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It was inevitable. Despite all the well-meaning people (thank you!) who showed up with coloring books, sticker books, learning books, activities and books in general, Sassy has become quite addicted to the TV during her three weeks of hanging out in a full leg cast. More specifically, she is addicted to our Wii system and the Netflix that comes along with it.
The sticker books are filled. The activities are all completed, and the coloring books are mostly finished too. Finished also? My brain cells, which have been so overly subjected to Wii Party music that sometimes it's all I hear, even when it's not on. There's also this song from her favorite Care Bear movie that she plays over and over again, that goes something like this, "I like you, I like you. I like you. I like you." It's enough to make you bang your head into a wall until you thankfully lose consciousness.
This week, Mr. BBM had a very untimely business trip to Raleigh NC. I told him that he was probably looking forward to getting away from us. He protested. "Of course not!" I mean, why would he want to get away from his 5-year old daughter who has to be carried everywhere, including to and from the bathroom? Why would he want to leave this house where every smell sends me running to the bathroom and I can't even cook because the smells of cooking and looking at certain foods, send me nearly over the barfing edge.
"You've got to be kidding me!" I told him. "You mean to tell me that you're getting a week away from 'Hop-a-Long' and 'Pukes-a-lot' and you're not happy about it???"
Mr. BBM laughed hysterically and then said he is concerned, because clearly, if I'm creating nicknames like that, I've been watching entirely too many Care Bear movies. He is so right.
Please say a prayer this cast comes off next Monday; because if it doesn't, I'm going to require a long-term visit from Cheer Bear, stat.
In August, Big I came to me and made a request. She wanted to quit ju-jutsu so she could concentrate more on swimming. After she failed to achieve county qualifying times for a single event and after missing out on a ribbon at the novice meet too, I was a little surprised. In the past, she tried t-ball and field hockey. Neither of them held her interest and she wanted to quit almost as soon as she started. I figured that swimming would have discouraged her too. As she watched her friends collect trophies and ribbons, I feared that her motivation to continue would wain.
She asked me for private lessons in August and I immediately signed her up. I also signed her up for a 6-week fall training program at a local USA swimming club. She had the opportunity to swim up to five days a week. She usually swam three days a week, plus her private lessons. She started to improve; it was obvious; but without any time trials to really know, we could only mark her improvement visually. Her strokes looked better. Her endurance was definitely improving. It was neat to watch.
Each week of the fall program, Big I would come home from school on Monday and tell me what her week looked like homework-wise. Then, she would plan out which nights she wanted to swim. She made herself a schedule, got her homework done on time or ahead of time and never complained about going to swim for an hour each night.
As the end of the fall program approached, we figured she had improved and we would take her back to the school's age group swimming program. We thought we would let her experience a little success. We knew USA swimming was highly competitive. I didn't want her to get discouraged. But when I asked her coaches if she could stay and practice with the team until age group started, her coaches told us not to go. I mumbled something about letting her experience some success and her coach waved that thought away. "Let her experience success when she's 14, when it really matters. Right now, let us work on her strokes and make her good."
Mr. BBM and I spent our anniversary weekend discussing things. USA swimming is a bigger commitment than age group swimming. The season is longer, the meets are further away, and the monetary commitment is a lot bigger too. We decided to listen to her coach, one of the first ones who has really paid attention to her and given her individualized attention, someone who stops her as soon as she's doing something wrong and fixes it immediately, someone who asks us to come in on off days to work individually with her. We kept her with club swimming.The coach to swimmer ratio was too irresistible to take her anywhere else.
The fall program turned into the winter program and participating in invitational meets is optional. However, after swimming in one of the dual meets, Big I had a blast and did so well that we thought we'd sign her up for one or two.
This weekend, Big I participated in a two-day swim meet, the last of the season. She has been competitively swimming for only 15 months as of this past weekend, and what she's done over the past few months is nothing short of amazing.
She took her 50 free time from a 49.85 in the summer to a 35.94. She took her 50 Breast stroke time from a 1:06:35 to 48:77. She took her 50 butterfly time from a 59:07 to a 41:94. She started swimming 100's too. From the first weekend in February until this past weekend, she knocked four seconds off her 100 IM time to a 1:32:26. She swam a 100 breast stroke in 1:44:27. Her goal was to get into the BB time standards this weekend. She did so in three of her six events. She earned ribbons in four of her six events this weekend. And this is USA swimming. She was lucky if she won a heat ribbon last summer.
Big I has one month left of the winter program. Then, she'll have two weeks off before starting the 6 week spring program that will prepare her for summer. I'm thinking that her summer coaches will probably fall over when they see how much she has improved. From the beginning of February to the end, she shaved a combined 20 seconds off of six events. Just imagine what she'll do by the time she has her first summer swim meet!
