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Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

marshall pitching

Baseball consumes our lives.  We eat, sleep, and breathe baseball.  We’ve figured that pretty much all of our time and disposable income goes to baseball.  Between the four boys, I think I spend about 30 hours a week driving to baseball practices, waiting at practices and watching games.

All of our conversations are consumed by baseball related facts.  Which team is in first place.  Who hit a home run this week.  What bat did they use.  How many pitches did so and so pitch in each game.  Can I pitch on Tuesday’s game.  Is there practice.  Are the fields flooded.  Couldn’t we just put in turf fields on all the fields.  I’m starting to find myself an expert on all things little league.

Dave is becoming even more of an expert.  Marshall wanted a new bat.  A $250 bat.  I wondered if maybe the bat was full of dollar bills.  Or if it was guaranteed a hit every at bat.  At this point in Dave’s research, I’m pretty sure that he could give up his job in Electrical Engineering and become a bat engineer.  Last week we decided to bite the bullet and order the bat.   Every day Marshall tracked the package.  What he failed to notice was that Amazon hadn’t actually processed the order.  On the day it was supposed to arrive, and didn’t, I checked the tracking.  I updated my credit cards expiration date and broke the news to marshall that he’d have to wait a few more days for el expensivo (what I’ve decided to name his bat).

Yesterday Fed Ex came at noon and brought me a new chicken feeder and watering system.  The look of disappointment on Marshall’s face was precious.  He went back to checking the bat’s tracking website followed by sitting on the porch waiting for the UPS man.  If he was a more demonstrative kid, he’d probably have kissed him when he arrived in time to take el expensivo to the game.

el expensivo

I wish I had gotten a clearer picture.  It’s almost like the look of a proud dad holding his first born son.  The look in his eye says, “Oh, baby, we’re going to have one amazing season.  I can almost count all the home runs.”

the proud owner and the picture hogs

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Supergluing his head back together

8:00 am  I’m awoken to my phone chirping that I have a text message.  I roll over and it’s from McKayla, “Can you pick me up, I’m feeling sick”.

We’ve been battling the weirdest stomach flu ever at our house.  It started with Nathaniel who complained his tummy hurt and the announced he was going to throw up and then promptly threw up all over the bathroom.  Afterwards, he was completely fine.  He ate dinner, he helped clean the kitchen, he read to me, I read to him and he fell asleep.  This was followed by Michael screaming his stomach hurt and then throwing up all over the other bathroom, declaring himself better and going back to bed.  And then Jacob woke up in the middle of the night to cry how much his tummy hurt, “Why does God make my tummy hurt?  Please pray over me!  I think I might die.” We tend toward the dramatic in this house.  Everyone woke up one more time, threw up all over the floor and then went back to bed.  We would have labeled it possible food poisoning, except the following night Marshall was hit and Michael once more.  My poor, poor carpet. On the bright side, my bathrooms are sparkly clean.

So, when McKayla said she wasn’t feeling well, I came to get her right away before she threw up all over the halls.  She’s having a hard enough time without being known as “the girl who lost her breakfast all over the halls”.  I don’t think anyone could ever live that one down.

9:00 the glamorous life of homeschooling 4 boys.

9:23  SQUIRREL!  no, not a distraction, an actual squirrel.  The largest squirrel we’ve ever seen.  It was looked less like a squirrel and more like a cat with a bushy tail.  It sat right by our bird feeder, stared through the window with a look that said, “WTF People, why is this bird feeder empty?  This is unacceptable!”

9:40 back to learning.

11:17  OH CRAP PEOPLE!!!!  GET YOUR BATHING SUITS ON RIGHT NOW!!!!!  GO!!!  GO!!!!  GO!!!!  WE HAVE TO BE AT SWIM LESSONS IN 13 MINUTES!!!!

11:22 

Jake:  Oh no mom!  I forgot to take off my underwear!

Me:  Oh, well.  That’s okay, you can swim with them and we’ll come home without underwear.

Jake:  I don’t want to go home with no underwear!

Me:  Sorry, We don’t have time to change when we get there.

11:26 Jake:  You don’t have to worry about my underwear.

Me:  I wasn’t terribly worried, but why don’t I have to worry?

Nate:  ‘Cuz he was getting naked back here!

Jake:  Yep, I took off my swim suit, took off my underwear and then put my swim suit on.  All while buckled into my car seat!  Now I can have dry underwear!

Me:  For the win!

11:30  We make it to swim lessons right on time.

