Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Being Brothers

Oh boys.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it is really odd how different siblings can be?

This is not a new subject for me.  No, it is a constant mystery to confound me.  How can two boys, raised in the same house by the same parents, loved and treated in the same way, turn out so very different? 

I say turn out, but let's be honest.  As surely as Henry did come into this world a shy and observant young chap, Wyatt did certainly come flying out with a boisterous and uninhibited personality.  They were who they were from the get-go. 

It is also quite interesting (entertaining?) that one child's personality is very much like Jim and the other is VERY MUCH his mother.  I'm not saying who takes after who. 

What?  I was totally quiet and shy once...ish.


In any case, as polar opposite as they may be, there is no hindrance of love between them.

Henry may not always understand why his brother is perfectly happy doing is own thang (oh yeah, that is not a typo), but he is almost always willing to change what he is doing to play with Wyatt.  He loves to teach Wyatt things, to make him belly laugh and do silly things like march the Happy Dance.

And although they are very, very different, they are also very, very alike.

See?  Crazies.

As God did match the differences between Jim and me in a crazy yet perfect way, our boys are matched and balanced the same.  Wyatt is risky; Henry is careful.  Henry is shy; Wyatt yells at strangers.  Henry will eat anything you give him, or at least try new foods; Wyatt will not try anything new unless you say it is a hot dog.  Henry is obedient and compliant; Wyatt is challenging.  Wyatt is bold as all get out; Henry is timid and often unsure.

Despite all this, they are the greatest of buddies and a perfect compliment to each other.  I can't wait to see how much they love each other when they are teenagers.


Together, they are crazy and loud and silly and sweet.  Little bro wants to be just like big bro. 

And sometimes, when I am cleaning out a closet, Wyatt will find some of Henry's old things and want to put them on, which makes Henry very upset because he cannot also wear his Dutch Boy Halloween costume from when he was two and be just like Wyatt. 

Because who doesn't want to look like a choir boy in a Star Wars shirt?

Which is what made me write this post in the first place.

Oh boys.
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Thursday, January 05, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

Please...join me as I relive the tale of Marr Christmas 2012.

'Twas the night before Christmas...  Or a few nights before anyhow, when Henry and Wyatt got to open their first gift of the season.  It was from my parents and marked with "Open BEFORE Christmas!"  The boys had no qualms with that whatsoever, however, there were some hurt feelings (aka whining) the next evening when there weren't more presents to open.  Mwahahaha!

Anyways, my parents did one of those record-a-books so the boys could hear Grandma and Grandpa Johnson read to them.  Pretty cool, especially since we don't get to see them often at all!  Here's a glimpse of their first viewing:

Funny stuff.  And if you're wondering, Wyatt was a little afraid of the picture of Santa Claus putting a present under the tree.  I mean, come on.  That is scary stuff.  Also, if you're wondering, yes.  We have listened to this book approximately 287 times.  Thanks for asking!

On to the next night when Grandma and Grandpa Marr arrived!  Hurray!  We had heard of nothing else for days.  When is Friday?  When is Christmas Eve Eve?  When will Grandma and Grandpa be here?  Is it Friday yet?

Here is Wyatt in his Christmas Eve Eve pajamas, also lovingly known as Henry's old Christmas PJ's.  Does someone know he's cute or what?  Honestly, this child.

Fast forward one day.  One of Jim's favorite traditions growing up was having egg rolls on New Years Eve.  Meaning, his mom and dad stood by a deep fryer for an hour making LOADS of egg rolls for him to devour.  Lucky for him, his mother still really loves him and brought some of her kitchen with her for what was a busy but fun (and yummy) Christmas Eve.  We all went to our church's Christmas Eve service at 4:00 and then rushed home to begin working on dinner.  Or, watching Grandma and Grandpa make dinner.

Wyatt was excited but he didn't really know why.

Henry and Wyatt opened another "Before Christmas" gift from my parents, which was a plate and mug for Santa's snacks.  Henry loved this, and spent lots and lots of time thinking about which cookies and treats would make it on the plate.  Once he made his choices, we made a huge to-do about it and placed the treats and some water (because Santa might get a tummy ache from more milk) by the tree.  I might have dramatically presented the treats before Jim with much exuberance (you know, 'cause he's got to eat them and make the perfect crumbs) as he lay on the couch unable to move due to egg roll overkill.  (They're delicious, I tell you.  I know this from my previous life with gluten.) 

