December 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Our Merry Christmas 2014

How many times have I used the word “fun” in 2014? I have lost count, but I will tell you that having a 3 year old at Christmas time has been FUN πŸ™‚

While we kept things pretty low key around here, we did enjoy ourselves by visiting some family and partaking in a few of our family traditions last week.

On Christmas Eve, we baked some yummy cookies for Santa. Liam really enjoys helping in the kitchen. We love to cook and bake with him ❀ …..look at those little hands using the cookie cutters!

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After cookie time, we headed over to Mimi & Papa D’s to have dinner and celebrate the holiday. We also got to spend some time with Aunt Heather & baby cousin, Sierra.

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Liam got to open some presents and it was awesome to see his excitement. He had mentioned a few times over the last few months that he would like the Mickey Mouse Club House, so he went bananas when he opened this. He actually said, “Oh, I always loved this!!” ….I mean, really….how hysterical is that?!?!

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Last year, he took FOR-EVER to open presents, as he very carefully unwrapped each one. This year, we explained to him how fun it is to “tear ’em open” and he quickly got it…and loved it! He was going through his presents like a champ! Opening each one with great enthusiasm! That continued on into Christmas day, so it was super fun to watch πŸ˜‰

We have quickly become fans of Imaginext toys from Fisher-Price. This gift below from Mimi & Papa D, as well as the loot from Santa have given little man quite the super hero collection πŸ˜‰

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Once we got home, it was time to get ready for bed…..but 1st, we had to sneak outside to feed the reindeer! Mr Elf had left Liam this cute bag of food on his last morning with us. We also said bye to him, as he headed back to the North Pole that night, & put out Santa’s cookies before heading off to sleep. If you recall my recap post about Mr Elf, I had mentioned I had wanted a good bye letter from him to Liam….we ran into some time difficulties & that didn’t happen this year {unfortunately}, so I’m saving that for next year.

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Christmas morning was a flurry in our house! Little dude woke up before the sun and was a joy to listen to as he snuck up to the tree to check out what Santa brought. He was so excited and happy……from our room, we could hear him whispering to himself — “Look at all the presents! I love you, Santa!” ❀

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In the months leading up to Christmas, the only thing Liam would say he wanted for Christmas was a Mickey Choo Choo Train. Naturally, you can imagine his excitement, when he opened just that! He said, “oh, I got it! I love it!

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After a nap time, we headed down to Grammy & Papa Rock’s and shared Christmas dinner & celebrated the day. Santa came for little man, there, too….by that point, I would say we were on toy overload. Definitely a blessed little dude πŸ™‚

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We have been seeing Liam ride a trike at school & wanted to get him something he could also enjoy at home. He still has the trike Santa brought last year, but it seems to be very heavy in weight & a bit hard to pedal. It wasn’t hard for us to brainstorm on this Original Big Wheel, which has recently made a comeback.

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It was so nice to also have my Grampy at my mom’s for a bit. Love spending quality time with him! Liam gave him a great big hug & it was so special!

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Liam was not smiling in this pic because we made him take it before he could open presents….LOL!!

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It was a great holiday, and I would say, our most fun with Liam, thus far! Hope you all enjoyed, yours, too! Merry Christmas!!

~H

Latest & Greatest News, October 2014

Week-In-Review

Last week was such a fun week at gymnastics! Liam overcameΒ his fear of flipping upside down and did his pull-over on the un-even bar with Coach Elyssa! He was super proud, as were we! Even more exciting was that his coach sent him a ‘star student’ certificate in the mail later in the week to recognize this awesome achievement πŸ™‚ …that really was such a sweet gesture from her! Much appreciated by this momma & daddy!!

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We enjoyed a busy, but super fun weekend, as we geared up for the upcoming Halloween celebration. The festivities kicked off on Friday evening with our annual bash at the Bengel’s. Liam sported his costume and looked awesome!!

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Lisa had the house all decked out and I was in love with her ‘floating candles’ in their family room. Great touch!

