Friday, June 13, 2008

And I Wasn't Even Tempted to Leave Them at the Zoo

When it was time for the kids to go back to school last fall, I felt like we hadn't really done anything over summer vacation. I didn't want to be slug-mom again this year and vowed to do lots of fun things with the kids. We went to a sprayground a couple days ago and we went to the zoo today. The kids were awesome there. I think the secret is removing them from their habitat and taking them out in public. They're confused and disoriented when we leave the house so they temporarily stop fighting with each other and get along. That's my theory and as long as it works, I'll take them on fun trips.


The gang at the zoo


petting the fake wombat


not so sure about the fake wombat


This box was in the wombat's habitat. Now you know the secret to their glowing skin.


Awwww. This looks like such a sweet picture, doesn't it? Austin being a great big brother and carrying Brooklyn who is resting, right? Actually, Brooklyn is pouting because she wants to ride in the wagon.
"Look Brooklyn! There are zebras!"
"I don't like zebras!"
"Look! There's a giraffe!"
"I don't like giraffes!"
"Oooo Brooklyn! Do you see the baby giraffe?"
"I don't like babies!"


A picture of the kids eating lunch? Nope. A picture of Clayton the Destroyer, squishing a bug. He lives to hold, collect, and look at bugs. Then he squishes them. Yep, he's well adjusted.


Forget the wild animals. We go to the zoo to see the geese.


and the ground squirrels


All I can say is - I'm glad I'm not a kangaroo


giraffe


It's a water buck. I just like the fact that he has a bull's eye on his butt.


elephant


rhino (I can't believe I'm labeling these pictures. If you don't know what an elephant or a rhino looks like, there's something wrong.)


hmmm, this used to be a fountain. I wonder what it is now....


Oh I see! It's the human exhibit! Here are the humans in their natural habitat. See how they interact with each other.


sting rays


I have no idea why Jackson's tongue is hanging out. I do know that Brooklyn is listening to the cup though. Maybe she hears the ocean?

69 comments:

Mere said...

Was that the Brookfield Zoo? I haven't been there in a while!

Janet said...

That looks like such a fun day. You must be a miracle worker. There's no way I'd make it home with all of them. I can barely keep up with my two at the library with 14 librarians watching them.

BoufMom9 said...

I take my kids out for the exact same reason! They forget to fight when other people are around. LOL

What other exciting things do you have planned for the kids?

Our town does Concerts in the Park, so we take the kids there (FREE!) and we also do the Wednesday movies for $2!!!

Plus, we were supposed to be coming your way, but darn, those gas prices!!!! SHEESH!

Kaitlin said...

No comments? Woa. Looks like a fun day at the zoo. And no worries, I would have never guessed she was pouting. She just looked sleepy. :)

jodi-mother of six said...

Fun day! Great pictures!
Cute kids!!

Colleen said...

Aahhh! They took the fountain out? Why would they do that?!?!

Mandie said...

Looks like they had fun!

Austin seems like such a nice big brother to Brooklynn. :)

Amanda said...

Dawn, your kids could not possibly be any cuter. Holy cow. Absolutely beautiful. Brooklyn is so stinkin' cute on Austin's shoulders, even if she is pouting. What a character she is. You sure are blessed. Thanks for sharing your day and the pictures to go with it. Glad you guys had fun!

Hands-Free Heart said...

Wow, Savannah really looks like you in these pictures.

Four in Costa Rica said...

Stumbled upon your blog and have been enjoying your musings on life as a mom. Very cute kids!

And hey, that little bag of caulk looks handy.

Christine

lisa said...

i think Jackson's tongue is hanging out because he's getting gored in the neck by a buffalo horn.

RefreshMom said...

I used to think the secret was taking my kids out in public--their behavior is usually more tolerable when they're out of the house--then I took them to the mall today! We didn't even go to shop; I took a wad of quarters (do quarters wad?) so they could ride the kiddie rides and we went to the toy store and PB kids so they could play with stuff. I'm not usually brave enough to do it on my own and it's going to be a good while until I do it again I think. It's going to take some time before I'm willing to hear myself say "No rides for you if you don't stay with me." "Come back here and walk beside me." "Get out of there; Bug knocked one of those racks down last time we were here and you can get hurt...."

I always thought loud kid voices bothered me more than anything; the truth is that my OWN voice bothers me most of all!

I hope you keep your kids confused enough all summer to get some more fun trips in!

roseys madhouse said...

I think Jackson tongue is hanging out because the Bison is stabbing him in the throat! lol I hope your kids realise thaqt kangaroos are not actually that big here in Australia. WE did have one near preschool the other day which facinated my kids, we dont see them very often. So do the squirrels just run around wild? The rhino looks like a statue the only thing that gives it away is its pink tongue. I dont think I could take my kids to the zoo its too expensive for us all, besides the fact that it is three hours in the car to get there lol.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, Don't you *get it*? Jackson is being gored in the neck by the buffalo and so his tongue is sticking out!! Exactly what I would have done!! xoxox Kathy

Cheri-Beri said...

