Tuesday, May 31, 2011

He can swim, ya'll

Andy can swim. Seriously. It's totally awesome, too. Turns out eight months of weekly swim lessons can actually lead to something.

We had a hard time getting into swimming. Andy didn't want his head under water at all, even in the bath, so swimming lessons were stress inducing there at the beginning. But we worked through it and the folks at the swim school are pretty amazing. I signed him up for swim team this summer and I've been a little nervous about it because they said kids needed to be able to swim 25 feet and I knew that 15 feet which he can swim didn't exactly add up to 25.

But then this Saturday, my sister and her kids and another friend came over and he somehow put all the pieces together and started swimming. It was amazing. The conditions have to be right, of course, he needs his goggles and he can't really take a breath during his stroke or anything, but he can confidently go from one side of the pool to the other and he's loving it. I'll admit I was nervous about getting a pool, but considering how much we used it this weekend and how hot it is in Dallas already, I think it was a good call.

Meg, however, still not swimming, but she thinks she can. So I've been making her wear a swim vest type thing so she floats. She'll probably be swimming on her own by the end of the summer and another session of swim school, but for now I've got to make her keep her head above water.

Monday, May 23, 2011


We went to Houston this weekend to cheer on my sister Mary who was competing in a triathlon. I must say, wow, those folks were really damn hard. Houston was a terrible venue what with the 92 degree weather and 95 percent humidity. Apparently a lot of people had to drop out during the day due to dehydration. Mary was amazing. She got through the 2.6 mile swim in an hour and a half and the 112 mile bike ride in under eight hours. Then she started to run and she developed a foot injury that made it nearly impossible to keep moving on it. The diagnosis at the time was a stress fracture or a split tendon. She made it eight miles (!) on a broken foot before she finally stopped. WOW. That's some serious determination. I was so amazed and impressed with her and all the other athletes. They are amazing!

I must say, I was inspired. I would love to do a marathon, but I'm not sure that's in my cards. I may run a 5k or something soon though. That's about my speed.
The day before checking out the bike transition spot.
The night before dinner with Team Queso at Olive Garden. There were about 6 friends from Austin and then 6 family members that came to cheer her on. It was awesome.
Pre-race decorations on her door. We're very clever using post-it notes and Post-it flags.
We waited for Mary at the 90 mile marker on the bike route. It was long and sweaty waiting but amazing to watch everyone. We also got to talking to a lot of the other families and friends of participants. It was so neat seeing all the support, too.
Our spot on the turn before mile 90.
Mary at the bike-out transition spot.
Mary beginning the run.
This is at the end, a picture of her damaged feet. She'll find out this week what the damage is and whether she can train to compete in the Arizona Ironman this fall.

Friday, May 20, 2011


This weekend I am off to see my sister compete in an Ironman triathalon. I am most impressed by this level of dedication considering thought of watching her run/bike/swim for 17 hours makes me tired much less the thought of actually running/biking/swimming for all that time. I don't care if she finishes the darn thing, but the thought that she's set such an impressive goal for herself and she's been working so hard to get there has me filled with all sorts of awe and inspiration. Go Mary!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My new toy

For Mother's Day, Bjorn (upon my advice), bought me a composter. I had seen my friend's and thought it was pretty darn cool. It also, sadly, was pretty darn expensive so it's going to be a combination Mother's Day/birthday present. It arrived today and we set it up. It's already churning some banana peels, coffee grounds and some orange rinds. You are also required to put in baking soda and saw dust pellets, you know, to help avert the smell. It's pretty cool although I hope it's not overly complicated to use. I like that I can put it in the garage so I don't have to traipse to the back of the yard (and of course, that I have a garage!)

Things in Virginia have been dramatic with two surgeries in two weeks for two members of Bjorn's immediate family. I am thankful to report that both seem to be on the mend.

