Saving lives one little swimmer at a time

 

WATER SAFETY at EMLER SWIM SCHOOL

Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children under the age of 5, nearly 700 children die every year. 69% of fatal drowning swimming pool incidents occur under one or two responsible parent supervision. 3 out 4 of those children had been seen no more than 5 minutes prior to being found in the pool. Drowning happens quickly and quietly. The best way we can protect our children is to teach them water safety skills.

Of all the things we have to be scared of as a parents why not ease your anxiety by having one less thing to worry about. The importance of having your child in Swim School can make the difference in a life or death situation. Choosing the right swim school for your child is crucial to their swimming development and water safety. The award winning Emler Swim School  has developed a learn-to-swim program focused on love and safety. Children at Emler are never immersed aggressively or traumatically, they are taught with love and patience.

Their parent-involved class also gives you the confidence and guidance to apply the techniques on your own. Some of the water safety skills Dex (19months) is currently perfecting are breath control, we are now up to 8 second submersion. We are learning to turn around and grab the wall, walk our hands to the edge and climb out. We are always working on kicking our legs, rolling over to our backs and floating face up. These are all important survival skills that can save your child’s life if God forbid something were to ever happen.

Summer is just a few months away, now is the time to get your kids enrolled and ready for pool season. Aside from having the peace of mind knowing that your  child is aquatically prepared you can be on your way to even more relaxation. The sooner your child can fully swim on their own the sooner you can just lay by the pool and work on that tan!

REMEMBER:

  • Use code: UPTOWN MOM to get your FREE high quality, reusable swim pants
  • Babies 2mo – 5mo are FREE in the Bathtime Babies class (see previous post HERE)
  • Enroll your child HERE
  • Learn more about water safety tips HERE

 

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Sit Back and Play

THE PLAYDATE CO.

Per the usual I am constantly scouting out new fun places and activities for the kiddos. Although we love allowing our kids to exercise their abilities to run and explore that usually requires us as parents to be on our toes as well.

But what if there was a place where your little ones could roam free, let their imaginations run wild while you could sit back and relax and watch them play?! I have just the place, The Playdate Co. This sweet little spot is exactly what the name says… a company for playdates! The Richardson based center is perfectly located and easy to get to for anyone in the Dallas area.

This bright and beautiful center is furnished with several adorable playhouses each embracing a different theme to accommodate any child’s fancy. Each house is fully decked out with every imaginable prop or toy incorporating it’s motif.

They had everything; an ice-cream shop, schoolhouse, book nook, general store, tool shed and garage, home center, creative coloring, and gardening… but the big hit amongst all the tots was the merry-go-round style bikes in the middle.

There is even an area for the littlest ones who are not yet crawling so for those with a toddler and a newborn this is a perfect place for you!

Upon entering the gated play space you can store all your things in the provided cubbies, and when all that play time has worked up an appetite you are welcome to bring your own snacks and drinks too, just be sure to keep them in the designated snacking area.

Ok, so what about the moms?  There is seating and complimentary coffee for us mamas to sit, take a breather, enjoy a cup of “pick me up” juice and some adult conversation.

There is free WiFi as well so you can get caught up on your articles and emails. Relax at ease as everything is visible and open for keeping eyes on our little movers at all times.

The pricing structure for play packages are as follows:

  • $10.50 per child, age 1 and up.
  • $8.50 for siblings, age 1 and up.
  • $5.50 for children under age 1 not accompanied by an older sibling.
  • Free for siblings under age 1 with a full price child’s admission.

For any additional info check them out HERE .

See more pics below from our day

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Jump Up, Jump Up and Get Down!

DFW TRAMPOLINE PARKS

Oh January, the Christmas merriment is over, it’s still cold out, and you need to get out of the house.

Try taking the kids to a trampoline park, they’re not just for birthday parties. If you’ve never been to one it’s exactly what it sounds like, a a huge space full of trampolines and mats! Most have special hours and pricing just for toddlers. It’s the perfect indoor activity that’s easy, inexpensive and will guarantee nice long nap!

The two main players in the DFW area are Urban Air and Jump Street . We have been to both below are some FYI’s of each.

