Monday, January 31, 2011

Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Mommy's boys hanging out on the bed. Recently, the young gentlemen have discovered the joys of hanging out on the bed and watching TV. They like to run into the bedroom, climb into the bed (which is quite a feat considering Bob and I use footstools), grab a remote, kick back and relax.
Ryan makes his move and gets a prime position on the bed. Daddy better watch out - with all this traveling he's been doing, these boys are likely to claim his side of the bed as their own.
Success! Pull up the covers, lay back on the pillows, and turn on the YoYoYo - heaven.
Michael makes his move. There is a remote with his name on it. Also, the window above the bed probably needs to have the makeshift foam/cardboard/curtain thing pulled down in order to make Mommy's life more difficult.
James gets into the mix. He's the originator of the bench to bed method, but as usual, he was willing to teach his techniques to his fellow compadres.
Michael claims his spot on the bed. James better hurry, or he'll have to settle for the least favorable locale.
James gets waylaid by Grandma. Despite the fact that we like to watch TV, there is always time to monkey around on the bed.
Ryan takes a laugh break. Too much relaxing and TV makes for dull boys, and Ryan knows how to spice it up.
Naked Babies!!!! The post-bath ritual now involves time hanging out on the bed (any excuse for climbing, jumping around, and clicker commandeering is always taken). The covers are so warm and comfortable. Even though Mommy worries about someone peeing in her bed before all butts are properly covered, the level of tiny man cooperation is such a plus that she's willing to risk it.
More relaxing. The boys had to try out something new and very unusual - a made bed. Who knows how something so novel could happen. Must have been in preparation for a house showing.
Even in a made bed, James can figure out a way to charm his mommy into finding him some covers.
Ryan claims the spot closest to the TV. Location, location, location.
Michael feels that a fluffy pillow is where he is meant to lay. Now, where did he put that clicker?
James looking very grown up as he claims Mom's side of the bed. I guess he knows that the side furthest away from the door is the best spot on the bed.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Color My World

For Christmas, Santa brought coloring books and colors in our stockings. Lately, we have been doing a little bit of art in our new books. The boys probably color the most at restaurants on menus (fyi - those crayons are great to dip in ketchup, & unlike a fry, you never have to eat the crayon). At home, they like to have at least two crayons each, and we color until either it's time to do something else or someone starts to snack on the crayon.
Michael examines this tasty looking crayola. It's washable, but it still leaves stains around your mouth. It must be time to take a break and get an edible snack.
James is probably our best colorer. He likes to make lots of lines on the same page and will take his time making sure there is enough color on every part of the paper that is deserving of color. Like with crackers, drumsticks, and little people, James must have one color for each hand.
Ryan finds coloring O so fun. He is a fan of coloring on multiple pages. He likes to switch it up and use different colors, but he's not so sure about loaning out those rejected colors to his brothers. He is the inventor of ketchup color (which makes his father extremely nervous), and he is fond of dropping the colors on the floor and waiting for someone who looks very much like his mother to retrieve them.
The boys take a post coloring break. The boys (especially Ryan and Michael) have become very attached to their blankets. I can usually con them into climbing up the stairs to go to bed with the lure of going to get their blankets. In addition to loving their blankets, these little men really like to watch TV lately. Their favorite show is still Yo Gabba Gabba which is chanted "YoYoYoYo" with vigorous arm waving. I've found YoYoYo a sure bribe to make the young gents leave behind the joys of the backyard and return to the warmth of our home.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Men

