Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in statuses, part 6

This is the last post in a walk down memory lane, Facebook style. You can read the entire series here.

The last month of the year was by far the most entertaining yet. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: There's never a dull moment around here!

The Fab Four's law: When a repairman is scheduled to come out to the house at the time nap is usually over, the kids WILL sleep longer than they have napped in months. Sadly for me (and my own interrupted and ever-so-infrequent nap), we'll never know just how long they could have slept today!

The kids just pointed at the TV and asked for "news." I don't know whether to be thrilled that they want to watch something besides the Wiggles/Laurie Berkner Band, or worried that perhaps they are a tad bit addicted to television. 

Getting their first look at their Little People manger scene
(clockwise from bottom left: Dahlia, Isaac, Lucia, and Jude)

The girls just took turns giving Daddy big, long hugs. First Lucy, then Dahlia, then Lucy, then Dahlia. I think Ted was in heaven. 

No, we do not have a torture chamber in our living room. I am just clipping Jude's fingernails. 

Lucy's favorite word lately is "no-no" ... as in, "Mommy, someone is doing something that's not allowed" (taking off their clothes, trying to climb over the gate, etc.). She even tells on herself. I love having an informant in the playroom!

Reading together on the couch
(left to right: Lucia, Dahlia, Jude, and Isaac)

11  Dahlia just ran up to the fridge, pointed at our Beatles magnets and said, "BEES! Buzzzz!!" Close?

12  Jude is calling, "Cissy! Cissy!" (his word for Lucy) and then running to hide when he sees her coming. Squeals of delight ensue. 

16 For lunch today: Yummy pinto beans (with ham, carrots, celery, and tomatoes), mini corn muffins, smoothies (with cherry yogurt, blueberries, bananas, sneaky spinach, and cinnamon), and grapes. Don't you wish I was your mom? 

Squeezing in together under the sofa table
(left to right: Jude, Isaac, Dahlia, and Lucia)

16 Nothing does my heart more good than seeing all four of my kids running around the living room, playing chase and giggling their heads off at each other. TRUE LOVE. 

17 Tonight Lucy pointed at one of my smile lines and asked, "Ouchie?" I said yes. How else do you explain wrinkles to a toddler? 

24 Someone's turning 2 today! Okay, make that FOUR someones. :) 

Lining up to watch the very exciting garbage truck outside
(left to right: Lucia, Jude, Isaac, and Dahlia)

30 I was awake but didn't even feel the 4.2 earthquake this morning. Probably because Isaac was busy running around the nursery and banging on the walls for a couple of hours before then! 

30 Check out the kids' 2-year stats ... our tiniest baby Dahlia is now almost as tall as our big boy Isaac, and our biggest baby Jude is currently the shortest of the bunch (yes, even little Lulu is taller than he)! 

31 Took the kids out in the choo choo for one last spin on this downright balmy New Year's Eve. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pichí in the potty!

If you are thinking that this is going to be a post about potty training, you are correct! Less than 2 weeks ago (the day after our snow fun, in fact), Ted and I took a deep breath and, with my mom's invaluable help, started our quest to train the girls.

Based on a recommendation from fellow quad mom Suz Steece, we used the 3-day potty-training method. Basically, the author says that if you follow her method to the letter, your kid will be fully potty-trained in 3 days. She also claims that the best time to potty-train is at 22 months. I figured that since my mom would be in town around the time the kids hit the adjusted age of 22 months—and since the girls, in particular, have been so interested in removing their clothing and diapers over the past few months—it couldn't hurt to try!

A few days before my mom arrived, though, I chickened out of training all four kids at once—and I am so glad I did. Even with three adults on potty-training duty, taking care of the girls while not neglecting the boys was nearly impossible. And forget about getting anything extra done around the house! All we did while my mom was here was watch for signs that the girls needed to go; say "Tell me if you need to go pichí in the potty!" about a million times; and run the girls to the potties for every accident, success, and false alarm (of which there were many).

