Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Six Flags New England Ticket Giveaway!!


Six Flags


We are fortunate to live close enough to visit Six Flags New England  at least once a year.  We started going when the athlete was 3 and little princess was still a baby strolling around in her baby carriage.  You might think they were a little young to visit a place known for it's death-defying roller coasters and such but believe it or not we had a wonderful time back then.  The athlete was happy as could be spending time riding all the rides in Looney Tunes Movie Town and even princess got in on the action, happily splashing about at the edge of the giant wave pool at the water park.  Now they cater even more to a younger crowd with an area called Kidzopolis.

Have any questions or concerns before visiting Six Flags New England for the first time, fret not!  Simply click here for their own Guide to Rides and Attractions, so you can make the most out of your visit.  Or, if your a planner and information seeker like I am, simply visit the Six Flags New England website.  They have all the information you could possibly need to plan an amazing trip for your family.

Of course for the thrill seekers at heart, Six Flags New England has got it all!  From their newest roller coaster Goliath to some good old favorites like Scream.  You won't be disappointed.   Got only one thrill seeker in your family but other kids in your group?  Six Flags New England has got you covered.  They offer something called Parent Swap:

PARENT SWAP

Parents of children under 54” can notify a ride operator they’d like to participate in a Thrill Swap. This allows one parent to stay with the child while the other rides. Then they swap places! Ask any ride operator for more information.
And while we're at it, for the older yet cautious kids, like ahem, my athlete, there are rides that he can handle without permanently scarring him for life.  Every year he proclaims with sincere confidence that he is ready to tackle those big coasters and every year when he sees them in person he very quickly changes his mind!  Ha!  He'll get there one day.  I have a sneaky suspicion that princess will be ready to ride the rails before he is and that might just force him into taking the plunge!  After all, he can't let his little sister one-up him on anything!

He's got one more shot to conquer his roller coaster fears this year.  Courtesy of Six Flags New England our family will be visiting the park one more time this year and you can too!  They have generously donated  a 4 pack of tickets for me to give away to one lucky reader!  These tickets are also good for Fright Fest which runs from September 22 through October 28th.

Want to know how to enter?

It's simple.  All you have to do is leave a comment hear on my blog telling me your favorite ride at Six Flags New England and be sure to leave a valid email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win.

Want extra entries?  Here's how:

*Like my A Boy, A Girl, and Soccer page on Facebook and comment here that you have done it.  1 extra entry

*Follow me on Twitter and comment back here that you have done it.  1 extra entry

*Tweet this giveaway and comment back here with your link to tweet.  1 extra entries

Winner will be chosen on Friday, August 17th.  Winner will be chosen by random.org. and will be contacted by email.  If no response is received with 48hrs a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure:  I received free passes to Six Flags New England for this post, but the opinions expressed her are entirely my own.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Are you ready for some SOCCER!!!!!!!

Yes I know that the all familiar phrase shouted out by crazed fans all over America is actually with the word Football and not Soccer, however that's how we roll in this family.

And after a much needed season off for the athlete, he was more than ready for the Annual 3V3 Soccer Tournament hosted here in our town this past weekend.  And believe it or not, I was pretty pumped up to watch some soccer myself!

The princess, she was more concerned about her hot pink tie-dyed uniform shirt that the coach purchased for all his U10 girls.

And my poor hubby, he was going out of his mind trying to figure out how he was going to coordinate coaching 3, yes I said 3, different soccer teams at the same time on Saturday and Sunday.  In all he had 11 games on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.  (Luckily they were only 25 minute games and he had some help from a wonderful friend of ours who also happens to be one of the athlete's town soccer coaches to fill in when he had conflicting games.  Thanks again for that, Pat!)  

Going into it we knew that three teams and 13 games was going to be a handful but with help we figured it was doable, and it would have been had it not be 95 degrees on Saturday with humidity so high they issued a heat advisory for people to stay indoors.

NOT WISE PEOPLE, NOT WISE.

Take it from me, when they issue a heat advisory it's definitely for a reason!

Our first game was princess's team.  They played at 8:30 in the morning.  It was still ridiculous outside but at least there was still some shade on the field.

Here she is looking all pretty in her new uniform and ribbons in her hair. 001



Here are some great action shots of little princess doing her thing on the field, she even scored a goal!
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After game 1 and 2, princess was done.  She still had two more games to play but she was down for the count. She had a headache and felt like she was going to throw.  One little girl on her team was over in the bushes doing just that right after game 1 and another little girl who was only a spectator passed out in line waiting for fried dough!

