Team Stimey Goes to Camden Yards: A Story in Five Chapters

Chapter One: Team Stimey as a Whole

So. A while back (I am woefully late in writing this post), Team Stimey got an invitation to go see the Baltimore Orioles play a game at Camden Yards. It was a bold move on the part of the Orioles organization to invite this gang of hooligans to go see a game, but I didn’t clue them in. I just said yes and then dragged my kids to Baltimore on the rainiest day ever.

Team Stimey Junior.
What is it with us, rain and baseball? Walking from our car to the stadium, we were soaked. And then it stopped raining. Yay for everyone who arrived after us. Bummer for us. But also yay for not being rained on during our private tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards!

I’m not sure Tour Guide Bob was prepared for my kids, but he did an admirable job of putting up with us.

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure they had legitimate questions.

 

We got to see all of Camden Yards, which was totally cool. We saw the Kids Corner, which features games for kids and a play area in case you have kids who get antsy during ball games. He showed us the press rooms, which was one of the coolest things. I love that behind the scenes stuff. Very, very cool.

We also got to go out to the field. That was awesome. We were under strict orders to not step on the grass and to stay in one place and we only had, like, a minute and a half out there. Naturally I was sure that Jack was going to take off and run the bases, which would have made for excellent blog fodder, but might have gotten us taken off the Orioles blogger list. And kicked out of the stadium.

It was difficult to take an awesome photo of Team Stimey Junior under such conditions. The fabulous Goon Squad Sarah took this one, which has almost all of our faces. I kind of super love this photo.

Jack contemplating a base run.

 

I didn’t fare quite so well. Quinn evidently believed that he had been taken out to the field to be shot by firing squad.

Or so his expression would lead you to believe.

 

Those kids have no idea how cool an experience that was. They also have no idea how cool it was that they then got to watch the game from a private luxury box full of dinner and snacks. Although they did each enjoy it in their own way.

Jack by playing iPad, Quinn by eating, Sam by watching baseball.

 

Chapter Two: Sam

Sam, to my recollection, two weeks after the event, was lovely. Had you asked me on the drive home, I might have had other things to say, but at this point, all I can remember is how into the game Sam was.

He sat in his corner seat and watched the game, only getting up to find food.

Baltimore’s newest Orioles fan.

 

Oh, he also got up to harass the Orioles mascot when the bird was trying to make children happy.

You’re welcome to all the parents whose photos of
their kids were marred by Sam’s bunny ears.

 

Chapter Three: Jack

Jack was a little overstimulated at the game. He did a lot of twirling.

“We must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward;
and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!”*

 

(* Guess that quote.)

I also like the fact that as soon as we got to the luxury box and went to the window to look out at our own private seats overlooking the field, Jack was all, “Look! Glass! I bet I could make a smiley face on that!”

And he did.

 

Then he demanded my iPad and because I was concerned about him twirling toward freedom right over the railing, I gave it to him. He enjoyed that iPad for the entire rest of the time we were there, except for the few minutes that I forced him to watch the game. Watching baseball might not be his favorite thing.

Even when the mascot came in, Jack only managed to get up to show him his iPad and then he returned to his seat.

Look, giant bird! Look what I have!

 

Chapter Four: Quinn

So Quinn. Quinn didn’t stop eating the entire time we were at the game. He walked into the suite, saw snacks on a table and sat down and made himself at home. I was all, “Hey, Quinn! Do you want to come outside and see the field?” and he was all, “No thanks, I’m happy here.”

He is soooo small, but soooo packed full of food.

 

Every time I saw him, he was wandering around with some giant container of baseball food.

They might have intended this bucket to feed more than one child.

 

As with the other two children, Quinn managed to put aside his defining baseball game-attending behavior to visit the mascot. This is actually kind of a big deal, because Quinn is often afraid of the giant stuffed, mobile animal.

Although it looks as if he were strong-armed into it.

 

Even on the way out, Quinn was trying to get food. He managed to talk our very wonderful hosts into giving him a giant bag of pretzels.

Now. I need you to prepare yourself for the greatest juxtaposition of two photos you will ever see in your life.

Yay! Pretzels!
Twenty seconds later.

 

I know. I took that first photo, turned, and started walking with Quinn behind me and then I heard the sound of a huge number of small, hard snacks cascading onto the ground. I just stopped and I couldn’t even turn around for a minute. You know how you know what you are going to see and you don’t want to? That was me.

