Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Zoo

Today, Brad and I took Ben and Anna to the Asheboro Zoo. We had the best trip ever. I never expected things to go so well with a three year old and a two year old (who would be missing her afternoon nap). We were there from 10:30am to 4:30pm. Brad wasn't sure if Ben and Anna would be able to make it through the entire zoo without burning out on us, but we saw every exhibit. Starting in North America, we saw the polar bears, tortoises, alligators, cougars, sea lions, puffins, otters, snakes, frogs, fish, wolves, etc. Brad helped push Anna in her wheel chair (he on the long stretches, and she when we would reach an exhibit), and I pushed Ben in some rental buggy contraption. We took a short stop for some Cookies n' Creme Dippin' Dots before checking out the indoor Sonora Desert which featured road runners, ocelots, reptiles, bats, and cacti. By this time we were ready for lunch at the Junction Plaza and then we hopped the tram to the entrance of Africa. We were able to use a medical station at the entrance for some of Anna's needs. I am mentioning this to educate my readers that medical stations can be used for personal needs, not just the I-fell-down-and-broke-my-leg-at-the-elephant-exhibit type emergencies. Also, points to the zoo for having a friendly and discreet staff person who was quite helpful. After this short detour we made our way through Africa, viewing zebras, ostriches, giraffes, elephants, chimpanzees, baboons, gorillas, antelope, tropical birds, frogs, meerkats, snakes, and tropical plants. We were able to eat some fruit saved from lunch for our afternoon snack and made use of the water fountains to supplement what we had brought from home. Before leaving, the children each picked out one thing from the gift shop and also chose a memento to bring home to Emily (who stayed with Grandma since she was too little to enjoy the experience). The children were happy the entire time, even in the 90 degree heat. Brad and I walked over 5 miles today pushing a cart/wheelchair uphill the entire time. Yes. Uphill the ENTIRE time. The zoo is designed to walk you uphill for half the park and downhill the other half. We walked uphill until lunch. When we took the tram to Africa, we ended up leaving the pinnacle of the park only to end up down at the bottom of Africa where we were forced to walk uphill all the way back to the center again. Sigh. It was a great trip, though. This is the fun part of parenting. Children and adults getting along, having fun and learning from each other. Perfect.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indoors and Outdoors

Recently the children have had lots of fun both inside and outside. Yesterday they worked hard in the garden planting watermelon seeds. I took this picture when they stopped for a break. They were enjoying all sorts of vending machine snacks while perched on the hood of the pickup. Today we went to visit Ashleigh. We blew bubbles and played inside the house while it rained. After the rain stopped we were able to have a nice time outside. Sidewalk chalk and tricycles both hit the road.

The Bench

We FINALLY put seat cushions on the bench by our door. It has been waiting- seatless- since we moved in the house. All we had to do was cut some foam and cover it with material. I bought the material and foam back when we painted the thing in January. I could just envision someone walking in our door for the first time, unaware of the danger they could encounter while taking off their shoes. As they scan the room, commenting on the lovely choice in paint, their backside gravitates toward the purple frame with the gaping hole, honing in on what their subconscious registered as a bench of some sort. Hoping to take off their tennis shoes without having to crush in the heel of one shoe with the toe of the other while wiggling the first foot out (which has now been inadvertently pinned in by the opposite foot that is in fact trying to free it), our visitor lowers themselves to sit. Phwump! Folded in half like a ceasar salad pita, they become victim to the seatless bench.

Not only do we have upholstery, we also have a new painting above the bench. It remindes me of Nice, France. The painting looks very convincing, because it is textured. However, it is just a print we bought at Big Lots. In the frame: $10. Woo hoo. The frame would have cost me that much at Wal-Mart. Enjoy les beaux arts.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Have We Been Doing Lately?

First, let me tell you- I love the scrubs. Great idea. It has decreased laundry, saved my clothes from wear and tear, and added to the comfort factor around the house. I can wipe my hands on my clothes while cooking. In honor of the situation, I went out and bought new jeans that I fully expect to last forever. Or at least a really long time.

Ben's latest thing is making sure everything is neat. He has been folding washcloths, picking up toys, and making his bed. He has also been giving unsolicited advice to other people on what they need to do to keep things neat. "Daddy, I think we need to take the car to the car wash." I included a picture of his bed so you could see his handy work. I never actually showed him how to make his bed, he just did it on his own. Not bad.

Among Anna's recent accomplishments is the ability to ride her tricycle for an extended amount of time (feet "velcroed" on) and the ability to stand at the parallel bars with no hands. She is actually leaning back against the bar when she does this, but it is still a huge deal because she has to balance and bear a lot of weight on her legs. She can actually stand between the bars while only holding on with one hand, which is also really good.

Emily is holding down the fort by looking cute. She has been playing and eating and walking around just as her job description calls for. Being one has pretty straight forward duties.

Brad has started church league softball and is trying to finish up the busy season at work. He looks forward to the ability to do many household projects in the near future. (ha ha)