Since reviving My Life As A Baseball Wife (MLBW) several months back, I have experienced slight growing pains. At the time, I was managing another blog and I was struggling to find a balance between the two; I had to determine what each blog would be about. On my other blog, Dama Camelia, I was focusing mostly on writing about my love for reading and writing, but I was also throwing in a little bit of health and wellness advice. It didn’t feel right, however. All posts unrelated to the art of writing or reading felt out of place. I have since decided to re-post those on MLBW, since this is the home of my lifestyle writing.
On MLBW, I will continue to document my life as a whole. This includes my life as a mom and a wife. I will touch on an array of topics that interest me, and eventually, I hope to include some travel blogging. Consider this the one stop shop for everything related to the Adams family. What does that mean for Dama Camelia? Well, she is going to be dedicated to my writing. Over there I will continue to share my thoughts on the writerly life, as well as book reviews and annotations. I haven’t shared work from school lately, so I will likely do that too. That website, however, is more business focused. Aside from this blog, I work as a freelance communications specialist; I help other businesses write press releases, articles, and blogs, while also manage social media accounts. Dama Camelia, is suited particularly for that and for those who have a love for writing and book, as well as those who are looking for help with their businesses.
If you have any questions or comments you can me via email at hello@DamaCamelia.com or Camille@MyLifeAsABaseballWife.com. To follow me over at www.DamaCamelia.com, visit the site and sign up for updates.
It is unfathomable that my first baby is turning FIVE in only two days! Jethro’s due date was October 31st, but I swore throughout my entire pregnancy that the odds of him being born on Halloween would be null. Not only was Jethro born on time, he made his grand entrance into the world just after 8 PM EST. As people all around the nation were going door to door dressed up in their costumes and trick-o-treating, copious amounts of candy thrown into interminable bins, I was busy pushing out a 7 lb, 8 oz baby boy.
With Jethro’s birthday only two days away, I have partnered up with Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Carolina Romanyuk to share some sleep tips, not just for Halloween, but also as we approach Daylight Savings. I don’t know about you, but I still have sleep issues with my three-year old, Brooks; he simply refuses to sleep without me. I am one of those moms who must stay in bed with their kids until they fall asleep, night after night. Not only is this not healthy anymore for them as they get older, it is affecting my own personal time and any hope for quiet moments with the hubby. I envy my friends who can tuck their kids into bed, give them a kiss goodnight, and close the door. I could list the million things I would be able to do before falling asleep if I had it that good. On the other spectrum, I am the mom who sneaks out of her kids’ bedroom – when I don’t fall asleep with them – only to be dragged back into their bed a few hours later when they wake up a realize I am missing. It is a vicious cycle, and I know it has to end.
Hopefully your sleep schedule and routine is better than mine. I would love to hear any advice you may have!
Below are a few tips to help you with your kid(s) sleep this fall.
Halloween Sleep Health Tips:
After a long evening of fun and candy eating kids are wired. Their cortisol levels are up sky high requiring outside factors to help their body start the wind down process for sleep. Instead of crashing in front of the TV, one thing they can do is wind down by listening to sleep stories. A favorite, Moshi Twilight for kids, is highly beneficial. www.Moshi-Twilight.com
If a child is amped up after watching a scary part of a movie, tell them to just imagine that when the scene is done, the Director says “CUT” and the goblins, witches, or whomever all stroll to the snack bar and start chatting and eating chips. It lets them know that it is all make believe and is all done for fun. You can even use YouTube to show the child what the backstage of the movie set looks like with those actors and characters.
Halloween is all in the head and plays with emotions. The adrenaline rush of the fear is what people gravitate to. For kids, especially sensitive ones, what can work well is to have them recreate a scary image into a funny one. For example, they can visualize a scary monster now dressed in maybe a hot pink tutu, a glittery bow and bright pink nails who now dances lightly all around.
Plan for an early bedtime the next day.
Wind down the body with a story in the background. Using your sense of hearing of soothing sounds connects your body and mind to start to wind down.
Talk about the experience when bedtime is approaching
Dim the lights in the room
Daylight Savings Sleep Health Tips:
This time of year of course everything shifts later. Bedtime moves one hour later than normal. It is generally far easier to fall asleep one hour after your normal bedtime, than one hour prior (for Spring).