 Hot was an understatement.

The athlete, he's a different breed from princess.  While she likes to play soccer it's not her passion.  She's more concerned about how she looks while she's playing rather than how well she's actually playing. The athlete though, nothing was stopping that kid from playing.  He even agreed to play on a co-ed team with his cousin because his boys team from last year wasn't able to field a team.

Here he is before the start of his first game getting some love from his cousin!  Doesn't he look so thrilled?  And I just love her face in this picture.  She is more than happy to dish out some unwanted love on her cousin!
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Not sure if you can make it out in this picture or not but their team name was "The Beauties and the Beasts".  They had three girls and three boys on the team and for this tournament there is a unique team name and uniform contest.  The girls love to try and win every year while usually the boys can't be bothered.  My sister in law came up with the concept.  I thought is was so clever!  (They won the trophy for unique costume by the way!)

Here are some great shots from the athlete's games.  I realized after all this time blogging I have no pictures from any of the athlete's soccer games!  Since the blog name is A Boy, A Girl, and Soccer, it is long overdue!
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Thankfully on Sunday there was a nice breeze and not as much sun.  The athlete's team had single elimination playoffs starting at 11am.  They won the first game bringing them to the championship, which I am so proud to say...



THEY WON!!!!!!
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Not too shabby considering my kid hasn't played soccer since the winter of last year, my niece is a goalie and there were no goalies in this tournament, and the best part...  the red head in the middle isn't even a soccer player!  She just happens to be a good friend of my niece and the athlete and she's not afraid to try anything.  Way to go you guys!!  You made it totally worth getting heat stroke!



Friday, August 3, 2012

Discount for tickets to KING RICHARD'S FAIRE and signs that summer is coming to an end...

It's August now and for some people like me, this is when I begin dreading the fact that summer is almost over.  I know it doesn't officially end until September 20th, but there is something about August that signals to me that the end of summer is fast approaching.

First off, our long awaited summer vacation to Maine has come and gone.  (It was wonderful and this year we got to share it with some friends!)

Second, all the stores are flooded with back to school supplies and sales.

Third, I have been to said store and stocked up on all necessary school supplies for both the athlete and little princess.  (Which by the way, my 4th grader needed waaaay more things than my 7th grader this year.  What's up with that?)

And last but not least, you start to plan fun activities and outings that only fall can bring.  Like one of my favorites:  King Richard's Faire!

This year I am so excited to be attending for my second time and courtesy of King Richard's Faire I am able to offer all of you a discount on an advance ticket purchase!

KING RICHARD'S FAIRE

Opens Weekends Starting September 1st - October 22nd

**Tickets are good for the following dates only:  September 1,2,3,8,9,15,16,22,23,29 and October 6,8,13,21,22 2012.

Readers may purchase discounted tickets via the KING RICHARD'S FAIRE website at a discount of $4.00 off the regular adult admission of $27.00.


To purchase tickets simply go to www.kingrichardsfaire.net

Click "Purchase Tickets" in the right corner

Click "Extreme Tix"

Enter required information 

Enter Promo-code:  boy-girl in appropriate box

Discount will be taken off automatically 

Print out tickets and bring directly to the gate on date of show listed


Who knows, maybe the end of summer won't be so bad afterall!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A sign of the times...


It's hotter than the hinges of hell in New England right now.  We are coming to the end of a major heat wave with tons of humidity.  So much so that it isn't even healthy for the kids to be outside playing for more than a few short minutes at a time.  We don't have a pool so we pretty much have been staying inside in the air conditioning.

All this being cooped up with no place to go has led to major fighting between the princess and the athlete.  In all fairness to princess, 99% of these battles have been waged by her brother.  She simply makes sure to do her best to win every single one of them.

They have become very well acquainted with their bedrooms this past week, and these little buggers have had a home on my kitchen counter more often than not.

This my friends, is a sign of the times.  



Their rooms are clean, extra chores are getting done around here, and they are totally kicking butt on their summer reading!  


Those gadgets can make their home on my kitchen counter any day.  I'm totally fine with that!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The incident...

The time was:  4pm Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The scene:  Princess's bedroom.  More specifically her door leading into the upstairs hallway.

First sign of trouble:  Heard a faint cry from the princess from her room that she was stuck and her door wouldn't open.  Don't think much of it and continue with phone conversation with best friend.

