Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A (Long) Baseball Story

Friday was one of those days that when I woke up I was already exhausted just thinking about everything I had to do. It was a day full of driving and making connections to get to the next thing on my to do list. I went into work for a couple of hours to finish up some closing papers, left at 10 to head to Joplin for a doctors appointment at 11, had to find a new swimsuit (that alone is enough to exhaust a person), had to find a shirt just the right shade to match a pair of camouflage shorts, had to pick Jay and Cade up at 3:15 (after summer school) and then make it to Springfield by 3:45 for Cade’s 4 o’clock ENT appointment, had to schedule a tonsillectomy and had to be in Greenfield by 6:30 for a make-up ballgame.

I haven’t had too many baseball stories because 1. There haven’t been that many. This is most of the kids 2nd year so they are doing pretty good. 2. I have switched keeping the score book with another mother so I’ve had my own issues during the games. I haven’t had as much time to focus on the bench…until Friday….It was a full day and by the time we got to the baseball game I was tired. It was not the best night to then be short a coach. I had to be the bench coach, which, if you remember, was Jay’s job last year. The job itself wouldn’t have been nearly as bad if the kids hadn’t behaved like circus animals. It was like Barnum and Bailey opened up the doors on a truck and turned them loose. I don’t know if it was the weather, the fact we were playing on a Friday, or if it was just a bad night for all of them but saying they were wild was putting it mildly. They were absolutely crazy. Our bench was on the 3rd base line, where Jay was coaching. I don’t know how many times he turned around and yelled “Cardinals, quiet down.” I don’t know how many times I said it, until finally I gave up. There was no way anything I said would make a difference. It became all about survival….and at least getting the right kid up to bat next.

The evening went downhill as soon as we got to the bench. We had first bats. So while we needed to be focusing on getting the equipment out and the kids on the bench in batting order a lady, with a shiny metal pail full of gumballs, walked down the row of kids handing out gum. At the time my first thought was “well isn’t that nice.” Looking back at it now I realize she was wearing a shirt from the opposing team…I’m sure it was part of their evil plan to get us side tracked. If that’s what they were going for it definitely worked. Most of the kids have a hard time batting on a good day, now they were working over wads of gum twice the size of their mouths. Also, the little bit of sugar rush didn’t help anything either. I could tell Jay was a little irritated about the gift of gum and it certainly didn’t do me any favors.

There is a family of 3 boys on our team. I don’t understand the connection between them all because I think it’s a step brother, cousin in foster care, cousin type thing. Anytime you see the whole bunch out it is a ton of kids and only a few adults. There are so many kids that things have to be absolutely chaotic for the entire family. The kids are very cute and funny but you can tell that they probably have to fight for the attention they receive at home. Jay finally put this together Friday night because two of three yell constantly. They try to talk louder than anyone else on the team. One of them, Nate, gets so excited that he stood in right field and yelled “Jay” 7 times in two pitches….Jay(slight pause) Jay (slight pause) Jay (slight pause). It was like that all night long. These two batted the first inning close to the top. As soon as they made it back to the bench they wanted to know what position they were playing. I was still trying to get the other kids up to bat, but they wouldn’t let it go. Finally, I told them where they were playing and that opened up a whole other issue. They didn’t know where those positions were. I told them Jay would help them when it was time to go into the outfield. They answer didn’t satisfy them. They stood at the fence in the dugout and yelled Jay…Jay…Jay… (he was to coaching 3rd base). I had to try and point out where they were supposed to be. That seemed to appease them for that inning. Finally our 10th batter batted and I got to sit down. I was sweating.

The 2nd and 3rd times at bat went pretty much the same as the first…completely wild. This time the team was worried about the gumballs, who had the gumballs, where did she go, could they have another gumball, etc. I don’t know how many times I said that I was not the person with the gumballs. I think I had gotten over my initial shock of the intensity of the two other boys and could focus more on the other chaos going on in the dugout. Another set of brothers were very lucky that their mother was only about 5 feet from the bench because that kept me from completely yelling at them, especially one of them. If she hadn’t been close by I really would’ve lost it a couple of times. I don’t know that I’ve been around another kid that has gotten under my skin as much as this one. He’s a bully, he’s mean and his parents either don’t know it or they don’t know how to handle it. One time I saw him hit Cade in the back of the head to knock off his helmet. I so wanted to use the bat I was holding on his behind. He was already under my skin and then doing that to my child really made the mamma bear come out. Then I told his brother to get ready and stand outside the fence because he was next. He told me No, then proceeded to walk like a snail from the bench to home plate once it was his turn. At this point I was thinking an electric cattle prod would come in handy.

