Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pickup Baseball

The other day, I asked Jasmine whether she was interested in taking tennis lessons. Without hesitation and with all sincerity, she replied that she pretty much is up to learn or play anything that involves a ball and running around. That's our athlete. And while she's had her go at basketball and soccer for multiple years, there's one sport that we've intentionally been keeping out of reach: Baseball.

Can't do it. Four or five practices a week. Plus games. Nope. In my mind, it's just not that crucial. That's a colossal time commitment. But here's the thing: she's actually really good at it (surprise, surprise). And so, as a compromise, my pledge to her was that we'd go old school Brooklyn stickball with it and reinvent pickup baseball. Hey, nine players per team is overkill anyway. All you really need is eight total.. four on each team: one person to bat and three more to run the bases. Hey, our family bring five players all by ourselves (well... when Venesa comes... but we were short one this time). Grab another family, a few gloves, a bat and a ball, and boom... there you go. Welcome to hood baseball.

First up was the Lewis family. Dad played baseball in high school and college, and coached at the high school level. So, naturally, both of their kids play league baseball... which means they pretty much mopped the floor with us (we made them bat lefty for most of the game)... but we still had a blast. And Jasmine got her baseball fix without dragging the whole family through the ringer for an entire season. We definitely have to do it again some time soon... either with a different family... or with the Lewis kids batting lefty again. And blindfolded.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


The rabbit experiment... has come to an end.

I wanted the rabbit to work out. I really did. The truth is, he wasn't much trouble, and not particularly expensive to maintain, and the kids enjoyed him for sure. But at the end of the day, the one thing he wasn't... was friendly. And here's the deal... if I'm going to feed him everyday and change out his cage bedding multiple times per week; only for him to make it clear that he wanted nothing to do with me or any of my minions (speaking of which, biting the kids was getting old, too)... then it's kinda like, what's the point?

20 minutes a day of being a cute cuddly bunny didn't seem like a lot to ask in return for free room and board. But with no return on investment, Poof just became one more thing. One more thing to keep track of, care for, think about, step over, feed, think about when guests came over, etc. Thus, our fuzzy rodent had to go.

It was fun while it lasted, and we can now check "owned a rabbit" off the list (although I'm not quite sure that it was ever on the list) and get back to keeping our bunnies in books, cartoons, and menus. So long, Poof. It's been real.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Good Snow

If I had to guess, I'd say snow is about a twice a year event here, and it's nothing that ever last. This impromptu snow fall was not much different in that respect, as I think it turned to rain by lunch and was completely gone by dinner time. But there was one major difference from the snow we usually get... it was super perfect for snowballs. No scrapping and slamming, pushing and shoving snow together; hoping it would stick. Instead this stuff was more like, pick it up, and bam... snow ball. It was awesome.

On the flip side, we're not exactly well equipped for weather like this (with respect to clothing or tolerance) and so by the time the last kid got all their gear on and was ready to go out, the other two were pretty much ready to come back in already. I'm freezing was the cry of the day. But for the meager 10 minutes we lasted outside, I think everyone got their fair share of pelting. And loved it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Green Eggs...

The other day, Naomi and I were driving to the recycle center and out of the blue she asked me, "What's Pam's?" I told her it's a restaurant (that we used to frequent quite a bit, actually) and for about 10 seconds I didn't think much more of the question. My guess was that she had just seen the big red and yellow billboard that we'd just passed, as we've been using that as a marker for where to turn for the recycle center pretty much since we've been in Hartsville. And then it finally clicked... she had seen that sign a hundred times... but she had just read it for the first time! And just like that, a whole new world has opened up to her. The world went from countless meaningless, foreign characters... to meaning. How awesome is that?! Talk about exciting.

And along those lines, to go along with her most recent reading achievement (reading Green Eggs and Home on her own), it was time for Naomi to experience the ceremonious Green Eggs and Ham breakfast (well... green eggs and turkey... because we were kinda out of ham). Truthfully, I had completely forgotten that we'd done this before, but Venesa picked up my slack and took charge on this one. Yay mommy. And Yay, Naomi! Keep up the great work, girl. You're doing an awesome job!! So proud.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nature Girls

Jasmine has been eager to create a club of her own for months, maybe over a year now. She and Eisley gave it a go for a while, but I don't think it ever came together. They did at least come up with a name that seems to have stuck (nature girls). Then, at some point, a secret hideout emerged behind our backyard tree line. That is now our top tourist attraction, as every visitor under 5 feet tall inevitably ends up back there at least once.

And then Mora came along, and a membership process was born. Complete with a logo design process, t-shirts and an oath. Even Novak got in on it.