Thursday, May 29, 2014

About Monkeys in Pools

I'm a pretty passionate person when it comes to faith, family, friends, food, and my kids' safety. 

I inherited this trait from my awesome mom. She was always very concerned about our safety as we were growing up. I used to joke that she wouldn't even let us cross our street without her. Our street was a cul-de-sac :-). Love you Mom! Thank you for keeping us safe!

One area of particular concern for me is water safety. When you live in a state like Florida, even if you don't have a pool it's very likely that your next-door neighbor will. Plus, with all of the lakes, canals and retention ponds there's water, water everywhere. 

We had a pool when I was growing up. My parents were adamant about having a pool alarm and making sure that all of us kids and our friends knew how to swim well. I even took a lifeguarding class as a high school student. The stories and some of the images that we saw in that class changed the way I will view water safety forever. 

As a mom of six kids, I was hesitant to get a pool. However, living in Florida the summers are hotter than blazes, and when you don't have access to a pool it can be maddening. We tried the whole "get wet in the backyard hose" deal. The heat made our garden hose shrivel up and die. Steam came out instead of water ;-). So, six years ago we had a pool put into our backyard. 

Before we even planned our pool design, we knew we needed to have several layers of protection for our children. The first layer included taking them to the Safe Start drowning prevention classes ( I swear by these classes! The instructors helped my children learn that if they fell into the water they could turn over on their backs, get to the side of the pool, and make a lot of attention getting noise in the process. Great program! Refresher courses are vital as the kids grow. 

The second layer of protection included a pool gate that surrounded our pool and hot tub. The gate remained shut at all times with the exception of entering and exiting the pool area. I know this may sound harsh, but if one of the older monkeys forgot to close the gate for any reason, they would lose a privilege. Someone drowning is a mistake that can not be fixed. 

The third layer of protection was "The Safety Turtle"( This is a super cute wrist band for little monkeys or pets that triggers a VERY loud alarm if it gets wet. Our Little Monkey loves wearing it (especially now that we do not have a pool gate at our new house). 

The fourth and final layer of protection includes elimination of distractions. Whenever our youngest monkey is in the pool, I do not answer the phone (text, email) or the door, or the call of my bladder until he is out of the pool and safely back inside. I may snap a picture or two, but I always make sure that my eyes are on him. It only takes two minutes for someone to drown. And there is something called secondary drowning (also known as respiratory aspiration) that can occur in a matter of seconds. I read this article this week and it really made me stop and think:

So my friends, I would like to hear your suggestions/ideas for water safety. In my opinion, you can never have too many layers of protection.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Girls' Trip to LA

Earlier this month, my aunt, my sister and I took a little girl time out and headed to Los Angeles. We celebrated a special birthday for my aunt.

We had grand time and I learned some things about myself on the trip:

1. I love to travel, but I hate flying. I used to love flying back in the good old "vintage" days of flying. When the stewardesses were glamorous, the pilots were like superheroes, and they gave you buttery pretzels and shiny silver wings. These days it's all like, "Sit down, shut up, or we will put you out on the wing!" 

2. I love Southern California. Bleached blonde, vegan, Botox, hot yoga, high colonics and all. 

3. I love to eat. And since we need to eat to stay alive it's good. Eating is life giving.  Midnight runs to In and Out Burger is life giving. Eating 6 chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast is life giving. 

4. I love the Pacific Ocean minus the water. There are creatures with large mandibles in that water. 

5. I love to snore and wake myself up. It's a new hobby for me. My sister did not care for my new hobby. 

6. I love the beds at the Hilton. They are crazy comfy and contribute to my snoring      hobby. 

7. I love to pack clothes that I won't wear on vacation. My gold snake skin jeans just didn't seem appropriate for hiking or the beach or hiking on the beach, even when I paired them with a beach friendly tank top. 

8. I love driving. 101 to the 405 to the 110. To the tick-tock ya don't stop. 

9. I love people watching. I knew this about myself already, but LA people watching is something extra special. I mean where else can you see Marilyn Monroe cuss somebody out for taking her picture without paying for it? 

10. I love our families' hair. My aunt, my sister, and I combined have enough hair to: make 1000 toupees, stuff 455 pillows, and/or perform a complete musical with hairography. 

Girls trips are the best!



Saturday, May 24, 2014

This and That

Life is been so full lately with our move. At night I dream of unpacking boxes, and by day I unpack boxes. Good clean fun for the whole family :-) 

I'm trying to capture moments in pictures because I do not trust my brain these days to remember anything. Just boxes, that's all. 

So, without further ado, I give you....


Just kidding :-)

Pictures from my phone. You know, a little bit of This and a lot of That...

Our oldest monkey graduated from UCF with honors. From Yellow-Haired Youngling to man overnight. Sniff! They grow up too fast.
Our youngest monkey girl graduated from the third grade. Sniff! Where is time going?

2014 Mother's Day Tea!
We sent our oldest monkey girl off for the summer to her camp job.

Said "goodbye" to our old house.
And "hello" to our new house.
Kitty Mews loves the views here.
And so do we.
We've been exploring our neighborhood which has lots of interesting (code word for weird) art.
Swans to feed.
Sunsets to watch.
Babies to count.
Trees to climb.
Playgrounds to explore.

And places to eat. 

And now it's time to head back to my boxes. All 600 of them. 



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

You are Always Welcome!

Just a quick check in here to say, "Hello!"  We will be moving this month to a new (actually almost 90 year old house) in Downtown Orlando.  There is a lot of work ahead of us and so much transition, but it is all good, very good.  Please pop in for some updates here on "This and That" or join us for some sweet tea on our new front porch.  Either way, you are always welcome!