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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The tech suit.

Last week we ordered Sarah a tech suit.  If you aren't familiar, tech suits are super tight extremely thin bathing suits swimmers use to reduce drag to hopefully help them go faster.

Last year all the girls on Sarah's team either had their own or borrowed one to use for regionals and states.  Sarah borrowed an old one from another swimmer because I had no idea these things even existed/

In order for your tech suit to do it's job it must be very very  tight and take a long time to put on.  Apparently the one Sarah borrowed last year slipped right on so it was most likely too big or had gotten stretched out over the yeras and thus probably INCREASED drag.  Oh well, live and learn.

Tech suits range from $99 to $999.  Suffice it to say, the one we ordered was on the low end of the scale.  I figure if she wears it to regionals for the next three years and to states if she makes it, thats a total of up to  6 times.  Even on the cheap end, that seems like a lot for 6 swims but maybe it will help.

Tech suits aren't sized the same as regular swim suits so we had to take all of her measurements and hope for the best.  However, her measurements put her in the range for two sizes. So I ordered both and I'm so glad I did.  The first one we tried on, she could not even get it over the top of her thighs. The second bigger one was easier to get on.  And by easier, I mean we were actually able to get it on.  It took us almost 10 minutes.  In addition to being tight it is thin and you have to be careful not to rip it. We were so excited when we finally got it on her!

She's very nervous about the regional meet  because this year they are only taking the top 8 swims from each region in each event to go to states.  Last year they took the top 12 and her really team barely squeeked in. 

Based on the psych sheet that came out, Sarah is going to have to shave A LOT of time off all her swims in order to make it to states.  So it's not looking too good at this point.  

And in addition to all of this, her shoulder hurts.  She's meeting with the team trainer today, but we think it's just an overuse issue that time will heal.  So for the rest of the week she's only going to practice kicks and not strokes and hopefully it will be ready to go on Saturday morning.

Here's hoping the hot pink tech suit will help her swim super fast!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Grades, closets, and a busy Sunday.

So many things to update on.

The kids did well on their exams and their final semester grades were solid.  And I have to give a big shout out to St. Joseph of Cupertino!  I have asked for his intercession a lot this school year and he always comes through.  :)

This past weekend was fairly busy.  Peter went to the school's Broadway Review to support some of his friends who were participating.  He really wanted to go to the away basketball game as well but I'm proud of him for choosing to support his thespian friends.  The theatre kids don't get as much love from the student body as the football and basketball teams do.

On Saturday, Peter asked for help cleaning out his closet.  We went through all the things and got rid of a lot of the things and kept a lot of the things.  The closet looks much better now and it inspired me and Dan to clean out our closet as well.

Dan and I took 5 large bags to Goodwill and then took a lot of things to Jennifer to see if her men can use any of them.   I was extremely tired after all this closet cleaning but I am very happy with the results!

Sunday was a busy day.  We attended the 9:15 mass where our parish was celebrating Catholic Schools Week.  Afterward, Sarah and I worked the Girl Scout cookie booth for four hours with Jennifer and Cheyanne.  Thankfully it wasn't too cold and the girls sold a lot of cookies and got a lot of tips!  (The tips go straight to our troop and are always very much appreciated!)

And then we headed to Kernersville for Sarah's swim banquet.  That was a lot of fun.  Her swim team is made up of a bunch of really great kids and I'm so happy Sarah is a part of the team.

She has qualified for 4 events in this weekend's regional swim meet - two relays and two individual events.  She's excited about regionals but she doesn't feel like she's going to be able to qualify for anything for states.  She would have to shave a lot of time off to be able to do that but I suppose anything is possible.  And now her shoulder is bothering her so that's not going to help. 

We joined a new gym last week and I've been going every morning when the kids leave for school.  I'm hoping to get back into shape by the summer.  Perimenopause,  my love of food, and my strong desire to do nothing are really wreaking havoc on my figure!  :)

The struggle is real!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The conference swim meet!

Whew!  We are finally back to regular life! 

The long weekend was good.  I had to have Sarah out the door by 6:20 AM on Friday to make it to mandatory swim practice.  And then on Saturday, we had to be out the door by 6:20 AM to have Sarah at the YMCA by 7:00.  (Needless to say, when we finally got home Saturday afternoon I took a nap - something I never do.)  I'm always up early but for some reason having to be up AND out the door was too much for this old lady!

