Thursday, August 27, 2009

FINDING MYSELF

Our kids were definitely born with their own unique personalities.

From the moment Ava was born, she has been tender and emotional, happy and silly, yet pensive and focused. Even as a baby, she was so in tune with other people's emotions, always showing concern and knowing just when a smile or a cuddle was necessary. She's still that way. Her feelings are easily hurt, yet she is quick to forgive. She finds joy in the simplest things (dandelions, an ant carrying a piece of food, a newly-sharpened pencil). She remembers the tiniest details, like how many times a horse sneezed when she rode it several months ago, and often surprises us with the little memories she recounts. She'll do just about anything to make you laugh. And when she does, the joy that beams out of her face is just priceless.


She climbed into her baby doll crib then called us up to her room. We couldn't find her until we heard a giggle coming from the corner of her room. This is what we found! Goofball!

She has an imagination that seems too large to fit in her little body. Even from a young age, other parents and pediatricians told me just how developed her imagination was. I didn't realize because I was so used to it. I still am. But, now I recognize what a gift it is. I will often sit outside her room as she plays and just listen to the stories she comes up. From picnics in the park with her Care Bears to rescuing her princesses from a terrifying ogre, each story has a plot, plenty of excitement and, of course, a happy ending. More often than not, she never even realizes I've been watching her; she's too engrossed in her own little world. But, it's when she reads that we completely lose her. When she has a book in her hand, we don't even exist. Even though she can't technically "read" she knows the stories and what happens on each page, and while she can only pick out and sound out a few words, she uses her memory to fill in the rest.

Jax, on the other hand is all boy, always has been and, I'm sure always will be. He's fearless and mischievous, laid-back yet determined. He loves to cuddle and laugh, and absolutely adores his big sister. When Jax was a newborn the nurses in the hospital all commented on how good-natured he was. Fifteen months later, nothing has changed. It takes a lot to upset him. Sure, he gets frustrated if he can't fit a block in it's coordinating-shaped hole, but more often than not, he's smiling. He loves to be startled and to play chase, often starting the game by growling and attacking or running into the kitchen shrieking, hoping someone will come after him. Now that he can walk, nothing makes him happier than being outside. He loves to sit in the grass picking out individual blades, dig in the dirt and smoosh it between his fingers and bugs make him so happy!

Loves his dirt!

He is so aware of the noises and sights around him, often shouting "AIRPANE" and pointing to the sky long before we've seen or heard the plane. He climbs on everything, throws everything (the kid has a cannon) and will turn just about anything into a hammer and begin banging. He adores his big sister. When I get him out of his crib each morning, he immediately asks for her. He loves to play with her hair and follows her around everywhere. If Ava dances, Jax dances. When she goes upstairs, he goes upstairs. If Ava reads a book, so does her baby brother. It's cute just how much he loves her.

Ava paints, so Jax paints :)

He is definitely a Mama's Boy, though. On several occasions each day, he'll walk over to me plop himself on my lap and cuddle with me, patting my back and giving me sweet little kisses. He cries when I leave and bangs on the bathroom door when I'm in it (I'm hoping he'll grow out of that). His vocabulary is amazing. He often surprises us when, out of nowhere, he'll say a new word or mimic a word the first time we say it to him. He wants so badly to hold conversations with us (especially Ava) and tries so hard to do so.

Why this blog post today?

I've been a little overwhelmed lately. My business is keeping me more than busy and often allowing me to get only a few hours of sleep a night. There have, unfortunately, been a few days when I've had to work while the kids were awake; something I try with all my might not to do. I've felt like I'm slacking as a mother. Andy and friends assure me this isn't the case, however, I've set a certain standard for myself as a mom, and when I feel as if I'm not living up to that standard I can't help but be frustrated and a little concerned. I realized I, in the past few weeks, have slightly lost sight of what's important. And, in the hustle and bustle of designing, filling orders, packaging, repeat, I've also lost a little of myself.

When Ava was born, and I decided to leave my career and stay home with her, I became a new person. As trite as it sounds, it's true. I always thought my dream was to be a reporter. But, a teeny little girl helped me discover that my dream was to actually be a mom. She helped me find who I really am. Fast forward 26 months and Jax blessed our life, helping me to realize even more that the most important thing I can do in my life is be a mother. It's a big job. It's not glamorous, and there's no monetary pay. But, what I lack in glamour and fashion, is made up for in the smiles my kids wear on their faces. And while I'm not paid with money, I am overpaid with love and affection, laughter and memories.

Nothing is more important to me than my family. Nothing. While my business is a huge blessing, my husband and kids are even bigger blessings. So, today, I made a few changes. I decided that I WILL NOT work Sundays and Mondays. I won't even turn my computer on to check e-mails from customers, I won't work on orders. Sundays and Mondays are for my family. When the kids are sleeping (which is when I normally work) I will spend time with Andy, read, sew, clean; small and simple things, yet important to me. On "work days" (Tues-Sat.) I will work ONLY when the kids are sleeping. And when they're awake, my attention will be fully committed to them. I won't allow my mind to wander and make lists of all I have to accomplish or e-mails I have to answer. I will play with my kids, read to them, teach them, just be with them 100%. Before I begin work each night, I will go to the gym. And each month I will read atleast one book -- non-childrens :)

I know this blog may sound dramatic. But, I needed to write it. As moms we try to do it all. And it is so easy to lose sight of ourselves and what is truly important, even if just for an instant. But really, if you take a step back and evaluate, we CAN do it all. Because as mothers and wives, the most important thing we CAN do is love our families, make them our top priority. If we do that, everything else seems inconsequential. And doing it all, becomes a joy, rather than a pain.

Playing in the living room fort with Daddy

I wrote this blog to remind myself, and to let anyone who reads this know just how blessed I am. I have an amazing husband, who supports me in all that I do, and teaches me more each day than he will ever know. And best of all, he makes me laugh. Ava and Jaxon are wonderful. They are their own little people and I have an important responsibility to love them, teach them, guide them and nurture their unique little personalities, so they always know who they are and never lose themselves.

2 comments:

The K Family said...

Very well written my dear. You ARE indeed blessed with such a beautful family and kudos to you for taking some time off from here on out to spend time with them. For as little as your kids are, it means the world to them!

Laun and Catherine said...

Such cute kids!