Friday, May 31, 2013

The Schwartz's vs Kroc Center Play Date

The MOPS group had a play date planned for the KROC Center in Memphis.  We were told they have an amazing indoor pool so everyone was excited to go.  If you're not a member there they sell guest passes to try it out but not during the summer months.  So we luckily slipped it into the schedule on the last day possible.  

My crazy was in high gear leading up to this play date.  First I was really excited and invited Annie to go with me.  Then I took the kids to the Y pool by myself last Saturday and Cody cried the whole time and refused to get in.  So I decided going to the Kroc was not a good plan.  I saw some other MOPS mom's at the gym that day and told them I'd probably have to sit this play date out.  Then I really wanted to go because the picture online looked really cool so I asked Chris if he could take off work to go with me and do man on man defense.  

Picture from Kroc's website here.

But he couldn't go so I didn't want to go.  Then Annie said she already told her kids and they were excited so now I felt like I had to go.  So I started stressing out over a bunch of stupid things like what do I pack and where will I keep my junk and this place isn't a place I normally go to so I don't know all the rules and procedures.  And what if Cody cries the whole time?  AHHHHHH.  Then Annie did as she always does and told me to calm my crazy down and shut up.  

So I stress over packed.  How many bags does it take you to go to the pool?

Now in my defense I packed this way thinking I was going to use a locker so each bag serves a different purpose.  I thought they would have day lockers to rent where you put in a code.  I don't know why I thought that.  It was wrong.  They have free lockers to use that you just add a lock to.  I did not pack a lock so I carried all that junk around with me the whole time.  Oops. 

Annie and I got there before the other MOPS moms which was nice.  Our kids were able to swim before the hoard of MOPS filled the pool.  Annie looked at me at one point and said, "I bet members are pissed that they sell guest passes."  She asked if it would bug me if the Y did that and I honestly said yes.  I like that the Kroc sells guest passes but we did fill the pool with our play date.  I'm sure if more members had been there they might not have been fans of the guest pass policy.

I'm not a fan of going places solo especially new places.  I really like to use man-to-man defense.  So I typically try to take one of the kids "aunts", or my sister, or another mom friend with me when I go somewhere like this.  Annie is my go to outing companion if I need a more experienced mom with me.  Taking kids swimming at an unknown pool where I was going to be outnumbered.  Yep, I needed Annie.  First she's really laid back and doesn't feed my crazy with any additional crazy.  Second, Sarah and Jessie play really well together so that means I just have to watch Cody.  And 3rd, she's got a 12 year old who helps with both Sarah and Cody so it's like having a free sitter with me.  Score!  This made the trip much better than if I had just gone with the MOPS people whom I like but don't know very well.

Annie and Sarah in the lazy river.

Sarah was great and had a great time!  She kept her puddle jumper on the whole time just like I asked her to.  She bravely swam around the pool following Jessie from the shallow end to the deep end and even went around the lazy river by herself a few times.  She was all smiles from beginning to end.  Except for the part in the middle when they cleared the pool for a "safety break".  She cried a little because she didn't understand why she had to get out and thought she was in trouble.


Cody wasn't thrilled but he didn't cry and I'll call that a win.  He was content to just hang on to me for dear life most of the time.  I thought he would gladly play in the toddler area but instead he just stood there and people watched.  He held onto his basketball like it was glued to him the whole time.  Someone asked me if it was attached to his wrist with a string because it never left him.

Cody with Addison in the lazy river.

I think Cody actually had a good time.  He even let Addison take him in the lazy a few times.  And some of Jen's kids took him through too.  He liked it until he got sprayed in the face.  Then he was done with the river.  Jen's kids were really nice to Cody.  They swam up to him a few times and talked to him and he'd smile a little and show them his toys.  He even did a new trick for them, when they asked what was on the front of his puddle jumper he roared.  It was so cute!

Sarah in the toddler pool

Sarah and Jessie

One day I'll get the both to look and smile at the same time.

 Normally indoor pools are a bit stuffy and humid.  Not this one.  Their AC worked so well that it was cold!  Either that or they don't have the water temp warm enough.  I know the Y pool is usually 86-88 degrees.  I didn't see this pool's temps posted but the kids lips were blue.  During the safety break they all stood around teeth chattering.