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The kids decided to break out some pretty sweet dance moves. Liam definitely has some moves of his own, people….so cute!

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On Sunday, we took our little guy out to UCF for ‘Trick or Treat on Greek Street’. This was the 1st year we made it out there, and it was fun for him. He definitely was happy about the early trick-or-treating, and he did pretty good participating in a few of the games that they had set up.

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Trick-or-Treating is hard work πŸ˜‰ …..water break!

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Sunday evening, the boys did a little pumpkin carving out back. Even the fur baby got in on the action πŸ™‚

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Posing with his finished ‘jack-o-lantern’ …the smaller pumpkin is a fake one but he insisted that it was ‘the baby’ and that the one Stephen carved was ‘the daddy’, so they had to stay together….LOL!!! Too Funny!! What an imagination!

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By the time the candle burned out on this guy on Sunday night, I was exhausted….such a busy weekend, yet so much fun…..and, so many wonderful memories! Lots more Halloween fun to come this week. We are looking forward to sharing with you soon.

Until next time, friends!

~H

Latest & Greatest News, October 2014

Welcome October :)

Happy 1st week of October, friends! With temps here in Florida dipping below 70 for the 1st time this season over this past weekend, it finally felt like fall was whispering in our ear. It was definitely enough for this Murphy family to throw open every stinkin’ window in the house we could πŸ˜‰

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When we hit the end of September last week, I realized that I skipped Liam’s teddy bear picture last month. Granted, not a huge deal. Especially, since I did remember for his birthday, but I had wanted to do it because we didn’t go for his 3 year check up until the end of August {oops!}….oh well! Catching up this month πŸ™‚

We kinda knew {expected} that little dude had grown a ton since last year, but I was down right shocked to hear his doctor say that he grew THREE inches and gained SEVEN pounds. WOW!!! Quite the growth spurt, right?!?! πŸ˜›

So thankful that all checked out a-okay. Every kid learns & develops in their own time, but on the average, he is doing just fine. He really is getting into the imaginary play. We LOVE to hear him play with his toys and make up stories as he is playing. It is fascinating to watch. We are working on teaching him to pedal his little tricycle that Santa brought last year, and I would like to focus over this next year on learning what educational activities and crafts we can do together that are fun but also help him learn……especially since he will be in Pre-K at this time next year (yikes!!).

The sense of humor he is developing truly seems to be a combo of both Stephen and me…..this may prove to bite us in the a$$ down the road πŸ™‚ …..already I hear sarcasm and have seen slight eye rolling {omg! lol} …For example, he has already picked up on the fact that I will call him by both his 1st & middle name when I am trying to get his attention. At Publix, on Saturday, after calling him in this manner, he looked up at me with a very matter-of-fact tone of voice and stated, “Mommy, my friends call me, ‘Liam Murphy’.” …well, excuuuuse me!!

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If you would like to check out the last few posts of these ‘teddy bear pics’ I had posted, please see here, Β hereΒ and here.

Happy Fall, ya’ll πŸ™‚

~H

Latest & Greatest News, September 2014

Week-In-Review

I am that mama who always has the camera in hand (or within reach), and is ready to take a picture at a moment’s notice. I am not ashamed of that, and I literally have thousands of pics of this amazing little man, at this point, in his young life. One day, he may think I am a crazy mama, and I am totally OK with that:)

That said, yes, I am also THAT mama who has been stealing moments at gymnastics. I can’t help it. It is just too cute….and we’ve only just had our 2nd lesson! I am SO in trouble! Last week went much better than the 1st….in that, I mean, Liam was much more comfortable with the class & listened well. This class focused a lot on the balance beam. He was not a huge fan of that, but we were really proud of him for giving it a 100% effort. You can really see it on his little face….how focused he is & how hard he is trying. At one point, he came over to us and said, “I can’t do it” …*sigh* break my heart…we are softies, this is true…but, we stayed strong and told him, “Yes, you can. Just go back out there & your teacher will help you.” And, she did help him. She held his little hand as they walked across the beam. Then, he “beamed” because he was so proud of himself and jumped up & down and said,

“I did it, I really did it!”

