Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fun on the 4th

We had an awesome holiday weekend in Austin with the Steeces! Lots of activities, lots of pictures (lots to catch up on at home).

Early morning 4th of July parade in Lakeway, TX...Joe looks like he's about to pass out pushing the beast up the big hill.



So Sav, tell us how you really feel about that awesome Texas heat so early in the morning?


So fun to see all the little kids lining the streets in their patriotic colors



The Steece Quads enjoying some of their parade loot


Later that night, we kept the quads up to witness their first fireworks! Benny enjoying a nice little refreshment before the show begins.



Andrew loved watching the lights on Grandpa's shoulders and was not phased by the loud noises.



Ethan kept saying "POP! POP!" as the fireworks would burst, while cruising around in Jess's arms.



Poor, sweet Benny clung to Olivia for dear life. He was motionless and frozen in fear at the loud booms. He did a lot better once we got a little further away and the noises weren't as loud.



Savi and Mommy---staring up at the fireworks. The kids did surprisingly well for keeping them up until 9:30/10 pm!


The next day we got ready to splash around in Grammie and Grandpa's pool. LOTS of sunscreen to apply! Kate had bought the kids these awesome little swimsuits with the floaties built right into the suit.



The suits were still a wee bit too big on the little ones, but will be perfect for next year! We also tried the lifejackets, but those didn't work out too well either. So, I have a question for you guys: What should we use? We are going to try the arm floaties--I'm thinking they might be our best bet for this age. (Drew, Ethan, Ben, Savannah)



Cute little Savannah



Benny boy


Ethan going for a ride with Grandpa


Mama's little fishies: Sav, Ben, Drew, Ethan


I made Uncle Ed sit down and pose with the kids for a pic, because I recently realized that I didn't have one! (Savannah, Ben, Ethan, Andrew)



Jess decided to join in on the fun!



Out to eat with some good friends (We eat out a LOT with the quads...they are good little restaurant goers- USUALLY. But the second one starts throwing a fit, we snatch them up and head outside until they calm down...we also clean up before we leave. It is amazing the amount of food and crayons that fall to the floor during one sitting!)


Monday morning, we headed out to the Hill Country Galleria before we started our drive back home.


Our new favorite thing to eat is chips and queso...it will keep them occupied during the entire meal! Sassy Sav.



My monkey Ben


Silly little Ethan


Darling Drew.


We headed home to Quad-Vacation-Detox (Do I really even need to explain what that means?)...pheww. Hope you all had wonderful and safe weekends..and a HUGE thanks to our men and women in the armed forces.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for 2 year old pool safety devices, I'd LOVE to hear them! Thanks!

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109 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would try arm floaties, AND the floatie suits.

Amber said...

You should look into Puddle Jumpers. I tried it for the first time on vacation with my daughter (2yrs)this summer and she LOVED it. It really keeps them in a great swimming position. Here is a link to check it out on the Coleman website but you can get them other places too. I bought ours at Academy Sports and I hear they are sold at Walmart as well. The best part is they are Coast Guard approved.

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/ColemanCom/newsrelease.asp?releasenum=478

Moore Praise said...

For our 4 year old when he was 2 we used arm floaty and a life jacket at the same time. With our now 2 year old he used arm floaty but still needed a little help or some one really close by to help him keep his head up. My mom though swears on the inner tube shirt. It looks like a swim shirt with a built in inner tube. I am not sure what they are called but I have seen them here are there and in catalogs.

The McCullough's said...

We use floaties. Our daughter is 22 months and they work well for her. She still has mobility but her head is kept out of the water. Hope you find something that works for you!

Cheryl said...

We have used something called a swim sweater. It has a stretchy shirt top attached to a small tube. It works fabulously. Easy on and easy off. The best part is my kids have been able to be independent in the water. My 3 year old still wears hers. We purchased it at Academy. Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

The Puddle Jumper works great for my 2 year old little boy!! I believe they are pretty new and they were featured in Parenting magazine too. We got ours at a Bass Pro Shop, but I have seen them at Walmart.

Following Him said...

It's about time for a quad-fix post! Glad the Fourth of July was grand and the kiddos did so well staying up past their bedtime :) Their sweet personalities are glowing in these picts! Sav cracks me up with her serious faces!

Can not believe that the sweet Steece quads will be TWO in less than a month. Time sure does fly when they are having fun! So sweet, so precious!

As for the safety devices, the arm floaties seem to work really well.
~Elyse

"Just a Boy Mom" said...

I did the arm floaties with both of my boys and I taught swim lessons years ago. They do not keep them from learning to swim. There is a really short period of getting them used to keeping their little feet down in the water, but they work great. Do think about getting the "good" ones and I do not remember the brand but they sell them at Leslie's Pool supply if you have one near you. Good luck!

Leigh Moore Gressett

Mary said...

whoa, ben looks so grown up all of a sudden! :)

Kristina said...

