I have a blog? Or Christmas Wrap-Up 2013

Yes, I know Christmas was 23 days ago and it FEELS like it was 2 months ago. But whatever… I want to document what the kids got and what we did over our break. So let’s pretend I have my stuff together and this posted about 22 days ago.

We did our family holiday the weekend before Christmas so the kids basically were showered with gifts for several days. Matilda got a k’nex roller coaster from my parents. The box says age 7+ but there is NO WAY this thing would have been assembled without the help of my 16 year old nephew. It took him, a few adults and several hours for it to be assembled. The parts are many and tiny – even worse then LEGO. However it is very, very cool when assembled and running. Madman got a Tinker Toy set. Madman had played with our old wooden tinker toys when we visited my parents this fall so we knew this would be a hit. I’ve got to say this is the knock-out hit of the year. Both Matilda and Madman have been playing with them non-stop since they were opened.

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tinker toys

My sister’s family got Matilda a set of learn to draw books, HeadBandz and gave Matthew the Imaginext SuperMan Set. From my brother Matilda go Mario Kart while Madman got more Imaginext super hero stuff and a cool rocket.

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On Christmas eve they get to open presents from our dear friend “Aunt” Lindsay. She set Matilda up with great Kirsten accessories – mittens (with matching ones for Matilda), a mini doll for Kirsten and stockings for both stuffed with old-fashioned peppermint sticks and maple candy. Matilda was thrilled she got “pioneer” candy. Madman got a claw grabber which he went crazy over – “I am a robot” he would say as he tormented his sister with the claw. He also got a really great robot book.

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Matilda and Madman also get to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve… Matilda picked out a Spider-Man set for Madman, and he got her the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Twilight Sparkle Doll*. Both were thrilled.

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This year Matilda’s big gift from Santa was a new bike. It was time for her to move up to a larger frame. After doing some research Santa decided that Giant was the way to go. But Santa is cheap and there was no way he was buying a $250 kids bike. Luckily Santa and Craigslist are BFFs and he found a Giant MTX 125 for less than half price. The “boys” and “girls” MTX are the exact same bike but in different colors. So Santa, being practical, got a graphite gray bike since it will eventually be passed down to Madman. Santa thinks ahead like that. He also put some fun reflective decals in Matilda’s stocking so she could decorate it herself. Result: happy girl on her new bike…

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Madman’s big gift from Santa was a crazy Hot Wheels track**, which Santa smartly got during a pre-Thanksgiving sale. Some additional cars in the stocking made this a big hit. That is after Mark put it all together. Santa should think more about assembly next year.

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Rounding out the Santa gifts… Matilda got a skirt, a mini pillow pet, and the Rainbow Dash Equestria Girl. In her stocking she found lip balm and a set of Magic Treehouse books, in addition to the decals mentioned above. Madman got the movie Planes, a mini pillow pet, a few books, and those hot wheels in his stocking.

From us Matilda got a Nurf Rebelle Bow (she LOVES it), Super Mario Brothers for the Wii and more books.

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We gave Madman a remote control car, clothes (which he literally threw over this shoulder, A Christmas Story-style), the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game (you guys – this game is awesome for preschoolers!), a Tegu set (I found a great deal on Woot!) and more books.

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Together they got an overnight trip to Maui Sands (thanks Living Social deals!) which we’ll do in February.

Whew! My kids are pretty spoiled! Luckily we did a decent cleaning out of toys before Christmas and donated some older things.

Adding this in just for myself so I remember things in the future… Christmas morning I had prepared cinnamon rolls using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe (I sent half of them to my sister’s house with my parents). Verdict: the icing was WAY too sweet. Will try it again with different icing. Also posting this photo here to record the tree and mantle:

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What was the big gift in your house this year? Can you believe Christmas was less than a month ago?

* Equestria Girls are a terrifying new spin-off of My Little Pony in which the ponies become these weird human-pony hybrids who attend high school… or something. Basically it’s an attempt to keep the little girls who loved MLP interested in the brand as they get older. Matilda has bought into it hook, line and sinker.

**Pay no attention to any of these prices because holy crap, Amazon prizing is crazy. I did most of my shopping before Thanksgiving and the prices were WAY LOWER then. Also, links are not affiliate, just there as an FYI.

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We are never ever ever painting again*

THE LIVING ROOM IS PAINTED. It is DONE. I know…. you’re as relieved as I am after all the complaining I’ve done on social media. Sorry about that.

