Thursday, February 25, 2010


Yeah, the picture is surprisingly similar to this one that I posted in October.  Same arm, different bone.

Dang, dang, dang.

He did it the night before regional swim champs.  Where he had the opportunity to make qualifying times in as many as four more events for state champs.

Which starts 3/11.  A mere 21 days after he broke it.  Doc says that's not enough time to heal.  We're still in denial.  Aidan says he's swimming cast or no cast, and I'm fine with that but I'm reasonably certain he'll lose his spot on all four relays.  And sadly, the relays will likely lose any chance of finishing in the top 8.

However.  The doctor "gets it" and is going to regularly x-ray to monitor the healing and see if the cast can come off a bit early.  And the cast isn't much of a cast - built thin and light, hopefully to minimize how much it screws up his training like the last cast.

Like the last cast.  We're "regulars" now at the orthopedic office.



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day!

Global warming my ass foot!  This snow stuff is gettin' to be a regular thing around here!

I just heard a big "thump" from out back.  It was our awning (which was on it's last legs) collapsing into a big mangled heap.  Well, at least I know that the corner pieces make excellent trelleses for the beans and tomatoes in the garden.  Maybe I'll have to build a few more beds.

Aidan left for a nearby friend's house and Missy B was feeling lonesome, so she and I walked the mile down to her friend's house and I pawned her off on them for the day.  Thanks Paula!  'Cept I'm going to have to walk that mile again (and it's uphill, both ways) to get her back.

We saw these horses on the way.  Don't they look cosy?

Scamp really enjoys the snow.

Aidan and friends are building an igloo.  Pretty creative, eh?

Fortunately, Ray's flight home wasn't cancelled and he made it from the airport to home without incident.  It will probably freeze solid later tonite, so the streets around here will be like ice-skating rinks.  Luckily, we've got plenty of liquor food and don't need to venture out.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Swimming Recap. Or, HE did all the swimming - why am *I* so exhausted?

What a weekend!

The Boy was amazing.  And he had so much fun!  He told me, "swim meets are like a big party!"  Glad you think so, sport - that makes me so happy.  He puts his heart and guts into each and every race, he deserves for it to be fun, too.

This was a pretty high-level meet for a 12-yr old kid.  Only the very fastest qualify, and swimmers come from several surrounding states to swim with the best.  He qualified to swim in 7 individual events and two relays.

To recap in painful detail, here is how he did:

  • 50 Free - while he swam amazingly and dropped time, it probably his biggest disappointment of the whole meet.  It was the final event for him Sunday afternoon, and he'd already raced in 12 races over the 3 days and 2 nights by then.  He dropped about 3/10ths of a second, but it was still 3/100ths from a qualifying time for the state championship meet ("TAGS" - in March).  We've got one more meet to go to shave off those few hundredths.  "We," like that?  Ha!
  • 200 Free - he hates this event.  Hasn't yet quite got the knack of pacing a 200.  His goal was to just swim it the same as usual, but he wound up taking off over four seconds, getting a "AA" time and being dangerously close to not only qualifying for the state championship meet (TAGS), but is also just a hair over a second away from a 13-yr old A time.  Guess he's gonna have to add this to his arsenal!
  • 100 Individual Medley - this is kind of a new event for him.  His fly and breaststroke have always been kind of sucky, but "we've" been working on it (my participation is simply arranging for and driving him to private coaching sessions - Hi Taylor!  You are an AWESOME technique coach!!!").  So, it wasn't so comical to watch as usual.  The order the strokes go is butterfly, back, breast, free.  It used to be "He's losing!  Oh, wait, now he's winning!  Uh-oh, he's losing again!  Ohmygoodness, he's fighting his way back!"  Now, he was steady-eddie through the whole race and not only did he qualify for TAGS, but he also swam well enough to make the finals, so he got to come back and swim it at evening finals which are a whole 'nother cup of tea.  Fancy, even.  They introduce all the kids before the event, the judges dress nicer, etc.  It's not the usual chaos of a regular meet.
  • 50 Back - this one was sort of a "gimme" for him.  He already had his TAGS time and there is no 13yr A time.  He dropped enough time to move into the "AAA" status and took 13th in the meet overall.
  • 50 Fly - Again, sort of "new" as he usually hasn't swum this one well enough to qualify at the "A" level.  Well, I'm here to tell ya, there is a new butterfly-er in town, and his name is Aidan!  He actually qualified for evening finals in this one, surprise surprise!  He's still 1/2 second away from qualifying for TAGS, but that'll happen at the next meet (she says hopefully).
  • 100 Free - He was amazing.  Amazing enough to swim it twice as he qualified for finals.  So amazing, in fact, that over the 2 races, he took off almost two whole seconds.  That is a LOT in 100 yards.  He got both the TAGS time AND the 13-yr "A" time.
  • 100 Back - Yet another amazing race, but with a slight bitter-sweet outcome.  Swam very well, qualified for evening finals, placed 7th overall (HUGE!), achieved "AAA" status, yet he missed the 13yr "A" time by one one-hundredth of a second.  Well, he's got regional champsionships and TAGS to get that one, so it'll happen.
So, it total, here's where he's at as far as his goals.
  • State qualifying times:  4 so far, would like at least 2 more
  • 13yr "A" times:  1 so far, less than a second from 3 more.  Needs 3 total by his birthday.
  • Time standards:  "AAA" in 3 events, "AA" in 6 more.  Studly!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a taste of swimming.  Just a little bit of a couple of his events.  He had fun and I hope you do too.  Enjoy!

