There are no April favorites because everything is hard when you are a big round pregnant person

Hi, all 3 or so of you who might still look for my blogs. I have really really been busy being a giant busy mama bee. At the same time, I feel like I have accomplished very little lately. I am learning how to actually rest. This is not as innate as it should be. I feel lazy sleeping more when Jeff goes to work. I feel silly laying down at 9 pm when I haven’t much strenuous activity during the day.. but I am tired! I do need the rest. So what if the hospital bag is only half packed and I haven’t finished sanitizing every bottle and pacifier? It will get done.

In our culture, productivity and being busy is viewed as more important than being balanced. That isn’t healthy for my baby or conducive for me being a good mama so I am rejecting that idea. Our house isn’t perfectly clean but its not filthy. I am doing what I can.

I went to a birth class last night and of course they touched on losing weight after baby. “I am sure you are all wondering…” um. Actually, no I am not wondering or even thinking about losing my baby weight. Baby isn’t even here yet! Why is this even a topic stressed? We worry ourselves enough with appearances. At least, I do typically. I have a shit ton of stretch marks now and they DO bother me but the thing I am most worried about is my baby being healthy, being able to birth him without fear in the best and safest way for us both, and breastfeeding. I am really concerned about breastfeeding because I really want to do it and I know it isn’t an easy road for many new mamas.

I learned plenty of other valuable information at the class so I don’t hold it against them but I wish I didn’t open my social media accounts to see all the targeted ads for “fitness” . I put it in quotes because none of them are really aimed at health. Lots of MLMs and quick fix type supplements or exercise programs or energy shakes that have questionable ingredients. It bums me out that this is what new moms are confronted with as if it is healthy, important, and works.  The more I go through this journey the more clearly I see that a lot of Americans don’t have great nutritional education. This is why fat shaming and body shaming in general really fucking irritates me. We collectively assume as as society that fat people are dumb, have no self control, or don’t care about their health. While I know that being obese isn’t healthy, the idea that obese people need to just “stop eating so much” is the answer is asinine. In what other country are we bombarded with the conflicting messages we are here? I am sure there are other places this happens but why can I see a commercial for slimfast and a whopper back to back?

I am not saying we have no personal responsibility in our health however it is hard to find consistent information about a healthy diet. Even today I saw a friend post that they went to the doctor and were told they have the highest cholesterol of any person their age they’d ever seen. She’d recently changed her diet to be healthy following keto- I am not educated in the diet but the fact there are SO many choices and diet programs out there is nuts. My mom and sister are doing some weird 3 day diet. I said why not just eat some raw veggies if you are hangry? Well, its not on the diet. Okay but at what point is a cucumber going to make you fat?! Even if it isn’t on the diet. I don’t understand.

Why is unhealthy food so much cheaper? I mean, we can act like poor folks have choices to eat healthy or not but at the end of a long work day maybe you have $10 to buy dinner. And remember, you are tired from working and may not feel like cooking. What are you going to choose? A frozen meal and a soda or chips (~$7) or buy separate organic ingredients and go over your budget? Then go home and cook? I probably wouldn’t to be honest. It is a great privilege to have the energy and time to cook even if you are sticking to a budget.

Anyway, I don’t give a fuck when I~ bounce back~ I will be a big squishy mommy with bouncy fat rolls until I am not. And I am trying to eat well and get in leafy greens and veggies but sometimes I fail. Sometimes I want nothing more than a cheesy gordita crunch from taco bell. I’m not perfect and I like cheese and fake cheese. I am fortunate to have my supplemental foods (fish oil, magnesium drink, collagen peptides, dates, spirulina, probiotics, my fancy prenatal vitamins I could barely afford, the giant box of suggested herbal teas for preggos, etc).

So there is a lot going on in my brain. This blog is gonna be everywhere. I quit really checking my facebook because I seriously cannot handle the negativity. Everyone has a right to talk about their real lives- I am not in the positivity cult nor am I interested in silencing anyone expressing criticism. Right now, I am just so so so sensitive to traumatic birth stories and infant loss. My heart breaks for people who are going through it and it scares the fuck out of me because I am no different than they are! I am also just another human who that could happen to. I really have to stay relaxed and believe I will have a joyful birth and a healthy child. I have to believe that to get through the rest of my pregnancy. In no way do I want to silence those mothers and fathers who have lost. That is never my intention. I want to hear ALL stories after my baby is born.

