Category Archives: Making Memories

Be Scared and Do it Anyway

Last summer, in a gutsy move, Jonah agreed to try kneeboarding. He was a little nervous but my cousin reassured him he would be okay and showed him what to do.

He only tried once but that was enough. The rope came off and he flipped over, but his knees didn’t pop out of the straps like he expected. So while his head was never under the water, he was certain he was drowning and just moments from death.

I’m serious. these-are-your-days-do-hard-things-be-scared-and-do-it-anyway-making-memories

He was completely traumatized and unwilling to try again, which broke my heart. I just really wanted it for him, knowing he would love it and feel so proud of himself. But there’s a fine balance in knowing when to push and when to trust. I chose to trust his choice to wait.

Fast forward to this summer at the same lake, with our same cousins. We spent a good part of time boating and tubing. When some of their other cousins went out on the kneeboard, I could tell Jonah was waging an inner battle.

He told me he wanted to try it again, but that he was scared.

I shared with him a story I had read earlier this year, of a young girl standing on the edge of the pool, wanting to jump in. An older lady noticed her hesitation and asked what was wrong. When she replied that she was scared, this older lady said simply,

Well, be scared and do it anyway

And just like that, it became one of my favourite lines, a motto of sorts. And the opportunity to pass it on to Jonah was a shining parenting moment for me. Better yet was that he took it…he believed it….he was scared to kneeboard again, but he did it anyways.

And you guys, he rocked it!

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Not only did he love it {minus a scary bumpy part in the middle}, but the impact on his confidence and pride in himself is irreplaceable. And he saw that he can do hard things….he can make things happen…he can be scared and do it anyway!

 

Making Memories With Your Kids

It should be clear by now that making memories is my passion, my purpose…and the main focus of my blog. But I don’t want to just show you how I’m making memories, I want to inspire you to do the same.

Luckily, there are others who share that same vision, and today I’m linking up to one such site. The Dating Divas

I’ve been a fan of there’s for a couple of years now, and although the majority of their posts are specifically about dating/marriage relationships, I found a lovely little gem 

Making-Childhood-Memories the dating divas these are your days making memories

50 Ways to Make Childhood Memories {photo used with permission}, which includes ideas for:

Indoor Activities, Out of the House Activities, Small and Simple Surprises, and Outdoor Activities

Trust me, there are some great ones. Actually, I love them all and have done many of them. Of course, now I have new ones to add to my list. Check it out!

There are no whales in the toilet

It’s one thing I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. So when Travelocity listed Whale Watching in Santa Barbara as a YEAR ROUND activity, I was sold.

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It is so stunning

I have a tendency to get car sick so had some concerns about getting sea sick, but didn’t want to buy Gravol for just one use. I asked my cousin if she had any to bring, but she didn’t. Our host family even looked in their house for me but to no avail. So I chose to hope for the best.

I made the wrong choice.

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While I was still upright

The real mistake for me was going into the café on board. It’s the area of the ship with the most movement and as I waited for my burger {thinking I was hungry}, I could feel it happening. Just one bite of my burger {which was delicious honestly} and I knew I was in trouble.

That delicious $7 burger with one pathetic bite out of it, found it’s way to the garbage after my first bathroom visit, and I proceeded to spend the last half of the trip either hovered over the toilet or laying on a life vest storage bench on the back deck.

The breeze and sunshine sure felt nice though.

whale watching condor express santa barbara seasick these are your days making memories

My opinion on the whales? Well, Gray Whales are boring {case in point: see above}….we did see a baby which was fun but they really do nothing beyond breaching. And there weren’t any dolphins at all, which was a real bummer for me personally. At one point there was a Humpback Whale, though within seconds of getting up to go see, I was finding my way back to the bathroom. Haha…

The company – Condor Express – was fantastic and despite this experience, I will definitely book through them again. I’ll be booking my trip around Humpback season though as they are arguably much more exciting to watch. I will also be taking Gravol BEFORE and will never make the mistake of eating a protein cookie beforehand or ever again actually {It was the last thing I ate before boarding the ship and the very last thing that came up….after an hour of being sick…and the nastiest, thickest sludge ever….sorry for that….just keeping it real lol}.

