Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Swimming lessons {and other summer adventures}

This summer has been great - have I mentioned it's the first I've had in 4 years where I'm not pregnant or breastfeeding a newborn!? Toting 3 kids around isn't always easy but it certainly helps that I have my body to myself and my 'baby' is walking! 

I decided to put the kids in swim lessons, and it was the best decision. We started out signing up for a single 2-week session, and immediately signed up for the next session as well as inviting a few friends to join us! It's wonderful to walk out the door after breakfast and head straight for the pool. 

On top of just having a good time, Robbie and Ellie have learned so much. Both are much more confident in the water, both can go under completely, and both know how to kick. Additionally, Robbie has checked off so many skills that for the second session he got promoted from 'Guppies' to 'Barracudas' which means moving from the kiddie pool to the big pool that has a deep end! It took 2 mornings for him to adjust to being ok with not being in the same pool as his sister, but now he loves it and even asks me not to watch him but to stay by the baby pool and watch Ellie. Little Mr. Independent!

For the first session, Ellie's teacher was Brittney and Robbie's teacher was Jackson. Both were sweet as can be, and balanced authority with encouragement to maintain a structured and educational session. We are in the middle of the second session right now, and Ellie's teacher this time is Tessa and Robbie's is Liam. Both are very nice and again great encouragers, but I sense that they each are more focused on instructing than the first set of teachers were. It's perfect. Robbie at this point can superman float underwater in the big pool, jump off the side without being caught, swim underwater from the side to the instructor a few feet away, and is learning to back float and add arm strokes to his front belly swimming. He grew up in the water in a matter of 3 weeks! 

1st session - Robbie in foreground, instructor Jackson swimming to the right of Robbie, Ellie in purple shirt in background facing away, instructor Brittney  with sunglasses on behind Robbie in the background.

Both kids again...

My view from the lawn chairs on the pool deck in the shade! I love our little local pool. 

Auntie Cheryl has come to watch a few times, and Maddie benefits from her visits. :)

Letting each kid take a turn 'driving' her car in the parking lot from her parking space to mine before we part ways.

Brittney and Ellie

Robbie and Jackson

Maddie and Hannah - Hannah turned 1 this summer and had a little party at the pool! This wasn't during swim lessons, but her big brother Eli joined us for the 2nd session of lessons and is a total fish now too!

Mima wanted in on the action and spent one of the hottest mornings sitting in the shade with us.

After starting our days off with swimming, it's anybody's guess how we spend the rest of the day. Cousin Katelin had a big 3rd birthday this summer so we sent her a gift wrapped in packing paper that we decorated with markers.

One morning we stopped at Quincy's ("The Stork's Cradle") to love on him.

One evening Rob needed to work late so I took the kids to the pool in the afternoon and we headed straight to Portillo's for dinner. It's not the easiest place to take all 3 kids by myself but the kids were hungry for it and I'm usually up for a challenge as far as trying to do things that seem difficult with the kids on my own. The reward factor if it goes well is worth the effort to me!

The kids were on their best behavior. They really wanted those hot dogs. They sat quietly at the table while I ordered, waited patiently for their food, ate it with minimal messes and no fighting, and helped me clean up when we were done. I fed Maddie in her stroller while we were there to keep her contained and it was all great. You know it's going well when I can even pick up my phone to take pictures.

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