Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Zoo Adventures

I think I've mention in an earlier post how I wish I could be doing more fun things with the kids over summer. I had forgotten what having a baby would be like so admittedly, summer has been kind of a dud. Well, not a total dud. It's just not been as exciting and fun as our last couple have been. But now that Penelope is on a good schedule, I'm able to venture out with her and not worry too much about it. Perfect timing because on Tuesday, I took the kids to Como Zoo in St. Paul, MN. It's just under three hours away from us, but it's always a fun little afternoon. Also, this year I surprised them with wristbands to go on some rides because generally, I can't afford it. I found a really great buy one/get one wristband deal and decided I'd make it a fun surprise. They were thrilled. 

I packed us all up late Monday evening so we could, in theory, leave without a hitch early Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, Matt doesn't listen so he woke Penelope up to feed her. Which screwed my original plans because that meant I had to wait until her next feeding to leave otherwise she'd demand food in the middle of rush hour traffic. So I fed her, got us all into the van and off we went.

Once at the zoo, we messaged my brother and his family because they were coming and we were going to celebrate his birthday.

You can see Penelope is impressed by this. 

The kids were mini tourists with their back packs with water and snacks, and these disposable cameras my Aunt Debi sent them last year. They have been waiting a whole year to use these things because I said they should wait until we do something fun versus taking pictures of junk in their room. And that they did. 

Zebra. He was kind of adorable. And a bit of a pig. He ate everything out of three baskets. The other zebras will probably die of starvation. 

They are total tourists. 

Buffalo. Jackson's spirit animal. 

My brother and his adorable daughter. 

The best part of the day was watching the babies check each other out. I feel like Penelope is a huge baby, but when you sit her next to Adriana, who is seven months old, she looks like a peanut. 

After lunch and after having her diaper changed on a concrete sidewalk. Lounging. 

The babies! 

Sloth. My brother's spirit animal. 

After we did the zoo, we walked over to Como Town which is like a really small carnival type thing for kids. A few rides, a splash pad water area (which my kids didn't do because I didn't think to bring extra clothes. Mom fail.), some games, and a bunch of food. The first stop is always the carousel. 

Olivia totally loves the carousel. There was a time where she screamed on it. 

Also a time when Jackson was terrified as well. This year he demanded it go faster. 

Penelope and I rode in a bench. There was only a short moment where I thought she would start crying, but she held it together. I'm pretty sure she got dizzy because I got dizzy. 

I was most surprised that my kids wanted to ride on any rides. My kids are kind of notorious for being wussies. I have an almost 10 year old who just got her training wheels off her bike and a 7 year old who absolutely refuses to take his training wheels off. 

 The sad thing is that Jackson already is upset at how short he is, so when he wasn't able to get on a ride because he wasn't tall enough? The poor kid was near tears. I think if my brother hadn't agreed to spend a fortune on a bag of dirt and rocks to go "mine" it with him, we would have had a meltdown.
But my brother is kind of amazing, and he saved the day. 

I also made Olivia ride on some rides with Jackson because he wanted a companion.  
She was less than impressed. 

He, on the other hand, was absolutely thrilled. 

My biggest surprise was that they both wanted to do the zip line. You can't see it, but they held hands through it.  

And they went really high up. 

And came zooming down pretty fast! 

Overall? We had a great day. My mom drove with us (thank god) and I think she enjoyed seeing both her kids, and all of her grand kids, all in the same day. Plus, she had never been to that zoo and she likes zoos, so it was fun to hang out with her. 

I'm also grateful that she came with because Penelope wasn't so great on the ride home. I'm sure it was a mixture of over tired and being so warm in her car seat, so my mom was able to climb in the back and console her as I'm driving us home. We were all pretty exhausted when we got home, but certainly a fun thing to say we did over summer break. 

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