Friday, January 30, 2015


Y'all. Everybody around me is sick. I'm kind of scared to breathe, actually. :( My family caught whatever stomach virus I had last week and has spent the better part of this week dropping like flies, one by one. One of my sisters actually ended up taking an ambulance ride to the hospital and returning the following night, it was so bad, and while no one else got it quite so badly, it's definitely been a miserable week.

The triplets got sick, too - fevers and coughing and sneezing and so. much. snot. This week has brought back memories of this time last year when the girls came down with RSV at the same time their mama was in the hospital and I spent a couple of weeks wiping noses, pinning them down for nebulizer treatments, and dosing out meds.

This week wasn't quite so bad, but I still wasn't surprised when I arrived at work this morning to be told that both girls took a trip to the hospital last night, and Addie was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was one hurting puppy yesterday. :(

Miles, on the other hand, had it worst at the beginning, and then bounced back pretty quickly, and he wasted no time today letting me know that he felt he'd gotten too little attention these past few days while his sisters were sick. Luckily, he woke up from nap quite a bit earlier than they did, so we got to do lots of one-on-one snuggling and loving, and he was pretty happy the rest of the day, coming up to me to give random hugs and exclaiming "Love!" He's reached that age where normally, when I reach to tickle him or kiss him or pretty much interact with him at all while he's playing, he sternly tells me "No!" and stays focused on his trucks or blocks. But not today! All I had to do was glance in his direction and he would flash me his big, beaming smile and giggle. :)

Anywho... it's been a long, long week, and I'm tired. I have two hours of swim in the morning (just training - which can be fun, because I love talking about good coaching ideas, but somehow I have the feeling I'm going to be a lot more animated than a lot of college students who have been pulled out of bed before noon lol!) and then I'm home to crash. My to-do list includes taking a nap (yes. I put it on the list.), hanging up the Valentine's Day decorations I made last year (and then didn't enjoy since I spent almost no time at home during the next six weeks), doing some cleaning, and trying my hand at making a bikini bag out of the PUL I bought tonight. (Of course, in my case it's more like a "shorts, swimsuit, rash guard" bag, and if I could throw my towel in there too all the better, but hey.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Happy Place

These days, I just can't wait to be here. 
It's what I look forward to all day, what I miss on the weekends, what I think about in the middle of the night*.
This is what feeds my soul.

*It should be understood that it's not really the pool itself that is important; rather, it's the kids who fill it each night that make my my soul happy and my heart full. I love these kids dearly. I would totally be filling up my feeds with all the precious faces who swim with us if I could. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What A Week!

Whew! This week has eaten me alive!

Monday I woke up feeling great - I'd finally beaten the crud that I'd been dodging for several days, and I got to go back to coaching, and everything was coming up roses! So I went and I coached, and afterwards I was really hungry. Really hungry. Like, I stood in the locker room outside the shower and wolfed down a Lara bar because I was so, so hungry.

Literally, by the time I reached my road an hour later, I had to pull over because I thought I might throw up. Turns out the crud vacated my body just in time for the stomach bug to hit! I spent the night throwing up, texted a "sicknotcoming" text to Chris, and spent most of the day in bed, crawling out to go to swim that night and stand on deck trying to look like I was doing something more productive than trying not to throw up. (Apparently I failed at this, and nobody was fooled, but apparently I also looked so miserable that everyone was helpful and proactive and not needy, so it worked out.) (Honestly, I contemplated not even writing down my hours that night. I'm not sure that my boss was paying me to do anything more than be a figurehead lol.) 

I missed a day with the triplets, thanking God for their grandma, who stepped in to cover for me, and kept thinking that any second now, the nausea would lift and I'd feel like myself again. I tried drinking lots of water, Gatorade, eating crackers (and tried some soup on Wednesday night that I ended up throwing out, uneaten), etc, and nothing helped. I ended up going back to work on Thursday still nauseous, and it wasn't until Amy offered me some Zofran that I was finally able to get myself together. Apparently my body just needed a little boost.

