Family trip leaves mom feeling itchy

ITCHY WOMAN

For a week, 10 children and six adults ventured to Norris Lake, Tenn.

There, minus WiFi, we swam in the clear lake, floated on the pontoon Little Big Town-style and otherwise, enjoyed (nearly) every minute of our vacation.

And it seems as if the vacation isn’t ready to be over just yet.

One family came back covered in bug bites, but no one remembers being bitten or swatting away at mosquitoes. The only bugs we saw were tick-look-a-likes that would fly and land on the pontoon seating areas. At first, we freaked out by the mere sight of them but eventually we learned they were just a Tennessee bug.

Another dad got bite by a horse-fly the size of a horse and it actually left two bite marks on his arm and caused him to bleed. According to his wife, he has not turned into a horse fly and has otherwise recovered from his bug injury.

And then there’s me.

I have no idea what is going on with me, but even the medical world doesn’t seem to have an honest clue to the mystery rash spreading over my body.

Naturally, according to WebMD, I am dying … but I also think I may either have swimmers’ itch, hay fever rash or heat rash. Those are the three diagnoses I have come up with based on my symptoms and the appearance of the rash on my skin.

However, the nurse practitioner simply told me I have “contact dermatitis.” In other words, she isn’t sure what I have, but knowing it isn’t contagious and seeing how I am the only one who came back with it, she’s certain I just came into contact with something funky on my trip.

My overactive brain is telling me otherwise.

Since being prescribed Prednisone, some of the spots have vanished, but new ones have appeared. The only thing the medication has done is provide me with endless energy and insomnia at night. Those two do not mix well.

I am giving this rash about five more days to clear up before I contact the producers of “Monsters Inside Me” because I am fairly certain there is a parasite shacking up under my skin.

 

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Baseball: A soul-crushing sport?

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Baseball.

What was once regarded as “America’s past-time” has turned into a soul-crushing sport for today’s boys.

Maybe it was “America’s past-time” decades ago when school-aged boys would gather in an empty field, pick teams and just play baseball much like the hit movie “The Sandlot.” What I wouldn’t give for my own 9-year-old to have that type of baseball experience.

But like most other sports these days, it’s not about just playing the game, it’s all about winning 100 percent of the time and that mindset tends to fall on the coaches.

And while I agree that winning is important – especially at the high school, college, minor league and major league levels – is it really that important when the kids are 9 years old and playing recreational baseball?

The Lorain County Hot Stove League my 9-year-old plays for is a “participation league.” And it’s “parent league” – The Ohio Hot Stove Baseball League encourages “players of all abilities.” Hot Stove was first conceived by sports editor Karl Artman, of Selma, Ala. in the early 1930s. His original idea was to form fun clubs where the members could swap ideas and discuss organized baseball in all its phases. Unfortunately, Artman passed away before his ideas had a chance to develop.

I’m not sure when the detail about “having fun” vanished, but seeing young boys with near tears in their eyes and disappointed faces in the dugout while they sit the bench isn’t my idea of fun. Hearing the young boys who don’t play an entire game like their peers beg and plead with their coach to play the field, only to be told “Maybe later” or “We’ll see” isn’t part of the league’s mission statement either.

The concept of my son’s league is to play on a rotation basis. Meaning, you rotate players in and out of play time. That way, in my opinion, when a boy has to sit the bench, he knows it’s only for an inning or two … not four consecutive innings which to a 9-year-old is a lifetime. And, if the coach adheres to the “rotation” rule, sitting the bench would not be seen as a punishment. A

s if sitting the bench isn’t hard enough, the seemingly better players on the team begin to notice their “spot” on the team and become entitled and perceive themselves as God’s gift to baseball.

How are baseball parents supposed to explain to their average baseball player son why he didn’t get to play more than two innings when other players exuding unsportsmanlike attitudes play inning after inning?

What is that teaching our sons? That you can have a fit and then instead of sitting the bench and taking a “time out” you are “rewarded” by being allowed to play the field while the average player would give anything to see the baseball diamond?

How does an adult morally crush a kid’s spirit?

I hate seeing kids on the outside looking in. It drains their psyche whether they can see it or not. They are now “damaged” goods in their own heads while the “chosen ones” continue to act high and mighty.

Today’s youth take it all in. Wherever they go, whatever they do, they understand what is happening in the world around them. Don’t think for a second they are oblivious. Being a parent of a child athlete is tough.