The first couple of days were a nightmare, with big accidents left and right. (We did decide to go against the 3-day method's advice and use pull-ups during naps and nighttime; I can't even imagine how much worse it would have been if the girls had been sleeping in their panties!) After the third day, though, we were rewarded: Lucy got it!! (The pee part, anyway—we're still working on putting #2 in the potty.) She has now been accident-free for a week, and we are very proud of her (but probably not as proud as she is of herself!). 

Potty sisters: Lucy and Dahlia
(you can see some of the tattoos they got for going pichí in the potty)

Dahlia, however, has been a different story. She knows when she has to go, but she refuses to relieve herself until she absolutely can't hold it any longer. Unfortunately, this usually ends up being when she is not sitting on the potty. During the last couple of days, she had even starting throwing tantrums when we tried to sit her on the potty, so today (with the blessing of our pediatrician) we finally threw in the towel and put her back in diapers. We will try again in about a month or when she lets us know that she's ready to be a big girl like Lucy, whichever comes first.

Looking back, I wish that I had tried training just Lucy first, since she is the one who showed the most awareness of her wet or dirty diaper. And I have decided that, going forward, I will definitely train one kid at a time (the jury is still out on whether we will use the 3-day method again). I don't know how other families of multiples manage to train everyone at once with the 3-day method—call me a wimp, but trying to train both girls together (even with the help of Ted and my mom) was truly one of the worst weeks of my life!

Oh, and did I mention that all this was going on during the crib-escaping drama, the Christmas holiday, and the birthday party? Yeah, we could really use a vacation right about now!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

They're 2!

At the height of all the crib climbing last week, the Fab Four turned 2 years old. Thankfully, we had already decided to celebrate their birthday the day after Christmas instead of the day before, so most of the siesta-less chaos was behind us by the time their fiesta rolled around.

I'd originally wanted to do a Wiggles-themed party for the kids, but it turns out that Wiggles party supplies are hard to come by. So on Christmas Eve (yes, on their birthday and at the last possible minute), I ran to the party store to consider my options. It didn't take me long to settle on the character that rates a close second to the Wiggles in the hearts of the Fab Four: 


I knew I'd picked the right theme when the kids were absolutely thrilled to see the Elmo balloons waiting for them at the feeding table:

Jude and Dahlia chowed down on their Elmo cupcakes, 
while Isaac and Lucy refused to even touch them. Typical!

Since we are still being careful about RSV exposure this season, our guest list was again very small, with only the Abuelitos, Grandma and Grandpa T, Great-Grandma C, and Tio Ner and Tia Glenda in attendance. We were also lucky enough to have Tio Johnny and Tia Holly skype in to watch the kids open the very special gifts they'd sent:

Real instruments for the Fab Four! 
Left to right: Isaac with the ukelele, Lucia with the bongos, 
Jude with the accordion, Dahlia with the xylophone

What with the musical instruments from Johnny and Holly, the mountain of birthday loot from everyone else, and Christmas presents from the day before, the Fab Four really made out like bandits. Ted and I have some serious sorting out to do to make room for all the new toys, but we are so, so grateful to everyone who so generously remembered our family during this special time of the year.


Rare family pic, 
with Jude and Dahlia on Ted's lap and Lucy and Isaac on mine

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cribless Christmas chaos

Scratch the PeaPods idea. When we walked in the nursery today after "nap" time, we found the girls on the loose and the room in disarray:

Seconds later, we discovered that Jude had actually managed to get out, too!

So it's back to mattresses on the floor for now. It took the kids an hour to fall asleep tonight (despite having skipped their nap again today), but I just went in to check on them, and everyone had found his or her own bed except for Lucy—she was sleeping by the door, poor baby!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Desperate measures

Today, on the Fab Four's second birthday, Isaac and Dahlia decided to show us how silly we were to think that yesterday's precautions would keep them in their cribs. Just minutes after putting them into their nap, in fact, we heard Dahlia scream and Ted opened the door to find her dazedly roaming the nursery. And then, not long after he put her back in bed, we heard the doorknob rattle and were greeted at the door by Isaac!

