Slowly, I am adding back in some of the things that I used to consider so normal about my life.
I worked out at Curves for the first time since G’s birth. Felt GREAT. The owner was so excited about G, wanting to see pictures and video. She used to take pictures of me during the different stages of my pregnancy. Very friendly lady who’s always inviting me to her big-box evangelical church down the road. Today’s goals include Pilates and runnning on the elliptical.
I started piano lessons yesterday! I contacted some of my longest standing students who I’ve worked with for 3 1/2 years, and set up a few lessons to learn Christmas carols. I only have 11 of my students signed up right now (perhaps 13, depending on scheduling), and a few of them are coming to my apartment for their lessons, but even then, I entered this week with a bit of trepidation about it all. We need the money, however, so I went for it.
Last night was a trial run with 5 students. The first house was with 3 of my longest standing students. They pretty much consider me part of their family. The mom bought over $150 worth of gifts for my shower and brought us $60 worth of Bucca de Beppo when it was her turn to bring us a dinner. It’s pretty easy to have a good relationship with this family because her kids are well behaved and bright, and because she’s so organized that in our nearly 4 years of working together, she has never no-showed, never cancelled last minute, never had a mix-up. She’s even hosted one of my recitals.
So when she offered to babysit Gregory while I taught her three kids I decided to give it a trial run. It was a total blast– I gave myself about an hour of buffer room around the 1.5 hours of lessons (which was a good idea, seeing as I had to nurse him halfway through), and the kids and I basically had fun learning Christmas music while the mom watched G. She was great with him– fed him his “snack” bottle, rocked him to sleep, and basically spoiled him. The kids were in love from the start, especially the youngest boy who is 7 years old. After I taught him how to effectively get G to suck on his pacifier, I heard the boy tell his mom proudly, “I knew I was great with babies!” Afterwards, they all helped carry his things to the car, each kid carrying some small item or bag. Even the dad came home from work and was immediately oohing and ahhing. I guess it didn’t hurt that I had G dressed in his cutest Gap overalls/plaid button up shirt/Uggs outfit 🙂
Then, it was off to the house where Julie nannies for another hour of lessons. Jesse was already there because he teaches guitar lessons to the same family. They had a present waiting for G– a cute little bear bathrobe!– and then Christmas music filled the house for an hour while Julie watched Gregory. It’s a pretty funny system, because Jesse and I basically have lessons with one of the kids and then swap. The timing is never exact– they almost always get longer lessons, just because we’re having fun and the kids are very eager to learn. For instance, I was teaching the middle child who is 6. We were learning “Silent Night”, which was in a new hand position for him, so I knew it would be a bit difficult. After we got through 3 lines, I said, “Okay, that’s it for now!” in order to avoid burnout. He immediately said, “No! We’ve got to finish!” and proceeded to concentrate on the song for another 15 minutes. Super impressive! The oldest, a cute girl with a beautiful voice, sang the Christmas songs while I played them on the piano.
All in all, it was the most fun I’ve had in weeks. Can’t believe I get paid to do that!