Sea Horses

by Kayte

Max and Lola finished their short session of four group fall swim lessons today. We definitely didn’t see as much progress as the private lessons they took over the summer, but we were just hoping to maintain and keep them comfortable in the [heated] water, as our own pool is starting to get chilly as the nights get cooler. Mission accomplished.

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MI Day 7 – Fish, Swim, Tube

by Kayte

We couldn’t get enough of the fresh water while we were in Michigan so we spent our last day here playing at the lake. Fresh water is such a scarcity in California these days that it’s mind-boggling to encounter a seemingly endless supply for fun and play. Max & Lola both did some more fishing off the dock. They both cast their bait and hooked their own fish. Max proudly reeled in his bluegill, but Lola hooked a big bass that nearly pulled the rod from her hands so we helped her get it to shore.

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Probably one of Max & Lola’s biggest new experiences this trip was tubing behind the boat! We went very slowly around the lake but it was enough excitement for them. And hopefully they’re old enough where they’ll remember all the fun they had this trip! And if not, we have lots of pictures.

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MI Day 2 – Scenic Lake

by Kayte

Our first day in Michigan started and ended on the lake: boating, swimming, splashing, fishing. The kids both caught (or at least reeled) their first fish from the lake and Lola had no problem grabbing hold of hers. They marveled at playing in a lake where they could wade into the water on a sandy bottom without fear of huge waves. I marveled at how far away from me the kids could run around without worrying about traffic or crowds. We were so grateful that my brother was able to come up from Nashville for the week to spend time with us. Such a beautiful, peaceful day.

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Olympic Gold

by Kayte

Today was Max & Lola’s last swim lesson of the season. Nana Bah came to watch, cheer, and take pictures. Our last five sessions have been semi-privates so I’ve been able to get in the water with the kids to learn some of the teaching techniques myself.

After fifteen lessons Max was full-on swimming the width of the pool (from the stairs to the wall) and floating on his back. He can dive down (with a little push) to gather diving rings and push himself back up to the surface of the water. Best of all he loves being in the water and his confidence is overflowing.

Lola is still getting used to the sensation of having her face in the water, but after fifteen lessons she will independently put her head in the water (which is a big step) and she even glided off the stairs a couple times without hand-holding. Lola is great at floating on her back and really relaxes in that position. She also has fun in the water and loves splashing around.

The kids were both given medals at the end of their swim lesson for a job well done. (Watch out Michael Phelps!) Now it’s up to us to keep practicing at home, and maybe find a heated pool to swim in this winter.

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Wading Pool

by Kayte

Booker had his annual birthday party at the awesome wading pool we went to last year. It was a hot triple-digit day, but the park had plenty of shade plus the pool to cool off in. There was a huge brush fire that started last night and the sky was hazy and smokey, but everyone still had a great time. Pizza, pool, family, cake!

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Beach Playdate

by Kayte

We met up with Max & Lola’s teachers at the beach today for a summer playdate. Only a couple other kids from class showed up, but it was still fun hanging out with the teachers and their kids. It was a perfect summer beach day and we were shocked that it wasn’t more crowded on a weekend. The water was super warm (68*) and calm so we took the kids IN the ocean for the very first time (vs. just splashing in the surf). They were a bit wary of the waves that could change the water level from ankle-deep to chest-high, but overall they really liked it. Today was probably the longest we’ve ever played at the beach before (4+ hours) and everyone crashed when we got home. What a fun day!

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Backflip

by Kayte

Nana Bah came to watch Max & Lola at swim lessons today. They are both making a lot of progress, especially Max who has the whole hand-sandwich-mouth-closed-hmm-glide-roll-over-float thing down. Lola is still getting comfortable with having her face in the water, but she’s doing great as well.

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Also, this is Max’s new favorite thing to do in the pool:


Diving Rings

by Kayte

Max and Lola have had four swim lessons this past week. They’re loving it and we’re seeing a lot of progress. Max has the whole hand-sandwich-mouth-closed-hummm-facedown-glide-sequence down and can glide from the stairs a few feet to the instructor. They can both float on their backs independently (with close spotting) and wall-walk back to the stairs. Today Max practiced diving for rings (assisted), while Lola is still getting comfortable with getting her face wet. I can’t wait for them to love the water as much as I do and spend many, many summers swimming like fish.

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Little Swimmers

by Kayte

Max and Lola finished preschool yesterday and started swim school today! We did parent-and-me lessons last summer, but this year I think they’re finally ready for a more intensive (and independent) class. During their first session the teacher had them holding their breath underwater and floating on their backs. I was really impressed with how much they were able to do, and can’t wait to see how much progress they make over the course of the next ten sessions.