My sister had the hardest time with this, too! My nephew is 2 and TINY for his age, so nothing fits tight on him. They got the "puddle jumper" and it worked GREAT. The only problem is that he is terrified to be on his back and these things just support the front and the arms. So, when he stopped kicking, he naturally landed on his back. It was GREAT as long as we were in close proximity, though. He could jump in and then swim to us on his own! (There are a couple of pics and a video of him in it on my blog.)

Margy said...

Check out Swimways Swim Sweaters... they're great!

Leslie said...

I have been lurking for sometime and have really enjoyed your upbeat attitude and adventures. I am not sure what to use with that age since I only have an 8 month old, but I wanted to give you a heads up about what not to use. The swim float (blue car) that you posted in a picture was recalled. Check this website for more information: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09261.html

Rachel said...

cute pictures! The kids keep getting cuter by the day!

Shelly Powers said...

Try the arm flootie things with belt in the middle I have no idea what they are called I have seen them at walmart www.hughestwins.blogspot.com their twins wear them... There's are blue... They are coast guard approved too! Hope this helps :)

The Drama Mama said...

I have tried several different things on Ky and the arm floaties are by far the best! When I would put some sort of vest on her, it would just make her chest drop (from the weight) and the first thing in the water was her face. She also tries to really kick and swim with the floaties as well. There was a huge difference in me trying them last summer vs. this summer too (she is a pro with the floaties now!).

Anyhoo, LOVED all the pictures...you have a precious family, Suz!!

Audrey said...

I'll say also to try the float suit and the floaties. The floaties will keep them on their stomach. My daughter is 2 and is all over wearing both. I have friends that whose older kids (3 and 5)wear the puddle jumpers and they work great for them. They have them at our Walmart. Good Luck!

Maggie said...

Please, please, please ditch the floatie suits! They are horribly unsafe - since they have the floats in the back, if the child becomes unbalanced and goes forward, the back floats will pin their head underwater. I have seen it happen countless times - the pool I managed for a couple years ended up banning them because they were so bad and we saw it happen so much. I would go to your local park district and see if they have something like this http://www.yardandpool.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=98150&click=4897 it is called a 'bubble' and is inflated and deflated using a ball pump (or just the needle). When they are starting out, they will sit straight up (the bubble is fully inflated) walk or march. As they become comfortable, you deflate the bubble - this will bring their legs up behind them so they can kick. Eventually you deflate the bubble completely and they swim on their own! Some kids like to keep the bubble on for the security thing, but if each quad has their own, you are able to inflate/deflate it to their ability. They are a little pricey (usually $25 each) but they last forever as long as you keep the front strap and buckle in good condition.

Good luck!

Cassandra said...

I agree with the first comment, we have always used both a vest & arm floaties. Then swim lessons maybe next year & then they will be off! Great pics of the quads!!!

Jana Green said...

At Target, or Toys R Us, you can get this tank top type thing with an inner tube in it. It is by far the best flotation device for toddlers I have ever seen. I was a nanny for twins who were teeny, and I think we bought four different types of floats and the tank top inner tube one was the best.

Katie Favara said...

I have tried it all! I always went back to the cheap arm floaties. Or, for the ones that were a little more chicken, the small yellow rings with the seat (to keep them from falling through). None liked the big rings that kept them from getting their hands in the water.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the fabric covered arm floaties. Be sure to try them on your skinniest arms before purchasing! The BodyGlove brand runs too big for little arms.

ASHENFELTERS said...

My daughter will be 2 this week and she just uses a ring floaty. Of course, she is also watching 4 bigger kids and wants to do everything they do....:)

wilsonfamily said...

My 2-year old has been swimming in a regular life jacket. Might sound a bit odd, but I know he can't wiggle his way out of it like he can with floaties. Enjoyed all the cute pictures!

Leah said...

For Gavin, we use arm floaties and a ring underneath his arms. He LOVES the water, but hates for us to let go, but when we do let go the floaties and ring keep him afloat well! The twins are still a little small, so they have things to sit in and float.

Anonymous said...

hi suz! i'm a first-time commenter so i just wanted to say how much i LOVE your blog! i read it everyday.
in terms of pool safety, i'm curious why the life vests didn't work out for your crew. personally, i'm a certified lifesaver and would NEVER put my kids in the arm floaties. they slip off too easily and IMHO, they provide a false sense of security; something you definitely don't want when you're chasing after 4 toddlers! same goes for the belt with the round (styrofoam?) floatie on the belly - if there's a problem that item will not hold your child upright, but will pull her facedown in the water.
my twins only go in the water with coast guard approved life vests - the ones you wear when you go sailing or in a canoe. they're not cute but they provide snug, full-torso protection. perhaps you can ensure that they are fitted properly by going to a sporting-goods store.
sorry for the length but good luck!

Amy said...

Both of my girls use the arm floaty. My youngest is 16 months and just now started jumping of the steps and kicking herself back to the edge just using the armies.

Corrinne from VA said...