For those that are reading this "note" on Facebook.... I think you'll have to visit my actual blog to see the video.  Safe travels!

As I reflect on this MEet and the "ME" that seems to be so invested..... I am reminded of something that I learned over 20 years ago....  I was at a pro golf tournament, following my sister's then-boyfriend around the course.  The young man he was paired with had his parents following him.  I watched them a lot and spent a little time talking with them.  "You live and die with every stroke, don't you?" I realized.  "Yes," they said.  "We know exactly what he can and can't do.  What his weaknesses and strong points are.  What he's worked on over the last month to prepare for this."  As a twenty-something, I thought they were a bit obsessive. As a mother, I'm thinking not so much.  Just supportive.  In every way they can try to be.

So, yes.  While Aidan is the one that puts in all those hours in the pool, there is a whole village of "we" behind him.  His coach (hi Jason!) is the one that carefully planned the workouts to bring him to his peak for this meet (and again for TAGS in March).  Ray is the one that works so hard to pay for the club dues (Lakeside is the best!) and that silly expensive bathing suit.  And he and always backs me up when I am harping on him about nutrition, hydration & rest.  I drive to a lot of practices and help the team out in whatever capacity I am able.  His teammates and other parents push him, cheer him on, and we ALL "live and die" with every stroke these amazing kids make.

I guess THAT's why I'm so tired after this weekend.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Swimming Update

This weekend is a Very Big Swim Meet.

Three full grueling days.  Swimmers from several states, fierce competition.

Aidan is a bit behind the eight ball, due to THIS little incident which caused him to miss a few meets, so he hasn't quite attained the goals that he wanted to at this point in the season.

His main goals are qualifying times for state championships, and also the 13-year old "A" level times, so that he'll start next season at the "A" level and won't have to work his way up to it.  He'd love to get 4+ state qualifying times (only has one so far), and also at least 3 "A" times at the 13-year old level.  None there.

Both are tough goals.  Especially in light of the fact that the Texas Swim Association, tired of being referred to as "one of the three fastest states in the country" (the other two being California and Florida), wants to be the fastest state.  So they raised the bar.  A lot.  They lowered all the time goals for qualifying for the state championship meet.

This is good news, bad news.  The bad news is that it makes it much, much harder to qualify.  The good news is that the meet will run a lot more quickly this year with fewer swimmers!

So.  At this weekend's Very Big Swim Meet he's got to drop some time.  Not a whole lot in most cases - in some events he is mere hundredths away from making his goals.  But it's three long days with qualifying races in the morning, and then finals at night.  Takes its toll on him sometimes.

So.  Keep your good thoughts pointed towards Aidan this weekend and also for me, so that I can keep him fed, positive, rested, focused, hydrated, and maybe even having a little fun.

You can follow me on Twitter to get race updates in real time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gettin' There

Another milestone in Aidan's room project....

We installed the mural over the weekend.  I will show you a "before" and "after" photo.  For the "after," I had to knit together two photos to get the whole mural in, and I am not very proficient with this stuff, so don't go thinkin' the project also included adding some wonky new angles to the ceiling!

And after......

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Bridie Light!

We celebrated Bridget's eleventh birthday last night.

Our birthday traditions have basically evolved into each kid getting two parties.  One for family, and one for friends.  Bridget and I are still in negotiations over what her "friend" party will be.  Last year, it took us until April to arrive at a solution that was acceptable to everyone.

For the "family" party, we usually go out, with the restaurant selection being up to the honoree.  One of her criteria in restaurant selection is that it must have white table cloths.  Two years running now, Bridget has opted for Brazilian barbecue.  A veritable smorgasbord for a little foodie like Missy B.

After dinner, we return home for cake and presents.  Cake can be store-bought (depending on Mommy's schedule) or homemade.  This year, Bridget wanted cupcakes.  Being the slave-driver that I am, she had to make her own cupcakes.  She thinks this is a privlege and a treat so we're all happy.

Her special request was that she wanted "rubber duckies" on her cupcake,
so I decorated that one for her.

She's taking a cake decorating class with her Girl Scout troop in a few weeks.
 I hope she learns a trick or two.

She really really really wanted a set of "Bitty Twins" from American Girl.
That giant sucking sound you hear is all our cash leaving our wallet and going to the American Girl store.  But look at that smile.....  priceless!

And here she is, modeling her new pajamas with her brother.  Sweet kids.

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Bridie who?
Bridie Light.... of the silvery mooo - o - ooon!

Happy birthday, my Bridie Light!