Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reality is Sinking In

The last few weeks have been fun. Not particularly relaxing, but quite fun. Tomorrow I return to work full time and the true reality of having three children will slowly start to sink in. Actually, it will probably sink in rather rapidly, particularly for Jen as she is tasked with somehow balancing baby feedings with getting the Bubses ready for school.

Thankfully my parents are staying one more week as a nice buffer and that will give us a little time to get our act together.

Ridding the Backyard of Monsters

We had a fun Daddy/Son morning where Jen took the baby for a doctor's appointment and I led an expedition with the boys to rid the yard of all potentially dangerous monsters.

Searching the Neighborhood for Monsters

The mission extended out into the street where we ran the length of our small court and made sure that no offending creatures threatened any of our defenseless neighbors.

Play Room (Before)

The toy situation had gotten completely out of hand. We finally got time to go to IKEA and get some shelving to organize their toys into activity centers, just like they have at school.

Play Room (After)

This worked far better than I could have possibly hoped. Things have been much neater and easier to find. A bonus is that the boys were incredibly excited that they now had centers at home.

Martin's Ice Cream Face

Before Nana and Grandpa came we took the kids out for ice cream.

Elliott's Ice Cream Face

They made a horrific mess of themselves and showed their subtle differences in eating styles. Martin just inhales whatever treat he is given and makes a huge mess while Elliott is much neater and carefully savors every bite. This backfires on him, however, as Martin expects him to share with him when he has finished his dessert.

Elliott Climbing the Rock Wall

Elliott's climbing prowess has been on display since he discovered the rock wall at the park and scaled it completely unassisted.

Nana Holding Josephine

Grandpa Holding Josephine

Nana and Grandpa arrived during nap time and got a chance to each snuggle the baby briefly before the Bubses awoke and spread disaster with their chaos.

Painting with Nana

Nana tended to the boys after they woke up by showing them how to paint with watercolors.

Grandpa Napping with Josephine

Grandpa took on the taxing job of watching Josephine.

Grandad Jamming Out

Grandad showed them a thing or two about rocking out on the guitar.

Beds with Guards

Lately they've taken to climbing the "safety rails" on their beds and it became evident that they would both probably end up breaking a leg as they insanely climbed up and bounced along on their beds. The safety features were now more of a liability.

Beds with Guards

So we took off the rails, another milestone in their growing up. I'm happy to report there have been no cracked skulls or legs as a result.

Another milestone is that they are now both happy with taking a shower at night rather than a bath. This technically saves me a lot of time, however, I'm already looking a little forward to being able to reclaim that small amount of alone time I get each day.

The Owl on the Way Home From School

Every day we walk home from school the boys are fascinated with a small black owl who lives in one of our neighbor's back yards, perched upon a small yellow slide. Unfortunately our neighbor recently built a fence. We knew it was coming and prepared them for it. One day the fence finally appeared.

Now the daily ritual of greeting the owl has been replaced by angrily yelling at the fence and demanding that it give us our owl back.

Mother's Day Brunch Table

Mother's Day saw us hosting a brunch. They boys enjoyed this immensely because it meant they got to wear their pajamas until about 3:00 in the afternoon.

Jamming with Grandad

After brunch Grandad took the opportunity to rock out with the boys and how them a thing or two about how to play their 3/4 scale guitars.

Terrible Mother's Day Photo

Then we posed all the mothers and children and tried to take a halfway decent photo of them. This is the best one I got, which is pretty pitiful.

Swordfighting with Grandpa

After dinner the kids all got their swords and launched a vicious offensive against Grandpa. He was able to hold them off and, despite it being a wildly inappropriate activity right before an already late bedtime, the evening closed with little incident.

Grandpa Sitting By His Handiwork

I was able to get quite a bit done in my time off. Most of all we were able to replace a lot of rotted boards on our deck in the preparation to wash it and get some weatherproof paint on it so that hopefully it will last a few more years before we have to sink some money into a replacement.

The immense satisfaction that comes with fixing or building something with your own hands will be short lived as I return to work tomorrow and any chance at free time disappears with that transition.

At least I'll always have time to relax when I shower.

Damn it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Three Under Three

Tomorrow marks the two week birthday of Uncle Dee Dee, also known as Josephine. The boys have taken to the transition brilliantly. Apart from being just a little more whiny than usual they have really embraced their new sister. Martin just is a little clingy and Elliott thinks it is hilarious to pee in his pants. He only does it at home for peak humor value. He knows that out in public it wouldn't be anywhere near as funny.

