Tea Partyin’ Again

Tax day is never fun for the middle class, but at least we got to peaceably assemble with other tea party patriots on April 15.

Daddy & an ultra-amped Houston enjoy the taxed-enough-already protest.

Mommy tries to rein in the rebellious spirit of her red-blooded American boys.

Zeke (front) & Gabriel are entertained by strolling through the crowd & waving flags.

The sign reads “Prosperity = White Supremacy.” I’ll let you chew on the inanity of that one yourself.

Click on the above photo of the incognito trust-fund anarchist to check out all the rest of the pics & interesting signs from the rally.

Growing Independence

Although the boys are growing up way too fast on one hand — you know how sentimental mommies get about that kind of stuff — their growing independence is definitely a welcome change on the other hand.

Houston & Gabriel strut w/ their cool shades.

Houston, who will be 3 in June, is our enthusiastic little helper, assisting Mommy with chores and Daddy with yard work. He also saves Mommy grief during double-doody diaper changes, the morning-milk-and-meds routine and other stressful times by being a willing and able extra set of hands on the scene. (Now if I could just get him potty trained and to sit still in his chair during mealtime, life would be dandy!)

And Gabriel and Zeke, who will be 18 months old this Friday, are rapidly leaving their baby days behind and tackling toddlerhood and all of its big-boy developments with gusto. (Now if I could just get them to stop throwing their sippy cups and utensils during meals, life would be swell!)

All of this, of course, means a tad more time for Mommy, giving me a greater sense of control and helping to restore a smidgen of order here around the zoo. Sure, raising three wild boys will never be easy, but I am grateful for the kids’ small steps toward self-sufficiency and appreciation of teamwork.

The 3 Amigos celebrate Daddy’s 32nd birthday.

Speaking of teamwork, Stephen and I have had two consecutive Saturdays of yard work productivity. Stephen’s raised-bed veggie garden — a long-term goal of ours — is finally a reality, our compost pile is officially more user-friendly, our foundation beds have been pruned and weeded, and we’ve tended to some of the many other little outdoor improvements on our to-do list.

But the accomplishments took some major give and take on both of our parts. For instance, Stephen tended to our lawn with the riding mower, while I fed the kids, and then I got the harder-to-reach spots of the yard with the push mower, while he played with the boys. It was that first Saturday in April that I realized these seemingly small feats could never have been accomplished a year ago. Man, how times have changed.

The last weekend in March, Uncle Adam came to town to catch an Unknown Hinson show. This was about the third or fourth time I’ve attempted to see “The King of Country Western Troubadours” live, but there had always been a snag. This time around, however, Granny and Grumps were on kid duty here at the house, and come hell or high water, Mama was gonna see some music!

In fact, the last live show I had attended was when Daddy and I saw Scott Miller & the Commonwealth about a week before Houston was born. Needless to say, all of us geezers had a great time getting raucous with the downtown club dwellers, and it took me about three days to recover from all the fun.

“We should eat chocolate bunnies every day,” screams Zeke.

Our Easter was wonderful. We started our day with a yummy waffle breakfast and celebrated the resurrection of Jesus with our church family. Then the boys feasted upon chocolate bunnies at lunch, and we rounded out the joyous occasion with grilling by Daddy and an acoustic show of super hero-inspired songs by Mommy.

That afternoon was also notable for Gabriel, who got to go on a one-on-one trip to the grocery store with Mommy. Unlike Zeke, who has been on many solo medical visits, and Houston, who obviously has spent much time away from his younger brothers, Gabriel has just always been part of the posse. It was seriously the poor child’s first time in a grocery cart! The G-man had a ball and (other than the freak who approached me about my “Socialism Isn’t Cool” bumper sticker and got an earful of education from yours truly) the trip was a smashing success.

That reminds me … I ended up removing the stitches from my index finger myself. I figured with a good pair of tweezers, a magnifying glass and some grit and determination, why wait four years to try and get a leg (or finger) up on Obama-care.

“Bunny cakes & jelly beans are the absolute best,” Houston tells Granny w/ a giggle.

Other stuff:

  • April 5 was Daddy’s 32nd birthday. He took the day off from work. The boys enjoyed his time at home and Mommy made him birthday muffins, since her cake-making skills leave something to be desired.
  • That same day I broke out the sprinkler for the first time this spring. The twins hated it and screamed in horror, and Houston ignored it, choosing the simple hose as a preferable activity.
  • Everyone has since fallen in love with outdoor water activities, thank goodness. I take these opportunities to have Houston go commando (sans pull-up) and get all the boys involved in making sure Daddy’s garden and Mommy’s flowers are good and drenched.
  • Sadly, April 7 was Miss Heather’s last day for weekly childcare. She has been such a blessing to our family, and Mommy wonders if she could have survived the first year and a half of raising three kids without her … seriously. “Thank you, Miss Heather. We love you!”
  • Zeke is now adamantly shaking his head “no” and meaning it. His affirmative utterance has morphed into a full-fledge “uh huh,” and some of his signs include “flower,” “apple” and “bird.” He also enjoys doing a “bear” sound.
  • Gabriel is now articulating his boisterous versions of “hat,” “Daddy,” “kitty cat,” “hi” and “bye.”

Zeke (left) & Gabriel love trucks & Miss Heather.

  • The twins laugh hysterically whenever Houston tries to create an “echo” while everyone’s eating outside on the deck. For some reason, that makes for good toddler comedy.
  • Gabe and Zeke have been getting their legs stuck in their cribs a lot lately. With such flip-flopping sleeping styles, I’m surprised I haven’t yet had to saw their cribs to free their chubby little knees. A hardy “thanks” goes out to Miss Shawn for her speedy help on one of these occasions, and Daddy’s strong hands on all the rest.
  • Houston can handily count to 30, with a number or two missing here and there. He is also mastering the “ABC Song” (both the traditional and “Super Why” versions) and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
  • Houston is attending children’s church again. Even though he’s not yet potty trained or age 3 (supposed requirements), the setting is a much better fit for him than is the church nursery. He absolutely thrived being in there with all the big kids this past Sunday.

Photo wise, there are quite a few new additions at the end of the March – Part 2 gallery. Click the top sunglasses pic see all the March – Part 3 shots; the wide-mouth shot of Zeke to view all the April – Part 1 photos; and Daddy’s birthday pic to check out all the April – Part 2 fun.