I have quit expecting my house to be anything less than loud. ALL.THE.TIME. Luckily since I teach high school kids for a living I can tune out most any craziness and a part of me has just accepted that a house of boys = activity at epic proportion.
Over the fall the boys have begun to play together in every way possible. It is sweet, sweet happiness to watch Ben help Ian, introduce his friends to his little brother (typically by picking him up and demanding you tell him hello), and more often that not keep my fearless Ian from nearly killing himself on a daily basis.
In 2011 I felt like we became our family of 4 in so many ways. The decision that are are 2 and done was made, moving from babyhood to God help us toddlerhood and needing to double up parenting when needed, and the ability to move into other long range plans with the house off the 2012 plans.
Goals for our family this year:
1. Fine tuning the am rush of getting me leaving by 6:30am, Ben on the bus at 6:55, Ian dropped off at school and Bill to work on time. For a family of lateness I want to cut down on everyone starting their day stressed. In general Bill and I both need to work on patience and not becoming frustrated when Ian in particular pushes us to his Toddler limits.
2. Goal of spending as much time with the boys on weeknights and finding some one on one time with each child at some part of each weekend. Our Tuesday date nights have now moved to weekends due to the early weekday start. Bill is doing Karate with Ben starting this Saturday while I do a walking stroller date with Ian at the playground. I tend to walk the dog with Ben on the nearby Greenway most Sundays while Bill takes Ian. We take turns helping with homework which has both helped us support what is going on in his classroom. We also are both trying to volunteer once a month in his class.
3. We want to take a family vacation in July. The trip we want to plan may be more than we want to take on with a toddler so while we have blocked the week we are talking over if this is the year to do CA Disneyland and San Fransciso. I say yes.. want to weigh in on Bill? I am traveling with the boys to FL in June and Ben is likely taking a solo flight to see my MIL in March.
4. Keep up the Sunday night weekly family check in for Bear Bucks Payout to Ben, check in on everyone's schedule for the week, and any issues that need to be addressed. We started this last goal this fall in the midst of attempting to reel in behavior. It's a plan I hope we can keep going as the kids are older, more involved, and by the teen years need to hear that despite all being involved with work and school we are first and foremost a family that supports each other.
My family goal for 2012 is much the same as most years to make our family about experiences not stuff that the boys will remember. 2011 was a good year for our family so keeping up the supports already in place is the 2012 plan.