Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Frenzied February

In February, we actually saw Daddy, and Grandma & Papa came home from Aunt Sue's house.
All of my favorite boys checking out the phone.  We are a technology driven family, that's for sure.  We now own enough iPhones (most of them ancient) for everyone to have one.  Of course, they'd all prefer to have the iPad.  Sometimes, when it just gets to be too much phone/iPad time, things have to hide, but it's one of the only ways to actually eat a meal in public with the kids.
Having spent several months on our own with Daddy on his regular travel schedule, the boys and I have learned how to do things in public just the four of us.  Some outings are successful, some are horrific, but all of them involve leaving the house, and just that is an accomplishment on some days.  
Jacksonville's MOSH (science & history museum) has five dollar Fridays, so the boys and I ventured out to see what kind of scientific adventures we could get into.  From our zoo trips, I have learned that the double stroller combined with backpacks is an effective way to keep all my ducks in a row.  We were able to see the entire first floor of the museum (most of it very quickly).
The boys seem to urge each other toward learning new things.  When I read a book to one of the boys, the other two gravitate over to hear; when one discovers something new and fabulous, he likes to share it with his brothers; and they love to learn about animals of all kinds.
Their favorite part of the MOSH was the animal room.  Ryan was so excited to pet an alligator.  You know you live in Florida when you get to pet strange alligators more often than strange dogs.
Michael and James take turns learning what alligator feels like.  Is it wrong of me to think that alligator will one day make a lovely handbag and a tasty meal?  You can take the girl out of the swamp, but not the swamp out of the girl.
The kids loved these tableau drawers.  This blue jay bird's nest was particularly inviting.  Unfortunately, they also liked to slam the drawer closed and open it up, but my general harried state and shame faced apologies tends to make people excuse our behavior in front of my face if not behind my back.
The best part of the MOSH was the hands on play area.  There was a giant tree you could climb in and a water table.  The boys must have spent 45 minutes just hanging out in this room.  We were supposed to meet other moms and kids at the MOSH, but our battery in our car died (AGAIN), and we were late.  After testing by a generator guy, we found out that our battery was being zapped by a faulty connection in one of our doors.  The guy said we could spend a couple thousand dollars to figure out where the bad connection was or just pull the fuse for the interior lights.  Let's just say if you want to get in our car at night, you'd better bring a flash light.
James was king of the water table.  He enjoyed diverting the water, making the water wheels spin, and getting his long sleeves soaking wet.  I think James has an engineers/mechanics mind.  He is always working out how things fit together and operate.  The other day on the carousel, he spent more time looking up to see how the horse was moving than waving to Daddy.  I know that every parent thinks his/her child is brilliant, but I'm pretty sure I can attest that all three of mine are exceptional in almost every way (except perhaps potty training).
Ryan is a hands on guy as well.  He likes to play.  He is always on the move.  I'm pretty sure when Mohammad Ali said float like a butterfly sting like a bee, he was foretelling Ryan's existence.  He is always into something.  He's so independent.  If he wants something, then he'll figure out a way to get it.  I have hidden the popsicles in three different freezers, and he's found them every single time.  I've had to quit buying them so that he will quit helping himself to them.
Michael is my puzzle man.  He is the most independent and territorial of the three boys.  He can play by himself for hours.  He really takes in the information and story lines from the shows we watch.  Days later, he'll start talking about specific patterns he saw on Umizoomi.  He loves his name.  He names the toys he plays with Michael, i.e. Pirate Captain Michael, etc.  He also is the "traffic cop" as Bob calls him, constantly telling the "boys" what to do.  I think he is my best rule follower and my best rule breaker wrapped up into one.  My favorite thing he's started doing is praising himself - after he puts a puzzle together or builds a castle, he'll say "good job Michael."
James making a dam.  I can't wait to go back to the museum.  They have a dinosaur exhibit that I think the boys will just love.  Sadly, now that they are three, they are no longer free.  I guess it's time to find out if membership really does have its privileges.
