Archive for the 'Mom & Dad Resources' Category

Community Focus Starts at School

Our family uses the we word often. As in “We are in first grade”. As many parents do, we spend time at Meridian School, volunteering, arranging classmate play-dates and best of all, socializing with parents. Here are a few photos from our hors d’oeuvres and wine gathering at my studio just prior to the Meridian School Auction.

JanetKlingerPhoto_Sarah Sandford Meridian School Mom


JanetKlingerPhoto_Erane Myint, Meridian School Mom


JanetKlingerPhoto_Adrian Cunard Meridian School Mom


JanetKlingerPhoto_Tenley Prince Meridian Mom


JanetKlingerPhoto_Emily Bennett Meridian School Mom

First time Mom’s network in Seattle. What is your Favorite?

Seattle hosts numerous new-parent support networks. See my favorites listed below. How do you connect with other new parents? Share your favorites with others beginning a new adventure– parenting.

Little piggys in the house -- help is on the way. Explore parenting networks

Little piggys in the house -- help is on the way. Join a parenting network!

I might occasionally feel overwhelmed with motherhood, but today is no comparison to when I struggled with those first months of motherhood. On Ellie’s first day of life Tim and I each learned to change a diaper. That’s how ignorant we were.

After my smooth pregnancy, I was taken off guard by how little I could achieve and how my schedule and autonomy disappeared overnight. Even completing simple, mindless tasks like washing dishes seemed a momentous feat. Our first self supportive move was the installation of a dishwasher. Remaining was the problem of emptying it.

Balancing a professional life with being a mom has it’s own special challenges. I found camaraderie and tips from numerous resources listed below.

To the rescue…
PEPS (Program for Parenting Support)
Directly from the website is this description: Since 1983, PEPS has helped new parents to connect and grow. Parents come together each week to share the joys and challenges of parenthood and develop confidence in their own parenting abilities. For many parents, their PEPS Group becomes part of their extended family, a supportive community that lasts a lifetime.
Tim and I still swap babysitting and enjoy an annual camping adventure with our PEPS group. We’ve done this for 6 years and counting. The babies were all born within 2.5 months of each other.

Janet Klinger_ Sisters snuggle a newborn baby brother

A happy parent creates a happy family. Take care of yourself for your kids sake.

First Weeks with Ann Keppler, RN, MN and co-author of Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Newborn.
Ann is fabulous beyond words. A gentle, generous, intuitive soul, Ann clearly cares for each and every new parent who enters the door. No problem was too small, weird or embarrassing. Ann is brilliantly insightful. She recognizes the worth of one parent sharing with or keenly listening to the experience of another new parent. The class was invaluable for showing me I wasn’t alone. Many of us felt overwhelmed. We shared in discussions regarding reflux, yeast infections, setting limits with grandparents, pet attacks, lack of sleep, soothing a colic baby, sharing resources regarding every medical condition, temperament, and sharing referrals for every service known to parent-kind. At the time I didn’t think I needed any help, just community. I found both. Having a glimpse of the outside world would be reason enough to commit myself to the weekly gatherings. First Weeks was THE most supportive of all my resources.

Neighborhood mother groups are invaluable for parenting discussions from where to find certain supplies or toys to home maintenance referrals. I personally use and love Greenlake Moms and Ballard Moms. I have also listed several other area moms and parents groups. Note some require an email first which selecting the link will indicate.

Seattle Neighborhood Communities for Mothers
Greenlake Moms
Ballard Moms
Belltown Babies
Madrona Moms
Lake Forest Moms
NE Seattle Moms : for Laurelhurst, Bryant, View Ridge, Windermere, Wedgewood, Sandpoint, Ravenna and UDistrict.
Montlake Moms
Mount Baker Parents
Queen Anne Moms
City-wide Communities for Mothers
Seattle Single Moms
Moxie Moms, a fitness and support group.