Then all of a sudden, it was Christmas morning!  I got up a little early to put breakfast in the oven and get ready a bit before the boys woke up around 7, like normal.  7:00 rolls around...still sleeping...7:15...are you kidding me?  So we woke them up.  Come on now!  It's Christmas!  Wake up! 

Speaking of waking up on Christmas, did you know that my parents would wake us up at 5:00 AM?  I am not kidding.  Year after year of Grumpy One and Grumpy Two (that's me and my brother) and they still thought it was a good idea to do this.  It was one of the few times that my brother and I were on the same team.  Team Our Parents Have Problems.  Love you guys!  To make matters even more awesome (not!), our baby sister was born when I was 16 (the pinnacle of my grumpiness) and from day one she was the epitome of Christmas joy at the 5 AM wake up call.  WHATEVER, JACI!

Did I also mention that one year, after I was married, we were with my family on Christmas and my adorable little sister was yammering on a mile a minute about how she had SO many more presents than everyone else (at 5 AM, may I remind you), while the rest of us sat and rolled our eyes at the ridiculousness of this preposterous 7 year old...and then my parents' ginormous tree fell on top of her?  HAHAHA!  My brother caught it before it crushed her, and I kinda got in trouble for laughing so hard even though I was a grown adult, but it was still awesome. 

And yes, I really, truly love my little sister. But she's still ridiculous!  And if you say it runs in the family, I will throw a tree on you!

Whoa.  Major tangent there.  Moving on!

And now we bring you the latest episode of Awkward Brother Photos:

I thought Henry did a great job being cute, but Wyatt could not take his eyes off the Ghost of Christmas future!  Yeesh!  Though...I wonder...

Here's the party animals of the group, ready to begin:

We started by reading from Luke 2 which Henry listened so intently to.  He had heard the Christmas story so much in Sunday School and Awana and us talking about it that month that he was very interested to hear it from Daddy's Bible.  In typical Wyatt fashion, our littlest goober cozied up to listen to a good book.  Little did he know it was THE Good Book.  I know.  Wow, Steph. 

It may seem like it's just a tradition, but I love bringing the focus first and foremost to Jesus.  That even though the excitement over presents and toys and decorations and lights is okay, we are celebrating the birth of our KING.  When our children come to that understanding, it is so special.  Christmas with Henry this year was just simply awesome.


I feel like it's kind of difficult to segue from that to this.  So...PEANUT BUTTER!  Now your mind's all muddled.

This is Wyatt opening a gift that Henry picked out for him.  It's really something else to see your children grow in so many different ways, including the desire to please those you love.  Henry was so excited for Wyatt to open it because he knows how much Wyatt loves playing with cars.  Cute.

Oh, my first babe.  Such a ham.  So excited.  The best part is, he was just as excited to see what other people received as he was for himself.  He was constantly reminding people, "It's your turn!  See what you got!"  Also cute.

This next picture is great, because it is pretty much what it looks like whenever Grandma Marr is here.  Wyatt knows she will happily cuddle up and read, read, read.  If you read my previous post, you would understand the magnitude of this gift.  Luckily for both of them, he got a couple new books, so she got to read them over and over and over...

That is where our Christmas pictures end.  We were enjoying the day so much that we forgot to pick the camera back up!  And what a day.  So fun, so full, so family. <--does that belong in a sermon, or what?

I even made a Christmas ham!  I don't know about you, but that makes me feel like a graduate of Christmas School. 

You might think this overlong post should end now.

But it does not!

Henry was super excited about New Years, so he decorated:
Love that boy.
Also, we are not ready to let go of Christmas just yet.  This little one has sang this song at least 10 times a day, every day since Christmas:

...which is okay with me.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!

One of Wyatt's favorite past times is reading books.  Listening to someone else read him books.  Yes, that sounds more like it.  However, since no one has every moment of every day available to devote to reading books to him (unless Grandma is here!), he likes to carry them around the house and read them loudly to himself.  Almost daily, we are woken up around 7 am to the sounds of said loud reader or to the sound of him chucking finished books to the other side of his room.  Often, as Jim and I are still half-slumbering in our bed, we are brought to giggles at the sound of Wyatt laughing over whatever his book just told him.  He's a nut. 

Anyhow, this video doesn't really show any of that, but it is a clip of something that I literally see daily.  This is Wyatt, reading his very favorite book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Props to Aunt Becky!  Thanks for buying this for Henry on his 2nd Christmas.  Wyatt loooooves it somethin' fierce.  As in he recites it to himself all day. 

This video was taken at the very beginning of December, so I assure you that he doesn't skip from page 3 to the last page anymore.  He has been practicing.  A lot.  Loudly.