Another year down for this family of Five.
There was not a large amount of change for us this year but we certainly embraced a lot of “NEW”, which we searched out for as well as the NEW that just fell at our feet. I am envious of all our friends or family who find the time and patience to sit down write a letter like this and are able to send it out with their holiday card each year. Just the task of doing holiday cards is an extremely time consuming project. Especially around the time leading up to the holidays.
I’ve been flooding our social media with a lot of the photos we used in our holiday card this year. If you’ve been getting our card for a while now, you will might find our cover photo looks familiar. Back in 2012 we came up with the brilliant idea to do a holiday card that was a nod to Grouch Marx. It was based on the idea from one of my favorite Woody Allen movies “Everyone Says I Love You”. To date that 2012 card has proved to be a big favorite. After the twins were born, it was a no brainer that we had redo the card and include the two little additions. We choose to wait on doing the card because I wanted to have Margot wear the same lace dress Paley wore when she was 3 years kid in the portrait. Included in this post are a few shots from our portrait session that we didn’t use in the card.
Paley - One year older and one more year closer to her goal of being 13 and being able to watch the Winx Fairies. When Paley was almost 4 she was either at my mom’s or brothers house and watched the The Winx Fairy TV show with her cousins. She spent the rest of the day begging to watch the Winx Fairies and continued to ask for a whole week. I finally gave in and turned it on. I happen to be working at the desk while she watched and 10 minutes into the cartoon of scantily clad selfish fairies, I knew this episode would be her last. The subject matter was too advanced and the lack of clothing on the girls vs. boys was evident that the show creators were men. To this day she still begs to watch the show and our canned response has always been “not till you are 13”. Which has resulted in her desperate wish to be 13 tomorrow.
Like so many of her friends, Paley’s love for all things Star Wars has blossomed ten times over this year. She has also flourished greatly in school. In 2015 she rounded out First Grade and is now enjoying Second Grade. Reading is her strong suit, just like her Papa. She is still juggling the struggles for all 7 year old girls, the politics of friendship and the playground. You would think having one great year would lead to another but all the hurdles some of her friends experienced last year. Are now haunting her this year. Paley performed in 3 musical productions in 2015. The highlight of the season was her first production with the Children’s Musical Theater over the summer. Earlier this month she performed the role of Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dorks, making that her 7th show to date. Sadly she cannot do another CMT show till Fall 2016 due to her age but she’s already working on her southern accent for her next school production.
While performing and singing is her passion, she also begs now and then to start modeling. I’ve been fighting back this next step because after working in the industry, there is such a thing as too young. Instead we are focused on more fun activities at or after school. Girl Scouts has been a great source of fun and friendship and she will starting Tae Kwan Do in the new year to build up her core strength. She is also looking forward to talking vocal lessons to help her singing. Her secondary role as Big Sister is still paramount in her daily routine. The twins may be getting older and older but they are still young at heart and look up to their big sister like crazy.
Lochlan - Is still focused on all of the rules, at home, school, stores, streets, in the car, you name it. He and his sister started preschool back in August and have enjoyed school every day since. While most parents struggled the first few days or weeks to get out the door without their child breaking down. I struggle to get my children to notice I am leaving or even respond to my request to get a kiss goodbye. I guess you are damned if you or damned if you don’t. As I mentioned in their birthday post, Loch’s rule enforcer personality blossomed this year. He sees all and doesn't let anyone get away with anything. I fear law enforcement is his knack but hopefully we can push him towards politics instead! Nothing like parental pressure.
Potty training was another milestone that we reached in 2015. We were driven to get them trained before school due to the school’s potty trained requirement. After several false starts, I finally read about a potty training philosophy which required the parents to dedicate 3 whole days to monitor and keep a regular schedule to get the child potty trained. The number one rule is to throw away all diapers and never go back. Many people thought I was nuts to not keep night diapers but the philosophy made a lot of sense. Why keep crutches around when your child can walk normal. Lochlan took a good two weeks to go accident free and even managed to sleep through the night accident free. Sadly this stellar start came to an end two months later. Night time accidents is our current issue. Regardless Lochlan’s personality has blossomed greatly along with his physical interest to push boundaries. Sadly out of the two, Lochlan does suffer from twin speak and we are actively working towards helping him leap over this speech hurdle. HIs little sister is always there at his side to act as the translator. Which is what we have fought so hard to not let happen. Is this a fail on our part. No we were well aware of this problem all twins battle during these formidable years.
Margot - is our little wiz kid when it comes to speech and mastering the potty. Now if I can just get her to put on her own jackets. One thing we learned this year is that Margot is longing to join her big sister on the stage to perform. Hamming it up, belting it out or just plum off in her own world performing for her scores of fans. She loves to sing and more importantly she’s mastering her own take on interpretive dance. I’ve found music videos and playing ballet or musicals are fountain of entertainment for her.
While she may be extremely interested in the performing arts, her interest in learning is just as strong. She picks things up so quickly and her memory is strong. Which doesn’t help Dad and Daddy with our potty mouths. Thankfully Paley has always ignored our potty mouths but Margot soaks it up. Even the little catch phrases just drop like bombs here and there. My current favorite, a woman was standing her way in a store and instead of saying “excuse me”, she yells at the woman “you’re killing me, please move!”. I was so shocked but a little proud she used the word please.
I think this year is the hardest most for parents. The mixture of 2’s and 3’s, is an exhausting and stressful time in raising kids. I will admit our kids are great and are pretty well behaved but most people don’t get to see those moments when I am ready to just throw in the towel. Trust me those times are very present. I cringe almost overtime someone says that my children are so perfectly behaved. Tell that to their grandparents who are get talked back to by their grandson. I try hard to stay on top of bad behavior as much as I can. I understand more and more now why parents just let certain battles slide with their children. There are days I feel like a drill sergeant and I loathe that feeling. I’ve made a new pact with Paley this year to start working on curbing my temper, while she works on her sensitivity. This years new mantra was “it’s okay to cry”.
2016 will be a big year for the whole family. We certainly see a lot of change for all of them. The twins will be moving to extended day at school in January. While Paley’s schedule is about to get super busy, I fear play dates are going to rare in the coming new year.