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Sensory Class is Back!

Hello friends!

We are so pleased to welcome back our Active Babies Sensory Class to Friends Corner.

Ioanna and her partner Gogo bring so much energy and joy into our playhouse during this activity.

The children seem to enter into a world of fantasy and wonder once it gets going.

 

There were pom poms and music!

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Musical instruments and snuggles!

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Storytelling!

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We always love seeing the kids so enthused and engaged.

Join us next Thursday for Active Babies Sensory Class. It will be another lovely day.

 

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Getting to Know You Series

Hello friends,

We are happy to say that October has been quite the happy month in our neck of the woods.

Many new families have joined our community. It’s been a pleasure getting to know fellow parents and their children. My daughter talks about all of her new friends when she gets home. It’s so sweet!

We thought it would be a good idea to start a “Getting to Know You” series for us all to become better acquainted.

Each week we’ll speak with a new member.

This week, we asked new member Hara to tell us a bit about herself and her daughter Elektra.

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1. Please tell us a little bit about you and your family.

Hello! I’m Hara, Electra’s mum. We are new to the FC family which has delighted us both so far, so first of all we would like to thank you all for such a warm welcome! We live in Vari with our dad Panos and Electra is now 19 months old. I am an English tutor but since I had Electra I dedicate most of my time with her, so I only have a few hours of lessons per week now. Panos works long hours, including Saturdays, so Electra and I spend most of the day together. I would like to thank you all for such a warm welcome! We live in Vari with our dad Panos and Electra is now 19 months old. I am an English tutor but since I had Electra I dedicate most of my time to her, so I only have a few hours of lessons per week now. Panos works long hours, including Saturdays, so Electra and I spend most of the day together.


2. How did you hear about Friends Corner?. What made you interested in our group?

I had been looking for some activity time with Electra for quite a while now, but hadn’t found anything appealing before I discovered FC. The first time I heard about FC was through a Facebook post by Elina ( Orfeas’mum) who is an old family friend. Soon after that my friend Calliopi also recommended it. She used to come to FC with her friend Elda who instructed baby yoga classes there. I remember her telling me:” don’t look into anything else, go straight to FC. You will love it there. The people are so much like us and it’s a lovely atmosphere!” And so it was.

3. What were your first impressions of FC?

I remember the first day we came in and everyone looked at us smiling and welcomed us in. The children also came to see Electra and welcomed her in their own special way. Evi immediately showed us around and it didn’t take long for us to feel at home and relaxed.
4. How has Elektra’s experience been so far? What interests her most about the playgroup?

Although Electra is going through a “let’s stay home” phase, she has been willing to leave home and go to FC and while as a toddler she is reluctant to meet new faces, I noticed that she was happy and at ease and seems more interested and involved every time. As she loves singing and listening to music, she got very excited with Lily and now after only two sessions, she mentions Lily at home almost every day now. It’s a coincidence that her first and only doll so far is named Lily, so I guess she felt an immediate connection there too. Now every time she wants us to sing a song, she says Lily and then moves her waist to dance!


5. What appeals most to you about FC as a mother?

I love the fact that you get involved straight away! I love the self-catered facility and the option of becoming a duty member. This gives mothers, fathers and caretakers the ability to be part of what’s going on, to share experiences and ideas. There’s no judgement, no uncomfortable moments and no discrimination between old members and new. There’s just familiarity and a relaxed atmosphere!


6. Please share one especially nice moment you remember from your time at FC so far.

A capturing image is definitely the one with our babies on our laps or beside us, when we all gather in the rear room to wait for an activity to begin. The room is filled with happy little faces and sparkling little eyes. Along with the little ones, dads, mums, nannies or grandparents all await in excitement to become little children again.

 

I will leave you all with that lovely image. 🙂

I thank Hara for talking the time to share her thoughts.

Hope to see you all this week at FC to participate in sensory play, music activities, and crafts.

 

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Meditations on Simplicity

Hi friends. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

Today I planned to describe all the fun activities the kids participated in this week at Friends Corner. All the photos were uploaded. But my fingers froze at the keyboard-

I want to write about something else…bear with me.

This week I felt run down.

My daughter was waking up in the night again. I had a to-do list running in the back of my mind on a loop. I attempted frenetic multitasking in vain. This resulted in frustration and short tempers. We’ve all been there.

Thursday morning, I did not feel like getting dressed, getting my daughter dressed, and packing up her bag to go to Friends Corner. I wanted to do errands and tidy up. But we got dressed and packed our bag, and went…

And you know what? I’m glad we did.

Once I dropped our heap of items inside, Fay nuzzled up to me and asked me to read her a book. We snuggled and chose a story. Another parent dropped by and we had a heart to heart discussion. Later in the day, I observed Fay’s eyes come alive at the shape she managed to create out of play dough. I savored that small moment.

Friends Corner is a space in which I am separate from the dirty laundry, dirty dishes, smartphone email alerts, and scribbled to-do lists on the counter.

I am simply there, with my daughter.

Of course, none of us have the luxury of languid days and schedules!

Everyone’s life is different. Each family must evaluate their own priorities in order to arrange their own sense of balance and “down time” accordingly.

Some days, there is a real crisis, or an important deadline, sure.

But am I wrong when I say there are so many times when we can just let things go? To accept that there is no emergency even when it feels like there is one? To value slowness over efficiency?

I’ve been reading a book by counselor Kim John Payne entitled: “Simplicity Parenting.” The discussion and inspiration felt so timely for me.

 

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The book addresses the fast pace of our current lifestyles, and the overabundance of choices and stimulation. Payne asserts that such overstimulation leads to a sense of anxiety in the home. Families lose the peacefulness which fosters connection. He offers a model for change by outlining 4 areas to simplify: environment, schedules, rhythm, and media consumption.

When speaking to others who have read this book, I find that the message rings so true to our hearts. It validates our instincts that children thrive on connection- that they flourish with the space for discovery and reflection.And that we ourselves desperately need the kind of self-care that simplifying brings.

 

Payne says:

“What better reminder do we have than our kids of our own best selves, our less stressed and more carefree selves? In their silliness we see the echo of the way we used to be: when we were kids, yes, but also before we had kids, or even two weeks ago, before all of the stress of these year-end corporate meetings. Their joy, their infectious enthusiasm, their sense of “mission” as the poor dog is dressed in boxer shorts, cannot help but cajole you, and beckon you, to lighten up.”

I am grateful for the pause that Friends Corner gives to my day. I strive to allow for more pause in our home life.

Next week I promise to get back into our regular discussion of all the fun goings on at Friends Corner! We are so looking forward to Ioanna’s return on Thursdays for her Active Babies class.