Swimmom’s Weblog

Diary of a Stay-at-home Mom, motherhood and beyond

Reality Check August 26, 2008

This morning, while my kids where watching their usual PBS shows, I announced that I needed to take a shower. My son startled me at what he said next.

“I need to take a shower. I’m all dirty and stinky.” I said. (I had just done my usual morning workout)

My son looked at me and explained, “You do need to take a shower. I like my color, not yours,” as he pointed to his cheek.

I hesitated, not knowing what to say next.

“What do you mean?”, I asked. ” You don’t like my skin color?”

“I like Sophia’s white shirt.” He explained. That should have been key enough that he didn’t mean what he said, or what I thought he meant.

Probing. “You don’t like me skin color?” I asked again, trying to get into the head of my 3 1/2 year old son, an impossible task itself.

“No, I like your skin color.” he said.

I don’t know why, but I was close to tears.

I called my dad.

“George is 3. He has no idea what he is saying. If he was 10, then you discuss it, but he is 3. You told him you were dirty and stinky. He probably relates it to when he is in the dirt and you tell him he is dirty and stinky and needs to take a shower.”

I know this is probably true.

But still.

I don’t know if I am ready to talk about race stuff or if I am ready to handle it. I know it’s not now, but it will be some day. What if your child, who now looks at you with such unconditional love, all of a sudden has questions to why mommy is “different”?

My dad, who is part Caucasian and part African-American, insists that even though your kids probably will ask questions, they will always love you because you are there parents.

And I guess that’s true. I remember being called an Oreo Cookie (kids can be mean) at school but it never made me not like my parents for being one race or the other, it made me not like the kids calling me names.

So I guess all I can do is tell my kids that there are many different types of people in the world and being one way or another doesn’t make you better, it just makes you different. And differences are what make our world what it is today. People are different sizes, shapes, races, religions, and so much more.

Besides without all these different people we wouldn’t have Sesame Street, Spongebob (a sponge) wouldn’t live in the Ocean with a squirrel and a star fish and Bob the Builder wouldn’t be good friends with Scoop, Muck or Dizzy.

Now that, my 3 year old should understand.


They really do think of everything.. August 21, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 7:30 pm
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…and my awesome sister-in-law can find it.

If you read, my previous post, because he insists on standing, my son has a little trouble aiming at that low potty. For those of you that find yourself in the same messy situation, my sister in law just found this on Target.com

The Peter Potty Flushable Urinal.

Yes Kris, they really do think of everything.

And you bet I’m gonna but it!


Sit or Stand

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 3:19 pm
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I am crossing my toes as I write you this (would do my fingers, but I have to type, right? anyway….) in order to ward off all bad potty spirits, as I take time to gloat about the success of my son’s potty training attempts.

He is doing great!

He has stayed dry for 3 days, no accidents.

We bought him just your good ‘ol plain potty and it worked.  Number 2 is another story but he has stayed dry, peeing on the potty all the time. He wakes up dry from naps, bedtime and stays dry while he was at camp (though I put him in a pull up). So, he was using the big potty and  but we decided we needed to buy him a potty his own size, just in case he decides to try number 2, so that he has his feet planted firmly on the ground. (we bought him one last winter but it had too many bells and whistles and all he wanted to do was play in it and take it apart).

Anyway, he still refuses to sit on the potty, he will only stand, so you can only imagine, having to aim at such a low target, has left much room for, shall we say creativity. He now plays “fire hose” if you get my drift and if he can’t hit the potty, he hits any target in his way, the wall and his sister, yes, he peed on his sister.

And since he pees with the door open, and Sophia is super nosy (I wonder who she gets it from…), she wants to be in the middle of the action watching intently as George makes efforts to go on the potty. If I don’t catch her fast enough, she wants to play in it, and put her hand in the stream. (does anyone have this problem or just me?)

I think the whole watching her brother pee on the potty has left some room for confusion on her part. We bought her a little Baby Bjorn potty (so she wouldn’t mess with George’s) and she wanted to sit on it at first.

Now she stands in front of it, lifts her shirt and pull her pants down. OY!!!


