Archives for category: pilates

It’s a few days into April here in the Chicagoland area. You wouldn’t think it though. It is still very cold and windy on a regular basis. I am not entirely sure summer will ever arrive for us. I am starting to accept that. (Ok, maybe not. I still long for warm sun and playing outside without shivering)

I am into my 2nd trimester. I have a 3 year old that is as active and hilarious as always. I also know what this second baby is as far as gender! We got our Panorama test results back earlier this week. My family is coming by on Sunday for us to tell them. I didn’t do anything cutesy with Jack and I decided I wanted to do something cutesy this time around. I am over the moon about what we are having!

My energy levels have been way up. As a matter of fact, today is my first “rest day” in over  a week! I have been running and doing Pilates. It feels great to not feel like total death on a regular basis. I feel slightly like my normal not pregnant self. Jack hasn’t asked me to “not be cranky anymore” in a while. So, he too has seen the improvement. I felt bad every time he said that to me, but hormones man, hormones. I always apologized to him and explained sometimes having a baby in my belly makes me cranky and it will get better.

The checkout girl at Whole Foods yesterday asked me if Jack was a “helper or a hinderance” as far as grocery shopping. He is a chatty kid and I always speak to him like he is an adult, so I answer his questions and have conversations with him. He was being his chatty self in line. Helping me put all the food on the belt. Talking about each item and asking me questions. I was answering them. Telling him no to more candy and reusable bags (the kid has probably 50.) The comment took me aback. Obviously he is my little helper. Even on days where I wish I could just do it all myself, I always think “one day I will want him to help and if I always deter him now, he may not be interested in helping at all” I wanted to tell her that. To give her my insights on how to parent, but I just smiled and said “he is my little helper!” I really try to avoid making him feel like he is in the way. I would certainly never tell a stranger, right in front of him, “oh, he hinders all of my errands. We never get anything done!” I am convinced that often, people do not think before they speak. I don’t think I would ever ask that of someone. And as a matter of fact on every other errand we have ever been on and someone sees his utter exuberance for life, they always say “You have a little helper on your hands!” They smile and usually tell me how cute he is.

My kid isn’t a hinderance. This second one won’t be either. Sure, sometimes it takes longer to get out the door than I would like. Sure, sometimes we have to stop in a public bathroom, which I hate because they are gross. Sure, sometimes he wants to put the jam on his toast and I am thinking we have to eat now so we can get out the door for school by 8:30. Sure, sometimes he spills food or drinks during dinner. But that is part of it all. That is part of childhood. That is part of parenting. That is part of this whole adventure together. It is my job to build him up, not tear him down. It is my job to teach him how to put the jam on his toast and to cheer him on as he does so. If he thinks I will scold him for those small unimportant mistakes, then what will he think when he makes a big one? I don’t want him to keep big things from me. I want him to know that he can come to me and sure, I may be upset, but I won’t hate him. I will help him. I will love him.

Don’t tell you kids they are a hinderance. Just don’t And certainly don’t ask someone that in front of their child.

Yesterday was an adventure. I am going to write, not to complain, but because I am still baffled as to how ALL of these things happened to my son and myself in a little over a 24 hour period. I woke up today, a new day on the horizon, still spinning around about how how how do so many adventures happen in that time frame.

The story begins Tuesday night, 8:30pm. Two minutes after I walk in the door from my evening Pilates classes. My boys are playing hide and go seek together. Meaning, my husband and my son. I found them upstairs in Jacky’s room. When he saw me, he was so excited. He wanted me to play too. My husband told him to go hide. He ran into the guest bedroom. 10 seconds later we heard him screaming in pain. He had bumped his head. It was a nasty bump. There was an instant goose egg right between his eyes.

photo 1This was Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning. I have work. Jack has school. Wednesday this week meant my husband wouldn’t be home until somewhere around 11pm. I woke up around 5:40 am, because, well, why not? As I walked into my living room with a fresh hot coffee and large glass of water in each hand, I slipped on one of the two stairs that leads into the living room. I managed to stay upright and not drop the cups (YAY PILATES!) But the liquids went flying everywhere. It was a huge wet mess.

Finally I am done getting ready for the day. Jacky is still not awake. I start to get concerned because of the head injury the night before.

photo 2 (1)He didn’t want to wake up. He had also opened his blinds at some point, not normal for him, but went back to sleep. I finally get him up. His head looked even worse.

