Archives for September 2013

Tuesday Truths

Soccer Mom  life isn't  all snack bags and hair bows

Soccer Mom life isn’t all snack bags and hair bows

 

I did not inherit the cleaning gene

My Mom keeps a wonderfully clean house as does her mother.  My Dad’s Mom also kept a wonderfully clean house.  I do NOT keep a beautifully clean home.  I just don’t.  My house is not so bad as to warrant calls to CPS but it is not a shining example of the skills my mother attempted to pass on.  My house is smack dab in the middle of being able to pass a white glove test and there needing to be an intervention. Okay, this is Tuesday Truths- if I’m honest it’s closer to intervention than white glove.  I work full time.  My husband works full time.  The kids are more than a full time job between homework and activities. Then I need to be sure we all have clean underwear on a regular basis and I have got to have some “ME” time to reset.  When you factor all that in you can see why there is little time for cleaning our baseboards on a regular basis.  More accurately- I do not put a high priority on cleaning baseboards on a regular basis.  If you walk in unannounced on a good day you may be greeted by 8 pairs of shoes and a massive apology.  On a bad day you will still get to see our footwear collection and there may also be the better part of a whole serving of cheerios (some crushed, some not) under the table because my school aged daughter can’t seem to keep her food off the floor and three days of mail and school paperwork on the table.  I wish I’d gotten the clean gene. You know, the one who is willing, driven even, to forgo sleep in the name of inhaling bleach and Pine Sol as she scrubs the house. I don’t have it. Period. Being a Soccer Mom just gives me more of an excuse.  We are never home which is good because I like a clean house, I just can’t be spurred into action regularly, so being at the field means I don’t have to see it.  The only time the house gets a thorough scrubbing is when company is expected.  Seems to me we need to put a party on the calendar soon as the clutter is beginning to bother me and that is saying something.  Sad thing for The Boss is it appears it skips two generations….. we are hoping she will develop the cleaning gene soon or else we may be forced to submit her room to the producers of Hoarders.

I really dislike the phrase “That’s okay, *insert goal keeper’s name here*”

My son is a goalie and I hear the above phrase far too often. I hear it thrown in my son’s direction as well as at other keepers. It bothers me for a number of reasons.  First, let’s say my son is nutmegged (ball through his legs) and gives up a goal.  If so, the little nugget “It’s okay, LJ” does not help.  1) He knows he made an error and is likely beating himself up   2) it is not okay.  If he got “megged” he clearly disregarded the fundamentals and paid the price by giving up a goal.  Second scenario- field player gets lazy and gives up a foul on the end of the box.  Free kick winds up in the back of the net via the top corner, nothing the 9 year old keeper can do about it.  “That’s okay, LJ”.  While in this case I understand they are trying to say “it’s not your fault, kiddo” but it just doesn’t help.  Why is it that the keeper is getting the attention rather than the boy who gave up the foul? Relatedly- defense breaks down and they fail to clear it, keeper lays out but it still goes in “That’s okay, keeper”.  Really? I guess it all boils down to the fact that comments such as this are unevenly applied.  I am pretty sure it would be frowned upon if I yelled “That’s okay, striker” when he sends a very makeable shot  one v. one with the keeper, wide of the net.  In that scenario  it would appear as if I was calling the kid out.  Fact of the matter is striker’s errors don’t go on the score sheet.  Defensive errors and brain farts by the keeper do- for the other team.  Guess it’s a good thing my boy has  very short memory  and doesn’t beat himself up.  He is quick to realize the goals that happened because of errors of others and is happy to try and minimize the effects of those errors by being good in his position.  Next time you are tempted to holler “That’s okay, keeper” refrain.  Rather, focus on the team- “Let’s go, boys (girls)… let’s get it back!”.

