Can I freeze time for a little while? The kids, in my opinion, are at the perfect age right now. I know there’s no such thing, and each age brings its own joys. Almost-5 and almost-2 are pretty terrific, though. (I’m saying that because it’s been a good few days…I guess I might think otherwise by the weekend! :))
Since Christmas, Taran has shown greater maturity about his behavior and demeanor. I thought age 4 would be a breeze, but it began with freak-out tantrums and rounded off with talking back/mouthing off to Mommy and Daddy. Taran is definitely not perfect, but he’s getting much better about accepting discipline and listening in general. That, and he continues to be super sweet and precocious. 🙂 I love that I can be, according to him, his Mommy and his best friend at the same time. What a privilege!
Taran and Ari definitely have a special bond. Their closeness is evidenced in how dependent their emotions are on their relationship. I tease Ari about how he can totally enamored with Taran one minute and at his boiling point in the next. Likewise, Taran loves being with Daddy, but if Ari is upset at him or disappointed in him, you’d think the world was coming to an end. When we’re all home, if Ari leaves the room, it’s a pretty sure thing that Taran will following shortly after…wandering around the house, calling, “Daddy? Where are you??” Daddy is also the one who rough houses and plays “fight games” with Taran. (Thank God! Taran has injured me one too many times – I’ll leave the rough stuff to the boys!)
It has been so special and meaningful to watch Taran learn about God and grow to love Him. I think Taran knows God not as just something to talk about at church, but as a real part of his life. We talk about how God has created everything, even the Publix we shop at (that was Taran’s conclusion – who am to refute that?). We’re also learning how we can pray anytime and for anything, because Jesus is our friend and wants to hear from us always – whether we’re happy or sad. Taran takes the request to pray for things quite literally. One day he threw a heavy toy at the fireplace, and Grandma exclaimed, “You better pray that glass isn’t broken!” Taran suddenly dropped to his knees, clasped his hands together, and desperately pleaded, “Dear God, PLEASE don’t let the glass on the fireplace be broken!!” Wish I could have been there for that! 🙂
Clare and Laurel are so much fun as well. I think I’m fully within my rights to say they are the cutest, sweetest little girls in the whole world. 😉 I am still fascinated by this stage between baby and small child, where they appear to be sweet babies but are actually interactive little people!
It’s been wonderful watching them grow up together. I always wished for a sibling closer to my age, and now I have twins – and my girls have each other! I pray that will always be close. It’s so cute to find them calling each “sister”, hugging, sharing, and playing together. Of course, just as many times, they’re stealing each other’s pacifiers (a sure way to make them cry), fighting over toys, or babble as loud as possible to intentionally wake a sleeping sister (or Taran).
Taran is a great big brother to his little sisters. He tries to instruct them in proper behavior – “No, no, sweetheart, that’s not yours.” He is also responsible enough to watch them (in a secure environment) so I can steal a shower many mornings – love that! Most of all, they have a ton of fun together. Lately, every evening, Taran brings out his keyboard (which was actually Ari’s as a child) and with the flick of a few switches, strikes up some crazy 80’s dance beat. The three of them spend forever dancing themselves silly and cracking each other up. Even Ari participates (if you know Ari, this should come as no surprise!).
It goes without saying that Ari adores his girls. I think as they grow, he’ll be the strict one regarding clothing, curfews, etc. For now, however, it’s all playtime!
I think Clare and Laurel are ready to potty train. They have been fascinated by the toilet for months now – unfortunately, that has manifested itself into sneaking into the bathroom door and playing in the toilet, mischievously giggling amongst themselves. (Ew!!) This week, we asked on a whim whether they would like to use the potty, and the walked right to it, let us take off their diapers and plopped themselves down, grinning proudly. They haven’t made any “deposits” yet, but their willingness is exciting in and of itself! And I’m excited to not pay for diapers anymore in the near future! 🙂
As you can see above, the kids really enjoyed the snow…eventually – while my adventurous, no-holds-bar Laurel plunged right in, Clare was more wary of the cold white powder, and Taran tired of playing in it once his hands got wet.
From a fashion standpoint, I love the cold weather! I get to wear comfy sweaters, boots, stylish jackets. Best of all, winter clothes hide the flab I would desperately love to be rid of, while summer seems to expose it! I am, however, looking forward to the Spring so we can get outdoors more. The noise level in the house seems to increase exponentially with each passing hour spent indoors. Suwanee has plenty of great outdoor spaces, too. I was sad at first when we moved a couple of years ago, but I have truly enjoyed living here. We have great parks and playgrounds within a very short drive, and the city has a great town center with regular festivals and concerts. Ari and I are suckers for anything remotely resembling a fair! I volunteered at Suwanee Day last year and plan to do so again this year.
I’m also venturing into organic gardening! I’ve always wanted to grow my own vegetables, but even house plants die under my careful watch. Suwanee has a Harvest Garden, where residents can lease a plot to grow organic gardens. I and my friends Heather and Mechele are sharing the plot – I’m fortunate that they will actually know what they’re doing!
I’m glad that our family is getting to a place where we can enjoy our community more. The first year and a half of the girls’ lives, I’d say we were “barely getting by” – barely getting enough sleep, barely getting to work on time, barely remembering to feed, change, and bathe everyone – we were mostly in “maintenance” mode, with little extra time to spend on the special things. There were definitely fun times, but it was a lot of grunt work, too! It’s been wonderful for Ari and I to have more time to ourselves after the kids go to bed, or to treat ourselves to a date night. It’s also been great to have time to ourselves. Ari often plays trivia with a friend on Wednesday nights, and I try to have coffee or dinner with girlfriends every now and then, or participate in community activities. Our next step, hopefully, will be to begin volunteering or charity efforts. That will be much easier as the kids get a little older and when our church opens a campus close to our house this year.
We are looking forward to 2011 and experiencing what God has in store for our family. Hope you all are, too!