The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Softball Weekend

It was a softball filled weekend! Unfortunately I have no pictures because Saturday was cold and windy and none of us were picture worthy. I brought my big camera along, but I was always behind the chain link fence and I didn’t want those pictures of the girls, maybe next time I’ll get out and take the good pics.

Saturday the girls played in a 10U tournament. It’s a one day tournament, so the games are essentially back to back. Since it was cold and windy, this worked well. I think if we would have had down time in between games there would have been meltdowns. (Probably by the adults.) Overall, the team did well considering we’ve only had a handful of practices and one game. Our girls were definitely not used to stealing bases or running to first on a third strike dropped ball, but they adapted fairly well. They did see a few pitchers who were throwing FAST (who ARE these girls??), but I think that’s good for them.

Midway through their last game I headed to the concession stand for my volunteer shift. I worked 12 hours at the ball fields this weekend to get in all of my volunteer hours. Which meant I was back at the fields at 7am Sunday morning, ready to rake and chalk those lines! Field maintenance is where it’s at in case you’re ever wondering. You get to watch the games or run home and get more coffee, and it only takes 10 minutes to get the fields ready. Chalking the lines was also incredibly satisfying. Instant gratification. After that I had another four hour shift in the concession stand and we were busy! The warm weather brought everyone to the ball fields and they were hungry!

One of the things I loved about this weekend was reconnecting with the softball community. I’ve gotten to know people throughout our four years, and it was good to see other coaches and watch some of our friends play. We even played against a few old teammates! I think it was also good for the girls to remember how much they love playing softball with their friends. I know they love riding horse, but I also really want them to be involved in a team sport. I love that even though not all of the girls on their team go to their elementary school, they’ll see them in two years when they’re all together in middle school.

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Softball 2018

This will be the fourth summer the girls are playing softball? That can’t be right! Oh man. Anyway, I did not coach that first year because we signed up late. Their coach that year did not know what he was doing, and it was difficult to sit on the sidelines so the next summer I signed up to coach.

Coaching was interesting. It’s a lot of work! I realized quickly that my niche skill was helping hitters. I was able to adjust stances and swings and really help the girls get hits. I loved that part! Watching girls struggle game after game, and then see them break through and put it all together and get a hit? Loved that.

But coaching is also exhausting and patience draining and this year I decided my plate was full, and I wasn’t going to coach again. I was nervous I would miss it, but when I realized I’d have about an hour to myself every practice night those nerves went right out the window! The girls are a little sad I’m not coaching, but I told them I’m more than happy to work with them at home.

So here’s the thing about softball. It conflicts with horseback riding. Someday, if they want to get serious about riding and compete, they will have to pick. We’ve got at least one more summer after this before that happens but come on, we all know which sport they’ll pick (assuming I can swing it financially). Even last night they were vaguely trying to get out of softball. We chose a lower level league, and I’m hoping that doesn’t bite us. There are a few girls on their team who have never played before, which I didn’t expect. The higher level league meant more practices, more games, more tournaments and I knew that would have burned them out. I’m hoping playing on a team that is more in the learning phase doesn’t do the same thing.

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Softball v2017

We had our last softball game last night until the tournament next weekend. This year has been super amazing. The coaches I’m with are knowledgeable and really make the game fun, and we have a great team of girls. Everyone listens, works hard, and has a lot of fun. For the most part we had one practice and one game each week. A few weeks we had two games and no practices, and I feel like it was the perfect amount of games. We aren’t burnt out, but we’ve had our fill of softball. We won’t be doing fall ball this year, since last year that was too much. We’re all very ready for a break, and to move into a slower summer with a little more downtime and pool time.

Caden in the blue batting helmet, Delaney in pink. One of the downsides of coaching is that I can’t take pictures during the game! I grabbed these during batting practice beforehand.

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Softball!


Softball season officially started last night! I’m super excited for this season.

