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Baseball

Summer Baseball

Jason played with the CageRats baseball club team this past summer. It was awesome and fun and a struggle at times. He absolutely loved the workouts and the other kids on the team. They played a mix of out-of-state tournaments as well as a bunch of in-state games against other high school teams.

He struggled with his elbow at times . . . sometimes it would be awesome, and sometimes it would hurt so bad he’d ask to be taken out of the game, which was a big deal when it got to that point.

He got a LOT of playing time in left field, which he totally loved!

We traveled to Phoenix in June. I made Jason and his buddy, Shep, sit on the Jack Rabbit in Holbrook, AZ for our token Route 66 stop :-)

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They also had the opportunity to play on the Oakland Athletics’ spring training field! Super nice field! Jason couldn’t get over how awesome the outfield was – how clean and flat and “springy” the grass was. Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid :-)

Jason and Shep before their first game.

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Not everyone gets to say they executed a successful hit and run on a big league field!

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We also traveled to Atlanta (hot!) for a week – in July. Holy hot Batman! The boys actually played pretty well at the Perfect Game tournament. They could’ve been even more competitive if their coach hadn’t been overruled by the club team owner on who to play where, when. It was tough for the guys to give their best every game when they knew the best team wasn’t on the field at any given time. But, it was a great experience overall. Jason really liked how the team stayed together in the hotel and had a team van where they went everywhere together in. One of the kids’ Grandma had a great house on 10 acres with a pond about 45 north of the hotel. After one of the early games, we loaded up the boys in the van, ran to Walmart for food and drinks, and went to the pond to play, unwind, and enjoy BBQ. It was a great break in the middle of a tough week!

We spent quite a bit of time scrimmaging our own in-house club teams and playing games in Denver. There was a lot of driving and a lot of time spent at the ball field this summer! But, when you get to watch your kid play under the lights and see some amazing sunsets, it’s all worth it.

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Empathy

While Dude rehabs his elbow for baseball, he decided to get a job umpiring for Little League.

He’s loving it! And earning some money.

I’m enjoying watching the kiddos play from a completely different perspective than I had when Dude was 12 and playing Little League (oh how I’d love to talk to some of those parents!).

They are so cute and innocent and just out there playing baseball.

To end the game on Thursday, a kid hit a fly ball to center field for out #2. The base runner walked back to 2nd and didn’t make it before the center fielder threw to 2nd and got him out for a double play.

Dude had to call the runner out.

When we got to the car, he said “I wanted to yell to him to run back, but we can’t do that. After I called him out and the other team started cheering, he just started crying. I felt so bad for him! They’re so little!”

I love that my Dude has such a huge heart :-)

Still Got It – Sorta . . .

Remember when Dude was working on his last requirements to earn his Eagle Scout rank? The last thing he had to do was complete a 20-mile hike. He picked a nice Sunday, mapped out a route on the Santa Fe Trail, and hiked.

This also meant that I hiked the 20 miles with him.

Now that his elbow is doing well and he’s in rehab mode, he has to work through the Interval Throwing Program before he can play again. Don’t know what that is? Check this out:

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If Dude has to complete the ITP, guess who else gets to complete the ITP? Yup – you guessed it. Me.

Why do I have to do it? Because it’s high school baseball season and all of his buddies have games and practice every day. And since I’m the parent that can catch and throw a baseball, I win!

Kinda . . . not really.

We must all remember that not only do I have a bum right shoulder, I also have bum wrists and elbows.

And, quite frankly, I’m 43 . . . not 23.

He has to complete each step of each phase 3 times (although doc gave him a pass on 45′ – he only has to do those 2 times) . . . which means a total of 2380 throws, not including all the warm up throws.

Ugh.

He may have to find a new throwing partner when he gets to the 90′ phase!

There is one bonus – the boost to my old lady dead arm ego. The Dads and Grandpas at the cages are still impressed when I step in there with Dude and catch and throw with him 😉

They don’t need to know that even with the whiskey, ibuprofen, and hot tub remedy, I can barely lift my arm to brush my teeth the next day 😉

November 1st

That’s the next time Dude can play baseball – just in time for the season to be over 😉

Two weeks ago, he tore the tendon that attaches to his bicep. OUCH! He’s not allowed to throw or anything until at least November 1st. Of course, being a 15-year old boy, he thought it would be a good idea to throw a tennis ball for Duma the other day. I think the pain that followed was a nice kick in the behind for him to remember why doc said NO throwing.

