Wednesday, August 29, 2007

birthday advice

With the school year about to start, we have already recieved two birthday invitations. I don't know what we will do for the girls' party this year. They will each be in a different class at school--if we were to invite all the kids in each class and parents (which seems very generally to be the practice), we would have 100-150 people in attendance to celebrate a sixth birthday. That's the size of a wedding!

And, if we attend each birthday we are invited to, we would likely be going to roughly 50 parties. Any mother of multiples out there have ideas for how to best address this issue? Help!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the skinny on wetsuits

So far this summer, my second summer as an age-group triathlete, I have completed two triathlons, one Olympic distance and one Sprint. Wetsuits are an important component in the sport of triathlon. This is what I have learned so far regarding wetsuits:

Lesson #1:
You will not save $ by buying a kayaking wetsuit.

The kayaking wetsuits fill with water and function in the water as a big floatie or other personal flotation device. When swimming in the kayaking wetsuit, it feels more like you are paddling atop a surfboard than performing a freestyle stroke.

Lesson #2:
Decide the night before the race whether or not you are going to wear the suit.

Otherwise, you will not get any sleep…dreaming of a wetsuit that fills with so much water you float away downstream and never finish the race.

Lesson #3:
If, when you get to the transition area, you ask someone who looks like they know what they are doing whether or not you should wear the kayaking wetsuit for the swim, they will look at you as if you are simultaneously crazy and pathetic.

Most will tell you to wear the suit, assuming that you must be an awful swimmer (translation: one who needs the equivalent of a boat to make it through the water) if you are even considering wearing the suit. They will say, “I absolutely think you should wear it; it will give you some buoyancy and that will be a big help.”

Lesson #4:
Keep trying until you find someone who takes you seriously…look for someone wearing a spectacular $600 wetsuit like the woman who I met on the bus ride over to the swim start…our conversation follows:

Can I ask you a question? Do you think I should wear this wetsuit?

What is that?

A kayaking wet suit.

Well, it depends on how good a swimmer you are. That is going to fill with water because of the low cut. If you don’t need the buoyancy, I wouldn’t wear it. It will slow you down a lot. You need a tri suit.

Although many people claim wearing a wetsuit will shave up to 15 percent off of their time, it really depends. Mine only improves my time in the mile by a minute—because I am a really strong swimmer. And, it takes me longer than that to get it off.


Want to know why I wear it?


Her (gesturing along her torso as if she were introducing a new car on The Price of Right):
Because it is quite slimming.


Lesson #5:
Put the wetsuit in the “Special Needs” box marked with your wave number at the swim start where everyone is putting all sorts of things they want to get back at the end of the race, such as sandals, sweatshirts, etc.

Lesson #6:
Don’t expect to ever see that wetsuit again.

Lesson #7:
Look around smugly at all the women in wetsuits stretching along the water’s edge, knowing they probably don’t look nearly as good and intimidating without the wetsuits as they do with the suits.

Lesson #8:
Don’t share your anxiety or newfound knowledge with your friend who has worn her wetsuit happily for seven triathlons over the past several years.

If you do, you may get the following e-mail from her after the race:

“Hey, did you ever get your wetsuit back? I left mine at the bottom of the river. I felt like it was restricting my movement so I took it off about half way through the swim.”

Lesson #9:
Swim your butt off, and when you see some of the people you asked for help in the transition area struggling to get their wetsuits off, look at them sympathetically as you ride away.

Lesson #10
Keep in mind that these lessons have not been tested in water below 74 degrees.

Lesson #11
Check out the photos taken of you as you emerge from the water.

Then start surfing the web for deals on tri wetsuits.

To read more of my ramblings on triathlons, see playing dress up

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

the performance

For all you Sister Sledge fans, here's the video of my girls' performance...

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

we are family

Don't know what their performance will be like at the upcoming talent show held by our swim club this Saturday night, but I know how rehearsals for the girls' rendition of "We are Family" has been going...

Cinderella loves to practice, has memorized every word, and knows all of the dance moves.

Jasmine knows fewer words and moves, but performs the ones she does know with enthusiasm and flair.

