Thursday, June 7, 2012

Potty Reward= HOT Zoo Morning

Yesterday, I did one of the craziest things a 6 month pregnant mommy-of-two could do in the middle of a Texas summer.  I took the kids to the zoo... alone.  Annabelle is in the midst of potty-training and she's doing a great job.  So great, in fact, that she filled up her first chart at the end of last week  WOO HOO!  As a reward for filling up her chart, she said she wanted to go to the Zoo.  We had originally planned to go early on a Saturday morning, so I wouldn't be alone, however, life got in the way and I had two choices:  wait another week and risk her forgetting WHY we were going to the Zoo OR buck up and be the strong Mom that I know I am.

Since it's Texas AND summer, we got there early.... like 830 early.  The beginning was nice and relaxing since it was still semi-cool and not humid.  We've been to the zoo so much in the last three years that both kids knew exactly the route we take.  No need for maps in our family.  Another great thing this time was that we didn't need a stroller.  I only planned to be there in the morning, and I wasn't about to push the stroller up and down the steep hills in my 'condition.'  I only regretted it once, at the very end, when I was trying to motivate the kids to get to a certain part of the zoo.

We also had some AWESOME animal encounters this time.  The monkeys were super active, which pleased Annabelle to no end.  The jaguar paced and tried to get the kids through the glass (no kidding... I wish I had the camera out for that).  Jared had his 'reptile charm' on again (he would totally be a Slytherin);  seriously, he got a 10 ft Anaconda to move around.

PLUS we were able to see the Hippos coming back from lunch.  We watched them walk and then get back in the water... and I got a video (notice Annabelle's excitement):

Before the hippos came back, we actually spent some quality time enjoying the air conditioning in their building.  By that time... 10:30ish... it was hot.  All three of us were tired and the kids were already asking for lunch.  So, we found a bench and ate an early lunch.  Going with the flow was definitely the theme of the day...

We got to a couple more animals before I knew we had spent all our energy.  So, since it was a special occasion visit to the zoo, I told the kids if we got to the reptile house (that place still creeps me out--- especially the exhibits that say 'native to South Texas'... yay) quick, we could stop and get some ice cream first.  This was when I got my favorite picture of the day.  Spontaneously, the kids held hands as they walked down a steep hill.  Luckily, the camera was within reach.  I love the random moments of kindness they share with each other.

It was a perfect way to cap off our successful zoo day; plus, I was pleasantly surprise that the ice cream was inexpensive and came with a reusable bowl for the kids.  It was so hot, Annabelle drank her ice cream down to the last drop.  I'm also sure that Jared thought about jumping into the waterfall.

Not even five minutes after we got back to the van, both passed out.  Heat, animal fun and ice cream would probably do that to anyone.  The day was a success; I didn't feel crazy for taking them alone... now when we add L to the mix....

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