Saturday, August 24, 2019

Life as we know it

Makenna packed for her sister every day this week, anxious to reclaim her room. Sister was a little brutal about the process but given Erin's insane schedule, the jump start was required.

Ty and I took Kate's bible study time for a needed haircut Monday. The boy is only making it three weeks between cuts because his hair is so heavy and thick. He is picture day ready for next week. We had enough time to play in a park afterward and perform the floss for the surveillance video at Walgreens too. Smile.
Tuesday Erin woke to both a flat tire and a dead car battery. On Thursday, night she broke down on the way home. Adulting is fun. And expensive.
Unrelated photo of our adorable grandson saying "cheese". This baby is pure joy.

Ty decided to drop cross country this year after only a few weeks of practice due to ongoing breathing issues, dizziness and nausea. We had an appointment scheduled to discuss testing his lung capacity with his pediatrician on Wednesday and we are glad that appointment was in place when he spiked a fever and the all too familiar strep blisters arrived Tuesday night. So on my second week at work, I had a sick kid I couldn't send to a friend's house. This time Greg was able to work from home and then Makenna's  boyfriend, Noah covered the second day but if my kids could stay healthy, that would be great. This episode of strep marks the fourth in eighteen months but he doesn't snore and his tonsils aren't large so we aren't visiting an ear nose and throat specialist yet.

I recall and wish I'd photographed it in the moment but Makenna loved the manatee exhibit in the Columbus Zoo when she was a preschooler. She used to sit forward in her stroller with her hands under her chin as she quietly observed the gentle giants in the tank before her. After several quiet minutes, she would comment, "they like salad, just like me." This memory returned Wednesday evening after my son looked the doctor in the eye and declared he wasn't eating vegetables even if they helped keep him from getting strep throat. I silently willed the doctor to look away so I could play whack-a-mole on his head.

Friday on my way to lunch, Ty's teacher locked eyes with me and started laughing. I hesitated and then asked about the morning. She assured me Ty was doing well and had filled her in on all his adventures from his sick days. I commented we'd had a tough morning because he was pretty sure he wasn't going to school and I was certain he was. She laughed, "oh I know, I have heard all about it". At that moment, I put  my hand up and declared it was not necessary for her to share what he had to say because I just didn't want to know. After school I received an email from his other teacher that simply stated she loves him and his stories amuse her. Again, I don't want to know. Ignorance is bliss.

Saturday morning the girls and I slipped away to our favorite consignment shop and I scored some vintage Eastland penny loafers in perfect condition for twelve dollars. I haven't decided if they need pennies in the toe box like they did when I was a kid. But the purchase was a fun trip down memory lane and I will be wearing them soon. Fall was in the air today.

After a church picnic Saturday afternoon, Greg smoked the pork belly he's been curing for a week and then we ended the gorgeous day with s'mores as a family.

It should be noted as I completed my second full week of work, I adore my Kindergarten class. Those little stinkers amuse me, exhaust me and have stolen my heart.

Sunday, August 18, 2019


When explaining my life this week to a close friend, I casually mentioned the microwave cart and office chair hanging out in my living room and she understood. I am the woman who can't live with a tabletop Christmas tree in my living room for more than two weeks because it feels like clutter. I have been cleaning around items that have no purpose in my living room for several days because Erin is still in renovation mode with her condo and is therefore also in transition as she ever so slowly moves out. I am waiting on literal dust to settle.

My first full week of work was well, full. I love my kindergarten friends and the job itself. Navigating the grownups I work with will take more time but I have discovered some pretty sweet ladies in the lounge at lunch. Given how long most have been working together, making deeper connections will take some time and I need to trust the process to work out organically. 

On Wednesday I had my first taste of mom guilt as I sent Kate to a friend's house for the day due to an asthmatic flare. I am grateful to have someone willing to love on my kids in my place when needed. I just wasn't expecting to need her my fourth day. 