So last Saturday, he wanted to go to the last games and support the guys – his legs work fine, and he can be a pinch runner! Sounded like a great plan to me.

He got to run the bases once as a pinch runner. One of the times when he dove back to 2nd on a pick-off attempt, the short stop stepped on his right pinky finger with his cleats.

Yep – broken finger. THAT we did not go to the doc for. It’s not deformed – just a little swollen and a bit numb still in the tip (feeling is coming back and he can bend it a bit now). So we just buddy-taped it.

His right arm is basically useless for a couple more weeks.

So ya – my kid comes from clutzy stock – and I can honestly say it’s NOT FROM ME!

I’m throwing his father and maternal grandfather under the bus on this one :-)

PS – Anyone wondering what to get him for Christmas? Bubble wrap would be a fine investment!

Weekend in Words

Friday
Da Girls: Picked Princess up from school and we booked it up to Denver (where we promptly un-booked it in crazy traffic – still hate Denver!). We headed straight to the National Western complex for the Friday night portion of the Horse Expo. Our friend, MS, was riding in the Mane Event evening show and we wanted to be there! It was lots of fun :-) We got to help get a couple of the horses ready – letting down awesome long beautiful tails, brushing, etc. After the show, we headed to a hotel – just the two of us. It’s not very often we get to spend time like this alone. It was nice and fun and relaxing.
Da Boys: As far as I can tell by the credit card bill and the new clothes bags, they stuck to their plan of going to the sporting goods store for baseball gear (darn boy keeps growing!) and meeting some fellow Scouts at REI to shop for the high adventure trip this summer. Those are the only “details” the talkative men in my life were willing to share.

Saturday
Da Girls: Up bright and early. Princess made me promise to get her up early enough so we could eat breakfast and make it to the Horse Expo by 8:45 so we could be in our seats at 9:00 for the class she wanted to attend – Techniques for Trainers. Yep – given the opportunity to sleep in as long as she wanted, she made me wake her up so we could go learn how to train kids on horses. Spent a few hours walking around the Expo looking for things to buy (we succeeded) and getting quotes on stalls for our barn (yikes!). We may or may not have been sucked in by a live infomercial starring Princess herself – and we may or may not have bought a straightening iron that CURLS your hair. Last year, Princess loved watching the Colt Starting in the main event arena, so this year that was the 2nd must-do thing at the Expo. Sat our behinds in bleacher seats for 2 hours watching trainers break colts ranging from 2.5 years to 4 years. It’s actually pretty interesting and fun to watch! We left mid-afternoon to catch up with the boys at Dude’s baseball games. He had a double-header in South Denver.
Da Boys: Best I can tell, they got up, went out for breakfast, went to Denver, bought more baseball stuff, and headed to the ball field.
All: We had a great time watching Dude’s team play. He’s loving the high school baseball. He’s struggling a bit at the plate . . . hasn’t gotten his groove back after getting his cast off, but he’ll get there. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, and the facility was amazing! Private Christian school has some MOOLAH! It was fun for them to get to play on awesome fields. The games started late and ran late, so we all bolted the minute they were over.
Hubby and Me: Raced inside, cleaned up a bit, put on something nicer than shorts and a t-shirt, and headed out to a fundraising benefit with silent auction. Enjoyed lots of wine samples, yummy appetizers, and fun with friends. We may have ended up winning quite a few of the items we bid on 😉 Next time we might want to bid together!

Sunday
All that fun on Friday and Saturday meant catching up on responsibilities on Sunday. The kiddos were tasked with cleaning their rooms – like their entire rooms. For two kids who swore they had nothing they didn’t need, we ended up with 3 large trash bags and one large tote of clothes (2 to donate, 2 to put into a consignment sale in a couple weeks), 2 trash bags of trash (yuck!), and 2 totes of “stuff” they’re ready to get rid of. All is well in the land of the scary teenager bedrooms downstairs. Princess and I also made it out to the barn for a couple glorious hours of loving on Cowboy – brushing, cleaning his stall, giving him a massage . . . life is good!

