Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ashley's First Haircut

So I really didn't want to get her haircut.  I know with the boys Tommy was just over 2 years old and Austin was about 18 months old.  With boys you go in with babies and come out with little boys.  I wasn't ready for Ashley to look so different.  Well Joe was feeling like neglectful parents by not having her haircut yet; and honestly if you don't put it up everyday she does look like a little ragamuffin.  I went ahead and scheduled an appointment with my beautician and we just did a little trim and left the bangs long.  I really didn't want to deal with bangs.  So it honestly doesn't look much different and Joe can feel better about having it done.

Both the boys did okay with their 1st haircuts; Austin was pretty good, Tommy was a bit more nervous but they both got through it on the first try.  Ashley though was absolutely geeked to be getting her hair done; I don't know why I even worried at all.  What can I say the girl loves beauty and loves people fussing over her.  I told her we'd get a new nail polish after if she was good.  And she was just great throughout the whole thing!  My baby girl is growing up way too quickly.  And I'm pretty sure that everyday I'll be asked to blow dry and curl her hair just like at the salon.

The last baseball post - loving it!

It's always hard to win a tournament when you lose your first game.  We were killed by Elba Friday night but won our final three games.  Then will help from Lake Orion and Cass City we ended up winning 1st place again.  Poor Cass City; they just can't get by us when it matters.  We just barely nudged them 6-5 and are 2-2 with them on the season.  Very even; I'll only feel sorry for them a little bit. This tournament was pure round robin style which I do not like.  I believe there should always be a championship game.  It's very hard for every team to win every game.  But once again the Reese Rockets came out smelling like a rose. 

We played our two games on Sunday and didn't even stick around to see how it would end because we were all but mathematically eliminated.  Elba had the most colossal collapse late in a tournament since Boston came down from 3-0 to take four straight against the Yankees on their way to winning their first World Series since the curse. (Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit here) Anyways, it was Elba's to lose and they did.  We had to meet up at the park Monday night for the boys to get their final trophies. 

Tommy played fairly well; not as great as in North Branch but better than the other two tournaments.  He hadn't struck out since the Beaver tournament so we are happy he finally conquered those demons.  We did have a scary moment on Saturday when he took a pitch to the face.  He was thankfully okay.  Dumb thing was the pitch before his teammate was given the steal sign so he was fake bunting and when he pulled back on a ball high he jumped out the box and the ump signaled strike saying "stay in the box, I'll always call a strike if you jump out of the box." Well the next pitch he stayed in the box and BOOM.  I was probably more shook up then Tommy and Joe had a few words for the umpire and craziest thing of all was the Cass City coach gave the ump some grief saying it was all his fault Tommy got hit and you should never tell a kid to not get out of the box.  The ump did ask Joe the next inning how Tommy was doing and I'm sure he felt bad.  I guess it was the coach's kid who was pitching and I'm sure that kid felt terrible.  Tommy's coach called that night to see how he was doing which was nice too.  Thankfully the next couple games the little pitchers weren't throwing too hard and Tommy did fine getting some decent hits.  Overall a good way to end a great summer season! 

Way to go Reese 10U Rockets!!! 

Monday, July 25, 2011


Bleh, can't believe I'm making a post about this.  I hate port-a-johns but sometimes you're just desperate and need to use them.  We've seen a lot of them recently at Tommy's ball tournaments.  Thankfully there was only 1 tournament where that was our only option.  However, often the regular bathrooms were a long walk away so the porties were it.

Friday night, our potty was fresh and new.  I swear Ashley's was the first pee deposited there and it wasn't too bad of an experience.  But by yesterday you couldn't even walk by the one at our field without gagging.  On a hot and humid weekend the flies are buzzing around and you can almost feel the gasses in their trying to attack you.  And another thing you will find is that shit in a portie is always diarrhea.  Oh the agony.

Ashley went fine on Friday when the potty was fairly empty.  Saturday afternoon, it was filled with all kinds of nastiness and had a huge mountain of toilet paper forming topped with piss and shit.  She refused to go.  I tell you with the TP mountain I don't think you had to worry about back splash but it was enough to freak her out and she wouldn't go and guess who later pissed her pants?  Ugh! I almost can't blame her.

I guess I just need bring a portie of our own.  (I did do this a couple weeks ago when there was NO real bathroom and the porties were especially nasty, I think those got emptied maybe once a year.  However, mid-tournament the shit truck came by and emptied it, who would like that job?) Men are so lucky that they can just whip it out and go on the ground behind a tree.  And just in case you're wondering the portie was for Ashley not me. ;)  I just hold it for hours and hours and hours. I'm so glad I wasn't born over 100 years ago when pit toilets were a way of life.  And did you know that porties are the number one place that lost cell phones go un-rescued?  No shocker there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Loving Baseball!

