Climbing Out

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Today was a milestone for Zofia and the onset of a new challenge for me. She climbed out of her crib and promptly landed head first in a basket of laundry. We don’t use the crib much for sleeping, as she’s usually cuddled up beside us in bed, but it’s been a useful tool while I’m taking a shower, or need to ensure her safety while I get something done. Well, those days are over! Zofia is seventeen months old today, and I guess there’s no containing her now!

The New Year is starting off well. We’ve already launched into an array of activities, including music lessons, hockey, book club, Earth Scouts, and various social activities. Last weekend we hosted a vegan potluck at our house through MeetUp.com and had quite a good turnout. And on Friday, I hosted a Mom’s Night Out here, and got a chance to spend a relaxing evening with friends. So, all in all, besides being a little busy, and the usual challenges of time management and sleep deprivation, all is going well, and we’re looking forward to the promise of a new year!

Farewell to 2008!

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Darren and I just watched the ball drop on TV with the kids, and welcomed in our 20th New Year together! That country song "Don't Blink" comes to mind, because I swear, it was just yesterday that I had just met Darren, and we were celebrating our first New Year together.

We spent the evening with friends at church for their annual "Alternative New Year's Eve Celebration." Unfortunately, our kids were a bit challenging, and we spent more time wrangling them than actually socializing, but it was nice to be in good company for the last day of the year!

The onset of a new year brings to mind many resolutions, but I think I'll keep it simple this year and just work towards balance in all areas of my life. Simple… but not so simple, I guess. We continue to focus on our nutrition and exercise, but also, a big focus this year is to simplify our spending and start the year with a month-long “buy-nothing” challenge. This really is just a month of trying to stay out of stores, and not needlessly purchase things without some forethought. We will keep a journal of wants versus needs, and try to impart to the kids the importance of distinguishing between the two. So, we’ll see how it goes!

Happy New Year!

November 2008 Homeschool Adventures

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November was, once again, filled with activities and fun things to do. We continued our regular activities of Earth Scouts, yoga and music this month, though there was some shifting around of the schedule.

SALT (Smithsburg Area Learning Time Co-op) continued to meet, and despite always having a challenging time getting there by 10am, we continued to attend. We really enjoy the people and activities at the co-op, but I’m strongly considering taking a break over the winter to just free up some time and spend more time at home. We’ll see.

Our creative journaling club met again this month on the 14th. We played some word games and created a collaborate poem, which elicited tons of giggles from the all girl group. I’m really enjoying this group, though. Since writing is one of those things I enjoy, but rarely make time for, organizing this group gives me a chance to be creative, which is nice.

On the 22nd, we continued a semi-tradition of going down to Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland, for their annual “Thanksgiving with the Turkeys” celebration potluck. This is our fourth year to attend. The weather always plays a big part in the experience. This year, it was freezing, and Zofia, being only one year-old, was all bundled up, but still it was too difficult to keep her warm for long. So, we whizzed in, visited with the turkeys for a bit, warmed up by a bonfire, then headed to the potluck tables to fill our “to go” containers. Then we sat in the car and enjoyed the scrumptious vegan goodies. Since we were halfway to DC already, we decided to head down to DC for a trip to Whole Foods and Barnes and Nobles, which are two places we frequent only occasionally, due to our propensity for spending a lot of money in both!

A couple days later, we headed up to the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, PA, where my mom had gotten tickets for a little production called “Babes in Toyland.” It was a holiday play, geared towards younger kids, and Flo, Joe and Zofia all sat still, thoroughly engrossed for an hour or so.

We rounded out the month by heading to our friend Sheila’s house on the 30th, to get into the holiday spirit and join in for a cookie exchange social evening. Flo came along with me to help with Zofia, but ended up playing with Sheila’s daughter, Rowan, most of the evening. Nonetheless, Zofia was quite good and I enjoyed chatting with fellow homeschooling moms and having a “girls night out.” We brought along some gluten-free vegan cookies to exchange, but opted not to bring any home, as the discernment of what is vegan and allergy-free is generally just too daunting of a task… and besides, who needs the temptation of dozens of cookies sitting on the counter!

So, all in all, a great month, filled with lots of fun activities and opportunities for learning. Now we’re into the holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

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My last post left us just a few days prior to trick-or-treating, and now we’re on the last day of November, having cruised through Thanksgiving and being thrust into the hectic holiday season. Time sure does fly!