The puddle jumper is fantastics. I bought it last year at Walmart for my, then, 2 year old boy. He is also using it again this year. He loves the freedom to use his arms and legs to swim. I loved the fact that it is US Coast Guard approved.

Kim said...

The speedo vests! Target has them.. they work much better than arm floaties or traditional life vests. They zip up and also have something that goes through the legs. They come in sizes for a better fit (2-4, etc). They're $20/each, but a great investment that will last at least 2-3 years.

Ashley said...

My little boy was boy august 31 2007 so he is the same age as your quads, and we use the floats he can sit in, or a life jacket paired with arm floaties. Also I saw a while back that you use the car floats in the pool, those have been recalled. I just saw the sign yesterday at our walmart. You can check it out on this website and it gives you more information. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09261.html

We have the crab float, and we called for a refund.

Stormie's Mommy said...

My daughter and your sweet babies are born one day apart. She is August 2nd and we have a puddle jumper and it is the best thing ever. She can float in the pool with out you having to hold her all the time and it seems to be the best thing in pool devices I have ever found. I got mine at Walmart for $15 bucks and they have 4 colors too! I would highly recommend this for a 2 year old.

Here is a link to some I found
http://www.amazon.com/STEARNS-PUDDLE-JUMPER-3864-RED/dp/B0017Q4PI4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1247076644&sr=8-2

Good Luck!

Jamie said...

They look so grown up!!! Beautiful children

caroline said...

The arm floaties never worked for either of my kids at this age....they didn't have the balance down and would go face first into the water as soon as I let go. The best (and favorite amongst them) was just a cheap ring floatie...the ones we bought didn't have seats, but you can get seated ones since you have four at a time to watch....With the ring floaties, they were free to swim around the pool, spin in circles, play with the water with their hands, etc....but of course you need to keep close to them! Good luck!

Oh, and I've seen people mention swin lessons next year...don't get your hopes up...the AAP states kids aren't typically ready until age 4 to swim on their own....there's always the exception, though!

Anonymous said...

All of the sudden the quads look like big kids and not babies anymore!! Thanks for sharing all the fun pictures

Leah said...

Hi Suz,
Looks like y'all are having a fun summer!

I have boy/girl twins that were born just 5 days after your bunch, so we're all in the same stage. We have a pool, so have been swimming a lot already this summer and I've tried many different flotation suit/floatie combinations and finally found something that works GREAT for my two!

We started out at the beginning of the summer wearing the floatie suits like what yours are wearing in the pictures. All they did for the kids was flip them belly up or face down in the water... offered no control whatsoever (I'm thinking those must be better for when they are more actively using their arms/legs in the water). Next, we tried arm floaties with the floatie suits thinking that would help... it didn't. We tried floaties by themselves but the kids just sank down in the water because they are not actively using their arms/legs yet to swim.

Finally, I came across THE. MOST. ADORABLE "life-jacket-thingys" at Wal-Mart one day in the pool section. It is basically arm floaties attached to a body float that goes around their chest and back and snaps in back. They are approved by the US Coast Guard to be used on boats, so we know they're safe for pool use. They are for children 30-50 pounds and the best part: they have animals on them (yellow is a duck, red is a ladybug, green is a frog, and blue is a shark)... so there's FOUR different ones for you! Here's a link so you can see what they look like: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.colemanexponent.com/coleman/images/products/stearns/pfd/3864RED-00-000_500.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.colemanexponent.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp%3Fproduct_id%3D3864RED-00-000%26categoryid%3D24011&usg=__SD9Z5F1KqZSc5YrIFaNozx2htqo=&h=500&w=500&sz=64&hl=en&start=8&um=1&tbnid=XG_DYogd-wvtGM:&tbnh=130&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DStearns%2BPuddle%2BJumpers%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26channel%3Ds%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

As far as ideas for pool safety, are you talking about different ways to make a backyard with a pool safe for little ones? If so, we found a company called Katchakid that installs custom netting over your pool (holds up to 300 pounds and is easily installed and removed between swims) as well as mesh fencing that we put around our covered patio. Some people use the mesh fencing around their pool, but we fenced our patio to be kind of the "holding area" before and during swims while the netting is removed from the water.

Anyway, hope that helps. Have a fun summer!

Leah
bouncingbabyballs.blogspot.com

Melanie said...

I am so glad I read this. We have been having the same problem with Hayley. She loves the water and hates for us to have to hold her all the time. Looks like you have gotten some great advise - that I can use too.
Thanks! Have a great week!

Noah and Dani said...

We came across the Stearns Puddle Jumpers because that is what they issue at the base. They are Coast Guard approved and my kids love them and they work great! I think Wal Mart probably has the best prices!

We are the Smith Family said...

First...let me say they are growing so much. They are getting more growny with each post.

Second...can you tell me what you carry in your backpack? I am always second guessing my bag...repacking...trying a new bag...etc. The angels (9 months) are good in restaurants but it would be great if I could learn to downsize all that I carry.

