Monday, April 30, 2012

I Might Be Pregnant

Life has been so busy happening that I haven't had a chance to write about it. First, I was working hard to maintain my patience while Matt was out of town and then my bonus parents were in town and then I had to prepare and implement a booth at the Austin Earth Day Festival for Magnolia Montessori For All. Along the way, I managed to lose my Life Binder and we put an offer on the piece of land I've been telling you about and I've been going back and forth with the publisher to get my book cover and title just right and Matt decided he was ready to start trying for a second child and I happened to be ovulating so we started trying that day and now I think I'm pregnant. 

How's that for an update? 

But let's back up. I don't have any concrete evidence that I'm pregnant; I just feel weird. It's the same kind of weirdness I felt in the days after Henry's conception (even though I've read you aren't supposed to feel anything at all). I hesitate even saying any of this because I tend to have a mild case of hypochondria, and I think this is one of those cases when psychosomatic symptoms can definitely come into play. I will definitely feel foolish in a few weeks if I'm back here reporting that I'm not, in fact, pregnant, but I try to keep you updated along the way, so there you have it.

How have you been?

Photo from Henry's first haircut (he's already had two!)

REMINDER: The last Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts a week from today. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Holding onto Patience for Dear Life

Matt is about to go out of town for a business trip, and I am slowly beginning to freak out about the prospect of being Henry's sole caregiver for several days in a row. Matt and I split so much of our parenting responsibilities evenly; I will definitely feel his absence (for other reasons, too!). I will need to wake up before Henry does to make sure I am entirely ready before he wakes up and needs my complete attention to be breastfed, get his diaper changed, eat breakfast, get dressed, and be out the door in time for school/work.

Then I'll need to pick him up at 12:30, get him home, play with him until he naps, take him to the park when he wakes up, get dinner on the table, give him a bath, and breastfeed him again. Oh, I forgot to mention getting his teeth brushed in the morning and the evening.

It doesn't sound overwhelming when I list it out like that. The overwhelming part is having to completely subjugate what I may want to be doing with my time to make sure that Henry is receiving high-quality care and genuine connection. I'm also nervous about being able to sustain my patience. Henry is developing his own will, and he has a very clear idea about what he wants to be doing (usually playing or eating a banana) and what he doesn't want to be doing (getting a diaper change, brushing his teeth, or riding in the car). There are fits involved--which include crying and body thrashing--and I try my best to react with patience. I've been reading Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, and it's all about inside-out parenting. It's about being the change you wish to see in your children. It's about being the person you want your child to emulate.

So, I've identified that I want to handle my single parenting with grace and patience. I've identified that it's going to be hard for me. So what can I do to make it easier on myself?
  • Go to bed early every night. If I go to bed by 9:30, I will get more than enough sleep and will be better prepared to face the day with grace and patience.
  • Pick up the house every night after Henry goes to bed and get his bag ready for school so I don't have to deal with it in the morning. I won't want to do these things because I'll be exhausted and once he goes to bed I'll want to do my own fun things, but this piece is important. Actually, I can try to do most of it while he's awake and playing.
  • Go for long walks (with new friends!) every night. This will help the time pass quickly and will be nice exercise.
  • Maybe we should eat out every night? That might be less stressful than cooking and cleaning.

Okay, I'm feeling better with my little plan of attack. Wish me luck!

REMINDER: The last Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts May 7. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crime and Such

The half-acre of land that we're considering is located right near the school I'm working at part-time, and it's right near Henry's daycare. That means I drive by it pretty constantly, in an attempt to get a feel for the neighborhood. The land is at the end of a tiny little cul-de-sac (with basically only one or two houses). On one of my trips, I saw a neighbor sitting on his back porch, so I decided to introduce myself and ask questions about the neighborhood. Specifically, I'm worried about the crime rates in the neighborhood. He told me about a website that will send you alerts about crimes that happen within a specified radius of your home. It's called Spot Crime. I definitely recommend it if you want to keep tabs on what's happening in your neighborhood. I also think it's valuable to search the sex offenders database and see the specific locations and pictures of sex offenders in your neighborhood.

