Belle's 2nd summer activity that began this week was swimming lessons (based on the blogs I read, this was a popular week for beginning swimming lessons). Last summer she did safety-targeted lessons, and this summer since she's still loving the water and doing well I decided to put her in regular parent & tot classes that are only $20 for 8 sessions. So far we've had 2 sessions (they're 2/week), and she's really enjoying it. I was a bit worried that it was be too baby-ish since it's for 6-36 month olds, but there aren't really any infants in her class and since everyone is working with his/her own parent, it's kinda at your own pace. During the 45 minute class they show you lots of different activities to encourage things like using your arms, kicking, dunking, retrieving things from the bottom of the pool, simulating falling in and swimming back to the side... the basic skills. They are really good about incorporating toys and other fun activities that keep the kids thinking that it's a game rather than a punishment. Annabelle is really enjoying it. The only bad thing has been that Annabelle's pooping schedule is off lately and she keeps thinking that she needs to poop during the middle of the class so we have to keep getting out of the pool to try to potty, so we've probably missed about 10 minutes out of each class. At least she's telling me though rather than just pooping in the pool (which some other kid did before our last lesson and they had to clear out the whole pool for 45 minutes while they cleaned it). So, swimming lessons are going really good so far.
Belle's 3rd summer activity is gymnastics classes. She took gymnastics in the spring and summer of 2007, but once Corgan was born it just wasn't possible since I couldn't exactly chase her and hold Corgan at the same time. She really liked the class and has done many gymnastics-like things lately that let me know that she's still into it. So, today was her first gymnastics class in almost a year. Last night when I asked her if she knew what we were going to do in the morning she said "Mommy tell you" (because when she doesn't seem to know the answer to something I asked her "Do you want Mommy to tell you?" so when she wants me to tell her something, her response is "Mommy tell you."). Instead of saying "gymnastics", I signed it and she knew exactly what I signed and said "GYMNASTICS!" (I'm surprised at the signs that she remembers when I haven't used them for many months). Annabelle had lots of fun at the gymnastics class and even remembered how to do "bye-byes" (they have a special little thing they do to say bye-bye at the end of the class). It's crazy what a difference a year makes. She can almost walk on the balance beams all by herself (of course, I only let her try it alone on the ones that are nearly on the ground anyway), she likes to hang on the bar and can almost bring her toes up to the bar on her own, she loved crawling over on all of the obstacles all by herself (she's VERY big on the "by myself" thing now), and she likes to jump all the way down the trampoline track (she was just getting the hang of jumping at the end of last summer). Although I enjoy running around and playing on the equipment with Annabelle, I'll be excited when she's in the next level class so that she's being led by the teachers and learning new gymnastics skills with the other kids. I think she'll do really well in there. Oh... one not-so-good thing today was that Annabelle hurt her ankle at the gym. They have all of these raised and lowered level floors and when she's running and not looking at every step, it's easy to fall. She didn't realize that there was a step down and she fell and hurt her ankle. She cried for a while (and she hardly ever cries when she falls since she does it ALL of the time), but then she got up and kept playing. She was limping a little, and limping even more when she was off of it for a while after the class was over. She isn't complaining about it though so that's good.
Between school, swimming lessons, gymnastics, bike riding, a new kids play place in the area, and building and decorating new bedrooms, I can already tell that we're in for a super busy summer.... and I'm looking forward to every day of it (especially since I'm lucky enough to have my mom here to help with the kids for quite a few weeks!)!