My baby girl is 3 years old. How do I have a 3 year old? I guess time flies when you’re having fun. I remember when we brought our cupcake home from the hospital just like it was yesterday. We were so enthralled by our firstborn, and three years later, we still are. She’s quirky, so fun to be around, has the funniest cartoon voice when she talks to her brothers, she’s smart, wise, and is a little chatterbox right until she closes those pretty eyes at night. Dhara loves fun and anything that has to do with it. She’s got tons of energy and can play all day and all night if you let her. Bedtime is not her favorite time of the day because that means she has to waste the time she could be using for play — kinda like Olivia. She’s got quite the imagination, and loves playing with anyone who will dare to imagine with her.
Dhara loves her brothers. She talks to them like they’re much younger than her. She calls them “buddy.” She still tries to pick them up and roughhouse with them — something we’re repeatedly having to tell her not to do. She loves going under the covers with them, and they love it too. Rohan won’t put up with much of Dhara’s antics, but Kieran will give her a fight.
Now that Dhara is three, Greg and I are interested in starting school with her. Of course we’ve been teach her things along the way, but I’d like to introduce something a little more than the live and learn approach we’ve been doing. More on the topic of homeschooling later.
As of November of last year, Dhara has learned to use the potty. Up until then, it was a disaster trying to teach her — she’s smart in so many things, but using the potty like a big girl was something she just didn’t want to do. Thank God she knows now, and she goes all by herself — what a relief! I always tell people that I wish kids had an automatic download of information at age 2 that enables them to know exactly how to use the potty. As you can see, I didn’t like the whole process of potty training. I guess the only advice I can give is: put them in underwear (pull-ups are pretty much diapers), and take them to the bathroom every 30 – 45 minutes. It takes time for them to “get it”, but consistent repetition is the best way for them to learn. Otherwise you’ll do what I did for the longest time and be cleaning up a ton of messes because I didn’t stick to the 30 – 45 minute window.
[Thanks Ohio Becky for the adorable salvar Dhara is wearing in her 3 year shoot!]
For Dhara’s 3rd birthday party, it was part of a combined Christmas party/Dhara party/and Josh’s graduation party. We had a lovely gathering of family folk. We cooked and baked up a storm — as it’s been in years past, Dhara’s strawberry birthday cake was homemade by Zumie. It was so delish! Dhara was super shy when everyone sang happy birthday to her, she couldn’t quite get her speech out in the end (like last year).
This last photo wonderfully portrays my daughter. She can be so naughty at times, but she’s hilarious and so full of spunk. The above photo was taken as soon as she got caught sneaking a cupcake and eating it quietly in the corner before her party began.
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My little brother isn’t so little anymore. I remember the times when we were younger. I was 8 when he was born. Times like, having to wipe his little 3 year old tush after hearing him repeatedly yelling from the bathroom, “somebody wipe me!”, or him riding my brand new REI bike without my permission and having it stolen and not telling me for 3 weeks, even him coming to my horseback riding lessons and laughing uncontrollably when I almost fell off my horse during a gallop, or when I would hear a knock on my attic bedroom door in the middle of the night because Josh, around 7 or 8 years old at the time, was afraid of the dark — hey, what are big sister’s for??
josh + greg!
Babies always love Josh — as long as I can remember, that is a known fact in my circle. My own babies are no exception. They love him so much it’s quite interesting actually. You see it on their faces as soon as they lay eyes on him. It’s like their thinking, “oh that’s my dear Uncle Josh. I love that guy.” Josh is a baby lover. He would come home from college after midnight — you’d hear him walk in, throw his backpack down, and race to Greg/my bedroom — a quiet tap on our door would come next. “Are the babies awake?” he’d always ask in a whisper. And the answer would almost always be the same, “No, Josh, they’re sleeping.” He never gave up though, so on occasion if a baby stirred at that moment, I would let Josh hold them.
josh + my mom admiring the boys
uncle josh singing to his niece + nephews
loves his nephews to death
So my little brother isn’t so little anymore. In the last few years I’ve seen him grow into a man. He’s persevered through trials, put his faith into action, and has seen mighty miracles. He’ll surely have many beautiful tales to tell his nieces/ nephews, kids, etc when they get older. As of recently Josh casually walked into a career fair and landed a corporate job with his dashing good looks and pleasant ways and the unmerited grace of God. Before he starts his job this coming June, he’s doing a 6 month Internship at the International House of Prayer (IHOP). Even though he’s lived out of the house for 4 years now, and has been gone for summer internships, it’s the first time my family felt the heavy feeling that he’s really leaving Maryland, and we’re not sure when and if he’ll ever be back as a permanent resident. Of course he’ll visit, but that’s never the same.
