An Honest Review of Goldfish Swim School

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Look at my cutie! I can’t believe Sophie is 9 and a half…seriously. This child is headed toward ten without looking back and it kinda FREAKS ME OUT! And of course as she gets older she’s going to want to do more and more fun activities with family and friends. She loves sailing on the small sail boats her dad sails on the weekend during the summer, so she REALLY needs to be a strong swimmer. We’ve had her in lessons at our local university off and on for awhile, but the only run in short sessions and are off for the summer, so when I had the opportunity to try out Goldfish Swim School for a couple of months in exchange for a review, I went for it. And our experience has been GREAT. Here’s what I like about Goldfish:

  • Easy to register and check in. You just scan a card when you arrive much like your favorite store shopper card.
  • Consistent instructors. Sophie’s always had the same teacher every single time, unlike at other places we’ve tried where there seemed to be a lot of inconsistency.
  • Easy, plentiful changing facilities. No waiting for an open room or changing in group settings!

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  • HAIR DRYING STATION!! Love it. This is so perfect for Sophie’s LONG, THICK hair!

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  • Small class sizes. Sophie’s never had more than four in her class!
  • Easy re-scheduling and make-up sessions if you have to miss for vacations or illness (we had to re-schedule two make-ups for those reasons.)

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  • SUPER timely lessons. Sessions, without exception, started and ended perfectly on time every single time. I was amazed.
  • LOTS of comfortable seating in the viewing area! I could see Sophie from just about anywhere I sat, and there was plenty of room for siblings too.

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We have loved lessons at Goldfish. I am not lying when I say they have been the highlight of Sophie’s week. We are taking July off because we are so busy as a family, but plan to dive back in (see what I did there?) in August, and have her go two times a week instead of just once. It’s not that much more expensive to do twice a week, and it’s a great value in my eyes because it also means she will progress and graduate sooner.

If you’re in Dayton, you can find our local Goldfish Swim School south of town on Lyons Rd. just off 675. I highly recommend it and hope we see you there!

If you’re not local, lucky you, there are lots of Goldfish Swim Schools all over! Find the location nearest you at their website!

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Playing around with Wonder Forge

One of the benefits (to me) of Jenny having a job is that she has no time. (Having a job is tough, yo.) Therefore when Wonder Forge reached out to see if she would do her annual game review, she passed the honors on to me, which is awesome since they have several new Star Wars games out and I have several Star Wars fans at my house!

The first one we checked out was Galaxy Hunt. Sam was pretty pumped.

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This game requires each player to remove a certain piece from the board without causing the spring-loaded bar to move. It’s very easy to play, and requires problem-solving as well as some basic math skills, as each piece is worth positive or negative points.

We also played Star Wars Star Destroyer Strike.

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Here’s the description:
Strategy and suspense collide in the exciting Star Wars Star Destroyer Strike Game. The Star Destroyer Finalizer is out to eliminate the Resistance. Advance your heroes to safety before the starship of the First Order has you in its line of fire. Evade surprise blasts that can happen when you least expect it, and outwit your opponents by bouncing the “laser” blasts off the deflector shield towards them. It’s fast-moving galactic fun for the whole family.

This was also a lot of fun, and Sam loved the lights and sounds. It requires some strategy, which makes it fun for the adults as well as kids. One thing that is a little different is that it’s set up on a track rather than a board. Pretty cool!

Confession time – the thing I liked MOST about these two games is that while they were Star Wars themed, those of us who are a little less, un, well-versed in the Rebel Alliance could play along without any trouble. That’s great for me, because if Star Wars trivia is involved, I can’t hold a candle to Sam or Andy.

Which brings me to…

Star Wars Pictopia

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Pictopia has been on my “to buy” list for a while now. I have heard nothing but good things about it. The Star Wars version didn’t disappoint! It contains more than 1,000 questions about the planets, ships, villains and heroes, and you can wager different amounts depending on your confidence in your knowledge. (Needless to say, I took the conservative route.) This game is unique in that it combines teamwork with individual play, which puts an interesting twist on it. We liked the game so much that we ordered the Disney version for Kate for Christmas!

Wonder Forge has everything you need to make Christmas break fun! In addition to the Star Wars games, they’ve got a Peanuts Snoopy Flying Ace game, The Good Dinosaur Roarin’ River game, and more. Stay up-to-date on all of their offerings by liking their Facebook page!

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A Little Help

I often say that childcare has been the numero uno most stressful part of my parenting experience. (Which, when I think about it, makes me very, very lucky.) We are closing in on the end of that portion of our lives, as Kate can stay home by herself for short periods of time, but there are still occasions on which we need a little help.

Last week I had the opportunity to check out an app designed to make childcare arrangements a little easier, and I wanted to tell you about it. The app is called Little Helper, and it enables you to create a community of people you know and trust, and to ask (and give!) help when you need it. So, if you’re in a bind, you can send a message to your network that says “Can anyone keep my kids on Friday while I go to the dentist?” Those in your network will see it and can decide (without pressure) whether or not they can help. It takes a little of the stress off of both sides of that equation.

It’s easy. You create an event (which takes less than 30 seconds)…

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Notify your helpers…

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And find and give help.

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A key element to Little Helper is trust. It’s a closed environment where you know exactly who can see your request, whereas you might be a little hesitant to say “Hey, can anyone watch my kids while I leave my house empty and available for break ins next weekend?” That’s a bit dramatic, but I think you know what I mean! Even though I have privacy settings on my Facebook page, I don’t have a close relationship with each person I am friends with to say the least, and I don’t necessarily know that every single one of them is super trustworthy. Little Helper is safer in that capacity.

Some other ways Little Helper can be used:
— Co-parenting situations
— Pet care, lawn care, etc.
— Barter/credit system to trade time – people who have time rather than money and are willing to give it as payment, and vice versa.
— GPS-connected car pooling
— See more ideas on their blog

Little Helper is in the testing phase right now, which means there is currently not a fee for using it. If you check it out, leave a comment here and let me know what you think about it – I am interested to hear if it could be a solution for you!

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