Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Monday, November 18, 2013

In The Moment

It's 70 degrees outside in mid-November, enjoy!
I want to just take a few minutes and list a few things I love about my daughter right now.  As of today she is 17 months old and is sitting next to me on the couch laughing at Cookie Monster as he tries not to eat the letter of the day on Sesame Street.

It's really easy for me to just let the days fly off the calendar (cue time-passing graphic here) without stopping to appreciate the little things she does at this age that make me laugh, smile, groan and sometimes struggle not to swear under my breath!

Lately I've been worried.  I know, as a parent I should get used to worrying about my kid 24/7/365, but this is different.  I've been watching her develop, and everything seems on track except her speech.  Our pediatrician said it's nothing to worry about yet, that different kids develop at different speeds.  I have friends whose siblings or children haven't started really talking until age 2 or 3, but still - how to stop the worry?  My brain is one that can take one simple little concern and skyrocket it into full-blown panic in less than a minute.  It stews in the background and then explodes in a complete freak-out concern that my child will never speak.  I keep asking myself what I could be doing wrong, am I doing enough to interact with her, to make sure she understands, do let her watch too much TV while I'm trying to work, etc. etc.

It's exhausting.

Today I decided to try to let go.  Of course I talk to her all day, read with her, play with her and point out familiar items and what they're called.  But I'm trying to take the pressure off.  To slow down the freak-out so I don't miss out on these everyday moments with her.

Today we took the time to just go outside for a walk to get the mail (takes about 30 minutes with her tiny legs!), play in the damp grass and just enjoy running around and laughing together.  No stress for me because she doesn't form words yet, no pressure to "teach" her something constantly.  Just a fun walk with my daughter...and her teeny little 17-month-old legs.

In the spirit of stopping to enjoy my daughter, here are my top 5 things about her at this age that I want to remember:

1. She LOVES her blankie (always has) and has taken to sniffing it and laying her cheek against it when she's tired or wants a little comfort.

2. Everything is a chase, she thinks its hilarious even when I'm just walking at a normal pace behind her.  She'll turn back, laugh, and attempt to speed up to "run" away so I'll chase her.

3. She has discovered her nose.  And how much of her pointer finger will fit into it.  Of course.

4. When she gets excited or wants to dance, she does this stomping shuffle-dance that looks like river-dancing, it cracks me up and I especially love it when she does it getting out of the bathtub so she gets to add splashing to her river-dancing moves.

5. Stacking is her favorite thing.  She loves her ring-stacking toy and gets really pissed when she puts them on in the wrong order and they won't fit.  It's probably a little wrong how funny I think it is when she gets mad at inanimate objects!

Does this mean I won't worry? Of course not.  It's impossible for me not to worry, but I'm trying to let go at least a little bit and not let the worry make me miss out on the everyday fun with her.  Before too long she'll be all grown-up and walking away from me for real!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It All Started With Yoga

Starting this past summer, I've really been trying to adapt into a healthier way of life.  I have stayed away from fad diets, have been working on portion control, adding more fruits and veggies into my daily meals and tried my best to keep away from overly processed foods...with the exception of an occasional shameburger (AKA McDonald's $1 cheeseburger).

However, the most important change to me has been putting a workout routine into place.  In the past I have exercised sporadically, due to wanting to drop a few pounds or because I knew I should.  But I always felt the effort was kind of half-assed and barely lasted a month or so because I got so bored with a treadmill.  This time has been different and I'm pretty happy about it!  The big difference is that I discovered yoga.  I never thought I could really do well at yoga and these past 5 months have completely proved me wrong.  Now, I might look slightly ridiculous doing some of the poses (thanks boobs), but I do them nonetheless!

I eased myself into doing yoga just 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day (something most working at home moms can manage!).  After just a month, I really found myself loving it.  I dropped weight (always a plus), felt calmer, noticed my posture improving and even felt more in control of my eating habits.  I started adding on more days and soon I began practicing yoga 5 or even 6 days a week.

It felt great, but I knew I needed to challenge myself more now that I was more used to having a dedicated time to work out every day.  For the past 3 weeks I've added a higher intensity cross-fit-style workout routine 3 days a week and do yoga on the alternating days.  I'm actually enjoying the challenge and find myself speeding up, adding reps and challenging myself without dreading my workouts...something I never would have thought possible back in the beginning of the summer.  My next step, starting in December, will be to add some weight-lifting to my yoga days.

Have I dropped all the weight I want?  Not yet, but I've made a great start and am also now losing inches too, which feels great.  For the first time in my life I feel like I'm in control of my health (to some degree) and am actually making the changes I need to get the results I want.

I've also boosted my own confidence in knowing I can choose a habit and stick with it, so I'm seeing positive results in other areas of my life.  I've decided to set aside 30 minutes a day to work on my second novel, a book that has been sitting with hardly any progress made since before my daughter was born (16 months ago).  This week alone that discipline has resulted in 5 new pages!

I guess what my mom used to tell me was right, that if I could just focus my strong will and stubbornness in the right direction I could accomplish great things.  Thanks mom, once again, you were right!