Sunday, July 20, 2014

Swim Meets and Scrubby Saturdays

I'm doing it again. I don't know what is happening to my weeks- they're a blur of insomnia, work, driving too far to summer camp, barre class, yoga, helping JP with swim school stuff, and reading my new series (The Hollows by Kim Harrison; I doubted during book 1 but I am currently in book 4 and completely addicted) with my head resting in his lap while he responds to his 100 daily emails on his computer into the wee hours of the next day's morning. But the weekends- on the weekends I do things and I photograph them!

On this particular weekend my mom came into town to watch Landon's championship swim meet on Saturday. On Friday we went to lunch and shopped, as we do (for the record I went to DSW and bought nothing, such is my restraint as I look toward Fall boots season), and then we picked up the kids early so they could swim and play in the unusually chilly July temperatures. This picture is blurry because my camera was dying, but it so perfectly captures Cora's life: between two siblings; smiling.

Saturday morning brought the regional championship swim meet- 15 teams, several hundred swimmers, at a nice natatorium about 40 minutes away. We drove out in two fleets- Landon and JP leaving super early for warm-up and the four ladies following behind 45 minutes later. Claire insisted on wearing her "beautifuldress" (one word) from my sister's rehearsal dinner, which went perfectly with my jean shorts, purple workout top (team color!), and running shoes. Cora bridged the gap in her cute bubble and my mom, as always, was the most put together of us all.

Cora was highly entertained by my mom's multitude rings and bracelets- WAY more interesting than her own mom's solo wedding rings + wedding watch combo.

She was her typically amazing third baby self, smiling her way through a very late breakfast, missed morning nap, and inability to crawl, and she took her swim meet watching very seriously before falling asleep without my realizing it, and then staying asleep through our loud cheering for Landon's last event.

And Landon, who was the point of this whole endeavor, did GREAT!

Lane 3, purple cap, tiny swimmer

We're still waiting on final results (6 & Under's aren't so good at hitting the digital touch pads, so they have to input all the back-up timers' data and they weren't posted yet when we left), but it looked like he got 3rd in free and 2nd or 3rd in back, which was fantastic, especially for his first swim season!

Tiny and unusually fierce and focused

Next year both kids can be on the team and even though some aspects of swim team are a pain in the neck (like all the meets being an hour away), I have really, really enjoyed being a swim team parent. When you combine a sport I actually know the rules of, with my own impossibly happy memories of swim team summers, with the inherent fairness that comes with separate lanes and an impartial clock to judge the races, AND the joy of seeing your child enjoy his first athletic success and suddenly the early morning drives to other area codes don't seem so bad.

My mom especially loved being in the stands. Swim team was such a huge part of our childhood- all 3 of us were on the team and my mom was the ultra-spirited team manager (and at one point, reluctant head coach), and we walked to our little neighborhood pool each morning and stayed until we were water logged sun burnt. We hosted pep rallies, made giant signs to hang along meet routes, and had mixed tapes of Queen "pump up" music going in the car, and even now, all three Rice kids still hold at least one team or pool record from the early 90's. Being in the stands brought back all kinds of happy memories and made me seriously think about joining summer league next summer (adults can compete at the meets, but would it make me sad to be slower than my 11-12 age group record? Maybe, but I think it would be fun if JP and I both did it. Maybe?).

First meet shirt!

We celebrated the day with post-meet-pizza while JP raced off to coach his Saturday lessons. My mom headed home, my dad having just landed in Houston from his business trip to Taipei and both of them anxious to reunite and head to the lake. JP came home and we decided to seize the unseasonably cool temperatures (it was 78 degrees at 2 p.m. in the middle of July, 108 would be much more normal) and clean every inch of the exterior of our house. Ugh, we're such grown-ups.

Spot the scrubbing JP!

I adore our window-covered glass house every day, except the ones I decide we need to clean them. That goes for the 50 sky lights as well.

The kids were awesome helpers. Seriously, they scrubbed all the window sills, the floorboards around the patio, and the tile lining the pool. JP did the skylight work, trimming, hedging, and more. And I cleaned the inside and outside of every single window in the house, removing the wood blinds and scrubbing every inch. All the front windows are original to our 1940's house and it had clearly been a while since someone had taken them to task. Oy. Cora supervised.

We celebrated our sparkling home with dinner out on a patio, belatedly realizing that a few years ago that's what we would have thought to do with a cool July day in the first place.

Today has felt like a bonus day- lots of swimming, a little more scrubbing (Claire really likes her sponge; Sharkie is getting a bath as I type by the pool (or I was, Cora woke up and interrupted me), and a week's worth of meal planning and to-do list writing. After 2 birthdays, 2 birthday parties, a destination wedding, a season of summer league, and a busy testimony schedule, I feel like we finally have summer mostly under control, just in time to take a few breaths before getting ready for school!


  1. Cora's pictures make me REALLY EXCITED to have this baby. Maybe if I definitively say that my second is my last, she'll get the temperament of a 3rd child? Yes? Please?

  2. Hi! I hope this doesn't repeat- my first comment seems to have gotten lost. Anyways, I've been reading for awhile now... I just have to say that I think your family is adorable and I'm really looking forward to having that someday! =)

    I have a few questions that I thought you might be able to add to your FAQ post that you're working on:
    1) When you and JP got married, did you both 100% know that you wanted children? I know you struggled with the idea of adding a third, but did you know you wanted children before you got married or was that a decision you made later?

    2) My BF may be getting a job offer in Dallas soon, and I'm wondering if you can give us some insight into what it's like living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? I know you're closer to the Ft. Worth side, but can you let us know what you think of living in the area. Are there fun things to do for young adults (we just turned 30) with and without young kids?