We dropped Sarah off at the Y and then Dan and I grabbed some breakfast because the meet didn't actually start until 8:30.  Sarah's knee was still sore from her injury but she powered through.  She had already made regional cuts with her backstroke but she also wanted her relay teams to make it as well. And they did!  Her team qualified for both the 200M Medley Relay and the 200M Freestyle relay!  She was so happy!

Now she has two weeks to practice to get ready for the regional meet and hopefully by then her knee will be fully healed.  She is hoping that their regional times will qualify them for states.

After the swim meet, we headed with a lot of the other team members to get lunch together and then I came home and Dan and I ran some errands and then I had my little nap! I made a delicious brisket for dinner and then we relaxed for the rest of the night.

On Sunday we went to Mass, had lunch at my mom's, relaxed and then on Sunday evening Dan and I went to Maxburger and had a couple of drinks. 

On Monday Dan had to go to work and the kids slept in while I went to get groceries.  When I got back I took Sarah to Target.  She wanted some new earrings since she now can wear them and she's only got a few pairs that she likes.  And then I took her to swim practice. 

And here we are on Tuesday morning.  I went to the gym this morning and now I'm headed out to get new tires for Dan's car.  Then I'm coming home to pay some bills and catch up on some boring household things.  BUT - I do love ordinary time and errands and household things are about as ordinary as it gets!

Here are a few other pictures from Saturday:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Exams, knees, heat, and birds!

Exams are officially over and the kids have a FOUR day weekend ahead!  But that doesn't mean that I know what day it is.  I've been confused all week.  The kids only had the same schedule ONE day this week which meant I did a lot of driving back and forth to school and/or killing time around the school to prevent yet another drive to the school.  But I'm not complaining.  I really do enjoy my time in the car with Sarah!

And speaking of Sarah, she hurt her knee again.  Remember in the spring when she jumped into a wave and twisted her knee and it took 6 weeks of wearing a brace to get it back to normal?  Well, a friend was excited to see her after the Tuesday morning exam and came running up behind her and jumped on her back.  And Sarah's knee buckled underneath her.

She called me in tears.  I advised her to take ibuprofen and get some ice from the cafeteria so she could keep ice on it during her second exam.  (Of course, she did neither of these things.)

She was in pain during her exam and was very upset when I picked her up.  When it was time for swim practice we went to talk to the coach and tell him what happened because her knee was too sore to practice..  Sarah was afraid that if she couldn't swim in the conference championship meet this weekend that she wouldn't be able to swim in regionals in two weeks.  Her coach reassured her that her qualifying time got her into regionals whether she swims at conference or not.  And he told her to go home, take some ibuprofen and ice her knee.  (Which of course, because the coach told her, she did.)

So she missed practice Tuesday and yesterday but she is going to attempt it this afternoon.  It's definitely not hurt as bad as it was in the spring but it's still sore so I'm sure she won't be able to swim her fastest on Saturday morning which really has her bummed.I feel bad for her but there's really nothing we can do. 

Can we talk about the weather for a minute?


It has been really warm here - springlike actually. For the last week, we've been having the highs in the upper 60s (and there were even a couple of days where the highs were in the low 70s). I love hot weather but I'm finding I don't really have anything to wear since it's January.

I got some really cute sweaters in the fall but between this heat and my hot flashes, there is no way I am putting those things on.  So basically I have been wearing jeans and tee shirts.  I am about to whip out my flip flops but I know if I do a snowstorm will surely come.  And while I don't really want it to be 70 in January, I also don't want a snowstorm.

And that's all the news around here.  Unless you count the bird that flew into our house yesterday morning.  It was trapped in our garage overnight and it flew in when Dan left for work.  Thankfully it only took about 10 minutes to get it out.  We opened all the doors to the outside and hoped for the best.  The bird just flew  from perch to perch inside the house and didn't appear to be able to figure out how to get out so  Dan got a sheet.  But before he had to use it, the bird flew out thankfully!

And that's officially all the news that fit for print!

