Monday, June 25, 2012

Robert can walk! (with video)

June 24, 2002 - Jordan and I meet in the bowling alley at college orientation.

June 24, 2012 - Our third child walks!

If a psychic had come up to us in the bowling alley that night and said, "Ten years from today you will be married with three children, and the baby will take his first steps," I wonder what we'd have thought. It's pretty cool to think about. We had no idea all the wild awesomeness we were in for, or even that we'd be experiencing it together. It's a good thing we exchanged email addresses!

Robert is 14 months old--a couple of months older than the girls when they first walked. He still prefers crawling as his main mode of transportation, but he can walk! As you can see from the video, he's pretty excited about it, too. Yay, Robert!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Suzi has been enthusiastically drawing rainbows lately. She loves to use markers and draw all the colors in the proper order. The other day she was sitting at her desk, singing a little song and drawing. Then she held up a bluish-greenish marker and asked "Mom, is this followby?" I wasn't sure what she was talking about, so she went on to explain. "You know, like in the song! Red, orange, yellow, then green, followby, blue! Indigo and violet, that's a rainbow soooong for you!"

It's a song she learned from The Cat in the Hat on TV. I explained that it was actually followed by. I think followby should be a color, though. It would be beautiful.

This is also posted at my homeschool blog, Pajama Party Academy, along with a little more about what we are (or aren't!) doing with homeschool right now. Check it out!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Saturday to relax (and enjoy my new skates!)

I woke up first. Ivey must have sensed it, because pretty soon I heard Daaaddyyyyy! Jordan almost always gets up with them. Robert keeps me awake a lot wanting to nurse, so he lets me sleep in. But today it was definitely his turn. I went downstairs with Ivey, and not long after that Suzi and Robert woke up. I heard Robert whining and had to run and grab him out of our bed.

Robert peed in the little potty--hooray! I started coffee. Buttered toast for the kids. Finished washing diapers. Did dishes. Baked this awesome zucchini bread. Suzi saw me grating the zucchini and I admitted to her that I was using it to make the bread, and she still loved it. I mean, yes, it has sugar in it. But still. Where vegetables are concerned Suzi is usually all yeee-uck! Ivey pokes at it and says "I jus don't wike dis," and Robert chucks it in the floor. But they all ate this bread and I was a hero.

Then my dog who is bigger than any of my kids climbed up in my lap for a hug. Finally around 10:30 Jordan woke up and realized his Blu-Ray drive he got for Father's Day had just arrived in the mail and we could both see it was going to be a good, good day.

I have my own skates now. Yesterday Jordan took off work and my mom kept the girls so we could drive two hours to Atlanta to buy them. After talking with them three times on the phone, we visited Skate Escape and this really cool guy named Baby helped me find the perfect skates. I am so glad I didn't order them off a website, because my feet are very particular and I needed help and to try several different pairs on. I didn't end up with the ones I had in mind. The ones I got, Riedell Sparks, were a little more expensive, but I think they're worth it because they fit me better (firm, narrow heel but soft in the toes) and the soles are sewn on rather than just glued so hopefully they'll last longer. Also, they lace all the way to the toes. This will allow me to lace them looser or tighter all the way down, so they aren't falling off my feet and also aren't cutting off my circulation. Numb toes and hurting feet have been a problem for me with rented/borrowed skates. Either that or the skates one size up were slipping and wobbly. But no more.

I got knee and elbow pads and wrist guards, too. Had to wait on the helmet. Baby adjusted my skates and showed me how to loosen the wheels a bit when I'm ready. If we'd ordered online we would've had to pay shipping anyway, so I highly recommend making the trip to Skate Escape if you need skates and are even sort of nearby Atlanta. They are great.

Last night I had fun skating around our house, doing laundry and stuff in my skates. (I didn't go upstairs, though!) They feel so awesome. I love them. I wanted to take them to the rink today, but that would've messed up our relaxing Saturday. Right now Robert is napping, Jordan is mowing the lawn, and the girls are jumping on the trampoline. We'll go somewhere tomorrow, but today it's a beautiful Saturday, just hanging out here at home! Sometimes I almost forget how much I like it here.

Home is where the heart is.
Especially when the kitchen sink is empty.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Roller derby update

I went back to roller derby practice Wednesday night. Jordan and I took all the kids with us. We won't do that again! Other than that it was mostly the same as last time--I skated around the outside of the track (the derby track only takes up the middle of the rink) and hung out at the ends practicing T-stops and plow stops. I had a bit of a breakthrough with these, realizing that it's not only the placement of your feet but rather a change in your entire body's position that gets you to stop. One of the veteran skaters helped me with this and it made a big difference. I can still only stop when I'm going slow, though, and it takes a long time.

I'm still working on crossovers, which I will need to master in order to complete the 25 laps in 5 minutes. This is one of the many assessments one must pass in order to participate in a bout. I'm hoping to find a little time next practice to do 25 laps and see how long it takes me. That'll give me a starting point and I'll know how far I need to come.

