Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Azalea Path in Hazleton

Last year I found out that up in the backroads of Hazelton, Indiana, there is a little hidden gem of a place called the Azalea Path Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.  And that usually during the month of May when all the azalea's reach their peak color, it's a beautiful place to go.  I finally got a chance to venture up there this past Friday.  While I missed the peak time for full color, it was still a really nice place to visit.  They ask for a $2 donation per person to help with the cost of the upkeep of the gardens. 


















Monday, May 20, 2013

Play Ball!

Saturday night was WOW's family night at the Evansville Otter's baseball game against the Normal, Illinois Cornbelters.  We've taken Gavin each year we've gone and have always had a great time.  That little boy definitely kept me on my toes!  We were all over that park....running around playing in the rocks, playing on the playground, going to the potty, getting our face painted, getting balloon swords, getting popcorn, going into the stands watching the ballgame, hanging out near the backfield watching the ball players throwing balls around, and just having a good time being a boy!
 
 
The game that night was military night so they had some members of the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Association on hand with their bikes.  They all drove out on the field, were announced, and then drove around off the field so the baseball game could get underway!
 
 


Our neighbor's, Phil and Rachel, were there with their kiddos so we all sat together.  Noah and Gavin are almost the same age and played together some.  These are two of the cutest boys I know!
 
 
 
 
 All of the kids got baseballs and a marker to have their balls signed by the players.  As you can see below, Gavin gave his own signature.  He also got it signed by Eva the Otter (pictures are below).


The Hadi Shrine Clowns were also on hand doing balloons and face painting.  I asked Gavin if he wanted his face painted and surprisingly he said yes!  So we stood in line and asked for a Spiderman face!
 

 
He was giggling and antsy cause it was tickling him.  Hee!



 The majority of the time we played in the rocks.
 


I tried to get him to stand by Eva for a picture, but he wasn't getting too close to her.  





Shawn with his lunch buddy, and former WOW coworker, Eric. I'm not saying anything else.  LOL!
 



 
On the way out, we had to stop and play on the swing set.  In the past years, we've always spent a lot of time out there.  While we were there, a foul ball game flying out of the ball park, so we brought that home with us.


 
Well, that blue neck pillow isn't getting much use :(


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gavin's first trip to the Louisville Zoo

Last Saturday morning Shawn and I picked up Gavin bright and early and we headed to Louisville to go the zoo and then do some shopping at the mall so Shawn could replace his shoe inserts and then have dinner at our favorite restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory.

Our ride over there started out with a first for Aunt Stace and ended with a first for Aunt Stace.  And both involved Gavin and having to go pee!  LOL!!  We had just got on the interstate at the Dale exit and were tooling down the road.  All of a sudden Gavin tells me he has to pee.  There aren't many exits between Dale and Louisville so I whip the car to the side of the road, go around to the passenger side, unbuckle Gavin, pull him out of the car and let him do his thing.  Of course the section of the road we are on has a slant to it, so as he's peeing, it's running back down the road towards us, so I'm trying to hold his pants off the ground, move him so he's not stepping in pee all the while he's still peeing.  And Uncle Shawn is sitting in the car saying, what are you doing, what are you doing!  LOL!!

After that situation, it was smooth sailing to the zoo.  The weather was perfect for the zoo.  It was overcast and cool.  I wore my jacket the entire day.  And the zoo wasn't very crowded at all.  We saw all the animals we wanted except for the elephants and they were already put up by the time we got to them.  We got to see the giraffe too, but he was in his cage :( Note to self:  take the path to the left ... you'll see the big animals first!

We only had two little melt downs that day.  One when he wanted a toy.  We told him we would get the toy, but not at that specific gift shop, we wanted to wait until we got to the one right before we were leaving the zoo.  So we had a few tears over that.  And then a little bit later when he was thirsty and wanted a drink and we didn't have anything.  So Uncle Shawn trekked back to a snack stand to get us a soda.  After that, the world was good!  I think he was tired and wore out more than anything :(


I don't know why, but I love this little picture of him getting a drink.  I think it's the backpack that makes me like it.  He's getting to be such a little man now.  He wore that backpack almost the entire day.  He wanted too.  I even had it loaded down with stuff, but he still wanted to wear it.


While we ate lunch and sat for a while, Gavin enjoyed playing on one of the playgrounds at the zoo.  They have a splash park there too that I thought we would partake in, but it was chilly for the day and they didn't have it running.  



This is where one of the melt downs took place.  



All was better once we had a soda to drink!





The tigers were one of my favorite exhibits at the zoo.  That big white barrel was his chew toy.  He had been chewing on it, then pushed it into the water and then a second later, he used his teeth to pull the barrel out of the water back onto the land to continue chewing on it.  That barrel was almost submerged with water too!  


I love these next three pictures.  He was laying in the grass all calm and I held my camera up to take his picture and he gave me the stare down and raised some.  Almost like he was going to lunge towards me.  

















As you can see below, he got the toys he wanted.  I told him we would get them for him.  He also got a smashed penny from the zoo.  I don't even think we were out of the parking lot of the zoo and he was out.  He was this way for the next almost two hours while we drove to the mall and waited for a table at the Cheesecake Factory.  Shawn went into the malls and did his shopping while I sat in the car with Gavin while he slept.


My delicious piece of cheesecake that I had for breakfast the next day!


And of course the peeing situation on the way home.  We left Louisville around 9:30 Louisville time.  Gavin and I both went to the bathroom before we left the restaurant because I knew it was a two-hour drive home.  We hadn't been in the car that long at all when I hear "I have to go pee Stace".  What??  Are you kidding me!  We just went pee.  We are on a five-lane interstate with no shoulder to pull over on, and no exits with visible bathrooms for miles.  I told him to hold it as long as he could and we'd find a bathroom, and thought well if he has an accident, I'll just have to change his clothes and we'll move on.  As I'm pulling into the gas station, I hear "I already peed in my pants Stace".  I told him it was ok and we went into the bathroom to change. :(  Note to self:  don't let him have that much to drink before having to make a road trip and even when you think you are finished peeing in the bathroom, let's hang out just a few minutes longer and try again.