Toddler

2 years 6 months – values

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Happy 2.5 years, Amaya Belle! You are fierce, emotional, and joyful. I love how sure you are of yourself and how clearly you advocate for your needs and wants. With more independence and language, you get pretty upset when you can’t have everything you want. You’re learning to express your emotions in a healthy way. Lastly, you’re zest for life is always apparent. I love watching you sing and dance. I love your deep belly laughs. I love your big heart and the way we connect. I see you, Amaya. And you constantly amaze me.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on values that mean a lot to me: kindness, gratitude, and curiosity. These values always anchor me when I’m feeling ungrounded, and they help to shift my perspective.

Kindness

As Brene Brown says, clear is kind. This means choosing clear boundaries and saying no over agreeing to do something out of obligation and resenting it. I used to be someone who called myself a people pleaser. As I’ve gotten wiser, I now pride myself on being kind, especially to myself. Lately, this looks like self care, clear boundaries, and saying no often. To be completely honest, I think my choice to detox from social media since January has been a life changer. I no longer have fomo, nor do I second-guess myself. I don’t get caught up in the traps of doing or being busy. I can honestly say I’m spending my time on things that are super important to me. It’s allowed me the space to introspect. I’m reading more. And I’m connecting with people directly and in meaningful ways. I have no idea what you’ve posted on social media, so you’re going to tell me about the big things happening in your life, not just what you did last weekend. When I started writing about kindness, I didn’t think the message would all about saying no. But saying no allows your “yes” to be much more emphatic. As a result, I feel more expansive than I have in a long time. Trust me, y’all. “No” is a thing! Try it!

Gratitude

Gratitude is still a part of my daily ritual with Amaya and for myself. Most of my gratitude lately has been centered around having vulnerable and open conversations with people. I’m grateful for every person who has told me to speak up and stand in my worth. I’m grateful for people who seek out one on one time with Amaya. I hope you know she remembers it, and it impacts her. This is how you make it on the nightly gratitude list :) Our biggest currency is our time, and it’s not necessarily the amount but the quality of our time – phone down, completely present, willingly engaging. This month I’m also grateful to be doing a work from home trial. While the new Indeed office is being built, I gave up my desk and decided to work from home for a month. It’s afforded me a ton of flexibility (namely ditching that 40 min commute each way), and I’m finding that I’m more productive and also able to squeeze in things like a yoga class over lunch, quick trip to grab groceries after daycare drop off in the morning, or getting laundry done between meetings. It’s definitely been an adjustment and takes a lot of discipline, but I’m kind of a fan!

Curiosity

I’ve gotten curious about what I need to thrive as a working mom – meaningful work, flexibility to take care of home life, and living my values daily. I realized that for a long time I haven’t asked myself what I need. There was a pivotal moment when Andy and I asked ourselves if we were ready for another kid. I initially said yes only to examine myself more closely to see that I was just doing what everyone else expected of me. This was a huge realization. It helped me say “no, not right now,” and I think that decision opened up a lot of yeses for me (working on my book, up-leveling my career, and focusing on my marriage to name a few). I’m now addicted to asking why (even if only to myself) so that I don’t fall into the trap of doing – doing what people expect of me, doing what everyone else is doing, doing what the media glorifies. Curiosity feeds into kindness which leads to gratitude, and it’s been a continuous loop of goodness for me.

Memorable moments:

  • Disney on Ice presents Frozen – this was seriously magical, and she still watches the videos I took on my phone and tells everyone how she has seen Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Elsa and Anna.
  • Family play date with Parker and the Mantooths
  • When she told me and Andy, “Mom, dad, talk to me!” instead of talking about her as if she weren’t there. This was a big lesson for us. She’s always watching, listening, and observing.
  • Visit from Bac Mi and Uncle Jason, Vonida and John (who won her over with beef jerky and hot wheels)
  • Visiting new coffee shops – loving Cosmic Coffee and climbing at Crux afterwards
  • Dinner date and bubble bath at Olive’s
  • Swimming! We have a little fish who is over her fear of water. Fave spot is Uncle Kike’s pool
  • Playing soccer at Zilker with Uncles Derick, Anthony, and Kike
  • Joaquin’s bday party in San Antonio and sleepover at the Ortega’s
  • Swimming at Ben and Tiffany’s and downing a whole drumstick ice cream cone
  • Getting her face painted for the first time! Purple dog with sparkles was her actual request

I love you my sweet, sweet Amaya!

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