Cade wasn’t without his faults either that evening. At least if a parent heard me getting on to their kid is was more than likely followed up by me getting on to Cade. One thing about kids this age is that they seem to have a word of the night and Friday nights was “underwear.” They would repeat it in some form or fashion and then laugh like it was the funniest thing they’d heard. I heard Cade say underwear more times in one inning then I’ve heard him say his whole life. Then sometime in the 2nd inning Cade had to go to the bathroom. We were playing by a filed with grass as tall as his head. Jay sent him into the grass to go to the bathroom. Aren’t we great parents? Then Cade had to loudly tell everyone he had just gone to the bathroom in the field even though everyone saw him do it. It was a little embarrassing. Cade also managed to get absolutely filthy before the game even started and he got a little hole in his shirt. On the way home I asked Jay what happened. He said that while they were supposed to be warming up Cade and another boy where rolling around on the ground. He asked how I missed it? We should’ve known that was just a warm-up to the rest of the night’s activities. That’s a little out of Cade’s norm.

Friday night I did learn three important things:
1. I know that not going into elementary education was one of the smartest decisions I ever made
2. Putting batting helmets on extremely sweaty kids is not for the squeamish. There is padding in them that gets more than a little damp.
3. To 7 year olds it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about the shiny metal pail full of gumballs. Cade reminded us of this on the way home when Jay was expressing his irritation about the gum incident. Cade asked why Jay didn’t like the gum lady. There’s nothing like a 7 year old to remind you about what is important in life and why we are willing to go through these completely crazy nights just for them….and for the great stories and memories.

Friday, June 12, 2009

County Fair

Our other big news from last weekend was the County Fair. Cade’s (or Jay’s) chickens won Grand Champion. Cade was so proud. He won a big purple ribbon, a belt buckle and $5. After he got his ribbon a couple of people from Miller besides me stopped to take his picture. Afterwards Cade said he would stand by his chickens for awhile in case any one else wanted to take his picture.

Avery also spent the weekend with us. She was really good throughout the whole fair. I was a little unsure of how the weekend would go because Cade at that age at a fair would’ve been a nightmare. Avery stayed right by me the whole time. The only issue of the weekend occurred about 5 minutes after she got to our house. She needed a baby doll. I’m now the proud owner of a Cabbage Patch Kid because Aunt Crystal wasn’t going to let her go without a baby doll. I will admit that picking out the doll gave me a little thrill that I don’t get when I buy Transformers and Hot Wheels.

Catching the chickens to weigh them Friday night

Getting in the final weigh in. Cade showed 3 chickens and their combined weight was 26.35 pounds. The average weight of Jim and Sharon's 6 week old chickens is 4 pounds.

Washing them so they would be nice and white. I did some things to a chicken that I never dreamed I'd do. I'm sure the chickens felt violated.

Our Big Birds

Waiting in case someone else might want to take his picture

By the way this picture looks you'd never believe she was as good as she was.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Sunday was a big day for us. Cade was baptized. I got really teary watching him and Jay walk up to the front of the church to Walter. I was thinking back to the night he was born and my dad telling Jay that the best thing he could ever do for Cade was to make sure that he went to church. Seven years later here we are. It was also a little hard thinking that my baby was old enough to do this. We started going to our church when he was 10 months old. He’s not supposed to be 7 yet. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the congregation thinking that either.

Cade made this decision completely on his own – meaning we didn’t push him into it. He has been asking questions for the last few months. Since we go to a Christian church we take Communion every week, which (I think) prompted a lot of his questions. Over Memorial Day weekend he wanted to do it. I wasn’t at church that Sunday because I had stayed with my grandpa. Jay had a hard time talking him into waiting until I could be there, but I’m glad he was willing to wait!

I sat through church thinking how blessed Jay and I are to be Cade’s parents. Even if God decides that one child is all we need, I’m so thankful that we got the one that we did. He is such a great little boy. Since I’m tearing up again just writing this I’ll leave it there for now.

Here are some pictures of Cade with us and his grandparents after church yesterday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Look

I've changed the background in honor of the county fair this weekend. Cade's chickens are somewhere over 7 pounds I think. I'm sure Jay will correct me if I'm wrong. When Jim and Sharon's chickens are 6 weeks old they weigh about 4 pounds. We have some seriously overweight birds. Luckily the weather has cooled down a bit because it was quite a challenge for Jay to keep his chunky chickens cool enough so they wouldn't die of heart attacks.

