Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Get Out Stains on Baby Clothes

I'm still hacking away at my to-do list for this month! I decided to organize Henry's baby clothes in preparation for our June (or July arrival).

We're lucky we even have any of his clothes. For the longest time, we thought we were only going to have one child. As a result, I gave away most of my maternity clothes, our Moby wrap, co-sleeper, etc. The only reason I saved all of his baby clothes was because I want to make a quilt out of them. I even saved the stained ones, since I only need a small piece from each one. 

Luckily my procrastination paid off in this instance. By the time I even thought about making the quilt, we had started thinking having another baby, so I held off on chopping up the clothes. 

Fast forward several months, and it was time to sort through the clothes. Several of them were badly stained, so I did a little Googling to figure out how to get them clean. After searching for the most non-toxic solution possible, I decided to go with harsher chemicals because I wanted a really effective and efficient result. I'm fine filling our second son's closet with hand-me-downs, but I at least want them to be stain-free.

Based on my experience*, here is what I would recommend for anyone trying to get stains out of colored garments:
  • Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and about 10 scoops of OxiClean.
  • Submerge the clothes in the bucket, being careful not to overfill the bucket. It's better to give the clothes space to soak up the water.
  • Leave the clothes in the bucket with the solution for as long as it takes for the stains to lift completely (it might take days--the clothes will be fine). 
  • After the stains are gone, run the clothes through the washing machine several times to help yourself feel better about using such a harsh chemical on clothing that will be next to your baby's skin. 
*This process doesn't reflect my exact experience which involves a bit more trial-and-error. This process is what I will do next time!

Literally every single stain came out without damaging any of the brightness of the clothing. It worked on every piece--from gray shirts to spray-painted shirts to striped onesies.

Share |

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Using Space Flexibly

It's time to start planning the "nursery" (even though the room is currently comprised of wooden beams). I put the word "nursery" in quotes because it definitely won't just be a nursery.

When we first designed Henry's "nursery," we were living in a 2-bedroom, 1-bath, 1000-square foot bungalow. Because I loved the way the light came into his room each morning, we set up that room almost like a second living room with a couch (which folded out and became our guest quarters as necessary), a desk for crafting, Henry's floor bed (that doubled as a Montessori movement area with a mirror and a mobile), and a low shelf for toys. Henry and I spent many hours in that room in our early months together.

Our new house will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms and be 1,779 square feet. As I was standing in it the other day(!), I realized that the entryway actually has a ton of space. I realized that it can double as a crafting area when our boys are older and want their own bedrooms.

It's really liberating to look at a house through the lens of functionality and utility rather than tradition. I remember reading about a woman who turned her never-used dining room into an arts-and-crafts area. Even though we won't have a formal dining room in our new house, I hope that we apply the same principle to the design and organization of our space. Our homes should reflect--not define--our lives.

My mind is swirling with all the possibilities. Our plan (which is always subject to change when it involves a new baby!) is to co-sleep with the baby for the first two months (which, in Montessori philosophy, corresponds with the Symbiotic Period). During that time, we'll use our third bedroom for guests, crafts, and probably a secondary play space.

Now that we live in Austin, we seem to host many more guests. Also, Matt and I are planning to upgrade to a king-sized bed when we move, so we're thinking it would be nice to keep our queen-sized bed for guests (and sell the pull-out couch). It's hard for me to think about devoting all that space to a bed that doesn't get used all that often, but I know it's so much more comfortable for guests. If it would all fit, it would be great to have the queen-sized bed, a table for crafting, and the baby's floor bed. That way, post-partum guests would have a comfortable place to sleep (while the baby is sleeping with us), and the baby and I would have a secondary place to breastfeed and relax during the day when we're alone together.

Then, when the baby transitions to sleeping in his own room, he'll be comfortable with that space. He can sleep in there until we're able to successfully support him to sleep through the night (we'll start at four months and try to finish by six months, per our pediatrician's recommendation). When he sleeps through the night, we can move him into Henry's room and the third room can be used for crafts, office space, guests, and work. At that point, we may even occasionally rent out the room through airbnb to generate a little extra income. 

Years later, when the boys each want their own room, we can move the craft/office space into the entryway (and the boys can revert to sleeping together whenever guests come). Although I'm the kind of home decorator who likes to "set it and forget it," this kind of flexibility and fluidity comes with the territory when you have a growing family.

