As a Mother to a “new” toddler, there are many moments in the day where I feel like I just might not make it until 7pm. Don’t get me wrong—Charlotte is a generally happy, funny and sweet little girl, but she is a toddler. A toddler, for the most part, is a “busy body exploration type” child. At least that’s my unofficial definition. She takes a lot out of me!
I have had to learn how to find a center within myself. A few years ago my sister Devon invited me to join her in a “hot yoga” class at a nearby studio. I have a background in musical theater and dance, and quite honestly I am not the world’s best dancer, and it was certainly never my passion. I had tried yoga before, and I just didn’t get it.
This class was different. The studio is called Amazing Yoga, and it is just that—AMAZING. Since that first class with Devon, I have practiced regularly in the 95 degree room a few times a week. Once I started practicing (this is a term used for yoga: “practice”—kind of makes me feel like I’m a lawyer or something else equally important!) I fell into a routine, and an obsession.
The hour and a half class really brings a sense of peace and calm to my life. When I was pregnant with Charlotte, I sadly had to stop practicing for a while because the heat wasn’t safe for the baby. I tried other forms of yoga, but nothing compared to Amazing Yoga.
Once Charlotte was born I was nervous about starting back. I don’t know why,—I mean, yoga is really an individualized exercise routine, so it’s not like I would fall behind. I started to find I would get very edgy, very fast without yoga. I tried taking up running, but for me…it just didn’t give me peace.
A few months ago….I decided to get in the car, and drive to yoga. I hadn’t been in the studio for almost 2 years, but like an old friend my practice welcomed me back with open arms. Since starting back I have met new instructors who inspire me with their words, their style and their energy. When I am feeling really down, or stressed I know I NEED yoga.
As a Mother to a young child, it is SO important to find something outside of parenthood that speaks to you. For Andrew, it is golf. For me, it is yoga. When I come home after my class, I feel so energized and ready to be the BEST Mommy I can be to my girl. That’s all children really want from their parents—is for them to be happy and exude that happiness into their lives. It is so very easy to get caught up in your children’s wants and needs and push your own aside…so Andrew and I make an effort to find “us time” and “me time” as often as possible.
I like to think my Zen is rubbing off on Charlotte too…I mean, she only scratched my face once today ;). Namaste.
Our sweet Charlotte is growing up fast! This month she is slowly but surely becoming our “little girl”. Some highlights of her 13th month:
- Standing and pulling up, cruising, and standing un-assisted for a few seconds at a time! She is almost ready to start walking but to be honest…she doesn’t seem too interested.
- Getting into everything. Cabinets, bags, pulling everything off of shelves and tables. Mommy does a LOT of cleaning up around here!
- The pickiest eater award. Charlotte has decided to ditch the colored foods and is sticking with the basics. Oatmeal, macaroni, puffs, bananas, cheese, yogurts, strawberries (a pop of red!), applesauce, toast with jelly and an occasional veggie Plum squeezie. Mealtime is tough. Our girl knows what she likes, and doesn’t give anything new a try. Milk is still a NO WAY, but I do sneak it into her oatmeal and macaroni everyday. I’m hoping this is just a phase…
- Books, books and more books. If Charlotte could choose one activity to do all day everyday it would be to sit in a pile of books and read. She prefers books over toys, and I actually have to hide them (terrible Mother award!) to get her to practice other necessary skills. The early interventionist is coming out in me, and I’m worried she isn’t learning enough. Before you call me a bad Mom, don’t worry..I only hide the books for about 10 minutes a day while we work on gross and fine motor play.
- LOVING other children. Oh my goodness, Charlotte has finally come into her social butterfly self! She absolutely adores other kids, and we joined a Gymboree class today so she could start making some friends. She was in heaven. I think today was the best day of her life! Charlotte will squeal and laugh when other babies are around…and crawls right up to them and pokes them as if to say, “hi!”. So cute.
- Trying so very hard to talk. In Charlotte’s mind, she is telling us stories all day. But we have no idea what she’s saying. She understands pretty much everything we say now (scary!), but only has a few words under her belt. Fish (“shish”), Dada, yuck (“guck”) and OHHH (does that count as a word?) are pretty much it for right now. But wow, is she trying! She is really using her vowels a lot recently. I can’t wait to hear that little voice!
Just a few new highlights from this month, but so many things are happening each day is really is hard to keep up! Our little girl really is becoming a little girl, and I’m so excited to see what this next month brings us. Maybe some teeth! (She is still toothless…) And walking! Wow…babies are such miracles, and as she grows I recognize that more and more each day. We love you little girl!
We are still on our honeymoon in Ligonier—we come home tomorrow. And I have SO MUCH to update on from the most magical week of our lives. But I wanted to take a moment to recognize my HUSBAND Andrew’s 29th birthday today!
Andrew, you have brought more joy, humor, faith, strength, adventure and love to my life in the past two years, and I feel so blessed to now call you my husband. You are my best friend and partner; and the love I have for you gets stronger each day as we continue to learn and grow with each other.
You are an absolutely amazing father. The way you make our sweet little girl giggle with her eyes lit up in excitement brings tears to my own eyes. The love you have for her is irreplaceable, and as I watch you become her new buddy I couldn’t be prouder of you.
You work hard at everything you do, and give it 200%. We are similar this way, and I think it is one of the reasons we make such a great team. I am so thankful God has blessed Charlotte and me with your life, and today we are celebrating YOU. Eat lots of cake, relax and drink some champagne. Next week we will be back to “reality”, but I think our reality is pretty darn good. Love you, so very much.