Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Baseball.

Most of my childhood memories take place on a ball field. The house I grew up in was only a block away from the high school and I remember walking down to the field on warm summer evenings with my dad to watch the boys play in the American Legion league. On nights we couldn't walk down and watch, I layed in bed and fell asleep with the windows open listening to the announcers and hearing the game from a distance. From early on, I fell in love with the atmosphere of a ball park. The smells, the hum of the lights over a night game, the crack of the bats and pops of a ball perfectly hitting a glove. There are few things in life that make me feel more content and at ease than being at a ballpark. In some odd way, it feels like home.

I started playing softball in elementary school and fell in love with the game. It soon became a year-round passion of mine- one year I played on four different teams, some at the same time. My dad faithfully carted me to and from every practice and game and tournament and was right there cheering me on and coaching the teams I was with. Tournaments became part of our norm and I regularly turned down hanging out with friends with the same excuse of "I can't, my team has a tournament this weekend."

My team was a group of girls, none of which I went to school with, but who became some of my best friends. Mainly because we all shared the same love of the game and would rather be playing out hearts out on the field than at the mall shopping. We started on Friday nights, Saturday we sometimes played upwards of 4-5 games, and ended the tournament with a couple games on Sunday, hopefully clenching victory. We were sweaty, and tired, and had some pretty incredible tan lines from our uniforms- but we loved every single second of it. Life on the ball field shaped my childhood, molded me into the person I am, and taught me more about team work, confidence, and hard work than anything else I knew.



This past February, we got a call from a friend of John's that baseball sign ups were getting ready to start. Kids in our area have to be four before they can play- and Landon just made the cut off to play this spring. I think John and I were more excited for Landon to play than anything, and we jumped at the chance for him to be on a familiar face's team.

Since that day, we've lived on the ball field once again. My role has changed from the player on the field to the mom on the bleachers cheering on the team and holding my breath every time he gets up to bat just praying he gets a good hit. I laugh at him playing in the dirt, watching the "big boys" on the opposite field play more than watching his own game, and running the bases like he's a lifeguard on Baywatch. Those familiar sounds and smells and sights are all still there, and I couldn't love it more.

More than anything, I want Landon to just have fun. To enjoy the game, and to learn and improve with each at bat and each practice. The day it stops being fun is the day that he doesn't need to play anymore (and hopefully that day doesn't come for a really long time). I want him to learn that hard work pays off, that practice helps you improve, that playing for a team is one of the best things ever. That sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose and it really doesn't matter either way- you still hold your head high and try harder next time. That it doesn't always go your way, and how to handle it when it doesn't. How to be a good loser, and a good winner. To support others, cheer them on, and be excited for them when they have a big game or do something great.

That said, we are having an absolute blast in our first season of baseball. Landon loves it, gets excited about going to practices and games, and can often be seen in the yard with his tee, ball and bat practicing himself. He loves running and hitting- and its pretty good at both! He's currently playing center field, which means there's a lot of daydreaming, picking grass and doing anything other than paying attention to the game. He gets a long well with his team mates and is learning a lot. And he is pretty dang cute in his uniform.





These days, they are the sweet spot of parenting, the sweet spot of motherhood. It's busy, yes. But it is so fun. Yesterday was our anniversary and we spent it cheering on our four year old. He had two great hits and scored two runs!  I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.



Last photo courtesy of my dad.

Avery Kate | Five Months

I swore I'd keep up with these monthly posts with our second baby. I swore she wouldn't be given the short end because mommy was busy, and life was chaotic. So, although it is a few weeks late- I am keeping my promise, holding true to what I set out to do, and keeping up with our monthly updates on sweet, Sassy Molassey.



Five months, approximately 14.5 lbs. Size two diapers, 3-6 month clothes, 6 month sleepers.

Avery is eating every 3 hours still, and still nursing! I have had continual issues while nursing though from blocked ducts, or a small bout of mastitis (we think)...so we will see how much longer we can make it! She does great though, and I have loved that I've been able to nurse longer than I did with Landon.

Unfortunately, while she's great at eating, she stinks at sleeping. Avery is still up multiple times a night, and thinks she is starving at every moment. I'm exhausted with it. I'm the first to admit that we have been more slack with sleep training than we were with Landon. He was in his crib and sleeping six hour stretches by four weeks old. Avery was in our room with us and in her swing until 4 months old. I have finally bit the bullet and decided to move her from our room to her own and start working with her on sleeping in the crib. Some nights she makes it all night in there, and others I end up caving and bringing her to our room to sleep with us. She loves for me to hold her, and the second I put her back in her crib those little eyes pop open and she tells me "you're not going anywhere, lady." Funny how a five month old can tell you these things. :) So, all that to say, I'm exhausted- and we need help. Its time to get super serious about sleeping in this household. Mama needs more than four hours a night!



This month we found out that our sweet girl will have to wear a helmet for 3-6 months. I've tried my hardest to keep her off the back of her head, to do more tummy time, and to sit her in the bumbo seat versus laying her down on her back. Nothing has really seemed to help her head round out in the back. I was definitely bummed when we found out- no one wants their baby to be anything less than perfect. No one wants to have to deal with things like this. But I am continually reminded how blessed we are that she is strong and healthy and if a helmet is the biggest "health issue" we have to deal with- we are incredibly lucky. Say a prayer for us that she sleeps well, and adjusts well to this thing being on her head!


Loves- baby girl LOVES her brother more than anything in this world. He is the only one who can get her to belly laugh and giggle as hard as she does. She lights up when he walks in the room and constantly watches what he is doing. And he loves her equally. It really is the sweetest bond, and I just hope it continues! She also still loves her teething toys, her stroller, and being held. She's a snuggly baby and just wants to be around her people.


Her personality is growing each and everyday and it is such a sweet, content personality. She is curious and serious, and always takes in her surroundings. But she is so happy and smiles all the time! We love our sweet doodle and can't imagine our little family without her in it!

Happy Five Months, Avery Kate!!

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