Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kalen at the Swamp

My mom who came up for the weekend also gave up her ticket to the Gator game.  So the hubs and I decided we would bring Kalen.  The weather was suppose to be in the high 60s and it was the last home game of the season.  We figured the weather would be perfect for him because every other game this season was hot, seriously I left every game a hot sweaty mess!! I went in with not so big expectations.  I was sure we would be leaving early and really had no idea what he would do being confined to a seat for a few hours.  He did great and he loved every minute of the day.  He had been to a game previously but he was only about 6 months old and slept through most of it.  So this was a whole new experience for him. 
For the past couple of days I have been asking him if he wanted to go see the Gators play.  He always said yes and would add "Alligators play, football play."  Last night (Friday) when we put him to bed I said we would go see the gators play tomorrow (Saturday).  When he woke up this morning he told me "Mommy Alligators play, Football." While my mom got him changed from the night I went to go finish getting ready.  In the time I left his room and went into mine, he freaked out.  He thought I had left him. :(  We left the house around 9:15, made a stop at Dunkin Donuts to get some coffees and donuts and then headed to Gainesville.  We got in around 10:30 parked and started walking to the stadium. 

Excited little mister!! Going to see the Gators Play
Getting carried by daddy

On our way he found some piles of leaves and had to pick one out, not a problem until he dropped it and we had to double back to get to it.  The leaf made it all the way home along with one we picked up on the way back to the car.  Our first stop before the game was the Albert and Alberta statue outside the Alumni center.  He was so cute getting his picture taken!
Kalen with the Statue (yes that is the leaf in his hand)

We headed over to the Booster tailgate which was inside the O Dome.  Kalen filled up on lots of junk food, a souvenir cup of popcorn, chips, cookies, and lemonade.  He was in heaven.  While we were waiting, the volleyball players started practicing, so we went and watched them for awhile.  We figured we would try and stay here as long as possible since he wasn't getting bored.  Once we left we met some friends outside the stadium and chatted for a little bit. We had to wait on my hubs friend to get there with his ticket, since Kalen was using my moms.  Mike left to go get his ticket and Kalen and I headed in.
He was in complete awe when we walked in.  He pointed out every alligator he saw. Needless to say he said alligator a lot.  (He also pointed out all the Alligator cars on the way in, which is any car with a Gator sticker on it).  We got to our seats and he sat right next to me and was just looking around taking everything in.  We watched all the seniors come out and he clapped for them, it was pretty cute.  Then he got to experience some cheers, yes we do these at home during the games but its much more exciting at the game.  He loved when each side of the stadium yelled the teams colors.  The Student section yells Orange then our side yells Blue.  He ended up yelling Blue long after the cheer was over.  He also yelled 'Go Gators' a lot.  We said the Pledge and sang the National Anthem and even got a Flyover, Kalen loves planes so his eyes lit up when they flew over, the Jets got lots of "Wows".  It was then time for the players to run out of the tunnel.  On the Jumbo tron you start watching Gators in their swamps swimming around, which led to "Mommy, alligators".  Then all the players came running out.  "Wow, mommy look". I walked him down to the wall so he could see the players warm up and say their prayers in the end zone.  He was just completely amazed.  It was so neat to see what I've been watching for 20ish years through his eyes.  Everything was about the coolest thing he had ever seen. Just seeing the field was so neat, the flags, the band, he just loved everything.  He watched and cheered through most of the first quarter and then he pulled out his leap pad (I packed it along with a phone for movies, I wanted to be prepared if he became disinterested in the game). He played on it for a little while and then we got him some cotton candy.  The cotton candy kept his interest for quite awhile, all the way through halftime.

 Luckily we had some extra seats in our row, so Michael got to sit with us.  At the beginning of the second quarter Albert started making his way toward our section so I took him down to the wall and he got to meet Albert!! He loved him!
Kalen with Albert

He came back and sat in his seat and began playing with our tickets and I had tickets from previous games so he was making it rain tickets while staying in his seat area.  We decided to change his scenery and we headed over to the student section where Mike's friend was.  At the end of the game the Players gather near the student section and sometimes jump on the wall with the students. We thought Kalen would like to see that.
On our way over we stopped to get a picture with a giant Gator head.
Kalen looks so small (the remaining cotton candy is in his hand)

Kalen got a lot more room over here so he was moving up and down the row in front of us.
Sitting.. for a moment
We moved a few rows down at the end of the game hoping to see a few players up close.  After the players sang the fight song they started walking down by the students and giving everyone high fives.  A student moved out of the way and let Kalen get on the wall and he leaned over and got to High five Jon Bostic (who got a pick 6 in the game)  I tried to get a picture when he was walking over but if I let go of Kalen he would have fell right onto Bostic because he was leaning so far over.  I thought it was pretty neat, he just knew he high fived a Gator.  He then saw Alberta so we waited for her to walk down.  A cop actually asked if we were waiting for her and then went down and got her.  He was excited.

Kalen and Alberta

This little mister had a blast.  I never thought we would make it through the whole game.  They end up being 3-3 1/2 hours long, I mean keeping a toddler engaged in anything that long is hard let alone when he only has a seat cushion of space during the span of time.  He never once cried, had a meltdown, or asked to go.  He was the happiest kid all day,  and we were gone for over 9 hours.  I was beyond shocked.  I also never expected him to sit and watch the whole game, which was why mommy came prepared with a phone, leap pad and some snacks.  He only played with the leap pad for about 10 mins.  He imagination did come out big time, the tickets he was playing with became monsters at one point. When we moved over to the student section his sippy cup became a rocket that was blasting off , flying around, crashing, and landing.  He ended up watching a decent amount of the game too, with lots of cheering.

We left the game and Kalen gave a few Go Gator cheers on the way out.  We got to the car and he did not even last 5 mins, he passsed out!
Passed out with socks on his hands
He slept for about an hour and as soon as we got home he blasted off. I seriously have no idea where the energy came from.  Maybe he stored up the sugar from the cotton candy and released it when we got home.  But from the time we got home till bed time he was going full speed. 

I leave you with his jammies...
His "alligators jersey"
Whether or not he remembers his "first" game I know I will.  I seriously had a blast with him today and I know Michael did too.  Can't wait to take him to more games.

1 comment:

  1. Aww~ Jessica, this is so awesome. I love that you and Michael had a great time with him at the game and that he enjoyed it just as much - or maybe even more! That's good he was able to be entertained for that long without having a fit. Such good pictures and memories to look back on.. I can't wait to start that family bond as you and Michael have with your boys