Spent the rest of the day (and the next!) trying to rehydrate, and enjoying eating again. :)

Apparently I did this last year, too. I'm hoping NOT to make this a yearly tradition. (Seriously, though, I think I had the stomach bug last when I was, like, nine? and now twice in two years? What gives?)

So! That was my week. My weekend was much better. :) I got to sleep in on Saturday, which is always glorious, then I got the new roster roughed out for our new swim session before meeting up with some friends for lunch. My friend Brittany is going to be having a baby girl this summer and I get to throw her baby shower! :) We had fun talking over a bunch of shower ideas and decided on "mama and baby owl" for the theme. I can't wait to start planning! Then this evening I worked at the triplets; since they turned two, they have a slightly later bedtime, and we began switching them over to toddler beds. I was nervous about both changes but so far, so good!

Here's to this week - hopefully it's better than the last! :)

Monday, January 19, 2015


- You know what's truly sad? When it's Saturday night and you miss your job. (Okay, fine, I'm actually pretty ok with this. I love my job. But sheesh, I should be able to enjoy the weekend without wishing I had a class to coach! I think I'm addicted.)

- The triplets had their second birthday party on Saturday. Their birthdate isn't until Tuesday but still - where did the time go?! In just two weeks, it will be a whole year since they came into my lives. Here's the very first picture I ever took of them, on my first day:

And here are some recent snapshots:

Here's to a great second year together. It's amazing how much they've grown in the past twelve months even as it breaks my heart a little. :)

- I want a waterproof mp3 player. I'm thinking about this one.  Has anyone used one like this before? A friend just got this one and likes it, but I think it would be easier to have an "all in one" design. I don't actually know if I'd like listening to music while I swim, though (I find the rhythm of breathing and water pretty soothing) and it's a bit of money to gamble. I guess I'll keep contemplating it a while longer.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On Soup (And NOT Getting Sick!)

I've been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days. I've been Zicam-ing it up and drinking lots of fluids and going to bed early and basically doing everything I can to convince my body that no, I'm not getting sick. Not at all. Mostly cuz I'm in the water a lot this month, and until next week we're still on a skeleton crew at swim, so there are no backups. If I'm sick, I will just have to teach sick. (Also - I don't want to be sick. It's no fun.)

But I didn't get a very good night's sleep last night (I had a nightmare - what's with that? I almost never have nightmares. I can count on one hand the nightmares I've had in my life.) and I woke up still feeling off, and what I wanted most was soup. Really good, hot, healthy soup. And I made some, and it turned out amazingly, so I thought I'd better write it down while I remember what I did! :)

I stopped at the local grocery store and hit the salad bar for a big container stuffed with baby spinach, grated carrots, and mushrooms. When I got home, I chopped an entire onion (because Maggie always claims onions ward off sickness) and tons of fresh garlic (ditto) and sauteed them in a little oil. When the onions were soft and translucent, I added the mushrooms (chopped), a minute later the carrots, and finally the spinach (which I tore up). I let everything cook for a bit, then I added several good glugs of red wine because red wine makes soup and roasts better. This is, like, the first rule in my universe. (This is what I'm cooking with right now. It was $8 on sale for a huge bottle the same day I used up the last bottle on a french onion soup kick.) I brought it to a simmer and let it go for a bit to cook off the alcohol, then added water and some powdered beef stock (I really need to buy/make some nicer stuff, but that's all I had left in my pantry). And finally, I added a can of white beans for some protein.

Amazing stuff. I would have preferred about twice as much spinach, but oh, well. I could also see adding some radiatore to make it a heartier meal. Some bacon, chopped and cooked with the onion, could only make things better. And when I remember to pick up tomato paste, I'll probably add a good glop, too. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Things I Love

Over the last couple of weeks, I've done a lot of decluttering. I still have a lot of stuff to reorganize and file, but for awhile I was taking a big trash bag (or two... or six) of stuff to the thrift shop every day or so. Living in such a small space, ideally the only things you own are things that you love, that bring you pleasure and function well. Plus, this is a great way to learn to be content with fewer things. I'm not very good at this part yet (lol) but living small is definitely helping me learn!