Wilson Phillips came on in the car yesterday and I sang every last word of “Release Me”

I know you are sitting there judging me, I’m pretty sure the guy in the 90’s sentra next to me yesterday morning was.   I am very much a 90’s girl.  I downloaded their album a while back just because I thought it was funny.  Usually a couple of bars of one of their songs will play, I will smile and laugh then quickly skip it to find what the shuffle gods throw my way next.  That was not the case yesterday….. There on the 91 East I belted out:

How many times have I tried to turn this love around?
I don’t want to give up
But baby it’s time I had two feet on the ground
Can you release me
Can you release me
Now that you’re gone I can’t help myself from wondering
Oh, if you’d have come down from your high
Would we’ve been all right?
Release me
Can you release me

Take a moments… sing it. Really! Top to bottom I belted out that song, smiling the entire time.  It was rather therapeutic.  Took me back to an easier time -I can say that now that 20 years have passed and I not longer have emotional responses to the stress that was High School.  The traffic around me did not bother me.  I was in the zone, singing along with the harmony and having a great time. I mean, how can one stress out about traffic or the impending doom that is Monday in the office when you are signing:

Come on baby, come on baby
You knew it was time to just let go
‘Cause we want to be free
But somehow it’s just not that easy
Come on Darlin’, hear me Darlin’
‘Cause you’re a waste of time for me
I’m trying to make you see
That baby you’ve just got to release me
Release me
Release me

No, really. Sing it! Good times.  I love how music has such an impact. Even songs from a different time in our lives can stop us in our tracks. What song from times gone by has caught your attention lately?

 

Enjoy the Moment

Had the pleasure, yes I said pleasure, of taking The Boss to skills night last night.  This is an extra night of practice that our recreational league offers.  They work on specific, individual, skills like shooting, 1 v. 1 defending and ball handling.  I openly admit that if I would have been  asked before hand to measure, on a scale of 1 -10, my excitement level about “getting” to attend i would have likely said “5”.  I was totally indifferent, it was really just something I had to do.  After sitting there for just about 15 minutes my attitude changed.

I’d forgotten how friendly, how town square like, the sideline of recreational soccer can be.  I didn’t have any real interactions with other parents but the vibe is so very different.  The palpable stress level created by the competition of club soccer is totally absent at rec’s skills night.  There are no dads hovering off to the side whispering as they recap last week’s game most assuredly noting how their son, who is most definitely destined for stardom, was a beast on the pitch while *insert other boys name here* didn’t even deserve the eight minutes playing time he got.  No, at rec skills those dads are replaced by moms and dads who happily play on their phones and discuss random events while casually observing the goings on out on the field.

On the field things look different too.  The lines in the drills are less tidy.  Kids have yet to realize that the very act of lining up and, more specifically, getting in line first is, in and of itself, a competition.  The scissors, step overs and Cruyff skills are replaced with skipping, daisy picking and doing exactly the opposite of what the coach is instructing them to do.  Breaks for water and Gatorade are part of the fun of practice.  Every aspect of practice is fun, it’s all new.  If there are parts of practice the kids don’t particularly enjoy it is no matter- they simply change things up and make their own fun.

This is what shifted my thinking from raging indifference to actual enjoyment.  Being an adult is hard, stressful.  I have a never ending lists of things to do, deadlines to meet, expectations to reach.  It is always go, go, go, go, go and do,do, do, do, do.  Tonight, for an hour and a half, I got to just be  “The Boss’ Mom”.  I was allowed to watch my girl and her friends have some carefree fun as they picked up a few nuggets of soccer knowledge.

At one point my girl had peeled off from the pack.  She had her own ball at her feet and was playing with her pinny. Rather than mentally roll my eyes, shake my head and get up to try and get her involved I watched her.  She was happy in the moment.  As i watched it became clear that she was protecting one of the six goals that had been set out for the drill while the others were busy playing bee-hive ball at its finest…. save the two boys who apparently had enough of soccer and had transitioned instead to wrestling.  It was just a gift to watch these kids, who spanned various age groups and skill levels, having fun.

