08/07/2013 Signing Xoe Up for the Little Einstein Program, Signing Xoe Up for Swim Class, Buying Party Supplies, and Waiting for the Washing Machine Repairman

I went to the Recreation Center here in Richmond and got Xoe enrolled into the Little Einstein program. They have arts and crafts and story time. There was another class I could have gotten her into that teaches letters and numbers and goes on field trips, but to be honest  I don’t think field trips are a good idea for Xoe right now because she wanders and I have to keep a close eye on her and I am not sure the workers at the rec center could watch her as closely as she needs to be watched.

There is also another class beginning for swimming next week.  I am going by the rec center to get her enrolled into that class.  I hope there is still space available for her.  I will find out and update this post when I do.

Today, we are going to Target to get Xoe’s birthday supplies, I am buying a helium tank and some balloons and it makes 30 balloons so we should have fun with that.  Xoe’s birthday party is on Saturday and we haven’t decided where it will be yet.  It’s either the park, or the neighbor across the street’s house only the neighbor hasn’t gotten back with me yet about that.  I plan on taking lots of pictures.

I am waiting on the washing machine repairman to come and fix the washer, I have been waiting since 8am and still no sign of him.  He’s supposed to be here somewhere between 8am and 2pm, come on 2pm I want to go shopping for Xoe’s party stuff, and I need to sign Xoe up for the next swim session before all the slots are taken.


08/4/2013 Xoe’s Birthday Presents, Preschool, and Trying to Get Out of A Contract

On the 1st I ordered some toys online for Xoe’s birthday, I know some of them will arrive on time and some of them won’t.  I got her a tricycle, a baby carriage for her dolls, a tea set, and a backpack and lunch box for when she starts school.

She won’t be starting preschool until after the 13th of September because that’s the earliest appointment the school has for new enrollments.  It seems like a long time to have to wait, but there are some things I need to have for Xoe, like shots, and a physical exam, and birth certificate and some other things, and the wait will give me a chance to get everything done so that I am prepared for the appointment on the 13th,

The school requires proof f residency, so I have to take them a utility bill for the house.  Speaking of proof of residency, I am trying to get out of my contract at the gym and they require proof of residency too.  I sent them 3 different letters from the VA showing my new address in CA.  They want a copy of my lease, a letter from my employer, or a copy of my utility bill as proof I have moved.  I don’t have any of that because I am staying with relatives and am not working, I am on disability.  I hope they accept the letters as proof of my moving to CA because other than that I am not sure what I could give them.

I do miss my gym though, they had a nice heated pool, a nice hot tub, and great showers.  I used to go to the gym and just sit in the hot tub and take a nice hot shower.  Sitting in the hot tub helped my hot flashes.  The pool here has open showers and no lockers for my stuff and I like my privacy when I am taking a shower.   The house I am staying at has a really nice shower and hot tub so I have everything my gym had, just in different places.  I just wish the pool had better showers.

Speaking of showers, that’s where I am headed right now.


08/03/2013 Xoe’s First Diploma

Yesterday, was Xoe’s last swimming lesson.  She was awarded her first diploma after swim class.  She can’t quite swim on her own yet, but she made great progress.  This class was intended to make her more comfortable in the water, and to teach her the basics of swimming, kicking, and floating.Image

Xoe loves the water, I have taken her to the pool since she was about 6 months old, she has always loved the pool, and before the pool, it was the tub.


The swimming pool here is the perfect pool to teach young children, how to swim.  It starts off at about 2′ 3″, and slowly tapers up to about 3′ and after that it gets deeper up to about 8-10′ deep.  The pools stays shallow for a good distance too, the younger kids get about 20 feet of pool to swim in, so they have plenty of space.

I am excited about Xoe’s first diploma, and hope to see many more.


07/31/2013 Xoe Rides a Horse

Sunday Xoe and I went with grandpa and Nana to see their horses Toffee and Duchess at the stable.  Xoe got to watch grandpa and Nana brush and groom the horses in preparation for riding them.  She also got to watch them feed peppermint candy to the horses.  Xoe was terrified of the horses at first but slowly warmed up to them after she watched Nana and grandpa with the horses.

Nana and Grandpa rode the horses around the stable for about 30 minutes each.  After Nana finished her ride, she asked Xoe if she wanted to ride Toffee.  Xoe seemed to lose all fear and got up and rode the horse like she had been around horses all her life.

The first ride was with Nana riding with Xoe, and grandpa walking the horse Toffee.  Nana has been around horses all her life and does Dressage riding. Nana helped Xoe feel comfortable around the horses, so Xoe’s first ride was a lot of fun.

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VIDEO Xoe’s First Horseback Ride  This is a video of Xoe riding the horse on her own.

After the ride, Nana cleaned Toffee, and brushed out his mane and tail.  Then she feed Toffee some carrots and peppermints.

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VIDEO Xoe Feeding Toffee Some Carrots and Peppermints

Xoe’s first experience with the horses was a success. She started off terrified but by the end of the day she was riding on her own and feeding Toffee all by herself.  Xoe is lucky to have her grandparents who take her to the stable and let her ride the horse.  I think she learned a lot about horses that day and I look forward to going there again some day.


07/25/2013 The UPS Store, Ice Cream, Traffic, and the VA

Today, I took Xoe to the UPS Store to mail in the computer she broke. I have insurance that covers drops, spills, and accidental damage so it’s covered. I am so glad I got that insurance, it cost an additional $149.00 but is really worth it when you have kids in the house.

