Friday, July 31, 2009

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Apparently all of my worrying about Shane's lack of confidence in himself on the tennis court was for nothing.

He played in a doubles tournament this morning and he and his doubles partner won the tournament!

Honestly, the thing that worried us the most was his lack of being assertive on the court was the very thing that help them win today. He was in complete control of both himself and the court. And his partner's play was a great compliment to his. He knew the kid and felt comfortable with him, which was a big plus too!

A couple of the kids he was playing against were unsure of the rules of the game and were making mistakes. They weren't intentional errors but were things like serving from or to the wrong service box or taking too many swings during the serve (it is a serve if you swing and miss per the rules per Shane and backed up by the tourny director) or screwing up the score.

And Shane was right there correcting them on calls, scores and directing them to the correct spot. Every single time. And every single time he was correct.

I knew that if we gave him the rules of the game, he would follow them and that is what would give him confidence. And it did. No matter how big the kids were that he was playing. He played four matches in which the first to get to four games won the match. They won 4-1, 4-3, 4-3 and 4-0. One of those matches was against the kid who beat him in the singles tourny.

The kid in the court beside him in this video was in the final round against Shane and his partner. He and his partner (as well as Shane's partner) were all at least a foot taller than Shane. But he didn't let that discourage him at all.

Sorry for the craptastic video but it's all I could do. I was trying to keep up with the score. (This is from the first day.)

Although Owen didn't place in the tournament, he did win three matches over the course of two days. He had fun and he felt good about himself.

Note in the second video that Owen called the ball "out." And he was complaining that they weren't calling the score correctly (love, 15, 30, 40, deuce) because they were using 1, 2, 3, 4 with the smaller kids. Apparently Shane's not the only gamer in the family!

For some stupid reason, I only took my point and shoot camera and it wouldn't focus correctly (plus Shane always seemed to be playing on the far court.) One of the moms took some pics and emailed them to me. She also found my coffee cup from the previous day and brought it to me today. Yay for nice moms!!!!!

I'm so glad that I had Ken's Aunt Liz call him. I think it made all the difference in the world. She gave Shane a boost of confidence and some good advice, which he listened to.

I love to see him be confident in himself and what he's doing. And I totally underestimated him. I guess I learned a lesson. I'm sure that we'll have to deal with his nerves again but hopefully we've gotten over the intimidation hump and he's on his way. Yay Shane! And Owen! Yay!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Confidence In Kids

How do you instill confidence in your kids? If someone knows the secret to successfully achieving this, please let me know!

Shane is so afraid to step out of the box and get out of his comfort zone. I suppose I could say it's a lack of confidence but that's really simplifying it. With him, it's more of a fact that he likes to analyze things and understand them completely before he is comfortable in a situation to participate.

His head is his biggest asset and his worst enemy.

This is nothing new. He's always been cautious. In Kindergarten, he balked at reading outloud until he was able to read the paragraph or sentence 100%. I distinctly remember having a conversation with his teacher about this and both of us having to tell him it was okay to be wrong. He doesn't like to make mistakes

It's been the story of his school-ing days. Until he is comfortable with something, he just can not settle down. I thought for sure that I was going to choke this child last year in the beginning of school. He had more visits to the nurse and guidance counselor at school than any other years combined. I humored him for a few weeks and then I came down on him and told him to straighten up and fly right. And he did. Finally.

Sometimes he just needs a kick in the pants. Tough love and all that.

So, he's been playing tennis for about a year and there was a tournament in the summer clinic today. And it's the same drill for him. He's got a good playing foundation but he gets intimidated by other kids. Plus, he's sensitive and doesn't want them to feel bad if he beats them. But then he feels bad if he loses.

Ugh. He's a headcase. lol.

Ken's Aunt Liz is a tennis pro and a sports psychologist so I had her talk with him a few days ago. Even though she told him exactly what I told him, he listened to her. He was kind of nervous last night but once he got on the court today, he thought about what Liz said and was fully in charge of himself.

He made good shots. His serves were in mostly (and that was what he was really nervous about). But he played well and he never gave in. Ever. Even against the 12 year old kid that he played. He played two matches and won the first but lost the second. But even in the match that he lost, he played really well.

And I was super proud of him because he didn't let his nerves get to him and he got in there and did his best. And he had good sportsmenship. And he had confidence in himself and it showed, which is a big step for him.

But best of all, he had fun. And that's what it's all about.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Moon or Mars?

Where does he come up with this stuff? Seriously.

Shane came into the backroom a few minutes after I put him to bed and asked me whether I would rather live on the moon or on Mars. Before I could even answer, he started telling me about the differences in the two climates and where they were positioned in the solar system.

WAY more information that I knew about them might I add.

I asked him why he was thinking about all of this and he replied that we're going to have to "move somewhere else because of what humans were doing to the planet --- pollution and all that."

