Children's Soccer

My daughter, who's 5, told me about 2 months ago that she wanted to try soccer. So I signed her up for our town's youth soccer program for the summer. Before I continue, here's a little background on my child. She is very athletic and loves sports, dancing, anything where she's moving pretty much. However, is somewhat on the shy side and hasn't wanted to really go do any type of formal classes, even though she'll do the activity non-stop at home. We haven't pushed her, because that's just not the way we wanted to go. So when she said she wanted to play soccer I was ecstatic. I pre-warned her that I didn't know if any of her friends from daycare would be there and she still said yes.

She had a blast when we took her to sporting goods store to pick out her soccer gear. She found pink and black soccer shoes, soccer socks with shin guards and her own pink soccer ball. She thought she was awesome! The first day of practice was fun. Watching all the little kids try and figure out the game was great. My daughter didn't seem like she was having a lot of fun but afterwards wouldn't stop talking about. She wanted to know for the whole next week when her next soccer practice was. It was so exciting as a parent, especially a parent of a shy child, to see her that interested in something outside her norm.

When it came to her first game, she was having fun, but seemed afraid of barreling into the group to try and kick the ball. So afterwards we talked to her and it turns out our good teaching of manners were the problem. She didn't want to be rude. So as parents, you try and find the best way to explain things. In a way that we felt her 5 year old mind would understand, we explained that you don't need to worry about your manners as much when you're playing soccer. You need to steal the ball from the other team, run right into the group and kick the ball out of there. So it was funny, yet satisfying that her manners were what was holding her back.

Now by all means, she's not the next Mia Hamm, at least not yet, but she usually scores at least one goal and has shown her greatest skill is on defense. She is fast so she's the one who runs and kicks it away from the other team, so her teammates can run it down the field to score. Her and this other little boy make a pretty good pair when it comes to their skills. We are only half way through the season, so it will be fun watching her improve every week as she has done thus far. It's amazing to see how much the team and her have improved since that first game!


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5 Year Old, Vitamins and Finally Sleeping Again!

From earlier posts you can tell that my 5 year old daughter since about a year ago went from a perfect sleeper to getting up at least once a night. For awhile it was multiple times per night. She would give every reason under the sun from nightmares to noises to what not. Well things in the past 6 months were night to night. Some nights she'd sleep all night and then the next night she would take an hour plus to go down and get up multiple times. About 2 month ago we started giving her Flintstone Vitamins. We never were overly concerned about vitamins with her because she is a really good eater and always ate a good mix of nutrients. But someone's mother's friend's friend had said to try giving her a daily vitamin.

Well I am proud to say that vitamins do seem to be the key to my daughters sleeping problems. She sleeps through the night, goes to bed fine, fears are minimized, etc when she has her vitamin twice a day. If I miss a couple days, because some days are just hectic, you can tell. She doesn't sleep as well, gets up throughout the night, etc.

We didn't tell her the vitamin will help her sleep, we simply said she's old enough that she can have vitamins now so there was no psychology trick to this. We basically tried it for the hell of it. And fortunately, it worked.

Of course the vitamin did not cure all of her fears. She's still deathly afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks, but at least we are all getting our much needed sleep again and she is a more relaxed little 5 year old!


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Fish is Fish

My daughter loves reading books. We started reading to her when she was only a couple months old. Story time was engraved into her bedtime routine before she herself even realized it. Now at 5, we still read books before bed. Sometimes the same ones, sometimes new ones. This week her one constant book has been Fish is Fish, by by Leo Lionni. The book is this great tale about a fish and frog who grow up together. The fish longs to be a frog and then realizes his world is just as beautiful. No matter how many times I read her the story, I always aim to feed her interests. So if Fish is Fish is what she enjoys listening to, then Fish is Fish it is!

Reading to your child is such an important task as a parent. Reading provides an unlimited number of benefits to your children. Not only does it help them read later on but it also helps them with their imagination, comprehension, attention span and the list continues. I encourage you if you haven't already, to spend time reading with your child every day. Daycare and Schools do read, but please fulfill your job as a parent and read some more!

Below are various Websites with information on you can help make sure children have books to read. Be sure to bookmark The Literacy Site and click on the button every day. Your clicks help provide books to children who need them. Be sure to list any other organizations that help children with reading or provide books by commenting below and I will add them to the list.

