Mother’s Day 2013

I don’t feel like I’m honest enough about how hard being a parent to a toddler is on a day-to-day basis. I post pretty pictures on Facebook and Instagram, and tweet cute or funny things that Eloise says or does. The reality is I love my baby girl with every ounce of my being – but some days are just. so. incredibly. hard. Physically exhausting. Mentally draining. Emotionally destroying. The good days and bad days mix with no rhyme or reason, and just when you think you’ve got everything under control and you’re in the clear, whammo, another bad day floors you to your knees.

I’m prefacing my post with this because Mother’s Day was one of those days. Alec went above and beyond to organise the perfect weekend for me. A cupcake from my favourite bakery. A surprise massage. Home-cooked lunch, and a surprise dinner at a vegan restaurant I’ve been dying to try. And then Eloise’s two-year molars started to come in – at least, that’s what we’re guessing is going on. Now we’re back to a whingy, not-sleeping, screaming bundle of toddler.

My Mother’s Day was filled with the humbling reminder that my enjoyment of life is – for the moment at least – highly dependant on the happiness of my child. Sad baby = no-one enjoys the day.

We still tried to make the most out of it. Got out in the sun, went to a few parks, had a wonderful dinner together after Eloise went to bed. It was not the Mother’s Day I would have wanted, but, then again, that’s not the toddler I was given.

So here are my carefully edited photos that tell a different story about my Mother’s Day.

20 takes later, this was the best shot. Notice she’s trying to escape?

Bounce up and down like an idiot, and eventually you’ll get a cranky toddler to smile

The other way to get an angry toddler to smile – let them do what they want. “Walk, walk walk!” You got it, baby!

Advertisements

Hopes And Dreams For Eloise

I like to joke about wanting Eloise to be a dancer, or a software engineer, but the truth is I don’t care what career path my little girl takes. What’s most important to me is the type of person she grows up to be. I have a lot of dreams for her – and I hope that I will be a good enough mother to help her become the kind of person who people will love and admire.

So here’s my advice to my baby girl, on what I’ve learned so far is the path to happiness, peace of heart, and love.

Be kind. To everyone, even people you don’t like. Be kind to animals, be kind to your elders, be kind to people you see being picked on.

Be patient. You already show signs of my impatience, so this will be hard for you. Slow down, take deep breathes, control your irritability. I promise you if you can master this, it will serve you well throughout your whole life, and you will regret your behaviour far less than I do. Good luck with this though, as you’re already a little spit-fire.

Know the consequences of your actions. You’re only one person, but everything you will do through your life will have reaching consequences, even if you can’t see them. A flippant comment to someone you don’t know might ruin their entire day.

Be empathetic towards strangers and people who do you wrong. This is something that I’ve also struggled with a lot – not empathy towards friends and family, which is easy, but trying to keep my temper in check with people who aren’t in my immediate circle is really hard for me – and for you too, if you inherit this trait from me. Someone who is unkind to you might be having the worst day of their lives, you just don’t know it. When someone is a complete A-hole and steals your seat from you on the subway when you’re pregnant, imagine their hardships before assuming the worst. Try your hardest, anyway, and then tell them to give you the goddam seat.

Value all life. If you choose to eat meat, know that an animal gave its life for it and think about that before you dig in.

Stand up for yourself and what you know to be right. Note: this will not make you popular. But it will make you someone who is true to themselves, and not a sheeple. Please don’t be a sheeple, both your dad and I can’t stand them. Learning to act for yourself, especially when it’s against what everyone else is doing, is so hard when you’re a teenager, and even in your early 20s. People like people who are like them, and find comfort in it. If you’re different, it will start out hard, but will be ultimately rewarding as you find your true path in life. Standing out as a true individual will help you in ways you won’t be able to imagine when at the time all you can see is your friends at a party pressuring you to smoke something nasty. When you want to succeed in life, being an individual will help you step above the general masses to land jobs, be offered opportunities, and also help you to be truly happy with the person who you are.

Go with love. Love as hard as you can – your friends, your family, your animals, your hobbies, and, hopefully, a life partner and then children, if you decide to have them. Love every day you wake up to, love the details, just love, love, love. It’s the most fulfilling pleasure you will have in life.

