Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Now you are three {Loukas}

Dear Loukas,

Happy birthday!!
Yes, today is your birthday, finally after such a long long wait for you. I think you have asked us everyday since Leo's birthday back in May and got more frustrated as Nana's, Grandads and Daddy's birthdays came and went,    now it's your turn though and I hope you enjoy it!

This year you started school, and although you didn't always want to go it has helped you and your confidence so much, not to mention teaching you your first bits of Greek.  You took part in your school Olympics and did so well, running with your friends and joining in with all the activities while we cheered you on from the side,  Leo was particularly proud of his little brother.

You ended your short time at nursery by taking part in the school play where you played a little Chinese boy.  We had no idea how it would go as you always seemed so shy at school and I didn't know if you would take part or refuse to join in.  You were of course brilliant, looking a little unsure at first but eventually spotting us in the audience and giving us one of your lovely little smiles.

I am pleased that you are FINALLY sleeping at night time now,  almost 3 years of night time battles have not been fun little man but we seem to have pretty much cracked it.  You can deal with late nights much better than Leo could at your age, and are good at going to sleep without a fuss when we are out, once you have thoroughly tired yourself out of course!

You love 'playing on the tele' either on the Wii or the playstation and are now really good at so many of the games. You also love watching Leo play on his tablet and over the moon when he occasionally lets you touch it!

Not so long ago doing jigsaw puzzles was your favourite thing, and I couldn't even tell you how many times a day we used to do the Winnie the Pooh puzzles, but now you have gone off that and prefer to play chess with Leo and I.  It won't be long until you can play all by yourself, but you don't quite get that you can't only move the 'horsey',  it's very funny to hear you tell Leo that you are going to 'take all his pieces and check him' though.

It's not long until you start your next school now and I hope you are as happy there as Leo was, I know you are very excited about playing with the toys that you have seen so many times when we picked your brother up. I'm sure you will make lots of new friends very soon, and maybe you will meet up with 'Yiannis, Angelos and Georgios' very soon.

Of course, out of school your best friend is Jaxon, or Jacsac as you call him, you are are the terrible twosome although you generally play better than you did just a couple of months ago when all you could hear was the chorus of  'mine, mine mine' as you fought over the same toys.

Photo by KlikPhotoCY
I wish you a very happy 3rd birthday Louka mou.  and lots of big squeezy hugs and kisses,  now you CAN do kisses!

Love Mummy xxx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Our #SwimFin Summer so far...

Living in Cyprus, and spending as much time in the water as we do it was obviously very important for us to get our boys swimming as early as possible.

When Leo was small I went through many different options and swimming aids - armbands, flotation vests, swim rings, you name it we tried it! Well, nearly all of it!

Leo hated every single one and refused to wear any so I spent the entire time holding him in the water and being envious of the other Mums who weren't quite so nervous about their little ones happily wearing armbands and being too close to the edge.

Although it was not fun at the time it did have the ultimate advantage of getting him swimming unaided quicker than many of his arm band wearing friends.  Wanting to get out of my arms was a great motivator!

Despite this I was dreading the same happening with Louka, at least until he understood not to walk too close to the edge but he loved his armbands and would happily wear them even when playing at the side of the pool.  It did make my life a little easier but I was aware that it might hold him back, I think that they are restricting as they don't hold the child at the right angle for swimming properly, and they give a false sense of security.

So, when we were offered the opportunity to try out a Swim Fin, I jumped at the chance!

Here's what they say about this unique swimming aid.....

SwimFin is multi-stroke functional. It leaves the arms completely free to move and so can be used to learn front-crawl, back-stroke, breast-stroke and butterfly. SwimFin works for all ages and abilities: from toddlers taking to the water for the first time, all the way through improved learners to advanced swimmers who want to develop stroke technique.

But as well as the benefits and assistance it give in learning to swim, it also makes the child into a shark!!!

We took our fin to a local hotel pool to try and caused quite a stir...

swimfin on 6 year old

Leo loved all the comments and spent the afternoon in character, even creating a story around his new persona of 'Sharky' 

Louka was reluctant to try the SwimFin at first but Leo was more than happy to demonstrate, in fact even several weeks later its still hard for poor Louka to get a look in on it!

I wouldn't have considered getting a SwimFin for Leo, who is 6 and can swim very well unaided but I was surprised that it has still been a benefit to him. I have tried to get him to float or swim on his back many times but he has always refused to try, not even letting me hold him on his back before.

I was therefore surprised to see him suddenly start swimming on his back without any prompting, not only that but he has continued to do it since without wearing the fin!

Leo spends most of his time in the pool swimming under water and one of the huge advantages of the SwimFin over other swimming aids is that he can still do that as at that angle the fin is almost completely out of the water.

With Louka the SwimFin is more submerged and therefore supports him more in the water,  however you know the old saying......You can lead a two year old to water but you can't make him wear a SwimFin...

Louka has not wanted to even try the fin for more than a few seconds so far with complete disregard to the fact I am trying to write about his experience of using it! Over the last week though he has suddenly started swimming around rather than just floating about so I think it may be time to give it another try.

I will keep you updated on how we get on....

You can find our more about SwimFin on their website  Swimfin.co.uk   
Pop over to their social media accounts for swimming tips, and more, you can find them facebook, twitter, Instagram,  and even Youtube. 

We have been provided with a SwimFin for the purpose of review. 

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