Posts Tagged ‘gym’

Cheer Life

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

I don’t think I’ve talked about cheerleading in the past, but considering HOW MUCH of my life is currently devoted to Caroline’s chosen sport, it’s about time I start. At least a little.

This is not going to turn into a cheer blog. I don’t know nearly enough to even TRY to become a cheer blog, even if that was my goal. I am literally just stumbling around, spraying her with hairspray and driving her to competitions and trying to remember to pack her skirt when we go out of town.

I was never a cheerleader. I barely even knew any cheerleaders. Everything I know about it comes from my many, many viewings of Bring It On (which, honestly, isn’t a bad place to start) and listening to other parents talk at the gym. I’ve learned A LOT over the past season but I’m going to feel like a newbie for at least a couple more years.

Here’s what I do know so far: Caroline is on a Youth Small Level 1 team called Stardust. Youth teams are made up of kids between the ages of 5 and 11. Small means they have less than 22 kids on the team. Level 1 means they can do tumbling that includes front and back walkovers but not handsprings. Her team is from a gym called East Celebrity Elite – Oakdale. There are a bunch of East Celebrity Elite gyms in New England, and it’s a pretty big and highly-regarded program. I had no idea about any of that when I took Caroline to one single tumbling class to see if she liked it.

Youth teams are eligible for this really big huge important cheer competition held in Florida every May called The Summit. Our gym accepts Summit bids (bids are invitations) if you get one, so when we started the year we knew there was a chance Caroline’s team would have to travel to Florida for the competition. But Stardust had a very rocky start to their season. Caroline and a few of her friends had come from a tiny prep team, where just doing a somersault was considered a success. Stardust was brand new, it didn’t exist last year, so the rest of the kids came from other teams, other gyms, or were brand new. They came in dead last at their first competition.

Then something amazing happened. Those fourteen girls and one boy decided they didn’t like being last. They knew they could do better. The coaches knew they could do better. They put in ALL the work. As parents, we downloaded the music and played it on repeat so the kids could practice at home. We all started shouting “ONE, THREE, FIVE, SEVEN” as loud as possible to keep the counts during performances so the kids didn’t lose their place.

And they got better! SO MUCH BETTER. At a competition in Boston, they won. Then they won AGAIN. And then the unbelievable happened and they received a bid to The Summit.

According to the internet, only 7% of teams that are eligible to go to The Summit get invited. And it’s an at-large bid, not even a wild card, which means we perform on Saturday in the regular comp and not Friday in the first round. It’s a bid deal, is what I’m saying. And a truly huge, amazing, incredible deal for a little team that started at the bottom.

The logistics of The Summit sent me into a panic spiral for a few days (there was a lot of crying) but as of right now it looks like we’ve figured it out and we’re on our way. It’s just Caroline and I headed to Florida, although we’re sharing flights, rides, a house and basically all our time with MANY other cheer families. (Apologies in advance for anyone on that JetBlue flight on May 1st.)

The bonus part of the trip is a few days at Disney World, which is why I’ve come around to being excited. By Sunday night all the cheer stuff will be over and we’ll get some amazing mommy-daughter time.

I think if we made a list of Reasons Caroline Loves Cheer, “spending time with mommy alone” would be really near the top. She likes the physical aspects and LOVES setting goals for herself. She also loves bows and sparkles and getting to wear makeup (although she hates the fake ponytail they wear for comp). The top thing might be the teamwork though – nothing builds trust and friendships closer than this kind of work.

We have a special Disney swag bag reveal for the team tonight, send-off performances tomorrow, and two more practices before we leave. When we get back, the rest of May is an intense schedule of classes getting Caroline ready for tryouts. And by the first week of June she’ll either be on a new team all together or meeting her new Stardust teammates, starting her second full-year season of cheer.

My Week(125) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

I’ve basically given up on parenting until the weather gets better, so the fact that I took ANY pictures this week that aren’t just of us staring at the television is impressive. We’re supposed to get more snow at the beginning of next week but it might be 50 on Friday, at which point I will start wearing shorts and flip flops.

Sunday:

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Private bowling alley is awesome

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Why am I always tempted to steal the bowling shoes?

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Bowling wears out toddlers

Monday:

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Hot dogs for breakfast. Not worth an argument.

