Friday miscellany: Settling in

The new school year brings new rhythms, but I feel like this week — the first full week of classes — we are settling in. The activity schedule feels more set. Everyone is getting where they need to go, if the schedule does feel a bit full with four kids’ activities. I’m learning car line tricks. If I leave the house right at 7, and take a certain road so I approach a 4-way stop from the less busy side, I can zoom up to the high school. Otherwise…it takes a while. I noted with great interest that the parking lot does not appear to be 100 percent full so maybe junior and senior year the kid can drive himself. Right now we drive 2-3 days per week and he takes the bus the other days. The middle school bus, unfortunately, moved earlier, but since kid #1 and kid #2 share a bedroom, usually the middle schooler wakes up when his older brother does, so he’s up regardless (this will change in the new house).

Speaking of the new house, it is coming along. I felt happy with the floor stain color (“Golden oak”), and my selection for main staircase runner carpet. I am less thrilled about the tile I chose for the master bathroom shower, but since it’s in there now, I’m going to see if it grows on me.

I went to the elementary school’s back-to-school night this week. My 6-year-old had created a family portrait for his “All about me” page that, curiously, contained only him, my husband, me and the dog. I guess all other family members are extraneous… (Go visit me on Instagram, @lvanderkam, to see it).

My second eldest turns 12 today. I always reflect on his birth on his birthday because the whole experience was so ridiculous. We still lived in NYC. I was supposed to be induced but the hospital sent us home or back to the doctor’s office twice because it was so busy. People were in intense labor in the hallways. One might reflect that 9/24 is almost exactly nine months after Christmas, so perhaps it was always going to be a busy season. In any case, it was definitely a maybe-we-should-leave-New-York feeling, aside from the maybe-we-should-leave-New-York feeling that comes from having two small kids in an apartment.

(Though since they’re still sharing a bedroom in my suburban house…)

We’ll do a family celebration tonight, and a small friend celebration tomorrow. He has an appointment for his first vaccine dose set too.

Thanks to those who came to my virtual speech this morning for the UNC School of Medicine’s Women in Medical Sciences event. It was a great morning with a lot of good programming. If you are just coming here for the first time because you attended the event, welcome! I blog 3-4 times a week most weeks and there are a lot of time tips and such posted here from the last 13 years or so…

Lots of odds and ends this weekend as we prepare to list the current house. I’m also hoping to make progress on my current puzzle, which is White Mountain’s “Friends in Autumn” scene. A pastoral barn scene with bright red and yellow leaves. The leaves haven’t changed here yet, but I’m trying to embrace the season. I will admit, I’m even looking ahead a season. I ordered the Lego 2021 Christmas set… (but I haven’t ordered the Halloween costumes yet. Have you?)

Photo: This will eventually be my kitchen, but the cabinets aren’t built yet.

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