Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For the sake of completeness

After seeing my photographic comparisons of Ted and the Fab Four yesterday, friends have been asking to see side-by-sides of me and all the kids, too. And since we're nothing if not equal opportunity around here—here you go!

Suzanna at 2 years old, Isaac at 2.5 years old

Suzanna at 2 years old, Lucy at 2.5 years old

Suzanna at 2 years old, Jude at 2.5 years old

Suzanna at 2 years old, Dahlia at 2.5 years old

We already knew that Jude and I are twins, but I think Lucy resembles me a lot here, too. Which is weird because, in my last post, I was sure she looked like Ted. I guess she must be the perfect combo!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daddy's turn

Since I posted photographic proof that Jude is my mini-me, several people have wanted to know which of the Fab Four most resembles Ted at this age. Naturally, I couldn't resist digging up his 2-year portrait to compare to current photos of the kids.

While most people say that all four of them look just like me, some maintain that Isaac is Ted's carbon copy. As for us, we've always thought that Dahlia is the one who favors her daddy the most. Looking at these comparisons, however, I'm shocked to realize that Lucy might actually take after him more than any of the other kids—their eyes are different, but check out the nose and mouth. What do you think?

Ted at 2 years old, Isaac at 2.5 years old

Ted at 2 years old, Lucy at 2.5 years old

Ted at 2 years old, Jude at 2.5 years old

Ted at 2 years old, Dahlia at 2.5 years old

Monday, June 20, 2011

She's a baby

Lucy has entered a funny new phase—
Playing an infant is her latest craze.
Ted is her daddy; her mommy is Suzy.
Big girl prefers the name "Baby Lucy."

She wants to be cradled; she likes to be swaddled.
She drinks from a cup, but she calls it a bottle.
More than two years since we brought her home,
The pacis are gone, but she wants a chupón.

When she goes potty, I'm happy to wipe her—
But she better not ask to go back to diapers!

Baby Lucy then (3 weeks old) and Baby Lucy now (2.5 years old)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Da(hlia) Vinci

Dahlia's come a long way since I first introduced the Fab Four to crayons. For her, meaningless scribbles are a thing of the past, and when she puts crayon to paper (or, as is more often the case, magnetic pen to Magnadoodle), not only does she have a plan, but she also possesses the skills to execute that plan.

We first noticed her emerging talent back in April, when I found her drawing what appeared to be a bunch of balloons (note the real balloon in front of her). Based on her subsequent subjects of choice, however, I soon came to suspect that she was actually trying to depict our family:

Over the past couple of months, Dahlia has been working hard at refining her portraiture technique. First I observed her experimenting with adding hair, and more recently I noticed that she was getting better at placing facial features, such as eyes and mouth:

Not bad for a 2-year-old, huh? Still, her previous essais are nothing compared to her latest masterpiece. Yesterday, she wowed us with this picture, which she claimed was a self-portrait:

It's hard to say who was prouder, her mommy and daddy—or the artist, herself!

I'm not saying she's going to paint the Mona Lisa anytime soon, but ... maybe someday?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mamá's boy

When the Fab Four were babies, people would often say that Lucy was my mini-me. As the kids get older, however, it seems that more and more people are sure that Jude is the one who looks exactly like his mommy. We've always thought that he looks more like my brother and dad instead, but when Ted saw Jude's snapshot in last week's nicknames post, he was struck by how much it resembles pictures he's seen of me as a little kid. Of course, when he told me this, I just had to dig up my second-birthday portrait and make a side-by-side comparison with the "Judo" pic:

Suzanna at 2 years old (left) and Jude at 2.5 years old (right)

Notice the eyes, the nose, the bow of the mouth, the shape of the face ... pretty freaky, huh?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Second time's a (potty) charm

They say that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. So over the long Memorial Day weekend, that's exactly what we did: Five months after giving up on potty training Dahlia, we finally got back in the saddle and put her back on the potty. And this time, she got it!

"Welcome back, potty sister!"

Or perhaps I should say that we got it: If there's one thing we've learned from potty training multiple kids within a short time frame, it is that every kid is different—and not every kid is ready at the same time. Lucy, for example, responded wonderfully to the 3-day method just before the kids turned two. Jude, on the other hand—despite an auspicious beginning at 26 months—did not stay reliably dry until we made a few adjustments to the 3-day method, including putting him on the potty at regular intervals and coming up with a much better prize than M&Ms.

For Dahlia, we decided to once again follow the basic principles of the 3-day method. This time, however, we started with a few tweaks, right off the bat, based on what we learned about her during the first round. For instance, since her biggest hurdle is her insistence on holding it until she busts, if we know she needs to go, we now make her sit on the potty until she does. And guess what? It's working so well that she is even going #2 on the potty, something that our two veteran potty-trainees have yet to master. Go, Dahlia!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Names and other names

When I was pregnant with the Fab Four, one of the burning questions on people's minds was: "What are you going to name them?" And our reply was always the same: "We're not telling anyone until they're born." Although our family and friends may have thought we were playing coy, the truth is that coming up with eight names (four first and four middle) was a daunting task—so overwhelming that even we didn't know for sure what our babies' names were going to be until just a day or two before I delivered!

Two and a half years later, one of those babies (Lucy) has apparently decided that the names we so carefully picked out are lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. To remedy this lack of parental creativity, she has come up with some snazzier pseudonyms for the crew. Allow me to introduce you to:


When the Fab Four were still babies and it became clear that Lucia would be more petite than her siblings, I would occasionally call her Little Lulu (after one of my favorite cartoons as a kid in Peru). I randomly used her old nickname a while back, and it seems that the "Lulu" part caught her fancy.

The only nickname that Lucy uses more than her own is:


A few weeks ago, Ted joked with me that Jude's name in Spanish would be Judo. I didn't even realize that Lucy was listening to our conversation until about a week later, when she pointed at Jude and repeated what Ted had said. She now refers to Jude by his "Spanish" name so often that I've even caught myself calling him that!

Another nickname that is catching on around here is:


I recently heard Lucy start crying in the playroom and ran in there to find Isaac unintentionally smashing her against the side of the school bus. As I rescued Lucy, I told Isaac that he needs to be more careful because his sister is a little girl and he is a big guy. Little Lulu must have appreciated the imagery, for she soon dubbed Isaac "Big Guy." Even Jude seems to think the name fits: When I told him the other day that he was a big guy, he immediately corrected me, saying, "Isaac big guy!"

Unlike the boys' nicknames, which are relatively new creations, Dahlia's goes back just as far as Lucy's does:


When Dahlia was a baby in the throes of acid reflux, I used to soothe her during feedings by singing the Beatles song "Julia," substituting her name for the song's title. Now, every time we listen to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Lucy's song) or "Hey Jude" (Jude's song), the kids also insist on listening to "Julia," which they call "Dahlia's song." Lucy isn't fooled by my lyrical switcheroo, though. She knows the song's real name, and to her, Dahlia is Julia.

I'm sure these nicknames are the first in a long line of aliases that the Fab Four will come up with for themselves—but what they don't know yet is that Ted and I already employ our own code names for them. I wonder how long it will take them to figure out that we long ago assigned each a number according to birth order?


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