I have some guilt here too which isn’t fully logical but it is still present. Someone very close to me had a miscarriage during my pregnancy and my joy feels really unfair. She’d be the best mother- she’s actually married, they have a home, it would be a stable and wonderful life for a child. And then I think about my unplanned totally healthy bub. I feel unworthy of him sometimes to be totally honest. I feel unworthy of how supportive and loving his father is to me- treating me the best any other human has ever treated me. I worry I won’t be a good enough mom. I worry I don’t deserve this healthy baby boy. I worry he won’t be healthy and he will be marginalized. I worry I will mess him up with imperfect parenting. I worry about what will happen to our beautiful relationship. I worry Jeff will die and I will be a single mom.

I worry.

But I do not worry about being fat after he is born.

My Late March Love List

March went by quickly and I am just now able to properly sit down to write about my favorite stuff! Jeff and I joke about how I am a pregnant turtle because I am really slowing down and need assistance rolling out of bed and off the couch sometimes. Our baby shower went so well and though I am struggling to finish writing and sending thank you notes- we so appreciate and LOVE each heartfelt gift and well-wish from our friends! We were absolutely humbled at the outpouring of love from so many special people we know!

So, with only about 9 weeks (give or take) to go…ya girl has a lot of feelings! I am excited to meet our son but sad to leave my special nanny kid who I love with all my heart. Delivery seems so NEAR and feeling Llew move so much makes it even more…yes.. the word I am looking for is- terrifying. It is scary to think about pushing out a human child. It is scary to watch our world totally change- from a double to a single income- from a two person family to three- from free time to not getting the amount of sleep we are used to. It is scary to suddenly never be alone (but feel alone!) in the first weeks, maybe months of motherhood staying home with baby.

All this to say my favorite things this month have mostly not been my usual cutesy stuff that I got for myself. There will be some of that too though! Screen shot 2017-04-10 at 6.48.23 PM

  • Solstice Intimates Nursing Cami (www.solsticeintimates.com) When this item first arrived, I was not happy with the fit and there was a mistake on the top part. I emailed them and was so thrilled to have them take care of the issue right away and send me a replacement that is perfect! A+ Customer service! Yay!
  • Tokyo Milk lip balm I don’t remember where or when I got this but it is so yummy and hydrating. I have had so little energy to do anything with my face lately but I have been using this stuff and a little lipstick so I look alive in the morning before work.
  • The First Forty Days by Heng Ou One of the lovely pregnant ladies I walk with every week (who has a due date very close to mine!) recommended this fabulous book to me! I love it. So much postpartum wisedom in one beautiful hardcover book. I have already started using some of the diet and self-care advice specifically for new mothers. I don’t think I will be making papaya fish head soup any time soon however there is plenty of valuable (and simple!)recipes I will be trying out like the ceremonial hot chocolate and the mother bowl variations. Yummm.
  • A standard yoga ball I went to a lovely Feldenkrais session with Julia Shannon at Integrated Life here in Portland (seriously cannot recommend her enough!) and she showed me so many preggo pain relief moves on her big yoga ball. Now I got my own and I just stretch and bounce/squat 247 when I am at home.
  • Gentle Birth App Because I need the sounds of a waterfall and an Irish woman saying “yew are cammm, yew are relaxed, yer baybee is relaxedddd” for 12.99 a month. Seriously, best investment in my pregnancy journey so far. I suck at forcing myself to meditate but this app has really helped me get more relaxed and confident about giving birth. I got it right after this terrible lyft driver did what so many moms do to new mamas… told me how I would feel and what I should do during the birth of my son. Complete with the whole “you’ll beg for drugs!” “just get a C-section it will be easier!” “make sure you shave before and take a bunch of miralax so you don’t poop in front of everyone”…Um. That’s a whole ‘nother post but lady, no.
  • You are Strong hand painted shirt from Candace Goodman follow her on instagram: rainisunshine.
  • Marula oil from African Botanics This was originally over 100 bucks but I scooped it at TjMaxx for like $25. I love it. I think I will appreciate it even more in summer. This is the last luxury facial oil type product I will get my hands on for a while and I am gonna try to make it last.
  • Pixi Milky Mist I love Pixi stuff. I have yet to try something I didn’t enjoy. Sure, it is a bit spendy for Target beauty products but this stuff is nice and refreshing and moisturizing at the same time. I am addicted to facial sprays. My other favorite spritz right now is a mini I got in a sample bag from Farmacy and its amazing as well but this is a bit cheaper.
  • Polaroid Camera (I have had it forever but now am using a lot more)
  • Bath Bombs (of all kinds- not just Lush)

February Favorites 2017

February always sneaks up and passes by in a blink. This week I had a stomach bug so I have been off work but home feeling miserable instead.

