Monday, July 9, 2018

Reunions of People and Pants (and an Unrelated Swim Meet)

This weekend was the first Saturday in months (feels like possibly years) that we didn't have a single thing on the calendar. No swim meets, birthday parties, family things, friend things - nada. And while I love all the things I just mentioned, having a day of nothing was sublime. I woke up at 6, forced myself back to sleep until 8, and read in bed until 8:45. James headed out at 9:30 to be part of his Saturday lessons, something he usually misses in the summer with all our swim meets, and the kids and I hung about, cleaning the kitchen, starting laundry, and making a grocery shopping list (actually, I did those things; the kids finished a Johnny Test episode and cleaned their rooms). Cora went grocery shopping with me and then I cleaned out our pantry when I discovered multiple open bags of the same thing in our snack section (James. Always James. His inability to check for open containers BEFORE opening a new one is truly one of his greater flaws.). He came home, I went to yoga. I got back and everyone was in the pool so I joined. All five of us, in the pool, and no one else. I'm not even sure that's ever happened. We played water volleyball (or tried, it helps to be over 5'8" in our very deep pool), lazed about on the backs of crocodiles, and generally enjoyed the semi-cool water on a very warm day. We grilled tuna burgers and took a family walk because it was "only" 92 degrees outside which is cool after the weeks we've had. It was a really good day.

Cora enjoying another good day at school

So let's go back to last Saturday. We had our last regular season swim meet- our only home meet- which is usually the longest hottest meet of the year. I had my tea in a go cup and my game face on. Also, sunscreen.

Cora was on her first-ever relay and she was so excited. Then she freaked out about swimming, and then she was excited. She was the lead swimmer. We told her relays were like a game of tag. When she tagged the wall, her friend would go next. She was ready and off she went with the whistle!

The second swimmer went but then her little friend who was supposed to be the third swimmer had a five-year-old moment and refused, so I frantically motioned for adorable swimmer #3 to run down the side of the pool, back over to the starting side so she'd get her turn. I figured we'd just have a 3-leg relay and call it a day. They're 4 and 5 years old, no one cares if they actually swim 100 yards all together. But then swimmer #3 took off and little Cora, who was now alone on the other end after her victorious first leg, started watching her new friend/swimmer #3 swim down the pool. She had her goggles on, put her hands together in a tiny streamline, and JUMPED IN when swimmer #3 touched wall, just like a game of tag! She swam all the way to the other end to many cheers from us at the finish.

And so, she lead off and anchored her very first relay.

Then she swam her 25 free. And then her 25 back. It was a big day for Cora.

The big kids also did great, winning all the things and trying out some events they don't normally swim (Landon swam breaststroke exactly like the butterflyer he is; it is so funny how early you settle in to your strokes. Landon is a flyer and Claire is a breaststroker and that is just what their bodies want them to swim).

The biggest kid did well too. Our friend was his timer and there may have been some bias involved. (Except not really because this is swimming and we take that SERIOUSLY.)

Claire got a blowpop, which is how we used to bribe my sister to do no-breather swims in summer league back in the day. Claire has yet to do a no breather, though she has big plans every time, but she did enjoy her blowpop.

I have each kid pack their bags for the meets- swimsuit, towel, goggles, games, and a change of clothes. Cora's bag is always the most fun to watch unfold throughout the day because you just never know what she's going to pull out of it. When I told her to change after her last event, she rolled out in classic Cora style, upside-down glasses and all.

After the meet, which ended at the HIGHLY reasonable time of 11:58 a.m., unlike past year's debacles that went on and on forever in 110 degrees, we celebrated our short day by meeting our swimming friends for a midday margarita and queso. Then I ran errands, the kids and James relaxed (meaning the big kids watched a movie and James and Cora took a nap) and then we had the same friends over for a potluck dinner that all came together the way the best potluck dinners can. Beer can chickens, appetizers, delicious sides, fruit, veggies, dessert, and a pitcher of margaritas. And a pool.

a few of my offerings

It was a lovely evening.

That ended with Claire spending the night at one friend's house and Landon having the son of another friend sleepover at ours. We finally put a mattress on his trundle so my reasons for not ever letting him have a friend sleep over have officially run out. This was the first time (he's slept over at other people's houses many a time) and it went great. It helps to start your day at a swim meet and finish it in the pool; they were tirrrred. They built Legos, played Battleship, and then we turned their light off at 9. There were no complaints.

Cora was very distressed that Claire was not in her room, but was consoled by getting to sleep up in the top bunk while her sister was gone.