Chapter Five: Stimey

So, me. I had a lovely time. Camden Yards is a really cool ballpark and has lots of nice amenities. I think even if you didn’t get to watch the game from a luxury box that you would have a good time. Although I highly recommend the luxury box.

I was part of a group of bloggers who went to hear about the Orioles and Camden Yards and some of the people who are involved in the organization.

Bloggers. Learning.

 

We were able to meet Angela Showalter, who is (probably pretty obviously) Manager Buck Showalter’s wife. She told us about raising her kids and moving around throughout her husband’s career. She also told us about one of the charities she is involved in, called KidsPeace, which provides therapeutic services for foster kids.

She was lovely.

And don’t think that when I saw that Oriole come in that I didn’t bum rush him before any of the kids were able to get to him.

If you wait, you don’t get the awesome hug and two-shot.

 

I got even better hugs from someone else though.

Awwww…

 

Also, I should tell you that a blogger’s kid puked and it wasn’t one of mine. Surprise!

We had such a great night. Thank you so much to the Orioles for showing us such a good time. Everyone we came in contact with was very lovely to us, even during that hellaciously long ten minutes after leaving the suite and making it to our car. The people who were nice to us about the pretzels especially earned my gratitude.

And lest you think that Quinn was overly sad about the pretzels or Sam was upset that we left the game a little early or that Jack was unable to cope with my surgical removal of the iPad from his hands, rest assured. One bag of fluffed sugar and they were thrilled.

 

They all had a really, really fun time. I’m so glad we were able to go.

Epilogue

Aaaaaand I think that is all the baseball stories I have for a while.

Acknowledgements (Disclosure)

The Orioles hosted a private event for a group of bloggers, which included tickets, a tour, parking, dinner, and gift bags for the munchkins. My opinions are my own. As are the hooligans.

Catching Up Quickly

Summer is kicking my ass, folks. I’m having a hard time finding time to write. I have a big project coming up, so if I am AWOL for chunks of time, you’ll know why. I have something fun I want to write about tomorrow, but for now, I’ll give you a couple of links.

I wrote about Sam’s trip to camp over at White Knuckle Parenting, which is back at least through July! Yay!

Jack is also part of a story by Maria Mora on SheKnows about kids with sensory issues. There are some awesome profiles of a bunch of cool kids in that story. I love how she shows how every kid is so different.

I hope to see you all tomorrow! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Rain Night at the Ballpark

So, when it was pouring rain on Friday, were you all, “Thank God I didn’t go to that baseball game with Stimey!”?

I’ll admit it: even I kinda wished I wasn’t going to the baseball game. Especially when we got there and it was still something like 900 degrees outside, but it was pouring rain and this is what it looked like out on the field.

That bright sky gave us a little hope though.

Not to mention that even though Friday was Hockey for Hope/Autism Awareness Night for the Bowie Baysox, Sunday is Cowboy Monkey Rodeo night.

COWBOY. MONKEY. RODEO.

Cowboy monkeys. Riding DOGS.

We clearly chose the wrong night to attend.

Except we didn’t, because Jack and the other diehard Cheetahs players (and some players from a couple other local teams) who attended got to go out on the field and be cheered on by all 16 people in attendance.

I’m not sure if you’ll be able to spot my family in the crowd.

It was really cool. Jack and the other players were totally into it. Jack did his flexed muscles pose and then he stood out there with his thumb in the air. He cracks me up.

But what is he staring at with that funny expression?

Oh. These guys.

So, those unidentifiable creatures are Louie (the green…thing) and Rocko (the rockfish? I think?). Evidently Louie is the original mascot and Rocko is a new secondary mascot. Because all minor league baseball teams need two mascots. I’m thinking of getting a secondary mascot myself. You know, to help Algernon out.

We ended up having a really fun time. The kids ate a lot of junk food, including 12 dollars worth of ice.

Quinn: “This is turning out to be a great dinner!”

I think the Baysox won, which is great. We didn’t find out because we bailed after the second inning when it started thundering and then rain started pouring down. I actually wish we could have stayed longer because I was having a lot of fun, which is strange considering I find baseball to be, by far, the most boring of the sports.

But you don’t argue with a sky like this:

(Not the moon, just a light.)

