The Littlest Funk blog: 2019

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!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

TLF Interview with a Goldfish Swim School Employee!

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

Last week, my older two who are currently taking lessons at Goldfish Swim School got to interview (more like ramble and ask the most random questions) with their favorite swim instructor, Mr. Nate!  It was adorably entertaining and they had so much fun.  Although, now they think taking their glitter microphones to swim class each week is a thing ;)  I love how open GSS was to this idea and how they took time out of their schedules to do this for us.  Just another reason why we love Goldfish!  (watch their interview here)


A little bit about Nate Slack. He is a senior at Indiana University where he is studying social studies education in hopes to be a high school history/economics/geography teacher. In addition to swimming he loves biking, hiking, camping – pretty much anything outdoors. If he isn't outside, he is usually reading or watching TV (mainly sports – go Pacers, Colts, and Hoosiers!). He is always willing to talk about anything to do with history and social studies. His favorite historical figures are President Teddy Roosevelt, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Civil War general and Senator Carl Schurz.

Q & A with a Goldfish Employee:

1. What is your swimming background?

I have been swimming for a majority of my life. I was thrust into swim lessons at a young age, 2 or 3 years old, and by 7 years old I began to swim in my neighborhood rec league every summer. It wasn’t until I turned 10/11 that I began to swim competitively at Carmel Swim Club for over a decade. In high school I joined the Carmel High School swim team where I was apart of two state championship teams. Upon graduating high school, I attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where I swam on their swim team for two years. I then “retired” and transferred to Indiana University in Bloomington to continue my studies. In addition to being a swimmer, I have also coached and taught swimming since my freshman year in high school. From coaching in summer leagues to a summer position at Carmel Swim Club coaching middle schoolers and high schoolers to my current job teaching lessons at Goldfish Swim School, I have spent most of my life in or around a pool.


2. What are jumpstart clinics and why do you recommend them?

Jumpstart clinics at Goldfish are a week of lessons with the same teacher at the same time, five days in a row. You can sign up week by week during the months of June and July. Jumpstarts are incredibly beneficial for young swimmers for a number of reasons. Jumpstarts condense 5 weeks of lessons into five days with the same teacher, which can help establish trust and confidence in the water right away. Being in the water five days in a row and not having to wait a whole week to get back in the pool is incredibly beneficial for young swimmers that are beginning to get comfortable in the water. Jumpstarts are also great for swimmers who are already comfortable in the water and are just looking to brush up on their skills right before the summer pool season. And for more advanced swimmers, Jumpstarts are perfect for getting some extra instruction that can help them become stronger and faster swimmers.




3. How long have you been with Goldfish Swim School?


I began my time with Goldfish the summer right after my freshman year of college, when I was 19. Because I went to school outside of Carmel, Indiana, I only worked at Goldfish during the summer months when I would move back home. At 23 years old now, I have since moved back to Carmel and will be looking forward to my fifth summer at Goldfish Swim School.



4. As a GSS employee, why do you recommend Goldfish Swim School?


I cannot say enough great things about Goldfish Swim School. At Goldfish, our focus encompasses and all-around experience for all families and their swimmers. The fun and inviting atmosphere provided by our great staff helps swimmers and families feel comfortable in the water. The curriculum and teachers do a wonderful job at pushing swimmers all while being patient and comforting towards swimmers who have not yet gained confidence. Building trust and confidence in young swimmers drives every teacher to do their best when teaching. While learning to swim is our focus, safety is our priority. The swim teachers, lifeguards, supervisors, front desk, and managers all have the safety of each patron at the front of their mind at all times. At Goldfish we are constantly working to ensure everyone is safe both in and out of the water. We make sure teachers are constantly watching every child and each lifeguards ensures that everyone on the pool deck and in the water is safe and secure. We value safety above all else and I would say that our focus on safety sets us apart.


As a parent, I love knowing that my girls are getting lessons from strong swimmers and that Goldfish Swim School trains their employees thoroughly, especially when it comes to swim safety.  I know my girls are getting the best teachers and being taught all the right swimming techniques to become strong swimmers themselves!