Thanks!

ANNA B. said...

Hi Suz- Long time reader, first time poster. I am friends with the McLean family quads in Hico. I love reading about your babies! They are absolutely precious!

I have a 19-month old son and we have one of the Puddle Jumper life jackets that a few others have mentioned in the comments. I really like it and we go swimming a lot. My only thing, is that Cade is not quite big enough for it yet, and I think he's probably at least as big or a bit bigger than your crew. Cade is 29 lbs and 33 inches tall. It fits him fine around the waist, but is a bit big in the arms. However, next year, I think it will fit perfectly and I think it will be a great life vest. I especially like it because the babies can't get stuck face down in the water. I've heard so many horror stories about that happening with traditional vests and float suits. I think for me, for the rest of this swimming season, I'm going to stick with just keeping Cade in ankle deep water or on my hip! Though I figure that might be a tad harder for you with four little ones! I think there may be a pic or two of Cade wearing the Puddle Jumper on my blog if you want to check it out. Good luck!

Cara said...

my 2.5 year old used the arm floaties this summer and last summer.DOLLAR GENERAL has the floaties that fit best...the other ones are too big and bulky! the mini tubes are good too to use with the arm floaties!

jag said...

Oh my gosh, Suz! GREAT POST! The kids are so adorable and look like they had TONS of fun! Ours stayed up for the fireworks too, and then 2 of them decided to just stay up all darn night! UGH! LONG ride home the next day. SO happy you had a wonderful time!

Anonymous said...

Ben looks totally different to me in all of these pics! He looks like a little boy rather than a baby boy!!

ANNA B. said...

One more thing... LOL!

I recently bought one of these

http://cgi.ebay.com/NWT-DIAPERAPS-REUSABLE-SWIM-DIAPER-XL-24-Months-2T_W0QQitemZ300326200380QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item45ecd6243c&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C72%3A1205%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

(wow, long link!) for my little guy and it's awesome!! I figure you're probably spending a small fortune on Huggies Little Swimmers - because I know I was! Anyway, this reusable diaper works perfectly - and is adorable - aaaaaand, it was only $3.99! I'll be posting pics of Cade wearing it around either today or tomorrow if you want to check it out!

Miller Family said...

I also have one of the floats that is by Aqua Leisure. Not all of them have been recalled. I called and mine is fine. Now, I'm super cautious with it, but I'm sure that they would recall any that they think could have any possible problems.

I'm not sure what to use either. My little one is almost 14 months now and I don't think the floaties will stay on her arms.

Lennie said...

We had the best luck with the "swim sweater" (sounds weird, I know). But it is a vest with a ring attached - see here: http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Sweater-Orange-and-Purple/dp/B000F39N1E/ref=pd_sim_t_3

My daughter freaked out if her face went in the water, and at the age your kids are, she couldn't keep her balance enough to use arm "swimmies". I went to Swim Ways website and they have a bunch more, but I think we bought the one we had at Toys R Us.

Kim said...

P.S. The Speedo swim vests look like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001M5TY72/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=304485901&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000VLF9O0&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0E68JRCRBJD5K02CYBQW

Brooke said...

My daughter is 22 months old and we use the arm floaties for her and she LOVES them! It took her a day to get used to them but now she loves them. The life jackets and floatie outfit both would come up too high on her and she could not see over it so she LOVES the floaties. She wants to be left alone in the pool and tells everyone "Me BIG!"

Garrett Family said...

My girls us the floaty jackets - they are a little better than just the arm floaties but don't seem to bother them like life jackets do.

You can get them at walmart they are great. I don't seem to have a picture on my blog of them - I do on my facebook page. If you would like to see a picture just leave me a note on my blog and I will get one posted.

Lissa said...

I love the Swimways Safe T Seal Power Swimmer - I just got this one for my son a few months ago - and the good thing about it is that the inserts come out as your kids get more confident in swimming - I could easily see you using these for the next 3 years....I got this at target

http://www.buzzillions.com/dz_294715_swimways_safe_t._seal_power_swimr_reviews

Joy said...

I haved used all sorts and the best I have used by far are the floaties. I have twins and I know how trying the pool can be! I can't imagine quads :-) The life jackets kept them up but wore spots on their skin under their arms and between their legs so we won't be doing that again. owee!!! LOVE your blog by the way, read it all of the time!!

Michael and Crissie said...

I have followed you blog for a while, but never commented. My mother-in-law bought the puddle jumpers for her grandkids (ages 18 mo to 3) and they are great. My son is two and will play around the yard in it and then go to the pool and kick around. He even fell in once recently and it held him on his back with his head up until we could reach him. You can get them at Walmart, but they are with the boating stuff and adult life jackets, not with the kids swim stuff. Hope that helps.

anniemal06 said...

With my oldest son we used a swimsuit with a built in inner tube. It inflates with a tire pump. Skylar loved it and would hop in and out of the water for hours!