It’s funny, because even though I don’t like baseball, I feel like that’s all I’ve been talking about lately. In fact, I have a report from an Orioles game we went to a while back that I haven’t posted yet either. That’ll come soon. Interestingly, it poured rain that night too.

And now I have to go because we have an early baseball practice tomorrow. See? All baseball, all the time. Enjoy your weekend!

An Invitation and a Link

Invitation: Wanna go to a baseball game with Team Stimey? It is autism awareness night at the Bowie Baysox baseball game this Friday. Jack’s hockey team has a block of tickets available for this game, which starts at 7:05pm. All tickets are $7 each and are for great box seats right down by the field.

Any of you are welcome to come. You don’t have to have a Cheetahs player to come. You don’t have to have a kid with autism to come. You just have to want to have a fun night out at the ballpark. Profits from the ticket sales go towards a tournament between the three local special hockey teams that takes place over the holiday break this December.

Also, it’s my birthday on Friday, so you can celebrate my birthday with me too. Yay, me!

If you’re interested, email me at stimeyland (at) gmail (dot) come and we’ll figure out a way to do a ticket/money exchange.

Link: Why (and how to) pursue an adult autism diagnosis. You know. According to me.

This Is Getting Absurd (Subtitle: That Poor Blanket)

Sam is still at camp. Which is good. It was weird to not have him here today. We didn’t have anyone to boss us around.

We went to the zoo today with my friend Heather and her kids. We all piled into my car and headed out this morning. About 5 minutes before we got to the zoo, Jack started moaning and saying he was carsick. I managed to pull over and was opening the door so he could get out, when he got carsick all over the car.

I’m just glad we didn’t have a domino effect with Heather’s kids.

Fortunately Jack had brought his lovey blanket with him, so I used it to clean up the car and then got back behind the wheel and we kept on our way. It was a bad day to be Jack’s favorite blanket.

“I’m glad we took your car,” said Heather. (It was also a bad day to be my car.)

Things got better from there. We had a good time.

We got to see an anaconda get a shower…

 We watched Algernon taunt a pitviper…

 We made sure to feed Jack a milky snack before stuffing him back in the car for the ride home…

 And when we arrived back at the car, Jack’s soiled blanket was still where we left it (thank God)…

Then back home to the pool…*

Altogether a pretty good day. (Unless you were the blanket.)

* Photo actually from last week, but the same thing happened today.

*****

Hey, guess what? White Knuckle Parenting is back for a couple of weeks! Yay! I wrote about how things have degenerated at my house since school let out. My kids have turned into the Bickersons.

Sam the Brave

Guess where Sam is?

I have no earthly idea.

He’s at sleep away camp. SLEEP. AWAY. CAMP. Until Friday. UNTIL FRIDAY.

Imagine how hard it was to fill out that registration form for me, your resident control freak. I dropped him off at the bus pick up area today. He gets returned to the same location on Friday.

As for not knowing where he is, I mean, I could find him if I had to, but as I’m not the one who was driving him up there, it seemed like a lot of work to look up on a map where he is going. It’s not really all that relevant to me. I’m a little afraid that makes me a bad mom.

Not afraid enough to actually pull out a map of…Eastern?…Southern?…somewhere in Maryland, but vaguely uneasy.

I’m working on letting Sam grow up and become independent. So when I found out that kids selected to be on the safety patrol next year have the option of going to sleep away safety patrol camp and Sam said he really wanted to go, I sucked it up and signed him up.

It seemed like sending him to a camp staffed by cops and populated by other rising fifth grade nerdlingers was a pretty good way to start him off with spending time away from the family.

He’s so brave. He doesn’t know anyone else who is going and he still wanted to go. He embarked today on what would be my worst nightmare. We stood around awkwardly for a long time at the bus stop until I was able to locate a group of kids who also didn’t know anyone. By the time they got on the bus, there were six of them. I hope they stick together. I hope Sam likes them. I hope they’re nice. I hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown by Friday.

*me, nibbling nervously on my fingernails*

Sam could be having a FANTASTIC time and we won’t know until Friday. He could be having a MISERABLE time and (unless he freaks out and I actually have to figure out where the camp is and pick him up early) we won’t know until Friday.

I’m trusting that lovely, kind Sam will find friends and have a great time. I really think he will. I really hope he will. Oy. Fingers crossed. For now, I figure no news is good news.

Hold me.