Friday, May 31, 2013

Who knows which is more busy

You know, you go through your head, you look at your calendar, and you think...."well, if I could just get through May....June will slow down", or "If I could just get done with school, then my time will really free up".  Or how about, "Once my baby is in 1st grade...all day school...then I'll REALLY have a lot of free time."  Yeah, right.  It's all a big joke.  I ran into one of Trevor's classmates family at a garage sale, and she was talking about how that idea never ends.  It goes well into "when the kids are out of the house...." to "when I retire....."  You always think you will have more time on your hands.  And it NEVER happens.

So you do your best to enjoy as much of it as you can.  Having two kids in various activities does make it hard to make it to everything, but with the help of the village, you do make the best of it.  I decided to run out to Chicago for a day and a night to see the Rolling Stones in concert.  I think it was the first time I was actually old enough to remember all the sights of downtown.  We didn't see it all, but I really think I got a taste of it all.  Thanks to Russ, we stayed in a ritzy hotel for the evening, and thanks to the weather, we didn't get rained on at all.  It was overcast for most of the day, with rain threatening, and actually during the concert, there was a flash flood warning but we never saw any of it.  We went to the park and ate at the park cafe, we found a speakeasy and had a few martinis.  We enjoyed over 2 hours of great Stone's music and had no problems getting back home the next day.

The kids got some extra time playing around:  Gwen got a playdate in the morning, to stay in the after school program, and then had a playdate at night during Trevor's baseball practice.  She LOVED it.  That girl and her social wants.  It sounded like everything went smoothly fighting or what have you.  When I came back, she had her dance recital practice, and then had another small playdate.  Now, I would think that once school gets out, this time may be a little less hectic, but I'm thinking, probably not.

Trevor, also got to be in the after school program, but he's enjoying playing baseball as much as he can.  Last night, they had their first winning game!  Unfortunately, they had the late game so they weren't done until after 11pm.  On a school night!  I took Gwen home at about 9:30 and she crashed as her head hit the pillow.  I was able to keep track of the scores through an online scoring program that one of the dad's uses.  It was so FUN to watch that winning game.  Trevor pitched two innings and did really well!  It was for two innings that I was able to be at, so I was happy that I didn't miss that.  Hopefully it will give the team a little boost that they need to get some more winning games!

This next week continues to be busy with Kindergarten "graduation", talent show, Gwen's dance recital tomorrow, baseball practices/games, and year end parties.  It was a very fun year, I think, for both kids at school.  I can't wait to see which teachers they get for the next school year!  And maybe the weather will warm up soon???

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two weeks into heavy baseball

So it has been about two weeks since baseball has started for both kids.  Technically, I guess it is only 10 days or something, but I look at a week as Monday - Friday.  Since we are almost at Friday, then it is almost two weeks ;-)

Trevor's first game, which was the same night as Gwen's baseball pictures, ended up being washed out.  The field was unplayable, so I guess that means that they will have to make up that game at some point.  So then his first game became the tournament over the weekend in West St. Paul.  It was a late game on Friday, and two games during Saturday, where there was snow, wild wind, and rain.  PERFECT weather for baseball, let me tell you!

The first game was a bit of a disaster.  The team didn't even score a run.  Most of the batters looked scared. The pitchers were walking everyone or the fielders couldn't field a ball to help the pitcher.  The two games on Saturday were more of the same.  Trevor pitched for an inning on each of the games on Saturday.  He struck out 4 of the 6 outs, and threw a ball to first for another out.  So he was feeling pretty good about his pitching.  He is a very nervous batter, and so far has only got on base by walking or for a fielder's choice that  didn't put him out.

He's had two games since then, and pitched in the first one.  He struck out two, hit a batter, and walked another, but ended up with quite a few hits, so much that he went over his 50 pitch count.  So he didn't finish that inning.  The good thing is that he isn't not throwing strikes.  If the fielding was better by everyone, I think the team would do a whole lot better.  And from what I know, they know how to field, it's just they have all the bad luck during the games.  If they could put it all together, I know they could win a game.  Because of their coach, and the good attitude of the kids, they are still happy to be playing!

So for the past two weeks, Gwen has also been gearing up to play her baseball games.  Her season was pushed back a week because of the weather, but they had two good practices last week before their games this week.  She is the only girl on her team, but she knows 3 other boys from being at her school, 2 of them in her class.  The reason I put her in baseball was because they don't have a similar option in softball.  If I wanted her in softball, she would already be in a league where they kept score, outs, standings, etc.  I thought this league, where there are no outs, everyone gets to bat, and no score is kept would be a lot less stressful.  Plus, if it was impossible to be in two places at once, if she had to miss a game, I wouldn't feel bad.

Unfortunately, for her first game, I had my last PTA meeting of the school year.  So I had my mom bring her to her game.  Trevor had a baseball practice, so he hitched a ride with his friend.  I don't know how I could have done this week without Trevor being on the team with a good friend.  Anyway, I was getting texts from my mom about how Gwen was doing.  They actually had a half hour practice before the game, had one inning and then they were done.  It was a hot day, so no one complained.  She was up to bat, and was told she had two more pitches before she got her hit!  She was so excited!  Then, she got to be the catcher!  Super happy to be doing that as well.  She got to tell the batters where they were supposed to stand and where to go after they hit.

