Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter 2012

Busy and fun time of year for sure! In mid-November Domi particpated in his firt swim-a-thon at Scottsdale Aquatic Club, he is the youngest kid on the team! He beat his goals, he planned to swim 40 laps and raise $250 but he actually swam 104 laps and raised over $600! Way to go Domi!

The day before Thanksgiving his school had Grandparents Day and my Dad and Dan attended mass with him, and made decorations in the classroom. I joined the fun afterwards to watch the very sweet Thanksgiving kindergarten performance.

Last weekend we headed to the North Pole Experience in Flagstaff to tour Santa's Workshop. We usually do the Polar Express train ride in Williams, so this was a new experience for us. We really liked the hotel and had a blast on the two horse drawn sleigh ride, my Mom and Dad were with us and we sang Christmas carols on the ride. Then we headed to the workshop and really had a great time, Domi was thrilled with each and every room that featured a different part of the toy making process. We also made toys for charity which was very special.

The hotel had their grounds gorgeously decorated and had a two mile hiking trail in the woods just behind the building. We had fun hiking, taking pictures and laughing as Domi directed us to take photos of him acting like Big Foot!

Yesterday we went to see "Junie B: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" and had a great time! The Childsplay organization did a great job and we really like the Temper Center for the Arts venue. Of course we left with two souveneirs, a jingle hat and Junie B glasses.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Early November Happenings

First of all, I did *NOT* forget Halloween... life is cray-cray when you have an active 5 year old! :) He enjoyed trick-or-treating with cousin Joey first, and then with his pal Ethan. Such a fun night! Isn't he is a dolly???

The morning after Halloween, his school held an All Saints Litany. Each child chose a saint and not to be too obvious, but I signed him up for St. Dominic. Some other Moms teased me about this, but I say "If the halo fits...". :) It was a darling and touching ceremony, and *YES* I did cry!

Yesterday was a beautiful November day here in AZ and the wonderful weather provided the perfect setting for us to complete our first Walk to End Alzheimer's. The three mile walk flew by and it was so well organized, we plan to complete this walk every year! We were so touched by all the people who showed up to walk; babies, senior citizens using walkers, and even disabled people rolling their own wheelchairs. We were all so different yet shared one thing in common, our love and support of someone with Alzheimer's disease.
Our someone is of course is my Dad. I wore a picture of him around my neck and touched it throughout the walk, we were there in his honor. We were each given an ornamental flower that was planted in a beautiful memory garden. We labeled each of our flowers with my Dad's name, what a gorgeous and touching garden was made!
We are hopeful the funds that were raised will continue to support advancements in treatment for this disease.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fun Fall Adventures!

I can't believe the first quarter of kindergarten is already over, unbelievable! So many fun stories to share, here are just a few.

Dominic had his first swim meet as a member of the Scottsdale Aquatic Club in late September. As we were getting lined up for his 50 yard backstroke, an adult male swimmer who was extremely fit started chatting with Domi. Domi whispered to me "Am I swimming against the big kid?" and I told him not in his heat. :)

Then a coach from another club approached the adult swimmer and said "Weren't you in the Olympics?" and the guy said "Yes, four of them". Turns out he is Roland Schoeman from South Africa that trains with the Phoenix Swim Club. He has won every color medal at the Olympics since 2000! I told Domi "that man is an Olympian" and Domi's face lit up so Roland continued the chatting. He absolutely took a shine to Dominic. They went back and forth about which events they were each racing, shared high fives and fist bumps, and then he said to Domi, "I'm glad I'm not racing against you!". It was so sweet and I didn't think much of it, until just before Roland's race he told Domi "After my race I have a gift for you". We were both very excited and just thrilled to even watch an Olympic swimmer live!

When Roland finished his race (he won by a landslide!), he gave Dominic his custom swim cap! You should have heard all the other kids and coaches, *swooning* that Dominic got such an amazing souvenir! When we told Domi's coach she was blown away and immediately told Coach Laurel, who in turn told the director of SAC, "Roland Schoeman gave one of our swimmers his swim cap!". It was just so darn exciting!

Here are some links about Roland, he went to UofA just like me (albeit years after me!). Coincidentally, the Phoenix Swim Club pool is the same pool where Domi won two blue ribbons this summer, so it is now his lucky pool! Enjoy watching this hunky and kind Olympian!

We took a four day weekend in early October to celebrate my birthday and enjoy cooler weather in northern AZ. We started with a little bit of hiking in Sedona and then had birthday dinner at the Barking Frog restaurant. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Flagstaff. On Saturday we rode the sky ride at the Snow Bowl and really enjoyed the beautiful scenic view, it was kind of scary but very fun! Then we headed to the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams to ride the train to a private pumpkin patch, it is the same train that turns into the Polar Express at Christmas.  On Sunday we had brunch at the Coffeepot Cafe and took a quick hike before I indulged at the New Day Spa for a facial and massage. I can NEVER get enough of spas! :) We finished our day watching "Hotel Transylvania" to get into the Halloween spirit. We lazed around on Monday and did a little shopping at the Anthem Outlets on the way home - great fall getaway!