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On Saturday, Daddy had to work {bummer}, so Liam & I decided to go check out Bithlo Park. Umm, hello…..this place was so cool! A park AND a splash pad! Liam had a blast! There was hardly anyone else there and at one point, it was just us in the splash pad area. Awesome!!

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The splash pad was so big! He called that feature in the middle the “shower” because of how much water it dumped on you….it looked like a shower to him πŸ™‚ ….He literally ran laps around this place.

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Under the “shower”…lol!

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Had to get some swinging in before we headed back to the car.

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On Sunday, we decided to get a bit creative with our grocery shopping outing to Publix. Lately, Liam has boy-cotted any kind of ride in the shopping cart. He wants to walk. MR. INDEPENDENT! — OMG! It definitely has made shopping….umm, challenging? Getting him to hold my hand while Stephen pushes the cart or vice versa doesn’tΒ always work. Usually, one or both of us would end up completely frustrated by the end of the shopping adventure. For some reason, we glanced at his shopping cart Sunday morning on our way out the door and thought, yeah, why not take this with us? He could push it and it would keep him busy. He was game for it, so we went with it.

It ended up being a great success! He loved it and pushed the cart around the entire store. He also loved ALL the attention he was getting …people thought he was just THE.CUTEST.THING …..I thought his little head was going to explode by the time we were done. Such a little hamm!

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We also got some power-wheels fun in this weekend. I did not realize how long it had been since Liam had drove his Jeep until he sat down in it….Wow, he looked so much bigger sitting in it. We practiced with him to show him how to steer this time, instead of just driving in circles. He did pretty good!

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Sunday night, Daddy & Liam baked cookies. Yummy! Don’t judge, peeps, but yes, they were “break & bakes”…lol! That’s as fancy as we were getting up here in Casa de Murphy this weekend! Ha!

Liam loves the Macadamia Nut cookies so that was the flavor, but it was hilarious when he blurted out & called them “Mouskadamia” cookies. It was too cute for us to correct. So that’s what we’ve been calling ’em!

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Until next time, friends!

~H

Latest & Greatest News, September 2014

Week-In-Review

Last week was a busy one inΒ Casa de Murphy, but we had some super good fun πŸ™‚

If anyone follows me on FB, then you know that I posted a few weeks ago that we had a challenging weekΒ at daycare with adjusting to Liam’s new teacher. As an update, that teacher unfortunately decided his school wasn’t a good fit for him & peaced out. I like to believe everything happens for a reason, so I am trying to take this as a good thing. The good news is that this turn of events hasn’t seemed to phase little man {pic below is of him playing at school last week}. The really good news is that the teacher filling in for his room is probably my most fav teacher at his school right now, so I can rest easy while at work knowing he’s in the best hands. I just know that all the ladies in his dept are working overtime making up for the extra time needed to take care of all the kiddos, so for that, I am grateful πŸ™‚ …fingers crossed they find an awesome new teacher for Liam’s room soon!

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On Wednesday, we started GYMNASTICS!!! whoo – hoo!! This is a completely new venture for us. Liam is doing a Preschool Level class and will be going with one of his besties from school, Ms. Kenadie….he is very excited.

His class will meet once a week & is about an hour long. It’s entirely structured so this will take some time for him to get accustomed to. He was kind of a rebel & kept trying to go off and do his own thing a majority of the time this past week, but I think he will catch on soon enough. This long trampoline was, by far, his most favorite part! ….there were MANY tears shed when it was time to get off πŸ˜‰

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Saturday evening, I had some mommy time, and met up with the fab group of ladies I will be working with for the Orlando Moms Blog for our 1st meeting. It was a great night! I am super excited to be a part of this team and get started on this new adventure for me. Orlando Moms Blog is a part of The Moms Magazine, so if you haven’t checked out one or both, please do!! While you’re there, be sure to “like” their Facebook pages, too!

