Friday, May 12, 2017

Dumping Daddy

Daddy Ball and when Daddy isn’t wanted anymore

Let me start by saying that there is nothing better than seeing a parent volunteer to coach their child in his or her sport.  I worked at the YMCA for many years and youth sports programs can’t run without caring parents who volunteer to teach young people how to kick a ball, throw a spiral or bunt a bat.  However there comes a time when young athletes outgrow their parent and ultimately have to break up. 

For our family the break up happened around age 10.  Let me start the story when Samuel was 3.  Three seemed to be a little young to play sports, but Sam was athletic, and like I said before I worked at the Y, so I was able to sort of get Sam started early.  Our first venture was t-ball.  My village at the time all participated in coaching.  Sam’s Dad stood at first base, my boyfriend at 2nd base, my Dad at 3rd base, and of course me sitting down with the parents behind home plate.   Sam LOVED having all of his favorite people with him.  He would run the bases and high five each person who was coaching that section.  He loved hearing advice from his Dad or my Dad. The games were short (AMEN for T-ball!) and we had a great time.

After we graduated T-ball and ventured into Little League Sam’s dad still volunteered as a coach, but Pop Pop and I stayed in the stands, no comment as to what happened to that boyfriend.  Little league was great because there were more kids to meet, more dads to coach and “real” umpires to work the games.  By around age 8/9 when Sam started pitching we figured out his Dad was a really good pitching coach.  He would work with Sam at home and always helped the other kids out at the fields.  Sam definitely looked up to him for pitching advice and had eyes to be ‘just like Dad’ as far as baseball was concerned.
(Notice boyfriend and ex husband both cut out of this photo)
We joined a travel team and the competition got better, the games got tenser and the coaches’ voices got a lot louder.    What used to be a quick 45 minute game one day a week was turning into six to eight hours at a ball park or an all weekend marathon of baseball.  At this point the boys were getting nervous in the dugout, the coaches were talking strategy and the umpires are getting paid to be at these games.  The tension in the air was slowly getting thicker and I started seeing less smiles on Sam’s face. We were all prepared for more serious baseball and excited to be in a better league. However the tension, yelling, nail biting and fighting with umpires was getting pretty intense.  During one particular game when Sam was on the mound you could hear his Dad criticize each pitch from the dugout. A lightbulb went off for me!  His Daddy as the pitching coach was a bad combination.  I truly don’t remember if we won the game or lost the game. However I do remember driving home in the car.  Sam never cries about sports- ever.  However this particular night in a mix between anger and sadness he blurted out to me that he “didn’t’ want Daddy to coach him anymore.”  He had said the game wasn’t fun anymore and he wanted baseball to be something fun with his dad. 
 I was so proud of Sam and told him he needed to tell his Daddy.   We called his Dad and he told him his wishes. I am not going to lie; it was tough on all of us.  The next day Sam’s Dad came to the game and sat in the stands for the rest of the tournament.  We decided that as much as they both loved to share baseball, the coaching/player relationship was too much for them.   We found a travel team led by coaches who don’t have children on the team and realized that Sam responded really well to their energy and instruction.  Sam still plays Little League and loves all of the volunteer Dads that coach in the system.  His Dad will be a practice coach, pitching coach and work with Sam whenever he needs.  The balance of both has led to a great relationship for him and his Dad.  However, he won’t be calling pitches from the dugout.

Little League Champs 2016!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quit the Pinterest Board, this is the real list for a Sports Parent