Second sign of trouble:  The athlete calling me from the hallway to let me know that her door really won't open.  Start to think she might really be stuck and vaguely remember yesterday when her door was briefly stuck shut.  Wonder if we might have a problem on our hands.  Go upstairs to investigate.

First realization that we do in fact have a situation on our hands:  Twist door knob half-heartedly expecting it to just pop open.  Door doesn't budge.  Try a few more times with a little more elbow grease... nothing.

First sign of major panic from princess:  Within minutes of realizing even super mom can't seem to get the door to budge.

First sign mom is getting majorly pissed off:  Looks at clock and realizes she has to cancel her chiropractor appointment scheduled in 5 minutes and may possible have to reschedule the athletes physical for 6pm if this shit don't budge!!!!!

First sign this situation is becoming more serious:  Mom gathers her break out tools...


First sign mom realizes she might not get this blasted door open after all:  She decides to call the coach at work and ask him what the hell to do.

First sign mom is desperate and acting like an ass:  She puts on a sneaker and tries to kick the door down several times, to no avail.  She only succeeds in hurting the bottom of her foot.

First sign mom is a hero:  After 20 minutes of unsuccessful and foolish attempts and busting it open, suddenly she hears metal upon metal as the screwdriver gets jammed inbetween the door frame and door.  And, voila!    Mom hears a soft click and door magically swings open.

And now for the damage sustained during Operation Break Free:






It's only minor and totally fixable right??

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Major parenting fail and light bulb moment...

I screwed up big time this morning with the athlete.

Screwing up is nothing new.  I'm a parent after all, not super woman.  I've never raised a twelve year old boy before.  I learn as I go and try my best to learn from the mistakes I make along the way.

Today will go down in the record books for me.

I had an epiphany today.  (Granted it wasn't until I got home and explained the entire ordeal to the coach and he offered up some words of wisdom to me.)  But none the less, I had a light bulb moment and I am so excited to start using what I learned today in future disagreements with the athlete.

As I mentioned in this post here, the athlete and I are one in the same.  We are stubborn to the core, we butt heads daily, and arguments are part of our relationship.

Today was nothing new.

It was the athlete's second day of baseball camp.  Yesterday went off without a hitch aside from some eye rolling and "jeez mom" a few times over the fact that I put sunblock on him and made him bring a small cooler with ice to keep his drinks cold for the entire day.  (Terrible of me, I know!  What kind of mom tortures there pre-teen like that!) 


 He tolerated my behavior because I didn't make him eat a bag lunch yesterday.  (A little side note:  the athlete hates sandwiches.  He gets hot lunch everyday during the school year and during the summer he cooks for himself.)

 I hadn't gone shopping yet this week so I explained to him that yesterday only, I would pick him up a pizza and bring it down to him at the field.  ONLY YESTERDAY.  He was made well aware that the rest of the week he would be bringing a sandwich lunch.  At the time, he was ok with that.  I should have known better than to think this would have been the end of this subject.  

Back to this morning:  I woke the athlete up and tried to put him in a good mood by telling him I picked up his favorite cereal at the store last night.  For a short time this worked.

Until... he asked me what's for his lunch.  I took a deep breath knowing the shit was about to hit the fan. Calmly, I reminded him he was having a sandwich today and gave him his choices.

And.just.like.that...

KABOOM!!!!

Suddenly I am sucky mom who can't do anything right.    His good mood is gone and replaced by sulky, rude, sarcastic, eye rolling, sighing, and unappreciative pre-teen self.  (I think that pretty much sums him all up at that point in time!)

Begrudgingly he barks out at me that he will have a tuna sandwich and storms out of the room.

The rest of the morning was more of the same.  He pissed and moaned about brushing his teeth, packing his bag, putting on sunblock, and of course taking the dreaded cooler along.

When we got in the car he sat hunched over staring at the floor.  I had just about had it at that point but tried to explain to him how his behavior was showing me how unappreciative he was being.  That camp is a luxury not a necessity.


More eye rolling and more silence.


I tried a different tactic and explained that there are better things I could be doing with my time, like sleeping in an extra hour, sitting my butt on the couch drinking an iced coffee and watching the news, instead of getting up early to get him ready for camp, packing his lunch and cooler, driving him across town and so on.   


More silent gazing out the window with no acknowledgement from him.    Apparently I was having a conversation with just myself.  


Now for the major parenting fail:


Instead of finishing what I had to say calmly whether he chose to participate in the conversation or not, what did I do?