URBAN AIR:

  • 6 locations all around the DFW area
  • OUR FAV FEATURE: Large facilities (some locations have additional rigs such as  padded jungle gyms, zip lines and foam pits)
  • Toddler hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-12
  • Cost is $5
  • Must fill out waver upon entry. Waver is valid for 1 year. You can fill it out online before you go to avoid waiting.
  • Bring socks
  • Snacks for purchase but mostly candy

 

JUMP STREET

  • 4 locations (one being centrally located on 75 and Walnut Hill)
  • Less trampoline space than Urban Air. Toddlers are limited to the toddler area, but it has a bounce house and foam pit for kids 4+.
  • OUR FAV FEATURE: Toddler hours are ALL DAY, EVERYDAY
  • Cost is $5
  • Must fill out waver upon entry. Waver is valid for 1 year. You can fill it out online HERE  before you go to avoid waiting.
  • Bring socks

Happy jumping and we’ll see you out there,

Noelle and Dexter!

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A New Snap on Family Photos

MY EXPERIENCE WITH LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY with Alexis Marie Photography

“Can I follow you around and take pictures of you?”  (Was an email I received from a photographer)

Me: Absolutely!!!!  (If you know me, this is right up my alley)

As I continued reading the email from Alexis Vazquez an up and coming lifestyle photographer, I fell in love with her story and her new found approach on photoshoots opposed to the traditional family photo set up. Among her experience and many ideas the statement that grabbed me was this:

“As a photographer, I have often felt defeated and guilty when clients have stressful experiences during photo shoots. Mom feels like she can’t keep control of her hair or her kids. Dad is dying to go home and watch the game.Kids are impatient and ice cream bribes fail 20 minutes in. I don’t want my clients to feel that way after I capture them. I want them to be confident that someone just captured their life story and 50 years from now.”

I’m in!

We set up a fun day for her to join us and capture our experience. Some moments were great and some not so great, but the important thing in my opinion was that each one was genuine.

I also found so much value in being able to be completely present in the experience instead of half focusing on trying to get the perfect photo.

I know the “getting the perfect photo” part may sound trivial but the truth is you are making memories and your kids are only small once and I want to capture every ounce of it I can.

I often enjoy looking back on past times and reminiscing… But maybe that’s just me.

I really enjoyed this concept of photography. You get much more out of your time this way, you get to do a fun activity spending time with your family,  while capturing all the pure joy and genuine smiles without all the cranky hassle.

Here are a few of the photos from our day.

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If you are looking for a new way to preserve your family in a new light, give lifestyle photography a “shot”… Get it. Contact alexismariephoto@yahoo.com

More about her concept:

As a visual storyteller, I do my best to make my photo sessions an experience and not just something you add to your check list every year at Christmas. I love capturing real, raw moments of people more than anything because you tend to see a soul when that happens and not just a person. Over the years, I believe photography became more about the camera and less about who the camera was capturing. You’re important. You have a story. You’re my muse. Not just a client or subject. Therefore, my approach is a little more organic and interactive then me just telling you to sit in front of my camera and smile.  Whether we’re shooting in your home or at a park when the sun is about to set, my photos are often described by others as bright, raw and dreamy. As world renowned photographer, Annie Leibovitz said, “When I say I want to photograph someone, I mean: I want to know them.” That’s my heart- to know you and tell your story in light.  -Alexis

12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum

If you are from the Dallas area you probably already know about the Dallas Arboretum. I grew up going there every year in the spring and fall but it’s only been in recent years that they have added holiday displays and activities. With Texas weather being so unpredictable it’s nice to have more outdoor options for Christmas family fun!

The Dallas Arboretum features oversized scenic displays of the time honored Christmas carol The 12 Days of Christmas. As you walk the gardens you are directed to each ornate presentation encased in beautifully crafted gold and jewels. From a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming each vignette is as visually dazzling as the next.

This is a great way to share the Christmas carols you love with your children while getting some fresh air and exercise. Check out of the fun we had with our playgroup in the photos below!

Don’t forget to check out the children’s garden  if you have some extra time. This is a newer addition to the park including an ABUNDANCE of interactive, educational exhibits and activities…. not to mention visually stunning and stimulating for the littles.

There are many options for tickets and parking listed HERE , of course the best bang for your buck (especially for full time moms) is the 1 year membership.

PHOTOS by Alexis Marie Photography

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Emler Swim School Progress Update

We began our Emler journey when Dexter was just 2 months old in the FREE Bathtime Babies class, which you can check out HERE .

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We took a break around the holidays and never got around to going back, which is a big regret. We started the Water Babies class about a month ago after we got back from our family vacation. When we were in Florida my eyes were opened to the importance of water safety and knowing how to swim.