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On Sunday, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to take Liam to see Disney On Ice: Frozen! It was actually the first ice show for all of us {hee, hee!}. Nothing like a Disney show to bring out the kid in ya, right?!?! It really was an incredible show. Have to give HUGE thanks to our friends, the Bargnesi family for sharing the tickets they won through a radio show giveaway. Can’t thank you all, enough!! πŸ™‚

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The show started with all the fav Disney characters skating out to say hello. You can imagine that Liam was over-joyed to see Woody & Buzz!

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Opening of the show…Arendelle

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Kristoff & Sven

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We got a popcorn & this is what you saw for the entire 1st half of the show. This kiddo was an eating maching…no joke! I have never seen him eat popcorn like that before. He just shoveled it in while being mesmerized by the show.

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Olaf!! {our fav!!}

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I wish I had video-taped him dancing to “Summertime” {Olaf’s little theme song} …it was so cute.

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The big finale at the end….Queen Elsa was bringing summer back πŸ˜‰

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Β Such a fun week, peeps! Hope you all had a great one, as well. Ooh, yeah {not pictured} ….I had my 1st pumpkin smear of the season from Einstein Bro. Bagels on campus….YUM! Could that mean that I am being persuaded that Fall is on it’s way?!?! …..maybe so πŸ™‚ ….Now, if we could just talk to someone about this weather…..lol!

Until next time!

~H

August 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Recent Happenings

The weather in the evenings last week was so nice! We took advantage of the {slight} drop in humidity and went to visit our neighborhood duckies one night after work.

There is something about this quick photo I snapped of these two that I just love. Just a little moment stolen quietly between Daddy & son….they didn’t know I was “watching” πŸ™‚

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Liam & I drive by this pond every morning on the way to his school. We always say ‘good morning, duckies’ as we go by. It’s just something I started way back when, and I can’t stop now…lol. So, he really gets a kick out of walking up to try to say hi to them in person.

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We decided it would be fun for little man {and us} to invest in a family pass to the Orlando Science Center. It really is an awesome deal, if you look into it. Liam LOVED it…and we didn’t even go through all the floors, yet. We are saving some for our next trip.

Lately, Liam has totally been into reading his Curious George book. Well, the Science Center had a traveling exhibit of Curious George, and he was over-joyed to check it out {as you can see from his face below}.

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One of the rooms had play trains, planes, cars, etc. Obviously, this choo-choo was a fav! I was trying to get him to say ‘cheese’…but instead, I got a ‘choo-choo’ πŸ™‚

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Here are the boys playing with wooden derby cars on a huge track.

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Checkmate!

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Kidstown! was a clear winner to this little dude. In this area, there was a water table that was like a large rock. I love that they had plastic smocks we could put on Liam to keep his clothes dry. Awesome! You can imagine that it was NOT easy to pull him away. He and another little boy started playing together, and both began singing “Under the Sea” from the “Little Mermaid” movie….too cute!

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It was a great morning at OSC. We plan to go back again in a few weeks when they open up a new “BATS” exhibit, just in time for Halloween {yes, that’s coming…..omg}.

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Until next time, friends!

~H

August 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Recent Happenings

Last weekend, we were off to celebrate another friend turning a fabulous 3-year’s old. Oh, the life of a 3-year old, indeed….such a hard one….. πŸ™‚

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It was a Little Mermaid themed soiree, so I tried to keep our guy in beachy attire πŸ˜‰

We took this fun selfie before some snacks. The above pic was actually ALL him hamming it up. Totally cracked me up, and I was actually amazed I was able to snap the pic of that pose.

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There was a super big & super fun bouncy house / water slide out back. Liam gave it one good go & that was it for him. He much preferred the pool, but he was still all smiles at the end of this trip.

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This past week was considered the “end of summer” at school (daycare) for Liam. I think it’s mainly because all the summer camp programs are done and the county schools are back in session tomorrow.

So, it was “School Spirit” week with different fun activities sprinkled for the kiddos throughout the week. I didn’t get pics of everything, but here’s some highlights….

