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Becky

Pregnancy/Baby

Goldfish Swim School of Ann Arbor – First Lesson Recap

This post is brought to you by Goldfish Swim School.  While I was provided lessons in exchange for this review, all opinions are 100% my own.

Isla is turning 9 months old this week.  Our laid back, easy going baby has turned into a super mobile, energetic little monster!  I wrote recently about how she visited Lake Michigan with us, and went swimming in a pool for the first time.

Since then, we’ve gotten a little kiddie pool set up at home and she loves it.  If it is full and she sees it, she squirms and squeals until we get her in.

This is Bubbles, the Mascot at Goldfish Swim School.

It’s amazing to see her having fun and being so fearless.  But as a mother, having a baby with no knowledge of the dangers water can pose strikes an unbelievable amount of fear into me.  Water safety is so important, and we wanted to teach our little one early.

So we got her signed up at Goldfish Swim School of Ann Arbor, and were excited to get started!  It’s just a 15 minute drive from where we live in Chelsea, and well worth it.  We recently had her first 30 minute lesson.  Registration was a breeze!

Goldfish offers numerous classes based on age – from 4 months all the way up to 12 years old.  Isla is in the “Mini 1” class, which goes from ages 4-15 months.

There were 2 other babies in the pool with us on Saturday, and 2 instructors – so we really felt like we got some great 1-on-1 time with each teacher.  They were so good with the babies, making sure that safety and fun were the top priorities.

The instructors were amazing! So interactive and cheerful.

The Mini classes are a gentle introduction to the water, where Isla is starting to learn the basics of swimming and water safety.  They also keep the pool at a very comfortable 90 degrees – it feels just like bathwater!  I love the idea that we’re easing her into this, at her own pace.

Conditioning! Getting her used to having water on her shoulders and head.

I got in the pool with her, while daddy watched and cheered us on.  Isla worked on the basic swim stroke, floating on her back, getting used to having water on her head/face, and even a few quick dips under the water!  It’s so amazing how intuitive babies are, and how they reflexively know to blow bubbles and stop inhaling when they’re under water.

Practicing floating. She’s not so sure about this skill yet.

Isla was a little hesitant, but that’s why it’s great we’ll be coming back every week – so we can work on these skills and build on them so she can be safe and confident in the water.

I have to give a special shout out to the staff.  They were so friendly, helpful in getting us checked in, and letting us know where to go.  At the end of our lesson we realized that our car battery had died, and one of the staff members went out of their way to find us and ask if we needed help.  That is sometimes hard to come by in those situations, so thank you!

At the end of our lesson we left with an adorable little baby swag bag, and smiles on our faces.  If you’re looking for swim lessons for your water babies (or big kids), you can find a local Goldfish Swim School at their center locator, and more information below:

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See you next week, Bubbles!

Can’t wait to share with you how our little Goldfish progresses through her next few months of classes!

Have you had an awesome experience at Goldfish Swim School?  Would love to hear your stories in the comments!

 

Family

Sometimes Life is Scary

Let’s get real for a few minutes here.

Smiedendipity has been silent for a little while now.  As much as I post happy life events and fun projects here, my husband and I are real people, living a real life…and that sometimes comes with real problems.  I wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t also share our struggles, so I’m writing about this with my husband’s permission.

There has been quite a bit of drama going on in our family over the last year – not between Jeremy and I, but within our larger family circle in general, and it’s caused a TON of stress.  That combined with our full time jobs, and caring for Isla has led to accumulating stress with very little time to address it.

Unfortunately, this caused a small decline in my husband’s health lately.  We’d both wanted him to get in to see the doctor a for a while, he just hadn’t made the time to do it – well, he finally went in.  We really both thought that whatever it was would probably be minor.  No big deal.

Then the doctor threw out a diagnostic guess, with the word “lymphoma” in it.

Lymphoma is a form of cancer.  This is where I fall apart.

Basically there were a few things that it could be, and this was one of them.  Jeremy had some tests run, which led to a completely agonizing wait for the results.  As much as I wanted to be strong for him, I’ve been walking around in a panic.  Thinking about worst case scenarios, and prone to breaking down in sobs at the most random times.  At the gas station, in the grocery store, while changing my daughter’s diaper, even while running.  Jeremy has been so brave, and so optimistic through this whole ordeal – I have always admired his attitude when dealing with the unknown.

I am not as brave as he is, and I haven’t been able to focus on much else other than putting one foot in front of the other as I try to get through each day that the results aren’t in and we’re living in the “what if” zone.

Photo: Heather Jowett Photography

Thankfully, the results did come in.  The diagnosis came back as an autoimmune overreaction, and with a few lifestyle changes – namely, cutting out toxic sources of stress – he’s going to be fine.

