Archive for Kids Stuff

How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

by Kaitlin Gardner

When we started a family, I wanted my kids to learn how to swim. It was a skill that they would use for a lifetime, and our family would be around the water many times. Just going to the local pool and signing them up for classes didn’t feel right for me. I did homework to find the best instructor I could for my kids.

Ask around. I asked a number of parents with older children about their swim instructors. I heard some good things, and some parents steered me away from programs where they didn’t feel satisfied with the results. I was glad I took that time, because it helped me narrow down the choices before I went any further. I’ve found some great resources with more detail about swim programs for kids:

Boy Swimming

Photo attribution: Yatmandu

Learn To Swim: The Importance of Swimming Lessons

What Every Parent Should Know About Choosing A Swimming Instructor

Swim Lesson Plans

A personal visit. Once I narrowed down my options and had a list of swim schools that sounded the strongest, I made visits. I talked to the manager of the school, to get an impression of how professional the person was, because I felt like his approach would filter down through the school. I wanted someone who took the job of teaching my kids to swim as seriously as I was approaching it. I was really impressed by the commitment of the school managers, and knew I was on the right track.

What’s the plan? I wanted to know how the teaching would be handled – would they just have the kids jump in the shallow end and start showing them the Australian crawl? I wanted classes that would work through a plan where the kids learned basics and moved forward building on that foundation. I found several schools that had similar lesson plans, and I felt really good about the thoroughness and approach of the lessons.

Check instructor credentials. I asked the school managers what certifications were required for a swim instructor. I had looked online and found the required levels of certification, and in every case, the swim schools followed those standards. I was feeling really good about the schools at this point. Some people might think I was going a little overboard, but with the lives of my kids at stake, I was willing to take extra steps.

Watch a class. I asked the managers of the schools if I could watch a class. I had read that if they don’t want you to do that, it’s a warning sign that the school is not a good one. In every case, the schools I was considering encouraged to watch their swim classes. I sat and talked with other Moms who were watching their kids in class. I got a couple of names of great instructors from them, so I made sure to sit in on those classes. I had narrowed my choices to a couple of instructors by this point.

How’s the attitude? I didn’t want my kids to be taught by somebody who was just going through the motions, so watching the class, I was checking for the attitude of the instructor. I was amazed at how calm, caring and thorough the instructors were. They made sure each child demonstrated proficiency with what was being taught before they moved on. I was astonished by how well mannered and orderly the kids were. When I made my final choice, I was confident I had found the perfect instructor for my kids. It made me smile to watch them learning how to swim, and how their confidence in the water grew with each lesson.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

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#40 Saturday Top Five Laughs

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I am trying to get back into the groove of writing a Saturday Top Five Laughs post. I am still trying to find my blogging barrings after a month off, plus the holidays and so on. Without further delay let’s join The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #40 (for us)!

5. When we were at Victoria Park Nova Scotia, our son said the water looked like root beer! ;)

4. Last week would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. I grew up listening to Elvis because my parents were Elvis fans. When I mentioned Elvis to the children, some of the younger ones asked who he was so I told them briefly who he was and then I shared a couple of music videos. As we were watching the first video, Jr., our three year old goes, “He can sing.” Just matter of factly. I forgot to tell my mom this when I was talking to her. She will get a kick out of it!

3. Jr. called a red pom pom a pimple and when I chuckled, he goes, “What’s this called again?” ;)

2. One of our son’s bemoaned, “Ohhh, I think I broke my tailbone.” Not the funny part. The next part is…A younger son responded, “But you don’t have a tail.” He said it seriously. ;)

1. The children were all reading Calvin and Hobbes…need I say more? It was fun listening to their pure-hearted laughter.

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Washing Babydoll Sheep Wool – Wordless Wednesday

Our Babydoll ram has been losing some of his fleece. Our oldest son decided to collect it and wash it.

Steps to follow when washing Babydoll sheep wool:

1. Filled the sink with hot, hot water. He said he got it up to 180′ F.

2. Then stir wool around.

3. Put a tiny bit of dish soap or laundry detergent in the water. Keep stirring. Not too hard.

4. Change the water. Repeat the process.

5. Lay out to dry on top of dryer.

Here is what it looked like:

Washing Wool_1_

Washing Wool_2_

Washing Wool_3_

Kind of disgusting, isn’t it?

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Melissa & Doug Terrific 25 Giveaway

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Melissa & Doug Terrific 25 Giveaway

It’s Back!! How Exciting! I love Melissa & Doug Terrific 25 Gifts!

Have a car lover? Melissa & Doug has an adorable Mega Race Car Carrier!

Or your budding artist would love the Favorite Things Stamp Set or Princess Design Activity Kit!  

Click here and you can also enter on Melissa & Doug’s Facebook Page to win one of these Terrific 25 Giveaways!

Good Luck! Let us know if your a winner!