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He was complaining that it hurt. Actually, he was hysterical. I had to make a choice. I had no one to cover my one class on that short of notice. I decided to let him eat breakfast at home instead of school and of course have to rush to work because of that. He was miserable for the time we stayed home. I gave him ibuprofen but he still wasn’t convinced.

photo 4I get him to school, with about 10 minutes for me to get to work. I had to talk to his teacher about his head. She suggested a dr trip. So I rush out the door trying to get to work and call the dr at the same time. I couldn’t get a hold of them before I walked in the door. Luckily my husband called them after I briefed him on the situation. I finished my one class and rushed back to grab Jack and head to the pediatrician. We were super early, so we had to wait forever. They cleared him for his head, but he had been coughing all morning as well. They check that, thought his lungs sounded good and his ears weren’t infected. So it had to run its course.

We managed to make it to the toy store for a treat and home in one piece (or so I thought). I decided to unload the dishwasher while he played with his new Percy train car with the rest of his Thomas train cars. He was pushing them around the kitchen floor. I carried a mug in my hand by the handle to put it away. I was walking toward Jack when the mug just came detached from the handle and crashed to the floor. We both froze in astonishment. The handle still in my hand.

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It was straight up crazy.

 

It was finally nap time. As I read him a few stories I noticed that it hurt to speak. Oh great, I am getting sick too!

He napped for less than 2 hours.  Very abnormal for him. He was upset that his cough hurt and his belly hurt. I was able to get him to relax. We played Candyland for the very first time! It was so fun. Warm sunshine on our faces on an otherwise gloomy day!

Then we were getting hungry. Knowing my husband would be gone, I had already promised him we could go to a restaurant for dinner. He still was feeling awful, so I kept reminding him that I would be happy to cook some dinner at home, whatever he wanted. He was adamant that we go out to eat still. I sighed and thought, here goes!

Shortly after exiting my driveway, my car started going nuts with warnings. About my tire pressure. We are in the negative temps here, so I was thinking it is probably because of that. I took a photo at a red light of the warnings and texted the husband. He was sure I had a flat. But I had to get a few more lights down the road for the restaurant. I made it. Got out and checked.

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This is the very first flat tire I have ever had. Feel like temps were easily well below 0! Luckily we signed up for roadside assistance after we bought this car in November. They were helpful. We went inside to eat. We were stuck for about 2 hours. We still needed to stop at a grocery store to grab a few items as well. We made the best of it though. Luckily Jack picked a place that was at a mall. An outdoor mall, so that sucked, but we were able to walk next door to a craft store, then walk back to the other side of the restaurant and sit in Starbucks after.

So this happened in Starbucks as we waited.

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We finally made it home, grocery trip and all. Jack wants to cuddle in my bed. Then he tells me to surprise him with a movie choice of mine. I picked Finding Nemo. See, I LOVE Ellen! I felt like I could really use hearing her say “just keep swimming” We were watching the movie and Jack was talking to me. Mid-sentence, he pukes all over himself! He is not a puker. He even said “Mommy what was that? I didn’t like it” I called the on call dr. She determined that it was from this cold and not the head injury since it had been 24 hours since hitting his head.

Great! No ER trip. As we cuddled, unbeknownst to be, Jack’s temperature was climbing. Movie ended and we headed up to his room for bed. I decided to take his temp one more time. it went from 100.5 to 103.9! Then it even crept up into 104. So bedtime took about an hour and a half. I gave him ibuprofen to help bring it down. I dressed him in cooler jammies. I gave him ice water and ice cubes. We read many books. Then I rubbed him and sang to him until he fell asleep. I ninja mom’ed my way out of that room.

I got downstairs and decided to open a few things from that craft store. Including some adorable button pushpins for our little board. Big mistake.

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I managed to stab myself. It was an awesome way to end the night. When I sent this to my husband he told me to wrap myself in bubble wrap and go to bed! I didn’t quite do that but I did head to bed. My cold managed to keep me awake all night. I did suck down some Chinese herbs that my acupuncturist gave me the last time I was sick. They seem to be helping. I am not as sick as I should be feeling today. It actually feels like the end of a cold. I am feeling like I skipped the whole gross middle part.

So here we are. January 23rd. Jack is still asleep. I am not sure how he is feeling yet. I imagine it is not great. He never gets fevers. Even with his two ear infections in November.

It is comical how many batty things happened to us yesterday. I wasn’t stressed out of my mind. I didn’t lose my shit. No I was pretty calm and collected. We did what we had to do.  There were no tears on my part. I guess that is empowering. Knowing that you can handle all of that by yourself as a parent. Earlier this week I was feeling a bit stressed. When Jack is starting to get sick, his temper is challenging. I was feeling like a mom who is just constantly battling. So maybe in a way the world was like “oh you think you suck and can’t handle this? Well I will show you just how much you CAN handle! And how easily you will be able to juggle it all!” Lesson learned world.

