3 posts categorized "Soccer"

November 15, 2009

GOOOOOAAAAL!

Though somewhat sadly, not in our favor.  In fact, all but one of the twelve goals scored were for the other team.  Luckily, that didn't prevent Kelsey or her friends from having a good time, or setting loftier standards for the next game.

Tonight was the first game of her indoor soccer league season.  She enjoyed soccer so much, that she wanted to continue with indoor soccer once the regular outdoor league ended.  A friend's father is coaching (so Pete is free to record the games), and even more of her school friends are on the team, since the age rules are more relaxed.

Tonight's game started with a brief practice, as the girls normally do not meet during the week: the league regulations require only weekly games.  Fine for those who have played before, but at least one was new to soccer and a little practice never hurt anyone.  Peter dropped Kelsey off early, and picked us up after their pre-game practice ended to save Nicholas a bit of boredom.* 

We arrived just as they were about to start, and I noticed Kelsey donning a second soccer shirt.  They were blue tonight, and the extra shirt could only mean one thing:  she had been chosen/requested to be goalie.

I was a bit nervous.  Goals are big swaths of land to cover, and really, she could have paid a bit more attention when playing outdoor soccer. During the outdoor season, her team spent so much time on their offensive moves, that she was often surprised when they ended up near the goal, and missed more than she caught.  Not to worry tonight, as the opposing team (which, if they are under 8, I am Santa Claus), spent a good portion of their time near/around/in our goal. She didn't have time to look at the scoreboard, much less daydream.  She was on top of things, but still missed a few, and the other team scored 6 goals in the first half, something that would have most crying in their boots.

Not me, and definitely not Kelsey.  She had at least one awesome save (if not more) for every goal they scored.  Her team didn't let go, and fought the fight until the end.  They ended the game just as red-faced and sweaty as the other team, and just as cheerfully (though with somewhat blase looks) and did the old "good game" routine at the end as though they had won.  They didn't, but they tried, and more importantly, seemed to have an incredibly good time, including the poor teammate who took a ball smack in the face one minute before the game ended. 

In the end, Kelsey wasn't disappointed because they lost, but because they got so few goals.  "Next time." she stated firmly on the way home,"we are going to get AT LEAST THREE!" 

*Who are we kidding, this kid was born to play soccer, and loves to watch just as much. If you remember pictures from way back when, he could kick a ball before he could walk.  When we arrived at the game, he ran around to the back of the car to get his "ba".  Little smarty-pants remembered how Pete kept the bags of balls in the trunk.  Yep, he's getting signed up next, provided it doesn't interfere with his Kindermusik/swimming/gymnastics/Itsy-Bitsy Yoga schedule.

Here's a a highlight reel of some of Kelsey's performance in goal (right-click and choose "Save Link As..." to save to your computer - 5.3MB):

Download Kelsey Goal Kick and Save

October 02, 2009

Here I go again, on my own...

While we are no strangers to separations, brief or otherwise, it has been a while since Pete traveled.  If you are a new reader, and don't know our history with DS, um, in a nutshell..  With this lifestyle,when posted domestically (being attached to a detail/field office), the spouse of a an agent can end up having a good amount of "alone" time.  This can be good, bad or somewhere in the middle. 

Maybe it had just been a while since I had an extremely active toddler while Pete traveled.  Maybe the issue was that I now had three vs. two, and the two older children are in separate schools, with 7 weekly activities between them (the irony is that comparatively speaking, they are massively under-scheduled for this area).  We don't send them to tutors or language school, and to be fair, I count CCD as part of their weekly activities.  However, they still add up, and two weeks ago, with Peter slated to go to UNGA for 12 days, I realized that we were going to be kept hopping on a daily basis. 