I don't remember what it was called though, but I have a link for a picture of it. We did get it at sports authority though. Worked out really well for him.

http://www.backyardcitypools.com/Images/BWP/swim-tee-trainer.jpg

Tracy said...

I absolutely 1 million percent agree with the Puddle Jumpers! LOOOOVE THEM!!! My son is almost 3 and has had one for about a year and it is AWESOME!! And if you just use arm floaties they can fall off, this will NOT come off!!We bought one at Wal-Mart and one at Academy and they were both around $14.99. Plus if you ever go on a boat, they can wear those instead of a life jacket because they are Coast Guard Approved! You will NOT be disappointed! PROMISE!!!

Tara Hobbs said...

Hi - I am pretty new to your blog and I found it from a friend of mine's blog. We just got the Puddle Jumpers for my 4 year old and 2 year old. We LOVE them. They are more comfortable in the pool in these than any other floatie or life jacket. I found them at Wal-Mart in like the fishing/boating section. They are AMAZING!! You will not be dissappointed!!

Anonymous said...

Yea - just going to mention that my son is just turned two and I've been wondering the same thing and although well meaning, most of the links given in this post are for 3yo and older. Even the floaties my friends have are listed for 3yo minimum. My little dude is 50% at barely 30lbs and that is the minimum for most of the swimming devices. Most of the moms I talk to who have kids this age just put their kids in the little kiddie pool and only go in big pools with 1 on 1 without anything.

Sarah said...

I would like to comment on the potential danger of floaties... when they decide to jump in, they have been known to slide right off and down the precious little one will go. Just wanted to mention that.

We never use flotation devices with our little one, except when we are in a boat. We also only have one little one to watch in the water.

We took her to Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) aquatic survival lessons and they were AMAZING!! Only 1 year later, she is swimming like a fish! I have a feeling you guys would love them also. They are not "swimming lessons", rather teach them how to survive in the water, should they fall/slip in. Here is the website: http://www.infantswim.com/home.html

Good luck!

adoerr said...

Suz- Just an FYI, for the floatie boats that have been recalled they'll want you to cut out the valve on each boat and send it to them. If you don't have the original receipt you'll get $10 back for each.

I can't wait to hear what you end up using... I refer to you as my product tester since my little girl is just 17 months. You're a riot and I love to read your blog.

:)
Amy

Momma-of-5 said...

Suz-
We have the same issue! (I've commented before, but my triplets are a few days younger than your quads.)
With my older kids, I paired a life vest with the swimmies. It worked great. The problem I have NOW is that Ava is BARELY 20# and I can't find something small enough. I cruised through Cabela's when I was up in CT and found a good vest for her. I haven't tried it with swimmies yet, but we're headed to the pool tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes.

Laura said...

My girls learned to use floaties at that age. It took some getting used to especially keeping their mouth closed and not drinking the entire pool but in a few weeks they got it. They are life saver. We did try floaties and the suits you have on together and that worked well too but I was determined they just learn to manage floaties on their own.

Happy 4th. Your kids are so cute! I have that same swim suit you are wearing in blue :)

Nicole said...

We use arm floats...my 20mth old does GREAT with them and I think they are teaching her to keep her head above water and to balance better then when she has worn a life jacket (can't ever get it to fit JUST right where she can splash around). My 3 year old has started to swim this summer and I think it has helped to have the wings to "help" her try to swim...hope you find something that works for you!

Anonymous said...

I am like a previous poster, and would not use arm floaties by themselves. They can slip off too easily, and I am sure it can be tough to keep track of 4 little ones. Even with adult supervision, drownings happen. Try a different life jacket or maybe the puddle jumpers.

KDub said...

we use arm floaties for our newly 2 yr old... first couple of times in the pool she got a bit of water in her mouth, but quickly learned how to bob her head out of the water.

The Moore Family said...

I have a two year old and we bought him a life vest thing from Academy. It looked like a panda. It was more like a half life vest that had arm floats and buckled in the back. It's hard to explain but it worked REALLY well. We go to the Blanco River every year for a week and he had that thing on all week. It was awesome. I got it at Academy.

Charla (SHar-la) said...

Suz,

My nephew turned two in January and my SIL found him the perfect water floatie device because he H-A-T-E-S his life jacket and screams when we go out in the boat when we put it on him.

It is from Wal-Mart and is approved by The Coast Guard. His arms go through the wholes, and the floatation device is on his front and back, but it buckles in the back instead of the usual front. This keeps it from riding up under his chin and bothering him so much and he can still use his arms. He played like he didn't even know it was on!

Charla (SHar-la) said...

Just saw the comment about Puddle Jumpers and checked it out. I think that is what my SIL bought for my nephew.

Debbie Z. said...

I have 2 kiddos and they both used a floating tube. they have different styles and of course they all have different prices. My 3 year old loves it and feels secure in it. Amazon has many to choose from..

here is the link

http://www.amazon.com/Aqua-Leisure-School-Trainer-Inflatable/dp/B00004LCAL/ref=pd_bxgy_t_img_b

The Carlsons said...

Very cute! It looks like it was a fun 4th for you all!

I was going to say that it looks like Ben is changing SO much. But then I looked back at the pictures and thought that of all the boys. Sav still looks like the same little Sav. Man, how they are changing and growing. And coming up on 2yo! WOW!!

Thanks for sharing!
-fellow quad mom of 16mo GGGG and a 5yo boy

Honeycutt Family said...

My 3 year old used one of the little boats that you already have when she was younger. Now she uses the floating tube ring thingy. She likes that a lot. I plan on trying the arm floaties too, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. We are in CO and don't go to the pool as much as you Texans! :)

Laurel said...

Love the pics! We used one of these for my daughter, and then passed it along - everyone loved it so much, it finally needed to be retired, so I bought a new one for my son. The bungee cords on the side and the top and bottom straps help you adjust it to just the right size.

http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Ways-Swimways-Power-Swimr/dp/B0023TMQ4Y/ref=pd_sbs_sg_3

Kelly said...

We use the cloth covered "Floaties." Come in pink and blue. Got them at Wal-mart.

Kelly said...

We use the cloth covered "Floaties." Come in pink and blue. Got them at Wal-mart.

renee said...

your kiddos have the CUTEST facial expressions!!! looks like you guys had a great time!!!

Lindsey said...

Puddle Jumpers are the best. They sell them at Academy. You can also search Puddle Jumpers and they will come up. Its the only thing that will work for my 16 month old. They are awesome.

The Murray Crew said...

In the words of Suz Steece, "HOLY COW!" When you ask for the internet's opinions, they answer! =) Love all the fabulous fun fourth pix, Suz. So are you the official spokesperson for Snack Traps, or what? Like every post has a picture of them! =) Love those things!

Ummmmm....let's see....I'll totally be reading these comments and figuring out the best floaty for our crew too, so let us know what you go with!

I love you, always! Thanks for bein' a friend today (and everyday)!

Jason and Stephanie Trook said...

Last year at our swimming lessons, the life guards tied noodles around our 3 year old's waist. I'd never seen anything like it! You need to make sure the noodle knot is tight, but she LOVED it!

SouthernMama said...

I started both my boys with arm floaties around 20 months or so. At 3 & 5 they're both great swimmers, sans floaties now. The pics are adorable!

Sandy P said...

As a former swim instructor, I hate the arm floats. But, they do a great job of keeping the kids face out of the water. There is a danger of them coming off if they get too wild though. I would say if you go this route buy the nicer ones. My biggest issue with them is they often encourage kids to be afraid to get their faces wet and they do not teach the correct swim position. I think it ends up being harder to teach them to swim.

I have used a progressive back pack
(http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/14015.htm) with my 2 year old. I got it last summer when she was about 16 months old. It encourages the swimming position, but they can get their heads up. My daughter learned how to get around with her head out of the water quickly. This summer, I started by taking a couple of the floats off. She is now (at 29 months) swimming on her own. I still make her use the back pack a lot. She can swim around and back to the side of the pool, but since she can not touch the bottom of the pool, I don't want her on her own unless I am right there with her.

Again these are great, but I think the floats might make your life easier this summer. Just watch that they don't go in thinking they have them on. Those were the only rescues I made as a life guard. Little kids forgot they did not have them on and would jump right in.

Michele said...

When my girls were two-ish, we used the speedo lifejacket (with th belt that loops between the legs) along with swimmies on thier arms. The following summer, they used the speedo life vest without the swimmies and did great. I love the speedo lifevest/jacket. We have tried every other device around and this one was the one I felt was the most safe.
Good luck

Anonymous said...

For pool safety there's nothing better than the Ketchakid. We've had it on our pool for three years.
We have 10 grandkids and it has kept them safe. We've even had a German Shephed try to walk out on it and it held. It is easy to install and take off. My 12 year old grandson can do it by himself.

Amanda said...

Hey Suz! I'm one of the contributing writers to Multiples and More blog network and was wondering if you would be interested in writing a guest post for us. You can email me at multiplesandmoreblog@yahoo.com

Jeff, Katie and Gabby said...

Suz, we use a life preserver that has the arm floaties and belt built in together. It is yellow with a duck on the front of it. It has a belt that goes around the child and arm floaties attached. You can adjust the size with a belt. I think we got it at Wal Mart. Works great and Gabby feels so secure in it she is already jumping off the side of the pool into the water!

andersons said...

Fabric covered arm floaties are the best. They keep them upright and the have full mobility!!!! You can get them at Wal-Mart, and they are not too expensive!!!They come in hot pink and royal blue!

Cochran Quads said...

Your kids are OH SO CUTE!!! I'm a little bummed there weren't any pictures of Joe in the pool with the kids, but at least I got a sweaty pic of him pushing the babes up the hill!!! You realize I've probably made a very awkward first meeting face to face with Joe! Oh, well, ya gotta love me!! Love You WOMAN!!!

gtown1 said...