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Bathtime

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Editing photos from the bowling party – turns out my camera does NOT know what to do under a blacklight. It pretty much totally freaked out. Thank goodness I shoot RAW and could fix them!

Tuesday:

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS PONY I WILL PROBABLY HIT YOU WITH IT

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This is called “Not being a good listener”.

Wednesday:

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Gymnastics buddies

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Quiet day at the library

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I will never, ever cut those curls

 Thursday:

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Have I mentioned how much I LOVE going to the gym while the kids are in school? ALONE!!

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Hide & seek at the yarn store

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A man in uniform giving a baby a bath. SWOON.

Friday:

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Looking for more snow (there wasn’t any, thank god)

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Do these sound perfect for morning sickness or what? I can think of about a dozen people I should send them to.

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Loooong week = crash on the couch

Saturday:

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Crafting like a champ

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That looks safe.

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Super excited by an emergency bathroom/Powerball ticket stop at a gas station

This weekend starts a few really busy weeks in our future. It will be mid-April before any of us get a day to relax again, but it’s all FUN stuff so I’m looking forward to most of it. The highlights are a fancy brunch at a fancy restaurant for Easter, Evan’s birthday party and a fancy dress ball I’m being forced (FORCED I TELL YOU!) to attend with E.  I’m hoping to get back to regular family/life/everyday blogging too, but it’s hard when I’m trying to stay on top of  family life every day. See what I did there?

My Week(121) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Second verse, same as the first one hundred and twenty:

Sunday:

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This is her dancing stage. She dances here now.

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Pizza + bright yellow lemonade = their perfect meal

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WHOOO LIQUOR SALES ON SUNDAY WHOOOOOO! And at the grocery store!

Monday:

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More dancing

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3rd floor view

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Eye-rolling practice

Tuesday:

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Very pleased with her princess skirt

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Pre-preschool cuddles

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Valentine’s loot

Wednesday:

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Read for gymnastics!

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What’s gonna work? TEAMWORK.

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“This is a reindeer who is missing Santa because he’s at the North Pole where there is ALL the snow.”

Thursday:

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Evan agrees we have to do SOMETHING about Caroline’s hair

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I need new sneakers

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On the lookout for spies

Friday:

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YOU CAN’T SEE ME!

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Making a masterpiece at Stroller Strides

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Sorting puzzle pieces is more fun than the puzzle

Saturday:

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The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Evan

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Stupid dryer.

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Story time

  One of these days it will be warm again and we will go outside and I will look at things that are not inside my house. I have pictures from last March of the kids playing outside in t-shirts, so hopefully I won’t have to wait too much longer. Neeeeeeeeed sunliiiiiight.

Did you take iPhone photos of your week? Link up with one or several below! Please consider joining, even if you haven’t done it before – it’s really fun!



My Week(119) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Snowpocalypse! Snowtastrophe! Snowmygod! But the most exciting part of this week was actually that Caroline started preschool:

Sunday:

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Saving money on my grocery bill is my new addiction.

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Pizza helpers

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Her hair is getting ridiculous

Monday:

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Twin jammies

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Twin couch nap

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Twin box playing

Tuesday:

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This is how she lives her whole life

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Puzzles are WAY more interesting than saying goodbye to mom

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The non-snow we got on Tuesday seems like a joke now

Wednesday:

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Back to their Olympic training

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Weirdo #1 says “Take a picture like this Mommy!”

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Weirdo #2 says “TAKE MY PICTURE TOO!”

Thursday:

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I pulled up in front of the school and threw them out. They loved it.

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I love the gym on base – totally empty at 9 am.

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Emergency snow storm supplies: APPLES

Friday:

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Caroline “fixed” a lawnmower

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Evan ate cheese

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I made “OMG” faces at the blizzard

Saturday:

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Banana bread baking

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Flying dog flies out of the snow once he realized how deep it is

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Official toddler measurement: WHOA.

There’s still a travel ban on state roads and highways so we CAN’T go anywhere – not that we were the least bit tempted. We have electricity, Netflix streaming, lots of (boozy) hot cocoa and homemade pizza for dinner. E got home from work before the storm hit and gets to stay with us until Monday, so basically the storm is the best thing that’s happened in two weeks.

Did you take iPhone photos of your week? Link up with one or several below! Please consider joining, even if you haven’t done it before – it’s really fun!





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