It’s that time of year again, folks, where I regale you with my childrens’ swimming accomplishments.  I do this not only to keep family and friends in the loop about our lives, but also as a chronicle to show my kids that they are, in fact, making progress.

So, sit back, get a drink, and read on.

Note:  pictures are crap because I left my camera at home and had to take pictures with my cell phone, and my resident photographer, Sarah, is on a cruise this week.

This week our Greene Hills Gators swam against the Boars Head Swim Club.  I’ve never been to The Boar’s Head, and my, it is an impressive place.  It is a conference center, hotel, sports club, golf club, etc.  The pool is lovely, with separate baby pool, round kids pool with slide, and rectangular 25m, 6 lane pool.  It has many shaded spots, a playground, and a raised pool deck that is completely covered (and where we did our computer work for the meet).  The parents were friendly, and we adults had a wonderful time working this meet.

They also had really, really good food!

But I digress.


HRH waiting at the clerk-of-course for her 25 back

As you may recall, both Master G and HRH swam with BASS this winter.  Master G swam at many of the meets, while HRH just kind of practiced and played around.  I honestly never thought she was paying attention, but apparently, she was.   This was the first meet of the season for my kids, and they did exceptional.  HRH swam in the following:

  • 100 meter free relay (mixed boys and girls, 5-6 yrs old)
  • 25 meter free
  • 25 meter backstroke

Last year, her times at the end of the season for 25 Free and 25 Back were as follows:

  • 25 Free – 53.06 seconds
  • 25 Back – 58.50 seconds

This year, her times were:

  • 25 Free – 48.65 Seconds.  A drop of over 4 seconds!!!  She placed 10th out of 20 swimmers
  • 25 Back – 45.53 . A drop of almost 13 seconds!!! She placed 6 out of 13 swimmers.

I guess she must have paying attention.  Who’ d have thunk it?

Master G

Master G speaking with Coach Ben before his 50 back

Master G took the spring off from swimming to focus on his LAX, and it doesn’t seem to have hurt him one bit.  Looking back, his times at his last regular season summer meet were:

  • 50 meter Backstroke – 56.06 seconds
  • 50 meter Breaststroke – 1:09.50
  • 100 meter IM – 2:25.80

This meet he swam four races, including one relay:

  • 100 meter IM – He DQ’d on his backstroke turn, but would have had a time of 1:58.89 if it were a clean race.  It was one of those early season mistakes – he is so used to swimming 50s and 100s, his brain thought he was swimming a 50 back and prepared for his turn accordingly.  Unfortunately,  it was an IM with a 25 back and his turn needed to be different.  His time difference from last year is amazing – 25 seconds faster, and that is the most important thing!
  • 50 meter Backstroke – 48.53, a drop of nearly 8 seconds!  He not only won his heat, but came in 1st place (out of 5 swimmers).
  • 50 meter Breaststroke – 1:04.62, a drop of nearly 5 seconds!  He finished 6 out of 8.

I am very, very proud of my little fishies!  They gave it their all, and that is what is most important.

And don’t forget – tune in for next week’s installment when we swim against Farmington Country Club at their pool – it’s a REALLY nice pool.

Now, before you guys go all “she’s got a nanny” on me, let me explain.

Both DH and I have full time jobs.  During the school year, the children are attended for 8 hours a day. DH and I arrange our schedules so that one drops off at school and the other picks up from the bus.  Well, as you can imagine, this schedule doesn’t work during the summer.  So, we have a few choices:

  1. Send children to camp:  This is a wonderful alternative, but gets terribly expensive – anywhere between $5k-8K for 8-10 weeks for two kids.
  2. Send kids to a day care center.  G is 10 and HRH is 6, so they don’t really need to be at a day care center.  It’s not the right fit.
  3. Find someone who you know and trust, who wants to watch your kids for the summer in your home.

We were lucky and ended up with option 3.  Our Virginia Nanny is a Virginian twice removed (okay, maybe not twice, but she actually is from Illinois).  Her great -x-several grandfather was Robert E. Lee.  She is a college graduate who can’t find a job so she decided to come East and be our nanny.  She does normal nanny stuff – take the kids to the pool, keep them from killing themselves and each other, general cleaning, and their laundry.

She has a blog.  And it’s good.  And I think you should read it.

