Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zoo Trips

The Hendersons hadn't been to the zoo in FOREVER (in other words, months...about 10 or so, to be exact).  So, I decided one day to just pack 'em up and head over.  I had just enough cash on hand to purchase a membership; something I've loved having since Delaney was about 16 months.  It allows me to head to the zoo for an hour or two here and there, not worrying about money to go.  I always pack a lunch, so the only thing it really costs at this point is gas.  And, with a family our size, a membership basically pays for it if we all go just once!

I got several looks the day I brought them by myself.  I did meet a friend and her two kids there, but we arrived before and stayed after they left.  I had a few comments about how I'm a saint and there's a special place in heaven for me.  I think it's because when you go alone with four kids, it looks overwhelming.  To be honest...when I bring all four by myself, they all behave much better.  I have three rules (important, yet simple) and their "warning" is when we go over the rules before we even leave.  If any rule is broken by anyone, we leave the zoo.  They know the expectations for behavior while we're there and since it is just me with four kids, I can't micromanage them.  Plus, if I did do that, who would even have fun while there?  Not me, not them, and not others around us!  Our three rules, which were established by all of us together, are: 1) No fighting, 2) No whining, and 3) Stay close to mom.  They do very well with these rules!

Here are pictures from my solo trip:

It had been so long since we'd been here.  Rowe was very excited to see our first animal: Camels
 Kate was our guide for the day.  She carried the map, let us know what animal(s) to expect next, and would tell us when and where to turn in order to see the animals she wanted.
 Our view at lunch; right next to the bison
 The girls loved this coin collector for donations.  Each put in several that I had in my wallet, to watch it swirl, round and round and round, until it finally fell in.

 My little cheesy girls.  I love Rowe's fist up, like she's jokingly threatening me with a knuckle sandwich.
 Mmmmmmmmmmmm, ICE CREAM!  This was the only thing purchased that day (other than the membership).  While it was close to $10 for all four ice creams, they were huge! And, super delicious!

For someone who didn't get any ice cream, he sure is happy!  Look at those vampire teeth!
After a while, Charlie had enough of the stroller, so he was in the baby carrier (on me) and Kate was able to hitch a ride.
 Our last stop...the dolphins and seals.

The next time we went was Labor Day, when Peter and I, as well as Delaney and Katie were off from our regular Monday schedules (work and school, respectively).  It was fun and we took advantage of everyone being there and actually went to the Dolphin Show!  Something we haven't done in years, despite getting them free with the membership.

And pictures of the family trip:

Checking out the kangaroos

At the dolphin show:  The older two girls were so pumped; jumping up and yelling in excitement.  Rowe and Charlie seemed to also enjoy the show, but just stared quietly.

All bundled up for the cold day
 Ending our day on the carousel

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