Posted in Parenting

Write For Me Wednesday – Why Your Child Needs Swim Lessons

Today, I have a wonderful guest post to share with you on a subject that I find very important.  The author, Becky Flanigan, enjoys writing for An Apple Per Day, and focuses on exercise and parenting. She is looking forward to the day when her last child leaves the nest, so she and her husband Ed can start traveling. She would love to lounge around a cruise ship pool, with no family chores to worry about.

I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.

Why Your Child Needs Swim Lessons

I freely admit I must have been a water baby – I just love being in the pool any chance I get. When we started our family, I wanted my children to be exposed to the water early, so they could enjoy all the pleasures it has to offer. But I wanted them to be safe as well, so I did a lot of research about swim lessons.

Early exposure. When we took our first son out to the pool, my husband held him while I went into the water and splashed around, laughing joyously. He was so excited, he reached out for me, and quickly fell in love with the water. Our second child was more hesitant, so we let him adjust at his own pace. Not all kids will respond the same way to the water, and we wanted it to be a positive experience for them, so we didn’t rush things. Here are some wonderful resources with more information about kids and swimming:

Mom or a swim instructor? I gave some thought about teaching my kids to swim. The general rule is that by the time the child is 4 years old, they have the motor skills to begin formal swim lessons. My boys are so headstrong (they get it from their Dad) that I thought this was a place where Mom trying to teach them something just wouldn’t work. Especially as they grew older and took more advanced swim lessons, I would be out of my element anyway. So the decision for formal lessons from an instructor was pretty easy. It was quite a joy to see how well they behaved for the instructor – he had a presence that just made them pay attention. I’m thinking of hiring him to get the boys to clean their rooms.

Check out the lessons. Not all swim lessons are the same, so we visited the class we were thinking about for the kids, to make sure it was handled correctly. They had a lifeguard overseeing the class, they had a pole and ring buoy in place in case they were needed. We asked the instructor, and he showed us his Red Cross certification and his card that showed he knew CPR. Then we watched a class. It was so businesslike that we felt very comfortable with it. They had a purpose for what they were showing the kids, and they weren’t just letting the kids splash around in the water.

A lifetime skill. I wanted my boys to know how to swim, because it was a skill they would need all through their lives. When they were young, we would be taking trips to the beach, they would be hanging out with their friends at the community pool, and after they grew up, who knows where they might be around the water. I wanted them to have the confidence and comfort to know they could handle themselves in the water.

It’s really about safety. They talk about protecting children around the water as being not just one thing – but taking a number of steps to provide for their safety. Since we had a home pool, we put a fence around it, got alarms and a locking gate. But I read an article by the Center For Disease Control which stated that the best solution for keeping a child safe was formal swimming lessons. Since drowning is an alarmingly common problem for young kids, that further convinced me that lessons were in order.

As I watch the boys in our back yard pool playing games with their friends, I smile because of how comfortable they look in the water. I’m so glad we gave them swim lessons.

Thanks again, Becky, for this wonderful post!

Do your children do swim lessons?  When did they start?

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: September 2nd

TTT

  1. Today was my due date, but since my little princess decided to come a bit early, I get to cuddle my four day-old daughter instead of lugging about a big belly 😉
  2. I still can’t believe that we are now a family of two!
  3. Things have been going well with Charles so far.  He likes to help out with the baby and has asked to hold her a few times.  We are making sure to give him a lot of attention and he seems happy about everything.
  4. Breastfeeding is going really well; she’s a champ nurser.
  5. These days, Charles is obsessed with the Cars movie (Batman is still an obsession too, by the way).
  6. It’s pretty hot and really humid around the house.  It’s hard to know how to dress my little girl given that she needs to be swaddled to sleep.
  7. I’m planning on posting Amélie’s birth story sometime in the next few days.  Charles’ will surely follow afterwards.  That’ll be two new birth stories to add to my Many Faces of Childbirth page.  I’m still looking for more birth stories so If anyone wants to share their own story, feel free to check out this post for the details.
  8. I was able to take care of a whole bunch of appointments for myself, Charles and Amélie this morning.
  9. There are some evenings where Charles transforms from a sweet little toddler to major-tantrum-meltdown mode when it’s time for his bath and I have no idea why.  Today was one of those days…
  10. Wow, it took me a lot of time to write up these random thoughts!  I started this post this morning and am just finishing it now.
Posted in Blogging, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Sleepy