The hour and half at the field was a fantastic reminder to take my foot off the throttle once in awhile.  I am so competitive with everything and I always want to get so much done… then when I don’t accomplish what I “should” I beat myself up over it.  My mind is constantly churning, moving, thinking, analyzing and I owe it to myself, my husband, and my kids to slow down and and enjoy the moment more often.  Sometimes that may be the simple act of sitting back and observing practice, appreciating my kids for the gifts they are to me.  Other times that may be taking a moment with The Boss and taking pretend “selfies” with the old Ottter Box case she uses as a pretend iphone.  This Soccer Mom is blessed and sometimes it takes a practice I would have been happy to skip to really put me in check and remind me to enjoy the time I’m given with the kids.

USA v. Mexico- As lived by this Soccer Mom- Second Half

 

Half time- get The Boss and family their dinner.  I rid myself of the tag that proves Big Daddy never actually wore this jersey.

Kickoff of 2nd half- My phone rings and it’s my Mom.  Doesn’t she realize what is on TV at the moment? I exchange pleasantries and thank her for checking in on me with my battle with the flu.  I LOVE chatting with my Mom but my goodness… there is a game going on here.

48th minute– US actually looks to have some offensive life but they are waiting yet for the payoff goal. Wait! They get awarded a corner and it found itself in the back of the net courtesy of Eddie Johnson!!! USA USA USA! Our neighborhood may now be asking what sort of animal was stabbed in our house as Big Daddy’s cheer was more of a yelp with just a hint of a wooo hooo.. 1-0 USA

49th minute– As the TV coverage continued to show replays Big Daddy has a chat with LJ “What did that keeper do wrong?” and he promptly responds “came out”  Big Daddy adds..”If you come out you have GOT to get the ball!!!’

51st minute- LJ proclaims his lack of USA jersey is lucky in USA v. Mexico games. We’ve clearly passed on the ridiculous sports superstitions gene

52nd minute- Alejandro Moreno makes Big Daddy appear to have some soccer cred as he basically reiterates what BD had instructed LJ about on corners just moments ago.

57th minute- Mexico awarded a corner that appeared to be more worthy of a goal kick.  That goes out for a 2nd corner… which falls into Tim Howards’s bread basket.

60th minute- crowd is chanting “Dos a cero” and Big Daddy educates the boy on the history of that

62nd minute- Dempsey kicks the ball out of bounds so his teammate, Eddie Johnson can be tended to. Replay shows he got a decent knock to the head.  USA plays temporarily with 10 men.  Big Daddy excited at the prospect of Johannsson come in but that may have to wait.

68th minute- LJ is doing mental gymnastics about the hex table and what actually must happen for USA to actually clinch it and begins waving the flag,  The Boss appears to have somehow locked herself in the hallway which is odd since that door does not lock. For now, we’ll go with it and leave her be.  LJ actually shows mercy to his sister and lets her out. She came out here long enough to get a drink of water and then went back to watch whatever it is she has turned on in our bedroom.  I’m not worried- we have parental controls in there.

72nd minute- Besley shows the young boys that he still has some flash- may have been out of gas and couldn’t deliver the pass that was needed

75th minute- E.Johnson’s knock to the head from earlier ends up being too much. He comes off for Diskerud. Big Daddy is disappointed in this decision

77th minute– The Boss graces us with her presence once more and this time at least acknowledges the game asking ” Who’s winning? The US?” Big Daddy nods yes and she gives a enthusiastic fist pump and a “YES!”

78th minute- Dos a Cero! Landon Donovan, The Boss’  soccer boyfriend, scored after wonderful ball control by the recent sub, Diskerud. Appears Klinsmann knows more than Big Daddy. 2-0 USA!!! We all let the neighborhood know of our pleasure

83rd minute- Big Daddy is monitoring things regarding this game on twitter and facebook and such and announces that “the crowd is chanting ‘you aren’t going to Brazil” to Mexico. LJ asks, “Do you think they can understand what they are saying” Uh, yeah, I am sure most of the Mexican fans and the team understand English.