I snapped and started screaming.  I mean SCREAMING, at the top of my lungs about how selfish and spoiled the athlete is.  


This sparked a chain reaction and the athlete broke his silence and started screaming at the top of his lungs, 


"YOU KNOW I DON'T LIKE SAAAAAAANDWIIIIIIIICHES!!!!!!!!"

My response to his sudden outburst was an empty threat about never letting him go to camp for the rest of his childhood.

Needless to say all that did was add major fuel to the fire.

And there we were, sitting in the parking lot of the ball field screaming at each other, neither of us listening to anything the other was saying, frantically trying to make our own points.

So stupid, but that's the truth.

After taking a few minutes to compose ourselves the athlete finally decided he was ready to exit the car.  Without a word he grabbed his belongings and silently made his way across the parking lot and over to the field never stopping, never looking back.

I sat, watching him walk away, the guilt already washing over me.  I hated leaving things that way.


When he was younger he never would have left that car until we had reconciled.  Now apparently it's not a big deal to walk away from your mother after a huge fight without exchanging "I'm sorry and giving hugs."

Frustrated I returned home and poured my heart out to the coach.  (I still thought I was 100% right about trying to get the athlete to see my point of view and apologize for his completely inappropriate behavior to me.)


And now for the light bulb moment:


The coach calmly and simply put everything into perspective for me in just a  few sentences:

"You were right.  You went wrong by expecting your stubborn 12 year old son to see that you were right in the heat of the moment.  No matter what you said or did, nothing was going to change his mind right then and there.  You should have just said what you needed to say to him while he sat quietly in the car with you and ended it right there.  Who cares if he agrees with you or not?  Your his mother and what you say goes.  He doesn't have to like it but he has to respect it.  When he gets home from camp today you need to explain to him that you will not have another morning like today again.  Tomorrow he will be having another sandwich and if there is any grief about it than he will be staying home.  End.of.story.  There is no need to lose your cool and scream at him.  The choice is his."

Well holy hell, doesn't that make a ton of sense. So simple and yet so true.

The coach is such a wise man and I am one lucky lady to have him by my side helping me to navigate this new territory of teen-hood that we are fast approaching.

Now the hard part:  remembering to keep my cool no matter how frustrating the eye rolls, sighs, and whispers under his breath become and keep in mind that it isn't so much about getting him to see my point of view as it is about him learning to respectfully accept it because I am his mother.

And because I said so!  Ha ha ha!


I'm linking up with Shell's PYHO today

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 12th Birthday buddy, a day late!


Your birthday was actually yesterday and I had every intention of finishing this post and publishing it but sometimes life gets in the way.  I'm sorry about that bud.  You celebrated your birthday at Six Flags New England with a couple of friends on Saturday and had a blast.  Your actually birthday, you and Dad pretty much chilled out and I spent the day cleaning and recovering from your sister's birthday sleepover.  So once again, I apologize for not getting this up on time.  Without further ado...


 I was completely shocked to learn that you were coming into our lives.   I call you my Halloween trick or treat surprise.  (You were definitely our treat!)  You were and still are a true Mama's boy.  Here you are 4 weeks old at our first official big outing.  As a brand new mom for the first time, it took me a few weeks to realize you weren't going to break if I took you out of the house!  



 We didn't know at the time that you would grow up to love sports. Soccer  being your true passion. Apparently at only one year old, you already knew!



Here you are a little over a year old and still cruising but not yet walking.   You didn't officially start walking until you were 13 months old.  You were a big boy, weighing in at 19lbs at your 4 month checkup.  You needed to get really big and strong to be able to move that big chunky body around!



  Every baby pic I have of you shows you smiling!  You were a chubby, happy, little ham!  You loved to make people laugh.  Any time you saw me with the camera you would flash your "cheese smile"! 



 You are confident and brave.  You thrive in social situations and do not get easily intimidated trying something new.  Here you are on your first day of school entering first grade. Once again, look how proud of yourself you were!  You even insisted on taking the bus on your first day of Kindergarten because that's what big boys do.  (You broke Daddy's heart that day because he was so afraid for you and really wanted to drive you to school.  But, like a good parent, he fought the overprotective parental urge and let go a little, giving you the freedom to spread your wings.)



And look at you now!  You're going to enter 7th grade in the fall and be officially in middle school.  You are smart, athletic, a good friend and even better son.  I could never image what God blessed me with 12 years ago.  