She loved it and I think the height kept her in her bed all night so we may need to rethink our sleeping configuration someday... the kids are really good about going to bed (our routine is 30 seconds long; put in bed, tuck covers, kiss goodnight, turn off light, close door firmly), but Cora occasionally likes to pop out and give us an update on things and while I know that's nothing compared to some kids' bedtime shenanigans we are DONE at 8:00 and have no interest in hearing anything from them until 7 the next morning. But in the top bunk? Cora was snuggled in and never moved. Though in the morning she kept sighing and saying, "Mama, but when is my Cwaire coming home? I MISS her." It was very sweet.

Also on Sunday, once our family was reunited, I got to reunite with another family of mine from way back in my childhood! My very best friend growing up was the son of the family across the street when we moved in in 1988 who was 19 days older than me and my inseparable counterpart for the next 8 years until they moved to New York. His parents were my other parents. I ate nearly as many meals at his house as I ate at my own. I adored that family. We stayed in touch through letters (the olden days!), visited each other several times throughout high school, and then both went to UT. He now lives in San Francisco and his parents live in Tampa and I hadn't seen either of them in way way too long. Well his sister now lives in Dallas (because she's a grownup with a law degree and husband and house and baby and that BLOWS MY MIND; she was just a curly-headed little moppet whose favorite color was "MAGENTA" when they left) and she messaged me that her parents and brother would be in town last weekend and would we mind driving over to Dallas for a reunion.

Y'all, I drive to Dallas for like 2 reasons but now I had a THIRD. I was SO EXCITED. This is my Italian family. They are the best.

As was this baby who I monopolized most of the time we were there (which was any minute my kids weren't also monopolizing her; lucky she was pretty good-natured about it all). It was so wonderful to see them I nearly started crying when I walked in the door. Sean and I walked to school together every day of elementary school. He's part of all my childhood memories and I could still draw for you the exact floorplan and layout of their house. He was the "bride's man" at my wedding and stood up next to me at the church. It was so fabulous to see them.

And later that week we got to meet for lunch.

I'm going to have to find our treasure trove of all pictures because there are one million of us as 80's kids running around all over the place in our 80's houses and 80's "come home when it gets dark" boundaries and they are glorious.

And now we're on this week, July 9th, which is crazy because that means Landon's birthday is in 6 days and that simply can't be right. We have Regionals this Saturday, which is an all-day affair, a water park party for Cora's school Sunday morning, I teach barre Sunday midday, and then we have his birthday party that afternoon. So sort of the opposite of this past weekend. It'll be fun though I'm sure!

Tomorrow I have my first panel of interviews for a promotion I've applied for that I'm incredibly nervous about. It's been quite a competitive and exhaustive process and will continue to be. I went to try on my suit- a suit I haven't worn in YEARS that I just sort of decided would fit as long as I didn't test the theory. Well, it was finally time to test the theory and um, it buttons, but I cannot breathe and the muffin top is... muffinesque. As I texted my favorite mamas, "will the squishing of my innards be a good thing and keep me focused during the long panel interview? or will it cause me to throw up on the interview table?" We decided at best it would be distracting so I dug around for a skirt + jacket that looked believably suit-y. Then, thinking I was settled I tried on the purple silk top I adore that should have looked great with the "suit" except NO. Apparently I haven't worn that since I had Cora and my boobs went from a 34C to a 32DD and the bustline of that top no longer contains me. And somehow even worse, rather than busting out of the top in some nice but inappropriate cleavage, my boobs just went under the bustline, creating a drooping quad-boob situation. So 90 minutes and probably too many texts later (sorry mamas) I was settled on a pink top with my "suit" and heels and grandmother's pearls. I look a little like a flight attendant but also one who knows her securities laws.

On the downside, I am faced with the unavoidable fact that my body is larger than it was in 2012 (and 2014-2016 because I wore that suit a few times to trainings) and the pants used to be loose. On the upside, it's larger because I'm happy and I do things like meet friends for margaritas and nachos midweek (like I'm doing this Wednesday) instead of working through lunch and late into the night. So I'll take it. But on the downside, I'm totally going to have to buy myself a new suit. (And I have no IDEA what I'm going to wear for interview panel 2 on Wednesday.)


  1. Good luck on your interview!

  2. Sending lots of positive energy your way for tomorrow. You always look so polished in your work outfit photos, I'm sure you'll find something great. But as hard as it sounds like you've worked (and amazingly smart and articulate you seem to be) I'm sure you're ready to rock this!

  3. Good luck at your interview (or hope it went well - since I’m reading this late). Too late for the immediate issue but Banana Republic has cute suits that go on sale pretty often.

  4. Hope the interview went great! There was a lovely green dress you posted recently--might that have made a good interview outfit?

  5. Good luck with the interviews!