Monday, September 27, 2010

Team Danger Week Alone - Could We Survive?

The boys and I have had a week without Safety Mommy (work conference and then a CA visit to see her Brother and our nieces). We missed her, but managed to have a great time. And apparently she "made due" at the conference in her off time at the beach, not to mention practically weeping to me on the phone at how wonderful it was seeing the little girls... so no real boo-hoos for her.

Anyway... two hyper-smart boys all alone with poor old me.... would be make it?

Absolutely... Team Danger always has a great time, is always respectful and well behaved.... They are not a problem for me... not the three of us... we had a fantastic time... playing soccer, eating out, cooking what we wanted, eating ice cream out of the container, staying up late, seeing movies we shouldn't see, having a grand old time.

Starting with Wed & Thurs we had great book nights, good dinners, and even snuck in a movie we're not going to tell mommy about. Friday we went with our Poppa to see our future-highschool Westwood football team get dominated by Stony Point.... that's OK, we didn't move to this specific patch of earth for the school's football teams, but rather for the SCHOOLS themselves.... but it was a lot of fun.. the boys enjoyed the game, and more especially the hot dogs and popcorn.. in Alexander's case, 3 hot dogs... good lord. We left early due to tired danger boys and wrapped up the night. Go Westwood!

Saturday morning my favorite moments in life recently began, other-wise known as my two sons kicking ASS on the soccer field. The reason I became coach... well, the reasons if you know me are obvious.. but there was no reason what-so-ever to expect the coaches' son to be a great soccer player... but sure enough, both Alexander and Ryan are awesome... Ryan is still in the raw-undisciplined but still incredible soccer mode, and just has a great time... I still remember the day he came to practice with his brother and out-dribbled and scored several of that team.. INCLUDING Alexander...

And Alexander is incredible.. clearly he isn't the best soccer player in the world, certainly not.. but damn he's good... he reads the field, out-dribbles most other kids, and takes constant shots on goal... we're playing U7 this year and LOTS of stuff is different.... much larger field, refs, 4 players, and a LOT tougher game... but the whole team, and Alexander specifically, is performing wonderfully. Another player on the team that is just crazy good is Will, the son of the other coach Ethan (there is something to this I tell you). Will actually may even be better than Alexander, at least in some ways.. certainly constant determination and lately I'm pretty sure shots on goal... and that's wonderful to see... a strong team mate... it's sad I never play them together since they are such key players, I need to keep them on the field at different times...

The third player that is just amazing is Brian, a new addition to our long-running team... I remembered him from years ago when we played his team and I told myself back then "I got to get that kid on my team"... 2 years later, we did ;-) Brian may in fact be better than either Alexander or Will... skill-wise they are all about par.. but Brian is specific and calculating.. when he move, he destroys... you can tell he's playing the game in his head very well... the most disappointing thing about these three (not really) is that they are even better defense than offense... so it's so hard to determine where to put them... and the rest of the team is very solid and round out a fantastic 8-man team. Here is Alexander Will and Nic:

And Brian apparently comes as a set of bookends.. his younger brother Drew joined my U5 team with Ryan... and damn if he isn't one of the cutest kids I've eve met.. not to mention an awesome soccer player himself... easily on par with Ryan... he constantly asks me on the field "is it OK if I go score now".. and damned if I say "yes, of course" he doesn't have the ball in the goal 20 seconds later... I think Drew and Ryan will end up being better than Brian and Alexander in the end... a wonderful thing to see ;-)

Here is Drew, Derek and Andreas dominating this poor little girl:

The entire U5 team is incredible... each one of them can usually take any other team we play.. so you can imagine what 3 of them do on the field... and all wonderful kids as well.

And here's Ryan and Michael

Anyway, on Sunday we played again... Ryan's team destroyed the other team, like 700-0... I tried to hold them back.. but all 6 of them are just fire-balls.. and each one of them as adorable as can be and so eager to please.. I wish they knew how much they make me happy.

I wish both my boys knew how very much they make me proud of them... good or not at soccer, or whatever, their attitudes and determination is wonderful, and humbling. I tell them, and I think they understand, but who knows... maybe in 20 something years when they have boys of their own they will finally understand...

