Sunday, July 1, 2012

March Madness

Perhaps the most maddening thing about March for my husband, is the fact that he was so close to Spring Training baseball, but still so far away.  We decided to have Grandma & Papa come stay with the kids and head down to the Orlando area to see the Astros play.  They aren't the Rangers, but they are from Texas.  Of course, we picked a day when all it did is pour.  We saw the park but nary a baseball player or pitch.  Maybe next year.
Other than a little rain, spring in Jacksonville is beautiful.  The boys loved playing outside, and we spent most mornings playing in the backyard.  We still spent most of our time playing inside (the chairs are more comfortable and there are fewer bugs).  The boys love their toys.  I'm always looking through their things to see what they have outgrown to make room for new things, but I rarely find anything to put in the pass it on box.  Michael loves the dinosaur train toys.  He likes to make time tunnels, but Ryan likes to knock those time tunnels down.  It makes for some loud playtime discussions.
The horse obsession continues.  My children adore their pony.  He still doesn't have an official name, but usually he's Secretariat.  I can't begin to count the number of times we've watched that movie.  James is holding his trophy in his hand while he takes a victory lap around the track.
Sometimes the horse has to endure more than one rider.  Three is a bit of a challenge, but Bullseye/Secretariat is no stranger to carting around both pirates and alligator/dragons.
The return of baseball meant the return of a happy husband.  There is a period of time between the end of the football season and the beginning of baseball season when Bob laments "there's nothing to watch" and spends many an evening grousing about the lack of baseball.  This year, we bought the MLBtv package which allows him to watch the Rangers on the computer and the playstation.  Happiness has been restored to our home.  This picture cracks me up.  James looked at Papa watching baseball and had to go get his hat too.  He insisted on the blue hat so that he could be just like Papa.  I'm not going to comment on his pretend paunch, but let's just say, the boy aims for accuracy.
One of the most memorable flowers from my younger years are azaleas.  My grandma's house was covered in them, so when our house burst into full azalea bloom for a couple of weeks in March, I spent a great deal of time admiring all our natural beauty.  It was over much too soon.  I hesitate to think about what the boys are doing with flowers and a lighter (actually, the lighters were used as guns a.k.a. choochoos - for the noise made by Star Wars guns).
One of the best parts of March was spring break.  We had a wonderful visit from Uncle Joseph.  He was here for about four days, and we had a ton of fun.  We went to the beach in Ferdinandina.  It was so nice.  We parked on the sand not too far from the action.  The boys had a great time frolicking in the waves with Uncle JoeJoes.  Ryan enjoys a good handful of sand which he likes to fling around.
James and Uncle J getting their feet wet.
Michael also needed to spend some quality time enjoying the water.
Ryan kept laying down letting the waves wash over him.  He does love to go all in when he goes to the beach.
On our way home from the beach, I stopped at a roadside stand and bought some fresh shrimp.  It reminded me of all those times I bought shrimp out of the back of the American Shrimper van in Louisiana.  Kathy and I peeled them up with a little help from our shrimp examiner James and made some delicious butter drenched shrimp and pasta.
The following day, Grandma & Grandpa came and hung out with the kids so Uncle Joseph and I could have some non-triplet containing fun.  We went to St. Augustine, saw the Castillo, browsed amongst the pirate booty, and generally had fun.
Inside the guard tower, Joseph and I realized that we would not have been good guards.  It's a little claustrophobic.
Joseph posed with a friendly stone lion on the famous bridge of lions.
Once Uncle Joseph left, we just hung around the house and played with our playgroup friends.  I love this face Ryan is making.  He's very serious about his zebra riding.
Michael amongst the trains.  Sometimes the kids are not too happy with each other while training.  They sometimes get very angry when their trains wind up on a collision course.
One thing we did in March that was fun for the kids was that everyone had a special day with Grandma & Papa.  James went to the zoo where he fed the giraffes.  He was very impressed by this and every time we go to the zoo now, we have to discuss that we aren't going to feed the giraffes.
One thing we really like to do is paint.  The kids enjoy painting both themselves and their papers.  I am probably the least enthusiastic about things like painting and play dough.  It is so much fun for the kids, but such a pain to keep contained and cleaned up.  Michael stealthily painting his hand while sporting a wee bit of blue hair.
James tells the paparazzi to talk to the hand.  The brownish orange hand.
Ryan goes full facial painting.  He even remembered to paint his nose.
Ryan loves scooting around on his bike.  I'm not quite sure why he's sporting the diaper pail ring as a headband, but it's best not to question.
My nudist children.  Michael is our most reluctant to wear clothing.  Many times when you put his clothes on (if he allows it), he strips down immediately.  It is very frustrating, but you have to admire his independent spirit or you might be tempted to smack him.
One of the things we did a lot this spring was go to the zoo.  Oftentimes, we were able to meet up with our friends from Jackpotts.  Here are my buddies Karen, Jamie, and Judy - three sets of triplets and a set of twins makes for quite a processional.
March is all about Grandma birthdays.  Kathy and my mom both have March birthdays four days apart.  The boys were very excited to sing, blow out candles, and lick the icing off of said candles.   
James gets a front row seat for some tasty candle licking.  We've learned that publix white cakes are exceptionally tasty.  
In some ways, Bob and I are from very different households.  His family was a sit on the couch together and watch tv family, while mine is more of a lay on the bed type of family.  My boys are somewhat children after my own heart.  I do love snuggle time in the bed, but the crackers and snacks are something I wish we could avoid.  There is nothing worse than crumbs in your bed.
For Grandma Wendy's birthday, we video chatted and got a cake.  James pulled out his first birthday hat to get in the party mood.  The boys really learned a lot from the grandmas birthdays.  They love to sing happy birthday and blow out candles.  All that practice really paid off when it came time for their birthdays.

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