Field of Dreams

The Older had a wonderful opportunity with the Tampa Bay Yankees last night; he got to go on the field, run the bases, and then hit the field with the players for the National Anthem. The team has Field of Dreams events like this for the little league teams in the area, and it was a fantastic time!

Here he is running the bases:

(The Younger got to run the bases too, which was nice)

After they ran the bases, it was time to take the field! The kids got to line up, then they were assigned a player to go on the field with for the National Anthem.

This is my favorite picture (that I was able to capture. I missed the one of the three outfielders giving him high-fives).

It was a fantastic day, and I cannot stress enough how wonderful events like this are. This team and all the staff at the stadium are so friendly, and the kids always end up having a wonderful time. If you are in the area and love baseball, please try to get to a game. You won’t be sorry!

Summer Reading and Library Fun

I am a huge advocate of keeping kids reading over the summer. Research shows that kids lose 1 month of learning over the summer, and children who live in homes that that have few books can lose up to 3 months! This is why I spend a lot of time looking for summer reading programs for The Older. Not only is it important for every child, but because his hearing loss is compounded by vocabulary loss and confusion, it’s especially important we keep reading.

For summer reading, I’m a big fan of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge , but I’m also a huge fan of the local library and their summer reading programs! The library closest to my home is teaming up with the Tampa Bay Rays again this year in their Reading Your Way to the Ballpark program in a effort to keep kids reading through the summer by offering prizes after so many books are read (they give you a scorecard to keep track and you have to “round the bases”).

As I was looking through all the summer activities, I found that the libraries in the area are also doing mock camp-outs where they’ll tell stories and sing camping songs, give puppet shows, and host Lego nights. There’s even a Pokemon night and Hogwarts night too! Good to know there are so many fun and free events for the kids this summer.

Be sure to check out your local library and see what sort of events they’re hosting. I’d love to hear about it too!

Tampa Yankees

The Older has really been getting into baseball lately. It’s a blessing and a curse, because along with his growing as a player, his endless questions about how the game is played falls on The Daddy and our friend who has been around sports her whole life. (Admittedly, I always thought baseball was a game where you hit a ball with a stick and ran around the bases. I had no idea there were real rules). Not surprisingly, The Older has a bazillion questions when we go to a game, and because of his other ‘stuff,’ he gets overly focused on the numbers of the players, the scores, and recording anything and everything to do with the numbers in general. It can be exhausting, but at least we can go to games often because we have a fantastic baseball venue right here in Tampa Bay!

Lately we’ve been going to the Tampa Yankees games at George Steinbrenner Field , and we’ve been having a great time. They are a Minor team, but the kids get a major league feel and we don’t feel the hurt in our wallet. Most days we get in free, but they have special deals almost every home game; even if we pay it’s only around $4.

I have many more pictures like this. It’s a great opportunity for kids, and the players are super nice. The Younger was even given one of the game balls last night, and The Older has gotten a few as well. It’s a confidence-booster for them, and I get a kick out of seeing their excitement! It’s a fantastic way to spend an evening with the family, and I hope more people take advantage of going to such a great place. I’ve had nothing but positive interactions with the staff, and watching the players with the fans, kids and adults alike, reminds me of the good old days when a sports hero was truly someone to look up to!