He said that he would rather live on Mars than on the moon.

Then his bottom lip started quivering.

I've seen this look before and I asked him why he was going to cry.

His response was because at least on Mars, there are different climates and they have found plant life so we could probably sustain ourselves.

But the main reason that he didn't want to move off of earth was because we would have to wear spacesuits and he would never be able to snuggle again or touch another human. And it would be very sad if he could never snuggle again.

How sad is that? Kinda sweet too.

And why was he even thinking about that? Night is a time for him to think. It's when he does his best thinking. The flip side is that he usually freaks himself out.

Is this kid really 9 (going on 10 in a few weeks!) What 9 year old thinks about things like this?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Understandably A Little Gun Shy

After yesterday's question/answer session with Shane, it's understandable that when he started off another conversation with "Mom....I have a question for you" that I braced myself for another doozy. It's understandable that I'm a little gun-shy now when I hear those seven little words come from his mouth.

Much to my relief, his question this time was about what I thought the actual speed of light was and how it related to people speaking. And he went on and on about it. Going into scientific details and definitions and theories. Things that I studied (or didn't!) in high school.

And, of course, I had no better answer for him on this question than yesterday's question.

But at least I could direct him to Google for the answer this time without fear of what he would find! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Okay, Owen...I Get The Hint

Okay, Owen. I get the hint. I need to dust.

But, you didn't need to write your name in the dust on the foyer table.

And then follow it up with your footprint and handprint.

That wasn't necessary.

I get it.

I need to dust.

Tomorrow. ;)

The Honest Answer

I should predecess this by saying that this is probably completely inappropriate for a family blog. But, life isn't always about going to the grocery store and the silly things that our kids do, so the following conversation should be taken into context. It's a 10 year old boy thinking outloud about stuff that he's got on his mind and me trying to be honest with him (without freaking out might I add). At least he's not afraid to ask us questions. Right?

We told Shane that he could ask us anything and we would give him an honest answer. But really. What were we thinking? Seriously. Well, I guess that we have to keep to our word and, unfortunate for me, Ken's always at work when Shane comes up with the doozy questions.

SHANE: Mom, what would happen if you were h-u-m-p-i-n-g a girl and you peed in them?

ME: Deer in a headlight look. And recover.

ME: Well, that's not a very good thing to do, Shane.

SHANE: Why not? (Of course there's always a follow up question!)

ME: You could give them an infection. Pee is filled with bacteria. (Good answer, huh?)

SHANE: OK. Then what about sperm? That's a good thing, right?

ME: :eek: Well. No. Not really. Unless you're a married, adult couple and you're trying to get pregnant. DON'T DO THAT UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET SOMEONE PREGNANT, OKAY?

SHANE: OK. Then dad did that to you, right?

ME: Yes. Twice.

He then asked me if that's the only way someone could get pregnant. I started to go into the whole invitro fertilization conversation and then realized that I just set myself for a sandtrap and backed out of the conversation saying that I had to get the tea off of the store.

Not that there was tea on the stove or anything. Good thing he's a clueless boy and easily diverted. ;)

I'm kind of rethinking the whole honest answer thing. Except now the cat's out of the bag on just about everything so I guess we just push forward. Honest answers and all.

And you, dear two readers, get to experience all of this "fun" with me! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The No-Car-Payment Feeling!!!!!

Ken and I were in Put-In-Bay Ohio with our friends last weekend. We came home to a pile of mail which sat on the counter unopened yesterday as I had other things to attend to. (Like a

When Ken came home, he was opening the mail and got a huge grin on his face.

I asked him why he was smiling. He shoved a piece of paper at me and said "it's the title to the Beetle."


I thought that we had one more payment but apparently we paid it off last month.


It's like I found a $680 error in my checkbook that just happened to be in our favor.

Such a bonus on two fronts.

1) That will cover some of the money we drank away .... errr... spent in PIB and


Before anyone says that something will break down (because we all know it will!), let me enjoy the no-car-payment feeling.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Kids Can Be SO Mean

Kids can be so mean. So very mean.

Especially siblings to each other.

And I was reminded of this when a friend was lamenting the fact that his one daughter made his other daughter cry because "she smelled like bacon." And I assume that the one daughter believed that she smelled like bacon. (But...really. Tell her that there could be much worse things to smell like!)

That made me think about when my sister and I were growing up and she told me that I was adopted. And she kept repeating it. Over and over.

And I believed her and was traumatized for days. :/ How could I have been so gullible as to believe her? I suppose the same way my friend's daughter believed she smelled like bacon. lol.

By the way...did I mention that my sister and I are identical twins? :p

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Such Sweet Girls!

Okay, Susan. I realize that there is "probably" some payback to be had for what my kids have taught Sheldon. And by "probably," I mean that there is payback to be had. So I understand. They're not angels but any definition.

