Saturday, January 14, 2012

This was a good day.

My friend Kate gave me this line-a-day journal. She knows I like to write and hoard memories and also that I have not very much free time. So you can see this was a thoughtful gift. Only I lack the ability to write about anything in one line. Seriously. So far, most of my entries leak into next year's space. Maybe next year I'll be much better at editing.

Anyway, tonight, this is what I'm going to write in my journal: This was a good day.

Okay, that's a total lie. Because I'm going to have to talk about the swimming lessons and the healthy dinner as well and I'm not sure how it's going to fit. So you get the long version.

Today was Milo's first swim lesson. Clearly, he doesn't need lessons, per se. But the next stage of the mom's group/playgroup we had been going to was only offered on the days I work. And since quitting my job wasn't a very practical option, I asked Michael if he'd rather do swim lessons or music class with the baby. Surprisingly, he chose swim lessons.

But he thought it'd be more fun if, at least the first time, we all went together. Which is how we wound up heading to the gym for swim lessons this morning. Next week, Michael is on his own since I'm going to an all-day photo workshop in Worcester, so I suggested he do a "practice run" taking Milo into the men's locker room and getting ready with him. I had worn my suit under my clothes and just needed to throw my clothes in a locker. And hope no one thought they were cool enough to steal, since I can't find my gym lock. Because, you know, I haven't been to the gym since I was 6 months preggo. Which was...over a year ago. Sigh.

Anyway, I take my clothes off and notice something really weird going on with my bathing suit. It feels like there's something bunched up in the front of, crotch. Sorry. There's no more appropriate word here. I look down surreptitiously, trying not to draw attention to myself and gasp. (Way to not draw attention.) It looks, I kid you not, like I Something stuffed in my pants. Bathing suit. Crotch. WTF? I leave my stuff on the floor and head for the bathroom to examine this wardrobe malfunction in a more private setting. I pull the suit off and sure enough, there's something bunched up down there, but inside the bathing suit. It feels like a sock or something. It's very big. And lumpy. There's no way it's part of the suit but I can't figure out how it got in there or how to get it out. I feel all along the seams to see if there's a hole. Nothing. I look at the chest of the suit, thinking maybe there's meant to be bra padding that's somehow worked its way down there. But no. I can't feel any holes that would allow something to travel into the crotch of my bathing suit. Well.

There's not much I can do here. It's not like I brought a back up suit. So I do the only thing I can think of: smush the lumpy mass from the front into the bottom of the suit, so it's mostly out of sight but makes me walk a little funny.

A good start to swim lessons, I'd say.

Somehow it takes Michael even longer to make it out of the men's locker room so I have time to check out the pool deck and realize there aren't really any other tiny babies around. So when Michael and Milo finally emerge, I go and ask the swim lessons lady, who is easily identified by the t-shirt she wears, which screams  "Swim academy." Ooooh. That makes it sound serious. From now on, we'll call it swim academy then, shall we?

Anyway, she says they're just getting started late and it turns out there's only one other little girl in the class.

You wanna guess what her name is??!!?

Go ahead. Guess.

Okay, you're not gonna guess so I'll tell you. It's MILA. I swear I'm not making this up. It's basically the female version of Milo, pronounced the same and everything. What a weird world. She's definitely older than Milo though, maybe 10-12 months. Another boy joined us as well, though he seemed a lot older. It's okay, Milo. You're ahead of your time. Don't be intimidated.

He wasn't though. I think Michael may have been, but Milo was just fine. I nearly had to clasp my hands to restrain myself from trying to jump in on Michael's Milo bonding time. Hey, at least I'm aware of my tendency to jump in and dominate. Anyway, the swim instructor gave us a little rubber duck for Milo to chase in the water, which was pretty fun. She showed us some good ways to hold Milo. We stood in a circle and sang the "hello baby" song which is the same one we learned at mommy group with some words switched out so that "we're glad you came to play" became "we're glad to see you swim." I felt pleased that we knew this song already.

Then we sang "If you're happy and you know it." Only she did things like suggest we blow bubbles if we're happy, and go under water. Michael looked at me, unsure how to play along. I got her attention and said, somewhat apologetically but also in a voice that indicated she might be crazy to think otherwise, "Um, Milo hasn't ever gone under water yet." I mean, that's normal, right? He's 7 months old! To be honest, I kind of thought even swim academy was a little silly. I can't really see a reason to also dunk him under water. And I didn't think it would be called for in the first few minutes of the class for 6 month + kiddos. She said she'd teach us how to do it, though, and I got kind of excited.

So after a bit, she came over and gave us the following detailed instructions for putting our son under water for the first time: "Blow on his face and he'll close his eyes and mouth. Dunk him either straight down or scoop him towards you to avoid water going up his nose. And whatever you do, when he comes up, smile REALLY big and laugh and kiss him and sound really excited."

Okay then. That sounds easy enough.

