Category Archives: Motherhood

movies and dance

I watched a lot of TV last month when I wasn’t feeling well.  I really got quite sick of Netflix.  Nevertheless, there were a few things worth watching in there.

Lion – such a great movie.  I high recommend it.

Broadchurch, Season 1 & 2 – Nothing like a good British detective show

Orbiter 9 – not awesome, but kind of fun.  Reminded me a little of Moon.

Safe – a teenage girl is lost in suburbia.  Surprisingly good.

Lost in Space – space geeks unite.

Touch the Wall – love this documentary on Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce (swimmers)

Gone Baby Gone – great movie about the search for a missing child

I injured myself trying to get back into running too quickly, so I’ve been slacking lately.  I’ll try running again today, and hopefully my IT band, which I believe is the injury, will be happier than last weekend.  Running is such a huge time commitment, and it’s been nice the last couple of weeks to feel well and have that extra time to be lazy and knit and just do whatever.

I’m still trying to get L into a dance class.  She just loves ballet so much.  I don’t understand it, honestly.  My feelings on ballet are decidedly mixed.  I like that dance combines music and athletic activity, but I don’t like: the general obsession with attire, the terrible things it does to feet, the excessive skinniness of professionals, the tights – who wants to sweat in tights? and tights on men?, the fuss about the performances for little kids, and on and on.  I also hate that around here you have to sign up for dance for an entire year.  With sports, you sign up for a season.  You can do soccer in the fall, swim in the winter, and T-ball in the spring.  I hate to put L in more than one or max two activities at a time, and the constant commitment to dance is really annoying.

However, the bottom line is that she loves it.  Finding a class is non-trivial because there are just not that many commercial establishments within 15 minutes of where we live, which would be the preferred max distance I’d like to drive.  Of the dance places, many have their classes on Saturdays or after 6 pm, neither of which is ideal.  Saturday is a non-starter because you have to show up or they won’t let your kid be in the show, which I don’t care about whatsoever, but L definitely will, and I don’t want to give away our Saturdays for 9 months!  So, we did a trial class at a place not too far away to see if they’d let her into the 7-year-old class as a backup if she doesn’t get off the waitlist at this other place which is an inconvenient drive into North Bellevue.  Ug!  Anyway, bottom line is that L was so excited when she heard about the trial class, just because it was a ballet class that she got to go to.  She ran around the house screaming and jumping, which is not typical behavior at all for her.

At the end, the teacher said she was fine for the class, so we have a backup option, even if I’m quite un-enthused about dance every Thursday night extending past her bedtime.  I felt like quite the dance mom, as she has her ballet themed dance bag (very pink and frilly and not bought by me) and had her ballet outfit on, whereas most of the other kids were just in shorts.

 

swim lessons

I’m so proud of L.  She was promoted to Level IV of the Y swimming classes today.  Basically, she’s learned how to do the crawl and side-breathe.   She can still only swim about 10 yards before she needs a break.  On a macro level, it’s not a big deal.  My brother was already swimming competitively at age 6, as do many, many kids back where I grew up.  Still, it’s been an uphill battle here.  First of all, global warming aside, we still don’t have THAT much truly hot weather here in Seattle.  It’s in the 80s to low 90s the last few days, but as of Wednesday it’ll be back in the 70s.  There are very few neighborhood pools here.  Most pools have limited “free swim” time, just lessons and classes most of the day.

Then, I started L in swim lessons at 3.  The teacher promptly dunked her.  Hysterics ensued, and we ended up dropping out.  (It didn’t help that Bri was an infant in arms at that point.)  We sporadically did swim through the years, and she finally made it out of Level I (water acclimation) into Level II (Water Movement.)  Water Movement is more or less where they learn to swim.  To get out of Level II, you need to be able to kind of swim, not gracefully, but definitely swim.  And she was stuck in Water Movement forever.  We kept not signing up for lessons for one reason or another – classes were full or it wasn’t convenient or whatever.  Finally, this summer, I decided these children were going to learn to swim.  The Y does lessons Monday through Thursday in summer to two week sessions, and so both girls started going to the lessons four days a week.  Our awesome nanny found a pool that actually had free swim in the afternoons and started taking them swimming a few times a week in addition to lessons.  And finally, not surprisingly, they started making progress.