Worried that one of the kids would fall and get seriously hurt, we opted to pause nap time so that Ted could dismantle the cribs to make room for their four mattresses on the floor:

As you can imagine, the kids were way too excited by all the new freedom to get much sleep. In the end, Jude was the only one who was able to catch any shut-eye. This made for a very, very long afternoon with the other three. And by the time dinner rolled around, Isaac was really paying for the lack of sleep:

Since my last post, several of my friends who are moms of multiples have reminded me about crib tents, and the idea is sounding better to me all the time. For the time being, we have set up the PeaPods in the nursery so that we don't have to try to get the kids to fall asleep on open mattresses (and stay there). After today's shenanigans, I just don't think that any of us are ready for toddler beds yet!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Busting out

I almost never go into the nursery after the kids go to bed. Today, however, I thought I heard someone grunting, and—since nothing guarantees a bad nap like a poopy bottom—I decided to make an exception.

Turns out someone was probably grunting all right, but not for the reasons I thought! When I opened the door, I was shocked to see Isaac standing on the floor in front of me ...

Isaac demonstrates his escape method

... and Dahlia hanging out in Jude's crib!

Ted was sure that something like this was going to happen soon, and he was right. To buy us some time while we figure out what to do next, we've scooted their cribs farther away from each other (so that they can't use a neighbor's crib as leverage), removed from their beds anything that could be used as a step stool (including their CozyWedges and pillows), and (for good measure) taken down the glass frames that hung above each crib. Hopefully this arrangement is enough to keep everyone safe for the time being:

Anyone have advice on how to transition multiple 2-year-olds to toddler beds without losing one's sanity?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow fun

Four sets of hats and mittens from Walmart: $20
Four snowsuits from Kohl's: $10*
Four pairs of snow boots from Target: $5*
The Fab Four's first time in the snow: priceless

Exploring the winter wonderland in our backyard
(left to right: Lucy, Dahlia, Jude, and Isaac)
Jude was fearless, wading knee deep in snow drifts right away, 
while Isaac took a while to get used to all the cold stuff

Dahlia roamed free from the start, but Lucy preferred  to plant herself 
in one spot until she was more sure about this thing called snow

* Incredibly low out-of-pocket costs for snowsuits and snow boots made possible by a 
generous gift from Great-Grandma C; a 50% off sale at Kohl's; a forgotten, pre-quads 
gift card from Grandma T; a mystery coupon the cashier informed us that we "forgot;" 
and a wonderful gift from our weekly angel, Tante Gabi. 

~ All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided ~

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Running on empty

I never fail to be amazed at the amount of energy that my children can expend at the end of the day. Don't they make running aimlessly back and forth look like so much fun?

Incidentally, running laps before bed tonight was Isaac's idea, and (as usual) the other three kids followed suit. I gotta remember to keep my eye on that kid—apparently he already knows how to win friends and influence people!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 in statuses, part 5

I'm taking a walk down memory lane, Facebook style. You can read the entire series here.

Life with the Fab Four ramped up during the month of November. Every time I turned around, it seemed the kids were saying or doing something funny or new. What a fun age!

Nothing sweeter than seeing Jude say "thank you" to Dahlia today after she handed him his night-night (blankie).

Made half-dollar-sized oatmeal pancakes this morning. The kids saw them and got super-excited about their "cookies." Hey, whatever gets them to eat what I make!

14  Happiness is four 22-month-olds letting you clip all of their fingernails, assembly-line style. I usually have to settle for clipping a few nails at a time, until all 40 are done ... it can take days!

