Play for a chance to win an ARC of Station #4 – How curious are you?


The fourth installment of The Station series is underway, and it has a title! But what is it?? Drop your guess below in a comment for a chance to win an ebook ARC of Station #4 the week before publication! Invite your friends to play, too! The title will be formally announced this Friday, as well as a winner randomly selected, so get guessing – you gotta play to win, y’all! 😀

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Passion Project Update

Who didn’t love Lisa Frank when they were young? I did! When I saw the Dear Diary Tula, it was like an explosion of Lisa Frank and I knew I HAD to have it! It was my first and only Tula Diso. Sadly, by the time I was able to save up for my first Tula, Dear Diary was discontinued. I got a Jubilee for myself and Fletcher for my husband and tried to suppress my dreams of Dear Diary. About a week ago, someone posted a Dear Diary in my local Tula group. For UNDER retail and still BNIP (brand new in package!). I hopped on it and purchased it. It’s love love love and it’s beautiful!  It has glitter thread on it! Hearts, Rainbows, Unicorns and Stars! Here is a stock photo from the Tula Website:

dear_diary_1__20041.1432662999.386.513So this means, I will be paying more fabric and creating suck pads for this Tula! OMG! The search was on to find the fabric to match. With the Jubilee, I couldn’t find the fabric, so I found an solid color to match it. But I really want an match on this one. It took more than a few hours of trial and error. Many of the sites listed the fabric but when you went to the site, it would list it out of stock. Bummer! I couldn’t find any besides Ebay, and I didn’t want to go that route. I decided on getting on the waiting list for a online fabric store and was pleased when it quickly went into stock again. I will be making not one but two sets of suck pads!

Right now I have the all the fabric cut out from the pattern. It’s waiting on me and I’m waiting on getting a few more things from Amazon. It can take some time since everything is literally shipped on boats or airplanes. While I wait and practice on stitches. I decided to use my Kindle unlimited and pick up a few books. I decided for starters, Sewing: For Beginners- Learn to Sew Quickly and Easily with This step by step guide by Mary Butler. I really like that it teaches you the very basics. The fundamentals are so important to making it less stress free. I think if you don’t have a teacher on hand, I don’t, books are second best. As long as your able to teach yourself.

The Power of Google

So, I typed in my name into google and searched. I was pretty interested in what came up. First, on social media, I do not use my legal full name. I use my first name, maiden name, and last name. You would only know that if I have you added as my friend tho. I did not have many hits, mainly is it was pinterest. You could click on my pinterest and view what I pinned. If you didn’t know me you would say, I love sugar and baking, I love crafts, and I love to pin pictures of my dream home. I wonder what that says about me?

Second thing that came up was my Instagram page. Recently, I had set it as public. It was a way to win a Tula contest. Seeing how I have pictures of my children on instagram, it will be going back to private soon.

I decided to search next using my first name, middle name and last name.  I found nothing about myself.

Next was my first name and maiden name. Nothing there.

Overall, I am pleased on what I was able NOT to find about myself.

Taking A Different Approach to Kids and Bad Behavior


Writer Katherine Reynolds Lewis, in Mother Jones, examines the latest approaches to addressing children and discipline—most notably, that timeouts, negative consequences, and other traditional punishments might not be as effective in many cases as helping kids manage their own emotions. It’s based on “Collaborative and Proactive Solutions,” a program that was developed by psychologist Ross Greene (author of The Explosive Child):

In 2004, a psychologist from Long Creek Youth Development Center, a correctional center in South Portland, Maine, attended one of Greene’s workshops in Portland and got his bosses to let him try CPS. Rodney Bouffard, then superintendent at the facility, remembers that some guards resisted at first, complaining about “that G-D-hugs-and-kisses approach.” It wasn’t hard to see why: Instead of restraining and isolating a kid who, say, flipped over a desk, staffers were now expected to talk with him about his frustrations. The staff began to ignore…

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Digital Citizenship

The internet is a power tool. Think of all the uses for it and with the advancement of social media, it’s almost limitless. Now, an important question is who are we when we are online? We use social media to help establish a presence and even a persona online. We can carefully craft what we want out followers to see. We can edit, edit, edit. We can post pictures of only when we look the best, we can post only the wittiest and though provoking statements. And why wouldn’t we? The internet is a useful tool in giving ourselves an ego boast! “Lots of “likes” on my picture and statuses today!” “Ten comments on my latest blog!”.  It makes me really think, who am I online? How are others seeing me? Maybe they think I have an busy life from all the pictures I post on FB going to fairs and the beach. Maybe they think I am always consumed with my children from the lack of statuses updates? I really liked this tip from the article “Who Are You Online? Considering Issues of Web Identity?” by Kelly Schryver.

