Sunday, February 15, 2009

ISR "Float" Lessons

As most of you know we enrolled Nathan in the ISR (Infant Swim Resource) program.  They teach babies 6-14 months how to float on their back if they ever fall into a body of water.  You may have seen the clip of "Miles" falling into the pool in his pjs and then floating on his back until someone came to get him.  We saw this clip and thought that this was something that we needed to teach Nathan.  We looked on the website for instructors near us and we got the last slot for the winter session with Jessica.  She is a new instructor and was having these classes at her house in her heated pool. 

The classes were for 10 minutes a day for five days a week.  The session was to be five weeks, but longer if we needed it.  Part of this program is documenting EVERY time Nathan pooped, peed, slept, ate, drank, had medicine, went to the doctor.  I also had to document everything that he ate.  Nathan was also not allowed to have certain foods at all times, certain foods some of the time, and have limits to when he could eat before class.  It was a lot of work on my part :)

Jessica started Nathan off with getting him to float properly.  His biggest problem was that he wanted to keep his arms real close to his body and with time Jessica was able to get him to spread his arms out to his side.  The next step was making sure that Nathan had good breath control when he was being turned down into the water.  Jessica would make sure that he was closing his mouth when he was getting close to going under water.  Then when Nathan would turn back on his back she would make sure that he would spit out any water that he swallowed (he is really good at this).  She then would make sure that Nathan was taking good deep breaths when we was floating.  At the beginning he would only take short fast breaths.  Once they are able to take deep, relaxed breaths she starts working on flipping the babies face down in the water and helping them turn over onto their backs.  Jessica helps out the babies less and less until they can rollback on their own.

For three weeks Nathan needed Jessica's help to roll over onto his back.  He would always be searching for her to help him out.  We were going into week four and he was still unable to do it on his own and I thought for sure that we would have to go longer than five weeks.  Then one day Nathan just got it.  It was amazing to see.  She flipped him over and he rolled back like a cork screw.  It was so fast and so smooth.  She did it several more times and he kept doing it.  He didn't need her help at all anymore.  It really was funny how it just "clicked" for him one day.

Now that he could roll back every time Jessica rolled him into the water it was time to move onto the next step.  She would flip him backwards into the water from the pool.  She would put him on the edge of the pool and toss him into the water at different angles.  She would also drop him down into the water as if he was jumping in.  Every time she did this he managed to roll on his back and float.  It was incredible to watch.  Once he got down this part it was time for the clothes!  The first clothing lesson Nathan had to wear summer clothes.  We had him in a regular diaper, shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops.  He did all of the flips and rollovers in these clothes.  It was hilarious to see him in the pool in flip-flops.  I didn't bring a camera so I don't have pictures but trust me, it was hilarious.  The weight of the diaper when he got out was so heavy!  After summer clothes it was time for winter clothes.  He was wearing pants, socks, boots, a long sleeved shirt, and a jacket.  He was able to float on his back with all of the weight of the wet clothes.  He was so heavy from all of that water weight and it was great seeing that he could float on his back.

Christopher and I are confident that if Nathan fell into our pool he wouldn't drown because he would be able to turn over and float on his back.  I am still amazed that a 9 month old could figure this out.  The program is great!  Once Nathan is over 14 months and walking we will do the swimming portion of the lessons.

Below is a video we took on the last day of classes for Nathan.  I think that it is amazing to watch Nathan.  I also want to mention that out of the five babies Nathan was the 2nd one to graduate from the classes!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'm a bad blogger!

I hadn't realized how long it has been since I have last written in here and I am shocked that it has been over a month! Hopefully, I will be a little better at this in the coming weeks :)

Since I know that everyone is dying to know, Nathan is a crawling pro! He crawls all over the place and fast. It was amazing how quick he got in such a short time. He loves to go after Lucy, the cats, Lucy's toys, and the water bowl for the animals. I think that he must want to be one of the animals :) Shortly after he started crawling he started pulling himself up to a standing position and now he is a pro at that too. The one big problem is that he has trouble getting down from a standing position and this isn't very fun during the middle of the night when he wakes up! He is starting to cruise around on the furniture, but he still isn't too confident about it and will not go very fast or far.