Whale Watching Nap These are your days making memories seasick grey whales

While I was able to recover with a 3 hour nap afterwards {Honestly, I died}, the truth is that queasy feeling didn’t go away the entire rest of the weekend. So although I’m definitely glad I went, I’ll be doing things much differently the next time around.

Photo credit: Eternal Reflections Photography, except for the last photo…the grainy one, courtesy of my iPhone. lol

 

 

I’m Glad My Kids Went Away For the Week #notwhatyouthink #18summers #theseareyourdays #makingmemories

Last Friday my cousin texted to see if I was willing to have her 4 kids for the night. {Obviously I said yes – I honestly love her kids and having extra kids over in general}. Then she even sweetened the deal, offering to take my kids back home with her for the week. #partyofsix

Say what?!

It’s usually difficult for me to accept help so my first reaction was to turn down the offer, but something stopped me. I knew I needed it….not a break from them. Not that at all. I needed them to have a fun week.

For the first time since going back to work 3 years ago, I’m hating that I’m working during their summer break. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my job {seriously} and it’s only part time so I will still get time and lots of fun with them, but I want my stay at home mom time freedom back again. I hate that the bulk of their day is spent at the mercy of my working. The ability to get out and do fun things always has to wait until I’m off.

these are your days laura taylor photography summer fun making memories 1

18 Summers, my friends.

We only get 18 summers with our kids {if we’re lucky}….and I’m spending half of this one in the office, NOT with my kids. *cue tears* ~ I know I’m being dramatic, but let me. I know where my heart is and where it wants to be, and that’s making memories with my kids. I believe in living in the now…and feeling like I’m missing out on some of that is hitting me hard this year and simply making me feel the feels.

these are your days laura taylor photography summer fun making memories 2

BUT, knowing they were making memories with cousins and being sent daily photo updates plus nightly texts from my kids was the very next best thing. Because even though I may have been missing out, knowing they weren’t fills my cup in more ways than I can count.

Quite frankly, I have the best cousins. And so do my kids!

these are your days laura taylor photography summer fun making memories 3

{Haha…my cousin has never known a child to sleep like Brooklyn. She text me the third photo and said, *Should I be worried? Do you think she’s dead?* Bahahahahaha}

**A HUGE thank you to my amazing cousin, Laura of Laura Taylor Photography for taking my kids and providing me with these fabulous {iPhone} photo memories**

 

 

Being A *Yes* Mom #parenting #theseareyourdays #justsayyes #beayesmom

Several years ago I read some advice from a seasoned mother where she said that she always tried to be a yes mom. That when her children asked to do or have something, saying yes as often as possible taught them that she trusted them. It’s something that stuck with me and I’ve since encountered numerous moments where I’ve been able to exercise this beautiful piece of wisdom.

I hate arguing with my kids and it’s not that I say yes to avoid an argument per se, but rather I reconsider WHY I’m denying a certain request and if my initial reaction is really the best one. As a result, I’ve been able to witness some truly magical moments of both bonding and imagination. For example:

Cold Winter Day and Jonah is getting antsy being cooped up inside. Playing with his toys, he asks if his toys {pet shops or barbies or cars} can have a swimming pool. My initial reaction is to groan and say no, anticipating the potential for water spilling ALL over. My secondary reaction was to say YES! Of course! Here, let’s lay these big towels down so water doesn’t make the floor slippery. I fill our foot soaking tub/bucket with water and the kids are content and entertained for a LONG time! And we are all happy.

