock! The entire process (not including the embarrassing part at the beginning where I went 15 minutes the wrong way) took about 10 days and was totally worth it: If the kids are cranky today, it's definitely not because their internal clocks are messed up!

Something else is changing for us today, though, and it involves the kids' toys. The playroom has always been somewhat of a wreck at the end of the day, but recently the kids decided it would be fun to start systematically emptying all of the toy boxes and scattering their contents about the playroom. As a result, Ted and I do nothing but trip over the discarded toys all day, and then we're stuck cleaning up this disaster area after the kids go to bed:

(Click to enlarge)

The way we figure it, the solution to this mess is twofold. First, we have decided to make half of the kids' toys "disappear" into a closet for the time being. After the kids get bored with what we've left in the playroom, we'll make those toys disappear and rotate the other group of toys back into service (until the kids get tired of them, and then we'll repeat the cycle). We are hoping that this will help the kids to better appreciate all of the wonderful gifts and hand-me-downs that our family has been blessed to receive up to this point and keep the playroom from looking like it was hit by an F5 tornado. 

Secondly, we want to start training the kids to pick up their toys before they go to bed. Last night, when we asked them to help us put away their toys for the first time, reactions were mixed: Although the boys totally ignored us, we did get some half-hearted assistance from the girls. Unfortunately, however, none of the kids seem to grasp the concept of leaving the toys alone once they're back in the toy boxes. Anyone have any good ideas on how to teach kids this age to put away their toys—and then leave them there?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Life at our house has been getting louder and louder, and sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the happy screams and the terrible-two screams. Today I heard a commotion in the living room, so I poked my head around the corner to see if I needed to intervene. I'm glad I looked:

Who knew that a few blankets draped over the back of a couch could provide so much entertainment—for both me and the girls?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Party crasher

With pacifiers, the Fab Four used to go to sleep pretty much as soon as we put them to bed. Now that their pacifiers are gone, however, the kids like to kick off their nap in a slightly more boisterous fashion. I tried to join in the fun today, but apparently whooping, hollering, and jumping in your crib is not as much fun when Mommy is in the room:


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