Monday, April 29, 2019

Quality Drinking Water for Breastfeeding Moms AND Formula Fed Babies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ParentingWithPrimoH20 #CollectiveBias 

I drink a lot of water, like 100 ounces a day.  Quality water is so important to me not only because my family & are consuming it, but also because it's how I feed my twin babies.  I've been breastfeeding strong for almost 7 months now and making sure my water intake is high is key to keeping up with two little ones.  With that being said, feeding two babies is hard and I don't always have time to pump, which means if I want to go out and do something (let's be real, grocery shop), then the twins will get a bottle of formula if needed.  I don't feel guilty when they get formula because we all know fed is best and I also know that quality water is being provided to them in their formula with the Primo® First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser. Did you know that the tap water right in your own home can actually be dangerous to your family, especially your little ones?  A lot of tap water sources are treated with fluoride, which poses concerns for babies. Pound for pound, a baby’s body can’t filter contaminants like adults can. For these reasons, babies need to be drinking purified water only.​ If there’s one thing Primo knows, it’s that you want a happy and healthy life for your child from start to finish. Why wait to start introducing healthy habits? The First Steps Water Dispenser is the  perfect way to give your baby better water right from the get-go.


My favorite part about the Primo First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser is the warm feature that allows for the perfect temperature for a baby bottle.  That means there is no wait time when feeding twins.  We all know how one hangry baby can get, throw another in the mix and well, Primo has saved my husband's sanity when I'm gone.  It also comes with a feeding chart to keep track of your baby's feedings, which is great feature for new moms who are sleep deprived or a mom of four (like myself) who has a serious case of mom brain.


The dispenser provides cold, warm or hot drinking water with the warm option supplying water at 98.6-104o Fahrenheit—specially designed for mixing baby formula.  I also love that the piping-hot water has child-resistant safety feature.  With a five and three year old at home too, this is very important.  It's great that they can get water themselves and stay safe in doing so. 


Primo® is the only brand that delivers best in class dispensers for the home + bulk water in either pre-filled exchange bottle or do-it-yourself refill bottles.​ The dispenser uses 3 or 5-gallon water bottles (sold separately), and you can easily find new ones at a retailer near you on the Primo Website! It sets up in minutes so you can start hydrating in no time- no tools, plumbing or installation required. Plus, the easy bottom-loading design allows you to just push the bottle in the cabinet, easy. The Primo First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser has easily become our favorite way to stay hydrated and my favorite way to give formula to my little ones.  It's a must have for all families! If you're expecting, be sure to throw the Primo First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser​ on your registry- you'll be glad you did!




Sunday, March 31, 2019

Drowing Prevention and Water Safety Tips with Goldfish Swim School

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

If you're looking for something fun to do this Spring Break without the crowds or having to travel too far, I've got you covered!  Why not spend your time at Goldfish Swim School?!

Goldfish will be open during Spring Break with fun jumpstart clinics (learn more here) to help your kiddos get a little refresh course on swimming basics and safety, which is so important with the warmer weather approaching and Summer just around the corner.

Here are some water safety tips to keep with you as you take your kiddos to the pool and beach.

W - Wear your Life Jacket: This is one of the easiest ways to increase safety in the water. There are plenty of different types of life jackets to fit all sizes – pay attention to proper fit.

 A– Act. Throw! Don’t go: Do your kids know what to do in a swimming emergency? They should ACT! Their first instinct may be to go towards the person having trouble in the water. Instead, they should throw a life preserver – and don’t go! That way, they aren’t putting themselves in jeopardy as well and are truly able to help. 

 T– Take Swim Lessons: You can start your child in swim lessons as early as four months old where they can begin learning swim and safety skills while building character through guided play. 

E– Educate. Learn Swim Safety Skills: Key water safety skills can go a long way – such as the crab walk, properly getting in and out of the pool, going under water, rolling on their back, treading water, learning different strokes. 

R– Respect. Play it Cool and Follow the Rules: Rules are there for a reason, especially when it comes to rules for the pool. Walk, don’t run; make sure an adult is watching; no horseplay. Review rules together as a family before setting your kids loose to enjoy the water. 


Did you know that drowning is the single leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4 and it remains the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5-19 years.  That is so scary to think about, especially when it can be prevented.  

Do you also know that Goldfish has an outstanding W.A.T.E.R. Safety Program that they LOVE to share with local schools, preschools and groups! They take Goldfish on the road and arrive ready to present their FREE 20 minute safety program in a FUN and engaging way! Students go home with water safety knowledge and a goodie bag full of lots of fun! Sound great? Give them a call or send them an email and they will get you on their 2019 calendar! This is definitely an opportunity that you don't want to miss out and and did I mention it's FREE.  You've got nothing to lose!

American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that:
 
Parents and caregivers never leave children alone or in the care of another child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas, or other open water.

Adults should empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use.

