July 01, 2011

Dayton Dragons Baseball

At the pre-deployment fair in April (the event where the kids got their Build-A-Bears with Daddy's voice recorded in the paws) we were able to pick a date to attend a local baseball game courtesy of the "Hometown Heroes" program.  I picked a Friday, today, thinking it would be easiest to get a babysitter for Kenna and Lucan, as I didn't really think taking the WHOLE crew would be super enjoyable for anyone.

So tonight was our big night!  Jessica C babysat, which thrilled Kenna to no end, as she adores "Miss Jessica."  After an eventful day--the kids finished swim lessons by passing their level 4 swim test this morning, then stayed at the pool with the C family for a picnic lunch and more swim time--we took off for downtown Dayton.  Thankfully the stars aligned so that I could get a nap myself; otherwise I may not have had energy for all of this!  Actually, a big thank you to my friend Stefanie, who thought of the idea of having the kids swim with her family for awhile, then have some down time at her house until I let her know that I was awake from my nap!

Anyway, our evening was more than just a baseball game.  We were to meet an hour and a half before game time for our VIP treatment!  We got free parking, then met our tour guide, Jeff, at the entrance to Fifth Third Field.  He took us behind the scenes, down the hallways to the locker rooms (of course we didn't go inside, but we did see pictures!), to the dugout, out on the field, up to the press and video/radio rooms, and various suites.  The kids got to push the button to make smoke come out of the Dragons' mouths on the scoreboard, something we got to see several times later in the evening, as we witnessed two home runs and the Dragons won the game!

In addition to the tour, we got $40 in baseball bucks to use towards concessions (and trust me, we used all of it for dinner!), plus a bag filled with goodies:  4 baseball hats, one extra-large t-shirt (which I ended up wearing, since my own white shirt got some of my dinner on it...darn that pregnant belly!), a couple of posters, and a ceramic dragon mug.  And our seats were fantastic!  Right along the third base line, just a few rows up from the dugout.

I figured we'd be cheating on our diet, but actually, we didn't do too badly!  The kids all chose cheeseburgers, while I enjoyed a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.  So, OK, we shouldn't have had buns, but I figured it was much better than cotton candy!  And the boys got some popcorn, which Charis and I ended up finishing when the bags were too big for them to eat by themselves.  I also brought healthy snacks (clementine oranges, dried plums, and fruit leathers), and we pretty much ate our way through the game!

It was a beautiful, clear evening--most of the heat of the day was over, and we enjoyed some cooler breezes.  And, best of all, no rain, though the forecast called for possible thunderstorms in the evening.

We brought along our "Flat Daddy," since if it weren't for his deployment, we wouldn't have been attending (or at least in such grand fashion!).  We had our picture taken by the Dayton Daily News team...not sure if it will show up in the paper, but I think Flat Daddy caught their eyes!  They asked our names, etc., just in case they do use the picture.  So I guess we'll look for it!

Here are the pictures of our adventures...

Outside the entrance to Fifth Third Field

Looking out of the press box

Making the scoreboard dragons' eyes light up and causing steam to come out of their nostrils!  The kids thought this was way cool.

Charis poses by the ball that stuck in the wall of the TV room!

At our seats...the empty chairs were mostly filled by the time the game started.

Heater and Gem, the mascots

Is anyone really surprised that Tobin spent the first half of the game reading and eating?!

Arden had a blast--can you tell?!

We girls had fun, too!

Mom, when can we have more snacks?!

Woohoo!  We won!  (Note the red eyes and nostrils spewing steam!)

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