REMINDER: The last Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts May 7. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!


Today on 2000 Dollar Wedding: Planning events and staying organized!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chicken Coops!

Sadly, we weren't able to attend the Funky Chicken Coop tour a couple weekends ago in Austin, but at least we can see all the cool designs on this awesome website.

Oh, how I miss our sweet hens, Clem and Hop-sing (named in the Bonanza vein to go along with our rescue dog Hoss). Our little girls are staying with friends while we spend the year in an anti-chicken rental house. Chickens really are awesome. I originally thought they would only be useful for eggs, but it turns out that they are sweet and entertaining pets. I miss feeding them raspberries and watching them scamper around the backyard. You can read about our journey Linkfrom little chicks living in a box in our house to having free-range hens in our urban backyard, if you're interested.

P.S. Check out this list to find a chicken coop tour near you (Meghan, I'm looking at you! P.S. I want to see a much clearer picture of your new haircut, pretty please!)

REMINDER: The last Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts May 7. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Building Community: Still More Updates

As part of my process for trying to start Austin's first public Montessori school, I've started doing home visits with families who are interested in enrolling their children in the school. On one of those visits, I stumbled upon an awesome little neighborhood in East Austin. My dream all along has been to live in East Austin, since that's where I want to start the school, but I want to make sure we settle in a safe neighborhood, since Henry's circle of independence will need to grow wider and wider as he gets older. I've been the victim of crime four times in my life (I've had my car stolen twice and my house broken into twice--once while I was in it). It's something I'm particularly sensitive to.

So I found a neighborhood that feels really established and safe. I feel like we could go for walks in the evening or on weekends, and we could ride our bikes to the park. And get this: there's a 1/2 acre for sale for cheap, cheap, cheap. And it backs up to a creek bed.

Let me continue listing out the pros: it's near the highway for easy access around Austin. It's on the east side, which means I would be creating a school for my own neighborhood and community, and Henry's friends from school would live very close to us.

I need to switch over to bullet points. They make me feel more organized and methodical. I apologize for repeating myself:
  • It's a very good deal.
  • It's 0.5 acres.
  • Easy access to major roadways.
  • In East Austin where I want to position my school.
  • Henry's friends could come over and play in the neighborhood.
  • It's on a cul-de-sac (the perfect place to learn how to ride a bike!).
  • We would see a ton of green out all of our windows.
  • We could garden in the front of our house.
  • The park and library are near by.
  • We could go for evening and weekend walks and feel safe.
  • We could sit out on our porch and see forest.
  • Whole Foods is about 15 minutes away without traffic.

Here are the downsides:

  • It's close to a major highway, so I'm worried about the pollution. I've read about increased heart disease and autism linked to living near a highway (not to mention other things like asthma, etc.). My hope is that all the trees in the area would help mitigate the effect, at least a little.
  • We would not be able to build the community we envisioned because it's not likely that the acre that is for sale next to it has very much buildable area. My hope, however, is that we would have plenty of community very near to us in the form of friends from the school community. This community would be like a more traditional neighborhood and less like an intimate and interdependent cohousing neighborhood.
  • The view out the back includes overlooking some power lines.
  • Even though it's a lot of land, it's not a lot of nature that you can navigate because the foliage is very dense. I'm wondering, though, what it would be like to get a landscape designer out there to take a look at it.

You may be wondering what happened to the idea I wrote about last week. Well, I started worrying that we couldn't make it work financially. I didn't think we could afford to purchase such a big parcel by ourselves and then have enough money to build on it and bring utilities to the house. And although I LOVED the idea of having a little pocket neighborhood of houses, I worried about the larger neighborhood around it and not feeling like we could walk anywhere and feel safe.

Decisions, decisions!

REMINDER: The last Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts May 7. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!


Today on 2000 Dollar Wedding: Enter to win a $500 gift certificate!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Register Now! Purposeful Conception E-Course

Registration is now open for the next (and probably last) Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy!

