When We Last Left Our Heroine. . .

Wow.  I just re-read my previous post from almost six months ago and tears filled my eyes.

Things were a roller coaster in my life after that.

My second niece, Older Brother's daughter, was born at the end of March a little early and spent some time in the NICU (always drama with that family, I tell ya).  I don't get to see her often but a little bit before school started, my parents were watching her--I offered some help and she's a real cutie.  Teething and a wee bit cranky, but cute. 

The end of the school year was just a matter of trying to make it out alive.  I was a bit sleep-deprived from doing my show but I was enjoying it immensely.  I desperately needed that outlet.  The problem students continued their behaviors because our principal was spread too thin trying to handle the dangerous ones, and the behaviors started to infect other kids.  I even wound up with negative marks on my teaching observation because fourth grade decided they DGAF whether the principal was there or not, they were going to play hiding games and hit each other during book exchange.  I'm trying my hardest to put that out of my mind when they come to me as fifth graders, but I don't think they've forgotten, either--and some placement decisions failed to separate these kids. Oh well, I'm dealing...

... because shortly after I came back from visiting my sister and her family in DC, we got an email saying our principal had been moved to another building.  (Obviously, I had mixed feelings about this because of the lack of mercy in my observation.)  And then a second email asking staff to come meet the new pick, the high school's assistant principal.  I know, it sounded really weird, but apparently many administrators were switched around so everyone's head was spinning.

So far? Not awful.  The new principal dove in and is listening to us.  Even let me present a quick update to our databases during the first staff meeting!  It's been super hot for the first couple weeks of school--although as one of the few air-conditioned areas in my building (hopefully remedied by next year's renovation) the library has been a positively balmy 76 compared with mid/upper-80s in other classrooms--so we just handled it  as best as we could.

The nice thing is that I don't have a killer commute home anymore.  I was a little sad to be leaving my old town after ten years, but it just wasn't making sense to stay there anymore.  I'm paying pretty much the same amount of rent while getting central air and my own laundry room, plus a pool and a gym.  Still adjusting to the increased traffic noise, but I can park right in front of where I live and instead of hearing a ton of people coming and going, I have just four neighbors. FOUR. I rarely hear or see them, but I've met most of them and they're decent.

So, what else is new? Another new nephew! That's right, I am an auntie to eight kiddos now, a complete connection to the origin of my blog header's quote (Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, far superior to Little Women IMHO). Spent a week in DC in August looking after the second littlest guy while Younger Sister and BIL were at the hospital with the new one.  Toddler Nephew had no idea what was going on and for the first few days thought the baby belonged to me.

Me: "Oh, no, this is your baby."
Him: [makes a "You keep him" gesture at me.]
Me: "I know, I wanted to give your mommy back for the first month we had her. You'll change your mind."

And the day after I got home, I missed them both so much.

Fortunately I had the chance to see them again at baby nephew's baptism.  Godson #2 recognized me right away--and brought me all the books from his shelf for me to read to him (yay!).  Older Brother & family couldn't make it, nor could Oldest Nephew because he went to boot camp for the Air Force at the end of August (sniff! so proud but anxious!).

He's sleeping peacefully through a Redskins game (must be the grace).

Today I have not one but two birthday parties for friends' kids--guess that makes me the popular fake auntie, too.  And speaking of birthdays, it's almost time for my annual dreading my birthday post.

Who knows, maybe this year will be different.


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