Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cousins and Dublin City Spray Park

Our first full day in Oho. What fun. The cousins had a blast going to the Dublin City Spray Park and running around in the water. My daughter wasn't too keen right away, but got herself into the wat a bit (not her ears, mind you!). There are some rocks that we sat on to eat some light lunch and the boys found a way to turn them into Pirate Ships as well. At the end of the day, Madagascar 2 seemed to find its way onto the television and the kids all sat a watched that (not all of it, but enough to relax).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday ... traveling day :)

The kids did really well in the car. We only got about 20 "Are we there yets." Which, if you have been on an 8 hour car ride with a 5 year old and a 2 year old, you know is not that many. They slept. They watched movies. We all played "I Spy." All around worth it to get to spend time with our cousins (brother, sister, aunt, uncle ... you know).

Got to see our nephew/godson/cousin win his championship coach-pitch baseball game. Got to eat dinner with the family. Got to spend some q-time already :) More to come. Yeah!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hair Cuts and Smiles

It's hard to tell it, isn't it? But they are brother and sister. It's almost like they like each other.
No, the Mohawk isn't real. But the curls on my daughter's head are. And the great cuts, too. We're ready for our vacation to start :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

He strikes again. 3 nice hits :)

Not sure why the coaches on the other team are stopping the ball when he hits it far instead of teaching the kids to back up and actually play outfield, but hey, as long as my son is happy and continues to learn and play, then I'm happy - at least happy with t-ball/coach pitch.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ever wonder what it feels like catch & take a foul ball off your shoulder?

Maybe you can't "feel" this, but on Saturday I took a foul ball squarely on my left upper arm (side deltoid) as I caught. It hurt at the time, but mostly just tightened up. Then, three days later, it remained a bit swelled up and started draining down my arm. It still hurts to the touch at the point of contact, which isn't any fun because it also itches because of the abrasion from the seams on the ball. I think the "rainbow" colors are pretty cool. If you can't tell, it has some red, blue and purple where the blood is draining, and some yellow, green, orange where the blood has already drained and where the bruise is beginning to heal. :) Fun!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Valleyfair Fathers' Day

My son loves the "Mild Thing" - the kids' version of Valleyfair's signature ride "Wild Thing"

Both kids loved the smaller rides. My daughter had a blast because she could do things on her own - or with her big brother - who was awesome in helping her and going along with what she wanted, by the way :)

We had a blast - literally, too, as my son and I went on "the Wave" and got soaked, while Mom and daughter took on the Carousel - something more their speed (and to their wetness-liking).

My son decide that he was the navigator of the group - and actually got us to all the rides we wanted to take on. He also found the right food stand and was all around a pleasure.

Fun. One meltdown from my daughter. Otherwise an awesome time. We wanted to stay for a couple of hours and leave shortly after lunch. We made it over 4 hours of fun. No pictures from the water park, but my son loved the new wave pool "Breakers Bay" and Dad (me) even got to go down all three body slides. What a great fathers day!
I'm not sure how my son made it through soccer Sunday night, since we had camped out at friends' house on the lake Saturday night, too. I had to take a short nap while the family ate dinner on Sunday after Valleyfair. But then, my son and I were raring to go for soccer, too. He says that he scored 6 goals. I'm not so sure. I thought maybe 7. But then again, he assisted on the other ones his team scored, too (and played good defense and stayed out of "the pack"). I'm such a proud dad. Love my family :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Textbook ... back up the middle :) (ESPN needs this!)

Oriole baseball moves into a new era ...

