Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Aran!

Aran will be turning 15 next week, but since we'll be out of town we got to celebrate with him early. His mom thinks he was just trying to find a way to have two parties. She's probably right, but that's fine by us!
Especially since she made her crazy-amazing fish tacos

We had time to tour the mini-farm and do a little geocaching before dinner. Meet the latest addition to the family

Trudy wasn't too sure about the "he-he" (horse), but Aunt Katy kept her safe

There are plenty of chicks around this spring too!

Bella patiently helped Trudy feed the "bok-boks" for a long time

What's up, Wacahoota? Ok, neither of those is Wacahoota. She was running free. I just like to say Wacahoota.

In other news, Trudy has a drinking problem

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

20 Weeks

This pregnancy has gone quite differently than my first. I'm not sure if the difference lies in this being a second pregnancy, it being unplanned, or my being a couple of years older, but I'm currently 20 weeks along with baby #2 and here's what I've noticed so far:
 Pregnancy #1Pregnancy #2
Announcing Let’s tell everybody right away! We can probably keep it a secret until I’m showing.
Morning Sickness  It's unpleasant but a good sign Give me Zofran so I can keep up with my toddler
Fatigue Yawn – Think I’ll take a nap Naps? Those things my toddler gets to take?
Gender Determination Can’t wait to find out what we’re having! We're ok with either. Let's just be surprised.
Ultrasounds Just how soon can you get a 4D ultrasound? How much? I’ll be seeing that cute little face soon all hours of the night
PrenatalsWe get to hear the heartbeat!Didn't we just have a prenatal?
Stretch Mark PreventionHomemade stretch mark prevention used religiously.I’m 30 and my butt’s starting to sag. What’s a few stretch marks?
Gestation PeriodI can't wait to meet my baby. This pregnancy is taking forever.Only 4 months left!? *Remembers life with a newborn and wonders why we can't have 2 year gestation periods like elephants do.*
Labor PlansPeaceful water birthHoping labor is so short the birth will occur in the car on the way to the midwife

Don't worry. I'm taking prenatal vitamins, eating lots of protein, and keeping up with my appointments. ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Zoo Day

The Birmingham Zoo has been around since the 1950's but has undergone major renovations in the last few years. It's a whole different zoo than when I was a kid! Sweet T and I had the opportunity to meet some of our MOPS friends for a playdate this week at The Birmingham Zoo, and we both had a great time despite the crowd. Tuesdays are half-price day at The Birmingham Zoo and locals take advantage!
We arrived at 10:30 AM and there were no parking places available. We made our own, hoofed it to the entrance, and prayed we'd be able to leave when we were ready. Judging by the parking situation and the ticket line I was glad it was half-price day since I thought we'd be leaving after just a few minutes with that kind of crowd.
While the ticket line was long, it moved quickly. They are prepared for Tuesday crowds I guess. Surprisingly, the crowd inside the zoo was manageable so it's a parking issue rather than an overcrowding issue. The Birmingham Zoo needs to expand their parking lot!
Elegant Macaws greeted us at the front entrance giving me an opportunity to try out my new camera.
The Zoo is laid out intelligently allowing for efficient crowd flow while not forcing you to walk your legs off!
This is important anytime, but especially during the Southern summer heat. With a high of 72 during our visit, we couldn't have asked for better weather. I'm not sure I'd be willing to brave temps in the 90's and up this summer though, especially with a little one in tow. There are misters, shade, and even a splash pad zone available though if you do find yourself here on a sweltering day. The Birmingham Zoo is stroller and wheelchair friendly and there's a small playground where the kids can stretch their legs. Sweet T liked this area best of all, especially the drums... and this awesome log she would have climbed on all day if I'd let her.
We didn't see all of the big cats, but I enjoyed the lions up close. They have relaxing down to a fine art
T has been learning her animals so she enjoyed the elephant, giraffes, and monkeys. I got some decent shots considering there was a toddler on my hip for most of them. ;)
I haven't seen kangaroos in a zoo for a long time so they were a treat. T didn't know what to think of them since they don't make an appearance in any of her books or puzzles. Mama liked them though!
Thanks to the setup and layout of the enclosures, we didn't have a problem viewing any of the animals that were out. I was disappointed that the new baby orangutan wasn't out and about, but she's in high demand and must have needed a break.
Sweet T thought this swan should go home with us and didn't understand why she couldn't feed it. It's just a big chicken, right?
Speaking of chickens, there were several in the children's zoo (aka petting zoo) area and she enjoyed seeing the roosters since we don't have any of those. She also like petting the goats, but there was too much of a crowd for me to wrangle/protect her and take pictures at the same time. It was at that point that we realized we had lost her stuffed Eeyore along the way! Fortunately we have a spare at home and identical ones are still being sold at Walmart. Thank goodness! All-in-all we had a great time. Below are some tips for your visit to The Birmingham Zoo
1. Come early for a parking spot - You'll be in a world of hurt if you don't! 2. Bring bathing suits or a change of clothes - Little ones will enjoy the splash pad on hot days 3. Get good directions - If you aren't familiar with the Birmingham area, bring printed directions from the zoo itself, Google maps directions, and your GPS! There's not any signage from the interstates and the one sign indicating the zoo turn-off isn't visible until you are on top of it. We quickly found ourselves lost. And I've been here before!
I hope your visit to the Birmingham Zoo is as pleasant as ours was!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Fun

Mom brought me a Gigi's cupcake Sunday, but of course Trudy thought it was hers. I was a good sport about letting her eat my birthday cupcake. ;)

After lunch I headed outside to play. Aran wasn't the only victim!

Real Men Wear Pink

I didn't get to play with the camera Saturday night since the battery had to charge. That meant no one and nothing was safe from my shutter today! I keep reminding myself that I've only had the equipment for less than 24 hours, but the perfectionist in me want to already take shots that look like a pro's. :) I had fun playing with different settings and Aran was a good sport about being my guinea pig.