Summer is coming to a close for us. I can’t believe some kids have already been back in school for a week or more! Thankfully, Isla’s preschool and activities don’t start until after Labor Day and I am so glad. I am not ready to not have my girly home.
We have really had such a great summer! It probably seems like I documented everything we did, but there is so much that I never bothered to take pictures of because I was having too much fun while we were there. Park play dates. Walks around our neighborhood. Visits with friends. Trips to the bouncy castle place in town. Visits to our children’s museum. Our neighborhood pond’s turtle infestation! Oh wait, I do have pictures of that. We love turtles! If I knew we were staying stateside forever, I would definitely get a pet one.
It’s been lovely. Isla thinks so too! Here is a little conversation we had recently…
Isla: Mommy, can I tell you a secret?
Isla: I don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever want to leave here!
So Isla is so happy here! And you know what… I am happy too! I am really happy here and very much looking forward to the fall with the new baby coming and Isla and Gemma’s activities. I find myself thankful we aren’t in Houston traffic or having to try so hard to make friends the way we did in Louisiana.
We also have a very full fall schedule planned out. I almost have my spreadsheet done and I told Nick that now we both have full time jobs! Three little kids at home is a full time job. Sheesh. We will be adding a new baby at the same time that we have a time consuming, adorable toddler and a big girl with many big girl activities. It’s going to be the toughest add on yet, I think, but also, so, so, so, so wonderful!
If you’ll remember, I loaded up Isla’s June with activities so that I could figure out what she should do in the fall. We decided to not only continue her swim lessons, but we added Gemma onto swim lessons too! After that, we decided that we could not afford to do Bingham Center anymore for Isla so we unenrolled her for the fall. We had also enrolled Isla in dance for June at Art & Soul, a local dance studio, but we weren’t planning to continue it in the fall as long as we did Bingham Center since they both did tap/ballet. I really want her to be in dance… I don’t know why, I just feel like little girls are supposed to be in ballet and tap. If she hates it, of course we will pull her out, but she seemed to really like it. Art & Soul is much cheaper than Bingham Center, but at first it didn’t work with our fall schedule at all so I thought it was out. However, they updated the schedule, and not only did they add a time for Isla’s age group that worked perfectly, it was also with the instructor that I was hoping to get! I’m so thrilled at how everything worked out.
Here is a pic of my ballerina on her first day this past June! I didn’t get any good pictures of her actual class because the glass looking into her studio was very reflective.
So this is how Isla’s schedule is shaping up:
- Swim lessons: 45 minutes, 2x per week
- Dance lessons: 45 minutes, 1x per week
- AWANAS: 1 hour and 45 minutes, 1x per week – this is in the evenings so Nick is responsible for getting Isla to and from AWANAS (YAY!)
- Pre-school: 3 hours, 2x per week
Last year Isla did 5 hours, 2x per week in preschool, but I took her out of the afternoon extended care mostly because it was just too hard to work nap schedules for my two littlest into the afternoon. I do have the option to do 3 hours, 3x per week, but I love having our Fridays free to travel or go to different activities and events. I always thought that I would get my children into very rigorous schooling as soon as I possibly could and raise little scholars, BUT I really love spending time with them and I like keeping them with me as much as possible. Also, I have been reading about Finland’s education system where children receive zero formal education until they are 7 years old, and they are consistently the highest or almost the highest ranked in performance among developed nations. It’s a 180 from how I always thought I would be. Weird. The point is, I know that keeping them with me when they still not even 5 does not mean that they won’t be able to compete academically when they are bigger.
- Swim lessons: 45 minutes, 2x per week
I could seriously pinch myself that Gemma has an activity! I am sooooooooo excited. I would have killed to have Isla in something at this age. I originally wanted to get her into Kindermusik, but there wasn’t a time that really worked for us or that I wanted to make work for us. Swim lessons are at the same time as Isla and so it’s easier for me! I’m so excited!
- Milk maker: 100% of the time
- Milk pumper: 2x daily
- Milk dispenser: at least 6 to 8 times per day!
- Meal provider: 3x daily, x5 people
- Chauffer: 24/7
Oh I could go on and on! I am going to be busy, busy those first few months until we really get into our routine, and even then….... One thing that I determined to make a priority is to attend an exercise class. I found the best deal in town! A local church offers work out classes during the week with excellent child care. I could never leave my kids in a gym day care, at least not until they were a bit bigger because the kids are usually kind of lumped together, no matter the age. However this childcare is split up by age, so Baby Shaka will be with other babies, Gemma with other toddlers, and Isla with big kids! Nick is very supportive and has committed to watching the kids on Saturday mornings so that I can attend a Yoga class. I also have a mom friend who offers Pilates lessons along with a babysitter for a very reasonable price that I could also use! I have to make my health a priority. It’s hard for me because I hate leaving my kids and feel so guilty, but it’s important. I know this, and Nick is 100% behind me and encouraging me.
Baby Shaka’s schedule:
- Eat, sleep, poop, look adorable, and be cuddled! Momma can’t wait!
I’m so sad our lovely summer is coming to a close, but I am determined to enjoy my last year before Isla starts kindergarten with my 3 blessings. It’s going to be crazy though! Seriously, cray cray , but I’m so looking forward to it!