We use our Wal-Mart plain jane infant lifejacket and it works awesome and my son loves it.
He is 35 lbs. at 21 mos though.
Hope this helps.
Good Luck....
EJ (formerly of Waco now in Mississippi) :)

Halli Matheny said...

I used arm floaties with the suits and it worked great at that age. When they are 3-4 life jackets work better.

magdalina said...

Oh my gosh, your babies looked so grown up in this pictures. Very cute!

Nicole said...

We used lifejackets and arm floaties together. Lifejackets are the safest because arm floaties can come off in the pool too easily, but my kids had trouble controlling the lifejacket in the water. The arm floaties provided them balance. They looked pretty ridiculous at the pool, but they were safe! I think the puddle jumpers are the same concept, but I would check the sizes, they may be too big for your babies this year. Hope this helps! BTW, LOVE your blog! I've been following for a while, but have only commented a few times.

courtney said...

my little cousin had the same problem with the lifevests and lifevest suits. her mom loves the puddle jumper now because it works great and doesnt float up into her face.
http://www.target.com/Stearns-Puddle-Jumper/dp/B0019BSYXE/qid=1247119746/ref=br_1_1/182-1447635-7580926?ie=UTF8&node=14024121&frombrowse=1&rh=&page=1

Anonymous said...

Hello, down here...assuming you have a chance to read the 84 comments before you made it to me. lol.

Just wanted to say, I have seen several people say to get the suit/shirt with the inner tube...very dangerous. If you think of the design, it is meant to keep a child's legs under him, great concept. Except what happens when the child accidentally falls in and is in the water head first, it will keep this head in the water and his legs out. A young child would not have the strength to flip back over.

That is about all I have to say...except my son wore a life jacket from about 18 months on, he wore it for hours playing in the back yard (we were worried about the pool, it wasn't part of his fashion statement.) It takes practice for little ones to learn to balance in a life jacket so don't give up on the life jackets yet.

Ok, seriously that is all I have to say for now...

Julie

The Shepherd Family said...

We used this "floaties/floating device" thing:)(hard to describe) Mom bought it at Walmart. It is styrofoam (instead of plastic, so no blowing up). The device consist of one arm band (like a floatie) for each arm and then a front "bar" to keep her from going under. There is a stap in the back to keep it on her. My daughter has the frog one. I realize the description sounds ridiculous..but it really is great:)

Meghan said...

Suz,

I've never posted a comment but always loved seeing your cute kids! I noticed you have a blue pool float that looks like a car. We have a similar one and it was just recalled...the "seat" can rip and kids have fallen down into the water--yikes! I'd check yours out by going to the CPSC's website (www.cpsc.gov)...the company that made the recalled floats is "Aqua Leisure". All of the specific information is in a recall notice on their site.

FYI, you can get all recall notices emailed to you by the CPSC (Consumer Product Saftey Commission), the official agency that coordinates ALL recalls. With all the toys and gear that kids have, I find it's reassuring the get all the recall notices so I can make sure our stuff is safe.

Kaci said...

Looks like a great time!! :)

Emily said...

Speedo water wings are the BEST things I have ever used. My 3 year old can go all around the pool by herself with no problem. They have them at Target.

Angie said...

I am so impressed that your crew will sit nicely to go out to eat. We only have three, but we're done with eating out for at least a year I think. It's more work than cooking dinner at home. At home at least I know I'll get to eat rather than spend the whole meal entertaining them - lol! Good for you for cleaning up before leaving the restaurant too.

Love all the pictures!

As far as pool safety goes you've gotten excellent advice so far, but as I'm sure you know adult supervision remains the surest safety device of all.

Happy Campers said...

OK, you have 92 comments so I'm sure someone mentioned this, but just in case they haven't yet...

When Reese was 2, we had a few "turtle suits" we called them. Got them at Bass Pro in the boating section. They were like a wetsuit with short legs & short sleeves, lots of sun protection built in. The material was NOT the thick neoprene though, it was more like rashguard shirt material.

The suits had a one-piece foam insert in the front and one in the back. They zipped up the back and were much more fitted than the suits in your pictures (we tried those too). It kept Reese upright in the water but allowed him to kick and supported him completely.
I think they were Body Glove brand.

Good luck!

Happy Campers said...

OK, you have 92 comments so I'm sure someone mentioned this, but just in case they haven't yet...

When Reese was 2, we had a few "turtle suits" we called them. Got them at Bass Pro in the boating section. They were like a wetsuit with short legs & short sleeves, lots of sun protection built in. The material was NOT the thick neoprene though, it was more like rashguard shirt material.

The suits had a one-piece foam insert in the front and one in the back. They zipped up the back and were much more fitted than the suits in your pictures (we tried those too). It kept Reese upright in the water but allowed him to kick and supported him completely.
I think they were Body Glove brand.

Good luck!

Mrs. P said...

Love your blog! I commend your for your restaurant ettiquette with your children. I have always cleaned the area my kids have messed up and been conscientous of other diners when my kids are throwing a tantrum. Thank you for including that tid-bit so that other people can follow suit!
What a good mama.
<3

Erin said...

I don't have one but several people I know do...Puddle Jumpers..they are so cool..it goes around their bellies and arms.. I have seen them at Wal-Mart and I know you can get them on-line!
love and blessings from ga~erin

The McNulty Family said...

Holy Cow!!! That's a lot of comments. I had to stop reading cuz I just wanted to leave you a little love!! These pics are all adorable. They are growing up WAY TO FAST!!!

You know I love the suits with the inner tube built in. They work great for us. I was a swim coach and life guard in my day and my kiddos are fish. So.. that's my 2cents.

I love you mama and LOVE this post!!! Have a great weekend. I miss you so much it hurts. BTW.. juts gave you a little shout out in my new post.. you'll laugh... Sav would be in heaven.

XOXO
Gen

Melissa said...

We use the Puddle Jumper float. My almost 3 year old loves it so much, she does not want to take it off. I found hers at Wal-Mart in the pool toys section but at other Wal-Marts I have seen them in the sporting goods section. I am not sure if they come in different sizes...ours says 30-50 lbs.

andrea said...

oh my word..your babies are lookin so big!!
been following your blog forever!!

sweet babies!!

i read some of the comments and i LOVE the puddle jumper too!!

my 2 year old doesnt want to be bothered in the pool by being held!! so i got him a duck puddle jumper at walmart for 15..he LOVES it..and it is coast guard approved so safety first:)

Nancy said...

First off, WOW! You have 4 little ones and do way more than I can tackle with my 3 of staggering ages.

As for floaties, the swimsuits with the floaties in, seemed to make my kids float face down, so I scratched those and went for the tubes made for babies/toddlers that they can sit in, and/or the arm floaties.

Your kids are adorable.

Courtney said...

I just wanted to thank you for making your posts about Savannah and her surgery. We just found out yesterday, after two days of testing at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, that our son (who is 2), has a UPJ obstruction which has caused severe hydronephrosis. He will be having surgery sometime soon. I, of course, am a little sick over it but reading your posts about Little Sav is making me feel better.

You're an amazing mother with a beautiful family! I love checkin' in on you guys to see how you do it...I'm in awe!

Thanks again!

Megan said...

We're also fans of Puddle Jumpers for the pool. Asher will be 2 at the end of the month and it works perfectly.

LeggettFamily said...

Def. try the puddle jumper idea the other person mentioned.. I have a 4 yr. old and a 2 yr old and we put those on them and turn them loose in the pool.. They can go anywhere with confidence.. These things are the best invented yet! I was so glad we found them. We got ours at Wal-Mart for $15 each.. Great buy and wonderful item! _jenny

BoufMom9 said...

OMGosh! Such a great time and adorable photos!
Poor sweet Ben and the fireworks. (made me say AWWWWWW outloud)
They are all so precious Suz!

About the pool... last year when Emma & Will were your little ones' ages, they were pretty tiny too. I just used blow-up boats with arm floats on them. We had the suits with the built-ins, but they didn't fit very well (my twins are tiny even now)I found it easier to just have them in boats (with canopies for the sun) and just tied them together so that i could manage both babies at the same time.

Emily said...

Suz,

I've tried the kind of floatation device that is basically a kick board on front and back as well as a regular kiddie life jacket and I haven't been pleased with either! So, if you find something good, let me know! (PS: I also saw puddle jumpers at Wal-Mart but was reluctant...I'd love to know how they work for you if you go that route!) And how do you get them all to eat popsicles?? My almost 2 yr old wants nothing to do with them!

Emily
www (dot) therobinnest (dot) blogspot (dot) com

Liz said...

It's crazy--Ben looks so grown up now! He seems to have changed so much in the last couple of posts you've done. He's so cute! :)

Beth said...

You are one popular quad momma with over 1100 followers, I have like 23. They are all so darling. I am glad Sav is feeling better these days. All 4 look like such hams, I LOVE IT!!

Anonymous said...

From personal experience, the swimming suits that have the lifejackets built in are actually very dangerous. The reason being is that when wearing them as a small child you are used to just getting into the water and floating, but as you get older and bigger the swimming suits do not come with built in life jackets, therefore you have no flotation device. Now you think where would i possibly be going with this well, my brother wore the swimsuit with the built in life jacket as a child and when he was 5 he still did not know how to swim, but had a suit on (now to big to have the built in flotation device) so he thought that he was fine to get in and when he entered the pool he started to sink, luckily someone was near by and was able to pull hime from safety. So from now on he just wears a life jacket that has a crothch strap. But he has also used that arm floaties. Another option is they make this little band that goes around the waist, and those too also work very well. Hope that helps a little. Good Luck!!!!

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