I am 41 and this is literally the first time I've ever been able to focus on just one child in the toddler years. Just one! In my first marriage, when my oldest daughter was 25 months old, I also had a 5 month old infant and that same month I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. Surprise!
The joy of a second marriage and another baby late in life is that you get to relax and enjoy your child!
In my case, my oldest three daughters (now 15, 13, and 12) are spending the summer with their father on his farm in Wisconsin and I am spending my summer with my son here in Illinois. Let's see. Zac turned two (or, "doo" as he calls it) on Tuesday the 23rd. We had his birthday dinner and presents (cute Boden teeshirts from my mom, a photo album full of pictures cut out from magazines and mounted on 4x6 index cards from his sisters, and what seemed like a million wooden toys from me but was actually only three).
On Wednesday all of the children finished up school, we did the remaining shopping for summer clothing, and then the kids and I and my mom went to Mandala Gardens and had a wonderful evening. On Thursday my mom left and we packed suitcases. On Friday we drove to my aunt and uncle's house (8 hours). On Saturday the girls met up with their dad. On Sunday I took Zac to the National Missisippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque IA. On Monday we drove back home (8 hours). And then today was... nothing!
We had nothing to do today.
- we had breakfast
- took the dog for a walk
- went to the grocery store
- we played
- Zac had his morning nap
- we went to the post office and the bank
- we made Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies
- had lunch
- we snuggled and read books
- Zac had his afternoon nap
- we played
- had dinner (Linguine with Toasted Almonds, Parsley, and Lemon)
- I popped Zac in his stroller for a long walk around the neighborhood
- and put him to bed at 7:30
It was a relaxing day, and it was so super-fun to hang out and make cookies with him! He carefully unwrapped the stick of butter. He watched me crack the egg and helped me beat it, and stirred in the vanilla. And he loved using a fork to carefully make marks in the tops of the cookies before baking.
Obviously this summer won't be all fun and games because I have to prep for my From Lava to Life Camp (and that will probably be the subject of most of my posts for the next few weeks). I'm also starting three months with a life coach tomorrow! Her name is Stacey Julian-Fralish and I'm so excited to work with her! Also, I want to clean and reorganize my entire house. Oh, yes, this is the summer my friends! I know it because I listened to the most unbelievable webinar last night called Solving the Procrastination Puzzle. It is by Dr. Tim Pychyl and he is the real deal. I don't think I've ever had someone quote so much research to me in 40 minutes, but everything he said was like AHA! and so practical and realistic. He gave the talk for Smith College women executives but they put the link online for free and so I am sharing it. Please set aside 50 minutes and listen. I promise you will be glad you did! If you're interested in his website, it's called Procrastination Research Group and he does his work at Carleton University in Canada.
Oh... and I wanted to mention in terms of wrapping up the school year, that here are two great options for assessment. One is a Learning Skills and Work Habits Student Self-Assessment Checklist which I think children should do at the end of every year (and it should be added to their portfolio). The other is a Teacher's Report Card / Student Evaluation of Teacher which I find really helpful (if you can convince your children that you really do want them to be honest) for my own reflection and preparation for the year ahead. That one you should have your children do every year and add it to your portfolio. Enjoy!
This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!