We did not do a hitting clinic this winter, so we really hadn’t done anything all winter. Our softball association held open gyms, but we were never able to make it to one of them. On Sunday I finally pulled out their gloves to play catch with them and I was pleasantly surprised! Their throws were almost immediately solid and accurate. I’m continuously amazed at the different a year makes at this age.

Practice last night went really well. We have a great group of kids, and I’m working with some new coaches that I’m excited about. We only hit off a tee, but Caden absolutely killed it. Her swing has always been solid, so it was nice that she didn’t lose anything over the winter. Delaney did well too, although I think she’ll do better with the pitching machine.

We need a new bat, although I’m still debating which size to get. They also need bat bags and again, I’m debating on the backpack versus the other style. The last time we were at Dick’s I swear they didn’t have a great selection, but we need to head back and make some choices.

Other than that, we’re ready! The vibe already feels different this season. I can’t wait!

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Softball!

First, thank you to everyone for your laundry related advice. It was good to know I’m not alone, and good to get advice! When we put laundry away, I fold t-shirts and pants, one girl does socks and underwear, and the other girl puts things away in the closet (hanging, tank tops, riding, ballet) and helps with pants and pajamas. Now, socks and underwear will also have to inside out anything that hasn’t been.

It’s almost softball season! The girls got new gloves for their birthday, and on Sunday we headed out to get Delaney new cleats. Luckily, Caden can wear Delaney’s cleats from last year. She has been a trooper about wearing some of Delaney’s hand me downs (winter boots, now cleats), but she understands why and only complains a little.


I lobbied for black and white cleats but she said no. She loved these from the moment she saw them!  They look gigantic here!  (Prior to this we were at Target checking out flip flops.  I found a pair I liked and so Delaney tried them on in a size 6 womens and they fit her.  Sob.)

One small gripe. Maybe two. Dick’s Sporting Goods is a freaking madhouse every single time we go there to buy shoes. They always have two people working, and a million people crammed into these little nooks and crannies trying to try on shoes. It’s insane. Also? Their softball selection is miniscule compared to their baseball selection. It’s sad, but indicative of the equality of those two sports. Similarly, we have one decent field to play softball on while baseball has ten.

I offered up batting gloves but neither wanted them. I think softball practice starts sometime in April? We pick up uniforms April 30 and then games in May! I’m excited!

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Almost rained out

This weekend was the girls end of season softball tournament. We played two games on Saturday which determined ranking, and then it was single elimination on Sunday. Our high point of the season was early June. We had been playing twice a week consistently, I had worked with the girls enough on their batting that everyone was getting hits, and we had quite a few home games with our pitching machine which threw consistent strikes. Towards the end of June we only played once a week, and the games were away on less than consistent machines. When the balls are coming high and low and outside and everywhere, we have hitting issues. No hits, no runs.

We did not play the best on Saturday. We could not seem to get a rally going where we could score a lot of runs, and our fielding was off. Oh well. It was sunny and beautiful out, and this season is really about learning anyway. The girls have come so far from the beginning of the season and that’s what counts.

Sunday morning I woke up to thunder and lots of rain. I thought for sure the games would be cancelled but the rain stopped, and with an extra few hours they had the fields playable. It wasn’t hot, but it was humid. We played another SLP team and were squarely beat relatively quickly. While I was sad the season had ended, we had a pool party to get to!

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The club had a pool party planned and we were super excited for it! There was cotton candy (which we ate a TON of), snow cones, lots of food, a bounce house, tattoos, and some pool games. The best part was the DJ who played amazing music the entire time.

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The pool was the busiest I’ve seen it and yet, it’s big enough that it wasn’t crowded. We ate as soon as we got there because we were all starving. From there we bounced between the pool and all of the games. I even got to read my book for a while which is always a bonus.