On hot summer days I would fill this same bucket with water and let the kids play in it on the deck. They would sit in it, play in it and then, OF COURSE dump it out a hundred times. The dumping out and having to refill it got annoying for sure, but I really tried to implement this same approach and just keep filling it. If I kept filling it, they kept having fun! It really was worth the mildly annoying inconvenience. lol

puppy bath

Based on the amount of times the kids have played with the large water tub, I’m surprised this is the only photo I could find! Ugh – But I suppose it’s a decent example as well. First reaction: Don’t put your stuffies in there….second reaction: they are just stuffies and can be washed. Fun. And Done.

water play

Or just recently Jonah wanted a small *pool* for his pet shops, which was super easy to accommodate and totally added to his play.

Sometimes if we are in a store and they see a cute and less than $5 toy {pet shop or car…I prefer adding to existing toy sets rather than starting new ones}, it’s super fun to say yes when they ask for one. This one does not happen often at all because if there’s one thing we don’t need it’s more stuff. lol But boy I love little spoily times like this – a toy, stopping for ice cream, getting popcorn at the mall, etc. I love the idea that they get to feel like they had a great idea that was heard. And I LOVE when we get to make memories as a result.

ice cream date

I admit this was the last time we went on a frozen yogurt date because Brooklyn filled this with everything possible and then didn’t eat more than two bites. haha #wasteofmoney

Sometimes they ask to go for a bike ride or a walk at the absolute worst time….and by worst time, I mean when I don’t want to move. haha – but I do my best to remember that sometimes their experience needs to take priority AND everyone benefits from getting fresh air. For me the trick is to almost jump up saying, “Yep! Let’s go!”

Crafting – one of the Captain’s most dreaded times in this house, specifically glitter. But I love watching them make messes while they create….I love letting them play around with supplies even when it means we have glitter and glue and feathers caked around the house for days afterward. Just bought glitter glue and they squeeze one whole tube out at once? Meh – now that one’s gone. Oh well. haha – yes, I try to teach them to use sparingly and to not be wasteful, but there’s a point or an age where I think – just let them create.

glitter frame

Two things: 1. I absolutely love how this turned out, and 2. I’m pretty sure the glitter mess that resulted nearly gave #thecaptain a heart attack. Seriously.

Playdates – not something that actually happens a whole lot for us anymore because of school night activities, but if it can work, you’d better believe I’m going to try to make it happen. And when they were little we had other kids over all the time!

table dancing

Table dancing makes life better! 😉

I love being a YES mom and encouraging and supporting their imagination and ultimately their experiences. It is not always easy but I honestly believe it’s always worth it:

yes mom these are your days making memories 1Playing in the nearby lake – ugh, that’s hard….you’ll get wet. But wait a minute….So what? Go play!!! * Bubbles in the tub = FUN! * Painting your body with cream cheese icing? Well, I didn’t see it happen but I also chose not to make it a huge deal…gross but really didn’t need to be wrong or bad * Decorating cookies their own way. Icing anyone?! haha * Collecting moths – come on moms, grab a jar you never want to use for anything ever again and collect those critters.

yes mom these are your days making memories 3

Obviously the boy has been creating on his face since the start! haha – and even when makeup was nowhere to be found, ketchup {photo 2} did the trick. This kid cracks me up! {Photo 4 was his sister’s handiwork lol}

yes mom these are your days making memories 5

Want to pretend you’re going to the bathroom on the Costco toilets? Initial reaction is that it’s inappropriate {I know I’m not the only one}, but also what a fun and funny photo op! Embraced it and loved the laughs we had * Sometimes you just gotta let them dress themselves! * Not everyone needs to have a pinterest worthy jack-o-lantern. * Skateboarding through the house? If you have the room, why the heck not?!

