Mother/Son X Games 2011

15 05 2011

Earlier this year, I was contacted by PghRugbyRef. He wanted to know if I would participate in the Mother/Son X Games with his son, D, as D’s mom passed away. I was so honored that he thought to ask me, that I immediately said yes.

Not only was I really touched by the invitation, D and I go WAY back. When he was an infant, he was the first baby I held. And back when he was a toddler, I’d go to rugby games that PghRugbyRef was refereeing, and I’d watch D. D and I used to play with this huge yellow ball that had a smiley face on it. I don’t have a photo of the ball, or D and I kicking it around. (That kinda makes me sad.)

But, YES! Of course I would help out my buddy!

Today was the Mother/Son X Games. I was so excited!

We checked in, got our “team tags” and went off to play some games. Here is my recap of the games we played. If you are friends with me on Facebook, I’m sure you’ll see tagged pictures of me from PghRugbyRef.

  • Tug O’ War – we had to wait for a few more moms and sons for this one. I think we were 5 vs 5. I was the anchor at the end in the loop of the rope. The moms won the first one, we let the kids win the 2nd and on the third? I stepped out of the loop, and when I said “banana,” all the moms dropped the rope and let the kids fall backwards. Hahahahahaha!! So much fun!
  • Pumpkin Seed Contest – for this one, we grabbed a handful of “pumpkin” seeds (D and I agreed that they tasted more like sunflower seeds, but whatever) and had to stand near targets stuck to the ground and spit the seeds, one by one, onto the target. D beat me 1,500 to 900.
  • Outdoor Relay Race – well, this involved more action than I expected. We had to weave around a few cones, go across a balance beam, hop with two feet through 4 hoola-hoops, do 5 rotations with a hoola hoop, do two rounds on the dizzy bat… and then do everything back again to the start. Poor D fell on the balance beam. I thought I was going to, and stepped off of it a few times. (Cheater, I know, but I was wearing new running shoes that seem to have zero traction!)
  • Nature Trail Challenge – for this one, we were given a quiz to take with us. Things like how long is the Great Wall of China, what Pirate last won MVP and when, what we’d do with a million dollars (D? Buy flat screen tv’s. Me? Vacations.) There were also various activities on the trail. We were joined for this one by PghRugbyRef and D’s 4 year old brother, Q. And Q took part in a few of the games. So much fun! Stack metal nuts using a chopstick, try to bounce ping pong balls into a bowl on your partner’s head, tie different knots, (the knots? they were fun!!!!) and the killer? One partner holds a string and the other tries to hang five regular nails on the string. We failed bad at this one.  But it was a really great nature trail, and all the games were fun!
  • Water Balloons – your classic water balloon toss. Q joined us for this one as well. We did awful. Mostly because my tosses were terrible! (Sorry, D!)
  • Minute To Win it Games – this one was great! The games:
    • A Bit Dicey – balance 5 dice (die?) on a popsicle stick held in your mouth. We did this twice. We succeeded the first time, but had issues the second time.
    • Breakfast Scramble – reassemble pieces of the front of a breakfast cereal box that has been cut into even pieces.  We didn’t do so well on this one. Boo.
    • Nose Dive – D did this one. Put petroleum jelly on your nose, pick up cotton balls on a plate, and drop them on a 2nd plate. He did great!!!!
    • Office Maximus – knock over 3 reams of paper, using a ball made of random rubber bands. You got three tries. We both won this one. And Q was there to pick up the random rubber bands that ended up spraying about (thanks, Q, you were quite the helpful little brother today!)
    • Maybe Bottoms Up? I don’t know. We had to wear nylons on our waist, with a tennis ball in one of the legs, and knock over pop cans. (Guaranteed to be embarrassing pics for this one!)
    • Can’t remember… we had to kneel on sliders (little boards with handles and on 4 wheels) and weave in and out of a 5-6 cone course, and back again. We also did this one twice. D won the first round. I won the second. By seconds.
  • Snowball Fight! – for this one, the moms were on one side, the kids on the other. You had to grab a small whiffle ball from the mom basket, run to the kids basket, drop the ball in… Lather, rinse, repeat. Kids did the same from their basket… The moms won! Woo! (I have no idea how we won, but I was grabbing and sprinting and trying to watch the boys at the same time… I’m dizzy trying to remember it!)
  • Then we went onto Creation Station. And we did this one twice as well. The idea is you pick a card from the container. It has 4 pictures. You pick from a container of Lego’s and make your selected item… D and I both got each of our selections, each time. We even went back after visiting Minute to Win It Again.
  • Smarties Game – this was a mini Minute to Win it game… Bowl of Smarties. A straw. Remove the smarties to the napkin with the straw. I lost.