It will be interesting trying to accommodate Henry's needs and the new baby's needs in a relatively compact space. Depending upon how much space we have in our living room, I'd like to set up another Montessori movement area with a mirror, mat, and mobile for the new baby. We can use one of the shelves in our built-in bookcase for the baby's first toys. We can also set up a mobile above our bed, and the baby's floor bed (even though the latter is not recommended by Montessorians because the sleep area should be separate from the work area).

Even though our non-traditional "nursery" will not stand a chance at gracing the front page of Ohdeedoh, we can take solice in the fact that it will be exactly what our family needs!

Share |

Monday, March 25, 2013

IKEA Karlstad Couch Hack

Photo courtesy of Honey Badger Home

Matt and I have known for a while that we want a big sectional couch in our new living room. For us, there's something about sectional couches that screams "comfort" and "family" and "relaxation." 

We started by pricing sectional couches at brick and mortar furniture stores in Austin and quickly realized 1) they were too expensive for us and/or 2) we didn't like most styles. Stores like Crate and Barrel, West Elm, and Pottery Barn are pretty much always too expensive for us (although we often like the styles). 

We quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to buy our next couch from IKEA (to replace the one I've had for 13 years). It helped that our internet mentors--John & Sherry--forged the path before us and also settled on the Karlstad IKEA sectional. 

And then the debate about the legs began. Matt was fine with the chunky block legs (as long as we stained them); I preferred the sleeker metal legs because I like a more tapered look. But at the end of the day, neither of us was very happy with either option. 

When I'm impatient about waiting for our house to be built, I try to channel my impatience into designing the interior. I kept googling "mid century modern couch legs," and even found some. But I had no idea if they would hold up an entire couch. 

And then I searched "Karlstad mid century modern" and stumbled upon a whole host of amazing people who have blazed this trail already (what did we ever do without the internet?). Unfortunately, many of them had skills (and power tools) superior to our own. 

And then I waded through the comments section and learned about Uncle Bob's Workshop and thirteencolonies on Etsy, both of whom make mid century replacement legs for the Karlstad. They literally screw in--no tools required.

Oh, joy! For approximately $70 more than we would have spent on the metal legs from IKEA, we can now transform our couch into a mid century masterpiece (or at least something that we like looking at). We ordered 12 unfinished legs so we can stain them ourselves. And along the way, Matt and I learned that we really like the look of tufted cushions, so we're going to investigate inexpensive upholstering options.

Share |

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Henry's Baby Doll

 Image courtesy The Cinnamon Bears

While I was minoring in Women & Gender Studies in college, I was really committed to the idea that we should give little boys dolls to play with to help them cultivate their compassion and care. I remember giving my little brother a doll for Christmas.

Now here I am a decade and a half later with a two year-old boy and no dolls in sight! Honestly, I think there still might be no dolls in sight if we had a little girl (although we would have probably received several as gifts by this point). I think it has more to do with the emphasis on more realistic and concrete play and experiences around our house. 

But now that a new baby is on the way, I want Henry to have a baby of his own. We'll try to allow him to help with the baby as much as possible, but when it's not possible, it seems like a doll might be a good outlet for him. 

I did a search on Etsy and found this seller who will custom make dolls for only $28. What a deal! I thought about tackling the project myself, but when I thought about purchasing the materials, learning how to make the doll, and then actually making it, I decided I would much rather support an independent crafter do what she does well. 

I also asked her if she could use a piece of Henry's old clothing for the doll's clothing, and she agreed! I'm going to mail her a pair of his old pajamas. We actually have two sets of them, so one will get turned into a doll and the other will be worn by his baby brother. 

I can't decide if we should give him the doll before the baby arrives to foster more conversations and more practice about how to be careful with a baby or if we should wait and give it to him as a present when the baby arrives. What are your thoughts?

Share |

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Handmade Goodness for Baby

The other night, Henry did something that melted my heart. We had a friend over for SXSW, so the noise in the living room woke Henry up around 11pm. I went into his room and asked him if he wanted some water. He said yes, got up, walked over to his bookshelf, drank some water, set his glass down, picked up the framed ultrasound picture of his brother, gave it a wet kiss, set it down, asked for a hug and kiss from me, went back over to his bed, and fell asleep. 

I keep trying to tell him that the baby won't be able to do much at first, but he's still really excited about his arrival. Last weekend we finally got around to finishing the baby's blanket. We cut the pieces for it a while ago, but we finally sewed them together. It's really cute to hear the pride in Henry's voice when he says, "I made it." 