Welcome Home, Josephine & Mummy

When we got home we were greeted with a lovely welcome for the baby.

Presents from the Baby

The baby even had the foresight to pick up some gifts for the boys. Sadly she didn't have the foresight to buy two swords of the same color and now her brothers ruthlessly fight over the blue and red sword and try to give the nasty "Green goblin" sword to the other one.

Also, they have linked these toys together and think that football is played by someone tossing them the football from the grass as they stand on the deck and swing at it with their swords.

I think their idea of football is way better than the way it's normally played.

Feeding the Babies

The boys also had a fun time feeding their babies with Mummy.

Elliott Feeding Josephine

Dee Dee has eaten from a bottle about three times so far and Elliott was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky people that got a chance to feed her. Like most things with the baby I think one time will be enough and then he'll get bored and move on to other things.

Martin and Josephine

Martin has done the bulk of the holding and snuggling. Every time she moved a quarter of an inch he pats her head and says, "Okay, okay. Martin's here."

Backyard Sword Fight

With beautiful weather the boys have gone nuts in the backyard, mostly dueling all over the landscape just like Westley and Inigo though who is who is often under debate.

Josephine Sleeping in Daddy's Studio

During nap time I've had a chance to snuggle Josephine while I monkey around in the studio, or sometimes I've put her in her Rock and Play in a tight swaddle so she gets a really good sleep in.

Late Night Oberweiss Treat

Late nights, after the boys are in bed, we've been enjoying some of our plentiful supply of Oberweiss ice cream and homemade cookies as Jen give her a last feed, I change her, then we try to get some sleep. She's been doing really well. She wakes up ever 2-3 hours but eats with little incident and goes back to sleep pretty easily.

Dee Dee and Mummy's First Real Walk

On Friday Jen was feeling healed enough to go for a little walk to check out a neighborhood garage sale. Since we got there later than 9am on the first day of the sale most of the good stuff had been taken but it was great to get out and about. So far Dee Dee has gotten more sunshine in her first two weeks of life than the boys did in their first year.

Martin Watching the Kentucky Derby

Later on Saturday, after an epic no-nap meltdown, we did our annual tradition of pretending to care about the Kentucky Derby. We thought the boys would think it was fun to watch the horses. We were wrong. Martin brought out his rocking horse for a minute so I thought he'd be all excited and ride it for the duration of the ten minutes that we chose to watch. This lasted about thirty seconds and then he was off to color in the other room.

Elliott Draws Iceman

Elliott stayed on the deck the whole time drawing with chalk. He drew this picture of Iceman. I thought it showed some pretty good control as he drew a head, neck, two eyes, and even pupils in the same eyes. I have no idea at what level children develop artistic abilities or can interpret things but to me it seemed pretty impressive. Perhaps that is just because of my lack of artistic skills.

Elliott Contemplates Cookie Beside Firetruck

It was Elliott's turn to go grocery shopping with me on Saturday. I let him pick a treat and he picked cookies. Much like Martin the week before with cupcakes (or pupcakes, as he calls them) he held onto his single cookie with the love and nurturing touch of a mother holding a newborn. Outside we saw a firetruck and he was psyched to go up to it. When the fireman came out to say hi and ask him if he wanted to sit in the driver's seat he got a little shy and refused. It was a missed opportunity. It was only the shame that society has taught me to have over the course of my life that prevented me from asking if it would be okay if I sat in the seat.

Petting a Chicken

On Sunday we went to the Green Earth Institute, down the road, and they got to pet chickens. All day they were asking me if they could see a polar bear at the zoo. I'd tell them that we were going to a farm, not a zoo, and that there probably wouldn't be any polar bears. Then they'd ask me if we were going to see a sea lion or a rhino.

Dee Dee's First Home Bath

After thirteen days of being at home, being the responsible parents that we are, we thought maybe it would be time to give Dee Dee her first bath. The thing I forgot about babies is that they can go a seemingly infinite amount of time without a bath and still feel and smell fresh. It's easy to forget that when you have two rampaging toddlers who become sweaty, sticky, and stinky in the time it takes them to get from the bath to their bedroom, twelve paces away.

Going back to work will complicate things. Dee Dee sleeping less than twenty-one hours a day will complicate things further. But for now we'll enjoy the hectic but enjoyable life of having three children under three.

We're going to pay for this soon.