Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Magic Ms. Holly

For the second summer in a row, the kids have spent a week taking swim lessons at Ms. Holly's house. (Once again- pretend like we just did this last week, aight?) You might remember Ms. Holly- she's the magic lady in Midtown who ninja teaches your kids to swim in a scant five hours. Totally worth the money- I recommend her highly. Her website can be found here.

This year, Chloe was ready for level two- aka The Hardest Level- in which she learned to do some back swimming thing that used legs and no arms, a sophisticated dog paddle, and became comfortable grabbing stuff off the bottom of the pool. (Yawn- she had that one down already.) She also jumped in the pool in the deep end and swam almost the whole way across. Good job!

Connor got a big promotion to level four. He learned to dive off the side and freestyle to the other end. He also swam the length of the pool doing the back stroke, and learned the beginnings of the breast stroke. Fancy stuff! His favorite part of the week was playing a game in which someone takes a golf tee to the bottom of the pool and lets it go. Then when it pops up on the surface, you jump in from the side and try to grab it. If you can't grab it on your initial jump, you have to get out and keep trying- you can't just keep grabbing while you swim. It was pretty fun, but only works in backyard, private pools- we can't recreate it at Rhodes.

Just this weekend, the mother of one of Chloe's friends was commenting on how well Chloe swam. Connor insisted his birthday party include time at the pool. We have two water babies, and a good bit of their confidence in the water is due to Ms. Holly's magic hand. We'll be back next year, and I recommend you get a spot too.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pretend Like This JUST Happened

It's so weird that we took pictures of all these events in our kids' lives and then didn't immediately share them with you, right? You must all be on the edge of your seats, waiting to hear about the minutiae of our daily lives! Well, consider your prayers answered.

Remember back in May, when all we did was watch basketball? Well, Chip had a birthday. He spent it at a basketball game, so there are no pictures of that event.

Then Connor had his last day in second grade. Even though he claims to have had a horrible year (didn't love his teacher), he was nonetheless very nostalgic that last week of school. That boy still struggles with transitions! On the last day of school there was a nice program, where he was recognized as an honor roll student and as one of the top readers in his class. There are also no pictures of that event.

BUT! There are pictures of Chloe's last day as a Penguin! I couldn't let this day pass without notice. We've been at Idlewild Children's Center for seven years, and this was our last day on the preschool hall. Pretty bittersweet, I must say.

They had a picnic/field day at Peabody Park on the last day of class. Chip attended and took this awesome class photo. Too cute! (I did not attend. I have to save those vacation days for mama alone time, nahmean?)

Here's Chloe and her bestie, contemplating the gravitas of pre-school graduation.

From all accounts, they had a very fun day, which ended with a playdate at the aforementioned BFF's house. And now Chloe is officially a rising Kindergartener. And no, I still don't know where she's going to go to school. We've officially been wait-listed at Snowden, and I've officially cried about it, and Chip has officially told me to go beg at the feet of the principal and see if we can't get her in there.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Eight things about my eight-year-old son:

Math and reading are his favorite subjects.

Plays the DSi and the PSP like it's his job.

Is so very modest. No one has seen him naked in quite some time, and he prefers it if the rest of us are covered up too.

Still eats nuggets, pizza, bacon, and little else.

Is very sweet and patient with his one-year-old cousin, and very much the opposite with his five-year-old sister.

Watched this absolutely HILARIOUS video of a cat getting caught barking like a dog, and said, "I felt sad for that cat. It was nervous when it saw the camera."

Needs a lot of sleep in order to function properly. Will ask to go to bed if we dare keep him up too late.

Acts pretty cool when he's around his peers, but still wants a lot of lovin' from his mama when no one else is around to see it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball Blues

Baseball season has been a disappointment this year.

This is Connor's second season playing "coach pitch," after a season of t-ball. He has shown his usual aptitude for anything sports-related, and I've enjoyed watching him progress. Unfortunately, his teammates have not all come along for the ride. There are a few boys who have played for several years, and they know what they're doing. But for some reason, there are kids one and two years younger than Connor on the team as well. And they are clueless.

It might have helped for the team to actually practice once in a while, but apparently that would be too much to ask. We have a volunteer coach, and while I appreciate that he volunteered and I didn't, I still wish he would have committed to a certain number of practices. Instead, we had almost every pre-season practice called off for rain, and not rescheduled, and then we've had one or two practices since the season started. As a result, most kids can't field the ball, throw the ball, or catch the ball.

But can they hit the ball? No they can't do that either. One of the key components of "coach pitch" is having a coach who can actually pitch, and ours can't. I see the coaches on other teams- they're kneeling down to deliver the ball, throwing it straight into the zone so it's easy for kids to hit. Ours stands to his full height and kind of lobs it in, so most pitches are either too high or too low, and they all have too much movement on them. My brother's favorite joke at these games is to cheer and say, "Hey, our pitcher just struck out the side!"

We came home from his last debacle game and Connor asked, "Is it too hot to play outside a while?" I said no, and he ran to grab his bat and ball. "Pitch to me," he begged, so I did. He just wanted to remember that he could actually hit the ball sometimes, since he hadn't come close to it in the game. And that night, he was literally in tears as he recounted a bad play he had made during the game. He's just so frustrated at how bad they are, and wants to win each game by himself if he has to. (I know not everyone out there appreciates this level of competitiveness, but I think it's cute.)

A few days later, he decided to practice throwing the ball against the brick wall of our house. But instead of picking the side of the house that's all brick, he picked the three-foot long section of brick between the door and the window. And then he found out the hard way that his aim isn't as good as he thought! I didn't have to fuss at him- he was devastated. Cried for at least an hour. It was so bad that Chloe was offering to loan him money in order to help him pay for it! Meanwhile, Chip and I tried to keep from laughing- it was such a classic little boy event, and he was taking it so hard, that we couldn't help but get a kick out of it. I told Connor he would have to work off the expense. Then I tried to get his first chore to be posing with the ball in front of the window. This just made him cry harder, so we let the ball pose without him. While Connor went inside and unloaded the dishwasher.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Connor hasn't had a great week. I don't see how not, with him looking like that. Just gorgeous. Almost eight years later, and I still can't believe I made that.