The other thing I made for Henry that I also want to make for the new baby is a pillow for his bed. I made this house pillow to go with Henry's cityscape sheet. This time, I'm thinking about making a bolster pillow like the one featured above via Spoonflower

It would just be large enough to stretch across the width of his crib mattress floor bed. A quick search of the IKEA website reveals that they have this pillow:

It's 24 inches long, which will be just about right for the mattress which is about 28 inches long.

Here are the baby's sheets:
I'm thinking about these two fabrics from SewMamaSew for the pillow:


I'll probably work on Henry's duvet cover first and then see how much energy I have left over for another sewing project.

Share |

Monday, March 18, 2013

Henry's Room

Matt and I hit a big milestone at the end of last month: We saved up all the money we need for the large down payment + closing costs on our permanent loan that we'll need to fork over as soon as our house is done being built. Celebration! 

(While one part of my brain is celebrating, the other part is busy making Excel sheets to predict how much money we'll need to cover Henry's childcare costs during my non-paid maternity leave and creating additional tabs to map out a budget for all the appliances we need to buy, like a washer/dryer, refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher). 

Another part of my brain is wondering if we can get our health insurance to cover any portion of our home birth (we couldn't with Henry in Houston) and how much we'll have to owe in taxes this year.

And then another part of me is busy decorating (in my head and via Pinterest) as many rooms as I can. While it's a fun form of procrastination, it's also much less stressful to browse and search for things in advance as opposed to right when I need them. 

We actually bought a comforter, as well as two filing cabinets off of Craigslist that Matt is painting an aqua color for us to use as bedside tables. 

We've picked out gray chevron sheets from Target for the baby's floor bed (which will be Henry's old IKEA mattress) and then realized that we needed to hurry and pick out sheets and a duvet cover for Henry since we'll be upgrading him to a twin mattress soon. 

For some reason I always have a hard time finding duvet covers that I like. For Henry, I'm thinking that I'll just make him one out of two twin sheets (since we need two flat sheets for his bed anyway as he's toilet learning). I'm currently thinking about this gray sheet for the top of the duvet:

This yellow sheet for bottom of the duvet:
And this colorful pillow case:
His floor bed would consist of a twin mattress + fitted sheet + duvet cover made out of two sheets + colorful pillow + yellow stripped pillow. We would take the pillows off at night. Bonus: It would feel like he was sleeping under a sheet without the shiftiness of a sheet.

Before I pull the trigger on any of this, I need to sleep on it and make sure I still like it in the morning. It's frustrating how fickle my tastes can be, especially because once I buy something I try to stick with it until it falls apart and needs to be replaced.

Share |

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Selling Gift Cards

Henry received a Toys R Us gift card for his birthday from a family friend. One morning after reading his current favorite book (Big Machines), I asked Henry if he would like to use his birthday money to buy a truck. He is currently very interested in machines and animals. He received an ant farm for his birthday, so I figured a truck would make sense to complement his interests.

First we went to How We Montessori to figure out which brand of trucks Otis and Caspar have. We were elated to find out that the trucks they have--Bruder--are available on Amazon. Henry and I scrolled through all the different options and read many reviews. We also compared prices. We knew that we only had about $25 to spend. 

One we found the truck that fit our budget and had really positive reviews, I searched for it on the Toys R Us site. Sadly, it cost $5 more than Amazon, would have to be picked up at the store, and didn't actually seem to be available. 

That's when I decided to explore my options for selling the gift card in exchange for credit. I found this article which summarizes the main sites for selling back gift cards. I poked around on various sites and realized that Plastic Jungle was going to give me the best return on the card. They took $4 and gave me $21 of Amazon credit nearly instantly. 

After a few very intuitive clicks, I was able to buy the truck on Amazon. I spent $5, which I would have spent at Toys R Us (since the truck was $5 more expensive). I definitely recommend the site, especially if you have gift cards to stores that you don't really want to use.

Share |

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Henry's 2nd Birthday Recap

While we're on the topic of Henry's birthday, we might as well chat about his actually birthday parties! 

Yes, the phase "birthday parties" is intentionally pluralized. We purposefully planned two different celebrations to honor Henry's birthday. 

Now that we've lived in Austin for a year, we have a lot more connections. I didn't want to throw a single party and overwhelm Henry with a ton of people all at once. However, I also wanted to invite everyone. The solution was to throw a party on Saturday morning for a couple of his closest friends and to throw a separate party on Sunday afternoon for the adults in our lives whom Henry adores. 