S. Judy resists practicing (though she claims to want to be in the show) and does everything she can during rehearsals with me to annoy both her sisters and me--this includes purposely saying the wrong words, doing extremely silly dance moves like jumping jacks, and, at one point, even threatening to "moon" the audience at the end of the song.

Check back for an update on how it goes. I might even be able to post video.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 02, 2007

attack of the fruit flies

So, it’s Sunday and I am driving with my girls to spend the day with my parents…A has some work to catch up on.

“Mommy, there are a lot of flies back here,” says Cinderalla. I look in the rear view mirror and see all three girls grimacing and wildly swatting at the air in effort to fight off a swarm of fruit flies.

“Yeah, Mommy. Hundreds of them!” adds Jasmine.

And I realize that we must have left a piece of fruit in the mini-van somewhere, hidden beneath a seat perhaps.

When I arrive at my parents’ house a full 45 minutes later, my dad offers to search for the culprit. Cinderella follows to help.

In fact, it turns out that she knows exactly where an old banana peel has been stashed…inside a compartment next to one of the car seats. Confident in her knowledge, she points to the compartment.

When my father opens the lid, thousands of fruit flies swoosh out. After we toss out the now-black and rotting banana peel, I decide I really should clean out the inside of our mini-van. Everybody—even the girls—pitches in.

My dad says we could feed a family of four in a third world country on the amount of food we find. Below is a list of some of what turns up during our cleaning. Please keep in mind that this is the state of our car despite definitively moderate to strong efforts at staying on top of things.

whole graham crackers
a whole Christmas cookie
a gazillion peanuts
a handful of small twigs (curious)
jelly beans
two missing gloves, each from a different pair
an old sock
one Hello Kitty hair barrette
crumbs of an indiscernible nature
a bottle of water
a long stem rose
ten acorns (hmmm)
a dozen or so colorful beads
melted chocolate candy, some with caramel (to be expected)
sticker books
melted crayons
a number of dried-out markers
marker lids
more crumbs of an indiscernible nature

All in all, I think that’s not half bad, considering…

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 28, 2007

the story of the soup

In what might seem like an abrupt turn around ( see it's official), we have decided to place each girl in her own classroom next year for Kindergarten. What changed my mind? That’s the story of the soup…

One Saturday in early spring when there was still a chill in the air, S. Judy shared some lentil soup with me for lunch. She loved it. So, I reminded her that soup was available every day for lunch at her school—all she had to do was ask for it. I knew that the teachers always offered the students soup and salad before the main course of either a sandwich or a hot lunch.

S. Judy said she would try it. Walking home from school with the girls on Monday, I asked S. Judy if she had tried the soup at lunch time. With a mischievous grin, she said, only, “Cinderella wouldn’t let me.”

Then, Cinderella grabbed my leg and hid her face in my pants as we continued to walk. “Why didn’t you want S. Judy to have soup?” I asked.

“Because!” exclaimed a very distressed Cinderella. With tears and a red face, she added, “I know I am not supposed to tell her what to do, but if she has soup then she might miss the sandwich. I don’t want her to miss the sandwich.”

“Of course, she will be able to have her sandwich---after the soup.”

“No, Mommy. I’m trying to tell you. Really. I don’t think she should have soup.”

The conversation went on like this between Cinderella and me for quite a while.

When I spoke with the teacher the following morning, she was very confused, “S. Judy had soup yesterday,” she told me. “Are you kidding me? Nobody, not even Cinderella, keeps S. Judy from doing something she wants to do.”

Well, that explained the grin. S. Judy had never actually told me whether or not she had soup—all she had said was that Cinderella tried to stop her and I’m certain now that she knew saying so would start some trouble.

And that’s when I realized that Cinderella needed to be in her own room.

The big sister, or “little mom” as the girls sometimes call her, was the one who would benefit most from being separated from her sisters. It just seems like too much responsibility for a little girl to be constantly watching out for her sister in the same class the way she has been for an entire school year (even though it is something that is instinctive for her), and she deserves to be free of that for some period of time each day, I think. And since her sister clearly doesn’t need to be looked after, I think all three girls will be better off in their own classrooms.

I guess we will find out if I am right in September.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tech test