Monday, May 13, 2013

first swim

i've mentioned previously about my love for harper's swim lessons and her teacher, maggie.  harper started in august 2011, and has made immense progress.  she is now swimming across the width of the pool, both freestyle and backstroke, 95% on her own with a little bit of guidance here and there, and working towards breaststroke and butterfly.  i am utterly impressed.  she occasionally will ask when swimming lessons are done (like she asked about dance...more to come on that topic), and i keep telling her that swimming is a life skill and i don't foresee stopping in the near future.  she does completely fine when she's there, with only the occasional grumpy face.

over spring break, i took the girls to open swim.  crosby was hooked and i was thankful that harper could swim so well, because little one didn't want to stop jumping off the side and going underwater.  she didn't want me to hold her, she only wanted to swim and dive like big sister was doing.  i decided then and there that i had to get her into lessons.  for her to have fun, and also to get her acclimated to the water before summer hit.  but the only way i would do it was if maggie was her teacher, too.  well, lucky us, maggie was looking to teach a mini lesson and within 2 weeks, we were putting crosby into the water and into amazing hands.

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it's been 4 weeks.  the first 2 went amazingly well, and then she was brought to lesson 3 and the underwater dunks.  that's when tears started.  i think it overwhelmed her because she wasn't jumping and doing it on her own.  so maggie has backed off a bit, and we're working on increasing her comfortability again.  she doesn't not like it, and she still gets excited to go.  so we continue and turn those tears around.

and i love that maggie is also working on waiting.  crosby doesn't really like to wait.  but the fact that she is sitting on the side of the pool, patiently waiting for her turn is an added bonus and a shock.  that maggie does some amazing things.

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if you're looking for lessons, try out goldfish swim school.  you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


it is mother's day, and i have had the luxury of being in bed all morning long.  i got to sleep in.  i was brought breakfast in bed by my love and my 2 littles.  and i've spent the morning lounging in warm, comfy sheets while setting up my new iphone 5, playing words with friends, going through pictures on my computer, deciding which blog post i should do first and which pictures need editing the most, reading books to crosby, sharing a laugh with harper, and being brought cups of coffee with unmeasured creamer by michael.  harper gave me her gifts this cards to biggby coffee and dairy queen, so i can get coffee and ice cream whenever i want.  how heavenly and thoughtful is that?!

here's the thing...when i am allowed a huge space of time to do whatever i please, i get panicky.  what do i pick?  what if i can't get it all done?  what about the chores that sit idly by waiting for me to get back to them?  my mind races and i can't slow it down.  and the same thing is happening to me now.

i have so much i want to do.  blog.  scrapbook the girls first years before they slip away.  read the list of books sitting on my nightstand.  run.  yoga.  spin.  organize my house.  sell my house.  find another house.  sleep.  drink coffee.  nap.  and on and on and on...

i saw this quote on instagram today, and it spoke volumes to me.

motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own; to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing, even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.   donna bell

i don't know if this time and space i'm given today is going to be productive and used wisely.  but i do know that when i emerge from this bedroom in just a bit, i will be a little more forgiving of myself for the things i am doing and the things i am not.  first and foremost, i am a mama and a wife.  and raising my children and loving my family with all of myself is the only thing that matters.  i need to forgive myself if i don't get it all done.  i need to learn to let some tasks go.  and i need to be ok with that. 

i also need to celebrate little self-accomplishments and enjoy the good.  like yesterday.  michael and i ran the color run for the 2nd year.  he literally dragged me out of the house.  i wasn't feeling the best.  it was cold and sprinkling, despite it being mid-may and having 70 and 80 degree weather during the week.  i had so much to do in the house.  our house selling is still in major limbo.  but we went, and we rocked it, and i am so proud of us.  michael hasn't run in months, i have been sporadic.  but we've been spinning like crazy, counting calories, have dropped over 30 pounds between the 2 of us, and we ran that entire 5k no problem.  i actually beat my best time by 3 whole minutes.  that was empowering.  

it boosted my mood, gave me a burst of happiness, and i will keep that with me despite what i accomplish in my solitude today.  

i am a mama, and i am so thankful.

happy mother's day to all the beautiful mamas out there. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

windy city

a mere two months later, and i'm finally posting about our weekend jaunt in chicago.  i referenced in back in february, as this weekend was michael's birthday gift.  i had so many pictures i wanted to post, i think i was overwhelmed.  so warning...picture overload.

we took the early morning train, and the girls had a blast.  it was so nice not stressing over traffic and being tied down to our seats.  granted, you are completely on someone else's time, and train time is often lengthy and delayed, but it kick started our weekend nicely.  as we approached the city, the girls peered out at the skyline and anxiously asked what was next on our agenda.

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we decided to just start walking towards our hotel once we arrived at union station, figuring we could always grab a cab if it got too much.  we walked with stroller, luggage, hungry kids in tow, enjoying the cold wind and the sights of an amazing city with tall buildings, and ended up walking the entire way.

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once we settled into the hotel, we ventured back out to shedd's aquarium for the afternoon, and a classic chicago-style pizza dinner, then retreated back to the hotel room exhausted.  we all snuggled into the king bed and called it a night.

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the next morning found the streets windy and freezing cold.  we bundled the girls up in the stroller (all 3 of them) and headed out for breakfast at my favorite cafe, corner bakery.  not a chicago-original, but a place i love to go when we're out of town.  after breakfast, we headed to the meca of doll land...american girl.  i think we were all a bit overwhelmed.

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harper knew she could pick out one outfit.  she scanned the magazine before we went to the store and knew what she wanted.  she picked it out and we were good to go.  easy peasy.

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and afterwards, they both cashed out.  so we decided to walk all the way to navy pier to visit the children's museum.

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later that evening we went back out for dinner and picked up frozen yogurt for the hotel.  we bundled back up in warm jammies after freezing our buns off all day in the windy city, and snuggled in for a movie in bed.  we were all cashed before it was over.

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on our final morning, we ate breakfast at corner bakery (again) and the walked to millennium park, home of the famous bean structure.  so cool!

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both girls fell asleep again, which made the decision for us to walk to the train station.  we had the time, we had the energy, we had sleeping children.

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and while the train ride home was delayed for over an hour due to a broken train car that needed replacing, we had a fantastic time.  albeit a quick jaunt, and bitter cold, it was a weekend full of relaxing and enjoying each other.  cheers to the windy city.

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and because i never leave home without my phone, and it has become my primary camera as of late, as well as my love of instagram, here are my phone photos...
i warned you about the picture overload.  apologies.  i will also forewarn you that the next posts will likely be out of order.  i need to catch up, but i may not do it logically.  that's just how i'm functioning lately.