This post is also available as a podcast in which I read the post. Search for "rising shining" on most podcast platforms to listen.
As the year rounds August and heads into September the pace of life starts speeding up. As evidenced by my September goals post mid-month! There's weekly homework, sports get underway (soccer and basketball this fall), and we're starting to talk about Halloween. On the one hand I love getting into our school year routines. The boys seem to thrive with the structure, socializing, and challenge of school. And I'm so thankful it's in-person this year. Maeve is doing great at daycare two days per week and I love having those quiet days to work. But this year is still feeling unpredictable. We've already had one COVID quarantine after one of the boys was exposed to a classmate who tested positive. That pulled the routine right out from underneath us. And then Maeve got hand, foot, and mouth disease!
As much as I want to be emerging from the unpredictability and anxiety of the pandemic we are clearly not there yet. Plus Maeve is sure to get little colds and whatnot this year now that she's around more kids. I'm telling myself that this is the year of small steps towards more balance but that little setbacks will be part of it. So I'm continuing to work on going with the flow. But it's hard! Right now life feels hard in a few ways. One is definitely the heat. The relentless heat! The weather plus COVID means that Maeve and I are pretty much home and inside all day. I love having days with Maeve but wish we could break up the day with walks and outings. September might be one of the hardest months here. This is our Midwest February. So I'm looking for little signs that the season is changing. I'm finding it in the evening light getting just a little bit more golden and the darkness coming a little bit earlier. We often turn on our backyard string lights on in the evening now and it used to be too bright to do that. Cedric burst inside the other day to announce that he had seen the first "arrow" of geese flying overhead. My boys know to look for the signs of fall, few though they are here.
Other ways that life is hard right now include feeling a bit lonely and isolated. Because of COVID I don't have the playgroup of mom friend with similar aged kiddos that I thought I would find or create after Maeve was born. I thought I would be taking Maeve to the children's museum and library story time and other little activities regularly by now. I don't have a sense of how COVID-risky those things are so I keep not doing them. I start to think, "Well, maybe that would be okay..." but then I have COVID decision fatigue and we just stay home. I think when the weather cools off and we can go for daily walks that will make a big difference. I also have a neighbor expecting a baby so maybe we'll plan some stroller walks and get-togethers later this fall.
I am so thankful that Maeve is going to daycare two days a week and doing so well. There are some tears at drop-off but already much less than when we started. When I pick Maeve up she is happily playing with friends or eating, her other favorite activity. On the way home and for the rest of the day she enthusiastically babbles to tell us about her day. I love the socialization for her and I can tell she loves being there. I also love her daycare days for me. Those two days to myself with a quiet house and several uninterrupted hours are truly life-giving. On my childcare days I write blogs posts, record audioblogs, attend to podcast work, do home administration things, and generally catch my breath. Towards the end of the summer I felt stretched so thin I did not feel like the best version of myself. I'm so glad to have this rhythm to our week when everyone's needs are being better met.
So that's where we are half-way into September. Finding routine, but also very aware that our routine will likely be disrupted. Feeling very hot and not just a little bit grouchy, but looking for the hints of a season change.
Big things happening this month:
+ Labor Day staycation. We had such a great time! We rented a nice house in Tempe with a pool and basketball hoop (Cedric loves basketball!). The house was great for families, we ordered our favorite pizza, and loved watching Zathura with the boys. Oh and Maeve slept so well which is so encouraging for future family travel!
+ Chris's birthday! We had a small, low-key celebration with just our family. Our celebration with our parents and Chris's sister was postponed because our two nephews got COVID. Thankfully they both had fairly mild cases and are doing much better now.
+ Record Fall Extravaganza episode with Erica. Our eighth annual! This episode is always a lot of fun but definitely takes some planning and energy. I always love recording this episode because it means that fall (and cooler temps) are on the horizon.
+ Stretch before bed. This always feels so good and I'm trying to be consistent. I love bending over and reaching for my toes, doing a downward dog, and then crossing my legs and reaching for my toes to stretch my IT band. Sometimes I also use my foam roller and I can tell that I feel better for it.
+ Buy cool weather clothes for the kids. It will be warm here for a while but we are heading to Colorado Springs in early October for fall break. So I need to make sure we have the right clothing for everyone.
+ Plan our Colorado Springs trip. We're renting a roomy house with a basement game room and a hot tub. I'm excited to get everyone out into nice weather for hikes and to the zoo.
+ Mindful portions. Lately I've felt like my eating, especially at dinner, is less connected with my hunger. I was telling Chris that at the end of the day dinner is such a comfort, which is great, but I feel like I end up eating more than I want to. He said that our dinners are just too delicious – haha – but compliment accepted! I'm trying to pay more attention to how hungry I really am and match what's on my plate to that.
+ Look into pelvic floor therapy. After three babies I think I would benefit from some pelvic floor therapy. I have two referrals from my midwife, one right near our house, that I need to follow up on.
And that's it! Wishing you a happy September, friend!