Thursday, May 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

This is the last week of school, and it has been a little crazy so far.  This weekend will be hectic as well, with our youngest son playing in a 4-day baseball tournament.  I have a million things to do to get ready for this weekend, so I'm posting the Quick Takes a little early this week...... 
--- 1 ---
 As usual, my youngest son's baseball team played in a tournament this past weekend.   We had an incident where our coaches stepped in to protect an opposing player from injury.  Unfortunately, it resulted in the opposing team being required to forfeit the game.  Sadly, instead of the other team recognizing the error, and graciously accepting the consequences for their mistake, they starting screaming insults and threats at our coaches and boys.  (Their behaviour basically confirmed my suspicion that it was not merely a mistake, but a blatant infraction.)  Poor sportsmanship is never acceptable.  Parents should set the example, but these parents and coaches were leading the charge, so to speak. 
I'm very proud of the way our boys conducted themselves.  At first they stood there staring with their mouths hanging open at the things being said and the way the other team and parents were behaving.  We advised them to just ignore them, and the tournament director spoke about the situation a little bit.  He finished up by saying that in all his years he's never seen a better 8 year old team, one of the best in the Nation.  He then asked them all to pile in with him for a cheer.
Because of the other teams actions, some of us were truly concerned that we just might get jumped in the parking lot or might return to damaged vehicles.  However, as soon as we finished taking pictures of our boys with their trophies, we had an unexpected rain shower.  By the time we reached the parking lot, the last of the other team was finally leaving, and the rain stopped almost as soon as we reached our vehicles.  Once we were safely on our way home, I told my sons that I thought that little rain shower was God's way of telling that other team it was time to go home. 
--- 2 ---
My husband and I have tried our best to teach our sons that you have to be good sport.  Win or lose, be gracious.  If you win, don't be a braggart and throw it in people's faces.  I know it's exciting to win and you should be proud, but you also need to be mindful of other people's feelings.  If you lose, keep your head up, congratulate your opponent and mean it!  Then move on, don't dwell on what went wrong or why you didn't win.  Being negative helps nothing and often brings others down.  If you see a teammate down, bring him up - that's part of being a team.
--- 3 ---
As I mentioned, we'll be playing in a big 4-day tournament this weekend.  This will be a challenge for our boys, not only because we're facing teams who, on paper, seem phenomenal, but we're expecting the hottest temps so far this season.  Obviously, we'll have the usual stuff on hand that I'll call no-brainers:  water, sports drinks, sunscreen, bug spray, eye black, etc.  But there are a few more things that are really helpful that I thought I'd mention.  By the way, I have not been compensated in any way for writing about these products.  Now if they'd like to send me a check or a gift card to two for plugging their products, that would be fine.  (Hint, hint.)
Frogg Toggs Chilly Pads® - These are cloths made from a "hyper-evaporative material" that retains water, but feels dry to the touch.  It helps keep the boys cool in the warmer temps.  Even us parents who are usually sweltering in the stands have been known to borrow a Frog Togg® or two on occasion.
--- 4 ---
An E-Z Up® - let me just tell you, we have huddled up under these things more often than I care to mention.  These are a must-have when you know you'll be at the park ALL.DAY.LONG!  They are portable awnings that are so easy to erect, hence the name.  They come in various sizes and have some optional accessories as well, such as wind shield panels.  We parents sit under them during games at fields with little to no shade.  In between games, we put the boys under these to rest until the next game, etc.  I know at least 3 of us will be have our E-Z Ups® with us this weekend.
--- 5 ---
Mac Sports Folding Wagon - I saw one of these last year at an out-of-state tournament, and I stalked it until I could find out who owned it.  We were at a ballpark where we had to hike a mile to get to our field.  When you're hauling ball bags, lawn chairs, backpacks, EZ-Ups, etc., you either make several mile-long hikes to haul all that stuff or you load up like a pack mule and risk a stroke to carry it all at once.  Me?  If I can't get it all there in one trip, it ain't going.  Turns out the owner bought it at a discount center where I don't have a membership, so I googled that sucker and found one at a local store.  I immediately went and plunked down my money for that wagon.  Hubby had to work the next time we went out of state, and that wagon was tremendously helpful.  I loaded it up, and my oldest son pulled it for me.  How great is that??  Plus, it makes it so much easier to sneak a few drinks and snacks into places that don't allow them.  Eh hem.... Not that I would do such a thing.  Just sayin'.
--- 6 ---
I know it will feel like we're playing on the surface of the sun this weekend, but we have also played in temps so cold, our boys actually volunteered to sit the bench.  The reason they volunteered to sit?  We had Big Buddy Heaters set up in the dug out.  These heaters were a life saver.  I'm serious when I tell you it was approximately 20 degrees that weekend and windy.  We hung a tarp at the dugout to block the wind and placed two Big Buddy Heaters in the dugout.  The dugout was approximately 10 degrees warmer than it was outside.  Of course, we parents were huddled around some heaters as well.  That tournament was BRUTAL.  Brrrrr!  I'm getting the chills just thinking about that weekend.
Caution is advised with these heaters.  They use propane and produce a flame.  Although they have a protective grill, they do produce enough heat to melt things that might get too close.  Ask my hubby - he was so close to one, it actually melted a hole in the track pants he was wearing.  LOL!
--- 7 ---
Have a happy and safe Memorial weekend! 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!