Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Big Leagues

Look at us. We burn! We wilt!
I got the information for my son's 9 year old Minor league this week. Let's just say things have stepped up a bit since last year. DS9 has been a big baseball fan, which is sort of strange since he never, ever watches any sports on TV. I think it has to do with two things: rules and winning. Ok, and maybe snacks.

In the winter, DS plays basketball on a league at the YMCA. His teams invariably do terribly. I can't recall a winning season for one of his teams EVER and the poor child has never, not once, not even with us carrying him on our shoulders, made a single basket. And then there are the rules. Basketball has a lot of rules. At least, it seems that way when you're 9. Rules for dribbling, passing, blocking, shooting, and whatever else goes on in those games (I'm reading a  book thank you).The best part about basketball as a parent: it only lasts one hour!

Baseball seems a lot simpler and easier to my kid. You sit a lot. A lot. People give you snacks. You get to hit bats on a fence. And every once in a while you stand up, hit a ball, run fast, and get to go back and have a snack. Your parents sit and watch you sitting for 5 hours. What's not to love?
Is it snack time yet?

It doesn't hurt that every year, DS's team had a ringer--you know, that kid who's dad never quite played pro ball but wants his son to carry on the dream. The kid who through good genes or good pharmaceuticals (hey, no drug tests yet) can hit the ball into the parking lot every time at bat (time at bat--listen to me, like I'm a sports writer) or can actually throw a ball to a person on base (DS can't do that so I find it amazing). Every season, his team won, and they all got cool trophies.

Anyhoo, this season the kids are considered "minors." (Last year they were "Tyros" and I have yet to know what the heck a Tyro is....)  DS had to tryout for a place on a team. Since there are no cuts, the purpose of the tryouts is to simply spread out all the wunderkinds with the over-eager daddies across the teams to make them more even.

So this week I got a letter from the new coach. I know him. His kid was in my scout den a few years ago, and he's a nice guy. I asked innocently what color socks the team was going to wear, and in the next letter to the parents I'd been selected as the team mom.

WTH? TEAM MOM? I actually have a friggin' job assignment: team statistics and batting lining up. Unless team statistics means assigning snack duties, you've got the wrong person, buddy. Unlike DS, I don't actually enjoy baking in the sun of an uncovered dugout, even in a rice-crispy-bar-induced sugar coma. I mean, I only ASKED ABOUT SOCKS. SOCKS!!

I also got a practice schedule along with my new second job, and the schedule included one on one swing techniques, wait, brace yourself: IN HIS BASEMENT HITTING STATION.What?! Who has a hitting station in. their. home? Wunderkinds dad, I assume.

By the way, in case you're wondering by now, they have to have black socks. I'm afraid to ask about pants. I might get promoted to assistant coach.

It's going to be a long, hot summer....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Illusions and delusions, part 2

There was doubt, wasn't there? Go on, I can feel it. Evidence! We need proof!

And voila! Here is your proof!
Mr. 9 in a stunning, one of a kind felt creation

The use of contrasting red was simply a work of genius.
8 hours of sewing for 90 seconds of magic show. I think it's a fair trade off considering these capes are built like tanks. I have complete confidence that he will wear it to college and on his wedding day. Right? Right?!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wait, is that angel wearing a cape?

Darling DD brought this home from art school this week. Sigh. At least someone inherited good genes for spatial skills.

I wonder if that cape had contrasting felt lining?  Hmmm

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Illusions and delusions, part 1

Our elementary school is putting on a student talent show this month. Mixed in between the 43 acts (yes FORTY THREE ACTS) of little girls grunting and shaking inappropriately to "Dynomite" and a bizarre assortment Talyor Swift love songs (what 9 year old hasn't experienced a broken heart I ask you?), will be Mister 9 and his two buddies: The Magic Trio.

The Magic Trio has been practicing at my house for the past two weekends--and I mean REALLY practicing, not just running up to his room to jump on the bed for an hour. I could hear them upstairs saying their introductions, their segues, their stage directions. This is 90 seconds of serious stuff. Mister 9 has told them all they will NOT embarrass his mommy on stage. No pressure there.  

The Trio are working on three magic acts, all of which in reality will be hard to see on stage for anyone sitting more than 8 feet away. My husband kept offering helpful suggestions like "why don't you perform something like David Copperfield and have Peter walk through a moving fan," or "maybe someone could cut Mitch in half with a real saw." Um, thanks Daddy.

No, mommy decided that what this act really needed to spice things up was capes. Magician capes. Apparently I was so caught up in all the magical illusions taking place in my house that I actually thought for a moment I was a seamstress.

I mean, it seemed easy enough to those people on You-tube. Make a square, cut out a neck, round the bottom, cut it into two pieces, yadda yadda yadda, and voila, two capes. Or in my case, double it somehow and make four capes (one for me, obviously).

With my 40% off one item coupon in hand, I rushed to Jo Ann Fabrics to buy felt and other cape "stuff." I had online instructions. I. Can. Do. Anything.

I. Cannot. Do. Math.

Here's just a little sample of the near freakin' mathematical nervous breakdown I had in store: the damn felt comes in 72" width bolts. What the hell? My "pattern" was based on a 44" bolt. 

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.
I kept trying to arrange these four capes on fabric in every which way, and every which way I did it I thought I would lose my mind. It reminded me of those puzzles you have to flip around in your head and figure out how the shape will unfold. At one point I found myself sitting on the floor of Jo Ann Fabrics watching a video on my phone about finding the area of a circle and trying not to hyperventilate.

I ended up buying 4 yards of fabric (two black and two red) and came home to discover I'd been given 3 yards of black and 2 yards of red. <sob sob sob> This involved another two hours of furious scribbling and calculating.  I finally came to an epiphany this morning in church (obviously), where I spent a good part of the time praying to God to give me 3D visualization skills and folding the program into little teeny tiny capes.

You want to see them, don't you? Go on. Admit it. If you've read this far you're thinking here's the big reveal. But not so fast my Houdini-cape loving friends. They aren't done yet. I've got to attach the collars.

But they look freakin' spectacular.....


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