The four-legged critters are napping soundly as it gets close to the end of the school day.  It’s almost like the dogs know they need to power up for the afternoon shift with the kids; they’re soaking up the peace and quiet so they’ll be ready to romp once the youngsters arrive home.

Our friend Katie took this a few years ago. Love, love, love!
Our friend Katie took this a few years ago. Love, love, love it!

These are the two-legged munchkins in the house.  Well, these would be their time warp versions seeing as this pic is a few years old and they’ve grown quite a bit since then.  Apparently my son has decided to match me in the height department before leaving elementary school; I have to say that his odds are looking pretty good considering he still has fifth grade for growing time.

While it’s not glaringly apparent from this particular photo, let’s go ahead and address what’s usually the elephant in the room.  No, this isn’t my second marriage and no, I didn’t have an affair with a handsome mailman/coworker/traveling musician.  (Though I will agree that good grief, these are some good-looking kids!)  We have been blessed with two wonderful children through adoption, and that’s a story that I’ll share another time…I just figured I’d go ahead and put it out there since my hubby is (God bless him) super-white (especially in this photo) and I’ve already told you about my Italian roots…let’s just say we’ve gotten some lingering looks when we first arrive somewhere as a family.

T-man is finishing up fourth grade this year and turns eleven years old this summer.  (Eleven!  I can’t even process this.)  He’s seriously active, which works out well since we’re not big on video games/screen time.  If it’s an outdoor activity, he’s into it.  I finally had to make a rule that it has to be above freezing for outdoor play, and even then I have to double-check his wardrobe to make sure he’s not running out to play in a hoodie.  His latest love is skateboarding.  And by love, I mean total and complete obsession.  As in, shortly after he’d started skating I stumbled out of the bedroom one school morning to find him putting his breakfast plate into the dishwasher — he’d gotten up early, made his own waffles, and filled his snack water bottle so he could skateboard before school.  Say what?!  As I write I can hear the board slamming around in the garage as he works on mastering tricks from books and YouTube.  He can be extremely focused, but then again I can’t say I don’t know what it’s like to love something that much.  (Hello, pretty laptop with the brand new blog on the screen.)

Bear is finishing third grade and will be nine years old in a few months.  (Again, what’s with the growing up thing?  I seriously remember thinking they would be in diapers forever and I would never survive it, yet here we are.)  She’s pretty much wide open…she adores her brother and is having a bit of trouble adjusting to the idea that he wants more time to himself these days.  She’s a very interesting mix of tomboy and girly-girl.  Girlfriend loves her some glittery polish and clothes and shoes and purses and singing Taylor Swift at the top of her lungs.  (Yes, it’s true, we are a TS zone and Lord help me if I can’t sing every single one of her songs, including the ones from 1989, which was named for the year she was born, sweet young thing that she is.  We are major TS fans in these parts; even T-man has been beaten down to the point that he simply suffers in silence because the moaning and groaning about having to listen didn’t help a bit.)  So girly-girl loves to rock out some fashion, but most afternoons she’s also out there running with the kids playing in the yards.  Scooters, bikes, trampoline, driving the go-kart…she kicked butt at basketball this winter, and when I pick her up from percussion practice she likes to show me how many chin ups she can do on the bar in the gym.  Oh, and lately she and T-man have been showing off their stellar push-up abilities before bed.  Let me tell you, that girl has got some GUNS!

And those are my kiddos — funny, silly, infuriating, lovable, mess-making, nut jobs that they are.  We have good days and bad days and days in between, but we’re family.