All Over the Place

We got home Wednesday night and today my brain is all over the place. I’m still thinking about my most recent trip, I’m stressing about what needs to get done tomorrow, I’m freaking out about going back to work in less than three weeks. Sometimes I’m not sure if my trip to Ecuador really happened, or at least if it happened to me.

We’re finally home after ten days in St. Louis. It was a really fun trip. The end was challenging as the kids and I got a really horrible cold and felt awful. Our travel day was a shit show with a delayed flight and then more time spent on the tarmac while the water system on the plane got fixed. We ended up taking off seven hours after we’d arrived at the airport and we didn’t get into SF until after midnight (so 2am our time). The kids did surprisingly well until the last hour of the flight when the (not surprisingly) melted down from total exhaustion (and hunger). That travel day, and the five days I was alone with the kids in St. Louis, is making me wonder if it’s really a good idea to travel with them alone for an extended period next summer. I have to think about it some more, and I’m sure they will be a post or two dedicated to the subject.

We’re supposed to drive to San Diego for a family trip next weekend but we’re considering canceling. The kids really were struggling at the end of our time in St. Louis and with three of us sick this week, we’re not sure if it’s the best idea. But… we haven’t been in two years and it would be a shit move to cancel on our friends who are hosting us (and surely told someone else they couldn’t come that weekend because we had “reserved” their “casita”). I’m hoping that after this weekend, which will be very low key, we’ll feel up to it. The thought of packing us again so soon is not appealing in the slightest. At least I would know exactly what we actually need.

Speaking of which, I definitely brought too much with me on this last trip. It was a PITA to keep track of everything. In Ecuador I only took a carry on rolly bag and a backpack so I had to pack sparingly, and I did a great job. With my kids in tow, and my parents to take our big suitcase free of charge, I went way overboard. It was a constant point of frustration during that trip.

Being back in my own home is so nice, but I’m also acutely aware of both how small it is, and how full of crap every corner has become. After staying in my uncle’s much larger (and uncluttered) house, I’m surprised by how cramped everything here feels. We’re stuck at home sick today and I feel like we’re all on top of one another, even though we have our own rooms! It doesn’t help that the kids started fighting the minute they woke up. I thought I’d at least get a couple of hours of, “Look! My room! My toys!” before they started being assholes to each other, but of course that was an unrealized dream. If they don’t even care about their shit when they are gone from it for so many days, why have it around in the first place? Seeing how little joy their stuff brought them upon their return will definitely make it easier for me to purge their toys and books.

If purging is going to happen it will have to be next week, which is my last week of double child-care. My daughter has her last camp and my son can go to “school.” I hope to get a lot done at home and also to read some books before the start of next year. The following week my daughter will be home but my son can go to daycare and the week after that they both are home, but I start work on Wednesday. I still haven’t figured that out… Man the summer really flies when you go on two big trips!

I really can’t believe I go back to work in less than three weeks. I’m trying to get psyched about the new school year. When I think about my specific classes, and the new teaching methods I’m going to try, I get excited. When I remember that I don’t have a classroom I panic. I’m sure it will be okay, and that I’ll learn to depend less on stuff this coming year, but I’m really not looking forward to teaching in five different rooms. It’s kind of a nightmare scenario for me… I’m just the kind of teacher who builds her systems into her surroundings and hates feeling like she is borrowing other people’s space. It’s really going to suck. God I wish I had gotten a new job last spring… It’s still disappointing when I think of it, so I try hard not to. Onward to next year. There is nothing I can do but get through it.

There is also a ton to do at my daughter’s school for the start of the year. Did I ever mention I’m the new PTA president? Yeah, that happened. The son of last year’s president ended up getting transferred to another school because the English track at our school was full. It wasn’t what he intended to happen but once the change had been made there was no going back (yes, our district is a cluster fuck). So now I’m the president and the woman who basically guided us through last year termed out and is no longer on the board. Two good friends of mine stepped up to be secretary and vice-president (though the latter is not actually necessary and I don’t think she’ll be very available as she is already on the board of two other parent organizations), so at least we have a full board. The good news is we have two new administrators and I have high hopes that they can turn things around. The principal is African American, which is really important to that population at our school. The vice-principal is Latina, which is also very important to the Spanish speaking population at our school. Hopefully they will not just bring their cultural heritage and understanding to our students, but also strong leadership and effective communication. Our first big event is the Back-to-School BBQ on the 19th. So much to do!

Finally, I hope to get the photo book I make of our St. Louis trip done soon. Every year I put together a book and gift it to my aunts who make everything happen during our trip. It’s such a fun way to celebrate our family and it has become quite the “thing” as everyone is trying to outdo everyone else for the best photos. This year I took a TON of great shots and can’t wait to relive the trip as I put together the book. I hope to be done with that by next week.

So yeah, my mind is darting back and forth, fondly remember the past and careening anxiously into the future. So much to do! It’s almost August!


  1. I so want you all to be healthy! I also want you to be able to start school feeling that your home is under control and not overwhelmed with too much stuff. The chaos of all the classroom changes is giant; I do not understand how that works for the school program as a whole…. are they just filling a classroom with you when the normal class room teacher has her prep period? Or do lots of teachers roam the halls shifting rooms all day?
    Even to me it feels like your summer vacation time has disappeared faster than a small ice cube in the sun on a day hitting 104 degrees.
    Good wishes as always, and, thank you for writing!

    1. “are they just filling a classroom with you when the normal class room teacher has her prep period?” <-- That is exactly what they are doing. Most teachers teach 5 of the 6 daily periods so during the one period they don't teach (their prep period) no students are in that room. So I will be in five different classrooms during the day, four at my campus and one at the other. It's happening because a construction project was delayed (shocking!) and so this year there aren't enough rooms. Next year I'll be moving right back into the same modular classroom I was in before.

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