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I can’t say all of us moms were immediately thrilled with the situation, but by the time we noticed it we realized it wasn’t going to get worse, so we made the most of it! These boys had a BLAST mud bogging. Their clothes never quite recovered but you know – they are JUST clothes. The memories they made together were absolutely worth the forever stained shirt and shorts, that then became the perfect camping clothes.

year or me these are your days making memories 6

Want to have a bath with your friend? Meh, throw on swimsuits and party it up! * Brooklyn wanted to water the tree. Sometimes I didn’t want to get things out to accommodate her requests but I also had to learn that sometimes it’s just not about me. Plus I love her swimsuit and boots – screamed sports illustrated lol * Jonah is such a ham….another possibly inappropriate moment for many but it was just really stinkin’ funny! * Parking lot party trains? Oh this one was haaaaaaard for me. It was at the end of the day, I was tired and a bit cranky and the kids’ obnoxious level was at a million percent. BUT they were having fun….so I walked and chose to embrace it – and snap the photo of course. But I really had to decide in that moment to let it be a memory instead of trying to correct a totally not wrong at all moment.

yes mom these are your days making memories 2

Playing in the Captain’s shirts was the thing to do for a while. I know he didn’t love it but also just learned to embrace it. They had fun, looked adorable and not once did a shirt get ruined. * Ah yes, body art. hahahaha – don’t stress, it does eventually come off! * Mom, I want to do your hair! – I seriously drove over to my parents’ for dinner like this. Just following orders! * Want 4 pieces of Jell-O? Meh, why the heck not? Yummy snack and I did make it to eat, so dig in! * Inside doll stroller races – haha….Jonah thought this was the best thing ever!

I promise you this – not every adjustment will be immediate or simple, but every memory that results will absolutely fill your heart and make your days more fun. Plus, your time together will be filled with much more ease.

Are you a Yes mom? I’d love to hear your experiences – use the hashtag #beayesmom on Instagram and tag me @theseareyourdays so I can see your moments!

Kelowna: Night One #hojo #thesearethedays #Kelowna #madetoholiday

If you follow me on Instagram {@theseareyourdays} or facebook {Cute Like Me}, then you know last summer we went away on a fun family getaway. Our first 5 days were spent at the northernmost point of the Shuswap Lake at the most delicious piece of secluded paradise and then we ended our time together in Kelowna. Really, my cousin invited us along to Silver Beach and I totally invited ourselves for the Kelowna portion. Ha! #truestory

We had a fun surprise planned for the kids in Kelowna {fancy/splurgy hotel}, but it was completely booked on the Friday, so we made other arrangements. To keep costs down, I booked us into the cheapest hotel I could find {thank you, Hotwire}. Most hotels in Kelowna are around the $160 mark, which doesn’t exactly qualify as *the cheapest* in my books, so when Hotwire showed an option for $95, we felt like it was the best we would find. After some other digging and comparing with other sites {including actual hotel sites}, that assumption was confirmed. We prepped the kids, saying we were staying in a not fancy hotel at all…but that we were going to visit the cousins the next day at their fancy hotel. Phase One Surprise: Complete!

So look, we weren’t kidding. The Howard Johnson Kelowna is NOT fancy at all. In the words of Jonah, “There wasn’t even an elevator; we had to walk up the stairs to our room!” It looked more like a motel, two story with rooms on the outside as well. The room was basic, clean-ish {some carpet stains, but nothing major}, and a welcome relief after 5 days of camping. BUT, the shower was a strange situation, where it worked with the handle on the left and on the right, one scorching hot and the other freezing cold. And when the handle was in the middle, not a drop. It took some serious fiddling to find a temperature that we could all shower in. And then the toilet decided it didn’t want to flush. #seriously

kelowna howard johnson these are the days cute like me

Finally all showered up and ready to head out for dinner.

All worked out and after showering, enjoying dinner at the Cactus Club Café {delish} and a short shopping trip at ONE Boardshop {awesome!}, we all enjoyed a restful sleep. In the morning, we also enjoyed their complimentary continental breakfast. Honestly, it was quite nice, but I’m always impressed whenever a hotel provides a waffle iron. I’m a bit of an easy sell that way.

