White Sox Family Sundays

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Thanks to the Chicago White Sox for hosting my family at a game.

Looking for something family-friendly to do in the Chicago area? White Sox fans can spend a Sunday afternoon at the Sox field enjoying the baseball game and many fun kid-friendly activities.

Family Sundays, presented by Coca-Cola, cover all Sunday home games in 2017 and feature tickets as low as $5 in the upper level and $15 in the lower level. Plus, parking is available for only $10. The White Sox ballpark experience for kids on Sundays in 2017 also features special kid-focused activities throughout the concourse and the opportunity to run the bases after games (weather permitting).

If your child knows every Sox player’s name then an autograph session is a must-attend! Prior to select games listed here, the first 100 kids (age 13 and under) to enter the ballpark through the Chicago Sports Depot entrance (located near Parking Lot B and Gate 5) at 11:15 a.m. will be given a wristband and directed to the special area where four Chicago White Sox players will sign one item per child. (A regular game ticket is required for entrance but the autograph session is free with purchase of a ticket.) 

Don’t forget to sign your child up for the kid’s club, if they aren’t already a member, for special perks like ball park tours, tickets and more! (There is a paid membership with extra perks but the basic Slugger membership is FREE!)

We had such a fun time at the game last Sunday! It was hot and sunny but the boys enjoyed eating snacks from the concession stand while watching the game and hoping for a foul ball to come their way. They also loved getting some of the players to sign their autograph ball. At the end of the game they even got their own Sox ball and bat which was a special giveaway for the game. (Other theme nights are coming up which you can find on the schedule here.)

Have you ever been to a Chicago White Sox game? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

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Be The Snack Mom MVP

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PureLife40pk #CollectiveBias

With spring baseball season just around the corner, I’ve already started planning for what I need to do to have a smooth sports season. From trying on last year’s cleats ahead of time to pulling the bat bag out from it’s winter hibernation in the garage to making sure that I’m stocked up with plenty of water for practices and games- I’m hoping to be more prepared this season than I have been in the past. (So I can avoid an issue like I had last year when I discovered on the first day of fall baseball practice that Jake’s cleats didn’t fit from the spring season that had just ended a few months before!)

My boys play sports year round which means I’m also responsible for team snacks at least once a month or so. That’s just one more thing to think about during our busy spring sports season when I’m balancing the schedules of two baseball teams and a soccer team (along with all of their other activities and school events). This year I decided to buy a small cooler that was the perfect size to hold enough water bottles for the team so that I could have drinks for snack time ready to go.

And because I’m a crazy sports mom I decided to decorate the cooler a bit to show my team spirit :)

Materials needed to decorate the cooler:

  • 1 to 2 cheer bows in the sport of your choice (or thick ribbon in the sport of your choice)
  • Sports themed stickers

Tie the bows on the handle of the cooler and put the stickers on where you’d like to. I used two big cheer bows on the handle, a “baseball” sticker on the front of the cooler, and then put a long scrapbook sticker that looked like the lace of a baseball on the handle of the cooler.

I also personalized the water bottles and had fun sports themed bottles in just minutes.

Materials needed to decorate/personalize the water bottles:

  • Colorful paper
  • Foam sports sticker
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Marker (optional for personalizing)

To decorate the water bottles cut strips of paper about the size of the label on the bottles. Tape the paper on to the bottle and add a foam sports sticker to the front. To personalize the water bottles even more you can write the name or initials of each child on the ball of their label.

I also went to Sam’s Club and bought a 40 pack of Nestlé® Pure Life® Water (available in select Sam’s Club stores, ask your Club Manager about getting Nestlé Pure Life Water in your store if it’s unavailable.). I like that I get 40 bottles for the price of 35! Nestlé Pure Life Water is filtered through a 12-step quality process and enhanced with a unique blend of minerals so it tastes delicious and refreshing.

I keep the cooler stocked with water and bags of snacks in the car so now all I have to do the day I’m snack mom is grab some ice or ice packs, stick them in the cooler and head to the game. The cooler sits near the dugout and I’m ready with cold waters and a snack for the kids when they are done playing their game.

How are you getting ready for spring sports season?

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Tips To Prepare For Your Child’s Fall Sports Season

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Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with MinuteClinic as part of their Back to School #GoBackHealthy campaign. As part of my involvement, I have received sponsorship from MinuteClinic for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are purely my own.