For babies around 8 months plus, they can’t adjust with such a long awake time. Shifting their schedule every few days by 15 minutes is an effective gradual route. Focusing heavy on their routine should be soothing, using tools like darkness and winding their mind and body down with sleep stories, such as the app Moshi Twilight. www.Moshi-Twilight.com
Side note: when using sleep stories electronically, place the device under the covers or flat down and away from eye sight so the screen isn’t visible. The blue light that emits from the screen is what suppresses our sleep hormone.
Here’s how you can adjust bedtime a few days before the time change:
15 minute incremental adjustments. Bedtime becomes 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 8:00 PM, which by the post-DST clock is the “new” 7:00 PM. The same happens in the morning – 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, 7:00 AM (try to leave them in bed until your target wake-time). In four days, your child has adjusted to the new daylight savings.
For older children this is fun because they get to go to bed an hour later. So if your baby previously slept from 7:00 PM – 6:00 AM, they’re now going to bed at 7:00 PM (clock time, 8:00 PM body time) and sleeping till 5:00 AM (clock time, 6:00 AM body time) for a net loss of 1 hour. It can take a few days to adjust to this shift but most do fairly readily within a week.
In light of the news that David Wright will be retiring from baseball, I wanted to address something that is very painful for David and me to talk about, and yet the defining line in the sand: his retirement. I have opened up about David’s reason for retiring here and there throughout this blog – or at least I think I have – I honestly can’t remember. My mind may as well be putty with the zillion things I am working on at any given moment of the day. Many of you know that I am getting my Master of Arts in Creative Writing and on that side of things, I am spending a lot of time writing, or more accurately, avoiding writing the hard stuff. As a nonfiction student, my thesis, which may or may not ever see the light of day, is all about David and my life. Baseball is obviously a huge part of our lives and therefore I am writing about everything we have experienced in the past six-plus years – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
By far, the most unbearable part of David’s career was his struggle with injuries. The physical ailments affected his mental state, and we all know the impact psychology has on life, in general. Aside from a minor surgery deemed required while playing at The University of Virginia, David’s body had always been whole. When he started playing professionally at 21, there was no concern for his health. Things changed, however, in May of 2010: he broke his ankle. When he slid into second base, ill-intentioned to break up a double-play that cold evening in Portland, Maine, the trajectory of his life would be forever changed. Although we could have lived without the suffering and whirlwind that followed, it was this moment that sealed our fate.
A few years after the initial injury, David and I found our way to the Lord. That is a whole other story but suffice it to say, had it not be for his injury, we aren’t sure what role God would play in our lives today. From that point on, struggling through his brokenness of body, David admitted praying to the Lord and asking quite specifically:
“Lord, I want to play this game as long as my body will allow. Once I am no longer physically able, please help me to acknowledge it is time for me to retire.”
The rest of his playing career was an uphill battle as David suffered through many more injuries, but the solace within all of the chaos was the time we were able to spend together. We experienced four seasons united as husband and wife, one of which he spent primarily in the big leagues. Despite everything, it is comforting to know that all we endured prepared David for the day he would retire, when he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was his time. His heart, his mind, and his body were all in agreement. Since his retirement, I have asked him if he misses playing and if he wishes he could step in the batter’s box one more time and experience the adrenaline that comes from hitting a baseball. His answer is always a variation of,
“Sometimes, but then I go back to the fact that my body feels broken. There would be no way I could physically go out and play the way I am feeling.”
Fair enough, I concur, it was time for him to move on. But moving on as a player didn’t mean he would give up his passion, on the contrary, he would assume a new role that would afford him the opportunity to mentor young players and develop his knowledge of the game. I like to believe this is what he was destined for. The time David spent playing was preparing him for this career. A career that he was still able to transition into at a reasonable point in his life: twenty-nine. Not too young, not too old, justtttt right. (Like our boys like to say.)
So the injuries and the struggles, they hurt like heck to talk about, they bring about terrible memories, and yet without those struggles, without those pivotal experiences, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Since he was a little boy he dreamed of playing into his forties, but we learned the hard way the rarity that is. Sometimes, okay often, I lose sight of what an accomplishment it is for him to have been drafted to play professionally, let alone play in the big leagues. These are all things we must celebrate, but instead, we kick ourselves when we are down. We focus on the things we didn’t accomplish, the mistakes we made, instead of celebrating our successes, no matter how small.