88th minute- the age ol’ game of “how much stoppage time with there be?” begins.  Big Daddy says 6, LJ and I said 5 but he makes me change so I say 4.  The Boss is here to watch the end of the game with us and wants to wave the flag.  Her request is denied as she has not touched it all game and for her to do so now could change things in favor of Mexico

91st minute- They have still not announced official stoppage time and we are all getting antsy

92nd minute- I WIN THE STOPPAGE TIME GAME!

93rd minute- Dos a Cero chants make a comeback in Columbus

94th minute- Ian Darke “Well, looks like the US is going to Brazil and Mexico is going to New Zealand for a playoff, who would have thunk it?”

94th minute part two- Wow- a PK awarded- he missed it but it does not matter.  A text from Big Daddy’s brother noted that Tim Howard should have taken it

 

Well exciting US soccer game. We love spending this time together…. even with Boss girl going in and out.  THIS is why we love soccer.

 

 

USA v. Mexico- As lived by this Soccer Mom- First Half

4;15 Big Daddy and kids arrive home.  Immediately question me as to why the pregame show is not on.

4:30 The Boss and I assemble a Burrito casserole

4:40  Big Daddy yells at LJ and I to go get our jerseys on.  Uh, I don’t own one.  Apparently there is one hanging in the closet that no longer fits Big Daddy that I am supposed to wear.

4:55 Team walk out to well know international soccer anthem.  Donovan looks as if he is wearing blush and Chicarito appears to want to barf

5:00 National Anthem is played.

5:02 Big Daddy walks in wearing a United States scarf, carrying  a beer wearing a US Jersey, and hands LJ a flag and then proceeds to toss me his my USA jersey.

5:03 LJ is excited to see Alejandro Moreno commentating. Moreno’s son used to play on LJ’s soccer team..

5:04 I am now sporting the jersey I was given .  I question whether this did ever actually fit Big Daddy as it shows that I am definitely not  “match fit”

5:05 Chicharito is praying for Mexico’s World Cup life as we approach kickoff and Landon Donovan appears to have taken hit to the face as his eye is so swollen

 

Kickoff-Not sure if it is the game or residual flu symptoms but I want to barf

2nd minute- First corner kick by Mexico was, ultimately, a non issue.  That along with some Pepto helps calm my tummy for now

3rd minute- F. Johnson apparently saw a friend in the stands that he wanted to kick the ball to….

6th minute- Crowd singing when the Yanks come marching in is more impressive than U.S. squad’s play thus far… an early threat of an own goal? We’d best do better.

7th minute- I have got to ask- did Klinsmann show the squad tape of LJ’s team playing and ask them to emulate it? Seriously, they are giving up the ball easily and then resorting to just booting the ball….. to Mexico

10th minute- Free kick Mexico, Chicharito is as unsuccessful at that as he has been in the last few games against the US

11th minute- Dempsey attempts to seemingly shoot it from Mexico and is unsuccessful

12th minute- The Boss has turned on the TV in our room and has done multiple trips back into the living room to determine when dinner will be ready. Silly girl, she thinks one of us will get up to deal with dinner before half time.

14th minute- LJ was messing with the remote and suddenly the TV was tuned to some American Football.  I have not seen Big Daddy move so quickly in a long time to get it changed back but we still missed the direct kick by the U.S.

19th minute- US lost possession in mid-field and Mexico nearly made them pay.  Luckily Howard is great in net and pushes it wide.  The counter attack amounted to little much more than Landon Donovan kicking it to Mexico’s keeper

21st minute- A dangerous free kick right outside the box. Luckily for the U.S. it amounted to nothing. I notice Big Daddy’s breathing is speeding up and LJ is waving his flag trying to inspire his nation’s team from afar.

24th minute– LJ is suddenly interested in talking to me about Social Studies.  All I hear is” Waahhh waaah waaahhh” a la Charlie Brown’s teacher

26th minute– The Boss comes in and again asks about dinner.  We ask her to be quiet and offer her an orange or some apple sauce.  I quickly get up to actually put dinner in the oven…..

