Claire Goes for a Swim

Just a few months ago, Claire’s swimming skills had plateaued, falling somewhat short of actually swimming.  She was starting to dislike her indoor YMCA swim lessons and actively campaigned against going to the YMCA each Saturday morning.  She did not like her goggles.  She was even starting to get a little more scared of the water, and resisted getting in.  So we gave swimming a break for a while.

Things have really turned around this summer.  Claire has started to enjoy swimming again, thanks in large part to swim lessons with her friends at summer camp.  And today for the first time, she actually swam all by herself.  It happened during a weekend visit to Houston to see her grandparents.  Claire love’s their community pool, which has a 3-foot shallow end, the perfect depth for Claire to take some chances but still touch the bottom in a pinch.   We went swimming four times in under 48 hours, at Claire’s repeated request.  We calculated that Claire spent roughly one third of her waking hours that weekend in the pool.  We are very grateful for sunscreen!

Anyways, Claire was so happy and proud when she swam all by herself.  Here is some documentation of the big milestone, including videos of both her underwater style and her dog paddle style.

Besides the solo swimming, Claire is also enjoying her goggles now.  She loves putting her face in the water at the 9-foot deep end, in particular, to look down to see just how deep it is.  That is a far cry from the scared girl who wanted to sit out swimming class at the YMCA just a few months ago.

Kangaroos’ Gathering

While Claire and I were off in Houston swimming, Kit kept Molly back in Austin, due to work and several  social engagements.  One such engagement was the end-of-the-year gathering for Molly’s pre-school class, the Kangaroos.  Apparently everyone had a great time cooling off at the splash pad.


Kit having the week off, she wanted to treat Claire to something fun and special.  So Kit took Claire for her first professional manicure/pedicure this afternoon.  Apparently Claire enjoyed it and took the whole thing pretty seriously.  Claire tells me that they applied two separate coats to her fingernails for that pink, sparkly look: a pink base, and a whole separate sparkly layer on top of that.


Molly has just recently started putting together simple two-word sentences, the main one being, “eat it”.  This normally refers to actual food, and not a mean jab.

I am not sure if this counts as a sentence, but Molly also loves to say “Oh, Daddy”.  I invariably reply “Oh, Molly”.  Clever, I know.  We riff back and forth like this for minutes at a time.  Molly loves it.  She has a big smile on her face the whole time, and she plays around with different ways to inflect the two words “Oh Daddy”.

For her part, Claire insists that Molly is not saying “Oh Daddy”.  She strongly believes that Molly is saying “Old Daddy”, and she thinks I should not say “Oh Molly” back because it’s supposed to be “Old Molly”, and that doesn’t make sense since Molly is a baby, or actually a toddler, or a “Boddler”, as Claire says.

One of Molly’s favorite phrases is actually three words, although it sounds like one word when she says it: hearyago.  She’ll often walk up to you and hand you something, saying “hereyago”, aka “Here you go”.

She also recently learned a classic three-word phrase, although she was just repeating it at her Mom’s prompting.  When I was leaving the room one night for Kit to put Molly to sleep as she does each night, Kit said to Molly, “Can you say I love you to Daddy?”  Sure enough, Molly repeated “I love you”, her first time to say such a difficult phrase (in more ways than one!).

Today, Molly made her first original, unprompted three-word sentence.  While eating lunch, she dropped an orange slice on the floor.  When our dog Muffin came to inspect it, Molly said, “Muffin eat it.”  Pretty good for a boddler!

Claire’s First Job Offer

We received a postcard in the mail today from Orvis.  It was addressed to Claire, with the heading “Now hiring”.  It continued, “Many of our valued associates were once our best customers!”  Apparently Orvis is hiring a Fishing Manager and other positions for their new store, and they are interested in five year old girls taking on this responsibility.  Also, apparently, they think Claire has heard of Orvis.

I told Claire about this exciting opportunity, her first job recruitment.  She smiled and said, “What?  I think they think I’m an adult!”  I told Claire that, while she certainly could not spare enough hours to work full time right now, maybe she should consider the part-time Sales Associate position in Women’s Apparel.  She knows something about ladies’ clothing, right?  Claire just giggled and said, “No, Dad!  I’m a kid!”

Okay, I guess I agree with her.  It is too early to commit to a sales position, especially with only a few weeks to go before kindergarten starts.  Maybe she can work hard in kindergarten and apply for a position next summer once she has some report cards to put on the application.  All she has to go on now is basically that her friends and family like her, and maybe a recommendation from a pre-school teacher or two.  But that alone will not get you into the retail sales game, not in this economy anyways.

Won’t Eat Again

Molly has generally been eating well the last few weeks.  But on her daily note at school today, we got a reminder of what things had been like for so long, when Molly often did not care to have anything to do with food.  Here is her daily note.

Under “For Lunch I ate”, you can see that she ate nothing at all, declining noodles, beans, and apple sauce.  She apparently did help herself to a bit of water, though, so at least she was hydrated.

That’s My Little Sister!

Claire loves to show off her cute little sister, Molly, to her friends at school.  When I pick Claire up from school in the afternoon, she usually says, “Can you go get Molly first?”  When I produce Molly a few minutes later, a group of Claire’s friends enthusiastically gather around her.  They love to get Molly to repeat their names.  Molly quietly works through the crowd, taking a crack at Charlotte, Ivan, Ella, Elke, and all the rest.  The girls love when Molly says their name, or even gets close.  At this point, Molly remembers some of their names and will say them without prompting, especially Ella and Elke.  They also love to hug Molly, and sometimes they want to pick her up, although usually I draw the line there.  Eventually Molly wears down from all the attention and has to withdraw to my arms, with her face in my shoulder.  Sometimes this affection can be too much all at once.

Claire seems to enjoy this outpouring of affection more than Molly does.  Claire is so proud to have Molly as her little sister, and she never tires of showing her off around school.

Independence Day ’11

For July 4, we met up with some friends and went to the Tarrytown neighborhood parade.  The friends enthusiastically collected candy tossed from the parade and/or generally acted goofy in celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Claire and Molly had fun too but were not quite as silly.