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Goodbye Lunchbox

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Shit. I wish I had a good way to start this post, but I don’t. I tried about 10 different things, and they all suck. You’d think that somewhere in the last week (or months) a good lede would have come to me, but nothing has. Pretty much as long as Shae and I have been the Lorigans, Lunchbox has been a part of the family. He’s been with us through everything: the good, the bad, and everything in between. And now he’s not. Shit.

I apologize in advance for the length of the rambling below. Lunchbox has been a huge part of our lives and I have a lot to say. Hard to believe, but Lunchbox is more than just a hilarious name even if that’s pretty much everyone’s initial reaction upon meeting him.

Back on April 28th, 2007, Shae and I were focused on a little event called our wedding. While we were busy with BBQ, beer, horseshoes, and a margarita fountain (and that whole ceremony thing too, I guess), we had no way of knowing that about 400 miles away there was a completely separate event that would also shape the next 12 years of our lives. We wouldn’t find out until three months later, but while Shae and I were saying our vows and partying, the dog who would be named Lunchbox was being born in Ramona, CA.

Like so many other things Shae and I have done, the decision to get a dog was made with almost no planning. From the day we’d moved into our house we had talked about getting a dog “someday”, but were never really serious about it. Then, one evening in July we saw a couple walking their dog and said, “Pretty dog! Screw it, let’s get a puppy!” An hour or so on Craigslist searching for Labrador puppies and a couple of emails later, we had an appointment to look at some pups. We drove to Ramona the next day to look at the Lab puppies and, shockingly, they were adorable. The smallest of the pups was ridiculously skinny, and clearly the other dogs took all of his food. Of course, as we interacted with the puppies the little guy was the one who came up to us and instantly bonded with Shae and me. There was no question, we’d found our dog. I wish there was some great story about the dog’s name, but honestly his name comes from a movie where someone called another character a “Tubby Lunchbox” and I thought Lunchbox would be a great name for a dog.

We knew Lunchie was really scrawny, but it wasn’t until we looked back at photos that we realized just how dangerously skinny he was. It was a good thing we adopted him when we did, or who knows what would have happened to the guy. We started him in training about a week after we brought him home, and our trainer was appalled at how thin he was. Once we explained that he’d actually put on several pounds since we got him she decided not to report us for puppy starvation, but she still made sure to monitor the little guy’s growth. The first puppy class was somewhere between sad and hilarious. Lunchbox wanted so badly to play with the other puppies, but he was also terrified so he hid out under our chair and peed a lot. A week later he realized he was missing out on a great thing and he became the wild dog of puppy class. He’d go on to be a 2x Top Dog and get his Canine Good Citizenship certificate, but I’ll never forget his cowering under the chair the first day.

For the first year and a half of his life, wherever we went the Box went with us. He was well known at Jitters (our neighborhood coffee shop) and Trolley Stop (our neighborhood deli). He was a huge “help” around the house on all of our projects, especially painting. We even took him with us on our annual camping trip to Death Valley. Because the rocks and ground were so hot, we got him some special hiking boots. He looked completely ridiculous, but for whatever reason he thought they were fun and just went crazy running around whenever we put them on him. Back in those days, Lunchbox was an occasional contributor to this blog (with a pretty foul mouth) and had his own Twitter account. Mr. Box would have been happy for things to continue on the way they were, but then in October of 2008 his life was thrown into chaos by the arrival of two tiny little people.

From the day we brought Ella and Jackson home, Lunchbox was obsessed with them; they were HIS babies. He guarded them while they slept, and would sleep by their crib if they were crying. He even got to go on lots of walks around the neighborhood with the kiddos riding in their stroller. Sadly for the pup, over time the kids took more and more of our attention and he got less. Lunchie didn’t get to go everywhere with us like he used to, but I think he was happy with the trade to have his kiddos. Jackson, especially, had a special bond with his yellow dog and we could always count on Lunchbox to calm Jackson down if needed.

We still aren’t entirely sure what happened, but in the summer of 2014 the Lorigan humans made a trip to Disneyland and left the Lorigan dog at his normal kennel. We don’t know if it was bad food, the ridiculous heat, some combination, or something completely different, but when we picked up LB from the kennel he was in awful shape. The kennel spun some story about him being sick when he got there, but that was complete bullshit (we obviously never took him or any dog back there and made sure to recommend against them to anyone who asked). He was severely dehydrated, and had several other issues. We took him to a 24-hour vet and got some fluids into him, but he still wasn’t great. Over the next few days, our pup seemed to get over the initial issues but he was having serious problems. Based on discussions with our vet, we were fairly certain LB had some pretty serious issues and only had a few weeks or (best case) months. We basically decided to just enjoy the time we had left, while also starting the search for our next pup. We thought if Lunchie could hold out until we got the puppy maybe he could pass on some of that great training (did I mention he was a 2x Top Dog?)