Ty fell apart this week as the stress of a new school year piled up. Learning fourth grade expectations and teacher's personalities on top of the work load made for a couple long tearful nights. Kate also woke anxious and unable to sleep one night which led to a pretty tearful morning. This year, it took longer than usual for it to fully manifest but we survived and once the new routine is fully ironed out, the figurative dust will settle too. 

Makenna has enrolled in classes at Ivy Tech to earn a lot of her basic credits before diving into IUS. She is looking most forward to her introduction to teaching class. She thinks elementary education will be her career path after taking a year to decide. She too is adjusting to a new job with unique personalities and expectations.  We Baughmans don't love change and take time to adjust. Plans to move out are on hold so she can afford to get an education. She is looking forward to unloading a roommate who is bringing more and more items for her condo into their shared room. It looks like an episode of hoarders up there.

My parents arrived to further assist Erin's flooring installation as I was leaving town for the Women of Joy conference in Indy. I agreed to this trip months before I knew I would be working and Erin would be needing our help. I considered backing out more times than I can count because leaving this mess felt like I was neglecting my family. However, Greg stood firm and insisted I go as planned despite me having to drive separately from my group to accommodate my work schedule. The stress melted away once I was settled into my seat which made all the chaos worthwhile. And guess what? Despite my absence, life went on at home.

And while my parents and Greg worked at the condo, my friend took Kate and Ty to the lake for the day. She is my hero and the kids adore her. But this shot? Priceless.
Sunday the team wrapped up the flooring installation and the plumbing work that needed finished in the bathroom. Trim work is on hold until after the move because everyone is tired. A few items are in their new home, including a microwave cart. All God's people said, "Amen."

Friday, August 9, 2019

Hot Potato

These past two weeks felt like I was anchored in a snow globe someone handed to a group of four year old children for an aggressive game of hot potato.

On Monday I passed a test that says I am smarter than a fifth grader. At one point I was fairly certain I would be opening the juice boxes in elementary lunch rather than assisting the teachers because geometry was involved. Prior to and immediately after the test, I was on the phone with our insurance company navigating the total loss claim on Makenna's car. I was her personal uber for work Monday and Tuesday as well.

Tuesday, while running errands my parents called to let me know they had decided they were heading over to help lay Erin's new flooring in her condo. Makenna and I already had an appointment with the car dealership to start the process of replacing her car. Many, and I do mean many tears were shed as Makenna dealt with the loss of the car she loved. The poor salesman was not sure what to make of the kid who didn't want a new car. I pushed her to drive a few different models and thank God, she found something she loved.  And then the financing process began. It involved someone who got off work at 5pm, so despite preapproval that started that morning and pulling Greg into phone calls from work, the representative went home leaving the loan unfinished within minutes of it being completed. I needed reminded I was a Christian at that moment. And then we started over with the dealership. Six hours after we arrived, I left to meet the kids who had been home alone until my parents showed up and start dinner and Greg took over the process, fresh from work.
On Wednesday my parents and I continued the prep work on Erin's concrete foundation so we could lay laminate flooring. It took awhile to start the actual cutting and laying because the foundation was in rough shape. We were finally in a groove when we stopped for lunch at 2:30 and lost power. As it turns out, my very intelligent daughter failed to have the utilities switched over to her name so our time was up. Power was to be restored on Friday, the day my parents needed to be home for other commitments and I started my new job. So Saturday is on radar for a full day of flooring installation. All of us will be excited to see the end of this project.
Thursday my parents and I dealt with a plumbing issue and then celebrated my mom's birthday with cheesecake before sending them back home that evening. They didn't accomplish near what they hoped but we are grateful for the start and hope it's smooth sailing from here.

I walked into the bathroom Thursday morning and noted Erin applying mascara and immediately asked about her day. "My hair is dirty so I thought mascara would be a distraction."  Alrighty then.  She is adulting.

At the end of her second week assisting in the special needs preschool,  Makenna declared she will be pursuing elementary education rather than early education. Preschool may not be her calling even if she is falling in love with a few of her small friends.