But, really. This payback was going a little far. Although, it will be GREAT blackmail for the future. Such sweet girls. LOL.

The BEST part of this is that Susan put it up on Facebook for the entire world to see.

But I guess it's no worse than me putting it up on my blog for the rest of the world to see. :p

Friday, July 10, 2009

What Could Have Happened

In case you haven't figured out yet, the boys and I are staying in a motel in Williamsburg. In the middle of the night the other night, I heard a loud bang which I thought was someone slamming the door next to us really loud.

When I got up in the morning, our door was open slightly...only held shut by the bolt on top.

Apparently the loud bang that I heard in the middle of the night was someone trying to get into our room. Not slamming a door close to us. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had not of had the bolt across the door.

Thank God I'm anal about locking the doors and bolts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Personality Traits

Even kids have their own personalities. And sometimes you see them do something that just solidifies what you have pegged as their personality. Like adults, they can not help it. It's just who they are.

Take Shane for example. He's very analytical. Very scientific minded and very fact based. It's just the way he is. Sure he likes a good dry joke (he is related to Ken's grandpa after all) but for the most part he's all about the facts. It helps him solve things...particularly with math and games.

If he's playing you in a game, his empathetic side will want to let you win the game because he feels bad for you. But if you give him the rules of the game, you will never win because he will hold you to the rules and will call you out when you don't play by them. And you only have to tell him the rules once.

It's just his fact-based way of looking at things. So when we were in the pool last night, he was playing water polo with some older boys. And one of the boys made a comment that he didn't like to swim in deep water and wouldn't go into the 9 feet part because it was "like two of him."

Shane looked at him (as serious as he could be) and said " must be 4 1/2 feet tall then."

Dead pan silence from the boy.

He looked at Shane like he had two heads and asked Shane to repeat himself. So Shane did.

Again as serious as he could be.

I then had to explain to Shane that the kid was just making a joke because he didn't like the deep water and he was in fact about 5'7". (I didn't bother explaining to the kid that Shane was right and 4 1/2 + 4 1/2 = 9.)

In Shane's defense, he never saw the kid out of the water and didn't really know how tall he was. Okay. Lame defense I know.

It was that moment that I realized that:

1) Shane really is geeky (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) and a little different than most kids; and

2) that he did get some of my personality traits because that sounds exactly like something I would say.

Can't you see it, Ken? :p

Monday, July 6, 2009


As a parent, you want your kids to excel in whatever interests them and seeing that Shane has had a terrible time adjusting to school every year, I decided that he needed to participate in something academic this summer. Something that would keep him academically engaged and would help him to remain confident in his school work next school year.

So I started looking around and found a program run by the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and I signed him up for two classes. The first class is called "Fairy Tales on Trial" where the kids learn about courtroom trials and are able to play out the roles of the judge, jury or attorney.

He should excel as a defense attorney!

The afternoon class is called "Project SALUTE" and is a space exploration program where the kids learn about space and designing rocket ships. "Geeky" stuff that I could NEVER understand.

We only had a few glitches in the plan so far but the campus is beautiful. I'd forgotten how large college campuses can be so it's been a little hectic trying to figure out where to get him to class. Especially since the two classes are at the opposite ends of the campus. :/

If you want to read about the course, go to the link below.

Hopefully he'll have a great experience. I wish that all kids could attend classes like this. It's a great opportunity for him. I hope he has fun. Owen and I will. We're planning on going to Busch Gardens during the day while he's in class. :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Life's Tough Lessons

Sometimes kids have to learn the lessons of life the hard way. You hate to see it happen. It's particularly hard when you know what's going to happen but you just have to let it happen. It's the only way for them to learn a lesson.

As was the case with Shane and his first tennis tournament this week. He is playing in a summer clinic and has been hitting with the older kids so far. His coach asked me whether we should put Shane in the intermediate or advanced section of tournament. I told him to let Shane decide so Art gave him the choice of playing in the tournament with either the intermediate kids or with the advanced kids.

Art and I both knew what he should do. He should have played with the intermediate kid. The advanced kids were all at least three to five years older than him. We wanted him to build his confidence by playing with kids that he had a chance against.

But he decided to play in the advanced section.

And it was a train wreck that we knew was going to happen. But even though Art and I both tried to steer Shane to the intermediate group, he made the decision to play advanced and we had to let him go down that road.

Shane lost both matches and was understandably upset. But...I told him to look at it like a learning experience and just to move forward and not make the same mistakes next time. I'm betting that he won't be caught in the no-man land again.

But even though he lost, I was proud how he kept playing and didn't lose his cool. And we've got that first match under his belt. Now let's just hope that he is able to channel his disappointment in a constructive way and it doesn't destroy his confidence.

I think that he'll be fine. He said that he would play in a tournament again.

But said that he would play in the intermediate section this time. :)

So maybe he did learn his lesson. I sure hated to have him learn it but it had to be done.