This post is here to counteract all the DIY home improvement blog posts about how painting is so quick and easy and “we got it knocked out during naptime” because NOPE. Not in an old house.

As I mentioned before, these walls are bare, never painted plaster that were wallpapered so long ago it was before the days of pre-pasted paper. So. They were kind of a mess. And since our living room has a wood-burning fireplace that has been used the walls had some soot and years of dirt/grime on them. You can kind of see in the background of this picture how they looked mottled and patchy.

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With family Christmas happening in 2 weeks at our house, I was determined not to have those walls as the backdrop in the photos. And, it’s not like we weren’t planning in this. We bought the paint at a major sale several months ago. All we needed was the motivation (see family visit comment above) and the time (ha!).

3 (4?)weeks ago I tackled scrubbing the stubborn remnants of wall paper glue off the entryway walls. I’m sure if you’ve ever removed wallpaper you’re scoffing at me because it’s not all that difficult. But this wasn’t modern paper. All of the wallpaper and backing was gone, leaving behind a sandpaper-like thin residue of decades old paste on the walls. This involved 13 ScotchBrite Heavy Duty Scour Pads (no, generics do not work as well – believe me we’ve tried them all), very hot water, vinegar and tons of elbow grease. Every inch had to be scoured hard, then wiped with a clean rag. The corners and edges near the trim was the worst. Our tiny entry way took me about 3.5 hours just to clean. We still had over 250 square feet of living room to tackle.

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note how awful the baseboards are in the entry

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prying off the plastic corner shields the previous owners had on all the corners. You can see what the wallpaper looked like here.

We hired Michelle’s daughter to play with the kids and keep them out of our way for 3 hours on a Saturday while Mark and I took on the living room. We got about 85% of it done, later figuring out that adding a bit of washing soda to the water helped loosen the glue. By the time we finished just scrubbing and cleaning the walls we had logged about 15 man hours of time already.

On to the paint! We decided early on that we wouldn’t even try to get the trim painted this go-round – with 3 windows with muntins, a bookcase and french doors there was just no time. That will have to wait until after Christmas. But, since we were priming anyway we decided to prime the baseboards and crown moulding along with the ceiling so they were at least uniformly white. We used a stain/odor blocking Sherwin Williams primer on everything. While we could be sloppy with most of the application, where the baseboard meets the hardwoods and the ceiling took forever. But, over the course of a weekend I managed to get everything primed and ready for the color.

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child labor

Now, as I said we had the pain already. We had purchased 2 gallons of Spalding Gray for the living room and 2 gallons of Popular Gray for the adjoining landing and stairway. We had already pilfered some of the Spalding for the upstairs bathroom but we figured we had enough left to get us through the living room. But I panicked and decided we needed another gallon because the walls were soaking up the paint. I grabbed a gallon of paint from the shelf in the basement to take to the Sherwin-Williams store for shaking/mixing and while I was there asked them to mix another gallon for me. When I got home I panicked. The color I had taken and had another expensive gallon made was Popular Gray – the lighter color for the hallway. I freaked out on twitter when someone suggested I take the paint back and have it tinted to the darker color. Duh! I went back and they tinted it to Spalding Gray – BUT, of course that can’t be the end of it. Popular Gray is mixed into a bright white base. Spalding Gray is mixed into a deep base. So my new gallon was still a bit lighter than the other gallon and a half we had at home. So, we decided to use the lighter version as a first coat, hoping a top coat of the true Spalding Gray would work out.

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Cutting in – the biggest time stuck ever. 

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You can see here the difference between the paint mixed into a bright white base and mixed in a deep base

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This stubby brush? A new discovery for me and it became my best friend when cutting in.

We plugged along with the color, with me cutting in and Mark later doing the roller work. Another afternoon of hiring a babysitter to corral the kids, a few hours of the kids going feral while closed in upstairs, a couple of very late nights and FOUR COATS OF PAINT LATER (1 primer, 1 base color, 2 final color) the room is done. DONE DONE DONE. (well, at least until I decide to tackle painting all the trim).

And I love it.

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someday I’ll post better, daylight photos

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Christmas mantle 2012

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MUCH better in 2013

*this title is likely a lie, but there is a reason painting projects only happen about once every 3 years around here. And sorry about the TSwift earworm.

Weekend Recap: A Date with our Girl Edition

Oh what a weekend…

It started out as usual with our summer Saturday ritual of heading to Shaker Square for breakfast at the Farmer’s Market. We get most of our meat, eggs and cheese at the market in the summers, along with produce. The first local strawberries were the excitement of the day and consumed quickly. The kids were also thrilled that Donut Lab was there and chowed down on freshly made donuts loaded with powdered sugar.