Ninja mom, out!

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It is no secret that I am a Pilates instructor. I LOVE doing what I do. I am lucky that I get to use my passion to work. It is no secret that I love to stay fit myself. Or that I love to practice Pilates and I love to run. My husband is something wonderful. He has this bad habit of spoiling me. Ok, so it is not really a bad habit! For Christmas I received my very own Reformer! The exact Reformer I teach every time I am at work. It is all mine to do with what I want in my very own home. I have been over the moon for the past couple weeks. I have used it nearly every day. Except this last Saturday, because it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken a rest day in weeks. It has been too difficult to step away from my new toy.

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I have had the chair since last April. It is my other favorite apparatus. When I took this photo I really felt like my Pilates life felt complete. I can give myself a great workout. I can train people in my home and give them a well rounded workout. I can just sit in this calming room and relax. The purple hues are very relaxing. I can even start posting about my favorite moves with photos. I still have to get some mirrors installed, but the holidays have been crazy.

A couple weeks before Christmas my husband hired a handy man to come out and fix a few things around the house. He didn’t tell me he had also hired him to finish the painting/slight remodel of this room! It was before I received the Reformer. Before I even knew I was getting one! He did a great job at surprising me all around.

What I am really excited about is that I think this is going to really help me grow as an instructor. Because I have a young child, my schedule usually revolves around him. I have time each day to workout, in my own home though. I was able to find time here and there to hop into the studioI work at to practice a few things on the Reformer. But it was not as often as I would have liked. I feel now that I have this in my home that my class development is going to really expand. I can prep and test my classes out on myself. I can watch/do more videos and get a feel for the moves even more. I can do this on my time. I don’t have to worry about trying to fit it all in on one specific day. Jack is even happy to hang out in the room and play while I do Pilates. Some of my clients come to me more than once a week. This means I am usually developing 2-3 different class plans each week. I am sure that is not a lot to some people, but to me with my full time job still being my son, that is a good amount. I really feel like this can only make me a better Pilates instructor! I am excited for what 2014 has in store for my Pilates career.

 

I have a big and not so pleasant anniversary quickly approaching. Monday, the 22nd, will mark the 1 year anniversary of my IBS diagnosis. It has kind of put me in a weird place this last week. You see, the doctor’s only prescribed treatment was to toss a small sheet of paper at me and say “This is a new diet that they are trying out to manage IBS you could try this. There is really little else that can be done” I took it to heart. I drastically altered my life and my diet. It is called “Low FODMAP” I stick to it religiously. I do not eat wheat, dairy, sugar, and an assortment of wonderful fruits and veggies it restricts. These include garlic, onions, nectarines, apples, and many more. The list is constantly changing. I have become exhausted with it. I still wasn’t feeling perfect. Do we ever?

I recently started turning to Eastern medicine for managing my chronic digestive illness. My Western doctor wasn’t overly helpful or caring. I was marked off a list because I tested negative for everything else, so it must be IBS, right? Here is this list they are working on in Australia and it could help. Sigh. I went to my 6th acupuncture appointment yesterday. I love my acupuncturist. She is phenomenal. At my 5th appointment we had a lengthy discussion about how at this one year mark maybe I need to take my digestion and health into my own hands. Since, I said that I still had a lot of digestive woes regardless of following this diet for a year! I thought about it and I decided she is right. I already started with essential oils and acupuncture.

Since starting acupuncture I have noticed a gradual improvement in my digestion. It wasn’t over night. It has however started to slowly improve. Without going into too much detail, I have had more better days than bad days. Especially in the past week. I see her once a week. I have started trying foods again, with caution. But I have allowed myself to cross that threshold. Something I would never do before. I have been researching the crap out of things. My BFF sent me some info about Aloe Vera for IBS. I looked into it, liked the findings, and I tried it. I have a fresh aloe plant that I cut and add the innards to my smoothies. I have noticed even more improvement! That was nowhere on any piece of info my Gastro gave me. When I explained this to my acupuncturist she was so happy that I have started to give myself to freedom to change or at least try.

