Friday, June 22, 2012

her first, OUR first

Well, the day has finally come and gone.  And might I say that it was all worth it.  The tears, the worry, the mini-bribes, the 6 am alarm clocks. 
Bayli attended her first swim meet, the CHAT mini meet. 

We left it up to her to decide if she wanted to do a meet or not.  Back when she first started swim team, the sign ups for this meet were due.  We told her that she would have nearly 2 months to prepare.  We took her to a few meets to watch the goings on and cheer on a few of her team mates.  Finally, Jed told her that if she would do a meet, he would pay her $5 for every entry that she completed.  I love letting my kids make choices for themselves, but sometimes they need just a bit of persuasion.

 Bayli had the option of entering 3 races, she decided to do 2.  And of course, she picked the hardest stroke (butterfly) and free-style.  I would like to think that she picked butterfly because she has worked so hard learning it since November.  But, her reasoning was that she loves what it is called, what a girl.  That and she didn't want to do the backstroke (her best stroke) because she didn't feel comfortable with the turn yet. 

After nearly two months of training since she initially signed up for the race, I think in hindsight she would have changed her mind about doing the butterfly and done the back or breast stroke.  But, that's how we learn right. 

She was a bit tearful the few days before the meet.  So we tried our best not to bring it up.  She finally broke down on Wednesday and told us that she didn't feel good about her turns.
So at Thursday morning practice, Jed pulled her coach aside and asked him to work with her on the turns to ease up her nerves.  We love the coach staff!  They have been so supportive of these new swimmers.  He spent a good amount of time working with her on her turns and dives.  After practice, she told me that she felt a lot better about the meet.

Bayli slept well the night before her meet.  Jed and I on the other hand, woke at 4:30 am to nerves eating at us, glad it was us not her. The pains of parenting.

We had a game plan going into the meet.  Jed was going to be her poolside support, because she would have completely fallen apart if she had made any type of eye contact with me. She was teary when she entered the water for warm ups, but as usual once she started swimming she looked comfortable.

We looked at the schedule and discovered that she was the first event (girls 8 and under 50 M free-style) and the first heat.  Yikes!   A bit un-nerving for her first meet.

She was in tears as she waited behind block 6.  She hung onto Jed and was a bit of a wreck (not as bad as she would have been if it were me though).  Jed looked around and showed her all of the little girls that were crying too.  "Everyone is scared and nervous, but you've got this you can do it."  I think 3 little girls scratched that first heat, too nervous to climb up on the block.  "All you have to do is dive, swim, turn, swim and then you'll get your 5 bucks."  He said that she was shaking like a leaf when she climbed up on that block, but as soon as she entered the water, she was good.  She was still a bit teary when she finished the race and climbed up into Jed's arms.  Then, a ginormous smile came across her face.  I love watching her overcome hurdles, there is nothing more rewarding.  She may have only gotten 12th place in her division, but she did it!  Her time was 1:03.32.  With 22 entries and only 16 finishers, we are the proudest parents ever. 

My favorite memory was after her swim.  She climbed up into my lap, shivering.  After a few minutes of talking about the swim, she leaned in close, pointed her finger towards the pool and whispered, "I loved that!!!"

Her next swim was the 9th event (girls 8 and under 50 M butterfly)  with only 4 entries.  Huh, more evidence that it is the hardest stroke.  She was still a bit nervous, but held her composure going into her second event.  She looked a lot more relaxed on the block. 

One participant took a strike.  So, it was Bayli and 2 other little girls up on the blocks.  She told us going into it (with a giggle), "I am going to do so bad.  I am going to be the slowest one out there."  And even though she was, she is our little winner.  She was just over 25 M when the other two little gals had finished.  Her time was 1:21.99.  They had finished over 30 seconds before her.  Hey, but she did it.  She was so excited to just have finished her first swim meet.
stickers make everything worth it

  Not to mention, the 10 bucks that Jed gave her wasn't too bad either. 

I hope that she doesn't expect that kind of reward at her next meet, she chose to do 5 events!  What a Rock Star!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

my baby has a boyfriend?

Honestly, all our kids love this little guy.  He gets pulled 3 different ways when he comes over to play.

But, Lily is definitely the most smitten.

getting too aggressive with her hugs

Goodness, this makes her seem even bigger than she already is.

Just in case anything ever unfolds from this relationship, Mindi we approve! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

cause that's how air bending is done

***Caution, must be a fan of the series Avatar, the Last Air Bender to understand this one.  And if you are not, I am sorry for you.