I have thought about doing something with those 30 minutes of freedom.  I could totally go run for 20 minutes, but then I’d have to give up the entertainment of watching swimming lessons.  For whatever reason, Jacob is absolutely terrified of water.  He doesn’t like getting his head wet.  He doesn’t like letting go of the wall.  He doesn’t like the whole idea of getting in the water.  It’s rather comical.  Though its rather hard to swim holding on to the instructor like they are your personal life raft during a tsunami, it’s hysterical to watch.  When they got to the pool the instructor had them put on floaties that go around their middles.

Jake:  This is ridiculous, there is no way this can ever hold me.

Instructor:  No, really this works great.  Let go from the wall, I promise you won’t sink.

Jake:  No, thank you.

Jake’s swimming looks, less like swimming and more like motion by electrical shock.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel swims circles around him trying to convince him he’s completely safe.

Jake:  NATHANIEL!  You are going to drown.  Touch the wall!

Nate:  I’m fine. Perfectly safe.

Jake:  MOM WE ARE GOING TO DROWN!!!  (we tend to the dramatics here)

12:15  We arrive at home.  I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the chlorine and the screaming at the pool or the lack of caffeine but I have a killer headache.  Lunch is made, school is wrapped up and I decide to lay down before my head splits into two.

 

1:00  “Mom, are you asleep?”

Me:  I was.

Random child:  Can we jump on the jumpoline?

Me:  Okay, open the door so I can hear you.

For the next 45 minutes I hear kids happily bouncing on the trampoline intermingled with whinnying, complaining, crying and laughing.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

1:45  I hear mike scream like he was just pounced on by a tiger.  Followed by Nathaniel screaming and then Jacob screaming.  At first I wonder if maybe zombies attacked them and they are now pinned inside the trampoline net.  This may not seem like a likely scenario, but it’s probably as likely as all three of them being hurt simultaneously with enough damage to elicit the amount of screams I’m hearing.

Mike comes running in the house dripping blood from his head “He broke my head!!  Oh my gosh!  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!! CAN YOU SEE MY BRAINS???  (the drama)

I assess the head damage and it’s minor.

Me:  You’re fine.  Jump in the bathtub so you stop bleeding all over everything.

I assess Nathaniel.  He’s completely fine.  No blood anywhere.  We can’t find Jacob.  McKayla goes to look for him.  Marshall gets out all of the first aid supplies.

Marshall:  I am completely qualified to wrap his whole head in gauze.  I have almost earned my first aid merit badge.

Me:  Okay, Tell me exactly what happened.  Marshall I think we can hold off on mummyfing your brother for a few minutes.

Mike:  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!  We were jumping and Nathaniel’s chin hit my head and broke it!!!

McKayla:  I found Jacob, he was crying under the bed scared.

I look more closely at his head, but can tell if it’s ER worthy or not.  I call Dave.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him 4 times in a row.  Still no answer. I call my mother-in-law.  No answer.  I take a photo of his bloody head and text it to dave.  I call my best friend whose been to the ER for two head injuries on two separate kids.  No answer.  I call her cell.

Me:  THANK GOD YOU ANSWERED!

Her:  What’s up!  Did you know they sell vanilla vodka!  I have some in my cart!

Me:  Why do you live so far away!!!  I need Vodka!  (I promise, we always speak in such a way that requires all of these exclamation points).  How did you know that you needed to take the boys to the ER?

Her:  The copious amounts of blood on one kid and being able to see his skull on the other one.

Me:  What does skull look like?  Do you think I could text you a picture?

Her:  Didn’t you just meet your insurance deductible?

Me:  I know, but I hate the ER.

Her:  Just think of it as a little break.  Bring a book.

2:15  So off we went to the Urgent Care. There wasn’t anyone there but the intake lady was on the phone.  A nurse came by to see if we were okay.

Me:  Um, can you look at his head and let me know if you think this might need stitches?

Her:  Oh, yeah, that’s probably going to need some s-t-a-p-l-e-s (in a mock whisper).

Mike turns a little green.  While we wait for the doctor I text Mike’s coach.  “Mike probably won’t make it to practice.  We’re at the ER.  Tragic trampoline accident.  Mike’s head vs his brother’s chin.  Chin wins”

Mike:  Did you call dad?

Me:  I did but he didn’t answer.  I texted him a picture of your head.

Mike:  Is he coming?

Me:  I haven’t heard yet.  Probably not.

Mike:  Oh, I kinda need him.

Me:  What am I?  Chopped liver?

We get back to the doctor and explain the whole story. She washes the wound and offers us staples or super glue.  I was really trying to sell the staples, but Mike wanted the super glue.

Me:  Come on!  Don’t you want to see the medical stapler?  Maybe it’s run by an air compressor.  Kachunk!  Kachunk!  Kachunk!

