Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wrestling Moms, help a mother out!

Brutally honest warning!

So, I’m wavering between relatively decent mom and super-psycho-needs-to-be-left-at-home-mom.  As a coach’s wife, I’ve seen my fair share of sports, wins and losses, ugly-spirited parents, great parents, competitors, chumps, good refs, not-so-unbiased-refs, encouraging teammates, selfish kids.... you get the point.  Naturally you would think I could navigate pretty easily through sports situations by letting things roll off my shoulders.  No big deal:  it’s a game – for fun – play hard – go home – get back to life. 


Holy Moly.  My cool headed impartiality is g-o-n-e, gone. Vanished.  I have got to get it together.  How in the world do moms of little athletes keep their heads?  Am I alone in this? 
My oldest two had a wrestling match and as much as I love to watch them, it is so much easier to just get text updates about how they are doing than to see it live.  But I needed to be there.   With a 4 month old strapped to my chest. And a two year old hanging on my leg asking for the 8,395th time for a trophy.  {Trust me, buddy, if there were a 2-year-old bracket, you’d definitely earn a trophy.} And of course, even though there are 400 kids there, my two have to wrestle at the same time on mats about 8 miles apart.  That’s always how it happens.  Which means I have to “coach” one.  No big deal.  I have a good enough understanding of wrestling to coach a 5 year old for 3 minutes.  I can handle this.  Until…..

The crazy moms.  I’m helpfully calling out encouragement and instructions.  “Hips down!  Squeeze! Look away!  Too high!  Off your knees!  Great! Great!  Short time! Short time! NICE!  Good job boys!”  Meanwhile, I’m getting shoved out of my space by the mom (I swear she has cauliflower ear!) who literally has purple veins sticking out of her forehead and spitting while she is screaming insanely at these 5 year olds!  “TAKE HIM DOWN!”  Sounds harmless, but if you could hear the demon-possessed evil hoarse voice with which she yells, you’ll understand what she really means by those words.  “Make it hurt!  Harder!”  Ugh.  She’s louder.  She’s bigger.  She’s just scary.  And so is her kid.  My sweet little twinkle toes boy takes Freak-son down and the Mom-freak screeches “NOOOOO” so loudly that both kids freeze and look at her.  And then little Seth is paralyzed with fear.  Get a life, Freak-mom.  Its just a wrestling match.  They are 5.  This is for fun. 
But then I realize, I’m secretly wishing one of those veins pops and she dies right next to me.  Well, maybe not death.  But at least an injury severe enough that she is removed from my presence permanently. 

And the dads.  Those smug dads.  Those dads that probably were decent wrestlers at one time, (I’m just being nice, I don’t actually mean that) so they think they have free license to loudly assess each opponent their kid meets.  I actually heard one today say, “Remember that movie we watched where the guy just grabbed that other guy’s legs and drove him all the way off the building and he fell down on his back and couldn’t get up? Yeah, drive him like that and don’t stop driving until he is on his back.  His legs are the steering wheel and you are driving him off the building.”  Sounds like a lovely movie you and your son watched, Smug-dad.  And then they tell their kid loudly that “you won’t have any problem with this next kid.”  True, but you may have a problem with his mom, who is extremely tempted to pull the chew out of your back pocket and dump it all over your smug face.  Not that I would...

Seriously?  I’m the normal mom.  The one that just cheers for her kids, loves to see them win, can totally handle it when they lose almost win, and skips home cheerfully, no matter what.  Cuz I see things with an eternal viewpoint.  I know this is just a sport.  Just for fun.  Not a big deal.  * shoulder shrug and relaxed smile  *

ACK!!! It IS a big deal to me, TOO big of a deal.  I need therapy.  While I’m sitting there being the “normal mom”, I slowly realize that I absolutely hate losing, and hate seeing my kids lose.  Instantly, I want someone to blame.  The coaching.  (Not true, Todd Downing is the best.)  The officials.  (Again, not true.  Heroes, they are, volunteering their time to deal with Freak-mom and Smug-dad.)  The tournament.  (Hmmmm, smoothly run and pretty inexpensive.)  The amount of time my kids practice – MUST> DO> MORE.  (No way.  2-3 hours a week for a 5 year old, plus tourney time is PLENTY.) Sigh.  I enjoy denial immensely, but I can’t be stupid:  the problem is me.  My kids are cheering for their teammates, high-fiving each other, skipping out to the van with their medals, talking about their “moves”.  The only one left with that icky feeling is me. 