The computer repair has a 5 day guaranteed turnaround, if they can’t fix it they will send me a check for what I paid for the computer. I hope they can fix it as I have all my pictures on that computer, well not all of them but a large amount of them. I need to start saving my pictures on disc.

At the UPS Store Xoe insisted on carrying in the package, the guy at the counter said she was so strong because the package was heavy. He was so impressed he gave her a coloring sheet and a crayon. People out here really seem to like little kids.

After we went to the USP Store we got some ice cream from the store next door. They had all kinds of flavors and Xoe chose the pink one which was strawberry. She left some in the bowl and I ate it, it was so good, tasted like fresh strawberries and cream.

The girl across the street has invited Xoe over to play today. Her mom texted Nana, and Nana passed the message on to me. Me and the mom across the street really should exchange numbers, lol. I am waiting on a text from Nana to let me know when to take Xoe over to play.

I had to take the interstate over to the UPS store, I am getting used to cars weaving in and out of traffic and using the on ramps. I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable driving here but time will tell.

I am almost out of my stress pills, and am waiting for them to come in the mail. The trip to the Oakland VA clinic was so insanely crazy with the 3 interstates and going off and on then weaving in and out of traffic that I didn’t go get a refill today. I really dread the trip over there, I have an appointment on the 31st so I think I can handle things till then, lol.

Well, I have to go get Xoe ready for her playdate. I know she is looking forward to it because we haven’t gotten out much here because I am pretty much broke till payday. I am saving money for gas so I can go see my friend in San Francisco/the City this weekend. I am really looking forward to going into the city, and I am kind of nervous about it too.


07/24/2013 Xoe’s Swim Lesson #2

Today, is day 2 of Xoe’s swim lessons, and I must say she did very well, when she was paying attention.  We arrived for the swim lessons a little early again today and it was all I could do to keep Xoe out of the water until it was her turn.  She was misbehaving though.  I didn’t get many pictures because I was almost constantly having to tell her to pay attention, stop jumping, stop running, and stay in the shallow end, during class.

100_5327  Xoe Going Into Lesson #2

100_5330  Xoe Goofing Off In Class

Xoe has been excited about going to her swim lesson, it was all she talked about all day.  We left a little early again today because she was so excited to go.  We got to watch the children in the classes before her’s and Xoe clapped and applauded the children on their swimming.  When it came time for her swim lessons she paid more attention to her friend than she did the instructor.

100_5331 Xoe Learning How to Kick

100_5334 Xoe Learning How to Swim on a Kick Board

100_5335 Xoe Playing

I had to be “that parent”, the one yelling from the sidelines, It was awful. I did more correcting her today than I thought I would have to.  She didn’t listen to her instructor when he told her to stay by the wall while he was teaching the other kids.  She and her friend kept jumping into the pool even after the instructor asked them about 5 times to stop.  Her little friend even said, “he told us not to jump, but I don’t care” and of course his mom was nowhere to be found, she just dropped him off.

I am disappointed in Xoe’s behavior today, that being said, she still did well when she was paying attention, which was about half the time she was there. The following is some video of Xoe learning how to swim:

VIDEO Xoe Learning How to Float

VIDEO Xoe Learning How to Float on Her Tummy

VIDEO Xoe Learning How to Use The Kick Board

I am looking forward to Friday’s class and hope it goes better than today.


07/23/2013 Xoe’s Swim Lesson #1

Xoe’s first swim lesson went great, I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor, and I didn’t have to get into the water.  I thought the classes would be where the instructor taught the parents how to teach the kids to swim, but I was wrong.  The instructor taught the children how to swim.  I was the only parent who showed up in a bathing suit ready to get into the water.

There were three children in the class, Xoe was the first to arrive and the youngest.  I thought Xoe was the most enthusiastic student, while the instructor was busy teaching another child, Xoe would practice what she was just taught.  The children were taught one on one by the instructor.  Xoe did everything he asked, and she participated well in the class.

She even made a new friend, a nice little boy.  They played and practiced their new swim moves while the instructor was teaching the third child how to swim.

VIDEO Xoe’s friend helps with Xoe’s goggles, & Xoe’s 1st swim

VIDEO Xoe and her friend playing between their turns at lessons

The pool is huge and it has a shallow side for small children, that’s where Xoe’s swim lessons were.


This is a picture of Xoe waiting for her lessons to start


This is a picture of Xoe meeting her instructor


Xoe was the first child to show up for her swim lessons. This is Xoe’s instructor showing her how to go under water.


VIDEO Xoe Learning How to go Underwater

VIDEO More of Xoe Learning to Go Under Water

Xoe’s swim instructor taught Xoe how to swim with a kick board.  This is a picture of Xoe swimming with her kick board and her instructor.

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Xoe swam with the kick board half way across the pool and back.

VIDEO Xoe learning how to kick her feet and use the kick board


The first lesson was essentially to get the children used to and comfortable with the water.  Xoe had a great time, and loved the water.  The water was pretty cold, what you can’t see in the pictures and video is Xoe shivering.  Xoe didn’t mind the cold water, she was having too much fun learning to swim to care about the cold.

VIDEO Xoe Throwing a Toy Then Going After It

I am so impressed with the swim lessons at The Plunge that I am going to enroll Xoe into all of the classes for swimming as they become available for her age group.  If she continues to progress like she did today she will be swimming in no time and I won’t have to worry about her not being able to swim.