Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tot Baseball

Today was Tyler's last "Tot Baseball" class. He really enjoyed each week and and Frank and I had so much fun watching him. What made it even better was his coach, Coach Justin. He did a really fabulous job with all the kids and made sure he had their attention at all times. As a parent, getting the attention of just one kid can be difficult, but he did it with 20!

After they practiced their throwing for the day, the group broke into 2 and did a relay race where they had to field the ball, run it back, and then return to line and sit down. Tyler's team, the red team, lost the first round, but won the second! Way to go, guys!
Tyler in line waiting for his turn.

Assuming the fielding position.
After practicing fielding and throwing, it was off to play a "mini game". Everyone on each team got a chance to bat and to play in the field. Tyler stepped right up to the plate, gripped the bat, and ripped the ball! He hit it past everyone and into the outfield. He was so proud of himself!
Taking his turn at bat. After he hit the ball, a friend turned to us and offered to be his manager... I regretfully declined, opting instead to keep it all in the family ;)!
Playing the field.
All of Tyler's friends were on the blue team. All of them did wonderful as well! I can't wait until they are really playing games.


Olivia



Kiki





Molly








Going after the ball in the field.
Tyler was so excited after he got his medal and shook his coaches hands. I was so proud of him. It was wonderful to watch him enjoy himself out on the field!
My, oh my, who to choose? Frank often says he wished he had as many girlfriends to choose from when he was growing up ;)..... From left to right: Olivia, Kiki, Molly, and Tyler.
Tyler with his proud daddy.
Me and my (not so) little All-Star!

Tyler runs on Dunkin!

On the way to baseball this morning, Tyler was talking about how well he was going to do today. One of the things he said that he wanted to do was to hit the ball farther than anyone else. Needless to say, when Tyler got up to bat and that ball went past everyone and out to the empty field, we were so excited! So was Tyler! He said he was going to do it, and he did. Frank decided that as a special reward, he could get a doughnut from Dunkin Donuts. Believe it or not, we had to go to 2 stores before we found donuts! Here are a few shots of Tyler downing not 1, but 2, donuts!




Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend! The weather (for the most part) was beautiful, there were only fun events planned and nothing pressing to do. After completing some yard work on Saturday, Frank squeezed in a round of golf with his friend Glen, and Elaine invited Tyler and I over for pizza and playtime for the kids. On Sunday we went to a fabulous barbecue at one of Frank's colleagues homes. They were gracious to host our family and to provide a bounce house for the kids to play in (very thoughtful considering they have no kids!). Despite the very rainy weather, we had a fabulous time enjoying this long weekend!
Tyler getting ready to take a turn on the bounce house slide. Due to the rain, it was like a Slip'n Slide! Thank goodness for spare clothes!

Derek was a bit apprehensive of the tall slide, but Glen climbed right in with him. Little did Derek know, he went down the slide all on his own... Glen made the trip down soon after!
Tyler and Olivia talking some time out in the bounce house to appease me and my Paparazzi practice!
Derek bouncing off the walls (literally!).
While the kids were in the bounce house, Elaine and I teamed up to play a few rounds of beer pong. After awhile we rounded up a few refs to make sure the game stayed fair...
Tyler and Olivia doing a great job refereeing our game. After all our opponents were a bit frustrated that they were losing to a bunch of girls...
Our opponents, Frank and Cory (host of the party). What can I say? They lost. So did 3 other teams after them!

Tyler

OliviaDerek

After thoroughly wearing the kids out, it was time to go. After all the long weekend meant more fun on Monday! For Memorial Day it was our turn to host friends. Olivia and Derek came with their parents, Elaine and Glen, and Kiki brought her mom and dad, Ann and Ryan. Unlike Sunday, the weather on Monday was beautiful! We set all the tables and chairs outside and never set foot inside!
Somehow the kids managed to dig up 4 separate water guns. Yes, the filled them, and you guessed it, I was the closest target for them. Luckily I escaped with only a minor soaking!

