Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Claus Host Christmas

Christmas morning was a pretty cool experience for Bob and I. We've never been able to play the part of the man in the red suit before, and we LOVED it. Considering the boys will never remember it, we went completely nuts, but it was just so much fun. Santa brought the boys their first rides - fittingly a trio of jeeps. They have really started to master the art of bumper cars in the kitchen, but the carpet is still a little challenging. I have no doubt that they'll master that soon enough.
Susan and John Paul made the trip to spend the day with us, and the Newhouse family does Christmas a little different than my family. Bob's clan goes one by one and opens one gift while my family falls on the gifts like rabid dogs. It's a neat tradition, but somehow I don't see it lasting in the coming years - especially the part of the tradition that dictates the youngest goes first. James is NOT going to like that one.
The boys got Dodger bibs from Grandma and Grandpa Newhouse, and cool shades from Mom and Dad.
They also got a jingle pig.
This year, since the boys are too little to really know what was going on, and Christmas lasted for several hours, whoever was holding the boys helped them open their gifts. Grandma and Grandpa really enjoyed watching the boys play with their toys.
Mikey hangs out in the dinosaur ball pit from Mom and Dad. Mom is already regretting the fact that said pit does not really contain said balls. As they roll all over the house, I seem to spend a lot of time gathering them up and putting them back in the pit. Thankfully, the dragon zips up when not in use and the bumpo makes a great seat amongst the balls.
Ryan, true to form, loves his new stuffed pooch. This dog stays still while the boys lounge about upon him.
James riding in style in his Jeep.
James and Grandpa play in the ball pit.
The Newhouse men head outside to enjoy the snow and fry the Christmas turkey.

Cain/Ptomey Christmas Celebration

Christmas is a time for fun, food, and family portraits. On Christmas Eve morning, the Cain/Ptomey clan gathered at my parents' house for the annual festivities. There were breakfast tacos, taunting of siblings, and spiderman tattoos. A good time was had by all. Zach, Joseph, and I all went in together to get Faith an iPod. I wrapped it in five boxes complete with packing tape - it took her 8 minutes to get to the actual present. I can't even begin to describe how much joy it brought me to see her open the third box just to find another box.

There was a ton of coffee consumed and a traditional meal of appetizers. There were a few tears shed as we thought of my Popo, but overall, it was a great time. Here are a few of the highlights.
Grandma & Papa Joe pose with the fam.
Some of us were awake way before others of us.
Aunt Faith & Ryan sit on Daddy's lap. You're never too big for a little bit of love on Christmas.
James and Momo are fascinated with his new glow worm.
A little Christmas cheer for Michael to chew on.
Ryan LOVES paper. He enjoyed the contents of the paper, but mostly the paper.
Grandma & James check out the boys' new choochoo train.
Daddy and James taking it easy after all the excitement.
Uncle Joseph and Michael.
Our Christmas babies hanging out playing with some old toys and some new toys.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Very Merry Half Birthday To You!

On Christmas Eve, our little men turned six months old. We took their picture early in the morning before our Christmas festivities began. They wore their Christmas outfits all day, and Bob did a great job of protecting them from spit up and such. We were planning on making it to Christmas Eve church, but the "blizzard" stopped us from leaving our house.
At my mom & dad's we took a few family photos, and the boys spent most of the time sleeping through the presents. Only Ryan really seemed to enjoy the unwrapping (mostly trying to eat the paper), but before it was all over, James and Michael participated in the festivities.
That night, we took pictures in their Christmas jammies, and Ryan realized that he could slide in his new PJs. He enjoyed this very much, but made it slightly difficult to get a group shot where everyone was the same height.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Spring Training in the Snow

Bob and I, in our infinite wisdom, decided to pull a baseball/football double header on opening day of the Cowboys season. It was a fun day, and while we were at the Ranger game, I found some great Ranger gear. I planned to have these shirts for Opening Day, but the boys have almost outgrown them already. In order to justify the rather large price tag for such small shirts, we put them on the boys the other day.
My little Rangers.
James, king of Texas.
Ryan is very interested in chewing on everything lately, I think we may be in store for another tooth.
Ryan enjoys pulling on Mikey's ear.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


It's snowing in Haslet. We are a little disappointed that we weren't able to make it to church tonight (it's the first time Bob and I have ever missed Christmas church), but it has been pretty cool to have a white Christmas here in Texas.
I haven't gotten the boys caps and mittens yet, so we found some old Cowboys hats and blankets and headed outside for the photo op.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tasty Face

