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I had such a good time visiting my family last month. It was great to experience the milestones my nephew Frantisek had during my visit, from being able to sit on his own to crawling, pushing to stand up, standing up and starting to walk with support, four steps to the left and four steps to the right. My sister’s living space had to transform three times (moving furniture and setting up “boundaries”) within 10 short days! Not bad for an eight-month-old! But no competition here.

My niece Zuzanka, who turned three-years-old, has been having a little harder time transitioning into big sisterhood. Not understanding that her little brother will always be interested in her toys or that she can and cannot do certain things because of him.

I tried my best to spend the majority of my time with her. We played with puzzles, which she is truly a master of, at least 25 times. She is also a pretty solid builder — loves playing with blocks and building towers — which of course her little brother loves as well.

Much of the time we spent reading books, which brought back so many memories for me; all of the wonderful children’s books that my sister and I grew up reading. Of course, it was great to spend quality time, one on one time with my sister, and celebrate her birthday while our mom (grandma) was taking care of the children.

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I have realized even more on this trip than any others the importance of having a village — which is the reason I created the Motherhood Center almost 20 years ago. Luckily, my sister has support from my mom now, as she is retired and able to come and help, but so many parents don’t have that. It’s probably the biggest reason child care services are in such high demand here in Houston. We live in such a transient city and so many of our clients do not have the luxury of relying on family or close friends for help and support.

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I cannot wait for my next visit, most likely my nephew is going to be running around, and my niece will be able to write her name.

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