Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This will probably read like one of those letters people put in Christmas cards

I haven't meant to be away from my blog for so long, I truly haven't!  In fact, I am rather horrified by this extended absence.  But life has been hectic lately, and with school starting... well, time has gotten away from me.  I thought I'd do a little update on each member of our family, just for posterity (and my Grandma, who reads my blog faithfully, no matter how infrequent or boring my posts).  Life with two 1-year-olds and a 3-year-old is quite different from life with two infants and a toddler, for mostly better and occasionally worse!

Bean, my big boy, just hit 3.5 years old.  He is starting his fourth year at our co-op preschool, and this is the first year that I will drop him off (usually) instead of staying the whole time.  Although he is generally shy and prefers to hang close to me when we go out, he is very familiar with the building and teachers and classmates, so we haven't had any problems with the transition so far.  The teacher's comment was, "He is so quiet -- I think he was having fun?"  And from the big grin on his face when he told us about flying kites and being traced on a giant piece of paper, I'm sure he did.  Bean's core qualities remain steady: he is thoughtful, careful, and loving.  I never hesitate to bring him on errands with me; he is patient and well-behaved and helpful.  He talks constantly and asks a million questions, from deep concerns on mortality ("Mom, are we going to be around forever?  Are we going to melt?") to musings on male private parts ("Mom, it would feel good for you if you had one.")  We are struggling with whether To Nap or Not To Nap, which can result in a nasty case of incessant whining, but I try to look on the bright side: when he skips his nap, he goes to bed early.  Cue angels singing.  In exciting news, after almost a year and a half, he's starting to come around to his brothers.  Perhaps they don't exist solely to steal attention from him and destroy his toys?  As long as they don't touch his prized monster trucks, there is often an unstable truce among them.  Better than the constant bitter resentment, so we are moving in the right direction.

Nix is 17 months old.  His Bumpa dubbed him a "sack of sugar" long ago, and even as a toddler, he lives up to the description.  He is similar to his big brother Bean in many ways: he is sweet, adorable, and snuggly.  Nix loves to smile, he giggles a lot, and he easily wins everyone over with his precious face.  While he likes to wander and explore, he is physically more tentative than his twin.  He adores reading, loves to point to objects on the page when asked, enjoys watching cars zoom down the road, and there is no greater pleasure in his life than watching Sesame Street.  His new favorite word is "truck," which he pronounces enthusiastically with an extremely guttural German-sounding "UGCK."  Nix is beginning his second year at the co-op, and this year he is actually mobile.  Sadly, I don't think he's going to be my scholar, because so far he absolutely hates it.  Not a good sign when the biggest challenge is trying to keep your crayon on the paper instead of drawing on the table.  He can sometimes, however, be distracted by fun items in the sensory table.  Especially those that are edible, like unsweetened rice puffs or oats.  Of course, he still tries to eat the stuff that isn't edible, but that's why we go to school, right?  Gotta learn these things.

Gax is also 17 months old, of course.  His personality is quite different from his twin's, as it has been since their birth.  He is very energetic, daring, always looking for the next adventure, and constantly imitates what adults are doing.  He studies life and dives right in.  Gax will fall off something or bang his head and not make a peep of complaint, even as the rest of us wince and think, "Oooh, that's gotta hurt."  He loves cooking, only reads books if he's the one in charge of the endeavor (i.e. don't bother trying to actually read it to him, or even touching the book), and while he does love dancing to songs on Sesame Street, he isn't as big on watching television.  I admire the spirit and energy in Gax, he is decisive and confident.  Which also makes him my biggest challenge, because he can also pull an attitude or throw a tantrum worthy of an 8 year old at least.  He's quite advanced for his age, really.  He loves preschool, and I'm just grateful he can explore/destroy things that aren't in my house for a couple of hours a week.

DH is still the superstar of my life.  He is passionate about his job, and although he has little time for anything but working and take care of our boys, he still manages to make sure I always have everything I need.  He has been getting up to ride his bike before work, and despite my complete lack of understanding about what compels people to 1) wake early to exercise and 2) ride a bike out of anything but absolute necessity (escaping a zombie attack, perhaps?), I am very proud of him.

SAHMs don't often have the opportunity to recognize an accomplishment other than "I successfully kept my kids from being electrocuted by the light socket today," so this is a big confidence booster for me.  Other than that, I am keeping busy once again serving as the VP of Fundraising at our preschool.  Because, you know, I need something to keep me busy.

My Mom is unfortunately struggling with her back.  She has an inflamed disk that is resting on a nerve, causing great pain in her leg.  She's on some meds and sees a physical therapist twice a week, and we are all hopeful that this won't last too much longer.  But on a happier note, she is otherwise enjoying life in Seattle as much as we are enjoying having her here.  Her neighbors have welcomed her with wide open arms, and there is always someone knocking on her door bringing food or drinks or other goodies or asking if she can come out to play.  I am beyond thrilled that my Mom has made these new friendships, mainly because she shares the food and drinks and other goodies with me.  But yeah, I'm happy for her, too.

My Dad travels a fair amount for work, but fortunately for all of us, he has freedom to be home a lot as well.  The twins think that the sun rises and sets on their Bumpa.  Seeing my boys bond so much with their Grandpa... well, it's indescribable, really.  He will feed them, he will take them to the park, he will bath them, he will brush their teeth, he will put them down for bed.  He is pretty much a life preserver in Grandpa form.  I can't imagine what I'd do without either one of my parents, but I'm pretty sure there's a straight jacket, padded cell, and delusions of being Lady Gaga involved.

As I mentioned before, life has changed quite a bit in the past 12 months.  A lot more sleeping at night (hooray!), and a lot more keeping active young toddlers from climbing and hurling themselves off dangerously high places.  Or preventing them from breaking objects that I didn't realize they could reach.  Or desperately trying to keep them from having meltdowns in public while I try to grab some groceries.  Or scrambling to find something for them to eat since they suddenly hate anything they loved yesterday.  (Luckily the dog's tastes are much more consistent.)  Yes, they are at that precious age where they have opinions, which they may or may not be able to effectively express, and God help you if you don't comply immediately.  With one toddler, this is a challenge.  With two toddlers... well, let's just say I am well stocked with Excedrin Migraine.

I don't mean to complain, because life at home really is getting easier as the months pass.  But there are still challenges to having 1-year-old twins that do make me sometimes envious of friends who have their children one at a time.  There are things I can't do, places I can't go, just because of the logistics involved.  The children are all still at the ages of needing a lot of assistance with everything they do, so I am often run ragged trying to keep everyone happy.

But then there are times when I see my three boys playing and laughing together, so close in age, learning about life together, growing up with shared experiences... and I wouldn't change it for the world.  I hope and pray that under the standard sibling bickering, they will find support and friendship, because they have a lot to offer one another.

I am tired.  But I am really, really excited about this family.