Of course, we had no idea what was in store for us when we brought Whiskey into our home. I have no idea why, but bringing home a new pup seemed to completely revitalize Lunchbox. The second we brought her into the house he started jumping around and playing with her like he was young again. Shae and I were both shocked, it was like he jumped in a time machine. Over the next couple of weeks, LB was still our grumpy old man-dog, but most of his health issues just magically resolved themselves. I still have no clue why he turned around, but we have enjoyed the past five years with him.

The move to Colorado was an adjustment for Lunchbox. He loved his new yard, but the stairs were not his jam (I’ll miss a lot of things about the Box, but the barking at the bottom of the stairs until he realized he could just walk up them won’t be one). Then there was his battle with a deer. Well, battle may be giving LB too much credit; the deer went after him while he was…ummm…relieving himself…and gave him a nice puncture in his side to go with bruises from being dragged around the yard. And, of course, the snow…oh the snow. Our San Diego dog had no interest in that white stuff. While Whiskey would run around having the time of her life in the snow, Lunchie just gave us his snow look, turned back around, and ran back in the house.

Several times since the incident five years ago, Lunchbox has seemed like he was on his last legs and then managed to bounce back. About once a year we were prepped for the end and then a few days later he’d be back to his normal grumpy self. This time, he didn’t bounce back. After a rough week or so, last night Lunchie’s rear legs completely gave out and he was extremely uncomfortable all night. This morning, we took Lunchbox into the vet and had him put down. The vet was amazing at helping us deal with things, but Shae and I were still a complete mess.

So, I guess that’s it. Lunchbox was an amazing member of our family and the perfect dog for us. Today is tough: the kids are crushed, Whiskey is confused, and Shae and I are just trying to hold it together. I can’t imagine life without him, but I guess we’re going to figure that out. I’ll miss him running to greet us with a sock in his mouth, even though the sock was buried under 10 of his toys. I’ll miss the looks from everyone around me when I yell out Lunchbox’s name in a crowded dog park. If I’m being honest, I’m even going to miss his stupid barking at the bottom the stairs.

Thanks, Lunchbox. Sleep well, buddy.

The Lorigans Move (The Shit Show Continues!)

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Warning: This post is going to be long. Way too much crazy shit happened during our move process and I don’t want to leave any of the “good” stuff out, so if you don’t have some time to spend reading right now maybe save this for the next time you need to spend a while in the bathroom. 

Spoiler Alert: We made it to Colorado Springs and got moved into our house. Now that that’s out of the way, enjoy.

Sunday (6/18):
Well, we’re finally starting our trip to Colorado Springs! First stop: Las Vegas. Of course, being us, nothing could be easy so we’ve spent the last two weeks in Lockwood (Shae and kiddos) and Lompoc (me) because the movers came and packed up all of our stuff at the end of May. Rather than spend weeks on air mattresses with no clothes we decided to move out of our house and start the adventure early.Things actually went relatively well packing up and getting on the road. Shae and I only had one minor spat during packing (seriously, how do you leave a load of laundry to do until 9 PM the night before we leave??), which anyone who has ever watched us pack up a tent should find amazing. Since we have two cars to get to Colorado, we are caravanning: Shae has the kids, dogs, and most of our stuff and I have…well…silence and a calm drive.Of course, we picked travel dates that happened to align with a crazy heat wave. We hit 118 degrees on the way to Vegas! Shae being Shae, she decided that despite the fact people were bursting into flames on the side of the road we had to stop at some artsy thing outside of Vegas where someone had stacked a bunch of huge, painted rocks and go take pictures (Shae says I need to tell you it’s called Seven Magic Mountains…whatever, it’s a bunch of stacked rocks). Since the ground was hot enough to fry an egg on, we had to put our special shoes on the dogs’ feet so they could go out with us. As much of a pain as it was to get them on the dogs’ feet, the ladies loved them. We got tons of comments from all kinds of girls. I may have to remember those things.

Our hotel is pretty nice, extremely dog friendly, and we have a nice little lawn right outside our room for the dogs to crap on. The kids enjoyed the pool (of course), and I enjoyed a good beer or two at the restaurant/bar (of course). The only problem we had with the hotel was getting all of our stuff from the parking garage to the room. We didn’t plan things out well, so Shae and I ended up carrying all of our crap (including dog dishes/food) from the garage to the hotel in triple digit heat. Not the dumbest thing we’ve done, but not our finest moment of planning.

