The Littlest Funk blog: 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Our Favorite Kids Books for Halloween

This post contains affiliate links. This just means when you purchase from my links I get a small credit for it! Thank you for your continued support! 


We are officially halfway through Halloween month and even though I’ve yet to get my girls costumes in order (I know, I know), we are in full swing with decorations and daily reading of some of our favorite books! With four kids now, it’s a struggle to be that “Pinterest Mom” mainly because the days aren’t long enough to do all the things BUT I do love rotating out our books for the holidays AND it's an easy way to get into the spirit. 

We have a lot of new Halloween and Fall themed books this year,  but I’m sharing our top 10. 

Preschool Books (my one year old twins favorites):

-Spooky Pookie 
-EEK! Halloween by Sandra Boynton (these are perfect for my one year twins and really cute books)
-Room on the Broom (a Halloween staple in our house)
-It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse (a great book about expressions)
 

School Aged Books:

-There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat (who doesn't love these series)
-There’s a Monster in your Book (this book is hilarious and a must)
-Ten Flying Brooms (a counting book) 
-We're going on a Pumpkin Hunt
-Lulu Goes to Witch School (a great book for beginning readers)

Chapter Books:

-The Best Worst Halloween Ever (perfect for my oldest who is learning about books without pictures)


What absolutely love books and I could name more, but these are our favorites right now.  Do you have a favorite Halloween book that you read each year?  Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

What's new with Goldfish Swim School?!

How is it possible that we are already in October?!  Bring on all the fun Halloween parties, themed get-togethers and of course, more swimming (because if you didn't know, you can swim year round at Goldfish Swim School)! 

There are a lot of fun and exciting things coming up at Goldfish Swim School, including the opening of their new location in Greenwood, Indiana!  This is great for any current Goldfish families who live closer to that area and for future Goldfish families who can now join in all the wonderful things that Goldfish Swim School has to offer!  You can find out more information about Goldfish's newest location in Greenwood by clicking here.


More Upcoming Special Events at Goldfish Swim School-Carmel:

Family Fun Night, October 18th, 6:30-8pm

Join GSS for a “not-too-spooky” Halloween themed Family Open Swim. Enjoy pool time, spooky snacks and creepy crafts! Cost is only $5 a person, or $15 for the whole family! Children who wear a costume receive FREE admission! (*Pre-registration is required for this event. Be sure to RSVP by sending GSS an email, giving them a call, or stopping by the Front Desk!)

Member Appreciation Week, October 20th-26th
I love that Goldfish appreciates us choosing them for our little swimmers! To thank us, they are offering FREE raffles, coffee, and quarter candy all week long. My girls especially love the quarter candy! There will also be special contests and giveaways throughout the week, so make sure you visit Goldfish's social media pages and enter to WIN!
Also, don't forget that Goldfish Swim School will be closed the night of Halloween at 3pm to allow families to enjoy this fun night with their kids. If your child’s regular scheduled lesson is on Thursday night, you will not be charged for this lesson as there are 5 Thursdays in the month!  
 
Goldfish Area Events:
500 Festival mini-mini, October 5th, 1-5pm
Stop in to the Indianapolis 500 Speedway track to see GSS at the 500 Festival mini-mini! Bring the kiddos for a fun “Indy Mini” experience sized just for them! (Receive a special Goldfish Swim School 20% discount if you register by midnight October 1st!) Use promo code: MM20-GSS
Noblesville Boo Bash, October 19th, 4-6pm 
Dress up and come out to trick or treat with GSS and lots of local businesses at Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville. Lots of treats (and double treats if you tell us you’re a Goldfish swimmer!)
 
Boo Bash Fishers, October 26th, 10am-1pm
Looking for safe Halloween fun? Head to downtown Fishers for a Not So Spooky Saturday filled with fun! Visit the many business booths (including ours!) to trick or treat. See your favorite swim teachers in costume, get pics and LOTS of treats! (Double if you tell us you’re one of our swimmers!)
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, September 30, 2019

It’s Opening Day at Piney Acres!

Piney Acres Farm is officially open for the Fall season and you are not going to want to miss out on taking your family there for some family friendly fun!  The Funk family (that's us) got to enjoy a little VIP preview last weekend and had the best time.  The weather was perfect, there were pumpkins galore and endless rides on the Cow Barrel Train. What more could you ask for?



Piney Acres Farm is located in rural Hancock County and is full of interactive hands-on fun for the entire family! With 73 acres, this farm is full of wide open space where families can connect and enjoy relaxed farm fun activities, both educational and entertaining, such as picking a pumpkin from their patch (we came home with some really good ones), hayrides, corn mazes (for kids and adults), visiting with barnyard friends and autumn treats in their farm store.  Whatever you do, you have to try the funnel cakes!  We couldn't get enough.

