The title should say it all!  Tommy's team went 4-1 this weekend winning the North Branch Tournament.  Tommy had his best weekend hitting wise and did well defensively too.  He's finally hitting on all cylinders.  He had some great hits this weekend and a ton of RBI's.  And best of all he didn't strike out once!!!!  It's been a huge battle for him.  Now if only poor Brandon Inge could bust out of his slump. 

This weekend wasn't only great for Tommy but all the Reese kids were hitting.  It was great to see these kids get some confidence at the plate.  Of course the pitchers weren't flame throwers like we had last weekend in Beaver.  Plus, that tourney was major league style; you could run on a passed ball third strike, could steal home, and could lead off before the ball was pitched.  I personally don't like that at this level.  I think hitters should have to put the ball in play (or be walked home with bases loaded) to be able to score.  It just put a lot of pressure on the catchers and pitchers.  This tournament was more of a recreation style, you could steal but not lead off, and you couldn't steal home.  Our team is really in the middle trying to find our right place.  We are too good for rec but not quite ready for elite travel status.  However with this weekend I saw some good things and maybe the team could make that leap soon.  Too bad the travel season is ending after this week. 

Of course this all was possible because before the tournament Tommy went to the barbershop and got all his beautiful locks chopped off.  All that beautiful hair; GONE!  But I'm the only one sad about it.  Eh, he'll probably be more comfortable now anyways.

Next weekend we are in Mayville and that my friends will be the end of baseball.  But it's been a long journey; he's been going to weekly open gyms since January. No rest for the wicked.  Go Rockets!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Going Nuts for Free Stuff

People have tried to explain it to me but I just don't get it.  Why do people go nuts for free things?  Yesterday was 7-11's birthday and they were giving away free 7.11 oz slurpees.  Do you know how dinky that is?  You'll have that drank before you're in your car to go back home.  I heard one gal on Facebook say that she and her kid went numerous times yesterday for free slurpees!  Seriously, a giant slurpee might cost you a little over a buck?  Why do people go so nuts for free?

We went one year to the 7-11 event and they didn't even give you a lid! Plus, I spent a boatload in snacks while there.  7-11 knows what they're doing.  Just gotta reel the people in. 

How about the crazy people that stood in line at Buffalo Wild Wings for hours in the cold during their grand opening hoping to get 6 free wings a week for a year?  You're saving $6 a week but how much are you spending on the drinks and other food when you go?

I'm all about getting a good deal but all this borderlines on ridiculous! I am very happy for those people who seriously can't afford to drop a buck or two on occasional slurpees.  I'm sure the indulgence was a welcome treat.  And kids, you go ahead and bike up there 5 times if you want on July 11th, but adults I ask don't you know any better? Go ahead and get your one freebie, but anything after that and you just look like a cheap glutton. And think about the other 999 people that might be wanting a free slurpee at the 7-11 too.

Me personally I usually steer way clear of any place claiming free, free food, free concert series, free movies, you get my drift.  Free just too often seems to bring out the freak in people and try to avoid that if at all possible.  I'm sure there are many events/items that are awesome that are indeed free but it sure seems like there is often some sort of opportunity cost involved that makes me leery of the whole free scene. 

Am I crazy here?  Am I really missing out on some primo deals?  Am I a lone soldier in thinking free is not always fabulous?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I guess I'll *like* baseball this weekend.

We had a great weekend up in Beaver for another ball tourney.  It was extra nice because one of Tommy's hockey buds Kyle got to play with us because we were short players.  We enjoyed the time with our "winter friends" and we'll spend another weekend together in North Branch next weekend as we battle again on the sandlot.

Tommy did better this weekend finally ending his No-for streak with some good clutch hits and RBI's.  I'm so thankful he is out of that slump and hopefully for good!  They ended up losing today in the semi's in the last inning after working hard to tie it up in the 5th.  We were down from the first inning on but were never out.  We only lost 4-3 which is a low score at this level of ball.  The pitching and defense are just getting so much better.  We finished 2-2 on the weekend.  Not bad.

So I love that Tommy got out of his hitting funk; but he had a rough time on field.  If we can just get him to fire on all cylinders then I'll really be loving baseball.  And by that time it will be over and then we can get to the real fun...HOCKEY!! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A New National Anthem? Thanks but No Thanks

So since reading this article in Parade Magazine on Sunday the thought of a new national anthem keeps coming back to my mind.  I remember in high school in band being asked to practice the national anthem for probably the thousandth time in my life and piping up to my band teacher about being sick and tired of playing this song again and again and couldn't we play something else like God Bless America before the football games.  Well it's still embarrassing to me today that she pretty near ripped me a new one in front of my classmates about when she hears the song she feels pride and yada, yada, yada keep my crazy unpatriotic opinion to myself, shut up and play.  I also probably feel bad that Joe even later said something to me probably along the lines of "why do you have to start stupid shit like that?"  I don't know; I was just being belligerent I suppose.