 Bird meme inserted because I don't like a pictureless post!  :)

Monday, January 13, 2020

ER visit, Hockey game, studying for exams. The stuff great weekends are made of!

Last week was a nice back-to-normal week.  But the kids have exams this week so the schedule is bonkers.  Exams are Monday - Thursday and some days  both kids have both the morning and the afternoon exam and other days one has the morning exam but not the afternoon and/or vice versa and suffice it to say that I will constantly be checking the schedule and my watch to make sure that everyone (including myself) is in the right place at the right time! 

In other news - look at this deliciousness:

Mom and I ate lunch at Firebirds on Friday afternoon.  I got her a gift card from there for Christmas and they were giving away extra gift cards with the purchase of a gift card so we got to enjoy a meal there for free!

My favorite meal from there is the sesame encrusted salmon with a ginger mustard aioli and fried spinach and side of choice (I always get the veggies). I'm sure I've mentioned this dish before because I get this every time I go even though I always go in thinking I am going to try something new this time. But I never do. I literally lick my place clean! And their bread is the best!

On Friday evening after swim practice, Sarah came to the car with a weird look on her face and I knew something was wrong.  She told me that at the end of practice they were doing laps with their fins on and she was doing the backstroke.  Apparently so took in a huge mouth full of water and got choked.  She couldn't breathe and one of her friends said she was turning blue!

Her coaches were calling the lifeguard over to\ assist but thankfully it resolved itself.  She was very scared after this whole incident.

I did some googling and it sounds like she suffered from "dry drowning".  Dry drowning is when water never reaches the lungs. Instead, breathing in water causes your vocal cords to spasm and close up. That shuts off his airways, making it hard to breathe  It's the body's way of protecting you from getting water in your lungs. 

"Secondary drowning" happens if water does get into the lungs. There, it can irritate the lungs’ lining and fluid can build up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema You would having trouble breathing right away, and it might get worse over the next 24 hours. And sometimes can cause drowning up to 48 hours later.

Everything I was reading said that if there was an incident you should go to the doctor to make sure there was no water in the lungs.  So, we went to our doctor's office - he has clinic hours until 8:00pm.  They told us she would need a chest X-ray to rule out water in the lungs and they didn't have that machine at their office.

So we headed to the ER on a Friday night.  In our area, thankfully, there are many ER options so I checked the wait times online and we headed to the ER in Clemmons.  It still took 2 hours once we got there but thankfully no water in her lungs! 

Before we even got there, I felt like she didn't have any but I also knew that I probably wasn't going to sleep a wink wondering if she was going to drown in her bed so I feel like it was worth the ER visit! You can't put a price on peace-of-mind.  Although I guess in this case, the price will be whatever the bill is from the ER.  Ha!

On Saturday night, Dan and I took Sarah and Cheyanne to the hockey game.  Peter didn't want to go so he stayed home and watched football on tv.  The hockey game was a lot of fun.  They always are.  It's good cheap entertainment.

Our team, The Thunderbirds, is actually really good and there were very few tickets left.  I went online Saturday morning when we decided we were going to go to get four tickets and there were very few options. We weren't even able to sit beside the girls.

I've got no pictures of the girls because they were actually sitting a row behind us and down a bit and I didn't want to embarrass them..

Sunday was Mass, lunch at mom's, football on tv and studying for exams.

Sarah had her last two regular swim meets last week and this week the team is preparing for the conference championships which are this Saturday.  Our school is hosting this year so it's at our pool.  It's going to be on Saturday morning so we will be up before the sun on Saturday.  I'm hoping for fast swims and no inhaled water!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Our trip to Foxborough to see the Patriots!

It's nice to be back on a regular schedule again. I enjoyed our two-week break but I also enjoy knowing what day it is!

Dan and I had a wonderful trip to Boston right before Christmas.  We left very early on Friday, Dec. 20th.  Our plane was leaving from Charlotte at 6:45 AM which meant we were leaving our house at 4:00 AM.  I set my alarm for 3:00 but got up on my own right before it went off. And it was a good thing because while I SET my alarm, I didn't actually turn ON my alarm.  Yikes!

We made it to Charlotte without any traffic issues (usually there is always some sort of construction or congestion slowing things down but we got there right on time).

