Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Severe Strain

I would like to report that my children are a severe strain on my sanity and, while that may be true many many times of the week, that's not what I'm referring to. My oldest child, JAD took a hard kick to his right knee (of course, his dominant kicking leg - remember, soccer) at practice about two weeks ago. Since then, he has been limping around moaning about the pain and how much his knee hurts. Does this mean that he's stopped playing soccer? Of course not! I'm a stupid mother for even uttering those words. No and soccer are two words that should never be uttered sequentially in my house around the ears of my 14 year old. So, K and I decided that we should finally get him in to the doctor after watching him barely be able to walk by this past Saturday morning.

I was able to get him in to an orthopedic doctor this afternoon and, after four x-rays and a quick examination by the doctor, we learned that he has a Grade 1 tear of his medial ligament. Where is that, you say? It's the ligament on the inside of your knee that attaches the femur and the tibia (who knew you'd read this and get a minor anatomy lesson?). He tore some of the ligament away from his femur and has severely sprained it. Now JAD has to wear a hinged knee brace for 6 weeks and ice it after all activity. He also has about 9 exercises that he needs to do every day for the next 6 weeks to strengthen and help heal the ligament. The doctor also cleared him to play. I was shocked when I heard this. I was expecting him to say he needed to take a couple of weeks off - after all, he had just said that the regular knee brace JAD has been wearing isn't sturdy enough and he would need a hinged brace. Doesn't this somehow mean that his knee is weaker than we thought? But what do I know? I'm just a silly old mom. The doctor actually looked at me when he told JAD that he could play again and said, "Did you want me to say something else?" Umm. Ya. Like tell my kid he needs some time off for rehabilitation.

So, I dropped him off at school this afternoon suited up for his high school game. I'm just praying that he will be smart (he won't be) and careful (he won't be) while he plays. The last thing I need to do is go back to the doctor to tell him what a dumbass he was for clearing my kid to play.

The end.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Soccer Player is Born

Well, okay, she wasn't born yesterday, but we have yet another soccer player in our house. This makes for a grand total of all five kids as MED is also playing soccer. MAD started playing this month as part of Corinthians Soccer's Itty Bity Soccer Academy. How cute is that? Kids ages 3, 4, and 5 are part of this Academy and they practice once a week on ball handling skills and basic team playing skills. It's complete chaos, but the kids are having a grand ole time while doing it. On Saturday mornings, they come out to a 'real soccer field' to scrimmage against one another. It is total craziness, but the parents get a good laugh while watching our kids 'play' and all the little ones have a blast running around chasing the ball. No score is kept and all kids are cheered by all parents. MAD has latched on to the club director, Flavio, and I fear if he isn't there one day, she'll refuse to even walk onto the field. This whole experience adds levity to our competitive schedule and it's fun to watch kids just have fun playing the game of soccer without worrying about stats, goals, and level of play. So, Saturday mornings, you'll find one or both of us parents enjoying the game of soccer in its purest form ever. Through the eyes of a four year old.

Our littlest soccer player. Isn't she cute enough to eat?

MAD standing by her new favorite person, Flavio

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Shining Star

A couple of weeks ago, MED had the opportunity to sing for the kickoff of Pike's Peak United Way Yearly Campaign. I took the morning off to take her there and watch the whole process. Six children (three first graders and three third graders) were chosen for this presentation and they learned an adorable song written by Linda Weise (director of the Colorado Springs Conservatory and Juiliard alum) to the tune of 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. All of the local major news networks were filming and there were about 40 or so people in attendance. MED was placed front and center for the performance (pure luck!) and she sang her little heart out. I am so proud of how she has no fear performing in front of people she doesn't know. Being a part of the conservatory program has given her amazing confidence.

Here are three of the kids as they are warming up and practicing for their performance. I'm not sure what MED is doing. I don't think the girl to her right is sure, either.

The lady in the picture is Linda Weise, director of the Colorado Springs Conservatory. She is an incredibly talented lady and super, super nice to boot! Could they have picked cuter kids? I don't think so!

