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Next Stop, Richmond, Virginia

Number 3 and 4 first joined the swim team six years ago.

They swam on the town team which only swims in the summer and practices in the lake at the town beach. It’s a rinky dink little team, but it was the perfect introduction to swim team for them. They both loved it.

Of course, growing up a swimmer and swimming all the way through my senior year in college, I was  pretty psyched when they asked to join the swim team.

It’s hard not to live vicariously through them. Too much.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t doing that at all.

It’s also hard to balance their desire to do well and win and be the best with the knowledge that the burnout factor in swimming is very, very high.

There aren’t too many kids who are ranked among the top swimmers in the state as ten-year-olds who are still swimming when they are in high school.

So it’s a fine line.

Pull the trigger too soon and you risk them falling out of love with the sport before they really get to the good part. The part where they learn all the important life lessons that have both gotten me through some of the darkest times of my life and also given me the closest friends of my life.

Anyway, here they are after a meet that very first season.

Number 3 had just turned seven, and Number 4 was five years old (two months away from six).

They both exhibited natural talent and ability early on.

And now, six years later, here they are.

(Number 7 is the age now that Number 4 was six years ago when they first started swimming 🙂 )

Both Number 3 and 4 had great seasons this summer.  And they both qualified for a big meet in Richmond, Virginia this week called Eastern Zones Long Course Championships. It’s a four day meet where the top swimmers from states up and down the East Coast will be swimming.

They both set goals to make it to this meet this summer, and they both did it. I am so proud of them!!!

So, with the knowledge that they are swimming in some relatively elite circles at a fairly young age (which increases the pressure they may put on themselves), we are headed off to Richmond, Virginia tomorrow where I get to watch the two of them swim not as their coach, but simply as their mom (which I am very much looking forward to).

I drop Number 3 off with the other swimmers from CT who are 11 years old and older at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow morning (they all ride together on a coach bus and stay in a hotel together as a team) and then I’m making the 413 mile trip from Connecticut to Virginia with Number 4, 5, 6, and 7 (because the swimmers who are ten and under have to stay with their parents).

It’s gonna be interesting, no doubt, and if I survive the drive and the next six days with those four in a hotel room, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Wish me luck!

 

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Do you need a therapist?

There is a vineyard in my town. It’s  1.7 miles from my house as the crow flies, and a 3.3 mile drive.

And in the seven years I have lived here, I’ve never been there.

Until today.

Today I went there with a bunch of friends to surprise another friend for her birthday.

It was awesome.

You can buy bottles of wine and sit outside at a table and bring a  picnic lunch and do whatever the hell you want, really.

So anyway, you can also pay $8 to sample six of the wines there.

After we had been there for about an hour and drank a few bottles of wine between the eight of us, we went inside for the tasting.

There were three or four people serving us.

One of them was the owner of the vineyard.

We were  all saddled up to the bar, we had all  chosen the wine we wanted to check out, and the owner zeroed in on me and said, “Is something bothering you? I can tell that something in bothering you.”

I have no idea how old he was, but I’m guessing maybe 75- 80ish.

I didn’t know what to say.

“Do you need a therapist?”he asked.

 What the fuck?

“Is it that obvious?” I asked him.

“I saw you coming from Nebraska,” he said.

Ummmm… I had no fucking clue what that even meant.

“So do I have a scarlet T on my forehead?” I asked him.

“No, ” he said. “I’m a gynecologist,” he said.

What. The. Fuck.

This was getting weirder (and funner) by the minute.

“I’ve got issues at both ends,” I told him. “Would you be interested in a two for one special?”

He laughed.

I don’t remember what exactly was said after that, but there was some back and forth which ultimately resulted in me saying to him,

“I know you want me.”

He laughed some more.

“Well, you do have a great smile,” he told me.

I was laughing so hard.  We all were.

The owner was playing along. He was really cool. Especially for an older dude.

He was smart and fun.

Was he really able to know shit about me just by looking at me?

I don’t know.