This year there is even an expanded Kids Zone Featuring: Swings, Slides, Spider Climbing Net, Rock Wall Climbs, Suspension Bridge, Fire Man Poles, Cow Barrel Train, Rope Maze, Jump Pad, Mega Slide, Hay Mountain, Giant Rocking Chair, Climbing Tires, 4 Tier Sandbox, Pedal Carts, Zombie Shoot Game, Pumpkin Bowling, Barnyard Animals, Corn Hole, Horse Shoes, Fishing Game, Gem Mining and 1 Acre Kid's Corn Maze.


























You can't beat the beautiful sunflowers that are still there to enjoy.  Click here to find to find pricing, special dates and even info on Piney Acres Haunted House!  There is so much fun for all! 


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Benefits for Babies in Swim Lessons at Goldfish Swim School

My twins are quickly approaching a year old (like in two weeks) and I can't wait to get them in swim lessons.  I wish I had started them sooner, because there are so many benefits, but starting them at a year old is good too!  Did you know that you can start your little ones in swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School as early as four months old?!


Here are a few of those benefits to starting your babies out young:

Balance

The core balance achieved by learning to swim is beneficial to babies, particularly as they are growing and learning how to control their bodies. Sitting up during swim class and balancing on the ducky mats is essential to strengthening the core, which helps babies learn how to crawl, sit up, stand, walk and run! And this sets the stage for years of success, which is something to celebrate!

Confidence

Molly (Twin A) is so ready to start walking, but always needs that extra push.  She gets so excited when she gets to moving her feet and you can tell that she feels accomplished.  When your baby sees what he or she can accomplish during swim class, his or her confidence skyrockets too!  I even see this in my older girls.  I mean, my confidence gets a little boosts when I set goals and accomplish them! The best part is that Goldfish swim instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to bring out that stellar confidence in your babies!

Socialization

I don't know about you, but I am all about getting out of the house with my kids and taking them to do fun things.  If you’re a stay-at-home parent like me and your baby isn’t in a care program with other kids, the early socialization impact of swim classes gives your baby a chance to learn how to interact appropriately with new people. (And you’ll also be able to be around other adults!) Truly a GOLDEN experience for parents and kids!

 
Entertainment

Did you know that kids learn the most from birth to age 5 and surprisingly, most of what they learn is best learned through play! The entertainment your baby gets during swim class is not only a great learning opportunity, but also great stimulation — part of Goldfish Swim School’s dedication to WOW customer service. (Psst…There’s a good chance swim days may be your best nap days for baby, too!) I know first hand that it most definitely wears my 5 and 3 year old out and they always take a good nap afterwards.  Win!!

Builds Strength 

Your little one uses new muscle groups during swimming that they haven’t had a chance to strengthen otherwise and that exercise is a great introduction to the world of healthy movement, which is so important for other areas of development. There's no reason why you shouldn't start them early!  

Most importantly, your baby learns about water safety and what to do if they are near or in water.  That's something you can't a price on in my opinion and Goldfish Swim School has been great for my girls.

You can click here to find a location near you and be sure to follow Goldfish Swim School on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter :)

Click here for upcoming events in the Indy area.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Life as we (the Funk's) know it

We are officially two weeks into the school year and I finally feel like I can breathe a little since having the twins almost a year ago! I can't believe they'll be ONE next month, but I'll circle back to that ;)  It's been a while since I've done a little update on what our family has been up to lately, so here we go...

Emma and Charlotte both started school earlier this month and they are loving and rocking it! Em is seriously up before the sun each morning ready to go and Charlotte wishes she was going every day like big sis.  She's only going three days a week right now.  I get excited when it's time to go pick them up, but I'm not sad when I drop them off.  Haha!  It's been nice to hang out with just the twins and I'm sure they are loving not having two (wild) big kids trying to pick them up and dragging them around everywhere.


We made it through our first Summer here in Indiana and even though I'm still really missing Florida and all of our friends there, we did have some fun.  We went to Texas and spent time with family, which was the twins longest road trip.  My mom flew up and then we made the 14 hour drive.  It was an adventure and they did really well!  We got to visit with my great-grandmother who just turned 95!  We also got to see a lot of family we haven't seen in a very long time.  It was wonderful and needed.

Cousins!
Mi Abuela
The girl's great-great grandmother!
A few of our friends from Florida made a surprise visit over the Fourth of July followed by a visit from my youngest sister and her family.  We definitely tried to make the most of it, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I have really low expectations these days.  Four kids under five isn't easy and I definitely can't take them out on my own without help.