Thursday, was “Pajama Day”. Love this! I mean, who wouldn’t ❀ to wear their PJ’s all day?!?! Super comfy & laid back. That’s my kind of perfect.

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Liam & his teacher, Ms. Laura. We actually found out this week that it was our last week with Ms. Laura as Liam’s teacher {huge bummer}. He has been with her all summer & has really learned so much from her. Β She’s one of those teachers that you know your child has really bonded with & has grown by leaps & bounds in such a short time.Β We are truly going to miss her!!

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Liam, below, with some of his pals at school on Pajama Day.

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Friday was Jersey Day! If you all know Stephen, then you know if absolutely killed him that we don’t have a Giants jersey that fits Liam right now…..but you all know that it’s almost impossible to keep the kiddos in clothes these days. Man, do they grow fast, or what?!?! We do, however, have this very cool Orlando Magic jersey that was just a tad snug, but we made it work πŸ™‚

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To end their fun week, the kids had a party. Since it was Ms. Laura’s last day, they also called it a “good bye” party for her. It really worked out perfect because she, and his new teacher, Ms. Brittany, did an awesome job of working with the kids all week and then explaining to them was what happening. I was very thankful for that, and it really helped Liam. We, obviously, talked more to him about it at home, but he really didn’t have any questions for us because the ladies did such a great job at school ❀

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Not the greatest quality, as it’s a picture of a picture, but this is of Liam’s class on Friday with Ms. Laura.

We will miss you, too, Ms. Laura ❀

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Β Everyone’s gearing up for a busy week, this week. How about you?

Until next time!

~H

July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Happy 3rd Birthday Liam!

Happy 3rd Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

We love you SO much & are so proud of the strong individual you are becoming. It is definitely amazing to watch you grow right before our very eyes. Many times, I wish I could freeze time & hold you tight just a little longer before you take that next forward πŸ™‚ …you are the light Mommy & Daddy’s lives!

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A few nights ago, we sat down & “interviewed” Mr. Liam. That was pretty fun. He was both very thoughtful & serious with his answers. HA! We are going to start doing that from now on each year on his birthday.

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I found this FREE printable interview sheet here via Pinterest (my fav!).

Other notable things these days….

1. He has started to do “pretend play” with his toys. He will talk to (or among) his toys as he is playing. Cutest darn thing. You can hear him making up stories now as he is playing.

2. He wants to do everything himself… or at least try. Makes for some difficult decisions, at times, but we manage. Gone are the days when I can pick out his outfits, too (insert my sad face…LOL).

3. Most recently, we have entered what I’ve been calling the “why” phase. He has started asking “why” to EVERYthing. Since we don’t want to diminish his inquisitiveness, we are answering him as best we can, but oh my gosh, dude….sometimes, it’s just because we said so πŸ™‚

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Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest, we put a bunch of balloons in his room last night while he was sleeping and streamers on his door so he had something fun to wake up to this morning. He also got his present from us — his 1st watch (he had requested that).

When he came into our room this morning after waking up, he said: “Santa brought me balloons & a present” ….hahahaha! That was so cute!

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Lots of fun planned for this little man the next few days. I’m sure he’ll be all tuckered out by the end of the weekend πŸ˜‰

~H

July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Just Keep Swimming: Our Little Fish

This post has been a long time in the making. Mainly because it took me forEVER to get all these pics & videos off my phone & organized πŸ™‚ …However, I really wanted to share the journey we had a few months back of Liam learning to swim. It really was quite the experience — fun, tiring (for ALL of us), hard work for him, for sure, & at times, emotional for this mama.

We started lessons on Monday, April 7th & he finished the program on Thursday, June 4th. In our area of town, there’s a few companies that we could have selected. Obviously, some might say, why not just teach him yourself & save a few bucks…..Well, good point, I guess, but we just didn’t feel comfortable doing that. Florida is surrounded by bodies of water. We wanted him to be taught life saving skills in the water. In a split second the unthinkable could happen. We wanted him to be prepared for that, and bottom line — We don’t feel that you can put a price on your child’s life. Teaching him these skills was just too important to us, so we made it happen.

