Monday, June 18, 2018

Adventures of All Kinds

So, my doctor increased my Paxil dose last week, something I expected but was apparently unprepared for because it has knocked me out. I've never been sleepy during the day before, but I took a nap Saturday afternoon and then almost fell asleep watching TV last night at 9:30 until I finally just asked James to turn the TV off. Hopefully I'll adjust soon because this can't-keep-my-eyes-open, living-through-molasses feeling is not my favorite. Also, I went to the OB/GYN today for a check-up and she was very concerned about a mole I didn't know I had in a place I cannot see and asked to remove it right then. "Sure why not," I replied and seconds later I have a fiery shot of lidocaine and a scalpel in my nethers. The mole is off to the pathologist and I skipped evening yoga and came home to a giant slice of James's Father's Day cake followed by a bag of popcorn with cheez-its on top that I ate standing because it hurt to sit. I have a dermatologist check-up next Monday so I just can't wait to see what kinds of new adventures that brings. On the upside, I was wearing a new dress that I like very much and made me feel happy, so yay for retail therapy.

But back to the rest of life. We have to go back like 2 weeks, so I'll just hit the highlights.

Like our first swim meet of summer and the return of 5 a.m. Saturday wake-up calls!

I decided not to swim this year. As fun as it was to dive back in the water last summer, I can't say it reawakened any great love of swimming in me. I still love to race, but I have absolutely no interest in going to the practices or doing anything that would make me go faster, and it really is SO nice to just be dry at swim meets. James doesn't understand this, but I am quite happy in my current role in the stands. I'll probably join again for a future summer, but this year, I'm just an enthusiastic supporter.

Speaking of enthusiasm, Cora arrived ready to dominate. Now an experienced 4-year-old in the same 6-&-Under age group, Cora was SO ESSITED to be on swim team again. And this year her best friend Jojo was going to join her. AND she now gets to do backstroke! I still find a toddler in a swim cap and goggles to be the cutest thing I've ever seen.

She did great in her freestyle, dropping a solid 15 seconds off last year's best time. And then in her backstroke, which I thought was going to be a hot mess, she zoomed down the lane, fully on her back, never flipping over and going nearly the same time she went in her free!

Can't believe it either.

Coach Dad deserves many high fives.

The big kids also did great. Claire has emerged as a dominant breaststroker, winning both her races so far this season, and Landon continues his reign in all things, but particularly the 50 free and 100 IM.

Most importantly several of their friends are on the team and the card games of Uno, Spoons, and War continue in the team tents.

After a million hours (or like 5ish) we headed home to pass out before a pool party that night. And I mean pass out pretty literally- James fell asleep, Cora fell asleep (for FOUR HOURS!), *I* fell asleep, and the two big kids lay on the couch, head to head, staring at a blank TV when I walked in an hour later. "Are you watching something?" "We were earlier," Landon sighed, "but then it turned off when it was done." I continued doing stuff in the kitchen and they continued to lie there, just gazing at the black screen. We were a little tired.

The evening's pool party was good fun, even if I did have to nudge the kids out the door a bit. Then on Sunday, we went to the zoo and FED GIRAFFES!

Oh yeah. All caps levels of excitement.

Our new exhibit is amazing and we love it but the two times we've stopped by it's been just before closing and the giraffes are full. But on Sunday we were there right at 10 a.m. and two of them, including my new best friend Captain, were HANGRY.

It was so fun. I love giraffes. I loved feeding my new giraffe. I even made James go buy more overpriced lettuce just so we could do it more. As Claire declared immediately following our giraffe experience, this was the BEST visit to the zoo EVER. And we've been to the zoo about 100 times.

We also bonded with our new hippos, Poppy and Bubbles, from Oregon. I'm pretty sure we're their favorites.

The rest of Sunday was errands, teaching barre, having friends over to swim, and making delicious salmon for dinner and then it was off to week #2 of summer! Landon would be at the Cowtown Marathon Running Camp and Claire was at a Greatest Showman Broadway Jazz dance camp! Both were VERY EXCITED about these things.

Landon LOVED running camp. He was full of stories and running tips every day. My favorite was on Wednesday when we had this conversation:

Landon: Mom! Today at running camp we got these cool belt things with pockets. Hacky packs? Sacky hacks?

Me: Fanny packs?

Landon: Yes! They’re really cool mom.

Claire LOVED Greatest Showman camp. They had a performance on Friday and it was adorable and earnest and everything an 8-year-old's Broadway jazz camp should be.

