Saturday, July 30, 2022

All! City! Swim!

 Background: Read THIS ARTICLE to get a sense for how crazy awesome the All-City swim meet is-- what a fascinating little pool subculture our town has!

Before I spend the rest of this post raving about Little Leader (Did I ever tell you the Little Leader story? One year, I took Jack to the Little League fields to meet his coach and get his jersey before the season started. The coach was a big, gruff guy who was smoking a cigarette in my memory, but that can't be right, so probably he just talked like he was smoking. He had his own player with him, a handsome colt of a kid, and the coach was so proud of his son. He spent a second with each family talking about what a good ball player the kid was, clapped him on the shoulder, and said by way of introduction, "This here is our little leader." Ben and I were amused and delighted, and we decided if we ever had an extremely sporty kid or a racing dog, that's exactly what we'd name them, so clearly that's what we call Coop in athletic contexts), I need to tell you how awesome Dorothy is!

She has not had a great swim season. Before this meet, her only ribbons has come in a relay-- a third place finish at a dual meet. That's it-- ALL YEAR. 8U swimmers swim 25 yards, and 9-10 is the first year that swimmers learn flip turns and swim 50s. It's a huge change, and Dorothy is a pretty young 9. In retrospect, I wish we would have joined swim a couple years earlier, so she would have had more 8U practice and success before swimming up. She was not feeling pumped about the huge All-City meet because she was pretty sure she wasn't headed for top-18 finals in her events, and she thought even a heat winner was a lofty goal. When she found out she didn't make a relay team, he was even more let down.

Then! Yesterday! She cut a second off her free time and finished respectably in the upper bottom of 200 girls, alongside 2 teammates who've been besting her all year.

In backstroke, she cut 11 seconds (ELEVEN) off her time and WON HER HEAT!!

Then, out of the blue, a relay spot opened for her-- basically, it was the meet of her dreams. She swam SO HARD in her relay. She made up time and built a small lead for her team. I had the best time watching her on TV (I airplayed the livestream aaaaaalll day long).

It has got to be hard to be the sibling of someone who has an above average amount of success—IN YOUR SAME AGE GROUP.

Not only did Cooper get a spot on both “A” relays, he also finaled both of his individual events (back and breast). He walked out of the meet with 3rd place in the medley relay, 7th place in the free relay, 8th place in backstroke, and 17th place in breaststroke. So awesome!

Ben brought the spirit, for sure:

And so did they

This is my favorite:
He had so much fun!

So did she

Go Dorothy!

What a great All City Week— can’t wait until next year!

Friday, July 29, 2022

Purse, again.

 Ok. So. My Lulu belt bag came yesterday, and the color is really not great. 

But! I am keeping it and poppingoin to the website regularly to get another one. (Right now they have red and blue, but meh. I want either black or pink).

 Also! It is the perfect size for a phone, lipstick, hand sanitizer, travel pack of baby wipes, an extra diaper. But! I also need a wallet and keys. So, I ordered a cute little card holder wallet and key chain as well. And I exchanged my other bag for shorts. Meaning! This cheap little fanny pack has cost over $200 **eye roll** I should have just bought this one on day one.

But! I am committed and am going to try so hard NOT to bring my giant diaper bag places.

In other life changing purse news, did you know a company on Amazon makes organizers to go inside LV Neverfull bags?? Saw it on Instagram and immediately ordered one for my work tote (my Neverfull diaper bag is beyond help).

Apparently it also fits a Speedy 40 (my fave non diaper bag large purse)?!? Will report back, but that seems unlikely because of the shape?

Just like I am committed to making my purse life simpler before vacation, Minnie is committed to wearing goggles all of the days. Or at least all day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

All! City! Dive!

 Madison is such a wonderful little place in the summer. This town has a strong pool culture (which is probably a sign of its not-so-hidden foundational racism), and summers are a dream. We have the All City Swim and Dive League that puts on the country’s largest amateur swim meet (happening THIS WEEK! But Ben is the designated swim parent, because meets are really people-y, and I am always sure I am going to lose my kids) and also hosts a huge dive competition. All summer, the kids compete against one pool at a time at a series of dual meets, and then all the kids from all the pools compete head-to-head during All City week (this is the same for swim teams). The dive meet is spread out over 2 days, and the kids compete by sex and age group (under 10 boys/10 U girls, 11-12 boys/ 11-12 girls, 13-14 boy/13-14 girls, 15-18 boys/15-18 girls.

13-14 boys competed Monday morning this week, and 10U boys dove yesterday morning. Both boys had their best finishes yet, and our whole family had a great time watching and cheering.

