Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week of Ups and Downs

It has been a week full of life's ups and downs yet overall it was mostly good. Here is a quick recap of our adventures this week.

Monday: We got to spend a nice quiet evening at home. We really don't have too many of these so it is nice when they come along. I am having a lot of trouble keeping up at work right now so I was able to spend some time working at home while my kids watched TV and played quietly.

Tuesday: I went on a field trip with Matthew's kindergarten class. I always enjoy watching my kids play with other kids and listening to their conversations. Matthew's class amazed me with how well behaved they were. There was actually only one child in all 3 kindergarten classes that got in trouble during the field trip and even he didn't get in any major trouble. Pretty amazing for a public school in larger city. Matthew picked out a green pumpkin and we are trying to decide what to do with it.

Wednesday: Another busy day. Jacob had an early swim team practice and we got home shortly before Matthew's day care bus arrived. We then went to dinner with a good friend who is expecting her first child in December. I always enjoy spending time with her and just wish we were able to spend more time together.

Thursday: What a day! Matthew was really excited about a family party at day care and really wanted me to attend. I was really looking forward to it until nothing would go my way at work. I was sure I was going to be lucky to be home by bedtime much less in time for a party. I called my mom and was very glad when she said she would take Jacob to practice and go to the party with Matthew. Things finally started to go my way at the end of the day and I made it to Matthew's party about half an hour before it ended. I was just in time to enjoy a taco and watch the kids break a pinata. I was then able to greet Jacob after practice and watch Matthew in his karate class before we went home for a quick dinner and bedtime.

Friday: I was very glad to see the week come to an end. I was still feeling a lot of stress about issues a work but knew that it was time to relax and leave it behind. We went to a Halloween party at the Y where the kids dressed as firefighters and played games. They had a great time until about half an hour before the party ended. Matthew was just a little too tired after a full week of school, day care and activities. We ended up leaving a little early but overall it was a great night.

Saturday: Saturday was just crazy but also a lot of fun. We started the day by running out of cinnamon rolls before the last child ate. I had to quickly throw another batch in the oven but it made us a couple minutes late to football. I then found out pictures were rescheduled for that morning. Of course, the kids still had face paint that wouldn't wash off completely from the night before so they weren't really looking their best. The pictures turned out alright but I decided I didn't need to order any since we just ordered school pictures and the kids don't change that much in 2 weeks.

We left football and decided to buy Matthew some ice skates for hockey lessons. Lessons start next week but the kids both had ice skating lessons yesterday. Of course, my bad luck was continuing and the store was busy making us late for ice skating. We would have been about 5 minutes late until we hit a train that stopped on the tracks for about 15 minutes. Ugh! The kids only made it to about 15 minutes of their lessons. Oh, well. They still have one more lesson and then will start hockey lessons on Sundays.

After hockey the day went much better. We went to Schuster's Playtime Farm where the kids got to pet some farm animals, feed the goats and play on a giant inflatable pillow. Aidan was with us and really enjoyed riding on the tracter train. All of the kids picked out pumpkins and this time Matthew chose a white pumpkin. Jacob and Aidan both chose orange pumpkins. I bought everyone a carmel apple and we left the farm and corn maze tired but happy. We got home last night and just collapsed.

Today starts another week and I am hoping it goes well. We only have 3 days of work and school this week then we get a long weekend. I am taking Jacob and Matthew to a water park and hotel for 2 days and Aidan is spending the night next weekend while his mom works. We don't have a lot of big plans for the weekend and I am hoping we will have some extra time to just relax and have fun. And maybe mulch and rake some leaves...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

We appear to be a swimming family

We appear to be a swimming family now. Jacob has competed in 2 meets and he loves it. He swam 25 yd backstroke and 25 freestyle the past 2 weeks. This week he seemed to have really taken off. He cut almost 6 seconds off of his backstroke time from last week and 3 seconds off of his freestyle time. More importantly, he really loves swimming and is very motivated to continue to do well.

Jacob has had to miss 3 practices in the past 6 weeks because I couldn't get off work in time to get him there. I would think that with 3 practices a week he wouldn't mind taking a break once in awhile. I am very wrong. He cried the last 2 times telling me he isn't getting any stronger and that it is my fault. Talk about a guilt trip. He was also upset that I only signed him up to swim on Saturday this weekend and not Sunday's meet too. I really think one weekend day at the pool is enough.

Matthew is really surprising me. He has always enjoyed swimming but never really put a lot of effort into swimming lessons. He usually plays around on the side of the pool and doesn't always follow the instructor's directions. Matthew asked to join swim team and I told him he needs to learn to swim better and show me that he can listen to the teacher so I know he will listen to the coach. All of a sudden he is motivated and surprising everyone. He went from refusing to swim more than a few feet to swimming half way across the pool. He also went from refusing to float on his back to swimming backstroke in 1 week. He now wants to practice his strokes during open swim times and asks every weekend if I will take him swimming. He was really excited when Jacob's coach told him he can join mid-season or as soon as he can swim well enough. I told him I probably won't sign him up this winter because I want him to be a little older but I would sign him up for summer swim next summer if he keeps trying hard in lessons and can swim the length of the pool.

Jacob will probably swim in 14 more swim meets before the season ends in March. He will have short breaks over the holidays and in January but otherwise can swim almost every weekend. There are a couple of weeks that we are busy and he will miss the meets but that will probably just give him some nice breaks. My goal is to let him swim in 2 to 3 meets a month and see how he does.

I am really enjoying watching Jacob swim and hope he continues to love the sport. I also hope Matthew enjoys it next summer. I think it would be great to be able to watch both boys compete and improve their skills. Swimming is a lifelong skill and something they can enjoy for years to come.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Am I Becoming One Of Those Moms?

Jacob had his frist swim meet yesterday. I tried really hard to share some of my advice (I swam in high school) with him but not be too pushy. I'm not sure I was very successful but I tried. Mostly I am trying to let him take the lead in how often we swim outside of practice and then just encouraging him. Yesterday Jacob swam 25 yard freestyle, 25 yard backstroke and 2 relays. He had a lot of fun and enjoyed keeping track of his times. I have a lot to learn about how to be a swim team parent. I need to figure out what kind of snacks are the best to bring, how soon to make sure he is at clerk of course to get ready for his meets and when to have him put on sweats and when to encourage him to just wait with a suit and towel on. I knew I would have trouble with those areas and am slowly starting to figure it out. The place I surprised myself was when I was at the wall where the results were being posted anxiously waiting for Jacob's time. I listened to parents talking about cutoff times and complaining that state time qualifiers haven't been posted yet. I'm not concerned at all about Jacob qualifying for state. Probably because he has almost no chance of qualifying but I also hope I don't ever get as anxious as those parents about having a child qualify. I just want him to have fun and do his best. I need to make sure that is where my focus stays and not watching every time to see if he "qualifies" for anything. That is the coaches job to worry about.