As I mentioned in this post, Matt and I are trying to figure out when/if we want to have another child. I'm in a place where I think I'll regret it in twenty years if we only nurtured one little soul into the world and now feels like the best time career-wise, but it's not a decision I can make on my own.

That's why I'm so excited about this next round of Purposeful Conception! I'm eager to work through the course with Matt. A) It will help me get my body and my life ready for conception in case we decide to start trying. B) It will help us work through all the emotional issues surrounding conception and pregnancy.

I'm looking forward to the renewal and focus that can come from working through a course with other kindred spirits. This course will probably be the last round I run for a while, since I am trying to make space in my own life to give birth to a school, a community, and perhaps another child.

Here's some of the feedback from the last course:
"My husband and I are rarely practical and simply enrolling in this course has allowed us to prepare for conception in a way that is well-rounded, but not overly, well, overwhelming! If left to my own devices to study from various sources, I would have put it off, and then been overwhelmed by all of the different information from different places! This way, we've done our 'homework' but in a way that works well with our personalities!"--Sarah
And here's what Kyla had to say:
"What I learned most from this course is that I'm more prepared for conception and parenthood than I thought I was. It's nice to have that reassurance. Thank you for putting in the time and effort to do all of this research and synthesizing the information for us!"

I did get some pretty harsh criticism that the course was part of the Baby Industrial Complex, trying to guilt people into spending more money to feel prepared for conception. That comment definitely hurt my feelings because I am so anti-industrial complexes (like the Wedding Industrial Complex!) and I would never want people to feel pressured in any way, shape, or form to spend money on something out of guilt. The course is designed to be a well-rounded compendium of how to prepare your mind, body, and life for conception. It includes lots of information that is already out there (such as the information related to nutrition, exercise, etc.) in an attempt to cover all the bases, but it includes lots of information that I never came across during my conception research (mainly related to truly preparing your life and your partnership for pregnancy and doing the emotional work it takes to get yourself in the right place to enter parenthood).

So for those of you who want to join what will probably the last class, a new lesson will be uploaded each weekday from May 7 through June 1. 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, access to interviews, 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.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Course Overview or About the Author. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to the first 100 participants. The total cost is $99 USD. Register Now! Or e-mail me with more questions. Happy Conceiving!


Please consider spreading the word by sharing this post via the buttons at the bottom of the post (especially the Facebook "like" button) or by reposting the information on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thank you so, so much for your support!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More on the Montessori Floor Bed

Now that Henry is over a year-old, the concept of a Montessori floor bed doesn't even feel novel anymore. It just feels normal. I've written several different posts about the floor bed, including this one about our original decision and an update when he was four months-old, .

I think it's done a lot for Henry's independence and his sense of his place in the world to have the freedom to get in and out of his own bed. I wanted to answer this question from a kindred spirit related to floor beds:
I'm currently pregnant with my first and have been considering trying a floor bed. I'll probably keep the baby in our room in a co-sleeper for the first several months, but was planning on trying the floor bed for naps early on. I have two nagging questions, though.

My first concern is really logistical. I really want to use a non-toxic, safe mattress, but I also would prefer a thinner mattress in case of roll-offs. We have room for a twin, and I'd prefer that for longevity. I do have access to the thinner Ikea mattresses, but I don't know how safe the contents really are. More importantly, I don't know that it's possible to get a safe, tight fit with the sheets and mattress cover on a thinner mattress. I wouldn't think there'd be sheets out there for a mattress only 3" thick. I also found an organic futon online, but it looks relatively soft and quilted, and I worry about SIDS with a softer, pillowy surface. Frankly, figuring out all these logistics are making me lean more towards a crib, because it's just easier to make it all add up, and I figure safety is the most important thing. Loose, baggy sheets aren't an option. I'm wondering if you've heard how any other people have solved this conundrum.

My other question is about a baby's comfort in an exposed sleeping environment. I'm sure that many cultures - Japan and Native American cultures come to mind - may not use a crib or cradle, but in those cases the baby probably sleeps close to its mother. Might there be an instinctual fear of being left so exposed and vulnerable? Has anyone noticed a baby's discomfort with the floor bed because of this?