Last year, she was disappointed that she didn't qualify for a single event in the county championships. Mr. BBM recently got on the website and checked the times needed to qualify. She already, would qualify in each and every event. In most, she blows the qualifying times away.
What's cooler though, than all the shaved off seconds and the recent influx of ribbons, is that this kid LOVES to be in the water like no other kid I've ever seen. She lives, eats, breathes swimming.
Last month, I took her to a high school swim meet. One of the coaches is Kristy Kowal, 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist in breast stroke. After the meet, Big I met her and asked her to sign her cap. I got a picture of them together too. It was a moment I don't think she will ever forget. She listened to the stories about how Kristy swam exhibition events until she was in high school. She admires the hard work that Kristy obviously put into her swimming and she has decided she's going to do the same.
At night, Big I will frequently write in her journal. A couple months ago, she wrote swimming goals for herself. It's time for her to write a new set, because she has met each and every one of them. After all the frustration of watching her give less than full effort at t-ball, field hockey, karate and ju-jutsu, I think it's safe to say that she has found her sport. I couldn't be more thrilled for her or proud of her accomplishments. I truly believe the sky is the limit for her. She set her mind to it and she's doing it. I don't know very many 9-year olds who are committed to something the way she is to swimming. She's pretty amazing.
On the day I found out I was pregnant, one of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was coffee. How would I live without coffee to get me through the morning and the rest of the day. Sometimes, on days when I'm up really early, I need that afternoon blast to get me through evening swim practice. Mr. BBM looked up the recommended daily caffeine intake and told me I could still have a cup a day. I did that for the first two days. The next day, I woke up and the smell of coffee made me feel like I had to hurl, instantly.
We have a house with a very open floor plan and the smells from the kitchen go straight up to my room. I wasn't even awake yet, and I felt sick. Giving up coffee would not be a problem.
The problem though, is that Mr. BBM has not given up coffee. On weekends and on the two days a week that he works from home, the house reeks of it and I can hardly stand it. On the mornings when no coffee is made, I feel better. I can get through my day better. During each and every pregnancy, I've had a horrible time with smells and this one is no different. I can smell someone smoking in a car 14 cars in front of me on a highway. I can smell body odor from a quarter mile away (which made teaching high school really difficult, back in the day). Even perfume, body washes and fabric softener can send me over the edge. It's similar to the reaction Mr. Cullen has to a werewolf. It's repulsive and it turns my stomach upside down.
This morning I woke up and instantly smelled the coffee. It made me reel. I haven't actually puked yet, but this morning is the closest I've been so far. I had to stand in the bathroom and decide whether or not it was safe for me to leave the room. My mouth was watering something fierce.
The problem with the whole coffee thing is that Mr. BBM doesn't get it. I've asked him to make the coffee in the garage or even in the basement. I have hinted that the smell of tea doesn't make me nauseated. Would it be too much to ask him to switch or stop for a bit? Am I being unreasonable?
Whenever I start to think that I am, I think about this: here I am, after celebrating many 29th birthday anniversaries, pregnant with number three. This body, that I've been working so hard on, to get in shape, to get flat abs, is changing already. Parts of me are becoming softer; parts are becoming bigger. Soon, I'll have a visible belly and it will only get bigger. Those abs I've been working so hard on. . . back to the drawing board.
I've given up caffeine which means I can't even have a soda unless I'm at home. No restaurants have caffeine free diet anything. I've given up my Thursday night "Wine & Whine" night with my neighbor. And trust me when I tell you that it's not the same when you're sipping water.
In the fall, I won't be able to teach my classes because I'll be giving birth and nursing a newborn. The spring semester might not work out either. When you're nursing, it's a full time job.
I've felt nauseated for the past two weeks and have found it difficult to eat any type of food more than once. I'm seriously running out of options. Because of having gestational diabetes last time, I've already put myself on the gestational diabetes diet, which means I'm counting carbs at each and every meal and snack. Do you know how much fun it is to count out exactly 18 potato chips when that's all you're craving? Or 1/2 cup of pasta. It's not fun.
Things have drastically changed for me in the past few weeks and the changes to come will be even more grand. I asked Mr. BBM how his life has changed and he said that he will have another mouth to feed, another child to support. But actually, for the first year, all that feeding pretty much comes from me anyway.
I'm not complaining about all the changes that are already happening and the ones to come. I've been through this before. I know it's part of the process and that the reward is amazing. . . but is it too much to ask that Mr. BBM gives up the coffee, at least until I'm not feeling so sick?
Am I being unreasonable???