Thursday, December 4, 2014

Picture of the Week - 12/4/2014

I'm feeling conflicted!  It's not really good to be conflicted this time of year.  It's better to be calm and relaxed and able to focus on fun family things. 

Instead I'm conflicted.  I have all sorts of stuff I'm conflicted about. 

Let's start with what I know is your favorite topic for me to write about - youth sports.  I spend tons of keystrokes sharing youth sports information and thoughts with you guys.  I know you are probably all VERY sick of reading about it.  But I can't really help it.  These activities take up a huge percentage of our time, our planning, our attention, our energy, and our money.  And for the most part it's all pretty enjoyable.  But I'm ready for things to be over.  And I'm conflicted that they aren't.

This weekend is the Born To Compete youth football tournament.  This is where they pull together all the top teams from all the travel leagues in the area to compete against each other.  We got an invite to the tournament despite losing in our league championship game.  Blessing...  or curse.  This championship is being played in Stockbridge.  If you are looking at Atlanta on a map and overlaid a clock with the center on the downtown, we live at about 12:00.  Stockbridge is about 5.  And they are FAR apart - easily an hour and a half without traffic.  But there WILL be traffic...  the first game is scheduled for tonight (just on the other side of rush hour) and we will have to drag our butts down there every day until they lose.  Spencer will have to get pulled out of school early to make it to the game in time (CRAZY) and I don't expect them home until near midnight.  Then we get to do it again tomorrow if they win.  Sound fun?

I mean conflict is normal right?  I want the team to do well.  I want Spencer to get to play.  They have moved him into a situation where he gets lots and lots of key playing time.  In the championship game a couple weeks ago he played almost every down (both offense and defense) in the first half and most of the defensive snaps in the second half.  Quite the difference from last year where he got to go in for only the last 3 plays of the game.  So yes...  I'm glad Spencer will have a chance to play some more with this team.  It continues to be one of the best experiences I could have hoped for him to have.  But UGH - Stockbridge - on a weeknight - BLAH!

I'm conflicted.

Then there's lacrosse.  We have been SO blessed to have landed Quinn on a team with such a great head coach.  He has nurtured Quinn and believed in him when I don't think many others would have.  Coach Jim's patience has been rewarded lately as all the sudden Q has found some confidence - and a wicked shot on goal.  He's a scoring machine the last few weeks.  And he's having a BLAST with this core group of kids who has decided to stick together.  They all signed up together to play winter indoor lacrosse.  (So much for basketball...)  Then they all decided they wanted to join a couple of winter tournaments - just for fun.  These tournaments seemed like a great idea when they were in the discussion phase.  Now that we are on the eve of the first one, I'm conflicted.

The Reindeer Games (adorable, right???) start Saturday morning.  Our first (of 3) game of the day starts at 9.  It's supposed to rain.  And the location is in Emerson, GA.  Remember that clock - well Emerson is at about 10:00 - but kind of off the clock and halfway up the wall.  We're thinking an hour from our house - probably nearly 3 hours from the football location.  (Jealous yet?)  We will finish up on Saturday with our 3rd game around lunchtime.  Probably just in time for a 3 year old meltdown.  And if we happen to have won football games on Thursday and Friday we will haul ourselves clear across Atlanta to go watch some more football. 

Sunday morning we will play at least one more lacrosse game - regardless of their record on Saturday - and could be lucky enough to play up to 3 more.  And then there's the possibility of trekking back across the state of Georgia for more football. 

Is it wrong of me to hope (even just a little) for some early losses?  Soooo conflicted.

And then there's the conflict going on in the upstairs of my house.  It involves moving lots of stuff from one place to another.  You see...  all 4 boys are moving rooms.  And it's more than a little chaotic!

This all started when Beck moved out of his crib and into a big boy bed.  And then quickly out of his room and onto the bottom bunk in Zane's room.  Our upstairs has 4 bedrooms.  One of them is the master and no boys allowed in there!  Spencer and Quinn have been sharing the biggest of the rooms almost the entire time we've lived in the house.  Zane was in our old spare bedroom and Beck had the strangely shaped nursery.  Our plan was to leave S and Q where they were, bunk Z and B together and turn the little room into a "boys' lounge" with comfy chairs and a TV and stuff. 

It was a good plan.

Then Spencer started asking for his own room.  At first I was like "No! No!  No!"  And it wasn't because I didn't want the work of moving them or whatever.  I really was keeping them together because I thought (and maybe still do) that it was the best thing for them. 

Sharing a room forced them - sometimes literally - to communicate with each other, compromise regularly, and share just about everything.  Did it occasionally cause conflict - sure.  But show me a pair of siblings in different rooms who never have conflict.  Sharing a room was also, whether they will ever admit it or not, comforting.  Neither of the big boys (but especially the biggest) likes the dark very much.  Having your brother right next to you is a reassurance that you aren't going to get in your own room.  So I said "No" and changed the topic.

But I was conflicted.

Spencer kept asking.  And while I did/do have some good reasons for resisting, it was also pretty apparent that maybe the boys needed some privacy as they got a bit older.  We had the room and maybe we should use it.  It was when I sat down to do a little math and realized that when Zane is the age Spence is now, Spencer will be gone to college.  (GASP!)  So maybe that move to middle school was kind of a right of passage and should come with a solo bedroom.

(I'm still conflicted...)

But we started the plans.  We repainted the nursery - which was to be Quinn's new bedroom - and started moving all kinds of clothes from one end of the house to the other.  We are short a dresser and a couple of bookshelves.  We still have stuff stacked on the floor and in laundry baskets.  Zane's clothes are still split across 2 different rooms.  It's a chaotic mess.  BUT - in the end, I think it's going to be good.  The big boys are thrilled.  The little boys have more room in the "big room" than they did before.  I guess I just need to get past my conflict.  I need to just enjoy the fact that this chaos is making 4 little dudes happy.

I am trying hard not to be conflicted about the season.  It's all a little overwhelming.  In addition to all the regular stuff (work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, kids) and the extras piled on with these tournaments, there's holiday shopping and baking and wrapping.  I went into this year without a good "wish list" of stuff to buy.  So there has been lots of head scratching and brainstorming.  I'm still not done shopping - which probably doesn't sound like a big deal to most people, but all 3 of our weekends between now and Christmas are already spoken for.  Yikes.  The crunch is on.

And then we layer on some illness.  Why not!  I've got 2 kids who have head colds - one barfed at school yesterday so he's home.  (Wave to Zane.)  And a 3rd who is starting a cough.  Thank goodness for Quinn...  he's somehow immune to 95% of the junk in the house.  I am also struggling with a very weird allergic reaction that sprung up last Saturday and won't go away.  Think persistent, wake-you-in-the-night, rashes and swelling and general YUCK.  I'm on prednisone - which is making me mean - and antihistamines - which are making me tired.  I'm SO conflicted because I want to be bright and cheery and holiday in spirit, but really all I feel like doing is laying down.

I'm sure my conflict go away.  We will survive this weekend and everyone will start to feel better.  We will replace some of the "have to" stuff on the calendar with some "want to" stuff - and where we can't we will strive to find some "want to" in even the most mundane "have tos". 

But this week...  really hasn't been a good one.  I'm conflicted.  But I know this too shall pass.  And next week is another chance to get into the spirit of Christmas and enjoy these little dudes of ours.

Until then...  try to find some holiday cheer on our behalf!  And don't forget to wish Berber a Happy Birthday tomorrow!  We'd love to celebrate with her, but it might have to wait until January!!

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