I thought I'd take a little space each week to share a thing I love, whether it's a product, useful item, or sentimental item. :) These might be big things or small things or even pretty silly things, but they're things I'm thankful for!

So up this week - and remember how I said these things might be silly? ;) - is something I've been super thankful for lately: my new dish drying mat!
This is the exact one I own, just in case you're so inspired by this post that you decide you need your own. :)
Yes, you heard me correctly.

See, when I moved in to the trailer eighteen months ago (holy crap has it really been a year and a half?!) I bought a bunch of dishtowels. Cheap dishtowels that looked cute and immediately started to fall apart as soon as I washed them, and most of which I swear actually repelled water. And grabbed every piece of dust, hair, lint, etc that entered the trailer and would not let go. They were worse than useless for drying dishes, and I learned a hard lesson quickly: quality vs. quantity. Over the next few months, I snagged more expensive but higher quality dishtowels as I found them marked on clearance or on sale.

The other thing I always meant to buy is a dish rack - something like this. But I never did, because I couldn't figure out where to store it when I wasn't using it, and it seemed like such a waste of precious counter space to let it sit out when it wasn't being used. So I never did. 

My solution to these problems ( a) too many useless towels and b) lack of dish rack) was to stack the towels over the counter and pile the wet dishes on them. I sometimes thought about sewing them together to make them neater, but I truly despised them and I knew this wasn't a good permanent solution, so I never bothered.

Right before Christmas I was walking through Wal-Mart, realizing that I'd gotten almost all of my Christmas shopping done early, and I saw this dish drying mat for the 100th time. Except that this time I contemplated actually getting it. It was cheap ($5) and grey (yay!) and it said "XL" (which ended up being... sort of untrue, but it's the perfect size for my counter so who cares). I was also feeling sort of unappreciated - I'd just come off of a rough couple of weeks - and normally this is not a good time to go shopping LOL, but this ended up being one of my favorite purchases ever.

It's so cute, I don't mind it sitting on the counter while the dishes dry. In fact, I leave it out and put a candle on it after the dishes are gone because I love the pattern. I think the dishes dry faster with fewer spots. It doesn't smell musty like the pile of icky towels (which, by the way, got cut into squares and put in the "rags to clean the girl's cage with" pile). When I don't want it out, it folds up and fits in the drawer with the (nice) towels. It's cleaner.

I will probably eventually buy a dish rack (I've got my eye on this one!) but in the meantime, I'm sort of delighted at how $5 has made my kitchen so much more amazing. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


- Flat Whites. Can I get an amen? I'm in heaven.

- I cleaned out my truck this weekend; it's been on my to-do list forever and I don't know why I've been putting it off and putting it off because it's not a hard or long task, but I have been. But on Sunday I took everything out of it, gathered up my quarters, went to the store for a new air freshener and cleaning wipes, and now it's cleaner than it's been since February. (Maybe longer, but I'm not admitting to that.) I still need to set aside some time to shampoo the carpets, but seeing as the temperature isn't going much above freezing all week, I think I'll make that a task for a warmer day.

- So swim started again last night, and it was insane crazy. But I was so glad to be back! I got there way, way earlier than I needed to because at the last minute there were a lot of kids added to the schedule and roster changes and whatnot, and I suddenly got nervous that I was forgetting something. But I'm glad I did, because the pool was completely empty and still shut down for the winter break (I had to go track someone down to open it up and turn on the lights). And I got to enjoy the peace and anticipation for awhile, which was nice. Of course, then a gazillion kids and parents descended on us and everything went nuts, but it was nice while it lasted. :)

- I get asked all the time by parents about the best way to put a swim cap on their kid. And since I've never worn one, I've asked all my coaches about the best way to put one on, and while I've gotten some marginally helpful hints (always get it wet first, wet the hair too if possible, start at the forehead and pull backwards, etc), I'd been told there is no magic method. Except apparently there is. (Go watch it, it's completely, totally amazing!!!)