Spring Soccer

Yes, it’s true. Fall soccer is almost over, and here I am talking about spring soccer. For the first time this year they gave kids long sleeves for spring soccer, which was nice except that we had a pretty warm season! And Jameson let those sleeves hang down almost every game. It drove me nuts.

Jameson scored his first goal during soccer practice. They did a scrimmage with the opposite team so I think it counts!

Here are a few more shots of that season. We had a good coach, Jameson’s friend Jimmy’s dad was our coach. Jameson has really come a long way this year in confidence and skill.






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Martial Arts


To eliminate some wintertime stuck indoors type behavior, we decided to sign Jameson up for one of those free trials at the local martial arts “conglomerate” (there are a lot of Asian Sun academies around us). It truly was free for 6 weeks, and Brian took Jameson twice a week for 5 of them before we started doing swimming lessons again for him.


Jameson really enjoyed it, though it’s not as active as soccer, for example. He’d like to go back I think, but we only do one sport at a time per kid right now.

We also don’t really have the time commitment for the three day a week system that most of the other types of martial arts centers around us use. (Who has time to take a 5 year old three times a week in the evenings to a class? Two is my limit!)


On our last day, Jameson’s friend Nathan was there for just his second time. Jameson was thrilled to show him his skills and offer his learnings. Nathan just wanted to concentrate on the teacher, haha!

It was definitely a great experience for us, and while we hoped it would help with some pushing/hitting going on at school, nothing really helped that but time I think. It seemed to be a phase he’s worked through. We were happy to be able to tell him though that fighting needed to stay on the martial arts mat, so it definitely didn’t hurt. Plus, free.


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Little Gymnast

In other sports news, we have a little gymnast on our hands.

We thought it might help Coraline with her balance and coordination since she stumbles a bit more on her feet than Jameson at her age (might be purely a stereotypical gender thing, but we thought it would be fun and couldn’t hurt!)


Turns out, Coraline is a pretty average 2-1/2 year old gymnast (especially compared to some of the kids in our mommy and me class!), but the most important thing is that she LOVES it.


Coraline is super excited on Tuesdays when I tell her it’s gymnastics day. After a couple sessions, she completely stopped being shy and ran around like she owned the place.


In fact, after one session with poor listening skills, Coraline got a little talking to and a time out in the car. It apparently made a big impressions, since she volunteered “I listen to Miss Laura” after I told her it was gymnastics day. She really has done better since then, too!


I’ve definitely seen progress in what she’s able to do in class, and some initiative out of class as well that makes me think it’s really helping her coordination skills and balance.


Aside from all those benefits, it’s really fun to watch her in class. She’s always delighted and really enjoys herself. We do different things at each class, and the teacher does a great job with helping us as parents go through each station with our kiddos.

My personal favorite is the parachute of course. Coraline tries at every opportunity to go ahead and run underneath it even before it’s time. She also likes to clean up or organize things. Whenever there are leaves, little bears, or bean bags out she wants to collect them and hang on to them.


We end each session the same though: we play with bubbles!


We loved our gym time once a week so much that we decided we’re going to continue so we have 9 more weeks of gym fun through the winter!

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Fall Soccer Finale

We really watched Jameson take charge this season in soccer! This season, he was on the pink team.


Because he was on the older end of his team, he didn’t have any issues getting in there with the ball. The problem was mostly that he would give the ball a good kick and not follow through.



Familiar now with how soccer goes, Jameson didn’t hesitate to cheer on his pink team members when it was his turn to sit out.


For the most part we had a great listening, hard running, excited soccer player this season. Games were really fun to watch!


Despite that, we as a team didn’t score any goals this season. We really didn’t even get close too often, and I attributed most of that to the really large net they had on our side of the field, next to where our goal was. The kids kept trying to kick it to the big goal instead of their small goal. Regardless, all the kids had a blast.



Go Pink!


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Soccer Pro

This year is the first that Jameson has had “real” games against another team in soccer. I was able to capture his first game of the season (after just about 3 practices), which was great since he was more easily distracted in future games. I guess the novelty wore off a bit!


He didn’t stop to pick flowers during the game thankfully. But he did try doing cartwheels a few times, or staring off into space. Kids are hilarious!

First they “warmed up” by running around the outside of their field, which was smaller than a regular sized soccer field. We had adult coaches this time, as opposed to last fall, and they offered a bit more structure to our experience this time.


