Sunday, May 26, 2013

Swim Lessons - Part I

I think I probably should have titled my blog, "Have a Little Stella," since clearly that's all I write about :) !

Stella started swim lessons last week. We're doing private lessons at a lady's house. I got her teacher's information from a friend whose daughter took from her last year. Monday's class went great and I was really pleased with how Stella was taking to the water. She cried a little when Ms. Alisha first put her under the water, but she got over that quickly and seemed willing to try all that her teacher was asking of her.

Tuesday it stormed pretty bad here, so our lesson was cancelled and we picked up again on Wednesday. As soon as Stella hit the water she started crying and clinging to Ms. Alisha's neck. I was so bummed, but not totally surprised. She complied with what her teacher asked of her, but she did it through her tears. Every time she went under water she was getting water in her mouth because she was crying {and it is really hard to sit by and watch your baby cry like that}!

Thursday was the same story and this time I was super bummed. I had had a lengthy discussion {as lengthy as a discussion can be with an almost 2 year old} about how we need to listen to Ms. Alisha and follow her directions without crying. The main things that Stella is learning is to "do her underwater mouth" and hold her breath while under water for very short periods and kick, kick, kicking; jump, turn, and grab which is just when Stella is sitting on the side of the pool she will jump down, turn around to the edge of the pool and grab the edge; then, she's learning to monkey walk with her hands around the side of the pool to the stairs; and lastly, to start learning to float on her back.

Friday it was thundering and lightning so again our lesson was cancelled, but we had one of our make-up lessons on Saturday and I was SO happy with how well Stella did. She seemed like she had really gotten the hang of holding her breath and we also tried putting goggles on her, which she seemed to just love. We're now half way through the lessons and should finish up by this coming Friday if all this stormy weather will leave us alone! I'm just hoping and praying for more productive classes like the one we had on Saturday!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Port Aransas, TX

We left home a couple weeks ago to spend a few days on the Texas coast in Port Aransas. We went with my parents and my sister, Rachel, and her husband, Paul. It was so refreshing to get away for a few days.

Growing up we went to the beach every summer with my dad's family. When I was younger we went to Holden Beach, NC because that's where my dad grew up going with his family. I absolutely love beaches with big families because there's never a shortage of people to hang out with and catching up with family is always a bonus. My dad's family is HUGE....when it's his extended family we're talking 60+ people. As we got older and the drive from Texas became such a LONG way, we decided to start going to Gulf Shores, AL or Pensacola, FL with just my dad's immediate family. He's one of four brothers so again it was always a 20+ gathering. As all my cousins get older (ages 33ish to 12ish) and married and having babies, it's become harder for everyone to commit to a certain week out of the year to go to the beach. After Blake and I got married, his family had been going to the beach all during his childhood and I loved that we shared the same love for the ocean (although, since Blake was in a forward-deployed fleet in the Navy spending MONTHS at a time on a Naval carrier at sea, I'd say his "love" is a little different than mine!) We've been twice to South Padre, TX with his big family and had such a blast!

{ME - circa 1988}

This trip was different because there was just 6 of us plus Stella! But, it was SO relaxing and I really enjoyed how low-key everything was. We got to ride a ferry across to Port Aransas and Stella loved that! It rained the first morning we were there, which was Mother's Day, but I still loved looking out our condo onto the sand and waves. We hit the beach that afternoon and Stella is just in love with the sand, seagulls, and water! You can also drive on the beach at Port Aransas, which is super cool to me. I'd never been to a beach where you can do that.

Monday morning, the guys left early and headed out to go bay fishing. Port Aransas has some of the best bay fishing in the country. They all caught their limit in red fish and it made for some yummy eating once we got home.  The girls just relaxed and headed to the beach for a while and then headed back in for Stella's lunch and nap time.

We ate seafood every night, which is one of the best things about the beach! We did breakfast and lunches at the condo, but went out every night for dinner. Who wants to spend your own vacation cooking every meal you have to eat? I do that every day at home!

We so enjoyed our getaway at Port Aransas and I'm so glad to know that there are now TWO Texas beaches that I love!