Still able to pile into the toy box together, but it's a tight fit! (22 months)
clockwise from bottom left: Lucia, Isaac, Dahlia, and Jude
15  SO discouraging when FOUR kids take one look at the lunch you've prepared for them and refuse to take ONE bite. :(

18  George's performance of "Something" during the Concert for Bangladesh just played on the TV. As soon as it started, Isaac started jumping up and down and grabbed my hands to slow dance with me. MELT MY HEART!!!

19  Not to be outdone by Isaac's budding Beatlemania (see yesterday's status), tonight Lucy identified George on my shirt, and then proceeded to kiss all of the Beatles as I named them. Her idea, not mine!!

21  Dear Mom:
I'm sorry for ever turning up my nose at anything you made. This is the pits.
Love, Suzy

22  Took the kids for a windy choo choo ride this afternoon. The gusts were blowing the leaves all around us on our way home ... Lucy and Jude loved it, but Dahlia was terrified! I'm pretty sure Isaac didn't even notice.

Watching some bedtime Baby Einstein (22 months)
left to right: Isaac, Dahlia, Jude, and Lucia

24 When the kids got up this morning, Dahlia ran to the window and immediately started saying, "Ooooh, ahhh! Kai!" (her word for sky). I looked outside and, sure enough, the sky was a beautiful shade of orange. When Jude saw it, he shouted, "Ya-yo!" (yellow). Close! :)

30  So last night I'm awoken from a deep slumber by Dahlia SCREAMING her head off. I lay there hoping that she'll die down, but no dice. She is MAD. So I get up and go to the nursery. When I open the door, I notice that Isaac has left the closet light on (he likes to play with the switch, which is next to his crib). I turn it off, and Dahlia instantly stops screaming. Talk about the princess and the pea!

30  We set up the toy nativity scene last week, and tonight Ted reports that Jude's got Joseph riding in a fire truck. Ah, the wonderful world of Fisher-Price Little People!

Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 in statuses, part 4

I'm taking a walk down memory lane, Facebook style. You can read the entire series here.

As summer turned to fall, the kids started eating less and talking more. The level of energy required to keep up with them? Remained the same.

Losing a contact while changing a diaper, bad. Losing a contact while changing a poopy diaper, very bad. Fortunately the verrrrry tips of my hair caught the errant contact, preventing it from dying a very stinky death.

Four kids in a tub (19 months)
clockwise from bottom left: Dahlia, Isaac, Jude, and Lucia

13  Wish the kids would listen to me when I sing, "Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores! Porque cantando se alegran, cielito lindo, los corazones."

25  Just made Jessica Seinfeld's sneaky PB and banana muffins (with carrot in them) ... delicioso!! Hope the kids like them.

25  The PB and banana muffins were not a hit. BUT the kids took a solid 3-hour nap. It all evens out!

10 just sent me a newsletter. One of the topics: "Are you ready for another baby?" Um, NO.

13  For the first time, a stranger asked to take our picture while I was out with the kids (and the choo-choo). I said yes ... he seemed nice, and it's not like I could stop him! Hopefully he wasn't a sicko or anything.

Posing in Mommy's alma mater gear (20 months)
left to right: Jude, Dahlia, Lucia, and Isaac

12  Three out of four kids think it's HILARIOUS when I jump. Dahlia is just giving me pity smiles. This is a workout!

13  At breakfast, Jude noticed that the trees are losing their leaves. Every time a leaf would fall, he would say, "Uh-OH!" I have a feeling I am going to be hearing a lot of "uh-ohs" over the next few days. :)

15  Now I know how my Abuelita Rojas felt when we liked something she made. The kids loved the pumpkin mini-muffins I made today, and I just wanted to keep pushing more and more on them. The only thing that stopped me was fear of the diapers that all of that pumpkin fiber might produce.

16  This morning the kids saw Ted kill a HUGE spider. As soon as he whacked it, the spider curled its legs into a ball, and Jude said, "Uh-OH!" So many reasons to uh-oh this fall.

