As I sit here writing, I find myself a tad bit uncomfortable. The waist of my paints are slightly taught on my slowly, but surely, growing belly. As most of you already know, I am expecting my second child in mid to late April. By now, I am 15.5 weeks along and still experiencing a little bit of morning sickness also. However, no complaining from me on this as I know that it is a sure sign that the baby is healthily growing.
At almost four months, I have gained 5 pounds and lost 11 and then regained three more pounds; for a net loss of 3 pounds. I also informed my new boss of 2.5 weeks that I am expecting. How nerve-wracking was that? She was understandable, at least in front of me.
Since my last entry, several things have changed in my life. I find that if I wait longer, I have more to report out and remember. I learned that I am not a very good stay at home mom. At least, I never got into a good groove of being one. Though other encouraging SAHM’s have told me that it takes several months before they got into a routine that was rewarding for them. If worse comes to worst, I guess I could also blame it on the morning sickness.
I also was finally offered two jobs in a matter of a couple of days after three months of interviewing with them. After some consideration, I opted to take the lower paying job. In retrospect, I am feeling good about the decision—to decline a six figure job filled with travel for a local, yet very flexible job that pays a little less. Either would have been great positions for me, regardless.
Enough about me, then again, this could very well be about me, but after some struggle we finally decided where to send Roan for preschool. I have to say that the St. Paul early childhood (SPPS) options are confusing and often not very working parents friendly. Since we were late to register—as we did not know in time for the deadline—that we were going to move to St. Paul, we were put on a waiting list for the three programs that we hoped Roan could attend.
I was informed that the chances of us getting into any of them would be close to 0%. Therefore, I had also registered Roan to attend an amazing private school also, Cornerstone Montessori School as we played the waiting game with the SPPS. We heard back from Cornerstone that Roan had been excepted to the school and were excited. However, since both of us were unemployed at the time, tuition costs were heavy on our minds.
At around the same time, I also heard back from the SPPS that Roan would get into a preschool program. However, it would be one in which we would have to provide transportation to and from the program, which only lasted 2.5 hours a day. In these programs, there was no option of after-care either. This was a bit inconvenient for us since we were still hoping that both of us would have jobs soon enough.
We did not do much research on the program choices we were given, but they did not appear on our top 10, therefore, the decision to have Roan attend Cornerstone was clear to us, even though it costs almost $1K each month to send him there for school and after-care and it was a bit of a drive for us from Summit Hill to the Roosevelt Homes area of East St. Paul each day.
Roan thrived at a traditional school. However, we had done some research into Montessori and really hoped that it would be an even better fit for him to learn. As he was new to the Montessori methodology, he was a bit bored in the beginning. (My disclaimer is that Montessori methodology includes a child centered program and each teacher, or guide as they like to be referred to, introduces each activity to each child—that’s a lot of “each”es. A child cannot proceed to do the activity until he/she is presented the materials. It takes several weeks to introduce each child to each activity, which may have caused him to feel like he was not being allowed to play with certain things.)
I am happy to report that Roan is learning so much and is even more independent now. I tended to tend to his every need, as he is my only child, but now he tells me, “Mama, I want to do it by myself,” or “I need privacy,” which is code for “I want to finish and then I will tell you when I am done.”
We also love the school because they have free classes for parents of students there. The classes are so enlightening. We see the practicality of teaching the Montessori way and wished that we had had the opportunity to learn in the same way, growing up. The school is also just beautiful! It’s brand-spanking new and the classrooms are large and serene.
One reason we hesitated to send Roan here, initially is that we were afraid that he would no longer have the opportunity to receive his speech therapy. However, the SPPS has a program that will send a therapist out to your child’s private school to ensure that that need is still being met as well. Roan gets speech therapy once a week at Cornerstone through the SPPS. We are so grateful for this and have seen the programs work together to make such a difference in Roan. It’s also wonderful to hear the therapist rave about how wonderful Cornerstone is.
I wanted to let as many people as possible know, however, that even though we pay full tuition, Cornerstone is an amazing opportunity for any child and they have scholarships available to families. Oftentimes, children who meet certain family income standards attend for free. We love the quality of the program and the mix of socio-economic and cultural students at Roan’s school. I especially encourage all Hmong parents to look into the program and the school since Roan is the only Hmong child at Cornerstone.
In addition, the school has applied for charter status and hopefully, in 2011, will be free for St. Paul residents. With another child on the way, we hope to have him continue on at Cornerstone in 2011. As for now, we still wait for that waiting line to shrink over in the SPPS, especially at JJ Hill so he can attend kindergarten there. I know, why the rage about Cornerstone if we don’t plan to have him attend in 2010? Because we really do love and believe it is the best school for Roan. However, we need a break from daycare expenses. Did I mention that we have an infant on the way also?
And finally, since a post is no fun without a photo, here is one with my Peach: