T-Ball Memories + A Giveaway!

Last week we spent some much needed time in my hometown back in Iowa - we hadn't been back for more than six months, and Colette had yet to make her inaugural trip - so it was long overdue. It was a great break from all the move-in chaos back in Chicago and we had an awesome time catching up with family and a few friends while we were back. 

My parents live in an old 1920's school that they converted into their home a few years ago. I've said time and time again that I WILL blog about it, but I always forget to nab photos when I'm back. Suffice it to say it's pretty big - this is no one-room school house - this is a 33,000 square foot, three story school, complete with massive gym and stage. It's the perfect place for seven grandkids (going on nine!) all under three years old to go crazy in. 

A few weeks back, the folks at Little Tikes sent me a handful of toys for Eli (And Colette! Okay, not really, but my mommy-heart just feels bad leaving her out.) to try out, and one of them was the Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set. As soon as we planned our trip to Iowa I knew we had to pack it to get a little game going with the cousins at the school. At first we pulled it out in my parents living room, and even though it's HUGE, pretty quickly we figured we should move outside or we'd have to keep chasing the balls into different under all the furniture and into different rooms. 

So we went outside, but let's be honest, at first Eli and his cousin totally got distracted by Papa's skid-loader - this is the stuff little boy's dreams are made out of folks: 

I believe they were building a zoo for a T-Rex and while Mater and Lightening McQueen picked them up some birthday cake to celebrate. 

Totally makes sense. 

Eventually we convinced them to come play t-ball with us. Abram, my nephew who is nearly three was AWESOME. Seriously #proudauntmoment over here. He loved setting up the ball "just so" then hitting it as hard as he could. 

Eventually Hannah and Eli each took a turn (they're six weeks apart, and both just recently turned two), and they could. not. wait. They were all about throwing the ball around, trying to get it to balance on the tee and swinging the bat, but honestly, they mostly just hit the tee. Or the ground. Or my leg. Or their face. 

But they tried, and that's all a parent could ever want, right?

So eventually we just demoted the two year holds to fielders so the pro could get his practice in.

But because we always made them stand so far away (Safety first!) they got bored pretty quickly and eventually just walked around and made rock piles. This is obviously not portrayed in the above photo, which is why Abram is patiently waiting for them to sloooooowly toddle their little bodies away. 

Give them six months or a year and I'm sure they'll trade their rocks in for t-balls, but for now, I'd say two year olds are better off as benchwarmers. But Abram, at three, LOVED it and couldn't get enough. I got my exercise for the WEEK in just shagging balls for him while he laughed and shouted about how far he hit ball.

This t-ball set is one of those toys that it seems like every one has a childhood memory from playing, and I'm so excited to give Eli a few of his own as he grows up. And get ready, because Little Tikes is giving one away to one lucky Oakland Avenue reader, so your kids can make memories around it too. The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, June 3, and will be announced on this page on June 4, so check back here to see if you won!

Just fill out the widget below to win!

>>> Giveaway now closed. The winner is Rachel Murphy! Rachel, check your emails to claim your prize!

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  1. LOVE this post-- the fun T-Ball pics-- the memories of my own youth that it brought back. We had a Little Tikes T-Ball set growing up and their bat design hasn't changed in 25 years! :) Looks like the stand has changed a bit, ours was hollow so you could weight it by filling it with sand.
    Wow--33,000 sq.ft.?! That is one huge house and I would absolutely, positively,be thrilled to get a peak at what they've done to make it their home. As an interior designer, I adore seeing old non-residential spaces be reused as homes since they are always SO interesting and unique. Fingers crossed your parents are gracious enough to share their home with us and you get a little time to share it here someday!

  2. Thanks Valerie! Yep, it's a crazy big place, but they actually only truly live on one floor, but all areas of the school see LOTS of use! I promise I will try to remember, they're happy to share it, it's just me that needs to make time!