Now that I'm a stay at home mom, the snow day is not quite the joyous thing it used to be. There's no sense in waiting up till all hours searching for your district to say closed as it scrolls across the bottom of the TV screen. I've never been one to enjoy being cold. I spent one Christmas at my Dad's in Virginia where I only went outside twice - from the airport to the house and back again. So when Bob wanted to take the boys outside to play in the snow, I balked, but I coated up the kids and sent them outside to play with Grandpa and Daddy. They had so much fun that I'm tempted to do it again (maybe).
Ryan with hat, mittens, snow pants (thanks Aunt Mandy & Uncle Zach), and a smile of sorts.
James looks apprehensive. The kids love going in the garage. I guess they are like the cat with her attempts to always try to get into the "forbidden zone." James does know all about going outside and putting on shoes, though. He loves his shoes so much that he cries when you take them off.
Michael ready for action with his trusty grandpa by his side. That boy LOVES his grandpa. I'm pretty sure he'd toss the rest of us out on our kiesters if he could get uninterrupted grandpa time.
Ryan tries to make his first snowball. I wonder who would teach him such things. Probably the same person who taught him to wrestle and count to three before declaring himself the winner.
James blocks the true perpetrator of snowball warfare. Note the ungloved hands. I'm pretty sure there was a request for gloves about ten seconds after this picture was taken.
James wonders why it's so cold and wet out. He kept trying to do things like get in his cozy coupe, but it was wet, get in the pool, but it was full of water. Hmmm, melting snow isn't as much fun as sunny days.
Michael checking out the snow and trying to figure out how to remove his mittens. He was successful and then had to return to the warmth of the indoors.
Daddy teaches more snowball lessons using Mommy as a target. Ryan found this lesson very informative. Tragically, the snowball became an ice rock pretty quickly.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the boys. They all look so happy. They are having a ride on their big airplane. They absolutely love this airplane, and I can't wait until they figure out how to teeter-totter on their own. It's very difficult to convince an 18 month old that he should sit on one side while his brother sits on the other to balance each other out. Instead they just all sit on one side of the plane and expect a ride.
Daddy does the hard work and makes it look easy. Nothing like three little angels sitting on a plane in the snow to warm a Mommy's heart.
Michael and his grandpa. He has taken to grabbing you by the hand and leading you around. He likes to make grandpa go to the garage. I guess he thinks that the outside fridge full of soda and gatorade is magical.
The pool has returned to its rightful place - empty of water, full of balls and boys. I think this is the best $15 I spent all summer. Who knew it would be the pool that keeps on giving. It's even a snow pool.
Michael picks up balls to put in the pool. The kids all love to jump into the balls. I think one day soon they might be ready for Chuck E Cheese, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that ball pit yet. Maybe after a few bottles of a nice Malbec.
Three of a kind - except one of these young men is missing his mittens. Hmph.
James enjoys snow, balls, and his pacifier - this is the life.
Michael monkeying around in the pool.
Ryan decides to protest the decision to go indoors by going limp. I guess I watched too many civil rights documentaries while I was pregnant if he already knows how to best to exert his will in non-violent, civil disobedience. Despite protests, those pants were way to wet to remain outdoors. I have to say the best kind of snow is the kind that comes over for an afternoon then makes its way somewhere else the next day, but I have a feeling my boys will be looking forward to another visit sometime soon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keep on Rockin' in the Free World

For Christmas, the boys and I got Bob Green Day Rock Band. Before the boys were born, Bob and I played a ton of Rock Band, but lately, we seem to have other things to do with our time. The other day, we attempted to play Rock Band with the kids. Let's just say that it was an experiment that won't be duplicated again soon. Ryan stole the microphone and gave us quite a show. James kept stealing Bob's guitar and refused to play with the "dummy" guitar we had for him. Michael did some great dancing and eventually commandeered the microphone from Ryan. All in all, it was a fun if challenging night. Aunt Faith was not impressed that the boys kept interrupting her song, but I'm sure we'll play again in the future without as much help.

The boys give us a good show. I'm pretty sure they have some rock star potential, but I expect them all to finish college and perhaps a graduate degree before wasting their time trying to break into the music biz.
Ryan sings us a song. He's got some serious microphone skills. I blame that 99 cent microphone, I succumbed to buying at Target (said microphone was also the cause of James trying to shout into the candle at church on Christmas Eve to hear his voice reverberate).
James will not be satisfied with that dumb red guitar. He will only take a guitar whose PS3 button lights up red. He knows when things work and when they don't. He'll even abandon his pacifier to let you know all about it.
Persuaded to try the drums instead of the guitar, James grabs a stick forcing Uncle Joseph to go all bongo on the drums.
Michael mans the mic. He is resplendent in his rock outfit and his moves are beyond compare. He likes to rock back and forth to the beat of all kinds of things including the rhythm of the books we read (his favorite is The Foot Book with Pajama Time coming in a close second).
Ryan shows Daddy all about how to use the whammy bar. He is an expert in all things guitar. He's got a powerful love of strumming Daddy's real guitars in the media room. I think he just likes the sound the guitar makes. Maybe he'll go all acoustic and James Taylor to make his Daddy crazy.
Drumming with gusto. James stole the drum sticks forcing Ryan and Uncle Joseph to freestyle. I think they look like they're having an excellent time.
When one is spent from all the dancing, singing, drumming, and guitaring, one should sit on the couch and gently strum. Maybe he'll be more George Harrison than James Taylor - his daddy could live with that one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Cuties

