Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Frenzied Crescendo

Easter came early this year in late March. As Easter likes to bebop all around the calendar I've already plotted out that Josephine's fourth and fifteenth birthdays will fall on the day itself. She's the only member of our family lucky enough to even have this as a possibility.

Neighborhood Egg Hunt

Easter weekend began with a neighborhood egg hunt and warmup for the real thing. Seeing as the warmup consisted of about one hundred kids in a field they would likely be in very good shape for Sunday's hunt.

Neighborhood Egg Hunt

They had a good time playing at the park, feasting on Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins, and doing their best not to get knocked over by the older kids.


A late March trip to IKEA got us these great baskets to sort their stuffed animals. After setting them up it was only a matter of moments before they put them over their heads and became human lightsabers. It's amazing what kind of lightsaber ingenuity this generation has innately in them. The most I can ever remember doing was peeing in the toilet simultaneously with my cousin and pretending our pee streams were lightsabers.

It's like comparing hockey games now to games from the 1950s before they even knew you could lift a puck off the ice. There's just no comparison.

Easter Egg Hunt

The Sunday egg hunt was a big hit. Elliott insisted on dressing like a ninja, an Easter tradition as old as time itself.

Easter Snuggles

After a long hunt and brunch we all settled onto the couch to rest and presumably watch a movie of some sort. Probably that Easter classic Return of the Jedi.

Evelyn and Josie

Easter Dinner

Easter dinner was delicious but a smaller holiday crown than we're used to.

Easter Cousins

After our first picture of all five cousins proved to be such crazy -- yet realistic -- portrayal we decided to get a picture of all five that was of a slightly higher quality. This is the best we could do after about seventy attempts.

I have no idea how parents did this when film was still a thing. Maybe that's why there is a grand total of one photo of me with all twelve (at the time) of my cousins that was ever taken.

Egg Salad Sanwich with Bacon, Avocado, and Feta

Aborted Easter eggs were donated to us and I made a huge batch of egg salad, the first I can ever remember making, that I made into sandwiches with avocado, bacon, and feta. This transformed Jen (a notorious egg hater) into a fan of egg salad. I still have mixed feelings about it but this batch turned out pretty tasty.

Family Band

In the still destroyed half of our basement the kids held the first rehearsals for the family band.

Later they broke off into Martin and Elliott's folk duo who performed one of their classics, the theme song for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Sovereign Menu

One night Jen and I even made it out for dinner, a rare occasion. We got to a restaurant that we'd tried once before with no luck but it turned out on a Thursday night at 5:30 we were able to get right in. Years ago this may have been deemed "not worth it" but since we are the parents of three children this kept our dinner right on schedule. We were even able to stop by a brewery on the way home, sample a variety of beers brewed with Girl Scout Cookies, watch a band plan, and still be home by 9:00.

The Force Awakens Release Date

I was excited when The Force Awakens came out on digital download. I was also reminded by watching it again that it's probably a little too old for the boys.

Josie Sees Episode VII Before Her Brothers

They're going to be really pissed one day when they realize their sister saw it before them.

Dynamite Rolls Arrived From Dupras Bakery in Woonsocket, RI

A friend from Woonsocket, Rhode Island sent me a care package of rolls from Dupras Bakery. These dynamite rolls are only really available in Woonsocket, RI, and are necessary to make the staple dish of Woonsocket: the dynamite.

Dynamite Sandwich

I broke with tradition of using $0.95 per pound ground beef and canned tomato and made mine with grass fed ground beef with frozen tomatoes from last summer in the garden.

Bubses Eating Dynamites

The result was delicious and the boys went crazy for them. Much like their sister's love of Italian food, it's in their DNA.

Jen was a way for a few days visiting a friend in South Carolina. This left me alone with the kids. Lucky for me Josephine was able to entertain the boys for most of the time just by losing her mind and blowing raspberries at them.