31st minute- First US corner kick of the game.  Eddie Johnson is unmarked, got up, and got a solid head on it but alas the Mexican keeper did his job

35th-36th minutes– US and Mexico both doing their best to act out youth soccer trading give-aways in mid field

42nd minute- Fabian Johnson shows boys and girls across American why working on juggling skills is beneficial. Didn’t amount to anything in the end but he kept possession by working hard

44th minute- When no one stepped up to challenge Mexico took a shot on net and Howard came up with a great save.

45th minute- LJ is waving the flag as they announce one minute of added time.  Of course US is content to waste time and Mexico wishes to put on pressure. A foul that earned a yellow card gives a direct kick to the Mexicans. Howard pushes it wide.  Resulting corner? amounts to nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths

Soccer Mom  life isn't  all snack bags and hair bows

Soccer Mom life isn’t all snack bags and hair bows

 

Cost of Club is worth it to be rid of snack bags and hair bows

Club Soccer is expensive.  There is no other way to put it.  Beyond the fees there’s time, gas, miles driven.  All that factored in I believe I prefer it over rec soccer and its hair bows, snack bags and elaborately decorated cans we are asked to shovel change into when the kids score.  I’m aware this is another reason for my Soccer Mom card to be pulled.  Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love watching my little Abby Wambach run up and down the field in the beehive that is U7 recreational soccer.  I also enjoy the days she prefers to dance around all on her own channeling Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. Truth is- I love the laid back feeling of rec soccer but also love the more streamlined “get in and get out” feeling of club soccer.  All that disclosed I fully recognize that my girl loves this stuff and that the days in this phase of her life are numbered so I will embraced it- hair bows and all.  Anyone know where I can find cool blue jaguar stickers to perfectly adorn the snack bags I will have to put together later this season.

[Read more…]

Fall Season Kick off: 2013

When we were given the kid’s schedules a few weeks ago we were immediately struck with the fact that we had a conflict…. DAY ONE.  We knew that there would inevitably be some conflicts in the fall schedule.  What we were not prepared for was for it to happen on the first Saturday. *grrrr*  While LJ’s team plays year round today marked the first game of the fall season in the new, higher, bracket they were promoted to based on last year’s play.  For the Boss today marked the first game she played after aging out of Pee Wee. She now has the pleasure of playing 9v9 on a larger field and having to deal with goal keepers. Long story short, big day for both kiddos.  Trying to determine who went where was odd. What? We are to vocalize which child we preferred to watch? That seems like an all around bad idea.  What did we do?

Cards will determine our fate

Cards will determine our fate

 

Seriously, we picked cards.  With LJ sitting right there I was told to pick a card.  A Jack and I went to The Boss’ game, an Ace I went with the boy child.  My fate?  I chose an ace.  LJ and I headed off to a local middle school which, I must add on this day where temperatures topped 94 degrees, is devoid of any trees. It was hot! The boys looked strong, really strong, but failed to capitalize when opportunities presented themselves and found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 game.  After coach completed his post mortem I received a text that the 2nd half was just starting in The Boss’ game.  Sweet.  Just found an upside to the rec league working out opening day kinks.  A quick drive found us at the park and we located her field and found our girl tending the goal  Her keeper brother was proud! We didn’t get to see if she had really been paying attention when at her brother’s games as her team spent the bulk of the time in the attacking half.

This is also where I saw that my girl is truly MY GIRL.  They had a water break (again, was hot as hell out today!) and my girl told the coach she was okay staying on the sideline.  Seriously? Who asks to be benched? The Boss does.   We, out of our girl’s ear shot, advised the coach that she is not to listen to her.  She is to play her as she wants.  See- The Boss is a good player.  She had the team’s first goal, in fact.  Just turns out that, like her Momma, she is lazy.  LAZY!  She confirm this on the way home when she noted that she really didn’t want to be all sweaty. Well, sunshine, you may be in the wrong sport.  :) Truth be told I don’t blame the girl it was hot.  I was sweating like a stuffed pig and I was sitting on my butt under an umbrella.   That said- we are working to create habits that will promote physical movement and activity….not sitting on the bench waiting to collect the snack of the week.