Life is about perspective. A quick adjustment in how you look at things has the ability to change not only your life but the world.
Lastly, David is by no means in the minority of players who struggle with pain on a daily basis. There are many many more guys that go out and play every day and push through their own pain. Most don’t complain because it is of no use to them. In fact, complaining can actually hurt their careers, so they bite their tongues and fight through the discomfort; this is just part of the game, par for the course.
www.zimbio.com/pictures/6ruR57pUZ7B/New+York+Mets+v+New+York+Yankees/rBIsZtPtSPy” rel=”noopener”> Third Base Umpire Bill Welke calls a ball hit by John Buck #44 of the New York Mets fair resulting in an RBI single as David Adams #39 of the New York Yankees reaches down for the ball and David Wright #5 of the New York Mets looks on in the eighth inning during their game on May 30, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (May 29, 2013 – Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America)[/caption]http
I was driving in the car with my mother the other day and she said:
“I just now feel like I could be in my thirties.”
My sister and I have always joked that my mom thinks she is a teenager. She is young at heart, despite her body telling her otherwise. At thirty-one, I am starting to identify with what she has been telling us all these years. Time may dictate that we get older, but that doesn’t mean we have to feel older. If it wasn’t for the responsibility that has followed me down the brick road to marriage, homeownership, and motherhood, I would still feel like I was in my early twenties. The fact that I can even write this as if I am not ACTUALLY still twenty is flabbergasting.
I have always believed age to be nothing more than a number, but now I am living it as truth. Our mindset is what dictates the illusive timeline of our lives. We hold the power more than we realize. As I witness the development of my children, I find myself reflecting on my life and the moments that I wish I would’ve been more present. As a society, we are always on the go, but last night I was sitting on the couch with Brooks while he watched Batman, and time seemingly stopped.
Night had fallen around us, and the wind picked up as a large storm swept through the area. The trees were dancing while the thunder and lightning put on a show. All the while, I was sitting cuddled up with my little Brooksie, David and Jethro in the dining room doing yet another puzzle. It was way past bedtime, need not mention bathtime, but it didn’t matter. We were enjoying the moment. Simply being with one another. Bath time and bedtime, inevitable yet inconsequential.
We get wrapped up in our daily chores and the grind that is life, all too often. But these moments, the ones where you can just be still, look in your babies eyes and think, I created you, in absolute astonishment – just like I did last night – are priceless. One day – God-willing- I am going to open my eyes, slowly get out of bed, and wonder where my babies went. They will be in their own homes, maybe even married with babies of their own. That is par for the course. Growing older is not something to dread, it is a privilege afforded to us by a life well lived. We need to thank our lucky stars EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for simply waking up a day older and hopefully, wiser.
At some point in our lives, we let the flame inside our hearts extinguish, getting wrapped up in the mundane and focused on anything and everything that can be burdensome. Children, on the other hand, live lives full of magic. Remember your imaginary brother? I do. I used to reprimand him all the time. HAHA My kids spend hours playing with their imagination. Half the time Brooks is Batman, and Jethro is Superman. To them, I am Wonder Woman and David is Flash. You can’t help but love the innocence enkindled at their core and their desire to be inventive. As far as they are concerned, the sky is the limit and there is nothing holding them back from being everything they hunger to be and more. As years pass, sometimes that magic sticks with us and other times it dissipates, regardless, we all have it inside. If we can keep this in mind as a token of our youth, maybe we can stay kids forever.
When I decided to take a break from writing about my life as a baseball wife back in 2015 – and if I am honest, 2013 when David could officially call himself a major league baseball player, because everything I wrote after that point was smoke and mirrors and empty promise after empty promise to actually write – and declared this blog “retired,” I never thought I would find my way back. I was done. I didn’t want to put my world on display any longer, and I just wanted to enjoy my life as the wife of a baseball player, in private. But there was a far greater reason for my desire for privacy than my psyche would admit – fear. I was afraid that David would fail. I was afraid that WE would fail. I was afraid of living life in the very moment that God had gifted us, unafraid of what the future held. And I was afraid of doing all this failing in public – where everyone could see.