The Virginia Nanny

Spring Pictorial

We’ve been busy around these parts, and haven’t had any time to blog.  I’m still busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger, so I figure I’ll treat you to a pictorial blog post, showing some of the things that have been happening this spring…



Master G "facing off"


Going in for the catch



Horse Show

HRH watching the older girls jump while waiting for her class to begin


HRH, riding Heartbreaker, being led by Mrs. Susan (owner of the stable where HRH rides)


First Place, Lead Line class, Summerduck Run Farm May 29, 2011 Show


And yes, summer does look to be as busy as the spring has been.  The kids have started summer swim team; there are various camps, beach trips, NY trips, and other fun things planned this summer; and there needs to be some reading time too.  It’s never a dull moment around here.

I admit it.  I hate dyeing Easter eggs.   I hate boiling the eggs, mixing the dyes, the smell of vinegar, and the actual dyeing.  I hate that when it’s all over we have a dozen or so dyed eggs that the children refuse to eat because the dye seeps through the shell and when you open the egg, the children think that the egg has “cooties”.

So, while watching TV a week or so ago, I saw a Rick Krispy ad for rice krispy treat  (RCT) eggs.

I had an epiphany.

We were going to skip the egg dyeing and start the RCT egg making tradition. No boiling, no dyes, no vinegar, relatively little mess, and I am sure that these eggs will be eaten well before Easter.

We got the ingredients, mixed them up, and put on gloves (so the treats didn’t stick to our hands).  We used plastic eggs as our molds, and coated the eggs with sprinkles.

And then we ate them.

A new Easter tradition that might get expanded to other holidays, including Halloween (RCT goblins, anyone?) and Christmas (RCT christmas trees!)

Fabulous Saturday

I had a fabulous Saturday.  My sister, HRH, Chasing Bunnies from Ravelry, and I went to Georgetown to meet the Fabulous Beekman Boys.  They were doing a promotional tour at the Anthropologie in Georgetown Park Mall, where I used to spend my teenage and college weekends (along with many of the bars in the area, but I digress…)

The FBB were in town to promote their products and book.  Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes were provided for us, along with a variety of other lovely snackies.  They “boys” talked for about an hour on the farm, their products, and just about anything else.  They answered audience questions (I asked them what they did with the fiber from their Llama, Polka Spot when they sheared her.  Dr. Brent said that the fur was in too bad a shape, with too many burrs and nettles and they couldn’t card it – oh well, hopefully they will have fiber in the future!

After their talk people lined up for book and product signings.  There must have been at leasat 200 people, with more coming in every minute.  We got in line, had a wonderful chat, and waited our turn.

HRH had been leary of this whole thing, but when she saw what was going on, she decided that she wanted to join the fun.  She asked my sister if she (HRH) could get the candle container autographed.  Of course, Lisa said yes.

HRH was adorable, got her product signed.  I had brought a present for the FBB – knitted handcuffs made from alpaca (didn’t want to offend the Llama, you know).   They seemed surprised, but pleasantly so.  And of course, pictures were required.  Note that they are wearing the handcuffs.

After our morning of fun, we had lunch, stopped into Dean & Deluca, and then headed for Looped Yarn Works further into the City.  I picked up some yarn for a friend’s baby sweater; HRH got onto the shop computer, found a knitted horse pattern, and convinced me to make it for her – so we got yarn for that too.  I’m hoping to get that done by her birthday in September.

We completed our day with a stop at Trader Joe’s.

It was a fabulous day – in more ways than one.

Rest in Peace

Gramma Anne with HRH 2005

Anne Marie Collins (née Natoli) died Saturday, March 5, 2011 at approximately 3:10pm.  She died at home, and Tony was with her.  She simply went to sleep.

Her final illness robbed her of her mind and her body.  Although she will be terribly missed by all who were honored to have known her,  on some levels there is a relief of knowing that she is in a better place, free of pain, and with all of her memories in tack.

Rest In Peace, Anne, and know that we love you.


I’m poking my head out of my rabbit hole, but only for a moment.

I’ve been busy.

With work.

Master G’s swim meets (he’s done exceptionally well).

Master G swimming his Free in the JMU meet

With HRH’s riding and ice skating.

HRH's ice skating

With skiing for the kids (G skiied away too fast for me to get a picture).

HRH learning to ski

With life.

I saw a blue bird today, which tells me that spring will actually arrive.  As much as I love winter, I think there should be approximately 4″ of snow on the ground from early December to late February at all times.  Since we have now entered mud season (in my neck of the woods), I am afraid that our pitiful snowfall this year will remain just that.  Pitiful.

I will come up from the rabbit hole, I’m just not sure when.


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