The Newhouse boys have started communicating with words. Sort of. Perhaps the most oft repeated phrase in our house is "I stuck." The boys are always getting themselves into precarious situations which require a helping hand to get them out of. All of the kids will lead you to the refrigerator and say "muk." Ryan will ask for "juice." James still does the most unintelligible talking, but he will say a ton then look at you, and you know you'd better answer correctly or he'll be extremely disappointed.
James's favorite thing to eat lately is graham crackers. He will go into the pantry, grab the box, and bring it to you. He loves graham crackers. Unfortunately, he's stopped eating meat. Lately, he'll eat corn, veggies, and oatmeal - anything else is a crap shoot. He's gotten really skinny since they were sick a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure he'll start eating again soon, but until then, I'll just keep putting tons of things on his tray and hope that he'll eat something.
Ryan loves to write. He will go point to the cabinet where the colors are and then go crawl in his chair. He is always on the go. He likes to show off for guests, and our favorite thing he does is to play guitar. I guess we've watched one or two concerts, and when Ryan hears guitar music, he runs and grabs his plastic guitar (or a piece of wood outside, or a broom, or his tiny guitar that goes with his Yo Gabba Gabba legos). He strums and dances and entertains us all. He has a lot to say as well. He has recently started throwing himself to the ground and/or hitting his head on the wall when he gets frustrated. I hope this is a phase that will pass quickly. He amazes me at how he connects things together. The other day, he was in the bathroom, and he crawled on top of the potty (the lid was shut). I asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty like a big boy and go teetee. He hopped off the toilet, ran to my bathroom, found his frog potty, brought it to the living room, and sat down. Pretty impressive. Of course, we are nowhere close to potty training yet, but it does give me hope for the future.
Michael is our most verbal child. He is always talking and about half of it makes sense. He loves to eat "ships" and dips. He likes to put on his "shoooos and slocks." For almost every question you ask him, Michael's answer is "nope." He has recently become obsessed with his Mardi Gras beads. He likes to wear them like Mr. T. He absolutely loves his Noah's Ark animals. He plays with them for hours, lining them up in pairs. He's a wee bit like his mother - obsessed with order. He eats his meals by item, always eating his meat last. He has started giving squeezes with his hugs. He will give you a good hug and say "squuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeezzzzzuh."
Michael always seems to be in the middle of altercations. I'm not sure why. He generally likes to do his own thing, but James and Ryan like to play together. The other day, they both wanted to ride the zebra, so they did it together. Ryan got the up front position, but James did all the steering.
Sweet brothers taking a trip on their zebra. Michael doesn't really like the ride on toys. He still loves to read, and he likes to stack the blocks and then knock them over. The boys do pretty well with sharing with each other (to some extent), but I do wonder what they do in the nursery at church. No one has told us not to come back, so hopefully they do okay. They have their squabbles over certain toys, and then the teeth come out. For some reason, the more frustrated they get, the more likely they are to bite or hit. James doesn't bite as much as Ryan and Michael, but he does often seem to be the victim of several bites.
My sweet Michael chowing down on a graham cracker rather than a brother. Today, he got so hungry, that he crawled into his chair early and ate his goldfish and drank his juice in his chair. Of course then he hardly ate any lunch, but when a boy is hungry, he's hungry.
Sweet brothers sharing a little bit of couch time. The boys haven't felt very good lately - lots of runny noses and coughs, so there has been more kid-friendly TV than normal on at the house. James and Michael LOVE Yo Gabba Gabba. Now when it comes on, they make me name the characters during the opening credits and repeat after me, then they wave their arms around yelling "yo yo yo yo yo yo." Michael's favorite name to say is "Prrex" (Plex), and James loves "Mooon" (Muno). Ryan, of course, is too busy playing with his trucks and attempting to break into the bathroom so that he can play in the water to pay attention to the Yo Yos. He does like the music, though, and he will stop playing to do a dance. James loves to dance as well. His dancing involves running around and arm waving. He usually has to lap the couch before he does his arm waving.
We still love to draw, and the kids seem to prefer lined paper to coloring books. They like to draw all over each page. They don't like to find blank pages. We moved the barstools downstairs the other day (our boys are getting so big - we had to move them up after the trio brought a barstool down on themselves before they could walk and James was maimed). Now, they like to sit at the bar and draw. Ryan must have multiple colors, James likes to color every space on the page that he can, and Michael draws thin little lines.
Michael looks wistfully towards the outdoors. The boys would rather be outside than anywhere else. Ryan will throw himself to the floor and cry for ten minutes if we open the door for the dogs to go out and don't go out with them. All of the kids attempt to open the screen door, but no one has been successful as of yet (Ryan can open the door to the garage, so we have to lock that one during the day - very dangerous if you go out to get a soda - the kids will follow you out and it takes five minutes to wrangle them all back inside). James has started putting his head in the dog water and getting the top quarter of his head wet. I can't express how funny I find this. Bob, as the more responsible parent, worries about him drowning in the dog water. When we go out, I have to remove all poop from the premises. The boys have gotten much better about touching the poop, but it's always a temptation. James loves to pick the little yellow flowers that are actually weeds. I'm pretty sure when all of Bob's fertilizing and weed & feed kicks in, he'll be very sad. The other day, Michael amazed me. He has been anti-swing for months now. He likes the big two seater swing, but has refused to get in the plastic swing and strap in. I sent the boys outside with Daddy, and when I came out, he was in the swing and had been there for a while. I guess if you watch enough YoYos where they say "try it, you'll like it," it pays off.
Ryan takes a turn enjoying himself in the toy tub. The kids emptied the tub and then took turns playing inside. Tragically, when Michael took his turn, Ryan clunked him on the head with the Elmo jack in the box. Ah, brotherly love.
James plays the drums. The boys are getting pretty good playing the drum. They can actually keep a little bit of a beat (they don't get this from me, that's for sure). Ryan loves the bass, he is always turning the knob on the speaker up, especially when there is music on the TV. I think with his cold, he's had some trouble hearing, and he will open the screen covering the TV components, turn up the volume, and replace the cover. These little men are keeping me busy, busy, busy. After they go to bed, I just flop on the couch and attempt to make it to the bedroom (where I promptly wake up and can't seem to go to sleep for the life of me - o sweet irony).