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A Hanami Romper, a Birthday, and Bumping Up Against our Limits

Last week, we celebrated Hazel's second birthday.  Two!  It feels like just yesterday I was sitting at the kitchen table, 41 1/2 weeks pregnant, wondering if I might be the first person to be pregnant forever.

Simultaneously, it also feels like it's been about a decade since I've been able to sit down for more than a minute or two, before Hazel is into something.  I know someday this stage will feel like a blip on the radar, too.  So there you have it, folks.  Time is a weird thing, isn't it?

I made another Hanami romper for Hazel's birthday.  I did everything the same way as I did here, right down to making it in double gauze again.

Dan inserted the back snaps for me.  He always does.  Inserting snaps is an enormous pain (in my opinion) and kind of freaks me out.   I am supremely grateful for his willingness to help me out.  High fives for Dan!

The girls and I made Hazel this puppy cake, using our favorite recipe.  The idea came from this pin.

Also, we started homeschooling this week!  This year we're doing things a bit differently and the older kids will be attending a homeschool enrichment program twice a week.

They're taking classes like robotics, theater, Spanish, art and art history, science with labs, social studies, writing and speech.

Last year our homeschooling year went great up until around February.  I started to feel burned out, juggling three different curricula while still trying to also connect with my toddler and preschooler and manage my household.  But I've heard that February is National Homeschool Burnout Month so I chalked it up to that.  I rallied in March and April, but May nearly did me in.

In the past, when I've struggled with burn out, I've considered it a time management issue.  I assumed I just need to be more disciplined, more efficient!  No wasted time!  Dan joked that I had six sigma-ed every routine we had.  Which is not at all my nature.

Of course, time management strategies are important and establishing a family rhythm was immensely helpful to us.  But, my days were over scheduled and most days I was working from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep.  I simply could not give more of myself than I had been giving and I actually needed to have less on my plate.  I had to be honest with myself about my own limitations.  I loved this article entitled I am Not an Airplane.  I say it as : I am not a robot. I have a certain capacity from which I can give and it has its limits. 

This enrichment program is exactly what we needed and is such a blessing!  It allows us to continue homeschooling, which we love, but takes some of the pressure off of me.   It gives the kids the opportunity to take classes they're interested in, alongside of other students.  Some of those classes are difficult or impossible for me to teach, anyway. This was their first week attending and they totally loved it!

With this new schedule, all four of our older kids will be gone one day.  This allows me to have a day with Hazel.  Then I'm keeping Iris home with me on the second school day, so I can spend that day with my two littlest girls.

We had such a great day together, just the three of us.

We've had nearly a week of rain here, which we desperately needed.  But it was so heavy that it knocked the flowers off of some of the crepe myrtle trees in our neighborhood.

The girls has the best time playing together in the blossoms.  It brought them pure joy and delight, which brought me joy and delight.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said :: If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!  But every night come out these envoys of beauty and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

I love the way my children remind me to seek out and appreciate the beauty and wonder always before us.


  1. Lovely post and lovely romper! My kids did an enrichment program when we were homeschooling, too. It helped a lot but in the end we found a small private school and I enrolled them . I was too tired to do it anymore.

  2. Rachel, what a lovely post! Here's to a new school year, hopefully one where you can find some moments of quiet and rest! You deserve it, and the kids will get the most amount of mom energy possible if you are well-rested. Hazel looks perfect in her shell-peach romper. I love how you've transformed this pattern into something really different here. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET HAZY MAY! The best is yet to come.

    Incidentally, I wish I had someone to insert my snaps! Does Dan ever come to California? ;-)

  3. The program's sounds amazing. Those subjects sound super cool and your children will flourish 😂 What and amazing education you're providing these littles of yours. That's super special that you'll get some one on one with Hazel and Iris. I love my time between 9 and 3 with Elle while the big boys are at school. Such special time. The Hanimi is very cute. And Hazel is looking more big girl and less baby girl everyday.

  4. I can't believe how much they've both grown - Iris and Hazel. Wishing you a wonderful school year, friend!

  5. They really have grown up a ton this summer - especially Iris! I almost didn't recognize her. I wish you good luck with your schooling this year. I'm sending G to preschool twice a week this year to facilitate more uninterrupted school time with the girls (though I will still have the baby at home with me). I hope it helps!

  6. I love your posts not only because I get to admire your beautiful sewing, but also because I enjoy getting to know you and your family a little better. Hazel's new romper is so lovely, but of course :D Love seeing your girlies enjoying these beautiful flowers. Kids are truly amazing :)

  7. I love that quote by Emerson. And good to know that February is Homeschool Burnout Month, lol! Now I know why it was so awful last year. I wish we had some kind of homeschool enrichment program here. We still have a few years to figure out the extras, though. Most of the time I'm happy with the schooling decisions we've made, and then other times I wonder what exactly it is I'm doing and why I'm doing it, and if I'm just crazy for not putting the kids in school.

  8. Happy birthday, Hazey Mae! Funny, age 2 has been a real game changer for my C - he is so funny and fun! Maybe 2 will actually bring a little calm for your gal too. Haha. I looooooove the romper and her little piggies!! Awesome that you figured out your limit and found a way to bring balance to your family - how are the big kids liking their classes? Sometimes just a little breathing room is all you need. :)

  9. Hazel is so darling!!! I am so happy you have a wonderful enrichment program! Love these pictures and your sweet family.

  10. Great post dear rachel! Photos are beautiful as ever. I Love the rompers! Glad You found a new healthy balance for this new homeschool year. I can tell the two younger were happy to have their mama to themselves. Hugs from italy


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