Monday, September 29, 2014

BSL Sprint into Fall

Walker was so proud of his siblings
Last January, Bennett began swimming for the YMCA.  It was super casual, but she grew to like it, and even competed in a couple of swim meets.  The enjoyment she had rubbed off on Preston, and both children elected to swim for the Homewood Swim Team this past summer. 

The whole environment was new to all of us, but we all LOVED it!  The kids practiced every weekday, and had swim meets almost every week.  In addition, they swam with all of their friends, so it was fun for them and they rarely complained.  It was a great way to instill a love for the sport, and they both improved a great deal over the 8 weeks.  Since we saw enjoyment, and potential with both kids, we decided to pursue a more rigorous swim team for the Fall....the Birmingham Swim League (BSL). 

The BSL has seven different teams, with four practices a week and a handful of swim meets.  It is much more competitive, but the children are learning so much more than they ever could through the YMCA swim team, so we are pleased.  Each practice offers about 15 minutes of dryland exercises, and then they hop in the pool and practice different techniques.  Usually they focus on one skill a day, it may be a particular stroke, or specific skill like diving, flip turns, breathing and streamline. 

Bennett is loving the new team, but Pres is having a more difficult time.  Initially he loved it, but I think he is tired from school and all of the changes in his little life.  Regardless, I make him go, and he is improving like Bennett.  In fact, both kids swam in the first BSL swim meet...Sprint into Fall, where there were 9 other teams competing in a variety of relays, distances and strokes.

Neither of the kids have done well with breast stroke since they began swimming (as I have learned, it is the most common stroke for someone to be disqualified), so they swam free, back and butterfly.  In addition, Bennett was enrolled in a freestyle relay with three other girls.  Though they both ended up getting disqualified for fly, their other times improved from the summer (as you can see below).  They both swim in a 8 and under age group, and the competition is stiff for both - especially Bennett since there are so many more girl swimmers.  A friend told us to keep track of their times, so we could show it to the kids and give them a goal to beat their previous time each meet.  It has certainly helped them, and it is slowly building their confidence.

Bennett25 yd Free34.6734.523332.7531.63
25 yd Back41.9341.9334.6734.7932.57
25 yd Breast--DQ--
25 yd Fly-50.22-55.65DQ
Preston25 yd Free39.2537.9735.1332.2730.91
25 yd Back  39.1733.4329.31
25 yd Breast-DQ---
25 yd Fly--38.2742.82DQ

They are back to practicing, but will be competing in their next meet the first weekend of November, so stay tuned.  We promise to take more pictures at that one.  We are so proud of our little fish!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday Preston!!

8lbs 5oz of love!
Six years ago I gave birth to a little boy, who we named long before we ever met him.  Since I did not work after the birth of Preston, he quickly became a mama's boy, and I loved every minute of it.  He was a happy baby, even though he had awful reflux.  We always called him our "happy puker" because he never fussed about it...just spit up and moved on doing whatever he was doing.  All of the shirts I wore were stained yellow on the shoulders from his spit up, and all of his clothes were completely ruined....but it was worth all of it!

And baby made four...

We all loved him from the start, even Bennett!  Over the next several years, Preston grew to be quite a vivacious little boy!  He was a negotiator from an early age, and his tactics haven't stopped...just improved.  If he isn't an attorney when he gets older, he will have missed his calling.  He has also been a boy with many faces, and that too has just gotten more perfected with time.  Because of that skill, he has always been an easy kid to read.  Though he may anger quickly, he forgives fast and loves hard.

Preston is very smart, agile, habitual, super competitive and analytical.  I love the way this boy thinks, and he never stops thinking!!
All of his wonderful traits and quirky habits make this little boy such a special part of our family.

The past six years have gone by so quickly, and time has to slow down!  During this year, Pres has started kindergarten, continued to on Birmingham Swim League, and plays baseball (coach pitch).  These changes have really tired out Preston, but he is managing the changes fairly well.

Lunch at SCE with birthday boy
contract made with Daddy
the coveted Ipad Mini that he wanted!
Birthday Dinner w/ Reid
For Preston's birthday this year, he chose to go out for Mexican with the family (and invite one friend, Reid Johnson).  With all of the cash he received from his grandparents, Uncle Dan and us, he was able to get the Ipad Mini, which he has wanted for months.  In addition, he scored tons of new artillery....fake, of course.  Ever since he returned from shooting a real gun at Poppy's hunting camp, he has been infatuated with guns.  In addition, his buddy Reid has a plethora of them at his house, and he has been eyeing several of those.  Reid gave Pres one identical to one he has, and then he got another one from a buddy in his class and two more cool ones from Goo and Shell and Aunt Shannon and Uncle Brian.  Needless to say, he had a terrific birthday!

Preston continued the birthday celebration the following day at the birthday party he helped plan.  He chose to have it at AirWalk, and he invited some of his new friends in his class, in addition to a few older friends.  In typical Preston fashion, he also chose his own birthday Angry Birds theme.  He had a big time!

And my favorite thing to record for each birthday....the birthday interview........
Anxious to see where the next year takes this little boy!  Happy 6th Birthday Preston, we love you BIG MUCH!!