Tag Archives: baseball

Mid Summer Check In

So the summer is about half way done. Max starts school in about 4 weeks. I thought it would be a good time to write. So far the summer has been great. It’s nice not having a rigid schedule like we do during the school year. Max enjoys staying up later. And it’s nice not running from ball field to ball field for games and practices. Although fall baseball starts up in just a few weeks.

Staying up later, and late sunsets have allowed us to do some late night swimming, toad/frog hunting, and firefly catching. Thankfully, Max hasn’t been as adiment this year about catching slugs. Last summer he was obsessed with slugs and snails. They are so gross and slimy, I really don’t like them at all. I have to admit that catching the toads has been kind of fun. We wait till about 9PM and we head out with flashlights and headlamps and a small plastic habitat. There have been nights where we searched for an hour and found nothing. There have been nights when we find 2 toads in the first 5 minutes. We usually catch them, Max observes them, we take photos, and then the next morning we release them.

We’ve also done a bit of stargazing. Last week, a co-worker mentioned the International Space Station. And I remembered that I had an app on my phone that tracks the ISS, and alerts when it is nearby and visable. So I re-enabled the alarms. Sure enought around 9PM on Friday night, I got an alert that the ISS would be passing by in 5 minutes. Rachel, Max and I headed out to take a look. About 9:05, we saw a small dot in the distance. In a few minutes the dot became bigger and easier to see. It was the ISS! That same night, we also saw a shooting star and the awesomely bright “blue moon”.

Max and I have gotten really close this summer. Sometimes with school, and sports, it seems like all we do is run around. It’s been nice, spending quality time with him this whole summer. Instead of running around from place to place, we have been leisurely doing different things. Like neighborhood bike rides, swimming, playing with water balloons, and gardening. In the spring, I saw a cool YouTube video about “earth buckets”. They are 5 gallon buckets that you use to grow vegetables. You drill a series of small holes and put a net pot on the bottom. The water wicks up through the holes and into the wicking cup which provides the perfect amount of water to the roots. I watched a few videos and kind of pieced the best aspects of each together and we built 5 of these buckets. We used 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot. We planted two types of tomatoes (roma and grape), two buckets with cucumbers, and 1 with bell peppers. We’ve had varying rates of success. The cucumbers have grown a little too well. They have gotten so large, that they are hard to manage. The roma tomatoes looked promising. The plant grew very full and had lots of flowers. However, as the tomatoes formed and then ripened, most of them got a dark black spot on them like they rotted. We’ve been picking them before they fully ripen, and that seems to help. So far we’ve gotten about 2 dozen roma tomatoes. About 15 cucumbers, and about 10 peppers. The grape tomatoes have grown amazingly well. We’ve probably gotten close to 100 tomatoes from that plant. The plant is huge and has dozens of flowers still. It’s been producing fruit for 6 weeks now. It’s been a fun project to do with Max. He enjoys watering the plants and checking for new vegetables each day. And since he loved cucumbers, he has enjoyed eating the “fruits” of his labor. Next year, I plan on doing these again. Maybe try some other fruits and vegetables.

Max has also had some fun playdates with some of his friends from his baseball team, and school, and he even got together with his friend Brody that he went to pre-school with. Max and I have always been close. But sometimes when we are super busy, we focus more on the activities and less on each other. It’s nice that he is now at the age where we can have conversations, and I can teach him things, and we can share laughs together. I love the way he giggles when I chase him in the pool when we play “water tag”, and when I make “monster waves” in the pool. It’s also funny watching as his sense of humor develops.

Max has also taken a real liking to skating. He goes roller skating almost every week. The local roller rink has fun summer events for the kids, so he got to skate with the Minions, did a “super hero skate”, and some other cool open skate events. He also tried ice skating again when we were on vacation. He’s definitely better and more comfortable on roller skates, but seems to enjoy doing both. The local ice rink has open skating, so I would like to take him a few times so he can continue to practice and get better. Max and I also tried rock climbing for the first time at this cool indoor facility. Max took a real liking to this as well. Rachel’s brother used to rock climb, so the next time we go, we will take him along so he can give us some pointers. It’s fun watching Max try things, and of course, it’s fun when I can try them along with him. I’m enjoying all of this immensely. The time will come, when Max doesn’t want to do things with Dad anymore, and will want to do more with his friends. So I’m happy that he still likes doing stuff with me and has fun while doing it. And we live in an amazing time, where we have cameras and social media to capture and share it all.


