My boys. My life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bryce is turning into a fish!

Today is Day #2 of Bryce's swimming lessons. He is doing amazingly well. I'm so proud of him. Today he put his face under water, blew bubbles, kicked his legs while moving forward, moved his arms a little, etc. I watched in disbelief. My oldest child is growing up. Sniff.

Last summer I can distinctly recall taking the boys to Buckner Park for fun in the water. It was the hottest day of summer. Ethan, only a few months old at the time, was crying, hungry, needy. Typical baby at that age. Bryce couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to play in the playground or in the splash pad. He told me water, so I got him changed into his swim diaper and trunks. Suddenly, he decided Noooooooooo!!! Water. Bad!!! Took off toward the playground. VERY hot asphault burned his feet, making him scream all the more intensely. This scenario replayed itself what felt like 50 times at the time (though looking back, I'm sure it was less than five times). Finally, a stressed out, overwhelmed Mom gave up and took the kids home. I think I was in tears as much as Bryce was about his burnt feet. Would he ever get used to water?

We went back to the same splash pad a couple weeks later as a family this time. With Tim's help, one of us was able to concentrate on Bryce. He was able to enjoy running around this time much better. We also set up a kiddie pool at home. He was still awfully cautious, though....

Fast forward to this summer. I don't recall the exact order of events but it goes something like this. Splash pad once or twice = disaster. We went with friends and Bryce wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. He sat by himself next to our bag of water-fun goodies. I would have given up, like last summer, but this time Ethan was old enough to semi-enjoy the experience. He's kinda at that fearless age. He takes off on his own. So I wasn't going to take away a fun time for Ethan just because Bryce wanted nothing to do with it.

We went over to a neighbor's large kiddie pool and after much hesitation and still quite cautious, he started to have a good time. Perhaps a turn in the right direction?

Then we met with friends from Columbus in Indianapolis for a fun afternoon at the Children's Museum. That night we stayed the night in Greenfield at a hotel with a pool before going to see Thomas The Train the next day. That night at the pool was another pull-hair-out moment. It was like pulling teeth to get Bryce in that pool. After a solid 30-45 minutes of him crying and screaming, he eventually calmed down and I think he even smiled a time or two. Little did I know then, how much working through that with him would help.

Since then we've been to a splash pad twice and he's had a blast. Finally. And we went to a friend's in-ground pool last week. I even dunked him! He wanted to try on goggles so after I got that on him, I told him, "We're going to try something. You can keep your eyes open. I'll plug your nose." Did those things and dunked him!! He only threw a minor fit for a few minutes.

Yesterday and today I've realized the baby steps it has taken to get to this point. At his first swim lesson yesterday, he actually got in the pool by himself! I was utterly amazed by this, given how cautious he had been in the past. He'd never gotten in a pool without clinging onto us for dear life. Even more, he looked like he was having fun! Today at swimming, Mr. Dave taught Bryce how to blow bubbles under water. He did it without hesitation. Mr. Dave gave him a push towards the steps and side of the pool and Bryce went under water but was able to right himself all the while moving his legs and arms in swimming motions. I still can't believe what I saw this morning. My son is able to do stuff I never have been able to do. I didn't take swim lessons as a child and have always been very uneasy with water. I'm still not very good with it, although I have been wake boarding and scuba diving. I digress. My little man is growing up!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Dream Come True ~ My New Business

For the past 4-5 years, I have dreamed of having an in-home photography studio. I am thrilled to say my dream is in the early stages of coming true. A week from tomorrow, I go to the Fort Wayne SCORE chapter for a free small business consultation, where I hopefully will get what I need to start the business from the legal standpoint.

Then, we will invest in the equipment I need. I have a pretty good idea of what we’ll be getting. This studio will be set up in our basement, and though I will have to charge money for my services, I hope to be an affordable portrait option for family and friends. I do not know for sure what I will charge, but I foresee providing different options based on your needs. One amount for portraits of one child, another amount for multiple children, another amount if you want indoor and outdoor shots, etc. These amounts will get you a CD with the full-resolution images for you to print where you please. Perhaps an additional small charge if you need custom invitations made and maybe a refer-a-friend discount. Normal photo enhancements will be included in the CD as part of the fee.

I've included some examples of pictures I have taken in the past – however, this is without professional-grade equipment. So stay tuned for updates on the start of this business!

I hope my new business interests you. If all goes well, we’ll have the equipment in the next 2-3 weeks and then I’m sure there will be a learning curve for me to adjust to the powerful equipment we will be purchasing. But hopefully I’ll be officially open for business within a month or so. I’m really excited about this endeavor and hope you’ll consider being part of one of my life dreams coming true. J

This was included in my nephew, Dylan's, birth announcement.

Below - I took pictures of them and their family for their 10-year anniversary.

Friday, July 2, 2010

One Proud Soccer Mom

Bryce completed his first ever organized sports season last night. For the past few weeks he has been playing in Little Kickers, a soccer program through Parks & Rec that is designed for 3-4 year olds. It has been pure joy to see him embrace the experience. That first night, it took half the session for him to warm up to it, but at the end, he was running to us with his adorable grin on his face.

He participated in this program with his friend from preschool – a boy named Carson. The two lit up each Tuesday and Thursday evening upon first seeing each other. Sometimes they were so happy to see each other, they were a little distracted for soccer. One memorable moment came one evening when the kids played Red Light, Green Light. The two boys ran alongside each other but were so busy talking and laughing that they ran opposite of the other kids and what the coaches were instructing. So when the coaches would say “Green light,” they had inadvertently stopped and were talking. Then when the coaches said “Red light,” they realized they were behind the rest of the group and ran to catch up with the other kids. It was so cute and funny to see. Before soccer, we would often tell Bryce to listen to the coaches. But who doesn’t smile to see their child so happy about seeing a friend? That’s more important than soccer. More important than many things in life actually.

Then there’s us…. Mom and Dad. We sat and watched the kids each week from lawn chairs. Jumping at the chance to participate when the parents were needed. There will be a day when our participation in extra-curricular activities will be much less. We’ll be just a spectator, so this was fun to experience this with him.

This whole experience has made me one proud “Soccer Mom.” Over the past several weeks, I have contemplated that title some. There seems to be a negative or almost-embarrassing connotation to it. Yes, our son played soccer (even at the age of 3.) Yes, we have a minivan. Yes, we watched proudly. Yes, my son even has several soccer shirts in his closet. Just embracing the experience here. And I’m happy to admit that. Our minivan helps us get around town and travel with much more ease. We got excited to watch our son and participate in this experience with him.

So I say, ditch the negative “Soccer Mom” connotation and embrace what’s real – being a loving mom and wanting to actively participate in a child’s life. There is nothing negative about that! In fact, maybe the world would be a better place if there would be more Soccer Moms and Dads. I know I'm thrilled to have so many Mom-Friends who refuse to settle for the negative connotation (whether their child plays soccer or not.) I have so many Mom-Friends who define what it means to be an involved "Soccer Mom" like I've described here. Thank you, Mom-Friends. We are raising the next generation. Let's continue to do it with pride and active participation.

The boys enjoyed an ice cream treat after their final Little Kickers session. Above - Bryce with his soccer certificate and some Animal Crackers after his final session.