My husband is going to be fine.

I’ve never been more thankful for anything in my life.  Even the epidural during my 30 hour labor comes in at a distant second.

We’ve learned a few important lessons through this experience:
Be thankful for your health.  Do what you can to preserve it.
Be thankful for each other.  Time and routine can cause you to forget how lucky you are to have each day.
Be good to yourself.  Don’t sacrifice your own health when putting others first.

Thank you for sticking with me, readers.  My nerves are finally calming down, and I’ll be back to posting regularly very, very soon.

Photo: Heather Jowett Photography

Until then, be good to each other.

Family

Lake Michigan Beach Weekend Getaway

Last weekend we decided to get out of town and head to my husband’s hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan for a quick getaway.  There are so many great memories in this little town, and we couldn’t wait to take our little lady there for her first dip in the lake!

We got into town Friday night, and crashed – we were all tired from a long week.  Saturday morning Isla had us up bright and early at 7AM, so I decided to go for a run while Jeremy grabbed donuts & coffee and had some daddy + daughter time on the bluff.  It was such a nice way to start the day!



The temps were reaching 90 degrees that afternoon, so we headed to a friend’s pool to cool off .  Isla was styling in her babiators and swimsuit, we seriously could not get over how cute she looked.

We were really curious to see how she would do in the pool, since most babies scream the first time they go swimming.  As it turns out, Isla is a total water baby and LOVED it from the first second her toes touched the water.  She was smiling so big, and just kept kicking her little legs!  I think my face broke from smiling so hard at her having fun.

The next morning, we decided to head out for a walk on the bluff, and then to the beach.  We were excited for Isla to see the sand and put her feet in the water – Lake Michigan was pretty cold so I was a little concerned she would get upset, but that wasn’t the case at all.  Once she had her feet in, she sort of looked at us like “is this okay?”, but as soon as she saw our smiles, she was jumping and kicking away.

It was a sweet moment in a special place, because this was the beach we walked on when we were dating, where we had our wedding ceremony, and where we took our pregnancy announcement photo.

All-in-all, it was a nice weekend away – we left sunkissed and happy to have shared this time as a family.

DIY Decor

Porch Updates + New Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Happy June!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.

Our little baby monster recently decided that she doesn’t need sleep to survive, and sleep training has been difficult.  This combined with changes at daycare, and Jeremy starting a new job left us all feeling pretty tired.  So I decided to put the blog on hold for a month, and just survive.

Now we’re adjusting to our new routines, and getting back into the swing of things…mostly.  The long holiday weekend was so needed.  I took an extra day off on Friday to spend with Isla, she had her 6 month checkup and shots which are never fun – but she was a trooper!

On Saturday, we had a cookout with family and friends.  Now that it’s warming up outside, we’ve been spending more time on our three season porch.

It’s one of my favorite “rooms” in the house, a relaxing little window-lined space to hangout.  Last year, Jeremy and I painted the walls, and added some seating by refurbishing Jeremy’s grandma’s old wicker furniture.  We also refinished my grandpa’s canoe paddles and hung those on the wall.

This summer, we wanted to make it an even more inviting space.  One of our neighbors gave us an old mini fridge last year, so Jeremy cleaned it up and found a place for it.  Now when we have friends over, we have a convenient little spot for drinks, no running back and forth to the kitchen.

He also hung this oversized marquee letter that he made for our wedding 5 years ago.  It adds a lot of curb appeal in such a special, meaningful way.

Marquee letter S lit up at night

Finally, I found the perfect rug!  The Marina Rug from Ballard Designs.

Ballard Designs Marina Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Source: Ballard Designs

Smiling baby girl

Isla (and her two little teeth) approves!

Ballard Designs Marina Rug

Source: Ballard Designs

We purchased their Chevron Stripe rug a few years ago for our dining room, and it has held up SO well.  I knew that the Marina rug was made from the same indoor/outdoor material, so it was a safe bet for the porch.

It makes the space so cozy, but I also know that if we spill something on it (or the baby/murphy gets something on it), we can just take it outside and hose it off.  That’s a SERIOUS win.  I learned the hard way with one of my jute rugs last year that if you plan on living around a rug, it needs to be easily cleaned.

Ballard Designs Marina Rug

Ballard Designs Marina Rug on Porch

Wall color: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

Ballard Designs Marina Rug on porchI’m hoping sometime soon we’ll be able to redo the bead board ceiling, and add an outdoor ceiling fan.  This porch is what sold me on the house when we were hunting, so I’m really excited to see it start coming together as the space I was hoping for.

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend, and thanks for sticking with me while I took a little break!