Last week I went and applied for financial assistance to join the YMCA in our neighborhood. It's only a mile away, on an easily walkable route, so I'll be able to go frequently during the week even when Pete is working and get some cardio in there and back. They have a great program that helps lower income families afford to become members, and I was so excited that we qualified. There is free childcare, though it was a bit disastrous on our first try, we're going to keep working on it with him in smaller increments of time. The big deterrent that I've had from using the base gyms/pools that are free to us is the hour long commute there and back, coupled with their complete lack of childcare. It doesn't make for a very family friendly opportunity.
They have been renovating and improving the Y for the last year, so much of the equipment and studios are brand new. The new childcare facility just opened last Monday, and it huge, colorful, brand new from top to bottom, and surrounded by windows so that you can check on your babies easily and from many directions. They have a pool where I can take aerobic swim classes, and Julian can take swim lessons which I'm really excited about. I think that is going to be one of his birthday presents this year. We want to keep him comfortable in the water year round so when we go to the beach next year he won't have forgotten how much he likes it. They also have yoga and pilates studio with tons of classes offered throughout the week, and that's where I will be mostly. I'm really looking forward to getting back into better shape since having Jules, and having a place Pete can work out that is closer to home and takes him away for less time. Now if we can just get Jules to be okay with being left for at least an hour at a time....
As many of you who read this blog know, music is pretty important in our house. I started piano when I was 7, and played for many years. That lead to playing percussion in a symphonic band and marching band drum line throughout middle and high school. I absolutely loved it, and it is something that I hope I can pass down to Jules along with a love of sports of course!
We've been exposing Julian to as many different kinds of music and sounds as possible. He also has a small piano, xylophone, tambourines, and shakers that we encourage him to play often. He loves to shake back and forth and dance when he hears music, as well as bang along on his instruments. We have music in nearly every room of the house: his bedroom and the living room have bigger players, while the bathroom and the kitchen have travel speakers - and all of them can connect to our Ipods. We start the day in the kitchen with children's music at breakfast, and from there it's whatever suits our mood. There is a high school in the neighborhood that has a small marching band with a drum line that I've started taking him to listen to when they practice during the week and before games. He loves all of the base, and rocks back and forth to the beat of the music with a huge grin on his face.
With his birthday coming up I've been searching Amazon high and low, tagging things on his Wish List that I wanted to remember as ideas for his #1 and for Christmas. I came across this Drum Set, and was sold instantly. It's only 13 inches high, is made from wood and won't take up too large of a footprint, and I think this Band in a Box will be the perfect accompaniment. Melissa and Doug and Plan Toys have some really great stuff for kids, I love everything made by them we've gotten for Jules so far. Lot's of wooden toys, with natural/non-toxic dyes and paints, that are incredibly durable. Some may think I'm crazy to get something that will make so much noise, but honestly - I love it! I love watching him develop his rhythm, see how loud he can be, see how much he bounces and shakes to the beat.