Sunday, 24 September 2017

Swimming, Soccer, Soccer, Swimming

We had cloudy skies and a "cool" front move through this weekend, and we couldn't have been more grateful.  Our weekend was jam-packed with outdoor activities which would not have been nearly as fun if it were 95 and sunny. First stop on Saturday morning was the first day of Irene's first 2-day swim meet. Technically, she could have done just 1 day, but with her increasingly faster times, I'm sure a 2 day-er is coming, and I wanted to give her some practice. We arrived at the pool in Round Rock around 8 am and she had an early event - 100 IM. This has always been one of her favorites. Partly because of the variety, and partly because she's pretty good at it. Sure enough, she got her first BB time of the season at a time of 1:30.69!
 As soon as she finished that race, we hopped in the car and drove back to Pflugerville for Johan's soccer game. He did great, had some fancy moves, and the team won 8-2.
 Day 2 was more of the same but in reverse. While Young-Hoon took Irene and Oscar to day 2 of their swim meet, I took Johan to his second soccer game of the weekend. This turned out to be the only weekend he had a Sunday soccer game. In today's game he was on fire! He took at least 6-7 shots at the goal in the first 10 minutes alone. He scored 2 goals within a couple of minutes and had some good ball handling. And as always, he spent all of his playing time with a smile on his face. His team won 3-0.
 As soon as he finished, we hopped in the car and drove to the swim meet. Unfortunately, we'd missed Irene's first event which was also her 1st relay ever. She and her teammates swam the 200 IM. Irene's leg was the 50 breaststroke. I hear Irene made quite a, um, splash. The dive for a relay is a bit different than a regular dive, and she was nervous. While she got some great distance, you can guess by the photo below (taken by a friend) that her entry was less than pefect. It was, however, a very impressive belly flop. But she kept going and had her best 50 breast time ever, although it doesn't count as an individual time. She also improved upon her other 2 events as well:
100 free - 1:23.19, cutting off over a second for another B time
50 back -45.26, cutting off 6 seconds for her first B time in this event

And Oscar joined the meet today with 2 events. He didn't want to do both days, so he took it easy on Saturday and psyched himself up for Sunday. He also did great. Although he was a bit off of his best time in the 50 backstroke with a time of 49.17, he crushed his 50 breaststroke time by about 25 seconds for a time of 57.27. Unbelievable! You can see the race in the video below. He's got the orange cap.

Here's Irene's 50 back:
Here's some of Johan's fancy footwork:


Monday, 18 September 2017

Weekend Fun

 We had 1/2 good weekend. It started off with a little taste of Sweden and a crayfish party at Ikea. the kids and we love crayfish and usually end up fighting over each crayfish in the pack, so an all-you-can-eat buffet sounded great. Not only was it delicious, but we won tickets to the Julbord (Christmas buffet)! It was funny, when they started the raffle, I had all the tickets and then realized that I was being silly. Of course we wouldn't win if I were holding the tickets! So I handed them out to the kids!

On Saturday we got to watch Johan play soccer. I didn't make it to his last game, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The games are surprisingly exciting! They didn't win, but they made a valiant effort.

Oh, and on Sunday I was sick and could barely get out of bed. Hence the "1/2 good weekend."

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Divide & Conquer

An abrupt start to our upcoming busy fall season today. Our family had to divide up in order to conquer in the kids' sports. First of all, I went with Oscar and Irene to a triathlon. This was Oscar's first tri, and Irene's 2nd. They've been looking forward to this for months- ever since their splash n' dash in March. Although there are many opportunities for kids to do triathlons around here, they are not cheap, so we agreed to just one this year. After much research, I convinced them that one at the pool they usually swim at was the best option. We did some "training" in August in addition to their regular swimming. They were ready for today! 

It started with a 100 meter swim. Irene was first out of the water in her heat, and Oscar wasn't far behind as the second. 

I knew that their biggest challenge for the tri would be the cycling leg (3K) because 1) they don't get in a lot of practice with bike racing, and 2) as you can see, they are riding their small, heavy, single-gear bikes while many of the other kids had proper racing bikes with wheels twice as big. They weren't the only kids with this type of "kiddie" bike, but the number of kids with fancy bikes was definitely shocking. Guess what's on Irene's Christmas list this year?

They finished the running leg (1K), no problem, and even had enough energy to sprint at the end.

