Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes!

This year Alex has joined her brother and is now playing soccer at the YMCA.  We have listened to her for several seasons wanting to play with her brother. So Randy insisted that she was ready.  First off I had to go on all out city search for cleats in a size 8.  Finally found them at Dick's Sporting Goods.
How cute are these?
We arrived at the first practice on Monday evening.  We were a few minutes late because I forgot how long it takes to cram shin guards & big socks in little cleats. She was timid at first but went right on out there and began participating in practice.

I was so proud & excited to see my little girl growing up and learning.   But after about 30 minutes it turned ugly.  She started wanting lots of water breaks and to play on the playground.  Then she flat refused to practice anymore.  This growing pit started forming in my stomach.  I tried everything.  Nothing would get her back on that field.  I even said we were headed back to the YMCA to get our money back.  She adamantly said she did not want to quit, but she didn't want to play either.  Finally after everyone left we got her to do some of the drills with Gampa.  Then we let her play on the playground.
On Saturday as the coaches handed out the uniforms they asked me whether, we should have Alex play the first 2 quarters instead of the 1st & 3rd to keep her focus.  That sounded like a good plan...
But then she refused to warm up.  She refused to say the YMCA pledge.  Finally in the 4th quarter after spying her friend, Hans, on another field I convinced her to play.  But here is how she spent the next 5 minutes.
Clinging tightly to the coach's hand and crying.  Definitely not playing the game...

Fast forward to Monday.  I had a program at school, so I convinced Randy to stay in town one extra day so that he could take Alex to soccer practice.  I don't know if it was Daddy taking her to practice, not having mommy there, or because Mrs. Tracey promised to take her to Chick Fil A, but she decided to participate the whole practice. Then on Saturday, she played all three quarters.  The 4th quarter she came out because it was her turn to sit on the bench. 
 Now I would like to say that she was a complete soccer star, but we were really proud when she actually kicked the ball one time.  She stayed on the field, but we did yell "ball, Alex Ball, lots of times.  What can I say she is three, with a 3 year old attention span.
Nevertheless, we were really proud of her and can't wait to see the progress she is going to make throughout the season.
On other notes, Riley continues to excel and progress in soccer.  He scored his first goal of the season!  Last season he only scored one the whole season.  Each week it seems to be something different shining.  The week before I was proud of his defense skills and how well he stayed focused to clear the ball every time it even got close to their offensive side.  Then this week his offense looked great.  Now we just have to build up his stamina so that he has the energy to keep running the whole game.
     I know it is the competitive athletic side of me, but I have to admit that these days there is not more that makes me happier than watching my children play sports.  I love being a soccer mom!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Day of First Grade

August 22 was the first day of school.  My big boy, Riley, started 1st grade this year.  This seems like such a big change.  Plus now he is on the opposite end of the building.  No more "walking" by the classroom to spy on him and see what he is up to.  I really don't have a reason to be down at that end of the building very often.
Then I had to take a close up of the mouth because the Monday before school started he lost another tooth.  I dropped him off at the babysitters for MY first day back at work.  When I dropped him off I didn't even know he had a loose tooth.  Then I picked him up and he has another hole in his mouth and a tooth in a baggie.  I was so surprised and Tracey, our caregiver, was excited because Riley let HER pull his teeth. Did I mention how much I love this woman???
Riley with his amazing teacher, Mrs. Ogle.  One of the few perks of being a teacher is that I get to hand pick my children's teachers.  I knew Christa was an amazing teacher who really excels in teaching kids to read.  That was exactly what Riley needed!  Not to mention the crazy hours she puts in.  Did I mention that we drove by the school at 9pm on the Friday night before school started and she was still there working, by herself, in a really big and really dark building??
The first day could not have gone better.  Riley absolutely loves first grade.  He did crack me up though.  When I asked him what was the best part about first grade?  The desks!!  In Kindergarten they all shared a tables.  So now he has his own personal space to leave a mess.

Mommy and Riley both dressed up for the first day of school.
I also had a great first day.  I started my year with 24 4th graders.  That is 4 more students than I had last year in my class and let me tell you that makes a HUGE difference.  Not to mention that when you consider I have 2 classes of 24 that makes 8 more papers to grade than last year.  Every thing we do takes a little longer and it is a neverending line coming down the hall. We have now hired a new teacher and will soon be parting with 4 of our precious students that I have grown really attached to. I don't want 24 students, but I don't want to lose any either! :(

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alex's 3rd Birthday

Several weeks ago, my baby girl turned 3.  But between school starting and Randy working out of town, I just haven't had time to blog about anything.  In fact even right now, I have a stack of papers waiting to be graded so that progress reports can go home, but I decided to work on my blog before I have an insane amount to blog about.
First off is a picture that my friend & photographer, Melissa Chase Photography, took of Alex for her 3 year pics. I think I may have finally figured out the trick to getting Alex to smile.  Take pictures of just her first.  That way it is all her HER! 
2 weeks before her actual birthday, we had a Disney Princess birthday party at the house.  One month before was her cousin Caleb's party that involved a big inflatable water slide.  The kids had a blast!  So I sweet talked Jamie into bringing the slide all the way from Round Rock.  Then I asked ever so sweetly if my mother in law would bring the above ground pool that she bought for the kids all the way from Florida. (Yes I am very loved!)  Lastly we set up our own kiddie pool.  All the kids came in their swimsuits and were ready to swim.  What else do you do when it is 105 outside??
 Caleb all ready to shoot some hoops in the shallow pool!
 Daddy doing what he does best, grilling some hamburgers and hotdogs for all to enjoy.
 I was amazed that all the younger kids spent so much time in the "big" pool and not on the water slide. But I sure am glad Karyn brought the pool all the way from Florida!
Look at all the kids chowing down on hot dogs & cheetos.  We ran out of Cheetos before dinner was even served.  Note to self -buy 2 or more bags of Cheetos for the next kids party!
Then it was time to open all the presents.  It was obvious that everyone knows what Alex likes, Disney princesses.  I didn't even know they made that much princess stuff!
Finally it was time for princess cake & tiara cupcakes.  So we all sang Happy Birthday and waited for Alex to blow out the candles, and waited and waited.  Alex kept blowing up, like blowing her bangs, instead of blowing out the candles.  It took forever but she finally did it!
 Then just as the party was winding down we headed outside for one last BIG present.  Mama Karyn, Papaw, Aunt Kalee, and Uncle Ryan got Alex a PINK Barbie motorized Jeep!  She was so excited.  When Riley turned 3, the Farris' bought him a green John Deere motorized Gator.  It has been a favorite toy for the past 3 years and is still well played.
Immediately Alex & Hailey went for a ride.  We were all sitting there seeing the future of Alex and Hailey at age 16 headed out for night on the town.  Lord, help me now!  Hailey has enough of her Momma in her and Alex has her Mommy's looks and her Daddy's attitude.  Watch out town!  These two will be trouble!  The really funny thing was Alex didn't feel comfortable driving yet, so she let Hailey take over the driving after a while.  Those two had so much fun driving around.
It was a great party.  Alex got a ridiculous amount of toys that she just LOVES.  We are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family.