Fast-forward 3 years later and I've never again worked on this most wonderful of weeks. It was this week that we hiked all of Austin in 2011, played in a castle and everyone else in 2012, and dragged an infant to all the parks and tourist attractions in Fort Worth in 2013. Both JP and I always managed to be off, which takes being home with the kids for 9 days from potentially yelly and cabin-fever-inducing to free-wheeling and awesome. Errands can be run, workouts can happen, and dinner can easily be made, and in the middle there is tons of playing and giggling and adventures and walks and games and sometimes just he and I standing together in a room smiling while we listen to the kids laugh and make up games in another. It is the best week.
I've had many moments in the past few weeks where I've been deeply sad at getting increasingly close to not having a baby in the house anymore. That this was our last Christmas with a baby. That footie pj's and joyous baby claps and those soft heavy sighs a baby makes when they rest their head on your shoulder just before bed... that all of that was going to be a memory. I've never felt this way before and the toddler years are my very favorite, so I know I have much to look forward to, but I just couldn't shake it. I genuinely want to freeze Cora or at least reallly slow her down and I feel a little overwhelmed at times just how quickly her babyhood is flying by. I think it's having the big kids around- the more trying aspects of having a baby are so diluted by having other kids to focus on and the awesome aspects seem magnified a hundred fold when you have three other people in the house so delighted by them. And because we have big kids, we are out doing fun things all the time that you would never do if you just had a 13-month-old in December (like going to the zoo in 35-degree weather), but the big kids had a blast and Cora has fun and we're out of the house and it would really be best if she could just stay our walking, babbling, clapping 1-year-old mascot forever. Pretty please.
But then yesterday I was watching her really play with Landon and Claire. L&C had built a fort with their PBK chairs and new sleeping bags and Cora's slide was the exit ramp and Cora was going down it and screaming in joy and then crawling into their tent and sitting up, looking SO proud to be part of this very official Big Kid Game, and I remembered that this is fun too. That 18 months is my favorite, as is 2 and 3, and all the kid years we've seen so far. That for over an hour JP and I did our own thing while occasionally popping a head in the other room to make sure Cora hadn't wandered off, but no, there she was, in the middle of it all and having a glorious time.
Three kids is a party. Mildly chaotic, but truly so much fun to be part of. Especially when you can opt for a supervisory part while you lounge on the couch reading a book about romantic time traveling Druid Scottish Highlanders from the 16th century.
Alright time to google a fake New Year's Eve countdown for the kids before JP and I can light some candles, pop the champagne, and get on with our own fancy NYE Quartino night- the meat and cheese and dark chocolate desserts await! Wishing you all a fun and safe farewell to 2014 and a fabulous 2015!