9 things I learned from my 9 month old

Today Emily has officially lived in this world as long as she lived in my belly. It feels like such a special milestone! In honor of the occasion, I thought I’d share some things she’s taught me in just 39 short weeks.

1) NOTICE THE DETAILS.

I remember at her 6 month check up we were waiting in the pediatrician’s office. I was not present at all feeling totally anxious about what was coming- her vaccines. Then I noticed Emily staring up at something and saw the adorable elephant wallpaper. It calmed me down immediately and brought me back the moment. I wouldn’t have seen it had she not shown me. She points out details like this to me every single day.

2) A SMILE GOES A LONG WAY.

Every morning Emily and I bring Romeo to the park, and every morning she smiles at the people she sees. I see how her smile makes people light up. You really never know how you can change somebody’s day by really seeing them and smiling.

3) WAKE UP HAPPY & GRATEFUL.

It’s amazing to see how happy Emily is when she wakes up in the morning. She is full of enthusiasm and ready to begin another day in this new world. I strive to wake up with as much passion as she does each day.

4) EVERY TIME YOU SEE SOMEONE YOU LOVE, IT IS A BLESSING.

One of my favorite things to witness is how Emily lights up and shouts “HI!” and waves when her daddy gets home. Sometimes even after he’s been home a while she will play, look up at him and with a big smile say “HI!” and then continue playing. Her genuine excitement to see the people she loves is a good reminder that we are blessed to have amazing people in our lives.

5) BE COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE.

The only thing I can be sure of as a parent is that everything is always going to change. Emily keeps me on my toes (as she should) and just when I think I’ve figured it all out, she shows me I haven’t. This is true in all of life. Being alive means moving and shifting based on what is happening in the moment. Life would be pretty boring if things stayed in our comfort zone all the time.

6) FOOD IS FUN.

Introducing Emily to the wide world of food has made me appreciate how much delicious food grows from the Earth. I find myself getting excited thinking of all the fruits and vegetables I can introduce to her. I forgot how many there were until it was time to show her!

7) MUSIC HEALS.

Sometimes all it takes to get Emily to smile is to sing a song. And sometimes all it takes for me to get out of a bad mood is to put on a favorite album while we play. Music has the power to shift energy fast.

8) KEEP TRYING AND IT WILL HAPPEN.

It’s been really fun watching Emily learn new skills like crawling, pulling herself up to stand or climbing up a few steps. She works at each new skill day after day, trying it in new ways. When something doesn’t work, she just tries again. Even a fall or a bump only stops her momentarily. After a good hug she’s ready to go back at it!

9) THIS WORLD IS A WONDROUS PLACE

Seeing the world through Emily’s eyes reminds me again and again that this planet is full of beauty and miracles. From the changing seasons to the kindness of strangers to the love that swells in my heart, all of this I see clearer now that my daughter is in this world.

Emmy 9 months 2.JPG

emmy-and-me
Holding Emmy in the position she was in my belly, “frank breech”. 

Yoga on a Crowded Mat (VIDEO)

I have so much fun making these videos, and this one is my favorite by far! I love how my dog Romeo spontaneously joined in on the fun. This practice included forward bends, hip openers, Rhodesian Ridgeback kisses, and dog/baby bonding. The end is the best. It seems both dog and baby enjoy the sound of OM!

Self Care: It’s not just getting a manicure.

I was recently listening to Deb Flashenberg’s podcast Birth|Yoga|Babies. She was talking to Hunter Clarke-Fields about mindful parenting. When they talked about the importance of self-care Hunter said, “And I don’t mean just going out to get a manicure.” She went on to explain that self-care as a parent means listening to yourself and paying attention to your needs. She talked about taking a few minutes EVERY DAY to sit down, follow your breath, and tune inward. *Light bulb moment!*

This comment really resonated with me because I find I’ve misinterpreted what it means to practice self-care as a stay at home mom. My idea of self-care has been to pretty much forget about myself all week, and then on the weekend take an hour or so to do something alone like get a manicure, go to a yoga class, get a haircut or get a massage. While all of these activities are fabulous and have their place, I have found that getting out for that hour or so wasn’t really reinvigorating me.

When I heard Hunter Clark-Fields talk about self-care as a daily practice it made sense. While it’s not always realistic for me to sit down quietly for 5-10 minutes and meditate alone, I do find there are parts of the day where I can slow down and tune inward. For example, when I am nursing or giving Emily a bottle before her naps and bedtime there is a calm and quiet I can plug into.

The last few days I have taken those quiet moment opportunities to close my eyes, tune into my breathing, and scan my body to see how I’m feeling. While this seems like such a simple thing to do, it has made a big difference in my mindset and perspective. I realize  I don’t need to “suck it up” and forget about myself all week. If I even take a few minutes to really breathe and cue into how I’m feeling, I can reenergize and be more present.

 

 

Yoga with a baby on the move!

Now here’s where it gets really interesting- yoga with baby on the move! For me, this is the ultimate yoga practice. I try to find balance by doing poses on both sides whenever possible, and sometimes that just isn’t possible! This a perfect metaphor for motherhood. I feel like I’m constantly trying to find balance. Balance between flexibility and structure, self care and baby care, play time and work time. Sometimes I’m successful and other times not. Either way this little guru reminds me to BE HERE NOW. And that’s the whole point of it; yoga is now.