There is so much good stuff in store for March so I’m keeping my chin up as much as possible. My baby shower and so many friends and family will be here next weekend (including my mama and my childhood best friend Laken!). Today I am getting new glasses and I am pretty excited to change them up and keep my current ones as back up. It has been about 4 years since I got them so it is time for the change!

My February favorites are a mix of indie and classic makers.

  1. Marimekko note cards for all the thank you notes I will be writing after this baby shower! So many people have already given us sweet gifts and hand-me-downs to last us the next year.
  2. Butter London yellow polish gifted by my friend Brittany sometime last year. It is now the perfect time to wear this shade as the sun is starting to peek out from behind the clouds (sometimes). Also, loving their Glazen eye gloss in Oil Slick.It reminds me a lot of the Urban Decay duochrome single I have in Solstice but its a gel formula.

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3. This pair of Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn oxfords which are now on sale… I cannot resist a well crafted wooden heel. My biggest weakness with shoes. These will be happy next to my Swedenish Hasbeens and MIA clogs.

4.  A cute little teething necklace I scooped off of etsy. These are just an example I haven’t received mine yet.

5. (Not pictured) Solstice Intimates nursing camisole in mint Julep. I haven’t received it yet- apparently it takes 6 weeks for it to get to me, which makes sense since it is handmade but man I am impatient! I am glad I ordered it way before i actually need it and didn’t wait until Llewyn is born.

6. Woodwick candle in Fresh Linen. I am surprised at how much I like this- is this a sign I am officially a mom now? It crackles and takes a lot longer to burn down than my cheap candles (Ikea, don’t take it hard, your cheap candles are my go to). And I got this at Marshall for like 80% off so it is a win.

7. Last but not least, I got this sweet little moon bear from Hanjipan Designs on Etsy! I love this artist and always keep my eyes peeled for when she will release some new babies. The baby I got is a little different than the one pictured- I customized him with purple galaxy eyes. I am so in love and super impressed with her work! He is so soft and precious. I also love supporting independent artists- especially a mama to be like myself!

 

 

January Style Roundup:

I am amazed that January is over! What a roller coaster first month of this crazy year it has been.

I am super busy, super pregnant, nesting like a little mama hen, and loving every minute of it! Last post, I talked about setting time aside for writing and working on personal projects and while I haven’t fully committed to that goal as I planned- I am making progress and even learned that a poem I wrote more than a year ago will be published soon! Universe is that a sign? To keep writing? Keep workin’ the muscle, Mama- a mantra by me.

Things that have helped me survive this month:

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This adorable shell phone case from Valfre.com $38.

My fluro pink Filofax keeping my life a little bit more organized. I don’t think this babe is available anymore but the filofax planner is my holy grail of planners as it allows you to totally customize the pages. I get beautiful inserts and calendar pages from KiddyQualia on Etsy.

This gorgeous agate necklace from therealreal.com. It was on sale. Even if the wearable geode trend is over (could it really ever fully be over for me? No!) personally these colors and accessories invoking nature will always have a place in my collection. Moss agate, I read after I bought this lovely, represents grounding and balance- two things I can’t get enough of as a very pregnant and very uncomfortable lil gal I have become. It is also said to be great for anxiety (like most stones I look up if I am being totally honest) but I am glad to associate everything I can with relief- real or imagined- load me up with the less stress woo.

Oh! My God! I miss you! Postcard book by Yoshitomo Nara I scooped up from the East Burnside shop Palace. $10

This gifted BKR glass water bottle. Hydration has been key. I hate drinking water to be frank but somehow putting it in something cute helps. $28

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 Many Moons 2017 Vol 1 January-June workbook. I haven’t been strict with doing the moon rituals but I do all the reflections and write down my corresponding intentions for each phase. I love it. It has become a wonderful part of my self care routine. It can be purchased at modernwomen.bigcartel.com.

Southern Comforts West Memphis Sweater Weather perfume. This fragrance is so yummy- with notes of coffee, bread, wood, amber, and Vanilla it is hard for me to stop sniffing it. I was super nauseated when I got it in the mail but still couldn’t resist dabbing a little on. This is comfort in a rollerball.  Find it and so many other yummy treats at socofragrance.com $17. Use code kitchen15 at checkout and save 15% on your entire order! They also have two limited edition scents available for the month of February: Dalliance is pictured here in all its lavender truffle sexual glory and Resist- whose proceeds benefit ACLU.

