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Posts Tagged ‘swimming’

Blitzen had quite a list of things to accomplish this summer and we did it all.

Coney Island

Disneyland

Host cousin H in NYC for week

Fly to Arizona with cousin H all by themselves (this was edited – Blitzen and cousin H flew a day to AZ a day before us with my mother who sat in the row behind the two very independent 10 year olds and pretended not to know them)

Visit in Az and swim, swim, swim

Go to gymnastics camp

Take surf lessons

Start a family seashell collection

Swim in a lake

Ride in a convertible

The last 2 items just got in under the wire.  We rented a convertible for the last weekend of summer, took the scenic route up to Mohonk Mountain where we spent hours diving into the lake as well as hanging out in row boats, playing shuffleboard, eating fancy meals and dancing our hearts out to a live band.

It was action packed, I tell. What a great summer!

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We’ve had a lot of beach time this summer.  Blitzen loves swimming in the sea and has been fascinated by the surfers.  We spent the weekend at the Jersey Shore and Blitzen and Andrew took their first surf lesson.

Blitzen is, at times, like one of those annoying motivational posters.  You know the one with some guy hanging off a cliff by one finger, smiling, with a tag line that says something ridiculous, “You never know until you try.”  I used to hate those fricking things because, come on, really.

And yet, there is Blitzen, paddling out to sea, heading in on each wave, getting thrown from the board, popping right up out of the surf with a smile on her face, turning around and starting again.  Like 50 times she did this.  The instructor told her that she probably wouldn’t stand up during her first lesson, he said it took about 5 years to really learn how to surf and most kids can’t really figure out how to balance until they are bit older.  Well, he said that all before he gave a lesson to Blitzen.

Not a pro, yet.  But I think she'll be ready for competition after another lesson or tow.

Not a pro, yet. But I think she’ll be ready for competition after another lesson or two.

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Blitzen is happiest, most focused and able to learn when she is doing something physical.  She is an active, athletic, kinetic kid — I wouldn’t say that she is a superb athlete but I would say that she is a very determined one.  She will practice and focus and do it and do it and do it until she has mastered the challenge – the kid is kind of a walking Nike commercial. That is how she learned to bike (on a bike that was way too big and heavy for her) in a single day and how she learned to ice skate and swim.

On our NC beach vacation, Blitzen spent hours boogie boarding.  She would venture out to sea as far as the adult accompanying her felt safe to go and wait for the biggest wave, riding it all the way back to shore.  She got tossed, tumbled, dunked and swept across the sandy beach but she really loved it.

She has attended several weeks of gymnastics camp this summer and is constantly practicing and showing off her moves.  Her willingness to ask for assistance during these times, the ease with which she accepts her triumphs and defeats when it comes to acts of physical prowess (or not so much prowess) is pretty astonishing given how much she dislikes her own imperfections and struggles in other areas.  Makes me wish we could practice reading while doing cartwheels.

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We went, it was fine – fun even.  I think Blitzen enjoyed the experience.  My sensory seeking girl sure does enjoy herself a roller coaster.  But she was ready to go when we were — we might never have to go back and that would be ok.  Nothing against Disney but it is crowded and waiting in lines is boring.

Disneyland was something that she has been asking to do since she moved in with us so I was glad that we could cross it off of her to do list.  I think it is an experience that she will remember fondly — unlike the seaweed ridden beaches of San Diego which stressed  her out no end.  Nothing like a 10 year old having a full-blown anxiety attack on a public beach because seaweed touched her foot.  I don’t think the life guard had ever seen anything like it.  Aahhh, vacation.

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On Thursday, this family will officially be on vacation for 11 super relaxing days.  (I hope, I hope, I hope it is super relaxing.)

We are heading out west – a quick stop in Phoenix to see Andrew’s dad and then on to San Diego for a week with my parents and siblings and nieces and nephew.  We will swim in the pool and go to the beach and make a journey up to Disneyland.  I am looking forward to shopping at the farmers market, cooking and reading.  Can’t wait!

Blitzen packed her bags early, of course, but not as early as our first vacation.  She loaded a tote bag with her on the airplane essentials – ipad, snack bag, american girl doll, and of course (because it doesn’t fit into her suitcase) her monofin for her mermaid tale.

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I know some stuff – and frankly, Blitzen is never happy about it.

We went to Storm King on Monday. It was a glorious day – perfect weather.  We picnicked and walked around, enjoying the amazing sculpture.  Early on in our adventure, I advised Blitzen that we could walk around the sculpture but it was best not to touch and we definitely could not climb on it.  Of course, off in the distance, Blitzen spies some other little rascals scaling one of the massive works.  She turns to me, suspicious that I have decided it is best to keep her from having fun, and says, predictably, “Well, those kids are climbing.”  And I say, “Perhaps they don’t understand the rules.”  And Blitzen retorts, “How do you know the rules?”  I do not say, “Because I know everything.”  Instead, I offer, “I saw a sign.”  I didn’t see a sign, I just know everything.  Blitzen continues to eye my suspiciously and then marches off, calling over her shoulder, “I am checking for a sign.”  Off down a giant hill she goes to investigate.  She circles the work, comes running back up and says, “I saw the sign and I read it all by myself – No stumbling or climbing.”  Hmmm, maybe not the stumbling part but I am glad we agree.

It was actually a tremendous day.  No arguing and Blitzen really wanted to do something that Andrew and I wanted to do. We had driven about an hour north, stayed over in a hotel for a little mermaid tail / swimming in the pool action and as we discussed the next Blitzen delightfully said, “I got to do what I want to do today so you and Andrew should pick something for tomorrow.”  And pick we did but luckily, it ended up being fun for everyone.

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By Blitzen:

My favorite item is my mermaid tail. It makes me feel like I am home. It gives me a shiver. When I am swimming, all I care about is swimming in my tail.

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