Because Kelowna hotels are fairly pricey, $95/night {$130 with taxes and fees} was certainly reasonable, but if I’m being honest, and I always am, it felt more like a $60 hotel. That being said, we would definitely stay there again if we were just passing through or wanting to reduce costs for a night. Like I said, it was not fancy in any way, but sometimes all you want is a clean, safe and inexpensive place to sleep. And waffles. 😉

The Howard Johnson Kelowna hotel offered just that.

5 Things I Would Change About The Manteo Resort #manteoresort #thesearethedays #kelowna

Our stay at the Manteo Resort was fabulous, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that everything met our expectations. It has nothing to do with being difficult to please {AT ALL}, and everything to do with the expectation that comes with paying $300+/night.

 

So these are the 5 things I would change:

  1. Smack Dab ~ Their in house restaurant, whose slogan is *Crazy Good Food* had okay food, but nothing spectacular. We had their pizza for lunch, which was good, but the crust was SO thin that the piece nearly collapsed as soon as it was picked up. It was very difficult to eat without a knife and fork {and who wants to eat pizza with a knife and fork?}. My cousin tried their fish tacos {$16 for two fairly small portioned tacos} and was less than impressed {size and taste}, though her husband had the fish and chips and was happy with them.  But perhaps my {our} biggest complaint was the lack of options. I felt by day two, there wasn’t anything else that appealed to me. While I understand the simplicity, I felt for the poolside menu, they were lacking some basic, but delicious options. There are about 5 things that I make personally, that I would love to see on their menu, and to snack on while laying in the sun. I just know they’d be instant favourites.
  2. Lack of restaurant options ~ On a resort that large, it surprised all of us that Smack Dab was the only on site restaurant. We had 6 kids between us {ages 3-10), so having a waterfront café, burger or sandwich joint, or even a little ice cream/popsicle stand would have been so convenient for meals and snacks. We ended up ordering Boston Pizza on the first night and Cactus Club the second night, which were delicious, but next time I think we’ll look into more options nearby.
  3. Outdoor pool area ~ Again, based on the size of the resort as a whole, we were surprised the outdoor pool wasn’t larger, even possibly offering two slides. The outside area is designed in a bit of a triangle, with the outdoor pool, kiddie pool and hot tubs in each of the corners. The kiddie pool/splash pad was also smaller than we expected, but perhaps our greatest complaint is that there is no visibility from the hot tubs. There is a partition blocking the view completely, which makes it difficult for someone with children who want to be in different places at once. In an ideal world, every section of the outdoor area would be visible from any given point. In addition, we were also bummed that there were shrubs and a {now unused} gazebo that blocked the gorgeous lake view.
  4. The Villa garages ~ We did not stay in a villa, so this is merely an observation. While the villas looked fantastic {and they sure did}, the garages were too small. I’m not sure who designed them or how this detail was overlooked, but many of the villas had a vehicle parked on the driveway, noticeably larger than the garage. I realize this is an impossible change at this point, but it’d be awesome if they were able to change the garages into a sort of bonus room, additional bedroom, or something like that. But honestly, having not stayed in a villa, I don’t know if this is a feature that has bothered other guests, it just seems like unused space.
  5. Additional Fees ~ {directly from the website}:                                                                      *Manteo offers the “Manteo Resort No Surprise Service Fee Guarantee”. At Manteo Resort there are many pleasant surprises. Like the exceptional service – the extraordinary comfort of your room, the long list of amenities and the perfect surroundings on Okanagan Lake. What you won’t be surprised by is that long list of extra charges. That’s right. No resort fees, no charge for local phone calls, Internet, national newspaper, and parking. Manteo Resort. Be pleasantly surprised!*                                      

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I love not having to worry about additional costs, and for the most part, this was accurate. But unfortunately, there were a couple of things that weren’t:

* Kids Club ~ not including babysitting rates, I anticipated the kids activities to be included just like they are at other resorts. But they weren’t; there was Pizza and Movie night – $25/child, Craft Hour – $3/kid {I think, though could be wrong}, and Sundays Sundaes – $5/kid while we were there. I do think including these activities would be a nice perk, but at the very least, the fees should be noted on the website.

