'We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.'
-Dr. Suess

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Little Monster just turned ONE

Hard to believe but my not so little baby is now one!  We had lots of fun on his birthday and Liam enjoyed all the attention and commotion.  Since so many people were up here I tried to have a little monster theme around his birthday  (inspired by pinterest).  It seemed fitting since Liam has a hobby of roaring at everything, and he thinks its so funny.  I'm always trying to find new projects to occupy myself with, so I really enjoyed making the stuff.  I first made Liam this monster onesie.  I need to get away from all the onesie projects, I'm getting an obsession, and its getting to be so it wont be worth it as Liam isn't going to be able to fit into onesies for much longer.  So here is Liam in his monster outfit.  I was quite pleased, he looked really cute.  I was going to be really ambitious and attempt a fondant cake, but everything was so crazy that it never happened.  My one other project for his birthday was to make these monster stuffies for all the kids.  I had them in a little tote that said "Adopt a Monster" I wasn't sure how it was going to go over but all the kids seemed to like it.  I'm sad I forgot to take a picture of all of them with their monsters together, but here is the one I made for Liam.

All the kids had fun and Liam especially enjoyed having cake for a couple of days.  Here are a few more pictures from his birthday.  He was stained blue for the rest of the day.


After Liam's birthday Jeff and I got to go to his work  Christmas  Christmas/Valentines party.  It was quite the event.  It was up at Thanksgiving Point in their ballroom.  They did a 1930's casino theme, so we had a lot of fun dressing up.  Plus it was definitely our longest  date since Liam has been born.  Probably our first real date since Liam.  We have been to a movie I guess but usually it was just rushing to the theatre and then home again.  Anyway it was so much fun.  They had the Utah swing band play, and they had given us dance lessons the preceding week.  When we got there they gave each person a chip  worth $500 and then had a bunch of games like blackjack, roulette, craps...(Jeff had to tell me what they all were).  So I learned how to play blackjack right there.  All the other games usually had too big of a crowd around them so we mainly did blackjack.  Then at the end of the night every $100 you had bought a raffle ticket for prizes.  They did a drawing for a ton of stuff like paid days off, ski passes, spa passes, golf, 5 big tvs, a wii u, ipad mini, just to name a few, but of course we didn't win anything.  One day I might actually win at something.  I had a professor at BYU say whenever you're in a drawing to fold your paper in half so we did that with all our tickets, but it failed.  A lot of other people did it too, I guess we all had the same professor.  Here are some pictures from our extraveganza.  So it was an exciting weekend, hopefully I'll post some of the projects I have been doing next time I post.  Here some extra pictures of Liam.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Confessions of a Swim Teacher

In my search for subjects to post about, I decided to go on a little rant, hence the post title.  I have taught swim lessons for several years now, both in large classes and privately, and I've been a swim coach.  As this has come up with various people in my ward, other parents I've come across, and just past interactions with the parents of kids I've been teaching, I've been amazed at the attitudes towards teaching a child to swim.  Granted their are both good and bad teachers out there, and not everything works for every single child, but many parents just think that one negative experience means their child just isn't cut out for swimming.  I've also taught scouts and I am amazed at how many 12-13 year old boys can barely swim.  It shocks me.  I've always thought of swimming as an important life skill that could save my life one day, and I have been able to save lives with it, and it provided me with a great job for years and years.  As I try to think of what to tell parents to make their kid a good swimmer, I thought of the advice I would give moms in the "mommy and me" swim classes I taught, and thought I would write them so I remember to do them, and perhaps if someone reads this you can try to incorporate it.
          #1.  Never....NEVER EVER teach a child to plug their noses.  Ugh biggest pet peeve ever! It is such a habit that is nearly impossible to break.  How can you swim under the water with two arms if one is holding your nose.  If you blow the air out of you nose and mouth I promise no water goes up.  I do back flips under water and I never (well almost never) get water up my nose.  My mom in teaching us to swim never let us plug our nose, as she does and cant swim without doing it.  When I was teaching mothers would be behind me miming to their child to plug their nose...DONT DO IT.
      #2.  You want your kid to be a good swimmer?  You need to take them to the pool often.  One or two sessions of swim lessons will never cut it.  The kids that are good are the pool rats that are there every day.  As a teacher I cant work magic, being comfortable and familiar is necessary.  Its like any other skill and requires frequent practice.  So mothers, fathers take them.  That is the most important thing.
     #3.  If you want the kiddo to be more than just a proficient swimmer.  Skip swim lessons as soon as they can make it 25 meters (or depends on particular teams qualifications) and go to swim team.  Swim team gets them the endurance, and provides the competition.  Its lots of fun, and usually a lot more value for your money.  Don't underestimate kids.  Kids as young as five (some younger) compete and can do great.
     #4.  Hold off on goggles as long as you can.  Parents sometimes introduce goggles way to early.  Although sometimes this is the only way to get a kid interested.  I never used goggles except for racing and even there I would do ok without, but then I was cursed with having to wear contacts.  I miss the days of no goggles.  Opening eyes under the water wont hurt them and you get used to it.
     #5.  With babies introduce them early.  Let them get water in their face.  Don't be too fast to wipe it off.  Let them get used to the sensation.  Bring toys.  Diving rings happen to be my favorite.  You can submerge babies.  Blow a gust of air in their face and they will inhale, and you can dunk them really quick, but only if you're comfortable.  I've done this with Liam several times.

So there is my long rant of the century.  Sorry its been on my mind as I've been considering starting to teach private swim lessons again.

So as far as what has been happening.  We have just been freezing in this frozen wasteland of Provo.  Even though I was finally able to take my running stroller out on the sidewalk today, it felt so nice.  I hate being trapped indoors and I seriously do not remember this much cold and snow in Provo.  Liam is turning one in just a couple of weeks which I can't believe.  Time has flown by.  He is doing great and is what I describe as "high maintenance happy".  Overall he is very happy and goofy, but he isn't one who just likes to be left to his own devices.  He likes to be played with constantly and entertained.  I gave him his first drink of cows milk the other day and wow did he love it.  It was a really cute reaction.  Sleeping was going really well and I thought I had finally made the major breakthrough, but then things just got really bad and I was just about at the end of my rope, then things have started going good again.  Now I guess I just better not get used to it.  He should be walking pretty soon, but he sure crawls really fast.  So in next post I will have less ranting and pictures of our one year old!