Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soccer and Other Nonsense

Cup 1: If you read my prior post and remember how proud I was that I got the library to admit they were wrong, you will be happy to know that I found the Barbie's 12 Dancing Princesses DVD case in our cupboard with the rest of Morgan's movies. Oops. I waited until a different lady was working the desk to turn it in. I'm a coward.

Cup 2: Could the arctic blast that keeps knocking me over on my walk from the parking garage and causes our radiator to hammer away into all hours of the night go back to the frozen tundra where it belongs? It is almost May, for god's sake.

Cup 3: Are we having our 4th annual Kentucky Derby Party this weekend? Yes. Have we done anything to prepare other than invite people to our house? No.

And here's the actual story:

In addition to triathlons, soccer season is upon us. This is a big deal here. The kids start young. If you are 3 by April 1st you are playing. It's one of the requirements to live in this town. So if you move here and have kids and don't like soccer - get over it.

This is only our second year, because Morgan's birthday is April 6th and they make absolutely no exceptions. Because there are people like my husband that want to get their kids started out of the womb and will bribe the soccer board to get it done. (Kidding, but he did offer to coach if they would have let her in that year.)

Kids are assigned to a certain color team. Morgan is Purple this year. There are so many kids, ere go teams, that last year Morgan was on the Light Blue team. As opposed to the Dark Blue or Aquamarine team. Also last year, in an effort to get some sort of attention from 4-year-olds, the coach tried to let the kids pick an animal for the team to be (a new one every week). The first week, they were the Belugas. Courtesy of guess who?

So our first practice was last Thursday at 6pm, which is pretty much impossible to make, unless I leave work at 4. (I luckily have an understanding boss, right Bill?) Even so...I pulled into the park maybe 3 minutes late due to an unexpected diaper change. All of the kids were already ORGANIZED and running drills. Five-year-olds. I had to admit it was impressive feat for a coach, but I get the impression he has done this before.

Fortunately for me, the assistant coach and her son pulled in right behind me. We get over to the field and the coach calls for them to grab their balls and join the team. Yeah...I'm the late mom that forgot to bring her kid's ball with her. Even when specifically reminded by her husband to make sure the ball was in the car.

An extra ball is produced, which is really better anyway, since Morgan's ball has been left outside one too many times and is faded and scratched up from when Potter decides he wants to play soccer too.

I felt a little better when one of the kids kept bursting into tears every time he got kicked, because his dad forgot his shin guards. See, I take safety as my priority. She can always envision she's kicking a ball, but she will be wearing shin guards, damnit.

Morgan lasted about 5 minutes before the physical exertion caused her to drudge across the field hunched over, practically dragging her knuckles in the grass like a primate. Not a good sign. But she had a good attitude and did try very hard. Bring on game day.

This is a co-ed team of "under-5" kids and they play 4-on-4 with no goalie (and they don't even keep score..really...except we do in our head). And low and behold, something finally clicked with her. After she waved hello to her friend from preschool on the Orange team, that is. She hustled, she kicked, she fell, she got back up, she even stole the ball a couple times. I never once saw the primate drudge.

Where last year, Morgan preferred to hold the coach's hand during the game and run with him (one coach is allowed on the field at all times), this year she was right in there with boys. And yes, I admit I am one of those loud moms. Not in a bad way. I don't yell mean things. I cheer. I cheer for every kid on the team whenever they get the ball.

I think this offends people, and I don't know why. Is it because I take the time to learn all their names? Is it because I dare think that kids need encouragement? Yes, I'm yelling your kid's name, more importantly, why aren't you? I get this tiny little feeling I will be a huge embarrassment to my girls as they get. older, Might as well get it out of the way early.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back to the Bubble

Triathlon season has begun. For Scott, of course, not this gelatinous glob, that would rather watch the ABC Family movie Beauty and the Briefcase that she DVRed last night.

And it was a great beginning, because we got to take the girls back to our alma mater - not that they cared. We hadn't been back together since Scott's brother Matt graduated 10 years ago. (It will be 14 years since my own graduation - which seems absolutely impossible, since I still tell people I'm 23. Not because I'm one of those women. Just because I honestly think I'm still 23.)

So Friday we set out for Oxford, OH and our beloved Miami U. (Could anybody be more in love with their college than I am?)

Let's back up, because the day started with Scott driving to court over an hour to the west of us. While I argued with the library that I had indeed turned in the case to Barbie's 12 Dancing Princesses DVD, I just hadn't realized the disc was still in the player. We were both successful.

Impressively, we were driving south together before 1 PM. A huge victory.

The devil's spawn only napped for a half hour - which was contrary to my evil genius plan - while Morgan conked out for a good hour or more. After which there was literally not one moment of silence.

Various activities included but were not limited to:

Zoe yelling Cock! COCK! COCK! every five seconds. (That's her word for truck. There are a lot of trucks on 71 South.)
Morgan giving us the minute by minute weather report. "It's raining! It stopped raining! The sun's out! The sun's gone! It's raining again!" Thank you, Al Roker.
At least 15 minutes of Happy Meal bliss when they unwrapped their dragon's which breathed fire.
Mommy's ipod random playlist built specifically for Morgan's enjoyment, including Paparazzi, Big Girls Don't Cry, and Party in the USA. (All of which Daddy sang along to at one point.)

You know how most things seem smaller when you get older? Well, Miami is actually bigger. And it is not a figment of our imagination. There are a ton more academic buildings and houses. The Uptown area has more apartments. And for some reason metered parking has extended to Saturday (which we found out by receiving a $10 ticket).

