Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reflections

It is no secret that I love me a little self reflection...and an end of the year reflection? Well, it will keep me happily ruminating for weeks! There is certainly plenty to reflect on this year, seeing since just about halfway through 2011 we made the big move. A move that was so risky, so nerve racking, so exciting that we will surely feel the repercussions for many years to come. We still feel like we are in the very beginnings of our plan. Anxious to see it grow and still sometimes wondering if we should have just stayed where we were.

I think whenever I look back on 2011 the overwhelming feeling will be of pride. I am so proud of us for taking charge of our life. Proud that we were willing to take risks to achieve our goals. Im proud of my husband for throwing himself into a new career. Proud of my kids for easily joining new neighborhood crews and walking into new schools with smiles. Proud of my parents for welcoming us, loving us, and making this craziness as fun and as easy as possible.

Of course looking back eventually turns into looking forward. Accomplishments to be built upon, weaknesses to be corrected. I have some resolutions ready to be finalized. The only thing I like more than reflecting is goal setting!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Memories

Christmas 2011 was the year::

* I didn't bake a thing! 

* a pony peeked out of a convertible and Star Wars invaded our gift pile 

* we lost Tyler and experienced the panic every parent dreads

* singing in the garage was the perfect ending to a great xmas eve

* we caroled at the neighbors home and walked down a lane of luminaries

* we rushed and relaxed, rushed and relaxed

* my favorite baby plaid Christmas pants made their last showing 

* so many things remained un-checked on the to-do list...a lesson in how doing less can be best

* so many moments to savor with kids the perfect ages for the magic of Christmas 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drew Boy is 6!

Hey Buddy Boy!
You are the absolute sweetest boy. I've known it since you were a baby. No matter what the whacky twin sister did to you, you were only sweet to her. Nothing has changed - you are still sweet. It is funny how the world works, buddy. Some people think that the rougher the boy, the better. That boys should be rough and tumble, getting into messes and trouble. And sometimes they do, and sometimes you do. But a sweet boy - a gentle, caring, thoughtful boy - well, he is just amazing. Sometimes when I see you being you, I smile because I can imagine the husband and father you may someday be - your family will be so lucky.

6 is going to be a good year for you pal. You are coming into your own. People used to call you shy and quiet - but I haven't heard that in a while! You marched onto the soccer field, into Kindergarten, and wobbled out with your ice skates like a soldier...a happy soldier. You have made friends at school, and jump into neighborhood games. You are Mr. Confident these days, and I like it :)

It is hard to talk about you without mentioning the Captain. You guys have something special Drew, you always have. Now that we moved you guys have become even closer. I like watching you with my dad, loving, curious, confident and most of all, happy

Happy Birthday to the best boy - you make me so proud! 
Love Mom

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To My 6 yr old Girl

 Dear Ella,
It is hard to believe the teeny tiniest of my babies is now 6 years old, sometimes it is hard to believe you are mine at all. It doesn't seem possible that one momma can be this lucky and blessed.

You captivate me. There isn't a day that goes by that Im not taken back by how smart you are, how funny and/or how much of the world you are taking in. You don't miss a beat! You notice what people are wearing and remember what they say. You are the life of the party, but can quickly slip into the woodwork when you want to listen to an adult conversation :) You ask questions that seem a little too deep for a little girl with pigtails and freckles.

You are brave and adventurous, especially when we are outside. That tiny body of yours flits across beaches, glides through the pool, climbs into branches, and races into the woods. You are quick to make friends and I love the way you think of ways to surprise them - with pictures, treats, or special games. You soak up everything you can about big kids and cousins - studying them intently with those blue, blue eyes.

Watching you grow up every day is quite the show, and as always Im so happy to have the front row seat.

Love you always my Bella Boo -
Mom

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ty Turns Four

My Dear Tyler T -
I planned to have another baby when the twins started school - you came days before they turned 2. I planned for you on December 17th - you arrived on the 10th. I planned on no epidural - I couldn't get it fast enough. I planned on another baby who was quiet and easy like the 2 before him - you made it clear from day 1 that you had other plans. You see, my T-Boney, you were nothing like I had planned.

And Im so glad and I wouldn't want you any other way!