Jack took 6th in a crowded field of really talented boys. Ben and I were biting our nails during prelims because the top 3 boys were clear, and the bottom 10 or so kids were clear, but there was a really tight middle with lots of kids throwing basically the same dives and doing a great job. Jack did an excellent job in prelims, and he KILLED IT in finals. His back dive was gorgeous, as was his 1.5 somersault pike, and he easily made the podium, topping last year’s 7th place finish and delighting himself.

Coop’s age group was HUGE, and like Jack’s the top 3 boys were clear. AND COOPER WAS ONE OF THEM. It was so fun to watch him nail his dives with mostly 6’s (a couple 5.5s and a few 7s thrown in). Even though he warmed up a FLAWLESS inward 1.5, the one he threw in finals was pretty good (4’s and 5’s), but his double scored mostly 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. Coop ended up a strong 3rd which was AWESOME and meant he got a MEDAL, which he has been wearing nonstop since yesterday afternoon. He separated himself from the rest of the field by having really high DD dives, and we cannot even wait to see what he throws next year.


Jack’s cheering section

Coop still wearing his medal after he took a shower last night:
Coop wearing his medal on the way into dinner:
Coop GETTING his medal
Jack playing with Minnie on a very well-placed diving well adjacent park
Cheering for Jack:
Coop wearing his medal at dinner
Jack and his 13/14 teammate who took 3rd posing with their coaches
Coop’s podium crew
There was an ice cream truck AND a coffee truck— very good spectating
Coop wearing his medal before bed
Day 2, cheering for Coop and watching the 9/10 girls’ final that had 3 of our pool’s divers in it
Another shot of 3rd place!!
Best finish yet! 6th place!!
Here’s a trip down All-City Dive memory lane:



2020 : Not really All-City, but a meet in covid times anyway.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Purses and a Belly Flop

Lime cucumber?! Who even made this flavor? Someone who hates hydration?

(Those Gatorades were a grocery store sub. I ordered the perfectly normal antifreeze-colored ones the kids really liked, but they were out of those ad had plenty of the most terrible flavor in the world, for obvious reasons).

I have a dream that I will be able to leave my giant diaper bag and even my pretty large saddle bag purse at home when we go to the beach (and later this year to Disney World) and just take a teeny purse like every other mom I see.

This one is not big small enough. Also it is a crossbody, not a front purse, but it hangs poorly. Probably taking it back, which is fine because I need to buy shorts anyway so it’s not, like, an extra trip.

This one is on the way (yes, that is the best color in stock right now— or at least when I ordered it).
Whichever one is less bad is the one I will keep. Unless I just keep them both because they’re both bad and also ennui, which is a huge possibility.

To close, since all you really need to know about me you can get from IG, I give you THE SWAN DIVE:


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Soooooooo hot

 It’s, like, too hot to sit by the pool even today. We are supposed to have a perfect week of 79-degree days, but the price we pay is a disgusting almost-100-degree day sand terrible storms. Boo.

In grocery news (LOL), I tried a new combo of Costco delivery, Kroger pickup, and a (masked) trip INSIDE Target. Kind of fun! Kind of pricey.

Oh, yes. Masks. Our county is back up in the red, so we have shuffled some things around (a couple virtual days for my in-person class, a couple weeks off of The Little Gym, masks at dance and Target, etc). I am still not wearing one if I run in somewhere, and I haven’t actually worn one to teach all term. But slowly, hospitalizations have crept back up, and the in-person cohort in the dorms has started to get sick and be exposed. We had an excellent run, though, and it’s not hard to pull out the old KN-95s and curtail our indoor activities. We are all, sadly, very good at pivoting these days.

Ben and I are committed to the sneaky last-minute date night, and luckily my favorite vodka lemonade is only 2 minutes away.

Last dive meet of the season last night— they only have the All City competition to go!! Cooper and Dorothy had their last swim meet of the season, too, this morning. Again, just the All-City meet left on the books. (We are going to have a busy busy busy week).
We watched our divers from the grass and tried to stay in the shade because we spent an afternoon at the pool, and I got TAN THROUGH MY RASH GUARD. What.

She picked this outfit out and I love it. Also, I know everyone says she looks like Ben, but all I see is my Grandpa Dick in pigtails.

Beatrix posed for me so patiently

After I cam upon her like this and thought she was dead
She adores the water
How do you think it feels to have completely flat feet? I think about Minnie all the time when the yoga video tells me to press into the mat with all 4 corners of my feet.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Summer: Short , Hot, and Crabby

 I know I mentioned this yesterday, but summer is so short! I need to remember that next year when I am complaining about all of the things: by July 22 we  will have had our last "normal" summer week. The baseball/softball season finishes mid-July, and the swim and dive season is over by the very last week. No more swim and dive team practice! No more tennis lessons! Before the calendar officially rolls over to August, we have a blank swath of days. (Except summer dance which lasts all month). You heard it here first.

