Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Beautiful

In December, our family has been exceedingly blessed. Bob has been able to spend much of the month at home with the kids and me (although as of now, he's going to be gone for the majority of January - if his current schedule holds, he'll only be home 3 days all month long). While he's away, I send him pictures of the kids doing all of their everyday things. This is a rare picture where all three kids are actually in focus. These little guys are always on the move. Ninety percent of my pictures are blurry or of the back of someone's head while they run on to the next intriguing thing).
I love that James is doing his Virgin Mary pose in this picture. The boys love their blankets. They would carry them everywhere if it weren't for parental intervention. Michael likes to hold his blanket to his face and chew it, Ryan has rubbed the tag on his blanket to shreds (I'm not sure what I'm going to do when this tag has been rubbed out of existence), and James likes to wear his as a cape/head wrap. They know which blanket is theirs, and there are often rumbles if someone dares to grab his brother's blanket.
Here are my happy boys on the couch with their daddy. The kids love TV. I've tried to limit the amount of TV they watch, but there is something almost magical about saying, "let's watch Yo Gabba Gabba" and having 30 minutes of peace and stillness. Most of the time, they have particular locations where they prefer to watch TV. Michael likes to rest his chin on the TV stand or on the little table beside the couch for his TV consumption. He chants "gabba gabba" and throws his arms in the air at the end of the opening credits. James likes to stand really close to the TV and cranes his head back. It is the most uncomfortable position I've ever seen. You can grab him, and he'll sit on the couch with you, but you must be careful to never interrupt his line of vision to the TV or there will be consequences. Ryan is a less avid TV watcher and will sit on your lap until he gets bored or distracted by some cool toy he likes to play with. Currently, he's been bringing me the camel, cow, donkey, and sheep little people from his nativity set so that I can make them "talk."
Here my boys enjoy a cookie with daddy while watching TV. Bob and I are doing our best to train them in the ways of all things couch potato. I have tried to feed them healthy, balanced meals with limited sweets, but the holidays demand a few tasty treats. The kids are great eaters, although as they get older, they are getting pickier. James and Michael will shake their heads no to certain items. Michael will also fling down the offending items that make their way onto his tray with great abandon. Ryan likes to do a full tray cleaning when he is finished with his tray, running his hands wildly around the tray with several flourishes of food flinging. Ryan clears his tray with style. All of the boys will rub their hands together to signal they are all done - they learned this neat trick from Grandpa Newhouse, and it seems to have lessened the amount of food that is left behind for the clean-up crew (aka the dogs - I would never want to have young children without a hungry pooch to do the heavy lifting when it comes to floor cleaning).
The boys favorite Christmas time activity has been to go see the Christmas tree. Before they go upstairs at nap time and bed time, they stop by the formal living room to admire the tree. They like to "rearrange" the ornaments (our tree is somewhat bare near the bottom and over time, the more sentimental ornaments have managed to migrate to the upper reaches of the tree). Here James shows off the drum that I got from Grandmama & Papa's house. I'm sure that this drum should be relocated and James is just the man for the job.
Michael stops to see what Mom is doing while on a quest to fondle as many ornaments and lights as possible. He has misplaced this pacifier (it's making me a bit crazy, but since we have a back up, I've been trying to let go, but my OCD is definitely impacted by the incomplete set).
Here Ryan is in the midst of saying his new favorite phrase, "how beautiful." Of course, when he says it, it sounds more like "how boooo." It is fantastic. I'll say, "Ryan, let's go look at the Christmas tree," and he'll say "how boooo." Lately, more and more things are "how boooo." The other morning, I came out of the bedroom with my PJs on, and he said "how boooo." That boy knows the way to his mother's heart.
My little Christmas elves doing a bit of redecorating. By Christmas Day, all three of them figured out how to turn the lights on by flipping the switch on the power strip. Those little monkeys are super smart. They are so observant. Tonight, we played rock band for the first time in forever. We thought we could give the kids non-working instruments and they would be happy. Sir James figured out that he wanted the guitar with the red glowing PS3 button and would not be satisfied with any substitutes and thus ended our foray into full family entertainment.
Still decorating. This year, I put the garland on the banisters, hung the mistletoe, and put out a couple of sit around things which the kids love to move about the living room. Their favorite Christmas sit-arounds are the two singing snowmen things Kathy got them from Hallmark. They LOVE those. Since they are soft and virtually triplet proof (if you don't count the broken candy cane ladder on one of them), we've kept them in the main room, and the kids like to push the buttons on them incessantly. I think they are amongst the things I'll be most happy to see go back into the attic.
Ryan spies the band. Every year, Bob's parents give him musical instrument ornaments (ironic, isn't it as we currently make our living selling similar instruments). Ryan likes for me to hold him up so he can see all of the guitars and drums and such. James also likes to see the band, but he doesn't get to see it as often since he likes to try and strum the guitars with their delicate strings.
Ryan does a tour of the tree looking for the perfect ornament to yank off the tree and relocate. I'm sure that he found the perfect victim - I mean ornament.
Michael gives the tree a thorough touching. He makes sure to touch each branch, light, and ornament precisely. Bob thinks that Michael might have inherited some of my more OCD tendencies. I say, it couldn't have happened to a nicer kid, and at least I'll have one son with a preference for specific pens and a love of organization.
James admires his booty. This red ball receives particular attention from the relocation experts. I think it's the combination of velvety fabric and tassel that makes it a fan favorite. I've been reluctant to take the tree down (I always hate to see it go, even if it is a fire hazard). I know the boys will miss seeing it, too, and I'm 100% positive that next year they will be happy to see it return.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let's Go Outside!