Chase stepped out of the shower and let off a watery fart.
He giggled. 
I said,"eww you just farted, gross!"
Still giggling, he said, "No, I a Avata (Avatar)!"
Me, giggling even more, "oh, so you are an Air Bender?"
Chase, still giggling, "ya, I a Eow Bendo Avata! (I'm an Air Bender Avatar)"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

swimming and our greatest gift

Bayli's swim team started their summer training sessions this week.  She normally trains for an hour in the evenings, which she was just getting used to the last few weeks.  Now, the classes are an hour and a half (mornings or evenings), with the exception of Tuesday and Thursday mornings which are two hours.  Seriously, I know!!! 
We knew that with all of the changes and new situations she has already been facing with her swimming, we better not tell her.  So the first session she attended was on Monday evening.  Chase had lessons half way through so we were unable to watch all of the goings on.  When we returned for the last 15 minutes, Bayli was swimming along pretty slowly with a kick board.  After her series with the kick board, she could barely pull herself out of the pool to put the board back.  She got back in the water to start the next series of laps.  I immediately recognized that she was beat, in the I am about to have a mental breakdown kind of way.  Her coach saw it at the same time as I did and pulled her to the side to talk with her.  I overheard their conversation and it broke my heart.  Her coach asked her if she was tired and needed a break.  She told her to sit on the bench and get a drink.  Bayli was fighting back tears, my poor little softy.  She hadn't seen me yet.  She told her coach, "I think that I just want to find my mom."  They turned around and saw me and she immediately ran to me and started crying in my arms.  I felt so bad.  I hadn't prepared her for this. I hadn't told her that it was okay to tell her coach when she was too tired and that it was okay to stop and take breaks.  Her coach was wonderful and told her that she would never be angry with her if she couldn't finish swimming and that she wanted her to tell her if she ever felt like it was too much. 

Bayli had a pretty good little breakdown on the way home.  We talked about all of her accomplishments over the last month.  We talked about her wonderful coaches who have been so great in figuring out her abilities.  We talked about her love for swimming. 
She decided not to swim the next day as she had planned.

Yesterday she went to the evening session again.  She was better prepared, we had a game plan.  She put her towel on her team bench rather than leaving it in the bag with me. I would watch the first 35 minutes and would leave to take Chase to his lessons.  She knew to listen to her body and tell her coach when she needed  a break.  I had told her that if she needed to stop that it was okay, I would be back for the last 15 minutes either way.
From the warm up I could tell that her coach had thought about the kids' abilities as well.  She had geared things down a bit and was having them work at a slower pace. I love the coaching staff!!!
When Chase and I returned, Bayli was still swimming.  She looked tired, but was still pushing herself.  When she finished, she walked to us with a big grin and said, "I wanted to see if I good go the whole time, and I did!"  Then she said, "my legs hurt SOOO bad!"
We did some serious rolling and massaging on her quads, she had worked her hip flexors pretty hard.

Her original plan was to attend the following 7 am  session (2 hrs)  because they do dry land activities and she didn't want to miss that.  So we worked out her kinks last night and told her that we would see how she felt in the morning.  After a rough night with Lily, no one wanted to get up.  But, Jed had set his alarm and was prepared to take her.  We had to wake her up at 6:15, she was pretty tired.  But, she was eager to get ready to go. 
She had a blast today.  She did an hour of dry-land activities (running, strengthening exercises, and weighted balls)  then swam for an hour. 

It is so amazing watching your children develop their talents.  I have loved this journey with her.  She has been able to decide her goals for herself, with a bit of guidance from Jed and I, but mostly from herself.  She has grown so much over the last month.  She has gained so much confidence already.  And, she has discovered that it is okay to do your best, work hard, and take a break now and then.
Her journey has helped us as well.  It has helped us to know when to tell our kids what to do, when to guide them, and when to let them figure things out on their own.

As exhausting as this swimming thing is on all of us, I don't think that any of us would trade it.  It has strengthened our relationship as a family.  Even the little ones can sense that, they are just as eager to be a part of Bayli's swimming.  Chase told me the other day, "mommy, when do I get to go to swim team?" 
Whether it is swimming or something else, I hope that Bayli (and all of my kids for that matter)  will always know that their family has their back and will be there to support them no matter what, because that is the greatest gift of a family. 
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