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Then Matilda and I headed to a graduation party on the far west side of town. The honoree is someone I’ve known for at least 16 years…I babysat for her when she was just 2 years old and now she’s heading to my alma mater. To make me feel even older, one of the guests was a girl I coached in soccer while I was a college student. She was 9 when I coached her, she now has her masters degree and is working at a nearby university! Oh, how old I feel!

The party was at Huntington Beach and while the weather wasn’t the best, the beach was sunny and warm enough for some fun. Huntington is one of the best beaches in the area (side note: I’m so thrilled that the Metroparks is taking over the management of six lakefront parks. Such fantastic news for everyone!) so Matilda played with the other kids while I quickly found a handful of pretty beach glass.

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Sunday was the big day of the weekend and something that Matilda had been looking forward to for 2 weeks: her date with Mark and me. While we often take the kids out for one-on-one time it’s rare that one kid gets to spend time with the two of us. Matilda had earned an outing and this was her choice. So we got a sitter for Madman and headed out on our adventure. She, of course, picked Noodlecat for her lunch so we started off with some ramen and steam bun and ended with a delicious push-up.

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From there we explored the town – checking out the film set, driving through the Flats to see all the bridges, ending up in Ohio City. I wanted to walk around to try to find the iconic spot where so many people get photos taken with the skyline as a background. We had no luck (although, thanks to Ashley, next time I know where to go) but had fun walking around and being goofy.

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After posing in front of the mural above we checked out the Ohio City Farm and walked around for a bit. It’s so neat to see the farm there, right in the heart of the city and neighborhood, doing so much good for so many people. Hopefully next time we’re back the farm stand will be open.

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Before we got to the car to head home we popped in the Glass Bubble Project to look around. Greeted by a friendly chicken and the nicest artists you’d ever meet, we watched as they started work on a new piece. Matilda can’t wait to go back, but only when “it’s winter so I don’t get sweaty”. It would be so fun for her and Mark to take a class there together!

We had a really great time, hanging out with our almost-first-grader, even though there were several times I felt anxious, like I was forgetting something. Not having Madman around was odd and it seems as if a piece of us was missing. But, Matilda talked about her date all night – how her dad always opened her door for her and took care of her.

Sunday evening, as Mark started cooking up some burgers, a girl on our street asked if Matilda could come play in their sprinkler. Even thought it was dinner time we let her go – I’ve never seen her get into a bathing suit so fast! She played while Mark cooked and Madman, Mark and I had dinner. Of course, we couldn’t keep him away from the fun so he got fully soaked in his clothes. Exactly how a summer evening should be!

How was your weekend?

Eating Out with Kids in Cleveland

Continuing on the theme from the last post… Never underestimate the power of a good meal that you didn’t cook or have to clean up after. We usually eat out on Friday or Saturday night when Mark and I are just too tired to think about preparing a meal. While it might not burn energy, it burns daylight which can be just as important if you’re counting the minutes until bedtime. We are lucky to have lots of fantastic, kid-friendly local restaurants in Cleveland. No need to subject yourself to Olive Garden or Red Robin to get a good meal out with the kids. Yes, I am a straight-up food snob and refuse to eat at Applebee’s and the like…not when there are literally dozens of wonderful local joints to choose from.

Note: I always keep crayons and paper in my purse, I also sometimes have stickers (these are fantastic, too), and those little mini play dough containers are easy to keep stashed for long waits. I’m thinking of getting a Tegu pocket set based on a recommendation from Ashley. We try to keep the kids device-free at dinner but know that waiting can be a pain for them so having a couple of distractions is key to a somewhat peaceful outing.

Here are our Cleveland-area, kid-tested favorites:

NoodleCat
What kid doesn’t love noodles? The kids portions here are just $4 plus they offer some diversity in addition to just plain noodles and broth that even the pickiest kids will enjoy. This is usually Matilda’s first choice for a good reason. Delicious, local food, great music, easy-going staff. Our kids are 100% NoodleKids. Matilda even tried my octopus last time we went!

No kid portions for this kid! A full order of College Ramen is her “usual”

Geraci’s
Our kids are hungry at 5:00 so getting a table isn’t hard. Come later and you will wait. When we are there it’s usually a crowd of AARP members, most of which are pretty tolerant of kids. The staff is very nice to families but this is a place where the distractions in my purse help a lot since the pizza can take a while. Matilda and Mark LOVE their meatballs while Madman and I love their pizza. We do take out from Geraci’s pretty often, too. It’s cash only, so be prepared.

