Saturday, May 21, 2011

For Some People, Life Continues in May

While I was holed up in the office studying for the entire month of May, life continued for the rest of the family. They enjoyed trips to the zoo and to Calaway Park, and I was only able to experience it via these photos.



Monday, May 16, 2011


While at home on Good Friday, Scott said several funny things that I decided to write down:

D is near the kitchen window, zipping S's hoodie because he got cold eating leftover birthday ice-cream cake
S: Hey! There’s a squirrel out there. Out by that tree!
D: (finishes zipping hoodie, looks out the window) Where?
S: You missed it!
D: Rats!
S: It was a SQUIRREL.
(D & R laugh)
S: (puzzled) Why did you say ‘rats?’

Talking about playing Monopoly Junior Toy Story Edition--
S: I want a Buzz for Christmas.
D: Maybe you’ll get one. Who did get a Buzz toy for Christmas?
S: Dayvin [this is how he says David] and Brett (his cousins).
D: Right.
S: If I got 4 Buzzes I would share all of them with my family -- Mom, Dad, Katie and me.
D: What if you only had 1 Buzz?
S: (sadly) I would not share it. But if I did have 4, I would share them.

After Reading a Dubble Bubble comic that showed several wild animals chewing gum and blowing bubbles—
D: Do animals chew gum?
S: No.
D: Do they blow bubbles?
S: Animals don’t eat ANYTHING!
D: Really? They don’t eat anything at all?
S: Well, pandas eat bamboo.
(He saw pandas eating bamboo at the San Diego Zoo in January.)

He wondered why I got up and grabbed some paper to write something down. I explained that sometimes we write down things that happened so that we can remember them and not forget.

Then on Easter Sunday we were driving home from church and Scott pointed out a red convertible going the other way. He then reminded us of the time the previous summer that we had gone for a ride in a convertible at Grandma and Grandpa W's house.
S: You should write that down so that we remember it, Dad.
D: What other things should we write down, to remember?
S: Justin.
D: What do you mean? Do you mean Jenn and Justin?
R: Do you mean Jenn and Justin who gave you your Thomas train?
S: Yes, that is the Justin and Jenn who I was talking about.

Cute. They gave him that toy train when he was 2. He gave a similar toy to his cousin L for her birthday, so it must have been fresh in his mind.

While we are at it, here is one more quote for the records. I was in the car with Scott and Katie last Saturday morning and we decided to go to the dollar store to buy a kite. Since we were near the train station and the dollar store was at the next stop, I thought it might be fun to ride the train there.
D: Do you want to ride the train to the store?
S: No.
D: But it might be fun, since Katie has never been on a train before.
S: Yes, she went on the brown train before.
D: What brown train? Where was it?
S: It was the round one, that goes underground.
D: Round? Was it at Calaway Park?
S: No.
D: Was it at Disneyland?
S: There are no trains at Disneyland.
D: Yes there are.
S: Really? Where?
D: I don't know exactly where, but I know there are trains at Disneyland.
S: (after a pause) Dad, did Jesus create everything at Disneyland?
D: Uh, what do you think, Scott?
S: I think yes.
D: Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Katie Baby Song

For Monday-evening family night, everybody gets to pick their favourite song to sing. The Sunbeam Song is a crowd favourite, and Katie loves to get in on the action. We've also noticed that she likes to hum parts of this song to herself in the car or in her high chair.

Since Katie can't talk, we always pick for her, and the song we always pick is The Katie Baby Song, which has been her song since she was born. As soon as she hears it, she immediately starts to dance. So cute.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Soccer - Round 2

I hadn't really planned on writing anything about the second week of soccer, but it was so different from the first that it warrants mention.

