Couple things, first, I forgot the camera and by the time I had two kids buckled in, and the house alarm set, I wasn't going back in. So, I decided that my iPhone would be just fine, and it turned out I just had one less thing to carry in the stroller, the phone did great. These first three pictures I took with the regular camera then played with them a little bit with an app called Tilt Shift Generator. I was really happy with how they looked on my phone, but when they're a little bigger, I might have overdone it, but I still really enjoy this app. My only complaint about the iPhone camera is that there's no zoom (except the good, old fashioned, walk your a$$ up to the subject kind).
One of the things that CMZ is known for is their abundant population of giraffes, if I remember right from the last time we were there at Halloween, they have more than any other zoo in the world, and they have a TON. Today we got to see two baby giraffes that were about 4 months old. SO cute. We got crackers to feed them, Haley wasn't even remotely interested (despite the fact that she loves to give Atlas and Bella treats). Kale, loved it! The first one he threw right into their paddock, the next ones I showed him how to make them reach for it so that their long black tongue would reach out to us, and he thought that was pretty cool. But, since it was just the three of us, no pictures of actual giraffes, or us feeding.
When we went for Boo at the Zoo, neither kid was going anywhere near the train, today, they had so much fun. They smiled a ton and Kale kept saying "whooooa" as it went around the corner.
We also went into the Budgie Buddies display. It had a ton of parakeets of all different colors in there and you could feed them a tiny bit of bird seed on a stick. I thought there was no way in a million years Haley would touch this with a ten foot pole...
I was wrong! She thought it was so neat that the little birdies would come right up to her and let her feed them. She was also pretty enthralled with the waterfall they had in there for a birdie bath. On any other day she would have climbed right in there, but she must have known that it was a special day and kept out.
Poor Kale, had a difficult time with his cast. I would set him up to look at the critters (the oldest breed of cat in the world - acted just like a typical house cat), but when it was time to turn and look at the camera (phone), he had a really difficult time turning around, so a lot of pictures have just one kid looking at the camera (phone).
This was at the bear display... we called the fishies "bear food". A lot of the animals were really up and at 'em today. We saw the bear wake up from his nap, then take a 5 minute pee. We also saw one of the elephants poop. I'm pretty sure the fact that elephants and bears "listen to their potty" was the #1 highlight of the day for Haley.
Yup, see, they trade off.
They have a really fun place for the kids to really get out of their stroller, crawl around and even a mini petting zoo. These are my little hatchlings. I enjoy that Kale is pointing at Haley like she needs to do more hatching.
I suckered a poor lady (who I'm pretty sure had never seen an iPhone in her life) into trying to take our picture. She was really good about it and took a couple for us. The kids are less than cooperative at taking group photos, so this was the best we got. At least I have proof that I was there with them on Mother's Day.
Still in the petting zoo exhibit, there were some chickens near by. Parakeets are okay, chickens are not apparently, as you can tell by her clenched fists. She's ready to sock them if they come any closer. I admit it would have been a little entertaining to see her knock a chicken out for coming too close.
She seems concerned that she's sitting on a giant frog.
Kale waited all day to see a turtle (or tortoise), we saw three of them. I guess they glue a washer on top of them because they like to burrow under the ground and when they do that they use a metal detector to find them. At least that's what the sign said.
Growing up with my mom she was always really into snakes and reptiles in general. I loved this because she showed me that there was nothing to be afraid of when it comes to snakes and other things like that. I try really hard to be like that with my kids now. On the way in to the reptile house they had a Desert King Snake to pet. Haley was NOT interested, but I showed her how I did it and it was okay. On the way out she reconsidered, she pet it twice. I was so proud of her bravery.
And in the final, and probably the most ironic picture of the day... Kale, on a "Cycle' with his "Cycle" shirt that says "I do my own stunts" and his cast. He thought it was pretty cool to sit up there.
So, a really great Mother's Day. I'm proud of myself for getting out and making the day special on my own - I reclaimed a bit of my independence today (something I'd been lacking with two sick and broken kids). I won't call it perfect, we definitely missed Daddy, but it was as close as it could get. Two really well behaved kids, and a very "special adventure".