The end of August means back-to-school season and also the beginning of the fall sports season! The boys start school Thursday and Jacob just had his first football game this afternoon. If you have a child playing sports this fall, read on for tips on how to prepare for the season!

First, find a sport that fits your child. I wrote about this recently when I shared about enrolling Lucas in gymnastics. It took us a while to find a sport he enjoyed, and we had to try numerous other ones that weren’t a good fit, before he discovered his love of gymnastics.

Once you find a sport (or sports) your child wants to try, it’s important that they get a sports physical to make sure they are healthy enough to do the activity. Many fall sports, including football and soccer, are extremely physically demanding and it’s essential that they are given the okay to participate by a doctor. Even if your state or school doesn’t require it, sports physicals are still good to do because they also help to keep immunizations up to date and provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have. (Remember though that the sports physical doesn’t replace a child’s annual wellness physical with their doctor.) MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinic inside select CVS pharmacy and Target stores, offers sports physicals every day with no appointment needed for patients 18 months and older. They can even stamp any paperwork your school or league may require.

After getting the okay to participate it’s time to get everything your child needs to participate in the sport. Most leagues should have a list of what you need to purchase and what they will provide. If you have questions about things you can search online or ask your mom friends who have been there, done that! I remember when Jacob first started sports, I had to google the difference between baseball cleats and football cleats because I had no clue which ones were the right ones I needed to buy.

Along with the sports equipment there are a variety of other things you’ll want to keep in your car during sports season. Things like blankets (it gets cold out there in the evenings) and extra equipment (Jake’s football mouth guard always seem to go missing at least once a season) are important to have on hand. You’ll also want to pack snacks and provide plenty of fluid for your child so they stay hydrated.

What tips do you have for preparing for fall sports season? If you need to get your child a sports physical they are currently offering $10 off at MinuteClinic. Their walk-in-clinic is ideal for busy moms because you can get in and out quickly any day that is convenient for you.

While you are there you can also get a variety of other services including your child’s back-to-school vaccinations and acne treatment. Vaccinations for Meningitis, Pertussis and HPV are available. MinuteClinic practitioners will review information about the vaccine, administer it and then provide you with a summary, receipt of vaccination and educational materials. They’ll even send a summary of the visit to your child’s primary care provider if you would like them to. MinuteClinic also offers acne treatment which is perfect for tweens and teens who want to head back to school with clearer skin. They offer personalized consultations and treatment recommendations for all ages, whether a prescription is needed or you are just looking for which over-the-counter medication will clear the acne. When it comes to starting the school year and fall sports season off healthy, MinuteClinic is the place to go!

 

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10 Sports Essentials For Parents

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Throughout ten months of the year most of my evenings and weekends are spent cheering on my kids at their various sports- from the baseball diamond to the football stands to the soccer fields to the basketball court, and even at karate, swimming and gymnastics. If there’s one thing I have learned as a sports mom it’s that I need to be prepared for anything. Spring sports are wrapping up for us but Fall sports season will be here before you know it so I wanted to share this list of sports essentials with you so that you have it as you shop for back to school items this summer. Thanks to BODYARMOR for sponsoring this post.

Below you will find the list of items that I feel are essential for sports parents to have. I normally keep most of these items in the back of my van during sports season because you never know what you will need. It’s also helpful to keep most of the items in there so you don’t forget anything important as you run out the door to practice or games. If you buy a small basket or bin to keep all this in it’s easy to find what you need when you need it and to take out if you have to.

Items needed for both indoor and outdoor sports:

Uniform & Gear – Check your child’s league to see what is recommended when it comes to clothing, shoes and gear. Different sports have different cleats, there are different size soccer balls for different ages, some baseball teams require a face mask and some do not, etc. Also, each sport differs in what is provided. Some may provide the whole uniform while others may provide the jersey but you have to buy the pants. It’s always best to check out your leagues website and talk to the coaches before you go shopping.

Snacks - Snacks for both the player and the family are something you are going to want to pack, especially if you have younger children that will be sitting with you. Most of the time the player will just eat something at the end of the practice or game but the family may get hungry while they are sitting there. I typically bring a variety of snacks, including pretzels and animal crackers, in small ziploc bags.

Extra Equipment – It’s always handy to have extra equipment on hand. One thing I’ve found we’ve had to replace mid-game or practice are mouthguards for football. Other things to keep an extra of include baseball mitts, goggles for swimming and shin guards for soccer.