All told it was a fantastic day of soccer despite the boy’s loss.  I was pleased to have been able to see LJ’s game and half of The Boss’ and then to get to introduce myself to her coach…. see Big Daddy has taken on dealing with her practices so today was my first glance at the Blue Jaguars. Is going to be a fun season for both of them.  Looking ahead at the schedule there will be a few more times where we will have to pick cards to determine where we will go.

 

 

Tuesday Truths: Confessions of a Soccer Mom

Soccer Mom  life isn't  all snack bags and hair bows

Soccer Mom life isn’t all snack bags and hair bows

A repetitive series on my blog will give a glimpse into the real life of a soccer mom. Some may be funny, some may have you reaching for the phone to call CPS, all will be true.

 

To start the series off I’ll stay pretty tame-

I do not drive a Mini Van or SUV-

I understand that admitting this in such a public forum may cause the  Soccer Mom authorities to hunt me down and strip me of all Soccer Mom privileges.  They may even exert their power and pull this very blog from my control. Even with the threat of all that I proudly type- I drive a Infiniti G35 and it is fun! It is not the most practical for summer tournaments as the trunk space is limited and the black leather seats get hot enough to bake one’s buns but damn my car is fun to drive. Bonus confession- my darling Infiniti is bumper sticker and cutsie license plate frame free. Please talk me down from the ledge as I have been researching options to slap some Soccer Mom identifier on my ride but have resisted to this point.  Yes, must be strong. Must not give all of my life to the Soccer Mom role.  The car is MY domain. That is if you disregard the ever present chair and umbrella in the cramped quarters of the trunk and large quantity of grass clippings and occasional mud balls on the floor in the back seat. Oh and should you ever get in my car and be hit by a foul odor- that likely identifies the presence of some goalie gloves and shin guards.

I can not French Braid-

My poor daughter.  While her teammates have perfectly executed French braids my girl, if she is lucky, must settle for a couple pig tails that may or may not be evenly distributed on her head.  If it is a bad day Big Daddy throws in a single pony tail and she grabs a head band. Bonus confession- said headband is not likely to match her uniform.  I am a terrible Soccer Mom to my girl.  Personally I keep my hair in a sassy short cut.  Read that as: I can’t style my own hair for shit once it passes my shoulders and I’ve been given this little female human being whose hair I’m suppose to style? God has a sense of humor, clearly.  That said I am trying! When the Boss has enough sit in her I have been practicing.  I will tell you my French braiding skills HAVE improved.  When done they no longer look to have been completed by a blind woman with only 3 fingers.  Yes, progress is being made. Best I can tell I will master this particular skill  when The Boss is going U16 and the last thing she will want is for me to come near here hair.

I once neglected to bring snacks on our assigned day-

This is another one that may result in my Soccer Mom card being pulled.  There was a bit of a miscommunication between Big Daddy and I.  Note- Big Daddy was coaching and I was Team Mom all while Big Daddy was also league president and I helped as treasurer of the boys team. Clearly stated- we had a ton going on.  It was the beginning of the season and we flat out blew it.  I fully realize that snacks may be the only reason some little cherubs pay soccer and I get parents having an upset girl on their hands when there wasn’t a bag stuffed full of sugar pushed there way after their massive 30 minute athletic performance.  What I was not prepared for was the venom from the parents themselves. HOLY SHIT. Yes, I blew it and didn’t have a Capri Sun, twinkie and fishy crackers in a perfectly  decorated baggie for your girl but damn no need to pull our soccer parent credentials right there on the field.  The way I look at it I created an opportunity for you to talk to your daughter about how one does not need to eat a snack after such a short cardio session (bonus confession: I still need to take that to heart myself) or if you wish to go a different route- stop for ice cream on your home.  Seriously, it is a snack bag. Get over it.

 

There you have it.  The first installment of Tuesday Truths.  So- what confessions do you have?