 

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#37 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

I slacked off from doing my Saturday Top Five Laughs posts for the past month because life has had me in a whirlwind and to be honest there has been very little thought to what has been funny lately. Weird how our thoughts and circumstances can rob us of every day joy and laughter. Thought it was time to step up and re-join The Mommyhood Chronicles on week #37 (for us)!

5. Our six year old asked who invented kissing or why do people kiss? And before I could respond, our four year old said, “Because them married.” Nice logic, eh?

4. Our 14 year old daughter got peed on by one of our cats and said she now smelled like dead mice. Our 15 year old daughter told her it was because it (the pee) was MADE of dead mice.

3. Our 15 year old was feeding her baby goat raspberries and because B was not feeding him fast enough, he jumped up on her as if to say, “Come on, I’m hungry!” It was cute.

FFR Goats 110114_2

2. Hermes, our calf, has been giving the girls milk kisses and slobber at milking. They are milking twice a day and he has his side and they have their side. He seems to be finally getting use to them and is showing his affection! O got milk slobber in her hair this morning when Hermes sucked on her hair! Silly calf!

Loony Acres Hermes 110114

1. My little 11 month old niece cried when my mom’s dog sniffed her! Poor little thing, but I did have a chuckle.

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First Milking Experience – Wordless Wednesday

I always said B’s first milking experience was when we visited a working farm in Schaumburg, IL called, Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley…but then I came across this photo not too long ago. It is funny because it kind of predicted the future. What was a fun little homeschool activity turned into what real life would be like 12-13 years down the road. B milking, B has the bonnet on, with O helping her. O is standing at the chair by B’s side.

FFR B's first milking experience

By the way the Volkening Heritage Farm is an awesome place to visit as a family. For a few years we went there after an early 8:30am morning church service and visited the farm. Some Sundays we just walked, other Sundays we participated in farm events. One of which was B’s first time milking a real, live cow. She went to its tail first! She was only four at the time and had never been around a cow. It still makes us chuckle.

Gotta love memories, eh? What memory made you smile this week.

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Fall Fun – Wordless Wednesday

Our children have always loved playing in the leaves in the fall. When they were really little they had to go to grandma’s or the park to play in them. This year is no different even with a few of them in their teens! They have just as much fun as they did when they were younger. Our boys pretended the leaf pile was a ship today and used the rakes poking out of the leaves to be their cannons or guns. Pretty clever. Glad they still have an imagination!

P.S. They appear closer to the road than they actually are because there is a dipped stretch of grass between the lawn and the shoulder of the road. Our children are usually not allowed to play out in the front yard. However, we have more trees out front than out back so for fall fun and under supervision they can.

FFR Fall Fun in the Leaves 2014

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Baby Mantra

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“I participated in Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Baby Mantra. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.” www.momcentralconsulting.com

My children’s skin is very important to me. I always try my best to use the most gentlest of products on their delicate bodies.  Finding all natural products are always a challenge.  When I heard of Baby Mantra products I couldn’t wait to try them.  Their all natural, cruelty-free, and gluten-free products are all made in the U.S.

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I have two children, an 18 month old daughter and an almost 5 year old son.  Both of them have very sensitive skin so I have to be careful with what I use.  Each night they both get a bath individually.  Typically I add soap to my daughter’s bath and use that to wash her.  For my son, I put soap on a washcloth and wash him at the end of his bath.  Then I thoroughly rinse him so he doesn’t get a rash. Immediately after I dry each of them, and then give them a massage with soothing lotion. Baby Mantra’s products fit very well into my routine.

I absolutely loved using the 3-in-1 Bubble Bath + Shampoo + Wash. A little goes a long way. I put in a few drops for my daughter’s bath and it created lots of bubbles; she loved it!  The smell was very calming and relaxing, not overbearing at all.  The soap made her skin feel very soft.  For my son, it worked better when I just put it on a washcloth and washed him. I tried adding the wash to his bathwater since sometimes he likes bubbles. Unfortunately he broke out in a rash the next day.  As long as I rinsed him after washing, there was no problem.  The 3-in-1 Bubble Bath + Shampoo + Wash is made with natural ingredients including Aloe Vera and Lavender.

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Baby Mantra’s Calming Lotion was my favorite. Massaging my children’s skin with it after baths was a very relaxing time.  The lotion was very creamy and the smell was wonderful. A little went a long way with the convenient pump feature.  It made my children’s skin feel nice and soft. Even the next morning their skin was still soft.  Baby Mantra’s Calming Lotion is made with natural ingredients including Shea Butter, Lavender Oil, Olive Oil, and Sage Oil.

Baby Mantra offers a variety of skin care products for babies, kids, and adults. Some of their other products include Calming Massage Oil, Newborn Shampoo & Body Wash, and Detangling Conditioner.  All of their products contain natural ingredients such as Avocado, Sunflower Seed, Mango Butter, and Wheat Germ.