Domi trains four days a week and has had already had two swim meets in October. The first was in Goodyear at the YMCA, he swam the 50 yard butterfly. We got there early and were sitting in the front row but we still missed his race! UGH! Thankfully the officials let him swim in another heat. Unfortunately he did get disqualified for inserting a flutter kick (should be dolphin), but we are still so proud of him! He is the ONLY 5 year old on the Scottsdale Aquatic Club team!

Yesterday he a Splash Meet where he swam against teammates and came in 1st for the 25 yard backstroke! He also put forth great effort in the 25 yard butterfly and 25 yard breaststroke races.

On Friday his school (Blessed Pope john XXIII) had their annual Harvest Festival. We were BLOWN AWAY by the amazing things they had there - games, bouncy houses, climbing wall, cake walk, music, prizes, etc. We had so much fun! We volunteered our time and a bowling game for his class's booth, it warms our heart to be involved with his school.

More fun times to come with the Walk to End Alzheimer's next weekend, swim meet, swim-a-thon, Forever Day celebration, Thanksgiving and Dan's birthday - NOVEMBER will be SSSWWWEEETTTT! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Easing into fall...

Summer was long since Dominic didn't start school until August 21, but it still seemed to fly by. We managed to take a 5 day vacation to CA and had a blast at California Adventure, Disneyland and the beaches - Newport and Laguna. The weather was hot, but other than Cars Land we did not have to wait in any lines for too long.

Domi is big enough to ride roller coasters so we had fun on the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Cars, Goofy's Flying School and Star Wars. We even rode the Matterhorn twice because Domi loved the "big, scary monster with red eyes". We had dinner at a nice restaurant in CA Adventure and received premium seating tickets for The World of Color, it was such a  unique and fun water show.

Somehow, my rule about one souvenir only got shoved to the side and we came home with not only a GIANT Disneyland monorail (it is pretty cool), but also a custom made Lightening McQueen complete with remote control. The Disney Marketplace has this very fun store where you pick your car, tire, accessories, etc. and assemble it yourself. It was a fun experience, I told Dan we need to open one of those stores because boys and girls were THRILLED to build their custom cars as Moms and Dads saw dollar signs flash across their eyeballs! :)

We did a beach tour and visited Newport Beach, where we took a fun boat ride and saw lots of sea lions and grand homes of famous people. There were THOUSANDS of junior lifeguards training that day and I was amazed at how athletic some very young kids were. It seemed like an awesome program for kids, and how fun would it be to go to camp at the beach every day? Laguna Beach was crowded and full of seaweed, but the water felt refreshing.

Dominic started kindergarten at Blessed Pope John XXIII on August 21 and is loving his school! He looks very handsome in his uniform and LOVES his new "big boy backpack", it is almost as big as he is! He is still swimming and recently had tryouts for the Scottsdale Aquatic Club, it is a competitive swim team that produces a lot of star athletes. We are so PROUD to share that he made the team! He will be training 3-4 days/week, a HUGE commitment but he loves to swim, and we are doing other activities too like drama camp at Desert Stages Theater. He is a busy boy, but so fit and happy. Just a complete JOY in our lives! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hot Fun in the Summertime...

We had a very fun 4th of July celebration at the Compass Grill in the Hyatt Regency downtown. The restaurant is about 15 stories up and rotates around the entire city so we were able to see four or five different fireworks shows, including the big one at the baseball stadium. It was a fun but very late evening.

Dominic qualified for the semi-final league Championships and we had a very HOT day on Monday at the Arrowhead Country Club. Dominic swam his best time in the backstroke, and is in the top 10 for 5 year old swimmers in the league in backstroke and freestyle. His league has 13 teams, so this is a big accomplishment, we are proud as peacocks! The sweetest part is his laughter and smiles DURING his races, we just wonder how well he would do if he would get serious! But we know that will come in time, it all starts with a love of the sport and he has that in spades.

He has one last meet on Saturday, July 21. This is another Championship meet for the three teams in North Scottsdale and he has an excellent chance of placing in the top 3 for freestyle and backstroke. He just finished reading camp last weekend and is now in drama camp at the Desert Stages Theater near Scottsdale Mall. We are trying to build his confidence when meeting new adults, he takes to other kids like a fly on honey, especially girls!!! Maye it's the other way around, he is a looker, heheheh! He will have an end of camp performance, I believe they are doing a performance of "Grease", it should be very sweet.
We are headed to vacation a few weeks before school starts and then the BIG K!! So many good times to look forward to!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Our Little Champ Won Blue Ribbons!!!