I love that you march to your own drum. As a mom, I have to attempt to hammer in some manners and rules, but Im trying to do it while preserving your spirit. You are passionate - when you are up, you are sky high happy, when you are down - watch out! You are figuring out your place in the world - tough for a guy sandwiched between twins paving the way and an adorable baby bringing up the rear. But if there is one thing you can do, it is hold your own!

Tyler T, this was an awesome year for you. You have become so independent, adventurous, and even more amazing. Im proud of you everyday.

Happy Birthday my sweet, crazy boy! Love always, your Momma

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tea Time

Picture is totally unrelated to blog...I just like it :)

Tis tea season again. The time of year when a hot cup of tea cradled in my hands brings me a few minutes of comfort and hopefully quiet! 
Here is a list of things I can do while waiting for the kettle to whistle....

*Check on sleeping babies kids and marvel for a minute
*Finish the box of chocolates and hide the evidence
*Pick up a random assortment of items from the floor - why were they playing with a comb?! 
*Wash a sink full of dishes
*Switch the laundry
*Get them started on a project that hopefully lasts as long as my cup of tea
*Stare absentmindedly out the window

It is amazing how taking a few minutes to settle down can recharge me for another round! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Settle Down

Sometimes I need to take a minute to settle down. Hunker down on the couch with a cup of tea. Or better yet - hit the road and get outside with my kids. The days are zooming by as they always do this time of year. And this year more than ever Im longing to just settle it down for a minute.

I miss my kids more than I ever have. I knew that I would once they started school - but with moving and me working, I miss them more than I expected. When we are all home it is tough to get in a good conversation. But when we are out...oh, I could listen to them talk all day.

I already feel a New Year's Resolution coming...it is brewing away. But in the meantime, Ill take what I can get. Ill remember to take a minute each day to just simmer down. And an extra minute each day to snuggle them tight.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let's Celebrate!

There are some big happenings for these three coming up in the next 20 days. They have birthdays, visits back to NJ, parties, more birthdays, more visits to NJ, more parties and of course Christmas! It is just about all they can handle. We have a countdown calendar to keep track of it all, yet Tyler still asks me several times a day if it is Birthday or Christmas today.

Kids make celebrations and holidays that much better. They are so excited...about everything! I have to keep reminding myself to keep it simple, because their excitement tempts me to do more. But at this age their expectations are so low and I can spend more time enjoying them enjoying the season than rushing around filling it up.

Let's party!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tree Hunt

We went to the Christmas Tree Farm and picked out our tree (well, sort of....see below). And we laughed...oh my goodness did we laugh. But then again we always do when we are all together. 
click on this picture to see the guys faces, so funny!!

When we got home everyone got right to work. My father, mother and Mike rearranged furniture, got the stand in place and lugged in the tree. I scooted into the kitchen and got dinner ready. I peered in from time to time to see the action, check on the kids, and marvel on the scene. As I cooked, stirred and listened, I realized there was a lesson today.

My mother is big into Christmas. And the tree is her thing. We went out 3 times together and then she went once herself to pick the perfect Concolor tree (has to be concolor!). Then she brought us all down to the farm so that we could feel part of the process. And this is when the lesson began. After to close to 40 years of picking out Christmas Trees together, my father knows the drill. He knows that he will have very little say no say in the tree she chooses, but he goes along with the scripted scene. He doesn't complain...on the contrary he slips in little jokes that keep us all laughing. When we get home he starts the delegating and directing - it is what he is good at! My mother, perched on ladders or buried under the tree listens and follows his orders without with very little complaint.

That my friends is how successful marriages work :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two Stories

Two True Stories about Tyler T. 

1. We all went to Plimouth Plantation the day after Thanksgiving - how appropriate of us, don't you think? While in one of the teeny tiny Pilgrim houses, a woman in character was explaining how they cooked as she sat next to the fire. Tyler standing a mere foot from her, looking right in her eye, said "Boring!!" as loud as he could, turned on his heel and walked out. 

2. I sat across from Tyler's 2 preschool teachers in a standard, too serious for preschool, conference. I listened patiently as they went on and on about how Tyler is polite, respectful and quiet. How he raises his hand, follows the rules of the classroom, shares and cleans up better than the other students. I resisted the urge to ask if they were sure they were talking about my son. When I returned home I congratulated Tyler and repeated what the teachers had said. Drew piped up, "Well, why doesn't he act like that at home?!"