Friday, March 26, 2010

Eating For Three

In the last month or so, the boys have started eating all kinds of things, and in the last week, I've gone to three meals a day rather than two meals and two bottles. They love weenies and string cheese. They really like avocados, mango, bananas, strawberries, roast beef lunchmeat, scrambled eggs, and all kinds of things they can pick up and shove into their mouths. Until recently, I haven't fed the boys any prunes, but with all the cheese they've been eating, I thought it might be smart to balance it with a little bit of the brown sludge. They LOVE prunes. Absolutely love them. James starts to squeal with delight when he gets his first bite. It's pretty funny. Another food change that is happening in our house is the removal of carrots from their diet. I have unfortunately turned my children ORANGE. I mixed the spinach, which is their favorite green, with carrots for substance. I forgot about the hidden carrots, and I fed them other baby food with lots of carrots (there is a surprisingly large amount of carrots in all kinds of baby foods - even Mac & Cheese). Recently, I noticed that their little noses were orange. (Mom said that she noticed it a while ago but didn't say anything - how she could let me turn her grandkids orange and not comment while we had time to discuss the sorrows of Sandra Bullock's life, I have no idea). Thus in order to return my children to a normal shade of white, we have eliminated all carrots from our diets. The kids wear a lot of their food, and today, they decorated themselves with prunes in very amusing ways.
James sporting a dashing prune goatee.
Michael should have been a silent movie star with this jaunty prune mustache.
Indian ladies watch out! Ryan can sport a dot with the best of you.
Playing in baby jail with Aunt Faith. The boys LOVE it when Aunt Faith comes home from school to play with them. She's definitely one of their favorite people. Tonight, we started a new tradition. Dr. G told us that it's time to start brushing our teeth, so while I was at the store, I got the kids toothbrushes and toothpaste.
James using the wrong end of the brush, but I couldn't get too upset since he doesn't have any teeth.
Michael is serious about dental hygiene.
Ryan thinks brushing is fun.
Mommy and her captive audience. I now know why they say you shouldn't wear horizontal stripes, but oh well, such is life.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

To the Nines!

James, Michael, & Ryan are NINE MONTHS OLD! On Wednesday, we had a very busy nine-month birthday. We started the morning with our photo shoot. By far, this month's photo shoot was the most difficult. The boys were all over the place, and I don't know how much longer they are going to cooperate with Mommy's need to chronicle their lives in photographs.
Young Sir James is 21.5 lbs and 29 inches. He's growing like a weed - three inches in three months. Today, he started pulling himself up on the baby jail, the stairs, and anywhere else he could find to get vertical. He has been spitting like a madman, so I started asking him what he thinks of the Yankees - Bob loves that one.
Michael "The Love Bug" Newhouse is 30 inches tall and 22.5 lbs. He is absolutely adorable despite the fact that he refuses to take naps. Michael gives good kisses (sometimes with teeth) and hugs. He has been somewhat clingy lately, but that's okay with his mommy. This week he went to Grandma's house while I went shopping. He wasn't very happy with me when I returned. Every time I left the room, he started to cry. Tomorrow he's going to Grandma's again, and hopefully he'll do a little better this time, or I might not be able to live with the guilt. He does just fine with Grandma at his house, and in fact, while I was at the grocery store today, he started pulling up and walking around baby jail only holding on with one hand (of course he didn't perform for me, but I hear he's quite the walker).
Ryan is exceedingly entertaining. He makes me laugh all day long. Today, during breakfast, he ended up with a glob of prunes on his forehead that made him look like an Indian woman. Cracked me up. He is exactly the same size as Michael, and both of them are 90-95% for height and 75% for weight. He is also pulling himself up and standing, but no walking yet. He is learning to use his teeth. Today, he bit James on the elbow so hard that poor little James did the Edvard Munch Scream. Hopefully we can curb the biting (Michael bit me on the boob today - ouch!), and return to kisses without teeth.
Ryan shows Michael the consequences of messing with the big guy.
Michael encourages James to be a silent witness to these shenanigans.
After our trip to the doctor, we went to the airport to pick up Momo. We made quite a stir with the boys in their ties and hats. (Of course, we normally make a stir but this was worse, and since I was with Mom instead of Bob, she didn't let me hide in the corner, we had to sit out where everyone and their dog could come by and admire the kids - I guess it's a grandma's privilege). At one point, an entire family of Indian people came to admire the kids. One lady asked if she could take a picture (I begrudgingly said yes - if Bob catches wind of this, he'll murder me), and it was like I was surrounded by a group of Japanese tourists in front of the Mona Lisa. One lady came by who had 7 month old twins, and after she left the airport, she came back to ask me where I got the kids outfits. It made me feel good that they were such sharply dressed men. Their Grandpa Robin would have loved that (especially if we got them fake beards to go with their sunglasses in true ZZTop style). Bob sent a picture of the kids to a friend of his who accused us of dressing the kids like Justin Timberlake. Bob said that next time we take them out like that we should play Sexy Back (sexyback?).
James eagerly awaits Momo's arrival.
Michael can't wait either!
Ryan's can't wait for her to get there. He even has bells.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Return of Neighbor Bob

