Hi Again


Hi World! 

It's been about 2 years since I wrote a blog post. I have had the itch to write again so here I am. Man, two years go so fast but so much has happened. 

In the last two years we moved to a new house and had another baby girl. She is currently in ISR as well as Juju. My last blog post was about ISR and here we are at it again. Except I will tell you that Juliette loves swimming now and there aren't anymore tears. ISR has paid off! Rosie has had nine lessons and she is currently able to roll from under the water to her back and float a bit. I'm amazed at how quickly they learn. And I'm more amazed at Emily who has the patience of a saint to listen to babies scream while she teaches them life saving skills.  

Dave and I recently celebrated 9 years of marriage. We both had been sick but managed to go on a date. We went ax throwing, (because that sounds fun when you are recovering from sickness...) ate sushi, walked downtown a bit, bought milk for the girls and put gas in our car. Super exciting!  

We are painting our house. And by we, I mean we hired it out. I went through 14 samples to try and find the right color and still am not sure I found it but it's getting painted Bruton White and I hope I love it when it's done. 

Speaking of things I love every day I go around and check out the peonies popping up out of the ground. I probably look like a crazy neighbor squatting down staring into the dirt and then getting super excited but I truly don't care. When those bad boys grow into big plants and have flowers it will be so so exciting! I think I have around 14 peony plants.     

And speaking of flowers I have ordered more dahlias than I will know what to do with. I can't wait. Neither can Dave, ha ha ha! Shall I also tell you about my tree peony I got in the mail?! Is this what living on the wild side in your 30's is all about? Chasing children and staring at plants. ha! 

Alright, friends. It's 12:44 am and I'm sure I'm gonna be dead tired tomorrow. 

Thanks for reading. <3


Juliette's Infant Swim Rescue Lessons

Hi Blog world! It's been a while but I have something important I wanted to share. Today's post is all about ISR - Infant Swim Rescue.  

In March Dave and I moved to a new home and this new home has a pool. Our pool came with a motorized cover which helps with safety but does not have a fence. 

I have worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor for years so water safety is a big big deal to me!  I knew Juliette needed to learn how to survive in the water so I started researching ISR and eventually signed her up for it. It took me a while to take the plunge and commit because it is a commitment. 

Before I signed her up I asked on FB if anyone had any experience with ISR where I live locally. It is always so interesting to hear responses. Some people said it was amazing! Other people told me they take your kid and just throw them in the water and they will scream horribly the entire time. But I mostly heard good things so I found a local instructor, called her, asked a million questions and then signed up. 

I have gotten lots of questions/statements about ISR so here are the most commonly asked questions/statements I have received:

How much does it cost?  
$75.00 a week

That is way too expensive for me! 
It is expensive. I won't argue that point. But I will say this - kids learn in 5-8 weeks what they learn at regular swim lessons over 2-3 years. So if you do the math you are probably just paying up front rather than over years. I also don't think you can put a price on safety. I won't list drowning statistics here because it makes me sick to my stomach but you can look them up for yourself and see. 

How many weeks long is it? 
That all depends on your kid but the average is 5-8 weeks. Juliette did the ISR for babies and she will do the next level for toddlers once she can walk and run really well. 

How many days a week are lessons? 
Lessons are 5 days a week. It is a commitment. 

How long is each lesson? 
Each lesson is 10 minutes long. Yep, you read that correctly. 10 minutes. 

Does Juliette cry? 
Yep! She cried every single lesson for 5 weeks straight. It was absolutely awful. I cried too but I never let her see me crying because that would have made it worse. I also realized that Juliette has a very very specific cry for swimming and I know if I ever hear that cry that she will be in the water in danger. 

Even through Juliette's cries she had control of her breath. It was fascinating. When she knew her face was going in the water she would immediately stop crying, hold her breath and then when her face came out she would regain control of her breathing and then she would cry again. 

I will say this: every Mom instinct in me said "your kid is in danger in this lesson. Get her out of that pool." My logical side said "No! She is staying in that pool. The lessons are good for her and even though it's awful to see your baby crying she is learning and making good progress. Listen to the facts not your emotions."

Thankfully I had a friend who started ISR a couple of weeks before me and I was able to text her and she could walk me through it and tell me I was a good Mom for putting her in those lessons. It was so hard to see Juliette cry but also so so so amazing to see her float. 

Don't you feel awful when Juliette cries? 
Yep! I sure do. But I'd feel more awful if I didn't teach her water safety and she drowned. 

Are you in the room with her or do you just watch from a window?
I was right there with Juliette the entire time. I had thought about stepping out but I wanted her to know that even if her Mommy is around and she falls in a body of water that she can turn on her back and float. I don't want to be her security blanket. I want her to know how to survive in water. 

Speaking of security why don't you just get a fence for your pool? 
That is a valid question! Our pool cover is very safe. Our home insurance said that the covers are safer than a fence because kids climb fences but they can't get through the cover. I also want Juliette to know how to survive in water because what if she falls in a pond or someone else's pool? 

