Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two kinds of swim moms

IMHO, there are two kinds of swim moms. The first is aware, alert and focused on their child. They arrange themselves on the pool deck so they can see the race, making sure they are there to greet their child when they exit the water. They might take photos, they might not. They are probably wearing a shirt for their team, and have most definitely been a volunteer whenever asked.

These moms carry copys of the program, so they can help other parents find their way, and usually have a spare set of goggles in their pocket, for last minute emergencies. Between races, you can find this mom relaxing with her kids, making sure they snack on high-energy foods, and perhaps playing cards with her son. All in all, a great mom, devoted to her family and properly engaged in her child(ren)'s activities.

Then, there is Me. I do some of the things above, but mostly I like to jostle my way to the front of the crowd with my big 'ole camera, so I can snap 100 photos of Little A or the Big Guy's 25-yard race. Then, I stand there on the side lines and watch the whole race, yelling with my loudest voice for my kids to kick more, or use their big arms, or imploring them to just go faster. Sometimes, I stamp my feet. When the race finishes, I cheer some more, maybe with an arm pump, or if something really great happens, continue cheering so the whole swim desk knows what happens.

I am not necessarily proud of my behavior, but I am very proud of my kids and their swimming, and sometimes I just get so excited I cannot help myself. I am aware they cannot hear me when they swim (both kids have told me this), but still, I carry on. Sometimes I yell so much I have to sit down, all the blood rushing to my head. Maybe after they have done this for a couple years, I will back off and stop being so over-the-top.

On the other hand, maybe not.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Damn USPS and their boxes

I don't normally like to swear, but after today's experience with the USPS, I must vent! Two post offices, two boxes and some tears later, I finally have my package shipped off to Australia (late, I might add, for a birthday party, but that is another story)...

First post office, this morning at 9:30am - I took my two presents in, took them to the counter and asked if I should use the Flat Rate Priority International Box. That would be $39, but it turns out that I could ship my stuff for $20. So I skipped the Flat Rate Priority International box and went with the regular Priority box (free). I showed the lady behind the counter the box I was going to use, and asked if this was the right one. She nods Yes. After filling out all the forms, I take it back to the counter, only to be told that, no, the box I had was not the right box and would not cost $20. For some reason, this completely upset me - probably because I had just wasted a good box. I leave.

Second post office, about 11:30am - I take my Priority box, with the presents inside, into the post office. They have a large selection of regular boxes, so I open the Priority box and transfer the presents to a new Ready Pack box (cost $2.69). I fill out the mailing label and take it to the counter. This postal employee informs me that I could have left my stuff in the Priority box, because, and catch this, if I buy the Ready Pack box and the tape, it would cost as much as sending it Priority. So I take my stuff out of the new Ready Pack box, and put it back in the Priority box, use their tape behind the counter (you can do that if it is Express or Priority, since it has that printed on the tape) and fill out a different customs form (oh, they changed that too.)

While finally mailing the package, I think I asked enough questions to figure out the program. I offer some tricks to mailing through the USPS:

1. If you bring your own box, you can mail an international package Airmail which takes about 10 business days. Better to go with a large padded envelope if you can, it probably saves some money. This was my $20 option.

2. If you don't bring your own box, and your items are relatively light weight, choose the Priority box - it will be cheaper than buying a box and tape at the post office. Also, it will get to the recipient faster. This was my $31 option.

3. If you have a pretty heavy package, up to 20 pounds, go for the Flat Rate box, which will cost you $39.

Hope this can help someone else have a less frustrating experience at the post office!

Friday, July 18, 2008

BlogHer: Rule 1 and 2

1. Stop entering into every conversation or interaction with someone else with the idea that it will turn into a blog post. Stop talking like a blog post. Relax, enjoy the interactions!

2. Comfortable shoes are a must - really, I kid you not.

P.S. These are notes to myself as I participate in BlogHer this weekend. Sometimes a girl just needs a little reminder.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ordering cards for BlogHer

Ack, BlogHer is only three weeks away and today the pre-conference guide was released. It suggested bringing business cards - business cards? What business am I in exactly? But, I dutifully marched myself over to and found some great, retro-styled mini cards that will fit my needs perfectly. As soon as they arrive, I will post a picture. So cute they are, really!

Linking for contest-love

I am a sucker for contests, I will enter one even if the prize is not remotely useful to me, like a set of personalized onesies for your triplets. But I do it anyway!

Stefania at CityMama has a cool contest going - she is doing it to raise awareness of her new gig with Savvy Source, building a network of parent bloggers focused on local stuff. In addition to allowing me to enter the contest, she has also given me a chunk of new great bloggers to read. Thank you!!

So, hop on over there, check out the contest and keep your fingers crossed! I am really hoping to win the Nintendo DS games, especially since I have no use for them ;-)

Wordless Wednesday

First camping trip with Yuki the Prius, June 2008
Thule Rack with a Thule Box
Ice Bat and Plunko along for a ride