Janet Klinger _ father and son show love playing piggyback

The joy of daddy and son being silly

Seattle parenting groups to support both Moms and Dads
Capital Hill Parenting
Magnolia Moms and Dads
Seattle Families of Multiples Families with twins and all multiples.
Seattle Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders

Seattle Single Parents Meet-up Group

Eastside Communities for Mothers
Mothers and More
Eastside Mothers of Multiples
Kirkland Moms
Eastside Attachment Parenting

The Meridian School- Is this the School for You Too?

After much contemplation and unanticipated angst choosing a grade school, my husband and I finally chose The Meridian School for our daughter (in 2009). The angst was not caused by Meridian School- we felt immediately comfortable with administration and the parents who warmly welcomed us. The angst was our own; a result of many fine private schools to choose from. (See this past post for a few others great Seattle private school choices.) Saddened by the transitions and chaos (at least during 2009 and 2010) within the Seattle public school system, private school seemed the obvious choice. Sixteen kids per class and academic/ social-emotional focus being equally addressed at Meridian continue to be obvious, if presumptive, advantages.

Meridian students learning math using sets

No-- gambling isn't a part of Meridian's curriculum!

Meridian continues to receive our vote of confidence.
Who might not be best served by Meridian? In my non-expert ( read NON-EXPERT) opinion, Meridian has many socially adjusted kids who range academically from perhaps average up to very high achievers. If tests indicate your child falls at the tippy-top of the 99th percentile, and/or if social impairments are dramatic, schools such as Seattle Country Day, Evergreen, and in the downtown or North ends, Lowell Public School may be a better fit. In downtown and South end, Public School Thurgood Marshall has an excellent academic reputation.
Here are a few moments illustrating life at Meridian School in Seattle including our wonderful park campus and community service focus. Here for more photos, including Community Service Day.

As fun as Meridian School is, Kids must wear shoes!

As fun as Meridian School is, Kids must wear shoes! Parents are nearby.

Janet Klinger_PE teacher Regis leads the pack in Meridian School's adjacent park

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School puts emphasis on building community

Meridian School puts emphasis on building community

Janet Klinger_ Pure joy at Meridian School's adjacent Park

Pure joy at Meridian School's adjacent Park

Meridian School Playground

Janet Klinger_Meridian School Playground

Janet Klinger_Even Meridian School Playground hints at school-wide Spanish emphasis

Meridian School Playground hints at Spanish emphasis

Janet Klinger_Meridian School Playground

Janet Klinger_It's nice to know Meridian Kids are in good hands at the Good Shepherd Center

It's nice to know Meridian Kids are in good hands at the Good Shepherd Center

Janet Klinger_Kindergarten success! A moment at Meridian School

Janet Klinger_Meridian School kindergarteners team up for a math game

Janet Klinger_Meridian School's self-proclaimed "reading maniacs".

Janet Klinger_Ms Saheed acknowledges each child individually

Janet Klinger_One Meridian School "reading maniac" seeks his "just right" book

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School kindergarteners begin by learning math patterns

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School attentive first graders

Janet Klinger_ Meridian School-- full of unique individuals!

Janet Klinger_Seattle Tilth makes Meridian School grounds even more interesting

Sharing a building with Seattle Tilth has lovely advantages

We knew Meridian was for us after visiting the classrooms. There we found attentive students expressing themselves and turning towards each other to give and receive support.

If you have an impression of Meridian School, or any other Seattle school, please add your voice. For other voices search the blog for “Meridian”.

Seattle’s Meridian School Feels Like Home

Seattle is full of excellent grade schools.That makes choosing one very difficult. Once we started exploring private school possibilities we narrowed it down to Meridian School, UCDS, and Bertschi. All of these are fabulous choices. Meridian stood out in several ways for our family. We mattered to them. Both admissions director, Ted Holmes, and Head of School, Ron Waldman, treated us like they wanted us there. Ted recognized us each time we visited . He listened with clear interest to our thoughts, concerns and enthusiasm. For a family who is involved in the community this was one sign glowing brightly in favor of Meridian. We were excited too by the curriculum, teachers and physical environments inside and out. To see other parents input on grade schools or to contribute your own, see my former post on the subject.