So, Moms? If you’re in the same boat as me – Freak-mom, married to Smug-dad, or just In-denial-psycho-mom – take this viewpoint with me:  We are blessed.  Blessed to have kids that are brave enough to compete.  Blessed to have kids healthy enough to exercise.  Blessed to see those little faces, whether crying or smiling, learning and growing, and making new friends, and understanding what it means to be a teammate.  Blessed to have time to spend together. Blessed that our kids WANT us to be there.  Blessed to have a home to return to after the tournament.  Blessed to have the head and heart knowledge that is really is just a sport (awesome, perhaps the best sport, obviously ;) ) and that there is SO much more out there for them. 
Maybe that will help put us on the right path.

And Freak-mom and Smug-dad, I’m sorry.  Kinda.  You’re still pretty jerk-face-ish, but you and I are really not that different. 


Wrestler Mom

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spiderman's party

The morning that he turned 5, everything changed. According to his 6:00 AM reports, he could run faster, talked and sounded different, won't sin as much, will do more awesome stuff, has more 'moves' (dance and fighting and wrestling and gymnastics), is closer to kindergarten, can help his brothers more, knows how to coach football, understands how cars work, knows how to count to went on and on and on.  And I thought all these major accomplishments deserved a party.  So, party on.

Happy birthday, my special little man.
Ready to go!

Can you guess what his theme was?
Goodies :)

Chowing down

Cupcake decorating station (really, I'm just lazy and didn't want to do it myself.  Or transport decorated ones.)

Reed enjoyed a cupcake. But, he enjoys eating anything.

Superhero capes
Designing their superhero gear

Ryan's best buddy Camryn
I love really dumb captions like "riding the carousel"...cuz you couldn't figure that out on your own.
SupermanReed riding the bench on the carousel.
Um.  Scary-big slides.
Ryan had a blast and Seth is still convinced that there is another party soon at Adventureland.  Unless he's planning and paying for it, it's not happening.  We've had blessed five years with Ryan and are so thankful for him.  Here's hoping the next 5 years are just as great.  Happy birthday, Ryan!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


One of the highlights of May was the end of Ryan's preschool journey.
Yes, I know I put this picture on Facebook, but its just such a precious one.  It looks posed, but actually it was a quick snapshot that I was lucky to get when Troy just reached out his hand.  You can see Daddy smiling, see Ryan giving his proud face of satisfied accomplishment, with his "4 year old book" tucked safely under his arm.  He was SO proud of himself.  Just one of those moments......

And Seth was pretty pumped about the whole "end of preschool program", too.  Ryan, as usual, took it a little more seriously than his younger brother.
 Ryan's preschool class.  That's his girlfriend next to him in the red shirt.  I could tell so many stories that would embarrass him, but I won't.  It's not appropriate.  But I hope they get married, have lots of babies and live next door to me.
 This is Seth's class.  After an entire year, he claims he still doesn't know any of his friends names and says they do "nuffing" in class every day.  Yeah, I'm going to rely heavily on his brothers to keep me up-to-date on Seth's activity outside the home since I won't be getting much of report from him!
 Singing it up...
 Being silly before the program.
Celebrating at the zoo after graduation

Other stuff that went down in May - they played soccer.  Um, they're not good.  No future for us in that sport.  But they had fun. 
 Reed loved watching his bros.
 Seth, taking things seriously, or not, whatever.  But his squirrelyness worked....for the other team....when his only goal was one for "the orange team".  Spent then rest of the game doing awkward dances on the field singing "I'm gonna get ice cream now."
 Ryan developed some hustle this season.  Look at those wheels!

First Birthday Party

Oh, my little Reed.....happy birthday to you!

Having a hard time figuring out how this little picnic basket of a baby is now an entire year old. But it is true...