Life is interesting that way — you grow up with people, dear people, and because life’s paths are so different for everyone, you are left with the memories of days gone by. We miss him alot, but we are so very proud of who he’s become. A good brother, a humble son, an amazing uncle (their one and only uncle!), the loyalist of friends, annointed worship leader, a broken sinner, and best of all, a child of the Living God. [My apologies for the sentimental post. I had to get this all out.]
greg, josh, and my paw paw
rohan + josh
kieran + josh
greg praying over josh at Chi Alpha UMBC, josh’s last meeting
brothers for life
church eldership praying over josh on his last sunday at ICF
Josh, may “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Number 6:24-26. You’ll always be my little brother even if you’re not so little anymore. Love you!
Here I am still catching up on posts, please bear with me. Once Greg and I started a family, I knew I wanted to start doing family portraits for our Christmas card every year. And the last 3 years, I’ve managed to accomplish it no matter how crazy hard it can be photographing wee ones on a chilly fall day. But it’s always been worth it in the end. I love seeing us all happy, in love, and growing as a family — it’s something I love sharing with family and friends. I’m hoping to get into the habit of turning each one into a Christmas ornament — a fun way to cherish these moments for years to come.
2012’s family portrait came from the 6 months old film we did for the boys. This is one of my most favorite family photos yet with our two new babies being priceless additions to the Smith Family. I couldn’t decide on if I liked the color version or black + white version better for our Christmas card, but ended up going with color since there were fun splashes of red and green.
And just for kicks, here’s a runner up to the above picture. I love the expressions on all three children — jovial Rohan, pure joy; darling Dhara, my dear girl always ready to laugh; and swashbuckling Kieran, with the face of those early century children you find in old black + white photos at antique stores, plus he looks like he’s totally up to something mischievous. : )
As November rolled around, a part of me swore we were only married 4 years. But then I would repeatedly count the years on my fingers and come up with the number five. No way. Although my mind can’t wrap itself around the idea, based on repeated counts, we have surely been married 5 years. Wow. Four didn’t seem so old, but five is definitely old. : )
Five years, three kids later, I look at the man I married and I am so happy I waited, persevered, and saw the miracle that is Greg and I. It’s what brings a smile to my heart when I see our children, or when we have to face something difficult, or better yet, when I gaze over a crowded room and see his face. I’m glad it’s him.
I’m thankful to Jesus for His goodness in our lives these past five years. “Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-8
For our five year anniversary we stayed a night in Lancaster, PA. We started off the evening at a lovely restaurant, stayed the night downtown in a quaint room overlooking the city (thanks to Greg’s parents!), and spent the following day antiquing in the antique’s capital of the United States and hitting Central Market for a Mennonite cookbook! (Greg knows me all too well.) We walked away with some lovely loot to refinish and restore. Here’s to good times ahead with my love.
As the months pass it’s so amazing to learn how different our little guys are from each other. They are completely different in every way. And it’s their differences that we love about each one. It’s becoming more and more fun to have twins. Yes, there are still lots of hard days — but just having them here with us outweighs any sort of bad. As parents of twins, Greg and I feel so blessed that we have so much help at my parents house. Of course we would get through it if we lived on our own, but having the help and family around really takes the stress off our shoulders. Everyone here loves taking care of them, so once in a while Greg and I can even sneak out for an evening together.
Rohan is becoming a little less smiley and watches more. Yes he still has that beautiful smile, but it comes out a little less. I think he’s realizing that he doesn’t know new faces, and prefers the faces he sees everyday. Rohan loves to be carried. He’s not very mobile at the moment — only being able to roll — he watches Kieran zip here and there on all fours. Sometimes he attempts to get up on all fours, only to sway forward and backward — a little timid to move forward. He started shaking his head for “no” — it’s really adorable to see, (but not for long, right??). He also says “mama” and “dada”, but if I ask him to say “mama” he shakes his head “no.” It’s become a fun little game between him and I. Rohan is a solid baby. Solid cheeks, solid thighs, solid little feet.
Kieran is so funny. He is a ball of energy, that’s for sure! He’s rolling, crawls fast like lightening, and pulls himself up to a standing position. Sometimes he even attempts to crawl up on kid chairs. He’s a daredevil. When he falls he gets right back up — unless he bonks his head real hard which happens alot these days. The boy needs a helmet! He’s very cheery, and is quick to smile. He loves to give kisses, the only problem is that he has enough slobber for two babies. It’s funny to listen to him talk because he has so much to say. Lots of syllables, sounds and slurs. Compared to all my babies, he’s significantly lighter in weight. Weird, since it seems like I usually have the rolly polly ones.
I’m so behind on posts! So let me begin my catch-up with the twins turning 7 months old. I missed their regular monthly shoot, so I decided to make it up with my beloved Instagram photos. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I love Instagram. I’m currently in the process of making our family photo book for 2012 capturing an almost day by day Instgram photo — so excited about this!
Rohan: sits up with help. rolls over onto tummy, but then can’t roll back, so let’s out a big wail for help. can say “umma” (“kiss” in my language) multiple times. smiles all the time. bottom two teeth crowned. camera ham. loves baby food. calm + gentle.
Kieran: crawls. sits. says “mama” and “dada.” bottom two teeth crowned. so energetic/always moving. loves real people food. loves to be where the action is. resilient.