TTT

  1. Ok, so technically, it’s not Tuesday here yet, but since Mr. I-can-fall-asleep-and-start-snoring-within-30-seconds-of-getting-in-bed has done just that, I figured it was as good a time as ever.
  2. To save my sanity and not go totally berserk on him for something over which he has no control, I’ve decided to relegate myself to the basement couch for the night.  The upside is that it’s cooler downstairs than it is upstairs (yay?).
  3. I’m still looking for birth stories to share on my Many Faces of Chilbirth page.  A big thank you to those of you who have already linked or sent a story.  If anyone else is interested, please check out this page for all of the details.
  4. My dental clinic called today to schedule my yearly exam.  They wanted to see me on August 20th.  I told them that I was very pregnant and that later would be better.  I ended up taking an appointment on October 8th.
  5. To help with the natural birth I’m aiming for, my partner has been practicing some massage techniques.   I think that given my couch predicament, he’ll be doing some more practicing tomorrow ;).
  6. This coming weekend, my partner is participating in a miniature train exhibition.  Among AFOL LEGO builders like himself, there will be a whole bunch of other exhibits for trains enthusiasts.  I’ll be going along with Charles so that he can get his fill of trains (and, at the same time, I’ll be there to support my partner in one of his passions – LEGO MOCing).
  7. Everyone around me is betting that Peanut is going to come early.  I think that given that both myself and the dada are stubborn as heck, the little peanut will decide to extend his/her stay just to contradict everyone.  My thoughts: s/he’ll come out when ready.
  8. It was finally warm enough yesterday to warrant going in our pool!  Woohoo!  I think I’ve only been in it about 5 or 6 times since the start of summer so far.
  9. Our few pool visits were enough to get Charles accustomed to the water once again though so I expect that the transition to the swimming lessons we’ll be continuing with him in September will be rather smooth.
  10. Speaking of the little guy, he’s definitely entering the wonderful world of the teenaged-toddler.  It’s both a pleasure and a pain in the butt to see him asserting himself.
Posted in Parenting

Calling All Guest Posters: The Many Faces of Childbirth

We all know that every pregnancy and every birth is different, right.  And, let’s face it, we mamas like to share our birth stories (I’ve yet to meet a mom who isn’t happy to share hers).  Now that my own pregnancy is nearing its end, I thought it would be nice to create a resource for moms-to-be who want to read up on birth through the anecdotal experiences of mamas-who-have-been-there.

If anyone is interested in sharing their story, please shoot me a comment.  If you already have a post about your birth story, just send me the link, tell me which category you believe it fits best into and I will link directly to your blog.  If you would like to send me your birth story, just shoot me an email through the “contact me” page.

Below are some examples of the different categories your personal birth story could fall under.  If you consider that a new one could be added, just let me know.

Home birth

Medicated hospital birth

Med-free hospital birth

Birth in a birthing center

Scheduled C-Section

Emergency C-Section

VBAC

HBAC

Water birth

Giving birth to multiples

So, what do you think?  Anyone up to sharing?

Posted in Blogging

Going AWOL

Well, the school year is officially coming to an end.  That means that despite the fact that I’m no longer working on evenings and weekends (*happy dance*), things have gotten pretty crazy.

Bottom line: I won’t be around for a couple of weeks (or, more precisely, until after June 23rd).

Don’t despair though!  I’ve got a whole bunch of post ideas (some in my draft section, others in my head, others yet to be formed) for my return.  Among other subjects, look out for:

  • A review of an awesome app
  • A post on the birth plan with a sample plan (mine!)
  • A post on the Baby Safe Project
  • A guest posting invitation on childbirth
  • A post on the professionalization of teaching
  • A post on language development

Until then, take care and Happy upcoming Father’s Day!

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: November 26th

TTT

  1. Just got back from the 1 year vaccinations (Happy Birthday, now let me stick a needle or two or three or four in your arms!).  I took the 3 “normal” vaccines but declined the flu vaccine (I figured three needles were enough for today).  I’m unsure whether I should vaccinate the little guy against the flu or not.
  2. This weekend we will be going to an awesome kiddie indoor playground complete with things to climb, ball parks and a whole bunch of other interesting things.  I can’t wait to see Little Dude in action.
  3. Charles reacted to something at daycare this week.  So far, every time he’s had a reaction there he’d had chicken.  Since we know he’s not allergic to chicken, I can only assume it’s to a spice.  *Scratches head*
  4. Weaning is going well so far, the little guy will take a bottle in the evening no problem even if I’m the one to give it to him.
  5. Look out for an interesting guest post tomorrow!
  6. Swimming lessons are almost over.  In January, the little man will be starting a baby gymnastics class where he’ll be able to climb, learn to roll and do a range of other fun things!
  7. Finally found the bathplug yesterday.  Turns out, the little guy didn’t flush it down the toilet after all… (he just hid it in a cupboard…).
  8. I’m really happy because this weekend, I’ll have enough time to make a birthday cake for Charles.
  9. I’m finally feeling better and I think I might actually be able to work the WHOLE week for the first time since the beginning of November.
  10. Fall is definitely behind us (despite the fact that we haven’t got any snow yet).  But I still managed to snap some awesome shots of Charles in the ginormous looking leaf pile about two weeks ago.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: The Recurring Theme Edition