Scott really didn't deal well with the practice portion. We arrived before practice officially started, so kids were just out on the field playing with the balls. Scott elected to stay with us on the sideline, saying (shouting, actually) that he didn't want to go out until practice started. Finally, I told him that we could go ask his coach if it was okay to try to kick the ball in the net. His coach just laughed and said yes. Scott kicked it into the net once and then ran back to the sidelines with a smile and stayed there until practice was to start.

Practice last week consisted of waiting in a line to kick the ball into the net, so anything other than that did not qualify as 'practice' in Scott's mind. When they did a warm-up lap around the field, he came back to us weeping, mainly because the Assistant Coach had been running too close behind him (gasp!). When the coaches tried to pair the players up for passing practice, Scott wandered away, dribbling the ball in wide circles. The drill was pretty chaotic, but when she eventually noticed Scott was on his own, the Assistant Coach said:
C: "Scott, where's your partner?"
S: "I don't have one."
C: "You don't have one? Do you want to be my partner?"
S: "No."

Then he just dribbled away until the other coach asked him the same thing and he said no. We called Scott over to the sideline and explained to him that having a partner was for kicking practice, so that you could have someone to play with you. We then told him to go ask the coach to be his partner and practice kicking with him. He dribbled the ball through the melee right up to where the coach was standing and booted the ball into the coach's leg. Coach looked down at him with surprise and said, "Do you want to be my partner?" Scott nodded, and passing practice began. We heard the Coach give a surprised laugh when Scott trapped the pass with his shins and then booted it right back pretty hard.

When practice was over, Coach gathered the troops for a chalk talk. The players gathered around him to listen, except for Scott, who continued to dribble his ball in a circle around the group.

When he finally did join them, I could hear his reactions to the Coach's instructions about the game: "But I already know how to play!"

The game itself turned out really well, and there were no emotional issues. Even when he was in the middle of a three-car-pileup he wiped himself off and just kept playing. He played most of the game and had lots of opportunity to play the ball -- even taking credit for a goal that someone else scored (he kicked the ball to the net, but someone else actually kicked it across the line). Afterwards, Coach said "Scott is a great little soccer player. He kicks it really well for his age."

Way to focus on the positive, Coach.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Baby-Snatcher

Katie has her own two baby dolls that she got for her birthday, but she still covets Scott's baby. She can somehow sense it when Scott leaves his room with the door open, and she toddles in there as quickly as she can and tries to make off with his baby. This (of course) drives Scott a bit crazy. When we tell Katie to put the baby down, she sometimes listens. Other times she just gives us a grin and continues her escape down the hall.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sticks & Shoes

We went shopping for a pair of more comfortable shoes for R's incredibly high arches and decided to check in at Sport Mart near our house before going after more expensive options. While she went after the shoes, I distracted the kids with bikes and hockey equipment. Scott loved it when we suited him up in hockey gear.

Katie's head nearly exploded when she saw the wall of shoes. She was clearly trying to think of a way to wear them all at once.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Scott’s First Soccer Game

We were well prepared for Soccer Day One, but I was still surprised by a few things.


The point of all this preparation was to give Scott a positive first experience on the field (ie: minimize the number of meltdowns), so that he would be excited to come back each week and participate. He loves to do active things (especially play with sports equipment), but we worried how well he would deal with the competitive aspect.

Gear: We bought Scott some cleats and shin pads from the local soccer store almost 2 months in advance so that he could try them on and get excited about using them. We also got him a real ball on his birthday weekend and two pop-up nets to play at home.

Rules: A few weeks ago I briefed Scott on the basics of the game, things like, "you can’t use your hands unless you are the goalie," or "once you score you let the other team have the ball."

Competition: We have continuously reminded Scott that the other players in his game will not share the ball with him or just do what he tells them. We have tried to make it abundantly clear that the only way to get the ball will be to chase it relentlessly, rather than crying in protest.

Practice: We have been playing soccer in the basement all through the winter. Scott’s goal has been the patio door and I have defended the loveseat. Because I am quite familiar with his stance on losing, I ease off enough for him to score plenty, while still encouraging him to chase the ball whenever he kicks it.