Here is Alexander after being wiped out in the game:

On Sunday, we managed to get done a nice poster done for his VIP week this week in school... good photos, nice write ups, nice and neat and well defined margins... only my sister can really appreciated the margins, one of the many (if not in his mind overly important) things my wonderful Dad taught me from early on... I can still hear his frustration as he complained about the lack of margins ;-) But anyway, it turned out great, Alex and Ryan had fun... and it didn't go past midnight like most child-projects ;-)

Here was the result:

Alexander informed me as we left the soccer field... "I finished my Whimpy Kid book #4 Daddy"... so 12 min later we were at the book store.. If I needed to take a second mortgage, I was going to buy this kid any book he wanted... an original Gutenberg Bible might have been had if needed.. instead he settled for a nice A-Z Mystery book (the mystery to me was that he picked.... wait for it... "K"... not A ;-). And three kid-age classics.. Swiss Family Robinson, the Three Musketeers, and Legend of King Arther.. I pushed Swiss Family, but he chose the other two himself. And I'll be damned if he wasn't reading the "K" book 2 minutes into the ride home. He made sure "Is it OK if I bring this book to read at school Daddy"? Broke my heart with joy.. if he'd then asked to bring my iPhone to school I might have let him. But he settled for the book. Again.. I lack the method to tell him how impressed and proud he makes me.

We also got ready for our next Den meeting on Monday.. we have a great den with some really good kids and great parents... it didn't take us long to realize that good kids in a group or team are one thing.. but great entire families is so much better.. most everyone we meet at Spicewood (and thusly those in our den) are wonderful... our next den meeting is a cookout at a local park.. assuming we don't burn it down, we'll have a great time. Alexander helped find some sticks we're using for den meeting partner-selection (although he doesn't know that yet). That and a fun scavenger hunt should round out a nice time.

So Team Danger thrived the last week or so.. but Safety Mommy returning home will be wonderful for all of us.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alex's Official Birthday

How we celebrated Alex's birthday:

Breakfast at Krispy Kreme, a HUGE treat since it was a school day and waking up at the normal ungodly hour is hard enough for me, let alone early enough to make it to Krispy Kreme before the 7:45 am bell. When we asked Alex what he wanted for his birthday breakfast the night before, I was envisioning, "eggs" or "pancakes." Not a trip to Krispy Kreme. But he was so excited about being offered something besides cereal or frozen waffles that we felt guilty, so off to Krispy Kreme we went.

For lunch, Carl and I joined Alex at his school. First graders are apparently offered "Courtyard time" twice a week when they are finished with lunch, and not even the fact that we were there was enough to keep Alex from missing Courtyard time. It was cute, though, so I didn't complain too much.

Here he is reading with his friends Gage and Matthew. They were in the same class last year together, but not this year, so the only times they can all be together is at recess and at the twice weekly Courtyard.

I then ran a gazillion errands, and went with Mom to pick Alex up at 2:45. We went back home, I dropped them off, and then went to get my much needed mani/pedi. I was a few minutes behind schedule, so I didn't think, and before I knew it, I had backed my car into Mom's car in my driveway.

It was horrible.

I'm thirty-eight years old, and I sat outside, cowering in my car with fear of going inside and telling my Mommy I had wrecked her car.

To give Mom credit, she handled it remarkably well. I took no photos of the cars. Maybe that ways I will forget about it and it will all go away.

Until my insurance rates go up, that is.

Oh, and even after I went ahead and got my toes painted all pretty for the next day, I managed to fall down about 5:00 p.m. when I was trying to run back inside when it started raining and break one of my toes, scraping off my lovely lavender polish and turning my tow all swollen and purple. So I get to wear closed toe shoes for some time to come.

We had six pm reservations at Kobe for dinner. We had first gone there about six weeks before for Carl's birthday, and this was Alex's choice for where he wanted to go for his family dinner.

It was just as much fun as the last time, possibly more so, since we had very special birthday to celebrate. (When you get to be mine and Carl's ages, its not as much fun celebrating as when you're seven).

They even gave Alex a special souvenir for his birthday, his own special chopsticks. He was thrilled.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Seven Year Old

Alex's birthday party was yesterday, so we're pretty much vegging today. More details to come...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Popcorn Selling Time

We received our popcorn sales materials yesterday for Cub Scouts. I've been in love with their Butter Light  microwave popcorn for a few years. They have lots of other decadent sounding treats, including Caramel popcorn, Cheese popcorn, chocolate popcorn, and even a Caramel Light popcorn I might have to try.

Now we get to start going door to door to our neighbors.