TTT

  1. Yesterday, we had a family outing…at the medical clinic.  It turns out that my partner and I “just” have the flu, but the little guy has an ear infection, an eye infection and would have ended up with pneumonia in a few days.
  2. Of course, this means that he is on antibiotics.  So we “torture” him twice a day by shooting salt water up his nose and then using a pump thingy to get the snot out and by rubbing an antibiotic gel in his eyes.  The only thing he’ll take willingly, is the banana-flavoured antibiotic.
  3. On top of it all, I’m pretty sure that Little Dude’ left pre-molar is about to cut; he is slobbering like there’s no tomorrow, always has his finger on that side of his mouth, wants to nurse a lot (though, that’s probably due to his cold/infections) and is constantly clenching his teeth while nursing..
  4. On the good side of things, one awesome blogger has already sent me her Musts & Busts with regards to teething.  I would love to hear from other awesome bloggers to really build and interesting list.  The original post (including my email address) can be found here.
  5. Despite wanting to do NaNoWriMo, I have not written a word yet.  Not.  A.  Single.  Word.  The month of November has been much too crazy so far.
  6. I am still looking for some bloggers who would be willing to write a guest post for me.  You can check out this post for more details.
  7. On Friday, I am going to go buy some educational games with a co-worker for a lunchtime activity we’re planning on starting up.  Yay!
  8. I’m really looking forward to watching the first season of Dexter.  I’ve heard such great things about the series and my parents have lent us the first season.
  9. I recently started to play Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, but I’m not sure how I like it yet.  I personally wouldn’t have added an installment to the series, but hey, who can blame the company for wanting to make more money?
  10. Started reading Dan Brown’s Inferno yesterday.  I’m hooked!

Happy Tuesday (what’s left of it anyways)

Posted in Blogging

Ten Thought Tuesday

ttt

  1. Today, my son has officially survived his 11 first months of life.
  2. I was so excited yesterday when I received the email confirming that I was accepted into the Top Mommy Blog directory.  There are so many great blogs there.
  3. The little guy gets so excited when he plays with crayons at daycare.  When he realized that he was coloring his page yesterday, he let out a war cry and was so pleased with himself.
  4. I have a cold…and it sucks…
  5. In light of Valerie’s recent posts on weaning, I’ve started thinking about how and when to start my own weaning process with Little Dude.
  6. Now that I think about it, I would really love a guest post on weaning for Write for me Wednesdays.
  7. I finally managed to finish Splinter Cell: Blacklist, on to Red Dead Redemption.
  8. Halloween is coming up and I still don’t know what I’m dressing up as.
  9. Next week we are finally going to our appointment with the pediatric allergist for my son’s food allergies.
  10. I really need to finish the custom MOC LEGO post office for my partner; he’s participating in an exposition in a month.
Posted in Parenting

Write for me Wednesday: The Basics

I touched on this subject about a month ago in a TTT, but it is time to make it official.

I’ve been blogging for a little over 10 months now (already!) and I love it.  Over the past few months, I’ve encountered some pretty kick-a** blogs and have made some bloggers who I consider friends.  I am totally blown away with the talent that is out there and I would love to feature some awesome bloggers here on my little ol’ blog.

Here are a few of the subjects that I would love to see ’round here, whether it be because they are subjects I have not touched upon (or have barely skimmed) or because I am looking for alternate view points on subjects I am passionate about:

Family life

  • Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a work-at-home parent, a working parent or a single parent, I would love to hear about how you took the decision to do what you do and how you.

TTC / fertility treatments / adoption

  • Did you have trouble conceiving or was it a breeze?  Did you decide to opt for adoption?  Help others know that they are not alone by recounting your story.
  • Are you an adopted child?  Can you give us some insight into how being adopted has affected you?

Food and nutrition

  • Do you have simple, yummy and quick recipes that are a hit every time?  Please share!
  • How and when did you introduce solids and why?
  • Did you choose formula, breastmilk or a combination of the two (or something different for each child)?  Why?
  • Does your child have food allergies?  How did you learn about it and when?  Did you have to go on an allergy-elimination diet?

Birth story

  • Were you induced or did everything go naturally?  Did you make a birth plan?  Did you follow it? Who was there for support?
  • Did you have a home birth, a hospital birth or a birth in a birthing center?  Did you have a c-section?  Did you opt for a VBAC?

The post-partum period

  • Did you go through PPD?  What did you do that helped you?  How did you realize that you had PPD
  • Was it love at first sight or did your bond with your baby build over time?
  • What are some of the things that happened during your post-partum period that no one had warned you about?

Homeschooling

  • Why did you choose to homeschool?  Do you plan to do so throughout the schooling period or for parts of it (ex: only grade school)?  What are some good resources for parents that are thinking about this?

These are just some of the subjects that I could think of.  The bullets under each category aren’t meant to be restrictive, but rather to give an idea of some of the things that could be touched upon.  I’m looking for submissions of any form whether they are personal stories, research-based posts or other.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for me (pretty please!!!!) just shoot me an email at mommytrainingwheels (at) gmail (dot) com

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Cheers!