Another cause for feeling my age, technology. Every student walking down the sidewalk had a cellphone to their ear or their thumbs. I think the year I graduated some of my friends were starting to get them, but they were more akin to the Zach Morris monstrosity than today's. And you definitely were only talking on them. Add to that all the laptops humming away in the library study rooms. I borrowed my roommate's word processor to write my final thesis paper...History and Homer: Did the Trojan War Really Exist?

Anyway, despite all the new, we stuck to our comfort zone. We ate dinner at Mac & Joe's which has been there since my Grandma attended. It is an alley bar. So needless to say, walking in with a 2 and 5 year old, caused a few heads to turn. The next day was Bagel & Deli for lunch and Bruno's pizza for a snack (though they have raised the price to $1.50 a slice). I refused to get anything that said Redhawks on it (I'm a Redskin and I have the car decal to prove it).

We have pretty much convinced Morgan that she should go there, though she has given us the strict condition that we live there with her. We will happily ablige. All is right with the world when you hear the Beta Bells every fifteen minutes, see a dozen guys leave their house with beer cases cut into knightly helmets on their heads, and it takes you 10 minutes to make it 4 blocks because Uptown is so congested (thankfully, it's only 4 blocks long, so 10 minutes isn't so bad.)

Oh, and Scott came in 5th in his age group (somewhere between "getting old" and "almost too old to do this shit anymore"). 38th overall. Plus, on the way home (well, not really the way) we got to barge in on my roommate Allison that lives in Cincinnati.

Added bonus, Zoe soaked through her diaper (unknown to us) which caused about a twenty minute breakdown that almost had everyone in tears.

So perhaps my sentimentality has now bored you to tears. But if you were looking for someone that appreciates a good walk down memory lane...you now know I'm your girl.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So I missed my best-friend-since-fifth-grade's birthday.

It's not like it's a hard one to remember, seeing how it's on April Fool's Day. And seeing how my own daughter's birthday is five days later. But it seems I am constantly using my blog to wish belated birthdays and hoping that my fond recollections will somehow make up for my lack of innate timeline. So, to my best friend Gerri...

Thank you for being there in the back row of Mr. Burger's classroom.
Thank you for helping me sneak all those notes into Aaron Mahilo's locker.
Thank you for saving me my swing.
Thank you for taking basketball stats with me.
Thank you for not laughing at me for being a Falconette.
Thank you for appreciating the movie Meet Me in St. Louis.
Thank you for taking driver's ed with me.
Thank you for driving me to school every day after that.
Thank you for breaking up with Fletch for me.
Thank you for pulling barn duty with me at the fair.
Thank you for helping me establish the Laws of the Midway.
Thank you for pretending I'm half as bad-ass as you are.

And thank you for always being my friend, no matter how long it is in between our conversations and visits. (It's always too long, and I know that is my fault.)

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The definition of stupidity is repeating the same action over and over while expecting different results.

The definition of extreme stupidity is trying to spring clean your toddler's room while they're in it and expect them to NOT topple neatly stacked books, empty the basket of toys and remove every article of clothing from the drawers.

I begged. I threatened. Why did I not just stop? What harm could have come from waiting until Scott returned from his 18 mile run? (I'm pretty sure he took up training so he had less chance of hearing me say "Zoe, No.")

But I did it. First, it was the basket of stuffed animals that I had Morgan go through. "Can we give any of these toys away?" Unlike in her own room, where the 23 pooh-bears, and 14 penguins still take up valuable real estate, she became ruthless. The only things that remained were other various members of the Hundred Acre Wood and The Learning Puppy.

Sidebar: We have received no less the four Learning Puppies in the course of our parenthood, and damn if that thing isn't still the most annoying toy ever. No offense to the thoughtful gift bearers. Or barers. I have no idea.

No sooner had I moved to the play kitchen did I turn to find Pooh's buddies strewn across the floor. And may I mention that Zoe had never once played with those things before.

Once I get the pots, pans and spoons in their clever storage bin, I move to the four villages of Little People (Fisher Price, not TLC), only to find the devil's spawn has felt the urge to prepare a seven course meal.

Line up the shoes and take the trash out of the room. Return to mix-matched pairs on "babies", in the "sink", and going "night, night" in the crib (carefully covered with a blanket so they don't get a chill.)

I thought about letting the vacuum run so I could get everything in one place (the only thing Beelzebub fears), but figured that might cost me in later-year therapy. In the end, the room is clean. Maybe not great-grandma Feef clean, but good enough for this mom.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Irritable Bowels

The stomach bug that took up residence in the household has moved on...unfortunately to members of the extended family (6 new cases and counting), but hey, I'm done with it. Life is good. And I never threw up. YAY!

Let it be known that I have a very strong aversion to throwing up. I know most people don't enjoy it, but I pretty much live in fear of it. I'm convinced it stems from throwing up an entire spaghetti dinner that left a permanent stain on my bedroom carpet at age 6. I don't remember being particularly upset at the time, but the memory sticks with me just like that stain.

Unfortunately, I have a fairly strong gag reflex. I've been known to make myself nauseous while brushing my teeth, and I refuse to swallow anything larger than a regular Advil. My OB thought I was joking when I told her I was taking Flinstone chewable vitamins instead of the pre-natal prescription. I checked. Two Flinstones = One Pre-Natal. Tell your friends.

Other going concerns: watching other people puke, watching other people eat things that shouldn't be eaten, watching other people let things with more than four legs crawl on them, watching/hearing/reading about "bad things" happening to children (I will not be watching the movie "Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire."), and green beans (also the cause of childhood vomit).

I can literally make myself sick, thinking about getting sick.

Exceptions to the rule:
1. In the college binge drinking days, I was remarkably not a puker.
2. Kid vomit and blood (not at the same time) do not bother me at all.