It Builds Character

This has been a week.
So glad it's Friday :)
I've been dealing with some kind of virus/cold/upper respiratory thing that has wiped me out.  Ava and I both have a cough and some congestion, fortunately Carter and Trav have steered clear for now.  I hate feeling sick but especially during the last week of summer.  School starts around here next Tuesday and Fall is already in the air.  Personally I love Fall so I'm not too bent out of shape about it, but there is something about letting go of summer that's always a tiny bit sad.  Good to get back into a schedule and all the fun things ahead, but sad to let go of the relaxing part of summer.  But ready or not, right?? 

One of the things keeping us busy right now is soccer.  Travis has started coaching the varsity boys again and they've already had a couple of games.  He is busy burning the candle at both ends right now and working hard for us, but he truly does love coaching and we are both fans of the high school sports scene.  So, in an effort to see him more and to give him our support, we have become super fans.  I've taken the kids to both games so we can "cheer for the boys and Daddy" as I like to tell Ava.  I wish you could see us, we are a form of entertainment I'm sure.  There are several observations that I've made already with a whopping 2 games under our belts and I'd like to share them with you on this sunny Friday afternoon. 
I'm sure you will read them with held breath, they are so riveting...
Or not.

"Things I've Learned on the Soccer Field" by Stephanie

1. Getting to the game is half the battle.  No matter how the game turns out, just pulling in the parking lot with BOTH of my children AND my sanity makes me feel as if I've already won.  I know this because in the two short opportunities we've had to pull this off, we've come dangerously close to blowing it from the beginning.  I've nearly lost my sanity twice and already wished I could just leave the kids at home more than once :) Which brings me to my second point... 

2. If it used to take me an hour last season to get everyone dressed, packed and loaded in the car, this year it's easily taking two.  By the time both kids are dressed, someone needs a new diaper and (twice) my little Ava has fallen apart in some kind of massive meltdown at the thought that she needs to "go poopy" when in fact, she really doesn't.  But the mere thought of it makes her panic and sob, which is interesting because she manages to go all day long without so much as a tear or a mention of it.  There is some kind of link to us getting the car and going somewhere.  I wish I could accurately describe it for you and explain it, but that would spoil all the *fun*.  It's completely irrational, hysterical and at least 20 minutes long and I'm doing my best to remain calm and sensitive to her apparent fear.

3. Any attempt on my behalf to get ready and put on a little
make-up for the occasion is a complete exercise in futility.  By the time the aforementioned meltdown is over, I'm sweating from head to toe and at least one vein is likely popping out of my forehead.  From now on, I'll just be wearing a hat and hiding under it for the duration of the game.

4.  Our minivan is a TREASURE and could not have come at a better time.  The circus act of getting 3 people from our 2nd floor condo down to our garage is a sight to see.  It makes my heart skip a beat to press 3 little buttons and watch my automatic doors and back gate open up for all of us to get in and dump our stuff.  I almost want to cry with joy over it :)  On top of that, the navigation system which we didn't need to have but got anyway has been equally as delightful.  With voice commands I've been able to look up the location of each school and then follow the prompts from the sweet woman who lives in our sound system.  Ava is dying to "see the lady" and I am too, so I can thank her for her accurate directions and for being someone I can talk to on the ride.  I think I should name her.

5.  Because we live in Minnesota and it's almost "Fall" I've surrendered to the notion that I have to pack the farm in our van, due to the incredible fluctuation in weather.  For example, it was drizzly and 60 degrees (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?) on Tuesday night but it was 90 degrees and humid yesterday.  Blankets, umbrellas, sweatshirts, rain gear, camping chairs, strollers, diaper bags, toys, etc., all live in our van right now.  I've never loved having a third row more!

6.  It took me a few minutes to catch on, but apparently the word on the street (among the parents of our team) is that my name is Jodi.  Or maybe Jody?  Not sure how they spell it, but so far I've been called that by more than one person so I assume the conversation in the stands goes something like this...
"Who is that tired woman with those little kids??  Doesn't she know this is high school soccer, not pee wee soccer?  Oh, it's Travis' wife I bet...Yeah, those must be his kids...Too bad their Mother didn't dress them properly.  It's cold/hot/raining out and they look cold/hot/wet.  What's her name?  Does anyone remember from last year?  Jodi??  Sounds good to us, we'll just go with that. What about her kids' names?  Ada? And the baby boy, right? Hi Jodi! Do you and Ada and your little one want to sit with us?"

