Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Another weekend, another bunch of things checked off the to-do list (and another bigger bunch of things discovered and added to the to-do list, I'm looking at you running toilet and broken pool pump).  But first, we had to get some fun out of the way.

We live very close to the Fort Worth zoo, very close, and we drive by it at least two times a day every day. And every time Landon reads the sign and asks when we'll get to go. We've promised him trips twice- once on a weekend it ended up raining and once when my parents came and we ran out of time, but the poor kid inquiries with his trademark mix of hope and excitement every time we pass by. Saturday was the day. After a visit from a pool guy to look at out our broken pump, and a painter to get a quote on painting every other non-renovated room of our house, we headed out.

We became members as an early birthday present to the kids (and because after two visits the membership pays for itself, and you get free parking- but don't tell them that). It's a fabulous zoo. In the words of JP, "Wow, you almost don't feel bad for the animals." The Bear was initially wary of a few exhibits, but she warmed up quickly.

There was a lot of hunching down to see the animals eye-to-eye.  About a second after the picture below a turtle swam right for her and Claire bounced backwards like it was going to eat her. It shouldn't have been as funny as it was (but oh, it was).

I don't know if I've written about this yet, but Claire says, "Hi!" and "Bye!" to everyone. EVERYONE. Everyone and every thing, actually. When we go to the grocery store it's like she's on parade- everyone we see gets at least three enthusiastic hi's, followed by a round of very enthusiastic "buh bye's!!!" as we turn the corner to the next aisle, where we start over again with the "Hi's!!!!." It's both adorable and annoying, depending on the number of people who happen to be at the grocery store along with us.  Her cheerful greetings were no different at the zoo- everyone, people and animals alike, received the full Claire treatment.

 Here is the Bear outside a bird exhibit. Her excitement level can be measured by the volume of her greetings and the height of her hops. She's like a very vocal bunny.

It was a great morning. Landon zoomed around from exhibit to exhibit, excitedly calling out everything he was seeing. At nearly 5 he definitely pushes a few more buttons than he used to, and we've had some actual rebellion in the last two months, but I do just adore his sweetness, especially when we're doing something special. He noted a snow cone truck with the same excitement he noted everything- from real live lions to a common bush with a pretty white flower. I happen to have a weakness for snowcones, so I told him we could get one, and he turned to look at me with eyes aglow and said very seriously, "mommy, this is my most favorite day ever."

After a few hours and all the major exhibits, it was time to go home for naps (JP requested one too). We treated the kids to their first ever, non-road-trip fast food meal, which of course they both thought was the most amazing special treat ever, and Landon's opinion of the day reached epic proportions.  Apparently, the zoo + a snow cone + and a Sonic hot dog >>> Santa.

 This is why you keep their expectations low- it is so fun to blow their minds every now and then and we can do it with so little extra effort/dollars.

Landon was moving to fast at the zoo to ever get him in any of my masterpiece iPhone photos, but he very carefully posed for this one so you could see his new Captain America shoes that make him run SUPER SPEEDY FAST. (We took our first ever trip to the local mall today to get the kids shoes.  I no longer feel like a bad mother for having a new walk-in shower while my kids toes poke out of their shoes.)

After I took the requested photo, I asked if he'd like me to send it to Gigi, and he said no, mama, I want you to show ALL your friends. Little does he know I have a very convenient outlet for doing so:

(love him)

P.S. I harassed JP into hanging up the pictures in our bedroom and bathroom, so the big reveal of the master suite is coming soon!


  1. So fun! I love the video of Claire. It's especially fun because she and my little girl are so close in age and seem to have similar enthusiasm. And Landon's shoes are pretty rockin' So funny to hear another mom talk about keeping expectations low so it's easy to blow their mind! I do the same thing! Makes life so much easier, and more fun :)

  2. Those are some pretty awesome shoes. I see you are shamelessly passing on your addiction to your children ;)!