We've spent most of the week wondering what day it is or whether we need to get dressed. We haven't eaten many vegetables or brushed any teeth, but we have indulged in fried chicken and extra queso and all the holiday cookies seem to be gone. We've tackled a few thank you notes and worked on new puzzles and watched several movies and read even more books.
And I know we're not alone here, during this time between Christmas and a brand new year, in the way it feels perfectly acceptable to sit on the couch all morning and to substitute things like chocolate ice cream for actual meals, in the way it all feels very peace on earth.


Christmas past

We spent most of the week in celebration mode, a swirly snow globe of flurried activity.
The big boys played the piano at the Christmas Eve service, and all three slept until 6am the next morning. Santa came through with a greenish-blue toothbrush and lots of other things on the boys' wish lists. We shared time with Betz cousins and have passed hours with new books and board games. The pace should begin to slow at some point, but our fierce belief in the possibility of magic won't end with this season.


leading up

In anticipation of even more photos tomorrow, a few from the days leading up to Christmas.
Advent calendars and holiday crafts,
presents from Poppy and Christmas with RoRo,
Lego sets and nativity scenes,
letters to Santa and sleigh tracking,
and still so much more to come.


easy to please

Hank wrote a letter to Santa recently.  He has not wavered in his solitary request for a toothbrush, preferably green or blue, since mid-October.

He made an ornament at church a few weeks ago, with red and white beads on a bent pipe cleaner.  He likes to admire it on the tree, and keeps calling it a candy corn. We haven't corrected him. Its hard to learn all the right words from one holiday to the next!

There was water on the floor in the dining room yesterday, and Hank stood in the middle of the puddle, drink cup in hand, hollering about how he'd been trying to google but he wasn't good at it yet and he'd only practice in the bathtub till he got better. I handed him a towel and he took care of the mess, no big deal.

Speaking of puddles, he's been potty-training. And he's been talking about poop a LOT. With so much attention to bathroom stuff, it was surprising and particularly funny to hear him declare with astonishment, in the tub with Tolliver, my butt has a crack in it?!

He loves to type documents on the computer, using all caps and mostly Hs and Bs. He looks for his letters everywhere, and just today found an H in the "Holds" section at the library. We were there to make gingerbread houses with his sweet friends Lanie and Josie, whom he's taken to calling "Janie," like they're a unit.

He is recovering from an ear infection, and has been carrying around a snot rag for at least a month, wiping at his nose. None of this seems to slow him down. At all.
Like he can still accomplish more in a few unsupervised minutes than most adult humans do all day.

He asked for hot tea at breakfast today, with lots of honey, having seen me make a to-go mug for big brother's cold walk to school.
I can handle sleepless nights and small messes, hot tea with honey and new blue toothbrushes.
And I am glad he is mostly so easy to please.


season's fleeting

Doing my best to celebrate all the daily magic, all the small miracles. To appreciate the tremendous gift of being home together, of after dinner board games and bourbon, of boys bathed in more laughter than bickering. To be grateful for all the bedtime books, for the bundle of round bellies in holiday jammies looking for early morning snuggles, for a coffee maker that works.
What luck, to unwrap things like this every day.


front burners

It's a busy time of year.
Andy was in charge of after school today. He got Hank home from the pediatrician in time to receive the big boys home from school. They rode bikes in the street for awhile, and were bathed and showered by the time I got back. I walked into the house to four happy boys and dinner warm.
There's something about twinkling lights and sibling harmony, about dogged cheerfulness hitching a ride with the velvety smells of sautéed garlic and butter, that reminds me (even as the boys make lists) : We have everything we need.


signs of life

There are at least ten books strewn about every room, open-paged and upside down to save the place.
And there are as many houseplants with brown parts, with bugs in the soil, with leaves falling off.
I'm letting all of it serve as a reminder that we're raising boys here. Anything else is bonus.


most wonderful time