I am strongly considering a social media hiatus August 11-22 while we are on our trip. Like, delete it from my phone, even. I will have to bring other screens (work computer, actual computer, maybe even my iPad), but I don't usually use social media on those. Well, that's not true. I do on my work laptop sometimes, but maybe I can get by with my chromebook that I use for my adjunct career college course and my iPad? I'll keep you posted-- I have definitely been sucked into the scroll lately, and I hate how distracted it makes me feel. Hey, way to go, May Sarah, who made all of the work in my online class due the day we get to the beach. GOOD THINKING.

Also making me stabby? THE HEAT WAVE we're having (which is still much cooler than just about everywhere else) because it's hard for my air conditioner to keep my house at my preferred temp (which I am not even going to tell you because your eyes will never stop rolling-- trust me on this one). Hot makes me mad.

Cool girls staying cool:

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Just when we like our routine, it's time to change! Again!

I was trying to capture my inexplicable braids and denim jumper look from yesterday, but I didn’t, quite. I am really scraping the bottom of the clothes barrel to find 12 separate summer semi-pro looks for my in-person class. Well, 11 because we didn’t have class on July 4th. Only 2 more classes to go, but they are a sartorial conundrum if ever there was one because I have to leave class and go immediately to All City Dive BOTH days next week. I have one maxi dress that’s casual but so comfy and one linen polka dot J Crew skirt that is older than 3 of the kids but might look fine with a white t-shirt on the last day and still be casual enough to not look weird on a pool deck. This reminds me of when the kids were little and I would take them to Little Gym in the morning and be in the classroom by afternoon. Multitasking mom clothes are hard.

Also hard? GETTING TO THE POOL RIGHT AS THE ADULT SWIM WHISTLE BLOWS. I have got to get it together timing-wise.

Luckily, there is “i-mean”

I have been trying to stick to late afternoon or just-after-dinner pool time because I am trying not to get so tan, but still! The tan is creeping in anyway.

Golden hour Minnie:

Dive and swim season is over after next week, and then our days have no pattern. But! Only for a week or so before we leave for vacation, and when we get back it will be time to frantically scramble for back-to-school supplies, my favorite. Also no one has clothes suitable to be worn outside the house and everyone has outgrown all their actual shoes (as opposed to Birks).

Monday, July 18, 2022

A Dorothy-Centric Weekend with Plenty of Other Sports Because OF COURSE.

REven by our busy standards, this weekend was … a lot. And! The funniest part was that because Ben wasn’t coaching and we could parent the whole thing together, I considered it a pretty light weekend (laughing and crying emojis here). 

We started or extremely sporty weekend on Friday with a dive meet for Cooper and Jack. We woke up early Saturday for a swim meet for Dorothy and Cooper and followed that with a softball playoff game for Dorothy and the first meeting of Dorothy and Cooper’s banned book club. Sunday, we kicked things off bright and early with a dive clinic for Cooper and Jack, dealt with groceries (a delivery and a pick up), took Dorothy to water ballet dress rehearsal, and picked her up early so she could play in her softball league championship game. We ended the night with the pool’s water ballet performance. Phew!!

Coop set another pool record and got many 7’s on his dives— a red letter meet for sure.

Jack also dove well, OF COURSE. It is so fun to watch him do the sport he loves, and he gets major credit for making our whole family dive fans.

Swim meet Saturday! Coop has been raking in the blue ribbons with both hands all season, but this is Dorothy’s first year swimming 50 yards (2 pool lengths) as opposed to 25, and she finally got ribbons! Her medley relay took 3rd, and her freestyle relay took 5th. Yay Dorothy!!

Look at him go!!

Dorothy told me at her game that she got a trophy either way because her team won the regular season, and she was right!

But they also advanced to the championship game, meaning MOAR SOFTBALL on Sunday.

Before the game, Dorothy hit the pool for water ballet dress rehearsal (and then she played softball in a full face of makeup)
Dorothy scored 2 runs and batted in 3, and her team won the title 20-17. So fun to watch! Jack umped. Minnie enjoyed a picnic and the playground, and Coop hung with all the other baseball bros there to watch their softball sisters.

We capped the weekend off with WATER BALLET. Dorothy had an absolutely blast and enjoyed a little solo in her group dance. It was truly adorable- if your pool has water ballet, have your kids do it. Too cute.