Thursday, May 19, 2016

News in the No News

So I poured my heart and several hours into a blog post about having a third baby and gathered some lovely comments and a new reader or two and then promptly disappeared for more than a week. I'm not really sure why- I even had a story all ready to go on Friday the 13th about how I did Orangetheory that morning before work and burned precisely 666 calories which was clearly an omen for what happened a few minutes later when I stepped out of the shower in the tiny shower room and stood naked and dripping over my bag to find my jeans, a thin white tank, a breezy sheer tank, sandals, and NOTHING ELSE. My workout clothes were too sweaty to contemplate and I needed to be at work in 15 minutes.

Luckily, I had planned to maybe do yoga during lunch, and even more luckily I actually had a separate sports bra and tank packed instead of the support tanks I wear 99% of the time. Unfortunately these things were in my car, through a lobby filled with people, and across the parking lot of a shopping center. So I pulled jeans on over bare skin which is TERRIBLE and put on my tank (also over bare skin which was less abrasive but more bouncy), bounced my way through the lobby, etc. to grab my yoga bag, bounced my way back through the lobby, etc., back into the one small shower room that magically wasn't re-occupied yet, and wear a terribly restrictive running sports bra under my cute breezy tank. That was at 7:45 a.m. and by 4 p.m. my shoulders were permanently hunched forward, my ribs felt bruised, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't breathing as deep as I should be. Moral of the story- pack your bra and panties before anything else. I remembered an optional belt, multiple earring options, and a backup pair of flat shoes in case I ran errands on the way home and didn't want to wear heels. Pack your underthings before all these other things.

Muffins with Mom the day before;
all undergarments present and accounted for

But that was Friday. That night James and I went out for a date and superficially enjoyed a mindless and surprisingly entertaining Captain America movie while reeling from James's hour-old news that the Boys and Girls Club- the pool he rents each school year to run his swim school business- would not be renewing his lease in the fall. They don't want to pay to heat the water as high as he needs it for little kids lessons and are looking at likely eventually shutting the pool down. My mouth fell open as an invisible fist punched me in the stomach when he relayed the news. Three years of increasing enrollment, revenue, and hundreds of successes in teaching kids to be safer and better swimmers and he no longer has a pool starting in September. (He rents a different one in the summer, but it is outdoors and is drained at the end of the summer.)

So that's obviously the biggest news and I really don't know what to do with it. We talk about it constantly in short bursts, but there aren't any solutions yet (pool space is very hard to come by in Fort Worth) and I can't even contemplate his having to look for a job again. Plus he coaches our kids! I love that he's their coach because I love that they get to see their dad in the afternoon and I don't have to go to practice because we already have a parent there, but mostly I love it because he's amazing and I trust him to foster their love of swimming while focusing on perfecting technique without mindless yardage that would burn them out too soon. I love that he's home in the mornings- that Cora is his office assistant until 9 or so, that we can have deliveries at the house because he's there, that he has some flexibility and does breakfast, packs lunches, and gets the kids off to school each morning. I love that he's built something- that he's known in our community, that he's following his entrepreneurial dreams in a way that taps into a particular talent he has in coaching. And the swim school is doing so well financially we've been able to pay off more school loans and do other fun budgetary things. Losing that income will fundamentally change our lifestyle, plus the swim school 100% funds his real baby, the swim products company, and the idea of shuttering that is also devastating.

So. He has the summer session about to start at his other pool (that he also manages in order to use) and he is so crazy over-the-top busy with that it's hard to really absorb what's going to happen in the fall. He's putting out feelers and mining his now-significant contacts in Fort Worth and the swimming community. We hope very, very much that he finds something. We also know if there was a pool out there not currently being used, he'd probably already know about it. But still we hope.

In the mean time, the kids are awesome. Landon creates a new menagerie of clay animals every few days. Here is Monday's chameleon.

Claire's reading has completely taken off. She's turned that magical corner where every word goes from a a battle of individual letters and sounds to WORDS. Words that make up fully formed smoothly flowing sentences. It's amazing. She's taken over a large portion of Cora's nightly reading and everyone is very pleased with this.

Cora decided to learn English about a month ago and now talks NONSTOP and knows one million words, all shapes, all colors, and all songs. This leap forward has totally worn her out and Tara sent me this picture at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Tara had been working on homework with the big kids and looked up to see Cora tucked into Claire's old nap mat (stored in the closet) and her nighttime blankie (stored in her crib). Third babies are remarkably self sufficient.

