Thursday, October 1, 2015

Soccer Safety with Storelli

I played on the boys' soccer team in high school. I'm not saying that because I was really good. It was really because I had a small high school and there wasn't a girls' team. Most of the boys were okay with me, but some of them (and the coach) would have preferred if I wasn't there. Again, I'm not sure if it's because I was no good, or because I was a girl. All I know is that I enjoyed the sport and I had fun playing.

I had a secret weapon when I played. Because of my gender and size, it was not uncommon for players on the other team to be a little wary around me. No one wanted to run over the girl, after all! I used this to my advantage and ran right up in their faces. Sometimes that meant I could steal the ball. Sometimes that meant I got knocked down. Either way was fine with me because I was playing my hardest and doing what I could to help my team.

I remember one play in particular. I was playing left fullback. There was a rather tall (might I say gangly) striker from the other team coming down the field. He was doing his fancy footwork and deciding which way to make his move and then he started heading my way. I decided to engage and ran towards him. He didn't back off. In fact he slammed right into me and knocked me down. As he did so, he spared me a glance. And then he stopped.

"Rabia!?!?" he yelled, in shock. "Is that you? Oh my gosh I'm so sorry!! Are you okay?" And then he reached down to help me up. I wasn't hurt at all, save for having the wind knocked out of me. All I could do when I stood up was laugh. He was a friend from youth group. Had I been anyone else, he probably would have just kept going. That's how soccer works. People get knocked around. But since he recognized me, he felt bad and he stopped. It was a rather humorous play, and one I remember vividly to this day.

These days, the only team I play with is a team of five year olds. I'm coaching Benjamin's team this year, and letting Ken coach Henry's. My little guys are just barely learning how to dribble the ball, while Henry's team is starting to really get into the game. This is the first year they have goal keepers, referees, and a bigger focus on the rules of the game. His games are getting really exciting to watch, as some players are beginning to show real talent for the game.
Henry, 2013

Henry is learning how to go after the ball and keep an eye on it all over the field. When I look out there, my soccer playing mind is quite proud. My mother's heart, though, is a little nervous. My guys have inherited their mother's small stature and it's never more obvious when he's out on the field running towards kids who are a foot taller than he is.
Henry's first season, 2012

#InjuriesSuck and no mom wants to see their kid get hurt. No player wants to sit out on the sidelines, nursing a painful hip, or bruised shin, either. Injury prevention is a big part of any sport and I've always done what I could to keep my kids in the proper gear for whatever they are doing.

Storelli is leading the industry in creating lightweight and extreme impact resistant protective gear for players. Wearing Storelli gear allows players to focus on the game instead of worrying about injuries that may occur.

We were fortunate enough to try out some gear they sent us. For the sake of full disclosure, it has rained pretty much every day since I accepted this campaign. Our soccer practices and games have been cancelled and I can't even take the boys out in the yard because it's so wet. We did however, go for a photo shoot in the living room.
I told him to look mad. LOL!

Henry tried out the BodyShield GK Sliders. These goal keeping shorts fit snugly to conform to the body and provide much needed protection for the goalie. They are padded on the hips and thighs to ensure a soft landing when diving after the ball and have a removable pocket in the front to ensure that both males and females have adequate protection where they need it most.
Good padding, hip to knee

I got to try out the BodyShield LegGuard 2.0.  My mom made fun of me when I told her I was buying cleats and shin guards to coach five year olds, but I do need them. These kids may not go all out and play aggressively, but they also don't aim well when they kick and they frequently bunch up and mistake my ankles for the ball. This leg protection fits snugly and extends down into the shoe to provide seamless coverage for shins and ankles.

Awesome ankle protection!
Storelli offers head to toe protection for your favorite soccer player. This gear is well made with a strict attention to detail and your utmost safety in mind. It's a small business based in New York, USA. Started by two soccer playing buddies, they know the game and they know what can happen. They've even reached out to medical advisors to ensure that their protection is doing all it can to keep people safe on the field. Of course, no protection is 100%, they're aiming as close as they can.