Sports Drinks – Replenishing sports drinks for your player are essential, especially on warm days. I like to bring at least one bottled drink per hour my kids are playing sports and two drinks for every hour if they are playing outside in hot weather.

One sports drink we recently started having Jacob drink during games is BODYARMOR, a premium sports drink with more potassium packed electrolytes, coconut water and vitamins. It has natural flavors, natural sweeteners and no artificial colors, unlike traditional sports drinks. It’s a great choice for young athletes especially, who don’t need all the extra sodium in their diets or the artificial ingredients that come from drinking other sports drinks on the market. BODYARMOR can be found in a number or retailers including Jewel, Meijer and Target here in the Chicago area (find a coupon here) and comes in 8-great tasting flavors: fruit punch, orange mango, strawberry banana, tropical punch, lemon lime, mixed berry, grape and blackout berry. Jacob’s favorite flavor is blackout berry.

First Aid Kit – Cuts and scrapes are bound to happen on the sports field so it’s always handy to keep a first aid kit on hand. Stock it with bandages, gauze, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, cold packs and tweezers.

Items needed for only outdoor sports:

Sun Protection - If you will be outside in the sun for any amount of time don’t forget the sunscreen. You’ll want to put it on your player (and yourself) before the game or practice starts and then reapply it as needed. For parents, an umbrella or pop up tent you can sit under can also keep you out of the sun and cooler on hot days. We bought a small pop up tent from the store that our younger child could sit under during games to keep him in the shade.

Extra Layers - I’ve learned from experience that it’s always important to carry extra clothes in the car because the temperature can change quickly as the day goes on. Numerous times it’s been warm and sunny and everyone was wearing shorts and then by the end of the game everyone had coats on and were trying to stay warm. I like to have a long sleeve undershirt for the player along with sweatshirts and coats for everyone in the back of my van just in case we need them.

Blankets – Blankets are helpful to have to keep warm on colder days but also can be used as a ground cover which is especially helpful when the ground is wet or muddy. I’d suggest bringing two blankets and making sure one of them has one side that’s weatherproof so if you put it on the ground the moisture won’t soak through.

Cooler – On warm days you’ll want to store your player’s drinks (and your’s too!) in a cooler to keep the drinks cold.

Chair – Whether it’s a camping chair or a folding chair you’ll want to have a chair to sit in. Don’t count on there being bleachers everywhere you go because some fields might not have any and you don’t want to have to stand for hours.

I hope this list helps you prepare for and enjoy your child’s sports season! What would you add to my list?

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Calling All Chicago Cubs Fans! {Giveaway}

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Calling all Chicago Cubs fans!! I am so excited to be working with the Chicago Cubs to offer a giveaway of their Kid’s Club membership. I loved being on the field and I know the little one in your life will love the chance to tour Wrigley Field and run the bases themselves.

The Cubs Kid’s Club, presented by ComEd, is a great way to get kids involved in the game and Wrigley Field by providing club membership benefits. These benefits include:

  • Official Cubs Kids Club membership card
  • Cubs Kids Club lanyard
  • Cubs thermal lunch tote
  • Cubs mesh drawstring bag
  • Cubs baseball cap
  • Coupon for one free Wrigley Field Tour ticket (A $25 value!)
  • Front-of-the-line privileges for Kids-Run-the-Bases (All Sunday home games)

A Kid’s Club membership is valued at $20 with a $2 convenience fee and a $6 shipping per membership. More information can be found here.

GIVEAWAY:

One winner will win a Kid’s Club Membership

HOW TO ENTER:

We want to hear or see why your little one should win!

You can leave a comment below telling us, tweet us, or share a picture of them in their Cubs gear on instagram or pinterest!

Make sure to include the hashtag #CubsKidsClub and tag the applicable profiles so we see it:

Pinterest: cubsbaseball and aliciamarie112

Instagram: cubs and Alicia

Twitter: @Cubs and @aliciamarie112

 For an extra entry, share the giveaway on a social network!

Giveaway ends August 10, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a US resident ages 18 and older to enter. Winner will be chosen at random. Winner is responsible for all additional costs including travel to the game and parking.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for posting this giveaway.)

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Summer In March {Wordless Wednesday}

Daddy putting a baseball glove on Lucas

We’ve been enjoying weather in the 70′s and 80′s here in Chicago for the past couple weeks so we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. Here are some of my favorite shots taken one evening before the sun set:

Daddy putting a baseball glove on Lucas

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Jacob almost caught the ball!

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Lucas up to bat

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