Monday, November 5, 2012

November: Reflection & Rejuvenation

On the one hand, I can't believe the year is almost over, but, on the other hand, we still have 1/6th of the year left. That's not too shabby. 

Still, these two months tend to blur by. I want to stay ahead of everything that the season requires. 

Let's see how I did with last month's intentions:
  • Get my car's oil changed. I know this seems like minutiae and is hardly worthy of being listed as a goal for the month, but I need the accountability to get it done. Um, no. But I'm going to do it tomorrow, okay?
  • Be patient while we wait to see whether or not we successfully conceived during this cycle. Yes! My mantras helped a lot. And it turns out that I'm pregnant. I'm still in happy shock. Being pregnant after a miscarriage is a whole different ballgame for me. As optimistic as I try to be, I can't help but doubt the pregnancy nearly every single day. How come I don't feel more queasy? How come I'm not peeing more in the night? I've been reluctant to monitor the pregnancy by getting multiple blood tests done (to make sure my hCG is doubling nearly every day) for a couple reasons. First, I'm reluctant to fork over all the co-pays while we are on a super-strict budget. And, two, I have many other things to be doing and focusing on instead of trekking to the doctor. Really, I think I need to turn this topic into its own post.
  • Finish Purposeful Parenthood. I made some good progress, but I wasn't able to finish it.
  • Brainstorm Matt's birthday present. Yes! But I can't reveal it because it might get back to Matt.
  • Build our Christmas lists for family members. Oops.
  • Work on publicity plans for my book, A Priceless Wedding: Crafting a Meaningful, Memorable, and Affordable Celebration. A little bit. Thank you so much for your offers of support!
  • Publicize Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes That Build Confidence and Independence the Montessori Way. Yep!
  • Read for fun and relaxation before bed each night (I hope to participate in this month's book club focused on Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs). Yep! I really enjoyed reading Wild, a memoir about a woman who hikes the Pacific Coast Trail to reconnect with herself.
  • Get started on the construction of our house! The appraiser considered the additional information we submitted and agreed to raise the appraisal another $10,000. It puts us close enough to make it work. We are so, so close. We closed on our construction loan. Now we are just waiting for the building permit to come back from the city. 
Extra things I accomplished:
  • Planned a play date at the park for families interested in the school.
  • Went to 17 meetings related to opening the school!
  • Planned an executed an event for community and educational leaders to learn more about our vision for the school.
  • Organized our craft room.
I struggled to accomplish all my goals for two main reasons this month: 
  1. The first trimester always knocks me on my butt. I'm napping for about an hour and a half every day. In the evenings, I'm not motivated to do any work. This month, I'm going to continue letting myself nap for so long, but I'm going to work harder at mustering motivation in the evenings. Henry goes to bed at 6:30, so even if I work for an hour or two, I still have time for relaxation before bed.
  2. I haven't been dutifully preparing my action plan at the start of every week. When I sit down to plan my week, I need to look back at my monthly goals and schedule in time to work on things. No excuses
So, this month. Let's see:
  • Continue to nurture the life growing inside me: daily naps, walks four times a week, solid nutrition, intentional stress release.
  • Select a midwife for a homebirth.
  • Get a lot of our Christmas shopping done. 
  • Select a partner for 2000 Dollar Wedding.
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving break with my best friend (and make homemade pumpkin empanadas with cilantro mint dipping sauce).
  • Make significant progress on finishing the charter application.
I know November is going to fly by, so I will stop there!

Photo Courtesy of the Nikki McClure Calendar

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Tracie said...

Hi Sara,

This is really random, but I was wondering if you could elaborate a little more on your/Henry's bedtime routine? How do you incorporate Montessori into it? I know you're really great about bringing Montessori into every part of your parenting! Also, I'd love to hear a post about your & Henry & Matt's daily schedule just in general. Thanks!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hey, Tracie! Our schedule is pretty straightforward. Matt helps Henry get ready in the morning and takes him to school. I pick him up at 2:45. We come home, make a snack (Henry peels a banana, cuts it, cuts some cheese, composts the banana peel, etc.). We clean up a little around the house, and then we go to the park behind our house for about an hour. We come home, start making dinner, Matt gets home and starts helping, we eat, Matt gives Henry a bath while I clean up, we read Henry a story, and then we say goodnight and close his door at 6:30pm. There's usually some playing in there too (right now Henry's favorite is a tickling game called "Where are the beans?"). If Henry has trouble falling asleep and is trying to open his door, one of us will go in, give him a sip of water, and put him back on his bed. Sometimes we have to do this a couple times, but usually he will talk or sing himself to sleep without a problem. We did a modified version of sleep training when Henry was between four and six months based on our pediatrician's recommendation (let them cry for 5 minutes, go in to sooth, let them cry for 10 minutes, go in to sooth, let them cry for 15 minutes, go in to sooth, and then continue every 15 minutes as necessary). He's been a really good sleeper after three days of that approach.

Does that answer your questions? We don't really anything special or fancy.

I imagine our schedule will sound overly regimented to anyone who prefers to live more spontaneously, but we like having a rhythm to the day. I also think knowing what to expect helps Henry be more independent. Plus, there's creativity and spontaneity that happens within the security of the schedule (such as skipping the playground during our park time and instead finding some random rocks to climb on or exploring the pool that's closed for the season).

Definitely let me know if you have more questions!

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