Saturday, October 16, 2010

Child Care

It's a widely known fact in my social circle that I want kids.  I wanna get knocked up.  Two to three times. 
It's also a widely known fact in my social circle that I am crazy passionate about quality Early Childhood Education.  I work in the field. 
However, as some of you may know, quality Early Childhood Education and child care is VERY HARD TO FIND.  Often, child care centers are quite expensive (In Seattle generally $1300 and up for infant care) and low in quality.  Teachers rarely have much training or education.  The turnover rate is high.  Centers meet licensing requirements, but do not exceed them in any way. 
There is some quality child care available for low income people who can qualify for assistance through the state.  It used to be that you could get assistance if you were 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or under.  Now there are cuts being made to balance the state budget, so only families who make under 175% of the Federal Poverty Level will qualify.  That's about $2124 dollars per month for a family of two.  If you make over that, you will probably need to pay child care at the going rate (instead of the copay that they charge with state assistance that ranges from $15 to ~$300ish.)
As a single parent, I could not afford to work.  But I could not afford to stay home.  So it's likely I would have to find care for my child that was less expensive and less quality than I would like. 
As an advocate for quality early childhood education and child care in Washington State, I really would like to propose some sort of sliding scale child care system.  Honestly, on my income, I think I could pay about $800 a month.  Ideally, I would pay $500 a month for care.  Would that ever happen?  Not now. 
In order to be progressive when it comes to early care and education, we must come up with a solution for everyone.  Right now, the very low income and the very high income can afford childcare.  Those of us in-between are kind of stuck.  Well, actually, everyone is kind of stuck--quality child care centers are few and far between, and who wants to pay for low quality for their kids? 
Just some thoughts that have been running through my head lately with these intense cuts.  It will affect my line of work (non-profit childcare) very much.  It will affect the families that I work with.  It will make me cry.  If nothing else, give this some thought.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Diva Cups

I haven't bought a tampon in two and a half years. 

All thanks to the Diva Cup. 

I even had to go back in my posts to see if I had written about the Diva Cup before.  I haven't. 

It's a little messy, but it's environmentally friendly and also it's ALWAYS ON YOU!  Well, not always, but for the majority of your cycle.  When I used tampons I would always forget them and would have to run out and buy them during my lunch break or whatevs. 






Just make sure you boil it after every cycle.  I've also found soaking it in peroxide for a few hours helps bring it back to the lovely clear color. 

The livejournal community on menstrual cups is pretty damn good for info on it: 

http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/profile

And if your a huge hippie, you can add the fact that you're not supporting "the man: when buying tampons!  Woohoo!

Ruling at Life: Slice of Life. Awesome.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vacation.

My vacation was absolutely amazing.  I went to San Francisco and saw friends, went to parties, and met new people from all over the country at a moped rally. 

There came a time on Saturday when, after leaving the park, I laid in the back of the van, getting driven around town.  The person driving and the person sitting next to her were stressing, trying to find where we were going.  Trying to find parking.  Navigating. 

I just laid in the back, with some cute boys, drinking five hour energy, and feeling the most relaxed I have in my life. 

I didn't have to baby-sit at five!  I didn't have to go to work the next day!  I could have a beer, or five!  I didn't have a car to drive, or to park and pick up later.  I didn't have to navigate, cause I didn't know where we were going!  I didn't have to worry about impressing boys because they were temporary just in this city for right now, and besides, my personality sparkled anyway! 

Best, best moment ever. 

Now it's back to the drawing board here at home.  Well, not back to the drawing board.  But back to living, being responsible.  And believe me, I get off on that, too.  This weekend I got shit done.  Put $100 in the bank.  Took care of my health in the form of acupuncture and workouts.  Slept in. Bought some farmer's market produce.  Spent time with my family. 

I can't live my life like a vacation every day, but I can try. 

I haven't brought it up much, but I had a hard, hard summer. 

In late June I was diagnosed with anemia, which doesn't seem like a big deal.  But it was.  I had been wiped out for months before, and could not get through a day without a three hour nap.  In addition to this, or maybe alongside this, I was dealing with a pretty strong depression. 

Health issues and depression have been a pretty strong influence in my past.  I do not want them to be, so I have to do what I can do get around this.  I did.  I worked very hard this summer on getting the iron up, and consequently, lifting my spirits. 

Usually I have a hard time going into fall.  I'm telling this year to bring it.  Bring the rain.  I survived the summer, and I can survive the winter.  I'm excited with how things are going and have a new string of hope to live on. 

It's the big things, but it's the little things, too. 

For example:  I learned that a side braid is a great way to wear your hair when it's wet from the shower. 

I learned that beets are an amazing food, and if you get the sweeter variety, they don't turn your shit funny colors. 

I learned that I value my cat more than my car, but I still value my car a whole fucking lot, and take great joy in getting its oil changed. 

I've learned that I am appreciated by people who I have served well. 

This is my life.  It's a day to day.  It's not glamorous or exciting, and I'm not at the point where I need it to be now.  I have to take value in all the ways that I live.  I need to look at experiences and how they enrich my being.  I need to not feel guilty about sleeping in, as long as I'm not late to work. 

Thanks for listening, readers.