A Deep Dive Into The Monthly Bubble: Goldfish Swim School

 Disclosure: Goldfish Swim School is an ongoing partner of Diaper Bag Diaries however, all opinions are my own. 

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If you are on the Goldfish Swim School mailing list, you may have noticed that each month a new theme is announced in the monthly bubble. If you are like me, you may have paid little to no attention to how that theme was being incorporated into your children's swim lessons.

I was curious to know more about it so I decided to ask the management team of our local Goldfish how this months Superhero theme was going to help my two little swimmers.

What began as an idle curiosity developed into pure fascination as my eyes were opened to the manner in which the Goldfish instructors make children so comfortable around water. Using each months theme they encourage children to perfect important skills without even knowing it.  

Take the August superhero theme for example. Your child’s teacher may say things like... 

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  • Fly like a Superman/Supergirl (Superman Glides)
  • Climb out of the pool like Spiderman (Fin, Fin, Belly, Flipper)
  • Look for the Batman symbol in the sky (Sea Otter Float)
  • Talk to the fish like Aquaman (Blow Bubbles)
  • Work on your muscles like the Hulk (Pulling Paddle)
  • Fire up your rocket shoes like Iron Man (Kick on the Barbell)
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What a fun way to encourage hesitant children! My son already loves swim class but since he loves superhero’s, this really kicked up his excitement and engagement with class. What kid is going to turn down an opportunity to be like Superman or Spider-Man? 

We are so excited to hear about September’s theme in our next monthly bubble as well as keep tabs on family swim nights and other events going on at Goldfish!  

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Our little Aquaman....

Top 4 Chic Diaperbags

I know, I know. How has it taken me SO long to talk about my favorite bags when it’s practically  the name of my blog?! 

In fact, diaper bags are part of the reason why I have a blog in the first place. Why?

I am all about inspiring other parents to explore their city, or others, with their children. No matter what their age! But in order for this to be a (nearly) seamless and (mostly) stress free experience, you HAVE to have the right survivors kit. 

For me that all starts with the diaper bag. 

For one, it needs to be pretty large. I mean, I need to fit 4 kids worth of necessities. 

Secondly, it has  to be waterproof inside. I have experienced far too many spilled milk and leaky bottles. I mean, I lose bottle caps like crazy.

Thirdly, it has to be fashionable. No matter what I am wearing. I use my diaper bag every day and my outfit could be sweatpants or Loubs. Either way, I don’t want the bag to clash.  

And lastly? Just because you are a mom doesn’t mean you need to give up your Kate Spade for an ugly diaper bag. Guess what? You can have both! Premium leather, sophisticated style, resilience, etc. I promise you can have the best of both worlds with my top picks. And what’s even more? With some of these you can remove the insert and use them as regular bags and backpacks when your children outgrow them.  

1. Fawn

The Fawn Design Original Bag is just.... rad. You can wear as a backpack or a messenger bag, and the inside can be pulled out for easy cleaning. The outside and inside are made of fully wipeable faux leather. There’s a total of 12 pockets: 6 outside, 6 inside including a zipper pocket. Plus a keychain hook on the inside for your keys! 

They also make chic, leather, fanny packs which I’m positive I need in my life. 

 2.Little Unicorn 

 Every time I mention my favorite baby gifts or products I always mention this company. From their swaddles to their diaper bags, I love all of their products. This Manifest Weekender Diaper Bag was the first professional looking bag I ever found. Made with durable cotton canvas and vegan leather, this bag comes in two sizes. I have the large but there is also a petite size. The large size is perfect for long trips and lots of babies! They have many other designs as well and they are all gorgeous! And of course the inside is easy to wipe down and comes with a changing pad! 

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3. Freshly Picked

 My favorite moccasin company now has amazing diaper bags! Pack up everything you need for baby in 10 pockets and a big central space, magnetic front flap, grab-and- go handle, an electronics sleeve, and straps that let you wear it three ways: as a shoulder purse, backpack, or cross-body bag! 

4. Lily Jade

 This company has quite a few different styles but I was sold on the Rosie Grey & Silver. This bag can also be worn three ways but I love it’s structured bottom so it can stand on its own! Plus my favorite color is lining the inside! The inside is so easy to wipe down and it includes a 12 pocket organizational insert with handles that I can easily pull out. Swap the baby stuff and just use as a gorgeous purse! 

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PIN ME!

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Goldfish Swim School: Family Swim

Last year I wrote about my son and I attending family swim together as a special mother - son outing....

This year, the whole family has been attending the Friday night sessions! We even moved our swim class time to Fridays so that we could double up on our pool time. Triple up really considering family swim lasts 90 min! From 6:30-8pm nearly every Friday. (Check the calendar for special events and family swim cancellations)

Why do we enjoy family swim so much? For one, I enjoy it because I cannot stand getting into cold water with the kids. Yes, even in the summer. Hey, I never said I was the perfect parent! I'm a huge baby and even in the hottest of temperatures I bristle against the cold water in most pools. I am pretty sure if it weren't for the warm temperature at Goldfish Swim School, my children wouldn't even know that family swim was an option. 

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Secondly, my kids just LOVE water. The 30 min a week at swim class just isn't enough to satiate the fish portion of their brain. (I'm convinced my 1st and 3rd child are part fish)

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And third, every week at the end of class, the teacher always talks about the skills that the kids are struggling with or need to improve upon. What better place than family swim to become a part of the process and help your own child overcome whatever swim obstacle they are working through? Or if your child still deals with water confidence, being able to play freely with the security of their parents also being in the water is a great step towards moving past that stage. 

And for those of you with large families, I have successfully taken all three kids to family swim, alone, on many occasions. The oldest, who is level Glider 3, has the appropriate confidence and swim level to navigate the water relatively freely. (Still within my eyesight of course). I keep the younger two in lifejackets to ensure their safety. Originally the very youngest stayed in one of those water saucers for babies before she outgrew it.

Luckily Goldfish has a bin of lifejackets in all sizes, including infant, for us to use. So feel free to bring your own life jackets, arm floaties, water saucers, diving toys, etc. But also keep in mind that you are allowed to use most of Goldfish's stocked items in the water as well! 

I encourage all you readers to use family swim as a way to witness and encourage your childs swim progress, help them improve their skills, and most importantly, bond as a family! 

Family swim is free to members during their weekday afternoon hours, and 5$ with a max of 15$ / family on Friday evenings. Family swim is first come, first serve, so make sure to arrive on time / early to ensure they don't exceed the guest limit in the pool. 

P.S. Construction is nearly complete for the newest Goldfish Swim School location in Lewis Center! Lessons will begin July 9th so if this location is near you, make sure to call and register! 

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Ah yes! My favorite time of year where I get to remind as many people as possible that I get to test bodily fluids all day long and reveal our existence to the world. Medical Laboratory Science involves any and all diagnostic laboratory testing. The types of testing include typing for blood transfusions, predicting a course of antibiotics, cancer testing, cholesterol, diabetes, and the list goes on and on.  

if you thought your doctor was simultaneously seeing patients, running lab tests, and investigating your house for mold, well then you've watched too many episodes of House! ;) (But that would explain those long wait times!)

Doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, pharmacists, etc all contribute their piece to the puzzle and are equally important to the diagnostic process. But since I sometimes feel like we are a hidden profession, I will gladly use the celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week as a platform to remind everyone that we are the ones providing your doctors and pharmacists the necessary results to get the patient their appropriate treatment. I also like to use this week to talk about parasites and bacteria without having to apologize. So there's that. 

But now that you guys have an idea of what I do everyday, what's the best way to get my kids interested in the idea? 

 

 I love all three of my home grown organisms!

I love all three of my home grown organisms!

It's easy really. Science is all around us and pointing that out to small children is key in raising critical thinkers. Nothing in this world comes together fully assembled, and science explains it all. Start small and as they get older the curiosity will grow and grow. As I was doing some baking for lab week, Sebastian couldn't help but be intrigued by the whole process. His favorite part was watching the cupcakes and cookies expand in the oven. As he got more and more excited, I had to jog my memory with a quick Google search so we could talk about how the baking powder I used released carbon dioxide to help the dough / batter expand. We also discussed how each ingredient we added had a job. Structure, air, moisture, etc. 

 

 The cutest parasites you ever did see. Cupcake toppers courtesy of etsy shop   LesPopSweets    

The cutest parasites you ever did see. Cupcake toppers courtesy of etsy shop LesPopSweets 

 Red and white blood cells! Gross to you, interesting to me :) 

Red and white blood cells! Gross to you, interesting to me :) 

Ultimately I don't care what profession my children enter into to, but appreciating science and its fundamental role in the world around us just makes for smart, well rounded people. And all I could ever ask is that I raise moral, intelligent human beings that care for their environment and for mankind.  