I finally found a pair of skates, borrowed from the rink, that work for me and I'm hoping I can use them again next time. There is a small chance I could have my own skates by then anyway. We're having a yard sale Saturday and I'm hoping to make enough money to buy them! I also need knee pads. The ones I've borrowed are not very thick and because of this it's been hard for me to commit to falling on them over and over. In roller derby, falling--and falling correctly--is required! The best way to buy derby equipment is in a rookie package that some retailers put together at a discount for new skaters who need almost everything. Skates and skate accessories, possibly a set of outdoor wheels, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet. Getting the package also means spending more money all at once though. Luckily my birthday is coming up soon!

The only piece of equipment I have of my own right now is a mouth guard. The first one I had was cheap and awful. I couldn't close my mouth or talk. Then I got a Protech Dent. Love it! Now I can protect my teeth during practice and communicate at the same time! Teeth protection won't be much of an issue until I start participating in drills with the team, but now I have it just in case.

Last time I spent a little while watching the experienced skaters skate in a pack and do drills that required precision as well as speed. I long to jump in and join them. I am not ready to do these; I'd be a danger to myself and others. Soon, though. Soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So I tried roller derby...

And the crazy thing is that I loved it.

Let me quickly review my athletic history...

Picked last for PE class teams from a young age, sports were nothing but nerve-wracking, confusing, and embarrassing for me. I was afraid of being hit by the ball, which was never where I expected it to be. For dodgeball, I hid behind people. One time I actually broke a finger attempting to play basketball. Volleyball, I never could seem to get under the ball and if I tried, some boy was probably already diving into my space because he thought I wouldn't get it. They put me way back in the outfield in softball, except for when I tried to play catcher and I think I might have actually caught the ball about twice. Gymnastics and swimming scared me. Tennis, I couldn't even hit the ball if I bounced it myself. My dad tried to get me into golf. Nope. Geez, what's left?

Oh yes--I did run cross country for one season when I was 14. Slowest person on the team. I did enjoy running, though, and have recently picked it up again with First Flight. The funny thing is that when I joined First Flight, I wasn't really sure why I was. It just felt like something I needed to do. But last night, as I skated on and off for several hours and sweated buckets, it became obvious that my running with First Flight was and is an incredibly important part of my journey. Derby skating requires endurance that I did not have before. This is yet another gift that First Flight has given me, and I'm so grateful to them.

I loved skating as a child, but I didn't get to do a ton of it. My parents didn't drop me off for teenage skate night once a week or anything like that. I skated on quad skates like everyone else during my occasional visits to the skating rink until I was about 13 and my parents got me rollerblades for Christmas. I skated a few times with my friends at the rink. It's hard to skate on the street around here, because it's too hilly.

In my adult life, I have skated three times.

1) One day when we were about 21, after marriage but before kids, Jordan and I stupidly thought we could go skating on a Friday night together. Friday is teenager night. Some of these kids get dropped off at the rink weekly. A lot of them are super fast, and some of them will try to dart in front of you and make you fall. A kid jumped in front of Jordan and caused him to fall flat on his back. We left in a huff and didn't darken the door of the rink again.

2) Until this past Saturday, when we decided to take the kids. My mom, who also loves to skate but hadn't done it in forever, met us there. The kids liked it okay. Suzi preferred skating on the carpet, and we had fun eating pizza and hanging out with my mom. But as I took a few laps alone, on the rink of my childhood that still looks and smells exactly as it did in the 1980's, I felt peaceful and at home. The feeling of rolling, gliding, is a sensory experience that just speaks to me the way nothing else does. And as I glided around the rink, a little wobbly and unsure, I knew I needed to do this again. I remembered how just two days prior I'd told my roller derby friend, Coral, that I could never do derby because I don't like anybody touching me during sports. But then I thought if I did roller derby I could skate all the time. Without being tripped up by teens or dodging small children! I could get my own skates, be part of a team, make new friends, and maybe later on I would have a good excuse to wear fishnet... Sold! I slammed into the grubby carpeted wall next to my family's table, smiled, and told them I thought I'd give roller derby a go.

My mom with Suzi and Ivey

3) I could hardly wait for my first practice, which was last night. The floor was painted concrete and felt different than the wood at my old rink, but I managed to mostly stay on my feet. I met some really cool people and watched the experienced skaters do some drills, timed laps, and skate in a pack. In my borrowed helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards, I stayed at one end of the rink and practiced falling forward. If you're going to fall, it's best to fall smoothly to your knees and slide so you can get back up faster. It was harder than it looked and I ended up falling on my butt or doing awkward splits several times instead. I also worked on stopping, turning, and just barely started trying to do the crossover (placing one foot in front of the other to skate the circle of the track and using both feet to propel myself and move faster). All of this needs a ton of work, of course, and it will be a long, long time before I am ready for an actual bout. I am taking it slow because I don't want to get injured before I've begun. I mainly want to get used to being on skates first. Buying my own skates will help, too. I'm very excited about ordering them soon!

Our next practice is Wednesday night, and there will hopefully be some other new girls there then. I look forward to getting faster and steadier so I can skate with the team!