Glen set up Tyler's roller coaster on the hill at the side of the house. You may not recognize it without the snow, but it is also out sledding hill! Tyler, Kiki, and Derek waited very patiently for Olivia to return from her trip. Unfortunately there is a weight limit on this ride!
Tyler roaring down the hill!As a gracious host, Tyler gave his friends a tour of the yard. Of course it was boys in the front, girls in the back. Go figure!
It was great to hang out, relax, and enjoy the weekend. We did not forget that it was Memorial Day weekend, however. We made attempts to teach Tyler about the holiday and who it was for. Near to our home is a business that lines its driveways, walkways, and along the curbs with mini flags. It is an amazing sight, so nicely done, and great to see. As we drove by each night they were up it was a great reminder of the holiday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Preschool Jitters

I promised myself I would hold it in. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. I don't want to me "that" parent who can't hold in the tears during preschool open house! After all, if that is what happens during open house, what is the first day like? Full out, fall on the ground, tantrum? Anyways, tonight we visited Green Valley Preschool, where Tyler will be spending 3 days of each week, come Fall.

I did very well until the topic of the mini presentation turned to independence. Being an only child, Tyler has a lot of independence. But then Ms. Fitzpatrick mentioned that one of their goals is to prepare the children to get on the bus for kindergarten in 2010. Ye gads.

I think the previous 4 1/2 years flashed before my eyes! I could not believe that I was standing there listening to someone talk about how my child will learn early reading skills, improve his writing, and work on socialization! None of that is new, but, well, I wasn't ready to hear it.

Don't get me wrong. I am very excited to begin this new chapter in life. I am not ready to end the previous one, though... Luckily they hold this open house in May to make sure there is enough time to prepare the, ahem, children for August.

Now only if I could figure out how to slow down the clocks...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nine

Nine years ago tonight Frank proposed to me. We both remember the night like it was yesterday. Frank had the whole week mapped out, right down to the speech. I know that many guys out there have a speech prepared, but I wonder how many really remember to give them? Here are a few fun facts about our engagement:

*We got engaged on May 11, 2000. At dinner that night, we sat at table 11. When we arrived at the restaurant, our table was not ready and they offered to seat us at another table. Frank said no. Eleven is, and has been, his hockey number. It's also my dad's birthday.

*The night he proposed, we were going out to dinner and had 6:30P.M. reservations. I was ready to go and kept telling Frank to hurry up, but he was pacing. And pacing. And pacing. He told me to sit on the couch. Then he got down on one knee.

*Frank had a speech planned when he proposed. I never got to hear it. He forgot it. That's OK, I know what he wanted to say and the most important line he was able to get out!

*May 11, 2000 was the first night we officially lived together. I had spent the days leading up to the 11th moving into our first apartment. Frank was moving in for good on the 11th.

*Frank called my parents (or at least tried) to ask for permission to marry me. He looked in my phone book to get the work numbers for my parents. What he didn't realize was that the numbers were all out of order and he was only able to get in touch with my dad. When he called my dad, his first reaction was "What's wrong? Is Jennifer OK?" My mom never lets a visit go by without reminding Frank that he never asked her for permission. It is their special joke now.

*Knowing that he had spoken to my dad but not my mom, I decided not to call them to give them the news. They were scheduled to come to town on the 12th for my graduation weekend. My dad was working in D.C. at the time and my mom was in Indiana, so they arrived separately. I was so excited to give them the news, but I didn't get a chance. They both got off their planes and said "Let me see!" Scooped again! I guess my dad ended up spilling the beans over the phone to my mom on the 11th.

Happy 9 year engagement anniversary, Frank!

Sponge

We spent the weekend in New York (more on that later). Because we got home late last night, we only unpacked what we needed to and took care of the rest of the car tonight. While Frank was running things into the house and I was cleaning out the car, Tyler was kicking the soccer ball in the front yard. I came across some of the bags from this weekend and was showing Tyler his new Yankee shirts. He stopped for a few minutes to look at his new goodies and we had a brief conversation:

Mommy: "Do you like your new shirts?"

Tyler: "Yeah, I like the Derek Jeter shirt."

Mommy: "You will look good in your new Islanders shirt, too."

Tyler: "Daddy said he looked for DiPietro but they didn't have any."

Mommy: "That stinks. You got a cool shirt, anyways."

Tyler: "I wanted Blake Como or Kyle Okposo, but they didn't have any. I was pissed."

Mommy: "What did you say?"

Tyler: "I was pissed. You say it."

At this point in the conversation, I had a choice: laugh really hard or laugh even harder! Frank was not around while this was going on, but Tyler gladly repeated what he said when Frank came back to the garage. Frank had the same reaction I did, to laugh! You had to hand it to the kid, he had a great point!

