Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baseball, the extended version

Moriah took on quite the challenge this summer.  She decided to play Little League again this year.  That in and of itself wasn't the challenge, as she's played Little League for several years, and had great fun and success while doing it.  But this year, because Moriah is 13, she had to play at the Junior level...on a bigger field...with bigger pressures...and no other girls in the entire Juniors league.

Compared to most of the players on her team, Moriah is not as skilled and usually only plays about 3 innings per game.  She has been in right field most of the games with a few departures to third base (once) and second base (twice, I think).  Moriah's gotten some hits, she's fielded pretty well and has been an asset to her team as well as fun to watch.  This year's "Girdwood" team has almost half their players from Anchorage and the team has been pretty good, with more wins than losses.

Per this blog post title...her baseball season has been extended.  Her team is currently playing in a double-elimination tournament, working their way through the loser's bracket (darn that Dimond West team who beat them that first night!).  They played three games in a row last week and played again last night.  They play tonight and possibly tomorrow and two games on Thursday, if they keep winning. 

Because of their survival in the tournament, Moriah just added a new position to her repertoire last night...pitcher!  She pitched in the minors and majors but has not had an opportunity to do so this year.  There are good pitchers on her team and she hasn't been tapped to work on her pitching.  

With the advancement through the tournament and restrictions on how much and often youth can pitch, the team is in danger of burning through their good pitchers and jeopardizing their chances of continuing to win.  Jim got a call over the weekend to work with Moriah on her pitching, which caused no little excitement around here.  She practiced a bit at a junior field in Anchorage and then worked with another lefty pitcher who gave her some helpful tips.  Then, during last night's game, she was 'called up' (is that the right baseball terminology?) to pitch.

Now, don't get too excited, because her pitching stint came at the bottom of the fifth, with one out, with her team ahead 20-6 and no danger at all of losing the game.  But, she did pitch pretty well, made one of the last two outs with a quick scoop and throw to home and in general did her mom and dad quite proud!

Here are a few photos from last night:
Got to first on a walk, ready to steal to second.

The wind up during her warm up...

the throw...

the follow through!

Moriah's 'save' last night not only 'saved' the win, but it 'saved' other more seasoned pitchers from being unavailable in more critical games.  I love that she was able to contribute to her team during the tournament in this way. 

On another, non-baseball note, after the game the little girls (who came by the field after watching Cars 2 with Papa and Granna) ran to the slide that is among the AOR ball fields.  It's a fast slide and they love to visit it, whenever they go to a game. 

Whee!  Abigail slides.

Bethany's turn!

We'll be heading back into town soon (I'm 'in class' while writing up this blog post...don't tell my teacher) to watch tonight's game.  And Moriah just may pitch again tonight.

Play ball!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Catch up post: Bethany's feet

Okay, this bit of news is old but still good news.

But first a small retrospective, if you'll bear with me.

As I mentioned in this post a couple of years ago, we felt a little blindsided about the clubfoot diagnosis during my pregnancy with Abigail and Bethany.  After some research, we came to understand that clubfoot wasn't that big of deal and it appeared that the treatment for most clubfoot kids would be 'short' and successful when using the Ponseti method (and if you follow that link, the current photo looks a lot like Bethany's feet did at birth, only hers were even 'flatter').  We anticipated the best and weathered some stressful weeks while she was casted and corrected and had minor surgery down in Seattle and embarked on her brace wearing protocol.

Bethany looking stinkin' cute in her brace
Once we settled into the 'sleepy shoes' era, things were pretty smooth and we followed the protocol as nearly as possible.  Once she turned four, we had high hopes and basically expected her to be released from her Ponseti brace.  She had been wearing it for approximately 12 hours a night for the last three or so years and we were all ready for her to be done with it.

So...way back in February, Bethany had her yearly check up with Dr. Mosca, the 'foot guy' who comes up from Seattle once or twice a year to see club feet kiddos.  Dr. Mosca watched her walk, watched her run up and down the hallway (Abigail had to do it first because Bethany had an attack of the 'I won't do anything for you because I've become incapacitated by my shyness'), manipulated her feet this way and that and proclaimed her fully corrected, giving us the happy news that she indeed could stop wearing her brace.  

I'll admit that there was some trepidation on my part when he said "see you in a year" for her next checkup, because relapse does happen occasionally.  But as far as I can tell, her feet still look great and she's doing just fine.

On our way home, I wanted to stop at a store.  This was to try to purchase something I had promised Bethany now and then over the years once she stopped wearing her brace.  Jim and the babes stayed in the car and I went into a Fred Meyer, hoping against hope that all of the winter clothing hadn't been completely put aside for springtime fashions.

Pause for a mini-rant:

Why oh why don't chain stores understand that we Alaskans need our winter clothes available for sale a little longer than most other places in the US?  Seriously...bathing suits in January?  With several feet of snow still on the ground?   Geesh.

Okay, I've said my piece.  Thank you

Anyhoo...thankfully, I found what I was looking for and a very excited Bethany donned these that very night:

Just look at that pleased, cheesy grin!

What was so special?  Well, these were Bethany's very first pair of footed pajamas.  Ever.  (Okay, maybe that's not totally true since she did wear those footed sleeper things as a tiny baby, but definitely her first footed pjs that she made the conscious decision that she really wanted to wear!) I have to admit that it made me choke up a little, seeing her excitement over footed pjs.  But really, after watching Abigail wear them over the years and mentioning wanting a pair, it was cool to finally give her that small thing.

Hokey, yes.  But something I'll (and possible she'll) always remember as we said goodbye to her brace?  Absolutely!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catch up post: Wonderland

This year's school play was called Wonderland, performed on April 13 and 14. It was sort of Alice in Wonderland but with additional characters and centered around a chess game theme.  Susannah landed one of the lead roles as Alice, and she was on stage for virtually the entire play.  She sort of stayed put and the 'scenes' evolved/revolved around her with minimal props and scenery.  It almost felt stream of consciousness and didn't always seem to make full sense. 

The other characters were entertaining and it was fun to see them interact with Susannah's Alice.  A few times, Susannah guided her fellow actors to their correct lines and kept the play going smoothly.  It was a pleasure to see her leadership and her two solos were beautiful.

Of course (by this mom's measure), the most entertaining 'side' character was Hatta, played by Moriah.  She thought it would be a bigger role, like the Mad Hatter, and she had some momentary angst when comparing Alice's stage time with her character's stage time.  Even though the role was smaller than she would have liked, Moriah totally played up her scenes and was a definite highlight of the play.

I will try to update this and put some photos on, but all I have right now is the video I took of the play.  I'm not sure I'll post the songs they sang, but I might.  The girls may have some photos from the play on their cameras, too....