On Friday I was reminded how difficult the middle school years are for everyone involved. A new girl was at the bus stop and Kate felt incredibly self conscious about saying hello despite me pointing out how challenging it is the be the new kid. I reminded her of my three new schools in seventh grade story and how brutally lonely it was. Watching her wrestle with how to do the right thing and still look relaxed was painful. Yes, I pushed her out of her comfort zone and was at first irritated with her. She should know to be kind and welcoming because she feels lonely herself so often and yet after reflecting, I recalled how difficult it is for her to stand out. We will have more conversations but in the end, she said hello and started talking with her and helped get her to her first station of the day.

Also on Friday, I started my new job as an instructional assistant in Ty's school. Our paths won't cross but he has asked me to not tell anyone we are related just the same. I assume he has forgotten all my volunteer hours working with his peers because as it turns out, the kids know who I am.

Ty's teachers sent photos this week of our kiddo enjoying school despite his assertion he hates it. I love his teaching team this year and hearing how much he talks to them assures me he is comfortable too.

Greg and I met for dinner tonight because we haven't spoken in complete sentences in days and needed the connection. It was the perfect ending to a very full week and decent way to kick off an equally packed weekend ahead.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Launching Fresh Starts

This week we sent Kate into the eighth grade and Ty to the fourth. Both are in the top grades of their respective schools and feeling fairly confident about their status in their worlds. Next year when they start as the youngest kids on campus again, they may feel a little less settled so we will take the familiarity this year with gratitude.

I interviewed with two schools this week and accepted the slightly lower position with Ty's elementary school so I can be on the same calendar as my kids. When I ended up with three babies Monday afternoon because I could make it work to help friends, I knew without question I had to clock in somewhere in order to actually retire from childcare in my home. So I will be an aide to a few teachers throughout the day starting next week.

Erin wrapped up her semester of chemistry and biology and maintained her 4.0. She also had surgery and closed on her condo this week. Thursday we visited the DMV for an hour so she is officially a citizen of Kentucky now. Sister has been quite productive lately.

Makenna started a new job Monday working as an intervention aide with special needs kiddos in the public preschool program in our district. She loves it and her young friends already. But Monday afternoon she wrecked her car. As distraught as she feels about the accident and damage to her car, she was not injured. We are still navigating the claims process and awaiting a decision about repairs vs a total loss. She is praying for a repair approval and we are praying for the safest option. Vehicle sharing is colorful at the moment and aren't sure how long to expect it to last but like everything else in life, we are making it work.

Kate and I were given tickets to see Peter and Starcatcher Thursday evening as a last minute surprise. Despite being a school night, we decided to enjoy the outing. We laughed until we cried and it was a perfect way to relieve some stress as we neared the end of a long week. Dessert during intermission was a delight and recieving a photo of my grandson in that moment was just as sweet. That little tush reminds me of the Coppertone ads. He is so stinking cute!
Layla turned six years old this week and is still mostly puppy. The comparison to Brutus who was an old man for a very long time is amusing now as the memories make us laugh and smile more than feel sad. He was an awesome dog and Layla could never be like him but she wasn't meant to be. Her sweet spirit and happy energy is usually appreciated around here. And our belief she is likely not a purebred boxer gives us hope she will remain an active member of the family for many more years.

Erin reported she waited outside a dark but closed bathroom door for awhile trying to decide if someone was using it and finally knocked. Ty's voice answered he was in there and when he finally emerged? Night vision goggles were on his head.

The cutest, least effective door man wore a cape to help his sister.

Friday after dinner Kate, Makenna, Erin and I started painting the condo. I have learned my daughters have not inherited my organization skills. It was a mess but in the end, the color and brightness were exactly what Erin wanted. On Saturday we ripped out the carpet, padding and tack strips. It was all hands on deck for a few hours but progress was made. There is still more work to be done before she is able to move in and she is anxious to get settled but in the end, it will be her style and a beautiful home.