Hopefully the rest of the trip/move goes this smoothly. I’m sure it will.

Monday (6/19):
On to Grand Junction, Colorado today. This is our longest travel day of the trip, clocking in at about 530 miles and about 9 hours (counting dog and kid stops). The drive was pretty uneventful, kids were really good considering the amount of time spent in the car over the past two days. 

Even thought it was still over 100 degrees and everyone just wanted to get to the hotel and relax, someone (looking at you, Shae!) decided we HAD to get stop and take a family selfie in front of the “Welcome to Colorado” sign.

The only issue that popped up today was with the closing on the Niblick house. They were supposed to close today, but apparently there was some “minor” paperwork issue with the buyer’s lender. Sounds like everything will get taken care of tomorrow and we should still be lined up to close on our house in Colorado Springs on Wednesday.

Tuesday (6/20):
We made it to Colorado Springs today! The drive was OK, but we found the kids’ car limit. Unfortunately, it was about two hours outside of the Springs. The last couple of hours were apparently filled with fighting and arguing, at least in Shae’s car (my car continued to be calm and silent). The kids are really excited to finally be in their new city. The kiddos also got to see our new home today, too. We did our final walkthrough and the sellers were onsite cleaning the house so we had talked with them quite a bit. They have a daughter the same age as the kiddos, so the kids ran all over the house and found all the best hiding places and got the inside info on the house and yard. Ella may already have a new bestie here. Of course she does. Things are still a little tense though, because we haven’t closed on the Niblick house yet. Apparently, the paperwork issue should be resolved but the lender still hasn’t signed off. Not sure what’s going on, but everyone assures us that it’s not a big deal. I’m starting to have doubts we’re going to be able to close on our new home on Wednesday, but it sounds like we should still get moved in this week. I guess the kids just get more days in the pool.

Wednesday (6/21):
Well, as I worried about, things are still held up in San Diego so we are going to have to extend our hotel stay and request an extension on our closing here in the Springs. I’m still not sure what’s going on with the Niblick sale, but I keep hearing it should close any minute now and then we can close here as soon as everything is wired over. I’m starting to get pretty worried because if we don’t close here on Thursday I’m going to have to reschedule the delivery of all of our stuff and we’ll probably have to go the weekend (at least) without beds, toys, TV, etc.On the bright side, Ella made yet another instant friend. She was down swimming at the hotel pool (while I supervised and enjoyed some free hotel beer), and somehow managed to make friends with a girl about her age from Missouri. They played for about an hour, until I dragged Ella away. So far, she’s made two “friends” in our two days in Colorado; I think her worries about making new friends may have been unfounded.

Thursday (6/22):
Well, shit. Since we still haven’t closed on our Niblick house, we aren’t going to be able to close here in the Springs today. That means I have to reschedule delivery of all of our stuff because we aren’t going to be able to accept delivery Friday morning if we don’t have keys yet. To make things even better, the next available date for delivery is July 10th. So we are going to get to sleep on air mattresses and live out of our suitcases for two weeks or so. You know, assuming we ever get our house.To make things even better, we had to move hotels because there are no rooms at the place we were staying. Yet another pet deposit. On the bright side, both kids like the pool at the new hotel (Doubletree) even better, especially Jackson (although Ella misses her new friend from the old hotel). I also like the bar (good Happy Hour and good beer!), and there are quite a few good places to eat within walking distance of the hotel. We finally got some clarity on the issues with the closing in San Diego. Huge shout out to our SD realtor (Thanks, Kat!) for doing everything she could (including calling from alternate phone numbers) to get the buyers’ lender to finally get off their ass and commit to getting things moving on Friday. We’ve been assured that they are going to send over the clear to close first thing Friday morning, so things should move on the SD side early. There’s still a slight chance we’ll have a new home tomorrow! That said, I’ve already booked the weekend at the hotel; I’ve learned my lesson by now.

Friday (6/23):
And the hits keep on coming. The lender did finally send over their clear to close first thing in the morning, but due to all of the delays all of the paperwork had to be redone and we still haven’t officially closed. Word is that the buyers are signing all of their docs this evening, but then we get papers to sign sent over at 6PM. Looking at the docs, they are all dated from Monday! Why are we just getting these? Even if we send them in now the soonest we can close is Monday, which is also the day the lock on our loan here in the Springs expires. What the hell??? I’m getting a beer. And another one. I give up.