* Breakfast ~ Most hotels, even our *not fancy at all* hotel the first night, offer some sort of complimentary breakfast. But breakfast at the Manteo Resort in Smack Dab {albeit more than muffins and juice} is $9/adult and $4/child. Really, It’s not that the price is outrageous {it’s not)} I just like when things like this are included. Even if it was just a separate table of complimentary muffins and juice, and then still a charge for the Smack Dab breakfast if necessary {it does sound fabulous}.

Our stay was still enjoyable and relaxing, and our time together was fantastic, but these are the 5 things I would change…you know, if I had a say {Especially Smack Dab’s menu and a complimentary breakfast option}. 🙂

{PS. One thing I would definitely NOT change is the location. It was perfection.}

Manteo resort kelowna cute like me these are the days okanagan

 

 

 

 

{My}Happiness Project ~ March #thesearethedays #happinessproject #aimhigher

Aren’t you proud of me ~ getting this post up at the beginning of the month!? I know, I’m impressed too 😉

Update: No need to be too impressed….I wrote the post but didn’t publish it until now. oops.

I’m really excited for the focus this month and can’t wait to implement it.

AIM HIGHER

I know, pretty broad right? Aim Higher ~ what does that mean? In her book, My Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin narrowed it down to these 5 areas:

* Launch a Blog

* Enjoy the fun of failure

* Ask for help

* Work Smart

* Enjoy now

These were the 5 areas that Gretchen felt needed the most focus for aiming higher. As you know, I’ve decided to follow along on HER plan for my own project, modifying along the way as needed. So many times throughout the book I found myself nodding in agreement, seeing so many similarities between her and I.

As an example, Gretchen says that when she’s feeling blue, working cheers her. In fact, sometimes when she’s in a bad mood, her husband will suggest she go into her office for a while.

I totally understand. I have a few *happy places* in my life, and writing/blogging is certainly one of them. Which leads me to the first on the list:

Launch a Blog ~ Obviously I don’t need to start one, but I do want to improve it. I want to write more frequently, and like Gretchen, spending time doing that, cheers me. I LOVE it! Some of you may remember when I ordered my new laptop last year. After dealing with repeated laptop issues and ultimately not having one that worked, I had had enough. So I ordered a new one from Amazon and awaited our next Condo trip to meet my new friend. Because my needs are fairly minimal {ie. I need it just for basic browsing and blogging, not gaming or anything like that} I didn’t have to look for anything too high-tech. I decided on a Lenovo Chromebook with touch screen. And it’s good, but I have to be honest and say that I didn’t realize how much I would miss Microsoft Office and the ability to save and crop photos the way I’m used to.

Then, for the second time in the past couple of months, it stopped letting me log in under my account and would only let me browse as a guest. Which is *fine* except it doesn’t remember anything. *UGH* I have a blog post waiting in the queue but I have some photos in it that I want to crop before I publish it, and being frustrated at not being able to resulted in me browsing laptops on Amazon again. And then I ordered this beauty and I once again awaited my upcoming Condo trip to get my hands on her.

She's as awesome as I hoped she'd be

Isn’t she lovely…isn’t she wonderful.

My blogging world is finally complete…or at least just a whole lot easier.

Enjoy the fun in failure ~ I think for me personally, it makes more sense to label this *Enjoy the fun in trying*. Failure isn’t something that necessarily worries or scares me, so I don’t have difficulty accepting it as an option. But, while it can be difficult to find/make the time, trying something new energizes and excites me.

I will have more details in the coming weeks and months on the first task on my list.

