Zach stayed home from school yesterday with an “ookie tummy.” I’m sure this is an official diagnosis. The real bummer is it was storybook character dress-up day for “Read Across America” week. Zachary was SUPER pumped to get to wear his Ninja costume to school, AND we were going to have three boys from our neighborhood (a 3rd grader and his twin 1st grade brothers) over for a playdate in the afternoon. Had to reschedule that!
Last week was mid-winter break. While I was a little jealous to hear about all the wonderful places some people would be traveling to (Mexico, Hawaii, Disneyland – to name a few), I must say that we had a really nice, relaxing break. The boys – with our encouragement – have given up TV, computers, etc. from Thursdays-Sundays during Lent. (That way we can still do family movie night on Fridays and they get a little time to play the Wii or on the computer on Saturdays). So, we went into break screenless. This seemed daunting even to me at first, but it ended up being wonderful! The boys – after adjusting to the concept of some serious quality time together – played awesomely pretty much all week. They built extravagant pillow-couch cushion forts and had all sorts of creative “set-ups” with their Legos, toys, etc. .
On Wednesday, the kiddos and I went to the zoo where we waited in line for 40 minutes to see the three month old lion cubs. Kayli called them “Roar babies” and hasn’t stopped talking about the one that went “Ka-boom.” (He fell off a low branch he was trying to climb…which caused everyone in the viewing area to giggle and ooh and ahh over his animal baby cuteness). Thankfully the boys agreed that it was worth the 40 minute wait in the cold drizzle!
We had a couple of fun playdates on Thursday and Friday. Then Saturday, it was all work and no play. Mom, Dad, and Chris came over at 10am loaded up with yardwork tools and equiptment. ALL of us (kids included) worked out in the backyard trying to tame some of the overgrown ravine. Mike and my dad dug up a maple tree that had been planted WAY too close to the house and deck. It was transplanted down in the ravine where we hope it won’t drown (it’s fairly near the little creek at the bottom). My mom worked at chopping down a big overgrown hazelnut tree/bush/growie thing. Go moom! I did whatever people told me to do, and also dug up a bunch of ferns from the woods (where I found two piles of coyote poop!) and planted them along the edge of the yard. The boys attempted teamwork sawing up branches – that was not very successful. Kayliana moved piles of dirt from one random spot to the next, got completely filthy and had a ball! She’s definitely more outdoorsy than the boys combined! I’m super excited about getting the back cleaned up a bit and hope to put in this summer – where the maple tree had been – a small flagstone patio and brick firepit.
In other news: Zachary has started playing basketball for the first time and L-O-V-E-S it! He’s on a team with five boys and for coaches has two of the possibly nerdiest, most non-basketball-playing dads I’ve ever seen. (For example: at the first practice, one of the dads pulled out a print-out that basically was the “how to’s of coaching a kids basketball team.”) Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that they volunteered to coach, but, wow. They lack leadership experience, knowledge and, forgive me, but any personality! I think three-toed-sloths are more entertaining and could coach better. I know you really shouldn’t complain (though I totally am) since WE’RE not stepping up to help out. But, for reals, you should see these guys!
Anyway, our first game was a bit of a disaster. Like with most kids’ sports, they don’t technically ‘keep score.’ But this game was pretty obvious. Our team – “Thunder” – shot two baskets total. The other team probably had, mmm, 20+. This week (our second game), Zachary was the first one with the ball. He dribbled (mostly, with only occasional traveling and double-dribbling) all the way down the court and seamlessly scored his first ever (during a game) basket. It was awesome!! Right after the basket, the refs blew the whistle and announced that we’d have to start the game over after the other team took a quick break to take their team photo. Yeeeah. Kids’ sports for ya.
The games are played three-on-three with the coaches basically standing in the middle of the court telling the boys what to do. Well, unfortunately one of our players had broken his arm over the weekend so he’s on the DL. We didn’t have as many kids to start with as the other teams, so we don’t usually have a sub for the every five minute sub-out time. Zachary had already played for two “quarters” and was limping over to us. (He said his foot just tweaked and felt weird – it only lasted a couple minutes, thankfully. But he limped for the last minute before the whistle). Zach hobbled over and sat down to drink some water. One of the dads on our team went and asked the coach if HIS kid could sub out instead of Zach because HIS kid had already played two quarters (same as Zachary) and HIS kid really needed a break. Um, OK. Zachary, tired, but happy enough returned to the game. It is REALLY fun to see how much he loves it! Hopefully, Matthew will feel the same about baseball when that starts back up in a month! In the meantime, Kayli serves as cheerleader and (literally) yelled at Zach, “Block your guy!!”
Future NBA star