November was an eventful month. The energy surrounding the presidential election was exciting, and even the kids got into it. On that day, we went and voted, toted the kids around to an Earth Scouts meeting, and later yoga, then came home to watch the drama unfold on TV. Flo colored in a map of the electoral votes as they came in, and I went about our nightly activities with the television keeping tally in the background. It was definitely exciting to be part of such a historical election. Flo said she knew all along that Obama would win, and I said he had to win, just so I could hear Joe say his name… Bawak Abama!

This month also brought a new source of nourishment to us. We had been participating in a local organic produce co-op for a bit, and delivery was just down the street to our friend’s house. After a few weeks, it became apparent that her front porch would not accommodate the task of sorting produce at midnight in the cold of winter, so we decided to reroute delivery to our garage. I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now, and aside from the one very late night once a week, it’s been a treat having access to such great produce. It’s really helped our grocery bill, the time we have to spend going to the grocery store, and has got us eating a greater diversity of fruits and veggies.

We rounded out the month with a quiet Thanksgiving dinner at home. We made some nice stuffed squash, bean soup and a pumpkin pie. We just enjoyed some time to have nothing on our schedule and hang out together. In the evening we took a ride around town to see how many people already had their holiday decorations up. We were surprised to see people camping out in front of our local Best Buy store, apparently awaiting its opening the next morning. I’m not sure what it was that would inspire someone to do that. I speculate some new video game or gadget, or the promise of some exceedingly good discount.

To join in that consumer-induced, shopping energy, we decided to go out on Black Friday, to get a couple things for Joe for Christmas. My mom watched him for the afternoon, so it gave us an opportunity to just look around without Joe’s predictable commercially-induced anxiety attacks. Thankfully, we didn’t have much of a shopping list, so the crowds weren’t much of an obstacle.

Finally, as we say good-bye to November, and get in gear for the festivities of December, we joined a group of homeschooling mom’s for an evening of baking cookies and socializing. Flo came along to help with Zofia, but enjoyed playing with our host’s daughter more than wrangling her little sister. Social outings are definitely a little more challenging with a one-year old, but it was fun to see friends.

So, with just one month left in the year, we’ll try to soak in the spirit of the holidays and enjoy yet another season of anticipation and joy with our kids!

October 2008 Homeschool Adventures

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October went by in an over-scheduled blur. In fact, it is now November, and I’m reflecting back on October, wondering where the time went.

Academically, we’re pretty much on the same path as usual. Flo does lots of independent reading, and we also read together a lot. Flo is one of those people that likes to have three or four books going at once, so she has books all over the place; in the car, in her backpack, next to her bed… Come to think of it, that sounds just like me! I have stacks of books everywhere and tend to read in spurts.

Joe had a dentist appointment this month to fill his little cavity that we’ve been taking good care of for the past two years, because every dentist appointment up until recently ended in a complete meltdown on his part. Thankfully, some maturity seems to have come to Joe as he rounds out his fifth year, and this appointment was remarkably quick and painless. They didn’t even have to numb him. They just got in there, quickly got out the “sugar monster” and were done. Yeah!

We continued with our Smithsburg Area Learning Time Co-op this month. It’s the first and third Fridays of the month, and though I’m always glad to be there once we get there, it’s so hard getting going with three kids, that I often question the benefits of the whole experience. Nonetheless, we try to contribute what we can, and Flo really loves the social aspect. Joe is pretty much only interested in sports and games, but is a lot easier to manage than he was even just last year. Now Zofia has stepped up to fill his shoes, and keeps me busy chasing her around and getting into stuff.

We had our second Creative Journaling Club meeting this month. It was all girls this time, which was fun. I spent a couple hours doing a journaling collage project with them, while listening in on their giggly conversations. I’m enjoying the group, and it’s inspiring me to dust off my journal as well!

On the 12th, we headed to Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland. We’ve gone to their annual open house fundraiser every year for a few years now, and since it was great weather, it seemed like a good way to spend the day. We walked around a bit, visiting with the pigs, sampled some free vegan food and drinks, and then decided to head down to DC, since we were so close. Flo and I did some walking, while Joe and Darren went down to the monuments for a bit. Then, we rendezvoused at the Georgetown Whole Foods for a snack before heading home. All in all, a nice day.