Sunday (6/25):
The weekend was pretty uneventful with the exception of the kids swimming so much that Ella got cuts on her feet from the bottom of the pool. The kids also managed to make a new set of friends at the pool each day. We also found a pretty good pizza place, but the kids were sick of pizza after the second trip in two days. We are still at the hotel, but we’ve received word everything is signed and will process Monday morning. Suuuure it will. I’m really confident. We’ve got an appointment to sign docs here at 2PM so if things actually go as planned we’ll get keys and be able to sleep in our new house Monday night. I’m sure this will work out. We’re due right?

Monday (6/26):
What. The. Hell?? Even when things seem to go well, they suck. We got word early in the day that everything went through on the Niblick house and we have officially closed. Yay! Sounds like things are all working out, and we’re on schedule to close tonight. We get everything packed up from the hotel (it looks like a federal disaster area after the kids spent 4 nights in the room, and they make us put deposits for the dogs??), and head out to get lunch before the doc signing. The signing goes well right up until the end. The dogs and kids were both outstanding (no one even noticed we had dogs laying under the table until we told them). Things were great, up until we went to sign the last set of docs to get our keys and they mentioned the closing date is Tuesday because they hadn’t received the wire of funds from SD when they setup the closing. Seriously? Even when we sign docs for an hour we don’t get keys? Shit!!! Well, back to the Doubletree (luckily they had a room ready), too bad Ella’s feet hurt too bad to enjoy swimming.

Tuesday (6/27):
Woohoo! We finally got keys and have our house! Holy shit! It’s about time. Of course, being us, even today didn’t go smoothly.I finally had to go into work, I could only take so many days off before people forget I exist. Things go relatively well at the new office, although it took me about 3 hours to get my badge properly setup to grant me access to my office. Compared to the past week, that’s the least issues I’ve had with anything. Shortly after lunch, I get a call from Shae that our funds from CA have finally come through and we’ve got the go ahead to go get our keys. I head on over to the title office, while Shae gets stuck in traffic (seriously??). While I’m waiting, our title person comes and tells us that they don’t have authorization from our lender to release our money because they’re still waiting on some paperwork from CA. Again, What the hell? We were told by the lender everything was good and now there’s more issues? In the end, we had to sign a couple more forms and the escrow people on both sides had to talk a bit but things finally got ironed out and we got our keys. YAY!


So, that’s our saga. I haven’t done the craziness and stress justice, but just know it was pretty ridiculous. We are loving our new house, although it’d be nice if we had beds to sleep on. At least the delay is giving us time to paint and get carpet replaced before everything is here. The neighborhood is great; the kids made a new friend on day one (granddaughter of one neighbor) and hung out in their inflatable pool. There are tons of kids for them to play with, and we even got cookies delivered from the “welcoming committee” family that lives just up the block. I wish we hadn’t had to deal with all the insanity, but things have been great since we finally got keys. 

Things are Moving

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Moving is nothing new to me.  During college I lived in 5 different places and then when I moved to San Diego I lived in two different apartments before we bought our house.  I alway had moving down to a pretty good system.  I was able to fit most of my stuff in the back of a truck.  Clothes went in trash bags and got stuffed wherever they would fit.  All my other stuff would go into file boxes.  Pretty simple.  Now that we have been living in our house for 10 years and have two kids, things are a little different!!  I have been slowly packing as much stuff as I can into moving boxes and putting them in the garage.  It’s amazing how much stuff you can amass in 10 years.  Now that a large portion of our stuff is nicely organized in the garage, thanks to me, it doesn’t seem to be as overwhelming.  We still have a lot to do, but every little bit I do gets us closer to Colorado.

Hey, Pat here. I can’t let Shae fill this post with lies. Nothing is “nicely organized in the garage.” There is a massive pile of boxes on one side of the garage, which used to be nicely stacked (by me), and then all kinds of random crap thrown out in the garage. I guess Shae got tired of actually putting things in boxes. Also, it’s a good thing that Shae and I haven’t had to move in the past 10 years or we may not have made it this long. Have you ever tried to pack things up with an ADHD spouse who wants to do anything other than pack? We were in the middle of trying to get the garage packed up when she said she had to take something inside. About 10-15 minutes later I wandered in to find out what was taking so long and she was cleaning out the drain in the sink. She will do pretty much anything to avoid packing. It’s the best! Okay, sorry for the interruption. Back to Shae’s rambling.

Another thing about moving that people don’t really think about is all the things we need to do to the house to get it ready to actually sell.  Painting, patching, carpet shampooing, etc.  There are also things that need to be done like some electrical work and plumbing work.  After spending 2 hours on a GFCI outlet, we finally said fuck it and decided there are just certain things that the new owners will have to do.  Hmmmm, I wonder how many “fuck it” moments the owners of the house we buy will have that we will have to fix?

