Justin had to work an extremely long day on Thursday (conference night followed by two hours of tutoring), so we were on our own all day. At first I wanted to go somewhere and do something special with the kids. But as we were making our way through breakfast I realized they are happiest and most peaceful when we stop doing and just are. They don't need a lot of extra activities or adventures. They are 1 and 2. Playing at home and in our yard is adventurous enough! So, we just were on Thursday. And what a peaceful day it was. I wanted time to stop and to capture so many of those moments forever in my memory. I had to pull out the camera a little more than usual just to make sure I never forget how precious they are at this stage.
We kicked off the day with green shamrock pancakes.
Mama's helper - enjoying his hot chocolate with marshmallows.
My other little helper while I had to bake a cake (Jackson was hanging out in the reading nook while we baked.)
I let Summerlin dump the ingredients into the mixing bowl at one point...and she missed the bowl. Since we already had a mess to clean up, I figured what's a little more. I put all the dropped floor in her bowl of cheerios and let her go to town.
Besides, I knew I had two little helpers that would be more than willing to clean up the mess afterwards.
Each got a turn with the vacuum. Let me tell you, they were thorough! They even wanted to get under the stove and beside the fridge! Our messy adventure meant I ended up with an even cleaner kitchen than I started with!
After playing in the yard some, we decided to pack a picnic and walk to the park.
Summerlin did everything Jackson did - even climbing up these. I love those two little monkeys!
We love the slide!
Practicing our shapes - he's not bad for 2 1/2, but then again his daddy is a geometry teacher.
They love the swings, but even more they love watching each other while swinging. They crack each other up!
This past week was my spring break. We went into the week a little frazzled and out of our rhythm. We had such a nice, quiet week of mostly staying at home and just enjoying life. The way we are emerging from the week has confirmed two things for me.
1.) Going to school full-time and working as a TA was a wonderful opportunity, but it does not fit our life and our lifestyle right now. Our family values time together and living a pretty low-key wholesome life - we tend to think that we are living life the way the family who built our house in 1953 lived. But for us, this way of life takes more time - time to fix, sew, craft, create, grow, make from scratch, and to enjoy each other.
2.) I will never again second guess what I know to be best for my kids. My gut told me that Jackson's "funk" was from too much rushing around lately and ultimately being over-stimulated. Seeing the way he is this weekend verses last weekend really confirms to me that my gut was correct. He has to be one of the most observant children I've ever met and he is very easily overwhelmed because he has yet to develop filters on the world (to discern what is necessary data and what can fade to the background). Just take the kid for a walk and see how much he observes that we adults completely miss - this trait of his will become BLARINGLY obvious to you if you at all doubt me. It is my job as his mama to make sure I keep his 2 1/2 year old life as peaceful and calm as I can. There will be days that we have to rush and go from here to there, as is life, but those days need to be followed by days of calm, peace, and plenty of play at home. I don't see this as much in Summerlin, but it may come more with time. In the meantime, her brother is pointing it ALL out to her.
It saddens me that I have to go back to school/work on Tuesday. Even though I withdrew from one class, I am still obligated to work my TA hours for the rest of the semester. Sure, the money is nice, but now it's even harder knowing that after a few weeks we'll probably be in a bit of a funk again. However, I do find comfort in knowing that the semester is halfway over and after that I will have all summer to enjoy a slower pace of life. When I start back up in the fall, I will only take one class and will no longer hold a TA position. I think a small course load will allow our family to enjoy a little of everything - our way of life and I will still (eventually) earn my master's degree.