We, meaning I, decided that for my Birthday I wanted to pack up 2 kids and drive half way across the state to go to the MN Zoo. We, again I mean I, decided it would be best to leave after supper so they could be awake for awhile in the car and then fall asleep perfectly around bedtime and we would transfer them peacefully to their beds when we arrived at our destination. Well...we pack up, leave an hour late, have a 2 year old that refuses to fall asleep in the car until 9:30, and we only make it to Hinkley! Our destination was Apple Valley. So, I go in to the Casino to get us a room and they conveniently only have jacuzzi suites left (yeah right!) so I put a $120 on my credit card, we get outside to bring in all of our crap, and manage to do it with 2 kids in tow, in one trip! I love my new stroller. We put both sleeping kids in the stroller and carry everything in. People were obviously staring at us-we frequently refer to ourselves as the Griswold's. We transfer the kids to their beds-still sleeping-I take advantage of the $120 bathtub in the corner of our room and then drift off to sleep. I wish I could say we all slept peacefully but NO. Parker changes positions in bed 100+ times a night, he grinds his teeth, snores and drools! He does kidney blows all night and uses me or Bear as a pillow. It was awful. If I had fit in the playpen I would have slept with Emmitt. We wake up bright and early-all of us stuffed up-because it's a casino and our room was "non-smoking". Parker wakes up wanting to go swimming and we lie to him and tell him we have a pool right in our room! Too cool for him, we was so happy! I don't think he even realized that none of us had our swimsuits on. (I wonder how old he will be when we can't lie to him anymore?). We get packed up in as many layers as we can, because the beautiful 65 degree weather we were supposed to have, hasn't arrived yet and it's 40 degrees out! Brrrrr...we get everything out to the car in one trip again. This time the kids are awake, Parker is on his "monkey leash". Yes, I put my kid on a leash. It is a monkey backpack/leash. The tail is our handle. He thinks it's cool and after last fall at the library, I have a new found love for leashes! We get to the zoo, Emmitt is screaming hungry in the parking lot as we try to set up the stroller and jam as much stuff in the undercarriage as possible. Bear is swearing under his breath about why we go anywhere. I laugh and ask him if he wants another kid? I think we all know the answer to that one! So we get in the zoo...and immediately I start mapping out our day so we don't miss anything. We visit the monkeys, then off to the underwater area so I can find a place to feed Emmitt. Parker loves the dolphins and sharks. By the time we get Emmitt fed, we are 2 minutes late for the Dolphin show and there is no room for us to sit inside and watch it. Great. So bundle up again and decide to walk the trails outside. Freezing our butts off. We walk 80 miles to see all the animals. Parker keeps asking "where are the animals". Well it's so cold out they are all 100 feet away up in the bushes, sleeping! I swear every animal was sleeping. Nothing but the buffalo were up and walking around. The best part of the zoo was the baby farm animals. So cute. Of course our kid is scared to death of baby goats but he'll get over it soon. He liked the pigs...and the cows were stinky. We start heading back to the main part and it starts raining. Great. "didn't you bring the rain guard for the stroller" of course I didn't! So I run the 80 miles back to the building, pushing the stroller-wearing crocs-we are soaked! We head inside for lunch, change 2 poopy diapers, feed Emmitt and again miss the show we had planned to go to! We decide to walk the bird trail and Bear ends up carrying Parker the whole way! We sit on a bench, where Parker has the most fun putting change in the swirly thing. Change 2 more poopy diapers, feed Emmitt again and Bear and I look at each other and decide it's time to leave. I look at my watch and we had been at the zoo for a total of 3 hours! It felt like 10. So we head to WI to stay with my sister and her family. Ahhh, relief. The kids nap in the car and we veg and hang out all evening. Parker has a blast with his cousins. Emma was on potty patrol all weekend and Parker did really good with her. Pete showed him "how the big boys do it". They played and had a blast all weekend.
Sunday, the actual day of my birthday, we spent in the car, but it was relaxing. We got home and people came over to deliver birthday wishes to me. It was a great weekend-minus the zoo-but live and learn. We discussed going to Disney World on the car ride home and came up with-when Emmitt is 10, we'll go! People who take strollers, diaper bags, playpens, etc...are CRAZY!
Parker thinks money comes out of the water machine magically...daddy watches a woman put her dollar in the machine and then never make a selection because her kid (who is not on a leash I might add) takes off running. She never comes back, so the machine spits out her money in change down the shoot. Bear looks around, gets up, and "steals" that poor woman's money. He then gives it to Parker to put in the swirly change game! Parker runs out of money and walks over to the water machine and sticks his greedy little fingers in the change return and asks us "where'd the money go?"