This Blog is the journal/scrapbook/photo album etc. that is all about my family and our lives together. Here is where family and friends (and anyone else too, I suppose) can keep up on what's happening with us Mannimals! COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED!! ;) Check back often as we'll respond to comments and make new posts as often as possible!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Swimming Lessons April-May 2008

Here's a post covering April and May.  I remembered liking taking swimming lessons every summer when I was a young kid and so I got Matrim enrolled in a class.  These are almost all the pictures from his class those two months.

So I realized that these posts might be difficult to know just what was happening or what was I feeling, when.  There are several different points of view and matters of time I am writing from since I am writing posts that have past.  Some of it is what was happening then, some what I think now about then, and some about now all mixed with pictures that are past by a ways (until I get caught up).  So readers know, I try to make sure the time the post is about is in the Title.  Then the date on the post will be when I got around to starting the post which I will try to keep as up to date as possible once I get it caught back up.  And some of the commentary will potentially go on up til the date I publish the post.  I will try to keep clear what is what from now on if it wasn't before.

Back at this time I am missing Athena and Aviendha fiercely!  I keep a brave face on for Matrim because I don't want him thinking bad or especially that any of the bad stuff happening during this time is his fault.  I am SO glad Matrim is back though!  We are the best of buds while I still maintain a great balance of being his father, and not just his friend.  We have so much fun together.

And during this time I shake the dust off my cooking skills and I surprised myself with how much fun I was having in the kitchen.  Athena as I have mentioned often is a great cook and so all I ever had to do was come up with ideas of meals and Athena would boot me out of her kitchen and make magic.  So I had not had much time spent in the kitchen for years besides my BBQ and work with the occasional main course.  The kids and I call my meals Dad Espesialles because I like to make things with original twists.  So far, so good because the kids have always approved.

It was great having Mat here too because he helped keep my mind off the craziness that had become of life in the past couple months and how much I was hurt, angry, confused, regretful, and missed my family.  He did his usual great job being a good big boy.  His schoolwork was above par even here in CA where the schools are much better.  Mat missed Athena and Avi too, but not nearly as much as I did is the impression I got after monitoring him closely while doing my best to do everything I could to increase his happiness and the closeness and quality of our relationship.  I know that I would never want the kids separate, long term like that again though.  They are such a(n) smart, adorable, nice, fun, mischevious little duo which I and Matrim miss during this time.  Our only relief until I got both of the kids at the end of summer was when Athena came to town for our court dates (which I really wished we could avoid and still do).

And as for how I feel now?  I miss the kids terribly because I decided that I had to call Athena's claims for the kids as valid as mine when looking at the big picture and I sent them with her for the second half of the school year instead of going into court to battle for the custody during the school year and with her for summers.  I just want things to be fair and for us to be as good of a team apart that we can be.  It's a definite Plan B to me since I would prefer to be a family and working as a team together.  But sometimes when you love someone, you have to accept that you are the only one of the two of you who does.  If that's the case then I figure the only thing to do is try to move on as friends and put your love into wishing them as well apart as you would together.  I hope that is what we are able to do both for us and for our kids.  I hope the outcome of our custody situation is fair and gives the kids access to us both and vice versa to provide them with all we can to make their childhood as successful and positive of an experience as we possibly can.  I sometimes am nostalgic and sometimes sad and sometimes regretful, but for the most part I just try to be positive and happy as I can.  And I try to remember all I have been blessed with including a young adulthood that was as fun, and lucky, and memorable as I could ever have hoped for.

And now for it.  Here is Matrim's swimming lessons post:

Here is Mat's first teacher.  I was super proud of how good Mat did for his first class with how nervous he was around water as a toddler.  

Matrim is always getting the girls flirting with him.  Here is no different.  :)

What a cute little feller!

Time for some learning to swim on his back.

Mat did much better about going on his back than Avi ended up doing her first class even though she was better about water in general.

And here's the end of one class.  After class we would get changed up and go hit the bike back home.  The pool is about a mile from our house so it's an easy bike ride to and from lessons.

Here is Mat's next teacher.  Poor Mat had to get the hippie teacher with the hairy pits.  :)

Matrim  did a great job all thru swimming.  I will be getting both kids back to the lessons when I get my next turn with them.  Actually there are SO many activities.  All the ones we have done in the past have sent out notices that it's time again.  As you'll see in coming posts, the kids have done swimming, day camps, pre school, soccer camp, sports camp, tumbling, soccer, etc. and they have been telling me that they are excited to do them all again!  ;)

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Anonymous tom said...

great posts mr. mann. As hard as it may be, you are doing a fine job conveying your feelings and emotions. Posting this stuff for the world to see is not easy, especially for us guys, but i can tell that you love and miss the kids like crazy, and visa versa. you are a great dad! who'd have thought back when we first met. :)

April and I have decided to skip the San Fran trip until Autumn. We want to use the $ on house projects, etc. So, you should come to Zion. what are your plans for the summer?

Tue May 19, 08:04:00 AM PDT

Blogger Eric, Matrim, and Aviendha said...

Hey there Tomaski! It's great to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words! So I think autumn will be much better for me too for working out a S.F. meeting. Rod is stoked and we will probably work out something to go together. I don't like driving any more than necessary and Rod likes a navigator which I am fairly good at. And S.F. is definitely a good place to have a navigator. :) Keep in touch about when you are thinking so we can plan for it. We are going to have to hit some courses! There are several down there but I haven't spent enough time around S.F. to have played any of them, yet. ;)

Yep, it's definitely been rough at times over the last year. I love the kids SO much!! I love/loved Athena too and I never wanted to lose her, let alone have things go as crazy as they did. I am getting by one day at a time. I try to talk to the kids at least once a day when they have time. They are the best kids!! I am very proud of them and the successful parts I have done raising them.

I worry some though because people have mentioned (and I have seen it myself some) that the kids are acting a lot more shy and little bit less happy and not quite as well-behaved overall as they were by the end of my turn. It is really hard to watch the kids regress at anything we have worked hard on succeeding at on my time with them. I had Avi talking on the phone fairly well, almost entirely potty trained, telling me she loved me at least 10 times a day where she said it first, rarely shy, very well-behaved, etc. which it seems she has somewhat regressed at. It sucks because not only do I feel the kids are better off at home in CA, but I am really so much nicer to Athena than she is to me. I treat her with respect and I try to put myself in her shoes as possible which I don't feel is reciprocated much. I am also less restrictive and scheduled when it comes to her contact with the kids. That's not to say she is as mean as she could be either. She does make some efforts and does some things I really appreciate. Just all in all she doesn't treat me nearly as well as I do her. I don't know what part her lack of understanding me and my motives plays into that...

And the other worrisome thing is that from what everyone has been telling me, I have been replaced already by an old acquaintance/friend of ours. It's a bummer if true that Athena would (and no offense to this person) think she had upgraded at all from what I feel I bring to a relationship. But what's a man to do other than continue to be myself and wonder what Athena can't seem to see regarding the qualities I think I have (not the least of which are unconditional love and loyalty). And if being myself isn't good enough for her then it's not and there's nothing to do but accept it and move on. I can deal with that if it is the case, but what I can't deal with nearly so easily is if Athena is at all trying to replace me with the kids. That would be totally uncool and I hope it's not the case! I would never do that to her.

Yay! I just heard from Athena she has finally got a digital video so we can try to set up video phone calls with the kids. I have been wanting to do that for some time now because it will make calls so much more intimate. Other than the hugs and kisses it will really be quite a bit like being in the same room! I can't wait!

Tue May 26, 07:00:00 PM PDT


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