Coach pitch! To all of our surprise, T ball becomes coach pitch this week. Apparently it's been planned and Monday's game was a coach pitch game - underhand, but still lots of fun. The boys all did pretty well. I think just about everyone was hitting the ball. It was really nice to see. The boys did pretty well in the field, too. My son's having fun and even got to play against one of his friends from pre-school.
Strike one (swing and a miss)! Strike two (foul ball, right side)! Home run (which is true since he got to hit last - but it went over everyones' heads, too)!
Superfans: Mommy and Sis :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Underwater Adventures

My kids and I went to the Mall of America on Friday. Had a blast. Played for almost an hour at the LegoLand building "racers" and racing them down the ramps. Then we went to Underwater Adventrues. Some cool stuff. I didn't bring the nice camera, so the pictures are a bit fuzzy, but oh well - you get the idea. They switched out the touch pool, though. Which bummed me out. No more small sharks and rays to touch. Instead there was one (1) - yes one (1) - crab to touch. They did add a touch pool with star fish and other "squishy" "water animals" that my son touched. My daughter liked the sea horses.

My son likes the sharks. My daughter is glad that they're BEHIND the glass in the aquarium.

I, personally, wouldn't mind doing the "swimming with the sharks" that they offer - with SCUBA gear and all. I think that would be a blast - especially getting close to the large rays.
A lot of the sharks were resting - or "not active" - at the bottom of the aquarium this time - which actually gave us a great look at them. Especially since when they're moving around it's hard to see the details on their bodies. Pretty cool!
This guy got really close to us. Ugly puss. But my daughter was screaming (happily) to tell me that the big fish (like 4 or 5 different fish at different times) were right next to us. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lots of rain ...

So, it's been needed, but we've basically had four consecutive days of rain and dreary weather. Thankfully it was nice enough out on Tuesday to have the kids play outside for quite a while. Then it started raining again. We had our 70 degree weather as well. Otherwise, it's been cooler - like in the 50 to 60 degree range. The lawn appreciates the weather. It's almost like Spring decided to show up late. now we have the rain we needed (or at least the rain that the grass, plants, flowers, trees, gardens need). And it didn't even rain out much baseball. The Redbirds' youth tournament was basically pushed back to Sunday, and even that day wasn't the greatest, but I'm sure we still brought in some money to pay for some of our expenses.

The kids would love to be outside more. It's too bad that the weather timed out perfectly with the first week out of school, but there are still kids all over - like, all over at our house the other day. Four boys, two girls ... and actually, not too big a mess ... and they all picked up! Yeah. I guess we're training them well. Now, to get the big guy (my son) to stop complaining and whining when we ask him to do something he doesn't want to (or when we say "No" to something he thinks he should have or do). Oh well. Parenting continues ... forever ... right?! Gotta love 'em :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My son can actually hit left-handed

So, on Monday, I was thoroughly frustrated with my son's tee ball team. I started actually helping out in the field a lot this week, so I was right in the thick of it, so to speak. The kids really weren't focused on tee ball at all. One youngster just doesn't want to be there, so he was walking around, tugging on hats, trying to make people laugh and generally fighting for the ball in the field. That pretty much pervaded the team and everyone had trouble - fighting for the ball, not being ready for a hit ball, throwing gloves in the air. I was ready to give up.

Then Wednesday night came around. The kids really practiced well before the game and listened to Coach when she asked them to let ONE KID get each ball. They worked on underhand tosses for when they're really close to the first-basemen. Everything seemed to click. The Orioles (that's us) were out in the field first. The first four batters for the other team made outs. My son fielded the first ground ball and threw to first - and the first-basemen caught it. (Now, just keep in mind that everyone gets to hit and run the bases no matter what, but some of the kids on our team do know when "outs" are made) Next, another player fielded a grounder and threw for another out. Then a tee ball player actually caught a fly ball! And finally another ground ball out before the Blue Jays got their first actual "hit."

Anyway, I'm a proud dad and coach after seeing how well the team did. And, by the way, when my son was getting ready for his third inning at-bat (his third of the game - after a line drive over everyone's head and a screaming grounder that went right through the middle of the field into the outfield) he asked if he could hit left-handed. I said it was okay. He stepped up to the tee right-handed, then switched and hit a hard ground ball through the middle into the outfield again. I got a few looks from his coaches - the big eyes, as if to say, "Are you kidding me?" No, I'm not kidding you :) Just wish I could upload the video video :)