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Another big thing….running. I was a runner. A daily avid runner and racer. My last race was Mother’s Day 2012. I placed SIXTH in my age group! After this diet restriction I ended up giving it up. I turned strictly to Pilates. Running drained me. At first I had no idea how to fuel myself and maintain my running. I abruptly took all of my pasta and bread away. Yet I was still running 3-3.5 miles on an almost daily basis. After extreme exhaustion that happened after each run, I decided to quit. Last night, I went for a run. My studio has a running group that recently started. I showed up. I ran. I actually ran at the front of the group the whole time. Muscle memory. My master teacher also goes on the runs. She commented to me that I run beautifully. My torso is in a great position, my hips stay square, and my legs just kind of float underneath me. My coworker, who is running this program, is a very seasoned marathoner, a ton of them under her belt. She ran the Boston Marathon this year. It wasn’t her first time running that one. She commented after that I have a really great pace. She wanted me to come run with her again right then. It is a beginner program that the studio is offering. It is building up to a 5k we are sponsoring this fall. It will get harder each week. I was tempted to go. I could have easily ran more. I said no though because little man was sick and my husband had stayed home to take care of him while I worked, went my appointments, went to my running club, etc. Maybe next Wednesday though.

pink  Brooks are back in business

pink Brooks are back in business

I am a runner at heart. Pilates has strengthened my entire body to keep me in running shape without running. I have not felt this amazing in a while. I am getting anxiously happy just writing about last night. I have missed running. More than I even realized. I am not saying I am not a Pilates fanatic. That is still my world. But like my heart for my family, there is room enough for more than one major fitness love of my life.

It is very hard to lead such a restrictive lifestyle. Especially when it is not by choice. I am feeling really positive that I have begun to allow myself some freedoms to take my own health into my hands. I have lived in this terrified state regarding foods and food prep for a year. That is hard. It is hard on me and my family. I am not jumping right in gobbling up everything I see. No, I am taking baby steps. But like my acupuncturist said, the point is that I am trying.

I have begun to lose faith in the Low FODMAP concept. It hasn’t exactly served me very well over the past year. I do know there are foods on the list that bother me but there are many that don’t. They say you should only eat 1 cup of berries at a time. I can eat berries, especially blueberries until my heart is content. The list is always changing. They used to say Tahini was okay, and then suddenly halfway through my year of this, they took that back. Well I had been eating Tahini often, as an alternative for other dips etc. So I haven’t had a bite of it since then. Sweet potatoes were A-ok when I first got the list. Then they changed it to only a small amount at a time. I stopped eating them as frequently after I read that. One more restrictive thing. It gets in my head that it will harm me and then I freak out, afraid to try it. Or suddenly I feel a little off because I did try something on the said no list. Last night I made baked sweet potato fries with dinner. I gobbled them up. Not counting or measuring. I feel perfectly fine today. I felt perfectly fine after. In fact, I ate frozen grapes after. Without counting. They limit those to about 8 grapes at a time, or so I read at one time. So I think, from this point on, I am not going to be checking for updates. I am going to take my time trying foods here and there. I am going to continue to do my  research of alternative methods. I am going to continue to tailor my digestive needs specifically to me, and not to some list created by well meaning scientists in Australia. Healing is not a one size fits all program. That is why I am falling in love with Eastern methods. It centers around the person specifically. It has been making a positive change in my life. I am feeling happier than I have in a while. I am feeling in charge.

I have been itching to start a bit of a series on here. I want to share my favorite moves and pieces of equipment/accessories. I have been putting it off for various reasons. First it was that we were in the middle of a move. Then I was busy unpacking and starting my summer hours at the studio. NOW my husband has begun remodeling my Pilates room/in home studio. Despite the fact that my Pilates stuff is currently shoved into a small space in our guest bedroom that has a queen bed, rocking chair, a desk, a dip station, and a weight bench, I am going to give this a shot. I figured I could start with one that I photographed while living in our previous home. Sigh, it is not the gorgeous in home Pilates studio that is being created right now, but it will do. I am hoping that after my room is done these posts will get a little more photo heavy.

So that brings us to this first move I want to talk about. It is a favorite of mine. I do it on a daily basis. The High Bridge.

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You can see how old this photo is by my charming decor in the background! Anyway, I love it. Why? It opens everything up. I initially started doing it for digestion. I was looking for moves that specifically help with digestion and this was one of them. I found that it took me time to be able to hold it higher and longer.

How do I get into a high bridge?

