Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Drive to Succeed

Last week J began the training program Coach C put together for him.  He knew going in that it was going to be tough to stick to the program, keep up with schoolwork, and give his all to both the swim team and his current Little League team.  I have to say that the dedication he's shown to making it all work has pleasantly surprised me.  His days are long, and chock full of activity.  His days begin at 6:00 and he usually is able to go to bed by 10:00.  The hours in between are filled with school, daily swim practice, weight lifting, running, baseball practice, and hitting lessons.  He recently hit the times needed to be classified as a varsity swimmer.  And he's doing well in his classes, though honors chemistry is giving him a bit of trouble at the moment.  J is handling it all well, with little complaint.  Sure, he moans and groans a bit, but for the most part he just plugs along, checking off the days requirements one  by one.  Even when he does complain and drag his feet about doing a workout or homework, it only takes a little prodding to get him going again.  J knows this is just the first step on the long road to college baseball.  It's a road he's more than  willing to travel and we couldn't be more proud of him.   

I'd also like to say how proud I am of N and A as well.  J's baseball tends to consume our lives.  We spend countless hours at practices, lessons, and games.  Throw in J's new training program and the entire families days are planned around fitting it all in. My hard and fast rule is that J's baseball not prevent his siblings from pursuing their own activities and interests.  They both have classes, scout troops, and lessons of their own.  But their lives still revolve around J's baseball much of the time.  And they, for the most part, handle being baseball siblings very well.   They have spent much of their young lives at baseball fields, cheering on their big brother.  I hope J realizes how lucky he is to have their love and support, and how proud he should be to have them cheering him on as he pursues his dream.    

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Congratulations N

As I've mentioned before, N is very much a middle child, who strives to be as different from J as he can.  He pursues different activities and interests, and his personality is uniquely his.  N loves to sing.  He's been in the school choir for the past two years.  This year he moved up from the Angel Chorus to the Concert Choir.  Thursday he brought home the information on a local children's chorus that was holding auditions today.  He asked if he could try out and of course we said yes.  He chose The Star Spangled Banner as his audition piece and spent every spare moment practicing.  His audition was this afternoon and I'm pleased to announce he was selected!  He'll begin rehearsing with the Brevard Children's Chorus this Thursday.  You can read more about the program here:  N is super excited and is looking forward to his first performance next month.  Way to go N!     

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baseball Update

There have been a few changes to J's fall baseball plans, so I figured I'd update.  Sadly,  Coach C is not going to be able to do a fall session with TP due to his college schedule.  He's assured me he plans to be back next summer though, and I am holding him to that promise!  We also found out that J's high school will not be having a fall team due to having no coaches at the moment.  So he's playing fall ball with a local Little League.  To say this team is different from TP may well be the understatement of the year.   It is a mixed junior/senior level team, which means ages from 13-16.  J is not only the oldest player on the team, he's also the biggest.  Our biggest concern is that he keep playing to the best of his abilities and not get lazy with the slower pace of this league compared to tournament ball.  On the other hand, it is an opportunity for him to step into a leadership role, which he did at tonight's practice by helping some of the younger players when they struggled with things. 

In the meantime, Coach C has set up an extensive training program for J to help him bulk up, get stronger, and improve his game.  Starting Monday, he'll be following a pretty intense eating program designed to help him gain lean muscle.  Three days a week he'll be doing a lifting program.  Two days a week he'll be doing a core program. He'll be doing a running program two days a week as well.  He is also currently in the swim season for his high school team, and swims five days a week.  Most importantly, he is working hard in his school classes, maintaining a fairly high GPA.  I'll be sending Coach C weekly progress reports and he'll tweak the program as needed as J goes along. It's going to be a brutal schedule that is going to require a lot of pre-planning to make it work.     

Why is he doing all of this you might wonder?  As I've mentioned before, baseball is J's dream and this is just part of the hard work that he will have to endure to make that dream a reality.  For him, the pay off at the end will be worth every minute of hard work that he puts in.   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Once a Girl Scout

I was a Girl Scout for many years.  They were fun years, with lots of good memories.  So when A decided she wanted to join Girl Scouts and asked if I would sign up to be the troop leader, I readily agreed.  She'll be starting out as a Daisy, which is the very first level of scouting for girls in kindergarten and first grade.   I went to my first leader's meeting last night and to say I'm overwhelmed is putting it mildly!  There is quite a bit involved in running a troop it seems.  It's a lot more than just doing activities at a weekly meeting.  I'll eventually get it all figured out but in the meantime I'm a little nervous.  I want to be a good leader and do a good job with my little troop of Daisies.  Today's task is learning how to get girls signed up for the troop.  I'm meeting with the council registrar this afternoon so she can explain how to get handle the troop registration, membership dues, etc.  I figure I'll take it one step at a time until I get it all figured out.  Wish me luck!       