But, no time to be all nostalgic.  Birthday boys wake up at 6 AM.  His morning started out with donuts from Caseys (at the request of his older brothers) and some fruit.  Ignore the ugly face stitches, no big deal.
 And more eating at lunch.  He met his cousin, Jagger, for the first time.  Jagger is a the happiest, most easy-going kid on the planet.  They shared some good stories and laughs.  Like two old men gossiping in the corner....
 Lots of food.  Lots of it.  I have leftovers if anyone is interested.  A few things to mention that are shown in this picture.  Silverware wrapped in cute napkins and tied with cute scrapbook paper.  WHY!?!?!? have I never done this before?  I'm always setting out random ugly heaps of my best plastic ware; takes up too much room, is ugly (like I said) and ends up on the floor when kids come through the line.  This way is so much cuter, takes up less space, is organized (happiness).  Its the simple things.  Yeah, not rocket science, but sometimes I'm slow to come up with ideas...even if others have been doing it for decades. I should suggest this at restaraunts....oh...wait.  Next, scrapbook paper is awesome.  Next, next, Lisa Ann Designs photography - had pictures taken Tuesday night and had printed pics on Saturday for the party.  Reed was "off" (to put it nicely) during the "shoot" but she somehow made him look happy and like he didn't have stitches on his face.  She's great.  Period.  Next, next, next - VeggieStix chips.  Love them.  It's the only veggie I really crave.  (don't judge)  And yes, that's my bro.  I didn't edit him out since his family came all the way from Phoenix to see me (and a few others, I suppose).  We were so happy to see him and Josalyn and Jags.
 Again, my obsession with scrapbook paper.  12 months of Reeder Peeder:
 Dessert, yes, yes, yes!  Two of Reed's favorites as dessert "appetizers" - M&Ms and marshmallows (not that he's actually  been bribed fed with these before, I'm just guessing he would like them).  And I ran out of energy/time/desire (sorry 3rd baby of mine) to make a big cake, so I went the cakepop and cookies route.
 But we did have cute drinks....
 Reed LOVED his cake.  He LOVED every second of it.  See?  He thought the frosting was awesome...not.  Ok, guess he was a little rude to me about the whipped frosting.  But when he got to the cake, all was better.
 See?  All better?
And, as you likely know by now, we're a pants-optional house.  So, don't be surprised by this one.  But his shirt is cute enough, riiiiiight?  The green ball that his brothers picked out for him:

Well, one (more) year of infinite blessings for which to be thankful. 

Next up on the birthday train express - Ryan turns 5.  Friday.  Partying it up.  Can't wait.  Although Ryan had a major meltdown about his birthday.  It was actually really sad.  He was sobbing saying that he didn't want a birthday because he "doesn't want to be a daddy yet".  He doesn't want to be 5 because he "still wants to be 4 so he can be a kid and play."  He had concluded that he was "going too far old and going to be a daddy next year or really soon" and wanted it "to go slower".  Wowza.  We had a long chat and he realized 5 year olds are still kids and have as much fun as 4 year olds and can do even MORE.  Still, was quite sad.  But he's ready to party now. And so am I.  Love these wild kids ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Insanity (R)

It is actually even harder than it sounds.

Last weekend, in a strange, strange, moment of weakness, we found ourselves stuck on an informercial for Insanity.  We were oddly convicted, both sitting on the couch after a crazy weekend.  Troy, who has never purchased anything on the internet (that wasn't football related), grabbed a credit card and bought the system.  WHA!?!?!?  I tried to stop him! But it was as if the hype just took over his brain and forced him to BUY NOW!  DON'T WAIT!  Well, that crazy guy bought it.  And the next morning, he wakes up (probably with buyer's remorse) and declares that it is the wrong workout for someone who is doing strength training.  Yeah, you know - his life goal to bench 400 pounds.  (He's at 390 now.)  So he slyly tells me that he won't be starting it until late April or early May.  Well, what's my excuse?  I decided I probably need to get a head start, so that by the time he jumps into the program I can actually hold my own next to him!  (yeah, riiiiiiight)  Well, it arrived yesterday.  In an unassuming, plain cardboard box.  Seemed harmless enough.  And since I'm such an athletic, really, I am!  Most of you don't know how madly athletically gifted I am.  There was that one time in cheerleading that....well....or that really crazy tennis match....oh, oh! and of course my intramural soccer career in college.  Yeah,, truthfully, other than having 3 kids, I've done about zero physically demanding things.  [Sidebar:  Troy also has been on record saying that there is nothing physically impressive about having babies.  No joke.  Ask him about it.  Yeah, I know what you're thinking.  I almost wished a kidney stone upon him.  But of course, I'm a good wife and would NEVER wish him something like that....Shaking my head. Oh, that husband of mine! He is sassy!]  Anyway, back to my saga.  So, I'm a little out of my league.  I did the fit test last night.  And, as I expected, I'm not off-the-charts "fit".  I wasn't a complete loser, but I was close.  And tonight I did the first actual workout.  Ok, it didn't have anything too complicated in it, but it gave you NO BREAKS.  Yeah, that's not exactly my thing.  I'm big into water and breaks, and breaks and water, with the occasional jumping jack or push up.  As I'm flailing everywhere, I come up with every excuse in the books to prompt Troy to tell me to stop.
"I just had a baby!!!"
"I'm not wearing the right undergarments for this!"
"I think I just sprained my ankle!"
and the one that almost worked:  "Is that Reed crying?!?  Should I check on him!?!"
Troy saw right through my pathetic attempts, but I made it to the end.  Day 1 done.  59 to go.  And I'm sure things are only going to get more interesting when he joins me.  Yeah, Insanity.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My little pictorial update