Before starting the game, the kids had to point to where their net was. It was pretty difficult for most of the kids to get the ball turned around when it wasn’t going the right away (or they’d forget), so some goals were made for the other team. There was no keeping score though and everyone had fun!


They rotated the kids pretty frequently, and when they weren’t playing they sat on the sidelines and picked grass.


Coraline enjoyed watching the games too, and pretty much ate snacks for the full hour we were there in the evenings two days a week (which were right around dinner time).



Jameson got pretty into it in the first game, but got a little more timid as the season wore on. They rotated the kids that got to start the game and throw the ball in from out of bounds or do a “penalty” kick. All in all, I was very happy with the participation that Jameson got to experience. We even got our first sports photos, which were hilariously posed.





The games ended with a team cheer and snacks (the best part!)



And of course we did the “good game” high five with the other team. There were three other teams we played over the month or so we played. It was difficult a few weeks in May because of Brian and I being out of town at times, but we made it to all of the games!

We did decide after it was over that we’re done with weeknight evening activities for a bit, so we’ve picked back up swimming lessons instead that start in a couple weeks but only on Saturday mornings. Coraline will get to experience the first lessons with me, and Jameson is able to go to his level at the exact same time which worked out so nice. We really hope to spend more time in the water this year!

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Soccer Try Two

Our last attempt at playing soccer didn’t really end well. Jameson was okay in the beginning, but by the end was refusing to participate entirely. We weren’t really sure what went wrong, so this time we changed up a couple things.

We made sure to have Jameson sign up with a friend. Our neighbors were able to participate as well this time. And we also tried a different program, in the hopes that different teaching methods would encourage him to participate again. I think it helped that it was months later that we tried again.

For all this, he really didn’t seem to remember that he didn’t actually like the other program, and was asking to play soccer again, so maybe he would’ve been fine without those changes. But regardless, this time we had success! And he did seem to absorb some things from the first program we did, like not to touch the ball, so I wouldn’t call it a completely wasted experience.




This program is run by volunteer students, and was much less structured. Even though I think that some parents struggled with that in the beginning, the kids loved it. There was lots and lots of running.


How great is this tongue out!?



Coraline is pointing at the soccer ball next to her. She was a snack MONSTER at these practices.


Our last session was this week (indoors, since it was near dark after the time change!), and in general I think I’d choose outdoor over indoor. The kids are much more behaved (as is Coraline) when it’s outside. But the kids all got their own soccer ball at the end, which was a surprise to me. It was such a great value and experience. I can’t wait for him to play again in spring!

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Bob the Bobcat


Jameson has started a winter soccer league, his very first team sport for us to try. So far, he is a big fan of his shin guards, which have skeletons on them.

The league is nice in that it is also a class. At the beginning everyone sat down and were divided amongst three coaches.


We’ve had two classes now, and Jameson is particularly shy, which surprised us since he attends daycare. We thought he would feel natural amongst other kids, but as it turns out he is very familiar with daycare and this was out of his comfort zone.

I tried to capture this adorable posture he does when he is feeling shy. He ducks his head a bit to the side against his shoulder and stands straight and narrow, hands to his sides.


Brian and I alternated with him, to help him feel comfortable, and then he was happy to participate. Given his shyness, I am happy we decided to do this, not only for the activity over the winter, but also to introduce him to these kinds of situations. He also learned how to “tick tock” the ball to move it more slowly instead of just kicking.




They teach the children that the ball is named Bob the Bobcat and they bite fingers, but not feet because they’re stinky. We were happy with how they spoke to the kids at their level, and Jameson is just starting to get the hang of not touching this ball. At first he wanted to dribble it like a basketball!


Then it was my turn, and we had a little sit down with the head coach before having some free play. I think when they get a little more familiar there will be more structure for “games” but even then, for kids this young, they throw out multiple balls and everyone can kick toward any goal.






This one with his tongue out is my favorite!


Jameson started getting tired about halfway through free play (as did Coraline) and he wanted a drink of water. He was ready to get home!


At the end, we got to sit down and get stamps. They told the kids the stamps make them run faster, so after his second session, Jameson ran around afterwards just testing it out.

All the kids came together at the end for a hurrah which was cute! They are all on “team purple”. The older kids have real teams, but the young ones are all on the same team. It is pretty fun to watch, and if he likes it we’ll do it again for another season.



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