Tag: swimming

Dear Mikey: February 2017

Dear Mikey –

As I write this, you are laying next to me watching really annoying videos on YouTube kids on my iPad while I read and catch up on emails and Daddy and Charlie sleep. It is the perfect holiday weekend! Every so often you grab my attention and want to show me something and I am so impressed by what you know. And I’m not talking multiplication tables, but who characters are on shows you’ve never seen – like R2D2 from Star Wars. Granted, you call him Two-Two, but we get the idea. It’s clear you are building friendships at preschool and learning from your new friends.

I feel like I always start your blog posts with ‘it’s been a long time since I’ve written’ and this time is no different. But here are a few tidbits about you now, at 3 years and 8 months old.

{Opinions} Opinions – you have them. And not just about little things like TV shows and bed time. You had a hair cut yesterday and the stylist gave you a faux hawk and you were NOT happy. Of course you were polite until we got in the car and then you spent the rest of the morning asking me to fix it. And when we ask if you want a cheese stick for a snack you rarely say no – but immediately follow up with ‘not the spiky kind’ referring to the pepper jack cheese stick I accidentally packed you for lunch one day.

{Potty Time} I never want to embarrass you too much on social media or the internet since I am not sure what the internet will look like by the time you are an adult and you didn’t ask for a blogger mom, but I am thrilled to announce you are 100% daytime potty trained and have been for some time now. It was a relatively simple process and you were happy to pee for Reese Peanut Butter Cup (which you call cake) or go ‘big potty’ for a sticker or temporary tattoo. We are not really focusing on night time training, but happy we can leave the house without 100 diapers ‘just in case’.

{Manners} Daddy and I are a stickler for manners and you are picking up on that quickly. I love that when we sit down for dinner together you ask if you can start eating (I think school is teaching you that) and if you can be excused when you are done. You are quick to bless people after a sneeze and excuse yourself if you ‘toot’. I love that your days are filled with ‘yes pleases’ and ‘no thank yous’. (Now if we can get you to forget you know the word damn we would be in luck)

{Play} You are still super hero obsessed citing Batman and Ironman as your favorites. You also are a fan of gel clings which you like to use to decorate our car windows. You’ve been taking swimming lessons again, and even though you didn’t pass the county’s Parent and Me class this go-around, you had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. You saw your first movie in the theatre a few weeks ago and LOVED the experience. Sing was a great first movie. You like to randomly say, ‘today was a great day’ or ‘we had a fun day’!

{Bedtime} The biggest challenge for us as your parents is bedtime. Kid. You need to go to bed. I know you don’t want to the party to stop and you claim you aren’t tired, but you are and you need to go to bed. And more recently you’ve been getting in bed with me around 5am which I don’t mind. But bedtime should not take over an hour to happen. You are going to have a rude awakening (ha, pun intended) when we address this issue. I know in 10 years I won’t be able to get you OUT of bed!

{Hospital} We did have a quick trip to the ER when you had a really high fever. You charmed every nurse and perked up a bit when you got some medicine.

Well my lovie, we have a busy day hanging out with your cousin Mollie and feeding the ducks. We should probably get moving!

I’ll eat you up, I love you so,

Momma xoxo

Dear Mike: March & April 2016

Well hello lovey!

I would call you ‘mini-monster’ (with love), but when I call you that you always say, ‘No. Me Mikey!’, so lovey it is.

I am finally finding time to write because YOU ARE TAKING A NAP! I feel like we might have just witnessed a miracle. You have stopped napping and by 5PM you hate everyone. I don’t blame you of course, but I spend a good portion of the day sending good vibes to Rachel that you sleep at daycare. I can’t remember the last time you slept on a weekend!  I am also finally writing because I decided that being done is better than being perfect.

{First overnight with Geema and Appa} Momma and Daddy decided it was high time we took a trip overnight alone! We packed your bag, met Geema at Wawa before the bridge and off you went! We knew it would be no big deal and we were right. We checked in a few times in those 24 hours, but the report was always good. You were happy and having a great time playing with Appa and Mollie. You might have given Geema a hard time at naptime, but you figured out pretty quick you were going to take a rest.


{Swimming} We signed up for another session at SwimFirst and you had such a great time. I took you a few times and Daddy did the rest. You loved playing ‘Hunty Hunty’ (or Humpty Dumpty) where you sit on the side of the pool and ‘fall’ into open arms. The very last class I passed you underwater to your instructor and he passed you back. It was so funny because he kept telling you to close your mouth and you would squeeze your eyes closed with your mouth wide open. You are quite the little fishy. I am excited for summertime in Appa’s pool!

{Dad Traveling} Daddy spent 2 weeks in May travelling for work, so it was a lot of Mommy time.  You asked about him a lot (Daddy doin’?) but we made a point to video chat with him every night and call him in the morning. We even made ‘love bags’ and you had a great time decorating notes with stickers and scribbles. You are a BIG fan of tracing your hands and feet on just about anything these days.