We started off slowly, on a Thursday. Nothing more than soccer practice in the afternoon, and I only needed to drive the carpool and drop the kids off.  Friday came and the only events were a play date for Kelsey, and the beginning of choir practice (at the church) for both girls.  Kelsey decided to join (has been chomping at the bit since last spring), and despite Cait's efforts to ban her, she is going each week and really enjoying herself.  We figured we would have an "easy" dinner, and opted for our favorite pasta place.  For whatever reason, maybe the heat (was over 100 F most days Pete was gone), but everyone was a bit cranky, Nicholas included.  

I ended up making the executive decision that we would avoid eating out again until Pete came back, but it would require a bit of planning and restraint on my part.  It just seems so much easier to say, "Let's go out for pizza!", and be done with it. 

Though I promised Kelsey we could sleep in on Saturday, this fell flat when I realized the soccer game was at 9 a.m.  Nothing like not catching up on sleep when you really need it!  We made it to the game (they won), and hurried home to change and back out to the Farmer's Market.  The Saturday morning routine of the Farmers' Market has become so ingrained that the girls are upset if we even consider not going.  We simply can't pass up stand after stand of fruit and veggies, from the boxes of freshly-shelled English peas to the bunches of basil.  It also doesn't hurt that the Green Lantern Catering Company normally shows up to whip up a veggie fritatta and grilled artichokes that are simply out of this world, but do not break the wallet. The owner is not only a part-time caterer, but also the executive chef at Standford's in Walnut Creek. 

Thankfully, dinner was at a friend's house.  As a part of our monthly international dinner, we dined on samosas, lamb biryani, and cauliflower.  It was mildly spicy, and deeply satisfying.  We headed home, and  Nicholas fell asleep on the way.  Sunday was a sleep-in day.  Seems great until you try to get moving and realize nothing is going as planned...primarily because there wasn't  a plan.  It hit me that if I didn't quickly come up with a something, my week was going to be a disorganized disaster.  Four days in, and I was completely frustrated already.

IMG_1211 I quickly planned out meals from Sunday to Friday, and it saved me.  No last-minute "What do I make" or "let's just go out!".  We ate in every night, and it was so methodical, the girls didn't think twice. Yummy leftovers made great lunches the next day, and we rolled from school to activities, volunteer and otherwise, smoothly.  Still exhausting, and I was up late with laundry, cleaning, and the like, but far easier than expected.

Friday night arrived, and Kelsey was busy with a play-date, choir practice, and movie night at her school.  Cait had her 6th grade social, choir practice, and then volunteered at movie night.  Nicholas and I took the time to relax, and have quality time in between the various pick-ups and drop-offs.

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Saturday rolled around once again, and with a later soccer game, we had time for the Farmers' Market early in the morning.  There was face-painting, aioli mustaches (grilled artichokes were back!), visiting with the kitties needing foster homes (and both girls desperately want us to become one), and the 4-H with a bevy of bunnies and chickens.  We made it to soccer just in time, and Kelsey shocked us all by volunteering to play goalie.  I was able to quickly upload  a photo via Facebook, and "Coach Pete" was able to see despite the 3,000 mile/3 hour difference.

IMG_1215 Jamba Juice followed, and we had just enough time to head home, swelter for a bit, and depart for a spaghetti dinner at the home of one of Cait's Chorus leaders.  She is a member of a local quartet, and in the midst of a fund-raiser for a trip to a much anticipated international competition.  Not only did we enjoy great music, and a yummy dinner, but Kelsey won not one, but two baskets in the raffle (back to back, even more amusingly).  

Despite the organization, and the overall ease of the week, we were still swamped, and it hit me hard on Sunday.  While a friend watched Nicholas on Friday so I could get a much-needed massage, it is still very hard being "on" 24 hours a day.  I realized we all needed a break, and kept our activities to a walk to the movies, a light home-made pesto dish for dinner, and Cait attending the first of her CCD classes.