7.  In addition to correcting names, I'm getting a good lesson (and laugh) about what I yell in front of Ava.  For example, I've taught her to yell, "GO STARS!" or "C'MON GUYS!" or "SHOOT IT!" and it's hilarious to hear her mousy little voice shout at the top of her lungs, but she loves it!  In her new found freedom to yell, she's also decided to throw in a few of her own lines too.  So far I've caught her saying, "HI DADDY!!  I'M OVER HERE!" or "GO DADDY, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!" or "DADDY, I SITTING WITH MOMMY AND CARTER, RIGHT HERE."  Darling.  But, she also heard me say, "Oh Come on Ref! That was a terrible call!" (believe me it was) to which she shouted, "COME ON REF! TERRIBLE!"...also at the top of her lungs. 
Fun times.  Gonna have to keep the competitor in me a little more quiet :)

8. Carter's main goal while at the game is to crawl in the exact opposite direction I place him and towards the greatest amount of danger at the fastest pace.  He's very accomplished and good at reaching his goal.  I've also decided running gear would be a good choice for me when getting dressed.  I've yet to sit down and watch a play thanks to little Carty.  He may be young but he's not going to be a passive observer of life I can tell.  He's DYING to get on that field and to go everywhere his sister goes!  I've named him pigpen, after the fruit of his efforts to escape me.

9.  Last year was a cinderella year for this team, meaning we set school records, had the best win/loss record in the history of the school and won their conference tournament.  Super fun, but all that success means the pressure is on this year...and so far we are 0-2.  Trav's not worried, it's just the beginning of the season and we've played 2 big public schools (and we are a small Christian school) and a few losses are always good motivators.  But as the clock was winding down on Tuesday night, I heard a Mom a few rows back say "We've got a few coaching ideas for your husband Jodi."  I looked around for Jodi but didn't see her, so I just kept packing up my kids :)

10.  Sports build character.  They build character in the athletes, in the coaches, in the parents and in the coach's wife.  Good thing I love the coach, I love sports, and we think the parents are wonderful and so are their boys.  But make no mistake, I can already tell this will be a year with lots of opportunities to build character.  If soccer doesn't do it, chasing my kids will!  Ha ha!
No matter what the scoreboard says this year, there will be 3 fans who are completely sold on this coach and his ability to lead his team!
A little girl who is already proud of her Daddy and not afraid to tell the world...
...and a little boy who can't wait until he can run and play soccer too with the best coach we know.
Nothing says we love you and don't care about wins and losses like two little people who can't wait to wrestle and climb all over the man they only know as Daddy. 
Last year this little bruiser was still cooking in my oven and although I sat down more at the games, I wouldn't trade that for the joy of hauling 2 little cuties to every game! 
Don't you love his little soccer socks?? 
She was the darling of the stands last year and I think it's safe to say she still holds the same title.  She and Stella were very excited fans and will continue to be I'm sure. 
Isn't that right Ada??

I think I might like having a puesdo-identity, I can just blame all of the things I forget or the wild behavior of my kids on her :)  It might get dicey when I want to take some credit for the good stuff and I don't want Jodi to get my glory!  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there, we're in no danger of it yet...

Happy Friday friends!
Go Stars!!


Holly said...

I cannot agree with you more on getting to the soccer game. When both E and A have played even in the 4 year old league it is such a beating to walk across the field, get them to sit, etc... and hope they do not get run over or hit by a ball. Spring soccer here sounds just like your weather. cold/windy then hot/humid. I am sure Travis is one awesome coach. Have a good weekend!

amy said...

Steph or is it Jodi, your post had me laughing out loud!!! ;) Sometimes being a coach's wife is a tad bit like being a pastor's wife... you are always under everyone's scrutiny (as your children choose just that moment to totally misbehave) and everyone always has big ideas on what your husband should be doing that would make everything *so much better*! i know you LOOOVE your odyssey... we LOOOVE ours too! :) it is such a lifesaver!!! praying for you! :)

Ron and Peggy said...

Cuties! Have FUN!

Toni :O) said...

Such a funny post, especially your name that's not your name---cracked me up!! Glad you can maintain your sense of humor in this crazy season of having little kids! Jealous of your van-we've had one on two different vacations and loved them each time! Have a great weekend with your sweeties!