You are so much like me it's scary.  We butt head's like nobody's business, but we love each other fiercely.  We have an amazing mother- son relationship and I love how you are comfortable enough to talk to me about anything.  I pray that never changes.  

Happy Birthday little man!  (I can't bring myself to write big man just yet, maybe next year.)

Dad and Mom love you more than words can say!



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy 9th birthday baby girl...

I can't believe it has been 9 years since you came into our lives.  I remember all of it like it was yesterday.  I remember how delighted and giddy I was when we learned you were a girl and how ghastly white your daddy's face became because he was so afraid of having a little girl.  Daddy of course had nothing to be worried about because he loved you to the moon and back from the moment he first layed eyes on you.





 Even with all your tummy troubles that you had, you were such a happy baby!  We should have known when you started walking at 10 months that you were a force to be wreckoned with!




 And once you were mobile there was no stopping you!  You were and still are a go-getter!  You are very self sufficient and prefer to do things your own way!  



 Mischef was and still is your middle name!  Even though you're nine, mama still knows if she hasn't heard or seen from you in a few minutes, she better go and see what you've gotten yourself into!




You appreciate the little things in life just as much as the big.  It doesn't take much to make you smile.  That is one of the many things that I love about you and make you so unique and so special!



  
You are a true Daddy's girl and you have him right where you want him, wrapped around your little finger.  He wouldn't have it any other way!




Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!  Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back!




Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to back birthdays...

My due date for the athlete was July 7th 2000.  He decided to grace us with his presence on Saturday morning July 1st at 10:06 am,  a few short hours after my water broke in bed around 5:30am.  No time for an IV, no time for an epidural, lots of intense contractions, and a race to get a doctor into the room before the baby was delivered by only a nurse and my husband.  Before I had a chance to comprehend what was happening, the athlete was in my arms and the doctor and nurses around me kept laughing and saying how close of a call that was and what a scramble!

A little over two years later I was pregnant with the princess.  She was due on July 13th, 2003.  (If you ask my husband, she would never have been born on this date anyway because of his crazy and irrational fear of the number 13.  He actually used to beg my OB at visits to change the due date in my chart because he was so afraid of that number.  It never worked and the 13th it remained.)

To my husband's great happiness we never even got close to July 13th.  On the last day of June I woke with a fever and the stomach bug.  While throwing up for the umpteenth time, I thought to myself, "I'm going to go into labor today, it's just my luck."

Sure enough by late afternoon, I began having contractions.   I had been given very specific instructions about what to do if I even thought I might be in labor:  "Don't mess around, get yourself to the hospital immediately."

Princess, safe and sound in my belly at least for a little while longer,  and I drove to the hospital, checked in and she was born at 9:20pm on June 30th 2003.  If she had been born a mere 2 hours and 40 minutes later, she and the athlete would share the exact same birthday.

For the past 11 years we have celebrated back to back birthdays.  It is a challenge and a very busy, very expensive week around here. But on the flip side, we get it over and done with in one week.  We have one family party and now that they are older they each get a party or special outing with friends.

While it would have been kind of cool to say that both my children were born on July 1st.  I am really happy that they don't have the same birthday.  Even if it's only one day apart, they both have their very own, very special day to celebrate that they don't have to share as siblings.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The death of a child's pet...

It was a sad day in our home yesterday.  Our pet rat Flash died in the early afternoon before the kids got home from school.  This didn't come as a shock to me.  He had been sick for months.  Several days before Christmas of last year I thought he was going to die that day and rushed him to the vet to find out he had pneumonia and a lung disease common in rats.

After writing a check for over $100 to the vet and then shelling out another $85 for two antibiotics, I nursed him back to health cramming a medicine syringe into his mouth twice a day. (I got some skills people!  It aint easy getting .4mls of medicine down the throat of a tiny rat twice a day.)  But persevere I did and religiously jammed that liquid gold down his throat for 4 weeks straight.  All the time knowing that the lung disease he had was chronic and would eventually cause his death.

He gifted us with his presence for another few months.   He was having more breathing problems but stopped responding to the antibiotics.  The vet said to watch him closely and as long as he was eating and drinking and free of pain, just let him live his life.  I continued to watch him and I prepared the kids for what I knew was eventually going to happen.  I just didn't know when.

Over time he stopped wanting to be held.  Even though he continued to eat and drink normally, he started losing a lot of weight.  Day by day I could count new bones poking out from under his soft white skin.  I questioned if I was doing the right thing.  I worried about the impending sadness my children would experience.

