Thursday, June 28, 2012

"C" is for Class (School)

My baby is growing up!  Tully is officially enrolled in pre-primary (toddler class) at Lake Hills Montessori for Fall 2012.  This was a super easy decision and a really hard one at the same time.  The easy part was that John and I agree Tully needs more stimulation and challenge than what we can provide at home.  His little brain goes non-stop, and I think he gets bored easily.  Boredom = whining = crazy mommy.  The hard part is that he's so little.  He'll be 16 months when he starts with the 2-3 year olds.  And what is Nanna going to do all morning while he is gone?  Lastly, private school is not something we were planning for financially.  We've decided he'll attend for pre-primary (2-3 years) for sure and possibly for primary (pre-K & K: 3-6 years) as well.  He can enroll in the public elementary school in 2015, so there's hope that we won't be paying for private schooling forever.

Another good thing about Tully starting school this fall is that he will get into a routine before the new baby arrives.  I didn't want to have the baby in December and then Tully feel like he was being shipped off to school for the first time in January.  I hope he's excited to return to school for the second semester, and it will give me some quiet morning time with the new little one.

In my head this all works out perfectly.  In reality, I bet we're in the middle of potty training, binky withdrawals, full-out tantrums, and chaos in general.  My kid will be biting everyone at school and smearing poop all over the walls.  Oh well, at least I can say I tried to plan for life with two babies!

Friday, June 22, 2012

"C" is for Class (Swim)

Tully took swim lessons this spring through Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). The lessons were a little different, but they came highly recommended by another mom who had two kids that successfully completed the program.    The goal of ISR is to provide children 6 months to 6 years with the skills needed to survive should they fall in the water unattended.  This was definitely not a fun mommy-and-me swim class.  I had to listen to frustrated cries for nearly 5 weeks, but now that Tully has graduated, I can say that it was worth it.

The lessons were one-on-one up to 10 minutes/day, 5 days/week.  Tully couldn't eat or drink 2 hours before the lesson, so we tried to time it where he was just waking up from sleeping all night or from a nap.  I saw several kids totally lose their (milky!) lunch, and it was not pleasant.  ISR is serious about waiting 2 hours to swim after eating.

The ISR site says that kids take 4 to 6 weeks to learn the necessary skills, but Tully ended up taking 10 weeks of classes.  We had several three day weeks due to holidays, a fever, and the instructor being out of town, so I think that really stretched things out.  Either that or Tully was just really, really stubborn.  Most of the other kids that had lessons before and after Tully were still taking classes when he graduated too, so I'm not totally sure what was going on.

Here are the skills Tully learned:
  • Hold his breath underwater
  • Roll onto his back in the water
  • Float unassisted, rest and breathe until help arrives
  • Perform the above skills first in a swim diaper, then in a regular diaper while fully clothed (summer and winter outfits, including shoes)
Not happy but floating
My parents have tanning ledges in their pool where Tully can walk around with the water about chest high.  It's hard for him to see where they end, and they drop off directly into the deep end.  He has hopped off the ledges several times.  When we were at my parents' house Memorial Weekend (after 8 weeks of lessons), it was hit or miss or whether or not Tully popped into his float.  We talked to the instructor and described how the ledges and steps worked in my parents pool.  Their setup was very different than the lap pool where we were taking lessons, but the reality is that he's going to be around my parents pool, not a lap pool.

The last two weeks of class Tully really made progress.  He started flipping over more quickly, and his float was outstanding.  He tested in summer clothes and shoes and winter clothes and shoes all with a regular diaper.  (BTW have you ever seen a completely soaked Pampers Swaddlers diaper?  UNREAL how much those things can hold, and the gel is kinda creepy.)  With the exception of the two days of clothing, Tully wore a swim diaper with swim shorts and sometimes a rash guard (swim shirt).

Here are a few videos of Tully's progress.

