Monday, November 09, 2009

Basketball! Er, Wait. No.

After Sydney had so much fun playing soccer - during two different six week sessions - we moved on to basketball. Our Parks & Recreation Department has a four year old division for basketball.  It's an introductory league where they teach very basic fundamentals and then have short games for the kids to play.

It is held in the gymnasium of a local elementary school.  They have six-foot rims and kid-sized basketballs.

While not overly excited about Sydney did seem to be looking forward to it.  Until we got there.

The gymnasium was about the size of a regulation basketball court with very little room past what would be the out of bounds lines.  There are two hoops on each long side of the court. That means each half-court of the regulation court was its own smaller basketball court.  That means, with the two courts there for the kids to play on, with two teams on each court, four teams could fit in the gymnasium.  With the parents, siblings and miscellaneous onlookers lining the walls just barely off the court.

They had eight teams of kids there for our session.  (And, apparently, eight more teams for the later session.)  That means that during the "coaching sessions" during the first hour of this thing two teams had to share a half court and one hoop of the already small court (so a quarter court of the full thing).

For the actual games four teams would play first while the other four sat around and waited, obviously making the sidelines even more crowded.  Then they would play after the first four teams finished (and hopefully left, making it less crowded).  But we didn't make it that far to find out how it would work out.

Yeah.  It was crowded.  It was chaotic.  Small basketballs were flying through the air and bouncing all over.

Sydney did not like it.  With a bit of coaxing I got her out on the court with me. When I managed to get a ball she shot it and made the basket. She was still very apprehensive about everything.

Her friend Hunter was in the same session, though on a different team.  He came over and shared a ball with Sydney.  She seemed happy enough so I went over to get our coats and things and move over to where Anne has gone closer to where Sydney was playing.  This was all before the session officially started during the free (for all) time.

From Anne's description of things, as I was picking stuff up a ball came close to landing and hitting Sydney. And several kids crowded in on her in apparent attempts to chase down that ball (or others in the vicinity).  And Sydney freaked.

At that point basketball was over. She got very upset and was basically hysterical. She was scared and crying. She didn't want to be there and didn't want to play basketball.  We spent a bit of time trying to calm her down and seeing if we could get her out there again.  As things became (sort of) organized on the floor and the coaches started with warm-ups she still didn't want to go.

Her coach was very nice. He came over a couple times to see how she was and try to get her out. As the kids met each other he pointed her out and they all waved to her and said hello.  But nothing could get her to play basketball.

We finally called it quits. We turned her shirt back in. We apologized to the coach and let him know she wouldn't be back in the following weeks.  He was very understanding.

At the beginning of things one of the Parks & Rec guys spoke. He mentioned that the gymnasium was small and it was crowded and hectic. This was the first year they were doing this basketball program and it had been more popular than they anticipated. They already had plans for having it more under control and less hectic for next year.

Unfortunately, that doesn't do Sydney any good for this year.

Oh, sorry.  No pictures in this post. Sydney wasn't active long enough for me to get any pictures of her playing basketball.  But maybe in the spring out in the driveway. She said she only wants to play basketball there.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Picture Update

Grandma B wrote:

As long as you throw in a picture of Sydney, it doesn't matter how much you write. Can't get too many Sydney pictures.

So this post is all about the pictures!

Wednesday was picture day at preschool. Sydney doesn't have preschool on Wednesday, but parents are invited to bring their kids down for pictures anyway. So Sydney and I went on Wednesday just before the assigned time for Sydney's class.

As you can probably imagine with anything involving preschoolers (and toddlers and some kindergarteners) organizing and keeping on schedule for something like this isn't going to happen.  And it didn't.  We were there about 20 minutes past the scheduled time for Sydney's class.  But Sydney was very patient even if she was acting extremely shy for some reason and didn't want to leave my side.

When the class before us finished up they ushered her class in to do the group picture.  After that they took the individual pictures.  Since Sydney was there on an off day they took her in first for that.

So Sydney's first ever class pictures are taken and ordered.  I have no idea when they'll be here.

And now Grandma B can be happy because this whole post is about nothing but Sydney pictures.

What? What do you mean that's not what she meant?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Five Little Pumpkins

What? Another blog post? From ME!?

Well, yes.  November is National Novel Writing Month.   I'm sure there's probably a blog version of that out there somewhere.  (That's what my mom may have been doing posting every day in October.)  But I'm not doing any official blog version.  I'm just doing my own version.

Since I certainly don't have time to participate in NaNoWriMo this year I'm going to attempt to at least update my blog regularly this month.  It won't be every day.  Heck, I already missed November 1.  And November 2 if you count the Halloween post as being posted after midnight so it was posted on November 3.  But look, this is the second post already on November 3.

Anyway, my goal is just to post on as many days as I can.  It won't be every day. Some posts will be short and sweet.  Some posts will be long and sweet.  Some probably won't even be sweet.  But I do have a lot of content to catch up on from the last several months and more stuff happening this month that I'll be writing about.  So we'll see how this goes.  Check back regularly.