We got checked in quickly because Dan has TSA Pre-check thanks to all of his travelings for work and since I was traveling with him, I got to go right through too.

We had a layover in Baltimore and got to Boston around 11:00.  We got our rental car and checked in to our hotel, the Marriott Copley. (I highly recommend and I'll expound later.)

We got to the room and unpacked and poor Dan had to do work.  He's entering an extremely busy time and he has a lot going on so even though he was on vacation, he had to answer emails and take several phone calls.

We finally were able to eat lunch around 3:00.  We walked from our hotel to a nearby Tasty Burger.  I was so hungry and that was one of the best burgers I have had in a while.  Tasty Burger is a local Boston area chain.  We've eaten at the one in Cambridge a couple of times with the kids. I got the Gorgonzola Burger with extra mayo and it was delicious!  (I wish I had one right now!)

The Tasty Burger was right next to the train station so we ducked in there to get some info about the train we would be taking to Foxborough the next day.  Boston runs a special train to Foxborough on game days.  It was a $20 round trip per person.  It leaves from several different stations in Boston.  It was so much easier and faster than driving to Foxborough (and paying to park) and then fighting the traffic coming back.

After we checked that out, we took a quick walk around and then headed back for Dan to do a little more work.  Then we met his brother in the lobby of the hotel. He had our game tickets.  We went to the hotel bar and had a couple of drinks with him.  It was great catching up with him!

After he left, we walked to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  And the Cheesecake Factory never disappoints!

The Marriot Copley is connected to Copley Square and the Shops at the Prudential Center through a series of enclosed over-street bridges.  This made me very happy as we could walk to multiple restaurants and shops without ever even going outside!  The malls had all the high-end shops that we can't afford to shop in - Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, Dior, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany,etc. but it was fun just to browse around.

There was also this really cool Italian Market in the Prudential Center called Eataly.  It was huge.  They have a massive Italian market with everything from pasta, to cheese, to fresh vegetables, to truffles. They offer cooking classes, wine tastings, and other events. They had a sit-down restaurant, a cafe, and several walk-up counters.  We had already eaten when we went in there but it was fun just to look around.  It was way bigger inside than it looks on the outside.

On Saturday morning, we got up early, grabbed a Dunkin Donuts coffee and just took a walk around the Boston Common and took a few selfies:

People were out early skating on the Duck Pond.

After our coffee and walk, we headed to City Table for brunch and then we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the game.  And by get ready for the game, I mean put on alllllllllll the layers.  It was going to be in the low 30's/upper 20's during the game and we did not want to freeze. 

After we got dressed, we headed to the train station.  We got there about 20 minutes before the train was to leave.  Right as we got there, everyone was instructed to go down to the platform and lineup.  We were good little ducks and did as we were told.  After we lined up they had us all move to where the train was going to arrive.  And a little later the train (or I think it was more like 9 or more trains) pulled up and everyone crowded on.

There were so many people!  And we were the second stop for the train so a lot of seats were already full.  So we just kept walking until we determined that if we wanted to sit together we would just sit on the stairs between trains:

The train ride was supposed to be 52 minutes but I swear it was faster than that.  It was so much easier than driving! 

When we got to Foxborough the train let us out and there we were - right at the stadium.

I was going through the pictures on my phone and found about 15 of these.  I was TRYING to switch it from selfie mode to regular and got a lot of this instead. :)

THis was the shot I was trying to get!  All of the people filing from the train to the stadium!

 It was only a short walk to Patriot Place which is the area outside of the stadium with all kinds of restaurants, shops, a couple of hotels, and a skating rink!  We walked around there for a while and then we headed into the stadium for the game!

Our seats were on the upper deck but they were on the first row so they were really good.  We had a great view of all the action and had a great time at the game!

And the Patriots won!  I'm so happy for Dan that he finally got to see the Patriots AND that they won!  Of course, we are sad that the rest of the season didn't go the way we had hoped but we got to see a win in Foxborough!

We headed back to the train and enjoyed watching all of the extremely drunk 20 somethings on the train.  It was like a little show playing out all around us.  There were two groups of people sitting together talking.  At first, I thought they all knew on another but after about 30 minutes on the train, they started insulting one another. It was all based on where they were from.  One person said they were from Boston but in fact, it came out that they were really from a suburb (can't remember which one) and it riled up the other group.  They started yelling and the girl in the other group started yelling and then they were standing up poised to fight.

