Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Some Other Things Going On

Still pondering the Buy No More Compact... As I mentioned, I think I'd really need some ground rules. At the very least I'm going to seek used FIRST, but like Sarah said--buying kids clothes is such a pleasure for me! And as Angie pointed out, sometimes you can't beat the deals at the big box stores in terms of saving money. So I'm not quite sure what I'll do there. Plus, what about getting the girls coordinating Christmas and Easter dresses!?

I know that I could (and probably should) commit to buying gently used clothes for myself, so maybe I'll start there? You know, tomorrow, since I just scored a cute pair of white pants from Nordstrom on sale... Sigh. (Is it just me or are pants way harder to buy than shirts?)

Meanwhile, we're thinking about some other big changes. We are strongly considering the possibility of enrolling Zuzu in a Montessori preschool program. It would mean a change in our morning routine (David would drop her off on his way to work; either one of us could pick her up, depending on who's getting off work early/later), it is more expensive, AND I still love the place where she goes now. In fact, one of the reasons I liked it so much from the start is that she can stay there until she goes to kindergarten! But we've been thinking ahead to kindergarten, where she'll be enrolled, and what that might look like given that we live in a city where the public schools are unaccredited. Montessori programs are 3 years and students graduate ready for first grade.

David has been researching Montessori and from the stuff that I've read as well, it really seems like a program that we believe in. It also seems to be particularly well-suited for our strong-willed, independent girl. I know there are people who think it costs too much (which also limits the diversity in the classrooms), and there are people who absolutely scrimp and sacrifice to send their kids to Montessori schools because they believe the benefits are so great.

I had to have two fillings yesterday--which was totally traumatic for me because I am a huge weenie and I insisted that David sit in the room with me and hold my hand the entire time. Being married to me is THE BEST. Anyway, we mentioned the preschool decision and my dentist said that his kids went to Montessori preschool--the same one that his wife had attended as a child! It was really important to her that they go there because she had such a great experience. I found that compelling.

I just have a really hard time with change. And it kind of feels like "if this ain't broke..." because we really have no problem with where we are (in fact, we still love it!). But, like I said, we're thinking about kindergarten and also thinking about Coco's kindergarten year (she misses Missouri's cut off for starting kindergarten by one week. I'd rather have her evaluated to see if she is ready or not, and not keep her behind just because I didn't induce her at 39 weeks, you know?). So I think it's probably the right call, but I get all emotional about the idea of leaving the school/daycare where I've felt so great about leaving my babies since they were 6 months old!

My friend K pointed out that you can never make a decision about school based on guilt--you are the only person who knows what's right for your child. And she also noted that one person's experience with a school doesn't negate or support someone else's decision. What's right for one kid in terms of teachers, classmates, and curriculum may or may not work for someone else. So I'm trying to keep that in mind and just focus on our quirky little Zuzu and what will be the best choice for her in the long run.

I just thought that my gut would give me a clear answer, and it's not. I see pros and cons every which way.

And can we talk a little more about dental work? It is THE WORST! My jaw is still kind of sore today and the "happy gas" really didn't do enough for me. Next time I'll get a Valium prescription, but I wanted to avoid that since I'm still nursing the bebe. I came home and ate the worst lunch ever since I was starving but half my face was still numb. Such an unpleasant sensation. Then I napped and I felt much better after that, but my jaw is still kind of sore today! I consider myself lucky to have gone 34 years without needing a filling. I hope I can go 34 more.

Have I mentioned that my brother is getting married in a couple of weeks!? So exciting. The girls are going to be flower girls. Zuzu has been studying up by watching wedding processions on YouTube (she always says, "What's her name, Mama?" so I have to make them up if the video doesn't say).

