Since being late for our holiday card is a two-year running theme now, we've decided to throw in the towel and just start a new tradition: A Groundhog Day update. By early February we ought to be able to get our stuff together, right?
This year's update is going to reveal both sides of our family: the part that is fun to share and the part that is gritty, raw, and realistic. Hopefully you'll get a kick out of our own self-deprication.
The glossy parts:
Jackson: The eldest son in the Arthur clan is usually busying himself with some sort of an art project or learning about animals from library books and his favorite show, Wild Kratts. It is predictable, then, that his top 2 professions of choice are "artist" and "animal rescuer." He has not wavered in his playdate busy-ness since moving to Columbus; the kid simply does not prefer to be alone. Jackson began the fall season at a new preschool (his last year before Kindergarten!) about a mile from home, so with nice weather he has the luxury of walking back and forth with mom and Anderson and sometimes Sullivan. Sports are of interest to Jackson so long as there are friends present to be silly with. He has put some hours into soccer and of course tennis lessons, and the summer highlight was mastering unassisted swimming. He still loves being a big brother, especially since he is that of two now!
Sullivan: Sullivan dropped his "Sully" nickname this year, firmly announcing "It's Sullivan, not Sully" sometime around September. Jackson hasn't successfully made the transition, so he tolerates "Sully" from Jackson. This just begins his personality of particulars. Sullivan asks to have certain tags removed from certain pants, he wants to have his say about each and every outfit, he knows every nook and cranny and color and swhirl and size and diameter of every marble he owns (yes, there is still an obsession there) as well as most of his prized toys, and he has begun giving us "the plan" for what is about to happen, sequencing out teensy tiny details that the average person would overlook. He has been nagging us about gymnastics, which we finally signed up for this month, and he also has enjoyed soccer and swimming in 2012. The special education teachers who work with him at preschool adore him, absolutely charmed by his sweetness, patience, and up-for-anythingness. His speech has made incredible strides, and we are ecstatic to uncover parts of our son that were lying beneath his inability to communicate before. It's awesome.
Anderson: Our only complaint about Anderson is that he allows us to sometimes forget how many hours it has been since the last feeding or nap... because he is pleasant in any and all circumstances!!! Hungry, sleepy, full diaper... no sweat! This baby is the content-est soul I have ever met, making him of course our favorite :) He started out his life looking Scott, but recently there's some Tricia-ness shining through. He loves sitting up, staring smilingly at his brothers as they perform tricks in front of him, eating cereal, grabbing at ANYTHING nearby, and generally being in the mix. Thankfully, there is no aversion to the car seat, because he spends a good chunk of his time there while his mom galavants around town in it, dropping off and picking up little people. The child care workers at the gym have confessed wanting to babynap him and take him home, since he is happy all the time. As you can see, we are smitten over this newest Arthur!
Scott and Tricia: We have decided to stay put here on Grenoble Rd in Upper Arlington, OH. Neighbors are fantastic, elementary school down the street, our favorite yogurt shop walkable, the Olentangy bike path about a mile's jog away, and work for Scott is a 10 minute commute. But the real reason we decided not to move is that we didn't want to move. :) We rented for the past year, and are in contract now! Scott is both appropriately confident and appropriately challenged in his work as the VP of Constituent Giving at Nationwide Children's Hospital, affording him the pleasure of taking Tricia to ocassional dinner events. Tricia is enjoying the stay-at-home mom gig and continuing to learn how to have everyone where they need to be, fed, somewhat clean, and generally happy.
What we really are like:
Jackson: Jackson is often found with size 24-36 months socks on, since noone can get organized enough to get 5T ones. Losing his cool is Jackson's specialty. And taking a long time to get it back, too. Our especially sensitive child experiences emotions to their fullest, and so his highs are enthusiastic and his lows are... well, passionately out of control. Sullivan has recently picked up the new technique of aggrivating and pure, legalistic Jackson takes the bait every time. Although Jackson's spirituality is growing daily with his profound curiosity on the subject, he proudly boasted the other day that he prays to God every time he makes a basketball shot "God let it go in." I asked how that was working for him and he said, "Not good." Strike 1 on teaching Jackson about God. :)
Sullivan: Sullivan's beloved blanket, although an endearing accompanyment to his sleeping ritual, is only 12 inches by 12 inches and thus, since he must suck on it and since it never finds its way to the wash, spends most of its time smelling like rank dampness. Although we have peeing in the pot down, Sullivan poops his pants once a day. We thought we could get away originally with tossing big boy underwear with each accident, but the frequency has forced us to return to washing out the dang things. Sullivan's winter coat is blue. His winter gloves are brown. And his winter hat is army green. Even though it is endearing to have the tike obsess over his clothing, we are down to a three-shirt-rotation. And, parents' laundry negligence makes this a problem, leading to melt downs.
Anderson: Anderson took 2 months to detach himself from breastfeeding and begrudgingly accept the bottle. Several tough-love attempts to do a cold turkey transfer to bottle led to a hunger strike. Oh, and he has had a smoker's cough since October. Don't worry. Doctor says he's fine. You'd think we'd have clothes figured out by now for #3, but we still find ourselves unable to shift out the outgrown clothes and bring in the appropriate-sized ones in step. Lots of plastic totes just milling around in his nursery. It was so cute and tidy on the day he came home from the hospital.
For those of you in the thick of parenting, you get it. For those who are beyond these years, you likely have glossed your memories over and think we are exagerating. :) In either case, hope you can smile at the reality if our lives. We write this before knowing whether the dang verment has seen his shadow or not. But, either way, may your Spring unfold gloriously. And may you always be reminded that you have love coming your way from the Arthur household.
Much joy and peace,
1565 Grenoble Rd.
Columbus, OH 43221