The key to my survival is self-care. These are a few things that have helped. Baths, tea, and cleaning my makeup brushes is pretty standard as well. Here’s to a balanced and healthy February!

2017 Resolutions

I have never been a person to make lofty goals for the new year- they aren’t realistic. Instead of a big goal I am unlikely to reach I create a short list of intentions and try to remind myself of them periodically. This year I want to write more and work on writing better.

I’ve half-assed for a long time because life is busy and paying bills and running around with work keeps me only half engaged with what I actually need to do. I love my work but knowing I will soon have even less time with a little baby might be the motivation I’ve been missing the last two years.

The other day I wrote a poem for the first time in months and even though it wasn’t amazing, I made a thing and that made me happy. And for this new year, that’s what I really want to tap into for myself. Rekindling the creative kid inside who didn’t care if anybody read my stories or if they were grammatically perfect or if the flat out weren’t any good.

I have written a lot of stuff that wasn’t worth anything but I also know my best work was during a creative flow that was uninhibited by my own self doubt or fear of peer opinion. Now I find myself sometimes paralyzed when I try to write something (especially fiction!) so I don’t even start for fear of failing. And I haven’t started a real piece of writing in more than a year!

So it is 2017- I have no less than 3 outlines for novels I haven’t written and I don’t even wanna think about how many rough drafts I have started but never even gotten half way through constructing.

What am I going to do differently this year? Set aside a particular time of day to devote to writing! And another just to READ. Reallllly read, though. I read a lot but I haven’t been writing with intention for a while. I have to make time for it because it makes me happy when I do. I notice when I am on a plane or forced to be quiet somewhere and I have a book I am happier than when I am at home with internet at my finger tips and music or TV on.

Also, I will be taking a class (for free- so auditing I suppose is a better term) on constructing plot. Yay! Something I feel like I have been missing in my work- as much as I can write stories, having someone or something to turn in forces me to practice. I need to enforce my own discipline that I have never truly developed. When I was writing well in the past, I had the time and it was NEW and exciting. These abilities are still inside me!

Daily writing prompts and free writing in my journal! Blog posts and reviews don’t count but I will be soon reviewing some more indie woman-owned cosmetics so stay tuned!

Are there other things I hope to accomplish this year? Of course!

To usher a healthy baby into this world and be a better partner! To pay my credit cards off! To find new ways to contribute income to our household after this little baby is here. All of these are important but at the end of the day this is something I can do just for me that costs nothing but allows me to gain everything that truly makes me proud and positive.

 

 

 

Hair is Fabric: Intensive Detox shampoo review

“Dry cleaning for your hair” doesn’t sound like something that would appeal to me but after finishing up some detox shampoo from Davines (Melu I think- I could review it if anyone is super interested I suppose) I knew I needed another clarifying shampoo. Most times I was my hair I use only conditioner since I am pretty dry but about once a week I like to really get in there and de-gunk my scalp from product build up.

This shampoo is marketed as high end 2 in 1 cleanser for hair  rather than a straight shampoo and while I do think its nice it is just a fancy shampoo, y’all. It is quite detoxifying as the label suggests and a little goes a long way so I think it will probably last me a while.

My main complaint with his product is that I didn’t expect it to smell like peppermint. It is very, very minty. I don’t mind but honestly I think I could get similar results with a cheaper product. At $16.99 ( I think I had a promo code from the place where I bought it but stilllll) this is a bit overpriced for what it is. Is it nice? Yes. Is the 2 in 1 feature a nice perk? Totally! But since I use regular conditioner most of the time it makes more sense to me to use a shampoo and conditioner separately. I will use the rest of this product but won’t be repurchasing it.

MotherDirt Review: Cleanser and AO+ Mist

I first heard about MotherDirt’s probiotic Mist when I was scrolling around on my Ovia pregnancy app. It is a kidsafe product and is designed to refresh skin with good bacteria. The face and body cleanser is designed to clean without removing the helpful bacteria already present on the skin.

Last week, I won the spray (and the cleanser was a nice additional surprise) from MotherDirt’s instagram page- so full disclosure I didn’t purchase either of these products (AO+ Spray retails at $49 and cleanser at $15). I wasn’t asked to write this review but thought why not? The concept of probiotic skincare is really interesting to me and for other mamas or soon to be mamas like me it might be useful information when trying to decide what multi-use products are worth investing in!

