Monday, May 31, 2010

Week #2 of Swimming Lessons

The boys completed their second week of swimming lessons, and it really seems like they're making some good progress. The week started out with Owen continuing to learn how to float, and Ethan learning to float after "mastering" swimming to the wall. They then moved on to rolling...they started it mid-week while I was out of town, so I missed the early stages. But they both seem to be doing really well. Miss Courtney said they're both doing about 80% of the roll without assistance. Pretty cool stuff!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week 1 Swimming Lesson - Complete

Well, we have our first week under our swimming belts, and things have gotten a lot better. There are still a few tears upon entering the water, but overall the boys seem to be getting used to it. Wednesday was a turning point, and I think a lot of it had to do with having a new audience...the boy's "Pa D" and his friend, Jane, came to watch. Once there were new eyes (and a camera) on Ethan, he was a different kid. The tears stopped, and his inner exhibitionist came out! I tried to talk them into coming every day...but something about an hour drive didn't sound too appealing.
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Ethan can now start out on his back, and with a little help from Miss Courtney, turn over and swim a short distance to grab the bar. For some reason he's had a little hard time realizing he needs to grab the bar b/c he'll swim right up to and then stop. (The video I took of him on Friday was too big to upload, so one from Thursday minus the "flipping over" is what I am posting.) He's always trying to negotiate with her - it cracks me up.
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Owen is learning to float on his back still. He's stubbornly wanted to roll over to his right side, so Miss Courtney has been working at just lightly touching his left side so he'll roll towards her touch. Owen can pretty much float on his own with a pinkie finger on the left side of his back. Obviously, there is still more work to be done getting him more used to floating, but I see no screaming bloody murder during it as progress!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Baby Lily

Last weekend we went to Oklahoma to meet my newest niece, Lilian Victoria. She's absolutely beautiful...she was so petite, I felt like I was holding a doll. Katie is doing wonderful and is adjusting well to having three little ones. (we'll see how she does to see if it's something I should try...) On Saturday, we took Jack, Claire and Ethan to the OKC zoo. We had a blast spoiling them with candy, train rides, and playing on the largest playground in the whole state of Oklahoma (yes, it was big time!). Jack and Ethan spent most of their time working out whether or not they liked each other...many punches were thrown and there was a lot of yelling, but in the end they seemed sad to leave each other. Claire was so fun to be around. I decided I could have about 4 of her - she was so easy and hilarious to watch. I am ready to head that way again soon - I miss those kids!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Swim Lessons

After about two years of toying with the idea of enrolling in an Infant Swim Rescue course, we finally decided to go ahead and sign both boys up last week. The first time I saw the video on the Today show, I about freaked out. The thought of babies learning to swim before they could walk seemed insane. And then I had two boys...two boys that have virtually no fear of most anything. We're around water enough, I decided for a more sane mom (a very relative term), and for safer boys, this would be a worth while investment. And an investment it is...the money and time both were reasons for us to seriously consider it. We'll be going to a ten minute, 1-on-1 class, Mon-Fri for both boys for a period of 4-6 weeks. And the cost, well let's just say I will be coloring my hair at home for awhile!

The boys had their first lesson today with Miss Courtney, and it was a serious roller coaster of emotions, to say the least. Ethan was SO excited to learn to swim without floaties, that he wore his swim suit all afternoon and told anyone that would listen what he was going to be doing. He ran into the pool area and chatted up his new teacher immediately. His tune radically changed, though, as soon as he got in the water. Her focus this week is to get the boys used to going under the water, holding their breath, and opening their eyes. After 1 time of going under water, Ethan yelled he was done and ready to go home. I am pretty sure I head him yell "I hate Aqua Man!" in the middle of too. (Aqua Man was his inspiration for learning to swim.) It was hard seeing him scream, but Miss Courtney was so good with him. After about 5 minutes of her talking to him and bouncing under water, he was done. He was not happy - until he saw Owen get in the water. Suddenly he was up cheering Owen on, telling him not to cry, and bragging about how well he did. It was crazy how quickly his mood changed. He even told us tonight that he was thankful for his swim lesson before we put him to bed! (whew)

Owen had about the same reaction as his big brother in the water...he screamed the whole time. But Miss Courtney said that he learned quickly to quit screaming before he went under water to hold his breath! I guess that's the beginning?! It took him a little while longer to calm down after exiting the pool, but he seemed fine afterward.

It was hard seeing my boys scream bloody murder, and at one point I was sure they were going to be scarred for life. Fortunately, though, there was a mom in there whose child had taken the classes last year and she told me her boy cried every day for the first week, but that to this day his favorite thing to do is float in the tub. She said she can hardly get the water high enough for him so that he can "swim" every night before bed. That was comforting. So, one lesson under belt...and a lot more to go. I'll post some pictures and video of the progress they're making as I am able. But I'll wait till the screaming has subsided somewhat first...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lilian Victoria

Jon and Katie had their third kiddo this past week! Everything went smoothly, and Lily is doing great in the outside world. My parents took Jack and Claire for a few days so that Katie and Lily could get to know each other a little before the siblings arrived. My mom said Lily had to be a little shocked when her brother and sister arrived...Jack went straight to his drum set, and Claire started pushing her stroller around and "chatting". Life is going to be fun in their household! Congrats, Jon and Katie!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

14 Months

I can't hardly keep up with the months anymore, but I am going to try... It's hard to believe Owen has been with us for 14 months now. I can't really remember life w/o him! Yesterday when talking to Ethan about when he was a baby, he wanted to know where Owen was. He couldn't wrap his head around Owen not existing yet, and I really couldn't either!

Owen has taken to walking quite well; he's all over the place and into EVERYTHING. I don't remember his brother climbing and emptying all drawers and cabinets...it's thrown me for a bit of a loop. Owen is still really happy and pretty easy. He does however get very vocal, very quickly if he doesn't get his way. I witnessed his first throw-himself-on-the-ground-kicking-and-screaming-fit today as he didn't want to go down for a nap. Man, it looks like fun to come. He's obsessed with dogs. Luckily our neighbors have a black lab we can borrow, although they may not be so thrilled about it...Owen likes to stand at their front window yelling "DOG" until they bring her out!

Owen adores his older brother, and my new strategy is to have Ethan help me out when Owen is being "difficult". If big brother eats his food, it's amazing how little brother suddenly starts. Owen even yells out for his "Bubba" when he's dropped off at the nursery. Pretty sweet. My absolute favorite thing is when they start making each other laugh...I don't know that it gets much better than that.

We're in process of dropping Owen's morning nap...against my will. We worked so hard to get him to take his 2 regular naps, and we were in such a nice routine. I guess I should never get too comfortable!