Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Double Digits, Swimming Champs, and Princess Dogs

Well, it happened. I have a 10 year old. As Landon informed me this morning, he will be 11 in 362 days so I suppose I'll just have to accept the forward march of time, though perhaps not quite so enthusiastically as he does.

We celebrated on Friday with the donuts and the castle floats and the opening of the presents.

He really loved his "10" card from my parents. Maybe seeing it made it real? Double digits, baby.

My parents got him roller blades and he LOVES them. It also ended a month long mystery of "what's in the giant box in mom and dad's room." His guesses have been legion. One night, overcome with curiosity, he lay on the floor crying out "why won't you share THE TRUTH?!" repeatedly.

But now the truth has been revealed and he is the proud owner of roller blades, knee and elbow pads, and coordinating roller blade socks. He is delighted by the fact that his roller blades are his favorite green and black color combo, which match his snazzy new roller blade socks, which match his ever-present bright green athletic shirt. Landon LOVES a matched set.

Claire also made him a card and small collection of clay items including a "hamburger" and "snake," all of which were carefully labeled on the paper. I love Claire cards.

He got a Qixel 3D maker from my sister which he is very excited about.

Landon is super active and athletic, but he also loves a good craft project. He bought himself these aqua-beads on sale at Target on a recent visit and spent all weekend making creations and then presenting them to us at his advertised and narrated art show Sunday night.

We ended his faux Friday birthday with me waxing nostalgic about the night I went into labor on facebook and then boys getting up super early on his birthday morning to head out to our Regional Champs swim meet. The girls and I would be swimming in the afternoon, so we had a lazy morning and then headed out to watch the second half of the boys events about 9 a.m.

The boys all swam well. James was actually beat in one event which has never happened before. The stands erupted in cheers for the new victor in the 200 free and James said he felt like Beat Bobby Flay where nobody wants him to win. I enjoyed the Food Network analogy and told him just because he's well known enough now that everyone know he always does. Everyone loves an underdog. That said, he obviously dishonored the family and had to wear a cone of shame for the rest of the meet.

We ate lunch with our swimming friends and then Landon got the opportunity to go home with a friend who was also done swimming for the day. Normally he'd have to stay to support the girls, but it was his birthday and Regionals is a long day and we realized he hadn't eaten in like 3 days because of his braces tightening on Thursday and our friend is a nutritionist who promised him banana peanut butter smoothies at her house, so off he went. She said one several-hundred-calorie smoothie later and he was a new man. Poor Landon.

But, though Saturday was Landon's actual birthday, Saturday afternoon was all about the ladies. Claire, who I inexplicably have no pictures of, did really great- top 3 in all her events and generally focused racing. Claire is funny- if you catch her in a focused moment, she will tear up the pool. But other times, she's bouncing around the block and seems genuinely confused at what event she might be expected to swim. She'll smile through it all, but swimming is not a blood sport for her. That's more soccer and hoarding tiny toys in small containers.

Cora had her final go at the 25 Free. It has been such a joy to see her fall in love with swimming and swim meets this summer. James and I weren't at all sure what to expect with her this season- we only signed her up because we knew she *could* make it across the pool and she had to go to all the meets anyway, so we figured she might as well get a chance to cool off. But she has LOVED it. She wears her tiny swim suit, dons her tiny rainbow goggles, and sits on the ready bench with the big girls in preparation for her big event with a grin on her face the whole time.

She is so tiny beside those blocks and I just love her courage and her joy so much.

Because the boys were done swimming, I got to be Cora's "coach" in the water at this meet. I was happy to do it, but it ended up being very special and almost emotional for me. And, due to what must have been my incredible coaching skills, she even dropped 25 seconds and broke a minute for the first time! She even beat someone! So SO proud of this girl.

And then I had my 100 free. My super arbitrary and probably unrealistic goal at the start of the season was to break a minute in my 100 free without going to practice or really doing anything to deserve that drop in time. But still, hope sprang eternal, especially after watching my tiny toddler's triumphant race. I felt maybe a little faster while racing, touching the wall at a somewhat heartbreaking 1:00.06. 00.06!!! So close! But I'm happy with the season and so glad I decided to swim it. Even the day before the first meet there was no guarantee I was going through on that plan, but it was really fun and I'm sure I'll do it again next year.

All that said, I totally scratched my other two events because it was already 4:00 and we had a party at 5:30 and Claire and Cora were done and no way did I care enough to make us stay another hour or two to watch me swim. Cora was asleep in the natatorium parking lot and stayed that way for the whole 45 minute home despite two stops by me for Sonic and gas. We stopped at home to pick up the s'more bars I'd made at Landon's request (it was still his birthday!) and headed over to our friends who were hosting the party and who had taken Landon home from the meet.

He was on his new blades, moving slow and steady and super proud of his ability to remain upright. His already giant Size 8.5 feet looked particularly labrador-like in the roller blades and I realized that yes, he really is 10.

The party was fun, though we headed home early- totally spent from the day's activities (and knowing our children were hanging on by an emotional thread). Everyone, including Landon was asleep within 10 minutes of getting home, and they were all much happier for it on Sunday.

Sunday was lovely. Our first day in weeks with no plans, no guests, and nothing to have to do except buy food. We went on a walk with the kids so they could practice their new wheels. Landon on his blades, Claire on her birthday roller skates, Cora delightedly running circles around them both in her trusty scooter. James thought Winston needed to come, so he was in the wagon, being shuttled from shady spot to shady spot like a drunken sailor piloting a boat around our street.

It was perfect.

Then we got home and the shit hit the fan- Cora refused to clean up the books she'd strewn about the house to be "jumping rocks," Claire was in timeout for reasons I can't remember but am certain were absurd, and Landon was scrubbing tile grout in his bathroom after a series of poor decisions that culminated in him screaming to the gods and throwing his crocs after being asked to please put his roller blades away.

They say you never have a favorite child, but I did, and his name was Winston.

Luckily everyone chilled out, ate lunch, and around 3:00 we found ourselves in the pool all in the float castle. I think we need to create some kind of Lag Liv family crest to hang from a turret.

We capped off our day with a trip to Mr. Gatti's for Landon's birthday dinner where the games were fun and the pizza was not the pizza of my childhood Gatti dreams. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's the same pizza, I just didn't yet know how good pizza could be. But Landon was happy and it was cheap and that was what mattered (that first part... but also kind of the second part too).

The kids don't have a camp this week, so Monday morning was lazy for them and sad for me as I dragged myself off to work to do serious legal things while they lazed about in the jammies and pet Winston and read books on the couch. I like working, but there's nothing like a morning where the rest of your family is at home to remind you that not working would also be awesome/better.

And lastly, today is our one month anniversary of adopting Winston. Obviously, he has been a wrinkly and wonderful addition to our lives.

To celebrate the occasion Cora dressed him as a beautiful princess and I really felt like his transition to the Lag Liv family was complete.

Happy one monthiversary Winston Churchill! We love you!


  1. So funny. I've had several conversations this week about how hard it is to be the only one leaving the house during the summer. I think a post is brewing...
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Winston rides in the wagon on your walks. It makes me insanely happy. Now you need to get him in the backpack!

  2. I remember reading your blog when you were pregnant with Landon. Crazy how time flies.

  3. My parents always told us the dog was their favorite child!