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!

January Blues

Gratuitous Cheese shot.

I won’t lie, January was hard. Bitterly cold, jet lagged baby, sick family over and over again, plus a case of the blues that just wouldn’t budge. I’ve been struggling to find room for myself again now that Eloise is getting older and doesn’t need me quite so much. I’ve been feeling time slipping by me in all directions. In Eloise’s little face as it slims and grows, in my friends’ careers as they get promoted and start their own businesses. I’ve been feeling torn in a way I never thought possible between choosing myself or choosing to spend my time with Eloise.

It’s a fine line to walk. I love hearing every word for the first time, seeing every new trick she throws out daily. I also feel like I’ve been living my life entirely for someone else, and that I’ve completely lost myself.

So what’s the answer? I’m trying hard to get some freelance and part-time work going that I can do with some short babysitting stints for Eloise, and during her naps. So far it’s going well, but it’s also hard! Hard to focus, hard to spend all my free time working rather than resting up for the next tornado Eloise. It’s better than the alternative though, and I still get to spend most of the week with my crazy, wilful, adorable toddler.

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!