Friday, April 27, 2012

Birthday Boy

On April 7, my sweet baby boy turned 2. We had our families come celebrate with us and of course Benton loved being the center of everyone's attention. We ate some good food, sang "Happy Birthday," ate some more and then watched Benton open presents and hunt some eggs all by himself. He didn't seem to mind. (Thanks to Uncle Jess and Cousin Kara for hiding the eggs.) It was a fun day! Thanks to our family for coming out.

Always fun to see Uncle Zach!

The bounty

Here's a video synopsis of Benton's day. It's long so I don't blame you if you don't watch it and you're not one of Benton's grandparents.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

School pictures

Benton recently had spring pictures at school. We heard that the backdrop would be "springy": grass, white fence, bunnies, etc. so we dressed Benton in his Easter clothes. When we got the picture back, I almost died. Please, enjoy it with me.

Folks, those are real live bunnies. I still can't believe they got him to look at the camera, smile and hold two bunnies.

P.S. We should also talk about my kid's giant head. Please notice how he's not actually wearing the hat, it's only balanced on top.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Party animals

A couple of weeks ago, Benton and Brack had spring break. To celebrate, we planned a couple of fun activities involving wildlife. Benton had been talking non-stop about "animals" for the last month or so and we knew it was time he got to see some in person. 

Our first stop was the Pine Mountain Wild Animal Safari with Nana and Papa Joe. Have you been to this place? It's weird. There's a walkabout section where you can see some creatures up close. This is not the weird part. Just your basic caged animals, photo ops, etc.

The main attraction is a drive-thru animal park where the animals come up to your car window so you can feed them. Giraffes, zebras, bison, elk, antelope - they all just walk from car to car to eat.

You put a handful of animal feed out the window and these guys just come slurp it right up. Weird, right? It's pretty crazy to have a zebra eating out of your hand. Benton did great! 

A word of advice: if you plan to visit this fine establishment, please do not drive your own car (you can rent a van or ride the bus for free) and also make sure you bring some wet wipes. There is a lot of slobber and dirt involved. But it was a fun adventure and Benton loved every minute he got to spend with his Nana and Papa Joe.

Our next adventure was Zoo Atlanta. We went on Friday to celebrate the last day of spring break and our last day with a one-year-old. Some more free advice for you: do you know about the Family Pass you can get from the library? Every public library in Georgia has this zoo DVD that you can check out. When you turn it back in, you get 2 adult and 2 child zoo tickets for free! The catch is there's only one DVD per branch and you can't put in on hold so it's hard to track it down. Somehow we managed to get our hands on one in Newnan and got a free trip to the zoo!

The weather was perfect. Since it was spring break for most of the state of Georgia, we got there early to avoid some of the crowd. Benton loved it! He liked saying hi to the animals, watching all the people and getting out of his stroller to walk on his own. His little hands in his pockets kills me every time.

I think his favorite part (besides the lion) was the parakeet aviary. You buy a seed stick for $1 and then walk into a huge enclosure with hundreds of birds. I am not a huge fan of birds and was slightly alarmed by this situation, but we made it through without any signs of danger. Benton got right in there to feed them! Best dollar we ever spent.

We took a break for a picnic lunch, and then came back for a ride on the train and the carousel. It was a great day and the end of a wonderful spring break! Will post soon about Benton's birthday.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Winning at Turner Field

I have a lot of blog posts to catch up on (including Benton's 2nd birthday!) but I wanted to go ahead and post about our day at Turner Field.

We went to our first Braves game of the season this afternoon. This is Benton's third baseball season and today was his 10th Braves game. Not bad for a 2-year-old.

Not only was it an exciting victory for the Braves (we swept the Brewers!), but the Hassell family also won a personal victory and came home with a brand-new TV.

A Braves employee came up to us very soon after we sat down in our seats at the start of the first inning. She asked if Brack was interested in playing a trivia game, being on the big screen with his son and attempting to win a new TV. I'm pretty sure Brack's exact words were, "Are you kidding me? Of course."

So we headed over to the Sky Field to get Brack and Benton camera-ready and prepare for their big moment. Mix Master Mark, an emcee at Turner Field who also happens to be the producer for a morning radio show we listen to, greeted us and gave the boys the 411. We also had some quality time with Homer and Lucky Dog from Aaron's, who sponsored the giveaway.

Brack played a high/low game based on the RBI stats from last season. He rocked it, of course, and won the big prize!

We made our way back to our seats to enjoy the rest of the game. People recognized Brack as "the guy who won the TV" for the rest of the day. Brandon Beachy pitched an amazing game, Chipper Jones hit a 3-run home run and we only spent $5 on concessions. It was a good day.

We picked up our bounty from Guest Relations at the end of the game and a lovely customer service gentleman even helped us carry it out to the parking lot. Benton couldn't stop talking about the new TV and he's probably going to be disappointed if we don't get one every time we go to a Braves game from now on.

After all the excitement, including a missed nap, he passed out mid-snack before we even got on the interstate.