We were thrilled that we could get him onto the schedule with SwimSprout. This is THE most fabulous group of ladies, and I am saying that because I am a happy mama whose child can now swim…not because anyone asked me to say that. Liam loves these ladies, and evenΒ two months since he finished lessons and he is still asking to go to Ms. Heidi’s house for swim lessons when I pick him up from school. To me, that tells you something special πŸ™‚

What Liam was taught over the 9 week period that he went for lessons (our schedule was extended because of weather delay’s & sickness) was basic water safety & survival. I feel like I could write you a book about all that Ms. Heidi & Ms. Katie taught us, butΒ I’m not the expert in all that jazz, so if you’re interested in it for your little one, please go to their website or link to their private Facebook group from their site. If you’re not in our area, you can find more info by searching Infant Self-Rescue.

Now, for the good stuff! Here’s some highlights from our swimming adventures πŸ™‚

Waiting patiently to start lessons on Day #1

Β Our lessons started with correcting Liam’s posture in the water from us using one of those puddle jumper vests all last summer. Oops! We honestly had no idea that it was actually “bad” to use that and does nothing to teach a child life saving skills if they fall in a pool without it on. You just don’t think about it. Lesson learned! πŸ˜‰

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Week #1
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Week #2

It was a running joke that Liam would smile & say “yes” to anything that Ms. Katie or Ms. Heidi asked of him. Hilarious! Besides the first day or two, this kid never cried. He loved it!

The puddle jumper vest just allowed him to kinda float along in the water and not use his legs, so it was hard to get him to start kicking at first and get moving. Here’s some early video of that process….

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Week #3 — learning to float with Ms. Katie
Week #3 -- floating with Ms.  Heidi -- 'airplane arms'
Week #3 — floating with Ms. Heidi — ‘airplane arms’
Liam really loves his SwimSprout shirt from Ms. Heidi & wears it frequently to school. Here he is one day before school during mid-point of our lessons.
Liam really loves his SwimSprout shirt from Ms. Heidi & wears it frequently to school. Here he is one day before school during mid-point of our lessons.

Once we got his feet moving, we couldn’t get them to stop πŸ™‚ — part of learning to float is having what Ms. Katie called, “quiet toes” Β — Liam did not like having quiet toes…lol, as you can see in this clip below:

Week #5 -- listening closely to Ms. Katie
Week #5 — listening closely to Ms. Katie

Once he got the floating down, he was taught to roll from his back into the water and swim again. Essentially, putting the whole process together was called swim/float/swim. Here’s a clip when it first clicked and he put it all together — then, in a rare moment for him, he got ticked off at the end πŸ˜‰

Week #7 - cheesing it up!
Week #7 – cheesing it up!

Toward the end of his lessons, he got to be quite the strong swimmer and got awesome at holding his breath. Almost, too good! Ms. Katie had to keep putting him further and further away from the steps because he kept reaching them so fast AND not rolling over onto his back to take a breath….what a stinker!

 6/4/14 -- quick selfie to show how excited we were on swim test day -- NOT so excited once he actually got into the pool, but he did AWESOME!
6/4/14 — quick selfie to show how excited we were on swim test day — NOT so excited once he actually got into the pool, but he did AWESOME!

June 4th was his swim test day & he did great! I think it was harder for us to watch than anything. I video-taped it, but it’s a looong video & the lighting is terrible so I chose not to post. Instead, here’s a clip of little man from just over a month ago. We are proud that he is still swimming strong & having fun in the pool. On this day, he wanted to swim in the deep end with Daddy πŸ™‚

the FABULOUS SwimSprout teachers who made all this possible -- Ms. Katie & Ms. Heidi. WE LOVE YOU!!!
the FABULOUS SwimSprout teachers who made all this possible — Ms. Katie & Ms. Heidi. WE LOVE YOU!!!

What a great experience this has been for our entire family!! We can’t wait to catch up with Ms. Heidi & Ms. Katie in the fall for a refresher session.

~H