I did the only thing I thought best.  I continued to care for him the way I always had.  I checked on him in the morning and at night.  I watched for any sign of suffering because I am a firm believer that no animal should ever have to suffer and as pet owner you must do the responsible and loving thing and end any unnecessary suffering no matter how big or small of an animal.

Yesterday morning though something was different.  After the kids left for school I bent down and opened the cage to feed both rats.  He didn't come out of his house.  I held my breath and bent down peaking into his little house and there he was looking at me but not moving.  Every so often he would lift his head but he wouldn't come out.  I knew it was time.  I had the coach help me get him out of the cage and we gently placed him in a shoe box with a soft cuddly towel.  I checked on him hourly and he just kept getting worse.  I vowed to take him to the vets later that night after work if he was still with us but something told me he wasn't going to last that long.

Somewhere between noon and 1pm, he died.  I was sad, but I was relieved.  Relieved that his short amount of suffering was over.  Relieved that I would have some time to prepare telling my children that their pet had died.  Relieved that neither of them would have to find him dead in his cage one day.

The coach took both children upstairs alone later that afternoon and he was the one to break the news.  The athlete with his keen intuition knew before the coach even got the words out and I heard the princess burst in to tears from downstairs even with the door shut.

It broke my heart.  As a mom, it's our job to protect our children but the death of a pet is not something you can protect them from.  It's a pain that comes with the territory of choosing to own a pet.  No matter how
big or how small, a child will love that pet unconditionally and will be sad when it's life ends.  It's a painful life lesson to learn.

The athlete shed some tears initially and much to my surprise not another drop.  He has been very quiet and VERY cranky.  Not sure if it is his way of handling the whole thing or not.  All I know is I don't like it and of course it makes me worry and over analyze the whole situation wondering if he's holding everything inside.  Do I push or do I just let it be?  How do you know what the right thing to do is when you've never been in this situation before?

The princess however is not holding anything in.  She lets go at the drop of a hat, crying huge crocodile tears and barely able to catch her breath in between huge sobs.  I feel so bad for her.  She is such an animal lover and truly believes that Flash was her friend.  (That thought makes me smile!)    She finally passed out some time after 10pm last night still sobbing in her sleep.  It continued this morning but was more mild.  Hopefully she'll make it through the day at school ok.

I can only hope we did a good job of preparing them for the inevitable, comforting them when they were sad, and leading by example with how to love and care for a pet right up until the very end.  

I know some people are probably reading this and thinking, "My God, this woman is ridiculous.  It was a pet rat for God sakes!"   And, I get that.  Maybe I am overly sensitive.  Maybe this wouldn't bother some people.  But I guess in instances such as the death of a pet I am very much like my little princess and I have a hard time with it.  I was this way as a child and I suppose I still am.

I can now officially cross this off my list of firsts to deal with as a mom and raising children and I believe in my heart that the coach and I handled it with grace.  




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's Baseball season baby!

I mentioned in an earlier post that we were making the athlete take a break from his beloved sport of choice, soccer.  This spring he is focusing only on baseball, a much needed change of pace in our household.

Along with a new sport came a new league, new coaches and teammates,  AND a new team name.  He is no longer a Pirate, he is now a Cardinal.

He is having a lot of fun and really learning a lot from the older boys on the team.  Going from AAA to the Majors is a big step up, but he is a natural athlete and he will pick it up.  My main concern is that he is having fun and putting in 100% effort.  That is something the coach and I always preach to our children.  It doesn't matter if your the best at everything you do as long as you give it your best effort.  That's what's important.

Another major plus to this season...

The pictures!!
Majors 2012 1
Majors 2012 3 Pitching
Majors 2012 13 Pitching
Majors 2012 4 Hitting
Majors 2012 5 In the dugout


A special thank you to Kelly Gallagher for her amazing photography and giving me permission to use her photos here on my blog.  You rock!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

T-minus 5 days and counting...



Today is Tuesday, April 3rd.



Easter is exactly 5 days away.



This is all I have bought for my children's Easter baskets.



And the race is on!!!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Learning how to forgive myself...

Six years ago in August of 2006 I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting for like the umpteenth time since graduating college.

 I went alone.

 I told no one.

 I sat quietly through the meeting tugging at my shirt, uncomfortable in my own skin.

 I sat alone with the leader at the end of the meeting relearning the program, again.

Two weeks before I had no idea I would be doing this.    After spending a week at the beach on vacation with the coach and the athlete and princess, who at the time was only two years old,  I came home and knew something had to change.  I had spent the entire week being forced out of my comfort zone.