We did make it to the Indianapolis Zoo a few times and I'm ready for some cooler weather so that we can really enjoy being there all day!  They had a new Black Mamba (or chicken snake as Charlotte likes to call them) exhibit and Sloth exhibit, both of which were the girls favorites.

We are gearing up to celebrate our twins turning a year old, which seems unreal.  This has been the fastest year of my life yet.  They are growing at a crazy speed and it finally feels like we have this whole twin parenting thing down, or maybe not.  It changes daily.  I've said this before and I'll probably keep saying, but everything I thought I knew about motherhood changed when the twins arrived.  Nothing has been easy and nothing has been the same.  It's been an emotionally roller coaster, but here we are still alive.  I can however proudly say that I am still nursing both of them which I knew I could, but it's been hard AF. #realtalk 


I'm still working through my postpartum anxiety and PTSD, which I can say is so much better today than it was a few months ago.  I'm still working on writing about my experience and everything that happened when delivery Molly and Kathryn.  I promise I'll get it posted before the twins go to college.

We finally made it to church service for the first time in a year too and it felt soooo good.  That was a huge accomplishment for us and the twins did great in the nursery.  I'm fortunate to have in-laws that have been keeping our girls on the weekends so they are able to go to Sunday school, but the twins sleep schedule (or lack of) has made it difficult for us to go.  

Other than that, life as we know it has still been full of poopy diapers, messy floors (and kids), some tears, some yelling and a whole lot of love.  



 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Why you should keep your child in Swim Lessons all year long

Thank you Goldfish for sponsoring this post. As always, content is 100% honest and my own. #goldfishswimpartner


I can't believe my oldest daughter will be starting Kindergarten in less than two weeks.  It's crazy how quickly this year has flown by, let alone the Summer.  I've been asked if we will keep Emma and Charlotte in swim lessons after the start of school in the Fall and the short answer is absolutely.

Goldfish Swim School makes it easy to adjust their swim lessons during a time that works for us.  They have extended hours that allow us to go in the late afternoon right after school or even in the evening if that works better.  They are also open on the weekends if during the week isn't an option.  There is really no reason for us not to continue going.  There are so many benefits as well if my girls continue their weekly lessons.

For one, it could save my child's life.  I remember when we lived in Florida, thinking "next Summer will be the Summer my girls learn to swim on their own."  We were surrounded by water year round and always hanging out in someone's pool.  Now, that we have moved to Indiana, I kept thinking that they were going to forget what they had learned.  We moved in the Fall and for five months didn't see any water until we started at Goldfish Swim School in January.  Gosh am I glad that they did!  Even though they were learning how to swim on their own in Florida, what they are learning at GSS is invaluable.  Not only are they learning how to swim, but they are learning water safety and how to not drown.

We have a pond behind our house and a few weeks ago, my daughter's friend opened the back gate and they had gone around.  Our first thought was what would have happened if she fell in.  Would she remember what she learned at Goldfish?  We will continue to go and she will continue to learn at GSS until that isn't a question I have to think about.


Another reason, is that sometimes it just takes a little longer to adjust and learn.  My oldest is moving up levels quickly and really picking up the whole swimming thing.  Charlotte on the other hand as taken a little longer to get the hang of it.  She didn't enjoy going under the water at first and it took her some time to get comfortable.  It was super helpful that she had the same instructor the entire time (who we love and interviewed a few months ago).  He knew her limits, but also pushed her.  It took her almost four months to move on to the next level and that was ok because I knew what she was learning, she would actually retain.

Swimming is fun year-round!  I mean, who says you can go only go swimming in the Summer?  I love that Goldfish keeps their pool at just the right temperature indoors so that we can enjoy swimming all year long.  Not just lessons, but during open swim hours as well.  It's great exercise for them and a good way to get some energy out after being in school all day.  Win-win for everyone!

It's also so exciting to see my girl's progress and how excited they get when they know they've learned something new.  Their instructors get excited and everyone leaves Goldfish Swim School feeling pretty confident about themselves!

Goldfish Swim School has new locations opening all the time, so check out a location near you and sign your kids up for swim lessons today! (And even babies younger than 1 can learn to swim with us!)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

6 Month Progress Report with Goldfish Swim School

Thank you Goldfish for sponsoring this post. As always, content is 100% honest and my own.


My girls have come a very long way since their first day at Goldfish Swim School.  I am so impressed with how well they do each week....like super impressed and sometimes even surprised.  Just last week, Emma not only moved up a level, but skipped a level along with it!! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love that GSS doesn't hold their kids back and sees the potential they have when working with them.  Once they've learned how to do certain techniques in their level, they move them up so that they can continue to learn and grow.