To all the parents who are now thinking that we are simply awful parents, after we got a good laugh in, Frank and I did turn this into a teaching opportunity and I am happy to announce that I am sitting in time-out right now!

By the way, I still can't remember when I used that phrase...

Happy Birthday, Grampy!

video

Enough said!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wham, bam, to the Moon!

Tyler has been the proud owner of a Moon Sand kit since Christmas, 2007. After playing with it once (and cleaning it up for days), I hid it really well. Or so I thought! As Tyler has grown, he has gotten smarter, and simply putting something on top of a closet isn't enough anymore! Whoops!

I knew that Saturday was going to be nice outside so I told Tyler that in the afternoon we could take the Moon Sand kit OUTSIDE and play with it. Great idea, I thought! Yeah, not so much. Days later, I am now working daily to get the little chunks of rainbow sand out from between the bricks on the front walkway. So much for my good idea! However, at least it's not all over my kitchen floors!

Tyler had a blast playing and really was entertained for a good chunk of time. He made giraffes, volcanoes, monkeys...

...elephants...
...and a mess. Outside. The blue and yellow sand in the walkway scream "A kid lives here!"-- something I wouldn't trade for the cleanest house on the block!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Carnivores, Herbivores, oh my!

Last year at this time, we made a trip to the Springfield Science Museum to see the special dinosaur exhibit. We all had a great time last year seeing them on display, and when I saw the ad in the paper that another exhibit was in town, we made our way down to the museum! What made the trip even more special is that it was a mommy and Ty-ty date and I got to spend special time with my little guy!

These dinosaurs are all motorized. They move, make sounds, and are made to look life-like. To a kid who knows a lot about dinosaurs and but little about fantasy and reality and how to separate the two, it made for an interesting day. Tyler still had a lot of fun, regardless!
Tyler was very enamoured by the scene of the Raptors "eating" the Triceratops. Tyler knew right away that the Raptors were carnivores... I wasn't sure about the graphic nature of this scene. Ironically enough, this was as close as he got to the displays...

He looks so small in this picture. He really is at an age where he is so wise for his age, but then I look at a shot like this and I get a glimpse of what once was...
Being very cautious (that's his thing, like his mom). I guess this dino (a Miasaurus) was okay to be near to because she is a herbivore.
Ditto for the Dimetrodon...
In the lobby they had art activities set up for the kids. Tyler wanted to do a rubbing of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.
One last look, from a good distance, though! What a great day we had at the museum. I love times like these where it is just him and I, these are the things we will remember for years to come!

Happy Birthday, Papa!



Dear Papa,

You remind me of Rick DiPietro on the New York Islanders. I hope you get lots of Star Wars guys for presents. I will make you a silly cake with white frosting and vanilla cake.

Love,

Tyler

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Batter Up!

Today meant one thing at our house. Opening day of Tot Baseball in Somers, Connecticut! We had a great experience with the soccer program they did for the kids, I jumped on the baseball offering. Making the classes even better is that they are run by a college hockey goalie, Tyler's idol. As soon as Frank and I heard this, we knew we could sit back and relax during class! Even more ironic, is that his assistant coach won't be coming until next week, after he is done for the semester at Purdue....
I tried to capture the expressions and body language of these 3 and 4-year-olds. This coach was talking and these kids we obviously not listening! Good at taking cues, the coach immediately brought them back in and it was time for stretches!

Kiki, Olivia, and Tyler all took their stretches very seriously.Next was throwing practice. When each child registered, they were asked what hand they color with and the coaches put a smiley sticker on that knee. This was the knee that they were to lead with and point when throwing. Unfortunately, Tyler is still quite ambidextrous and can never make up his mind of right versus left. It all turned out fine, though!
After they threw the ball, they were told to run and get them. I found myself wanting to ask this coach if he would be interested in a little weekend babysitting work!
The running didn't stop there, either. They went from ball throwing to base running....
To batting practice. Kiki was first up....
Tyler took his turn...
Olivia swung away....
And Molly knocked it out as well.
While half the group was batting, the other half was fielding. Tyler was a machine in the field and went after each ball he could get near! I can't wait to see how he progresses. If the first week is any indication, we will be signing contracts by the end of the class!