Had a very proud papa moment on Sunday. It was the last t-ball practice for Max, so the coaches gave the kids the choice of hitting off the tee or having the ball pitched to then. Max chose to have the ball pitched to him. He smacked a line drive right back at his coach. It caused quite a reaction on the field and among the other parents. I love his little fist pump when he gets to first. He was so proud of himself.

Tee Ball Week 2

Week two of tee ball went a lot better than week 1. As I noted in my week 1 write up, Max’s coach and the other teams coach had an argument. So this week, they just split Max’s team up into two teams. Half would play the field, half would bat. Each inning, each kid would get to hit twice. Since there were less kids in the field, there was lessĀ confusionĀ and fighting for the ball.

Max did well hitting in week 1, but he and most of his teammates struggled with fielding. The hitting was about the same this week, but fielding was much better overall. Not sure if all the kids practiced with a parent like I did with Max, or if it was the speed of play and less kids in the field made it easier, but the kids seemed to field the ball better. Max actually fielded 3 or 4 grounders and made some nice throws over to 1st base. He was one of the few kids who reached 1st base on the fly.

This coming week, we have picture day, so the kids won’t actually play or practice.

Week 1 of Tee Ball

In the spring, we talked about signing Max up for a tee ball league. He seems to enjoy playing baseball, and did well in the “Little Titans” class he took that introduced him to basketball, soccer, teeball and hockey. Unfortunately we waited too long, and all the spots were filled in the spring league. So we decided to give the fall league a try. Luckily this time, we got a spot for Max on the Dale City Dodgers.

Saturday was his first practice/game. Max’s coach described it as “Controlled Chaos”. And that it was. There was no one kid assigned to playing 3rd base or shortstop. The kids were lined up, sort of like a wall to keep the ball from going out into the outfield. When the ball was hit, 3 or 4 kids in the general direction would go running after it and tackle the ball and each other in the process. Funny to watch. Max’s coach had one kid assigned to play 1st base. The rest of the kids just played someplace in the infield. Whoever got the ball that was hit to them was supposed to throw it to 1st. Half the time the kids threw it home, some threw it to 2nd, some threw it to 3rd and others actually threw it near 1st. Definitely need to work on that hehe.

Hitting was much better. I have to say that nearly everyone on Max’s team hit the ball solidly off the tee. On the team we played, they had a few kids who could barely swing the bat hard enough to knock the ball off the tee. I think it was partly lack of hand/eye coordination, and probably a little fear on the kids part. Max hit two balls down between 3rd and shortstop in his two at bats.

At this age, the kids have short attention spans, so Max’s coach tried to keep the pace moving along at a good clip. The coach asked parents to help the kids, and to pitch in wherever they could. I coached 1st base, and Rachel watched over the dugout. I made sure the kids stopped at 1st, and that they knew where 2nd base was. She helped the kids with their helmets, made sure they had a bat that wasn’t too big or too heavy for them, and made sure they were ready to go in a timely fashion. The coach of the other team was not as organized, so there was a lot of standing around waiting. This annoyed Max’s coach, and they got into a bit of an argument. Eventually the other coach got annoyed and walked off the field, along with his team. So when Max’s team batter in the 2nd inning, the parents had to play the field since the other team walked off.

One of the kids on Max’s team peed his pants while playing in the field. Not sure if he was nervous and excited, or if he had just drank too much water in between innings or what. Felt awful for the kid. We offered up a spare pair of Max’s pants to him, but his Mom said he just wanted to go home. Hopefully he comes back this week and puts it behind him. A rough way to start playing team sports.

Overall it was a fun experience. Max was smiling ear to ear for most of the game and he really loved batting and running the bases. He was getting bored in the field, but I think if the pace of play was quicker he would be liked that part more. Looking forward to week 2. Im sure as the weeks progress, things will get slightly more organized and the kids will get better and more confident. They already seem to have the hitting part down, now it’s a matter of working on fielding and throwing.