You might also be wondering about swimming lessons. We started those almost five weeks ago and this next week will be our last week. As soon as I hand Nathan over to the instructor he cries, but he stops once they start working. Nathan was working on floating and then rolling over onto his back. He had the float down really good, but wasn't doing so good on the rolling over to his back. I thought that we would probably be told that we need to go for an extra week or so of lessons until Nathan figured it out. When he would roll over he would need Jessica's (the instructor) help. Just last week it seemed to click for him and it was amazing to watch. When she would roll him face down in the water he would roll over onto his back so quick and without any help. She put him in the water in different positions and he was always able to roll over and get on his back and float. It was so great to see and I can't believe that a 9 month old has figured this out. Next week we will be working on "falling" into the pool from the sides of the pool and falling in the pool with clothes on. It should be interesting to watch. I think that it is awesome that Nathan will know what to do if he ever falls into a pool. A great part about these lessons is that they are happening in the LA winter. It has been ridiculous with the temperature and the weather has been perfect for the classes. The pool is outside and just this past week when we finally had rain the classes were canceled. Below is a little clip from one of the lessons that Nathan took. Next week I hope to get a new clip and it should be more interesting :)

Nathan now has TEETH! He got his first tooth a few weeks after he turned 8 months. When Nathan was crying during his swim lessons the instructor said that it looked like he had two teeth coming in. The Saturday after she said that one of the bottom front ones broke through. The second bottom one came in last weekend. I had thought that when the teeth came I would be able to see the whole tooth. I didn't realize that it takes forever for the whole tooth to come out. The first one that came out is now visible, but it still seems like it has a ways to go before it is out all of the way. Once I can get a good picture of his teeth I will post that! It is nice to know that Nathan has some teeth. Nathan has not bitten me yet while breastfeeding and I will keep my fingers crossed that he doesn't do that!

Nathan is now 9 months old! It is hard to believe that I have had him as long as I was pregnant with him. When I was pregnant the time went by so slowly and now it has gone by so quickly. At Nathan's appointment he weighed 19 lbs 3 oz and moved up to the 25th percentile for weight! I really think that having 3 solid meals a day with a couple of snacks has helped him gain some weight. He was 27 1/4" long and was in the 25th percentile for height. He is right on schedule with everything and our next appointment will be when he is a year old!

Nathan is eating like a champ! He eats everything we have given him and doesn't seem to be picky at all. Just recently I have started giving him more finger foods and he loves being able to feed himself...and Lucy. It is hilarious because he will hold out his hand with food in it and try and give it to Lucy. I now have to keep treats by Nathan when I am feeding him so that I can reward Lucy when she doesn't take food from Nathan. I am still making all of Nathan's food for him and it has been really easy to do and I think that we are saving more money by doing this. It has also given us the opportunity to pick out a whole bunch of weird combinations for foods. I never thought that broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, and pear would taste good all mixed up together. His favorite food is the Gerber Puffs. Another mom described them as being "crack" for babies. They are pretty tasty and I can understand why the babies love them so much.

What else for us? Our family is going to Australia at the end of March to visit the Stone family and we are so excited about it! Christopher went and got certified for diving and we are planning on going to the Great Barrier Reef so that Christopher can dive there. Christopher is obsessed with brewing all grain beer and he has a whole set-up and loves to talk about it! We now have four full kegs on tap and Christopher wants to brew more even though we don't we room for it! I have joined a couple of moms groups and I have met some cool moms. I haven't been able to go to a lot of the gatherings, but that should change once we finish with the swim lessons.

I think that I have written about all of the biggest and latest news for us. We are still adding photos to our gallery if you want to check them out. Thanks for reading my short book :)