Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not My Proudest Moment

Colin is growing really fast.  I can no longer rest my chin on his head and I could do that just a few weeks ago.  He is in one of those phases where the location of the end of his feet are a mystery.  At the swim meet the other night he came over to me and told me that he fell into the baby pool and hurt himself.  I was sitting by a woman who was rude and said that the only way you could do that was if you tried.  She is one of those parents that thinks her child is perfect and she is the best mother ever. 

I looked at Colin's elbow and got him a band-aid and sent him on his way.  He came back about 4 times to tell me that he was really hurt and I poo-pooed him each time.  In my mind, the baby pool is only one foot deep, how bad could he really be hurt?  I didn't see any marks and had attended to his elbow.  I didn't want to be seen as the indulgent mom in front of the other parents.   In my gut I was wondering if he really did get hurt, but he has been known to make a mountain out of a molehill before so I just kept brushing him off.   

The next morning when he got up he was really in pain.  His neck was stiff from sleeping funny to protect his elbow and ribs, and it hurt his ribs to move his arm above his head. 

I feel like I failed as a mother.  I am supposed to be his advocate and his soft place to land (no pun intended).  I should have listened.  I should have asked more questions.  I should not really care about what other parents think of my parenting skills.  My responsibility was to Colin and his needs.  He is a sensitive child and I should have taken that into consideration.

Why am I now 40 years old and still concerned about fitting in with the "cool" moms on swim team.  When am I going to get over these feelings of being the annoying little sister trying to fit in with the big kids?  When am I going to actually feel like a grown-up? 

I will do better next time.  I hope.

Swimming through summer

Summer vacation is in full swing for the boys.  We are in week 3 or maybe 4 of Colin being out of school and we are all doing fine.  This week Ryan is also out of school but taking safety town. 

We are 5 swim meets into the season and are still undefeated.  Colin has seen some improvement and I am very proud.  I think swim meats are payback for all the times I made my dad come to track meets and hold my sleeping bag while it was freezing cold or raining.  It was raining for 4 out of 5 of them and they do not call it off unless there is lightning.  I was trying to figure out how to get the overhead lights to flicker in the hope they would think it was a storm.  No such luck. 

In case you are new to being a swim parent, let me give you some pointers. 
1.  Do not volunteer to be a runner.  Or a timer.  Or the volunteer coordinator.  Or a child wrangler.  All other positions are fine.  The catch is that it seems to go faster if you are doing something, but these positions require you to be there for the entire meet,  even if your child is done half way through. 

2.  Prepare to be bored, hot, tired, and damp.   Take a chair and a good book. 

3.  Pay attention to the current event.  It would be horrible if you sat there for 3 hours and missed the 60 seconds your kid is actually doing something. 

4.  Bring snacks.  For your swimmer and for you. 

5.  Enjoy it.  They can be fun.

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Open Letter to LeBron James

Please stop talking.  You are only making a bad situation worse.  You can not expect people in Cleveland to forgive and forget in just one season.  What you did to our city is really unforgivable.  We supported you from the time you started in high school.  We bragged to people that not only were you a good basketball player, but you were a really good person as well.  You strung us along for months while you were deciding where you wanted to take your talents and then you blindsided us by such a horrible spectacle of selfishness and inflated ego by announcing your decision on ESPN. You did not even have the decency to tell Dan Gilbert your decision before the announcement on live television.  How did you expect that we would take this?  Did you even think about the people that had supported you and helped you get to the status you have enjoyed?  How do you feel when you watch that back and realize that is the exact moment you lost all respect from so many people?

Other beloved sports stars have left the area and  are still admired for their talents.  Jim Thome would be a good example for you to follow.  He admitted he was leaving for more money and a better chance to win a world series, and nobody got upset or blamed him for his decision.  He did it with respect for the area and all the support we had given him while he was here.  Instead, you follow in the footsteps of Carlos Boozer who was the most criticized athlete of all times.  What you did was worse.  Instead of lying to an owner that was nothing but kind and generous, you went out and pooped on all of the people that spent money on games and apparel, and time and energy cheering you on.