{Saying Things Opposite} You are certainly speaking a lot more with sparingly cohesive thoughts and questions. However, you are still a little confused with opposites. It took quite a while for us to realize you don’t want to radio ON (when it already was), you want it UP (which I am happy to comply with!). Also seeing and hearing. We take a lot of opportunities to remind you you SEE the truck with your eyes and HEAR the truck with your ears.

{Kinderfarm} We ventured out one day when the weather cleared to Kinderfarm and you had a blast! It was pretty quiet, but you went from pen to pen talking to the animals. You were very interested in the chickens and wished them a happy, fun day. “Hi shick-kins. Bye shick-kins, have fun!”

{Easter} Kid, you are a jellybean eating machine. The Easter Bunny left you a trail of eggs from your crib to your basket and you popped each one open and shoved those jellybeans in your mouth like it was your job.


{Drew’s birthday} You and I traveled back to Virginia to go to Drew’s 5th birthday. You had a great time bouncing in the bounce house and watching Miss Miranda do a magic show.  It was interesting for me to see you interact with kids who are a few years older AND you don’t know. You were so calm, cool and collected. One little girl yelled at you because you had 2 noisemakers and she wanted one. You looked a little shell shocked, like why is this chick yelling at me, and after taking a beat you nicely handed her a noisemaker. Clearly you have mastered picking your battles. Maybe not with Daddy and me, but everyone else.

{Mollie’s birthday} Mollie’s birthday party was so much fun for you because you adore your cousin. You hung out with her friends and played pin the shell on the mermaid. You showed no hesitation with new kids and sweet? I adore that. I know as an adult it’s hard to meet new people in a group setting, but I can see you assessing the situation and jumping right in.

Well my love, it’s time to start planning YOUR birthday party! The days are long (sometimes excruciatingly so) but trust me when I say the years are fast.

I’ll eat you up, I love you so

Momma xoxo

Been There, Done That: Cub Run RECcenter, Chantilly, VA

One of the things I am going to miss about living in Northern Virginia is the Cub Run RECcenter. I grew up in a rural area and the only ‘rec center’ we had was the armory which had a basketball court or the YMCA in the next town over. The YMCA had a lap pool, but we didn’t belong and I probably only went a handful of times for birthday parties.

We discovered Cub Run when we wanted to sign Mikey up for swimming ‘lessons’ when he was 6 months. I think the first time we pulled into the parking lot both S. and I said ‘whoa’ at the same time. It was a huge, new building with an enclosed water slide protruding from the side.


Inside the door the smell of chlorine will hit you, but the lobby is beautiful with a wall of windows looking into a very clean, spacious fitness center. The pool is downstairs and it is not JUST a pool. It’s a leisure pool with a 30-foot-high slide that snakes outside the building. It’s a 20-foot-high slide with an open tube, It’s a spa, a vortex, a lazy river, and an open shallow water area with a water playground. What’s a water playground? It’s a zero depth entry pool with a small slide and water spray features.  Basically – it’s a kid’s dream and parent’s oasis.

Of course, there is a lap pool on the other side, but for the sake of a review, let’s pretend everyone has a baby or toddler.

After paying our $8 per adult (in county fee) since we aren’t members and high-fiving that Mike’s admission is free (kids under 4), we needed to change. There is a big locker room and four family changing rooms with a personal bathroom, changing tables and a shower. During peak times there might be a wait, but in the dozen times we’ve been I don’t remember a long wait to change. Don’t forget to pack your swim diapers! It’s a rule.

Mike loves the water and thankfully it is pretty warm so there isn’t the shock of getting in. We’ve gone a few different times during the day and it is never really packed. Make sure you check the schedule though, on the weekends they are closed for lessons before noon, then it’s open swim.

Mike really enjoys putting his finger over the water sprays and trying to figure out how to run in the water. We took him around the bend to the ‘deep’ end and he enjoyed it just as much. It’s a really well laid out pool. His threshold is about an hour and a half before the water and white noise of kids makes him really sleepy. It’s a challenge to keep him awake until we get home.

At 45 minutes after the hour, the lifeguards take a break for 15 minutes which is just enough time to use the bathroom and dry off a little bit. If you don’t want to rent a locker, there are plenty of cubbies in the pool area to stow your stuff and keep an eye on it while swimming.

Cub Run RECcenter is our go-to for some fun on a cold or rainy day.

Quick and Dirty:
CostWe pay $8 per adult and kids under 4 are free
Age Group? Fun for all ages
Parking? A lot of spots in a parking lot
Food Options? Nope! Unless you are having a party or buy ice cream bars from the front desk, the pool is a no food zone.
Stroller Friendly? I am going to say yes. You probably don’t want to take it to the pool, but there is room to stow one.
Changing Tables? Yep! In both men and women’s bathrooms
Safety: Lots of lifeguards and life vests in a variety of sizes to use.
See you there? For sure.