Today Jay is weighing his kid's chickens so they can figure out what ones to put in the show. Our chickens have their legs marked by plastic bands - we have blue left, red right, yellow right, etc. Jay said Cade is really getting into helping him pick out what birds they should enter. He was saying that red right was looking good but blue left was looking like he was getting bigger. Jay said it was really funny to hear him talk about the birds.

I'll be sure to post a picture of these giants after the fair. I know everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting to see them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another No

As most of you already know, we heard back about the situation and it was a no. It wasn't our baby. It was a hard rejection to take for both of us. Even Jay, who has normally been very optimistic about everything, is starting to get disappointed. We are trying to keep the faith, but each time something like this happens it gets a little harder to bounce back...a little harder to try and look forward to the next opportunity...a little harder to beleive that there will ever be an end to the cycle we've experienced for so many years.

I know we've had a lot of e-mails and things from friends about how they had prayed for us and we really appreciate it. I won't lie, this is probably the lowest point I've ever been at in maybe my whole life??? I don't know if Jay is at that point or not, but I know that he is also very discouraged. Not only do we have to deal with each disappointment it seems like everywhere we turn we're getting hit with pregnancy announcements, babies and crappy $3 high chairs. That only seems to add insult to injury.

I guess what I'm saying is that we appreaciate your kind words, but also understand that it will take Jay and I some time to work through all of this. We know what we are supposed to feel towards others and to God and we will get there....it just may take us a few days to get past how much we physically hurt to look to what's ahead for us.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It was somewhat of a long, hard weekend in terms of where we stood with our adoption and our fertility (or lack thereof). I went back and forth all day Saturday and Sunday thinking that if we hadn’t heard anything then it probably meant we hadn’t been picked to being positive and thinking we still had a chance. The phrase “faith the size of a mustard seed” kept rolling through my head all weekend. Do I even have faith that big? No, most of the time I don’t.

After 4 years of countless disappointments there’s a balance we try to maintain of being cautiously optimistic about our situations. We don’t want to invest too much emotionally into each one, even though it’s almost impossible to keep from. I was already picturing the baby’s first Sunday at church. If it’s next Sunday that’s already going to be a big day (more on that later in the week) how much better could it get? Normally I don’t say much to Jay about my little daydreams because there’s no point in it…just like we don’t usually discuss baby names, nursery themes, etc because it’s so painful. Last night I finally confessed what I had been thinking to Jay….he had the exact same thought. It is impossible to keep from getting attached to every situation which is why we feel so physically and emotionally drained when they don’t work out.

Last night I completely reached my limit, but at least it gave me something to laugh about today after I thought about it….Our church is famous for people bringing in their junk from home they don’t want anymore and “giving” it to the church. Oh, thank you for that ripped up 20 year old carpet. Even though you didn’t want it in your home anymore it will look perfect in my Sunday School classroom.

So I went to the 5th Sunday Sing that our church was hosting. The only reason why I went was because all of the area churches were coming to our church and I needed to help in the kitchen. Jay and Cade didn’t go because honestly, there was no reason for all of us to be miserable. I took one for the team. Really, I sound terrible, but if you sat through one (or have been through one) you totally understand where I’m coming from. I prayed before I went last night that something would really speak to me and make the night worthwhile.

I walked into the basement with my basket of goodies and the first thing I saw was a stupid high chair. We only have one two year old at the church who probably won’t even use it. On closer inspection I noticed the thing was not in the best shape. It took every bit of self-control I had to not kick the thing across the room. Later on I heard the story – a lady had bought it for $3 and brought it to the church. I’m not sure that I’d trust a baby doll in this high chair let alone a baby. So during the whole Sunday Sing all I could do was imagine all of the different things I’d like to do to the high chair – one vision was me using a hammer on it another was of using a chain saw right down the middle. I also pictured me taking it apart piece by piece and leaving it in a heap in the middle of the room. Seriously….can we not get a break from being reminded of it for a few hours? Also, knowing that it was someone’s not in the best shape castoff so we’ll donate it to the church high chair it really irritated me. Then as we were cleaning up last night a lot of the women gathered around it and ooh and ahhhd over it and then (in front of me) said that the 2 year old could use it but then after that we wouldn’t have any more babies to put in it. Again I thought SERIOUSLY can we not get a break?????

So today I’ve laughed about it…..I let a high chair raise my blood pressure 50 points. How ridiculous. But, anyway the point of this post is that the family looked at profiles today at 2. We don’t know when we’ll know anything but we will keep everyone posted. Wouldn’t it be a great story if the crappy high chair ends of being the encouragement instead of just another irritation?