Friday, September 28, 2012

27 Birthdays

It's that time again! Today is my birthday. And no, I don't feel old. Not at all. Old is so relative. I'm the youngest in my family and the only one still in my twenties. My husband is the youngest person in his office. (Well I think they might have one a year younger now...) I was almost the youngest person I knew in Connecticut. I'm younger than all the other moms in my preschool swap group.

So no. I don't feel old, and I sort of feel like I'll never join the ranks of the wise and experienced if I keep on being the youngest all the time. I've spent my whole life as the youngest, it's sort of weird that anyone is actually younger than me. Like when I watch college football and realize I graduated high school before any of those players had even started. I realized the other day that the kids that I babysat for back in my teens are now the kids that I'm hiring to babysit my own children. And I have a nephew in high school.

But this is just how life works. We get older and being older is awesome. Truly. When I was pregnant with Wesley and just a young buck in Provo, I taught yoga to a lady in her 40's that was easily the coolest person I know. She taught me that 40 is really the sweetest age. The truest age of awesome. So I will continue to like birthdays and I promise never to mope about my age on my birthday.

In order to continue aging awesomely, I have set a very ambitious goal to help me finish out my twenties with a bang. I want to complete an Ironman by my 30th birthday. The real deal. That means a race that involves a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 mile run. Call me crazy. I'm all in. Bring on the birthdays.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wesley's first soccer game

Wesley is such a fun and active kid. We signed him up for a sports class at the YMCA this fall for 3 and 4 year olds. They spend 3 weeks on soccer, 3 weeks on t-ball, then 3 weeks on basketball, with 2 practices and a game for each sport. We were excited for him to try some things out and to have the chance to be coached by someone other than mom and dad. He was excited because we were excited, and he loved having a new soccer ball. I think he knew something exciting was going on, but wasn’t quite sure what.

He did ok at the soccer practices. The first one he was on the tail end of a virus, hadn’t slept well, and was pretty grumpy. The next week he was all over it. He was LOVING the drills and kept taking turns when it wasn’t his turn, he was having so much fun with it.

Then came the game week. 

Here he is not really paying attention to the initial instructions. He's the one leaning on his ball on the far left.

He really likes the drill where you put your foot on your ball. Again, far left.

Wandering away from the team when they were supposed to be lining up to divide into 2 teams
 At this point they were instructed to give their own ball back to their parent and they would then play a soccer game using only one ball. Wesley refused to play since they weren't using his ball.
 The awesome and intuitive coach realized what was keeping Wesley from playing, and allowed Wes to swap out his own ball for the game ball. Here Wesley is in the middle of the shot chasing down HIS ball. (He's the one with black tennis shoes and no shin guards, in the center of the shot).
 Well he pretty much just freaked out and melted down that all the other kids were kicking HIS ball. Yep, that's one of the coaches, carrying my spazzing kid.
 Once he FINALLY laid hold on his precious ball, he immediately took it out of play. He grabbed it and marched right back to the sidelines.
 I tried and tried to get him to get back into the game.
 But mostly it just went like this.

 On the sidelines.

 Yeah I was still trying to get him to go out there...
 The coaches are so nice and persistent. They have way more patience than I would.
 Oh well. That lasted long... not.
 Reese was enjoying her time with me on the sideline. She wanted to grab the camera.
 When Eric joined us after work he tried to convince Wesley to play. He wasn't successful either.

 This is Reese's "Mommy-Hold-Me!" face.
 Afterward they had the whole team sit for a picture. Yet again, the coach is trying to get my kid to join the group.
 He ran off, the coach caught him and we tried again.
 He's sitting here because we bribed him with chocolate cake. "Wesley if you don't sit down for this picture you won't get any chocolate cake at home tonight!" And then he sat.
 Clearly the boy has a bright future in soccer. The next David Beckham.
All in all, it was a frustrating and hilarious and adorable scene. Eric is not at all a fan of soccer, so he wasn't too broken up over Wesley's disinterest. Last week we started T-ball and I have much higher hopes for that. We've never played soccer with him at home but we play baseball all the time and have since he was really little. He's actually never watched a soccer game, but he's watched plenty of baseball. I'll try to give the update on the T-ball game. Stay tuned in a couple of weeks.
Today I took my kids out on a little stroller run. One thing I didn't know about Alabama before I got here was how hilly it is! There are some pretty intense hills and for some reason they don't seem to believe in sidewalks out here, so running with a double stroller isn't really my favorite workout option. However, the kids are getting over colds and I didn't feel like dropping them off at the gym child-watch today, so we hit the road. There is a nice trail in an adjacent neighborhood, but getting through that neighborhood involves lots of hill climbing.

I had a nice run on the trail and was heading homeward, through a neighborhood of giant homes and trudging up one of those big old hills. All of a sudden I hear a dog barking. I quickly glance to my right to see an unleashed and unattended German Shepherd barking and ferociously charging toward me. "Oh sh*..!" I say to myself as my adrenalin rushes and my fatigued body desperately tries to pick up the pace up this concrete mountain. Immediately, the scene is playing out in my head. How do I protect my babies? Do I have time to step on the stroller brake before the dog attacks me? At that point I am not even concerned with my own safety, but if the beast gets near my babies I WILL bite harder!

Then all of a sudden, the dog just turns around. It never stops barking, it just does a 180 and runs back to where it came from. I was completely puzzled. I can't figure out why it did that... Invisible fence? Not likely. I didn't hear anyone calling the dog back. Was it just trained well enough to bark and charge and scare the crap out of any intruders, but not attack? Probably. But the thing looked MAD. Like it was charging out of the fires of hell.

Then an image flashed in my mind: I had just gotten the kids buckled in the stroller and starting walking. Before I hit my running stride, I said a little prayer. Please protect me and my babies from any harm. Help us have the energy to complete the run and help us get home in safety.

Prayer works. Romans 8:31-- If God be for us, who can be against us? Not even crazy hell-fire dogs.