I know, I know there have been enough swim updates from me, but last night was magical. Dominic came in 1st place in his heats for both the freestyle and backstroke races. He has NEVER placed first before and not only was this the last regular meet of the season, but Mom, Dad and Diana's entire family were there to witness his accomplishments and provide extra love and support!
Enjoy the videos, my emotional commentary is hilarious (slightly embarrassing!) but I can't describe the overwhelming feeling of awe and gratitude to GOD when I see Dominic soar like a little eagle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swim Season is Wrapping Up

Hard to believe we are down to one regular meet and then championships. Domi has progressed so well and has learned the butterfly and breaststroke. He has come  a long way from the beginning of the season when Dan and I were unsure if he could even swim 25 yards, to swimming races in every stroke. This past Tuesday it was so precious because he swam backstroke in an outside lane so I was cheering and walking along with him stroke by stroke, he heard me and was smiling and laughing the whole way! It was a close race and he finished in second place and posted his best time ever. He always asks at the end of every race, "did I beat the other kids"? I love that competitive spirit! :)
His freestyle and backstroke times qualify him for league championships July 9 -11. We are excited! I made him a special bulletin board to show off all his ribbons, a photo is attached. Note the cute monkey underwater PJs I just had to buy for our little champion swimmer! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day & Night Swimming

We had a nice day on Saturday starting with reading camp. We then met our realtor at Paradise Bakery for lunch to discuss possible investment proprties, and then it was off to swim practice. Not many swim team members were there so Dominic pretty much had a private lesson, he loved that! We finished the day with my Mom and Dad, we went to mass and then dinner at Black Angus to celebrate Father's Day. It was a fin and full day!

Sunday was pretty lazy and relaxing. Dan went to a movie by himself to get away (he is a full-time stay at home parent) and then we had pizza for dinner. Domi and I enjoyed our first night swim of summer, it was awesome!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Our Champ in Action!

We are enjoying these early days of summer watching Dominic compete as part of the Aqua Safe Gators swim team, he is doing great! I know I was nowhere near his athletic ability when I was just 5 years old, he is an inspiration to us! :)

After several years of owning an expensive camera we *finally* figured out how to use the video camera feature - lol! Enjoy this video...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our Little Champion Swimmer!

Dominic made swim team at his club AquaSafe and we had a great time at his 1st swim meet yesterday! There were cheers, tears and ribbons. :) We did not know what to expect, the meet was at a pool we had never been to before so we had chairs, a cooler, umbrellas, etc., and yes we did remember to bring our son too! :)
It was jam packed and hectic, and when Dominic had to warm up I was *shocked* that they had him do six laps, 25 yards each. He is awesome at freestyle, not bad at backstroke and a downright beginner in butterfly. He exerts so much energy trying the butterfly I think he tired out doing that in warm-up. I was nervous and anxious for him. They called his first heat 20 minutes later and I was crying, I was a hot mess! I approached his coach and croaked out, "please let him start in the pool, he doesn't know how to dive". She just looked at me because of course she knows that, she told me "he can choose to jump or start in the water". Sure enough, he jumped in and swam his heart out in freestyle - a very close race and he did great! He got out of the pool, sat in my lap and complained of being cold, wanting to go home, being hungry, anything and everything to get out of the next race. I didn't know what to do... was I a bad mother forcing my child to race at the tender age of 5? Dan and I agreed (mostly Dan, I was hot and ready to go too) he had to at least *try* the backstroke race. More tears, pouts and resistance, but he got in that pool and did his level best. We are so proud of him! Mom, Dad and Joey cheered him on and Mom rewarded him with money for a new toy which of course we picked out right after dinner (ANOTHER Transformer!). Mom also couldn't help commenting on my tears, "maybe you are one of those Moms who can't watch their kids compete, like Roger Federer's mom"... uhhhhhh, right Mom!

Today, he had dive practice and once again surprised and impressed us. He enjoys swimming and is growing physically and emotionally from this experience, and we are too! He is certainly an inspiration, enjoy these action shots.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring 2012

Wow, we have been very busy! You finished up your first season of T-ball and did a great job as always! The coach thinks you are "one to watch" and have lots of natural ability.
We lost Pipa in early March and traveled to NC to attend his service. It was wonderful to see all your cousins and spend time with Mima. Daddy was very brave and we all know Pipa is in a better place now.
Days after we returned from NC, we left for vacation to CO! We started with a play date at the Denver Children's Museum with our dear friend Ashley and her beautiful daughter Lily. You LOVED the fire station and made a very adorable fireman in the dress up clothes! We spent time with Aunt Letti in Evergreen, CO and you took your first ski lesson - you did GREAT! You said you loved the snowmobile ride and looking for moose tracks. You passed out tired in the car after your day long lesson and you looked SO handsome in your ski gear! :)
We then moved on to visit Aunt Mo in Colorado Springs. We celebrated your birthday on the 17th and had a lot of fun going to the movies and hanging out with her and her family. Cousin Jessica made you a beautiful Cars 2 cake! We also spent three days and two nights at The Broadmoor - we LOVED it and will be back!!! You especially loved their indoor pool and outdoor jacuzzi - it was fun to sit in the jacuzzi and be warm when it was so-o-o-o-o cold outside.
We came home on a Wednesday night and had one more party for you that Saturday. We started with bowling, pizza party lunch and then saw "The Lorax". Nani, Popee, Aunt Diana and her family and Aunt Toree and Uncle Thomas all joined for your birthday extravaganza! We embellished a cake from the bakery and decorated it like The Lorax movie - very cute! We LOVE you Cha-cha and are SO proud of you! You are a BIG BOY now that your are 5!!!
We look forward to a fun summer with your first season on a competitive swim team, and art. music or drama camp!