March 7, 2018

Christmas Time

December 24, 2017

I know I just haven't posted enough pictures of my kids loafing around in pajamas... so you're in for a treat ;) The truth is that when I look back on all our photos, both on Instagram and for this space, I do lament that it appears that we spend the vast majority of our time alone and at home. That is a very small snapshot of our life, which is filled with outings and school and friends and extended family... BUT, it happens to be a pretty accurate depiction of the first half of our winter this year. 

We were in a weird limbo with Lola's health, (a limbo that we haven't entirely exited and I'm hesitant to write about until we are on solid ground, but things are looking better now than they did in December), we all traded coughs and colds for the entire Christmas break, we didn't visit family or do much of anything... for weeks. It was actually kind of a beautiful and peaceful time, and while we've been back to a more normal routine for over a month, I think I will always fondly remember this winter as a housebound one. 

Christmas time with young kids is nothing short of magic. Yes of course there are the stresses and the debates over how much 'stuff' we should be giving them and are we instilling the proper values, not to mention the crisis over where we're going to put all that stuff anyway. We did try to get into the holiday spirit and not center everything around gifts; drying oranges, making gingerbread houses, lots and lots of art projects. Maybe it's because I'm writing about Christmas in March, but most of what I remember is that this year we did go overboard in the gift department, we even got some plastic stuff that I would never have signed off on in the past, and the kids went absolutely bonkers and were all thrilled beyond belief. It was really just so much fun to watch. 

I remember that we all came down the stairs together to see if Santa had visited, and when they saw the loot under the tree in that predawn light, they just gasped and shrieked. Smith thoughtfully worked through each of his packages with care, taking most of the day to actually get through them all, Roo tore into everything with her name on it as fast as she could and then wondered why she was the only one with nothing left to open, and Lo was just absolutely thrilled and fascinated by the entire spectacle. 

We watched movies, listened to music and audio books, ate lots of clementines and cookies, played with new toys, made many fires, played board games, cooked many meals, and never got out of our pajamas... for weeks. James actually was out of his pajamas before 9am every morning and always the first to volunteer for errands. He also ventured into work most days... the rest of us are built for a good house-arrest, but he goes stir crazy after about a day and a half. We had to bribe him to be lazy with us by offering jurisdiction over the movie selection and a good supply of beer :) 

As I write this we are getting hit with another snow storm, and I'll confess that at this point I'm eager for spring and ready to move on from hot cocoa, wool socks, and fires. Still, those slow winter months were absolutely restorative for us, a much needed pause in a stressful year. Fingers crossed for a snow day tomorrow and a little more chill time at home to wrap up this season.

March 5, 2018


November 25, 2017

True it is March and we are all eagerly searching for signs of spring, but I documented three events that I have yet to share, and each of them are days I don't want to forget; Smith's birthday, Christmas, and Lo's birthday... so buckle up because I am determined to beat those spring flowers and push all three of them out this week.

Now that he is in first grade and the school birthday parties have become so commonplace, we thought Smith might just break down and want to have an actual party. Nope! He stayed true to form and we ended up having my favorite celebration for him yet, just a simple day out as a family, filled with all his favorite things: the traditional balloons, pop's pancakes, listening to the Beatles, cracking open geodes in the yard with his sister, checking out the Museum of Natural History, walking through Harvard square and collecting fall treasures, poking around the toy store and book store, dinner out, and cupcakes before bed. Your basic best-day-ever.

This has been such a big year for our family for a million reasons, but Smith has had a big year in his own right. I say some version of this every birthday and maybe it will keep being true as he grows and matures; he is still shy and cautious, but he also has a new found confidence and can tackle so many things independently that I never imagined he would. He asked to go to camp last summer, he asked to take guitar lessons this fall... for a kid who never wanted anything to do with classes or activities away from his family, it's fun to see him follow his interests and take some more risks. 

He's a complex, sensitive, soulful child... he struggled when we prepared for his baby's sister's surgery and throughout her recovery, I could see that constant worry weigh on him. He's such a dedicated brother and must hug and kiss each of his sisters before he heads into school each morning.

At seven, Smith loves nature and science and math, The Beatles and Vampire Weekend, Sourdough bread, Pokemon cards, riding his scooter (never a bike!) and skiing, climbing every door jamb, styling his hair in the mirror, wearing pajamas all day, Piggie and Elephant books, and Foxy (his beloved stuffed fox).

He can't stand wasting food (we promise to start composting buddy!), says he'll never want a room of his own, and is still afraid to be the first to go upstairs at night or downstairs in the morning. 

He collects things wherever he goes, his coat pockets are filled with other people's old candy wrappers, nails, ribbons, acorns, money... I'll ask him why he's holding onto a bent old juice box straw and he'll insist it's a treasure. Most mornings he resists going to school ('it's boring!'), but most afternoons he reports school was 'good' and always wants to stay at the playground with friends for a while before heading home. He can read fairly well, but is easily frustrated and resists practicing. He much prefers working on math problems, or better yet listening to music or watching a movie or going outside.

He is truly just a sweet and kind boy. It's amazing how much of his personality and temperament have been with him right from the start. He is good to his core, and we all feel so lucky to share our days with him. 

We love you buggy and are so proud of you and all you've become in these seven years.