Cora did not go to any camps because she is still in her year-round Montessori preschool, but she did get new sparkle rainbow light-up shoes and she would like for you to see them.

And the tiny rainbow cheetah Claire bought Cora with her birthday money because Claire is a more generous big sister than Cora often deserves.

We had swim meet #2 yesterday morning and left the house even earlier but somehow still too late to stop at Starbucks on the way. It was a nice pool and the kids swam really well. Landon even had the rare bit of competition and got beat in the 25 fly and then got best times racing the same kid (and winning) in the 50 free and 100 IM. It's good for him to have to work for it sometimes. Cora rocked her 25 free and then lost her mind partway through her 25 back when she hit the lane rope and took the rope's attack deeply personally. James had to jump in to pull her out midway across the pool after she sat with her arm on the lane rope screaming and chewing on her hand for comfort for several seconds. Thirty minutes of hysterical crying later she was able to calmly inform us "the lane rope just hurt my head mommy and I don't like that" and we changed into a dress and snazzy sunglasses and moved on with our day.

Since her older siblings were still swimming their events and couldn't devote a proper amount of attention to her, Cora replaced them with new ones. I realized she was missing from our area and went in search of her only to find her happily ensconced in a new tent, with new friends I did not know (and she didn't either), enthusiastically playing with a set of plastic horses and unicorns. She remained there for the rest of the meet. I still don't know who any of her new friends were, but they seemed nice and didn't mind a 4-year-old crashing their unicorn party.

Gotta love swim meets.

Yes, I do.

That afternoon we all crashed again. Swim meets take a lot out of you and then we had a super fun backyard games party at a friend's house. I took no pictures, but there was a margarita machine, nacho bar, my tres leches cake, and much fun had by all. James and I remain an undefeated team in bean bags and he played a frisbee game while I drank a margarita to refuel. It was a good night.

Sunday was Father's Day and it was perfect but I'm going to blog about it later because it's late and I seem to need 12 hours of sleep now instead of my usual 6, so we'll go straight to food. I have many recipes! Basically everything we've eaten in June so far:

Sunday: went to a BBQ at a friend's and brought Pesto Caprese Gnocchi (literally just cooked gnocchi tossed with pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes, and fresh baby mozzarella balls; this is Cora's favorite meal in the whole world) and Farro Kale-Radicchio Salad with Lemon Miso dressing (possibly my favorite meal in the whole world)

Monday: BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad birthday dinner! (Claire's favorite meal and chosen birthday dinner), Chocolate cupcakes I made from a box between me getting home from work and the kids getting home from swimming.

Tuesday: Egg roll bowl (made this up based on the memory of past recipes: saute ground turkey with onion and garlic, add soy sauce, simmer; dump in big bag of cauliflower rice, sliced baby bok choy, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots - fill the whole giant pan you're using, stir around until it all softens a bit, add in rice vinegar + sherry + soy sauce + oyster sauce. I would have used sesame oil but I didn't have any on hand. Serve. So yummy and healthy and hearty.)

Wednesday: Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas with added leftover bbq chicken from Monday), Mexican rice. SOOOOOO good. I love that recipe; the enchilada sauce is divine.

Thursday: Big salad night. Take every vegetable out of your fridge + hard boiled egg, avocado, walnuts, cheese, cold cooked pasta/quinoa/farro (whatever you've got)- chop everything, dump it in the biggest bowl you own. Make a dressing (I like red wine vinegar + dijon mustard + garlic + salt/pepper + olive oil; heavy on the vinegar). Toss it all together with tongs and distribute in bowls that resemble the Goldilocks story per person in the family. Serve with crackers and cheese on the side.

Friday: Date night! James and I went to see Ocean's 8 and I ate delicious nachos in my seat at the theater. I made the kids our favorite crockpot meatballs with veggies and fruit on the side.

Saturday: Birthday Party Pizza. Birthday pool party with all our favorite people, and mandatory breaks for the kids to eat some pizza to fuel the swimming shenanigans.

Sunday: Salmon, Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Cauliflower, Kale Salad with Lemon Miso Dressing. My absolute favorite salmon recipe (I broil it in the oven and skip the salsa) that I have missed very much, roasted tri-color potatoes and cauliflower, with the salad that I love that I made last Saturday, followed by some Trader Joe's dark chocolate cookies I snuck in the pantry while James was doing dishes.

