Swimming played a significant part of my childhood. There was several years that I spent 5 days a week swimming laps at the Hollywood YMCA (which, BTW, no longer exists!) in Portland. I've always loved the water - the feel of it, the discipline, the burn of my muscles.
Now, while I have a deep love and affection for other sports that I grew up playing; I would never force my child to learn how to through a rise-ball in softball.
But swimming is one of those things I believe you HAVE to get your children to learn. They don't have to be on the swim team; but they have to know how to tread water and swim back to the edge of the pool.
We made the commitment this past summer to get the kids into swimming lessons. And, trust me, it's a commitment. Classes fill up so fast - with current users and residents - that I literally had to log onto their website AT MIDNIGHT to insure a place in our desired classes.
Since both kids had basically NO experience in the water outside splashing at the beach, they both had to begin in the first class for each age group: Sis in Preschool 1 and Bubba in School-Age 1. Sis took to the water a bit better than her brother. He would barely dunk his head in the water for the first few classes. We soon figured out that this was due to the fact that he couldn't quite figure out how to CLOSE his mouth before going under the water, and was sucking down a fair amount of chlorinated water.
While Sis was pleased to go to the twice a week lessons, Bubba wasn't enjoying swallowing all that water and started to balk at going. He never really complained, per se, he just wasn't excited about them. And honestly, I couldn't blame him. And Sis graduating into the next level while he did not didn't help either.
Enter Great Wolf Lodge. As a motivation for continuing in the lessons, we've promised a trip once their swimming improved. It worked.
And somewhere along the way, Bubba figured out how to actually close his mouth BEFORE his head went under. He discovered how to kick his legs AND rotate his arms at the same time. Just a week ago I saw him do a somersault under water. Amazing.
Tonight was the final night of our third session of classes. It appears that the third time was a charm for Bubba - he finally passed and will be heading to School-Age 2! He was quite pleased with himself and so are we. Sis will be moving up as well (she'll be in Preschool 3!).
I better start looking into reservations at Great Wolf; I have a feeling we'll need them soon.
Should I or should I not? That is the question.
1. These architectural prints from Crate and Barrel. I pretty much want to live in those houses.
2. This striped cardigan from JCrew. What can I say? I'm a cardigan whore.
3. In other cardigan news, I would like the "Tick Tock Cardigan" from Anthropologie.
4. One can never have enough handbags. you know? I want this one in gray.
5. I also need a new pair of jeans and have heard good things about the new models from The Gap. We shall see.
As a women who has played years, well - decades really, of various competitive sports; I can't say I have always had stellar sportsmanship. I have given insincere "good games" when shaking hands with the other team at the end of the game. I've looked menacingly at opposing batters from the pitcher's mound. A few times I tangled legs under the volleyball net. Occasionally I was a bit overeager in my tagging of a runner attempting to steal second. Hell, I've even given a little more hip than necessary when taking a charge in basketball.
But, I NEVER pulled even one OUNCE of he crap this woman's soccer player from New Mexico did. You really have to see it to believe it - the ponytail pull is probably my favorite. And not in a good way.
The past few months I have been trying to be more conscious about my spending. We've never really had a budget, per se, but since the summer I've kept a Goodle Docs spreadsheet and tracked all my spending. Much like a food diary, a spending diary really causes you to ask yourself when holding a potential purchase in your hand (or seeing it in your online shopping cart), "Is is worth it? Will I be happy about this at the end of the month?"
Now the next part The Sister will not like.
I have really cut back (next to nothing, really) in my clothes, shoes, etc. spending. I completely cleaned out my closet (well, she'll like that part) to see what I want/need in terms of clothes. I tossed out all that didn't fit, was no longer my style, even things that still fit but I didn't feel great in.
The truth is? I still have alot left. (Note to self: YOU DO NOT NEED PANTS.)
Now, I have BEEN shopping. I found I had three pairs of brown pants that I could not wear because I did not have a pair of heels to wear them with (none were the correct height). I shopped around and found a great deal on a pair that I love. I do like the feeling of browsing, trying on, and not settling for items that are ill fitting or not the right color.
My efforts are paying off - my monthly totals have dropped. It's not like I ever spent a HUGE amount, but a couple of things here and there add up. I also have been avoiding Target like the plague. You really can't walk out of there for less that $200.
And just when I thought I had really left old habits behind, I find it has not truly left my system.
Last night I had a dream about shopping. An actual DREAM were I shopped and PURCHASED things. Who has heard of such a thing?
This latest development has confirmed I've moving in the right direction.
Either that or I'm bat-shit crazy. It's a toss-up, really.
Every Tuesday and Thursday you can find me shuttling the kids to and from their swimming lessons; which happen to take place at a local recreation center.
Now, we all know about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, right? It covers alot of ground, but one of the major sections covered is Title III, which provides for reasonable accommodation of public and commercial facilities. What this means in most cases are ramps in addition to stairs, Braille signage, automatic door entrances, yada, yada, yada.
This particular recreation center has been retrofit (as it should) with automatic door entrances (I'm sure you've all seen these a million times, in a million places). The center has two separate front doors that lead to a small foyer, then two more doors that lead into the lobby of the recreation center.
Sis and I were entering the building through the set of doors on the left. As we made our way through the first door (and into the very small foyer) a young girl hit the automatic door entrance, which automatic opens both of the (very heavy) doors on the left.
The doors that Sis and I were in the middle of entering.
In an instance, Sis looked back to let me something as the second door opened.
She looked back and SMACKED into the corner of the VERY HEAVY entrance door.
SMACKED (see my very detailed and exact drawing to get a better idea of how the whole thing went down).
Now, I'm not upset that it happened, really. It was the response, OR LACK OF, from the other mother. The distance between where they were and where we were was no more than 10 feet. TOPS.
My child screamed. We blocked the doorway. She cried. She screamed some more. Another mother in front of us heard what happened and got us ice. Sis cried some more.
I was able to take a peak at the damage. While the bump was quickly developing, the cut wasn't deep enough to need stitches and her eyes weren't dilated.
The other mother, who I turned around to look at, completely avoided eye contact. COMPLETELY. All I wanted was a simple, "Oh my goodness, is she okay?" or "I'm so sorry that happened." A simple acknowledgment would have been nice.
Even if she didn't realize what happened, anyone close who hear Sis scream would have stopped to see if we needed help (see: other mother described above). So, I can only assume she knew what accidentally happened and avoided us.
After a few minutes, Sis was able to calm down. We decided that she could still go to her lesson (trust me, many more tears would have erupted). A few hours later, the only lasting impressions for her is that her "owie feels squishy" when she touches it.
So I told her to not touch it.
And no more using handicapped automatic doors. Somebody might get hurt.
What room are you in:
1. A great parent/teacher conference. More on that later.
2. My DVR. We tried to leave Comcast and go with DirectTV (or some other satellite company) earlier in the summer and were told it was not possible due to the position of our house on our property and how wooded our property is. (DUH.) We then went with Verizon Fios, and so far, so good. We bundled phone, cable, and internet for less than we were paying for these with separate companies before. PLUS! We were able to add a DVR and we STILL saved over what we used to pay! I am LOVING the DVR - seriously, how did I ever live with without it? Now whenever I have to watch live TV and actually view commercials it feels like TIME IS BEING STOLEN FROM MY SOUL.
3. Finding new TV shows to watch on my shiny new DVR. I'm quickly making my way through the seasons of Bones. I've got 4 episodes waiting for me right now.
4. The kids maybe, possibly, finally learning how to swim. Hopefully.
5. Election returns that mean good things. Hopefully.
Want to join me? Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in 365 days of Grace in Small Things.