Thursday, August 17, 2017

Softball and baseball

Well.  I started this post almost three weeks ago now and still haven't finished it.  This summer! Blogging has been scarce this summer mostly due to softball and baseball and gardening and Reina's drama camp (more on that later!) and a list of fun stuff that's kept me off of the computer.  So these pictures are starting to be a little outdated and I'd better get them blogged before football starts (it started two weeks ago....)  

We loved watching Reina play softball.  I posted about this last month, but she had a great coach and a really nice group of girls and parents.  She learned a lot and it was fun to see her progress throughout the season.  I thought my girl wasn't competitive - in previous sports she was usually happy to run alongside teammates with a smile on her face - but during softball, I started to notice some serious looks in the dugout and dare I say.... frustration when the game wasn't going the way she wanted.  Turns out our Reina-iac really wants to win and if she thinks her team isn't going to win, she'd rather just call the game off.  

Then there was Will's baseball season.  It overlapped with Reina's softball season for a few weeks so we had to divide and conquer and meet up on fields after one game was done but before the one started.  Luckily, the fields were just down the road from each other.

Will had a really fun baseball season.  He had a good coach, good assistant coaches (including Glenn), good friends on the team and I had a great group of moms and grandparents to cheer with.  Will's team ended up fourth in the tournament but they made it a lot farther than was anticipated.

Will developed a lot as a player this year.  He was a solid hitter and had some good plays on defense.  He also pitched!  I was a bundle of nerves when he was on the pitching mound but he showed such strength and tenacity up there.  He never let his nerves get the best of him and he was a joy to watch.  And he struck some kids out!

I don't have any pictures of him on the pitching mound because let's face it... I was usually pacing back and forth behind the bleachers when he was up.  Or I was sitting directly behind home plate and willing the other team to swing at the ball.  No, I wasn't too wrapped up in 5th grade baseball, why do you ask?

The highlights of Will's baseball season where an in-the -park home run, a few three-up, three-down innings as a pitcher, getting a base runner out in a pickle as a first baseman (it was glorious!) and many RBI's.  We really had fun watching him play.  Bring on football season!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Glenn and Reina's Camping Trip

A few weeks ago, Glenn took Reina on her annual Dad/Daughter camping trip.  We finally had a weekend without baseball or any planned events so they scooted up to the mountains for a mini-backpacking trip. Glenn took a bunch of photos to document their adventure.  
Sword? Wand?  Softball bat? Who knows, but her form sure looks good.  

Taking a hiking break.  Tootsie was invited along on the trip because she does a good job off leash.  Trigger would've ended up in Idaho before Glenn could blink an eye.  Tootsie's off-leash skills don't always translate to her ability to pose for the camera.  

A close-up of our Outdoor Girl.  

Reina loves to fish, a fact that has been regularly documented on this blog.  This time around, she was miffed because Dad was the only one to catch anything.

Annual commemorative camping picture.  

Post-camping breakfast at a little diner in Centennial.  The pancakes were decorated with a face, Reina happily reported when she came home.  
So what did Will and I do while the other half of the family was camping?  We ran some errands, watched baseball, had dinner with grandparents and then grabbed ice cream cones on the way home, went to church and then watched some more baseball.  We also babysit my first nephew, Bailey the pug.  Bailey is a little old man dog but he had fun at our house.  Trigger was sulking because he didn't get to go camping and Coco was concerned by the addition of a senior pug just about her size.  Bailey lives with a cat so he'd wag his tail at Coco but she was having none of it.  I tried to get a few pictures of her giant puffiness and hissing whenever Bailey got too close but she usually scampered out of the room before I could snap a shot.

The summer marches on!

Sunday, July 16, 2017


The kiddos had enrolled in a bunch of different camps this summer.  While the parents are missing the ease of one drop-off and pick-up every day, the kids are having fun trying new things and hanging out with grandparents when camp isn't in session.

The first week of summer, Will did a three-day football camp and Reina had a three-day basketball camp.  Will's camp was from 8-11 and Reina's was 9-12 which made for some complicated shuttling but thanks to Pop-Pop, it was a little easier than I thought it would be.  The next week, both were at a program called SEEK at our community college.  Will's had a Fantastic Beasts class in the morning and Star Wars in the afternoon.  Reina was in a different age group but she had Star Wars in the morning and made hats in the afternoon.  Our sideboard is currently covered in everything from a chef's hat to a top hat, a fleece winter hat and a kicky beret and more!  Those camps were a big success.