If you play soccer, or love a soccer play, I highly suggest you check out Storelli's website for ways to keep your favorite player safe on the field. Order before October 8, 2015 and receive 20% off with the code: INJURIESSUCK20

Have you had an injury keep you on the sidelines? What's your favorite soccer story?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September in Pictures

I cannot believe that today is the last day of September! This year has really flown by! We are mostly into the groove of a new school year. The kids are enjoying their classes and teachers. I've got a great new crops of student workers to supervise and they are proving to be very capable. Ken is still home from work with his shoulder injury, but it looks like he'll be starting physical therapy next week, which puts him one step closer to going back to work. With all this busy-ness going on, I thought a picture recap from the month might be a good way to sum things up lately.

We moved Frances upstairs to her own room. She's enjoying it quite a bit so far. She disappears up there right after school and hangs out until I call her down for dinner. I'm not sure what she's doing, but I honestly think she's just enjoying the fact that she finally has her own space. As you can see from the photo, though, she is usually just fine with letting her brothers come up and visit.

My Julie became a Jamberry consultant and I've been having fun trying out new combinations. This is a pretty overlay that is meant to enhance your own polish underneath. I just put the lace on my thumbs, and it was just the pretty "pop" I was looking for!

One of my students from last semester moved home over the summer and left her desk chair with us for safekeeping. She's got a hatchback and didn't really want to haul it to NJ and back if she didn't need to. The kids really enjoyed "riding" the chair around in circles in the living room all summer. Then, one sad evening, she came to collect it. Henry sat in it on the porch with me while we waited for her to come get it. It was a good time for some silly selfies!

Julie and her husband went to a wedding and we kept the kids for the afternoon. They got along pretty well and at one point, I stepped outside to find this "concert in the park." Frances on violin and L and D on recorders. It's a beautiful picture to look at, but you'll be grateful that I didn't take any video!!

After the concert, Frances and D decided to get married. Benjamin was the "ring boy" and Henry was the "flower boy." L was the director of ceremonies and I tried to provide musical accompaniment until I discovered that I couldn't play music on my phone and take pictures at the same time!

Benjamin is having a blast in Kindergarten. he loves his teacher and takes everything she says very seriously. He's been raising his hand at dinner instead of interrupting, and really focusing on the "homework" he gets from school and from his after-school program.

 Just me being silly. No other explanation needed, right?

While I am sad that Ken hurt himself, I will admit that it's been nice having him home. We've eaten dinner together as a family more often, spent time together on the weekends without having plans, and really tried to make the most of a tough situation.

I have some good friends who have season passes to the JMU football games. Two weeks ago was her birthday and they had other plans, so they gave us their tickets and the kids all got to see their first JMU football game. The weather was gorgeous and the seats were awesome. They had an amazing time. And they also learned that if Mommy hashtags her photos right, they'll show up on the Jumbo-tron in the middle of the game!
Henry bought this cute little cat with his own money at a craft fair at church. Then when he got it home he asked me to "put it on the fireplace {mantel} until tomorrow." I complied and then asked him what would happen tomorrow. He explained that he wanted this cat to move around the house and watch us "just like the ELF!!" Then I was stuck in the position of figuring out how to explain that I don't have time for that sort of thing, while simultaneously trying to discern how much he knows about the Elf on the Shelf. (Note: He's been moving it himself all over the house!)

This salamander was on my front sidewalk yesterday. We've had quite a bit of rain lately and I think he was trying to catch a quick breath. He stayed remarkably still while the kids came out to look at him and then he posed for this picture!

What's your highlight for the month of September?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Start your day...without Coffee

Today is International Coffee Day. If you promise not to complete abandon me, I'll admit something many of you might not know. I don't like coffee!

Are you still here? Phew! Thanks for sticking with me. I like the smell of coffee, and I've certainly brewed a good number of pots for my mom and husband over the years. I just don't care for the taste. Plus, at some point in college, I had to give up caffeine and I don't tolerate it well now.

So in case all you Java Heads out there are wondering how you start your day without coffee, I'll tell you what works for me.

1. I wake up at 6. Truthfully, I usually wake up slightly before six naturally, but I allow myself to stay in bed and day dream a little until the alarm goes off. Ken prefers the radio to a buzzer, so after the alarm starts, we stay in bed a little longer listening to music.

2. Shortly after 6, our local station runs the news. I like to listen to see if there are any pressing, local updates I need to hear. Usually there aren't, which is nice. Boring is good, when it comes to local news.

3. After the news (and a few commercials) comes the weather. Sure, I could look it up on my phone, but waiting for it on the radio gives me just a few more minutes to stay in bed before I start my day. As I'm listening to the weather, I start planning my outfit for the day.