This last month has definitely been a month of growing, learning and confidence boosting with both girls and I love it.  Goldfish is 100% worth it and honestly, my girls wish they could go every single day.  Not just for the swimming, but to interact with all of the wonderful instructors too!


Emma can do roll overs like a pro now and has no problem catching her breath (sea otter back float) when she needs to come up for air.  She is now learning how to streamline glide on her stomach and doing great so far!

Charlotte is working on her roll overs (for breathing) and I see so much improvement from her each week.  I still can't believe she is swimming on her own!  I love seeing how proud she is of herself each week and how determined she is to do her best!  She is also doing underwater jumps which is a huge accomplishment from where she started.  She can be a bit stubborn and didn't always want to go under the water.  Now she loves it!

Be sure that you are following us Instagram (@aly.funk) and Facebook (thelittlestfunk) for weekly updates, videos and to stay in the know about what's going on at Goldfish Swim School.

Click here to find a location near you and don't forget that Jumpstart Clinics are still going on!  

Friday, May 31, 2019

Jumpstart Clinics at Goldfish Swim School

Thank you Goldfish for sponsoring this post. As always, content is 100% honest and my own.

School’s out for the Summer!! With it officially being pool season, there is no better time than now to make sure your kids know all about water safety and brush up on their swimming skills. 



Goldfish Swim School offers Jumpstart Clinics and it’s not too late to sign up for the week long classes. 

Jumpstart clinics are unique and perfect for families looking to get their kids water-ready in a hurry. They’re a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of water safety, take full advantage of school vacations, get peace-of-mind before a water-centric vacation or even start the journey to an Olympic gold medal. #justsayin






I’ve talked about Goldfish’s Jumpstart Clinics before, but if you are unfamiliar, they include four or five consecutive days* of 30-minute swim lessons that focus on everything from teaching the fundamentals of water safety to fine-tuning stroke technique. These clinics are so effective, Goldfish guarantees you’ll see significant improvement in your child’s swimming skills in just four or five short days!

Seriously, how amazing is that? And so worth it when it comes to your child’s safety and well-being. My girls are currently taking weekly classes, but they could even benefit from talking these classes and I know it will be something we consistently do each Summer. 


For more information, Find Your Local Goldfish Swim School.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Girls trip to Great Wolf Lodge | Mason, OH

Having four under five years old is hard, especially when you're the older of the four and don't get as much attention as you used to get.  I wanted to do something fun and special for Emma for her fifth birthday last week and decided that a trip to Great Wolf Lodge would be perfect!  Her little Florida girl heart loves the water and has really been missing it.  Since the weather isn't quite pool ready here in Indiana, an indoor water park sounded perfect.


It took me about a week to recover from chasing them around the entire time, but we had the best time.  Great Wolf Lodge is nothing short of being worth it and has everything you need without having to leave.  Trust me, you won't want to leave.  From the water park, to dining, to so many activities for the kids and drinks for the adults.  It has it all. 

Great Wolf Lodge lets you use the water park and amenities as soon as you arrive since check-in isn't until late afternoon.  You can however do a pre-check and they text you as soon as your room is ready!  We arrived just before lunch so we could scope it out before we started in on all the fun.  The girls got wolf ears and Emma's even had a birthday hat!  They loved it!



They couldn't wait to go the water park so we didn't make it long before we were changing into our swimsuits and splashing around.  The water park was bigger than I thought it would be and had so much for little ones to do.  My girls, who are still learning how to swim safely but who have no fear, had no trouble getting around.  Emma's favorite part was the wave pool and once Charlotte figured out what was going on, it was her favorite too.  They also went down the water slides more times than I can count.  It was hard to drag them away from them.



After hours at the water park, we ordered pizza and headed to our themed room to get cleaned up and ready for the Clock Tower Show and Story Time, but not before having ice cream first in our pjs!  The girls got Pup Passes and I highly recommend getting them.  It allows your kids to do a lot of the attractions (at a discounted price) that the Lodge has to offer, including the animal station.  Emma and Charlotte were so excited about that part and it was a complete surprise for them.


We made it to the arcade after Story Time and ended our night on a high note.  Needless to say, the girls slept great and they thought sleeping in bunk beds was so cool!  We had breakfast the next morning at The Loose Moose Cottage, which is buffet style and so good.  They had a huge spread and my girls ate their weight in delicious waffles with berry sauce and so much more!


After breakfast, Great Wolf Lodge offers more activities for the kids before the water park opens.  My girls loved it, but were anxious to go play in the water again.  We were the first through the doors once 10am hit!

We opted for a late check out and I'm so glad we did.  It allowed us to play a little longer at the water park and still get back to our room to clean up before our drive back home and grab some lunch.  Our last stop before leaving was to meet Violet!  We loved the character appearances throughout the day!