Monday: Chicken Caesar Wraps, Oven Fries, Fruit. Sliced grilled chicken breasts and the organic Caesar salad mix from TJ's, rolled into tortillas with sliced tomatoes, served with oven fries and whatever fruit is in the fridge. The kids thought I was made of magic when I turned a salad into a wrap, and really, maybe I was.

Tuesday: OUT. I now teach barre at TCU on Tuesday nights and I just knew I wasn't going to want to cook when I could go out for happy hour tacos, queso, and margaritas with the kids. We met up with friends at the restaurant, proving it was the right decision.

Wednesday: Crockpot Red Beans and Rice, Steamed Green Beans, Cornbread. My fave red beans and rice recipe to date and it's super easy, light, filling, and comforting. And the TJ box cornbread mix because it's excellent.

Thursday: Tamales, Refried Black Beans, Avocado. Steamed frozen tamales, Cora's favorite thing, with beans and avocado and tomato. I skipped this dinner to go to barre, but the kids loved it.

Friday: OUT. It was supposed to be pasta with meat sauce, but I felt lazy and tired and in need of nachos so we went out for those instead.

Saturday: Tres Leches Cake (without the rum, but with cinnamon added to the milks mixture). My contribution to our friend's nacho buffet along with black beans and roasted corn.

Sunday: Giordano's Deep Dish Pizza for Father's Day. Shipped in on dry ice, it was FANTASTIC.

Monday: Chicken Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner (I did tri-color carrots, green beans, red potatoes, and chicken sausage spread over two pans) with Parmesan Orzo on the side (so delicious and simple; I leave out the parsley because I don't like it).

Tuesday: Mexican Rice with all the toppings.

Wednesday: Greek Tortellini Salad, naan, tzatziki sauce on the side.

Thursday: White Bean and Chicken Verde Enchiladas, black refried beans, rice, avocado.

Friday: My Mom's Spaghetti: Carbo-loading for meet #3!


  1. I have the same issue with anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds, I feel like I'm living in jello. I started taking them at night before bed and that is much better for me! That said, the weirdest part of these meds is how they react so differently in individuals. Good luck!

    1. Yes, it is so weird how different they can be! My doctor said to give it one more week and if I hadn't adjusted we should try something different. I do feel like today has been better than yesterday which was better than the day before. At no time today did I feel like jello was a part of my life, so I"m hopeful this one will still work out for me.

  2. The first paragraph, LOL...!! Hope you're doing better and derm appt is a-ok!

    1. Glad I made you laugh! Fingers still crossed for Monday's derm. I feel like those really never go well. (Unless I'm getting a facial and not actually seeing the dermatologist at all!)

  3. If I lived there, I would ship my kids off to JP. Despite my swimming ability, I appear to have a child who sinks. She and I stare at each other, baffled. Why don't you float? I ask. Why don't YOU sink? she asks. Later, rinse, repeat. It turns out it's hard to teach something to your kids that's instinctive to you, heh.

    Love the dress.

    1. Yes! This is why I did not teach any of my kids to swim. He has a truly unique talent for being able to translate his swimming love and knowledge to screaming toddlers. We're lucky to have him!

  4. Thank you for sharing about your depression. Love your blog. FYI: Beto is doing a run meet-up on Sunday in Fort Worth. I'll be walking. Keep at all of it!

    1. Thank you! And yay! My parents will be in town so I don't think I can join on Sunday, but so glad you're going- GO Beto GO!

  5. Paxil is notorious for making people sleepy/ gain weight/ feel off even if the dose is off by just a few hours. You are not alone - I also felt perpetually falling on the couch tired on it. I'm glad it sounds like it's helping somewhat though! If you ever decide to try something else, just be really careful coming down on doses. Some Drs downplay the discontinuation syndrome, but having lived it, it is real!

    1. My tiredness seems to be getting better (or at least, it's definitely better today!), so hopefully this is a trend and I'm adjusting and can stay on it. I hate to keep switching things up, but I will because I can't survive my schedule if I feel like passing out all the time! (And thanks for the warning on discontinuation, should we make a change downward I'll be sure to talk about it.)

  6. This is so random, but I'm curious what goggles (brand/style) are working for Cora - ? My 4 year old can't find a comfy and effective pair.

    1. She has these! Super cheap (I buy a few at a time) and they have never leaked on her: I love the Swim Outlet "sporti" brand. I get most of their training suits from there too.

  7. I saw James on the news last night!!

    1. That's awesome! We're so proud of him!