I just read the article 10 Things Every Sports Parent Should Have In Their Car from "I Love to Watch you play Site"  and I felt the need to respond.  I suppose extra socks, a sharpie and a hair tie are items that may come in handy while being a parent of a sports kid. However, I am not sure the parent who wrote the article every actually attended a sporting event or lasted at an all-day tournament in 100 degree weather in between thunderstorms and torrential down pours.   Below is a more practical list of Sh** that needs to be put in your car to survive a sporting event.
  1. Food, and a lot of it Not snacks, not diet bars, not dehydrated apples.  Face it, you are going to be at the fields for hours.  Start with a breakfast sandwich in the morning, bring some donuts for the team, add in some chips and dips for the 1st game,  get a sub for the 2nd game and pray you have enough Oreos and popcorn to make it through the championship.  Remember, no one likes the mom who doesn’t share.  Throw in an extra bag of pretzels and peanut bars for others. 
  2. Tanning productsDo I need to remind you that you will be sitting in the sun for hours and hours?  Why waste that time? Apply some SPF and get to working on your tan.  Leave In conditioners also do really well during the double headers.  You don’t want Timmy or Tommy to get burnt so you may want to up your SPF to 50 and share with the team as well.
  3.  Advil.  Some games have really early start times and you may still be feeling the hangover from the night before.  A little Advil and a red bull will help you out for the long day ahead.  If your games are going into overtime, or you are sitting by the loud-ass parent who won’t stop screaming for little Junior, you will definitely need the Advil.  Also, there is always a kid that doesn’t feel well. Pop an Advil for him and you get a few more innings out of him/her.
  4. Cell phone and Cell phone charger.  We all love to watch our children play their sport. But there are plenty of times when the game turns into a train wreck and you just can’t watch anymore.  Having your Netflix nearby is a great way to kill some time and distract you from the game. Remember Aps drain your battery life so be sure to have your portable cell phone charger ready.
  5. Umbrella.  This is one item that truly is useful.  If there isn’t any shade at the field you can pop it open and create shade.  Plus it is always handy when a rain storm comes through.  Another great use for the umbrella is when you are bit too tired you can prop it up and take a wee bit of a nap under it.  If you put on your sunglasses and prop your feet against the fence you will have a nice siesta.
  6.  Cooler with ice.  While it is important to keep your child’s drink cold for game day, it is also important to have cold beverages for the parents.  The games are long and proper hydration is key. I particularly enjoy a sparkly beverage served over ice during a double header.  Some dads prefer a cold brew.  What better way to provide a chilled experience then an ice chest in the trunk?
  7.  Tervis Tumbler or Yeti Cup. See above.  The hot summer days melt your ice really quickly and a water downed drink is no fun at all.  Pack an extra cup or two so you can enjoy your beverages with friends.
  8.  Febreeze.  There is absolutely no way to get the stink and stank out of your child’s uniform without a deep clean in the washer machine. However, a large dose of Febreeze will help make your drive home more enjoyable.  For road trip games you may want to pack Lysol and Febreeze and kill the smell with a one –two punch.
  9.  Cash. No matter how much food, water, bug spray, sunblock, candy, chips, etc. you pack your athlete is going to want something.  And in the want something way that is like “mom, I just must have this or I will die without it” way.  To make matters worse, most of these vendors are cash only.  Save yourself the headache and say yes to that most important thing and take cash with you.
  10. Siblings. Yes, it is true that you can’t store the siblings in the car during the games.  However, it is a scientific fact that no one sibling can sit still and pay attention to an entire game. Do yourself a favor and bring more than one of your kids to the field, or invite a playmate to spend the day. Kids are super annoying when they are bored, so better to keep them busy with a friend or two.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I was on the phone the other day and a friend said “I really like that Throwback picture of you and your little man.”  I was ready to make my standard witty come back  about how skinny I was, or how good my arms looked or how tan I was back then.  But then it hit me, like a huge block was just dropped on my head and told me to wake up and stop thinking about the way things used to be.
Yes, I looked damn good back then.  I was skinny, the skinniest I have ever been.  It is one of the pictures people tell you to tape to your refridgerator door for inspiration, as if seeing yourself skinny is going to take away the craving for ice cream and a beer.  (Sorry to say, but NO picture in the world will ever replace my love of ice cream).

In the briefest moment of complimenting my picture I had a revelation.  I am not that person any more.   I am so much better. 

That skinny version of myself was young and new at being a mommy. I was unsure of myself, my body, my parenting skills,  my career.    Today,  here is no way I would fit into those pants, or even try on that shirt (why set yourself up for failure?)    My arms are thicker, but they are also stronger.  I have been able to play with my little man for 8 more years and have developed muscles that help me lift him up when he falls down, throw a football and lug a surfboard, cooler and beach chair to the ocean.  My legs are stronger, not from the gym, but from running mile after mile catching up with him on a skateboard.  My butt is definitely rounder than it used to.  Maybe it is from sitting on my behind for endless hours of baseball tournaments?  And my stomach is certainly not flat anymore, but that is because I discovered the benefits of sitting with girlfriends and catching up over a bottle or two of good wine.