Week 1 - floating but frustrated

Week 5ish - learning to roll, no longer frustrated

Week 10 - winter clothes, floating like a champ

Week 10 final day - mastered the roll and float

Next year Tully will learn the swim-float-swim sequence, so instead of floating in the water until someone rescues him, he can swim to the edge and rescue himself.  ISR teaches children to roll to their back to catch a breath, so that's different than regular swim lessons where I'm assuming they would teach lifting the head.  I talked to the other moms who have had older siblings take the classes, and most of them said their 2 and 3 year olds LOVED swimming after they learned the swim-float-swim sequence.  It will be so fun for Tully to swim in Grammy and PawPaw's pool and at the lake with Gigi and Pops.  I'm really looking forward to next summer!

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    "C" is for Child #2

    Remember when I wrote about Tully's nursing strike around his first birthday?  At first I thought he was holding out on me due to teething pain from his molars, but what I really think happened is that my milk changed.  Tully's nursing strike coincided perfectly with the start of my second pregnancy.  Tully knew about his baby brother/sister before I could even do an in-home test!  Baby "C" #2 is due December 23.

    Here are some things I want to remember about this pregnancy.

    It started out exactly the same with Tully: light-headedness (weeks 5-7) followed by extreme nausea (weeks 7-12).  With Tully I tried all of the natural remedies, and I felt like crap for months.  This time I'm taking prescription medication, as needed, and I am able to function much better.  God bless modern medicine.

    I failed the C2K5 program again.  It seems like every time I start this program, I get pregnant.  I got to week 3 of the program, found out I was pregnant, and quit running completely.  I just did not have the energy.  My goal was to "train" for the 8 weeks leading up to Stevie's Head for the Cure 5K on May 12 and then jog the whole thing.  When I found out I was pregnant, I devised a new plan that only consisted of walking.  When we walked with the stroller last year, we waited for all of the runners to get started, so we weren't in their way.  Unfortunately, we waited too long and got behind A LOT of really slow walkers.  I realize these people weren't trying to set any records, but we didn't have all day to spend walking 3 miles.  I had a 5-week old that was sure to need to eat within the hour.  And the thought of breastfeeding while walking?  Not easy.  We didn't want to get stuck too far behind this year, so we hopped in after the serious runners had cleared the main start area.  Bad timing again because we jumped in a little too soon and were surrounded by lots more runners.  To keep from being "that guy/girl" we jogged the first mile or so.  After about a 30-second walk, we were off again.  We finished the race in 38 minutes.  Definitely not a record breaker, but not too bad at 2 months pregnant and no prep. Also, we ran as a family, which was really nice.  Even ZachZach ran with us!

    John, Mom, Dad, Tully, Me
    Post race with the inspiration behind HFTC 5K North Texas, Stevie Patrick

    huffing and puffing along

    Zach was such a good boy
    We've already decided on the names for the new baby.  Our girl name is the same as before, since we obviously didn't use it.  And after only a couple discussions we easily reached agreement on a new boy name that was meaningful and unique but not too weird.  I think we'll reveal the name when we discover the gender again.  Stay tuned until August.

    The most fun part of this pregnancy is sharing it with friends in Texas who are expecting babies right around the same time: November 4, December 5, and January 5.  It will be awesome when everyone's house is baby proofed, and the days and nights are planned around nap schedules and early bed times.  Then we won't be the only couple having to find a quiet place to put our little one down.  As the kids get older, it will be so much fun for them to play together while the adults catch up too.

    Here is our little peanut at 13 weeks.  He/she has a healthy heartbeat and enjoys moving around a lot.

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    "C" is for Chopsticks

    Tully has eaten sushi with us a couple times, but we've always brought a few "safe" foods from home like beef, ham, or chicken and some fruit and veggies.  For our last sushi restaurant visit, we took Tully, his travel high chair, and a disposable safe foods.  He ate several pieces of edamame but wasn't too impressed with the avocado rolls.  The sticky rice was...well, sticky, and I don't think he liked that it stuck all over his face and fingers.  He was so distracted by the texture that he couldn't get to the part where he realized it was just rice and avocado.  He watched us with our chopsticks very closely, so John asked the waiter for another set.  Tully loves to mimic us, and he was a happy camper with his chopsticks.  I'm sure he'll be hitting up his own sushi happy hours before we know it!

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