Maybe not.

But who knows. Maybe he was.

He thanked us and said goodbye.

 

It was a random and so fun afternoon.

And if I find myself in need of a therapist,

or a pap smear,

or a bottle of wine…

Well, now I know exactly where to go.

 

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Reminders

Last Friday was the first day all the kids were in school at the same time.

And I loved it.

I couldn’t wait for today, Monday, when it would happen again.

And then when I was at Number 3’s baseball game this weekend, one of the moms there told me there was no school today.

Fuck.

I had no idea there was no school. My plans for a quiet Monday morning were shot to hell.

Until my friend offered to take all the kids at her house so I could have some time to myself.

And so that’s what happened today.

My friend took all the kids, and I had four hours to myself.

I kept waiting to get a text telling me the kids were out of control and that I needed to come get them.

But all I got was this picture,

friendsalong with the message, They are having so much fun!

It was, um, totally awesome. And I just wanted to share that.

Sometimes you don’t realize how great your friends are.

Then you go through a tough time, and you are reminded.

Today I got one of those reminders.

 

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Best. Christmas. Present. Ever.

When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a triple.

One of my roommates told me that when she first met me, she thought I was a bitch.

We became friends before too long.

But I hear that a lot from women.

I’d like to think it’s all them.

But I guess I also have something to do with it.

I can come off a little strong initially.

I’ve been told I’m a tiny bit intimidating at times.

I think lots of people are under the impression that nothing bothers me. That I’m teflon coated.

I’m not.

And sometimes the more insecure I feel (yes, I feel that way… often), the more obnoxious I can be.

If you’ve taken a Psych 101 class, you’ve probably drawn that conclusion on your own.

Anyway, my insecurities combined with the fact that I’ve always been kind of a tomboy and that I’ve always related to guys better than girls makes for an equation where the solution is that I don’t have tons of really close girl friends.

And when I first moved to the town we live in now, I had absolutely no friends. Zero. I didn’t know anybody and none of the kids had been in the school system and Number 5 was only 2 weeks old and I was totally overwhelmed.

It seemed as though the moms at the preschool where Number 3 and 4 started had all known each other for years.

I was an outsider, and rather than try to break into the circle, my gut reaction was what it normally is. To remain on the outside. Do my own thing.

So that’s what I did.

In October I went on a field trip with Number 4’s preschool class.

And as I walked through a corn maze, I started talking to one of the other moms. I learned that she had just moved to CT from out of state. She didn’t know a single soul not just in town, but in all of Connecticut.

We had something in common.

Her son and Number 3 were super shy and plagued by anxiety issues.

Another thing in common.

She didn’t like to go shopping and she didn’t like to talk on the phone and she sucked at returning texts.

We might have been separated at birth.

When we got back to the school after the field trip, I walked to her car with her.

She opened the door to her minivan and I looked inside.

It was a complete and total shithole, and it was at that moment that I knew I had found my mom soulmate.

I spent a lot of time with my new friend M.

She was the one I’d talk to about anything knowing there would be no judgment.

If I didn’t return her texts, she didn’t get upset.

In fact, she didn’t even care, because she sucked at it too.

It’s a wonder we were ever actually able to make plans at all with our inability to communicate.

But we did.

And then, one day, out of the blue, M told me she was moving.

Not to a different street.

Or even a different town.

But clear across the country.

To California.

She left about 2 months after Number 7 was born.

It took me a long time to accept that she was gone.

In fact, I’m not sure I ever really did accept it.

Just the other day, I saw a blue minivan, and I thought to myself, it’s M!

And then I snapped back into reality.

A couple hours later, I got a text.

It was from M.

Whoah.

I hadn’t heard from her in over a year.

This is what it said:

mtext

 

Holy shit!

First of all, that whole minivan thing was really weird, and I think I might have ESP.

But secondly, that whole text was really awesome, and I definitely have my friend back.

Another Christmas surprise.

And the best. Present. Ever.

Thank you for making me Number 1!

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