Archive for June 2018

Jumpstarting the Summer

June 28, 2018

Whew it's been a busy summer so far! Jacob just finished up a week of Jumpstart clinics at Goldfish Swim School in Canton, MI near my parents house. Goldfish offers traditional swim lessons year round where kids go once a week, but during the summer they offer jumpstart clinics where kids can go everyday to build confidence and fast track their skills. 

This was our first experience with Goldfish (but they are opening one near us soon!!!) and we were so impressed. In the words of my brother "I didn't know swim boutiques were a thing!" And he's got a point. The pools we went to for swim lessons as children were cold and sterile, rented from the local high school. Goldfish could not be more different. Everything there is bright, warm, and inviting - 100% designed with the whole child in mind. From the friendly murals on the wall, to the fun surfboard drying stations, to the constant 90 degree temperature in the pool; everything there is just perfect for setting kids at ease and making sure they have a positive experience.

We were usually rushing in for class after dropping my mom at work, so we'd use their changing rooms (designed like cabanas - so cute!) to change and then wait in their large waiting area for them to call his class. The waiting area is huge (and air conditioned!) with big comfy chairs and floor to ceiling walls with a full view of the pool so you can see your little one and note what they are working on the whole time.

Once they called his class I'd drop Jacob off at his lane and then go sit in the waiting area while he had his lesson. Each class has four kids or less so the instructor can really focus on each child and building confidence in their abilities. Jacob has loved all of the instructors that he has had - they are super patient, attentive, well trained, and great with kids! They had Jacob jumping to them without holding on his very first day there - something he never does! My favorite part of the lessons at Goldfish is that they work on not only swimming skills, but safety skills as well. 

The last 5 minutes parents are allowed to go in and observe and the teacher will give you a run down of what they worked on and what they need to practice. This is so helpful for working with your child on your own in between lessons and not something we've experienced at other swim schools. At the end of each Jumpstart week you get a progress report (every 3 months for weekly classes) with the skills they've accomplished checked off and a cute ribbon regardless of whether or not they are moving up a level. Just look at how much progress Jacob made in one week, he is SO proud of that ribbon!

Our first stop after class was always the adjoining showers. I noticed most kids just do a rinse off, but I always took the opportunity to bring shampoo so I wouldn't have to give him a bath later. After his shower we'd hit the changing rooms again to change back into his street clothes, and then his favorite part - the drying station! He loves sitting up on the surf board and using the hair dryer to dry his hair "all by himself." I really appreciate the different settings on the hair dryers that let you control not only the intensity, but also the heat. I could let Jacob go to town with the heat set to low and not have to worry about him accidentally burning himself. I'd always bring a wet bag to throw his wet suit and towel into, but they also have a swimsuit dryer there. 

Besides a beautiful facility and a sound program in place for swim instruction, the staff at Goldfish is so welcoming and accommodating. If your schedule changes they will reschedule you for another date and if you need a makeup due to illness or travel it's no extra charge. We've had such a great experience at Goldfish, that we are now SO excited for the one near us to open up! If you'd like to learn more about Goldfish click HERE to check out all their offerings and find a facility near you. 

*Goldfish provided Jacob with free lessons in order to facilitate this review. As always all opinions are my own and we only promote brands we love. 

Jacob's 4th Birthday Pizza Party

June 20, 2018

We celebrated Jacob on his birthday with the pizza party of his dreams. He knew exactly what he wanted - chocolate cake, pizza on a plate, and all his friends. We booked a party slot at his favorite Pizza arcade - Peter Piper Pizza and invited all his friends. We picked a dinnertime slot (5-7 pm) because we've heard it can get hectic on weekend days with up to four parties at a time. It ended up being the perfect time - not crowded and everyone was hungry for pizza and cake since it was dinner time. This was the first year Jacob had an opinion on what he wanted at his party and it was so fun to help bring that dream to life. 

I kept to colors inspired by his invitations and classic pizza parlors - silver, red, yellow, green, lilac and white. I knew the kids wouldn't want to do much more than eat and play games so I kept things simple with a party hat craft and then let the arcade provide the entertainment. Besides the pizza hats I also made the token cups and the mini pizza boxes for the cookies. My mom made the favors - pizza chef aprons, and I sewed on pizza patches my friend Jennifer made, then rolled them up with mini rolling pins. The cake was from Publix, and I topped it with a pizza squishy and candles from Amazon. Peter Piper Pizza provides a party assistant who keeps everything running smoothly and she was a God send. She helped us with everything from blowing up all the balloons to ordering the right amount of pizzas for the adults.









Can't wait to see what we dream up for next year's party! Happy birthday sweet boy! You have every "pizza" our hearts! 


June 10, 2018

Today you are creative and imaginative, always using pillows to build yourself castles and lairs to play superheroes or villains with your two pretend friends, Wall-e and Eva. If the house is a little too quiet, we're sure to find you whipping up delicacies in your play kitchen, or building elaborate train track configurations. 

Today you are a stage 5 clinger who follows us everywhere and is always underfoot. You prefer sticking to the comfort of what you know, and are wary of trying anything new. Sleeping in Mom and Dads bed is your favorite treat and you love to cuddle in close. 

Today you are a thrill seeker who makes us nervous on the regular. Bed jumping, couch climbing, stair sliding, and amusement park rides exhilarate you and bring the biggest smile to your face. (Not to mention boo boos to your body)

Today you are a preschool graduate who aced his assessments, loved his teacher, and showed tremendous growth in both academics and maturity over the last year. On to Pre-k this fall at "Mommas school."

Today you have your own specific sense of style. Your hair has been growing out for quite some time and you tell everyone "I don't want it cut!". You like to stay in your pajamas all day, wear Daddy's hats, and you've never met a pair of sunglasses you didn't love. 

Today you are a homebody who prefers curling up on the couch with a blanket, reading a book (especially Elephant & Piggie) or watching a movie over any outside activity except for going to the park, which you are always up for. 

Today you are a grazer who would prefer to snack all day long and never eat an actual meal. Hamburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, donuts, broccoli, strawberries, and ravioli are some of your favorite foods. 

Today you are the sweetest friend, providing hours of giggles, the tightest hugs, sympathy beyond your years, and always, always crying when it's time to go. You ask for your friends by name and always want to play. 

Today you are a lover of dinosaurs, trucks, Star Wars, muffin (Muppet) Babies, and the iPad. You dislike band-aids, dirt, and loud noises, and are afraid of bugs and the dark. 

Today you have been wearing your glasses for 8 months now. You scared Mom and Dad with your diagnosis, but have adapted well and been responsible. You lived through Hurricane Irma this year, dropped your nap time, and moved out of your crib to a big boy bed too.

Today we'll celebrate you with everything you personally requested at your party: chocolate cake, pizza on a plate, and all your friends. 

Today we love you more than we ever thought we could. 

Today you are FOUR.