We're not sure if Coco will be walking by then... She's cruising around our furniture, loves to walk behind something on wheels, and can easily walk holding someone's hand, but she won't take steps on her own. I suggested she could just get pulled down the aisle in a wagon (I've seen in on Pinterest) but I guess my brother nixed that idea. I don't think Zuzu will hold her hand, though, because she's totally serious about how it's her job to sprinkle flower petals, which you can't really do one-handed. Maybe we could find a mini-shopping cart and let Coco push it down the aisle?

Anyway, we're road-tripping (with my parents in a rented minivan!) to his wedding in Pittsburgh, and spending a few days at a resort in West Virginia on our way there, then extending our stay in Pittsburgh so we can see a bit of the city (We already have tickets to a ballgame, but I also want to go to the Andy Warhol museum and take a boat tour!).

Lots to do and lots to think about. Speaking of, check back later for a quick post about Zuzu's third birthday... I can't believe how fast this summer is flying by (in spite of all the rainy days--today is cloudy, cool, and misty, very unlike July in Missouri!)


  1. I absolutely recommend the Andy Warhol museum! And my friend raves about how great Montessori school was for her when she was young, so I have been thinking about it for our little one (though we have a while until we need to decide!).

  2. The kids I nannied went to Montessori school and had an awesome experience. None out here for G to attend, bummer.

  3. What if you got a basic used toddler walker toy and spray painted it white? Then she could walk it down the aisle. Also, I've made the choice to pull my 5-year-old out of school a couple weeks early so she can have a break before kindergarten. I've had a kid there off and on for 7 years, so it breaks my heart and I feel guilty for not letting her have as much time as possible there before she leaves forever. But I know it's a good choice. Anyway - I feel your guilt/pain. Whatever choice you make will be a good one.

  4. The Pittsburgh zoo is OK if you have time. They have an aquarium and polar bear and you get in half off for bring stl zoo members.
    I think Montessori can be hit or miss depending on the child and program. But it would take care of the school issue for awhile for you. Or you could just move out here ;)

  5. I'm in WV and I'm trying to guess where you will be staying (not a lot of "resorts" on the way to PA, lol)!

  6. I've heard wonderful things about Montessori programs. Both of my kids have done Reggio Emilia, which I think has many similarities with Montessori, and they loved it. (Ewan went to the St Michael School right by Wash U -- it was EXCELLENT but is probably not at all convenient for you.) Just check the schools out and if it feels right, go for it! I've found that I can usually just tell by being in the school if it will work for my kids or not (and we've been through a lot of schools with all the moving).

    Related -- my kids are in private schools up here by default because of the St Louis schools. Ewan started off in a private school so it just felt like it made sense to stay in a similar system. And then it wouldn't be fair for Laren to not have the same types of experiences... Sadly, private school tuitions here are higher than university! But it's worth it if it works for your kid. Good luck!

  7. At the risk of sounding defensive (because I'm not at all!), I do have to point out that there are a ton of schools in the district that are not only accredited, but accredited with distinction, and several that are tops in the state and country. We opted to go private for elementary because we had a great option in our neighborhood, but we're public from middle on out, and are really pleased so far. I think confidence grows when you settle into a school and really connect with the other families.

    School choice used to stress me out, but once we were in it, I realized just how much our whole family gained. So many valuable friendships with families that are smart, witty, hilarious, and supportive. I love the communities we've built here in St. Louis.

    My sister put my nephew in a Montessori kindergarten mostly because KY didn't have full day kindergarten until this coming year (one year too late for him). I'm not sure they felt like it was the best choice for him, but the better choice. Just remember, you aren't locked into one way for life. Take it year by year. She's going to do well anywhere.

  8. We are very lucky that there are two public Montessori schools here in Kansas City and our kids go to one of them - Henry will be a 2nd grader next year and Margo will be starting pre-k. We *love* the school and love the philosophy and think it has been really good for Henry. The individualized attention is amazing. My mom the retired teacher has also been very impressed by it. I hear you on the unaccredited school district thing, because KC lost its accreditation the first year Henry was there and we lived through a lot of turmoil in the process of getting back to provisionally accredited.