Gently this worm was moved during a weeding fest

Gently this worm was moved during a weeding fest

In addition, the families blew us away with their openness. I could see the involved parents and students were an intelligent, warm, welcoming community. Thank goodness we were accepted! The fact Meridian is located within 11 acre Meridian Park doesn’t hurt. (fabulous playground, apple grove, open grassy fields, gardens, large covered shelter, Seattle Tilth is here so the entire park is Pesticide free-something I WISH we could take for granted everywhere.)

Have community, grab a rake

Have community, grab a rake

Once accepted we were introduced to our Buddy Family, who turned out to be yet another excellent match, thanks to Ted Holmes’ intuition. So much fun has been had with their intriguing foursome.

There's our Buddy Family's 1st grader, 3rd from right. We're so lucky!

There's our Buddy Family's 1st grader, 3rd from right. We're so lucky!

Meridian’s social integration also provides play dates all summer, ice cream socials, new family coffee, a skating excursion, movie night, and any activity the classroom Social Coordinator creates. My favorite event occurs each Friday; an all-school gathering to which families are invited to join in song (where Head of School Ron Waldman occasionally plays the guitar), presentations, dance and all Spanish games. Community building and involvement is a family value we build daily, hence Meridian School is It for us.

Yes this is Ron Waldman, Meridian's Head of School. He gets his hands dirty!

Yes this is Ron Waldman, Meridian's Head of School. He gets his hands dirty!

Like any proud parent, we want the best for Ellie. Academically I can already see the zeal with which the many specialist and teachers share their talents. I almost didn’t mention academics, thinking it’s a given priority. Socialization is equally important and harder to come by in a schools mission. Meridian has what we want and need. We’re proud to be part of this extraordinary community.

These photos are from Meridian School’s Community Service Day where parents, teachers, staff and students work together to take care of our neighborhood, including those creatures and plant life we live among daily.

That pesky photographer ASKED us to pose. We WERE working hard before she came along.

That pesky photographer ASKED us to pose. We WERE working hard before she came along.

Oh so carefully

Oh so carefully

Modeling preparedness!

Modeling preparedness!

Taking a close look at nature and neighbor

Taking a close look at nature and neighbor

Playing in order to understand roots in the garden, math, history...

Playing in order to understand roots in the garden, math, history...

Should we really go back inside?

Should we really go back inside?

Scalpel please

Scalpel please

Developing the right tools at Meridian School!

Developing the right tools at Meridian School!

And I thought brushing my teeth was tiring

And I thought brushing my teeth was tiring

Take good care. It will grow

Take good care. It will grow

Janet Klinger’s photo coaching helps you take the next step

Once again, I am offering photography coaching to the serious amateur, aspiring professional, and highly motivated parent. Topics include: photographing people, post processing: now what do I do with these images, and running a photography business.

2010 classes & coaching

YOU are the Portrait Photographer $150/hour ($115 if purchased with any other class/ photo session)
Join Janet for one-on-one personal coaching to become the photographer you’ve always dreamed of. Bring in your favorite subject(s) to model for you. You might choose to include props, outfit changes, inspiring music. Whether choosing a Seattle area location or taking advantage of Janet’s professional photography studio and Learn to love the beauty of North Light, or play with professional strobe equipment. Your camera equipment, or rent Janet’s Canon gear. Come play, explore and learn how to honor your creative side.

Post Processing in Camera Raw (PS CS4)
$195/3 hour session
$225/ 3 one-hour sessions
Now What? You’ve finished your photo session or filled your Flash Card with digital files. Learn how to quickly sort files then make your favorites as beautiful as the professionals. Learn to add drama, increase textures, intensify eyes, bring back lost highlights or shadows, color correct so everything isn’t “amateur orange”, crop for superior composition, apply oft-used settings to all your images, and more. As always you may choose to lead the direction each session explores. Taught by Janet and Staff.