They arrived in a little silver package and I notice right away that the spray needs to be kept in the fridge- makes sense considering the contents. The cleaner also has an expiration date of 8 weeks after the first pump. This is a good thing, it means the ingredients are natural and actually go bad- not full of unnecessary preservatives which aren’t so great for the skin. With the cleanser only being $15, it is a reasonable expensive for every 8 weeks if you are using it for multiple purposes as it is meant to be.

Thoughts on the cleanser:

Major changes have been happening on my face- mainly hormonal breakouts since I got pregnant. While I’ve only been using this stuff for a week and as someone with very dry skin the airy foam wasn’t the most appealing. So with that said, I have nice natural moisturizers I use after my baths so this hasn’t been a big issue but I could see it being a bit drying for others as well. I believe they also offer a moisturizer- I haven’t tried it yet but I use All Cream from Fat and the Moon and a Lush facial moisturizer.

I use this stuff to wash my face, pits, etc. I have noticed I feel less stinky with B.O. after a day or two (normally when I start feeling less fresh). So far, I love this cleanser and would repurchase. I like using smelly soaps in the shower as well but with this stuff its really not necessary so if you are someone who isn’t into string scents you will appreciate this. Good skincare doesn’t need to smell like candy or flowers. It is good to remember that, especially with what I put on my face.

Thoughts on AO+ Mist:

I keep this stuff in my fridge as directed and give myself a spritz in the morning when I take my prenatal vitamins. I have to admit I haven’t noticed a huge difference in the amount of breakouts I am having but I spray this on my pits and face and have noticed that it with the combo of the cleanser has made my armpits less funky after a few days. I use a natural deodorant that isn’t working great for me (switching to the fat and the moon version so I will keep you posted on how I find it) so the difference is really obvious.

I’m gonna give this guy a few more weeks and see if there are more positive changes to report because its been such a short about of time. Again, this product is fragrance free and should last me a while- two things I look for in good skincare.

Have you tried either of these? Leave your thoughts in the comments I would love to hear your impressions!

My sick day blog is back!

Seriously I only get the time to write here when I am ill. A lot has happened since I last updated so where to begin?

Well, Jeff and I are expecting a baby! That’s some big news.

I already feel like a house at only 15 weeks and this was a major surprise but now we are so excited. We moved to a more suitable home for us to have this little pickle and we were going to have a good friend move in but unfortunately things fell apart pretty quick with her.

I won’t go into gritty detail but I am really sad I had to dump someone I considered my best friend for more than 5 years because she wouldn’t adult. I was so stressed and just working 24/7- which I like doing but it gets draining when you are morning sick and also trying to help another person (who refused to do the most basic of tasks like getting a bank account or god forbid riding public transportation) all the time. The final straw was when she committed to a client of mine for a long gig and then flaked at the last minute while I was left here double booked and looking very unprofessional to my clients. It hurt my heart to end that relationship but I’m also relieved to not feel responsible for the train wreck anymore.

On to what else is new… I think I updated that I am nannying on my own now and I love it! The families I work for are amazing and so supportive! I was afraid to tell them I am pregnant but that was silly. They’re all parents and they get it. Once our little baby comes out, I hopefully will be able to keep a few of them still. Who knows when I will really be able to go back to working but I love the work and even being home sick today bums me out (as much as I needed the rest and to not expose my funk to my kiddos).

They’ve also been super generous with baby stuff their babies aren’t using anymore and I never thought that would be a perk I would need.

Oh oh oh. I started another blog I will certainly neglect. dearbabyxo.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

The New New

It seems like I always move and change jobs around the same time. For people who have been following this blog- all three of you or so- it might be surprising that I would stop teaching at my school. There are a lot of reasons why I made the choice to transition into working for myself and for a few families. I couldn’t be happier but know I will miss some special people there.

I recently moved closer to the school though so while I am happy to have a better and more affordable living situation with the wonderful person I love, my old house is walking distance from one of the homes I nanny at during the week. Despite the little commute, I think I really have the best gig ever now. I love the kids and I can give more individual attention to the people in my care and take them on field trips to OMSI and the children’s museum. The one thing I didn’t fully expect was to be busier. I do the nanny share just 3 days a week but most of my weekends are filling up with makeup gigs and helping families. My hours are hella good though so I don’t really mind working through weekends- I feel like what I am doing really matters and helps the families who need me most.

A new schedule with hours that I choose also means I get more time to work on my makeup techniques and accept more projects doing faces. I love getting to wake up and have the time to create a look on myself. If I get to do that, I’m a happy girl.