And where are the photos of the horse expo and baseball games and before/after of the cleaning spree?

In my  melon. We were having so much fun just enjoying time with the kids and together as a family this weekend that none of us pulled out a phone or camera for a photo. I love photos, but this was a nice fun, relaxing, weekend with family and friends :-)

Now we’re off to the races again this week – horses, baseball, work, scouts, volleyball – Let the games begin! Woot!

Out of Shape Ownership

No, I’m not delusional about my current state of fitness. But OMG!

Dude’s first pitching lesson, I got one of his buddies to catch for him.

His second lesson, it was all me. For the entire hour. I LOVED it! Had a blast. It’s fun to see – and feel – his progress from behind the plate. And it’s just fun to catch :-) That was last Saturday morning.

Sunday  morning, WOW! Legs were a bit on the sore side 😉

Tuesday he had another lesson. Again, it was just me catching. I was happy to do it and looking forward to it!

And all was fine, until the last 10 minutes. He learned another pitch and they were sailing a bit high to start with.

Let me just say that my MIND and ARMS were totally ready to jump up and catch those balls. They were not out of reach with a little effort.

But my LEGS had a totally different plan!

Once I tried to jump for a ball and . . . nothing. Seriously, NOTHING happened. My legs had decided enough was enough and I got shut down 😉

They didn’t even hurt. Weren’t even sore.

They were just done.

For someone who once caught 8 games in a single tournament weekend, this was SO disappointing! And enlightening :-)

It actually made me giggle. Coach and Dude both looked at me like WTH are you giggling about?

I just smiled and giggled more, limped to the ball, and threw it back . . . and forced myself to catch the rest of the 10 minutes.

Thankfully, he got the pitch down. In the dirt is catchable without much effort :-)

Friday he has another lesson – and I’m going to catch.

At least I know I’m getting a good workout!

Ownership

I was a catcher for many years . . . throughout middle school, high school, and a couple years in college. But it took until I was 42 to actually own my own catcher’s mask :-) I bought this yesterday:

 The glove is the Mother’s Day gift my fam gave me a couple years ago (do they know me or what?!).

Why, do you ask, did I purchase a catcher’s mask at 42?

Because Dude decided he wanted to give pitching a real try. I’ve been catching for him forever when he messed around and it was fine. But when he really decided to give it a shot with a pitching coach for a few lessons, I felt the need for a mask.

Let’s just say that when I could HEAR the ball coming before I could SEE it, I figured it was time for a little protection.

Ideally, we bring an actual catcher with us to his lessons (one of his besties is an awesome catcher). But we can’t always find a catcher to come to his lessons, so I’m the default if there isn’t one available – which I secretly (or not so secretly) LOVE when there isn’t one available :-)

Will he like pitching and actually be good at it and want to do it? Who knows! But why not give it a good shot, right? :-)

The Over 40 Cabinet

Yesterday was one of those days. It wasn’t particularly bad for any reason. I was just having a personal not so great day. One of those days where I try NOT to interact with people – for their own sake 😉

Forced myself to take Duma on our morning walk because not doing that would only have made me more annoyed all day. That was good :-) I may have even sat in the hot tub when I got home – an attempt to loosen up my back and elevate my mood before starting actual work. It worked – a little.

Anyhoo – got through the day without incident, other than just being generally annoyed for no real reason at all.

Took Dude to his hitting lesson. Again – yay! Love his hitting coach and love watching his lessons and love his mood when he’s done with them. He has a great time, gets a big workout in an hour, and just has fun. Everyone left the facility about 10 minutes before his lesson was over.

So when his lesson was over, I helped him shag the balls, then I stepped into the box. Dude soft tossed to me for awhile, then actually pitched a little.

Neither one of us rocked the batting cage at this point, but man was it FUN!

Coach told Dude that he better be careful – throw and duck – or I was going to kill him :-) Hee hee!

Now THIS little 10 minute episode definitely elevated my mood. It’s always fun to “play” a sport I’ve loved for a long time. It’s even more fun when your kids are finally old enough and big enough to actually play with you for real.

My plan was to head to the hot tub last night – I am over 40 afterall – hoping to lesson the muscle pain I’d feel today.

That didn’t happen – I watched a horse movie with Princess instead.

