Saturday, June 26, 2010

Katie-isms # 27,963 and #27,964

On the way to pick Bren up after his golf lessons the other day, we went thru an intersection and Katie sees a motorcyclist...

Katie:
Mom, there was a
GRANDPA
on a motorcycle.

Me:
Yes, Katie?

Katie:
Well, he can't do that?

Me:
Why not? Lots of grandpas ride motorcycles.

Katie:
But he might break a hip or something!!!!

Me:
Your Daddy is going to be a grandpa. Does that mean he can't ride a motorcycle.

Katie:
No, he can still ride a bike so he'll be ok.


The next day, we were driving to the office for an hour or two, and then to the pool.
She was being unusually silent in the back seat...

Me:
Katie? Are you ok?

Katie:
Yes, I just don't want the wind to
disturb my hair.
Yes, I know. She is way too much like her mom.

Me:
OK. I'll roll up your window and turn the air on.

Katie:
They should put people
like me
in magazines, huh, mom?

Summertime in Wyoming...

Brendan is camping at
Brooks Lake,
which is near Dubois.

Apparently the lake is partially frozen,
there is snow on the ground,
and the nearby campground
where they usually go to shower
is closed.

I doubt he'll be gone through next week.

I have a feeling he'll be home a wee bit earlier than that.

Friday, June 25, 2010

a few clarifications...

This whole baseball situation has exploded into something very, very ugly.

I misunderstood,
they misunderstood,
and now everyone is upset.

In no way
did I want to accuse coach of intentionally hitting my son with the pitch.

I did not for one minute
 think he did it on purpose, or I would've called the police immediately.

My whole point of frustration was that I felt nobody had really checked to see how bad the injury was.
That was it.

I guess the coach asked if Bren was ok,
and Bren nodded.

What they didn't realize is that Brendan always says he is ok when he gets hurt. He tries to be tough and strong. Once he nodded, the coach assumed he was fine and sent him to the dugout - then turned around , put his back to the plate, and began to pick up balls to throw to the next kid.

I guess players who are having hitting issues are often told to
bunt
so they can at least make contact with the ball -
then as they become more confident, they can start swinging.
I feel absolutely horrible that I even said anything now.
I am fiercely protective of my children, I know that.
I can't help it.
I'm a mom.

But I am a very sucky whistleblower.

I can't handle guilt.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drama Mama

I've long held fast that I keep a "No Drama Zone" around me and my family. I don't like tension or unhappiness. I don't like to butt my nose into other peoples' lives. Their decisions and choices are just that...theirs. I try so hard not to judge others.

So imagine my surprise this week when I found myself adrift in a sea of it. It began innocently enough...at baseball practice. Brendan has had a difficult time hitting this year. We thought it was just him - we recently realized that his coaches made him nervous and he froze up when he was at bat. He can hit at the batting cages, off assorted pitching machines, for Mr. C, and even for other coaches - but not for his. This has been frustrating for all of us involved. The coaches were putting more pressure on him and threatening to make him bunt when he was at the plate, he was just about at the point of a nervous breakdown, and Mr. C and I were just having to suffer through watching it.

So...fast forward to Monday night. Baseball practice before the big game on Tuesday. We arrived already nervous. Tension was high. Bren got up to hit and the coach was throwing too fast. Rather than slow it down, the coach kept correcting everything Bren did - "you moved your foot!", "you swung below the ball!", "you shifted in the box!", "stay in the box!". . . Suddenly, one coach decides Bren will just practice bunting. The coach was throwing outside pitches and Bren was having to lean over the plate to make any contact. Then he got yelled at for hitting off the tip of the bat (but if he is having to lean over the plate, doesn't it make sense that only the tip would be hitting the ball?). Anyway, coach become frustrated, I am ready to go all ninja and jump the guy, and Bren is a bundle of nerves. The coach gets right in his face and yells,

"YOU WILL NEVER GET A HIT IN A GAME
IF YOU DON'T BUNT!!!!".

The camel's back broke and I said, "Actually, Bren can actually hit the ball quite well, he just can't hit it for you. You make him nervous. He subbed in a game on Saturday and hit 8 balls in a row to the outfield during batting practice with their coach.". The coach shot back, "Well, I have yet to see that!". I informed him he could call the other coach and ask. The next thing I know, coach is zinging the next pitch at my son and hit him square on the elbow. I know accidents happen, and I would've been "ok" (barely OK, but OK nonetheless) if he had showed any sort of care or concern. Instead, rather than asking if Bren was hurt, or even apologizing, the coach turned his back toward home plate, faced the outfield, and stayed there until my son went to the dugout . . . alone. I ran in and within 10 seconds, the elbow was already pure blue from bruising. I spoke with the other coach, then took Bren home.

