Wow - time is going by so fast! With the upcoming holiday season, we are just swamped, and me with very little time to blog! But it's been over 6 months since my last update, so here's what's been going on with us lately.
Since my last update, we've had two major changes. First, Jonathan started pre-k, which I'll talk more about in a minute. Second, I started working again. I work from home, part-time as an independent contractor for an environmental firm. I do digital mapping, or GIS, and so far, it's working out great. Working from home certainly has it's challenges, but Mark's been great about watching the kids while I work in the evenings and sometimes a few hours on weekends. And it's only part-time, which means I can set my own hours and just work as much or as little as I want. So if you do the math and figure that I actually haven't eliminated anything in my life, but actually added a part-time job, you now know why my blog has been suffering lately. Hey, something's gotta give!
Then, there's Matthew. Matthew is currently 2 years, 5 months. He is finally learning to talk, although he still seems to prefer his own language, which is most certainly not English. We're working on this, but haven't yet ruled out a little intervention if he hasn't made a lot of improvement by Spring. This is not to say he doesn't understand us! It's pretty obvious the child hears and understands every word we say, and, just like his brother, doesn't miss a thing. He just picks and chooses what he hears and goes with it! One of Matthew's favorite activities lately is sneaking into the bathroom, and emptying the contents of our vanity drawers into the trash can. Or knocking down whatever his brother just built. Or sneaking off with a non-washable crayon and decorating our walls. Or discovering the lid off of the liquid soap and fingerpainting the whole house with it. In other words, can you say Terrible Twos? But he's also the sweetest little snuggler you'll ever see - he loves to curl up with us and read or watch tv, or to just "be". In many ways, he's a gentle little spirit, but, like his brother, and I imagine many children his age, he has an agenda and he's sticking to it! Many a tear has been shed because Mark and I, and sometimes even Jonathan decide that we're not going along with the agenda, and it apparently breaks his heart!
I'm sorry to say the sibling rivalry hasn't gotten much better since the last update - there are days when the two of them are offended that they're each breathing the same air. But overall, I would think that things are maybe ever-so-slightly changing. The times when they actually play together and erupt into giggles and squeals may be catching up to the times when it erupts into screams and tears, so that's a step in the right direction. The biggest problem is that Jonathan is very independent, and Matthew likes to follow him around and do what he sees Jonathan doing. Hmmm, what's wrong with THAT picture?!
As for Mark and I? Well, you know about me. My busy is now even busier. And Mark, as a direct result, is busier too, but I can't say enough good things about a guy who comes home from working an 8 hour day, gobbles dinner, and then is responsible for watching the kids, bathing them every night, doling out the bedtime snacks, getting them into bed, and then cleaning up after them, i.e., picking up all the toys and putting them away, cleaning up all the sippy cups and bowls lying around, picking up their clothes, etc....whew, makes me tired just thinking about all that! But he does it, and lately he's been doing it every night. Sure, I'm there to intervene in a crisis - helping out with soap in someone's eyes or finding the one and only bath toy that's acceptable that evening. But Mark's a saint, I'll admit that, but only once! Mostly, he just knows, as I do, how fortunate we are to have this little arrangement where I can work from home, saving us all kinds of extra expense while actually providing us with more cash in these depleted economic times.
So there we are. Just re-reading this update before I save it and post it, I can't help but notice that if someone were to read this, and then ask to describe our family in one word, that word might be...well, not to overuse a word, but that word might be "busy." I'm guessing many families can be described this way these days, but I hope it doesn't seem like that's all we're about. Sure, we have a busy life, but we find time, or rather, we make time and plan time to be a family, to do fun things together, and to make it work. And it's ever-evolving. What worked for us 6 months ago isn't working now, and what's working now probably won't be working 6 months from now. So on that note, I'll check back in 6 months from now and re-assess where we are, then. In the meantime, stay tuned for holiday festivities, more cooking fun and yet another "getting to know you" - this time with a Christmas theme!