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Unofficial Start of Summer

by Kayte

We took advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend with a dip in the pool. We had previously dipped our toes and splashed around, but this was our first official swim. The kids are signed up for swim lessons after school gets out for the summer and they are super excited about it. At 73* (surface) our pool was still a bit chilly to stay in for long, but the swimming lesson pool will be heated to a toasty 90* (part of why I decided to go on-location for lessons instead of having someone come to the house). Let the summer begin!

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Swimmy

by Kayte

Swim lessons are done for now but we’ve been spending lots of time in our own pool during these hot summer days. The kids are nowhere near water-safe yet, but they are much more comfortable in the pool: moving their bodies, blowing bubbles and going underwater. I’m even able to take them both in the water by myself (with floaties, of course). A dip in the pool is a nice mid-week treat when Brody is at work. (Pics below from the weekend when Brody was home.)

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Birthday Splash

by Kayte

We celebrated Cousin Booker’s 4th birthday on Sunday at an amazing little wading pool in Glendale. The pool was about a half foot deep which made it perfect for little ones to swim and splash. Water balloons + family + cake = a perfect day!

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Swim Lessons

by Kayte

Max and Lola started swim lessons this week. My big goal this summer is to get them water safe, or at least water aware. It’s so stressful being at friends’ houses without pool fences. Not that we’ll let our guard down for a second even after the lessons, but my hope is that we are at least able to enjoy the water more while we are in it.

There are so many different classes in LA I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options (private, group, home, 10-day intensive, water whisperer, etc.) but I finally settled on parent-and-me classes at our local community college. It seems like a good start since Lola doesn’t seem totally ready for an intensive course yet, and this way Brody and I will also be learning how to work with them in the pool so we can practice at home. The first day we practiced blowing bubbles underwater and walking down the steps. So far so good.

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Pool Hopping

by Kayte

Today we enjoyed a visit with our friend Ric who is in town on business. It was one of the hottest days of the year so far, so we decided to take a dip in the pool. It was the first time the kids had been in the water this year, and they sure have grown a lot since last summer. By the end, Max was jumping from the side, dunking underwater, holding his breath, and coming back for more. He is SO ready for swim lessons!

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Pool Days

by Kayte

The weather has been hot, and the water is warm. Max and Lola sure love their pool.

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Winter Swim

by Brody

Today we said goodbye to our family in the desert and headed back home. On our way out of town we stopped to visit with one of Brody’s college friends and her family. They had a heated pool (84*) and it was a beautiful day so we decided to jump in. There were several teenage girls to play with the babies so I even had my hands free for a few minutes! It was a great visit. Since I know she reads the blog occasionally — Hi Anne!

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A Drive

by Kayte

We undertook a major day trip to San Diego today. Our friends from Michigan were in-state with their kids, so we went down to celebrate a birthday and hang out. Traffic was terrible on the way down, but the babies slept pretty much the whole 3+ hours and were really well-behaved. (Better than their parents!) It sure felt good to stretch our legs when we finally arrived. We ate some delicious food, swam for a long time in the pool, and had a great time visiting. The drive back was much better (the normal 2 hours). The babies slept again while the parents a got to see the ocean and a beautiful sunset.

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Pool Party

by Kayte

No rest for the weary. After only a couple of recovery days after the big vacation, we went out to a friend’s for a BBQ and swimming. Max & Lola got new pool floats and they were a big hit.

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Before the floats, it was hard to take both babies swimming. It got tiring after awhile, and there was always the fear of them slipping out of my hands. Plus, they had to take turns. But now they can both go in at the same time and hang out like big kids (in the shade). Sudlow wanted in on the action too.

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Max & Lola were once again mesmerized by their cool older friends – Sasha & Mia. Both girls were so good with the babies; swimming, playing, feeding, holding. Naturals!

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Sudlow had fun playing with his new friend Remy. After all that playing and swimming, he needed to lounge 🙂

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Day 8: Countryside

by Kayte

We spent our last full day in Michigan enjoying the beautiful outdoors. First, we visited Autumn & Lisa at their Little-Red-Schoolhouse-Turned-Crafty-Home — a unique little house set on 9.5 acres of land. We walked around the property and got a grand tour of the place inside and out.

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After lunch we headed to the lake for a make-up swim to “wash away” yesterday’s bad lake experience. Although the weather had cooled down significantly, the sun was still warm and the babies weren’t phased. Apparently nothing can get in the way of Max & Lola’s splash time.

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Later that evening we went down to the barn to visit my parents’ horse Rusty. Max met him earlier in the week but was pretty scared and started crying. In true form, brave little Lola thought a 1,000 pound animal was great fun. Max was still a little cautious, but no tears this time (and close-up too!).

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Swimming!

by Kayte

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