Saturday, October 18, 2014

Join Us!

We are getting ready to start the next round of Purposeful Conception: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy on Monday! 

Although I am on the other side of conception (I have a 15 month-old and a 3.5 year-old and my husband got a vasectomy), I still love talking about everything that surrounds conception, pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Just yesterday, I was talking with a pregnant friend/colleague who was explaining that she doesn't feel like she's "supposed" to feel in terms of the proverbial "maternal instinct."

I connected with another friend/colleague last week who got accidentally pregnant and didn't know it until she had a miscarriage.

Last weekend I connected with an old friend who is 35 and gearing up to try and get pregnant (so I gave her my tips for when and how to have sex when you're trying to get pregnant--it's embarrassing to admit, but I love talking about cervical mucus because knowledge of it helped me get pregnant on the first try three times in a row!).

And today I am dropping off a meal for a friend who just had her second baby. So fun!

And selfishly, I want to work through the lessons in this course as a sort of "tune-up" for my life. I want to eat healthier, make time for exercise, drink enough water every day, think about my stress levels, reflect on my finances, examine my support network, etc. And talking about those kinds of changes and commitments is so much easier within a community of accountability.

Here is some feedback from former participants:
  • "I want to recommend the heck out of this!"
  • "I feel like I have a really solid reference point; all the journaling these activities inspired created a larger awareness for me of what we’re getting ourselves into. We both feel a lot more informed not only about some specifics of preparing for pregnancy, but also that we have a broader groundwork with which to do more research and a better understanding of what we think and feel about taking this step. I feel more careful about how I’m organizing my life, more intentional about my time and space; my husband has had a chance to work through many of his fears and is more eager than ever to start trying! I think previously I was ready just to dive in and figure it out as I went, now I am a lot more confident in my ability to handle this."   
  • "To be honest, I was hesitant at first to spend the money on a class about preparing for conception (rather than saving it towards actually having a baby!). However, both my husband and I have benefited SO much from this; it's been worth EVERY penny and more. Truly. It's been fantastic and I'm so glad I 'splurged.'"  
  • "This was an excellent course and a lot of thought, research, hard work, and love went into it - that is obvious. It was comforting to find a community of others who are really taking the time to plan for conception and parenthood, because I don't find that among my local community. Great job, Sara. Really and truly. This course was a big help to me and I will definitely recommend it to others!"
  • "I think that this course really shines in the lessons that require self-reflection. You brought up several issues that I hadn't really considered."
  • "Thanks to all the reflection, guided discussions, and useful advice from this course, [my] worry/fear has pretty much disappeared. My partner and I have figured out what 'ready' means to us, and it's not as hard as we thought it would be to get there. We have a short to-do list with achievable goals. I'm happy to be where I am right now in my life."
  • "Thanks for taking the time to put all of this information together and for sharing so much of yourself with us. I enjoyed the course."
  • "After working through the course I feel much more comfortable with the idea of having a child and much more prepared to expand my family."
  • "I was very ambivalent about having a child before taking this course. I now know that my husband and I are more prepared than I thought we were to have a child. For the areas in which we need some work, I now have concrete action steps to complete...It's wonderful to actually be excited about this next step instead of fearful or unsure."
  • "I have a long way to go, but I want to work on myself before having a baby. This course has helped me identify concrete areas that need work."
Interested in learning more? Visit the Course Overview or About the Author. The total cost is $99 USD. Register Now! Or e-mail me with more questions. Happy Conceiving!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Books

Halloween is around the corner! 

As my children get older, I think more and more about our seasonal traditions and rituals. Last year, we started a tradition of hosting a Halloween pizza party and then trick-or-treating with our neighbors. We definitely want to continue that tradition this year, but I also want to add in a new tradition: reading books about Halloween in the weeks leading up to the holiday! 

I pulled together a list of books that look interesting to me. Since Henry is only three and is still very much a concrete thinker who is trying to wrap his brain around the world, I gravitate more toward realistic fiction or non-fiction. However, you'll see that there is some fantasy fiction in the mix. 

I'm going to purchase some of these books and keep them on the top shelf of the closet. We can bring them down every October! 

I also think I'll throw in some books related to Fall:
REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on October 20thRegister today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Hobbies!

Image courtesy The Purl Bee

So sorry I missed posting last week! It's for a good reason: I have hobbies again! 

I took a class at a local yarn shop to learn how to make this cowl

And I've been reading. 

And Matt and I have been playing speed Scrabble. We give ourselves one minute per turn. It's actually been a really fun way get in a quick game. It also makes the process feel more engaging because we aren't looking at our phones or doing something else during the other person's turn. The only way it doesn't completely stress me out is if I spend the first couple seconds coming up with any word (even if it's not worth very many points). That way, I'm not anxious about the timer going off too soon because I know I can play something. 

Life is good!

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on October 20thRegister today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Enroll Now: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy

I've been too busy to offer this course for the past year. Fortunately, my two-week Fall Break has opened up some time and space for me to prepare to offer it again. Even though Matt and I are not planning to have more children (Matt had a vasectomy to prevent any accidental pregnancies), I'm looking forward to participating. It's like a tune-up for my life. 