Potty on the Brain August 19, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting — swimmom @ 1:46 pm
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I’ve got potty training on the brain. I know you probably don’t want to come to my site and read about potty training all the time, but I can’t help it, I’ve got “PB”, Potty Brain.

Potty training really tests not only your parenting skills but your determination, consistency and patience. I can’t wait to look back and think, “Geez, I can’t believe I thought potty training was hard!” Or maybe you just think it always was. It’s hard to know when to press, when to back off. If I back off too much will my son be denied entrance into Pre-K in Fall 2009 because he still wants to wear a diaper at the ripe age of 4 1/2! Probably not because there is a strong likelihood that he will indeed be potty trained by then (cross my fingers, but still). But at the rate he is going at now, I swear, he’ll be like 12 and needing to wear a pull up to school. Okay exaggeration, but you get my drift.

Anyway, we seemed to have found a break through and I can’t talk about it until I know it has stuck so I’ll tell you in a couple days. In the meantime, I need a bit of laughter, if you have anything funny about potty training to share, like a funny story. I would love to hear it, Please chime in below!!!


Take me out to the Ball Game….. August 15, 2008

I have been completely consumed with watching the Olympics and Micheal Phelps quest for a record amount of gold. I have stayed up way past the times that I should every night so I don’t miss a beat. Remember, like I said before swimming used to be my life, my first love, that is until I met my husband and had kids, but as many of you know, you never forget your first love. Swimming still lies deep in my blood and within my soul.

Anyway…enough about swimming. If you have checked out the link in the upper right hand corner of my blog, I have given you some of my favorite places to take a day out with the family and tonight I have to add 2 places, one of them I wish I added sooner.

But here we go…

1. Kid Junction in Mt Laurel is now open and be prepared on that first visit with your toddler, they will kick and scream and not want to leave, trust me, it happened to me. I love this place because it is very clean. There are great “stations”. They have a great climbing/slide section for toddlers and a smaller section for infants they call Jail with a safety gate so no prisoners break free (cute). They have a post office, a gym, a vet, pizza place and a grocery store. Don’t forget to bring a couple extra bucks for the token rides and to grab a bite to eat in the great little “cafe”. The place is big enough for you child to run around, yet small enough not to lose them. And don’t fret if you do, each child and parent is given a matching number upon entry and they won’t let you leave without checking it twice. Admission is $9.95 for child 2 and over and $6.95 for 2 and under. This place is definitely worth the time to check out and possibly a great place for a birthday party.

2. Camden Riversharks, Campbell Field, Camden, New Jersey. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner, or mention it and maybe it’s because we really just took both kids there today so I didn’t think of it. But for $44 (can’t beat it) for the family of 4, (and that’s for the “good” seats). We purchased the seats online and picked them up at the will call, they have great events and today happened to be public safety day so the place was filled with firetrucks and firemen, of course, my son thought it was the coolest thing. After taking in “red”, we grabbed a bite to eat (you could probably pack snacks or eat before hand and just buy ice cream) and then found our seats. My kids lasted a whole 2 innings before they wanted to get up and my husband and I didn’t think they would lost through the 4th inning, but after a carousel ride, playing in the Fun Zone (this does cost $5 but worth every penny) eating ice cream, cruising the stadium and a couple trips to the bathroom (yes, he stayed dry the entire time) before we knew it, it was the 9th inning and we took our seats for a great Fireworks Display (I believe they do it every Friday night). These fireworks beat out the ones we saw on the 4th of July by far. My son thought it was the greatest thing ever and my daughter, put her hand over her face and fell asleep (yes, she nodded off during the fireworks). A cool bonus, great scenery, and with the field being right next to the Ben Franklin Bridge, my train enthusiast caught glimpse of probably half a dozen train trips across the bridge. This is worth every penny. If you can’t check it out this season, put it on your list for next. Oh yeah…if your child is small and doesn’t need their own seat, no charge.


Dreams Revisited August 12, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,olympics — swimmom @ 7:13 pm
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I almost made the Olympic Team.