I don’t know why that didn’t win him over.  I can’t imagine why he wanted Dave and not me…

Mike:  Do you think I can go to baseball practice?Doctor:  I don’t see why not.

3:45 We head home, Mike quickly changes into his baseball clothes and we’re off to practice.

 

6:00 Home from baseball everyone quickly eats frozen pizza, prepared by chef McKayla and changes into Awana uniforms.

6:30 All of the boys are dropped off at church.

6:45  I run home and take a quick shower, down some more Advil, because my head still feels like it might crack open at any minute and my eyeball will fall out.

7:15 I run to a Cubscout leader meeting.

8:15 I leave the riveting leaders meeting, mid discussion on Fish drops and run to pick up all the kids from church.

9:00 When we are all finally home, Dave inspects Mike’s head.

Mike:  How big is it? Do you think my brains will leak out?  Do you think we should make a doctor appointment to get my bones checked?  Don’t you think my skull has to be really wimpy because Nate’s baby chin could crack it?  Should I wear a helmet all the time? Should I sleep sitting up?

No wonder he wanted Dave.  All these unspoken fears he’d been carrying around all day.  Poor kid.

 

 

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I can not even begin to tell you how adorable T-ball is.  It’s even more adorable than it was ten years ago when McKayla was in T-ball.  I didn’t think that it could be possible to get any cuter than a little girl with pig tails.  Somehow, following a week of major games, minor games and multiple practices, perspective starts to sink in.  It’s adorable, and all that matters at the end of the game is what kind of snacks you got, not who won or loss or if the umpire was fair and there isn’t even a small amount of self flagellation.

Nate was first to bat.  He swung and missed.  Loud clapping and cheering was still heard from the stands though.

Then he swung again.  He didn’t miss this time, his aim was just a little bit too low though.  “No highs! No lows! Wait for the perfect pitch!”

The third time, he didn’t exactly miss the ball.  He swung the bat so hard that he swung around and hit the ball on the second time around.   He’s an amazing bunter.  We might as well let him play up next year, just skip a second year of t-ball altogether and play farm.

There are no outs in t-ball.  I’m not sure if it’s because 4-6 year olds will cry uncontrollably if they get out or because it’s near impossible to get a group of 4-6 year olds to play as a team.  Either way, he made it to first base.  Do you know what else I love about t-ball players?  I love how willing the players are to pose for the camera.  I can’t get the older boys to even glance at me in the stands let alone pose and wave.

As a side note, don’t you just love how tiny those little cleats are?

Jacob waited patiently for the whole team to bat.  He was the last batter, this means that he gets to hit a grand slam (by default, but still a grand slam)  Someone has to bring all those runners home.  This may look like some serious strategy talk.  It’s not though, it’s really a consoling.   Jake was upset because the helmet was too big.  Near tragedy when you’re four.

After the pep talk, he approached the plate with determination.  He hit the ball on the first try.

The importance of a grand slam was a little lost on him though.  Or maybe, he realized that speed isn’t really necessary when you’re the last batter in t-ball.  They’ll wait for you.  This is him leaving third and moseying his way to home.  I particularly love his hands in his back pockets.

Sometime during Mike’s first t-ball game, he whispered to me (in a very audible volume), “Baseball is stupid.  All you do is sit on the bench and wait for your turn to bat.  Then you sit on the base waiting for everyone else to bat you home.  Then you sit in the outfield waiting for the ball to come to you.  Which it never does.”  Out of the mouth of babes.

It also seems to be a sentiment held onto by his younger brothers.

What should you do while you’re doing all that waiting on the field?  Pick up all those rubber pieces from the turf field, of course.

Or, maybe you should stoicly stand in the outfield day dreaming.

That is, of course, until the ball comes your way and all the parent’s hear the Peter, Paul, and Mary song in their heads.

The second inning was even more adorableness.  I’m really sorry that you couldn’t be there to be part of it.  It was much of the same, batting, hitting, running, walking, complaining.  Then there was Nate pitching (which really only means he stands in the general area of the pitchers mound, with a helmet on because I’m guessing one daisy picking kid too many took a ball to the head.)

And when you’re the pitcher, what position is the perfect compliment for your twin brother? Of course, it’s the catcher.

When Mike was old enough for t-ball, he did his classic fist pump and said, “YES!  NOW EVERYONE WILL HAVE TO COME AND WATCH MY GAMES! IT’S MY TURN NOW!”

Nate and Jake don’t seem to have that kind of drive (or egoism), they really only care about the snack. It was the thought of the snack that got them through the game.  At the between inning slump, it was the enticement of rice krispie treats and cheese sticks that made them don their batting helmets with as much determination as a tired four-year-old can.

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