How did it get to be mid-September (or really, close to LATE September) already? Whenever I feel like my life has devolved into “same old, same old” I am reminded that in reality, things are always changing. Two years ago, I had a newborn and had no clue that we’d buy a new house, or that Jose would move to a new job, or that my new job would evolve the way it has, or that Houston would face the insanity of Hurricane Harvey.
It rained this week for the first time since Harvey, by the way. It was somewhat welcome, since the yard was starting to look a bit rough. It seems impossible that the yard would ever need water again in the history of ever, but alas, it did. I think it will be some time before I view rain as the calming, even relaxing thing it often used to be. And that’s coming from the perspective of having a home that DIDN’T flood…
Charlotte suddenly seems like a whole different kid. Less toddler, more kid. We turned her car seat around and now she can see outside as we drive. She loves to point out all the buses we come across, and since we drop Emma off at school every morning now, there are a LOT of buses in our path. She is counting, and singing the alphabet (doesn’t know any letters, but knows the song), and babbling like crazy. And some of it is even understandable! Communication! Yaaaay!
Jose has started a new adventure teaching an engineering class (electrical circuits 101, essentially) at a local community college. He has talked about teaching for years so it’s been a pretty exciting development, and surprising how quickly he was able to make it happen! The start of the semester was delayed by Harvey, but he’s had 5 classes now — plus 5 labs, since each class includes a lab portion — and seems to be loving it. It’s a lot of work, since he’s having to develop all his teaching materials mostly from scratch. But he still seems to be really enjoying the challenge. I’m happy to see him happy, and hopeful that this is the beginning of something really good in his life.
It also means, however, that I’m solo parenting two nights per week and that’s definitely an adjustment for me. I make sure to pick easy meals — breakfast for dinner, pizza, pasta — for those nights, and we’ve ended up outside playing with our neighbor on several occasions. Another friend told me about a monthly “PJ Storytime” evening program at the library, and I’m excited to check that out with the girls in early October.
Because he’s gone two nights each week, we agreed that I would take a night “off” as well. The first week, I went to kindergarten parent night at Emma’s school and then ate dinner by myself. This past week, I went to Orange Theory and then picked up dinner through a drive-thru window and just kinda drove around for a while. Both of these evenings were ok and it was definitely nice to not have to be the one wrangling the kids into bed…but I also feel like if I’m going to be “off” once a week, I need to be doing something worthwhile. Driving around Clear Lake listening to a podcast is not horrible, but it also feels kinda like a waste of precious time.
So, what to do? One obvious answer is to recruit friends to go out to dinner with me once or twice a month! I could also consider changing my Orange Theory plan to twice a week, and start doing that on my “off” evening. Beyond that, I’m still thinking.
Emma seems to be doing really well in kindergarten and also seems to really like her after school program. (Yesterday when I arrived at 5:30 to pick her up, she was actually upset about it because they were just about to do an obstacle course that a coach had set up! I told her Charlotte and I would wait, and she was able to do it twice.)
We live too close to the school for bus service, so after walking her in to her classroom for the first several days, we’ve graduated to “drop off” — where we go through the car line and she hops out on her own (with help from the older safety patrol kids). I think she was pretty nervous about that part but has adjusted well. I watch her sling her backpack on and head off down the breezeway towards the door into school and man, it’s so crazy to see your kid with all this newfound independence!
(Also cute is how Charlotte leans over and asks “Emma? Emma?” as we pull away. I say “Emma is at her school now!” to which she usually follows up with a satisfied “Emma skoo.”)