Tag Archive for baseball

We made it to an Angels Game!!

What a feat.  12 tickets purchased, 12 family members all assembled at Angels stadium.  This is a family outing that has not happened in years and years.

My family, at the party house, are huge fans of Angels baseball.  It has been a long-standing, favorite pastime of most of my family members to enjoy the games on TV, and  we also try to make it to the stadium for a game or two in a season.

This past Saturday was one of those times.  My son, Bryan, made an extremely early trip to Angels stadium a few weeks ago to buy tickets for all of the family who could make it to the game.  This also happened to be our family’s birthday celebration day for myself, and my son-in-law.  All in all there was a group of twelve of us that made our way to the stadium for the second game of the Angels open weekend games.

This was a 1:00pm game so we were prepared to be sitting in the sun for most of the game.  We donned hats and sunglasses, slathered on sunscreen, and made sure we had our water bottles with us.  In attendance at the game were myself, Travel Man, my parents, our niece Mary, son Bryan, daughter Hilary, Evan with his parents, and my brother Jim, with his girlfriend, Elaine.  Whew!! What a group!  Here’s a shot of almost everyone.


When we got to our seats we were totally in the shade for the first 3½ innings (yay!), good planning Bryan!  So we weren’t completed melted by the middle of the game!  It’s always fun going to the stadium to see the game.  The singing of our national anthem, an F-18 flyover, and the first pitch being thrown out.  Play ball!!! Singing “Take me out to the ball game”.  What a great tradition.

The Angels didn’t win this game but we had some great family time.  Evan is old enough now that he is asking questions about the game, and pays attention to the numbers on the scoreboard.  He’s our Angels fan in training.

Everyone got to have their favorite stadium treat.  Peanuts, frozen lemonades, hot dogs, and nachos.  All those treats that cost wayyyyy too much but are part of the experience.  Evan got a foam finger, and we all got fleece blankets with the Angels logo.  Really cool.  It’s so much fun to get to do a group outing like this.  I hope we get to have a few more of these over the summer.  When’s the last time you got your entire group together for an outing?

When I Stopped Sweating the Small Stuff-Part Three

At the beginning of Zach’s hospitalization for leukemia we had a tremendous education in what the course of treatment would be for the getting the leukemia into remission, and keeping it there.  We had several meetings with the doctors to discuss the course of treatment, and how the doctor’s would handle their communication between the endocrinologist, and the oncologist.  I distinctly remember the first discussion with the doctors around a table in this little conference room on the 4th floor of the Children’s Hospital, ward 4800.  My Dad was with me and he brought a binder full of information on diabetes and leukemia.  I really don’t remember any details of the meeting, I just remember how thankful I was to have my Dad sitting there next to me.

The course of treatment for Zach would last for three years, three years.  Wow!  We made the decision to put Zach in a clinical trial for his leukemia.  This meant that he would have extra monitoring, and would be followed after the treatments were completed.  It was my opinion that if there was any information that the doctors could gain in the course of Zach’s treatment I would want to know that we had helped another child going through the same thing.  The treatment that was chosen for Zach’s leukemia diagnosis was a “road map” that included chemotherapy via IV, tablets taken at home, and constant, constant monitoring of the blood counts.  We became experts at interpreting the blood count numbers.  And remember we are also dealing with the diabetes and insulin injections everyday too. Yikes!

Zach and his Grandma

The next item on our agenda after Zach got home from the hospital was setting up his homeschooling.  His fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Susan Thompson, graciously volunteered for the assignment.  Zach was homeschooled for the end of fourth grade and a good portion of fifth grade.  He had to be homeschooled as the risk of infection from any source was just too high.  Zach’s grandma is also a former teacher, and helped out with his studies and reading quite a bit.  Zach was allowed to go back to school in April of 2002.  He was so determined to get back in the classroom, and I realize now he just needed to have any sense of normalcy in his life.  We are forever grateful to Mrs. Thompson for taking such care and having tremendous patience during this year.

Zach’s time at home was such a rollercoaster ride.  It was a delicate balance of getting to his appointments on time, taking his meds when he was supposed to, and still trying to give him some sense of just being a kid.  It was a lot for all of us to handle, and especially for Zach.  He would have chemo and be nauseous.  He would be on steroids and have a huge appetite.  The balancing of his insulin throughout this time was closely monitored.  We called the endocrinologist a lot for help with adjusting his insulin.  I was constantly worried during this period, am I doing this correctly?  Is there anything we have missed?  The saving grace was the doctor could always be reached after hours, and during office hours you could always get a hold of a nurse, and get help.