Superior Pho
Again with the noodles. We are all pho fans and there is nothing in town that beats Superior Pho. The staff is good with kids and the no-frills dining room takes away the worry about dining with kids. It’s a great place to warm up on a sub-zero winter evening. One down-side: the bathrooms are communal with the rest of the building and kid of gross. Not a reason to avoid, just know before you go!

Matilda couldn’t wait to introduce her cousin to pho when he visited this summer!

Liquid Planet
A healthy “fast food” place with smoothies and kid-approved PB&J pitas. I love their rice bowls and we all love their quick service. It can get pricy but overall it’s worth it if you just want a good, healthy(ish) meal fast. We do sometimes get looks from the CWRU students studying at the Cleveland Heights location but whatever, you’re in a restaurant, not a library!

B Spot
$5 dollar burgers during happy hour are a beautiful thing. Add a beer for $3 for mom and dad and Friday night is perfect. Both kids love it here, especially the pickle bar. Everyone is loud and messy in here so your kid won’t be any different from the 20-something at the next table. East-side bonus: let the kids run around the inside of Eaton mall or check out the kids section of B&N to burn some energy before heading home.

mmmmmm…..Lola burger

The Tavern Company
I don’t know why, but this place was a surprise find for us. Perhaps because I didn’t think a pub would be family-friendly, but they are. The food here is quite good, much more upscale than we expected for a pub. It is also extremely kid friendly with crayons and coloring books; TVs help, too. Their mac & cheese (Madman’s favorite) is delicious and Matilda is a fan of their burger.

Vero Pizza
We’re big fans of Vero and we usually get a seat upstairs which provides fun views of the pizza oven. Again, due to our early-bird dining status we typically have the place pretty much to ourselves. Matilda is a huge fan of the bruschetta and the beet salad here while Madman will gobble up slices of the delicious pizza. Mark and I are fans of everything and we’ve never been let down by their specials. Of course, bribing the kids with gelato helps with good behavior.

Madman can polish off 1/2 a Vero pie – extra mushrooms, please!

What are your favorite family-friendly non-chains in the the Cleveland area? This list is obviously eastside-heavy but we’re always willing to venture out to try a new place!

What to do with Kids in a Cleveland Winter

As a parent, January in Cleveland is hard…  you’re staring down about 3 more months of being shut inside due to cold, snow, rain or sleet. Of course we sled, we ski, we play in the snow but we can’t always be outside. Even if it gets up into the 50s, it’s likely to be pouring rain (like this week) and you can’t really enjoy it. So, as we are all wistfully dreaming of the days we can chase our kids back outside into the yard again, here are some of our favorite cabin-fever busters:

Rockefeller Greenhouse
I feel like I might be breaking some sort of Cleveland-Parent code by sharing this, but oh well! The greenhouse is owned by the city and is part of the long, narrow park which is on the land donated by John Rockefeller. Best of all, it’s free! And, it’s never crowded, which leads me to believe it’s a closely guarded secret. In fact, in the many times we’ve been there we are usually the only ones there. This means the kids can get a little crazy without bothering anyone. Our last visit was on MLK day because I knew the museums in University Circle would be packed. There was a film crew shooting a commercial there but we stayed out of their way. The kids burned energy, played games and had fun and I didn’t once have to say “stop climbing on the furniture!”

Cleveland Art Museum
As I mentioned, it’s 600,000 square feet of very kid friendly, free space.

Cleveland Botanical Garden
While visiting the magical Hershey Children’s Garden and the 10 acres of lush outdoor gardens is a natural activity in the spring and summer, the CBG is one also one of our favorite winter activities, too. The 2 large glasshouses and as well as the toys & books (now located upstairs) they have out for kids makes this a good place to blow off some steam. And, if it’s dry outside it’s still a fantastic place to run around without getting muddy. Their café serves fresh, seasonal food that the kids love. Kids are just $4 (under 3 is free) but the $73 family membership is well worth it for how often we visit.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Some people with toddlers and young kids overlook this museum as a place to burn daylight. We love it because there are dinosaurs, lots of buttons to push, and space to move around. Yes, the entire facility can seem a bit dusty and old so the planned renovation is much needed. However little kids don’t care, they just see polar bears, alligators and moon rocks.  Hidden in the basement is the Smead Discovery Center, a hands-on area with animal pelts, puzzles, books, toys, a few lizards and other cool stuff. Unless it’s pouring rain we always take a walk through the Perkins Wildlife Center outside to say hi to the owls, deer and fox that make it their home. Get there at 10, outside snacks are allowed (but you can only eat them in the café), leave by naptime…perfect morning. Again, the $75 family membership is a great deal and pays for itself in 2-3 trips. Bonus: you can use your membership for free entry at other science centers and museums like the Field Museum in Chicago or COSI in Columbus.