Lunch at the Park

I took them all to the park with their aunt and cousins where they packed a lunch and Elliott rode his tricycle the entire way, even hooking it up on the bike rack when we got there.

Wii Brothers

Later on I dug out my Wii games from the basement, got a borrowed Wii from grandma, and set the boys up to play boxing which they loved. Previously I'd set up Mike Tyson's Puchout and watched as Martin defeated Glass Joe on his first attempt without taking a single punch. This is much better than I did playing this game for the first time as a ten-year-old.

Barbecue on the Deck with Nana and Grandpa

Nana and Grandpa rolled into town the next day along with the beautiful weather. We were able to enjoy barbecue on the deck to welcome them to town.

Grandpa and Elliott Puzzle Time

The boys quickly whisked my parents away to help them do puzzles . . .

Nana and Martin

. . . read stories . . .

Josie with New Chest of Drawers

. . . and inspect the furniture they'd brought with them.

Narragansett Lovecraft I Am Providence Imperial Red Ale

They also brought the gift of Rhode Island beer.

Beer Gift From South Carolina

Jen, returning from South Carolina, graced me beer from the state she visited.

Josie Eating Burger

The next night we made hamburgers and Josie put down a tremendous amount of cheeseburger.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta

The following night was grilled vegetable pasta. Living in New York for ten years has still not left us and we never pass up an opportunity for outdoor dining.

Nana Teaching Josie How To Clap

While visiting Nana taught Josie how to clap which was a big hit.

Josie's One Year Check Up

Josie also had her one year check up where she proved to be very healthy, very full of sass, and very cute.

These are the doctor's diagnoses, not mine. This is merely based on medical fact.

Josie's Birthday Morning

On Josephine's birthday morning Jen brought up a huge amount of toys from the basement and Josephine, along with her brothers, had a blast in a veritable child's playland on our living room floor.

Dinner on the Deck

The next night we grilled ribeye steaks, continuing to take advantage of the weather ahead of the prediction of thunderstorms.

Brothers Entering with Birthday Cupcake

The boys brought in cupcakes for Josie and we sang Happy Birthday, baffling her.

Josie with Birthday Cupcake

One thing that she was not baffled by: what to do with her cupcake.

Bedtime Stories with Auntie Pat and Auntie Debbie

Auntie Pat and Auntie Debbie came in with Uncle Dave. The Aunties read stories to the boys for bed which they loved. This consisted of many Elephant and Piggie books after Auntie Pat got the boys a dozen or so for Christmas.

Uncle Dave on the Drums

Dave, on the other hand, took advantage of the new V-Drums in the studio. I'll be surprised if he hasn't ordered himself a set yet.

Josie's Birthday Food

On the weekend we had Josie's party, a tea party, with many little tea sandwiches and desserts.

Josie's Birthday

Josie had a blast, though she was a bit suspicious of the helium filled balloons, using her newfound pointing finger to point out where they were at all times and making sure we kept them clear of her.

Josie with Uncle Dave and Auntie Debbie

Josie had fun with everyone over though her brothers were ecstatic.

Hammock Capacity

They had fun testing the weight limits of our new hammock.

Opening Gifts

They had fun opening all of her gifts.

Josie's Cake

They had fun admiring her cake from afar.

Elliott Creeper Staring at Cake

They had fun admiring her cake from close up.

Josie's Cake

And Josie had fun eating it.

Josie Plays with Water Bugs

Maybe not as much fun she had playing with Water Bugs, her new bath toy. They boys even played with it in their room before bed.

Tonight Jen is away at a work function. The boys were beyond wild. They were running around, destroying the house. While getting their sister ready for bed I left them alone for less than thirty seconds and returned to find Martin using his toothbrush to "brush" his brother's butt. After explaining why that was not advisable things became crazy with all manner of screaming, peeing, crying, and Josie thrashing around wildly in every direction.

