Monday, June 27, 2016

Overchlorinated Large Footed Husks

So within an hour of publishing the last post, it was clear from the commentariat that I needed to go get fitted for running shoes. So, since I was working from home, I took my lunch break at Luke's Locker down by West 7th, walking in with complete confidence that I had no idea what to do in a running store and accepting help from the first salesperson who asked if I needed it. "YES!" I exclaimed, probably frightening him, "I NEED RUNNING SHOES! ... Real ones. That fit. I don't know what I'm doing here REALLY...I'm a swimmer...Or I was a long time ago...Now I run...A little...Not a lot...I'm not like a real runner...I run like maybe 6-10 miles a week...

. . .


His calm and competent facial expression never changed during this unusually spastic monologue. "Okay, let's head over here and get started." The process was fast- he watched me walk, asked about my running style, and then measured my feet and declared me a size 12. Wait, whaaaaa?

"Is that even a thing?!" I immediately asked. "Sure," he calmly and competently replied. "But I'm wearing a 10 right now!" and at that, I finally got a reaction- genuine, deep, heartrending concern, maybe even horror. "Oh no, you definitely need a larger running shoe! Your toes cannot spread out in a 10! They are cramped and holding your shoe in place when they are supposed to extend with every step!" I'm pretty sure I gave him nightmares.

He brought me out a pair that fit perfectly (SIZE 12!!) and I was surprised to find they were only $100! (Obviously, I'm using "only" loosely, but I was definitely expecting to spend much more than that just based on the general prices at Academy.) So I have new shoes and I have been promised I'll be able to run much farther now that my toes aren't distracted by folding themselves in half. I wore them to Orangetheory this morning and feel like they really added something to the all-outs.

After my shoe buying victory I went back to work for a few hours before James and I went to pick up the big kids from zoo camp. In the category of "it seemed like a good idea on Tuesday," we'd promised the kids we'd pick up Cora early from school and then go get them from their last day of zoo camp and spend an hour at the zoo together. Except by Friday, James had been in the blazing hot sun for five days and it was 115 degrees outside (ish) and walking around the zoo at one of the hottest times of the day sounded terrible. But we did, because of the children. The kids loved it of course, and we got to see the gorillas get their dinner which was fun. It was also really, really hot.

On Saturday we were at the pool bright and crazy early (yet somehow ALREADY HOT) for a swim meet. A swim meet that lasted a million hours and was a million degrees.

But as always, the kids swam great, including my biggest kid, and my littlest kid was a trooper who helped me time, cheered on everyone, and just accepted her 8 hours in 105 degree weather with good natured third babyness.

7:30 a.m. Totally delighted by a book she'd already "read" 15 times

After the meet the kids wanted to swim in our pool, obviously, so we invited some friends over at 3:30. They brought frozen margaritas in a ziploc bag (brilliant!) that we crunched up and poured in cups and then swam and played until we decided to order pizza to eat in our backyard. Cora swam NON-STOP, absolutely refusing the steps and any toys, and instead insisting on jumping in, swimming to me, and then swimming to the stairs over and over and OVER again. But even with 100 "ready, set, jumps!", it was a perfect evening. The kids play so well together and I love anyone who can elevate my margarita game.

On Sunday I went to hot yoga, which I honestly couldn't have felt less like doing but I had a pass that expired on that date, and then James took the kids out to his pool to check the chemicals and let them go off the high dive. It had been a whole 10 hours without chlorine for them, so I'm sure they were glad to be reunited. While we waited for them to return, I asked Cora if she wanted to go the store with me. "Ummmmm, yes!" she replied (her serious "ummms" kill me). There was a short delay, and then she marched through the living room, "Okay, I ready!!"

And so she was.

After a thrilling return at Old Navy that really didn't do justice to her ensemble, we returned home to two big kids who were super excited about going to a water park we'd also stupidly mentioned earlier in the week, back when it sounded like a good idea and we hadn't spent 100% of Saturday in a haze of chlorine and sun. But they were sooooo excited and we didn't really have a good reason not to go, so we packed up and headed to Arlington. Because what could sound better than more water, more sun, and more chlorine at 1 p.m.?