Bowling
We did this for the first time recently and had a fun evening. It was surprisingly expensive for the 4 of us ($50+!) but was a fun night out. Both kids did well – each got a strike! It was an activity we’ll save for when we’re desperate due to the price, but I was pleased with how much a 2.5 year old and 6 year old enjoyed it.

JumpYard
Matilda’s winter break was longer than Madman’s so we had a couple of days where he went to daycare but she was home. One of those days I took her to the JumpYard in North Royalton on a tip from Amelia. It was a blast. Weekdays are only $7 and for that she jumped out all her energy for nearly 3 hours. We sunk another $5 into the arcade games. The free wifi meant I got some work done while she romped. The toddler area was nice and big and looked like the kids there were having fun. The morning was pretty open but when we left (around 1:00) it was packed…plan accordingly. This was worth the drive from the eastside and I’ll take Madman when we go back.

Great Big Home + Garden Show
I know, it sounds silly to take kids to a home and garden expo. But think about it: a giant indoor space in which your kid can run around and be a goofball to his heart’s content. We went last year and the kids spent hours exploring all the landscapes set up, checking out the houses and climbing on play structures. At $14 per adult plus parking it’s not cheap, but sometimes spending $30 to spend the entire afternoon out of the house is so worth it.

Rapid + Tower City = Tired Preschooler
We haven’t done this recently but both kids love to ride the Rapid so this is a nice one to keep in your back pocket for when you really need to get out of the house for the afternoon. Kids 6 and under ride free with a paying adult ($5). Mark has a monthly pass for his commute so for $5 we can ride downtown, burn off some energy running around Tower City, and then ride home. Now, I know Tower City doesn’t offer much in shopping, but it’s a beautiful space in which the kids can get some exercise. If it’s not below zero or sleeting we might walk over to grab a bite at Noodlecat, too.

 

Libraries
While we love living a couple of blocks from our local library sometimes it can be fun to explore other libraries. We like the ones in Cleveland Heights Lee Road branch and South Euclid branch in the Telling Mansion both for architecture and their children’s sections. We don’t usually get books (because we don’t want them to get mixed up with other library books at home) but spending an afternoon in a new-to-us space can be enough to keep the winter blahs away.

There are other standbys, too (swimming, GLSC, Farm Park, Aquarium) but these were some of our new favorites or hidden gems. So – what are your favorite winter blow-off-steam/burn-daylight activities for the kids?

Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Art

As you know, my main goal every weekend is to get the kids out of the house. On Saturday it was warm enough to shoo them into the backyard for a bit, but Sunday dawned bitter cold so an inside activity was needed. I texted Mark at 9:20 this morning “CMA today? they open @ 10” and he replied with a “sure” (what? you don’t text your spouse who is in the same house as you?). By 9:58 we had parked in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art and were on our way inside. Mark had taken Matilda on a daddy/daughter date a few weeks back so they had seen the new atrium but this was Madman and my first time. Matilda couldn’t wait to show us.

Doing her best Vanna White impression to show me the huge expanse of the atrium

We are so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing art museum less than 10 minutes from our house. And it’s free. The new addition of the atrium and Gallery One is just breathtaking. After romping around the atrium and sneaking a peak the interactive wall of all the CMA works, we headed to the galleries.

Matilda taking in Monet’s Water Lilies (Agapanthus)

Like most women my age, the Impressionist galleries are my favorites. It seems Matilda likes them, too. But she declared this piece her favorite (for this trip, anyway. Every CMA visit leads to a new favorite):

A Rothko in the Contemporary Collection. She wants Mark to paint one like it for our living room

Madman was the wild-card of the day and he was a real trooper as we strolled the galleries. He likes the ancient art galleries and especially the Morton Mandel Armor Court. But today his favorite thing was not inside the CMA… it was the view of the “diggers” across the street at CWRU as seen from the Glass Box.

