Sunday, April 14, 2013

Soccer Sundays

For the next few weeks, you can find us at the indoor soccer field on Sunday afternoons. We signed the boys up for TOPS soccer, which involves buddy support and soccer fundamentals in an hour-long practice for about eight weeks each season (Spring and Fall).

Today was our first day. Getting the gear on at home was a bit of a challenge, which was to be expected. Shin guards, with somewhat annoying velcro straps, and big socks were the worst. I resorted to bribery to get them to leave it on - computer for Xander and a favorite television show for Sawyer. I was trying to avoid the iPads until after practice. Once they had them in their hands, it would have caused a major meltdown to release them. Leaving the computer and the television at home, not as hard.

So off we went to our first soccer practice at the indoor arena.

If I had any expectations going in, it was that Xander would probably enjoy it more than Sawyer. Clearly, I was mistaken. The first day was a little rough on both of them, which I kind of expected. But Sawyer handled it pretty well. Both boys wanted to use their hands a lot at first, but eventually caught on that it was mostly a kicking sport.

The session was a little free time at the beginning to let the kids get used to it. And then there were some coach-led drills - stretching, following directions, dribbling the ball (which both boys struggled with, because their instinct was always to kick it as hard as you possibly could), then taking turns doing kicks into the net, then more dribbling, and ending with some parachute time (listening and following directions).

Like I said, Sawyer handled it pretty well. There were some tears and a few angry outbursts, but all in all, he participated. He kicked, followed along (with some redirection) and participated in all the activities. He did, however, expect a drink break after every single act of movement or skill. If you wanted him to work, he expected a reward.

Xander, on the other hand, was having none of it. He was angry from the time we left the house until well after it ended. We heard a lot of "No soccer!" and "Shoes off!" for most of practice. The kid is a natural athlete, so the running and kicking were all fine. I imagine he was impressing many of the coaches and spectators with his strong kicks and pretty accurate kicks. They were probably less impressed with the screaming and the tears and the total meltdowns (though since they volunteer with the league, I am sure they are used to it and have even seen much worse).

But we made it. We may have resorted to accepting Xander's bribe, but we made it. For some reason he was obsessing over Arby's, which the boys have not had in a really long time. The curly fries are made with flour, so they have gluten in them. This was our first "cheat" - meaning we intentionally allowed it - in a really long time (since the beginning of the school year). But, like I said, it was a rough practice. He needed some motivation, and quite honestly, it can be exhausting to constantly deny the twins things they both love. I hear about Arby's french fries every single time we pass an Arby's restaurant (and trust me, we drive past at least one if not two nearly every single day).

Next week, we'll have to figure out our rest of the season routine (meaning pick a restaurant that will be our go-to after soccer stop). It can't be Arby's, but it will be something that helps get Xander through it. Maybe Chick-fil-a or even Orange Leaf. I think he'll like soccer, once he gets used to it. We just have to find that motivation to help get him into a new routine.

And Sawyer surprised us all. He wasn't thrilled, but he also wasn't throwing himself on the ground the way Xander was most of the time. He made it through, and he's less picky about his motivation. The Gatorade was doing just fine, he says. Though he also wouldn't turn down some french fries or ice cream, either.

A few more photos are here ...

And special thanks to Pappy, who's volunteered to "buddy" with the boys all season and to Aunt Kelly who came out to watch us play and joined us for lunch after. We had a great day with everyone!

Back to Baseball

Spring season has started. First game was on Friday, second game on Saturday. Two wins, no losses. A lot of good batting, some pretty good fielding, and still a work in progress. Connor plays most of the game at catcher, which he loves (involved in every single pitch, of course). He also plays center field and third base part of the game. Mostly he bats, in the middle of the lineup, and so far has been sailing it over the outfielders heads on most of his hits.

The twins are less thrilled about the start of baseball season. But we pack our camp chairs, our cooler of snacks and our iPads. They survive.

A few other photos from Saturday's game are here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Pics

It was the first time I had the camera out in a long, long time. So there might be a LOT of pictures from Easter.

Photos from our Saturday adventure in the western part of the state are here.

Photos from Sunday morning at home are here.

Photos from Sunday afternoon at Grammy's house are here.

Spring Break just started on Friday afternoon, but with the Easter holiday, it's been a busy one so far.