Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's a Zoo Out There!

Man, if Tim and I aren't sound asleep by 10pm tonight to end our weekend, I will be surprised. It has been a fun and exciting and more than a little exhausting one.

Friday night was his company holiday party. Mimi and Pa came over to babysit, and we left in a rush, drove forever to get to the hotel, and then drank and ate and danced and talked and had a wonderful time, and ended the evening with me singing "Once Upon a Dream" while walking barefoot back to our car.

When we got home Ellie was asleep, and Adam was asleep in Mimi's arms, after having a bit of an upset tummy and puking all over her. He was fine - we've all been suffering from runny noses this weekend, and I wouldn't be surprised if being off of his game and having bad congestion just made for an urpy stomach. Adam will take a sippy of milk under duress, but basically he eats his vegetables for dinner and then holds out, knowing that I'll be back and able to dream feed him in the wee smalls, which I did.

And then I fed him several more times in the middle of the night. I AM NEVER GOING TO GET TO SLEEP FOR EIGHT HOURS AGAIN YOU GUYS. That kid is killing me. KILLING ME. I spent all day Saturday just wanting to lay on the floor and take a nap. It didn't help that Adam not only was up several times during the night, but in the morning it took me an hour to get him to settle down for a nap (usually it takes between zero and fifteen minutes.)

Meanwhile, Ellie and I went over to the skating rink to watch Sara and the Hawks play floor hockey. Ellie thought it was pretty great - she liked being able to run around and cheer for Sara, and we finally found a good storage device for her.

After nap time (where I finally got a nap!) we went over to Mimi and Pa's for a joint birthday celebration for Don and Tim, and a little bit of Christmas cheer, since Jake and Dawn will be out of town over Christmas. So we're standing in the kitchen, eating appetizers, catching up, when someone notices that there's water on the floor of the kitchen. Eileen opens the freezer (which is a drawer on the bottom of their new fridge) and water just POURS OUT onto the kitchen floor. A flood of icy water. Thank goodness the boys were there, because it took all of their muscle (and Don going to get a shovel for leverage) to get the fridge moved out of the way and the floor mopped up. Meanwhile, Don had scraped his knuckles and was bleeding all over the place, Ellie is trying to butt her way in with the towel and everyone is sort of low-grade freaking out (I was personally freaking out because I really like ice water, and the ice maker was broken!)

Thankfully, the damage wasn't too terrible, and we were able to clean up and move on to the dinner portion of the evening - delicious chili and corn bread made by Dawn, and while that was cooking, I threw in a sticky toffee pie to bake and started the sauce bubbling on the stove. When it was time to serve, my sauce was burnt to a disgusting crisp, which I found odd because I'd just made the recipe a few weeks before and it was great! Jake and Tim had been talking up the cake for hours and it was a complete and utter failure, and I was humiliated in my inability to deliver. As we were driving home, I remembered the three cups of heavy cream that I had neglected to add to the sauce. No wonder it scorched.

Add to that, at the end of the night Ellie was sitting with Mimi and looking at her new magnetic letter board from Jake and Dawn, and flailed, cracking Mimi right under the eye with the corner of the plastic. It looked like a pretty definite shiner, but apparently is not too bad today. Basically, a comedy of errors. MERRY CHRISTMAS, FOCKERS.

The kids went to sleep late, I crawled into bed praying for some rest, and then got up FOUR times to feed Adam. Every two hours, like a newborn. And Ellie was awake at 6:30, crawling in to bed with us and announcing that she had "ten boogers." Please, please do come over here and rub your snotty face all over my fancy pillow case, my dear!

Our big plan for the day (because no rest for the weary) was to go to the San Diego Safari Park. In the spring there had been a Living Social deal for half price admission plus a tram ride, so Kristen and I each bought one... and then promptly forgot about it until the very last day it was valid (in all fairness, I have been to the Safari Park in the summer and it is not the place to be. Very, very hot, and so we hadn't really planned to take the girls until closer to their third birthdays.)

We gathered all the gear required for a trip to the zoo, met up with our friends, and despite Tim's navigation and detours, made it there without trouble. The basic plan was to see how far we could get, and see what we could do before one of the kids started losing his or her mind. Lexi and Judd had also had a busy weekend short on naps, and the park was crowded with other people trying to use their Living Social deals, so I was anticipating we'd maybe stay a couple of hours at most.

Thankfully, we ended up having a really, really nice day. We had a good lunch right after our arrival and then looked at some of the smaller animals on our wander down to the African Safari Tram, including the bat house.

Dun na na na na na na na, dun na na na na na na na, BAT GIRLS!

We also went in to feed the lorakeets. I got these two to hop over to the fence near me, and Ellie kept asking what their names were. OBVIOUSLY, their names were Lexi and Ellie.

I got one of them to jump on my arm finally (not sure if it was Lexi or Ellie) but of course, the girls did not want to come over and see. Adam, as you can see, was unconcerned about bird time.

From there, it was off to the tram, which is probably the best part of the Safari Park. They have acres and acres of animals in huge enclosures that more naturally mimic the wild. We saw all sorts of animals:

(that's the male lion and his two ladies, just laying around.)

When we were done, it was almost time for the 3:30 Cheetah Run. They have this one female cheetah who is basically trained to do the 100 yard dash for visitors. She walks on a leash, and then gets released to chase after this toy on a zip line, after her best friend (who is a dog) does the 100 yard dash before her to get her revved up and excited for sprinting. The first time they did it, the crowd was so thick that I couldn't see, but the second time most people had already seen it and left, so we got a better look, and it's pretty amazing. Though I must admit, I found the cheetah walking on the leash more impressive.

We went to see the elephants, and then wandered back to the main part of the zoo for a little ice cream treat for everyone. There was this big bird sitting near us, who honestly looked so odd that we'd thought he'd escaped from aviary.

Here you can see him hoping to steal some of Ellie's ice cream.

We walked back through some of the exhibits that we'd seen earlier in the day, and this time the little fennec fox was out in his enclosure. He was absolutely adorable, and Ellie declared that he was her favorite animal.

She stood and looked at him for quite awhile, and made little squealy noises and talked to him like he was a cat, and then informed us that his "full name" was "Focky the Fox." Not Foxy, Focky.

Our last fun of the day was going to the carousel for a trip around. And thank goodness, THEY HAD A BUNNY! (And Lexi isn't as obsessed with bunnies as Ellie is, so we didn't have to negotiate with them, as we often do.)

By then it was nearly five and the park was closing, so we headed out into a beautiful evening.

I am really proud of how well the kids did, considering that none of them were exactly fresh and rested when we started off. I think going with friends really helped us - even though Ellie and Lexi LOVE to tattle tale on each other, they are so funny and happy together. They spent a lot of waiting time dancing together, and Ellie announced that they were ballerinas (even though she's a ballet school drop out. I guess Lexi is still willing to teach her the moves.)

Lexi was asleep in her stroller before we even made it to the cars. Ellie ate a peanut butter sandwich and was asleep by the time we hit the freeway, and it was nice to just enjoy the peace and quiet of sleeping kids for awhile. Let's hope that pattern continues through the night. Though, I am not holding my breath. Instead, I get my sweater and slippers ready to throw on when I have to drag myself out of bed and into Adam's room. He's lucky he's cute.

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