Peace as I know it comes from acting kindly, patiently, empathetically and with love. When I do something like snap at friends, or take out my frustration on people who don’t deserve it, a few hours later I always feel bad. If it’s a particularly bad things I’ve said or done, I’ve felt bad for YEARS – in some instances I still feel bad whenever I think about it. Please learn from me. Make your own mistakes, don’t repeat my thoughtless ones.

Little girl, I love watching you grow, learn and attack the world with joy. I hope I can guide your footsteps while you’re learning to run, skip and hop, and watch with pride in your shadow as you take flight into your own, beautiful life.

Love you, baby girl.

Snow day!

Blizzard Nemo (ha!) hit New York yesterday. It was pretty crazy being out in it – like icicles prickling my face. Today the blizzard had passed and the city was covered in a glorious foot of snow. Yay! We head over to Fort Greene park to give Eloise her first real taste of snow. She really loved it – she couldn’t get enough of sitting on the ground and trying to grab it in her little mits.

Snow baby!

Go, baby, go!

Snow dog!

With Daddy.

Family!

Beautiful.

Snow baby.

Happy husband.

Loving the snow.

So pretty.

Love!

Stroller did NOT work well in snow.

Such Is Life

I don’t blog as much as I should about the amazing things I get to do living in New York. Here are a few fun things I’ve been up to recently.

Seeing the world premiere of Les Miserables with Beck, followed by a Q&A with the cast, including Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.

Cast from Les Miserables

Christmas decorations are up! Loving this beautiful tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eloise also loved the museum – she has reached an age where she notices everything around her and is so curious about everything she sees.

Met Christmas Tree

Saw the NYC ballet perform the Nutcracker with my friend Alexis at the Lincoln Center.

Ballet poses!

Hanging out with a special visitor! It was wonderful to see Beverly after almost three years, and meet Hunter and Carter.

It’s us! With kids!

Eloise’s first time in snow!

It’s colddddddd!

Had a wonderful time at the So You Think You Can Dance live tour with Dan and Sue.

Yes, I think I can dance!

Watched the US Olympic gymnastics team perform live in a showcase at the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn.

The ladies on the rings.

Lived through Hurricane Sandy.

Damage near our home.

And managed to celebrate Halloween straight afterwards.

Ballet butterfly!

Had great adventures with Grandma!

Three generations of Knight ladies.

Thanksgiving 2012

This year I am especially thankful for my wonderful husband, my amazing, beautiful daughter, my loving parents, and both old and new friends. I’m thankful for mine, Alec’s and Eloise’s good health, and for our situation in life that enables us to live in New York, in a lovely apartment, and for me to take care of Eloise full-time while she’s so small.

It’s hard to focus on the big picture when the day-to-day gripes set in. I’m taking a moment today to really feel thankful for how lucky I truly am.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mother’s Day!

My mum’s pretty great. I know I’m lucky to have such a wonderful mum, so I like to spoil her on Mother’s Day. This year I took my parents to lunch at my favourite local cafe, Not Bread Alone, and then went for a drive to Middle Head Harbour to check out the historical area and the amazing view.

It was perfect Sydney weather – stunning bright blue sky and amazing warm sun. We wandered around for a while, then checked out the nearby cafe, Burnt Orange. I had tried to book us in here for lunch, but it was booked out, so instead we went for afternoon tea when it was a bit quieter.

Happy Mother’s Day Mum!

xox

Happy Birthday Dad

Moving weekend also co-incided with my dad’s birthday. And torrential rain. So we packed, packed, packed, then had dinner with my parents, then moved the next morning. Exhausting stuff. We met my parents for dinner at a restaurant halfway between our houses – Bin 24 in North Strathfield.

 
 

Taronga Zoo with the Family

Our overseas guests requested a day at Taronga, so on their last day in Sydney we all met up at the zoo for some siteseeing. It was so great having everyone together. I’m really sad they’re leaving for the US tomorrow.

With my brother, Tim.
Dad, Mum, Tim, Michele, Liz.
 
With the new husband!
 
Group shot.
 
Today is our one-week anniversary (woot!) and it seemed almost like a nice circle to return to the zoo, as Alec and I were last there just before we started dating. Our first outing where we started to get to know each other, in August 2006, was at Taronga. Awwww… 🙂