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Luckily, there was some cloud cover or the day would have gotten crazy hot. As it was, it was a perfect afternoon. I love this pool. Pools tend to be our happy places and this one definitely fits that bill. I love that it’s around the corner from our house, I love that they serve good food, I love that it’s never crowded, I love how awesome the lifeguards are, and I love how awesome the families are that we’ve encountered there. It’s a little oasis of happiness that always seems to slot in just when we need it.

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Last One

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The girls had their last softball game last night. We have a tournament in July, but this was our last weeknight game. I have been amazed at how much the entire team has improved since April!

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We’ve really had a great group of girls to play with this year. Everyone has had a great attitude, and they try really hard every game.

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The girls switch positions every inning. Last night Delaney played infield positions where they hit the ball to her a lot, which is obviously her favorite. She was catching and one girl hit the ball and it stayed near the plate. Delaney picked it up and threw it to Caden at first, but she threw it right down the line (excellent job!) nailing the runner in the back (oops!). She fielded two balls at first and got two outs there as well, and she’s out of her batting slump! She had a great game.

Caden got two hits, and also had a great game. She got a ton of balls hit to her in the field and almost got a few outs. It’s really good to see them hustling when the ball is hit.

Fall ball starts up mid-August, until then we have ballet lessons. I’m a little (a lot) regretting signing up for those.

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Softball pictures!

The girls had an awesome game last night! Everybody hit and they got a bunch of outs fielding the ball. It’s been so fun watching these girls improve every game.

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I wanted to get some action shots but I only got a few of Laney before we had to start warming up. Next time Caden!

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Softball Update

We are about midway through the softball season so time for an update. This year has been different from last year on a number of fronts. Last year we had one practice and one game each week. This year we had practices for a few weeks, then it’s just two games per week. The girls get solid game time every week and are challenged that way. I’ve been able to work with the girls on their batting between innings, but, it’s hard to work on their fielding skills without practice. That said, there has been serious improvement from the beginning of the season until now. Their throwing is getting better and more accurate, and their batting is getting more consistent. We’ve even gotten a few base runners out!

Caden has a really solid batting stance and consistently gets hits. Occasionally she strikes out, but she gets a hit the majority of the time. Delaney has struggled a bit with her batting stance. We’ve played around with her stance a bit in the last few games but the results have been inconsistent. The last two games I’ve stood directly behind home plate which gives me a perfect vantage point of their stance and swing. She’s right on, but somehow is still missing the ball. My dad is coming to tonight’s game, so maybe he will spot something I haven’t.

I was nervous to coach this year, but I’ve found I really enjoy it. It’s a natural extension of the coaching/leadership I do at work, and I like connecting with the kids and encouraging them. There’s nothing better than tweaking a girl’s batting stance and have her go from strikeouts every time, to hits every time! Being an assistant coach has been perfect because I can concentrate on coaching, and the head coach handles logistics and everything else.

I have been completely lax about taking pictures at games, but I’m going to take my camera to the game tonight and at least get a few pictures!

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Softball begins!

Last night the girls had their first softball game of the season! I thought for sure this game would get rained out, but the rained stopped about 5:00 and we were able to play.

I was really proud of all of the girls. They played really well. We only had six girls, so everyone got to bat quite a few times. There were a few times when a girl would score a run, then turn around and bat right away! Delaney struck out the first three times? Then I adjusted her batting stance and she got a hit the next at bat. I was coaching first base and the smile on her face as she ran was everything. Caden and Delaney got three hits each I think? Our fielding needed a little work, but it’s the first game so expectations were low.

Just as we were starting the last inning the coach from the other team came out to say he thought the game was over. There was a discrepancy about the start time and how late the last inning could start. They discussed the rules but in the end he said the parents were done, so they were ending the game. It was the weirdest thing. What does that even mean “the parents are done”? It was only 7:40, it wasn’t raining, and it wasn’t super cold. At that point, they were ahead 5-3, but we’re not sure if they will forfeit the game since they ended it early? Either way, it was a super frustrating way to end things.

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