We encourage our children to “go out for the team” and cringe when they only “suit up” and spend most of their time in the dugout.

My dad coached basketball for 25 years. He allowed every player “play time.” And, when his team was ahead, instead of running up the score, he allowed for his “second string” to hit the court. It was his way of allowing them to show him what they had learned at practice.

Sports isn’t like that anymore.

Elementary-aged boys are still trying to figure out where they belong, but when coaches, who should otherwise be role models, cater to only a select few, what is that accomplishing?

Nothing. It accomplishes nothing except creating a mindset that that player is unworthy. And parents are left picking up the pieces of their crushed souls.

 

Melissa Linebrink is an award-winning blogger from Ohio. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ParenthoodthenewCrazyTrain! 

 

 

Parenting photo goes viral

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So, I made a list.

Not like a list of chores or items from the grocery store.

More like my kids arguing in the backseat during a family trip to Michigan several years ago made the list after I photographed the event and posted it, you guessed it, on social media.

But what made the photo more relatable to parents everywhere was the fact that I was smack-dab right in the middle of their fight over what appears to be a water bottle. Then again, they could have been fighting over airspace and it still wouldn’t have mattered because they’d be fighting.

And, I was still wedged in the middle.

I was trying to keep the peace between the twins for the three-hour drive into Michigan, but honestly, they fight nearly anytime they sit next to each other in any setting.

Legs touch, knees hit or elbows cross the invisible “space-line.” We’ve tried staggering the kids inside our vehicles, but they always end up within “touching space” so it doesn’t matter anyways.

Naturally, we’d have to bust the divider button so they couldn’t use it because if they knew how to use the button it would become a game of up/down; up/down; up/down, etc. for hours on end.

Alas, we are not rich and a limo would not fit inside our garage anyways. Besides, no one has time to shop-vac the back of a limo – I can hardly keep up with the house they destroy!

If you want to check out how I made the list … Here ya go click here or below:

https://www.babygaga.com/20-hilarious-photos-all-parents-will-sadly-understand/

You can also read what other parents suffer through on a daily basis, and all are understandable too.

 

 

A Letter to Mother Nature and Old Man Winter

Dear Mother Nature and Old Man Winter,

I’m not sure what the hell is going on with the two of you, but you need to get your act together.

My children’s brains are slowly turning to mush because they have not used their brains since honestly Dec. 21. The three-day jaunt back to school last week doesn’t count. That was a tease.

They have not used a pencil in just as long. I’m not sure they even know how to recite the alphabet or count to 100 anymore.

And let’s not even talk about the amount of TP that has been used!! Seriously … I should have bought stock in all-things paper-made 30 years ago!

The days of them being home are long. I am beyond tired.

They roll out of bed at 9 a.m. Demand breakfast and then an hour later, they want a mid-morning snack.

On occasion, they have played PlayDoh and Monopoly, but for the most part, they wander around the 2,400-square-foot house whining about being bored.

Today, I told George if he didn’t play with his toys from Santa, I was gonna toss them in the trash.

I walked over to the stack of toys … he followed and grabbed one. That kept him busy for maybe 15 minutes.

By noon, they are demanding lunch. And then, naturally, an hour later, they want a mid-afternoon snack.

And just as 4 p.m. rolls around, they declare it’s another snack time.

I actually went to the store last week and hide $20 worth of food in my bedroom closet. I need to have SOME food to pack for school lunches … IF they ever go back.

Today, my daughter whined when I told her a Red Baron pizza was dinner.

“Aw, I want a home-made meal,” she whined.

“We had steak yesterday. You missed it,” I told her. (She was at friend’s house.)

“Aw, all I want is a home-made meal mom,” she said again.

“Well, I want you guys to GO TO SCHOOL. WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL,” was my reply.

She is now searching the pantry for a pre-dinner snack.

So, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, for the love of God … and for the sanity of all parents who are affected by your harsh weather that you are bestowing on much of the United States … please, get your shit together … before I lose mine.

Sincerely,

Mom of Three Living in BFE

A note to Mother Nature and Old Man Winter

Dear Mother Nature and Old Man Winter,

I’m not sure what the hell is going on with the two of your, but you need to get your act together.

My children’s brains are slowly turning to mush because they have not used their brains since honestly Dec. 21. The three-day jaunt back to school last week doesn’t count. That was a tease.