Meanwhile...Mr. C arrives on the field via another entrance (so he doesn't see me as I leave with the kids). He watches the pitching and makes a comment to the other coach that the pitches are awfully fast for these kids to hit. He notices the coach is throwing at least 50-60 mph. Mr. C then asks where Brendan is and he is informed that we had left due to Brendan being hit.

The elbow looks bad and we decide to take him in for x-rays. Luckily nothing was broken (thank heavens because that bone usually requires surgery).
Neither coach calls to check on him or apologize.
I am upset and I email our league board member to discuss. The league is now furious at their behavior. All I want is an apology for Bren (not for the hit, but for the coach ignoring him after the hit) and to make sure the kids are safe. The league shows up before the game last night and the coaches try to say Bren had leaned into the pitch - then tried to say they didn't know he'd been hit. They are threatened with permanent removal from coaching (which is not what we wanted), and the game commences.

After the game, Mr. C tried to talk to the head coach (NOT the one who threw the pitch that hit Bren), and the coach is mad at US. WE are the bad guys. Several parents are mad at us now, as well. all I was trying to do was keep these boys safe. What would've happened if I had done like 90% of the other parents do and just dropped him off for practice, then returned to pick him up when it was over? Would he have sat alone in the dugout with a possible broken elbow for 2 hours? I just told the league rep that we need to be sure these kids are safe when they are on the field.

So, we are sending Brendan to Brooks Lake with Mr. C's sister until July 5 so he can get away from all of this. Hopefully the furor will die down in his absence. He'll be home in time for playoffs, and can decide if he even wants to play again.

Now, I realize I made mistakes in this, too.

I should not have argued with the coach in front of Bren and the other kids. I should've taken him aside and spoken to him privately. My bad. I accept that.

What I did not know before contacting the league was that there had already been several complaints lodged against these two coaches. I was not the first. I was unaware that the league was already watching things on the team. But, nobody remembers the first two outs in an inning, they only remember the final one that ends it. We are the heels in the situation.

So, after coming home at 9 pm last night, I emailed both coaches and apologized for my part in this. Of course, neither have responded, nor do I expect them to. They are angry and want someone to blame. I also want to say that, usually, these two guys are really great. They are fathers and husbands who are eager to volunteer for their children. I didn't want to be involved in any of this either. Oh, how I wish Bren had not been hit. I didn't want him injured. I didn't want to watch him suffer physical, as well as emotional pain. I wish I had kept him home from practice that night like I wanted to.

But, I cannot change the past. All I can do is move forward and re-enter my
"No Drama Zone".
I am not a Drama Mama.
I plan to keep it that way.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day
to Mr. C.

Thank you for the
constant love and support
you give to both me and our four children.

Thank you for nursing me through
6 pregnancies,
which resulted in
4 miscarriages,
and
2 c-sections.

Plus the surgeries and countless rounds of
fertility meds.
Which made me
weepy
and grouchy.

Thank you for being such an amazing example of what a
real man
is and does and says.

Thank you for teaching us all about
love
patience
caring
integrity
and kindness.


Thank you for teaching THEM that they are important and valuable.


Thank you for working so hard so we could play so hard.

And for being a man of God
who isn't afraid to show his children that he
needs faith to carry him through.


And for being a man who is WORTHY of the
love and respect he receives from his children.

Because they do love and respect you so very much


...and so do I.

Happy Father's Day
to the love of my life
and the best Dad in the world.

My love and gratitude know no bounds.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Report on a Holiday...

There is a new challenge up on  

Here is my layout.



We were asked to report on how a holiday has changed since the passing of our loved one. I wrote about Christmas just isn't the same any more. This particular layout is about Quincey, but Mr. C's mother also died during Christmas two years ago.

Go check out the other contributors' layouts, as well. They all did a great job!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photo Recap

Marc
arrived on Memorial Day and left that Friday.
While he was here, he performed some minor surgery
(removal of a splinter)
on his little sister.
In order to keep her calm, he put his headphones on her and turned on his iPod.

She was instantly hooked...
and wore them all over the house for the rest of the day.


 

Marc and The B-Man
pssst. Notice the awesome necklace Marc made for Brendan.
The kid won't take it off and wears it 24/7 now.

After Marc left, we swam.
and swam.
and swam.

Here is Katie modelling her super cool
Hello Kitty Diva Goggles
(yes, their real name).



And here she is at swimming lessons.


Katie has a new friend, Barrett, who also takes lessons.
Barret's mom is awesome and has made my days at the pool
much more bearable.

Here she is socializing, rather than paying attention to class.
Hmmm.
That doesn't remind me of anyone...
No comment, mother.


showing her great form in the back stroke...
sort-of.


The B-Man loves hanging out with the kids at the pool.
and sliding.



Katie posing, sans the Diva Goggles, but PLUS
the pink floaties.
All the cool girls are wearing them this year.


Brendan was trying to coax her into the pool, but she was happiest
just hanging out on the ladder.
Yes, those floaties really did the trick, huh?


