September 28, 2009


So lately I've worried a lot about the safety of my kids around water. I mean, Princess is only 2 and no one expects her to swim yet and Young Man wouldn't even willingly stick his face in the water. If we tried to get him to he reacted as if we were asking him to lower his face into a vat of acid. I decided that just wouldn't do, nope, not at all, and I arranged for them to have swim lessons. And by swim lessons I'm talking about private, boot-camp tough love style, one on one, pay through the nose and argue with husband about it, lessons. I found a fantastic gal who with her daughters provides private lessons in 20 minute increments from her own pool in her own back yard. She's all certified and stuff too! So husband and I mortgaged our house and embarked upon an adventure with the kiddos of them learning how to at least not drown (I'm just kidding about our house, the lessons aren't THAT expensive :)...but trust me, this gal's a good deal and lessons with her and her girls are worth every.single.penny. You will get results!). At first, the kids didn't find it very adventurous at all....they found it to be more like torture, maybe something along the lines of water boarding. But here we are a month later of nearly every single day lessons, and they are both swimming (yes, even Princess!). Young Man will be able to join the swim team next week he has progressed so much with learning not only survival, but his strokes as well.

Now the goal with Princess (for me anyway) was never really learning to actually swim, but to survive if she were to fall into a pool or a body of water unnoticed somewhere. It happens you know, and even to responsible, vigilante parents. And those little toddlers tend to sink like stones cause they don't even know to not breathe when they are underwater and they panic and suck in tons of water. Princess learned to flip to her back and float from any underwater position. She was made to dive and jump off the side and taught to hold her breath, allow her body to float to the surface, and flip on her back to rest and breathe. Then she was taught to kick to the side of the pool, flip over, and grab the side to be pulled out or crawl out on her own. She has mastered these skills. Lately she's started to learn to swim by "pancaking" or rolling to her back to rest and breathe and then back to her front to swim a couple of feet, before rolling back to her back to rest and breathe...and rinse and repeat and eventually she will make it to the stairs or the side of the pool. It's such a neat thing to watch your child learn life skills such as surviving in the water. And while she's not ready for water skiing, I feel confident that should I ever turn my back for a second and she slips or falls into water, she will be able to keep herself from drowning long enough to be noticed and saved (and I sincerely hope that we never get to find out just how great her newly learned survival skills are). Heck, by next summer, I think she'll be swimming just like any older kid.

Young Man is of course a pro already :)

I know Princess looks unhappy in this last picture, but these were taken nearly 2 weeks ago, when "swimming" was known only as "torture" to her. She has since come to love her swimming lessons and her instructor. In fact, just today while being buckled into her seat to leave for swimming lessons, she said: "I be brave, put my face in the water and reach the wall"....and so she did.

September 18, 2009

What the hayfever?!

It just so happens that it's getting to be my most favorite time of year again. I can smell the change all around me, feel it in the crisp night air, and I swear I can almost taste it. The changing of the seasons is absolutely palpable to me and I always find it very exciting. I'm a four season kind of gal and I think that's because I get bored easily and don't like things to just stay the same. I find I am pretty fickle with my four seasonal friends and tend to get "sick" of them each after they've been visiting for awhile. In short, I'm always ready to move on and never willing to stay stuck in one season. However, the season I would tolerate sticking around longer than it's allotted 3 months, if I had to, is Fall.

Oh my gosh, I just can't even put into words how much I love the color changing leaves that eventually give up their tenuous hold on the tree and fall gracefully to the ground for pissed off parents to rake up and gleeful children to make messes of their piles. And seriously, the excitement of Fall is just the best thing ever to me. When I was a kid, I was always SO excited to start a new school year. I couldn't wait to get to Walmart or Target with my Mom and buy all kinds of new school supplies. I eagerly anticipated charming my new teachers and relished the thought of being on the honor roll every single quarter. Yeah, I was a dork. And no, that hasn't really changed at all. Adulthood seems only to have made me more awkward. But I digress, we're talking about Fall here and not awkward adults.

I still absolutely LOVE Halloween and Thanksgiving. I stopped dressing up a long time ago, but I love to live through my childrens' excitement on that most hallowed of evenings, the night of trick-or-treating. The boy is really getting to the age that he just appreciates Halloween so much, and last year was the first time he looked forward to it. Two months beforehand he had decided what he was going to be, much like this year. And two months beforehand, he began to get excited over the massive quantities of candy he knew would be dumped into his bag, much like this year as well. And I'm a traditionalist. I believe in the door to door panhandling for candy by children everywhere one night a year. None of that ridiculous"trunk-or-treat", hey let's make the fat kids fatter by not even requiring them to walk 0.04 miles for their bag full of candy, business. I worked for my Halloween loot as a kid. I'm pretty sure my group of friends and I canvassed 10 miles worth of neighborhoods before we called it quits as porch lights everywhere began to be dimmed and shut off for the night. Of course, in my day (like I'm so old) :), there weren't razor blades, poison, and condoms shoved into my bag and would be pedophiles were not nearly so brave as they are now about snatching up potential victims. I'm sure that has detracted from the trick-or-treating experience quite a bit. But that's another post as well.

I could also go on and on about Thanksgiving, but I'll keep it short and just say that I love the food and the family togetherness. I'm pretty sure we've discussed before that I'm a food-driven person. It's pretty much a miracle that I don't weigh 500 pounds. And I really just picked that number out of the air because I'm pretty sure I don't have any readers that might just happen to weigh that much. I think it's still pretty rare to weigh 500 pounds despite the obesity epidemic that has overtaken our nation. BUT again, I digress, that's another post.

And finally, about that title. Because I'm sure by now you are thinking, "why the heck is the title about hayfever?". Well, I'll tell ya. I have the absolute worst allergies in the late summer to early fall time period. I mean for real. I overnight become this throat scratching (which makes a horrid noise by the way-husband loves it), ear wiggling (helps with the throat issue), snotty-nosed, stuffed up, miserable person. For the last 3 years in a row I have shown up on my doctor's doorstep with a sinus infection and double ear infections all at the same time. And each year he gives me a steroid shot and an admonishment to come to him "before it gets so bad" the next year. Well guess what? I haven't gone yet and I'm just about ready for that annual steroid shot and round of antibiotics. But I comfort myself by watching the leaves change, smelling the wonderful aromas of approaching fall (when my nose isn't too stuffed up), and knowing that nothing is ever in stasis. For all things, there is a time and a season. The allergies are not going to last forever :).

P.S. Can I just say, I find it hilarious that someone arrived on my blog by doing a google search for "what is dog spit used for". Ah, now that gave me a smile :)!
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