After a few minutes everything reached a frenzied crescendo where everyone screamed all together then suddenly Josie slumped in my arms and shut her eyes and the boys quieted completely. A wild day rounded out everyone was silent all together.

It was like the orchestral finale to A Day in the Life reaching a climax then ending with the chord that lasts forever.

Sadly, the silence of all three children asleep will last considerably shorter than forever.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Five

We're rounding out about six or seven weeks of illness, mostly with poor Josephine. We just started her on a second round of antibiotics which, after four days, have kicked in enough so that we got our best sleep in over a month last night. This means she only woke up to comfort nurse twice and then went back to sleep relatively easily.

Martin and Elliott's Feast

Martin and Elliott kicked their illnesses very quickly and have taken to preparing elaborate feasts. When they are really mad with each other (or their dear parents) they angrily proclaim, "You cannot come to my feast!"

This has replaced, "You cannot come to my birthday!" as their number one insult/threat. They're so cross when they say it that their lips quiver and their voices tremble.

This is serious business.

Pizza Cones

We made pizza cones one night, something we were conned into buying at a school fundraiser. It went over pretty well but thankfully they have not requested a reprise as we do not have the supplies to ever duplicate this again.

Cherry Pie

As a special treat one night I brought homea cherry pie. Martin ate his happily.

"Not Delicious Enough"

Elliott had a bite then just ate his ice cream. When I asked if he was going to eat any more he said, "No thank you. It's not delicious enough."

This beats the other night when I came home from work with Chinese food. This was the first time I have ever picked up food on the way home from work. They both cried and screamed and refused to eat dinner then had tantrums when it was announced that they could not have dessert.

I will never try to do anything nice or spontaneous for them ever again.

First Cones of the Year

A certain ice cream shop opened up for the season and was giving away free cones so we took a trip after dinner. The boys were extremely gregarious that evening. Martin was his normal level of gregarious while Elliott as at near-Martin levels which is much less common for him.

They burst onto the sidewalk where people were eating their ice cream and Elliott announced, "Hi! We're twins!"

Josie's First Ice Cream

Josephine had what may have been her first ice cream and was not disappointed with the results.

Martin Drinking Green Milkshake

For St. Patrick's Day we made shepherd's pie. Josephine ate about six times as much as her brothers but the pictures are far too graphic to share.

Martin chugged the green milkshake I made for him.

Elliot Drinking Green Milkshake

Elliott had a much more conservative approach and savored the milkshake.

Pancake Breakfast

The following weekend we attended the most big league pancake breakfast the world has ever seen. There was a full brass band, carnival games, face painting, and a man dressed as a bear.

Pancake Breakfast

Josephine was extremely excited about her first pancake breakfast as we did not bring her along to the last one we attended.

Elliott Knocking Down Cans

Elliott made short work of his pancakes so he could knock down cans at point blank range.

Martin's Fierce Spider-Man Face

Martin made a beeline for the face painting station where he demanded a Spider-Man mask even though we had to wash it off twenty minutes later for swim class.

Josie's 11 Month Birthday

Josie's 11 Month Birthday

Josie's 11 Month Birthday

Josie's 11 month birthday came up and we celebrated with cupcakes.

Josie also celebrated with an enthusiastic round of ankle twirls.

Grandma's Birthday Croissants

This was followed by grandma's birthday and celebratory croissants which Josie ate off the floor, the way she gets most of her sustenance.

Josie's Watering Can Stash

In fact I even found that Josie has been stashing all of her droppings in this watering can, presumably for safe keeping.

Josie has also taken to playing ball and gets extremely rambunctious as she rolls it back to you.

Five Cousins

On Sunday, after we used our St. Patrick's Day leftovers to make Reubens, the children ran amok and Lauren was able to capture this, the first picture of all five cousins together.

While it's not the best composed photo ever taken it does present a particularly true representation about what getting the five of them together is like these days.

Better photos of the five may happen, but a more accurate picture may never be taken.