Although Christmas was a while ago now, I am just getting around to putting up some pictures. I'm pretty sure there are 400 pictures of Christmas, so I just picked a few that I thought were worth sharing. The boys absolutely loved getting new toys. They didn't really understand about unwrapping gifts, so they didn't really enjoy the getting of the gifts, but they sure do love the new toys they have to play with.
James takes control of the packages at Grandma & Papa Joe's house. The kids loved the blue package for Aunt Mandy. Every day when they went in to look at the Christmas tree, one of the kids would take a little sit down break on her package. Thankfully, it wasn't breakable.
Mommy's boy, Ryan, stops by for a quick snuggle while checking out the action. Bob's family and mine do things very differently - my family has a present free-for-all while Bob's does the one at a time method. I find them both exciting, but I did spend most of my time at Mom's chasing the kids around the living room rather than package opening.
Ryan switches allegiances to Aunt Faith. This was certainly the year of Faith El. She got a bike, a phone, and tickets to go see Toby Keith. I'm pretty sure she cleaned up in the present department.
Although it's a little out of focus, here James helps Uncle Joseph open his gifts. Mr. Coffee is definitely Uncle Joseph's friend. I'm pretty sure that it's his favorite food group.
The horse of a different color. The boys love this horse. They each will take turns riding their horse, and he makes all kinds of wonderful noises. Their current goals include mounting and dismounting their trusty steed without help from adults. There are a lot of limbs being extricated from interesting places on their horse, but I'm pretty sure they're gonna get it soon, and then who knows when the climbing will stop. This horse does have a wonderful light activated whinny, and every time we turn off the lights to go to bed, he tells us good night. Such a polite horse.
Our musician, James takes a stab at drumming. The boys got a drum and a guitar for Christmas. I'm pretty sure that they are going to be the next great boy band. They also got a Yo Gabba Gabba dance mat for practicing their smooth moves.
The train table is a lot of fun, but it's even more fun to sit in. The kids love to chase the train around the track and place all kinds of obstacles in its way. I'm pretty sure that this is the little engine that could since it is put through a variety of torturous paces. The kids also got a talking Thomas from Uncle Joseph. This inspired me to put on Thomas the Tank the other day, but I just haven't taken enough drugs yet to enjoy the shenanigans on the English rails.
One of the boys favorite things in the world are the Muppets (I think this is due to the influence of their father). Since the Muppets haven't been popular for years, I scoured eBay for gently loved Muppets. We have two Kermits, Gonzo, Rizzo, Animal, and the Electric Mayhem (the four band members). I wont disclose the unreasonable amounts spent on these gems, but the kids love them. I catch Michael laying underneath the table Grandma & Grandpa Newhouse gave them playing with his Muppets. Animal is by far the most popular of the Muppets and seems to like jumping around the house, shouting his own name, and rubbing his furry face all over the kids. What an animal.
Checking out the Gabbas and their boom box. Bob and I got a couple of mega bloc sets that came with the "YGG" figures. The kids love them. I think that they are getting to be much better builders, but I have to admit that my somewhat obsessive personality has issues with keeping all of the pieces and parts together.
James helps Daddy open a fancy package. This year was a big year for Ranger gear. For the first time, I'm pretty sure that the amount of Rangers items has overcome the number of Cowboys items opened in our home. Jerry better watch out, he might not be getting his fair share of the Newhouse revenue if next season is anything like this season (of course as I look down, I see that I'm sporting a new Cowboys shirt, so it might just be a hollow threat).
Ryan takes a dive into the pile of packages. The number of packages under our tree was almost grotesque. It's amazing how many presents we buy and are given every year. No wonder companies rely on the 4th quarter for maximum profits.
James sports Daddy's World Series hat. I'm sure that this picture warms the heart of my husband. His love for the Rangers (win or lose) is pretty intense. I can only be thankful that they didn't play the Dodgers in the World Series, or I'm afraid I might be a widow now as Bob would have died from pure joy.
Michael oversees the Newhouse Christmas. The opening of the gifts is quite long, and the boys spent most of the time playing with their new toys and absconding with adult gifts. Despite my worries, they made it through the whole Christmas and even stayed up late for our big family dinner on Christmas night.
James decides that he would like to try and open a gift. None of the kids really understood the joys of tearing the paper off of the gifts and throwing it about. I think by the time their birthday rolls around, they'll definitely have the hang of it. If only we could figure out how to overcome their fear of the man in the red suit, we'd be golden for next Christmas.
Ryan takes a ride on his new plane. Aunt Sue got the kids a ride on plane. At various times throughout the day, you can find a random child zooming around the kitchen on their plane, slamming into the gate at the end of the kitchen, and taking another lap around the island. I think it's a hit. Grandma bought the kids a huge outside teeter-toter airplane. They love it. Michael shouts "wheeeeee" every time he goes up and down on his big plane. James and Ryan love to "drive" the plane. Mommy likes when they balance their weight as a lopsided teeter-toter is quite a challenge to balance.
His name is Tempo the Tiger and he's a real funky Tiger. This guitar is probably the most fought over toy in our collection. He is very vocal and might somehow find his way to the top of a closet somewhere when mommy's ears need a rest. Of course, the kids love it so much, I'm sure they'd search the house for it. I guess I should just start praying for the batteries to run down.