We had lunch from the new Provenance Café, which was amazing. We had 3 entrees split between the 4 of us and we were all beyond happy.

Post-peanut butter and banana sandwich happiness

It was nearly noon so we decided to go back to Gallery One to get a chance to play with the touch-screen wall of all the museum’s works. It’s pretty amazing (and apparently we were some of the first to use it! It doesn’t officially open until tomorrow). Next visit, we’ll borrow one of their iPads, too. Such fantastic technology coupled with the art!

After that we headed for the doors but stumbled onto the most perfect play area for the kids. I wish we had known about it sooner because we could have spent an hour in just that spot. It had sketching seats and frames to hang your artwork, Tegu blocks for sculptures and mobiles to build. There were books, and tents and art to touch, even some touch-screen displays. We had to drag the kids away. They can’t wait to go back.

While certainly not our first or last trip, this was one of our more memorable trips… perhaps because of all the new things to see and do. Or maybe because it was our first time as a family to be there while not under construction. I know some people shy away from taking younger kids to the CMA but you shouldn’t. They are extremely patient with kids, have tons of amenities (changing tables, stroller rental, high chairs). I do recommend getting there early, it was starting to get crowded by noon.

We frequent University Circle but for some reason the CMA has always been the last on our list from all the places to visit. I think we’ll be re-thinking that strategy over the next few months as we look for ways to keep the kids entertained and out of the house.

non-disclosure: nothing to disclose. I just wanted to share our family fun day at the CMA!

Splish Splash Swim Bash at Goldfish Swim School (Free!)

I’ve been a swimmer from before I could remember. Seriously… I don’t remember learning how to swim, I just remember always swimming. We lived at the pool in the summers (bonus of a mom who was a teacher and had her summers off), and I was on a swim team from age 6 until high school graduation. I think swimming is beyond a sport, it’s a life skill. As you can imagine, I want to pass this love of the water to my kids.

We’ve had Matilda in lessons on and off in the past. But, either the instructor was not good, the water was cold or the times were just so inconvenient that we stopped the lessons. Madman – poor 2nd child that he is – had never been in lessons. That is until Sonali Morris (whom I knew only on Twitter) along with some others said they were opening a Goldfish Swim School nearby. After reading about it we signed up as soon as we could and we were there the week it opened.

Madman and Mark in the Mini2 class

Why is Goldfish different? First of all they are all about lessons. You’re not jockeying for space with water aerobics classes or fitness swimmers. Unlike other indoor pools which are kept cold for competitive swimmers, Goldfish keeps their water a a tepid 90 degrees. Their classes are small since they keep their ratio at 4 to 1 (so far my kids have been in classes with only 1 other kid!). They have a great area for parents to watch the lessons (and free wifi!). Best of all their program works. After 4 weeks of lessons, Matilda has moved up a level because she can do freestyle and circle breathing! She is so excited.

Look at that freestyle! Perhaps we should start planning for the 2020 Olympics?

Movin’ on up to the next class!

We’ve also been to their family swim times because – why not? It’s great fun and they have a ton of awesome pool toys for the kids to play with. 90 minutes in the pool guarantees an easy bedtime. Their facility is built with kids in mind – clean changing rooms and bathrooms, lots of places to stash their stuff, a turtle tank, chalkboard and books galore make any downtime easy to handle. Plus they do parties (which reminds me, I need to get Matidla’s next birthday party scheduled at Goldfish ASAP!).

Are you sold yet? Want to chance to check it out yourself? Perfect! Because Goldfish Swim School is holding a community open house. Come to the Splish Splash Swim Bash on Saturday, January 26 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. It will have a free four-hour open swim session, scavenger hunt, kid-friendly entertainment, photo station, prizes, giveaways, facility tours, snacks and more. You’ll get to met the funny dynamo that is Sonali and the whole Goldfish team. And you’ve got nothing to loose – it’s free and likely to be about 33 degrees outside. Doesn’t a 90 degree pool sound much better?

We’ll be there and we hope to see you too.

Goldfish Swim School
4670 Richmond Road, Suite 100
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Disclaimer: I was thrilled to help out with some marketing when Goldfish starting working on their facility because it was a group of local parents starting their own business. I’m again thrilled to help them promote their free community event because we LOVE our time in the Goldfish pool. We’ve been a paying customer since they opened but we are receiving a month of free lessons in exchange for this post. As always, my thoughts are 100% my own. I only share events that my family plans to attend or has attended in the past, so I know they are worth the visit.