Directions: I looked at the schedules and maps that I was given, and even went online to see a street view of the park in the neighbouring community where the games would be held. The area looked like a quiet, near-desolate corner of suburbia, complete with brown grass and overcast skies.


Masses: The fields looked just like the view I had seen online; however, the brown, mushy grass, was now teeming with hundreds of people and the street was choked with minivans/SUVs. It was the way I imagine Woodstock would be if it were recreated for parents and pre-schoolers (plus oversize jerseys). The tent-like pop-up goals added to the outdoor festival feel -- as did the actual tent that one family set up at the midfield line.

Uniforms: Scott picked jersey number 3. The shirts were XS size, but Scott’s lime green jersey almost covered his his knees and his shoulder was nearly poking out the neck-hole. The socks were essentially leggings, and their bulk made the cleats more challenging to put on.

Meltdowns: There were only three meltdowns while we were there, and none for reasons we would have predicted:
1) While I was jamming Scott’s heavily padded foot into his cleats, he noticed a very large, black dog sitting several paces away and started to panic, even though the dog was clearly on a leash. In the context of Scott's historical fear of dogs, I imagine he felt about how I would feel if I was tying my shoe and looked up to see a grizzly bear sitting nearby -- the leash wouldn't be the focus of my gaze either.
2) There was a brief snack break between the short practice and the start of the 25-minute game. Scott tried to find some sort of order or queue for the treats and came away in tears because he kept getting passed over for a rice krispy treat and a drink box when other kids stepped forward.
3) In his first shift on the field he got bonked in the nose by an arm and cried for a bit. I imagine it truly did hurt some, but I don't think it was any worse than the huge wipeouts that were taking place in the wake of the ball, as the swarming kids kept stepping on each other's heels.

Practice: Since it took a bit to get the uniforms sorted out at the beginning, the abbreviated practice consisted mainly of standing in a line, waiting to take a shot at the goal. The players seemed to be easily categorized as follows: A) those who kicked the ball with their feet; and B) those who just used their hands. The coaches worked ardently to convert the latter group to kicking (Scott was already a devout foot-kicker).

Strategy: Scott was very focused on the ball during the game, which did not surprise me. Although he watched the ball closely, he often followed the pack at a safe distance, or looped around the longer, safer way to get to the ball. For this reason, he didn’t fall down at all, but he also didn’t get as many touches as the 2 or 3 more aggressive players who were right in the thick of it. If the ball happened to squirt out to the side where Scott was making his loop, he was in perfect position for a kick, but if it went the other way, he ended up at the back of the pack again.

Touches: Scott managed to get his foot on the ball a number of times, one time booting it more than half the length of the field. Direction seemed a bit arbitrary at first. After his first shift I asked him if he knew which goal he was supposed to score on. He said no. After we cleared that up, we saw an immediate difference in his play.

Scoring: Scott says that he scored two times. I saw one that looked like a goal, but nobody cheered or anything, but I guess we’ll take Scott’s word on it (I looked at the video above again and I think an adult picked it out of the goal before anyone but Scott really realized it). I think the other one he would perhaps qualify for an assist, since someone else actually kicked it in.


Scott said he had a great time and wished he could stay and play some more. In fact, he was quite sad to leave (thus the sad face in the photo). When we got home Scott and I had one last game up to 10 before he went off to bed for the night …still wearing his new soccer uniform.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Scotty Quotes

In the car on the way home for bed, said with only a slight pause between statements / questions:

"Dad, we should take the bike rack off the car so that it doesn't hurt grandpa again... Dad, when can you get me a rake that is my size? ... Dad, would it be crazy if we had breakfast and lunch at the same time?"

Aside from the bike rack comment, which was prompted by the terrible gash in Grandpa M's forehead when he closed the tailgate, these other comments came out of thin air. The last one had me laughing out loud.