  1. I always warm up. I never start out trying to just go into this position. You can and likely will hurt your back. You also may not find the flexibility you are looking for. Roll downs, regular bridging, swan on the chair, jackknife, and  shoulder stand are just a few of the things I do to warm up. I usually wait until the end of my work out to go into this. So my entire body is nice and warm.
  2. I will always do a few Mat or Chair Bridges immediately before extending up.  If I am doing a Mat Bridge, I lay flat on my back. Feet in hook laying position (flat on the floor) Arms are long at my side. I inhale to prepare and on my exhale I curl my hipbones toward my belly button as I articulate up one vertebrae at a time, stopping at about my bra line-ish area. I will pull my belly deep towards my spine, inhale, exhale and articulate back down. I will do several of those. Sometimes I will do variations, pulses at the top, lower/lift one leg. The point being, my spine is being warmed up for the grand finale.
  3. When I am ready to open myself to this position I take a few deep breaths. Melting my shoulders away from my ears. Feet are still flat on the floor. Sometimes I will scooch them in closer to my butt. I inhale and exhale starting to curl up, I bend my arms and place my palms near the side of my head. I continue to curl up, striving to place even weight on my hands and feet. I take it slow. Seeing how my back is moving. On a great day I get nice and high. At this point in my practice, it is likely higher than this photo above.
  4. I am focusing on breathing, pulling my belly deep towards my spine, keeping my weight even between hands and feet, and letting my heart and front of my body really open and elongate in this position. I squeeze deep into my hamstrings and glutes. My arms are engaged while getting a stretch. I relax my head and neck, trying to avoid drawing tension into them.
  5. By now I have been able to add some variations. I can come into a high toe, so heels lifted. I can also extend one leg up at a time. That takes tremendous core strength and pelvic stability. It is something you have to build on as you master this position.
  6. To get out, I take in a deep breath and on my exhale I slowly start to articulate down, being mindful that the tension is not in my neck. Shoulders come down first, my arms slowly release their strength and as my spine articulates down I bring my arms back towards my sides. I melt into the mat. I will always cross my legs and hug them close to my chest. Letting my spine settle and taking a moment to enjoy the end of my favorite pose.

I love this position because it is a challenge. It takes practice and strength to do it. You have to be open in your mind and body in order to achieve the height and openness you are looking for. There are days where I barely get up at all. I can feel how tight my body, spine, and in many instances my mind, are that day at that moment. I have to clear my head, I have to allow myself to relax. When I am in the pose and I want to stay nice and lifted I have to surrender myself to the position. I have to think about my breath and where I am feeling the weight and stretch of my body. I cannot be thinking about anything else that is bothering me. If I do, I will not find the work I want to find in this position. Sometimes I count. I want to eventually be able to hold it for a minute. I can currently get to 30.  It feels amazing to melt back down into the mat. There is a sort of high that comes with this position. When I melt down and let my back settle, rocking side to side, knees close to my chest, I just get that moment of relaxation. I always turn to this position when my digestion is bothering me. That usually means I take 10-20 minutes to do a mini workout, even if I worked out earlier. Since I am so focused on warming up my spine for this challenging position.

I hope that if you are working on your high bridge that you find the joy in it that I do. If you haven’t tried this yet be open to the idea of it. Take your time. Warm up and build on this position one step at a time. Remember, if you are not a certified Pilates or fitness instructor it is a good idea to work with one before attempting advanced and challenging moves. We will help you better understand the movement and we will help to keep you safe.

As the 3rd week of summer session comes to a close I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I started my journey to become an instructor last September. Up until that point I had strictly been a stay at home mom. I thought that was what I had always wanted. My husband and I had decided on that well before we had a child. I went into that experience with an open mind and open arms.

I had never experienced being a working mom at all. My whole world revolved around my son. Everything I did 24/7 was about him. I never knew anything different. That was fine. I was happy and content. Or at least that is what I thought. Then I started my training. After the classroom portion was over I started my training hours. That was time consuming, but it still wasn’t “working” in my book. I went according to my own schedule, when I could fit it in. I mostly did evenings and weekends when my husband was home. An hour or two at a time. I was busier and out and about a bit more than the previous two years. Still, I didn’t really know the different feeling until 3 weeks ago.

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This morning I started thinking about how I have been feeling. Which has been great. I am super busy. Always busy. I should be cleaning the kitchen right now, but decided to take a few moments this afternoon for myself. I am constantly back and forth to the studio. There in the morning and even coming back in the evenings at times. Working 5-6 days a week. They are not 8 hours in a row days, but like I said I am back and forth. The thing is, I am less stressed now that I was before I started working. How is that possible? I think because I have this thing that is uniquely mine in my world. I am doing what I love.

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He is my Pilates protege!