Last week I heard from one of the participants from the very first class. She is now on Baby #3 and was asking for a copy of one of the worksheets from the course. I feel so fortunate to still be connected with such amazing women! 

Here are the details:

For those of you who are thinking about conception or are actively trying, this online course might be for you! From October 20 through November 14, a new lesson will be uploaded each weekday. The lessons will address a comprehensive range of topics, such as preparing your body through solid nutrition and exercise, finding balance between what you can and cannot control, making space in your life for pregnancy, deciding whether to track your cycle, building a solid partnership as a foundation for your future family, and much, much more. As a participant in the course, you'll receive information, tips, reflection exercises and prompts, and a community of like-minded kindred spirits who are on a journey similar to your own.

The course doesn't presume that doing x, y, and z will lead to pregnancy. Instead, the idea is to focus on the things we can control in order to create a solid foundation (e.g., nutrition, stress levels, relationships, finances, etc.) and to make peace with the things we cannot control about the process.
I want to be upfront that I am not a healthcare professional. I simply spent a very long time researching and preparing myself for conception. This course is a compilation of all that information in one convenient and concise place--alongside information I did not find in any of the books.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Course Overview or About the Author. The total cost is $99 USD. Register Now! Or e-mail me with more questions. Happy Conceiving!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thought for the Day

In my effort to insert a little more balance into my life, I started reading a "fluffy" book on my Kindle app. The part of myself that minored in English in college definitely expresses a little judgement whenever I gravitate toward "substandard literature--if you can even call it 'literature'" but I'm thankful that I can easily out-wrestle my inner-critic and read relaxing books anyway. 

I love the opening of the book and wanted to share it with you. It's exactly how I feel about my life--simultaneously overwhelmed with gratitude for how amazing it is and utterly terrified that something negative will happen to change it. 

Whenever I hear of someone else’s tragedy, I do not dwell on the accident or diagnosis, or even the initial shockwaves or aftermath of grief. Instead, I find myself reconstructing those final, ordinary moments. Moments that make up our lives. Moments that were blissfully taken for granted—and that likely would have been forgotten altogether but for what followed. The before snapshots.

I can so clearly envision the thirty-four-year-old woman in the shower one Saturday evening, reaching for her favorite apricot body scrub, contemplating what to wear to the party, hopeful that the cute guy from the coffee shop will make an appearance, when she suddenly happens upon the unmistakable lump in her left breast.

Or the devoted, young father, driving his daughter to buy her first-day-of-school Mary Janes, cranking up Here Comes the Sun on the radio, reminding her for the umpteenth time that the Beatles are “without a doubt the greatest band of all time,” as the teenaged boy, bleary-eyed from too many late-night Budweisers, runs the red light.

Or the brash high-school receiver, full of promise and pride, out on the sweltering practice field the day before the big football game, winking at his girlfriend from her usual post at the chain-link fence, just before leaping into the air to make the catch nobody else could have made—and then twisting, falling headfirst on that sickening, fluke angle.

I think about the thin, fragile line separating all of us from misfortune, almost as a way of putting a few coins in my own gratitude meter, of safeguarding against anafter happening to me. To us. Ruby and Frank, Nick and me. Our foursome—the source of both my greatest joys and most consuming worries.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Mantra for Next Year

This year I've been focusing on "making a clearing" in order to steal myself against the onslaught of difficulties that come from opening a school and raising two young children. Honestly, the process of opening a school has been more difficult than I ever imagined. 

This year, "making a clearing" has included different things. I've tried to make aspects of my life as easy as possible, so that I could invest more in two main areas: mothering and working. We've definitely made dinnertime easier by using Greenling some weeks or cooking frozen meals other weeks. We sometimes hire a housekeeper when it gets so dirty we can't stand it, but mainly we've just lowered our standards for domestic cleanliness. 

Mainly "making a clearing" has been about not letting myself get involved with dreaming and scheming about side projects. There is little time to focus on anything else but my two big priorities. I haven't set monthly goals for myself in a long time.

Fortunately, I can see the trajectory we're on and am optimistic that it's going to get more and more manageable. Last night I had the random thought: "What will my mantra be for next year?" And I immediately answered: "Balance." It's exactly what is needed in my life. I feel the negative effects of being so laser-like focused on two priorities and not having space or time for self-care, exercise, or much fun. 

My hope is that the most difficult parts of building this dream are behind us. Tate is now 15 months. With Henry, I distinctly remember 16 months being a turning point for me as a mother. 

At the same time, I want to savor every moment of where we are. I don't want to constantly be focused on "when it's going to get better." I cannot even fathom how quickly children grow up. Being connected to former students on Facebook has really illustrated how quickly time slips by. My first third graders are now grown adults. Even children I taught just a few years ago are already in middle school. 

And those are other people's children. I feel like I'm going to blink and my children will be teenagers who are gearing up to leave the house and venture out on their own. 

Yes, I am eager to savor every one of those baths I get to give and books I get to read. 

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Drumroll, Please

The winner of our contest to win a copy of my favorite Montessori documentary--Edison's Day--is: Kathryn Sp.

Congratulations, Kathryn! Please e-mail me your address to claim your prize. 

"Kathryn Sp

This sounds like a wonderful resource as I learn about Montessori practices with my infant son.

September 16, 2014 at 9:33 AM"

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