Back to School Shorts

So if you think my blogging has been sporadic this summer, you just wait: we’re starting school on Monday (more on that in a minute); if all goes well, I’ll be busy adjusting to our new schedule, and if all goes badly, I’m not sure how long I will have to stay before they release me from the institution.  I’ll still post here, but the schedule will be as varied and unexpected as, well, you’ve come to expect.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, if you want to read new posts without having to check in at the website, you can always sign up for email notifications (—->) or make sure you’re following this blog on your favorite blog reader (I’m a Feedly girl, myself).

Meanwhile, here is everything I haven’t been telling you about lately:


My adventures at the gym continue: my new favorite class is Zumba, which according to one online source, is a “Latin-inspired dance fitness party.”  Due to the demographics of my city, there’s a significant hip-hop influence to our routines as well.  Although I have a good time, I’m as out of place in that environment as you might imagine.  (My exposure to dance in my formative years was limited to square dancing in sixth grade, doing the Chicken Dance at my high school prom, and learning to two-step in college, none of which have equipped me whatsoever for this kind of body movement.)

I regret to perpetuate racial stereotypes, but that is exactly what happens in Zumba: my classmates add embellishments and extra steps and manage to look like extras in a cool music video, while I clomp along on the back row like I have lead feet, bending awkwardly at the waist and knees instead of the hips like Baby Houseman in that scene after she carried a watermelon.  (And as cute as the class instructor is in her own way, she’s no Patrick Swayze.)  As long as I don’t look at myself in the mirror, I have a good time playing along, although I will admit that between the songs I rub my belly conspicuously, throwing Four under the bus as the only reason for my lack of grace.


So, school.  Here is the very reasonable answer to the obvious question of “Why start in July?”: starting early enables us to finish early, which will give me flexibility as we get close to Four’s due date (December 16).  If we’re rocking along, we can get a head start on our spring work and take off more time before starting back up in January (newborn fog and all).  But if I’m cracking under the strain of it all, we can wrap up at Thanksgiving and still be on track.  Also this gives us a little bit of wiggle room to take off a week in October for my sister’s wedding, and allows us to take some mental health days if we hit some doldrums along the way.  Because have you ever been to Texas in July?  We’re inside all day anyway, so might as well be productive.

I’m facing tomorrow (tomorrow!) with fear and trembling, truth be told.  If it were just a matter of careful lesson planning, organized supplies, and lovely decor, I’d put this year in the bag before we even started.  But, to annotate my favorite Robert Burns for this occasion, “the greatest plans of mice and men oft go awry [when they encounter a willful kindergartener and a sporadic-napper-almost-two-year-old], and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy.”


A face only a mother could fear.

In related news, my prayer life has taken on new life and urgency, so that’s something.


After years without a TV in the house (although we watched shows on our computer, so don’t get the wrong idea), we finally bought one this past week.  I’m sad to lose the screen-less ambience of our living room, but one of the consequences of The Big Switch is we don’t have a great place to hang out and watch the computer any more.  So it seemed to be the right time to go back to the all-American TV-in-the-living-room arrangement (we still have no channels, and will just watch Netflix via Apple TV).  On Friday night, as we got everything set up and lit the living room with that familiar blue glow, Stephen turned to me and asked, “Did we just change our lives forever?”  I hope not.


We had our Big Ultrasound last week and Four is looking great (at least, that’s what they said.  I still can’t tell anything from all those white blobs.)  For the first time in four pregnancies, I have an intuition: I think it’s a girl!  I’ve had a couple of vivid dreams about her being born, although I don’t know if the dreams are the cause or the effect of my predictions.  Stephen still thinks it’s a boy, so we’ll see this winter which of us is right.


Here, at last, are a few pictures of the final stage of the Big Switch.  I’m so thankful for that impulse that prompted us to start this in May instead of July as we’d previously planned! (As always, please forgive the hideous quality of the photos.)  It’s taken a long time to get everything settled in its new place.  I’m still really enjoying our re-imagined spaces, though, and hope that they continue to work for us as we put the school room to work AND commandeer one of its corners for Four’s nursery!



20140727-193341.jpg (We’re selling the comfy red chair and putting a little crib in that corner. That’s Abby’s little school table to the left and our old computer desk to the right.)


20140727-193427.jpgThis room is so tiny.  But I’m still loving that there’s no room at all for messes!


4 responses to “Back to School Shorts

  1. I’ve been a very sporatic blogger this whole year, so I’m still impressed with your posts with having two littles running around. I only have one and yet find I have so little time to [name it, whatever].

    Is that a curtain up over the bookcase in the kids room? Please tell me more about that!

    As for starting school today… I’m impressed. I look at how our days run right now and think “we will never be able to ‘do’ school… good thing we don’t plan to!” I’m the cog that doesn’t fit in running a schedule or a routine or a rhythm — whatever you want to call it. I want to hear about what you are doing and how its working out, please!

    • Re: blogging– my supportive husband humors his introverted wife by giving me a couple of hours to sneak away from the kids from time to time…that is the only reason I ever get a blog post written! If it was only what I could write throughout the day, I’d never post anything!

      The “curtain” is a blanket tacked to the ceiling…it helps (some? maybe?) with the kids talking to each other when they are supposed to be going to sleep. Amazingly, they leave it alone during waking hours.

      I do much better with a schedule and (so far!) am finding that adding school to our day has been a good thing. It gives some structure to the day that we haven’t had before, and it helps me to be much more happy and productive. I’ll write more about what we’re doing soon, after we’ve had a little bit of time to get into a groove!

  2. You are SO funny!

    *I* actually had plans of starting this month too. Last week, actually. Except I totally forgot that until I looked at my schedule YESTERDAY. Whoops. I guess that’s what happens when you’re over-zealous and plan your first year of homeschooling months ahead of time. 😛 I want to do a 6wk on 1wk off schedule, while taking a long break at Christmas, so that’s why I thought the end of July would be a good time to start. I think I might wait a few more weeks, though. I’m not feeling very prepared!

    Enough about me!

    Kudos to you for exercising during pregnancy! 🙂 I always *want* to except that ice cream gets in the way. You sound a lot like me in terms of gracefulness. Except maybe better? And braver, for sure. There’s NO WAY I’d subject myself to that! Keep us posted on how things are going! I hope the rest of your preg goes well! Blessings!

    • Good luck on your homeschooling year! It’s overwhelming AND freeing to be able to do it however you want, isn’t it?

      And I’ll be totally honest about the exercising…it is almost entirely so that I CAN keep up my ice cream habits, and also because I get charged a membership fee every month whether I go or not. I’ve never felt an endorphin, even once! 🙂 I do like the trend (at least at my gym) of keeping the room dark and the music loud…makes me feel a little bit anonymous as I fumble along.

      Thanks for your sweet comment! It made me smile.

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