Back to school

We’ve actually been back to school for a while. The boys started back on August 5th and Bev and Harvey had their first day August 17th. I get a lot of “oh wow! Harvey’s in preschool already?” questions so let me just address that here. Yes, I do feel a little guilt about putting him in so young, but honestly it’s only twice a week for a few hours. I know I don’t need to justify myself to anyone, this blog is really for me to hash out my feelings and record our lives, you can take it our leave it. But I struggled a lot last year. Hard. I wouldn’t say I was depressed by my anxiety consumed my days and made life so much harder. I was short with patience and frequently felt I was drowning in my own home just trying to keep up on house work, engaging with the children since Andy had a particularly challenging year at work I was with them alone often. This year is already looking up in that department, but having Harvey entertained and socializing with friends twice a week has allowed me to catch up on projects, reconnect with my husband when he has evening shifts or a random week day off and I can finally have time to build friendships with women going through similar things, volunteer, and hey, who knows, maybe I’ll clear my desk of all the painting projects I’ve started but not had time or energy to finish.

With back to school vibes always comes the proverbial back to school germs. A cold, not COVID (Andy was swabbed and it was negative) invaded our home and our neighbors. It was an odd virus though. It made our kids’ eyes hurt, sore throats, achey stomaches (no vomiting– thank heavens!), headaches and achey bodies, so they all had to miss one day– but not all at once, because another weird thing about this virus is it took its time to make it around the family. Andy was the last to get it unless my migraine that hit this weekend was my way of facing this virus off– either way I think we are all feeling better now! Harvey seems to love preschool despite my mom guilt. His teachers adore him and every afternoon tell me how sweet he is and how well he does. Beverly has finally quit her bashful skit she used to play every time I’d drop her off at preschool last year. And Maverick ADORES kindergarten. I wasn’t sure he would. But I think his teacher must be really clever at making learning and working feel like play. He has learned several sight words already and gets really excited when he passes one off. Max is improving in his reading as well and Andy and I have really been working with him to get over his lack of confidence in reading. His school has placed him in a special reading program for the past three years (including this one) and it has done wonders for him, but there’s one slight hang up and that is that he has a mental block of “I can’t do what my peers do.” So we’ve been working with him on showing him all that he can do. We read with him and have him read to us every night but for some reason when his teacher asked if he did any reading over the summer he said, “No.” So I’m sure his teacher thinks we’re failing him, but I promise we do make it a priority. He does a lot of reading without even realizing it.

As I’m writing this I realize I’ve got kind of a common theme going on. Mom guilt. Well, to add to that list we weaned Harvey these past couple of weeks. And I say “we” meaning Andy and I. It was definitely a group effort. It was very hard for me to not cave and nurse him when he would claw down my shirt. He gets plenty to eat without it and loves cow milk just fine, so he doesn’t need it, but it is definitely a comfort for him. Andy and I are going to Boston in October without kids (yay!) so it was the motivating factor to resist the persistent pleas from Harvey (he’s still trying, but I’m sure he’ll concede soon enough). It was probably one of my tougher babies to wean because he didn’t want it and I wasn’t sure I wanted it either. The moments when he just cuddles up to me and nurses are pieces of heaven for me and he is probably my last baby (spoiler alert). And Andy would probably say “definitely our last baby.” I’m on board too I just need to get that peace in my heart to move on to the next phase of our lives.

Since school has started and Andy had a lighter load this month we have painted two bathrooms, organized and built shelves for the mudroom, replaced some toy baskets that were falling apart, and many more organizing and decluttering projects. Part of me has the thought in the back of my head, “Andy only has one more year (now ten months) of residency and that means a potential move so I want to only move what we actually want to use and keep.” It is a good motivator to get the house in order, but I actually think the decluttering won’t be for a move, but instead just for my sanity. We could potentially stay here and I hope we do. We love it and are making many new friends and have an amazing friend that lives next door (uhh can you say spoiled when one of your closest friends is ten feet away??). We had two families from two different wards over for dinner last night. Andy smoked ribs (they were amazing FYI). They both work at Augusta University and we really connected with them so I think we’ll do more things with them in the future. I’m beginning to feel more like myself– hosting, having the desire to be social, keeping my house organized, getting creative juices flowing for writing and painting ideas, and appreciating the intimate and funny moments with my kids. I don’t think I realized how deep I’d dug myself into the COVID isolation both physically and emotionally. Though things are looking bleak right now in Augusta concerning COVID patients and drowning hospitals (PLEASE GET YOUR VACCINE!!), I have hope that things can get back to normal. I don’t know if I can handle going back to what happened last year. I need people. I need the gym. And I need preschool ;). I hope you all are doing well and remember I’m always a phone call away! I’d love to hear how everyone is doing.

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