Such a big girl!

Sarah was so brave to swim around the lazy river by herself.  But the poor girl missed the exit and started freaking out because she wasn't strong enough to swim against the current and didn't want to go around again.  Thankfully she calmed down once she grabbed hold of my arm.

After the safety break, the pool's sprayers turned on and the big 2 story slide opened for use.  There was a lighthouse that every so often would pour water out of it.  Each time it went off Cody stopped and turned to watch and his mouth opened wide.  He was enthralled by it.  They also had 3 of these Ka-boom levers.  You push it down and it shoots and big blast of air up from the bottom of the lazy river.  Sarah hit it just in time to bubble up Wyatt.  She thought that was great.

The pool was definitely awesome and fun for a once a year treat, but I'll stick to my Y pool that's only 15 minutes from my house.  However, the other things this gym has to offer makes me sad I don't live in mid-town anymore.  I saw at least 2 different cardio/weight rooms, multiple aerobic classrooms, a fully NBA sized basketball court, and a few other fun things we played in.

Like an indoor soccer field:

And the "Rescue Zone".  The attendant said they have parties and camps and each room in the zone has a rescue challenge the kids have to go through but during open play you can just have a good time and do what you want.  It was 3 stories with something on each level.  The first floor had a dodgeball court and a referree so things didn't get out of hand, and the entrances to the climbing cages.  The second floor was classrooms with the various rescue challenges for camps and parties.  And the third floor had an inflatable obstacle course, plus a spin class.  Random place for a spin class I thought but whatev.

Climbing in the obstacle course.

Sarah and Jessie were pro's at the obstacle climbing course.  They had a big time climbing around in there.  It was about 2 inches to tall for Cody to do by himself but he sure tried.  He was loving it though!  He would run to the next ledge and try to get up and then call, "up please! up!" for some help.

Annie helping Cody up the hole.

One of the climbing cages had a little zip line and an amazing slide.  I didn't get any pictures on the slide because Cody hated it and didn't want to do it again.  It was so slick I pushed him down and he shot out like it was rubbed with grease.  Annie was at the bottom catching and said he looked terrified.  I slid down after him and wound up kicking Sarah in the head because I came down too fast and she hadn't moved.  She was fine and we both laughed about it.

Jessie looks like she's loving the zip line.  Ha!

Annie helping Sarah on the zip line.
(That's the other bonus about going with a friend, it means I have a free hand to actually take pictures.)

Sarah on the zip line.

Cody did the zip line too.  He love hanging on to things like this.  He's a champ on the monkey bars at the Y.

When all was said and done the kids had a great time at the Kroc.  Some were sad when it was time to go.  Others incessantly said thank you as they had so much fun.  Annie and I recently started planning a trip to the City Museum in St. Louis for fall break.  I can't wait to see how much fun this group has in a place like that.
Group picture, well, it's the best we could do.


  1. Cool place! And, I thought Annie and her daughter were the same person so thanks for clearing that one up, ha! I was especially confused by he pic on your last post with both of them in it playing volleyball :)

    1. They do look a lot alike! Actually they are now the same hight and size in clothes and shoes. Annie has confessed more than once to be wearing Addison's shoes. One day that will be you and Miss M.

  2. Is that my kids that my kids that were playing with Cody? Awww, I love that my kids know you well enough to find you in a place that big and help you out with Cody. And, I promise, you will get the hang of this multi-kid thing. If you ever want some tried and true tricks for being out numbered just let me know.

    1. Um, yes please! I want some tried and true tricks to being outnumbered

    2. Yes Jen, I was referring to your kids. Abby and Danny both took Cody through the lazy river and Maggie played with Cody in the toddler area. They are such sweet kids. And it seems like I may need you to do a guest post on how to handle being outnumbered.

  3. Can we get in on the St. Louis trip? We'll only be 2.5 hours from there where we're moving, and we haven't been to their children's museum!

    1. We'd love to play with your adorable family when we go to St. Louis. I don't know what all we're doing while we're there but we are definitely going to the City Museum. Have you heard of it? We went in 2012:

      But google it! It's seriously the coolest place I've been and we didn't do half of it because Sarah was too young. They have a whole cave section that we didn't explore and a 10 story slide. SO COOL!