Monday, January 19, 2009

How we do it... swimming

i love getting an idea of how other families operate.

i was thinking as we were leaving the pool this Saturday that we've pretty much got 'how we do swimming' down to a science.

First off, the passes were a Christmas present from my parents - swim passes are an awesome, clutter free gift idea if grandparents are ever asking...

We make the kids change into their swimsuits at home & then we pack underwear for everyone. We pack 2 swim bags - one for the 3 big girls & one for Neil & i & the 3 littles. When we get to the pool, the 3 big girls can go to the ladies change room & we go to the family change room. (One thing we decided early on was that we'll only go for 'family' swim, not 'public' swim... It's much less crowded & there is a huge difference in atmosphere.)

i handle Gage & Neil helps Mollen into her 'floaty'. It's quick 'cause Charter & Molls already have their swimsuits on, so they just have to undress & they're ready. Charter is bouncing off the walls, but he's able to get himself changed & put his clothes in a locker. We bring our towels in & put them on the side of the pool. i usually take Gage - & because Mollen has a floaty & everyone else can swim well, Neil takes all 5 other kids to the diving board, or the slide... whatever. If he does laps with them, as they finish their laps, they'll come over to me & Gage in the kiddie pool. Sometimes we'll switch around a bit & Neil will take Gage - but Neil is so much more fun in the pool that the kids prefer swimming with him :) (Who could blame them? Their own personal Shamu...) & sometimes we'll all be swimming together - depending on how wiggly Gage is being & if he has a floaty on so he can be a little more independent.

Anyway, when we're just about done swimming, i run & get changed first while Neil holds Gage & all the littles get warmed up in the hot tub. Then i come back for Gagey & the 3 big girls go get ready themselves. Neil & i tag team the younger 3 - but it's a lot easier because i'm not trying to get changed at the same time.

We are seriously fast :) hehe.


When we get home - i have one of these (jabba from Ikea) hanging in my basement laundry room:


& the (big) kids hang up everyone's swimming suits & put all the towels through the laundry. i keep a laundry hamper in my laundry room that is just for 'swimming gear' - i keep all the swimsuits in it (so there is no searching for swimsuits in various drawers...) and all the goggles, floaties, snorkel gear, flippers etc... so it's quick to find & pack our swimming bags on swimming days.

So, that's 'how we do it' for swimming... Maybe there's an idea you can steal to make swimming easier for your family.

6 comments:

deborah said...

I can just imagine the stares you must get...

taking my 3 to swimming lessons (which means I'm also in the pool with Neely) is a much simpler science than yours (kudos to you!), but I still get people looking at me with bewilderment, wondering how on earth that crazy mother handles 3 kids swimming...
now I imagine doubling that...

Melissa said...

I love your descriptions - so smart!

Thanks for the jabba idea... does it work for winter gear (mitts, scarves, toques, etc)?? I'm tired of seeing swimsuits & towels hanging everywhere, and I'm also tired of seeing all the winter gear strewn everywhere to dry...

You've got me thinking, now!! (Now THAT'S scary!

paige said...

Funny you mention that! My mom just bought me another jabba to use for winter gear. It's driving me nuts too!! i can't wait to get it up & start using it. Very handy little octopus. :)

Michelle said...

Wow, thanks for helping us out. First I would never go swimming with the kids by myself like Deborah, but at some point we're going to have figure this out!! Awesome! Thanks so much for explaining in such detail!

ME

jessica jespersen said...

Sounds like our family. I love hearing that you play with the baby in the kiddie pool. I sometimes feel guilty that I'm not the one being "Shamu". You know those days when you remember being the "fun" one who would play wildly with kids....and then you look over and watch as all the kids are tackling your husband in the big pool and somehow you feel a little left out. Like the party pooper. I have to let go of that and enjoy the smiles of the floating baby in my arms rather than look over at the wild chaos of the big pool and wish my husband would come over and throw me wildly into the pool as in the days of "yore"...I have video of Neil doing that to you. Proof for your children that you didn't always float around in the kiddie pool so benignly. :)

Melissa said...

Oh yeah, this is good. YOU get changed first. Brilliant. And your laundry room ideas... Brilliant. And your decision to only go to Family Swim....Wise. My husband has a new mantra: "Clutter-free gifts". He thanks you. (Does yours always complain about the amount of toys in the house, despite your sure response that you don't have nearly as many as so and so, and so and so, and so and so?...:)

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