It was actually more like three hours spent on the damn outlet before we put the old one back in and decided that’s a “next owner problem”. We moved on to replace a different outlet instead just so we could get a win on the books for the day. That outlet went much easier and we got it replaced in about 10 minutes. We were really proud of ourselves until we turned the patio light on at night and tripped the outlet. Yup, we even screwed up the easy one. Fuck it.

I have to say, I think Pat and I have been working really well together so far.  He goes on travel, and I pack shit up.  He comes home and says, “good job, Babe.”  Hopefully we continue working well together when he is actually home for more than a few days at a time.

This is pretty much accurate. In my defense, sometimes I text her while I’m on travel and “remind” her to do things while I’m gone. 

Big Changes and Big Moves

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Ok, so now that things are official we can finally tell you about our next big adventure: the Lorigans are moving to Colorado!!  This has been in the works for quite some time now and it has been pretty stressful.  Basically, San Diego is just too damn expensive.  Don’t get me wrong, I love where we live and I love our house, but there is no way we could ever move up and we are just outgrowing our house.  The kids are still sharing a room and the guest room is in the attic.  It is a tight fit when we have family staying here and we just don’t have the seating or space to add more.  An opportunity presented itself in Colorado and Pat is able to transfer there.  I’m sure there will be some changes, but for the most part he will be doing the same job and he will be traveling back to San Diego and Lompoc, just as he does now.  

 

In January I tagged along on one of Pat’s work trips and holy fuck!!  Of course we end up being there during a super cold snow storm!!  I was without a car so I had to Uber over to the mall and get some snow boots and long underwear.  It didn’t occur to me until that trip that I have a thing for ripped and distressed jeans.  Who knew those rips let in cold air?!?  At least I had a jacket!!  There was one night we walked over to a restaurant for dinner and it was below 0.  The wind chill was so bad it was actually painful to breath.  The next day it was just as cold, but we didn’t have the wind, so it was actually bearable.  I am used to winter weather being in the 50s and 60s, not the single and negative digits!!  Despite the cold, I absolutely loved it!  The city was beautiful and it had that smaller feeling I was looking for.  That trip really reaffirmed that we are meant to be there.   

 

IMG_9852 IMG_9851  IMG_9837

 

While I was there, I rode around town with our realtor so I could get a good idea of the area and the different neighborhoods.  I narrowed it down to two areas and I got a better idea of what kind of house I was looking for.  As much as I love the idea of walking into a brand new home, I really hated the backyards and neighborhoods that came with them.  I really want trees.  We decided that if we were doing this move to improve our lives in the long run, then we were going to get what we want damnit!!  And I want trees!!!  We do have a house in mind and I’ll write about it if we end up getting it, but since we are just starting to list our house I don’t want to rule out any others that might pop up.  I will say that if we end up getting this house, I will have a lot to write about as we work on doing some fun renovation projects.  

 

So, as long as things keep moving forward and all the timing lines up, we will be Colorado residents at the end of May!!  

 

With all the upcoming changes, we’ll be trying to get back into write about our adventures and misadventures a lot more.  

 

Christmas Shopping Sucks

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

UGH!!!!  I am so frustrated with toy makers!!  So, there is a Star Wars show that both Jackson and Ella really love.  Two of the main characters are females.  They are strong and fierce, and Ella just adores them.  Here comes the problem; they sell all the action figures of the male characters, but none of the female characters.  I mean, you can go to target and buy a full set of characters from the show, but they still managed to leave out the two females.  What the fuck toymakers?!?  Boys are not the only ones who what to play with this stuff.  Just ask my little girl who left Target in tears because, once again, all the cool toys are male Characters.

The “heros” of the show

No females

No females

Now that it’s time of Christmas shopping I wanted to get Ella a Gamora figure from the new Gaurdians of the Galxey movie.  Well, guess what?  Since she happens to be a female character, I can’t seem to get one.  Sure, they make the smaller size ones that are more for collectors, but nothing in the larger size that a 6 year old could actually play with.  So lame!!

Gamora is even at the front of the movie poster

Gamora is even at the front of the movie poster

 

I went through this when Jackson was really into the Imaginext stuff.  Ella really wanted to play with him, but she wanted to be a girl character.  As I’m sure you can guess, they don’t make any for girls.

For their birthday, we went to Toys R’ Us to check out some toys and gauge what they are interested in now.  Have you been to one of those stores lately?  There are twice as many aisles for the “boy” toys, possibly even more.  Ella walked down all the girl rows and didn’t see a single thing she wanted.

