This past Friday…we loaded up the minivan with our kids and niece, Payotn, and headed to the zoo.
Bubs fell asleep on the way…but his nap was cut short when we got there.
The girls were really excited to ride the carousel…and we decided to let them ride it first thing because usually by the time we are heading out….we really need to leave (i.e. babies and/or kids are about to have a meltdown). This was Nolan's first time and he seemed to enjoy it.
After the carousel…we had to walk pretty fast to the lions and tigers for their little show where they do training. The girls were able to get in the front and really see.
Next up: feeding the giraffes. This was Parker's first time to feed them by herself. Grace and Payton had lettuce in hand, but chose not to.
This was our first time to do this….we watched a little bird show. Parker was the only one interested in watching at first….but then I think all of the girls ended up really enjoying it. We saw several different types of birds and they all did tricks….and we even saw a parrot that sang "Old McDonald."
You know…the bald eagle is really a beautiful creature.
After the bird show….we settled in for a little picnic lunch.
Everyone was thrilled to stop and smile for this picture.
Then- a little kiddie train ride. Grace is the only one who has been on this before.
While the girls rode the train…Geoff pushed Nolan around in the stroller and was able to get him to fall asleep.
Then we headed to the ponies for a little pony ride. Only Parker and Grace wanted to ride this time.
And then for what they had all been waiting for the entire day….to run around in the little water area. We told them to not sit down in the water and try not to splash and get really wet. Yeh…they were drenched. Which was fine because we brought clothes to change into…but it was so funny to see them come up to us and show us how they'd 'accidentally' got wet.
This guy was able to get out and move around, too. And he pretty much thought he was so cool.
We survived the zoo!
I told Geoff….with four kids….there's no such thing as doing anything quickly. We had a good time, though…just taking our time…going at our own pace. We have a membership so we know next time we will go to the parts that we don't normally see first.
On our way home….we stopped at Braum's for some after-the-zoo ice cream treat.
And then the girls played with their Barbies some….and Nolan took a nap. A little before dinner- we all ventured back outside and the girls played while Geoff grilled burgers.
You know….just typical backyard playing. With an umbrella.
Dinner! Parker actually likes carrots…and the other 2 wanted to try one, too.
A delicious burger with fresh veggies and bacon on a kaiser roll. Paired with bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeños. Yum!
Early on..I had promised the girls cookies and popcorn. Well…I thought I had some break apart cookie dough in the fridge. But did not. So I made some sugar cookies with rainbow sprinkles.
While those were baking…we popped our own popcorn.
And enjoyed our sweet and salty treat while watching Frozen.
We had a very looong and full day. But it was a great day. At dinner, we played "happy, mad, sad"…where everyone has to go around and tell something that happened during the day that made them the said emotion. Everyone only had happy things to report!
I remember before I had kids and I'd hear and see things that people took their Saturdays to spend taking their kids to this place or that place. Waiting in line. Fighting crowds. Waking up early. All of that stuff sure did seem like a lot of work. And while I dreamt of having my own family someday to do those things with….I still did not look forward to the lines and crowds and such.
But now. Now that I do have those children…(and while I still do not like crowds, ha!)…I love doing things like this. Taking days to just find the happy. And making memories. I know they may not remember this particular day that we took them to the zoo and had ice cream and popped our own popcorn….but I hope that we do enough of this kind of thing that they'll be able to look back and have these happy memories of their childhood.