Monday, December 11, 2017

Family Gameday!

Wow, this post is old. Again, I'm trying to go in chronological order, and I'm back in mid-October for the blog, when it's actually mid-December (in real life) and all I can think about is Christmas and the holidays. Onward!

Our first Family Of Five Gameday Experience happened! October 7, 2017

Don't we look great?!?! Read below!

We didn't have a babysitter MaSha (our "go to" sitter!) to watch Ryan for us on Clemson's homecoming football game this year, so we got crazy and took him with us with only 4 tickets to the game. You see, you can take small toddlers in with you without a ticket if you carry them in and they sit in your lap. Sitting in the lap is no big deal. Even if he had a ticket and a seat, he'd still be in the lap. The tough(er) part is carrying him in since he's getting big and doesn't reaaaallllyyyyy look like a two year old anymore. But we didn't want to skip the game, and decided to take a chance that they wouldn't question us.

So let's start at the beginning. This was back during Stokes and William's soccer "season" (hee hee) so they had a game at 8:30 AM. The football game was scheduled for a noon kickoff. And a little tangent here - NOON KICKOFFS ARE HARD. Traffic is crazy, the morning seems really crammed, you have to get up early on a Saturday (yuck) - it's just hard. So anyways, we knew we'd had to go straight to Clemson from the soccer game, so there was a lot of pre-planning and car packing going on ahead of time and early risers (well, me) to get everything ready to go before soccer started . We went to soccer, had fun, got the boys dressed for game day and out of soccer uniform in the car, and then took off to Clemson.

Post soccer game team huddle
Cute team! We loved our team, the Frogs!
On our way to see the Tiger play!

We had snacks in the car on the way and luckily (or unluckily??) hit some traffic, which afforded us time to eat said snacks (I have to feed Ryan so I could feed him more easily when we're not moving) before the mad dash to the stadium. Traffic was brutal and we did not get parked until close to 11. We park FAR, and I repeat, FAR from the stadium so I knew it would be a struggle to maneuver through the crowds and get to the game in time to see all the festivities, hear the band and watch the Running Down The Hill. However, I could not be dismayed and was GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. We had a double stroller with us for Ryan and 1 brother and then between Thomas and me, we switched off carrying the 3rd and the other adult pushing the stroller. Ummm...we were sweating. It was hot. It was a struggle.

Let's go!

Lots of people trying to get in before the game

Guess what! We made it there in time. We seriously booked it the whole way across the entire campus lugging around three 4 year olds with us and all the gear in clear bags (insert eye roll). Our clear bags (you know the clear bag policy, right?!?!) had diapers, wipes, Pull-ups, extra underwear, Ryan's cup, our tickets, our wallets, our sunscreen, hand sanitizer, etc, etc, I could go on. So when we got to the stadium, we carried Ryan in, checked our stroller at the gate (thank you, Clemson, for the stroller check!), made it up the incline to the upper deck, fought off a lot of whining for Skittles and popcorn concessions, walked up another bazillion stairs to our seats and.....exhaled. We were seriously exhausted and it wasn't even 12 noon yet.

See Thomas's hair? It was so hot and we were
so sweaty!

RyRy and mama

Also, once we got to our seats, I realized that I didn't change Ryan's diaper at the van before we left our parking spot, as I was planning to do. I was in such a rush to get going that I totally forgot. UGH. You know what that means? Wet shorts. Soaked through. At that point, I didn't even care. I just sat there with the wet shorts on my lap for like 10 minutes so I could catch my breath. Ryan didn't care either. We were just living the dream. So when my heart rate got back to normal, I trekked back down the bazillion stairs with Ryan and clear bag in tow, to try to find a family restroom to change him. As luck would have it, there AREN'T ANY family restrooms on the upper deck. Not kidding. I was walking around peeking into the restrooms, looking for a Koala changing station and nothing. I didn't even know what to think. Except that I wanted to throw the towel in and go take a nap somewhere. Also, Ryan is around 32 lbs so my arms were already hurting, just after holding him on the bazillion stairs. So I found an employee and asked about the family restroom and he took pity on my sweaty mess self and kindly escorted me to the suite level, via my request of an elevator (praise the Lord). He even told me I could help myself to some popcorn and cookies free of charge before I went back to my seats. The suite life is just that - sweet. It's just a liiiiiiiittle bit better than the upper deck. That's all. So Ryan's diaper was changed, no change of shorts though because I didn't have extras in the clear bag (sorry, RyRy),  I grabbed a few cookies in a napkin, stuffed them into the clear bag and went back up the elevator and a bazillion stairs and got to sit back down again. Stokes and William were already whining for snacks and potty breaks, but I let Thomas deal with that for a few minutes. I think he picked up some hot dogs, and snacks and some waters for us to share so there were a few more trips up and down the bazillion stairs, within the first 20 minutes of us being there. So, I just have to laugh when I see this picture below. Apart from Stokes looking miserable and Ryan flushed and sleepy (it was so hot and he was napping) and probably not happy with his wet shorts, we actually look kind of like we have it together. But after that story, you probably realize what a mess we actually were are! LOL #memories

Handsome boy at the game

The morning wore him out, too!
He had a nice little nap on Dada's shoulder.

These two took their shirts off and just wore undershirts because
we were feeling the heat!

Stokes selfie

William selfie

So we did enjoy the game for a little while. We made it through the first half. I did mention that it was homecoming, which means that all the fraternities and sororities had floats decorated on Bowman. I totally wanted the boys to experience that and see them. We had no chance of seeing them before the game, with our mad dash across campus, so we decided that one half of football was enough for us to see and we peaced out in favor of checking out the floats, and leisurely strolling back to our car to make our way home.

We stopped by Carole's tailgate spot in Lot 2 first to see our Tribe!

Tribe love

The boys love playing football with Rick

Then started the trek towards Bowman. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is that Ashley and her family were in Clemson for the game, too. She was there to hang out with her college friends, so we knew we probably wouldn't see her, and we had plans to see them all the following weekend, so we wanted to make sure that we didn't intrude on her time with her friends. soon as we got to Bowman field, who in the world did we run smack dab into?!?!!

No way!!!!

It was so crazy and amazing! Even though they had already walked around and looked at the floats, they did another round with us. The boys just love their cousins so much. It's awesome.

The floats looked great, as always, and they made some fun backdrops for pictures for me! There were lots of National Champions references on the floats. Yay!

Clemson cousins

The boys with Taylor and Anna

Ryan, my champion

Love this crew

Ashley held Ryan and gave our arms a break

We LOVED seeing our family right there in Clemson. The timing could not have been better. Once we said our goodbyes, we went back to our car and turned on the radio so we could hear the play by play on our drive home. The car ride was very peaceful and looked a little like this...

Sleepy boys

A prayer for next season - please let me think long and hard before taking all these boys to a game next season unless we have a handicapped ticket and Ryan's wheelchair. Amen.


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