You ruined years of good will.  Your family still lives here.  I think it is you that needs to get on with your life.  The people of Cleveland have already done so.  You can't blame us for getting some enjoyment out of your loss.  You brought it on yourself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

40 and Fabulous Part IV

So I lived to tell about the massage.  I know that most people enjoy this experience, but is it really not my thing.  As a general rule I do not like people I do not know to touch me, especially not that much of me.  In the interest of opening my mind and trying new things I decided to give this another shot.  I have to tell you I am still not a big fan.  I was able to relax a little bit, and I would not say it was torture or anything, but I am not in a rush to do it again anytime soon.    I do think that it helped to do damage control after the horseback riding.  Did I mention just how big my horse was?  Here is a picture of me and my friend Lynn on our respective horses.  Trust me when I say that this picture does not do him justice.  I am 5'8" tall and I could not see over him when they brought him out to me. 

This morning my adrenaline junkie friends went zip lining and took an off road driving course.  I have come to the conclusion that acting like I am 18 while I am 40 makes me feel like I am 80, so  I decided to get a pedicure.  I think I have lovely summer feet now.  Bring on the sandals!

After checking out from the resort we headed to Falling Waters.  I am feeling kind of uncultured since I did not know what that was. In case you are in my shoes, it was the house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the Kaufmann family of the department store fame.  They had commissioned him to design their weekend home and wanted it next to a beautiful waterfall.  Instead,  Frank designed it over the waterfall.  It was stunning!  The location was breathtaking and the design was architectural genius, as they pointed out to us again and again on the tour.   I am so glad that Kellie suggested we stop there on our way home.  Here is the view that they were trying to preserve, and that you can see from almost anywhere in the house.

I really wish my phone took better pictures, but if you wait for me to get the photos off my actual camera it will never happen.  If Kellie downloads hers I will upload them here.   It was an amazing weekend with amazing friends. I have not laughed so hard, often or long in a really long time.  When I fully recover I will tell you about our drive home that took twice as long as our trip out.  There were times like when we almost crossed the West Virginia border and I was not sure we were ever getting back.  I have not been so excited to see our house since last weekend when I got home from Relay For Life, and that is saying a lot!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

40 and Fabulous - The Horseback Ride

In our quest to try new things, Lynn and I went horseback riding.  Holy canoli my horse was big.  His name was Haze and I am happy to say he was in a mood to amble.  It was beautiful and relaxing but my behind was getting mighty sore and I was ready to get off when it was done.  Lynn rode Cutter who was about two feet shorter, and our guide rode King who liked to stop to eat grass.  Kellie opted out and went to do skeet shooting instead.We are having the best time!  

Now we are off for a much needed massage.  Did I mention that I don't like people to touch me?  Should prove to be interesting. 

Paint Ball

For our first activity today we did Paint Ball Combat.  I have decided that I am woefully out of shape.  I don't know why I would think that I am in shape since the whole of my exercise is walking Max a few times a day, and not very far at that.  We met up with the other group that had signed up and divided up the teams.  They were not out of shape.  In fact, I believe they would be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound because they were able to leap over the logs and barriers with no issue while I literally fell on my butt. 

My assessment of paint ball is that it was hot, sweaty, and a whole lot of fun.  It is imperative that you wear the face mask even though I kept wanting to say "Luke, I am not your faather."  It protected me from a sure trip to the emergency room when I was hit square between the eyes.  I am so glad that Lynn suggested that we do it.  It is not something that I would have done on my own, but that is kind of the point  behind this trip. 

More to follow...

Girls Weekend Part I

Our girls weekend is underway.  We have made it to our destination through torrential downpours.  We stopped at the Andy Warhol museum and I have decided that he was a strange man.  I was able to appreciate his work and I can respect his desire to have the life he had, but he was a strange man. 

We are in a hoity toity resort in the mountains of Pennsylvania and we are getting ready to go to a paint ball war.  They suggested that you wear old clothes as not to ruin any good ones and as I was walking down to get something out of the car I could tell people were thinking that I did not belong.  How is it that at 40 years old I still feel like I am the little kid trying to play with the big girls? 

