After Cruz's last week of preschool, topped with his graduation ceremony Thursday night, we decided to celebrate with a day off on Friday to officially kick off our summer. Beau just so happened to be heading east on a little a fly fishing excursion with Aram, creating the perfect space for my mom to come for a little sleepover party. She arrived early Friday morning and we headed to Des Moines for our annual trip to Blank Park Zoo, in May this time instead of August...
I've said it before, but we are going to have so much fun this summer. The kids are at a sweet spot this year, still little enough to want to be with us (unless our neighbor, Rush, is outside), but big enough to be able to move around independently and make their own fun out of these experiences. They're also a kill together, and it's pretty wonderful to see them enjoy being with one another. I swear they chased each other and giggled in the prairie dog tunnel for 45 minutes while Mom and I talked. It was marvelous! The weather was glorious, we had no timeline of when we needed to return, and we let the kids take the reigns as we explored this wonderful little place.
Highlights from our zoo day...
-Anytime an animal would approach where Mila was standing, she'd put her hands over her mouth and scream this high-pitched, girly little scream.
-Watching the mama monkey attempt to tame her baby. This baby wanted to be free to move around its quarters, and the mama wanted to obtain a tight leash. It all looked oddly familiar as I watched my own little monkeys watch with wide eyes and utmost curiosity.
-Cruz's giggles when we made jokes about the rhino's backside. The only side of the rhino we saw, after all. :)
-When the field trips all left early afternoon and it felt as though we had the place to ourselves.
-Feeding the goats. Cruz was a natural, but Mila, not so much. She got a little nervous and instead of feeding them out of her hand, she just chucked the food at their heads. At least it was food this time and not a handful of rocks. :)
-Watching the kids watch the little sea otters and their synchronized swimming moves right before our eyes. We watched them for a long time.
-A picnic lunch, our first one of the season
-The twinkle in Mila's eye as she held on tight on the carousel. She wanted to ride it again as soon as the music stopped.
-Cruz's request to ride the train and his comment to the conductor afterwards. ("Thanks for the ride, but it could have been a little longer!")
-Watching Cruz take Mila's hand and take her up to the lookout deck to watch the giraffes. And lead her through the playground. And put his arms around her waist and help her down the slide. He's the best big brother, I tell ya.
-Our fantastic look at the Mufasa lion from our train car
-Watching the big tortoises eat their dinner salads
-Two sacked out, sleepy kids all the way home! It was a great day. :)