Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sunshiny with a chance of storms

No, I'm not talking about the weather.

I'm referring to the personality of my beloved middle child, our Annabelle.

Sometimes, she is pure sunshine and rainbows, full of laughter and smiles that would delight even the hardest of hearts.

Other times... NOT SO MUCH.

She can somehow manage to be the best and worst part of my day. Brings me to tears and frustration like no other and then, only moments later, melts my heart into a puddle of love.

She's our little walking conundrum, a 29-lb. paradox with fluffy blonde curls and big blue eyes.

I'll be honest, there are days when I simply don't know what to do with her anymore... I find myself wondering what I'm doing wrong (or NOT doing right). I wonder when she's going to learn how much pain and trouble she causes herself (and therefore, me as well) by throwing her tantrums about the silliest of things. Something still hasn't quite clicked within her when it comes to what behavior is acceptable and what is most definitely not.

But, she's three. She's strong-willed and incredibly passionate-- qualities that will be a wonderful trait someday even if they are sometimes misplaced now. I know it will take time for her to learn. Time, LOTS of prayer, and much (oh, SO much) patience as we try to guide and instruct her. The Lord is definitely using this child of mine to teach ME some lessons as well. I've seen my own shortcomings as a parent so much more clearly with Annabelle, and I know that I've got a long ways to go too. Together, we're growing, slowly but surely.

In the meanwhile, I'll choose my battles carefully with this daughter of mine. I will celebrate the little victories. Even if it's only that she went potty without crying when I asked her to.

And I will delight in everything else that my little girl has to offer. Her laughter, which is simply the best-- it is so infectious that you can't help but laugh too. Her smiles, which are so genuine and huge that they wrinkle up her nose and light up her eyes.
Her obvious delight in even the littlest things as she claps her hands and dances around on her very tippiest of toes. Her sweet voice, and the funny way she says things, turning words and phrases around as only a child can. Her wonderful imagination-- she can play for hours at all sorts of pretend games, and she certainly has a knack for "dressing up".

She is an adoring sister. I can see how much she looks up to Emma and wants to be just like her, not even wanting to be apart for a minute.

It's amazing to see her as a big sister. She can hardly go five minutes without talking to Rosalie or loving on her in some way. Annabelle has a special voice reserved just for her baby sister, and it's the cutest thing ever. When we go somewhere, Annabelle always says, without fail "We need to bring Rosalie!" I look at her and marvel, very aware of the special place she holds in our family as both little sister AND big sister.

Let's not forget about her hair. Yes, really, her hair. It is seriously one of the joys in my life, and it makes me smile. When I greet her first thing in the morning or after a nap I know I will see this:
It always looks like this after she sleeps, a wild halo of unruly golden curls. We call her "Annabelle Fluffyhead", which she always protests (with a huge smile... I think she secretly likes her nickname).

If you have ever been around Annabelle for any length of time, you might notice something about her: she doesn't really walk. She runs, she jumps, she dances. Always, always on her tippy-toes, no matter where she goes. When I watch her flit from room to room the word "blithe" comes to mind.

There is no one quite like our Annabellesie-boo. God never gives us more than we can handle, and although there are some days when I rather feel as if He DID when He gave us this girl, I simply can't imagine life without her. Whether she is driving us to frustration with her stormy side or lighting up our life with her sunny spirit, we love her. Oh, SO dearly.


the lady of the house said...

Hey lady - hang in there! You sound like such a mama after God's own heart and I commend you for that! I love your blog, your creativity and love for home decor as well as your desire to be a great mama and wifey that you share with us through your sweet stories. Stop by and visit herhousehold anytime!

caitlyn said...

Talia, you are such a great mom and this post warmed my heart so much.

Annabelle reminds me of myself so much in some ways. The middle child, blonde, looks not a smidge like her big sister, and strong willed. No wonder we're related :P. I still can't believe Annabelle is a big sister now! I remember how excited I was to be a big sister. You have such beautiful girls Talia :)

caitlyn said...

oh, and those ballerina toes :)

Cheri said...

Aaaah. I feel like you snatched the words out of my head.....this is Lauren. Right down to the crying when asked to go potty. sigh. I keep thinking that the great women of the Bible like Deborah and Esther must have been like this as little girls....someday Annabelle and Lauren's strong will and determination will be used by God for good....instead of what feels like "evil" right now! ha ha

alyssa said...

She's so cuuuuute! I love her curlies :)

RachelRuelas said...

You are a GREAT mom Talia!. Just the fact that you appreciate and love those things about her shows just a millionth of your love for her. I hope I can be like you when I'm a Momma :)

Lisa said...

Oh how much of a sweet mom you are!

Band of Brothers said...

that was a most beautiful post about your most beautiful little girl! what a little whirling dirvish of a pixie! and i just love her!

and the way you described her reminds me of a certain oollie boolie at my household. heaven help us if they ever hook up;)

Kourtni said...

OH Talia.... I really think most everyone has a version of Annabelle living in their house. But just like you said.... her character traits might be tough at times right now, but they are so much a part of who she is. She is a strong, iron willed, independant little girl who will one day be a confident beautiful young woman. What a catch she will be!!! =) She is gorgeous.

Lauryn said...

Oh Talia, you're such a great mommy! I don't have any children of my own, but I can't imagine how you balance three little girls with such different needs and personalities! But you seem to do so with so much love, patience and grace!

I'm sure Annabelle will hold on to her passion but let go of the tantrums soon :) Especially since she has loving parents who are there for her!

*jimaie.marie* said...

you are such an amazing mommy, this post warmed my heart!!
Aren't feisty children the best?! They bring out the very best in you and then other times the very worst but somehow it's all ok b/c there is LOVE.
This post spoke to me b/c me and my ever strongwilled 3yr old have been having a battle of who's the boss lately and some days it's AMAZING, other days? not so much.
But just like you said I have and am still learning daily to delight in EVERYTHING my precious stinker has to offer, every lesson we have to learn from each other b/c really darn it, they are just too stinkin cute!
I loved this post!!

Angela said...

I loved this post Talia. And I love all of those little things about Annabelle because I know what great traits they will be as she grows up. No pain no gain right?! =) AND I think her hair is to die for!

Sunny said...

Talia, I have a male version of Annabelle. I always think that it is a good thing that Nathan is so very affectionate and loves hugs and kisses (unlike his big brother who wants nothing to do with all of that) because otherwise I'd be insane! He is either hot or cold. We have a rule about eating ice cream specifically for Nathan. He knows what it is when asked. He'll say, "No crying." He completely falls apart just about every time he eats ice cream because if it is too hard and he cannot scoop it easily with his spoon he cries. I start saying, "if you can't eat your ice cream without crying I'm going to throw it away!!!!"

I think some of us will have to form a support group for dealing with our strong willed children. :)
What is it about these second born children? ;)

Annabelle is such a sweetie, I'm so glad to learn a little more about her. And to know that I am not alone!

Misty said...

this post was REALLY good for me today, Talia... As a mom of an incredibly strong willed girl, I totally have the truly passionate and beautiful days- and the more hellish ones.

Tristan said...

So sweet! She is precious!

Sara said...

Oh we just love Annabelle!