I had SO MUCH FUN today. Even the running (hello, as D pointed out, I play rugby, I should be fine… I nearly died after the Snowball Fight sprints!)

But really, it was more fun than I can remember having lately.

D is a great, fun kid. I love him. I always have, to be honest.

And Q? Good grief is he a hilarious little one. Hysterical! He’s a good little boy.

When I was leaving, he shouted to me, “Was nice to see you!” “Hope to see you again soon or at next year’s Mom/Sons X Games!” He’s a character, that one.

PghRugbyRef, I am honored that you asked me to be there for your son. You have no idea. I was so proud to be with D today.

I had the best time with the boys (both of them!) I love your boys so much! They are both such wonderful kids.

You are a wonderful father, A. I’m impressed, not that I haven’t been the whole time, but today was excellent.

If you need me next year? I will be there.  Also, like Q said, I need to come see your boys more. Really.

Thank you. SO much.

I was so HONORED to be asked. It was a day I will never forget.



4 responses

16 05 2011

this makes my heart feel all melty! so glad you could be there for the RugbyRef family!

18 05 2011

First off, I’d like to thank you for stepping up and being D’s partner in these games. “Mother” type events can be difficult and having someone great that’s willing to fill that role is very helpful for the boys.

When D and Q first saw you, they were a little shy. I’m not sure what that was about, they are normally extroverted souls that will speak to anyone about anything, maybe it was the anticipation, or not having seen you in a long time (I had to show them your picture the week before to get them to remember you). Yes, that’s sad; you should come around more often (If you’re CCAC classes are in the North Hills, we live less than five minutes away from campus…)

Enough guilt, let’s get to the good stuff.

I took over 300 pictures during the Mother/Son X Games, many of them of Q on the playground. I pulled out 40 or so action shots and will link them here. I wasn’t quick enough with the movie mode, so I put several stills in a row and created some slideshows and uploaded them to YouTube.

Here we go, I’ll post in the same order that you did:

Team Gralia 2011-

Tug ‘o War-





I knew something funny was going to happen when I saw you step out of the loop, so I had the camera focused on the kids. Having the signal call “banana” to release the rope was an awesome idea; the aftermath:

Pumpkin Seed Spitting-



Outdoor Relay Race-

Even though Dom fell off the balance beam, your face doesn’t say “poor D” like your post does:

Hula Hoop:

In Dizzy Bat, you’re supposed to put your forehead on the bat, more cheating from the grown up:

This is the proper technique:

Nature Trail Challenge-

Nut Stack:

The proud kid:

The Ping Pong Ball Bounce was really tough on the uneven path; Dom still managed to catch the ball but had to move the bowl off his head:

The Nails on a String was really tough, Q and I tried and we couldn’t get more than three:

Knot tying:

From Mother/Son X Games
There was a numerical coded message that they were supposed to decipher (the number represented the position in the alphabet of the correct letter). While most kids were diligently working on the problem, one mother figured it out quickly and blurted out the answer for all to hear. Even though Dom knew the solution, he kept on going:

Water Balloon Toss:

Your throw wasn’t that bad, it looks like he had his hands on it:

A Bit Dicey:

I wish I had gotten one of you like this, but the judge was in the way:

Breakfast Scramble:

Nose Dive:

I didn’t get you or Dom on Office Maximus but I did get this slideshow of Q:

Even though you promised some embarrassing pictures of the nylons/tennis balls, I didn’t get any; you guys must have been moving too fast through the obstacle:

For the scooter race, I joined some pictures together:

Q had fun with the scooters too:

I don’t know how the adults won the Snowball Fight, I thought the kids were a step or two in front (maybe the game was fixed):

The Lego Theme this year was awesome:

And it looks like you both were concentrating very hard on your models:

Here is Dom’s build, correctly guessed:

Thank You so very much for helping us out. The smile on your face the entire day was quite a sight. Next time you’ll have to stay for dinner. You missed an amazing meal of mac and cheese, broccoli and hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. Mmmmmm…

Link to Picasa Album:

18 05 2011


It looks like all my hard work embeding pictures in the comments failed. I guess you’ll just have to go the the Picasa album linked at the end. (And I see that I left a little bit of butchered code…)

18 05 2011

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