We had a fast and high stress summer this year. We took a trip to upstate New York in June for three weeks to visit family and the time flew by. In July we recovered from the jetlag (that always has us off our sleeping schedule for at least a week), went swimming, went to playgrounds and parks and tried to prepare for an upcoming hospital visit for Lukas in early August. We tried to be as normal as possible in those few weeks preceeding his hospital stay but the stress of bringing my one and a half year old baby boy in for open heart surgery was still underlying and ever present on my mind and was very scary. On August 1st we spent one full day at the children’s hospital in St. Augustine with Lukas as he underwent tests and scans to make sure he was ready for the operation which was to take place on the 3rd. At the end of a harrowing day we were told that a large influx of emergencies had come in and these children required immediate medical attention. Since Lukas’ surgery was not an urgent one, although it is one that has to be done sooner rather than later, we were rescheduled by the hospital to come back in mid-October. I’m more than happy that he is home with us now and that we’ve been granted a slight reprieve. On a lighter note I have put together some pictures from our trip this summer. Some shots were taken by me but mostly the camera was out of my hands this time around so most of them were taken by other family members.
Today was Anna’s first day of school! She is now in first grade and here in Germany that is when school officially starts. Since she was three years old she has been going to a Montessori kindergarten/preschool and now that she’s six it’s on to first grade and a new school with lots of new kids and new teachers, early mornings and homework; a day of firsts! Here the kids started off the day in church with their families for a blessing, an introduction and some songs, carrying along with them a Schultüte. This is a cone-shaped “bag” made of thick construction paper. The cone is usually pre-made and can be bought with all sorts of whimsical designs and motifs already on it or it can be decorated at home. I used felt to decorate Anna’s school cone at home with a unicorn theme that she requested. The cone is then filled with various treats like an apple, candies, chocolates, school supplies, small toys and the like which get the kids excited about their first day of school, makes the experience more pleasurable and gives them something to look forward to at the end of their first day. I think Anna was pleased with her first day at school and all the little surprises that she got from her Schultüte.