There are many things I really like about the idea of a floor bed, but these two issues currently have me stymied. Any thoughts you or your readers have would be really helpful.
First, congratulations!

Second, I hear all your concerns. Doing something that's not mainstream can be scary, especially when it's related to something as precious as another life. Plus, it's difficult to find thin, eco-friendly mattresses (that fit in the budget). Here are some ideas that have come up in our Montessori in the Home group:

You can mitigate the height by putting a soft carpet next to the bed. Kylie's son Otis uses a thick mattress, and he doesn't seem to have any trouble with it. Link

As for making the sheets as tight as possible, you could easily sew some elastic strips across the underside to pull it tight, like I did for Henry's co-sleeing mattress.

To address an infant's need for closeness like you described, Montessorians recommend using something called a cestina basket. It's shallower and wider than a Moses Basket, but you could also use a Moses Basket, since cestinas are hard to come by. The idea is to create a womb-like experience for the first 6-8 weeks of life (which is considered to be the Symbiotic Period in Montessori child development theory). When they graduate out of the basket and into their bed, you keep the bed in a corner, so they are surrounded on two sides.

I definitely advise planning and thinking through all your options like you're doing, but also remind yourself that your child will have his/her own opinions about where to sleep. Henry spent the first three months of his life taking every nap in the Moby wrap on our chests. At night, he didn't want to sleep in either of the two co-sleeper options we had set up; he wanted to sleep in my armpit. Matt and I followed Henry's need, but we also kept our ultimate goal in mind (Henry's independence) and looked for opportunities to transition him into more independence. At two months we stopped co-sleeping at night. At three months, Henry was ready to nap on our bed instead of our chests. I think around four months he finally started napping on his floor bed (but I had to lay with my leg on him to get him to fall asleep). Finally, he learned to put himself to sleep for naps and at night.

At every step of the way, we looked for those opportunities to transition and teach him the next level of independence. Babies change so fast! I find that Henry is usually ready for things before I realize it.

I also want to point out that using a floor bed felt risky to us at points. Henry was clearly more comfortable sleeping on his stomach, which freaked us out to no end, since we were directly violating the "Back to Sleep" campaign. We also worried that he would roll off his bed and smother himself somewhere in the room. I tried to examine my fears through a rational lens. Thinking about the documentary Babies helped a lot. I would ask myself, "What would the mother in Mongolia do?"

Ultimately, we all need to make decisions that feel right to us. That's the best we can do with our lives. If those choices lead to negative outcomes, we can at least find some comfort in the knowledge that we did our best.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Start a Nonprofit Organization

I don't do a lot of Q&A on this blog, but sometimes a kindred spirit e-mails me a question that feels relevant to a wider audience, like this one:

I'm trying to start an Edible Schoolyard program in my home town that will use gardening education to teach the students about healthy eating and sustainable living. I thought you'd be a good person to ask advice from.

Do you have any experience with this type of program, especially through Montessori? Have you come across research for or against something like this? Do you have any resources that would help me with the logistics of leading a start up like this?
First, I love programs like this! In Houston, we had Urban Harvest that worked with schools to set up gardening programs. They were expensive and we couldn't afford to use them every year, but we enjoyed working with them when we could afford it. There's also a program in Houston that involves cooking in the schools. I think a gardening-cooking nonprofit would be an amazing combination. Kids really do like healthy food when they plant, harvest, and cook it. My students loved our salad party and making sweet potato French fries.

The reason I wanted to answer this question for everyone was because of the last part. Do I know any resources that would help with the logistics of leading a nonprofit like this?

Why, yes I do. I am in the middle of applying for 501(c)(3) status to become a tax-exempt nonprofit, and it was an incredibly daunting and overwhelming process until I found this book:

How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation

So there you go. Get your hands on it. It will simplify the process a ton and make you feel like you can conquer the world (or at least start up a nonprofit that can do some good for the world!).