It always feels like everything is happening at once and I feel that now more than ever. At least,most things are looking up right now.

 

Teaching consent from day 1

My classroom is an ever changing, ever evolving labor of love. My kids are all one and a half right now and its amazing to watch them grow. Even more interesting to me (on a developmental level and personally since I am emotionally invested in their general wellbeing) is seeing how they react to peer conflict, family problems, routine disruptions, and perhaps what is coming up most right now: breaches of consent.

Let me start by saying babies are better at consent than adults. Yes, they’re still growing their empathy and learning “what is and is not okay” to do to others but they don’t have the conditioning that adults do. At least not yet. And if I can help it, no kid I know will ever be forced to hug someone they don’t want to. I think more and more parents and caregivers are learning to respect the child and this includes respecting their boundaries-regardless of how legitimate we might think they are. At the end of the day, a child feeling safe is more important that if so n’ so family acquaintance or great aunt the kid maybe has never met got to pinch his or her cheeks.

It is so important to me that my classroom is the ultimate safe space for my students. Yes, they’re one but they are students! Learning to be functional humans who respect others. My first priority is safety, my second priority is that we are learning, and third is that we have fun. Sometimes only two of these can be achieved as someone’s idea of fun might be to rip out a chunk of another kid’s hair or standing on the table and screaming.

Sometimes when people are mostly nonverbal, I start assuming too much. I assume this kids is okay with getting his diaper changed but maybe he isn’t quite ready. It is possible that its not an option and I have to do what I can to make that person comfortable but still get a fresh diaper on him because its for his health and safety. There is a child in my class who actually likes getting changed. Likes getting a new dress on after she is too wet from sensory. Likes getting her hair done up in a pony tail when its all over the place.

A few days ago, it was a chaotic day and she was getting her hair pulled a bit from curious classmates. This is normal, especially for kids their age, but of course I am discouraging that behavior as much as possible for her comfort and safety. We plop down on the big squishy mush pillow everyone is obsessed with and I start pulling her curls up to form a bun. I hear her protest. She is not having it! What gives C? You love this usually.

I look her in the eyes and I ask, “Can I fix your hair, C?” and she nods very clearly yes. YES! At first, I am a little annoyed. Like, you know we always do this! You like this! Why make it difficult? But then I start feeling ashamed that I stress consent with my kids in regards to touching friends and asking before hugs and I had totally disrespected my student because she is not super verbal yet. I can’t expect her to be okay with it every time or to read my mind! My plan for what is happening throughout our school day is only known to my kids if I tell them and they all understand more than people give them credit for- I thought I had been respecting their understanding and explaining myself consistently but that was a real wakeup call.

When days are long and busy and there are 3 injury reports and somebody’s sick and that primary that always pees on my feet has made me have to change socks twice…I still have to be the calm, consistent, considerate teacher and caregiver as when days are easy and simple. I have to move slowly and explain myself while respecting their autonomy no matter what is going on. It is the only way to insure a safe place for learning.

Just because someone cannot clearly say yes or no doesn’t mean their consent is not required. It will get easier as they all get more words but for now if you take the time to communicate they have things to say and will tell you in one way or another if you stay open and receptive to their needs. Anyone who has ever belittled my job or made remarks about how I’m not “really teaching” anything has no idea what developmentally happens in these early years of life. My job is actually super important, emotionally draining, and my actions with these small people have a lasting impact on my cohort.

When I mess up, I say sorry. I looked at C after fixing her hair that day and I said I was sorry and that from now on I will always ask. It is simple as that. I say thank you when I am pleased a child did a task I didn’t expect them to do. Asking a one year old to say please and thank you is absurd. Using them in proper context when I am actually sorry or actually thankful has been working out really well, though. When you hurt someone, you go check in with them, you see their sad face and that they are hurt. I do not tell them to say sorry because 1 year olds can’t really be sorry yet. It is just a word. Until its clear to them that “o this person feels pain like I do” (which won’t happen for a while yet for most people) sorry is not yet related to empathy. I am not about to just teach the word and it be meaningless.

I started this out of needing a lifestyle change and wanting to work with kids. The fact that I am with the same group for multiple years and help raise the same 4 people while forming a unique bond is something I never expected. I have never felt like I was learning more at work than I am now.

They remind me constantly how much more in touch with their biology and honest selves than most adults are. In a lot of ways, my kids are teaching me more than I am teaching them.

I cannot wait to see even more of who they are as they grow.