When we got home from the pool on Thursday, I found this in her bed.


Yes, that is her
Hawaiian Hello Kitty
(hence the suntan)
wearing a tiara
and a swimsuit top.

Katie is
all about
the accessories.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Weekend #1 of Summer 2010

...was spent having fun! Right now I am enjoying an icy cold mug of Sunshine Wheat with an orange wedge (who knew oranges and beer went so well together?). I just LOVE summer!

Last night we went to Bren's baseball game. They won, and B scored 2 runs. Then we came home, put the kidlets to bed, and drank some wine on the patio. It was wonderful. I hope for many replays of THAT in the months to come (the wine part, not the baseball part)! Ha! Seriously, we sat out there for over an hour just talking and catching up. How I adore that man... but you already knew that.

This morning, Mr. C and Katie went on their weekly Daddy-Daughter Date to Hotcake Saturday. Every Saturday they go to McDonalds for pancakes. It gives them some time together (alone) and gives me and the B-Man a short respite from Katie's antics. I delivered Bren to the ball fields at 8 am sharp for pre-game warm-ups. We watched the game (they won 24-2), then went to the pool for lunch. Mr. C and the kidlets stayed to swim while I came home to get a few things done (my choice - I'll be spending the whole summer with the kids at the pool, today was Mr. C's turn). I went back a while later for dinner, then Mr. C and Bren went golfing.

Tomorrow we have church at 9 am, then Mr. C will be playing golf in the Opening Day Tourney.

Katie begins swim lessons on Monday. She will have a lot of fun with that. And hopefully she'll be swimming like a fish by the end of summer. Bren will be taking swimming this summer as well, in addition to golf lessons.

I'd like to take a moment to brag... Brendan brought home a Presidential Educational Excellence award this week - signed by President Obama (well, I'm sure it was an electronic signature, but I didn't tell HIM that). He was one of just 3 students in his class to receive one. He is such a good boy and a good student. I am so proud of him. He reads on almost a 12th grade level, and is just going into the 5th grade. He reads like me...constantly!!! It is a struggle just keeping him supplied with books, I swear (again, just like his momma). One day he brought home his vocabular testing results and he tested in GRADE "16"! He asked me what that meant. My reply? "Uh, it means you're smarter than your momma!". LOL. Wow. He amazes me. I spend a lot of time talking about Katie and how funny she is, and how she makes me laugh constantly - but I really neglect talking about the B-Man. He is an AWESOME kid. I never, ever have to get after him for anything. He is sweet and thoughtful and quiet. He loves to read and play with his LEGOs. He is a good big brother to Katie, and a wonderful son to us. He is kind and sensitive and he tries SO HARD in everything he does. He is a great golfer already, and will be beating his Dad on the links in the not-so-distant future. I love you, B-Man.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Summertime!

Summer begins Friday morning at 10:30. I am so excited that I can hardly stand it. I love summer!!!

My favorite things about summer are:

 Warmer weather
 Having the kidlets home for 3 months
 Hanging by the pool
 flowers
 BBQ’s
 Eating dinner on the patio
 Watching the kidlets play on the playset
 Sleeping with the windows open (well, except when my allergies are bad)
 Long walks in the evening
 Picnics
 Baseball and golf seasons

The week has been full of fun! Brendan and Mr. C had a FAB time at the golf tourney on Sunday. Brendan was able to follow his favorite golfer, Tom Watson. Mr. Watson smiled at him several times, and autographed B’s hat after his round. Brendan was overjoyed! They were also able to watch Freddie Couples quite a bit, which thrilled Mr. C. Marc arrived on Monday. It is so good having him home. Monday night we attended a graduation party. It was so great to see the graduate (he is an awesome kid), and to catch up with longtime friends. It was a fun evening and we kept the kidlets out far too late, but it was well-worth it.

My diet is going well. I have lost 7 lbs. so far. Not a huge amount, but a good start. I haven’t been working out as much as I need to – that would help tremendously. But it’s not going to be a speedy process, so I need to be patient.

Is anyone else surprised that Al & Tipper Gore are splitting up?!?! I am shocked. After 40 years together, one would assume that they had made it. They’ve lived the hard years of raising children, building careers, etc. It just seems so sad that just when things should be quiet and easy, they throw in the towel. Oh how I pray this never happens to Mr. C and me. It is just so terribly sad.

I am currently reading a terrific book called “The Man Whisperer” by Rick Johnson. This book talks about the influence we women have on our husbands – for the good and for the bad – and how careful we need to be with this power. Our attitudes can have a tremendous impact on their self-worth, their attitude, and their faith. We need to be working to build our husbands up – to let them know they are loved and appreciated. I think that any man’s greatest desire is to be respected and loved (and you thought I was going to say something else!). This book is really great and I highly recommend for all wives to read it. Your husband (and your family) will benefit greatly from it.