Absolutely nothing. Except also anything, plus a margarita in a ziploc bag.

The big kids LOVED it.

Cora LOVED it.

And while she braved some pretty fast slides, she also insisted on swimming the WHOLE time. Since the water was about 12" deep, this is how she went about it.

The WHOLE time.

After a few hours we dragged everyone back home and the first thing we heard as we pulled into the driveway: "Mommy can we go swimming?!".

James and I were done. My insomnia has been the absolute worst it has ever been- I haven't slept more than 2 hours in a row in a few weeks, and I was just spent. So we sent the big kids outside and bribed Cora with a Mickey Mouse show- the first time we have EVER used TV during the day (oh baby 3) because neither of us could bear going out with her to do "ready, set, jump!" another 100 more times. Our children had broken us. 

The big kids swam until dinner (I made jambalaya! it was delicious) and then, after we told them they couldn't swim again (I mean, my god), we settled in to watch the US Olympic Trials for swimming.

Now I don't care even the tiniest bit about professional sports. I care about college sports to the extent that I think it's nice they exist and if I hear UT is playing something I might ask if they're winning. James cares only a little more than I do. We never watch sports on TV- we don't even have a TV in the main area of our house, so our kids have 0 experience with us watching sports with them. But every 4 years, swimming gets televised. And when swimming gets televised, we watch it. Intently. Silently. We are THERE for the swimming on the TV.

And so we started to watch NBC's swimming telecast. And Landon immediately had 6,000 questions, 10% of which related to what we were watching. Claire had 4,000 questions, 20% of which related to what we were watching. And Cora screamed out, "Kick kicks! BIG kick kicks!" every 3 seconds. I think that if James was not by now an overchlorinated husk of himself, he would have exploded. Instead, I paused the TV, explained to everyone that this was Daddy's ONE HOUR of TV time and it won't happen again until 2020 (I'll be THIRTEEN!" yelled Landon) and we all needed to be respectful of it.

They were not respectful. Everyone was banished to their rooms to read so the grown-ups could watch TV in peace. As I closed each of their doors, ensuring we wouldn't hear anything over the swimming commentators, I told them each to remember that we took them to a water park today and then I went back to my wine.

Because seriously, if you enjoy watching swimming at the Olympics, you should watch the Trials. The US has such a deep talent pool, our Trials are often quite a bit faster than the Olympics and the racing is just incredible.

Now me and my giant feet are off to bed where we won't sleep, but at least my toes will be nicely splayed out.


  1. Thanks for sharing. It all sound like fun, except for the temperature. We are weather wimps here near the beach in Southern California, where we retreat to our air-conditioned basement family room when it hits the high 80's.

    1. It's the high 80's when I walk into work at 7:45 a.m. It's still in the 90's outside right now and it's 10:25 p.m. Every single summer I wonder how anyone lives here!

  2. I must admit I'm a little bummed by the non-flourescent-ness of your shoes. The brighter the faster!

    1. That's my theory for barre pants! And the shoes are actually pretty bright- I just realized the photo looks so tame! The sides and soles are neon orange, so I still look flashy while I do my not-real running at Orangetheory ;).

  3. Can we talk about how Cora can swim?? And how awesome that is? Could all of your kids swim at that age? My 2.5 year old is in lessons 2 days a week (was last summer, back at it this summer) and isn't even close to being water-safe. I wish we were in FW and we could hook a girl up!

    1. They definitely could not! Cora is our first kid to not hate swim lessons- and far from not hating, she LOVES them, and since we have a pool, she gets a TON of practice. Landon could swim at about age 4, Claire at 3. I really think Cora will be able to swim across our pool by the end of this summer, so at 2 she's our smallest fish :). (And I wish you were in FW too! James is a great coach and also FW is great and has so many margaritas)

  4. I live in Charlotte, NC and this town is swim crazy! There is a big group that trains here for the Olympics and everyone is pumped for the trials.