The next day, Flo’s friend, Kate, celebrated her 9th birthday at the Lions Park in Smithsburg, so we headed out for a few hours. The weather was nice and the kids all enjoyed themselves. I opted to leave Joe home that day, so I could relax a bit, because he always gets carried away with the older boys, and I have to spend most of my time telling him to stay out of the woods at this particular park. So, we had a little girl time out… fun!

That same week, our friends Jen, and her son, Conner, came back down from New Jersey, to stay a few days. While they were here, I hosted a Mom’s Night Out here, so Jen could visit with some of her old friends. It was a nice evening, but everyone was tired by 10pm or so, so it wasn’t a late night. I guess motherhood really takes a toll on your energy at times!

On the 23rd, Flo and Joe were invited to Jayme and Alicia’s birthday surprise party at Marty Snook Park. We were a little late to get in on the surprise part, but we made it and the kids all had a great time. Jayme and Alicia actually came over for the evening after the party to visit, after please from Flo and Joe to have their friends over. We made spaghetti, played outside and watch some Scooby.

The following day, Flo had another social outing when she went to her friend, Callie’s, house for the afternoon. They went to see the new “High School Musical 3” movie, so Flo was very excited about that.

We rounded out the month with Halloween festivities. On the 30th, our homeschooling group (PHLiC) had a Halloween party at the Williamsport library. It was a beautiful day out, too, so the kids got to run around outside, as well as, enjoy the festivities inside. Flo went as a medieval princess, and Joe as some sort of Star Wars character.

They continued their costumed fun the next evening for Trick-or-Treating. Jayme and Alicia came over, and we all made the rounds in our neighborhood for the second year in a row. Eric and Jessica visited with us for awhile after trick-or-treating, and the kids enjoyed watching some Halloween specials and checking out all their candy. So, it was a nice evening, and a good memory.

That pretty much wraps up October. As we head into the Fall, I’m still trying to find that balance in our schedule, so that we’re home enough to have time to relax and spend quality time together, but so that we have enough activities to keep the kids stimulated and offer social opportunities. I think this will forever be the challenge, but one must keep trying!

Boo!

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The transition from Summer to Fall just seemed to happen overnight. We’re just days away from Halloween already! October has been another eventful month with lots of activities. The kids are enjoying the new “school year” with music lessons, homeschool co-op, yoga, hockey, photography class, art, journaling club, birthday parties, and an array of other social activities.

Florence and Joseph are looking forward to Halloween, as usual. Flo wants to be a princess this year, and I think Joe has a hand-me-down Star Wars outfit he’s planning to wear. In addition to trick-or-treating, we have a homeschool Halloween party on Thursday, too, so they will have plenty of opportunity to dress up.

Darren is still enjoying the luxury of working at home. Our schedule definitely is much more pleasant this year, than it was when he was commuting five hours a day. We certainly never become complacent about how fortunate he is to have this opportunity that allows us to spend so much more time together. He goes to DC just once a week to drop off his case load and pick up new ones, and just that one day getting up at 4am is tiring, and he’s still home by late afternoon. I don’t know how he did it every day for three years, not getting home until 8 or 9pm! Like I said, life is good!

Zofia is growing fast. She’s babbling a lot and is always on the go. Her favorite activities are digging in the Tubberware cabinet and dumping all his sister and brother’s toys out in the playroom (much to Flo and Joe’s dismay). I can’t believe how fast the time is going, and we really try to savor all the little moments of newness with her, even amongst the chaos of being a larger family and all that is going on around us.

So, that’s about all for this month’s update. Finding time for journaling has been somewhat of a challenge lately, but I try to record my thoughts every now and then, as it’s always interesting to look back on.

September 2008 Homeschool Adventures

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Well, the new “school year” was officially underway this month. We continued many of our regular activities, including Flo’s guitar and piano lessons, Earth Scouts and yoga. The month started with our annual “Not Back to School Picnic.” For the past couple years, we’ve met at a local part in Smithsburg to celebrate the onset of the new “school” year. Once again, we had a nice afternoon, eating and visiting with friends.

This month, Flo, Joe and I all went to see a new dentist. Joe has had a tiny cavity for over two years, but the last time we took him to the dentist, it did not go well at all. We barely got his mouth open long enough to confirm that it was indeed a cavity. I dragged him out of the office kicking and screaming. Not fun. Recently, I’ve seen some signs of maturity which led me to believe he could now handle, without such drama, a trip to the dentist. And, in fact, his initial check-up and then return visit for his filling, all went wonderfully. So, that was a relief.