Baby Mantra products are available at the following stores:

Walgreens & Duane Reade stores http://www.walgreens.com/

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/

BabiesRUs.com http://www.babiesrus.com/

For more information about Baby Mantra products, visit their website at

http://babymantra.com/

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Original Sprout Review

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Original Spout provides Worry – Free Luxury in their products. All products are 100% Vegan and are free and clean! No parabens, nanoparticles, lavender, Tea tree, petroleum oils, musk, propylene glycol, gluten, soy or dairy! Wow! Original Sprout uses only the safest, soothing, organic and natural ingredients.

Original Sprout has a great line of products that include, shampoos, conditioners, styling aids, sunscreen, body wash and more! We were fortunate enough to review 4 items from Original Sprouts line of products. All of the products we reviewed can be used on babies and up, which means safe for the whole family!

 

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We LOVED the Hair & Body Babywash! This      was such a great product! My children are        older 6, 8, and 10…but it worked wonderfully    on them and myself I might add! This really      is a product that you can use for the whole        family. It is very gentle. My daughter has          eczema so I am always cautious of what I        use on her skin and this product is so gentle      it did not cause flare ups ! The pump spout is    a great addition to the product as it makes        dispensing easy…I always like a pump spout    better than a flip top!

 

Professional Performance

  • Say goodbye to Cradle Cap and Eczema.
  • Leaves Hair & Skin Clean & Ultra Soft
  • Gentle pH for Skin & Hair of 6.0-7.0
  • Naturally Helps Clear Cradle Cap

 

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The Natural Shampoo is a great start to any      hair regimin for children and adults! The            shampoo has a great lather and performs          well on hair. My children have very thick hair    and it is often hard to get natural product to      wash out of their hair. This product washed      out nicely and left the hair smelly and feeling    wonderful! AS an added bonus for us it also      provided great conditioning and detangling        too!

Professional Performance
  • Gentle pH of 6.0-7.0 to Help Retain Hair Color
  • For Babies, Children & Adults
  • Detangling & Conditioning

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The deep conditioner boasts soft, strong,          healthy hair….and it does live up to its claim!    This conditioner is wonderful. Again … I have    had so much trouble in the past rinsing out        natural products from the hair…but this            conditioner goes on smooth and rinses out        nicely…leaving hair soft and manageable!        This is a great addition to your hair care            routine!

Professional Performance
  • For Babies, Children & Adults
  • For All Hair Types & Textures
  • Rich in Moisture & Protein

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This is by far our favorite product from              Original Sprout! This product truly makes          combing effortless! We love using the                detangler on wet hair right after the                  bath…but found it works EXCELLENT on dry      hair too! So often my daughters go to bed        with wet hair only to wake up looking tangled    and disheveled in the morning. Just a spritz      of this detangler and a quick comb/brush          through makes their hair look sleek again and    well groomed!

 

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   Another plus to the miracle              detangler is that it has this nifty      pump spray! This spray is so            nice … simple and easy to              use…much nicer than a cream        detangler that has to be applied      with the hands. The pump makes    dispensing effortless!
Professional Performance
  • For Babies, Children & Adults
  • For All Hair Types & Textures
  • Helps Prevent Breakage
All Original Sprout products we reviewed come with the Worry-Free claim below!
Worry-Free

Lice & Insects don’t like Organic Rosemary but We Love It!

  • Free of Phytoestrogens Lavender & Tea Tree, Phthalates, Clove & Musk
  • No Soy, Gluten, Honey, Peanut or Dairy
  • No Nanoparticles or Titanium Dioxide
  • 100% Vegan

Visit Originalsprout.com for more about these and all their other GREAT products!

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The Kupp’ Review

 

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The Kupp’ is an innovative way to help your children drink from a cup effectively and easily.  This 6 ounce cup is glass and surrounded by a silicone sleeve.  It is designed for ages 3 to 10.  It comes in 4 colors to designate Kupp’s in your home.  The silicone sleeve is removable from the glass for better cleaning.  It will take a minute or two to put the silicone sleeve back on the glass. The glass used for The Kupp’ is imported from Poland.

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Just the Facts!

The Kupp’ is made in the USA using imported glass, all materials are sourced from environmentally-friendly manufacturers that adhere to EU and US regulations”

“ The grip-friendly silicon sleeve is BPA/BPS free and made with medical and food grade silicon to prevent damage.  The sleeve does not have to be removed when washing, which makes cleaning your Kupp’ very simple.”

“All glass is recyclable, certified lead and cadmium free and is made from a pure soda-lime formula.  It is also dishwasher safe!”

kupp pix

 

My daughter’s Kupp’ responsibility is after dinner my daughter is expected to take her cup and plate to the counter after dinner.  It has gotten to the point where do don’t even need to ask, she does it right away.   She really enjoys  using the Kupp’ and I enjoy that she likes it.  It’s great she is using a glass cup.  I always worry about those plastic cups.

 

 

 

You can learn more about The Kupp’ and see their latest products at thekupp.com.  You can also get exclusive access to discounts and special offers!  Don’t forget to check them out at their social media sites too!

Kupp’ on Twitter

Kupp’ on Pinterest

Kupp’  on Facebook

“I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group, LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet Blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.”

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