Do you think all kids should do ISR?
After experiencing it, I would say yes. BUT, if you don't have a pool and aren't around water much I would say get your kids in regular lessons. Water safety is so so important and any lessons are better than none. I also realize not everyone can commit to 5 days a week.

What about that throwing the baby in? Do they just toss her in?
Nope! That isn't how it works. I actually can't even tell you how it all works but ISR works. They start with helping your kid learn to float. They help them find the air. They help them roll from face to back to find air and float. It is absolutely fascinating and amazing to see. 

Juliette finished up her lessons in 5 weeks. To pass ISR at her age she had to float in summer clothes for 2 minutes. The next day she had to float in winter clothes for 2 minutes. She also has to fall in the water (instructor assisted not just thrown in) and float, be put face in roll and float and lastly be put face in from the stairs and roll and float. The last day I was in the pool with her and the instructor taught me how to practice the skills with Juliette. We do practice them several times a week. For weeks Juliette has cried when we do skills but I am so so happy to say that the last 2 days when we have practiced her floating she gets this big grin on her face of "I'm doing it and I love you Mom" and it makes all those hard days of her crying worth it. 

I would also like to say that ISR is not a substitute for safety. We have alarms on our doors. We do our best to keep eyes on Juliette at all times. She is never near water alone, and that includes bathtubs. ISR is a last resort and I hope we never ever have to use it. 

Juliette completed phase 1 of ISR and once she can walk really well she will be enrolled for phase 2 which I believe is something along the lines of swim float swim. 

If you are in the Wichita area Juliette's instructor was Emily and she can be found at the Wichita Swim Club or you can find her through the ISR website: https://www.infantswim.com/. Emily is absolutely amazing. She is very structured, patient and kind. I highly highly recommend her and we are so thankful for her. 

Please let me know if you have any more questions. I am happy to share what my experience was. 

Here is a video of Juliette's ISR. I thought about putting a cute song with it so you wouldn't have to hear all the crying but I want people to know that your baby will cry when you do ISR. It is part of it and a good thing. If they fall in water you want them to scream and cry so someone will come and get them. I also put a clip of her floating for an entire minute because I want people to see that it can be done. 


6 Months of Baby J

How does one truly recap the first six months of becoming a parent? I have not a clue how to put it all into words but I will give it a go.

For starters, before giving birth, one of my biggest fears was that I wouldn't love my baby. Feel free to have a chuckle at that. My husband reassured me that would not be the case and he was definitely right. I knew I loved her before I met her but there is something truly miraculous that first time you hold your baby in your arms.

I can honestly say these past six months have been the most joyful wonderful months of my life. I know a lot of people struggle after postpartum with depression and anxiety and I am so thankful God spared me that. Yes, I did indeed have my crazy moments but overall I think I did well, which I count a really big blessing. 

Juliette is one happy and laid back baby. She loves people. She loves to smile at people and she is overall a really chill baby. 

Here are a few little lessons I learned along the way:

1. Becoming a parent is more special than anyone will ever be able to tell you. I heard a lot of negative talk about becoming a parent and it slightly terrified me. But I'm happy to say I just don't think that is true. When Juliette was born a new part of my heart was born too.

2. I've learned that I can live without sleep. Sure I feel coo coo and laugh at the dumbest things and cry at the oddest things but I can truly say God gives you the grace. Psalm 23:2 says he makes us lie down in green pastures, also known as God gives us rest. I've learned that if I get four hours that is the rest God knew I needed and if I get eight hours that is the rest I needed to.

3. Speaking of rest, Taking Cara Babies has saved my sleep and sanity. I bought all her classes that cover how to calm a newborn and prepare them to be good sleepers, and then when they are old enough, how to teach a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep independently. When Juliette hit the 3-4 month sleep regression I thought that there was no way my baby could be taught how to sleep but I followed these methods and they work. Juliette is a great sleeper and I'm so thankful for the blessing of sleep.

4. Juliette hasn't always been a great sleeper. During month 3 and 4 I learned that worship doesn't always happen in church when I'm singing a hymn but that it happens at 3am when I am bouncing my daughter on a bouncy ball in hopes that she will fall asleep just one more time. Worship happens when we are at the end and don't think we can keep going. That's when the true test of worship comes in. I can't say I passed that test with flying colors every time I was woken but I can tell you it changed me for the better.

5. I've learned that when little babies have their needs met I'm not just meeting their physical needs but their spiritual ones. When they learned that they can cry and you will hear and respond they will someday learn that they can cry to their Heavenly Father and He will hear and respond.

6. I've seen Dave become a Dad and it has been wonderful. Dave is so caring and compassionate towards Juliette. He helps out more than I could ever write on paper and keeps us all going. He folds laundry, vacuums a lot, and does whatever else around here that needs done. He loves to take Juliette for adventures and sometimes I think that is awesome and other times I'm slightly terrified. Juliette will grow up with a great Dad that loves Christ, and for that I'm so thankful.

7. I've been told by people, who mean very well, that I shouldn't lose myself. I'm not sure what that entails or really means but if anything, I feel like I have found myself. Becoming a Mom is everything my heart never knew it needed but I'm so glad God did. 

I'm so thankful for these past six months I just wish they would have gone a lot slower.