I find that the time I DO have with Jack, I cherish it more. I spend that time more engaged with him. Playing, coloring, laughing, etc. Not that we didn’t play before. But honestly sometimes you just want a break and you have to veg out and let them do the same. Or you are multi tasking and they aren’t getting your attention. I am sure these moments still happen, but I feel they have been less. I find I miss him, so when I do see him I want to soak it up. I have more patience for him in general. I do not feel totally burnt out at the end of each day. I get this adult connection. Sure, I talk about my son and husband  A LOT in my classes and with my clients. They still are my world and own the biggest piece of my heart, but I am speaking to other adults. I am sharing stories, listening to their stories, spending time outside of the home.

Teaching him to rock climb

Teaching him to rock climb

I never knew that being a working mom would feel this good. I do not think I was miserable as a stay at home mom, but I definitely reached the end of my rope a lot quicker each week and sometimes each day. I feel as if my life has more balance now, even if I am busier than ever. I know that if I ever lose my mind and decide to have a second child I will not go back to being a stay at home mom. No, I will take some sort of maternity leave and then be back at it. I love the place we send Jack for school, which also has day care for the littles. I would continue at this place. It really helps that I am so happy with the school we chose for Jack. He loves it. That also helps. He talks about his teacher constantly. We kept him home the other day, due to a terrible storm and flooding. He was mad when he woke up and found out that he wasn’t going to school that day. That makes a difference. He loves where he is, I love where I am. I would also miss teaching after too long. I guess for me it is easier to feel this way because my work is my passion in life. My wonderful boss did not let me tip toe into work. She threw me in the deep end right away. Which is nice. I have been getting private clients and covering shifts for other instructors when needed. I don’t dread the extra hours. Actually, they fly by rather quickly.

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Life is good. I am happy. I LOVE being a working mom. I feel like I fit right into where I am supposed to be in my life. I feel like maybe I should have done this sooner. It didn’t work out that way because I needed to find this studio and attend classes there. Then I needed to get that email about teacher training. I just know now, that despite what I thought, I wasn’t meant to always and only be a stay at home mom. No, I was meant to be a working mom. Working at the career I love and truly am obsessed with. Teaching Pilates has been the best decision I have made as a mother. I truly believe that.

Yesterday I posted about the completion of my Reformer student teaching hours. I did complete them all, plus the 1st session after that finish line! It feels great. With that being said, next week I start teaching regularly. I have 7 classes a week on the schedule for the summer session! I am diving in head first. I have mentioned how my 2 1/2 year old is in an early preschool program. He goes two days a week. I will teach on both of those days. I will also be teaching two classes on Tuesday nights. As well as two classes on Saturday mornings. He is used to me being home with him practically 24/7. I am glad we started school a month or so before this was to take place. But I still will be gone more than usual. I will also have to spend more time preparing for classes and researching things at home. There is also the chance that I will be teaching private clients, which can eat up more hours.

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Monday was our last day of swim lessons. The summer schedule at the Y changes. We cannot do the 2 days a week they offer for his age. One of the days falls on one of my work days/his school day. This means that now Mondays and Thursdays are entirely ours. We have no mommy/me classes. I do not teach during the day or night. I have been pretty busy lately trying to finish up these last handful of hours. I have been gone more than normal. Yesterday I taught during the day and then had to have a sitter watch Jack in the evening because I taught at night and my husband was away at a conference. He saw me for a few hours only. Meaning I also only saw him for a few hours. I found myself really looking forward to today. Today is our day to do what we want. The weather is crappy, so I doubt we will play outside, but it is ours. This is the first time I have thought about days this way. Every day was our day. There was no distinction between our days and away days. I stayed home with him for the first 2 1/2 years of his life. My away time was significantly less than my time with him. It is interesting to be heading into this transition of a working parent. I am not working full time, yet, but it is a huge change from our normal comfort zone. We are creating a new comfort zone.

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Part of me is feeling guilty. When Jack begs me to not go to work. He has started that already and the summer session hasn’t begun! I am truthful when I say the last couple weeks I have really  been gone a lot more often. So, he is aware of the changes in our lifestyle. I don’t really need to work. I could continue to stay home with him and we are comfortable. However, I want to work. I am ready to start my life up again. One day he will go off to school 5 days a week all day long. He will make friends he wants to play with. He will join sports. He will have practice. He won’t be home as much as he is now. Where will I be when that happens? Now, I will be teaching Pilates. Before? I would have been shell shocked I think. So the other part of me is not as guilty feeling. I have been endlessly devoted to his every whim and need for two and a half years! It is time to foster his independence. It is time to let him socialize with other kids his age, without me around. When I am around, all he wants is me. I see the photos of him playing with his little friends during the day and I just beam. He is very clingy if I am around. Seeing him blossom and learning to interact with other children makes me so happy! He needs his space at times, as much as I do!