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lonely Days

This past Monday, A started full day kindergarten.  This is an exciting and important milestone in her young life.   And in mine.  For the first time in 15 years, I don't have a kid home with me at least part of the day.  When J started school, N was a baby.  Likewise, when N started school, A was a baby.  But now my last chick has left the nest and is gone all day, leaving me with some very mixed emotions.  I've been a stay at home mom for 11 years today, since exactly one month before N was born.  And prior to that, I worked part time at a daycare center and J went to work with me.   So this week, I've been feeling a little lost being on my own so much during the day.  I know I'll settle into a new routine soon, but it's going to take me a little while to figure out exactly what that new routine will entail.  A few people have asked me if I'll get a job now that A is in school all day.  I don't plan to.  I'm happy and comfortable being a stay at home mom, and my afternoons and evenings will still be overflowing with mom duties.  I plan to continue my volunteer duties at the school, get to some long put off projects around the house, and maybe make a little time to do things I enjoy. 

And how is A doing with the adjustment to kindergarten?  She's loving it.  She's excited about being at school all day and getting to go to PE, music, and Spanish.  She's worn out when I pick her up, which makes the afternoons a bit of a challenge since she's a bit cranky.  On the plus side, she's going to bed easily at night.  And she goes off to school each day with a smile, which is really the best thing a mom could ask for.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Year Ahead

Here we are, on the eve of the 2011/2012 school year.  For N and A anyway.  J has til Wednesday before he starts classes.  All the supplies are bought and packed in the appropriate backpacks.  Uniforms are washed and ready.  And as usual at the start of a new school year, I'm reflecting on what the year holds for my three babies.

J will be a sophomore in high school.  He has a challenging course load this year, and is really starting to think about college.  On the athletic front, he will again be swimming for the school team.  His coach fully expects he will hit his varsity times and letter this year.  And of course, he'll be playing baseball.  If the school has a fall team, he'll definitely play.  He'll also be doing the fall tournament season with TP.  Coach C is in the process of mapping out a running, lifting, core conditioning, and eating program for him.  That's all part of the three year plan to get him ready for college baseball.  He's going to be a busy kid.  I also want to make sure he has time to just enjoy being a kid. 

N will be a fifth grader this year.  School will present new challenges as he changes classes for the first time, and deals with an increase in homework.  He's a good student, so I don't foresee any problems there.  He'll be continuing with boys gymnastics and Cub Scouts, both of which he loves.  This will be his final year as a Cub Scout.  He'll cross over to Boy Scouts in the spring.  He also plans to join the school choir and continue to participate in student council as a peer mediator.  His 11th birthday is coming up in just a little over a month and he's trying to decide how he wants to celebrate.

A starts kindergarten this year.  My last baby is leaving the nest and going to school all day.  She's excited and a little nervous.  She wants to join the junior baton team and continue with her dance class.  She also wants to be a Girl Scout and has talked me into being the leader for her Daisy troop.  I'm a little nervous that all of that will be too much for her.  But we'll try it and see how it goes.  We can always make changes later if need be. 

As for me, I'll continue my duties as head homeroom mom at the school.  I've also taken on team mom duty for TP, and I'll be figuring out this Girl Scout troop leader thing.  And of course, the usual shuttling of kids, managing everyone's schedules, and making sure our lives run relatively smooth.  My plate will be full, but I like it that way.  I love being a part of what the kids are doing and sharing the journey with them.  I do have a little time for myself planned at the end of September.  I'm going away for a girls weekend with a group of friends. 

What does the school year hold for you and your family?          

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Blog Background and the Origin of this Blog's Name

It occurred to me that the title of this blog demanded a more appropriate design, so I started messing around with different options.  And found this one.  I think it fits the title of the blog well.  I hope you like it!
I also decided it was time to share how the title of this blog came about.  When J was in 5th or 6th grade(I can't remember for certain), he brought home an art project wrapped in newspaper.  "I made this for you mom," he said as he handed it to me. I tore off the newspaper to find a little ceramic plate decorated with a hand drawn picture of a flaming baseball.  Above the baseball are the words home run mom.  I admit I cried when I saw it.  The fact that he tied his love for baseball to me just melted my heart.  That little plate still hangs on my living room wall.  Every time I look at it I remind myself to always strive to be the best mom I can.  I may not always hit a home run, but I try.  And my little team of three loves me even on the days I strike out.