In the past four weeks I have seen a huge change and major improvement in Dexter’s comfort level with the pool.

We have gone from screaming throughout the entirety of the class to eagerly jumping in swimming under water.

A tip from my own experience: Timing is key. When we started this session we were going to a 10:30 am class in which I was spending the whole time trying to keep my swimsuit from being pulled down by the inconsolable, stage 5 clinger. Our instructor recommend we try an earlier class and voilà… different kid! He is now holding his breath, kicking under water and loving every minute.

That is the beauty of Emler Swim School, they offer several dates, times, and locations to accommodate any schedule.

Not only is Dexter learning to trust his teachers, follow a class curriculum, and participate in a peer driven environment, we are spending quality uninterrupted time together.

Now is the perfect time to get started on swim lessons for a confident and prepared toddler this summer!

Remember when you register for class HERE and use the code: UPTOWN MOM you will get FREE pair of swim pants!

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Small Spaces Living Essentials

THE “MUST HAVES” FOR THE SIMPLE BABY.

When I found out I was pregnant I started Googling things I would need. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears upon seeing the endless supplies I supposedly needed.

Two things crossed my mind; 1) We live in a small apartment with little space. 2) I despise clutter!

I wanted to have the things we needed but keep it to a bare minimum and keep things as clean, simple, and let’s be honest…chic as possible.

After a bit of research pre-baby and my own experience up to this point, I have narrowed down my favorite essential baby buys.

These also make great gifts! Click to buy!

1) TEEPEE – This teepee is one of my favorite things! Not only does Dexter love to play in it and have a space of his own, it looks cute in the apartment while concealing all the toys. That was huge for me to have a place to put everything without seeing it all the time. It was basically a decorative toy closet!

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2) SNUGGLE NEST (for newborns)- We actually received the Snuggle Nest which is a co-sleeper as a gift at our baby shower. This is perfect for small living spaces because it doesn’t take up any extra room.

This thing was the $#*%! As new, paranoid parents we loved having the baby sleep right between us without the fear of rolling over on him.

It made night feedings very easy as well, I never had to get up! This co-sleeper also has vibration and nature sounds which helped me sleep also! Bonus!

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3) ROCK N PLAY AUTOROCKER  (for newborns)- You have to have this. I repeat: You have to have this!!! This will be your best friend, seriously. We kept this in the living room and Dexter practically lived in it when we were at home.

I had several friends recommend it and boy were they right! There are different versions of the Rock n Play, make sure to get the auto-rocker. It also plays music and nature sounds.

It’s much cheaper than the Mamaroo, and it’s very light, portable and foldable… which is great if you don’t have space to put these things all over your house.

I would stick it in the bathroom while I took a shower, or could easily take it to my parents house and he could sleep in it for hours and hours! Go get it!

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4) PHIL AND TED’S POPPY HIGHCHAIR – We have been very happy with this highchair, it’s inexpensive, looks great, it’s easy to clean, and it converts in to a child’s chair. The seat is made of rubber so everything wipes clean! It’s that simple

 


 

4) ANGELCARE BATHTUB (for newborns) GREAT GIFT ALERT!! This one is my husband’s favorite pick on the list, I love it too!

We discovered this baby bathtub after using a super expensive, ultra fancy sink sitting tub. That became so cumbersome and took up a lot of unnecessary space that we just couldn’t afford to waste.

I also wasn’t comfortable transferring a dripping wet baby across a kitchen floor, it didn’t feel safe. We received the Angelcare bathtub as a baby shower gift and started using it after returning the other tub.

We put the baby tub right in our adult bathtub and Dexter loved it! It’s simple, light and portable, also made of rubber so it’s easy to clean. And it’s only 20 bucks!img_20161106_232837picsart_11-06-11-31-24


 

5) UPPABABY CRUZ STROLLER – Ok, I know a stroller is a big purchase. It’s quite a commitment to make, you will probably plan to use this for several years…if you get a good one.

We LOVE our Uppababy stroller. We did a TON of research and hands on testing for months to finally decide on The One.

Some people buy multiple strollers for different needs. Since I was limited on space I could only choose one.  We found it! The Uppababy is a bit on the pricier side of strollers but it’s perfect.

It’s very durable, it can be walked down city streets and last. It is light and easy to fold/adjust/use.

It has the largest bottom basket great for holding all my shopping goodies. It glides like butter and turns on a dime. It’s pretty!