Photo Coaching for Everyone
Personalized encouragement and instruction refining camera function, artistic sensibility, and developing intuition

Perhaps you need to better understand: your camera’s functions, when to use which lens, why images are out of focus, blurry, too dark or light, or how to use flash to enhance natural light.

Maybe you hope to improve your composition, increase your success-to-dud rate, add flair to fine but basic images, and discover consistent methods to intentionally repeat “happy accidents”.

You may be curious what all the fuss is over histograms, lighting ratios, fill flash or reflector use.

Bring up topics and questions, or let Janet use her intuitive instruction to help you electrify your next creative light bulb.

$195/3 hour session
$225/ 3 one-hour sessions

Group of Two or Three People
$275/3 hour session
$295/3 one-hour sessions

Business Coaching for the Up and Coming Professional Photographer
As more people notice your talents, perhaps you’re contemplating, or even diving into, the profession of photography. It’s no wonder. With over 25 years as a pro, I’m still in love with photographs and the people I meet because of my love for this art. Love and enthusiasm, even coupled with talent, does not a photographer make. So what now?

Above all, learn how to get your first professional jobs and what to charge. Remember, unless you get paid, you’re not a professional.

Let’s answer typical questions from those new to the photo biz such as:
Should you advertise, how much to charge, is a CPA necessary, how to keep track of income and pay taxes, utilize typical tax breaks, legal means of deducting travel, organizations to join, the necessity of a business bank account, is taking out a loan ever wise, is it necessary to purchase the latest gear, travel to seminars, give away photography services, get a partner …

This profession may not be for the faint of heart, but for those willing to learn what it takes and apply this knowledge, there may be a meaningful, heart-warming, and rewarding profession beginning with your next CLICK!

$295/3 hour session
$345/ 3 one-hour sessions

Group of Two or Three People
$390/3 hour session
$420/3 one-hour sessions

Mamas with Cameras Teach me a Lesson

I was honored to speak at last nights “Mamas with Cameras” photo club gathering. I was so impressed with these Mamas. More than half have children under two and several with newborns yet they are able to take time for themselves, simultaneously cultivating their creative passion for photography. This caring sisterhood shared ideas and encouraged each other, all while feeding that female-need I know all about for socializing and making new friends. I’m inspired by these motivated mama’s passion. (more…)

My Awesome Clients, Your Well Fed Kids

Andrea and Peter Gradwohl have started a new business to help our kids eat great lunches. Fantazimo caters to your kids, literally. All for less than $5!
They were featured on Evening Magazine too.

Parents voice on Grade Schools: Meridian, UCDS, Bertschi

Many people from my “Mom’s group” have requested that I post responses to my request for
input on 3 grade schools: Meridian, UCDS and Bertschi.

To See where our family is now in school, check out this follow up post

If you have further input, please comment below!

Halloween 2008 pictures are ready!

Halloween is a wonderful combination of the simple and the wild. Pretending to be someone or something we are not (at least externally) has it’s own excitement. Stimulated by endless possibilities, I am sometimes inspired and sometimes overwhelmed with costume decisions. What I love about the Annual Janet Klinger Photography Halloween Costume Photos is that, for our neighbors the studio is a hop, skip or slither from home. And for everyone, it’s an affordable treat to capture our own children at their best, beastly or beautiful. I have never seen a child in costume, no matter what his mood, who wasn’t adorable. See for yourself. The halloween photos are in!

Our not-scary Studio Manager kelsey

Our not-scary Studio Manager kelsey

See all the images!

Special Offer! Charitable Giving to Seattle Public Schools.

Purchase a photo session with Janet Klinger Photography by October 25, 2008 and receive either 8 wallets or an 8×10 photograph. Pre-purchase a 20 image Coffee Table Book and 10% of the book cost goes to the Seattle Public School of your choice.

For more details including pricing click here.

Book your session now!