The first trip I ever took with Bob was to the lake in Austin to hang out with his friends. Jeff, Connie, Wendy, Laura, Diane, Julie, Cousin Kelly and the whole gang introduced me to a guy I hadn't met yet - Neighbor Bob. My most vivid memory of that weekend was Connie grabbing Bob's package and Bob asking for a chance to think happy thoughts and give it another go. It was a surprising new side of Bob, and I had a great time hanging out with the girls and Jeff. The guys from our old neighborhood are a ton of fun. I learned that to keep up with this crew on the drinks is almost impossible, and that to attempt to is a hangover waiting to happen. Since that first weekend, our lives have gone in different directions. Diane is married and living in Virginia, Wendy & Laura are in Houston, and Connie & Jeff no longer live across the street (one of the things I miss most about the old 'hood). So, last weekend, when we had a chance to see everyone again at the Chili Cook Off, Bob and I loaded up the guys and headed to the lake. The boys and their stroller were a big hit, and we found a nice spot to lay out a blanket and let the kids enjoy the day. (I did learn that one of the essentials in the summer diaper bag is the baby sunscreen).
Ryan loved hanging off of the blanket trying to eat leaves and grass. Bob swears that boys need a little dirt in their system to be true men, but I think Ryan was trying to go overboard.
Michael and Diane chilling on the blanket. I was impressed that the kids left their hats and shades on for the majority of the time. Usually you have to fight with them to keep them on, but I guess they appreciated the shade.
James enjoys chewing on that elusive frog that hangs in front of him on his car seat. I bet this kid has been dying to take a gum to that frog (maybe one day he'll get a tooth - Ryan has 6, Michael 4, and James still toothless).

Diane's little guy - Adam - wakes up and joins the crowd. He wasn't very into hanging out with such babies, but he did enjoy eating an orange and was truly happy hanging out with Wendy.
Wendy does double duty. I'm pretty sure that she's got Michael and Ryan, but the hats and matching clothes makes it tough to be sure.
Definitely Ryan and someone. :)
Jeff and Ryan having too much fun. Bob's male compadre in a crowd full of women. Jeff is the king of 80s hair bands, and he's definitely showing off his grandpa skills.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Miss Alie - Queen of Pink

On the way home from Louisiana to Nebraska, Loribeth and Andrew brought Alie to see the boys. I meant to take a ton of pictures, but with all the passing of babies and the fact that our guys go to bed around 7 pm, we didn't get very many. I did get a few good pics of Alie enjoying the boys' toys. She's a tiny little thing, and Bob and I felt like she was a feather compared to our big guys. I think she and James look a little bit alike, and they did try to steal each other's pacifiers, so I feel as though their first meeting as cousins was successful. After hanging out in the nursery at church for a while, I found out that our boys are somewhat different than your average only/singleton child. Our guys roll around on the floor, steal toys, smack each other in the head, climb on top of each other, and don't seem to notice. Regular kids just sit in one place and play with their toys, our guys have absolutely no concept of personal space.
You can tell that Alie is the princess of her parents' world, and she is absolutely adorable. Sometimes I wish that Bob and I were able to hover over our kids like Loribeth and Andrew are able to with Alie. As I observe parents of singletons, I feel bad for our boys that Bob and I aren't able to treat them as the second coming - I feel like they are, but it's just impossible to manifest it. I spend most of my day sitting in the middle of a pile of kids trying to give each of them the attention that they need, but usually they are crawling on top of each other and holding onto my hair with iron fists. I think that since it's all they know, it'll be fine in the end, but I really do hope my boys know how special and unique each of them are as individuals.
Alie is so much smaller than our guys, and I'm pretty sure there isn't a pink thing created that she doesn't own (much like her mom and grandma). She really enjoyed riding in the jeep - I'm sure that if there is a pink one, she'll own it sooner or later. Loribeth has just started feeding her real food, and she had her first Mum-Mum at our place. Our guys LOVE Mum-Mums (or crackers as we call them). I started ordering them off of Amazon so that I could get them in bulk.
This is as close as James and Alie could get otherwise the pacifiers started flying and the hands started grabbing (and Alie is no match for James in the grab and go department).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad

Lately, this has been my mantra. With Bob on the road and the boys getting more active, I've kind of gone into survival mode. You might have noticed that I don't have time to do fun things like blog posts. I'm barely finding time to clean bottles and high chair trays. The boys are doing great. They are always on the move. They scoot around the house like little green berets about to do battle with my computer cord and any and all forbidden zones. We've moved the play yard Lainie & John lent us downstairs, and the boys and I hang out in there for a large portion of our day. The boys have been pretty great sleepers for a while, but we are still working on those naps. I just don't seem to have the energy to listen to screaming, so in the morning whoever is fussy first, I rock to sleep then the next kid, then the last kid (inevitably Michael - who apparently needs only 10 minutes of sleep at a time). If I'm lucky, all three will sleep for twenty minutes or so, and I can go pee and grab some lunch - the two minute hot pocket isn't so bad. Before you can blink, they are back up and ready for lunch. The after lunch nap goes about the same as the before lunch nap. I know I should put them upstairs and listen to them scream, but I just can't handle it. Maybe it's time to try again, but the last time I tried, I think Ryan screamed for 45 minutes straight before I caved. We have had lots of fun both at home and out and about lately. It's getting easier to get the boys out, but it still takes an act of Congress to get me in the mood to put forth the effort to leave the house. A couple of weeks ago, Bob and I took the boys to the zoo. Here are a couple of cute pictures of the boys enjoying looking at the people and animals.
James is fascinated with the fish tank in the Australia section - it's much bigger than our 55 gallon tank at home and so are the fish!
Michael checks out the parakeets flying around our heads in the bird house. Maybe next time we go, we'll buy the feeding sticks and get up close and personal with the birdies.
Ryan chillin' in the stroller and checking out the animals (especially the human ones).
Two nappers. Ah, if only there were three.
Ryan and James hanging out on the couch. These two monkeys seem to get into trouble together the most. Mikey likes to do his own thing (which is currently talking to his feet) most of the time, although he's always good for poking at eyes and pulling hair when called upon.
James in the toy basket while Ryan tries to climb in as well.
James, Michael, and Ryan playing on the floor with their toys. Their favorite thing to do lately is dump the basket over and pull out all of the toys one by one, fighting over each newly discovered treasure.
Michael shows Ryan who's the boss.
The boys in baby jail.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parting With Our Pooch