4. Shower time! I aim to be in the shower before 6:15 on weekdays. Frances' alarm goes off at 6:20, and the boys' alarm goes off at 6:30. 10 Internet bonus points if you can guess who gets out of bed first...It's HENRY!! He's a morning person if I ever met one. He's usually dressed within 2 minutes of the alarm going off, and he comes in the bathroom to go potty while I'm in the shower.

5. I hope you're not easily grossed out, but Ken and I shower together most mornings. :) It's a good time for us to chat and talk about the upcoming day. Plus it saves water and time!!

6. After showering and getting dressed, I start herding the kids to where they need to be. I usually follow them around the house putting in earrings or brushing my hair and yelling things like, "Brush your teeth!" "Eat your cereal!" "Where's your backpack?" We have a chart, but it's not foolproof yet.

7. While the kids are finally eating breakfast, I can concentrate on getting mine together. Occasionally I take it with me to work. I prep my lunch and pack the kids' lunches if they haven't already.

8. Hopefully there's time to empty the dishwasher in the morning before I leave. On a really good morning, I can get that done and get breakfast dishes in too.

9. I yell, "FIVE MINUTE WARNING!" and shoo Frances off to the bathroom to finish getting ready. This is when I make my mad dash around the house to make sure I've got all my stuff together and the kids do too.

10. Frances and I aim to leave the house around 7:10, but most mornings it's closer to 7:20. Ken puts the boys on the bus, so I typically use this time to chat with Frances about girl stuff, or just get ignored while she's reading her latest book. What can I say, "like mother, like daughter!"

Mornings are a little crazy, but I've gotten used to it by now. I'm more of a morning person than a night person, but that's not to say I enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn. I've never felt like I was missing out by not drinking a cup of coffee every morning, and if I can't start a new habit of making my bed every morning, it's doubtful that I'll turn into a coffee addict any time soon. I'm much more of a hot tea person anyway...decaf, of course!.

How does your morning start? Coffee? Tea? Diet Coke??

Tuesday Ten is a fun linkup created by Lisa @ The Golden Spoons and Rabia @ TheLiebers. Each Tuesday we make a list of ten things and link them up to share. At the end of each post we post the topic for the next week. Anyone can join in! If you would like to be added to the mailing list without linking up, click here. We hope to see you on Tuesday!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Motivated Momma

My mojo seems to be missing? Anybody seen it? I sit down in front of the computer and I have no desire to write, much less to do other work. Don't get me wrong, I've completed the tasks that have to be done. Payroll, credit card, computer ordering, etc. Even at home: I've kept the dishwasher running just often enough to have clean dishes for dinner and the washing gets done in time for clean underpants to appear.

Aside from just the bare minimum though, I just can't get myself moving. Even my blog has seemed more like a BLAHg lately. I've written my TuesdayTen posts because I feel an obligation, but I've not written much else.

Today I'm feeling tired of being lazy. I've examined my reasons and I'm going to move past them. Having Ken home so much is a blessing, but it's also an issue. In the past when he was working crazy hours all the time, my brain said that when Ken was home, I should spend time with him instead of doing housework. I always saved the housework for the nights he worked. Well, if he's not working at all until November, this problem is going to get much worse unless I make a concrete plan to fix it.

Being lazy at home has been contagious to being lazy with blogging and at work. I've let that laziness creep in to all parts of my life. I think we are far enough in to our new school routine that I see where my time pockets are and how I can work around them. I have made some new goals for work this year and shared them with my boss. I'm excited to learn more and improve things both for myself and for my office.

All summer long, I yearned for a routine and then the one I got wasn't what I was expecting. It is what it is, however, and so I've got to work with it. My housework schedule may need to be different from what I was expecting, but it still needs to happen. I can't continue to let life's disruptions take over.

Today I will push myself to make a list and prioritize it.

This weekend I will push myself to empty out those laundry baskets and wash those pots and pans.

This month is the month I will re-enact my cleaning schedule and stay on top of it.

This is where I invoke my new super power of Motivated Momma!

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence was “If I could have any superpower, I would want to be able to…”

Hosted by FindingNinee, and by Amy of A Goode One (and this week’s thinker upper) and Michelle of Crumpets and Bollocks, a regular and an awesome mama who knows all about autism from all the ways.

Link up at any of their blogs.
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