Do not leave young children alone in the bathroom. Toilet locks can prevent drowning of toddlers.

When infants or toddlers are in or around the water, a supervising adult with swimming skills should be within an arm's length, providing constant "touch supervision."

Even with older children and better swimmers, the supervising adult should focus on the child and not be engaged with other distracting activities.
 
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I thought I was dying | Postpartum Preeclampsia (Part 1)

It's no surprise that being pregnant with one child can be difficult, but throw another baby in there and it's a completely different ballgame.  For me, being pregnant with twins was actually not as challenging as I thought it would.  It was a fairly "easy" and uneventful twin pregnancy and up until the last month, no complications.  I did have a little scare very early on where I thought we were having another miscarriage, but turned out it was just twins!



The last month of my pregnancy was nothing out of the norm.  I had the usual swelling and some weight gain.  We had a lot going on with not only two kids to take care of but a huge move from Florida to Indiana at 30 weeks pregnant.  I didn't feel stressed, but I'm sure I was a little not to mention very exhausted.  


The Tuesday before I was induced, I was having a pain in my right leg I couldn't get rid of.  I went to my doctor, who checked me out and everything seemed fine.  My blood pressure was perfect and had been my entire pregnancy.  My swelling was nothing to be concerned about either.  He sent me over to the hospital to be on the safe side and to be checked out for a blood clot.  Again, everything seemed fine.  My doctor scheduled my induction for Friday morning because he would be heading out of town for the weekend and I wanted to make sure it was him who delivered.  He also let me know that he would be on call the next two days if I needed him and that he wouldn't send me home if I ended up in triage.

I was having mild contractions, but decided I was fine to wait until Friday.  I have yet to write about my birth story and I promise that is coming.  Four kids under four years of age has been a lot, so my blog has taken a back seat over the last 6 months.

Without going into too much detail, my blood pressure was high when I arrived at the hospital.  The nurse asked me if I was nervous and I assured her that I wasn't.  I was definitely anxious because we had been waiting a few hours to get checked in, but not nervous and 

I felt fine.

My delivery went crazy fast.  They started me on Pitocin and within one hour, I was being rushed to the OR to deliver Molly first.  Being sent to the OR is standard routine for multiples.  My epidural hadn't even set in and here she was, being pushed out in two short pushes.

Kathryn came via c-section due to some complications that I will share at another time.  Other than being terrified of the surgery, after giving birth to the twins, 

I felt fine. 

I found out my blood pressure dropped pretty low during delivery, but came back up without any problems.  After being sent to recovery and getting to love on our girls, I found out that my blood pressure was back up again.  I was having some more swelling in my legs, but felt fine for just giving birth two different ways in two hours.

At one point, it got pretty high and they decided to give me some blood pressure meds to help bring it down.

It didn't work but I felt fine.  No headaches, no blurred vision, nothing.

Maybe it was the adrenaline.  Maybe it was the exhaustion.  Maybe it was the overwhelming amount of emotions I was going through, but there was nothing that screamed "you're getting close to dying" to me.

It turns out that I was not ok and after the blood pressure meds weren't working, I was immediately sent to the high risk unit to be monitored and be put on magnesium.

I found out that I was having Preeclampsia AFTER delivery and some of the scariest moments of my life were to follow.

Part 2 coming soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

We're moving on up at Goldfish Swim School!

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

After several swim classes at Goldfish Swim School, I am still so impressed with the facility and instructors.  My girls love when they get to go and are so proud of themselves when they are finished with their lesson.


We received some exciting news today and Emma will be moving up a class!  I love that Goldfish doesn't hold their swimmers back and encourages them to take that next step to improve their swimming skills.  They know when the child is ready to move forward and they don't waste any time to do it for them.  


Goldfish Swim School has a great progress report/chart that allows them to help your child on different skills that are age appropriate.  Emma is a quick learner, but I definitely think having the right instructor and encouragement was a big reason she was able to move up a level as soon as she did.  

Even Charlotte has shown so much improvement since she started.  A few weeks ago she didn't want to go under the water (she actually didn't want to go swimming at all), but this morning when she woke up, all she could talk about was how she was going to go under the water and couldn't wait to get there!  Her instructor is so patient with her, but still pushes her without being overwhelming.

 
As a mom, they even made it easy for me to get both my girls in at the same time still since they will now be in different classes.  It's a win win for everyone!  Goldfish swim school really is incredible.  They even make it easy if you have to cancel and reschedule a make up class, which we had to do due to the weather last week.  It's exciting for all of us to go each week and not only learn how to swim, but about water safety as well.  