I have to remind everyone too that Zach was not an only child.  I had three other kids to attend to, mostly emotionally.  Zach’s oldest sister Naomi was 19 going on 20 when Zach was being homeschooled.  Naomi made the decision to stop going to school to stay home and help with Zach and his weekly appointments.  She was so helpful during this time, I don’t know how we would have gotten everything done without her.  My daughter Hilary, had just turned 14 when Zach was diagnosed.  She was very busy at school with volleyball, and she was always so helpful with entertaining Zach.  Zach’s big brother Bryan was 12 when he was diagnosed.  Bryan loves baseball, and was playing Pony League ball when everything happened with Zach.  Bryan’s games gave all of us an outlet for getting away from our new routine.  It was great watching his games, and getting Zach out of the house for a bit.  And if I remember correctly his team went to the playoffs during this season.  The great thing about this bunch is they are devoted to each other for life.  They all learned how to do Zach’s insulin injections so they could help out if needed.  And they all learned how to do an emergency injection for Zach if he had an extremely low blood sugar, and was not coherent.  Not the kind of things you expect to have to teach to your teenagers.  They are a caring, and compassionate bunch, and would do whatever they had to do to help their baby brother, and each other.

July of 2001 brought a trip to Ronald McDonald Camp for Zach.  The camp is up in the hills in Idyllwild here in Southern California.  It was such a great week for Zach.  He just got to go up there and be a kid.  They have doctors and nurses on Staff to help the kids through the week.  They put on a wonderful program.  Zach was able to go to camp twice during his treatments, and it was a great outlet for him.

The remainder of 2001 we were all focused on getting  Zach through his treatments, and helping each other get through the days and weeks with a smile on our faces.  I remember asking Zach how he was doing one day in the fall, and his reply to me was, “I’m doing ok Mom.  I just have to keep my attitude positive, because that’s all I can do.”  Such a grown-up 10-year-old, wise beyond his years.

As we embarked upon Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2001, the emotions of the year were taking their toll on the kids.  Their dad had left us in February, Zach was diagnosed with leukemia in April, and now it would be their first Christmas as kids of divorce. Little did we know that life would throw us another curve before we even got to Christmas Day.  


Pumpkins, Baseball and Family Time…..

There are times in one’s life where your perception of how things should be and how they actually turn out finally come together and create a “moment”.  Last night was one of those nights.  The stars were aligned and all was right with the world.

Travel Man and I had a great home cooked dinner (meatloaf, baked potatoes and green beans) with all of our Twenty-something kids.  This is a rare occurrence during the week.

After dinner we settled in to partake in World Series game 6 in the living room. 

Go Texas Go!!  There’s still one game left to play!!

The Twenty-somethings decided it was high time they carved their pumpkins, and they were back and forth between the kitchen counter and running in to see what was happening in the game.

Yum – Yum                                                       Look Mom I’m a Pumpkin Head!

It’s amazing how creative they have all become at the pumpkin carving.  I remember the days when no one would touch the insides of the pumpkin, they just wanted a cleaned out pumpkin to carve!

Go – Pack – Go                                                          I am Ironman

                                               An Homeage to Apple & Steve Jobs….

The Twenty-somethings haven’t carved pumpkins together in a few years but they’re having a Halloween party tonight, and needed the ambience.  The parentals will not be in attendance.

The baseball game went on forever, back and forth for 4-1/2 hours.  What a thriller!!  A baseball fan’s dream game.  I don’t think a game of such epic proportions has taken place since the Angels were in the World Series in 2002. 

This was a wonderful family night.  Travel Man in the house, the twenty-somethings all collectively doing a project together, and I didn’t have to referee at all,  a mother’s dream family evening.  I think it’s particularly poignant for me to recognize these small moments because in my heart of hearts I know that the moments that seem somewhat suspended in time will be further and fewer in the years to come.

So, today I’m relishing in the family moment.  Just soaking it all in like a sponge and letting it sit there for a while.  I’m hoping that everyone has just such a moment in the days to come.  Just savor it and enjoy!

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