Post-nap lineup (21 months)
left to right: Isaac, Jude, Dahlia, and Lucia

19  Choo-choo'ed the kids to the high school to watch the marching band practice this afternoon. Turns out the band (and its director) were way more interested in the kids than the kids were in the band. Oh, well ... it was a good excuse for a long walk on a gorgeous day. :)

29  Kelly Ripa is dressed like Snookie this morning. Jude keeps pointing at the TV and yelling, "Ma-MA!" Just what is he trying to tell me??

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Speed reading

I make a habit of reading four books simultaneously, several times a day. And I'm not gonna lie: Keeping everything straight can get a little crazy, especially when more than one child is pointing at random pictures and asking a seemingly never-ending train of rapid-fire "whazzats?" The key is to familiarize yourself with every book in the playroom so that you can fluidly rattle off the names of various objects (and sometimes their colors, too!), almost without even looking. One-track minds need not apply:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dinosaur kisses

None of my kids will kiss me on demand—and unsolicited besos are almost as hard to come by. So imagine my delight when Isaac incorporated this ever-elusive display of affection into his "choreography" for my abbreviated version of "We Are the Dinosaurs" (one of the kids' most-requested Laurie Berkner Band songs):

He goes through this same routine (hands slapping my legs during the marching part, standing and throwing back his head for the roar, leaning in for the kiss on the last word) every single time I sing this song. I have no clue where he got the idea to do all of this—but I love every second of it!

Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 in statuses, part 3

I'm taking a walk down memory lane, Facebook style. You can read the entire series here.

As the Fab Four approached the 18-month mark, life around the house started to get a little less predictable.

4 Jude drank an entire glass of papaya juice at breakfast this morning. That's my boy!

12 Baby Einstein, you are my savior on a thunderstorm-y morning like today. 

Practicing sitting on the couch (16 months)
left to right: Isaac, Dahlia, Lucia, and Jude

12 Uh oh. Dahlia puked twice this evening: once all over the living room (Isaac enjoyed splashing his hands in it) and once alllll over her crib. :(

26 Took the kids to visit the high-risk L&D unit and my maternal-fetal specialists' office for the first time today ... fun times, but now I am BEAT. Hope the kids take a looooong nap today.

27 Decompressing after an inexplicably loud morning.

Watching Daddy mow the lawn (17 months)
left to right: Dahlia, Isaac, Jude, and Lucia

While I'm fixing breakfast, Ted reports, "Lucy just walked up to Dahlia, ripped the pacifier out of her mouth, and shoved the babydoll in her face." Ah, toddler crimes.

Lucy just pointed at Oprah and said, "Mama!" What??!! I rarely even watch Oprah!

26  I hate it when the kids are in bed and a random baby cries on the TV. Freaks me out every time.

First time in the pool (18 months)
left to right: Lucia, Jude, Isaac, and Dahlia

29  Today Lucy ate only ketchup for lunch. No fish sticks, no tater tots, no fruit. Just ketchup. If I needed proof that she is my daughter, this would be it.

30  I'm about to go all vigilante on the person who keeps ringing our bell and running away while we're putting the kids to bed for the night. Yes, I'm old.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2010 in statuses, part 2

I'm taking a walk down memory lane, Facebook style. You can read the entire series here.

With the arrival of spring, my excitement about first steps and solid foods soon gave way to thrills of the outdoor variety.

2 Gave the kids mazamorra morada for the first time today. They loved it!

3 Snot monster(s) in the house. Hopefully it's a short visit.

16 Just took the kids on a walk. Ah, fresh air! Ah, sunshine! Ah, we're OUTSIDE!!!! (P.S. The stroller is a LOT heavier than it was last summer ... I think I just burned 1,000 calories in 30 minutes.)