Friday, September 16, 2011


MED turned six this week. She is our child who wears her heart on her sleeve. You always know how she's feeling because she's either laughing, crying, smiling, scowling, or somewhere in between. She is a champion for the weaker people and animals in our world. She will always stop to help someone who needs it - holding a door open, picking up spilled papers, sharing food - whatever they need. She is the child who is always good for a hug and a snuggle. When K is home, you will often find her snuggled up to him, reading a book, coloring, or watching TV. She loves being on stage performing in front of others. On the soccer field, she becomes a fierce, intensive player intent upon scoring a goal or moving the ball back down to her side of the field. And then she turns around to her teammates and tells them good job. She's such a beautiful addition to our family - I couldn't imagine our lives without her in it. Happy 6th birthday, MED. We love you so very, very much.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm Back

It's been a long time since I've posted and that's because we have been so very, very, very busy. Did I mention we've been very busy? K started his new job two weeks ago and, so far, is enjoying being back in the corporate world. It's even better because it's the corporate agriculture world. However, he's not home during the week, so I am the one and only taxi to soccer practices and games and what-have-you. I leave for school at 6:35 in the morning with the three youngest, drop MAD off at daycare and then head up to school with the other two. I leave school no later than 3:00 (except on Wednesdays - meeting day) to begin the long process of picking kids up, getting them home to change for practice, and heading back out again. We get home, on an early day, at 7:45 and on a late day at 8:30. Then, it's dinner, baths, and getting little people to bed. Then I talk to the oldest as they get homework done and I attempt to get some schoolwork done. We go to bed and it all begins again. Needless to say, I've been running on fumes much of the time and blogging is the last thing I have energy to do. That and working out. That's gone out the window as well. Hopefully I can figure out how to work that back into my schedule - I think it will make me a little more bearable.
So, we are fully into soccer season. The three oldest have all been going for a while (practices, that is), but this week both MAD and MED have gotten started with their practices as well. Fortunately, everyone practices in the same vicinity, which makes for easy travel, but we are at the practice field five days a week. Also add to this that JAD is playing high school soccer (on top of club) and he plays in games for that, as well. This weekend, the three oldest all have games - and JAD has two. Another Saturday in the car. :)
JAD has the great opportunity to get some experience playing on the varsity team along with his usual JV playing. At the first game of the season on Friday, he was put in the varsity game for about 10 minutes. This may not seem like much, but it was enough for him to play in a game that gave him some idea of what the competition would be like. Directly after the varsity game, JAD also played a full game in the JV game. He is one of the captains on the JV team and he was quite verbal with the team giving directions while on the field. He's disappointed in the fact that there are some boys on the team that have never played soccer before. K and I are trying to point out that he has to look at his current high school experience as more 'fun' than competition. But how do you explain that one to a kid that is determined to win in all he does - especially if it's related to soccer? Needless to say, he's out there to win and, dammit, so should everybody else.
To add to the excitement around the house, CED has changed schools two weeks into the school year. She has been on the waiting list at CMCA (a charter school - same as where JAD attends - and one of the top high schools in the state... year after year) and her 'number' finally came up. Last weekend was spent getting all new school supplies and new school uniforms (colors are completely different from the middle school she was attending - of course) and convincing her that this was going to be a good thing. She wasn't buying my song and pony dance and the first couple days of school were rather rough. She was angry about having to leave her friends and change to another school, so things became much harder on her (at her own doing, mind you) than it really should have been. She finished out the week doing much better and having made a couple of friends. Fortunately, she likes her homeroom teacher, which made the transition a mite bit easier. To her delight, one of her good friends from her former middle school has also had her 'number' come up and will be starting on Tuesday. I'm hoping this will 'seal the deal' and she'll really start to settle in.
This Thursday, MED has the opportunity to sing at the Colorado Springs United Way season kick off. It's exciting that she's going to have this experience singing in public. There are about 30 novice kids in her program at the conservatory and she was one of six chosen for this performance. How cool is that? And (while I'm bragging about this child) at school this week, MEDs teacher pulled her aside to give her a chapter book to read for reading class. Everyone else has the typical first grade reader (2 - 3 sentences per page), but MEDs reading skills have progressed so much that she was reading 3rd grade chapter books all summer long. Fortunately, her teacher has recognized this and is continuing to push her forward. Yes, I am a proud mama.
On a great note, I absolutely love my new job. I feel like I can teach again (not be an automaton like in my last school) and the kids are just great. The worst problem I'm having to deal with is social kids. Gee, I think I can handle that! I'm able to read aloud to the students, they're allowed to have silent reading time, we have an afternoon recess every day, and individual styles are welcomed. My team is absolutely wonderful and they have answered all of my questions without problems or frustration. I really like each and every one of them and they make me laugh on a daily basis. It really feels like a dream job. I can see why I was told that once people get into my school, they never want to leave.
So, life is moving along. We're staying extremely busy, but it's all for very good reasons and with really great activities. I am grateful that my kids are so active with all their sports and music - even if the schedules can make me crazy. My husband and I have jobs that we're happy with. Life. Is. Good.