 

 Typically we avoid taste testing parasites in the lab, but I'll allow it this once.  

Typically we avoid taste testing parasites in the lab, but I'll allow it this once.  

 Chief Pathologist Charlotte!

Chief Pathologist Charlotte!

 Look how grateful our Doctor is for those quick results!  

Look how grateful our Doctor is for those quick results!  

Happy Lab Week everyone!  

Southpaw Krav Maga (Kids Edition)

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Have you heard of Krav Maga? The martial art used by the Israeli special forces? You’re probably thinking to yourself, what do kids and Krav Maga have to do with each other? Turns out a lot! 

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All martial arts teach their students to avoid confrontation if possible, but Southpaw Krav Maga teaches practical, real life strategies to get away from or defend against an attacker. If you take this down to a child's level, they’re learning to listen to that feeling in the pit of their stomach that means trouble is near. They learn that their FIRST strategy is to do anything in their power to get away. Run, scream, bite, kick, etc. Anything the child can do to get away and attract attention through noise. 

Now, of course a child can be easily overpowered by an adult so they learn other skills like how to box ears and the "snowcone" (a tactic that involves a swift punch to a criminals private region). 

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This may sound extreme, but in this day and age it’s important that kids know some of these techniques in case they ever find themselves in trouble. As the child gets older, the types of self defense tactics they learn become more advanced, but of course the kids are having fun the whole time. Trust me, this is not a scary or intimidating class. It has the same feel and flow of any other martial arts class. 

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My five year old son already talks about how he “will bite a stranger’s hand, and scream as loud as he can if anyone ever tries to grab him.” God forbid he’s ever in that situation, but there was a recent news story about a girl in our town who was nearly kidnapped. Her screaming and flailing caused the attacker to flee. 

Worried about your child using their skills for bad? Every class ends with a "mat chat" that reinforces the idea that you only fight when you are threatened with harm. Classes offered are for ages 5-8 and 9-14.

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Moms, you might want to check out the adult classes! It never hurts to prepare yourself! Especially when so often a lot of us are out and about with our children alone. They offer a “mommy and me" class teaching parents how to protect their children when confronted with a threat. Consider signing up today! 

Schedule a free class at getsafe@southpawkravmaga.com

Olentangy Indian Caverns

I am beyond impressed with our experience at the Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware. We've actually been twice this summer and still were not going to turn down an invite to participate in a special tour courtesy of Columbus Moms Blog and the Olentangy Indian Caverns!

If you have been nervous about whether this is an appropriate outing for your toddler or young child, fear no more! It's the PERFECT outing for a wide range of ages. My toddlers were just as interested as us parents during the cave tour. While us "boring" adults were listening to the history of the cavern, and the Wyandotte tribe that most likely utilized it, the kids were enamored by the walls of the cave and the different "rooms" they could peek into. They even got to rub some mud on their hands from the cave walls, leaving their skin super soft! (Someone needs to bottle that up and sell it)

After our adventure down under, we headed back up to the surface for some gem mining! The kids really enjoyed that experience and it was so easy, they were able to do it themselves! From there we headed over to the petting zoo and got to feed some goats and deer! It was impossibly adorable and it would have been well worth the trip to just come for the animals.  

If that's not enough there is also a playground and small climbing wall for the kids, miniature golf, shelters with picnic tables to enjoy a packed lunch, and a great gift shop!  

I have heard murmurings of worry from parents concerned about age appropriateness and I can tell you the whole family managed just fine. One trip included Dad and once all by myself!  I did wear the youngest (24 months) on my back but the 3 and 5 year old had no problem descending the stairs into the cavern and walking through the caves. The tour guides are very conscientious of warning you when there might be something to watch out for or step over. And even if you don't want to give the caves a try, this is an amazing spot for a family get together or birthday party. 

Sidenote: Their weekly summer camps sound amazing and so much fun for kids! I'll definitely be signing our kids up once they are school age! Feel free to sign up for multiple weeks since they switch up the themes. 

Cave Tour 

Gem Mining 

Petting Zoo 

 

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If you are feeling like a super mom after this adventure, the awesome Veterans Park Spray and Play is only 12 minutes away! When in Delaware......