Category Archives: Motherhood

swim team

First of all, we got the girls’ swim pictures back.   I love the picture the photographer took of the pair of them together.

I think that one is going up on our wall somewhere.

I am also very humored by the team picture.

Notice any one swimmer looking different from the rest?

Why Bri is raising her hand is anyone’s guess!  But I think it’s pretty funny.

Swim season is over, and we haven’t gotten the results of the last meet, but I’m so proud of both girls.  Bri could swim a length of the pool at the beginning of the year and not much more.  By the end of the season she had managed to compete breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly without being disqualified.  Swimming a 25 butter is no joke!  Her fastest time was 32 seconds for the 25 free, which is not bad at all.

Isla drastically improved her swim times.  In freestyle, she came with a 27 s PR for the 25 free, and finished with a 19 s PR for the 25 and 46 s PR for the 50.  She improved her backstroke PR from 34 s for the 25 to 52 s for the 50.  She improved her breaststroke PR from 34 s for the 25 to 1:01 for the 50.  She went from being DQ’d in the butterfly to swimming 23 seconds for a 25 butter.  And she swam 1:45 for the 100 free and 1:54 for the IM.  She learned how to do a freestyle flip turn and did it in most of her meets.

Both girls had a blast and loved their wonderful coaches.  Swim team is intense in the summer, but it’s one of the most fun things we do.  For about eight weeks, it seems like we’re constantly at the pool, but the girls (mostly) love it, and I really enjoy watching as well.


“Shark showdown” time trial

The girls had their first “swim meet” yesterday.  It was really a time trial, but they typically run a pre-season time trial like a real meet to let the organizers practice everything.  They actually let parents enter briefly while their kids swam, which sounds like it would be a disaster, but worked fine.  Masks all, despite being outdoors and fully vaxxed, but I will not complain further.  Having just had gum surgery the day before, I missed most of it, but Jonathan took some videos.

Below, you can watch Isla win her heat in to the 50 yard backstroke in 52 seconds.  (She finished midpack overall.)  I love watching her swim!  I always sort of flailed around in the water (still do, really).  She is just so elegant.

Bri is in the far lane and was the slowest of the 8 and under swimmers, but I’m still so proud of her.  What a great 25 back for her!

The girls did all four strokes in their meet, as is customary out here.  Bri’s butterfly frankly was not even distantly recognizable as butterfly, but other than that, it went great.  (I told Bri my only goal for her in butterfly was that she not drown.  Mission accomplished!)

little kid activities

A little piano duet with the Bri-ster.  Gotta love her facial expressions!  We are working on the “B” book from Alfred, and it’s going well, though lessons can be challenging at times to say the least.  My kids’ teachers tell us they are little angels, but that is certainly not what we see at home.

Swim team has started, and both girls are swimming this year.  Initially, I didn’t think Bri was ready.  I watched the last swim lesson before swim team started, and she just didn’t seem like she was swimming well enough to me.  However, we had fantastic weather that weekend, so we decided to go to the pool (which is heated).  I swam with Bri, and she was actually considerably better at swimming that I’d thought, so I e-mailed the coach and asked what level of skill he was looking for.  Answer: 25 yd of free and back, and minimal ability at breast and butter.  Bri would drown quickly if she had to use butterfly to stay afloat, but otherwise I thought she met the criteria.  The coach said she could show up and see how things go, so I sent her on Monday.  Unfortunately, it was in the 50s and drizzly.  I watched her a little bit, and she seemed slower than the other kids and also younger than most of them.  What made me decide to skip it, though, was that she was crying at the end of practice because was cold.  I e-mailed the coach and told him we’d decided not to do it, and he e-mailed me back and said she’d done great and should come back and it was likely the cold weather that made it hard.  I ended up sending her back on Wednesday (with her full buy-in) with her sister’s deck coat and a spring suit.  She did great!  Since then, I’ve been sending her to most of the practices (which are every day) and just skipping if it’s unusually cold, and she’s been having a great time.  Deck coats are the best thing ever, by the way, at least if you live in the chilly Pacific NW.  Their first “meet” (which is only a quasi meet due to ongoing ridiculous Covid restrictions) is June 12th.  I’m excited for her!

pool fun

I was at the pool the other night for B’s swim lessons.  I had S with me, and was having a great time walking around the pool deck.  I was doing my best to keep her out of the way of swim coaches, life guards, other parents and swimmers.  She was also doing her best to take a swim.  Unfortunately, despite never being more than 2 feet from her, she prevailed.  It’s interesting and scary how easily a toddler can go in the drink.  Fortunately, since I was right there, I yanked her right back out before she was even fully submerged or inhaled any water.  So, mostly a scary near miss.  (Drowning is the leading cause of death for 1 year olds in the US.)

However, I was wearing glasses and a mask.  I find that the mask causes my glasses not to stay on my face as well and often slide down my nose.  I often wear contacts for that reason if I know I’ll have to wear a mask.  In any case, when I bent over to yank S out, my glasses went into the drink.  I’m currently sitting at -7.00 in my left eye and -4.25 in my right eye.  Needless to say, glasses are not optional for me to see.  I went to the lifeguard, and he said after swim lessons were over, he’d send someone down to get them. They were at the very bottom of the 12 foot deep end.  However, L, who had never gone anywhere near that deep before, ended up diving down and getting them for me.  I was so proud of her!  And also very happy to have my glasses back.

piano lesson update

Bri finished the final song of Book A of Alfred’s Prep Course, which is targeted at the “youngest” learners.  I’m proud of her!  I’ve spared her the metronome thus far, but I think she does a pretty good job keeping in time.

Alfred has about a million books at each level.  For B, I’m planning to buy the lesson book, the theory book, and the solo book.  For A, we did the lesson book and the Christmas book.  I think it’s helpful to have an additional book beyond the lesson book, just to slow the rate of new material and increase in difficulty a bit.  Since it’s not Christmas time, we’ll do the solo book this time.  I skipped the theory book for level A, in part because Bri couldn’t read when we started, but I think it’ll be helpful as we move on to level B.  We do have a few more Christmas songs to learn before we start the new book, though.

L has been continuing to play on her own, but I’m continuing to hold off on lessons for now, since swimming and school are taking up so much time.  I’m planning to restart lessons this summer, and hopefully we’ll make some good progress.


I took the kids to the eye doctor for the first time in two years recently.  Recommendations are to take a child every two years if they have no vision correction, and I’m here to say that I should have taken my kids sooner.  L’s eyes have actually gotten quite bad, to the point that it was obvious to H and I even without the eye doctor to tell us.  We had delayed due to Covid and due to a change in insurance which meant we had to pay out of pocket at the optometrist we’ve been seeing for years.  (VERY expensive.)  I managed to find a new optometrist that will take our insurance, and we finally got out there last week.  L couldn’t even read the top line of the eye chart.  I was also dismayed to find out that B has slight astigmatism in one eye, and her eyes are 20/25, 20/20.  The eye doctor has recommended glasses for her as well.  We went ahead and ordered glasses for L, but I’ve been hesitating for B.  Glasses are just such a hassle, and I’d like to spare her one more year of having them.  On the flip side, though, the optometrist warned her worse eye could become lazy and deteriorate, so I guess we should probably get them.

Then last night, I caught B reading her book under the covers in the dark.  Much like I used to do at that age.  Arghh!  My poor kids and their bad vision genes and excessive reading habits.

Do your kids have glasses?  Do you see an optometrist every year?