The boys LOVE the animals' water dish. I think that Ryan might be Ponce de Leon looking for that fountain of youth. That boy has a homing device located in the water bowl. I bought a couple of gates off of Craigslist, but neither of them work, and it's pretty difficult to completely block off the kitchen. I'm currently using baby jail in the gap as I have realized that the baby jail concept is fantastic in theory but horrible for someone who needs large, open spaces free of clutter.
Another source of endless entertainment is the dog bowl. The boys love to spin it around on the tile and make lovely noises with it. While Ryan heads to the water, James goes for the bowl, and Michael is usually stuck holding on to some piece of furniture (he hates to let go and fall, so a lot of times, I have to move him or he'll stay in the same place for hours).
Duke is not so fond of the mobile children. Not only have they invaded his bed, taken charge of his bowl, put their grubby hands in his water, they also invade his personal space. This prompts barking from Duke and yelling at Duke from Bob and I. Despite these inconveniences, Duke still loves cleaning up after meal times and getting good pets from the boys.
Lately, my very well behaved sons have decided that they would rather flip flop in the diaper changer instead of laying in one place and let Mom do clean up. This has made for some creative diapering. Standing, reclining on one side, bottoms up are all new ways of having one's diaper changed. James is by far the squirmiest. I've found that distractions are key. Debi gave us a fantastic lady bug & caterpillar brush & comb set that is very exciting to chew on/bang on the wall. The electrical nasal aspirator that sings is also in high rotation as are the various creams located in the pockets near the wipes. What can I say, I change tons of diapers a day, and I'm desperate to make my life as easy as possible.
While some one is "on deck," usually the other two are hanging out in the playpen below. It's great excitement to jump and make the playpen squeak.
Since Bob has been home for a few days, the boys have taken to escaping from the living room in stealth mode, bypassing the stairs (which all of them are learning to climb - James can make it up 5 steps before he stops), and heading straight for Daddy in the office. Bob says that the smiles on their faces as they round the corner of his desk and see him is just priceless. I'm not sure how much work Bob is able to do, but the boys sure do love spending time with Daddy. I mentioned closing the doors, but no one seemed to find that an appealing idea.In the last few weeks, our schedule has changed a bit. We have gone to three meals a day, and our after lunch time in the jeeps has become very irregular. The boys do love their jeeps, but lately, their favorite thing to do is rip off the mirrors and throw them on the floor. (Note James has completely denuded his jeep). The boys are sleeping until about 7:30 or so, and they are content to stay in their room until 8. They get a bottle, play a little, and then we eat breakfast. Lately, they would rather feed themselves, so I try to keep their trays well stocked with tasty finger foods. After breakfast, they get clean diapers and clothes, and then we play until 10:30 or 11 (during which time they seem to open the poop gates - today, I changed James 3 times between breakfast and lunch, Ryan twice, and Michael once). They usually take a nap in the three playpens that are in our bedroom. I've decided that I'd rather have the boys in the bedroom during the day. It makes it easier to check up on them as I do housework and/or sit on the couch and recover from the morning. After naps, it's time for more bottles and lunch, diapers, playing, and attempting to visit Daddy. Sometime around 3 or 4 they will take another nap, but they are taking such long morning naps that it's rare to get two naps. About 4:30, they have another bottle and we start dinner around 5:30 or 6. Some days we take a bath, and then they are in bed by 7 pm. They are sleeping through the night perfectly. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have asked for better kids.
Our little monkeys keep us hopping, but I sure wouldn't trade it for the world. Strangers always seem to think that we are overwhelmed by our kids, but really, our days are busy but they run pretty smoothly, and I never feel like they are unmanageable. Although I have to admit, some days by 7 pm I'm so tired I can't think, but it's worth it.