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So next week some big changes are coming to our home. They will be good I think. Life will be a little different. That is not a bad thing. We are evolving as a family. We are moving forward. We are taking on new challenges. Conquering new goals and accomplishments. I am excited. I am also looking forward to Mondays and Thursdays. Time to just be with my little man. Maybe we will have grand adventures some days. And other days maybe we will just be lazy and cuddle and bum around all day. Those are our days to do what we want together!

It is a big day for me. I am crossing the finish line. Today, at 3pm I will have completed all of my student/practice teaching hours for Reformer. To top it off, tonight at 7pm, I will teach my first client after crossing that threshold. I will actually be training my mom at 7pm. Which makes that session even more fun.

There were many times I wasn’t even sure this moment would come. I have been done with the training classes since February and now we are in June. It took a while, that happens when you have a life, a family, a husband, a child, and such.

I have had a lot of great moments on this journey. I have also had a lot of tough ones. Moments where I was not sure I was even making the right decision. I have been constantly encouraged by those around me. My husband, my mom, my best friend, and my master teacher, they all told me I can do this and I should do this. Where would we be without our support system? This may be my accomplishment, but I would not have gotten here without the ones I love telling me to keep on trucking.

I assume I will have many wonderful classes after this point. I also assume there will be days where the class just didn’t click or something wasn’t awesome. I am aware not everything will be sunshine and butterflies merely because I finished teaching hours. But I can look back knowing that I did this work. I know the work. I busted my butt to become a Pilates teacher (wow, that feels good to say!) I am a Pilates teacher!!!!

My biggest challenge has been confidence in myself. It has been hard to overcome it. In some ways I am still slightly less than confident in myself. Why? I am not sure. I think it is partly my nature. I have been told repeatedly that I know the work. I know what I am teaching and what I am talking about and I need to remember that as I am in front of each and every class. My master teacher and other instructors have said these words to me. Monday night was a turning point for me. Last Tuesday, over a week ago, I had a rough class. One thing after the other went wrong. It was awkward. I was discouraged. I had a long talk with my master teacher on Friday. I went in to work on  more hours and we also discussed where I was. I was a bit frustrated as I left on Friday. Very mad at myself. I had Saturday and Sunday to get it together in my brain. I had all of Monday to feel that confidence. I went back to teach Monday night. I nailed it. I left my home telling myself I could and would do this. She was very pleased with how confident I was. I was pleased with myself. So that is what it feels like! She told me time and time again, that I know the work. I spent countless hours in class learning. I spent countless hours outside of class studying, teaching, prepping, practicing, and thinking about Pilates. I have to walk into that room and have that in the back of my mind. I did. It worked.

I am young. 28. The studio is not a young crowd. A lot of women and men who could even be my mom and dad. I think that is part of my own personal hurdle. I had/have to get past that feeling. I cannot care if they think I am young. If I bring it, they will know I mean business. I am aware of that now.

On that same note, the very fact that I am 28 and completing this journey means that I have a very long career in Pilates ahead of me. To think, when I am only 38, I will have been at this for 10 years. 10 years of teaching Pilates under my belt before I am 40. That is an exciting thought! I started my Pilates journey in high school with Mat work. When I was about 16 or 17. I was instantly drawn to it. I have always thought it was the bees knees and way better than Yoga. Yoga just always bores me. I have tried a lot. But after that 1st Pilates class my mom took me to, I was in love. So there we are. My mom took me to my 1st Mat class and I will be instructing her for my very first Reformer class after finished my student teaching hours. Full circle in some ways.

Here is to a new adventure and a long career doing what I love. A long career that is my total passion.

It finally happened! Last week we closed on our home and moved in the following day. We have been here since Friday. It is lovely. I am so happy it is ridiculous. This has been a lengthy process and both my husband and I feel this tremendous weight that has been lifted. It is truly our dream home. So much so that I find myself not actually wanting to walk out of the door. I could just stay in it all day every day.

Jack has adjusted phenomenally. The first night he woke up once and then fell back asleep without us having to go in there. Since then, nights have been fine. He already calls it home when we pull in the driveway. He has made himself rather comfortable with everything around the house. We have it easy with him. Transitions for him have always been a piece of cake. He just seems to do really well going from one step to the other.

I have my very own Pilates room. I have big plans for it over time. Adding a Reformer, a large mirror, and maybe a barre. But for now it is my own little place of solitude and I am content with that.

Workout organization

Workout organization

Pilates Room

Pilates Room

I still have unpacking to do, but we have knocked out a major portion of it. This room below is so peaceful and truly one of my favorite in the house. My mom helped me finish unpacking it this weekend. I also took a trip to Crate and Barrel for extra accent pieces. Even Jack (and our cat as you can see) loves being in this room.