Ask for Help ~ Oh my, this one is difficult for me. I’m not good at it at all and would rather just find a way to get things done myself. This is also why I know my limits when it comes to volunteering for things or committing to attending things…if I can’t reasonably do it myself with minimal conflict or hassle, then I don’t. And I don’t feel guilty for it honestly. As I’ve discussed before, my main focus is the kids and work {and the Captain when he’s home of course}…and at the heart of it all, my sanity. I know when to say no and I know when I need to step back and *hibernate* for a while.

moustache pyjama pants pattern from my cotton creations

I finally got some sewing done

Work Smart ~ I don’t believe in multi-tasking, but I do believe in effective prioritizing. I’m fairly decent at doing this with the house chores ~ switching the laundry first, then unloading, loading and starting the dishwasher, and then making lunch or sitting down to fold the load I took out from the dryer. Essentially a few things are going on at once, but only as a result of proper prioritizing. I need to get better about this with my blog. Sometimes I just browse and don’t make any real progress. But that is going to change. I’ve been googling like crazy {as I always do}, looking things up on Pinterest {that site is a gem} and making sure I spend my time actually blogging. I always have numerous posts crafted in my head but I have difficulty transferring them to here. It may seem strange, but having my new laptop will also help with this. I can organize my files and create the quality I want to.

Enjoy Now ~ Carpe Diem ~ Seize the Day ~ Live the Moment….it’s all the same right? I try to do this in my life for sure, but it’s always a good reminder. Recently I’ve been trying to have an even greater awareness by staying off my phone in certain situations: when friends come for dinner and games, when I’m at a lunch date, while spending time with the kids {except taking photos}, etc. I’m faaaaaaar from perfect, but these are a few ways I have felt like I can be more IN the moment. Sometimes when we are doing something as a family, I’ll take a few photos at the beginning to document and then put it away so I can really be a part of the action.

Swimming at Ptarmigan  Village

This kid LOVES to swim {Photo taken by my cousin, so  I can’t take credit}

Last week, while at the condo, my cousin and I took the 11 kids swimming, while our other two cousins were at the gym. With 11 kids ages 2-10, you might think it was a recipe for disaster, but it was honestly a fun and easy task. The biggest reason: We were IN the moment. We weren’t sitting on the sidelines, busy on our phones. We were IN the water. The oldest kids could swim, so that helped. The two middle aged kids {5) stayed close to the shallow platform {the pool at Ptarmigan Village is MADE for families with small children and is the #1 reason our kids learned how to swim!}. And of the 4 littles, 3 were in life jackets and I stayed in the water with the one who wasn’t. It was such a fun way to pass the time and the kids had a blast. And we both enjoyed bonding with our nieces and nephews {first cousins once removed if we want to get specific}.

So now the plan for March is to aim even higher. As I’m finishing up this blog post I’m planning to spend some time with the kids, WITHOUT my phone. It’s much too easy to get caught up with the relaxing world of iPads and computers, non? I’m also working on a bit of a personal project that fits right into my personal declaration that this is the *Year of Me*. As mentioned, I’ll update more as it goes along. Two things that are involved are tanning and massages, so just yesterday I went for a water massage {to try it out} and spent some time at the tanning salon. Both were divine and soon to be repeated. 🙂

I can’t make any promises that I’ll get better at asking for help, but I can commit to my efforts to working smarter. And of course to *enjoying the now*.

What things would you add to your list to Aim Higher?

 

 

Let’s Talk About Stupid Pool Rules #thesearethedays #stupidpoolrules #thumbsdown

The kids and I recently spent some time with my cousins in Northern Alberta. Because we had a few errands to run in Edmonton on one of the days, we decided to find an outdoor pool and make a day of it.  So we (my cousin lol) googled *fun outdoor pools* – and the first to come up was Oliver Outdoor Pool.

Check out this photo!