SALT (Smithsburg Area Learning Time Co-op) started up again this month, with some fun new classes. Flo’s doing a historical arts class, a reading circle, and a kitchen chemistry class. Joe still just hangs out and mostly plays with Legos and does the sports activities, but he’s well-behaved, and not quite the handful he was last year. Of course, now Zofia is stepping up to fill that roll. I opted not to volunteer for much this semester, as I knew I would be generally preoccupied with keeping track of her right now. Nonetheless, besides the having to get up early part, we really enjoy the group and look forward to the Fall semester.

On the 7th, we hosted a vegan potluck at our house. We had a nice turnout of about ten people, and lots of good food. I’m persistent with keeping this group going because I think it’s important for my kids to see a positive representation of vegetarianism. Of course, being vegetarian or vegan isn’t a requirement for a good friendship, but it’s just nice to have some friends with whom we share that same interest and can share a good meal.

On the 10th, the new Martin’s grocery store opened down the street from us. Normally, we wouldn’t be so excited about a grocery store, but being that it’s a fifteen minute walk, it gives us a destination on our regular outings, as well as, makes grocery shopping more convenient. Even though we get most of our groceries through our natural foods buying club co-op, there are inevitably things we need now and then, and it’s nice to be able to run down the street instead of across town. The store has these fancy new hand-held scanners you can use to scan your groceries as you shop, so when you get to the check-out, you just scan a barcode, pay and off you go. The kids really like those, and, of course, fight over who is going to scan what.

This month I decided to start a “Creative Journaling Club” for our homeschooling group. Journaling is always something I’ve been interested in, and I figured it would be as beneficial to me as it is for the kids. Our first meeting went great. We discussed the different types of journaling, and that a journal is not just a “diary,” but can be a place to express all types of creativity. We’re going to have a monthly theme or prompt, and I look forward to seeing what the kids come up with. As an adjunct to this group, we’re also going to work on a homeschooling newsletter, so that should be fun, too!

Joe started up a Learn to Play hockey class this month. He went last season a few times, and really enjoyed it. He’s definitely a competitive kid. We work on continually telling him the old cliché of “it’s not who wins, but how you play the game that matters.” But, it’s great exercise and he really is a good sport. He listens well to the coach, too. I think Darren enjoys taking him, too. It’s kind of their thing. I will try to go a few times this season to cheer him on and take some pictures. He’s growing so fast. It’s hard to believe his sixth birthday is just around the corner.

The highlight of this month was a visit from our niece, Samantha. She’s the daughter of Darren’s brother’s first wife. The last time we saw her she was thirteen or so. She’s now twenty-one and wanted to venture down to the States from Ontario for a visit. She spent a couple weeks tagging along with us to our regular activities, and we took a couple day trips to Gettysburg and DC.

On the 20th, we all went along to Flo’s friend, Emma’s, birthday party at Adventure Park USA. Flo enjoyed herself, and she and Samantha had a great time riding the go karts. Joe rode along with Darren in one, too. However, Joseph didn’t do so well with all the stimulation and when it was time to leave, he had to be carried out, mad because he didn’t have enough tickets from playing the games to trade in for the “prize” he wanted. I think we’re all adventured out for awhile!

On the 22nd, our geography club met for a monthly potluck luncheon. This month the country was France. Once again, Samantha tagged along. Flo shared a little bit about France that she had looked up, and we brought Potage au Potiron (French Pumpkin Soup) which we veganized. It was very tasty!

During Samantha’s visit, our friend Jen and her son, Conner, also were in the area and were going to just stay over one night. However, their car broke down, and they ended up here for three nights. Their usual guest suite in the basement was being occupied by Samantha, so we cleared out the kids’ rooms for a couple nights for them. Surprisingly, even having multiple guests, it wasn’t too disconcerting. Everyone seemed to enjoy visiting.

On the 25th, while Jen and Conner were still at our house, hoping their car would be done (which it wasn’t), Samantha, Flo, Zofia and I headed down to DC for the day to show Samantha the sights. Joe stayed home for the day with Grandma. I think Samantha was more interested in all the vegetarian food options, than the historical sites. We enjoyed trying a couple places and going to Whole Foods Market. We walked around downtown and saw a few monuments, and headed to the Smithsonian later in the afternoon, just in time to arrive when they were closing! Oh well! Samantha didn’t wear comfortable shoes, so by the time we rode the metro back to our car, her feet were blistered and we were wet and tired. But, we stopped for dinner at Whole Foods in Rockville on the way home, and then the drive home wasn’t too bad. But, overall, it was an enjoyable day.

