July 10, 2010
My childhood memories of swimming lessons include three main things:
1. Riding the "Y" bus after school (which I sometimes hated especially when I had to sit next to this one older kid with really stinky breath.)
2. Being one of only a handful of elementary students who knew how to use a combination lock
3. My huge pink towel that my mom had personalized by sewing on a small piece ofcounted cross-stitch that said: KARAH BOMGAARS in all caps.
I could go into a long story about how I breezed through the Y swimming lesson levels (except for Seahorse; I had to take that one 3 times because that was the class where you had to perfect The Front Crawl) and then took some of the upper ones extra times just to continue taking them....but I will refrain. What it boils down to is this: I loved swimming as a kid and still love it as an adult (although I don't really like how cold it is at first...). I dreamt about my kids loving the water as much as me and they are well on their way!
I have to credit some of their love for the water and most of their ability in the water to Miss Kim-- who teaches swimming lessons out of her backyard in Des Moines. Whenever I mention that we drive to DM for swimming lessons, I get a raised eyebrow look of surprise and I feel the need to justify it. In four days, Kim teaches what most Y lessons teach in an entire year. But more than that, taking lessons in Des Moines gives us an excuse to hang out with Sara and her boys for four days. It's a little stay-cation and knowing we're super close to home makes it that much easier---just in case we find ourselves in severe meltdown mode and need to sleep in our own beds for a night. :)
Sara set up their inflatable slide and despite five older boys playing, jumping, and running around on it, Anna wasn't ever ready to get off. Sadly, she got off long enough to run through the grass and step on a ground wasp--giving her quite the sting on her toe. In typical Anna fashion, she cried for a few minutes and then was ready to brave the slide again.
We also watched Vincent play baseball-- but the word "watched" is used rather loosely. Partly because this was 7 year old kid-pitch, where most everyone got hit by the ball (but they got candy at the end if they got hit! Seriously.) and watching a slushy melt into the sandy ground was more entertaining. Mostly Charlie played in the dirt with Sebastian and some other kids while Anna walked to the bathroom fifty million times. And her mom had to go with her every time. Awesome.
It was so hot and our Yeti's were only filled with water. But we thought we looked cute.
Ice Cream treats with the neighbors before bed that night...
Traveling with my kids is great but bedtime is never easy. I've never been able to decide if it's really hard or if it's just that by the time bedtime comes, I'm totally exhausted and don't have an ounce of patience left-- which makes it so hard. But Anna curled into Charlie as he read books to her and I forced myself to focus on that moment, not the hard part that was inevitably coming (and did).
We had a perfect day to relax at the pool after lessons-- Anna took relaxing poolside quite literally.
For some reason, Charlie had it in his mind that we were going to Build-a-Bear to celebrate swimming lessons. When we found ourselves at the mall to eat lunch one day, I guess it just sort of happened. Honestly, it was not my intention but how can you turn down a super expensive stuffed animal?!
On our last morning, the three of us spent a little time at the Urbandale library (which has a great kid section if you're looking for a new library) before hanging out at Walker Johnston park (one of our favorites). We grabbed McDonald's and ate, played, explored until everyone was definitely ready to be home.
Swimming lessons/ Staycation....such a great thing to do in summer.
And just in case you need some video to brighten your day.... here you go. :)