08 September 2021

Summer Recap

 Wow, time just keeps ticking away! I haven't updated about several big things, like a visit with my grandma and uncle, a family reunion and amusement park trip, the first day of school, and more! 

So over the summer in July my 87-year-old grandma and uncle drove out from Colorado to visit for my mom's birthday. They stayed about a week and we visited every other day. It was Vanessa's first time meeting them and Natalie's first time in about four years. It is challenging to talk to my grandma because she is severely hearing impaired. She used to wear a hearing aid but years ago someone broke into her house at gunpoint and robbed her and for some reason took the hearing aid. I believe she accused her nephew of being in on the robbery and then her sister got really angry and there's been bad blood since. (The nephew may have even done jail time for the crime, I honestly don't know all the details.) You literally have to yell at her a foot away and she still doesn't seem to hear you sometimes. My uncle is a chatty guy but a bit...not so politically correct. He even insulted my weight (mind you, he is a very large guy), which upset me a bit. Anyway, we had a big family dinner and my grandma got to meet all 10 of her great-grandchildren. The evening before she left I also gave her an engraved, personalized photo album with lots of photos I took during their visit. She actually cried, and so did I.  I am so glad she got to meet both my children. Vanessa was so sweet and hugged a lot and made my grandma laugh. It's a bit morbid but that may be the last time I see her again. I'm glad it was a good visit. 

A couple of weeks after that, we had a family reunion on Matt's side of the family up in Pennsylvania. It was roughly a 4-hour drive up which I was nervous about with Little Miss High Maintenance. She did surprisingly well, however. It helped my mother in law rented a minivan and sat next to her the whole ride. We spent a couple of days up there and had a good time! The amusement park is at the bottom of the Appalachian mountains with a stream that cuts through it and a good amount of trees. Natalie had a blast riding roller coasters over and over and over again with her cousins and dad. Luckily my father-in-law took Vanessa and I back to the hotel when we had had enough because Matt and Natalie stayed ALL day. In addition to the park, we took a tour through the small town my in-laws are from and visited family cemeteries and old houses. Matt and I have talked about visiting the amusement park he frequented as a child for years and years (before we even had kids) so I am glad to mark it off the bucket list! 

And now on to Natalie's return to the classroom full time for the first time in 17 months! She started on August 24th which is much earlier than ever before. It should have been September 7th but there was some change in VA law that required kids to start school before Labor Day in the dead heat of the disgusting summer. Anyway, she was so happy the first couple of weeks back but I think she is starting to get depressed/bummed again. There are a lot of challenging kids it sounds like and some mean girl bullshit and cliqueyness going on. The kids sound very obnoxious to me and I don't blame her for mostly keeping to herself, TBH. I feel like this is going to jinx it but she has been getting up at 6 am, taking a shower, having breakfast, and then going to the playground before school even starts! It is a total change from the girl who could barely get up in the morning for an 8 am Zoom day. I just want her to enjoy school and be happy. I fucking dread the drama that comes with girls though. She already doesn't have many friends because she just doesn't vibe with them and there have been some minor issues with things like exclusion and gossip. Ugh. I will admit that since covid, I have been very uninterested in anything the school says or does. I am actually quite bitter towards the school and community because I feel no one was there for us in a darker chapter of our lives. And the question could be posed to me, "who did YOU help or support through the virus and all the bullshit it brought about?" and the answer would be pretty much no one because no one reached out to me. We would try and contact neighbors and people we thought were Natalie's friends and we always got the cold shoulder. It had nothing to do with safety either, as they were socializing with other families and were not keeping a "bubble" of people. I can't wait for her to be done with the school she is at and move on to a bigger school that hopefully presents more opportunities for actual friendships. 

Anyway, there is something else I am not going to update on yet because it feels like bad luck to at this point. (I am not pregnant.)