Some things are easy for L.  Reading, studying, art, dance, things that aren’t physical or scary.  Those things are easy.  But things like swimming, riding a bike, and probably lots of things to come, are not easy at all.  And the satisfaction when she learned to ride her bike and now learned to swim is just huge.  It feels so good for both of us.

interest

We’ve been trying to think of ways to teach L about money, and we tried something randomly which seems to be working well.  We’ve been giving her an allowance for a while, one dollar per week.  She’s figured out that that doesn’t buy much, but not much else.  I’d been promising to open a bank account for her for a while, but I’ve been somewhat disheartened by the 0 interest rates from the major banks.  BECU provides 5% interest annually, or something like that, on the first several hundred dollars you deposit in a basic savings account, so I considered that route.  However, we eventually decided that we would instead open our own bank, the Bank of Daddy as we’ve been calling it.  We found an old bank book and gave her $50 as a bonus for depositing her existing life savings, approximately $30.  Every week, she has the option of taking her allowance in cash or depositing it in the Bank of Daddy.  Further, the Bank of Daddy is very generous and pays 10% interest per month.  Yup, that’s 300% interest annually, assuming full compounding.  Fortunately, given the initial balance of only $80, the Bank of Daddy can afford to be generous.

(I did mention that like all banks, the Bank of Daddy reserves the right to change its interest and terms at any time.)

The cool thing is that even given L’s very limited grasp of math, she has figured out that this interest thing is awesome.  She has been eagerly depositing her allowance in the B of D, and she’s counting the days until her first interest payment.  She really enjoys writing her allowance deposits in her bank book with our help.  She’s totally gotten the concept of money written on paper being the same as real money.

Anyway, I’m kind of excited by how well this is going.  We’ll have to see how it sticks.

business trip

H went out of town last week, for four days.  A year ago, that would have sent me into a paroxysm.  In fairness, things used to be a lot harder.  For example, it used to be so hard to get the kids to bed because L would freak out if I left her alone to get B to bed, and she made too much noise if I took her in with me.  Nowadays, I put them to bed at the same time, in the same room, and everything typically goes very smoothly.  It’s so much easier!  My new TV after dinner when Daddy is out of town policy also makes things a heck of a lot easier.  B loves Masha the Bear and L loves the movie First Position.  In combination, I easily get 45 minutes of almost complete peace.  In any event, I was basically not stressed or anxious on this trip at all.  I feel like I’m 80 or 90% back to my normal self.  I also feel like things could go south at any time, but i mostly feel like I’m getting my life back.  Why this all happened to me, I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s something I’ll struggle with on some level for the rest of my life.  Life is good right now, though, and I’m not really thinking beyond that.

Sarah and her family visited last weekend.  As she put it on FB, “Thank you universe for putting my sister and one of my best college friends only minutes apart.”  Yes, thank you very much universe.  I really appreciate it.  It was great seeing Sarah and her whole family, and it was so cute watching the kids play together.  Now all I have to do is get my act together and develop the pictures.

I went cycling with a co-worker this weekend, a guy I’ve known for longer than a decade.  Ironically, I used to give him a hard time about cycling in the rain.  How times change.  We seemed to be quite well-matched in speed and general ride preferences, so it went quite well.  It was great, actually.  He hasn’t been cycling much, and I suspect if he were to cycle frequently, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him, but for now, we’re in a similar place.  I had to push to keep up with him on the flats, and he had to push to keep up with me on the hills.  Overall, we went a good bit faster than I would have alone (though still slow by any reasonable standard.)

The STP was this weekend.  It’s a 200+ mile from Seattle to Portland.  A colleague of mine at work did it . . . in one day.  It took him 11 hours.  Crazy!  Part of me is thinking maybe I could do it next year.  Right now I can cycle 40 miles, and I figure I could do 60 if I had to.  I need to get to a place where I could cycle 100 – and then do it again the next day.  Honestly, my legs are usually in pretty good shape after 40 miles, but I’m still dealing with, ahem, chafing issues.   We’ll see.  I guess I should focus on getting through a triathlon this summer and then worry about next summer.