The Saturday morning party was a simple breakfast affair. We made pancake and waffle batter and set up the electric griddle and waffle iron on the table for folks to help themselves. We also offered up blueberries, strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and syrup. Henry helped get ready for his party by making freshly squeezed orange juice. He was also responsible for transferring the goat food into party bags for his friends. 

We intentionally invited only his closest friends in an attempt to keep down the guest list (again, I didn't want him to be overwhelmed by having so many people over at once). The strategy ended up backfiring. Out of the six friends we invited, only one ended up coming. Four of them RSVPed yes, but two of them ended up getting sick, and one of them thought the party was in the afternoon rather than the morning. Luckily, my parents were in town, so there ended up being seven of us all together, which kept the mood festive. 

The morning chill was a little too much, so we ended up having the party mainly inside. Toward the end of the celebration, we took a walk to feed the goats at the little farm in our neighborhood. We were home in time for Henry to go down for his normal nap at 12. It was such a delightful way to spend the morning. 

On Sunday, we invited our friends to a potluck celebration. We met at a random spot down by the lake that has a beautiful metal table (with an artfully crafted metal tablecloth). Henry loves running up and down the hill and watching the train go by on a bridge about 25 yards away.

I was so grateful for our friends who nurture our lives with their company and delicious food: homemade spring rolls, quinoa and spinach salad, whole wheat pasta salad, etc. Matt, Henry, and I provided vegetarian chili (which is thankfully easy-peasy to make) and homemade cupcakes (with two blueberries on top to honor Henry's 2nd birthday). 

The best surprise of all: there was a tractor parked at the bottom of the hill. Henry is quite obsessed with heavy machinery right now, so the presence of a tractor was exactly what that little boy would have wished for (probably even more than a bouncy house!). He got to sit in the tire, and we even climbed up into the seats. He was very sad when it was time to go. 

With our family traditions and rituals, I try to find the right balance between meaning/sincerity/handmade/enjoyment/relaxation. I think we got it right this year. Nothing was stressful and yet it all felt special and festive.

Share |

Monday, March 11, 2013

Birthday Traditions

I haven't had a chance to revisit Henry's birthday traditions until now! 

We hung up his birthday bunting, as well as a ribbon with one photo from each year of his life (held up by mini-clothespins). At first I was going to take his picture in the same chair every year, but I realized it would be more fun to look at various kinds of pictures from each year. 

We also did his candle ceremony. 

We started the ritual last year when I stumbled upon this 9-candle holder on Etsy. I realized it was the perfect complement to the ceremony: one tealight candle for every year until he's 9, then a colored candle to represent 10 years, and additional tealight candles in the remaining eight slots to take him to 18.
We lit the candle and read the following letter.

Dear Henry Jones, 

You bring joy and light into this world. We light this candle to celebrate another year of your brightness.

We are full of gratitude that you are in our lives and that we get to celebrate your second birthday with you. What an amazing year you had! A year ago, you were still crawling and just beginning to say your first word (which was "mama" but only because I would urge you to say "mama" if you wanted my help getting food).

Now you are walking on balance beams and curbs, running "fast", riding your balance bike, climbing up fences, and starting to say sentences (one of your very first sentences was "Hoss loves peanut butter!"). 

You are so full of joy, confidence, and competence. You love to do things your "self." Last night, for example, you started crying in the night because you were thirsty. When I went into your room to check on you, I asked you if you wanted water and you said yes. I reminded you that your water glass was on your shelf. After you drank it all, you took your glass straight into the bathroom, set it on the counter, climbed your stepping stool, turned on the water, filled up your glass, set it back on the counter, climbed down, put the glass back on your shelf, got back into bed, and went back to sleep. You are such a sweet, capable little man. 

You crack us up with your jokes, too. You love to get people's "beans," which is code for tickling.You love to meet new people and hang out with our friends. You especially love your uncles and your grandparents.

You are gentle with animals, too. Just today, you delighted in watching a roly poly crawl all over your hands and up your arms. You love to feed the goats in our neighborhood, and whenever you see an animal in a book, you want to give it your "hand." 

And, oh, how you love to eat! Last week, we ran out of chips at Chuy's, so you decided to simply pick up the creamy jalapeno sauce and drink it instead. You love tofu and broccoli at Thai restaurants, but you especially love cupcakes and ice-cream. Sometimes, when we're driving in the car, you'll suddenly start asking for "fries" or a "milkshake."

