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27 Apr

2009-08-11 at 12-46-13

 

 

I’m contemplating not blogging anymore.

I realize that maybe five people will read this so this isn’t earth-shattering, mind-blowing news or anything, but I guess if I am going to close this, I should give it an ending (or at least a fair warning).

I originally decided to do it so that I would be encouraged to keep writing and also to document what I’m doing with my girls in terms of Montessori at home.

It’s kept me writing, certainly, but I still am not doing the kind of writing that I want to do. Sometimes I just post gems like this just to post something. I don’t like that (and I’m sure no one else did either!).

I did find that it kept me motivated to research, plan, prepare, and teach Montessori lessons and activities to Freestyle, so that’s good. But I can still do that without this blog.

I just don’t seem to be able to find the time. I’m still adjusting to working again (albeit part-time) at home with both Free and RB now. I really try to work when they are being watched by my friend who babysits or my mom or while they are sleeping. When they are awake, I want to spend time with them and give them fun, interesting, and educational experiences. That’s why we decided that one of us should be at home after all.

I find that I can’t get all the work done in time for my deadlines unless I do some of it while they’re awake. During those days I sort of hate myself because I want to be able to 100% focus on the girls but then I am half-ignoring them while I stare at the screen.

At the same time, I love the work that I’m doing now. It’s interesting and challenging and allows me to explore the other side of teaching (writing/editing curriculum). I’m also so grateful that I found a job that I could do at home, that’s part-time, working with an amazing team. So I don’t want to screw it up. Last month was a real eye-opener. I made a few slip-ups and I was mor-ti-fied. They weren’t huge mistakes and easily corrected, but they were mistakes all the same.

So…I guess what I’m getting at is that I am realizing that I need to focus on what is most important and most necessary right now. So that would include my family, friends, work, volunteering and community involvement, teaching/living Montessori at home, writing (starting what will be a super fun side project with a good friend), and the other random projects which I always have on the go!

 

2009-07-04 at 01-47-33

 

 

I’ll call it an extended leave of absence for now. Thanks for reading and for your support. Thank you to E for all your encouragement about writing and giving me the idea to actually start this (looking forward to our project!). Thanks to those who I don’t know in real life who have subscribed or stumbled onto this via Pinterest or someone else’s blog and didn’t click away immediately! 🙂

 

2009-06-07 at 22-54-12

Is a graceful exit in the cards for me, much like my friend the peacock?

 

Bye for now! 🙂

 

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11 Feb

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image

 

Make your own cover here.

 

Gotta go! Freestyle is at the babysitter’s so I am running errands doing laundry catching up on work watching the livestream of Canada Reads!

 

My Montessori Elevator Speech

9 Feb
M is for Montessori!

Mmm is for Montessori!

Photo Credit

 

I first heard  of “elevator speeches” when I was involved in Rotaract (imagine a younger version of Rotary). Basically, an elevator speech is a quick 30-second to one-minute speech (the length of an elevator ride) that you could spout off at anytime when someone asks about your organization (or whatever).

I’m not the most confident person. I’m a natural introvert who makes an effort to be more extroverted when the situation calls. When the pressure is on and I have a bunch of people’s attention, I tend to talk faster, slurring my words together in excitement and nervousness! (Funnily enough, this didn’t happen in the classroom.)

 

 

I need to have a Montessori elevator speech. Whenever someone asks what I do and I tell them that I’m a Montessori teacher, they usually follow-up with, “So, what is Montessori anyway?” I usually stammer out a pathetic reply about “child-sized furniture” and “learning by using their hands” and “three year age range that promotes mentorship and learning by observing the older students” and “Maria Montessori was the first female doctor in Italy!”

Montessori is brilliant. I want to do it justice. So I began thinking of elevator speeches and how I really need to have one prepared for just this situation.

 

duotang rainbow

Taken during a summer when I was prepping the students’ folders. I like this photo because it includes two things that I really like: rainbow colours and new school supplies!

 

Just as I was posting this, I decided to google “Montessori elevator speech.” I found The Barbara Gordon Montessori School‘s newsletter about the same subject. I also found the Montessori Madmen website. (One of the founders is Trevor Eissler, the parent advocate behind the Montessori Madness videos! It’s a great site, very clean and well-written and informative…why didn’t I know about it before?!)

It’s happenstance, people! Just as I was thinking of this very topic, they are running the Montessori Madmen’s Montessori Elevator Speech Contest. They’re asking Montessorians to post their elevator speech on YouTube. Watch the contest intro video here.

I’m going to really give this some thought and post my speech when I’m done.

 

markhamsnow1-320x213

This is the weather here today. (No, this is not my car or anywhere close to where I live.) I am grateful Biker was able to work from home (not to mention that he has a job and that we have a home with working heat!). We were supposed to have our Chinese New Year dinner with his side of the family tonight but of course it had to be cancelled due to the weather. My family’s dinner is tomorrow and we’re playing it by ear. It’s supposed to stop snowing by tomorrow so hopefully the roads will be better. “Sun Leen Fai Lok” to those who celebrate! It’s the Year of the Snake!