After that, Will participated in an outdoor camp and Reina was at a sports camp all week.  At Reina's camp, she got to try a variety of events including tennis, volleyball, fitness, softball, equestrian and rodeo.  Yep, rodeo!  She loved learning about how to take care of a horse (her's was a pretty bay named Cespa).  They got to brush the horse, clean her feet, look at her teeth and they even painted the horses one day.  I'm not sure how much the horses enjoyed that activity.  When I picked Reina up the first afternoon, she proudly told me that her teacher in the rodeo class told her she was a bull riding.

The next week, Will was at the same sports camp that Reina had been in but he participated in basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming, rock climbing and fitness.  He had a few friends in his class and liked that.  His favorite activity was lunch in the cafeteria - all you can eat pizza, sandwiches and ice cream cones.  What's not to love about that?  While Will was at sports camp, Reina had mornings at baking camp and afternoons with me or the grandparents.  She learned how to bake new items every day and brought the samples home.  The second day, she had made banana bread and was very proud of it.  She insisted that we save it for breakfast the next morning which we did.  I woke up and went jogging.  When I came back, I asked her if we could slice the bread which I did, into enough pieces for everyone.  I took a slice, Will grabbed one, I told Reina to come get hers and then I hopped into the shower.  When I came downstairs a few minutes later, all of the bread was gone.  I asked the kiddos if they'd eaten all of it and before my sentence was completely out, Reina started hollering.  It turns out that Will enjoyed the first slice so much, he went ahead and finished off the mini-loaf before Reina came upstairs.  His only defense was, "Reina, that was really delicious."  A compliment from the brother slightly soothed her indignation but the cupcakes she brought home later that day were watched like a hawk.

After baking camp, Reina started in Youth Summer Stock, a three-week drama camp which culminates next weekend in a grand production of Lion King Jr.  She is loving it.  Love, love, loving it.  She's playing a lioness, a wildebeest and the mouse that Scar chases in the opening scene.  She sings in almost every song and dances and I can't wait to see it! If anyone is interested in knowing any of the songs, just call me.  They are all floating around my brain right now.

Will had a few days off and then another week of the Seek classes.  This time around, he learned about electricity in one session and another version of Star Wars in the afternoon.  He also had a few one-day baseball camps to work on his skills.  While Reina finishes drama camp, he has football camp right around the corner and then holy cow, it'll almost be August.

Glenn and I are working, watching lots of 10-yr old baseball games (more on that next time), fishing (Glenn), gardening, jogging and trying to squeeze as much as we can out of these nice warm days. Summer can slow down anytime now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Baby Boy Cousin's Birthday

A few weeks ago, we gathered together to celebrate Baby Boy Cousin's first birthday.  Okay, when I first uploaded these pictures, it was a few weeks ago but now it's been almost a month since our little baby cousin turned 1!  1!  This kid is something special.  He's happy, as long as his tummy is full, wanting to get into everything and a big fan of his mom's chickens.  And his mom and dad.  He thinks his cousins are pretty cool too.  Alright, he seems to like all of us pretty well and we are big fans of his.  

Will getting a workout entertaining cousins.  

Who can resist this face?  Not his aunt!  

Slightly skeptical about the hat and everyone staring at him before cake.  
Two handsome boys.  

But seriously, what are we all doing here?  

Vicky made an awesome banana cake with peanut butter frosting that tasted amazingly like peanut butter fudge.  It was delicious!  The birthday boy was slightly skeptical which made both his dad and Uncle Glenn excited that he might not like sweets.  Booooooo!  I'll still love him anyway.  
Happy birthday BBC - we can't wait to see what the next year brings.  Walking, talking and being flat out adorable.

Friday, June 16, 2017

We're all out of bubblegum

It's mid-June and I've barely blogged about our summer.  That's mostly because I've been at the ballfield watching Reina or Will.  This is Reina's first year playing softball and some days she loves it and some days she's not so sure.  Her first game was in mid-May and we've had a few rainouts but her season is starting to wind down.  We've really enjoyed watching her play.  She's on a great time and they were "undefeatable" (according to Reina) until Monday.  Reina can hit the ball and she's tagged a few girls out in the infield.  I don't want to pressure her, but I hope she'll want to try it again next summer.  She's made some great progress.  

