Four and a half may seem a tad old for an American boy to attend his first baseball game. But we did live in England for a chunk of it and while the NFL does make an appearance there, MLB does not. We did take him to Premier League soccer to compensate.
So here we are, summer of his 4's, and the best we can do for him is the Richmond Flying Squirrels minor league game. We did have awesome seats, though! That were $11. Bargain! And it was kids eat free Sunday - bonus. Parking was only $3! All in all, the Flying Squirrels offer quite the baseball value.
After a trip inside the gift shop where Charlie changed his mind from hat to foam finger (??) to t-shirt, we sat down along the first baseline. Brad got us some drinks and hot dogs and we settled in to watch. Sort of.
Brad made me switch seats out of concern for Eleanor, who was sitting on my lap, not getting hit by a line drive. I guess he intended to use his body as a human shield. After a few balls came by that were FAST I was wondering why they don't make helmets for the fans. I was pretty nervous the rest of the time we were there. Notice I didn't say rest of the game.
Brad had just remembered right before the game that his fantasy football draft was that afternoon and he had no idea who to draft, so was trying to subtly read player profiles on his phone in between Charlie's questions and me pestering him to get off his dang phone. Charlie seemed particularly curious about the catcher's uniform.
A foul came by a bit later and the first base coach came over to hand it to a fan. A nice man behind us suggested he give it to Charlie. The coach obliged and Charlie immediately dropped it off the ledge - he was so nervous! And excited - he kept asking us over and over again if his new ball was awesome. Brad told him it took Daddy 25 years to get a foul ball. And yes - very awesome.
After that excitement died down, Charlie was ready to hit the road. I was done with my beer, Brad really didn't want to have a last place worthy team again this year (again, the fault of living in England) and Eleanor was overdue for a nap. So we took Charlie's baseball and went home. And the Flying Squirrels went on to win 3-0. Happy Endings all around.
The ball now comes with us just about everywhere, in Charlie's kid's camera case. Brad gave him an Arkansas baseball cap to go with his Squirrels baseball t-shirt and those have been worn every day this week. We seem to be quite taken with baseball. Go Squirrels!
Oh and it was Eleanor's first baseball game too. She seemed a bit bored. So we took some selfies.
At this point Eleanor is 8 months old, but I took the photos on time. These awful iPhone photos when I should really go hunt down my actual camera and get decent photos. I remember I used to do these long photo sessions with Charlie each month and now I can't even fathom how to find time to do that. Sorry 2nd child. In my defense, I'm really tired.
Each month I think her sleeping is going to get easier and each month she proves me wrong and continues to be challenging. It's always for a different reason it feels like, but we never have more than a few nights where she sleeps through the night.
I think she got in a bad habit while we were in Dallas of wanting to get up and eat in the middle of the night. This is not a desire I have much sympathy for at 6 months of age. Especially for one who has springboarded into the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight.
I mean sure, I wake up in the middle of the night and I feel hungry... that doesn't mean I get up and order a pizza. I go back to sleep and wait until breakfast. And now so does Eleanor. It took a couple of nights of a half bottle and then no bottle and finally she got the idea.
Now I'm not sure why she wakes up but sometimes oragel helps.
She's quickly progressed from not thinking food was a good idea, to trying lots of things to preferring table foods to purees. She likes to pick things up and feed herself - maybe because she sees Charlie doing it?
She loves rice and beans, bread, pasta, pieces of veggie burger - things like that. Brad hadn't seen her do that and tried to stop me saying wait! she doesn't have teeth! Silly Daddy. Eleanor does not need teeth for food.
I'm still avoiding dairy until we get her tested at the end of the year. She's still on Alimentum. I tried some soy formula and she was up all night with an upset tummy, even though I just gave her a little. That wasn't worth it, so we will just spring for the good stuff.
She's wobbly but sitting up. And she loves being on her tummy and looking like she would love to crawl. If Charlie is anywhere in the vicinity, she is trying to get to him.
I'd say the most enjoyable thing about her getting older is watching her interact with Charlie. She smiles as soon as she sees him and laughs her head off at everything he does. I have a mirror in the backseat so I can see what she's doing in her carseat and I love to see her giggling at Charlie being goofy.
He is her favorite person. And he is so sweet and gentle with her. She pulls his hair or grabs his nose and he just laughs and laughs. He always wants to know where she is and has recently asked to feed her baby food. It makes my heart swell and want to burst.
I cleaned out her closet and drawers and she sure didn't wear a lot of those clothes for very long. It was kind of sad but not nearly as much so as with Charlie. I don't know if that I just realize how much fun stuff is ahead of us or that she's being a fairly challenging baby, but I don't mourn her growing older as much. I do wonder if one day I will.
For now, just getting through my day, I look forward to things like her holding her own bottle (she does somewhat) or sitting up in the grocery cart (not very well) or feeding herself (a little) - and most of all just sleeping!
In all her huge-ness she's squeezing into a 9 month outfit and comfortable in a 12 month one. Her Hanna Andersson size 70 pajamas (9 to 18 months) are just fitting and on their way out. I went shopping for her and decided I could not safely buy her any fall clothes. I have to wait until, you know, fall.
So that's her at 7 months. Good eater, mediocre sleeper, aspiring crawler.