1. I still love to write. Always have. Probably always will. It's theraputic and relaxing and I just love it.
2. I love it when people read what I write and I love reading what other people write. I am not perfect and I feel like if we were all willing to talk about things that we need to work on in our lives, then we wouldn't feel so alone in our struggles.
3. I'm really really really bad with keeping up with a 31 day challenge. Like, really bad.
I think I am going to stop calling this a "31 Day Challenge", and start calling it a "31 Changes Challenge"...it takes much longer than 31 days to make any kind of substantial change in your life...and that change should be a permanant change, not a change that only lasts during the 31 day challenge.
So, here is my 9th chage...
There is one thing that became so insanely clear to me this month. I talk a lot about my son and how he is a huge motivation for me to be a better person. This month, I really took the time to evaluate how I interact with him, and I learned something that I proabably should have known all along.
Since the time Grayson was a baby, he has always been so in tune to my feelings. I remember holding him while we were at a big gathering one time, and he wanted nothing to do with me. When I handed him off to Nick, he was fine. When I took him back, he would have another melt down. I didn't realize until then how uptight and nervous I was about being around all of those people. He could feel that, and because of that, he couldn't relax while I was holding him.
That is one example of many. Grayson has always been very aware of how I am feeling and the mood I am in. This month, I started paying attention to how I spoke to and interacted with other kids Grayson's age. One of the things I noticed was how little and fragile and young those other kids seemed. They all seemed so innocent! I realized that I didn't treat Grayson the same way I would treat another 4 year old. I hold him to a higher standard, which is fine, but I really felt like on a pretty consistant basis, I was being too harsh with him.
I decided that I would try to change my attitude toward him for a day, and see what happened. I was shocked, to say the least. My little boy was a completely different kid. He thrived on praise and hugs and kisses! He was so well-behaved and sweet, and so much more willing to do what I asked him to do.
It makes a lot of sense, though. I don't want someone yelling at me all the time. I wouldn't respond well to that. I need a lot of pats on the back and "good jobs!" and hugs and smiles and laughter. I don't know why I thought Grayson would be any different. He is JUST like me. Of course he needs those things to be the best that he can be, too.
The other day we were in the car and we were singing and being silly. We were having a really good day, and I was trying extra hard to be patient with Grayson and to be kind in the way I spoke to him. All of a sudden, Grayson said, "Mommy, I really like it when you're happy! I don't like it when you are mad." I asked him if he thought I was mad a lot, and he said, "Yeah, you ARE mad a lot! But today you are happy and I like it!" ...I love the brutal honesty of a 4 year old.
Obviously I still have days where I am short-tempered and have a hard time being patient, but I am working and making a concious effort to change the way I interact with him. He is a sweet, silly, crazy, loving, smart, kind, and amazing little boy, and he deserves my patience and understanding. Tenley is still a baby, so this stuff doesn't effect her yet, but it will...and hopefully by the time she is Grayson's age, I'll have this whole "mom" thing a little more figured out. :-)
We took family pictures for the fist time in a loooooong time, and so far I am in LOVE with the pictures we have seen! Kelsey Ray Photography rocks my socks off.
So proud of these two sweeties!
My beautiful family!
She told us to tickle...and this is the cuteness that came from that.