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I have tons of photos of the home already. I won’t bog this post down with them though. That is what my personal facebook has been for. I am just so excited and in love I can barely contain myself from posting things constantly. I didn’t write about the whole experience but it was quite an ordeal. When your attorney tells you this is the most complicated home sale he has ever done, you know that things are crazy! Our attorney isn’t 27 or anything either. He could be our parent. So, being closed, done, and homeowners of our total dream home feels amazing. It makes us both so happy. It has reduced so much stress in our daily lives. I don’t even think I realized HOW much this had been stressing us both out. Now we can enjoy our home, our little family, and our lives together for many many MANY years here.

 

I have a ton to write about. I have a ton of updates in my life. Our internet has been screwy. One reason I cannot wait to move. There is not much you can do about that when you are renting. When you own, well my husband can hunt and hunt until he finds the problem. He thinks the issue is at the source of the connection. I have my iPad and iPhone, but I don’t like trying to write out a post on those. I do not type quite as quickly as I do on a good old fashioned keyboard.

So what has been going on?

My obsession with the Wunda Chair grows each day. This morning, I cannot recall the last time I took a day off of working out. I think that means I should skip today. We shall see.

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Jack started preschool last week! TWO days a week. It was a crazy feeling. I was so excited for him to learn. I was a bit excited to have some time to get things done. I was sad that he is growing. I felt so guilty. My guilt increased when he cried both mornings and begged me not to leave him. BUT both days, after I left, he calmed down and had a great time. Both days when I picked him up he said “GREAT DAY!” On the first day, I bawled when I got into the parking lot and on the phone with my husband. I felt so awful seeing him so upset. I have been feeling VERY guilty for sending him in the first place. I feel like a crap mom.

I have been a stay at home mom for going on 2 1/2 years. I dedicate myself entirely to this boy. Now that I am ready to embark on my career (I even have SIX classes on the summer schedule), I needed to find some time during the day to work. As parents, we decided together Jack was ready for socialization with his peers, so we picked an early preschool program instead of an in home nanny. Yet, I still feel like I am doing him a disservice because for a couple hours a week I let him go learn and play with others. I know it makes no sense, but it is how I feel. It does help to hear about his day through him when I pick him up. He even made me a Mother’s Day gift at school! It was the best gift ever! This school gives us daily updates, emails, photos, and progress reports. Even what times his diaper was changed, how he ate, how his mood was. It keeps me involved without actually being there. Jack is super attached to me. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I still had to change every single diaper because he flips out if I am around and my husband tries to do it. He is a momma’s boy. So this has been a transition for the both of us. I think it will prove to be great, I already see sparkles of that after 2 days. It is just a matter of me getting my irrational guilt in check.

Check out some photos from his first 2 days!

Jacky's very 1st day!

Jacky’s very 1st day!

 

Cooking some food on his 1st day

Cooking some food on his 1st day

 

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After his 1st day was over. Too cool for school ;-)

 

Making some art on his 2nd day

Making some art on his 2nd day

 

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My Mother’s Day gift!

We close on our new home on Thursday. Yes, as in 3 days from this post! That has been a big contributor to the insanity in our lives. We are swamped. Plus our landlord has listed our current place for rent, so we have had showings. While packing I also have to keep the house pristine and in showing conditions! Last week we stopped by the house for some quotes on some repairs on the pool.

We took some time to take a couple photos of the new place. We are so excited for this adventure to come to a close (pun intended) this week.

In our backyard

In our backyard

 

Making himself at home by our pool

Making himself at home by our pool

The only reason I have time to write all of this today is because I am taking a day off of working out. I do have to take Jack to swim lessons this morning. Tonight I am teaching 2 Reformer classes. I have to prep a bit for those, even though I am pretty sure I know what I am doing anyway. I should clean up the living room too because it is a disaster after a Mother’s Day lego session yesterday. This was my 3rd Mother’s Day. It feels crazy to say that! I can’t believe I have 3 under my belt already!

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

This might be the last post for a while. We plan to move everything Friday if we can. Which means we will probably have our first somewhat settled night in the house on Saturday. AH! Craziness. June is going to be nuts for us. We always have a lot to do. Our wedding anniversary, my husband always has a conference in the beginning of June so he is gone for a few days, plus there are always tons of family parties and/or weddings. My summer session begins June 9th. I will try to update though, especially about the new pad.

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope Mother’s Day was great!

 

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