We've had such a fun year with you. We moved to Austin right before your first birthday, and you started daycare for the first time at EcoKids Preschool when you were 14 months-old. That's also when you stopped breastfeeding. You started Austin Montessori School when you turned 18 months-old. Your favorite friends are Emma, Ruby, and Ella, and your favorite work is banana and apple slicing. You only cried on your first day of school when it was time for nap. Other than that one moment, you always seem exceptionally eager and happy to go to school. Your teachers say you are very "industrious" and you focus and concentrate on your work. They also say you are pure joy.

We've been saving money to build our house in Austin, so we haven't gone on too many vacations this year. However, you did get to see snow for the first time this Christmas up in Bloomington, and you walked in the ocean for the first time in Florida.We also started going to the First Unitarian Universalist Church this year. You love going to the daycare room (especially when it's warm enough to play outside), but you especially love eating the bagels, breakfast tacos, and "cookies" at church.

You're also excited about the fact that your little brother will be joining our family at the end of June or beginning of July. You say that babies "pee," "cry," (while making a hand motion and saying "wah wah") "hungry," and "poop." You basically have babies all figured out. We have a framed picture of your brother's ultrasound in your room, and you kissed it three times today. 

Your big milestones for the year were learning to walk when you were 13 months-old. Between 15-18 months, you went from saying approximately five words to more than 40. Around two, you started stringing words into sentences. You also love to sing songs to yourself when you're falling asleep. It seems like your favorite song is "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." 

Nearly every day, you and I go to the park. You step on tree stumps, ride in the swing, go down the slides, climb up bars, look at the city's lawnmowers through the gates, climb on the canon (yes, a lot of parks in Texas have canons), and play with shovels in the rocks. Nearly every weekend, you go to the dog park with your dad and brother Hoss. You get lots of "kisses" from little and big dogs alike.

You've been a great sleeper this entire year. At night we read you a book, give you hugs and kisses, put your blanket on you, and you sleep from 6:30pm to about 7am. In the morning, we hear you at your door, open it, and you immediately ask for a banana. Your dad and I get back in bed while you go to the kitchen to help yourself to a banana. Then you bring it in our room and we read a story while you peel it and eat it. Your favorite books right now are the ones about animals or machines.

We just love seeing more and more of your personality every day. Each day is even more fun with you. We are so grateful for the opportunity to live with you and grow from you, Henry Jones. Thank you for blessing our lives with your presence.  

You shine and brighten our lives and the lives of others.

Share |

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reflection & Rejuvenation: March

Ah, March. Welcome! 

This year is divided into chunks for me: Jan. and Feb. were all about finishing up the charter application. March-June are more about stasis (still working on the school, still doing my other part-time job, enjoying our family of three before it expands), July-September are about the new baby and adjusting to our new life, Oct.-Dec. will hopefully be about getting back into work as the superintendent/principal of a new charter school (fingers crossed), while parenting a young child. 

Our house is moving along slowly. They've still only built the foundation. I'm not letting myself get stressed about it in any way.

I finally decided to make a list of everything that needs to get done before the new baby arrives:
  • Make and freeze meals (P.S. I picked up the book at the library, and it's awesome!)
  • Organize our recipe binder
  • Finalize Henry's baby binder
  • Make a binder for the new baby
  • Update our scrapbook for the year
  • Organize our garage
  • Organize Henry's clothes for the new baby
  • Find summer daycare for Henry
  • Plan our baby shower party
  • Organize our closet
  • Organize our bathroom
  • Purge our bookshelves (again)
  • Prepare for the birth (the midwife gives us a checklist of things to purchase and set-up)
  • Make frozen comfrey tea compresses to promote vaginal healing after the birth
  • Write thank you cards
  • Make a baby blanket
  • Continue to write the baby letters
It's a little overwhelming to see everything listed like that, but when I broke it up over four months, it's much less intimidating.

So here are my goals for this month:
  1. Fully immerse myself in this round of Purposeful Conception.
  2. Work on the publicity I need to do for 2000 Dollar Wedding.
  3. Organize our recipe binder.
  4. Finalize Henry's baby binder.
  5. Make a binder for the new baby.
  6. Organize Henry's clothes.
  7. Find summer daycare.
  8. Enjoy our vacation. 
Keep up my cumulative resolutions:
  1. Drink Enough Water: Yes!
  2. Read Before Bed: Yes!
  3. Practice Gratitude Every Night: Yes!
And add a new one in:
  • Let Matt parent his way as much as possible. I definitely have strong opinions about how to talk to Henry, how to parent, etc. Although I still want to talk through these ideas with Matt, I don't want to offer suggestions or comments in the moment when he's parenting (to the greatest extent possible). I want to step back and give him space to parent his way.
Photo Courtesy of the Nikki McClure Calendar

Share |

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Supporting Pre-Readers

Henry's birthday gifts were a huge success! He loves his new books, and I particularly love Big Machines from the DK Readers series. According to Montessori philosophy, young children are in a developmental phase where they are trying to understand the world. For this reason, the books we read to them should be non-fiction (or realistic fiction) and should contain real photographs whenever possible. While we don't follow this philosophy 100% (I love Go Dog Go and Are You My Mother?), I do find that Henry is most attracted to books with real photographs. 