My boys are great helpers.  They love to sweep the floor while I sweep the floor (no, it's not necessary to keep the dirt in a pile while sweeping), they have a small vacuum to use while I vacuum, they like to put the laundry in the washer then into the dryer, but they do NOT like to pick up their toys.
One of Daddy's specialties is brats.  He cooks a mean sausage, and his best helpers love to pour his beer into the pot, put the sausage and onion in, and then stir, stir, stir.
Future chefs in the making.  They got an outdoor kitchen (or a grill with a fridge, oven, and counter) for their birthday from Grandma & Papa.  There were vast quantities of eggs and sausage being made for all.  I love how they pretend and play so nicely together.  Most of their fights arise when someone doesn't want to play any more.
Michael and my phone.  Recently, my blue cover tore, and I replaced it with pink.  Kathy also has a pink cover on her phone.  For the longest time, Michael would get mad at me for having grandma's phone.  Thankfully, he has come to terms with the fact that we both have pink phones.
A Saturday morning movie with Daddy.  The boys love repetition, all kids do.  They will ask to watch the same episode of Umizoomi 5 times in a row.  This drives Bob completely nuts.  He has done everything possible to limit the amount of repetitive kids shows he has to watch.  Sometimes he's successful (most especially with sports or Star Wars), and sometimes a boy just needs to watch the "backyards."
James and Emma playing nice.  From time to time, Emma will let the boys pet her.  She has adjusted her three pets then bite rule to a pet then bite rule, but still the kids try to catch her.  At least she doesn't hide in terror like she used to.
For Valentine's Day, we celebrated in understated style.  With chocolates and love.  Aunt Mellie sent a care package with this cute mailbox.  I've taken to putting all the mail the kids get into their mailbox.  Currently, there are three postcards from Momo in our mailbox.
Grandma & Papa also got a membership to the zoo, so not long after they returned from Texas, we went to the zoo.  The original plan was to meet at the zoo and then I would take off for an afternoon to myself.  The kids weren't having it, so instead, I stuck around and got to play photographer.
My monkeys monkeying around.
James admires the frogs in the Amazon section.  He loves the different colored frogs.  It took forever to get him to move on to the next animal.
I think Michael was watching the tapir here, but I'm not sure.  We tend to wear out before we make it to the Amazon section, so I've been trying to mix it up and go to different sections of the zoo.  Let's just say, it's not a good idea to skip the snakes or the elephants.
Fountain time.  If only their mother carried change to toss into the fountain.  I am a victim of my mom's 500 pound change purse.  If I have more than two dollars in change, it must be relocated to another receptacle as I am not going to have odd back aches due to copious amounts of change in my purse.
Danger, danger, water is getting closer to the triplets.
Ryan brushes the goats.  He really likes brushing the goats.  He also likes to brush Duke, so maybe he's just very into animal grooming.
One thing we are not into is the potty.  I am going to try and work on this again in the next couple of weeks.  This time, I'm going to get three frog potties and go au natural and see if it takes.  I love the idea of naked potty training (less laundry, more clorox wipes).  We'll see if it works.
Fireman Michael does not like to sit on the potty.  In fact, he will sit in a dirty diaper for hours while I beg him to let me change it.  He is an odd duck, but I love him. Hopefully his future wife does not find this post and think less of him for it.  James will sit on the potty if the mood strikes but there has never been pee that hits the potty - although the other day he was more than willing to pee in my hand while Bob chased him around with a diaper.  Only Ryan has had any potty success.  He pooped in the potty, got the promised Darth Maul toy, and has completely lost interest despite the promise of a young boy Anakin (? should I have to learn the proper spelling of made up Jedis who turn to the dark side?).  If I keep repeating, I am ready to potty train, I am ready to potty train, maybe one of the four of us will be convinced and the pee can hit the bowl.

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