IMG_1213 Monday and Tuesday passed quickly, and before we knew it, Peter was pulling up in the shuttle Tuesday afternoon.  He was gone 15 minutes later, as Kelsey had soccer, but he was home all the same.  Though here it is a few days later, and I keep thinking he will leave any minute.  It seems as though I almost fell back into my Virginia self, forgetting that he normally doesn't travel (that much), and that he won't be gone again for a while. So, he is back, we are together, and quite enjoying family time. It's a crazy life sometimes, but I think anything less would simply not be for us.  And, now, perhaps, a nap.


September 20, 2009

Second Grade Shenanigans

I realized I posted Cait's first day of school almost immediately (in my mind), and then completely failed to put much up (anything) about Kelsey.  Second grade is no less important than middle school, especially to Kelsey, and she seems to be adjusting very well.

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I say "seems" as the drop-off/pick-up procedure is much different this year.  Drop-off is still in the back, but pick-up used to be at the classrooms.  In theory, it was probably not ideal for the teachers. Parents arrived early, congregated, chatted, and may have been a distraction for the kids still working.  Generally, no one arrived more than 5-10 minutes early, but when kids are already counting the minutes until the end of the school day...

Instead of seeing the teacher on a daily basis, even if to just wave hello and not bowl her over with 20 questions while she is trying to pack up and get home to her kids, we see her for a few seconds at drop-off.  Well, if we make it to drop-off.  Lately, we have had to zip around the front so she could hurry to the classrom, rather than congregate with friends in the back for a few minutes.

With Cait at a new school and this area not offering busing (really, folks who manage this area of school issues, what ARE you thinking?), we have to make it to two schools within 10 minutes each morning.  So, instead of one bus carting 50-60 kids, you have 40-50 individual cars dropping kids off.  I would gladly pay for a bus service, but apparently the powers that be prefer the additional traffic, pollution, and congestion of many cars trying to drop off several hundred kids in 15 minutes.

I will grant that many kids walk, ride their bikes or scooter.  However, most seem to live a lot closer, and have much lighter backpacks.  The daily cathunk-cathunk of Cait's backpack down the stairs still has me thinking something has fallen the first time I hear it each morning.  We are in a carpool, which helps immensely, but the school bus issue really needs to be revisited.  Though I am fairly sure if one ever showed up  that Nicholas would be tearfully jealous of Cait.  Who can forget Kelsey crying because she couldn't ride the big, yellow bus with Cait ?  Has it really been 5 years?

Since I do not have a daily chance to pester the teacher about Kelsey (as if), I move along believing that she is doing terribly well in all subjects.  Most papers come home stamped with happy faces, and a good or great on them.  She generally gives me a blow-by-blow, and I have not received any worrisome phone calls, emails, or FB updates. Well, we still have some math issues, but for the most part have vastly improved in that arena. Though if she spent half the time on math that she does on reading...NOT that I am complaining, but balance is a good thing, right?

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As Caitlin is in the Girls Chorus this year (and deeply enjoying it), we figured Kelsey should have an extra activity (read: sport).   She has always enjoyed playing soccer with Pete in the backyard, and even though (by San Ramon standards), she has practically reached retirement age, we decided it was time to try having her join a genuine soccer team.  Oh, and Pete volunteered to help assist the coach.  We thought that might add a nice bit of "quality time" to their day.

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Now, Coach Pete (apparently when you volunteer to help the coach, you actually volunteer to BE the coach) is having a grand ole time with two practices and a game each week.  Once on a team, the idea of playing soccer with folks other than her easygoing dad scared the pants off Kelsey.  I tried a small bribe*, it worked, and she practices, plays, and really seems to like it.  Maybe not her career, but she is enjoying it, and that's all that matters. It also doesn't hurt that she has a heckuva nice guy for a coach, and the few extra hours together each week have been really good for them.

*Yes, extremely bad parenting technique, and I normally don't use it.  However, it worked for the first few practices, and she then forgot about it.  Blast me if you will, but what's done is done, and she is having fun.