Near the end of September Anne sheepishly admitted that we should have signed Sydney up for three days of preschool.  Sydney really likes going to preschool and it was more Anne not wanting to be away fom her so much as thinking that she couldn't handle it.  So we talked to the school and got Sydney signed up for a third day.

A lot of times Sydney doesn't remember what she did in school.  But many times she does.  When asked about friends she can't remember any names except her teacher.  When I take her in there are several kids that come up and say hello and call her by name and sometimes even give her hugs.  But she doesn't remember their names.

But here is one of the things that Sydney does remember from school.  She was reciting it over and over again the last few days before Halloween and on Halloween.  This video was taken at the table right after we finished eating dinner on Halloween.  A transcript follows the video in case you can't make out what she's saying (and the first word or two are cut off since she started before I was ready).

[Five little] pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said, "oh my it's getting late".
The second one said, "there are witches in the air".
The third one said, "we don't care".
The [fourth] one said, "let's run and run and run".
The fifth one said, "it's only Halloween fun".
Oooo came the witch, and out went the lights,
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.


We had a good time on Halloween.

We saw some costumes at Costco close to two months ago. One of them was a Tinkerbell costume and Sydney wanted to be that for Halloween.  So we got it.

Sydney has been very excited about Halloween.  Just about every day she would talk about it and get herself excited.

There's a house down the block and just around the corner that really decorates for Halloween.  They get the whole yard and front of the house decorated with all sorts of things.  They even do the inside over-the-top (from what can be seen at the door).  Two years ago Sydney wanted to go there, she got scared by the lady living there (she was in costume and had a skull face painted on with black and white paint) and that promptly ended all trick-or-treating.  Last year Sydney did not go there.

Since that house started putting up decorations Sydney was fascinated with it as always.  It is always the "Halloween house," or something similar to that.  But it is also the "scary house," and one she is not going to go to for trick-or-treating.  Fair enough.

We had a generally relaxing day on Halloween.  There were only a few times Sydney asked how much longer it was until she got to go out trick-or-treating.  Only a few times before breakfast.  A few times after breakfast.  A few times while we were getting dressed and ready for the day.  A few times before lunch.  A few times after lunch.  A few times while we were playing.  A few times before dinner.  She didn't ask too many times after dinner since by then it was just about time to put on her costume and get ready.

But she did ask a few times during breakfast, during lunch and during dinner.  I forgot to mention those.

Mommy promised Sydney that she would put some make up on her for her costume.  So around 5:00 they went upstairs and started getting ready.  When they came down we had Tinkerbell in our midst!

Tinkerbell doesn't normally wear leggings under her skirt or a long-sleeved shirt under her top, but then Tinkerbell doesn't live where it gets very cold.  But Sydney didn't care.  She was a very happy fairy.

It had actually been a fairly warm day (high around 60F), though it was windy.  Sydney was warm enough trick-or-treating dressed like that and she didn't need a jacket.  (She did need and wear shoes, though.)

Sydney's make up involved some face painting by Mommy.

A flower on one cheek.

And a butterfly on the other.

They're not the best artwork, but then a hyper, excited four year old is not the best canvas.  You make do with what you got.  And Sydney certainly loved them.  (For the record, I think they're great, too.  I am not artistic - I missed out on all those genes from my mom's side of the family - and are better than I would have done.)

Grandma M came over to hand out candy while Anne and I took Sydney out.  We went around the block and then down the street at the end.  Sydney decided that she wanted to go to the scary house!  She was so sure and so excited about it that she was willing to skip houses to get there.

We slowed her down and went to all the houses and finally made it to the scary house.  Sydney was barely apprehensive about it as we went up.  The lady of the house was in a much more normal, non-scary costume this year and Sydney had no problems at the house.  Trick-or-treating continued on after that.

Anne decided that she was cold enough that she went back to the house to relieve Grandma M.  Sydney and I continued.

Sydney managed to fill up her little cloth pumpkin bag so I grabbed handfuls out and put them in my coat pocket so she could continue on.  At every other house or so after the scary house Sydney would ask me if the next house was going to be scary.  I kept telling her I didn't know but assured her that I would be right there with her and that everything was only pretend.

After the trip up the street beside us she had enough.  We went back down the other side, trick-or-treating as we went and then headed home.  We hit one or two houses on our street that hadn't had their lights on earlier.

When we got home Sydney was just as excited about helping to hand out candy. She would run to the door in front of us every time someone came.  She wanted to be the one to hand out the candy.

It was a rather light night for trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.  I'm guessing it was mainly because of the nasty illness going around (including the swine flu and subsequent scare of that).

Because it was light Sydney kept getting frustrated at the wait times between people coming to the door.  She wanted to hand out candy, darn it!  She kept asking us where the "customers" were and when the next "customers" were going to come trick-or-treating.  We tried to explain that they weren't customers, so to speak, but she kept calling them that anyway.

Finally we turned the light off and took Sydney upstairs for bed.  She got to stay up late, but she also got an extra hour of sleep due to turning the clock back.