Sunday, August 24, 2014


Ahhh, we are on the eve of having a routine again.  I have a ridiculously great work set-up, getting to work a flexible, part-time schedule doing something I love, BUT the downside is the summer schedule.  I'm busiest in July and August during our summer professional development and school start up times.  (My charter school network starts school mid-late July).  This means I'm busiest at the time of year when our childcare set-up is least set up.

Before Camp!
Every week this summer we had a different set-up.  Every. Single. Week. For three full months, our morning start times, days on/days off, locations, and caregivers changed.  This had some fun perks (lots of help and visits from family and a string of 9:00 camp weeks which was such a nicer, slower start to the day!)  But I don't think constant change was good for any of us.

So with Jack's and Cora's first day of school last Friday, this week marks the beginning of their new school year and coincides with when I can finally start working my set, 20 hour/week schedule.  (To make this wonderful part-time position work, I voluntarily work more hours in July and August.)

Jack and Cora are both going to the Waldorf School of New Orleans this year.  Jack has been at Waldorf for two years now in the Nursery class.  The Waldorf early childhood program consists of a Nursery class (roughly ages 2.5-4) and a Kindergarten class (roughly ages 4-6).  Jack went 2 days/week his first year and 3 days/week last year.  I added a weekly sitter on to that to make a complicated work schedule, but this year it's just straight up school.

Jack is in his first year of Kindergarten (and boy is he proud of that fact) and Cora is the youngest child in the Nursery.  They both will go Monday-Friday 8:30-1:00.  I will work Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri from 8-1, with Jacob handling drop-off and me doing pick-up.  Also for the first time since I've had children, I will have childcare on a morning I'm not working.  I imagine an occasional special day with Jack or Cora on those mornings, but overall I'm downright excited to have a little time to myself!

I'm a big fan of the Waldorf philosophy.  For early childhood:

The early childhood teacher in a Waldorf school works with the young child first by creating a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment, which is protective and secure and where things happen in a predictable, regular manner.

The classrooms are sunlit, calm, and natural.  There are flowers and nature items.  The toys are simple (lots of wooden blocks and handmade objects) and require imagination to be brought to them.  The kids are involved in home-like tasks in a weekly rhythm.  One day might be folding the lunch laundry, another day is baking the kids' snack.

There are two times outside each morning and both classes have their own gardens to tend.  They go outside in all weather and seasons as a way to explore the world around them. 

There is an emphasis on nurturing the body as well and the snacks are very healthy.  Jack was quick to ask what the snack rhythm is for his new class.  Mondays: oatmeal, Tuesdays: quinoa and vegetables, Wednesday: bread or something else the kids bake, Thursday: fruit salad or vegetable soup, Friday: popcorn.  The kids are involved in making the snack every day.

Jack and Cora went to different schools last year on different schedules.  Logistically, it's going to be a great year, especially since their school is close to where I work.  I also have an idyllic notion of them walking in together holding hands and giving kisses between the fence that separates their play yards.

The first day was sweet (thought not kisses through the fence perfect.)  Jack was so excited to be in Kindergarten that he pretty much forgot Cora was on the premises.  Cora was a little overwhelmed and cried when we left.  But both had great days.

I love that they'll be sharing in their school experience this year!  And I LOVE that we are about to start having some weekly ROUTINE again!

There is no significance to the helicopter.  Jack was just attached to it that morning.

Jack gets to ring the "fairy bells" - the sign for parents to get going!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Realizing a dream: first step forward

My husband quit his job this month and I'm 100% supportive. 

Jacob has had dreams of owning his own business all his life and has been writing and researching his business plan to launch a brewery for more than a year now.

It's time for big steps forward.  I'm not nervous because if there is one thing I know about Jacob Landry, it is that he makes things happen.  We've also approached this step very seriously, saving and preparing to live without his income while he works to launch Urban South Brewery.

If you know anything about craft breweries, you know they are a rapidly growing industry.  And if you know anything about New Orleans, you would imagine this would be a city with several locally owned breweries.  You'd be wrong on that point.  New Orleans, and the South in general, have been slow to take ownership of this growing market.

Jacob likes to create.  He was the vision behind our home renovation, he's the mastermind behind the "Landry Farm," and I benefit regularly from his canning, baking, and cooking projects.  He home brews, but he won't be the brewer at Urban South.  He's recruiting a seasoned brewmaster for that role.  He will be heavily involved in sales and building a local brand.

He gave notice at his job earlier in July and has started meeting with potential investors over the last few weeks.  We are excited at his early progress and I look forward to watching him realize his dream.  I'm not naive to the responsibilities and pressures that inevitably must come from building your own company, but I think they'll be more than worth it to see my husband fully employing all his skills and giving our children a model that you have to be bold to follow your dreams.

Much more to come on this exciting chapter!