Monday, September 28, 2009

Still New, Still Learning, Still Good

The change from soccer to football for Jack this fall has been fun. Although I seriously miss watching him play soccer, I am really enjoying watching him learn and improve at football. It is such a different sport. I never fully appreciated how each individual player is so important to the success of a team, and many of the players that never even touch the ball are working really hard doing their part.

Jack's been playing defense....mostly cornerback but this past weekend he played right-side linebacker. He's not a big kid, but he's not afraid to tackle.

This past Sunday's game the weather wasn't so hot. The fields were wet from rain and it drizzled during the game. But Jack's team ended up with their second win...and he was so pumped when the whistle blew.

And one of the other benefits of him playing football is that I can't yell at him from the sidelines and direct him where to go or who to cover. I just watch and learn myself...and try to get an occasional picture.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The First Cut

After school today Chica and I headed in the direction of the hair salon...with a stop at Panera Bread for lunch on our way. Three plus years and today was Chica's very first haircut appointment. I'd been letting her hair grow nice and long so that she wouldn't end up with the 'fro like mine when I was young. The ends of her hair really needed a trim, though. They were looking a bit straggly.

So we had a nice lunch at Panera. Chica insisted we eat outside and so we did. It was windier than I realized and the wind blew some of the hair right out of her ponytail. When we got to her appointment I took a quick 'before' picture. This picture doesn't demonstrate the straggly ends or the rat's nest that appears in the mornings. But she sure does look sweet.

Now Chica has been coming to the boys' appointments since she was born and has taken turns sitting in the chair and having her hair combed out. So she wasn't at all nervous about the happenings. Our stylist, Steph, first had to comb out all of the snarls and mysterious sticky clumps.

Geez, she looks all scared and miserable, huh?

After the ends of her hair were nice and trim Steph gave her a cute little braid to finish it off. Some of the ladies in the salon were telling her how beautiful she looked and she got very shy.

Steph carefully saved the clippings of Chica's hair in an envelope for me to put in her keepsake box. And she had her pose for me with a little piece of her beautiful baby hair.

The day's events just proved too much for Chica and minutes into our trip home I looked back to find she had dozed off.

Crossing my fingers she'll keep some of those curls....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Let the Games Begin

Although our fall sport's schedule has been underway for a couple of weeks now, I'm just now finally getting around to blogging about it. With the three boys all playing sports, the practice and game schedule is pretty crazy. It's all about the practices and games...the uniforms and water bottles...and the snacks and the sweaty heads when the games are over.

Ben's soccer games began a few weeks ago. His team is out to a very strong start with 4 wins and 2 ties. I have been so impressed with the boys and their position playing and passing. Their hard work and practicing has sure been paying off. Ben has been doing a great job and I continue to be impressed with his speed and perseverance. He never gives up and never complains.

The new sport in our lives is football. Jack's team lost their season opener last weekend (on Jack's birthday) 20-0. That was a bummer, but luckily they won their first home game today 8-6. Jack has been practicing and playing on the defensive line and has been really enjoying it all. There is a different kind of rush with football. I think the contact and roughness really pumps the boys up....gets the testosterone flowing if you will. Jack has had a few great tackles and I'm very proud that he is giving football a try and working hard to learn and improve. I have a lot of work to do to figure out how to get some good photos. There aren't that many opportunities when you don't carry the ball.

And the biggest surprise of them all is my Luke. I just can't believe the change from last year. The boy who was rolling around on the ground at the end of the season last year is now eagerly raising his hand to play and really doing a great job! I can hardly believe it's the same kid. He played goalie this weekend and didn't let one get by him! Of course it's also fun because he plays with a bunch of his friends and we get to hang with the parents on the sidelines and watch the magnet-ball together.

So I'm in my glory right now...traveling from field to field. For me there's nothing better. Although it pains me to miss any of my kids' games, it's inevitable with 3 kids playing....soon to be 4! Chica's next up....will it be soccer, field hockey, cheerleading? Will it be lacrosse, softball or track?? Only time will tell!

Friday, September 18, 2009


God help the squirrel if it accidentally falls out of the tree. Buddy's ready.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Did This Happen?

It's when you experience times like these that you realize how fast life flies by. I just took this baby home from the hospital what seems like last week...and now it is time for her to start pre-school.