I don't think I meant any malice towards our country's anthem but I also don't think I understood just how meaningful the song was until I reached the ripe maturity of adulthood.  I will tell you now that one of my biggest pet peeves is people being disrespectful during it's play.  Kids at sporting events are the worst but adults are sometimes no better. Just stand there and shut up for one minute people! Drives me insane.

Anyways, I guess I was only 20 years ahead of the masses when I questioned my band director about this.  However, as much as I love God Bless America and America the Beautiful, The Star Spangled Banner is what I want to hear even if million dollar celebrities or school choirs continue to butcher it. Since I don't have to play it everyday in band class I've grown to love it and love the way it makes me feel when an assembly sings along. 

What do you think?  Is it time to retire Francis Scott Keyes version?  BTW, I teach a student who is related to said author.  And who doesn't swell with pride when they finally get to "o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave" when we do get an excellent singer to deliver it?  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with Baseball

Oh America's favorite past time.  Everyone knows of my love for the Tiger's however there is another team that I love even more.  The 2011 10&Under Reese Rockets.  Big Tommy has been playing for this coach on this team for the past two seasons and we really like it.  We love going to games and the families are all wonderful people too.  We of course simply love the game and now that the kids are older it's getting more exciting with stealing bases (or attempting), spectacular plays in the field, and some really monstrous hits! 

Last weekend they won the Reese Tournament which was unexpected but sweet.  We won our first game of pool play but then lost the next two figuring we'd be out.  It was powerhouse Clio who'd gone 3-0, and the other three teams all with one win a piece.  We lucked out as we won the tie-breaker by giving up the least amount of runs.  Yay for excellent defense!  It was like we'd channeled the Bay County Blizzard as we won the Championship game after nearly not even making it to advance.  I guess you have to take the good breaks along with the bad.  It's just been working out. 

Now why I hate baseball.  It's such an individual sport!  All eyes are on the batter or pitcher.  Who ends up being the hero?  Who ends up being the goat?  Tommy is slumping at the plate in the worst way and I try not to let it get to me but if it's bugging me so bad, I can only imagine how bad it's making Tommy feel. He's always been known more for his defense as the catcher (he can also play the field) but he can hit and I hate to see him struggle so badly!  In the regular season he was able to snap out of some funks by bunting.  He hasn't been able to try that yet.  Sunday after the game was over he said to make sure I blog about how he didn't have a hit all weekend.  Seriously kid? He did get on base a few times with walks and getting hit by a pitch once. But it's just not like a beautiful base hit.

The low point for us in the weekend was the Saturday night game.  We were winning 2-0 for most of the game (against pesky Clio of course) but gave up 3 runs in the top of the last inning.  We are now down 3-2, have two outs, two on and Tommy is up to bat. Oh he could be the hero!  At this point I'm just praying for contact, even if he gets out at least let it be because a fielder had to make a play. However it ended dismally, he didn't even swing and watched three straight strikes go by.  I kept hearing the final words of "Casey at the Bat" in my head.  Oh agony.  No heroics from Tommy and that my friends was his 3rd strikeout of the game.  It was just not his night. But winning the whole thing the next day definitely softened the blows of his dismal batting.  The next day was thankfully better as he did put the ball in play he just couldn't get that elusive hit. 

Being an individual game but not quite an individual game, you thankfully can't blame an entire loss on one player.  We also see the other poor kids booting ground balls, misjudging fly balls, and of course striking out.  It's just hard when it's your kid out there; you hope and pray that his teammates aren't thinking oh here's an easy out.  If I can find a silver lining in this whole business is that I am being humbled a bit (him too).  Out on the ice I have total confidence in Tommy and feel like the team is in good hands when he is out there.  Sure he makes bone head moves sometimes but he also plays some fantastic defense and always helps his team more than hurts it.  I'm a proud Mama in the rink and want him out there during sudden death overtime.  In baseball I'd rather have someone else with their neck out on the line bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the 9th.

Thankfully we have three more weekends of tournament ball.  Hopefully Tommy will get out of his slump and by August I will love baseball more than hate it.  I'll keep you posted.  And when it's all said and done, it really is just a game.  A game that every kid should LOVE and play for the love and not the glory.