So this morning, I made a visit to the Over 40 Cabinet . . . I’m not nearly as sore as I thought I’d be. I’m actually expecting it more tomorrow! It’s like my body is old enough that it can’t even catch up with the soreness sensors!

Or, my increased physical activity the past month might actually be helping . . . who knows.

At any rate . . . it was a blast to have that kind of fun with Dude. I’m glad I have access to ibuprofen in the Over 40 Cabinet. And I can’t wait to do it again!

Hands

We’ve been having a blast with baseball, swimming, and horses :-)

Monday, Dude got hit by a pitch at practice. Smashed into his left hand while he was swinging the bat – ouch! It immediately turned blue and got huge and puffy. Numb fingers. Couldn’t move his fingers. It wasn’t much better Tuesday morning, so I took him to the Urgent Care. Why not the doc, you ask? Because the doc doesn’t have an x-ray machine and we would’ve had to go somewhere else after seeing the doc. I was one-stop shopping!

Anyhoo – doc took one look at it, poked around a bit, and said “Yup. Betting that thing’s broken. We’ll get an x-ray.”

X-ray was negative – woot! She said she couldn’t believe it. He had been hit so hard that his skin broke even through the batting glove! She’s convinced the batting glove absorbed enough impact to keep his hand from breaking. No restrictions – just let the pain dictate the activity – is what she told him . . . while she recommended 5-7 days of no batting or catching.

Wednesday, took him to the regular doc for his regular physical (had I remembered he had this appt., I probably would’ve just made him wait since he wasn’t complaining). Regular doc took a look at it and said he’s surprised it’s not broken. Judging by where the bruise and cut are, the ball hit just the right place so the area between the bones in his pinkie and ring fingers absorbed most of the hit. If the ball was left or right a tiny bit, broken hand.

Of course he tried to put his glove on at practice yesterday and found out that 48 hours does not equal 5-7 days! Also discovered he cannot grip a bat yet (um, duh!). Boys.

So yay! We’re feeling lucky this week :-) He’s bummed he can’t hit or catch, but he can still run . . . which is one thing he does often in the games since he’s the fastest guy on the team. He gets to pinch run for the pitchers.

Looking forward to another weekend of baseball up north of Denver!

Horses, Horses, and More Horses!

On Saturday, Princess and I spent the day at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. And by day, I mean we left the house at 8:45 a.m. and got back home at 10:40 p.m. So ya – the WHOLE day. Basically we did whatever Princess wanted to do all day. She’d marked the schedule with a highlighter before we left home.

We walked the Expo for quite a few hours. We bought horse books – fiction and non-fiction (so glad my little lady loves to read!). Princess voted on the best of the horse art on display in sculpture, painting, and photography. We spent a lot of time petting the miniature horses. We looked at tons of random stuff. We got a quote on a large lawn tractor with a mower deck and snow blower from the John Deere guy. We ate hot dogs and burgers and ice cream and nachos and french fries. We attended seminars on how to start your horse over jumps. We spent hours sitting in the main event center watching Polo and Polocrosse. We spent more hours sitting in the main event center watching the Colt Starting Challenge (way fun to watch these guys and gals take an unbroke 3 or 4 year old horse and break it – 8 trainers with 8 totally different methods!). We spent more hours sitting in the main event center watching The Mane Event in the evening . . . English and Western dressage, vaulting, people standing on two horses as they walked, chariot races, synchronized horseback riding (aka drill team), Icelandic pony demonstrations, roping, cutting. Tons of fun!

An awesome day of horse experiences with my Princess.

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In other news, while Hubby and Princess headed up to Breckenridge snowboarding on Sunday, I spent the day watching Dude play baseball. It was BEAUTIFUL outside (68 and sunny) and their coach had set up 2 scrimmages. We were at the fields from Noon to 4:30 . . . and we didn’t mind a bit.

He got to pitch the first game . . . pitched only one inning, but allowed only 1 run and got the win – so yay for my Dude who hadn’t really pitched at all! He hit well, played the field well, and scored runs in both games. Fun fun fun! Much better than the previous weekend in the IceBreaker tournament where the temp was 20 with a windchill ~0 degrees!

Next up – heading to Arizona for a tournament over spring break. Woot!