The kids are no longer infants, and while they are still very little, they are becoming more self sufficient with each day. They no longer wake up at night (with the exception of nightmares and schedule changes, but that happens even when you are a grownup), and they are sleeping later in the morning. They nap at the same time each day, which makes it so I am not only rested from a full eight hours of sleep, but I also am the welcome recipient of at least 2 hours each day to myself. I am certain that this is my reward for having kids that didn't sleep through the night consistently until they were 10 months old.
This is also the time when having two kids close in age is no longer the hardship that is was when Little David was first born. Now, don't get me wrong, it is still hard, but no where near as draining and mind consuming as it was. They now go to sleep at the same time, wake up at the same time, nap at the same time, and can play together. It makes parenting them and scheduling their day and mine SO much easier.
Tot has started to dress herself and is learning to buckle her own seatbelt. She can put her clothes in the dirty clothes hamper when asked and can get herself into her eating chair and snap her tray on. She can tell me when she is hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, wet, dirty (well, sometimes), and bored. She can tell me when she needs help and what exactly she needs help with. Tot can put herself to sleep, turn on her cartoons, and eat all of her meals with almost no assistance. ANd seriously, can you believe how old she looks here?? Hard to tell she's not even three!
Little David is getting more independent as well. He no longer wakes up in the middle of the night, he sleeps later and later and is slowly detaching himself from my hip. He can feed himself finger foods, play for long periods by himself, and open doors. He can turn off the internet faster than you can blink and can play peek-a-boo even when there is nothing to hide behind (he just closes his eyes). The best part is that he is starting to walk just a smidge more each day. I have a feeling he will always be my cautious child, but he gets braver and braver as he takes more steps. He does all of this with a close eye on me, making sure that he is never too far away. It is definitely a step up from having to hold him every moment :)
All of these new skills combined have made this a particularly great time in life for David and I. We get to spend more time together as a family each night, talking walks, playing in Tot's room, or listening to David play guitar and dancing. Dave & I get to spend more time alone each night, not having to get Little David back to bed every two hours, and on the weekends naptime is precious. We get to curl up and watch TV and read, or get things done around the house, each of us feeling like we got a little rest time.
I have to say that it feels like the tide turned right as Dave & I went on Cincos, Baby!. The weeks prior I was plain old exhausted and at my wits end, unsure if I would even live to see our vacation. I think it was a combination of me actually getting rested up and the kids gradually getting to this point, but however it happened, I am so very grateful for this season of our life.
Marriage is good. Kids are good. Life is good.
And that, my friends, is strong.