Also, we got a new roof on Tuesday (major hail damage FTW!). And added a covered porch over our small patio with leftover roof tiles. It's going to be nice to have a covered area in our back yard.

We're having Claire's beloved Kindergarten teacher and her fiance over for dinner tomorrow night. I'm currently thinking Greek salad, Mediterranean marinated grilled flank steak, grilled pita bread, and homemade tzatziki sauce. Kind of different, but not flavors so strong or unique it could be objectionable. And dessert, of course. Probably tres leches cake with fresh strawberries. And maybe a pitcher of something delicious to drink while we sit by the pool before dinner? I love creating my hostessing menus- my biggest challenge is holding myself back from wanting to try too many new and untried recipes. Mrs. C was also Landon's teacher and we adore her (and have made her promise not to retire before she can teach Cora!) and I want everything to be homemade and delicious. At least I have total confidence in the cake.

eating a donut hole like a LADY

I'm teaching 3 barre classes in the next 3 days, gearing up for our NY trip (9 more days!), Claire's birthday, the end of school, and the start of summer camps and swim team. It seems like we have an event a night until mid-June, but as long as I don't think for long about James's impending lack of pool/business, I can remember that this is one of my favorite crazy super fun times of year and the present can be a joy even when the future isn't clear.


  1. I LOVE that chameleon! And the independent napper. . .

  2. Sorry I never comment but are there any community colleges w a pool nearby? A swim school here was able to rent pool time at a cc because the pool was unused most afternoon and evenings. Just a thought. Good luck l!

  3. So sorry to hear about the swim school :( Is there any way you two can buy the pool itself? I know that sounds crazy, but if they're not doing well financially, maybe? Or pay more for the heating required? Ugh - crossing my fingers that something good comes out of this for you both!

  4. Reading this socked me in the gut, too. I remember his long and terrible job search, I remember how the heavens opened up and the hallelujah chorus vibrated through the air when he worked out this swim school and turned it into a successful enterprise in no time. It's such a perfect fit for ya'll, and I'm hoping you can crowdsource solutions among the FW community. The school obviously filled a needed hole, since enrollment zoomed up so fast, and I'd hope the community at large would want to figure out how to keep it going rather than see it shuttered and their children swim-lesson-less once more. No solutions to offer here, just heartfelt good wishes and hope that a solution presents itself soon.

  5. I also came to say maybe you could buy the pool itself. Then you would have it year-round and manage just the one pool? No idea how that financially works or all the details but it sounds on the surface like a good idea! Glad everything else is going well. Three kids is a lot for me and takes a tremendous amount of balance.

  6. Argh re the pool. Guessing the economics of passing the cost of heating the pool through to the swim school don't work? Or perhaps the community would be interested in raising a special fund for pool maintenance since it sounds like the swim school isn't the only group using the facility? (Maybe this is an opportunity to make use of Regulation Crowdfunding ;)) Hope you guys find a solution.

  7. UGH COME ON. That sucks. Around here, the indoor pools that rent out space are the schools, both grade schools and high schools, the YMCA, and colleges. There are a couple of indoor community pools, but not many.

  8. I'm so sorry. That's a huge unknown and has got to be pretty stressful. I hope everything works out and you get a resolution soon!

  9. My son's old swim teacher uses private homes during the summer for group lessons. It's a different home each day and she makes sure they are sufficiently heated. Obviously she pays the homeowners something as well. I'm sure that's not anywhere near the scale that you need but its something.

  10. Ugh on the pool situation
    Yay on all else

  11. What about renting a hotel pool?? Or a couple of them, a couple days a week for several hours a day?? Or buying the other pool??

  12. Stalking Sarah5/23/16, 6:15 PM

    My two cents on the pool thing: Ask for help. Email the whole mailing list and explain what's going on. Ask for advice. Let the community support you!

    And yeah, maybe buy the pool if you can! Or negotiate one more lease at higher rates?

  13. New reader here from SHU! Am really enjoying your blog. I also love planning hostessing of those "it's so great to be an adult" things for me. Loved your third baby post. I have three boys and our third has changed our family in unexpected and wonderful ways.

  14. Bummer on the pool situation. Maybe it is an attempt to negotiate a larger fee or maybe they wish to sell the pool ?

    Re forgetting you underwear in the pool I think if we are honest we have all done that at least once...