Monday, April 25, 2011

Man of letters

Wouldn't you know it? After I exposed the Fab Four's alphabetical ignorance last month, Isaac got busy and learned all of his letters before I even knew what was happening. Check out our little alphabet whiz:

For this clip, I had Isaac name the letters in order because I wanted to make sure that I didn't leave any out. Rest assured, however, that he can identify them out of order, too—anywhere, anytime. In addition, at barely 28 months old, he has demonstrated that he can already read the words "book," "cookie," and "Isaac." While the other kids are also doing great at learning their letters, right now Isaac is definitely at the head of the class!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pucker up!

A couple of days ago I heard Isaac giggling in the playroom, so I peeked my head around the corner to see what was so funny. To my utter surprise, he and Lucy were kissing by the window! (Up until that point, the only other person he had ever kissed was me—more often than not during his dinosaur routine). So when I came upon Isaac kissing his sisters again today (yes, he was initiating the gesture), I hurriedly grabbed the camera in time to record some more smooches:

After I took this video, Isaac also kissed me and attempted to kiss Jude, who ran away laughing and squealing, "Noooo!" (must be a boy thing). Not sure what's gotten into the normally aloof Isaac lately, but I guess sometimes you just need to spread the love!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Backyard wonders

Our backyard isn't fancy, but to the Fab Four it's no wasteland: It's a wonderland.

After all, when you're 2 years old, not many things are more rewarding than to run around finding "lallow flawers" for Mommy:

Or to stand on your very tiptoes to pick the buds off of trees for her:

And few experiences are as exhilarating as scaling a great big climbing tower:

And then feeling the wind in your hair when you get to the top:

I mean, when you're 2 years old, what could be more fun than to test the sturdiness of the picnic table:

And verify that there is enough room for two on the bench?

To be sure, there can be no shortage of smiles:

When the entire yard is yours to discover:

Especially when Mommy even lets you see what lives under the drain pipe!

Yes, when you're 2 years old, you can play and explore until you're plumb tuckered out:

... but that doesn't mean you won't still scream in disappointment when it's time to come inside!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fun with the abuelitos

April got off to a great start with a visit from my parents, who stayed with us for a whole week. As always, I loved, loved, loved having my mom and dad here, and the kids had a great time with their abuelitos! Not only did the Fab Four get a whole lot more personal attention while my parents were here, but they also got to do some really special things like ...

Take their first trip to the zoo! It was colder than we'd hoped (the kids had to wear their winter coats for most of the morning), but a chilly day meant no crowds and lots of opportunities to view the animals up close. We got to see penguins, seals, a polar bear, sharks, a bald eagle, lions, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, a porcupine, and more! The best part? My parents gave us a membership so that we can go back anytime we want. Thanks, abuelitos!

The Fab Four also ...

Got their first tricycles! Rather than put a bunch of candy in the mail at the end of the month, my parents chose to give each kid their very own Radio Flyer as an early Easter present. The chicos weren't quite sure what to do with the trikes, but the adults had a good time helping them to figure it out. I think we're going to have a lot of fun cruising the neighborhood trails once they get the hang of it—my problem is going to be keeping track of all of them! Watch as the Fab Four check out their new rides for the first time:

And, last but not least, the kids got to ...

Eat at Mommy and Daddy's favorite pre-quads restaurant for the first time! The night before my parents left, we all went out to eat with Tío Ner, Tía Harriet, Tía Glenda, and Glenda's brand-new fiancé, the soon-to-be Tío Bill. The kids were fantastic, and a lady at a neighboring table even took the time to tell me that she couldn't believe how well-behaved our four toddlers were. Let me tell you, I was one proud mamá! Here we are enjoying some chips and some Chavo:

Thanks for celebrating your 40th wedding anniversary a little early by coming to see us, abuelitos! We love you and can't wait for your next visit!

Saying goodbye to the abuelitos 
(left to right: Jude, Isaac, Dahlia, and Lucia)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We're swingers

While on a walk with the kids yesterday, I was thrilled to discover that our neighborhood now has a swing set! Since the kids had never been in a real swing before (we don't have our own, and my one attempt at taking them to the park last year was a huge failure), I was itching to put them in the swings and see how they liked them. There was just one problem: This particular swing set has only two toddler swings. Clearly the neighborhood association didn't take our family into account when deciding how many of those to order!

Undeterred, I considered my options: I could turn around and go home (no way, Jose); put two kids in each swing, back to back (nope, the kids are already too big for that); or put two in the swings while the other two waited in the choo choo (possibly tricky, but probably doable). I knew what I had to do.

The girls got to go first, while the boys looked on:

Then, when it was time to put the boys in the swings, I beeped (yes, you read that right) and switched everyone out:

Another mom who was there with her older kids remarked on how patient my kids were while they waited in the choo choo, so I explained my beeping to her: At home, we have a timer that we use to manage turns on our indoor trampoline, and I've discovered that—any other time I want someone's turn to end—all I have to do is make a "beep beep beep" sound, and they go along with it, as if I had used a real timer. I don't know how long they'll be cool with this charade, but so far it's been a lifesaver!

Oh, and by the way, all four kids LOVED the swings and can't stop talking about them. I have no doubt that we will be making good use of the neighborhood playground this year!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh, man!

Almost every time Jude tells us that he needs to go potty, he follows up his request with a perfect imitation of the "Dora the Explorer" villain's catchphrase: "Oh, man!" We don't know exactly why he adopted this exclamation as a potty mantra, although I suspect that, at some point—perhaps after the millionth "potty gin!" in a row—I might have given him the idea by saying, "Oh, man!" in exasperation. One thing is for certain: We hear, "Oh, man!" a lot around here—and it makes me laugh every time. What makes it even funnier is that the phrase is always accompanied by a signature arm move and followed by the proper citation: "Fox. On Dora." Check out our little comedian in action:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hugging it out

Isaac is a pretty reserved fellow, and his public displays of affection are most frequently bestowed upon yours truly. Which is one reason that I was shocked (and delighted!) to witness these exchanges tonight, first with Jude:

And then—even better!—with Lucy:

Anyone who's met Isaac knows how huge this is. Perhaps Dahlia's friendly overtures have finally convinced him that these built-in buddies might not be so bad, after all!

Dahlia and Isaac share a hug in front of the TV


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