 

So to all you toy companies out there, Girls like playing with castles and dinosaurs too.  Girls like action movies and tv shows that have strong female characters.  Boys are not the only ones who watch these shows and movies and want to play with the merchandise.  Maybe you should keep that in mind when you all are sitting around a table and you decided to leave all the female characters out because boys might not want to play with them.

Sad Trend

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Those of you who know me personally know that I take extreme pride in the quality of everything I make, whether it’s a dress or one of my welded mosaic tables.  I have very high standards for myself. Because of this, I am saddened by a new trend I have seen pop on Facebook and Etsy, and the other craft and sewing sites I follow.  Basically, people are buying a bunch of merchandise from sites like Alibaba and Dhgate.  These sites have direct access to the “factories” in China so you can by a dress for $6.  The sad part is that I’m seeing a ton of children’s boutiques pop up that have bought from these sites, then put their own tags on, and call them handmade and sell them 1/3 of the price that the rest of us who actually make good quality are selling stuff for.  I hate that people are being sold poor quality items that have been made in sweat shops over seas and they think they are getting a dress that was handmade in the seller’s living room.  Sad how dishonest people are.

Oh, and to add to it, these Chinese site have been stealing patterns and photos from handmade designers and covering up the watermarks.  There is a popular maxi dress pattern made by one of the designers I like and she had hers stolen.  The knock off dresses are now all over Etsy and being sold as substandard products.

Pics on the Bridge

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

So, recently I have been doing some pattern testing for a couple designers (sewing).  I just finished testing the Pepper Dress by Brownie Goose.  Part of testing it means I get to go take some new pictures of the kiddos.  Yay!!  I even dragged Pat along with me to help because photographing my own kids can be a major pain in the ass!  Sure they look cute once they are done, but you should see what it takes to get there!!  I had to bribe Pat with lots of beer and fish and chips from Hooly’s because he knows the hell he was about to be put through.  Anyhoo, I adore this dress pattern and this dress will be up in my Etsy shop soonish.

 

More Swimming!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Well, the kids finished out their first batch of swimming lessons. It looks like it won’t be their last time taking “pike” swimming lessons though, since their teacher recommended both repeat. In summary: they don’t use their arms enough. Also, she didn’t say it, but Jack is not very comfortable in the water. Ella seems extremely comfortable; so much so she keeps trying to take some home in her ears.

After keeping notes for the first lesson, I decided for the last two to use Twitter to “live tweet” their last lessons. I hadn’t actually tweeted since 2010, so I figured it was time. Here is a reposting of my tweets, or you can click on the titles to go view them in all their Twitter glory.

26 June (#loriganswim)

5:18: It’s swim lesson time! Time for my live tweeting!

5:21: Teach is getting them used to water by floating and saying “motorboat, motorboat”. Wonder if she does that for her man

5:23: J is totally kicking on the kickboard. And smiling. There goes E, kicking like a rockstar! I think she also just copped a feel

5:25: I’m not gonna say the other kids aren’t as good as ours, I’m just saying you can tell which two kids haven’t missed a lesson.

5:28: I think E and the other girl may throw down over who gets to go first. I wouldn’t mess with E in the pool. She’ll drown you.

5:29: (from Lunchbox) Anyone know where the people are? I’m hungry. Anyone?

5:31: The other kids are doing stuff. Boring. Back to mine!

5:34: Right before I got here, the other boy was running and wiped out. J laughed at him. Loudly. That’s my boy.

5:39: I’m pretty sure E is trying to get water in her ears so she can slam her head into the couch to get it out. WTF!?!

5:37: Teach just told J she’ll “hold on to the noodle” if he does the arms. Son, it’s not every day a girl offers to hold your noodle

5:41: Teach just let the other girl go first. Death stare from E. Other girl may mysteriously find herself under water soon.

5:43: It’s jump time!!!

5:46: Jumps done. My kids’ “jumps” were closer to falls, but they both jumped and went under. Class done. Last class is Thursday.

5:49: All done. (pic of cold kids)

5:41: (from Lunchbox) Seriously…Humans? Food? Anyone?

 

28 June (#twinswim)

5:08: Time for kiddos last pike swim lesson.

5:19: Teach just asked if they wanna work on jumping in or motorboating. I know what my vote would be.

5:20: Teach recommended both kids take pike again. Both need to work on paddling. Boo!

5:22: Green light/red light time. E thinks red light means kick harder. I think she’s been riding in mom’s car too much.

5:26: E rocking the kickboard (pic of Ella kickboarding)

5:27: Scoop arms. Teach just asked E to show the other kid how to do it.