The Literacy Site

First Book

Room to Read


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Remembering our Disney Vacation

Last night I was thinking back to our trip to Disney World in Orlando and how much fun the kids had. It's amazing how big the smiles were when we were there. The excitement the kids had still gives me chills. I wanted to share some of the really awesome activities we got to share in, mainly by just being in the right place at the right time.

Personal Tour of Mickey's House in ToonTown.
We had gotten to Magic Kingdom early that morning for the Special Hours being Disney Resort guests. My daughter wanted to get over to ToonTown early to see the Fairies and Princesses. So to our surprise the rest of the park was open but not ToonTown. Since we were there early we were at the front of the rope that was blocking everyone from entering. After waiting for around a half hour, my 2 year old started to throw his typical two year old tantrum. All of a sudden, one of the ladies guarding the rope comes up to us and says "It looks like you're having a rough morning. How would you like to be the first guests in ToonTown?" Of course the kids flipped out. They let only us in. The kids ran down the little road and Mickey met them in the road. Then Mickey proceeds to take them both by hand and gives them a personal tour of his home. We then get to go backstage where Minnie meets us and the kids get some great pictures with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was truly unbelievable and one of the kids favorite parts of the trip.

Dancing with Rapunzel
Of course Rapunzel was at the top of the list to see while at Disney World. The line was massive, with a 2 hour estimated wait time. So we stood in line. My husband and I took turns taking the kids for walks and other activities while one of us held our spot in line. But man was it worth it. Only a small group of kids are let in each time. All the children line up around a table with the famous golden sun on it. Then Rapunzel and Flynn Rider come out. My daughter was the fortunate one who Rapunzel stood next too around the table. All the kids and characters hold hands and do a little dance circling the table. My little girl was so excited that she got to not only dance with Rapunzel but hold her hand the whole dance. I would have easily waited well over 2 hours for that opportunity again. I can honestly say I almost cried seeing how happy my daughter was.

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate! Street Party
This is one of the parades that is not everyday at Magic Kingdom, however we waited for it and was it worth it. The parade goes down Main Street USA and then stops in the circle in front of the castle. So as the parade moves down the street so does the crowd. The characters then all come down from their float to dance in the street. My 5 year old daughter was all about dancing so we ran up to where all the other kids were dancing. All of a sudden Minnie Mouse takes her hand and she gets a full 5 minutes of dancing with Minnie Mouse solo! It was the coolest thing.

Disney Channel Rocks Concert
We spent our last day at Hollywood Studios. With the kids being smaller, Hollywood Studios didn't have a lot for their age group but did have a couple things we did not want to miss such as the Beauty and the Beast Musical, The Little Mermaid Show and of course seeing Buzz & Woody. We had just gotten to the park when the live concert started. Although my daughter didn't know many of the songs she was in heaven with the idea of being at a concert. Towards the middle of the concert, the singers invite the kids to join them. My daughter is typically on the shy side, but after a week in Disney, that was no more. She ran up there. It was hilarious to watch my 5 year old out fist pumping and dancing her heart away at a concert in Disney. Unbelievable!

Cinderella's Royal Table
We had done Chef Mickey's the day before and honestly were quite disappointed. Though the character greetings were nice, the buffet food for the price were not appealing at all. However, Cinderella's Royal Table was a completely different story. Not only was the food good, but the whole experience was enchanting. Our daughter brought her Cinderella dress and crown to wear, You first get to have your picture taken with Cinderella before you proceed through the castle to the amazing dining area. You truly are in a castle! Then as you wait for your food, the princesses make their rounds, stopping at each table. My 2 year old boy became quite the ladies man at this meal. Somewhere during the trip he picked up that he should kiss the princesses hands. So very gentlemen like, every princess he took their hand and gave it a kiss. For his graciousness he had quite the cheeks full of ruby red lip prints from the ladies return kisses! Our daughter was in a dream the whole time. So the price was well worth and I highly recommend it, but do make sure to book well ahead of your trip. We were limited on times and we booked 3 months before our vacation!

The whole Disney vacation was truly a dream come true. Though it was expensive, it was well worth it to see the kids faces and how much they felt as if they were dreaming. Of course it will be a couple of years before we go back simply because of the cost, but those memories will never fade!

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