Now, I don’t know about you but we thought this pool looked awesome! The blow up*obstacle course* is what really caught our eye. Something different but also something we were sure all of our kids would enjoy.

My cousin, Kari and I drove together and met up with Radelle after our errands. Radelle arrived at the pool first with her 4 kids, 6 and under. She asked about the inflatable obstacle course and was told they no longer have it. Not their fault, as it was in for repairs, but still a bummer. Apparently it was too loud and swimmers were unable to hear the lifeguards over it.

The cashier also mentioned that she might catch some grief for having 4 kids under 6 in her care, so she was sure to stay in one corner of the shallow end with them until we arrived. Each of her kids was wearing a life jacket and, in fact, her two youngest had life jackets AND water wings (to keep their faces more above the water). They were well protected…plus, she was RIGHT there. But even still a lifeguard came over to check in on the situation, but left it alone once she learned that she had two other adults coming as well.

We arrived and got the kids situated and ready for some fun. HA!

The pool is seriously just a rectangle, with a slide in the deep end (plus a kid one in the shallow end) and the photo makes it look way bigger than it is. I quickly took my kids to the deep end so they could enjoy the slide. As per the pool rules, with Jonah being 6, it is required that he be within my arms reach. I’m totally fine with that, and although he can swim decently well – certainly from the slide to the pool edge – I still prefer to be close enough to keep an eye on him.

About the third time down the slide, he was asked to get off by the lifeguard. {insert sobbing child}

His day was officially ruined in that moment.

The lifeguard explained to me that he could not be in the deep end unless he passed the swim test. In order to be in the deep end, each swimmer must swim from one end of the pool to the other in the marked off lane on the side. They can do this test with or without a life jacket, but obviously if they do it with, it means they must have a life jacket on in the deep end. I was irritated by this test, but tried to be supportive of the rules so I explained to Jonah that he could do the test. Which he and his cousin, R, both did with life jackets.

The testing lifeguard then proceeded to take a big black permanent marker and write a large L on their arm with a 6 below, to indicate the need for them to have life jackets…and that they are 6 years old. sigh

Can someone please explain to me in what circumstance a child would ever need to swim the entire LENGTH of a pool to save themselves?

Okay, so whatever. I go back to the deep end with Jonah and R, because despite the life jackets, they still need an adult in the deep end. (I would have gone anyway for the record). They were having fun going down the slide and Radelle decided she wanted to come and watch. Her second son had an appointment and was with his dad, so she just had the two younger kids….life jackets AND water wings, remember?

The lifeguard tells her the girls can’t be in the deep end unless they, too pass the swim test. They are 2 and 3.

They had life jackets and water wings on….and she was HOLDING them.

Seriously.

So if she ever wanted to come on her own, well she couldn’t. Their 3:1 child to adult ratio (for kids 6 and under) automatically prevents her from this…until her oldest turns 7 later this year at least.

BUT, even with a life jacket on he can’t be in the deep end without an adult…but she can’t go to the deep end with him because the other kids are not allowed there until they have passed the swim test.

Here’s the thing…If I am a parent and am up on the tanning deck (their tanning deck is beautiful!), then have every possible rule you want to have to keep those kids safe. As parents, we should not be putting our kids in situations where lifeguards will have to save them. I don’t want that for my kids or for the lifeguard, nevermind me. But when I am WITH my kids….swimming WITH them….watching them go down the slide, etc….do you think you could ease up a little?

They had SO many lifeguards on duty, and switched up their station in regular intervals….but we had to wonder just a little bit…

WHAT IS THEIR JOB EXACTLY?

I’m all for rules and keeping everyone, especially children safe. BUT WE WERE RIGHT THERE!

UGH! Clearly I am still irritated by it….such a waste of $15, an hour (it’s all we stayed), and for Radelle specifically, who drove into Edmonton JUST for this, a waste of 2 hours of driving time. At the very least, it’s not a pool to go to if you have young kids.

Stupid. Pool. Rules.