5:42: Both kids did good barrel rolls. Unfortunately, they were supposed to stay on their stomachs.

5:43: I may have to agree w Teach. Kids swim like they last both arms in an ice cream truck incident.

5:50: Jumps! Ella totally cut in front of the other girl. (the video starts up right after she cut in line)

Swim Time

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

I know it’s been a while between updates (again), but today was the kiddos first swim lesson and I couldn’t resist the chance to write up a recap of the event. Shae and I signed the kids up for the swim class a while back, and have been getting them ready for it ever since. Yesterday, we finally told them that today they would get to go swim and they were really excited (especially Ella). I took off of work a little early so I could tag along and witness the fun.

As excited as Ella and Jack seemed to go swimming, I kept thinking back to our trip Sedona last summer and Ella’s “swimming”. If you don’t remember (and don’t want to re-read the entire trip recap), Ella kept telling us how much she wanted to swim, and then started crying and refused to budge the second her toes touched the water. As soon as we got back to our room, she’d tell us how she “swam! and kicked! and splashed!”. Sure you did baby girl, sure you did. As excited as Ella said she was, I couldn’t shake the feeling we were going to have a repeat. Sitting there waiting for the earlier class to end, both kids (especially E) got really quiet and seemed a little nervous. Uh oh.

Anyway, as I was watching all of this I decided to keep a list of notes as things were happening. Here’s my recap (100% accurate with no embellishment, of course):

5:00: Sitting in the bleachers waiting for the previous classes to finish. Both kids are very quiet. As nice as it is to have some silence, they must be nervous. I just hope we don’t have a meltdown or a nervous poop once it’s their turn. Oh crap (literally), at this point I guess I’m rooting for a meltdown. I do not want to be a parent of the kid that shits in the pool.

5:10: We watched the kids in the earlier class do a little “wall crawl” where they had to hang on and pretend their hands were covered in glue. A little while later, they all got out, ran to the edge of the pool, and took turns jumping into the teaher’s arms. I watched all of that thinking, “it’ll be pretty cool in a few classes when our kids get to jump in, too.”

5:15: The teacher who had been leading the earlier class we watched just called Jackson and Ella. It’s go time. Of course, both of our kids run around confused by who to go to. Apparently “girl in red” isn’t descriptive. At least the other girl in their class seemed confused too.

5:17: Here we go! After some quick introductions the kids hurry over and climb into the pool. After being told to sit on one of the steps, they both do a half-crouch/half-sit thing that looks like they’re squatting to poop. Oh shit! NO! Please don’t poop. Please don’t poop…

5:20: Whew! No poop! Way to go kids! Keep it up. Now that we made it past that, it’s time to swim. Ella gets to go first. This should be good. C’mon, baby girl, no crying. There she goes, out in the water. No breakdown! She’s blowing bubbles and everything. She likes it, and she’s smiling.

Ok, now it’s Jack’s turn. Let’s make it two-for-two. Yes! We have bubbles!

Now it’s the other girl. She isn’t ours, so let’s just say she didn’t drown and move on. Fine, she can have a quick summary: our kids blew better bubbles.

5:22: The teacher just asked our kids a few questions. Both of them just stare at her and give a confused nod. Come on guys, you can say “yes’. Try it. Well, I have no idea what the kids just agreed to but apparently the nods were a good enough answer.

We have kicking! And bubbles. My kids rock bubbles.

5:24: Jazz hands! I don’t know how this applies to swimming, but kiddos did awesome.

5:25: The teacher just grabbed something from the side of the pool. What could it be? It’s kick board time! Yes! This should be fun. The other girl got to first this time, and she did pretty good; I hope my kids took notes.

Ella’s turn, she did awesome on the kick board. Jack did great too, but he needed a little more help. Both kids are still smiling though.

5:27: More kicking. The kids have the hang of this and are having a blast. Ella just did her excited tongue hanging out thing. She is the Michael Jordan of pike swim lessons.

In other news, we’re about 10 minutes in and we haven’t had any sort of crying or meltdown yet.  I don’t want to jinx it, so let’s just move on.

5:28: The teacher just asked if they knew how to do something, and both of my kids raised their hand. They have no clue what she’s asking, they’re little liars. The teacher believed them and asked them to show her, and of course they had no clue what to do. Busted!

Oh! Arm swimming! They do know this one. The teacher just tried to trick them by asking them if she was doing it the right way (she wasn’t). E wasn’t fooled, she’s been doing the arm motions and pretending to swim since before last summer’s Sedona trip. You’re going to have to do better than that if you want to get a trick question by her. I’ve found “what did you do today” usually stumps her.