Chica has been anxiously awaiting her first day of preschool. She awoke happy to cooperate with anything necessary to get her ready. She even let me do her hair...which really made me realize how different it is getting a girl ready for school. She threw me for a loop when she said she wanted pigtails. I did the best I could and they came out sort of decent...but I can see from this picture why the pigtail on the right seemed much thicker than the one on the left. I thought I got the part down the middle, but clearly it was not. Anyone who knows me is probably laughing. And I never thought I would have a daughter because I CAN'T DO HAIR. But she is worth the training...if she'll let me experiment. And actually, her hair didn't look that bad next to some of the other girls who had ponytails or pigtails.

Happy to pose for me:

How did I do?

We arrived at school and found the parking lot to be full! So we had to park down the way and walk a little. When we opened the door and saw all of the people, Chica was very hesitant to come in. She wasn't upset, just shy and overwhelmed. I don't think it was what she expected.

We all gathered around the teacher and one by one the kids went to her, got introduced and showed her their "homework" which was to color a race car, draw a picture and guess what happens to the car in the story.

Here she is with her special teacher. (She got an extra hug and some extra attention being the youngest of a family of three prior graduates!)

After all the kids were introduced they all went upstairs to have a special snack. Chica was again shy and a little hesitant, but did go off without any tears. The parents discussed school matters and then left for a couple of hours.

When it was time for pickup, the kids were gathered nicely on the front steps. Again, smiles...

Chica didn't have too much to say about her day. But she did tell me that some little boy threw sand at her twice outside...on purpose. She didn't seem too upset, though. What was cute, though, was that when her brothers got home and she told them, Jack perked up in his spot on the couch, cracked his knuckles and asked for the kid's name. That's when I really realized how lucky this Chica is to have brothers who love and protect her.

And at about 4:30 she just couldn't take it anymore. She crawled up in my arms and fell asleep. I had to lay her down so I could get Jack ready for football practice and get dinner finished.

First full day tomorrow - all by herself. Can't wait to see how she does!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Celebrating Double Digits

It is almost unfathomable that my oldest child turns ten tomorrow. So much has happened since he was day ahead of his due date....on a beautiful late-summer morning. Well, technically it was 3 am and I couldn't yet tell it was a beautiful morning. But it sure was.

For the last few years we have celebrated Jack's birthday before school and fall activities start. This year we happened to have picked the most glorious day. The sun was shining and the weather was absolutely perfect.

One thing that has been on my mental blogging list forever is to show off my nephew's Fenway replica wiffle ball field. Any baseball fan will appreciate seeing this amazing spot where we have celebrated Jack's birthday with his buddies for the third time now.

My nephew began creating a wiffle ball field in an empty, fenced horse enclosure several years ago. Over the years, it slowly evolved into the coolest Fenway replica. The Green Monster is on the outside of the barn included in the enclosure. And my nephew has slowly added everything necessary to duplicate Fenway....Pesky's pole, Citco sign, retired numbers, advertisements, American flag, warning track, etc. Countless hours were spent creating and marking the base paths, pitching mound, batter's box and home plate. A special dirt/clay mix was used and the grass has been fertilized and manicured with care. The field is lit for night play too!

Here are a few photos for this amazing field...

So what better place to have a birthday party for a group of baseball lovin' boys?

Here are some action shots from the party. It seems like a simple party...but never underestimate the competitiveness of boys and the difficulty of having to be an umpire. Unfortunately this was my job this year and this is not my forte. A few times I had to rely on my photos to make the calls.

The birthday boy taking a lead off first.

Jack and Little Chief waiting their turns on the bench.

Michael throwing to first while falling to the ground. Tremendous effort.

Pitching from the mound.

Safe at first.

Another close call at first. Had to rely on my photo finish for the call - Josh was safe.

After a few intense innings we took a break for birthday festivities. Jack picked a Milwaukee Brewer's cake. He's intensely proud of his big cousin being drafted by them and playing in the minor leagues as a Brewer.

Silly swaying during the birthday song.

The whole crew posing for a picture in outfield. Unfortunately, Luke and Ben aren't in the picture. Thanks, T, for having the field looking so awesome!

It was a fun afternoon. Jack was able to give his buddies official minor league baseballs signed by his big cousin. How cool is that? Thanks again, Pete!!

And one last candid of Jack's favorite cheerleader.

PS - if anyone with any ties to the Red Sox see and appreciates this amazing field and can get it some attention, please comment! The field has been recognized locally but never by the Sox. I've contacted NESN before but they never followed through with it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

Just a quick post with a picture of my sister and I that I stumbled across recently. My husband loved the "flowered tablecloth dress" I had on. My mom never let my hair grow out. Wonder if Chica and I would look more alike if I had longer hair?!?