I'm going to use some of his birthday money (half of it is being put toward college savings) to buy more of the Level 1 DK Readers. As a reading teacher, I can see how adding these books to our collection now will greatly support and promote reading later down the line. Henry is in the stage where he likes books to be read to him over and over again. He's acquiring vocabulary (explicitly), as well as sentence structure (implicitly). Reading these same books over the years will create a really solid foundation for independent reading. 

These won't be the only books we buy for him. It's important to read books that are above his level, too, so that we expose him to more sophisticated vocabulary and sentence structure. But we'll definitely buy a handful of them. The text is the perfect amount for keeping him engaged, and he loves the photos. Building familiarity with them now will likely support his reading acquisition later on.

Share |

Monday, March 4, 2013

Class Starts Today!

We turned in our charter application to the state of Texas on Thursday. Phew! I stayed up until 6am (and then slept until 7am) before running around all day (to tour a school, get checks cashed, get things notarized, make 1,716 pages of copies, and hand delivery the six copies to the state education office.

I've never stayed up that late to work on something in my life (even in college). The state revised the budget templates less than 72 hours before the application was due, so it prevented us from getting the application done as early as we would have liked. The final step--hand feeding each sheet through my printer to print page numbers on it--took forever, too. 

Driving around town finalizing things in the final hour felt terrible. I felt like I was inviting the universe to knock me on my butt. I mean, I could have gotten in a car accident or a terrible traffic jam or Henry could have gotten sick at the same time Matt had an important meeting. One small thing could have derailed our entire year of work by preventing us from meeting the 5pm deadline. 

I am so grateful that we were able to pull it off, even in the final hour. I find that my nightly gratitude practice of reviewing everything I'm grateful for has helped bring gratitude to the forefront of my mind at many other times during the day, too. In fact, several times this week, my gratitude for my life brought joyful tears to my eyes. I'm so thankful for a life partner that is willing to go above and beyond to support our family even more when I need to pull back and focus on something. Every night last week, for example, I cooked dinner and cleaned up as much as possible before Matt got home, we all ate dinner together, and then I retreated to the bedroom to work on the application while Matt took Henry and Hoss to the neighborhood farm, bathed Henry, read the bedtime stories, and then cleaned up after dinner. 

I am also overwhelmed with gratitude for identifying a passion that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. As soon as I turned the application in, I was most excited because it meant that I got to work on other things like facilities and teacher recruitment. Picking just one main passion was never easy for me. I remember various points along my journey where I had to make conscious decisions about which path to follow. I remember choosing to join Teach For America, knowing that it would put me on the education path rather than let me pursue my other interests in fighting for gay rights, promoting higher quality sexuality education among young adults, or starting a non-profit organization like the boy/girl scouts but for both girls and boys together.

I chose education knowing that those other interests would be woven into my work in education, but it was still hard to walk through one door and not others. 

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about our most recent round of Purposeful Conception which starts today! The segue was supposed to be a story about how I turned in the application and then attended a conference for public Montessori educators in Texas. I connected with a friend in my old neighborhood in Houston who is actively trying to conceive. She explained that she and her partner waited until her short-term disability coverage kicked in (based on a conversation we had last year over dinner). I was giddy with the idea that a conversation we had meant that she would get part of her maternity leave subsidized (since I failed to learn that trick until it was too late). Then our conversation progressed to all of the nuances of conception, such as tracking cervical fluid. I explained that I never even knew what it was until I was past 30, since it just isn't something that's talked about in my family, circle of friends, etc. 

And then I was thankful for the space created by Purposeful Conception to talk about all of these things--from the logistics to the deep, emotional considerations about our fears related to how our lives will change when we welcome new life into our families. 

So, please join us if you're gearing up for conception! People always ask when they should take the course. I definitely recommend taking it earlier rather than later because some of the topics spark the motivation to change something big. You can register here.

Happy Monday!

Share |

Related Posts with Thumbnails