I can't wait to see how much my girls have improved at the end of next month.  Goldfish Swim School is definitely worth it and perfect for all kids.  Don't hesitate to get them signed up.  Summer is just around the corner!


Related: Winter Fun with Goldfish Swim School


What to look forward to at Goldfish Swim School next month:

3/15 Family Night Out - Celebrate St. Patrick's Day  (open swim, crafts and snacks!) Be sure to pre-register.


3/17-3/23 Progress Report Week I love that they give you detailed information on what your child is learning, how they are doing and you what you can look forward to for future lessons.

Don't forget you can also book your next party there!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Reasons you should sign your kids up for Sprouts Cooking School

Last week we had the opportunity to visit Sprouts Cooking School in Carmel. (Thank you Sprouts for having us!)  Emma has actually taken two cooking classes there before, but it was the first time Charlotte had been old enough to attend since you have to be at least three years old.  I even got to join in on the fun and learn more about the classes offered.



We had such a great time!  I highly recommend you signing your kids up and here's why...

Cooking is a great life long tool to have and to learn early.  I grew up learning to cook from my grandmother and it is something I value and appreciate so much as an adult.  Cooking for yourself and for others is something you need to know how to do.  The kids learn to work together in a group/social setting which is so important to learn at an early age, follow recipes and direction, which are all great tools to have.

Learning young gives them the opportunity to make good food choices later on in life.  Don't get me wrong, I love going out to eat every now and then, but cooking for yourself means you get to pick and choose what ingredients you are using.  They have the knowledge early of what is processed vs what's a healthier alternative and grow their palates with new and exciting flavors!


learning to marble fondant
It's fun! Emma couldn't wait to get home and start recreating what she had made during her cooking class at Sprouts.  She knew measurements and even used a knife while she was there and thought that was so cool!  They safely allow the kids to feel independent in the kitchen, which is amazing.  Emma felt like such a big kid!

It encourages YOU to get in the kitchen and cook with your kids.  I love being in the kitchen and it's so fun to include my girls.  It's not always easy, but through it I've learned to be patient and it's really helped both of us.  It does get messy and I have to allow for some extra time, but it's so rewarding to have those moments with them.  Emma has even started learning how to load the dishwasher and hand wash dishes, so it's teaching her how to do chores and responsibility.


Sprouts offers so many fun themes each month that range from ages Tiny Sprouts (3-5), Junior Sprouts (6-8) and Tween Sprouts (9-13).  You can even have a pretty sweet birthday party there!  Sprouts is even gearing up for their Summer camps and you can sign up here.  You definitely don't want to miss out on the fun and your kids will thank you!





Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Winter Fun with Goldfish Swim School

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


This whole Winter thing is new for us.  We moved to the Indianapolis area from Florida and we are pretty much in shock right now.  Not being around water 24/7 is new to us too.  My girls haven't been swimming since July and we were so happy to find out about Goldfish Swim School!

We are learning quickly that the Winter Blues is actually real and we love that we can get out of the house for some (90 degree water) fun at Goldfish.  Having 4 month old twins at home, a four year old and a three year old, we have to get out of the house at least once a week to burn off some energy and for this mama's sanity.  Swimming is a great way to do that!



My oldest girls started swim lessons last week and were more than eager to get started and be back in water, a place they are familiar with and love.  Even so, Goldfish makes sure that every child feels comfortable and safe in the water and their 4:1 ratio definitely allows them to do that.  Charlotte didn't want to go under the water when she first got there and was able to blow bubbles instead.  I love how patient and understanding they were with her.  She warmed up fast though!



With the weather being below 0 right now, it's always a concern that "it's too cold out" to go swimming.  Not at Goldfish!  I love that we now have a place to go year round and the girls never have to give up being in the water that they love so much.  Goldfish is prepared with blow dryers and plenty of stations to change out of your swimsuits.  The girls loved this part!


BEFORE
AFTER

Seriously, there is so much fun to be had this Winter at Goldfish from family swim nights to parties and they even have swim meets!  This is definitely an investment that you want for your child.  Emma jumped right in (pun intended) and swam by herself under water at her first lesson.  I had no idea she could do that and I love that she is learning water safety along with having fun!  I'm so excited to see my girls' weekly progress.


*Find a Goldfish Swim School location near you and enroll your kids for a fun-filled winter (and spring, summer and fall, too!). We have programs for kids ages 4 months and older, so sign up the whole family!