Saturday, April 25, 2009

Go Lightning!!

Well, spring soccer is over. We'll be sitting out the summer session in order to play T-ball. Who wants to do all that crazy ball chasing in the hot Texas sun anyway. (Or should I say, what parents want to jump up and down screaming on the sidelines in that hot Texas sun?!)

But seriously. Our Lightning did a fantastic job this season. It's amazing to see how much the boys have grown and improved since their inaugural season last spring. And even more amazing to see how the parents have matured -- at least this, anyway.
My debut as a 'Soccer Mom' was NOT pretty. Last year I had to throw myself out of the game a couple of games. I would get that up on the sidelines. I wasn't cheering or screaming on the sidelines, I was screeching! Don't misunderstand. I'm not one of those 'competitive moms'. It's not that I was upset because my son wasn't getting enough play time, or because we were losing, or because the refs weren't being fair. No. That wasn't it at all. It was just that Jake wouldn't anyone. He'd tackle his teammates, do crazy stunts, roll all over the field...the whole experience was a disciplinary nightmare! I was so relieved when the spring season was over and we made the switch to T-ball -- and so were all the other parents who had been exposed to me that season.

But this season has been a different story. Same coach, most of the same kids, but a longer attention span and a bigger playing field made all the difference. The kiddos can actually follow instructions a 4/5 year old kind of way. They learned to play specific positions, they learned how to take more of a team approach to scoring goals. I don't remember exactly, but I think we only had one loss this season. Jake did a great job and is learning to be a better sport. I look forward to more sideline cheering when the weather cools down.

Oh yeah, and here's my 'end of season' confection:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stickers Save Birds!!

Oh we're just crazy about stickers! We love to get 'em, we love to stick 'em, we love to peel them off and leave the sticky residue behind. Oh yes! We LOVE stickers!

Are you sensing a little sarcasm? There just might be a little sarcasm here.

My kid's love affair with stickers is probably my fault. You see, I'm one of 'those' moms. I don't hit the drive through and indulge my kids in a crappy...I mean Happy Meal. I go to the snack free check out aisle at the grocery store. When we go to Target - which is like EVERY day - we don't meander through the toy section. I'm impervious to their pleas, their sobs, their wails. That's right. I stick to my guns! I'm a ROCK. I will NOT indulge my children in this kind of spineless over-indulgence. I'm one MEAN mommy! (Actually, I just hate those little junky toys and I think candy is for grown ups. Let's face it, if you can't appreciate a fine chunk of dark chocolate, you're just not old enough to consume confections.)

I make an exception when it comes to stickers. We have sticker charts for good behavior. We get stickers for going to the gym. We get stickers for Valentines, Easter, and all the Hallmark holidays. Stickers are harmless, right? No empty calories, no sharp pieces to step on in your bare feet. They're just stickers. Happy, colorful, sticky stickers. OK, so I didn't particularly care for the NASCAR make over Jake gave my grand piano. And the view out of the windows in the backseat is a bit obstructed. I know, it's a bit of a trashy looking mess to have stickers stuck all over things. Whatever. A mom's gotta give a little, right? I can even make a case that they're good for the environment. Seriously. I don't think one bird has flown into our family room windows since stickers came into our lives. Stickers save birds!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lessons Learned the Hard Way - 10 Tips for Air Travel w/a Toddler

By now, the husband and I are EXPERTS at flying with kids. But that wasn't always the case. Everybody faces a learning curve, and we were no exceptions. I learned several particularly valuable lessons on a trip from Chicago to San Jose just before Jake's 1st birthday. Let me share them with you:

Lesson #1: It takes fewer frequent flier miles to purchase three coach class seats than two 1st class seats. Since we were flying on frequent flier miles, we decided to treat ourselves and travel 1st class. The flights would have been much more enjoyable if Jake had had his own seat. And, as it turns out, particularly MORE comfortable for me.