For the newborn stage we went with this INFANT CAR SEAT which was fabulous as well! Its extremely light, and easy to carry. We used THESE ADAPTERS to attach it. picsart_11-06-11-34-53img_20161106_230337

I Hope you enjoy all these things as much as I have!

 

Aqua Therapy

BATH TIME BABIES with EMLER SWIM SCHOOL

I have said it before and I’ll say it again; if you have a baby, get out of the house! As I strongly pushed the importance of staying active with your baby in my previous post  Baby get your zen on I am adding another “must do” to the list… Baby swim lessons!

Did you know Emler Swim School offers swim lessons to babies from 2months old?! And guess what… swimmers up to 5 months old are free… FREE!!!!

The class is called Bath Time Babies and it’s amazing! I started taking Dex as soon as he was old enough at 2 months. I really enjoyed this class and looked forward to my weekly uninterrupted bonding time in the pool.

Reasons we love this class:

1) IT’S FREE and as you know daily activities can add up.

2) IT’S INDOOR- This is important because although swimming is fun, it can be a hassle putting on sunscreen and worrying about getting too much sun. Another reason this is a plus, you can take class all year long, rain or shine, night or day.

3) IT’S FUN – This is a great great bonding activity because you are learning together, holding your baby, and constantly communicating.

4) MOMMY NETWORKING- If you are new to the mom game you may not yet have friends with babies the same age as yours. This is another opportunity to meet Moms with babies in the same stage as you. It’s very helpful in navigating your way through parenthood when you can bounce thoughts and experiences off one another.

5) IT’S SAFE- You can never be too careful when it comes to water safety. This class allows little ones to get comfortable with being in the water and prepping them to learn safety skills.

I adamantly encourage all my new”bee” moms to try this class, EMLER has multiple locations all over the Dallas area. They also offer a wide range of times so all you stay-at-home moms and working moms or dads can participate. All you need is 2 swim diapers. Good news: if you mention UPTOWN MOM when signing up, you get a FREE swim diaper!!!! Yay! More free stuff!!!!

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Park Treasures

It’s October, pumpkin spice is in air and the weather is perfect which means get your butt outside and enjoy it. We have been soaking it all in around town while hitting up some of our favorite secret play spots! Check out our top 3 park picks you may not even know exsist;

3) Reverchon Park

3505 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

This park is near and dear to me, I have been an avid Reverchon Park goer even before I had a baby…. well I took my fur baby. This park has everything (said in my SNL Stefon voice), it’s in a perfect secluded location right off of Dallas’ famous Katy Trail. The trees, plants, ponds and greenery are unbeatable for an uptown city park. There are several grassy, spacious areas for babies, both human and four-legged. Being attached to the Katy Trail allows a workout with a view for mom before or after playtime. Reverchon Park was built to accommodate handicap children which also lends itself well to crawlers. I took Dexter here all the time before he could walk because all the ramps and low lying playground equipment made it easy for him to enjoy the park. This park also has a permanent shade structure shielding little ones from UV rays and exhausting heat.

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2) Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Unless you are new to Dallas or have been living under a rock you probably have seen the magnificent white arch that stretches across the Trinity River, also known as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Did you know that it is also a fabulous pedestrian walkway containing play areas, games and spray grounds?!!!! Not to mention the absolute, hands down best view of the city.  It’s beautiful in the daytime or evening. At night you can grab a snow cone from the ice truck at the front to cool down and for bite to eat just stroll on over to the adjacent Trinity Groves center. If you are looking for something different than your average park,  plan a playdate at the bridge!

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1) ALLAN SHIVERS PARK at Scottish Rite Hospital 

2222 Welborn St, Dallas, TX 75219

You have most likely driven past the Scottish Rite Dallas hospital, saw the crayon sculptures and thought “that’s cute” and went on your way. I did anyway. We recently discovered that those giant crayons are the entry way to the best park in Dallas we’ve ever been to, the Allan Shivers Park! We immediately fell in love with how beautiful and well kept it was. There were pretty flowers all around the perimeter and the soft foam covered ground was immaculate. I saw not one paint scratch or rusty bar. Safety and security are top notch here, the park is enclosed with a gate and serviced by friendly security guards. The playground equipment got an A+ in innovative, interactive and unique pieces. We played with musical stations, a scavenger hunt, electronics and make-believe! It’s shady, tranquil and relaxing. This park is number 1 on our list for a reason, if you’re in the area go see why for yourself!

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