I must admit, I am a lazy and disgusting mom. Since the boys have started eating real food, Duke has come on the scene. Ryan loves Duke, and Duke loves Ryan. It's funny to see the special relationship between those two. All of the boys notice Duke. It's hard not to when he is licking peas and carrots off of your hands. Much to the chagrin of my mom, grandma, and I must admit, of myself, I let Duke lick the boys hands and chairs. He does a much better job that I could ever do with a wash cloth or wet wipe, and they laugh and enjoy his amorous attention.
I'm pretty sure that if Duke eats enough to explode and dies this way, he will be the happiest (dead) dog on earth. He can't get enough food, but he and Ryan aren't just lunch time buddies. The smile that Ryan gets when Duke approaches would melt the grinch's heart. Duke is so good and gentle with him. He will walk over to where ever Ryan is playing and just sit there and let Ryan pet/pull on him for an unusual amount of time. Duke even pats him with his paw (three times) just like he does to Dusty.
Yesterday, I must admit that I let the love, adoration, and laziness go a step too far. Duke was hovering around during feeding time (usually he has to stay out of the kitchen when there is eating going on). I thought he and the boys were just too cute together and let him lick the sides of their high chairs and skulk around the table. Grandma and I were enjoying the show when all of a sudden, Duke stuck out his long tongue and licked oatmeal and carrots off of Michael's face. I missed it with the camera, but this is Michael's stunned reaction while Duke beat a hasty retreat out of the kitchen before he lost life and tongue. Even though it grosses me out, I probably will still let him lick the boys hands (always followed by a wet wipe to wash off dog germs) just because they love it so much, but I've got to draw the line at the tasty face.
By the time I got the camera, Duke had already licked James clean and had moved on to green-beaner hands, but I can't bear to do a post with no James news. Lately, my little monkey has been sleeping on his side. When he was in the isolette in the NICU, he always flipped and flopped around, but when he came home, I guess he forgot how to move. Now that he can roll over, he loves to sleep on his side with his arms over his face. Sometimes he gets so tired that he just face plants straight down into the activity mat, playpen, bed, or where ever and falls asleep that way. It's absolutely adorable, but when he loses his pacifier in this position, he can't find it and put it back in his mouth and starts to scream like he's being tortured by the devil himself. This makes for some less than pleasant 3 a.m. trips to the nursery, but since those are generally the only trips to the nursery we make at night, I'm not going to complain. Not only does James love his pacifier, lately, he loves the string that holds it on his clothes. He chews on it pretty much non-stop. Now that we are eating peas, green beans, carrots, oatmeal, and rice cereal, he leaves a little bit of his lunch and dinner along with a generous helping of slobber on his pacifier holder. The thing stinks to high heaven. It took me about a week of trying to figure out why James always stunk before I found the culprit (it earned him the name of the "little stinkmunk"). I am looking for a way to make the one he has smell better, but so far, I haven't had any success. My next move is to soak it in oxyclean and throw it in the wash in hopes of a better outcome. If I'm unsuccessful, I think we're going to have to take drastic action and get a new one (I wonder if it'll taste as good to Mr. James). Even though it's only by a minute, you can identify the oldest child in this trio - Mr. Type A is Baby A.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gold Digger

Momo Campbell is back in town for the holidays. We all wish that she could have brought Popo with her, but I am so proud of her for getting everything on track without him. She is an amazing lady, and I hope that one day when I have great-grandkids, I'm half the woman she is. Grandma has been helping us and really enjoying hanging out with the boys. I need to take more pictures of them all together, but somehow, life seems to get in the way of the photographs. The boys are definitely excited that she's here. I know that the last time couple of times we got to see her, things were crazy, but now, they are getting lots of one-on-one time with each other (along with a little group session from time to time). One thing that Momo has a lot of is fancy gold jewelry. With her shiny gold earrings and necklace (courtesy of Popo - who had exceedingly good taste), James couldn't help but be fascinated (apparently Mikey has a thing for ladies' chests and James has a thing for gold).
Here James makes a play for some bling while Ryan kicks back with his Momo. For some reason, in the last couple of days, Ryan has taken an extreme liking to my mom. He cries any time she tries to put him down. (I'm pretty sure my mom could not be happier about this). The negative side to this sudden affection is that she tried to pass Ryan off to Momo and it hurt his feelings, and he started to cry. Mom had to take Ryan back to get him to calm down. My poor Grandma is suffering from being a victim of the Grandma-Hand-Off, and Ryan occasionally cries when Grandma first gets him. Hopefully this phase will pass quickly.
Success! James finally gets his little hands on some real gold.
My mom has been running my grandma ragged. She's made the poor woman do marathon shopping in uncomfortable shoes. I hear rumors that tomorrow is a day of rest, but knowing my mother as I do, I'm pretty sure she's got 1001 things on a to-do list. Grandma will be staying at Mom's for the next three weeks. I couldn't be happier to have her close by. Tonight, the Saints play the Cowboys. The last time this happened, Bob and I went to the game with my grandparents. It was a glorious night for the Saints, and I'm pretty sure that Grandma was chanting Duce in her sleep that night. I have a feeling that after we watch the game together tonight, Grandma will be chanting Drew in her sleep, much to Bob's chagrin. (Don't tell Bob, he'd be disappointed if he thought I was having disloyal thoughts like that - he's Jessie Jackson's greatest disciple - keep hope alive and Go Cowboys).