Lesson #2: Projectile vomit at 30,000 feet is NOT considered quality in-flight entertainment. As usual, I gave Jake a bottle upon take-off on the last leg of our trip home. About 20 minutes into the flight, Jake stopped squirming around on my lap and snuggled in for what I THOUGHT would be a nap. Instead, my precious son -- who had never spit up in his entire life -- threw up all over himself AND me. I've heard stories about projectile vomit, but you know, I guess I just had to experience it to believe it. And just when I thought he'd emptied the contents of his stomach, he threw up AGAIN!! I had no idea that his stomach could hold so much!

Lesson #3: Those natty fleece blankets they give you on the plane are NOT absorbant.

Lesson #4: The aiplane lavatory is NOT a good place to give one's baby a bath.

Lesson #5: The airplane lavatory is NOT a good place to bathe oneself.

Lesson #6: The airplane lavatory is NOT a good place do one's handwash.

Lesson #7: If you are considering stripping down to your bra and panties in the airplane lavatory, remember to LOCK THE DOOR. (Fortunately, the flight attendent managed to run intereference before things got too embarassing.)

Lesson #8: Do not expect an outpouring of sympathy from the passengers -- especially not from those wittnessing the event, those down-wind of the event, those needing to use the lavatory in the 45 minutes it took to get things cleaned up, or from any female passenger who obviously thought she could have prevented the situation or handled it better.

Lesson #9: No amount of club soda will remove the smell of regurgitated formula, grapes, cheesesticks and goldfish.

Lesson #10: While 1st class has unlimited free alcohol, it is NOT enough to ease the discomfort of sitting in cold, wet, stinking pants for three hours. Next time, I'm going to pack a change of clothes for me too.

I still don't think I've ever been happier to get home.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Garage Drinking

I could hear the phone ringing from the garage. It was my friend Karen. "What are you doing?", she asks. Uh...standing in the garage drinking beer with my husband while my kids are inside eating candy and geeking out to Dora the Explorer.
Dear Committee Chairwoman,
I, yet again, must respectfully withdraw my name for 'Mother of the Year'....
Ha! Like I was ever going to get an award for my parenting skills. Now, I could toot my own horn here and say things like:
- My children rarely watch TV -- and when they do, I make sure it's full of gratuitous sex & violence.)
- I strive for proper nutritional balance at every meal and serve as many whole foods as I can -- is it my fault this effort is sabotaged by the fact that Lila will consume nothing but Cheetos, Goldfish, and milk after 10:00 AM -- but it's organic milk.)
- Both my husband and I make make ever effort to be involved in our kids activities -- like sitting on the sofa, watching 'mature' (only show rated TV MA make the cut), and eating processed food out of plastic bags.

OK, like I said, I was never gonna get that award anyway. So, excuse me please, I've got to get back to my garage drinking.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Egg Hunt

Today was the Easter Egg hunt at 'school'. When I picked Jake & Lila up, they both came flying out the door and tackled me in the lobby. Now to some of you, this may not seem unusual, but for me...well knock me over with a feather! You see, my kiddos LOVE their school. And why wouldn't they? It's primarily a gymnastics training academy that happens to have a day school operating out of it. It's not one of these high-pressure academic places. Oh no! This is a place with trampolines, balance beams, uneven bars, and a very springy floor. Oh yeah! And let's not forget The Pit. The Pit is at the end of a long trampoline run. It's a huge hole in the floor filled with foam block that you can leap, somersault, vault, or just plain free-fall into. This place is all about the fun. It's just about the closest you can get to heaven for a preschooler (and for a few adults I know as well). This place is so much fun when I show up for pick-up, my kids usually start throwing tantrums because they don't want to leave. Well, today it was all that AND a basket of candy-filled eggs! I was expecting the worst. Instead, I was bowled over!

I was just vain enough to think it was all for the love of me. Of was so they could get permission to dive into the candy-filled eggs. Silly Mommy!