I competed in 3 Olympic Trials (1988, 1992 and 1996) and my highest place was 8th place. Unfortunately in the events I swam only the top 2 made the team.


It has been 12 years since I swam competitively and to this day, when the sunlight and the air is just right, on a Saturday morning, I can take a deep breathe in and smell the pool and become engulfed in the atmosphere of a swim meet or an early morning workout.

Every 4 years when the Summer Olympics rolls around, I find myself glued to the Television. Often staying up well, past midnight to get in all the swimming events I can watch. I cry for the victories and the losses. I stand up, I cheer, and in my heart, I wish I was there.

Especially now, with the new suits and that amazing pool. Beijing, today’s technology, or shall we say suit-ology, has created the “perfect storm”. Sure, if you aren’t an Olympian or a World record holder, I highly doubt that pool or that suit will “make” you good. But it has to play a little bit mentally too, just because you have the talent and the determination, swimming, like any sport becomes a mind game and it is easy to talk, or shall I say doubt, yourself out of a great race.

Anyway, I loved swimming, still do. But I loved competing.

The adrenaline and anticipation.

I loved it.

I got a lot from swimming: I traveled around the world, met lots of great people and learned a lot about myself. I learned, it may sound cliche, but, what the mind believes the body achieves. I learned to have confidence, I learned how to win and just as importantly how to loose. But most importantly I think I learned swimming isn’t everything. At the end of the day, you have family, you have friends and you have a life ahead of you, where most people really don’t care how fast you swam the 100 butterfly.

Dreams are what keep you alive, striving for more and motivate you to live.

But at the end of the day, your family, will not care whether or not you made the Olympic Team. but they will love you for what you have become for for striving for your dream and believing in yourself.

I hope that my kids will learn through sports what I learned.

I hope that I won’t be one of those crazy parents on the sideline.

And that, although rejoicing in their victories and their triumphs and crying in their defeats, that I will stand back and let my kids have fun and become their own person, their own athlete.

I hope I will let their dreams, be “their” dreams.

But, I will be at the Olympics one day.

Maybe not as an athlete, although I am seriously motivated by Dara Torres.

But maybe as a spectator, a volunteer or maybe the parent of an athlete.

I dream to enhale the spirit of the Olympics, the spirit of competition.


Trains, Trucks and Bridges….Oh MY! August 11, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 9:33 am
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One thing I love about having kids is watching their enjoyment and complete excitement over “simple” things.

My son, the train enthusiast, and I took a train ride to my parents house this weekend. Sitting on the train, watching his face as he looked out the window was one of the most amazing moments, I hope to have captured for a lifetime.

He noticed everything, every station stop (there were at least a dozen), every car and bridge. He noticed every time a passenger got on and got off.

Every train we passed became one of Thomas’ friends (Thomas the train). We, of course, were riding Edward, but on the way we passed Thomas, Toby, Emily and Gordon. We even stopped at Wellsworth and Tidmouth station (for all of you non-Thomas the train enthusiasts, those are stations on the Island of Sodor, in Thomas’ world, as my son would call it).

He noticed when the tracks were bumpy and the train was “steady” and counted all the little the drops on the window from the rain outside.

His face was lit with pure glee and happiness as we waited at the station for the train to arrive and the entire 45 minute ride to my parents.

That train ride taught me the importance of appreciating the every day things we take for granted but also finding the excitement in the “mundane”. Seeing your kids smile isn’t about buying the most expensive toy at the store or taking them to some exotic island or place. Sometimes, it’s spending time with your kids and showing them you are interested in what they are excited about.

Honestly, before I had my son could really care less about trains, firetrucks or any other construction, transportation or emergency vehicle that I passed on the road. But now, I know all their names, roles and signals they make. And most importantly I know that my son lives, breathes and dreams trains, he can hear a train signal from miles away and remembers every train track we have ever passed on a long and short drive. He can probably run down any dog chasing a fire truck and passing a construction site or seeing a police car speeding down the street is, to him, just as wonderful as seeing all those presents under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

Train Ticket to my parents house: $4.75

Watching my son light up as we boarded the train: priceless