Ups and Downs

It's 1:00 a.m., and I am stewing on some recent family drama and can't sleep. It got me thinking about UPS and DOWNS. Right now, I am UP which is ridiculous for a mom who knows her kids start the day early - I should be laying DOWN sleeping. Bob went on a job interview in Chicago this past week. We hope it went well, and there are so many ups and downs that pass through my mind as we wait for word back from the company. Our boys have been having some ups and downs of their own. Recently, all three of the kids LOVE to stand UP. They can't get enough of it. They are always wanting to stand up and see the world. Yesterday, Mom, Grandma, and I put the kids in a circle and let them stand up together. The pictures were hard to take, but the interactions between the kids were absolutely great.
Anytime the kids get close to each other, they like to touch/grab/gouge each other. I'm pretty sure they know and recognize each other now. Last time we went to the doctor, Ryan started crying in another room, and Michael recognized his cry and joined in (the other crying kids in the office didn't phase him at all).
Not only have the kids been standing UP, they have also been practicing sitting DOWN. I have a picture of Ryan sitting down somewhere, but between the camera, Bob's phone, my phone, and the pictures we've imported in one place and not the other, who knows where it is. It's lost in the bytes and bits of our cyberworld. Here Ryan is scrutinizing something interesting.
Michael was our first to sit down and stay for longer than two seconds. He is balancing himself with his arms, but he's getting the job done. I'm pretty sure that he could have gone much longer if he didn't get distracted by Duke hanging out around Bob and begging for food.
The next day, Michael tried it again, and he was even more successful. I think he sat up for a good five minutes.
James has also been trying to sit up (although I enjoyed the mid-fall picture and decided to post it over the more stable one). When the kids fall down, we misquote the Ali-Fraiser fight, "Down goes James, Down goes Michael, Down goes Ryan." Luckily, I'm pretty sure that our boys will figure this one out soon without too many face plants like the one Michael took today when he was practicing his sitting for Aunt Faith. Hopefully, the ups and downs in our world will smooth out soon as well, and instead of a thrill-ride roller coaster of life, we can get back to the gentle bumps in the road as we roll our stroller over them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hello Happiness

Here are some random pictures of the boys from the last few weeks. When they smile at me or laugh, I always say "hello happiness!" Lately, the laughs and the smiles have been helping Bob and I make it through the day.
At the end of Christmas photo shoot day one, the boys are all a little worn out as were their parents.
After bath time, Daddy and Michael have a chat while James and Ryan look on.
Michael, the latest Ranger fan in the house.
Mikey sitting on the table. How many more years will he get a free pass for that one?
Ryan and I taking our self portrait. It's very hard to concentrate on picture taking while trying not to look like a total dork.
James is happy to tell us all about it. He is definitely still the loudest of the Newhouse boys. He loves to talk (loudly) while he plays.
Ryan LOVES the jumper. He bounces around like a crazy man and enjoys every minute. Even bawling, he'll jump around.
James enjoys eating and does NOT enjoy waiting while his brothers get a bite. He is by far the messiest eater we have. He likes to put his hands in his mouth and help you hold the spoon. I have a feeling it wont be long until he's feeding himself.
The boys were sitting on my lap together. They definitely notice and smile at each other (and some of them even try and get a hug or kiss - at least that's what I'll say they are doing since it does sometimes appear to be more like wrestling than loving).