I am not bashing throw back Thursday and my photos.  I love looking back and remembering fun times.  I am realizing how amazing my life has turned out to be.  Maybe I should start a new trend “Love Yourself Friday”?   Because for right now I am not going to wish I looked like I used to, or feel sad that my favorite size 6 pants don’t fit.  I am happy to embrace my version of myself and celebrate how far I have come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I took a vacation and I have no photos to prove it.

I took a vacation and I have no photos to prove it.
Yep, that is correct! I took a week off with my friends and family and have no photos to prove anything happened.  And you know what?  It was awesome!

This past Spring Break I decided to cash in on some vacation days and take my little man to Universal Studios.  I was very excited to be away from work and the daily grind and to be honest, pretty stoked about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  It had been a few years since my little man and I went on a vacation just the two of us and I was happy to get some alone time with him.

Of course the first thing I did was take a photo of him under the entrance to the welcome sign, next up ticket booth and another photo.

Mandatory shot walking in to park

Next thing I knew he was meeting the guys from Men in Black and I quickly hunted for my phone to get a photo of the event. 

I couldn't get my phone to work, had to improvise!


First Line at the park... apparently it was photo worthy?

 On and on it went, me rushing from spot to spot, trying frantically to get a photo of a special moment so that I could tweet/Facebook/Instagram it for all of my followers/friends/strangers to see and take part in our memories.
Then my phone died. 
As in, stopped working, caput, no service. 

I was about ready to head to the ET ride and get him to phone home for me when I decided not to freak out.  I quietly put away my link to the outside world as I crossed under the gates to Jurassic Park.   I grabbed a hold of my little man’s hand (ok, not really, he’s too big now to hold hands, but I was allowed to hold on to the strap of his book bag). So there I was, holding on to my precious son - via his book bag and I was happy.

We had a great time!  I didn’t miss any special moments searching in my purse for my phone.  I didn’t make him wait in between rides so I could upload our most recent adventure.  After a few hours of not having my phone those who still had them out started getting on my nerves.  I wanted to yell at the lady in front of us in line for Despicable Me to put her phone down and actually talk to her kids (when else will you have all your children in one spot with nowhere to go?  Literally you are trapped like sardines; you can get some mad family bonding done in those lines!)  I was tempted to the tell kids behind us at the restaurant to put their gaming devices down and enjoy the show – their parents paid A LOT of money for this vacation and they should embrace every moment.
But I didn’t say anything.  I just sat there and was thankful that I woke up to my over use of the cell phone.

We were racing from Spiderman back to Hogwarts when I made a comment about the overuse of cell phones in Universal.  **Disclaimer, many people download an ap that has a map and wait times for the park rides. While this is useful, it is NOT smart to stop in the middle of the walkway and use such ap.  But I digress….
I said “I really think they should not allow cell phones in the park.  Too many people stop in the middle of the street and cause backups.”  My little man looked at me and said, “I know mommy, just look at how awesome this place is! Everything here is so cool.  Much better than looking at your phone.”

And that is when it happened… I realized I didn’t need any more photos of precious moments.  I was making them WITH my son, not saving them for later or posting to the interwebs.

We had a great week at Universal studios and I have no photos to prove it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sorority Life

The other morning I was texting with 2 of my Sorority Sisters.  My little man asked me who I was texting.  I told him that it was Aunt Katy and Aunt Jess.  He looked confused (as I only have one biological sister). 
I told him that we were sorority sisters and again he had a puzzled look on his face.  “What IS that Mom?” he asked.    Well, I said Mommy had a lot of friends in college and all of the girls were in a Sorority.  We lived in a house and had a lot of fun together.  “Wow, that must be a big house!” he said.
Yes, I told him, we had a big house, and a house mom who made sure the house was taken care of and cooked for us and we all had meals together.   “Whoa!” he said.  “I want one of those!”