For years, our old pooch, Dusty, has been crazy as a loon. Three years ago, it got so bad, that Bob took her to the vet and asked what to do with her. The vet gave us crazy pills which sort of worked, and over time, we figured out how to manage her craziness. She has torn up our house, chewing baseboards, destroying carpet, eating through cords (always the very expensive cords), escaped all kinds of kennels, and through it all, we've managed not to kill her. She was deathly afraid of storms and fireworks, and Bob and I learned to dread storm season and were thankful for the drugs located in the kitchen drawer to knock her out for the worst of them. Yesterday, it rained and thundered a little, and Dusty seemed to be fine. Since Bob and I got together, Dusty has adopted me as her person. She doesn't get up until I do, she follows me around and lays next to me, and when the storms come, she wants to be up close and personal, but yesterday she was happy just laying on the floor. Bob and I were worried about how she would react to the boys, and we had decided that if there was any trouble we would have to do something about the dogs. Duke LOVES the boys. He can't get enough of them. He likes to lick them, smell them, and he lets them bruise and batter him without flinching (he even survived Ryan's death grip on his weenie). Dusty likes to count the boys and make sure they are all okay, but she really doesn't like to be close to them. As the boys are getting more and more mobile (we've mastered the military crawl, and I'm sure it's just a short time before it's full-fledged let's make Mommy chase us crawling becomes a fact of life), they are becoming obsessed with reaching the dogs, their beds, their food, etc.
Yesterday, James startled Dusty by grabbing her tail, and she bit him on the head. I couldn't believe it. When she gets scared, she'll snap at you, but with the reflexes of a unaware 8 month old, James didn't dodge her attack and he was bitten. Luckily Dusty doesn't have very sharp teeth (she's destroyed them in her McGuyver-like escapes and on my baseboards), so she didn't puncture the skin, but she did leave a welt and a couple of scrapes. The scariest part is how close her teeth got to James' eye. It put Bob and I in a horrible position. We love that crazy-ass dog, but we love our kids more. With storm season just starting to gear up and the boys starting to get mobile, we just couldn't trust Duster. Her quirks made it impossible to send her off to live with someone else - it's just not fair to dump a crazy dog on an unsuspecting kind soul. I called the vet and asked what to do, and they gave me the prices for putting your dog to sleep and cremation.
It broke my heart and Bob's heart. We know Dusty is a pain in the butt, but she's our pain in the butt. After many, many, many tears and a very sleepless night, I took Dusty to the vet today. The house feels empty without her. The cat can walk through the house in peace, Duke doesn't know where his best pal has gone (he's laying on the floor next to me - something he never does), and every time I realize that she's not here, I tear up. I know when Bob gets home from his business trip, he'll feel the sting even more. I don't really have words for how hard this day was.
Dusty has always been part of the landscape of my life with Bob, subtly working her way into my heart despite how she tortured my beloved cat. She was half of our dynamic dog duo, and now it's just Duke. We all miss her, but I know it was the right thing to do, and I hope I never have to do it again. Maybe I'll have a talk tonight with Duke and Emma about how dying in your sleep of old age is the best way to go.
Rest in Peace, Dusty. You were loved, and you will be missed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Week at Home

I pretty much spent the month of February on the road. These past 2 days were my first entire weekend off since the end of January. Being employed is a good thing. Being busy is a good thing. Taking the time to enjoy a week at home is a good thing as well.

Even though the week consisted of some long work days I have really enjoyed being at home with Angela and the boys. They are just so happy that even when they are fussy it doesn't seem all that hard to get them to smile again.

I have to admit that working in the house has some perks and certain things are just plain good for the ego. One of the work days this week Ryan was going a bit crazy. When I got to a stopping point I'd come out to see if I could help, every time I came around the corner he stopped crying and started smiling. There isn't too much that feels better than that.

It's pretty cool to be able to act silly and have 3 kids just eat it all up.

The last couple days of this week the weather has just been brilliant. Friday Night I got a bug that I knew was silly. I knew that doing it on a Saturday was ridiculous. I knew that doing this with 8 month olds was stupid. I knew that taking triplets was just asking for a painful afternoon. I didn't care. I wanted to take the boys to the zoo.

So, we did.

The boys were much more interested in everyone around them than they were the animals and oh boy did we get a lot of attention. I still haven't got used to everyone talking about us and pointing as we walk by. I hear it all, I pretend not to but I do. I hear every single, oh my gosh, I'm glad it's not me. Every single, mommy look at that! And yes, I hear the, "you are so blessed" as well.

We ran into another family with triplets at the zoo. They pointed out to us what we already knew, we should have put them in two different strollers to ward off some of the attention but it sure was nice to talk to people who are in our shoes.

We got papparazi'd a few times. At one point Angela stepped between the camera guy and the boys. She said to me, now he has a picture of my butt.

Nobody means to be rude but gosh it sure comes off that way. Plus, in this day and age I'm just not comfortable with people taking pictures of my boys. You just never know where the picture will end up. I had one guy ask if he could take a picture, I gave him a crappy look and he said, I just want a picture of the stroller for my brother. I promise I won't do anything else with the picture. I said, ok, that's fine.

The stroller is pretty impressive. It cracked me up that almost every dad at the zoo commented on the stroller.

At the end of the day, I was very happy that we went and the boys did seem to enjoy 3 or 4 hours in the nice weather. I'm glad we did it when it was 70 degrees rather than in a couple months when it will be 100 degrees.

Tomorrow I head to New Mexico for a week of sales calls. It isn't getting any easier to leave the boys on me or Angela but I am trying to enjoy the time I do have here. I need to get better at helping Angela out when I can, getting her out of the house and things like that but I'm trying.