Around here, January is a time for me to take a deep breath and sit down.
We are in the quiet of winter.
I find myself gravitating toward knitting projects that have been tucked away, books that have been shelved and even old photographs from the warmer months.
As I looked back at 2012 in images, the three faces below scattered my albums in waves of devilish grins, glistening pouts, and pure boy silliness and enthusiasm.
And how could they not?
These boys define our world and I would be in complete denial if I didn't acknowledge that. Sam is now almost 9, Arlo just six, and Otis is almost 4. Each one is so much their own person, and together they make quite another entity!
|These photos were taken in September 2012 on the morning of school picture day. Each boy chose his own clothing and neither Matt, nor I, had anything to do with the creation of the most adorable outfits ever...|
Sam loves to read and, much like his father, I have to make physical contact to pull him from whatever world he is absorbed in at the moment. Third grade has been a little bit of a challenge for him, though not so much the actual school work. His teacher is very strict and structured, and although those qualities are good ones for an elementary classroom teacher, Sam is struggling with some of the rigidity, and to be very honest, so am I. Together we are figuring it out and this second semester seems to be off to a good start.
Sam continues to read with his Grandma 3 or so times a week, via Skype, and they just completed The Hobbit. Megan and I took him to see the film over the winter break and he LOVED it, despite having to hide his eyes a couple times. Sam is still in karate once a week and he has now added chess club to his repertoire. When he is not dutifully doing his farm chores, imagining fantasy lands with his brothers, or reading a book somewhere; he can be found teaching one of his brothers or friends to play chess!
Arlo is a VERY silly and VERY clever little boy! Over the last year he and I have been working on controlling his curiosity. Things were being broken left and right around here and once Arlo confessed to "being curious", we were able to help him focus that energy in more positive ways. LEGO has been a big help and we also have a box of old electronics that he can dive into and take things apart. He really enjoyed exploring an old telephone this summer and then a few old darkroom items I acquired. My sister gave him a tin can robot project for his birthday that he and Matt had a blast making. Arlo is in Kindergarten this year, which is all day, 5 days a week. He loves it for the most part and it helps that his teacher is amazing. She has given him many leadership roles in the classroom, to help keep his attention. Mrs. Kim is also a middle child and really relates to Arlo and I am SO thankful!
Ah, and then there is Otis...
Otis has been a challenging child since birth. He is dedicated to his cause, whether it may be irritating his brothers, chasing chickens, or being adorable in an attempt to "save" his life from the wrath of an upset mommy. He is almost 4 right now and I am thankful we all survived his year 3, as year 2 holds no candle to year 3 for this boy! He is willful and smart, creative and deceiving and right at the moment you are ready to sell him to the gypsies, he puts on that charm and there is nothing more to be done (except sweep him off his feet and cuddle him)! Otis is in a morning preschool program at the same public Montessori school that Sam and Arlo attend...which leaves me with 5 mornings a week sans children! His teachers report that he is "adorable and sweet and loud", but also very well-behaved! He has been so interested in making art lately, drawing in particular, and he is quite good. Most of his drawings are recognizable which makes me very excited for our art future together.
All in all, these three boys bring us so much joy...and tumult...but mostly joy! Together, either as a threesome, or in groupings of "the bigs" and "the littles" (poor Arlo gets lumped in both), they are very creative and interested boys!
(Especially Otis. He is still my little partner for everything.)
I enjoy them so much and miss them when they are at school (most of the time). However, as they get older I find myself watching them in wonder more and more.
I don't understand SO much of what they do and am incredibly thankful for Matt and the other really positive male role models around us.
Along with the frequent phrase,
"Don't put that in your mouth",
I can be found saying (or asking) nearly every hour of the day,
"Why, on earth, would you do that?!?"
(usually in sequence)