One of the boys' favorite activities is playing outside. They love running around, playing in the dog water, hanging out in the "ball pit," searching the skies for airplanes, and eating the seeds off the bush in the back (from the quantity of little round seeds ingested, I surmise that this is not a poisonous bush).
James hanging out in the pool. The boys love to drag it around the backyard when it's empty, and they like to dive into the balls when they are in the pool.
Michael checks out the gate. This backyard kid longs to take a spin around the front yard. Sadly, his mommy lacks confidence in her ability to keep him from playing in the traffic, thus he is relegated to stay behind the fence.
Ryan read to take that bush to task. Time to hide, eat some seeds, try out a few leaves, and enjoy a little hide and seek with his brothers.
Pool time.
Beautiful child.
This is one of my favorite pictures. I'm not sure why, but I just think it is 100% James and by association 100% cute.
Ryan getting close to the wall. He decided to lick the brick. He did it once, but his compadre found it very tasty and came back for a few licks.
Michael in the balls. Love to throw, love to dive.
James, still kissing the wall. When I sent this picture to Bob while he was on the road, he sent me a short but sweet email wondering what is wrong with our child. I told him brick tastes good.
Michael at the park.
Follow me!
Mugging for the camera.
Strike a pose.
Whoa, this thing moves!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Plane, Boss, The Plane!

I am ashamed to admit, I started this post over a month ago and have never gotten around to finishing it. For some reason, having three one year olds running around the house has made me tired and unable to complete a variety of tasks that I should do much more frequently. I'm pretty sure the only thing that I do often is clean the kitchen and wash clothes between changing diapers and picking up toys. I am currently shirking my duties of switching out the laundry because then I'll have to fold all of those not-so-tiny-anymore clothes that will be back in the hamper before I can blink. But enough complaining, the kids will be up in a few minutes, and I'll miss my opportunity to post this if I don't get to it.
Dad & Grandpa take a backseat so that we could all go to the air show in one car. Next year, we'll just bite the bullet & pay the extra cash so that we can have a stroller or a wagon with us.
Daddy & Ryan making the long walk from the grassy knoll where we parked to the air show.
Uncle J.P. & Aunt Sue take charge of young master James. He enjoys a high-altitude view with Aunt Sue.
Grandpa's boy, a.k.a. Michael, gets a ride as well. Nothing quite like riding in style, although, I'm sure Michael was upset there was no easy access to hair. That child LOVES to touch hair.
The planes were big and loud, and the kids kept looking up into the sky and pointing at the planes. Since we've gone to the air show, the kids (especially Ryan) point to the sky every time they hear a plane. It started when the Blue Angels were practicing for the air show and buzzed the house, and now it's a constant quest to spot the planes.
Michael tries to convince Ryan to run around the air show and try to climb in and on everything in sight. Ryan agrees that Mom and Dad need to give a little chase.
Ryan, Grandma, & Daddy look for the planes in the sky. Notice that no matter how hard Mommy tries, Daddy refuses to set a good example by wearing a jacket.
The line to go inside the big plane. It was a long wait, but thankfully there were lots of planes zipping around above to entertain the kids.
Almost there. When we go out in public with the whole crew, Mommy gets a chance to take lots of pictures, but it does look like those little monkeys might be giving out good hugs.
Daddy and Michael. It was nap time, but I think Mikey just needed a cuddle from his daddy.
Ryan, ready for action, spies something he must run off and touch. Good luck keeping him contained, Grandpa.
The touching has begun!!! There were lots of strange and wonderful things to touch inside that big plane.
Michael takes a break from touching things to wear Grandpa's hat. Let's go Rangers, let's go! (This has become a frequent chant around our house - it started during the playoffs, and now the boys clap along and cheer, so I'm trying to keep it going until spring training when baseball will return to our lives and thus make our daddy extremely happy.)
Ryan thinks that climbing might be more fun than just sitting around looking at people.
Uncle JP gives James a good tickle. Nothing like a belly laugh from a toddler to make one's day a little brighter, and Mr. James is a great laugher. His laugh is infectious, and his hugs are to die for.
Michael shows his brothers the proper way to act when sitting upon taxpayer funded government property.
The triplets invade the cockpit. Luckily there were three chairs. Unluckily, there were LOTS of buttons, and if these kids know anything, it's how to push buttons.
Ryan decides that driving a car is for sissys when you can pilot a plane.
James, willing to drive anything, but wondering where exactly the steering wheel is.
James finds his steering wheel. This young lad is obsessed with cars. I blame Will Klein. James loves cars of all kinds. He likes to drive the real cars, his cozy coupe, push the toy cars around, and play with his race cars.
James keeps the wheel, but Michael and Ryan are coming to lay claim. I feel a Newhouse rumble coming on. Thanks Daddy for teaching us how to pin each other down and count to three. Wrestling is FUN!