You see,  a toddler at the beach doesn't mean sitting and sunbathing and simply staying put.  It means endless walks up and down the long beach in a bathing suit past hundreds and hundreds of people.  And when you are over weight and feeling very vulnerable and exposed in a suit, it's really the last thing you want to do.

But I sucked it up and I did it, day after day.  My saving grace and something I kept telling myself over and over as we trekked up and down the beach was, at least we are far from home and you don't know a single soul out here.

 Pathetic really.  I was so down and beat myself up.  I felt cheated that I couldn't enjoy a wonderful time with my young and curious little girl because once again, my weight was getting in the way.

Those feelings are what made me walk into that meeting room two weeks later.  I felt I had hit rock bottom.

I walked out of those doors with a new sense of determination.  I felt empowered.  I just knew that this time it was going to be different.  This time I was going to reach my goal.  This time I was not going to quit.

I lost 47 pounds that year.  By the time summer rolled around I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life and weighed less than I did when I was in college.  I had followed Weight Watchers to a T.  I would go as far as to call myself a Weight Watcher Psycho, there was not a single week in 8 months that I had a gain on the scale.  The weight came off so easily.  And, don't get me wrong, I worked my ass off at it.  I was walking 3 miles, 5 days a week with the princess in her stroller.  I prepared healthy meals for dinner and even made homemade snacks for the entire family.  (I was also working part time only 2 days a week, which made this all posssible.) 


I swore that I would never go back to being the way I was before.  I told everyone that this was finally the time for me.  This time it would stick.

Fast forward from there six years.  In that time period we bought our first house, I dealt with the grief of losing my grand father so rapidly and unexpectedly from stomach cancer.  I went from working as a part time nanny to opening my own daycare business and working 11 hour days, Monday through Friday.  My children continued to grow up and their extracurricular lives exploded.

Me time became non existent.  I sacrificed myself for the needs of my husband and children.  I put all the time I had into the daycare and running a successful business and being the best wife and mother I could.  Nights I was needed for homework and projects, and after that housework.  On weekends sporting events, and more housework.  I had no time for me anymore.

The results of that have been drastic. And here I sit six years later, now 35 years old,  and I'm back at  a place I swore never to come back to ever again.

I came to the realization several months ago that life is too short to live with regrets.  Sitting wallowing in the past was doing me absolutely no good.  I couldn't change the past, but I could make changes now.   Beating myself up and punishing myself was keeping me on a path I didn't want to be on.  It was keeping me frozen and preventing me from starting over.

I have forgiven myself.  I have moved on.  I am at peace with myself for the first time in a long time.  Instead of saying that I am "trying" to get healthy, I have re-framed my thinking to, I "am living" a healthy lifestyle.

I don't need to wait until I reach my health goals to stop saying trying and switch to living a healthy life.

Am  I where I want to be in terms of physical abilities or weight?

No, not yet.  But I am seeing results every single week on the scale, and in what I am physically capable of doing.  I have mellowed out a little in these past six years.  I am no longer the Weight Watcher Pyscho!  Now I'm  a much older, wiser wife and a mom who really appreciates the life she has been given and wants to make the most out of every day.  The benefits of forgiveness are amazing.

I'm linking up today with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out, over at Things I Can't Say.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Random thoughts...

I haven't been blogging lately.  Not exactly sure why, nothing major going on over hear that would cause me not to, just kinda lost my mojo.  With that being said I felt like I should at least put something down on paper and maybe this would spark something.

Right now I'm the only one in my family who is not battling a cold.  I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to stay on top of the usual household duties because I fear it's only a matter of time before I feel the stuffy nose and scratchy throat coming my way.  Gotta get it done now before I'm down for the count.

Soccer season is winding down for the athlete.  He has two weeks left of indoor and then baseball begins.  This is the first year that I can remember where he isn't playing soccer year round.  This spring he is taking the season off.  I think in the long run it will be good for him.  I'm afraid if he continued to play year round without a break it would lead to a soccer burnout.  This way he will get a chance to actually miss it and look forward to playing with a renewed sense of enthusiasm in the fall.

Princess started gymnastics again, one day a week and she will continue playing soccer through the spring.  The coach will be busy once again coaching her and the other 8 and 9 year old girls twice a week.  It's so funny to watch them when they get together for games and practices.  They are so different from the boys team.  Boys get right down to business.  With the girls, soccer is more of a social event then a competition.   The coach spends the first 5 to 10 minutes just getting their attention and getting them to stop chatting and listen.  It's so funny!

