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10.17.2017

What to Pack for your First Infant Swim Lesson (and What Not To!)



After Crosby and Charlie's first swimming lesson, Chuck and I let our a huge "phew!" We did it, we got two boys changed into swimsuits, into the pool, out of the pool, and into dry clothes in less than an hour and a half.

Crosby and Charlie have been taking swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School-Dayton for about a month now and we are loving it. Due to their different ages, Crosby takes his lesson first while Charlie and Daddy play in the waiting area. Once Crosby is done with his lesson, we trade kids- I stay in the pool for Charlie's lesson, Daddy changes Crosby into dry clothes, and then helps with Charlie at the end of his lesson. It sounds like a lot (and it felt like a lot at first), but we've now got it nailed down to an easy and manageable routine.

It's definitely helped that I now know what is necessary to pack in their swim bags (and what isn't!).



If you're considering infant swim lessons, here's what to pack for your first lesson:


  • A reusable swim diaper (they're more sanitary!)- If you have trouble finding one in the off-season like I did, good news! Goldfish Swim School sells them in their pro shop! Swimming trunks and bathing suits are optional.
  • Diapers and wipes- Obviously, you'll want to bring diapers to change them into when they're out of the pool. Bring more than you think you'll need because you just never know with little ones!
  • Towel- This is pretty obvious. Thankfully, Goldfish Swim School keeps their pool area at 90 degrees so there are no chilly babies once out of the water!
  • Dry clothes- I don't even bother with onesies anymore. When your baby is fresh out of the pool, you want something easy to slip on and off- I usually pack our Goldfish Swim School t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants
  • Slip-on shoes- Don't bother with socks. They're a pain. I love using slip-on moccasins for Crosby.
  • Snacks- I pack a metric ton of snacks: applesauce pouches, raisins, cereal bars, and crackers. Since the boys' lessons fall right around dinner time, they're usually pretty hungry prior to pool-time. A well-fed baby is a cooperative baby. After lessons, they've also worked up an appetite from all that swimming! I make sure to also have enough on hand for the car ride home. (More good news, if you forget your snacks- Goldfish Swim School sells them in their shop!)



So, what don't you need to pack? 
  • Your own bathing suit- Don't pack it, wear it. The last thing you want to worry about when trying to change your baby is also trying to change yourself. Wear your bathing suit to the lesson and an easy dress or t-shirt and sweats. (Just don't forget to pack your undergarments!)
  • Sunscreen- Goldfish Swim School is indoor and a toasty 90 degrees year-round. No sunscreen required!
  • A bucket seat- Concerned about where to actually set your baby when you need to change? Don't be! Goldfish provides Bumbo chairs in their changing rooms. (Don't you wish more businesses would be so baby-friendly?!)
  • Tear-free shampoo and body wash- Goldfish supplies everything you need in their shower area located just outside of the pool. It's so easy to rinse the chlorine off your wee one under their multiple shower-heads!
  • Blow dryer- That's right. Not only does Goldfish supply shampoo and body wash, they even have a blow drying station so you don't have to leave with sopping wet hair!



If you're thinking about enrolling your infant in swimming lessons, I can't recommend Goldfish Swim School enough. Check out their website to find a location near you!

This post is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School.

10.16.2017

What I Want Other Moms to Know about Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. There is a lot I could say about my experience as a survivor of domestic violence. At the risk of seemingly self-promoting, if you'd like to more about my story, I've written about it here.


Go to Cincinnati Moms Blog to read what I want other Moms to know about domestic violence.

10.13.2017

Blogger Love v.20

It has officially been forever since I've shone some love to my favorite bloggers. However, one of the best things about blogging is the community it inspires. It sounds silly to people outside of this little blogger bubble, but genuine relationships are formed in this online space. I have found solace in talking about this season of motherhood with so many ladies in the throes of it with me. Women all across the country, that I otherwise would never have the pleasure of knowing. We have found each other and confided in each other, and it's truly a beautiful thing.

Sometimes I have trouble finding new bloggers and so I'm so appreciative of other bloggers who share their favorites (no strings attached), and I too, try to pay it forward. I have a lot of recurring favorites, so this time, I thought I'd try and highlight bloggers who I haven't spotlighted before.

With that in mind, here are some of the blog posts I've been loving lately.

Bloggers I'm loving this Fall 2017




September
As a former Foodbanker, I'm obviously crazy passionate about fighting hunger and food insecurity both international and domestic. As if I didn't already love Erica enough, the fact that she used her platform to raise awareness for this tremendous cause made me love her even more.

The Boy Who Lived by Life as Louise
This was such a simple, silly post but I loved it. Blogging can feel too serious at times, so I loved reading about Audrey's Harry Potter books, characters, movies, etc. It was a good reminder that it wouldn't kill me to keep my own blog light every once in awhile (and that I need to pick up HP- I haven't read a single book in the series this year!)

How I organize my books on GoodReads by See You in a Porridge
Another super light post, but one that I found intriguing as a full-fledged GoodReads junkie. If you don't already, go find me there so I can see what you're reading!

The Truth About Debt by Angela Denker at Red Letter Christians
I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and it totally changed the way that Chuck and I handle our personal finances. I'm so thankful for the wisdom I gained from that course, but there were a couple things that I just couldn't bring myself to see eye-to-eye with the financial guru. I loved this post because the author took a very different perspective on debt as a Christian and highlighted some of the ways she thinks Ramsey may have missed the boat.

Making it Home by Shannan Martin Writes
Do you ever have those bloggers that you don't regularly read and just kind of appeared in your blog feed one day? This is Shannan Martin for me. On a whim, I broke away from my usual rotation of bloggers to read this and I'm so glad I did. I don't want to spoil it because I think it's important that everyone reads it with an open mind and no judgments going into it. Just trust me, it's good.

There were a few others that I could have included but chose not to this time. But trust me, they're all-time favorites and they'll definitely get their turn in the spotlight next time around. Who are some of your favorites right now? Please share!

Catch up on some of my past favorites:

10.10.2017

On Marriage Goals + Day Dates in Cincinnati

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #ChickenCoToGo #CollectiveBias



On Chuck and my fourth wedding anniversary last year, I was a week overdue with Crosby. We scrapped any ideas for a fancy date night (we had wrongly assumed we'd have a baby in our arms by this point) and grabbed a quick slice of pizza the next town over. We discussed the fourth year of our marriage: what we did well together and what we thought we could do better from then on. We decided that going into year five, our goal would be to make monthly date nights a priority. Of course, having two kids under two, this goal was easier said than done.

Perhaps the best symbol of this is the fact that just a couple weeks ago, we finally used the movie theater gift card we received for Christmas...nine months ago.

We had the boys' grandparents take them off our hands for a few hours and drove down to Cincinnati. On our way to the movies, we stopped by the newly remodeled deli at the Kroger Marketplace in Newport, Kentucky. We each got a $5 Chicken Co meal deal and Coca-Cola® and grabbed a table at their in-store seating area.

It was the oddest feeling having lunch together without any children to shush or re-position in high chairs. We felt completely liberated. We talked too loudly, laughed obnoxiously and had the best time. After we finished our meal, we drove a quick 5 minutes to Newport on the Levee to watch a new movie. Although we were ambivalent about the film, we relished the just-the-two-of-us time.





It was nothing fancy, though fancy isn't really our style anyway. But it was the perfect reminder that you don't need to spend much to enjoy some quality marriage time. If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive date night, check out the meal deals at the Newport Kroger (and pay no mind to the too-loud couple at the table next to you!).
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