Except we often blow on Milo's face, because he thinks it's super funny. Only it makes him OPEN his mouth really wide. She assured us he would close his mouth. We practiced a few times. Sure enough, he opened his mouth and closed his eyes. We called her over and demonstrated. She acted like we just weren't "ready" yet, and were just sort of using Milo as an excuse. I asked her what would happen if he went under with his mouth open. As in, would he drown?

She assured me he wouldn't, so I figured we might as well give it a shot. Michael gamely got ready to go. He counted to three and then paused. "I can't do it," he said.

"Do you want me to do it?" See? I asked first before jumping in! He happily handed Milo over and I said, "Onnnneeee....twoooo...." at which point Milo smiled widely because usually this means he's about to get tickled or thrown in the air or something equally fun. Instead of "three," I blew in his face and dunked him under. I forgot to scoop.

He didn't seem to mind. He came up looking a little confused but otherwise unfazed. No crying. The instructor made the cheesy happy noises that I forgot about. I was busy being shocked that my son hadn't, in fact, drowned. Then I did it again just to check. Smiles all around. Wow. Look at our boy. Fearless that one. Go Milo.

She switched activities then, so Michael didn't get to dunk Milo and instead we sat him on the wall and played Humpty Dumpty, which involved having him fall off the wall into the water. Um, who comes up with these games? Isn't that a little fear-inducing? Oh well. Milo hardly paid attention anyway. He was busy trying to capture all the rubber duckies. I'm telling you--he's a toy hoarder.

Once that was over, I encouraged Michael to take a turn dunking Milo because "next week you're going to be here on your own." Turns out that's a pretty compelling reason. So Michael DID dunk Milo and it all went smoothly. And then I dunked him again just because, hey, it's kind of fun.

And then swim lessons were over. (Did I forget to mention that I also got yelled at for taking pictures as Michael and Milo climbed in the pool? Yeah, apparently pictures at the pool are a real no-no. So I guess there will be no record of Milo's first swim academy experience. You'd think for how much we're paying per HALF HOUR "lesson", they'd let us take a few pictures but no. sigh.)

Here's what I got before I let on that I could hear her telling me photos weren't allowed:


Anyway, by the time we got home Milo was really tired so down he went for a nap which left me time to prepare tonight's dinner. One of my New Year's resolutions is to work on being healthier, which includes eating healthier foods. In fact, Michael and I are doing weight watchers, thanks to a fantastic little iphone app called Value Diary which let's us follow the plan without paying all that money. I swear, that iphone is really paying for itself!

As an aside, before starting to cook, I changed out of my wet suit to take a shower. And would you believe that when I took the bathing suit off and shook it upside down, a SOCK fell out? I still don't know how or where it got in there, but on the bright side now I don't have to dispose of the lumpy crotch bathing suit! Sweet.

Anyway, eating healthier requires cooking. So I made a deal with Michael that if he'd pick healthy recipes and buy the groceries, I'd make it for dinner the next night. But I figured starting on a weekend was a good idea, just to get everything off on the right foot. So I made Honey Chipotle Chicken from a healthy food blog I found, with the idea of using it in tacos with some low-fat cheese and cilantro and a side of my own Asian Slaw recipe. To make it even more challenging/fun, I decided to try to make it while wearing Milo in a baby carrier. I even held up the ingredients like the ginger and the garlic for him to smell. He tried to eat the cilantro, so I held off on introducing him to the chipotle peppers. All in all, it was a successful experience and something that's pretty good for a busy mom, because you can do a lot of it ahead of time (say, during baby's nap) and then just heat it up (if desired) and throw it on a plate in five minutes.

Here's what it looked like:

And you know what? Michael gave the dinner a 4 out of 5 stars! I think there was a bit too much ginger in the slaw, and the tacos could have used some pico de gallo. But as it was, I put the Asian slaw in the tacos and MAN were they good. Total WW points for the 2-taco dinner: 16. ish. As near as I can figure. Not OUTSTANDING. But waaaaay better than the dinner we had at Yard House on Thursday night, which was more than 50 points. As a reference, I get 33 points to spend for the day.

Anyway, today, I still have enough points for some of that toffee crack that's left over. AND I'm going to go take it (and some raspberries, which are point-free) into a hot bath before heading to bed by 11:00. Because I can.

I don't know where the day disappeared, since the swim academy and the dinner somehow kind of took up the whole day. Granted we all stayed in bed until 10. And I took an hour-long nap. But still.

Oh, there was a fair bit of tickling and giggling involved too. It was a good day, spent with my family.

Tomorrow, we are taking down the Christmas tree and cleaning the house, because as much as I'm practicing "letting go" I'm also practicing asking for what I need. Which currently includes 2-3 hours of cleaning the house with my husband's help so I can feel just a bit less oppressed by the crap and maybe, possibly, have someone over without issuing a disclaimer beforehand. So we'll see if we can somehow make that a good family day too. =)

No comments: