There are times-- particularly when I'm loading up our car to the max with kids, or when I'm sitting on the couch and can't move a single body part without touching or brushing a child's limb, or when we are all sitting elbow-to-elbow at our tiny dining room table, or when I'm walking to the park accompanied by a double stroller filled with infants and toddlers AND a big kid on a bike-- when I almost feel like I'm going to explode with happiness. Having three makes me feel so much more full than I felt with just two. I don't just feel blessed. I feel gorged on blessings. In those moments, I literally have to bite my lip to stop the flow of happy tears threatening to pour down my cheeks.
Fullest Subaru on the block
Jonathan's first trip to the park
Being cute (11 days old)
Jacob did not go through the terrible twos. He was a difficult three year old but nothing compared to the testiness and blatant disobedience of my two-year-old Ryan. Ryan is both the sweetest of my children and the most horrendous of my children. He tells people they are stupid. He says he hates everything. He refuses to eat....anything. He refuses to put on pants. He refuses to have his diaper changed. He will argue everything, every step of the way. He purposely does things to make his older brother mad. No matter how many times we tell him not to throw objects, knock down Jacob's towers, or break Jacob's Legos, he is deadly intent on doing these things every second of every day.
But then he will come up to me and smile and tell me sweetly that he loves me. He is generous with his hugs and his smiles. He will engage us in adorable dialogue. He follows me around the house asking me questions about what I'm doing. He will sing Jonathan a song. If I so much as mention that Jonathan needs a new diaper, he darts off down the hall to fetch a clean one. He's like two different children in one body and it is making me CRAZY!
Both kids absolutely adore their baby brother. I couldn't ask for this part of our transition to a family of five to be any smoother. They fight over who gets to hold him first. And when Jonathan's sleeping in his Boppy, the big boys sit on the couch and laugh at his newborn noises, kiss his head, and pet his fingers. They are smitten. But really, all of us are.
The kids' new favorite activity: being baby burritos.
For Halloween this year, we kept with our tradition of going over to my husband's sister's house. Their family lives in a large neighborhood that is absolutely perfect for trick or treating. The houses are close together, the sidewalks are wide and well-lit, there is plenty of parking, and the residents go all-out with decorations and candy-giving.
Power Ranger, Spiderman, and Skeleton Baby
After some obligatory photos, Jonathan stayed behind with my husband's parents while we took the big kids trick or treating. Every year the big kids get more and more intense and come back with bigger and bigger loot bags. The scary decorations used to terrify Jacob (one year, he literally crapped his pants after a zombie jumped out at him), but this year he LOVED them all. He nearly missed trick or treating at some houses because he was so excited to jump ahead to the houses with the fog machines, motion sensor witches, skeleton graveyards, strobe lights and ghosts in the windows.
Ryan does not like anything scary. We went trick or treating at Jacob's school the night before Halloween and Ryan started screaming hysterically at the first clown he saw (the clown wasn't even a scary clown, it was a happy clown). (Jacob, on the other hand, was so proud as he lead us down the hallways of his school, showing us all the classrooms and saying "hi" to all his friends.) During trick or treating, Ryan clutched our hands in a deadly vice grip as we approached each house and flatly refused to go up to some of the more decorated houses. But the thrill on his face as each stranger plopped a candy in his bucket was priceless.
Ryan LOVING Halloween
All in all, we had such a fabulous Halloween. This is one of those holidays that is always fun, but 10x more fun with kids. And each year, the fun seems to grow exponentially.