I will report back after the battle. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meredith Vieira Has Left the Building

Another one of my favorite television personalities has left her show.  First it was Oprah, and now it is Meredith Vieira.  I have enjoyed watching her in the morning for the last five years.  She has a great sense of humor and great chemistry with Matt.  I love that she is relatable and someone I would like to hang out with.  She does not take herself too seriously which is a quality I find refreshing in this age of inflated egos. 

She left to spend more time with her family, and this is something with which I can relate.  I have done a ton of cool things in my other life as a saleswoman.  I have gone to Cancun with Dave, cruised through the BMW driving school, and gone to Vegas and seen Sigfried and Roy and Cirque du Soleil. I have actually gone to the desert on a horse with no name. (Does that really count if it was in a convertible Mustang GT)  We have had private parties at famous restaurants all over the country.  I saw New Orleans before the hurricane and have the beads to prove it.  I have happily traded it all in to work from home to be with my boys.  I now get to be the one to get them off to school, meet them when they get home, attempt to cook dinner and talk Dave into helping with Colin's homework.  I am here to snuggle with Ryan and put him to bed.  I have to confess that this is not always my favorite time of the day, but I hope this will be the kind of thing that he will look back on and have fond memories.

I wish Meredith all the happiness in the world.  I am guessing she won't be hanging out of the Statue of Liberty with the gang anytime soon, but she can now hang out at the pool with her kids.  To me there is really no contest.  I pick the kids every day of the week. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Relay For Life 2011

Relay For Life 2011 is officially behind me and I am happy.  It was a great event and I have made some really good friends through it.  Our little team was able to raise $2502 and I am thrilled. 

It is no secret that I do not like to be outside for any length of time, let alone for 27 straight hours.  I also like my sleep.  In fact, I just can't get enough.  I am not meant to be awake for 24 hours in a row.  I think it is fair to say that I don't want to hear the words "cancer", "disease" or "cure" one more time.  I have never enjoyed a shower as much as I did at 4:00 am when I came home to drop off a load of things we had taken down from our campsite.  I went from smelling and feeling like something out of a gym bag found at the end of the school year that had been lost around Christmas break, to feeling like a human being again. 

In spite of all these things, I do have to say that I am proud of our accomplishments.  With a lot of help from some good friends we managed to look like we knew what we were doing and have a cohesive look as opposed to last year where we were making signs at the event.  This year for our on-site fundraising we sold Coke and Pepsi products.  Last year we were going to have a poker tournament but came to find out that none of us knew how to play.  We have come a long way as a team. 

The event itself is not my favorite part of Relay.  It involves the previously mentioned camping and sleep deprivation, but we did have some fun.  I got to spend some quality time with people that I don't get to see very often.  Around the 13th hour things start to get entertaining.  People have typically been awake for about 18 to 20 hours and they get slap happy.  In our case it was a bunch of older people trying to dance to hip hop.  It was not pretty. 

That segued into a deep discussion about the capital of South Dakota.  After a quick google search we discovered it was Pierre.  In my sleep deprived state I was not able to name even one city in South Dakota.  I am still not sure I can.  It was also around this time that the people that had attended the Phish concert were returning to the hotels after living the Grateful Dead experience.  One stoned/drunk man paid us $20 for a can of Coke.

Around 7 in the morning I was helping to count the donations.  That pushed me to my mental capacity.  I asked Rachel how many nickles were in a dollar and she told me 100.  I almost believed her and had to work kind of hard to convince her otherwise. 

I had a wonderful experience and I urge you to find a cause you can believe in and get involved. I am really glad I did and now I am looking for a new one.  Any suggestions? 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Let the Relay Begin....

A whole year of work is coming to a close for me over the next 36 hours.  It all comes down to this.  Relay starts at 10:00 this morning and runs until tomorrow.  With this and Colin's last day of school yesterday, and a wicked case of heartburn, it has been a very busy week. 

My team has already raised over $1,750 which came from a ton of begging from area businesses.  It has once again made me realize just how lucky I am to live where I do.  Collectively our Relay has raised over $10,000 in corporate sponsorship. 

In just over 45 minutes I will be setting up our campsite.  Let me note that this is the ONLY day I "camp" and the only reason good enough for me to do it. 

Once I recover I will let you know how it went.  In the meantime, check and see when the Relay is in your area.  I promise you won't be disappointed.