My baby turned 5 last week. sigh. 5 is a huge milestone I think.
Kindergarten is a huge deal and Connor starts in the fall. August 6th actually. Everyone keeps telling me how sad I'll be when he goes to school which is kinda jerky of them. Anyway, I think we'll handle it ok. I mean, sure we'll be all emotional about our first-born starting something so big and exciting, but come on now...the kid has been in daycare since he was 6 weeks old. Not really anticipating any separation anxiety but we'll see how starved for attention I am at that time. Fast forward to seeing myself holding on to his leg not allowing him to enter his classroom. Be a friend and try to avoid the 'i told you so' urge that day.
Since 5 is a big deal we celebrated big this year. Connor loves sports - growing up with our family how could he not, right? On April 18th - his actual birthday - we surprised him with an entire day at the ballpark. Jeff dropped off Bear at school and then told Connor "guess who isn't going to school today?!?" They drove to Jeff's office (aka the ballpark) and Connor's day was already made when Jeff told him that he got to play his DS all morning while Jeff got some work done. I met them at the game at noon. Jeff arranged for some amazing seats - we are very fortunate and always get good seats...but these were amazing. right behind the batter, just a few rows up. My requirement is that if we're sitting that close, there has to be a net. Jeffrey likes to think that if it got tipped back, he'd catch it before it was able to crack a skull. He's wrong. My two years of softball on the "no cuts" team and Jeff's few years of baseball aren't gonna get the job done.
Jeff also arranged for Connor to be in the hotdog race!! OMG this is amazing. Do you know what the hotdog race is? Every Dbacks game, three little kids get selected from the stands to go out on the field, dress up in these hotdog costumes and race. Not around the field - though that would be ah-mazing. The kids race in place and animated ketchup, mustard and relish race on the jumbotron around downtown phoenix. You never know who is going to win, but we had it on pretty good authority that ketchup had a great chance. Yes, you interpreted that correctly, Connor was a ringer. The race was fixed. (insert evil laugh here). We wanted it to be a surprise so we didn't tell Connor until we were heading to our seats before the game. Jeff's coworker who handles the hotdog derby told him that you never know how a kid will react to being filmed and out on the field. He'd seen 4 y.o kids do great and 8 y.o. kids freak the f out so it was a risk. Connor seemed kinda freaked when we first told him so we started acting over the top excited about it. I told everyone I came into contact with in the stands to root for ketchup and it got him really pumped when people were asking him about it.
In the 2nd inning we went to the hotdog meeting place and Connor got into costume. We took the tunnel to the field and got ready. He was pretty excited but clearly nervous too. The other kids were much older, like 8 and 11 so they immediately disregarded ketchup. silly fools. He killed it. Ketchup won. obviously.
Then of course we had to have his name put up on the screen. He loved that. I think Jeff's coworker really hooked us up becuase it seemed like it was up there forever.
Here are a ton more pics from the day.
|this is where the kids find out if they are ketchup, mustard or relish - clearly the shirts are one size fits all :( and clearly Connor's will fit him for the next 12 years|
|walking through the tunnel that leads to the dugout|
|getting in costume!|
|out on the field being introduced by the girl on the far right. this is where they announce the section each hotdog is racing for. the winning hotdog's section get free hotdogs for everyone in that section.|
|He won a Dbacks backpack with a waterbottle|
|enjoying a hotdog after the race...just felt odd|
|what's a birthday without a giant ice cream|
|chatting it up with Baxter|
|Baxter signed his shirt and wrote "Only the fastest kids are ketchup!" He also signed his forehead!|
It was a loooong day. Jeff and I both worked in the morning and then enjoyed the entire game with Connor. After the game we all went and picked up Bear and went to Connor's soccer practice where he bragged to all of his teammates about his day :) It was amazing to give him such a great birthday. We have a tradition that the birthday boy gets to pick where they go to dinner on their special day and after soccer, Connor picked the Vine. So appropriate that our child would select a sports bar. We were thrilled with his choice.
Up Next...Connor's actual birthday party!