First, the van is my friend!! I back up, roll the windows down, lift the tail gate and put the seats down. I have instant shade for me and a containment area for my kids, who happen to love playing in the back of the car. Our van has window shades, so I put those up and eliminate the sun coming it, but still allow the breeze to flow. It is a sweet set up.
Second, a big lunch bag with a walmart bag for garbage. My lunch bag carries lots of food and ice water. I learned that snacks do not need to be packed at home. For example, its just as easy to throw in some apples and take the peeler and peel the fruit at the park. My kids love pretzels and peanut butter-- so I take bag of pretzels, a jar of peanut butter and some plates. Boom, instant snack without having to take the time to pack it at home and there is so much less waste. Its a good system.
Third, a reward. Depending on how the games are set up...we use a reward for the last game. This week was a movie in the car. I brought along our portable DVD player and let the kids watch a show for the last game. Funny thing is, they didn't watch much of it. But the idea of it was fun and they liked having something out of the normal to look forward too.
And last, but not least, friends. Luckily, we have family friends on all the teams and siblings for the spectators to play with. We do lots of friends. And its nice for me to have friends there too. Someone to help watch kids, someone to cheer with and someone to talk to.
Speaking of talking to friends. As I was talking to friend at the last game, I casually mentioned that Cache had hurt his foot about a week ago. Her husband is a podiatrist, so she naturally starting asking detailed questions. As I told her where the pain was, she called her husband and he insisted we come in for an x-ray. So, after four hours on the field, we packed up and headed to his office. He took an x-ray of his foot and came back and said everything looked normal, but wanted to feel around anyway. As I was explaining where the pain was, he decided to take a closer look at the x-ray. Sure enough, there was a healing broken bone. Cache had started healing so quickly, the doctor had over looked it the first time. He broke the middle metatarsal bone. Since it is in the middle of his foot and his other bones and muscles were supporting it, it healed really straight without being set. We are so lucky we didn't have to re-break it and set it again.
The week prior to taking him in, he was limping quite badly. He wouldn't put weight on it and at times refused to walk. He was waking up randomly and crying...now I know from pain. And was acting just a little off. I wanted to take him in, but Scott insisted he was fine. In fact, it caused some grief between Scott and I. After about a week, his limp lessened and he was back to playing almost full force. So I backed down and swallowed my mothers intuition and figured I must have been over reacting. When I saw the x-rays I immediately felt awful for not sticking to my gut and gave Scott a great big "I told you so" about 15 times. He promised to start listening better when it came to the welfare of our kids. It feels so good to be right, but even better to know what was going on with my boy.
Baseball is a busy time of the year, but so much fun. And now that I have a system that is working, its even better!