I wish you the best of luck. As Mary Oliver says, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?" I hope you find your answer in this awesome new endeavor!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

More Updates: Building a Community

Initially, I had big plans for building a community in Austin. I wanted to buy two acres of land and sell off pieces of it to friends. When I talked to a developer about the idea, he scoffed and asked, "Do you know how hard it is to develop land in Austin?" (due to all the regulations, added expense of bringing utilities and water to the houses, etc.). That's when I started thinking about the "N Street" model of cohousing where adjacent neighbors start tearing down their fences (although in my modified version, we would buy and build upon adjacent lots).

During that time, I met a man who had bought an acre of land in Austin, built a house upon it, and then subdivided the remaining half acre into three lots (each 6,000 square feet). His vision was nearly identical to my own, but we disagreed on the drug use issue, so it didn't feel like the right fit for our family.

We went back to searching for adjacent lots in a pre-existing neighborhood and exploring other options, such as living in a planned community, moving into a regular neighborhood and facilitating community, etc.

Meanwhile, our realtor kept looking for vacant lots. I would dutifully drive by the ones she really liked. While on one of those journeys, I came across a really neat little pocket of East Austin. It's not too far off the main roads, and yet it feels like the country with cows and horses. There are two-acre plots of land for sale that seem pretty reasonable.

I keep going back to the original vision. What if Matt and I could afford to buy one of those 2-acre plots and build a house on it? Yes, it would stretch us a ton initially, but, over time, we could get the land officially subdivided and sell off the other pieces. Plus, in a couple years, my salary will most likely increase when I transition from part-time back to full-time employment as a school principal.

We're still thinking, thinking. We're asking a lot of questions, exploring different options, and seeing what feels right. We're not in a rush, except that interest rates are just so low right now.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kahlil Gibran: On Children

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


This poem. This poem resonates with me so deeply. It's hard to articulate what gets me every time about this poem. There's the part about children being "Life's longing for itself." I am astounded when I think about a simple sperm and egg coming together to create an entire being that continues to grow into a walking, talking, independent person.

And there's just the overwhelming message that our children are who they are. They are their own seeds that already contain everything within them. As parents, our job is to provide the right environment--the nutrient-rich soil, sun, water, and oxygen--so that they can sprout and unfold and grow into their fullest potential. We cannot determine that potential, nor should we try to steer it; we should simply help them uncover who they are and who they want to be.

It's the selflessness of parenting that gets me every time, too. The image of being bent so that my child can shoot forth into the world is the perfect metaphor for the way parenthood feels to me.

I just felt compelled to share this poem--as much for you as for me--so that I can continue to hold these truths in my heart

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Club

I'm going to a parenting book club this month, and the book is Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation. For any of you who live in Austin and want to join, you can find the information here.

Here's the description of the book:

Have you ever opened your mouth to discipline your child, and your parents' nastiest words tumble out? In an era when most parenting books focus on the child, this book supports parents in dealing more positively with themselves as well as their toddler–to–school–age children, offering specific tools to stop policing and pleading with kids and start being the parents we want to be.

Based on Dr. Bailey's more than 25 years of work with children, this book explains that how we discipline ourselves is ultimately how we discipline our children. Her "Seven Powers for Self–Control" dramatically increase our ability to keep our cool with our children. These correspond to "Seven Basic Discipline Skills" we can use with our children in conflict situations. As children internalise these skills, they naturally learn "Seven Values for Living," which include integrity, respect, compassion, and responsibility.

While I was looking for the description, I came across this book that looks interesting, too: I Love You Rituals. I'm going to get both of them from the library.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meal Planning

Last week was a really rough week for the Cotner-Bradford family in the kitchen. Basically, we never went grocery shopping (although Matt did pick up a few items at one point), so we ate out every night. Since I've been thinking that I need to eat more moderately, my overwhelming impulse was to eat junk food all week, before I officially started eating healthy food (terrible personal philosophy, I know!). We literally had veggie burgers, french fries, and milkshakes more than once. Since Henry has been eating everything we eat (from about eight-months on), I feel twice as bad about eating unhealthy foods because now I'm not only corrupting my body, I'm corrupting his, too.


But there's no need to dwell in self-flagellation. It's time to make some action steps!

