Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just Hear Those Sleighbells Jingling...

The word for today is awareness. In almost every section of the day, I experienced situations that caused me to reflect.

First, during my morning Zumba workout, I was talking to my instructor after class and I started to tell her about JuJu. You have to understand that my instructor has a special light within her and she brings a wonderful energy with her. No matter what is going on with her personally, she invokes a very positive tone. I know it is one of the reasons people love her classes. Her high energy level and her power to connect with others, has always reminded of my friend who brought JuJu Gear to Minnesota and set up the Eden Prairie store. Anyway, I told her about a fashion show we are having this coming Saturday at the JuJu store and invited her to come. Funny thing was she already knew all about JuJu and was friends with someone else who works at the store!  Awareness moment: The world we live in is so interconnected, much more than you can ever imagine.

On the way to swim practice tonight, I flipped on the Christmas song radio station. Yes, it is officially that time of year. I love Christmas songs and each year I have to fight the urge to turn them on after Halloween. This year, I challenged myself to wait until after Thanksgiving. Sure I might have hesitated a little on one, as I selected radio stations, but for the most part I met my goal. So yesterday, the song "Sleigh Ride" comes on and I proceed to explain to Bella that all the instruments in the song are supposed to mimic a sleigh being pulled by a horse without using words. Yes, I know there is a version with words, but I'm talking about the classic instrumental version. Anyway, I tell her the bells are ringing as the horse moves, and if you listen closely you can even hear the "clip clop" of the horses hooves. She told me she could hear the bells, but no hooves. I told her to listen really close. Just as I was about to move on, thinking that with her implants she was unable to hear all the different layers in the music, she said, "Oh yeah, Mom! I hear the horse walking!" Awareness moment: Sometimes it just takes longer than you might anticipate for something to occur. It doesn't mean that it won't happen. Be patient.

Tonight after swimming, as Bella was getting dressed, she was acting goofy and kind of crazy. I told her to hurry up, because I was tired and wanted to get home. Then she says to me, "I think this is the time that my concentrating medicine stops working." (She is on medicine for ADD). I was taken aback by her comment. It is never really a clear time of day when her Concerta wears off. We don't do school work late in the day, it is just usually swimming and then bed. But her self awareness of being able to feel the medicine wearing off, took me by surprise. She told me she feels more tired and foggy when it is wearing off. Awareness moment: All children (even the baby of the family) grow up and begin to become more aware of the inner workings of their bodies and minds. And that is a positive!

It was a really good day! By the end of it I felt so energized. Having days like this are important to remember on others where nothing seems to go right!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rising From the Ground Like a Skyscraper...

Two weekends ago, Bella participated in her first 2 day swim meet. It was a B/C meet sponsored by our team Foxjets, so Bella could attend, even though she doesn't have "C" times. The meet also had something else in it's favor, it was close. For all of you swimming parents out there, this is not new information, but boy do these meets start early. Warm ups were at 7:30am! Two days in a row! Now, we only live 15 minutes away, but there were people at the meeting coming from an hour away. Wow, that is some serious dedication to your child's swimming.

I was a little nervous about Bella's attendance since she had been suffering from a double ear infection and pink eye, only a few days before the meet. The signups for these meets is weeks prior to the event, so it is never easy to plan. Anyway, she seemed ok the night before the meet started, so we were set.

Bella raced only 1 event the first day which was the 50 breastroke. This was an event that she has only done once before and had DQ'd due to her kick. Due to her physical limitations, she has trouble flexing her right foot while doing the frog kick portion of the stroke. The bad news is that she DQ'd again at the meet, but the good news is that this time they DQ'd her on her arms being to far down, not her kick. Always look on the bright side...

The second day we had to be at the pool even earlier, because I had to volunteer for concessions. It was nice to see her talking with friends and being social throughout the meet. Yes, she was the girl walking around with the aquapac bag on her head for her implant, stuck with a magnet on her swim cap, but kids seem to be used to it now and accept Bella for who she is. I am glad Bella accepts it, too. I can only hope as she goes through her teen years, she stays strong and confident about her differences.

So even with having been sick only a few days before and the super early arrival time at the pool, Bella did GREAT in her events. On the 50 back she dropped 10.39 seconds and on the 50 free she dropped 7.39 seconds. The one downside at the meet is that even though she did well for HERSELF (which is how we always judge her times), we learned that at a B/C meet you only get ribbons if you are in the top 8 for your event. That was a bummer, but Bella took it in stride and realized that pride comes from the feeling you get inside, when you know you did really well, not from a ribbon.

The other good news! Even though she still doesn't have C times yet, her Coach is really happy with her effort and improved performance so now she gets to swim in the second lane of her group, which is known as Level 2 bronze.

Here is her swimming the 50 Backstroke. She is in the lane at the far left.