Happy October! It actually feels like Fall in Maryland, which if you live here has you perplexed, because for the past few years October has still had higher summer-like temperatures. It’s basically been a lighter version of summer which makes those of us who appreciate fall quite annoyed. But this year, pretty much on the first day of fall, our temperatures fell about 20 degrees and have pretty much stayed in the 60’s (even the 50’s for the past few days) since. It’s supposed to go into the low 70’s the next couple of days, but I don’t think it’ll actually feel that warm.
Devon and I have been back to work for about a month now, which means the worst part of the year for me is already over. My fellow high school counselors know that the first few weeks (aka the schedule change period) are the most hectic. Even when we try to maintain order, it’s still crazy. Our school is at an all time enrollment high which means our class sizes are high and we are actually pretty limited in changes that we can make due to space and availability. So, we spend the first few weeks denying about 85% of requests and having to explain over and over again why we are unable to accommodate everyone’s “special” circumstances.
For the record, not liking a teacher isn’t a “Special” circumstance – some teachers aren’t warm and fuzzy, you have to learn to work with it.
Now that all of that has ended; we’re actually back into a normal groove in our office in terms of duties and day-to-day activities. The annoying part is that we are actually 2 counselors short in my office. Yup; the educator shortage is incredibly real. There should be 8 of us and right now there are only 6 full certified counselors to almost 2600 students. Even at 8 – it’s a lot, but 6 is insane. We’re all doing the best that we can, but it’s a hard load for many of us. So our days are extremely busy and we’re having more days where we feel like we’re just fielding crises and not actually getting actual work done. It’s frustrating some days, but we’re hopeful that our department will be at full capacity soon.
I want to do a day in the life at some point (which I’ve been saying to myself for a few weeks) because I always enjoy seeing those and I feel like a lot of people enjoy those. Maybe one day this week – we’ll see.
I hit a new “years of service” group this year, which is weird to me – I’m in double digits as a counselor, so I’m in that place where I’m not considered “new” anymore, but also not the “most seasoned” either. This is year 11 and my first year fully tenured in my district (nothing to do with the 11 years, but it’s my fourth year in my district and I earned full tenure at the end of last school year) so it feels nice.
I was “rewarded” for my tenure by my administration by getting to have a shiny new Mac Desktop computer. My old Dell was so old I could hear it wheeze every time I turned it on (almost literally). This new girl is so shiny and fast – I almost don’t know what to do with myself.
Plus…it takes up significantly less room than my old computer did so I have so much more desk space to spread out when I need it. It’s glorious.
Outside of work (which feels like most of my life, especially in the beginning part of the year), we’ve mostly been spending time with our little guy and decorating the house for fall.
I’ll admit, I didn’t really go overboard with shopping for fall decor this year, mostly because what I had from last year is all still in great condition and I still enjoy the style of it all. So, I’ve mostly just put it all back out into various places – though I do still have some things I want to rearrange in the house to look a bit more fall-like, but I like the simplicity this year. Having an infant definitely makes you appreciate things that are easy and don’t take a lot of time.
Speaking of the infant – he’s also getting bigger by the day. He is the happiest, smiliest little baby on the planet.
I genuinely don’t know where he came from.
The only time he cries is when he’s hungry, when his diaper needs changing, or occasionally during the “witching hour” – that’s really it. The rest of the time, he’s trying to talk to anyone who will listen. He’s so chatty these days. His voice is practicing the sounds of all these different letters and he makes so many different noises now. His little smile is the cutest when he thinks he just had a full-blown conversation with you (and you understood his babbling) because he already thinks he’s the smartest little baby on the planet.
He’s been at his school (daycare) for about a month now also, and he really seems to be enjoying it. We love his teachers and the director and he’s been very well cared for. I know putting an infant in daycare isn’t everyone’s preference, but as two working parents – it’s a reality for us. We’re happy that he’s happy and well-cared for throughout the day. We have an app that we stay in communication throughout the day so we know everything he does and he always looks happy when we pick him up in the afternoon – we can’t ask for anything more.
And for my Krieger Stans…DON’T WORRY! OUR BOY IS ALSO DOING AMAZING!
I don’t remember if I mentioned it here, but Devon is convinced that Krieger is part Maine Coon – which kind of makes sense based on his coat, physical attributes – and he is enormous. He’s so tall – I feel like he’s still getting bigger.
But he’s 2 years old now and he is doing really well with his brother. You can tell that he still enjoys the times when the baby isn’t home, but he’s also really starting to warm up to him more. He likes sitting with him and napping around him. We still watch them together, but Krieger has definitely accepted that he has a little brother (whether he necessarily wanted it or not).
I hope you all have been doing well! Now that we’re getting into a rhythm with the school year in full swing I have some plans for this space. Stay tuned!