They have not used a pencil in just as long. I’m not sure they even know how to recite the alphabet or count to 100 anymore.

And let’s not even talk about the amount of TP that has been used!! Seriously … I should have bought stock in all-things paper-made 30 years ago!

The days of them being home are long. I am beyond tired.

They roll out of bed at 9 a.m. Demand breakfast and then an hour later, they want a mid-morning snack.

On occasion, they have played PlayDoh and Monopoly, but for the most part, they wander around the 2,400-square-foot house whining about being bored.

Today, I told George if he didn’t play with his toys from Santa, I was gonna toss them in the trash.

I walked over to the stack of toys … he followed and grabbed one. That kept him busy for maybe 15 minutes.

By noon, they are demanding lunch. And then, naturally, an hour later, they want a mid-afternoon snack.

And just as 4 p.m. rolls around, they declare it’s another snack time.

I actually went to the store last week and hide $20 worth of food in my bedroom closet. I need to have SOME food to pack for school lunches … IF they ever go back.

Today, my daughter whined when I told her a Red Baron pizza was dinner.

“Aw, I want a home-made meal,” she whined.

“We had steak yesterday. You missed it,” I told her. (She was at friend’s house.)

“Aw, all I want is a home-made meal mom,” she said again.

“Well, I want you guys to GO TO SCHOOL. WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL,” was my reply.

She is now searching the pantry for a pre-dinner snack.

So, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, for the love of God … and for the sanity of all parents who are affected by your harsh weather that you are bestowing on much of the United States … please, get your shit together … before I lose mine.

Sincerely,

Mom of Three Living in BFE

Winning for Kayden

“All Day.

Every Day.

No Sleep.

100%”

– Kayden D. Williams

I love basketball.

Not college basketball or pro-basketball.

High school basketball.

There is something about the passion the players exude on the court.

The sound of basketball shoes squeaking on the court.

The sound of the basketball hitting the backboard before swishing through the white net.

But on Saturday night, in Elyria, Ohio, there was something more.

Something almost … magical.

That night, two rivals came together to honor one family whose connection to both communities was as strong as the bond shared between siblings.

It was one of love and hate.

The love was for Kayden Williams, and his family.

The hate, well it wasn’t really hate. It was more of a passion burning inside both teams to get the “W” for Kayden.

You see, he and his older brother, KJ, were Wildcats.

His sisters – Pioneers.

Kayden was a Wildcat when he passed away on Dec. 27 from injuries sustained in a single motor vehicle accident on a country road.  KJ graduated from Keystone several years ago.

The Williams family now has two daughters left in high school – and they are both Pioneers through and through.

But on Saturday night, both teams came together to honor Kayden and what he stood for – high school sports – leaving it all on the field/court – and an unwavering dedication to both.

As the game started, the Elyria varsity team ran onto the court wearing a T-shirt remembering Kayden. Moments later, the Keystone varsity basketball team did the same. For several minutes, the two teams just seemed to blend together.

The rivalry paused as the crowd gave a moment of silence for Kayden.

Then, it was game time.

To say both teams gave it 110 percent is an understatement.

It’s as if Kayden was fueling both teams on the court.

But, in the last seconds, it was Brody Kuhl’s three-point shot that gave Keystone the edge they needed to win.

And then, the unthinkable happened. Keystone fans ran onto the court before the game officially ended.

A technical foul was called on Keystone for charging the floor.

Yet, a small miracle happened at the same time. Just as Keystone was charged with a technical foul, the referee determined that Brody had been fouled during his three-point shot.

He was going to the free-throw line.

And he scored.

Elyria also had the opportunity to score due to Keystone’s technical foul, but in the end, the player only made one shot.

The night belonged to Keystone.

It also belonged to the Williams family.

To see Kayden’s brother, KJ jump up and down, cheering for his alma mater was a sight I will never forget.

To watch players run over to the Williams family after the game ended, embracing parents, Sarah and Keenan – I was filled with such pride to be a Keystone Wildcat.

Then, finally to witness Coach Jeff Holzhauer walk over to KJ, saying, “I told ya didn’t I?”

It wasn’t just a win for Keystone Saturday night.

It was a win for the Williams family because I am pretty sure Kayden was whooping and hollering from the heavens just as his family was down on Earth.

Somehow, I think it was his way of letting his family know that he was just fine.

And that in time, they will be too.