After David made his MLB debut and spent a good portion of the 2013 baseball season as the Yankees third baseman, I was unsure how to write about our experiences and excitement without feeling like a prideful dodo. I always struggled with this aspect of living the baseball life. How do you share excitement for your husband and all his successes without making others feel poorly about their situation or lack of success? Baseball is ultimately a game – a very competitive one. Not unlike life itself. Everyone seems to be gunning for themselves, fighting and clawing to reach the top. It is ugly at times and I never wanted to give others a reason to look at us as prideful or too self-absorbed.
But the irony of it was, that despite my struggle to combat pridefulness, that is exactly what I became. How? You ask…
Well, I became so apprehensive about sharing our lives so that others didn’t think we were bragging, that I became more focused on preserving our image by NOT sharing our lives. Suddenly the reality of failing in front of thousands of eyes became real. When David first got called up, he was like a moth to a flame. He was even trending on Twitter. It was surreal. He went from the Yankees prospect that grappled with injury after injury and managed to kill the Cliff Lee trade, to the hopeful homegrown rookie, a rarity! WOW, the New York Times, talking about David like he is this rare commodity, talk about a whirlwind.
His first two weeks in the big leagues were a dream. He was breaking records and on track to make a big name for himself if only he could stay consistent throughout the season. But when things slowed down and the adrenaline wore off, he got in his head and couldn’t get out. It was my worst nightmare and probably his worst nightmare, too. He was up in New York, with some of the most passionate fans in baseball, under a microscope, and he started spiraling out of control. He went from hitting streak to hitless streak overnight. What the heck?! I tried so hard to stay positive and reassured myself that this is exactly why I never liked getting excited when he did well, knowing rightfully that there was always another side of the coin that could flip in an instant. But as days became weeks and he was inevitably sent back to Triple-A – on my birthday, no less – I started to panic.
When David got back to Triple-A, he started hitting the ball again, Hallelujah, and things just clicked. It wasn’t long before they called him back up, but as the story often goes your first year in the big leagues, it can be a game of ping-pong, where you are sent up and down all year. Being tossed back and forth was something David scuffled with. Even when he played well, the team needed to make moves and sometimes that meant he had to go back to Triple-A for some time. He soon became resentful of being jolted up and down, and this resentment wreaked havoc on his game. (Anyone who questions the impact of the mind on physical performance, need not go far for a quick lesson.) He ended his year on a terrible note – just check out this quick read – even though he will tell you the home plate umpire was making terrible calls. Well, that is baseball for you!
Now that David is retired (I know I still have to share what happened between 2013 and his retirement in the fall of 2016 at some point) I can look at these years with a greater appreciation. What fun would all of these experiences have been if we had known the outcome in the end? This is why I believe it is so important to enjoy every little moment we are given. We must not live with a hovering concern that we may fail, because it extinguishes your fire and inhibits you from living the life you were meant to live.
Life is full of mystery and wonder. We can’t be entirely sure of what the future holds and as terrifying as that is, it is also what makes life wondrous. Can you imagine? A life where everything was monotone, or black and white and lacking all color? That doesn’t sound interesting at all, so what would be the point?
Living through all of this has brought me back to writing about our lives in baseball, the good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it. Sure, it will be from a slightly different perspective, but I am glad for that. I am proud of my husband, and I will acknowledge it. He deserves my praise and admiration every so often. He is on his path, one that I feel confident is the right one for him. And me? I am living my best life, open and honest about what this life brings and what is yet to come.
The only picture I took at David’s MLB debut. That is him playing third between 2nd and 3rd base. I am starting to take a lot more pictures now!
David’s First Homerun. His mom got this ball.
David’s first interview the day he was called up.
David Adams #39 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammate Ichiro Suzuki #31 in the dugout after he scored in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (May 16, 2013 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Today the boys got their first look at daddy managing a baseball game. Although we only made it through about three innings because of the Florida heat, and the boys weren’t entirely sure why daddy wasn’t playing, it was a milestone for us! This is David’s second year coaching and first year as a manager. We are still getting adjusted to life away from playing, but this new adventure has been a blessing to our family. (more…)