“… read through your recent postings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media site you use regularly, and think about how you might come across to others. Then, perhaps using Mr. Grobart’s article or the Common Sense Media video as models, create your own piece that reflects on who you are online and why.”

It’s so important to think and care about the perception you are giving on social media. Like wise, it’s always important to THINK about what and why we are posting something.  The blog Comfortably 2.0 put this into perspective.

“Everything that you put online is permanent….even if you hit the delete button after posting.  Odds are someone has retweeted, favorited,  or taken a screenshot of the material if it was questionable. “

If someone searches your name on google, (Potential Employers, Graduate School Admission Officers, Friends, Family, Your children), what are they going to find out about you? Would you be proud or ashamed. So before you press the button and put something on the web think, “Who would you not want to see this?”

Comfortably 2.0 has great tips for teaching the power of the internet to your students and children. You could even use it for a gentle reminder to yourself when you feel your getting to comfortable on the internet. The Author states a few reminder: 1. Set passcode on all digital devices. 2. Never share passwords. 3. Everything on the internet is permanent and 4. You can never take what you post back!

Passion Project: The Great Escape

I’ve been able to accomplish a few things this week on my suck pads. I purchased the pattern from etsy and was able to print that out at home. Yay! It came with very detailed instructions, but I’m not sure if I’m going to use it. I wanted to figure out things for myself. I might just go with it on my own and use the steps for trouble shooting if I get stuck somewhere.

I have used the pieces of fabrics, dried, and have them all ironed out. All ready to be cut! I’m nervous to actually cut out the pattern pieces. There is no going back once I do it! Any mistake will send me back to the store to buy more fabric, eek! I’ve been working on picking out what stitch. I want the most durable since it will be on a child’s product. I’ve been spending my time reading on the internet about stitches and practicing the stitches on pieces of old fabric.

So far I’m really enjoying this project. It’s been an escape for me. Like when I cook, it’s a way to stay in the moment. Focus on what is front me. Being present is difficult for me this week, I’ve been stressing over a grade in another summer class and an upcoming medical procedure on Tuesday. I’ll probably be cooking and sewing this week a lot to keep myself calm and centered.

Podcasts and Digital Story telling, coming to a classroom near you

I have to admit. I’m not a frequent user of podcast. I know about them, I have used them in other classes, but that was mostly limited to NPR and specific to the content that the professor was teaching us about.

I think bringing podcasts into the classroom could be an interesting concept. First, if there an topic that the class is learning about, it could bring in another speaker to keep the fun flowing. Not that the teacher isn’t fun, sometimes it’s just interesting hearing from another person on a subject. Plus they could bring into perspective that the teacher didn’t know/ didn’t talk about yet.

I really like the idea of digital storytelling. Something like giving the students a video camera to record something for a project could really get them interested. Students today are really motivated when it comes to technology and it’s something that they excel in. Digital storytelling is a way to incorporate a lesson into a creative assignment. I can envision fun historical reenactments on video.

My biggest concern about this form of learning is that it involves the form of listening to learn. Students all have their best way of learning. Some are more hands on and to sit and listen to a podcast and actually absorb what they are hearing could be very difficult for them.

I decided to check out the Podcast on Serial. I really love the concept of it. It’s a story being told over the course of a season of the podcast. Each podcast feels like a chapter of book. Your edging to the end of the story each week.

Daily Create: Not a course, an experience

What I found most interesting was that DS106 started out as a college. It’s still a college course but now its expanded to include anyone that wants to be involved, all you need is the passion to want to create and an internet connection. Pretty easy, right? It gets even better, at one point, the class was conducted with no teacher. It’s not the traditional class, there is no formal grading system. It’s all about the experience. it’s about exploring and building new passions.

DS106 has different medias. You could draw, take photos, even video or audio. You can do the daily challenge, which will feature on of these, or you can select the one you would like to do. I’m going to do the daily challenge as I feel like it will give me newer experiences. I tend to stick to what is most comfortable to me.

After a little exploring on the site, I found something I thought was really cool. A radio station all with student created content! That means anyone that is involved can have a part in the radio station. Yes, even us in #diglitclass! When I first went to college, fresh out of high school, I originally went for broadcast journalism.  If your interested in learning more about DS106 Radio, click here.

Personal Learning Network

A PLN is a personal learning network. That network is focused on social media which could be twitter, blogs, facebook, instagram. I’m sure there are more that could be added to the list as social media apps seem to become popular quickly. I like how Ronnie Burt from the Blog Edublogs Teacher Challenges breaks it down for us. First, Burt explains Personal as “..Having a PLN is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, university professors, and experts around the world”. He continues with learning as “Having a PLN is about sharing ideas and resources, collaboration, and learning.” Burt finishes with explaining that the network is “The defining feature of the PLN is that it is a global learning network, enabling people to tap into and share diverse, global perspectives on teaching strategies, educational issues, and technologies”. Basically, PLN connects us with other professional and can be a tool of outreach to expand our knowledge.