I’ve been such a flake at getting this crazy blog updated.  I’ll just leave it at that.  So, in pictures, here is a little of what we crazy cats have been doing in the past week or two:
Lounging. (Ryan’s world was ROCKED when a DS was introduced to our little abode. He gets to play it for 15 minutes and will be very quick to tell you that “If I cry when I turn it off, I don’t get to play it tomorrow.”  That kid loves order and rules, and frequently likes breaking the rules just to double check the “order” part.) 
Watching cute movies at home on rainy days.
That little face is about the only thing cuter than Winnie the Pooh movie.
Even Reed wants to get in on the electronic entertainment action.
Playing outside.  A lot.  In March.  Crazy wonderful!
First popsicle....
Happiest kid on the planet.
Most unique kid on the planet.  Yes, he is trying to be silly.
Yes, he is wearing his pajamas at the park.  

A walk at the lake

Making homemade stickers.  ("Well, we don't have anymore; you can MAKE some" was quite a stretch, but he BOUGHT it! )
From top to bottom:  baseball, hockey puck, volleyball, football, and basketball.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking.
Reed just growing and being the cutest little bug!
I have SEVEN teeth now.  And I can read.
Not really, but I like to eat books with my seven teeth if that counts for anything.
I like to pretend to walk, but only without pants.
My stalker Mommy takes pictures of me when I'm sleeping.
Is that creepy or what?
Ryan getting his bi-annual heart condition check-up.  No action needed for another 6 months. YAY!
Pediatric Cardiology - great doctors.  But no VIP punch card for 3 boys with heart murmurs or defects.
They should work on their marketing strategy.  But, we love them anyway!
And a trip to the dr with just Mommy and no other brothers is quite a treat!
An outing to the zoo
He doesn't even look like my little baby anymore!  I always take pictures on this bridge - the same one that Troy and I stood on nearly 7 years ago on our wedding day. Awwww, pressssssshhhhhhhhious.

The only child who wasn't afraid of the FAKE Ice Age Exhibit.
Big boys are both behind my legs as this picture is being taken

Those sea lions were our favorites...on this particular day.
They could watch that tiger forever!
We kept coming back to the sea lions!
Yeah, me + 3 boys at the zoo. A few people were staring as the kids shreeeeked, "Lets be silly!  Lets be crazy!  Do it! Do it! No, Ryan, like THIS!"  Thankfully, this was as crazy as it got.

Our first visit to the circus!
This manly man was Ryan's favorite.  
The tigers were pretty amazing, too. Seth's favorite.  But only because I told him the "princesses" (trapeze artists) were not acceptable favorites for a boy of his age.
The Amazing, Flying Somethings.  Can't remember their name, but they were fun to watch.
The net took out all the drama though.  Scaredy-cats.  

And the beginnings of scheming for the most fun May ever!  Yes, I'm already planning May.  As someone told me, it is "May-aotic".  True dat.  Here is a sneak peak at some of the things I'm working on for Reed's One-and-Only-1st-Birthday-Party in May:
Oh, what are these blue and orange thingymajigs?  I'm not telling....yet!
Given some foam board, I could RULE THE WORLD!  Or, I could do this.
(Not done yet.  My mother would disown me if I left uncovered raw edges.  Gasp!)

You survived and made it to the end. You should be rewarded.