Alex was thrilled to see that if he sells enough popcorn, he receives special rewards. On the list of potential rewards were none other than Star Wars LEGOs, and the one thing that actually exceeds Star Wars LEGOs in Alex's mind: the much desired DS.

Nintendo DS Lite Cobalt / Black

I'm still in shock over how many of his friends already have a DS. We've resisted, and I know there is going to be a bit of disappointment tomorrow when he opens his birthday presents and there is no DS among them. But I just don't feel he is ready for one yet. We have a hard enough time pulling him away from the PS3, the computer, or even just our iPhones. So we're at least holding out until Christmas. We found out last weekend that our other fellow holdouts, Ethan and Jennifer, are getting one for Will for his December birthday. Once Alex finds this out, its all over for us.

But we did tell him that if he can find a way to sell two billion dollars worth of popcorn, the DS is all his.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Opening Weekend of Fall Soccer

The Fall Soccer Season started with a bang this weekend. Both boys had a game each on Saturday AND on Sunday.

Ryan is playing on Chelsea, and Alex is on Arsenal. I'm getting such a kick out of the fact that they are on opposing London football teams, even if few people over here in the States can truly appreciate the delicious irony of the above picture.

 Both boys' teams are outstanding this year. Ryan's team is so good that we're considering having all the boys play up a league in the spring, so that they would be playing against the six year olds. We might just have to re-consider the select soccer idea after all if he keeps this up.

Not everyone had their uniforms yet... but here is a team photo of Arsenal on Saturday (complete with Coach Ethan, Coach Carl, and of course, Ryan, who can't quite grasp he isn't on his brother's team).

Alex's team -  in the U7 league - moved up this year. We now have eight players, instead of six, and they play 4 against 4. Even more of a change, they are on HUGE fields, and they even have an official ref for the game. Its a big change, and with the ref involved, they are a lot more strict with the rules. the boys adjusted well, and won their first game and tied the second. And they are now keeping score. In the past, there were no scores... everyone was a winner. But Carl was thrilled when he was presented with a score card to sign at the end of the first game.

Ryan and his new friend, Drew. Drew is on Chelsea with Ryan, and Drew's older brother, Brian, is on Arsenal with Alex. So they can hang out together during the games. They played soccer for about half the game on an empty field behind us, but it was hot Sunday afternoon. So they crashed on the bench after half-time and just talked and talked. It was pretty cute, hearing a new friendship begin.

We had two games Saturday morning, and then two on Sunday afternoon. When Alex's was over, we were beyond hot, so we let them celebrate the end of the weekend with snow cones.

Here's to a great season!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ryan's 4.7 check-up


This past Friday, we were FINALLY able to have Ryan's four year check up.

We've had to cancel scheduled appointments numerous times due to illnesses, because they don't want to give him the immunization shots when he is already sick. And since this was the big one - when four year olds receive FOUR shots - I was only willing to schedule his well check for a Friday afternoon, so that we could be home with him over the next few days if needed. Only problem is, every other parent in the world wants the same thing, so the 3:00 p.m. Friday well-check slots are popular. Our last one was scheduled for August 13, but that had to be cancelled once we had his tonsillectomy scheduled for August 12.

So September 10 finally came, and we actually made it to the scheduled appointment.

All in all, it went well. He loves his pediatrician. Loves, loves her. He's a bit scarred after all the horrible, mean things his ENT doctor did to his throat last month, so his normal joy at going to the doctor wasn't quite there. Here he is cautiously awaiting the appearance of Nurse Gwen.

Ryan's weight is still low (for him) from not eating for several days, but it was still in the 70%. His height is still off the charts, though, and their prediction from the 3 year visit that he'll be 6'4" at full height still stands.

We opted to get the flu shot, and Ryan declined the nose mist version, saying he would prefer the shot then having to breathe the mist. So, a total of five shots. After the first shot, Ryan changed his mind and wanted the mist, but it was too late. The shots were ready. It was a good thing Carl was there to hold him down. I don't think I could have handled it.

One very upset Ryan later, we went to pick up Alex and headed to Marble Slab for the ice cream of Ryan's choice - chocolate with chocolate sprinkles AND rainbow sprinkles.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I received the CD of all the photos we took last month with Barbara Legere, and I love them all so much.  I couldn't possibly pick a favorite! But if I did, it would the first two of Alex and Ryan.


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