The past couple months I've been making some changes of my own as well. Not quite ready to share the details yet, but I will say that I am pleased with the changes I'm making and it's something that needed to be done a long time ago.  It's making me a happier mom, wife, and in general a happier me.  I promise to share with you all soon.
Thanks for sticking by me during this dry spell.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Vacation Week Recap...

Our vacation week was suppose to kick off with a bang.  A trip to Disney on Ice on Friday night, the 17th but with a hectic work day for the coach and a migraine for me, we decided to forgo the event.  The princess handled it impressively and earned some bonus points in my book for being so flexible and understanding.  If this had been an event geared towards the athlete he would have flipped his lid and made our night a living hell.

Thankfully we had another blogger event to attend on Monday afternoon.  The whole family made the trek into Cambridge to preview the new Playstation Vita hand held video gaming system before it was available to the general public.  The athlete of course was pumped.

Let me apologize in advance for the crappy cell phone pics.  I never remembered to grab my good camera the entire week.

The new PS VITA


The princess could have cared less but when she found out another family from town was going and her partner in crime was attending, she was all for it!


The athlete got to play video games and hang out with a friend from school.  Double bonus!


This was also the first vacation week where both kids spent the entire week hanging out/playing/having sleepovers with their friends.  It was a whirlwind of a week for me.  Keeping track of who was where, who was coming over, and when I needed to pick someone up.  All while running the daycare at the same time.  It was exhausting but so worth it to see my kids having so much fun on vacation week.

The athlete also entered a dodge ball tournament and put a team together to compete against other middle school teams. Friday was the big day.  Luckily I only had one daycare child that day and she was a peach!  She loved sitting on the bleachers and cheering the athlete and his teammates on.

The boys made it to the finals after three undefeated rounds.  It was a double elimination tournament.  In the finals they played the oldest team there.  They lost the first game but were victorious in the second game clinching victory!

Here they are posing after the games proudly proclaiming their number one status.  


They had a blast and I had so much fun watching and cheering them on.  I learned something that day too.  I am a LOUD mouth!  When watching my kids participate in anything of a competitive nature, I can't help but yell and cheer at the top of my lungs!  Thank God they don't care that I do this because I don't think I could stop myself if I wanted to.  It's just something that takes over.  It doesn't help that I usually have my partner in crime sitting right next to me doing exactly the same thing!  You know who you are!


Saturday, the princess attended a Pump it Up birthday party.  We have been to many of these.   But never a glow in the dark Pump it Up party.  This was a first.  Think blasting music, dark room, glow in the dark necklaces around everyone's necks, and disco balls flashing colored lights and spinning all around the room.  I was nauseous and had a mega headache by the time we left the psychedelic arena and entered the room for cake and ice cream.  Not my idea of a good time, but I sucked it up like a good mom.

It's hard to tell in this picture but here is princess flying down the giant slide in the dark.  You can sort of make her out at the bottom.  See the neon necklace around her neck?  `


And finally what vacation isn't complete without a trip the to the emergency room?  On Sunday the princess was hit with a violent stomach bug.  She missed a double header soccer game that she had been so excited to play in and was really disappointed earlier in the day.   As she continued to get sicker by the hour, she stopped caring about missing the games and only wanted relieve from the nonstop stomach pains she had. 

By 5pm that night she had thrown up 15 times and was showing no signs of stopping.  She was listless, not talking at all, just tiny little groans and whimpers were escaping.  We made the decision to bring her in before it got any later and she dehydrated any more.  Several hours later after a dose of Zofran, a popsicle and juice, the princess came back to life.   We were home by 9:45pm.  She was asleep as was the rest of my family. I unfortunately was wired from the ordeal and the medium ice coffee I consumed while we waited might have played a part in that as well!  I put her to bed and sat in our quiet living room watching what was left of the Oscars.

Here she was before bouncing back to life.  Such a poor pitiful little thing.  I felt terrible for her.  Retching over and over like that non stop takes a lot out of a little girl.  


I did end up taking Monday off to make sure the princess had plenty of time to recuperate.  Which ended up being time for me to rest up a little as well after a long, crazy, fun-filled vacation week.  I'm good to go now.  Bring on April vacation, with lots more adventures, more fun,  including  another dodge ball tournament to defend their title,  and while I'm at it,

NO ER visits please.