I just sat there stunned.  (What does he think I do all day?)

I replied, Little Man you DO have one of those.  I am the MOM and that’s what I do. 

“I guess so Mom, but I really want to be in a Sorority when I go to college.”
I took a deep breathe,


let me tell you about Fraternities.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Back to Blogging

So I haven’t blogged in a while… I know you are all so sad.
Honestly, I have a policy of not blogging about current life events.  (As in, I couldn’t tell you about my dating life in case the man of the hour was reading my blog)  Also I wasn’t quite sure where this blog was going, it felt like it was kind of lost in the cyberworld of blogs gone bad.
When I started blogging I was just ranting about dating and being single.  Then I learned to adjust to being single and got over the rants.  I then started blogging about being a mom, got super busy actually being a mom and didn’t blog.  Next, I started listening to all of the buzz about “Leaning In” and “Girl Power” and “Ban Bossy” and I thought to myself that I too need to make a statement and be super awesome and fight some sort of injustice all via my wise words on this blog.

Talk about a stress!
I gave up.

I couldn’t think of a thing to say.  I like my life. I’m not angry at anyone or anything.  I actually don’t mind getting up and going to work as I have a cool job and I think I get paid really well for it.  I am by no means a super mom, but my kid doesn’t spend any time in the principal’s office (ok, maybe a little?), he has friends, isn’t obese and from what I can tell is doing ok.  I am not in a serious relationship, but if I ever need a date to something I can find a handsome man to take me, or I am just as comfortable going by myself.   All in all I have nothing much to rant about.

Then it hit me… the title of my blog is “DUH! Sometimes you just need to say it.”  This my friends was my big DUH moment.  People don’t read my blog for my advice.  People don’t even read my blog because they care about what I have to say.  People read my blog because it is random, sometimes funny, sometimes sappy, and 100 % honest.
So, ladies and gents I am BACK to Blogging!  I have no idea what the next blog will be or if you will like it.  But I can promise you this. I won’t have an agenda, a plan or a slogan.  I am just me blogging about the stuff that pops into my head and I hope you enjoy it. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I’m Sexy and I know It

We are fortunate to live by the beach and my Little Man has been taking surf lessons since he was three.  He loves the water and fortunately for me he loves surf camp.  (What Mom wouldn’t like spending a relaxing day at the beach WITHOUT having to worry about their kids? Anyway, I digress).

I was dropping Little Man off at camp one morning and the head counselor came up to me in sort of a hushed tone.  “Little Man got himself a nick name this summer” the counselor said.  I smiled and took it as a sign of him fitting in and making friends.  I dropped of the surfboard off and proceeded to find my beach chair and book.  Surf camp is great book reading and tanning time for the Mommy!

A few hours later after camp was letting out I see my Little Man and his Junior Counselor running down the beach.  I then hear a 15 year old girl running after them yelling “Hey Sexy, wait up!” I thought it was a bit weird to hear a 15 year old call a 13 year old sexy, but whatever, I was enjoying my book and free time.

The next weekend I’m at the beach and one of the regular surf guys comes up to me and asks me something like “Hey, where’s sexy?”  I am completely confused and sort of take it as a compliment.  I smile and nod and just pretend that I don’t quite understand (You know, like when you missed the joke, but are afraid to say it.)

The following day I have Little Man with me and the same surf guy comes up to us. He high fives Little Man and says “Hey Sexy, what’s up?” 


Is my Little Man the “Sexy” that they keep talking about at the beach? 

He is 8! This is crazy. 

I quickly ask how Little Man got this nick name.  Apparently, Little Man is extremely confident in his surfing skills. During camp he would get up on a wave and say, “Look at me, I’m so sexy!”  Oh Lord help me!

I kind of laugh it off, take Little Man aside and tell him 8 year olds are Not Sexy and that it is not a good thing to say.  He agrees and we let it go. Plus, baseball season was starting and there was no way the boys on the baseball field were going to be ok playing with a player nicknamed “sexy”.
Life has been quiet for me and Little Man, but every few weekends we run into a few of the surf guys at the beach and they are still looking for “Sexy” to come out and surf with them.