Observations and Birthdays

Joe, 9lbs 8oz

This week, Charlie celebrates his 4th birthday. When the boys were babies, I would go in their room and watch them sleep in their crib. I was always amazed how big they looked in their crib. It seemed their growth became more obvious at night, when they were sprawled out in their bed, lying motionless.

Joe, small enough to fit in a nursing pillow.

Even now, when I check on the boys before I go to bed, I see how they are filing up their twin beds more and more. My boys are getting so big. I am watching it unfold in front of me, yet it still seems to happen in the blink of an eye.

A time when baths were taken in the sink.

Joe and I were watching TV early one morning. He was sitting on the table in front of the couch, while I sat on the couch. I watched him, sitting on the table, and I couldn’t help but notice how big he was getting. Then I was reminded of the fact that he is starting Kindergarten in August, and his big boyness became even bigger to me.

Just home from the hospital with Charlie.

I eventually said, “Joe, you are getting so big.” He quickly replied, “I know.” Then I asked, “Are you excited about getting big?” He mumbled, “Yes.” Shortly after, Charlie came in the room and sat on the table (apparently our couch & chair lack comfort). And just like I noticed with Joe, I was amazed at how big Charlie is getting.

Joe checking out his new baby brother, Charlie.

I’m no longer watching them with my breath held, as they attempt to climb up to the couch, chair or -ahem – table. They are old enough to go outside without Rob and me following along immediately. Strollers, cribs, high chairs and diapers are all things of the past. Entertainers, bouncy seats and push toys are long gone. Now it’s Tinker toys, Lincoln logs, Legos
and 100+ piece puzzles; Crayons, paints,
glue sticks and scissors.

Brotherly trust and brotherly love

I am enjoying the boys more and more as they grow. I love listening to Joe and Charlie interact with each other, each one confident in his knowledge. Joe is the teacher, explaining things to Charlie. And Charlie is the ever-trusting younger brother, seeking Joe’s advice on the littlest thing. “Joe, should I use the orange crayon or the red one? Orange or red, which one?”

Brothers sharing

When out of various stages, it becomes easy to romanticize about newborns and infants. But, I’m not looking to experience the sleepless nights, colic cries and changing of diapers again. Still … little outfits, sweet baby breath, tiny fingers on a tiny hand holding your seemingly gigantic thumb tightly… Well, maybe one sleepless night. Happy birthday, Charlie; I love you.


Swim Little Fishies

I love Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). More importantly, my boys love ISR. Well, my boys love it after a day or two; initially, they didn’t much like going under water.

We have an in-ground pool in our backyard, and the boys have been in our pool several times. Though, last year, we decided to close the pool for good, because it was too expensive for us to maintain. Anyway, backyard pool or neighborhood pool, accidents can happen. Making sure the boys took swim lessons was important to me. See, when I was a little over 1yr old, I fell in our family pool. My Mom, who just stepped away for a second, heard the splash and came running out to find me at the bottom of the pool. She pulled me out, and well – clearly I am fine. OK, whether I am ‘fine’ may be debatable, but I am alive and well.

When I am around pools with my boys, I want to be confident they know how to swim to the side of the pool and get themselves out of the pool. I knew of YMCA swimming lessons, as well as a local aquatic center near our house. Still, I asked friends for other referrals. I was interested in finding out about one-on-one lessons. My friend, Andrea, mentioned ISR. She had her daughter take lessons through the program. After accessing the website, I checked to see if there were any ISR teachers in my area. And sure enough, I found someone who was close enough to take the boys.

Of course, I found this woman late last year, after outdoor swimming lessons season. Even with no lessons, we still enjoyed the pool and our trip to the shore. However, the boys were in their life vests at all times. I was excited when Michelle contacted me in February, letting me know she was starting to schedule swimming lessons this year. I felt like a little kid, as I anxiously awaited for the last week of April and the first week of swimming lessons.

Our first week of swimming lessons has been so much fun. As I said earlier, Joe and Charlie were a bit hesitant at first, especially when instructed to go under the water. But, with each passing day, the boys have done better and better. By Wednesday, Joe was eager to go under, swim to the steps and float on his back. Though Charlie cried when getting in the pool, he quickly calmed down and was smiling as he swam to the steps and floated on his back. My husband took the boys to swim lessons today, so I could head to my boss’ house. I hate that I had to miss even one lesson. Rob said that both Joe and Charlie were eager to get in the pool and swim. Charlie did not shed a single tear. (I am sorry I missed it.)

One of the most amazing parts of taking the boys to their swimming lessons is seeing the infants learn to swim. Joe and Charlie are 5yrs and 3 1/2 years old. The little girl who has her lesson before the boys is only 14 months old. And, the little boy who has his lesson after the boys is around 6 months old. And, when Michelle puts these ‘babies’ in the pool, it is incredible to see their natural swimming instinct kick into gear. I watched as these two babies literally moved their arms and kicked their legs in order to get to the steps. Amazing.

If you have little ones and have considered swimming lessons for your little ones, I strongly recommend you look into an ISR certified trainer/teacher. You’ll be amazed, and your little one(s) will become pool and swim safe.  I am finding this to be a great and fun moment in the boys’ life, and I look forward to taking them to their lesson tomorrow.