For my PLN, I decided to use Twitter and blogspot as my media. Even doing a simple search of Occupational Therapy drums up many finds. I found specialized groups depending on the setting of OT as well as many OT/R and OTAs. I’m not following an OT/R that is known in the OT world because he also has autism. He also recently gave a TED TALK, if anyone wants to look that up. He frequents media like twitter and FB.

Although, the OT world is a small profession. Really three degrees of separation it feels like. The OT world on social media is very active. As someone that works in the school setting, even smaller sub OT world, I can find OTs to relate with. There is one group that is based on facebook that I often use. We share questions, ask for advice and post our latest fun activities for treatments. The biggest challenge so far is that the social media is often filled with more OTR than OTAs. Even so, I have still been able to find what I am looking for. I would like to find more OTA’s to be able to share in my experiences and learn from theirs as well. I find that it’s really important to do that in the field. It gives us a chance to be able to relate with each other as we are on the same level and share the same education.

Inside the passion project: Crazy world of Tula

I wanted to explain the world of Tula a little bit more. Mostly cause it’s fascinating to me cause it’s a baby product that seem to elicit many emotions. If you don’t know what a Tula is, let me explain. Tula is a soft structured baby carrier. Think in the lines of a baby bjorn, it has straps and clips. You don’t have to tie or wrap anything, which is a huge plus. Tula is unique because it comes it in many-many different prints. A certain number of prints are released each week, often prints are retired and never made again. This makes certain popular very desirable. Here is a picture of the latest prints on the official tula website: photo 1

To make it even more confusing, there are exclusive prints, and wrap conversions. Exclusive prints are prints only released to a certain baby store or boutique. To buy an exclusive print you have to go the store’s website and enter a raffle to get an RTB which is an “Right to buy”. You have to hope to win the raffle, to be able to buy the Tula. Often there is a very small number of RTB’s given and over 10,000 people entering the raffle. It’s crazy, I’ve entered over 50+ and I’ve never often an right to buy. Anyways the wrap conversation are on the tula website and are popular because they are made from a wrap, which is a softer materiel. They are almost twice the price of the regular Tulas. If you want to buy a conversation you better have the fastest fingers, they are stocked once a week and are sold out after about 30 seconds of hitting the site. I’m not joking, literally 30 seconds. For a baby carrier.

The culture of the Tula is very interesting. Like I said before, some prints are hard to find or a limited number are stocked before they retire the print. This makes them highly sought after. These is good news for Tula owners. Tula hold their retail value or more. Much-Much more. You know that when it comes time sell it, you will make 100% of your money back. It’s a good investment because baby products resale value is often low. Now, if your own of those moms that are in love with a certain print or it’s your DISO (Desperately in Search Of), this can be bad news. It means that when people sell it, they can jack the prices up. They know someone will buy it. I’ve seen exclusive and conversations listed for $2000. And the craziest part is, women will that price just to have the print.

The Tula world is like it’s own special club. On Facebook, I’m in more than 10 facebook groups most notably: Tula Love, Tula Aloha 2.0, Tula Buy/Sell/Trade, Tula in the Know, Military Tula Love, Tula Market Value Questions, Traveling Tula for the Military Family. And add one boutiques facebook pages to keep in the know for the “right to buy”. These pages are a place to talk about your love for Tula, show off your Tula, ask questions about the product, complain about prices and the number of releases, sell your tula, compare prices across the stores on tula and so on. If your looking for something off the internet, many states have Tula clubs that have meet ups each month. They have a very active one here on Oahu.

Oh and if your looking for finishing touches for you tula, swing on over to ETSY, where you can find hoods, suck pads, reach straps, a chew necklaces. You’ll be looking to spend 50+ on these. More if the crafter is a popular one in the Tula world.

See someone in public with a Tula? Well that is what the Tula world calls “Tula in the Wild!”. Proper Tula etiquette says you must call out loudly to the person “TULA IN THE WILD!” and they must respond with the bird call of “CAW CAW!”. For extra measure, it would be good if the person flaps their arms like wings while doing the the bird call.

Is this crazy Tula world any different from people that like certain cars, or sports, or any other object? I don’t think so. It’s becomes it own hobby, something to have fun with, something to enjoy with your mommy peers. It’s a little bit of distraction from the everyday norm..

And it keeps our babies close to us and allows us to love on them and enjoy that moment in time.