She’s sleeping in our bed nested deep in the many layered covers that help me feel like a lead apron is upon me. (I felt very relaxed the first time I had an xray performed.)

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She’s sweaty and restless, successfully fighting off seasonal germs and bad dreams, most likely working out the stress of the day in her sleep. Her hair mysteriously smells like cloves when she’s like this and I wonder if it’s her body chemistry, the rare treat of sleeping in her parents bed, or my olfactory senses.

She, Nora, is almost five and he, Owen, is almost two. She’s keenly observant and sensitive but showing moments of willfulness that I admire despite the momentary frustration. There’s glimpses of what the future holds for us. Her independence will serve her well and she teaches her brother new tricks every day. She holds his hand and helps him without being asked, consoles him the best she can (normally by thrusting a car in his face), and bosses him benevolently as only a big sister can.

I feel like we’re starting to reach a manageable level of madness yet again. Our babies are in toddler clothes or larger, the baby toys and gear are gone, everyone is running and I am off to keep up.

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This year I will stick to discussing topics as they come and less about tracking milestones. Nora-isms will still be noted and Owen oddities will as well but in the context of my observations. Happy new year and best wishes for all.

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