Friday, March 10, 2017

Tiger is 4 Months Old, or, What's Going on With Tiger in February!

4 Months!  Everywhere Tiger goes people comment on two things:  his incredibly happy disposition, and how much he looks like Jones!

See how happy?!  Precious baby!

Seriously, everywhere we go with him, like to church and drop him at the nursery, to the gym and drop him at the gym daycare, to his regular daycare, people are just SO THRILLED to get to see him.  They all rush to the doorway to try and be the first to hold him, I swear.  And he loves it - loves people, loves going and doing ... he's just happy all the time!
Jones on the left, Tiger on the right!

Tiger at 4 months

Jones at 4 months

Definitely a family resemblance, ha!

At 4 months old, Tiger:
  • Weighs 15 pounds and 7 ounces, and is 25 1/2 inches long

  • Is an okay sleeper ... we're now in the stage where he's having growth spurts, so how much he sleeps at night is variable.  We've started having to get up with him again, at least once in the night.  Since we've been given the go-ahead to introduce cereal and foods, I'm hoping if I put a little cereal in his bedtime bottle, he'll sleep a little longer.

Speaking of cereal and baby foods ...
We were open to trying new foods ...

But definitely did not care for the "gruel" (rice cereal)!
  • Rolls over, front to back and back to front.  Not completely consistent yet, but pretty close. 
  • We tried the Johnny Jump-Up ... he was not impressed ...
  • He did love the Jumperoo, though!
  • Wears a size 2 diaper and 3-6 months clothes

  • Loves big brother!  He lights up when Jones is around, and loves to watch him and see what he's up to.

We all love our Little Cat - he's a joy to our entire family!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Take Me Out to the (Tee) Ball Game, or, For the Love of the Game

In 2014, we let Jones start tee-ball.  Full disclosure:  after the first few practices, and the first game, we were really questioning that decision.  By the end of the "season", however, we were really glad that we did it.  He got better as the games went by, especially considering he was, by far, the youngest one on the team.  We had a really good group of coaches that really worked well with Jones, and with all of the kids, and really made the whole thing enjoyable.

Our first obstacle to overcome was that tee ball practices, and games, naturally take place on a baseball diamond which is, obviously, made of dirt. 

Dirt + Jones = Not Going to Pay Attention at Tee Ball Practice:

If you can't find any dirt, you can always throw rocks in a pond!
Bad influence?!  Actually, all of the kids were fascinated by the dirt at one point or another,
some more than others (like our Joneser)!

But, we stuck with it, and with everyone remaining positive and being consistent, Jones improved every game and really got into it and was having a lot of fun in the end ... and so were Alan and I.  I'll just throw out there that we didn't care if he had any skill (obviously - he's only 3!), but we did want him to learn about listening and obeying adults, teamwork, and organized sports.  This was a good exercise for that, although it did give us some frustrating moments because, again, Jones was only 3!

Our first success was to realize that Jones LOVES to run, and was so happy
 just to run the bases - didn't care about hitting it, or fielding it,
but getting to run ... that was where it was at, for Jones!

Tee ball practice with 3 and 4 year olds is very similar to herding cats (or what I imagine it would be like to herd cats).
Jones did a lot better with Dad out in the field with him ... at least with Dad out there, he would stay on the field, whereas in the beginning he would run around in the outfield, in no particular direction, just to the fence and back, or he'd go over to the other team's dugout, then our team's dugout ... but with Dad out there, he would actually play!

Alan is explaining to him that you have to wait until the batter hits it before you run to get the ball - otherwise, Jones would just run toward the tee at the first opportunity.  During one game, he actually took the ball off of the tee before the batter could hit it.   Everybody learned to be on their toes with Jones - ha!

So sweet - we heart # 9!  He refused to bat at all during his first game,
but he got the hang of it the second time around
and eventually got to where he loved to hit ...
mostly because that meant he got to run around the bases, but still:  success, and cuteness!

Showing me how you hold our glove to scoop up the ball!

Overall, it was a great experience, and I'm glad we did it.  I think Jones had fun, and I think it was good that he was exposed to this kind of activity early on, and I'm glad we got to meet all of the very nice people that coached and organized and parented along with Jones and I - if you want to talk about teamwork, get a bunch of toddler parents together with a common goal (in this case, surviving tee ball and getting their kids to have a good time without anyone losing it), and you'll see some teamwork!

The Ferdowsian Fireballs

Lining up to shake hands with the other team!

So, with that first year under our belts, we signed up to do it again in 2015.  I ended up being really glad we had done the first year, even though I had questioned it, with Jones being so young, because it really made a difference the second year around.  He knew what to expect, what to do, etc., and had more fun and improved with this season.  It was a lot of fun, too, because we were on a team with people that we knew from church and that we were already friends with outside of tee ball.

The 2015 Volcanos!

Warming up and stretching:

Y'all know I was super excited to dress him up like a real baseball player, complete with baseball pants, socks, belt, and cleats!

At bat!

One of the biggest struggles for our crew this year:  getting them to understand the notion of playing a particular position and only going after the ball if it came to your position.  It took pretty much all the way through the last game to drive it home that they were all on the same team, and you shouldn't fight over the ball with your teammates.  This is a tough lesson for four year olds.

And, with THAT experience under our belt, we signed up again in 2016.  We were lucky enough to get the same coaches and a lot of the same kiddos, and it was another great season.  And it was very, very clear how helpful it was that this was Jones' third time around.  The improvements he (and all of the other kids) made, and the way you could just see the light going on about what he was supposed to do, and how to do it, and all of that, was very fun to watch.

2016 Durham Bulls!

Like soccer, and golf, and gymnastics, and all of the other sports we're letting Jones try, the goal is really for him to have fun and learn all of the things you can learn from athletics (team work, discipline, hustle, sportsmanship, etc.).  And, of course, it doesn't hurt that this helps use up some of Jones' endless energy.  This coming spring will be coach-pitch all the way (no tee), and it will be the three strikes, you're out rule.  So, you know, real baseball, which will be exciting (and a whole new learning experience) for everyone!