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.”
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!