Irene took 2nd in her age group for girls! She finished with a time of 19:51 - just 9 seconds off of 1st place in spite of her bike! Oscar didn't place due to some stiff competition, but he did awesome with a time of 20:30.  We're super proud of them, and they are already looking forward to next year and another chance to do a tri! 
And while we were there, Young-Hoon took Johan to his first soccer game. Earlier in the summer, Johan expressed a desire to play soccer and a friend filled me in on the Pflugerville soccer league. It's cheap, fun, and not a huge time commitment (like swimming). So we agreed to let him give it a whirl. He had his first practice this past week and his first game today. He LOVED it! He tells me his team won, although they don't officially keep score, you know the kids are. Johan even scored a goal! I'm looking forward to watching him play next weekend. Below are a couple of videos from the game.


And Johan taking a shot at the goal. He's #8


Monday, 4 September 2017


 After just 2.5 years of living in our house, we finally got a playground up in the back yard! There have been many blueprints over that time, but in the end, all the kids like to do is climb and jump, so Young-Hoon made a simple structure for them to do that. He prepared it and we worked together to assemble it in the back yard.
 So far they are loving it! There will be some more bars and a platform of two added for even more fun. They are really looking forward to having a picnic out there!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


After much ado, Johan has finally lost his second tooth. You can't really tell, because his adult tooth was completely grown in behind it already. About a month ago, he had a dentist appointment, and she said his tooth was loose enough that it should come out on it's own. Flash forward to to this week when we got out the plyers. Seriously. I could actually see the hole from the back of his tooth and it could bend forward, but the front wouldn't budge. We tried. And tried. And tried everything. Finally, tonight after promising ice cream and chocolate he let me yank until I got it out. There were tears, and after looking at the tooth, I don't blame him! I should have taken a better picture of it, but it turns out that the adult tooth wore down the roots at the back of the baby tooth completely, which is why it was so wobbly, but in the front they were still very long so I essetially yanked that part of his tooth out without any kind of numbing. But, that's nothing ice cream can't solve.

New School, New School Year

 This week the kids started school again. They've had quite a few interesting "first days of school" including the time when Irene and Oscar missed their first day of kindergarten because I got the date wrong and we were camping, but this one may take the cake. With Hurricane Harvey swirling around all weekend, they had a 2 hour delay in the morning and it was touch and go whether they'd have school at all. We're extremely luckily that Harvey played in our favor and we actually got much less rain than predicted, but it's hard to feel happy when looking at the photos from Houston and even some towns not too far east from us.
 The delay made for a very relaxing morning as Young-Hoon drove them to their new school, Mott Elementary, while I headed off to sub. at their old school. Why the new school? Because this area of our town is growing so rapidly that their old school, which was only built 6 years ago, was already over capacity. So they built a new school...and now both of them are already over the estimate, but should do until Johan gets through them. At first I was bummed that they'd have to change schools again. For Johan, this is just school #2, but for Irene and Oscar this is #4. But they were just fine with it because more than 1/2 of their friends and teachers also moved to the news school and the building is a-ma-zing!
So, this week Irene and Oscar started 4th grade and Johan is in 2nd. So far so good!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Solar Eclipse

 Today was the big "once-in-a-generation" solar eclipse. (except it will happen again, only better in 2024). I had planned on taking the kids to the local library where they were supplying glasses and having other activities, but it seems like everyone in Pflugerville was planning on going to the library. Moreover, I'd heard that some safety glasses had been recalled. I'm just a chicken and the thought of the kids staring up into the eclipse with faulty glasses made me cringe. I told the kids about the eclipse and they didn't seem to mind too much, so I was ready to skip the whole thing.
 But about 30 minutes before the peak time, I decided to try a pinhole projector with a cereal box. I called the kids out to see...a big bight circle being projected. 10 minutes before the peak (this area had only 65% eclipsed, so we should have seen a crecent sun), still a big bright circle. I gave up, the kids went back to whatever they were doing. Finally 2 minutes to peak time, I decided to see if I'd made a mistake somehow. I looked it up and found "two sheets of paper" pinhole projector and gave it a try. Voila! We had an eclipse! And you'd think the kids could see the actual sun with how excited they were. Turns out I'd made the hole in the box top too big. After making a new hole and covering the big one, it worked perfectly. They enjoyed it for a few minutes and now they can say they saw the eclipse. You can, too, if you squint really hard at the photo above.