I told Dan he was NOT going to get involved and thankfully a different group of drunk 20 somethings stood up and defused the situation.  And someone must have called the cops because a few minutes later a couple of cops showed up.  (Apparently, a lot of cops ride the train to and from the games because of things like this and also to protect the fans from other teams who might be riding on the train.)  But by the time the cops got there, the "fight" was already over.

When we got back to Boston, we were starved so we headed to Solas Irish Pub for a late dinner and then headed to bed!

On Sunday morning we got up and went to Mass at St. Francis Chapel.  This Chapel was inside the Prudential Center so we didn't even have to go outside to get to church.  We just walked from our hotel room to an over-street bridge through the mall and there we were! It was a beautiful chapel and there were easily 100 other people there for Mass. 

After Mass, we grabbed coffee from one of the shops and headed back to our hotel room.  We then got in the car (this was the first time we used the car since we arrived on Friday morning. In hindsight, we probably should have skipped the car.) and headed to Regina Cleri (the residence for retired priests) to pick up Dan's Uncle Bob.

We then headed to Magiannos Little Italy where we met up with Dick and Jennifer and Jillian.  The food was delicious and it was so great to get to spend time with them. 

After lunch, we took Uncle Bob back home and spent some time with him before we left. 

We were trying to decide where to go for dinner and I told Dan that I just wanted to hang out at Champions.  That was the bar/restaurant in the hotel.  I wanted to do some people watching and this was the perfect place. 

The hotel had an awesome lobby for people watching.  There were people coming in and out from all different directions - the mall, the street, the parking garage.  There were people everywhere and I just wanted to take it all in. 

This hotel had 38 floors and over 1000 rooms so there was always something happening in the lobby.  From the lobby, you took an escalator and ended up right at the restaurant.  We enjoyed dinner and watched people and created scenarios until it was time for bed. 

Our flight out of Boston left at 5:45 AM and we had to return the rental car and all that so we ended up getting up around 2:30.  The lobby was empty at 3:00 when we checked out!  :)

We texted and face-time the kids while we were gone.  They got to school on time on Friday morning and made it to church on time on Sunday morning.  In between they ordered pizza, got fast food and enjoyed the beginning of their Christmas break.  I think they missed us.  I know we missed them but I really really enjoyed the time with just Dan.  (I really like him!)

Friday, January 3, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Whew!  It's been a whirlwind but we made it.

After we got back from Boston, we hit the ground running.  Cathy, Dan's sister, arrived the next morning which was Christmas Eve.  We attended church with my mom, brother, and my best friend Jennifer and her family.  We go to the Moravian church I attended as a child and celebrate with a Lovefeast and Candlelight service. 

After the service, everyone came back to my house for a little party.  I have appetizers and dips and some desserts.  Nothing fancy.  My mom did this when I was a teenager and when we stopped going to Wellesley for Christmas, I started doing it.  I have fond memories of this little party as a kid and I hope my kids will too.

We got up early on Christmas morning - actually Dan and I had to drag the kids out of bed - and we unwrapped presents. After presents and breakfast, we all headed to Mass.  After Mass we went to mom's house for a late lunch and more presents.

On the day after Christmas we took Cathy to Korner's Folly house for a visit. 

It was a lovely time of fun, food, family, and presents. And then just like that - it was over! 

During the funky time between Christmas and New Year's, Dan and I took a couple of hikes together, took Sarah to swim practice, put together Peter's new desk and chair, did laundry, ran errands together, slept it, stayed up late, and ate way too much.

And then it was New Year's Eve.  We went to dinner at our favorite Japanese steakhouse with Jennifer and her family and then back to her house to watch the ball drop.  We had a great time but no pictures.  I really need to get better about taking more pictures.

Yesterday Dan went back to work, I went to the dentist and the grocery store and Sarah had swim practice and it's starting to feel a little more normal around here.  But, it won't be totally normal until the kids go back to school on Monday.

I'm ready for a normal schedule but I'm going to miss having these kids around all day!