Sunday, August 29, 2010

Night at the Ballpark

We've been wanting to take the kids to a professional ballgame for a while now but didn't want to spend the money for an Orioles game given how they wouldn't be going just to see the game.  Plus it's so much more crowded and the other spectators can be quite colorful. So we decided that the Aberdeen Ironbirds would be the perfect place for that first ballgame experience.  It's a smaller stadium, geared toward families, and such a great atmosphere.  And we decided that Bryce's 5th birthday would be the perfect time to go so I bought the tickets back in May and hoped for good weather - we were not disappointed!  We decided from the beginning to just have Piper spend the night at my IL's since they live near Ripken Stadium and knew that she wouldn't tolerate the 4+ hours very well, but a few weeks ago, my FIL ended up getting 2 extra tickets to the game and joined us with the beloved Uncle Jesse.

It was a perfect night and the seats were very close.  Jason spent a lot of time helping Bryce to understand more about the game even though most of his questions had to do with the mascots and things he saw around the stadium as opposed to the game.  We treated the kids to dinner when we got there and then a few other snack stops throughout the game.  Can you really go to a baseball game as a kid and resist the cotton candy and popcorn????  It's pretty cool at the Ironbirds stadium too because they have a part where you can sit and eat crabs while watching the game and Caroline commented on how good they smelled.  The game got started and the kids were curious about everything.  My FIL and Uncle Jesse started the game in their seats and came down and joined us around the 3rd inning.

The first 6 innings of the game went pretty fast and as the sun went down it got cooler as summer evenings at the end of August tend to.  I was so glad I'd packed jackets for the kids.  But the most exciting moment of the night was at the end of the 6th inning when they showed birthdays on the big screen!  We knew it was coming since I'd set it up, but we pointed it out to Bryce and the look on his face was priceless!  He kept asking "How'd they know?  How'd they know?"  I had to tell him my secret.  (He hadn't been tipped off when we got there and he got a hat, t-shirt, and birthday baseball.)

The last 3 innings of the game were rather slow and with the home losing pretty badly, the kids got antsy.  Thankfully the park wasn't crowded and nobody seemed to mind. We took the kids on a walk around the stadium and when the game finally ended we were treated to some of the best fireworks I'd ever seen.  This was the kids' true first fireworks show too!  We've seen ones people have done in their backyards and "real" shows from afar, but never this close mostly because Caroline has had some fear of the loud noises.  Well, apparently she is over it because they both LOVED them!  I'm sure we'll be making different plans next July 4th to accommodate.

So today is Mr. Bryce's actual birthday and we're going to my mom's to celebrate with both sides of the family and swim.  He woke up this morning and told us, "I woke up and I thought I was 4 but then I remembered I was 5!"  I remember Caroline feeling the exact same way when she turned 5.  It really is one of the big birthdays.


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Bryce. It looks like he really enjoyed himself. I remember a blog a while bag where you stated he didn't want to go to the game. I love the photo of him with the batting helmet on. He has such a genuine smile and so does dad in the backround.

Katie said...

Happy Birthday to Bryce! I love his O's hat photo!
So handsome.