Samantha left on the 29th, and that pretty much wrapped up our month. Reflecting on the month, I felt a little too busy and overscheduled, and would like to focus on spending more relaxing time at home. Sometimes it’s hard to weigh the benefit of a class or activity for the kids against the effort expended to get there and disrupt the flow of the day. We generally get more accomplished academically, and just in general, when we have a stretch of a couple days that we’re home and not running around somewhere. So, again, we’ll continue to strive towards that balance!

Heading Into the New “School” Year

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Once again an entire month has gone by with hardly a moment to sit and reflect upon it. It’s been an eventful few weeks. As summer wound down, and we started the new “school” year, we started a few new activities for the kids and kept busy toting them around, as well as, focusing on a few new academic paths for the upcoming year.

Last week, our 21 year-old niece, Samantha, came down from Ontario, Canada, for a two week visit. She took the bus down. It’s a twenty-hour ride, which is far longer than I could tolerate. But, I guess that’s what age and the prospect of traveling with three kids has done to me! Anyway, Samantha is still here, tagging along to our various activities, and getting a front seat view of our hectic, but pretty nice life. I think she’s having a good time, and the kids are enjoying visiting with their cousin, whom they couldn’t even remember, as it had been that long since we’d seen her.

Tonight, our friend, Jen, and her son, Conner, are staying for a night during a few day visit back down here to Hagerstown from New Jersey. They used to live in the neighborhood across from us, but moved away when hubby got a great job offer in NYC. So, they often come back to participate in various homeschooling activities. This evening, their car broke down just down the street, so their intentions of an early departure may have been thwarted. But, Flo and Joe are enjoying visiting with their friend, and hopefully, their car repair will be simple and timely.

So, all is well with our family. We’ve been taking lots of photos to post on Flickr. Sometimes I feel like uploading and describing photos is a part-time job. But, I think someday the kids will appreciate the memories and the photographic story of their childhood, so I keep at it.

The day’s end is drawing near, and with it goes my energy. As usual, the list of things to accomplish wasn’t quite a match with the time in which I had to accomplish them, so some items remained to be checked-off. But, that’s okay… there’s always tomorrow, and today was pretty good!

August 2008 Homeschool Adventures

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We started out the month celebrating Flo’s 9th birthday! On the first, we had a little party for her at home. She invited all her friends over to watch the movie “Spiderwick.” We made movie tickets, had popcorn and drinks, and I made her flower shaped cake. We asked that if anyone wanted to bring a gift that it be something homemade, repurposed or recycled, and her friends brought her a bunch of fun and creative gifts that she really enjoyed. She had a great day, and I found it to be the easiest party I ever planned; nothing complicated or expensive, just friends and a little food. The next day, on her actual birthday, we had a quiet day at home. We bought Flo a fancy laptop bag, and gave her our five year old laptop computer for her to play around with, along with a little bag of goodies consisting of some gum, books, and such. Then we made her requested birthday dinner of spaghetti. Grandma came down in the afternoon to enjoy some leftover birthday cake and deliver her gift of an American Girl doll, which Flo was hoping for. So, all in all, a festive couple days.

On the 5th, we had a planning meeting at the park for the Fall semester of the Smithsburg Area Learning Time Co-op (SALT). The moms discussed ideas for classes while the kids played. We brainstormed some good ideas and I think it will be a positive experience again, especially for Flo, who really enjoys the social time. It will be a little more challenging for me this year, toting Zofia, who is into everything. I refrained from volunteering for too much because I know I’ll have my hands full with her.

That same day, while at the park, Jodi, our Earth Scouts organizer, put together a solar bead project for the kids in the group. Earth Scouts has been a little slow during the summer, but we’re looking forward to the upcoming “school year” and some fun activities. I really like the philosophy of the group.