Photo Credit

 

An Update

21 Jan

I’ve run out of the prewritten posts which I wrote (or at least started) before Real Baby arrived. So now I have to write as I go, I suppose! I’m going to aim for one post a week again, but I am trying to figure out a new work routine with the two lovely little ladies here (I started last month! Has it been crazy trying to work at home with a toddler and a 3-month old and no babysitter? I’d say YES.). I also have a couple projects on the go and started running again. All lots of fun but I do need to find a balance…wish me luck!

Well, at least I’ve gotten one of my 2013 Montessori goals accomplished: I’ve decided that instead of buying a Casa album, I am going to use Elizabeth Hainstock’s Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years as a base for what I will do with Freestyle later this year. I had flipped through it at the library when Free was a few months old, and recently a friend lent it to me, so I now I have a copy!

 

564256

Photo Credit

 

I like that it seems very straight-forward and simple. It was written specifically for parents to use in the home, so that is perfect for us. She also includes templates and instructions to make some of the materials. I’ll still be constantly reading and looking into different lessons and educational experiences, of course, but this will give me somewhere to start. (My training is for Grades 1 – 6, though we did do a crash course in Casa.) All very exciting!

 

In other MM news, here are a few things that kept us busy over the past few weeks:

IMG_2547

Okay, I know this looks a little pathetic, but it was a spur of the moment craft that didn’t quite work out. The eyeballs were too big and fell off, but Freestyle was okay with that and enjoyed asking, “Where eyeball go? Oh! Der eyeball! Hi, eyeball, where you go?”

IMG_2544

…Voila! We made this during the week we took turns being sick. All we used was a large, sturdy cardboard box, paint, and a LOT of packing tape. Like an entire roll of packing tape. 

 

I’m praying for…

3 Jan

…the Newtown community, especially the families who lost their children…

…the family and friends of the young woman in India (and all the other s*xual assault victims and those who are fighting for women’s rights and better education and support for all regarding this urgent and incredibly important issue)…

…the family of the young boy who was killed as a result of a hit-and-run on New Year’s day (we actually drove past the accident site not too long after it happened and were shocked when we found out what happened after turning on the radio)…

…the family and friends of the 2-year-old girl who was killed yesterday

 

 

Pregnant Chicken

17 Nov

This is us. Sort of. 🙂

 

Pregnant Chicken is a hilarious blog that I came across when I was pregnant with Freestyle. She writes about all things pregnancy and it’s pretty informative while being very, very funny at the same time.

The first time I read this post, I laughed so hard that I may have peed a little (might I remind you that I was pregnant at the time, so…yeah)!

A recent post, “Why You’re Never Failing as a Mother,” is BRILLIANT. Go read it if when you need to make yourself feel better.

 

Happy weekend!

 

DIY Where The Wild Things Are Costume

11 Oct

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t sew. I mean, I know the basic stitch, you know, going in and out (is there a name for that?). And I can tie a knot at the end. So, when I say that this is easy, I really do mean EASY!

Last Halloween, Freestyle was 15 months old. I knew that she wouldn’t enjoy wearing a fussy costume and would likely pull of pieces of it by the end of the Halloween playdate that we were attending. So I wanted to make her a simple costume that was comfortable and warm and that she would actually keep on!

 

Photo Credit 

 

I took a look at what I had around the house (as usual!) and decided to make a Max costume for her. Max is the little boy from the children’s classic book Where the Wild Things Are. It seemed easy because she had some pajamas that, when turned inside out, were all white. Her winter hat (that she was already used to wearing) had ear flaps that would work too.

 

All I needed was:

  • White onesie PJs
  • Sewing kit
  • Stiff yellow felt (I was only able to find orange)
  • Stiff grey felt (I only had light blue)
  • White fabric (I used some handkerchiefs that someone had given us that we never used)
  • Scissors
  • Black pipe cleaners

I didn’t use any patterns, just some good ol’ guesstimation and elbow grease. Here’s what I did:

  1. Eyeballed the winter hat and cut the white handkerchiefs so that it was would cover the entire hat with extra material. Sewed it onto the hat.
  2. Measured Freestyle’s head and cut the orange felt to fit. Cut out the triangles to make the crown shape and sewed it onto the hat.
  3. Bent the pipe cleaners and sewed the ends onto the ear flaps of the hat.
  4. Cut out “claws” and a tail from the blue felt. Sewed the claws onto the toes of the PJs and the tail onto the bum!

The “Wild Thing” sign is not sewn onto the costume. I just made it because I had leftover felt and foam letter stickers. Freestyle held it for a couple of photos.

That’s it! I found a costume headband with horns. They were for a devil costume but I just found two of Freestyle’s green baby socks and just stuck them over the red horns. I wore a green sweater and voila, instant Wild Thing costume for me! 🙂 If you had a striped sweater like in the picture above, that’d be even better!

 

The Max costume worked out very well for 15-month-old Freestyle. It was warm, comfortable, and since it was made from her PJs and hat, she was already familiar with it (no itchy fabric). I purposely put the hat on her head from behind so that she didn’t see that it was different than usual (otherwise, she’d probably keep taking it off to look at it). She kept it on all day!

When Halloween was over, I just cut off the thread and took off all the fabric and felt and Freestyle had her regular PJs and hat back again.

Have fun!