I need to get back to using Meals for a Year to do my weekly meal planning. I strayed from using it because it was difficult to look at the shopping list on my iPhone, and plus some of the meals didn't sound super-appealing. Both of those things are such easy fixes. I hate when a problem could be easily solved with five minutes of work but I put it off and put it off for days, weeks, or even months.

My easy solutions:
  1. Print the list each week. I should do this when I'm sitting down to make my Weekly Action Plan. I can shrink two pages to fit on one sheet.
  2. If there's a meal that doesn't sound appealing, I can simply choose one of our easy, go-to meals to replace it.

What I love about Meals for a Year is that it exposes me to all sorts of new recipes, and it takes the work out of meal planning every single week. My intention is to use it all year long and keep track of our favorite recipes. At the end of the year, I can sit down and compile all of our favorites into four seasonal meal plans. I would create a meal plan for an entire month, and we would rotate through it three times before switching to the next season's meal plan.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Reflection & Rejuvenation: April

How does each month come and go so quickly? Sheesh!

This month has been good. I appreciated Katharina's comment about how it takes her about six months to transition to a new city. Although the impatient part of me hates to hear that, I think she's right.

Henry started daycare this month, which was great except that he got sick and had to stay home on and off for the first two weeks of April. It wouldn't have been a big deal except that I had planned a boatload of meetings for Magnolia Montessori For All. Our main babysitter was out of town, so Matt and I had to scramble to cover the sick days. We did a decent job of it, except that once I had to bring Henry to a meeting with me (he was still in his snot-covered pajamas). Needless to say, the woman I met with is not interested in joining our board of directors...

Although he still has a constant drip, he is going to "school" every day and he honestly seems to love it. Matt drops him off in the morning, and I pick him up at 12:30. When I pick him up, he frankly doesn't seem to care that I'm there. He keeps playing with his friends (although he will occasionally stop, come over to give me a hug, and then start playing again). I feel so, so thankful that I was able to stay home with him full-time for an entire year, and now we're able to transition slowly back to work and away from family with this part-time schedule. It feels perfect for our family (even though it was hard on me internally).

Today is officially my first day at my new part-time job as the Director of Operations and Compliance at a charter school opening in East Austin this fall. I've been volunteering in this capacity since last fall, but I am finally starting this job for real. It feels great! I'll work five hours a day, four days a week and then devote the fifth day to getting Magnolia Montessori For All up and running. Good times!

Let's see how I did this month:
  • Complete the Vision and Business Plan for Magnolia Montessori For All: No, I have not completed these, but I did take good steps in the right direction.
  • Pull together a Montessori design team to help revise the charter application: Same answer as above.
  • Present at a Texas Montessori conference: Wow, was that seriously this month? Craziness! It feels so long ago!
  • Get business cards designed and printed: Yes!
  • Finish our taxes: Yes!
  • Change our address for everything (including license): Yes!
  • Completely finish unpacking the house: Oops, no.
  • Run at least four times a week: Got better but not consistent.

Okay, that felt pretty dismal. There's no need to feel bad about it, but I do need to stay focused on why I'm not achieving my goals and what I can do about it. It's important for me to trust that I can set out to do something and then actually accomplish it. It's such an empowering feeling.

I also want to take a second to acknowledge all the things I accomplished that I didn't set out to do:

  • Attended a training about how to start a charter school.
  • Toured a Montessori school for Henry and attended a parenting education class.
  • Met with friends for various lunches and dinners.
  • Brought a friend a meal to celebrate her new baby.
  • Had 15 meetings.

So, April, what do you have in store for me (let me go back to my yearly goals to see what I want to accomplish)?

  • Read Good to Great as my professional development book this month
  • Work on the book I'm writing with Kylie about cooking with children in a Montessori way.
  • Work on charter school application.
  • Participate in Austin Earth Day event.
  • Design marketing materials for Magnolia Montessori For All.
  • Submit Form 1023 to become a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
  • Read either Every Last Cuckoo or Charms for the Easy Life. I need to start reading fiction again!
  • Organize the garage.

All right. Off I go!

What are your intentions this month?

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