Ella just had this exchange with the teacher:
Teacher: “Make scoop arms. Like ice cream. Do you like ice cream?”
Ella: “I like strawberry!”

She wasn’t offering you ice cream Ella, just focus on swimming.

5:29: Right after Shae says, “Our kids are doing way better than the other kid” Jack does a face plant in the water. Way to jinx it, mom. After getting over the shock of having his face in the water, he’s back to arm swimming. Good recovery!

5:30: Now it’s time to do some “swimming”. Basically, the teacher holds them up and helps them as they kick and swim out to pick up a toy. Jack goes first, and he’s great at the arms but needs to kick more. He must get that from me. Ella rocked this part. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering she’s been practicing in the bathtub for months.

Now it’s the other kid’s turn. Yup, she’s still there. Ok, enough of her. Let’s get back to Jack and Ella.

While the other kids does her “swimming”, Ella is practicing her strokes. Good work, E. Way to get in some extra work. Jack is getting cold and spent his little break shivering. Still no crying though, so that’s good.

5:33: The teacher just told them they’re going to do some “crab walking”, whatever the hell that is. This must be complicated, there is a lot of talking going on. This is a lot of instructions. Better focus kids, I don’t want any drowning.

5:35 “Crab walking” is apparently what I called wall walking. Both kids are doing great and holding on. I guess they paid attention better than I did. After the wall walking, the kids take turns going out with the teacher and doing a little back float (with some help of course). Jack was pretty nervous, but he did a great job. Ella didn’t quite understand the idea of letting yourself float and kept arching her back up. She loved the part when she got tossed up in the air though. She wanted more.

It just occurred to me that this is the same stuff we watched the kids in the earlier class do. That means our kids are going to get to jump into the pool at the end. That seems pretty advanced for the first class, but they’re doing great so far so let’s see how this goes.

5:37: More wall walking. Is it jump time yet?? Nope. Now that I realized they’re going to jump in, I just want to see how they do.

5:38: The teacher just told the kids to do “peanut butter jelly hands”. My kids eat PB&J sandwiches all the time, so they should rock this, but they only do OK. I think Ella was disappointed she didn’t get a sandwich when she did it right. Jack probably argued that he only wanted jelly. After they master the “peanut butter jelly hands”, they do some more swimming-with-help. They are getting pretty good at this stuff.

5:40: Jack is freezing, but is still having fun (between shivers). He’s still the best in the class at bubble blowing. After the bubble blowing, it’s time to pick their favorite toy and blow bubbles while they pick it up. If Ella doesn’t pick pink I’ll jump in. The teacher asked if the other girl wanted to go first, and E tried to jump in and take her spot. She seemed genuinely surprised to find out it isn’t her turn.

Now it’s E’s turn. She picked the pink toy. Shocker.

5:42: Ella has the shivers now, too. Jack is doing great blowing bubbles again, he’s a bubble’s rockstar. He picked the blue toy, another huge surprise.

5:43: Is it jump time yet? Nope. Come on! Well, at least we got to witness another fun exchange between the teacher and our kids:

Teacher: “Have you ever been to ocean before?”
Both kids: “Yeah”

They don’t remember the ocean! They’re just saying yes because they want to seem cool! Liars!

I’m not sure what game they’re playing now, but when asked what animal she saw Ella said she saw a turtle (or at least that’s what the teacher interpreted). Jack saw something, but I didn’t hear what. Knowing him, it was probably a panda. When it was the other kid’s turn (yeah, she’s still around) she said she saw a turtle, too. Ella called turtle, kid! You can’t copy her! Get your own animal! The teacher let this go, but I think she should’ve had to pick a new animal.

5:45: Jump time? Jump time!!! Yes! This is the one I want to see. C’mon kids, let’s rock the jump. Basically, the kids line up along the edge of the pool and then jump into the teacher’s arms and get to splash around a bit. The other kid went first and did good. Ella was hesitant, but she jumped in pretty well. Jack, well, he needed a little help jumping in but he got nice and wet.

5:46: That’s it, the kids’ first swim class is done. Time to dry them off and get them warmed up. As we were wrapping them up in towels, the teacher came over and filled us in on Jack’s quote of the day (during the wall walking instruction):

Teacher: “What happens if you let go of the wall?”
Jack: “You die!”

I think he’s got it. Can’t wait until the next class.

The Kiddos are 3!!!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

How is it possible that my little monsters are already 3 years old?  I swear they were just born like yesterday.  For their pictures this year we went out to the old dam at Mission Trails Park to let the kiddos run around while I took some shots of them.  I will go into more detail about all their birthday activities next time.