Things here, however, have been quiet. Work is quiet at the moment (for me, not everyone--they're all busy with a system implementation which is probably why my life is quiet) and so it's weird to be in the house all alone during the day sometimes. I'm only technically working 25 hours a week, but I've always gone well above that and with the new blur of the home/home office, it's even easier to just log in and doing another hour while the kids watch the Backyardigans before bed. 

Fortunately, it's giving me an opportunity to reach out to some neighbors and meet others who work from home just for companionship in between conference calls. I do love my new set up, but I really miss my water cooler talk. It's also hard sometimes to feel part of a team when I'm off by myself. Of course, all this is just talk because in a few months, I am taking on a new responsibility and I know I'm going to be really busy.

I do love the freedom my new work from home set up affords. Like today, I picked both kids up at three and we played on the playground for an hour. Then we went to the library, made a craft and were home in time for a playdate. I love that my kids can do that now and we're not just pulling into the driveway at 6 p.m. like we used to. I love that we live in the kind of neighborhood where the kids can run over for an impromptu playdate.

Bjorn says I'm not very good at patting myself on the back and it's true. Sure, in the past year we have moved cross country, traveled with two small children to Australia, lived apart for three months, sold a house, bought a house, lived with my parents briefly, moved to a new town, started a child in public school, quit our jobs and got new ones, had my first mammogram and made a bunch of new friends, some of whom are awesome. So after all that, when things are quiet, I just don't know what to do with myself sometimes!

Friday, May 06, 2011

This and that

When we were looking at houses, Bjorn really wanted a pool. My problem with the pool was I was nervous the kids would get into it when I wasn't around and that shit just scares me. So we started only looking for houses that had a separate pool fence so that it was separate from the rest of the yard. That meant the kids could have a yard and still have a separate pool. The first house we put an offer on did have that already. Then that fell through and we fell in love with our house. It didn't have a separate pool fence, but it looked it did at one time. So we made a deal with ourselves that we would add that fence.
So we did! And it looks great. Now I can open the door to the backyard and send the kids out to play without having to supervise the pool area. We were also able to padlock the pool with a combination lock. I feel better already. Now we need to find some toys to put in the new fenced area.
This picture is evidence I have the coolest mom ever. We had tickets to see the supremely hilarious David Sedaris at SMU a few weeks ago. I stopped to pick up mom and we prepared drinks to put in our purses to have at intermission. She's just awesome. And so was the show.
Also awesome? These guys. The other night, we had a terrible thunderstorm so they both converged in our bed. I snuck out to watch the news about Bid Laden and came back to this picture. I think I love them more than ever. Plus, sleeping children are sometimes superior to awake ones that stand over me in the bathroom stall asking if I'm done yet over and over and over and over again.
Said thunderstorms produced a ton of rain. Our creek is a major artery during times of storms so Meggie and I went down to check it out. Check out her little fashion statement, too. Who doesn't wear a striped dress with striped pants of a different vintage with a raincoat to match?

Sunday, May 01, 2011


Andy got his first pair of glasses yesterday. He looked really cute. I'm glad I took a picture at Wal-Mart when we picked them up as they are already lost. Seriously, Internets, how is that even possible?

We have been retracing our steps to the Subway where we ate lunch, the couch store where we stopped to realize we should hold off to afford the better leather couch that we really want to the outdoor play place where we looked in vain for just a little bitty wooden playhouse to go in the backyard instead of the massive play structures they seem to sell. Nothing.

I am hopeful the furniture place will eventually find it tucked under something or the unfriendly lady at the play place will find them on one of her play structures (no answer from her today either because its Sunday or pouring down rain).

He looked pretty darn cute in his glasses, too. He's got an astigmatism, which isn't that big a deal, except one eye is stronger than the other and you need to balance those out with classes or run the risk the weaker eye will stop developing normally (apparently bad). Fortunately, on the advice of the opthamologist, the glasses we just a little over $100 so we can afford to get another pair if we have to. I may wait a week though and hope the others show up. I'm glad I didn't invite in the special lenses. I figured he wouldn't hold on to this first pair long. I had no idea it would be THIS short.