Looking serious at first base

Getting ready to hit 

Getting ready to race home!  
I've thought for a while that Reina was not a big sports kid because she's not very competitive.  She definitely likes it when the team wins.  When we watch baseball on tv, she'll be sad for the (opposing) player who strikes out.  During football season, she'll often root for both teams.  But I've discovered during softball that there is a competitive streak alive in that kid and she gets stressed if she thinks her team isn't going to win.  Last Friday we were talking before her game and she nonchalantly told me "All we do is kick butt and chew bubblegum.  And guess what?  We're all out of bubblegum."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

That time that Coco snared herself

A few weeks ago, Reina called me as I was I pulling into the garage.  She had just beaten me home and couldn't find Coco.  Coco was in a (now ended) phase of finding my knitting projects and carrying them around the house trailing yarn behind her.  It was cute the first few times and then we started to wonder if she was trying to trip us down the stairs by entwining yarn in and out of the bannisters.  So I'd locked up all my unused yarn and tried to remember to put my current project - a scarf - in a cat-proofed spot at the end of each day.

But I hadn't put my project away enough.  Reina followed a trail of yarn to the basement and found Coco laying in the basement with her hind leg snared to a table leg with a generous portion of yarn.  From what we could tell, Coco had been carrying the yarn and somehow wrapped the yarn around her leg and the table leg and then pulled it tight in her struggle to get out.  Reina used some quick thinking and ran upstairs for a pair of scissors and cut the yarn as I came into the house.  Coco followed her up the stairs and we tried to check out Coco's foot.  She didn't put a lot of weight on her leg and sat down and made the most pitiful 'meow' in the history of meow's.  Then she hobbled up the stairs and hid under Will's bed.

Reina wiggled under the bed to get her out while I called the vet.  It was late in the afternoon but luckily they told me to bring Coco over as soon as I could.  I kept the cat/vet box from her last trip so I put her in there along with Reina's favorite blanket and off we went.  Glenn had come home to take Reina to piano and I tearfully asked him if he thought a cat could live with three legs. I was convinced she's broken hers and I was worried that she damaged the circulation by laying there for so long.  I'm not always my most rational whilst driving pets to the vet.

We had to wait a few minutes to see the vet and there was a waiting room full of dogs waiting for their vaccinations so needless to say, Coco was having a rough day.

Waiting to see the doctor.  Coco's expression speaks volumes.
After a few x-rays and a visit with the doctor, we left with no broken bones and a couple of pain pills and an anti-inflammatory.  The doctor cautioned us to keep Coco quiet and confine her activity as much as possible.  They also asked if I had a strategy for getting her to take a pill.  I had no plan besides jamming it down her little throat.  

The damaged leg on the left.  
Keeping her quiet and confined on Will's bed.  
Her leg stayed swollen for a few days but she bounced back pretty quickly. I solved the problem of the pill taking by waiting until she was pretty hungry and then she'd gobble it right down.  It helped that the pill was some sort of meat flavored.  As the doctor recommended, Coco is banned indefinitely from yarn and yarn-related projects and not surprisingly, she hasn't been super interested in it since the fateful day.  I'm so glad Reina found her when she did.

Feeling better and checking out chickens on the back deck.  

"Just let me outside.  I want to eat that chicken so bad."  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Piano Girl

Yesterday, Reina had her first piano recital.  She's been taking lessons for a little over a year now and it's so exciting to see how much she's learned. She seems to have a knack for it and (no pressure kid!) we hope that she keeps playing for a while.  She can read both treble clef and bass clef and she's playing with two hands.  She's doing so great!  Back to the performance - I don't know who was more nervous for her recital - her or me.  Probably me.  She was poised.  Reina's had her song memorized for a few months which means that the rest of us could probably play the song also.  Her song was called "Most of All, I Like Rainbows." I'm humming it right now.   The recital took place at the library and there was even a little stage.   

Walking on the stage for the pre-song bow.  

Next year, I'm standing on the other side of the room for a better angle.  Except she probably wouldn't have been happy with me.  She nailed her song - no mistakes and she kept a lively tempo.  

Post performance group photo shoot.  Too serious for smiles?  

There's one!  
Reina's taking a break from piano for the summer but she's going to keep practicing and start it back up in the fall.  We love watching her play!