20 Took our first family walk this morning. Yes, our first family walk EVER! It was fun. :)

The last time all four kids fit in Abuelita's lap (14 months) 
clockwise from bottom left: Jude, Lucia, Isaac, and Dahlia

22  During our morning walk, the rain lulled the kids to sleep ... I was soaked yet exhilarated by the time we came back. :) Love my Adventure Buggy with its rain shields and super-cozy sleepy bags!

23  Walked the kids to CVS today! Takes just under 20 minutes to get there from our house. Didn't buy anything, but was THRILLED to be "shopping" with my children! The kids liked it, too ... first time they've ever been in a store! :)

24 Took two of the kids for their 15-month checkup today. One of the receptionists looked at me and said, "You look great!" Which would have been a wonderful compliment, if she hadn't followed up with, "I remember when you first brought the babies in. You were much [mimes fat person, then stops short] ... I remember you." Uh, thanks???

27 It's official: My children are white Hispanic-Americans of Peruvian origin in the 2010 Census. Now Ted and I must raise them to be worthy of this designation. :)

30 On our walk this afternoon, a gentleman on his deck saw that I had four babies in the stroller and yelled, "FOUR babies? You the BADDEST gal I EVER seen!" Why, thank you. :)

The Fab Four dig in to Easter baskets from their tios (15 months)
left to right: Lucia, Isaac, Dahlia, and Jude

31 Walked to the grocery store with the kids for the first time this morning. Got so distracted fielding questions that I paid and started to walk off without my groceries! Not sure how to concentrate on what I'm doing without appearing rude.

5 It is HOT out there. Must brainstorm other outdoor activities that don't involve me pushing a mammoth stroller with 80+ pounds of baby in it.

7 Tornado sirens going off. To wake the babies, or to not wake them?????

16 Spent the last couple of hours garage-saling with the kiddos and MS (mammoth stroller). Got in some good walking, met several neighbors, answered LOTS of questions, and even found a few good deals! Fun morning. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 in statuses, part 1

Looking back through my old Facebook statuses the other day, I found myself taking a stroll down memory lane. So many little things happened this year that I had totally forgotten about! And since it's these little things that really make up life, I wanted to make sure that I wrote them down in a place where my kids could read them someday. To that end, here's a glimpse at the first couple months of the Fab Four's second year, Facebook style (you can read the entire series here):

4 McDonald's fries: Yes. Ore-Ida fries: No. The Fab Four will not be fooled.

5 Jude took 5 steps this morning, 3 steps this afternoon!

Playing with their musical table (12 months old)
clockwise from bottom left: Isaac, Lucia, Jude, and Dahlia

7 Roasting carrots for the babies. SO GLAD that spoon-fed baby food is well behind us! Although I am finding it a little challenging to cook real food while four babies take turns clamoring for my attention in the next room.

7 The roasted carrots were a huge hit with the babies. Thanks, America's Test Kitchen, for finding a way to make even me like cooked carrots!

8 I think crying when you put your first-ever bite of meatloaf in your mouth is a bit much, don't you?

9 The babies loved their Cuban flavors at lunch today: diced ham mixed with black beans and a dash of cumin, cubed sweet potatoes, and mandarin oranges. Too bad they won't eat rice!

10 I have serious problems. I just tried to put a pacifier in Jude's ear.

11 Lucy Lu took 4 steps today! Three down, one to go. Wonder how long it will take Dahlia to succumb to the peer pressure?

Piling into the toy box (13 months old)
clockwise from bottom left: Lucia, Jude, Dahlia, and Isaac

15 Okay, I just caught Lucy and Dahlia bopping to Lady Gaga on Oprah. I'm not sure what I think about that. Will step up Beatles indoctrination ASAP.

16  A-ha, Dahlia finally caved ... she took 2 steps today!

6 Tried eggs this morning. Isaac and Dahlia vote yes. Jude and Lucy vote NO.

11 My kids can use sippy cups, but they won't drink milk out of them! We're on day 4 of no daytime bottles; they're drinking a little bit of juice from cups during the day, and then they're chugging their bedtime bottles of milk. What should I do??


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