Dear E [9/12/17]

Dear E,

Today we attended our first day of "classes" at the homeschooling co-op we're trying out this fall. You're taking music, a nature play session, story time, and ABCs/health, so it's nothing rigorous. I just really wanted to get us out of the house and in the company of other like-minded people (meaning homeschoolers). It's a social thing at this point.

I have to be honest here: I've been pretty nervous about this whole venture. Not just because of my own shyness, though that's definitely a factor. But also because you, my little bug, are rather shy yourself. Six months ago, you cried at the playground because another little girl wanted to play with you and be your friend. I know you've grown up a lot since then and have been doing better interacting with other people, but I still wasn't sure how you were going to handle something so foreign as a preschool class. So it was with some doubt that I got you up this morning with the excited exclamation, "It's co-op day!"


Lately 9/8/17

+ We took E to the apple orchard last weekend, and she got to be "Annie the apple farmer" (it's a little board book she got as a gift and has been obsessed with off and on for a while now). The guy working the u-pick stand let her take a wagon--I'm not sure if they normally charge for that or not, but we were the ONLY people there so we got to just grab and go. E rode out in her wagon, then started pulling apples off the lowest branches of the trees. It only took her about five minutes to fill up her bag--turns out, apple-picking isn't quite the all-day adventure I had imagined. Dad lifted her up on his shoulders so she could snag a few from the higher branches, too, just for fun. Then we went back to the snack barn and nibbled on popcorn balls and apple donuts for a while before heading home. Fall bucket list win, right there. E hasn't stopped talking about it since, and she loooooves eating the apples she picked herself. I think she'd eat herself sick on apples if I let her.


10 parenting books that are actually worth reading

In my humble opinion, a lot of parenting books out there today are junk. That, or they promise to focus on something specific that will impact your life raising little humans and then fail to deliver. It bugs me when I waste time reading something that turns out to be fairly worthless. But not all books are that way--in fact, I've shelved several that I found worthwhile over the last few years. Here are ten of my current favorites.


Lately 8/18/17

+ E and I started pulling out a morning basket during breakfast each day. I have a plan written out, and each week we read books and do a few activities covering stories, saints, math, the alphabet, and religion. We also work on memorizing a prayer and sometimes do motor skills practice. It sounds a lot more involved than it really is, I promise--almost all of it is stuff we'd do organically throughout the day anyway. Having it all in the morning basket keeps me organized, though, and helps me make sure I don't forget to read that book we got at the library or forget to ever play with patterns with her or something like that. I've been reading a lot about Charlotte Mason--in fact, I just started digging into her first volume, Home Education--and plan to keep things very simple until E is six years old or so. For now, we're just doing our morning basket. It doesn't take much time at all and mostly involves me reading aloud to her (which we'd be doing anyway). She loves it and asks for me to read "her stories" every morning.


Baby gear: little sister

Three months until baby arrives! My to-do list is eight hundred miles long, y'all. I've resigned myself to the fact that it's not all going to get done in time, but I'm still chipping away as much as I can. I've spent what feels like an eternity washing, folding, and putting away clothes and unpacking baby gear. It's still a little all over the place, but I make progress little by little.