Not without noting though, watching her with all these boys, she is definitely out of her element.  All the boys are so rough and high energy, part of the time she just stands around and watches them.  She has tried to keep up with them, but it really isn't in her nature.  After pictures last week, she asked me when she could play softball.  I think she really misses her girl friends.  I'm glad we tried it, just to see how she would like it.  It would also be easy to keep her in baseball if she really enjoyed it.

So this week, Russ is out of town in Canada.  Looking at our schedule we have 6 baseball events, 1 dance event, 1 meeting for me, all within the span of 4 days that Russ is gone.  I was doing my best to make it all work, and really looking forward to yesterday (Wednesday) being our least busy day.  It was just a home game for Trevor.  It started off fine, Gwen and I went to our usual envelope stuffing at school during the morning, but when we got home, Gwen was barfing.  She tried some sips of water, but it came back up.  Again and again.  Waiting a little over an hour, and trying again.  Nope...well she didn't go to school, but I was trying to figure out how baseball was going to work.  Luckily my mother-in-law works so close and has offered her help whenever I need it.  HELP!!!!  So she came over after work to sit with a sick Gwen while I went to watch Trevor play.

She only got sick one more time, and took a nap as well.  She had a freezie pop (because she can't tolerate carbonated beverages and doesn't like gatorade) that she did keep down and went to bed when we got home around 9:00.  Thankfully she slept through the night and has not gotten sick since last night.  We are still not going crazy with food or liquids, but she is slowly getting her energy back up.  We won't be going to school or her baseball game tonight, but I think I'll be ok to let her come to Trevor's baseball game and sit by me.

During the day yesterday, it really brought me back to going through the exact same thing in grade school.  When I had a stomach bug, I got it bad.  I couldn't keep anything down, but after you are sick you are SO hungry and thirsty.  Gwen was begging to have water, just like I used to.  But as soon as she got a sip, she was sick.  Within 2 minutes.  Then she was crying that she was sick.  I remember going so far as to suck on a wet wash cloth because that should slow down your water intake, only to get sick 5 minutes later.  It was SO not fun.  Gwen seemed to find some understanding when I told her that when I was a girl I went through the same thing.  I am slightly worried in that she said that she is looking forward to going back to school so she can tell her classmates she got sick 5-6 times that day.  Good grief.  Well, at least she is looking on the fun side of being sick!

Then, to ad icing to the cake, I have a cold, in addition to getting some not so good health news from members of the extended family.  Lots of prayers for everyone involved.  It just hasn't been a great week this week.  I'm hoping to hit the hot yoga on Saturday morning to let it all just melt away......

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What used to be the start of the summer season

Has become the kick-off to the really busy season.  Over the past few weeks, we have been able to get out and do a few things as a family.  Primarily because baseball has been having to be pushed off because of the snow and cold weather in the area.  They have been practicing in the gym, but there really isn't a whole lot you can do in a gym to simulate outdoor baseball games.  Their first game is on Wednesday, and Gwen's first practice is on Tuesday.  So it starts.....

But before this week, we have had a few fun activities for the family:

We decided to hit the theaters.  Somewhat of a last minute decision.  I might have decided to have the kids watch the original Wizard of Oz movie before going to see Oz, the Great and Powerful, but as it was, they knew a little about it and knew that it was a Disney movie, so it was going to be a good show regardless.  Now I have not seen Wicked.  So I'm not familiar with that story line, but I had thought that the movie said that it was based on the book series.  It must have followed some track to be aligned with the Wizard of Oz movie.  I don't know if Wicked then was not a part of the original story or not.  It was a very good show, and Gwen did well enough with the "intense spots" of the movie.  She asked me to cover her eyes.  The next week, we rented the Wizard of Oz movie from Amazon and now the kids have the whole story.  I would bet we'll be buying the latest Disney movie when it comes out.  Maybe Gwen will enjoy it enough to not have to cover her eyes for so much of it next time.

The next adventure was going to a local hotel in order for Russ to get a points bonus for the hotel chain he usually stays at during work trips.  For staying one more night in April, he was able to get the equivalent points for staying 3 weeks for business.  The place had a pool, hot tub, and sauna as well as a concierge lounge and nice restaurant.  We did stay during a school night, so it was a little tricky to try to have a good morning routine and know how long it was going to take us to get to school in the morning instead of our usual 2.5 minutes.

Our most recent adventure involved going to the lake for our summer kick-off opening weekend: the Kentucky Derby.  We were missing a few key players due to other activities, but they were all with us in spirit.  Usually, we find some lucky hats to wear for the running of the derby, but we decided to swap that idea out for bandannas in a show of solidarity for my aunt Barb.  She is on her second treatment plan for cancer and halfway through.  It was wonderful to see her cheering on her horses as usual and to get the annual picture of the winners.  The youngest kids played very well together and it was nice enough to have them playing outside, just not nice enough for a boat ride yet.  Sadly, we won't be able to enjoy a boat ride until baseball season is done, sometime in July.  Having not played a baseball game yet, we aren't really sure how well the team is going to do, so it will depend on where they finish as to how long the season ends up being.

I refuse to bring myself or the family down in the depressing state of the weather this year.  I have tried my best to simply ignore any temperature below 50 degrees.  When it was even colder than that, I was constantly looking ahead in the weather forecast for the time when the temperature was warmer in order to count down until those days.  Even Trevor was fed up with it.  He is the most optimistic kid I have known and when he wasn't finding the positive in it, you knew that it wasn't a good day.

So there we are.  We kicked off the season and it is now in full swing.  I hope the weather cooperates!  Whatever that means.  Really though, I just hope all the kids have a good time and enjoy whatever activity they are doing.!