Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer 2013, days 14-16

Here's a good indicator that summer is exemplary: I've been too tired to type the past two nights. So, I'm catching up ...

Day 14

The boys swam their first meet of the season tonight and did well. I was a volunteer timer but still got to see their races. The meet ran really long -- until 9:30, and the temperature dropped when the sun went down. I was exhausted when I got home, only taking Popcorn across the street to big lawn in front of the the LDS church to throw a Frisbee to her. Michael mowed the front lawn (under my supervision) during the day and Ben pulled a few weeds.

Day 15

Today was so busy. The morning started with us going to the park where the boys play baseball to get some batting practice. As an assistant coach, I can access the shed with the pitching machine, and no one uses the field at 9 a.m. Michael has been struggling so bad with the confidence at the plate (after a torrid 8-for-13 start in April) since getting hit by pitches that I wanted him to get some practice. He hit the ball well, like he knows he can. Ben took a few swings but complained it was getting too hot. We went to Original Pancake House for a late breakfast/early lunch.

In the afternoon, we took Popcorn for a hike on the off-leash trail, which gave the boys a chance to use their new Camelbacks. The dog loved the exercise, but we hurried back to the house so I could get the boys to swim and dive practice. In the evening, the executive board for the steering committee that runs the boys' school was meeting (Lori co-chaired this board this year) at another family's house, but it was also a potluck for the families and the kids. The boys had fun -- both of them got to try pool for the first time (thankfully, Ben didn't tear the carpet), but we were wiped out by the time we got home. Popcorn already had her exercise for the day, so I didn't even take her out for a walk.

Day 16

Today wasn't as eventful, and these are the kind of summer days I want to generally avoid. We did get outside a little while before Michael's baseball game tonight, but for the most part, our Friday was a little lazy. And what I hate about days like this is that I snack too often. So I write this feeling a little too full tonight.

I pitched Whiffle balls to Michael this afternoon in another attempt for him to regain his confidence. He was hitting them, and I tried to encourage him to turn his back if a ball was sailing at him (rather than him backing away). That took a little while outside, then I thought we'd do some yardwork. We pulled weeds and cut down vegetation from the non-driveway side of our house, but we were too efficient, filling up the entire yard waste bin in 15 minutes. Ben and I played a couple games of Ticket to Ride, and Michael played SimCity on the Super Nintendo. Yes, we could have done more with today. A summer day like this is needed every once in a while, particularly after a long week like this day, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. That said, for lazy days, this was still a good one.

Michael's baseball team won the third-place game 13-10. Both coaches agreed to give some of their players who hadn't pitched much a try, and our head coach played the backup infield for a few innings (until the ump blew a play at the plate that robbed us of a home run, prompting us to get a tad more serious about winning). Michael played two innings at first base and made a nice play -- a 5-3 ground out (third base to first base), the first I've seen all season. He still wasn't confident at the plate, however, striking out on his first time up without swinging, then walking on his second at-bat and actually staying in and swinging at the ball. Lori and I decided to try to get him some batting practice even though the season is over -- we are afraid by ending the season in this slump (remember, he started the year 8-for-13 and swinging at everything with no fear), he won't get over this next spring. Michael would have had a third at-bat against a pitcher who was lobbing the ball in. I was hoping he would get that at-bat, and so was he, I could see the confidence returning. But, the play before he would have come to the plate, we hit the six-run limit on the inning, and we didn't bat again. The Cardinals finished the season 12-2.

Lori picked up dinner, which we ate when we got home. I played another game of Ticket to Ride with Ben, who got a new Cardinals hat from Michael's coach, who couldn't stand that he was wearing a Cubs hat tonight. I got the dog out for a walk that wasn't long enough for me, but I ran out of water on this warm night and was thirsty. The heat has arrived for summer 2013.

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