Later that week, we stopped over to our friends, Eric and Jessica’s, house to pick veggies and socialize a bit. They undertook a huge gardening venture this year and grew some great veggies. They’ve been generous to share their surplus upon occasion, and we’ve enjoyed seeing the “fruits” of their labor.
On the 15th, we headed down towards DC, to Alexandria, VA, to check out the exhibits at the Animal Rights Conference. It was at the Hilton Hotel down there, and we just walked around the exhibit area for an hour or so, checking out all the great vegan products and trying some yummy food samples. After that, we headed over to Whole Foods Market, which is one of our favorite places. On the way out of town, we stopped at Iwo Jima Memorial Park and walked around for awhile. The kids enjoyed stretching their legs after being in the car for a couple hours, and facing another hour and a half or so trip home.

The following day, Saturday the 16th, Darren and Flo participated in a monthly gathering with the Queen of Heaven Circle earth-centered spirituality group at our church. Flo and Darren tend to go a lot by themselves, as Joe and Zofia tend to be too disruptive to the calm atmosphere. However, we try to keep up to date on their activities and participate as a family when we can. They’re a really nice bunch of people.

This month’s “Geo Lunch” was at Jessica’s house on the 18th. The country of focus was the Dominican Republic. We made “arroz con leche” using coconut milk, and brought along “lentejas,” which is Spanish for “lentils.” Flo wrote up a little blurb of information she found and shared it with the group, and then the kids enjoyed just playing for an hour or so after lunch.

Of course, another highlight of the month was Zofia turning one! It’s hard to believe she’s been with us a year already! It’s the old cliché, but it really seems like she’s always been here. It’s so fun watching her grow and watching Florence and Joseph be older siblings. Darren and I are loving the experience, despite the intermittent parental stress involved! We enjoyed a relaxing day, and then in the evening, Darren and Joe went to their first major league baseball game in Baltimore. They watched the Baltimore Oriels play the Boston Red Sox. They both had a great time, and I’m glad I didn’t go, because they got really cheap seats (free tickets the kids got from finishing the reading program at the library), and I would have been a nervous wreck up there, as I’m not a big fan of heights, and Joe is a bit of a daredevil at times. So, next time, if we decide to tag along when Zofia’s a bit older, we’ll splurge for the good seats!

Towards the end of the month, on the 26th, I hosted a PHLiC Organizational Meeting at our house. We had a great turnout and a lot of great ideas were generated. I’m so impressed with the growth of the group and really love being a part of such a great homeschooling community. I feel lucky to have been a catalyst in the formation of the group, and inspired by how it has grown into such a diverse community with so many great activities available to all our kids (and parents).

We rounded out the month by decorating some simple Mead composition books for journals for a journaling club I decided to start in September. Journaling is something that has always inspired me, but that I’ve never been consistent with. I thought by stepping out of my box a bit and starting a group, it might generate some creativity and fun for the kids, as well as, some inspiration for myself!

That’s basically our month in a nutshell. Flo continued guitar lessons, but her piano teacher left and a replacement hasn’t come in yet, so she’s had a couple weeks without piano lessons before they fill the slot. But, we plan to continue her with both music lessons, whether she’s driven to do so or not. I always wish someone had pushed me a little more with music, and I don’t want her to miss that window of opportunity in youth to learn, so we’ll continue to prioritize that in the budget!

So, we had a well-rounded summer, and are looking forward to the upcoming “school year,” which will be filled with quite an array of activities and social opportunities.

Happy Birthday Zofia!

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Zofia turned one today! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since I woke up in the early morning in labor, and rushed to the hospital just in time to have her a few minutes later. She’s been such a joy. I’m not sure whether it’s her disposition or just my experience as a mom, but even though there have been challenging moments, I feel we pretty much sailed through the year. In contrast to my last baby, Joe, whose first year nearly wiped us out with his chronic eczema and heart-damaging illness at four months, this feels like a breeze. Knock on wood, that trend will continue, so we have more quality time to spend with all three kids and really enjoy being a family of five! Flo and Joe have adjusted wonderfully to being older siblings, and I guess that’s part of the ease for me this time around; I have extra hands to help!

Zofia is on the go now. She’s been walking since a little after ten months, and now has her land legs. She’s into everything and her favorite things are raiding the Tupperware cabinet and playing with her brother’s toy hockey sticks. She’s got a devious laugh and we love to get her going with a good tickle-induced chuckle. She tags along to her sibling’s various homeschooling activities and seems to be the social type.

So, happy birthday Zofia! May you have many more filled with health and happiness! We’re so happy you chose us as parents and we look forward to all the things we’ll learn from you!