"Humans interacting in their natural habitat," that's a good one. At least Brooklynn didn't scream her head off constantly if her mom wasn't pushing the stroller. My daughter did that once at the zoo. ALL the way through the zoo. I couldn't even step to the side of the stroller and let Dad push her up the big hills. It makes you buy into the "no good deed goes unpunished" theory.

Thanks for the blog :-)

Patty said...

Jackson has just been gored by the huge buffalo! I think he is about to keel over and die!
I think that is a buffalo - that photo probably should have been named ! and I should be ashamed because I am from Kansas. (Where the buffalo roam!) I thought at first it was a water buffalo, and then looked again.
I personally love the San Diego Zoo and want to go back again and again.
(Brooklyn - I LOVE baby giraffes!)

Christina said...

Holy cow you guys have big squirrels! My favorite exhibit was the human one! hahahaha

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I'm not too sure about that fake wombat, either.

And, "ground squirrels"? Are those prairie dogs? Never seen one...

Anonymous said...

Thats a chipmunk, no? Thanks for always having a good read! Glad that you are enjoying your family and getting out and about for the summer!

~Dawn S

sila-lumenn said...

Your kids are so gorgeous; I love seeing pictures of them all together. All three of your girls are little Dawn carbon copies. And, Lexi's smile is just fabulous! :-D

Brenda said...

You have a very nice zoo. I was there a few years ago. It is yours isn't it? I took out kids to the zoo in the spring and made a collage out of the pictues at Snapfish.com. It turned out pretty neat.

Sheila said...

I just can't stay indoors with the kids, either. That's when they go batty.

When they were really little we lived in a tiny apartment, and rain, snow, sleet, or hail, we got out everyday. Everybody was much more peaceful.

Now we live in a nice big house and we coccoon a lot, and everybody is grumpy.

Go figure!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

plainprecious said...

Looks like a fun time!!!!!!! Did Joe go too or did you tough it out alone? If so I will give you a gold star!!!!!!!!

Charlotte's Mommy said...

Of course Brooklyn hears the ocean! Didn't you know that you can hear the ocean with ANYTHING against your ear? I'm working with some first graders in a summer program. We were using our five senses to describe a kiwi. One said she heard the ocean when she put the kiwi against her ear! Gotta love kids!!

Heather said...

Ok, I know this is way off topic, but I LOVE the Curious George shoes!!! Where did you find them? I have 2 boys who need those!!!

(yes, I know I get inappropriately excited over stupid mommy things...)

Shari said...

Great pictures, nice looking family too! Seems like you all had fun!

mamatwoboys said...

Three family photos in one day! Wowza! Looks like fun!

Keeley said...

Awesome pictures!

Makes me want to take my little munchkins on a field trip.

Bob said...

Confused and disoriented. That's the ticket!

HeyItsBeej said...

I wanna go to Brookfield Zoooooooooo! I miss Olga the walrus - is she still there? She'd be what, 40 years old by now? Heh Ooh and I wanna go to Lincoln Park Zoo too so's we can sing: "green alligators and long-necked geese; some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees; some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born; the loveliest of all was the unicorn" like that guy from LP Zoo who'd come visit Ray Rayner.

Anissa Mayhew said...

I love your efforts to give your kids a quality summer, shows real mom-tastic brilliance. I have to say that we have lived in Florida for 10 years and each year my kids approach the beach like a freak act of nature that they have to reacquaint themselves with and it cracks me up. I firmly admire anyone that takes their kids outside of the house on a regular basis and especially when you have more kids than you have hands, like me.

I hope the summer continues to treat you well and we get to enjoy more of your fun!

All the best,
Anissa
www.hope4peyton.org

Becky said...

You know, reading blogs about trips to the zoo can be a little like having Aunt LaVonne break out their slideshow of a trip to Hawaii back in '69...but never with you! That was stinkin' hilarious! Laughed aloud several times. Good stuff, Dawn...as always.

Kristy said...

oh what great pictures. looks like the kids had a lot of fun!

jezebelsk said...

Your kids really are adorable. Did you pay them to take those cute pics so people wouldn't think that they are heathens?

Mabunny said...

Wow. Brookfield Zoo. Haven't heard that name since I was a little girl. I have pictures of me there on my first ever trip to the zoo. I was still in a stroller. Brooklyn loked cute pouting on Austins head, and she just looked sleepy.
cute pics, glad you enjoyed your day:))

Elizabeth said...

Love the Brookfield Zoo...haven't been there in @ 8 years! My sister and her family used to have a family membership there. My Scooter spent time playing in the mulch at the food area...
Blessings, E

Margaret said...

So, is Austin taller than you? Since I am vertically challenged myself, I am just wondering when mine will be taller than me. I don't worry about when they will start feeling like they don't need me anymore. I have credit cards and they don't. Enough said.

Rick said...

There you are, with your camera at the zoo, taking pictures of animal and empty Oil of Olay boxes... thinking the whole time, "This will make good blog material." Does it ever stop for you girl?

Love the photos - the one with Austin and Brooklyn was cute - no matter what was going on behind the scene.

http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Manic Mom said...

OK! THIS totally BUMS me out because the Manic Kids could have been photographed with the Because I Said So kids at the zoo, but NOOOOOO, I had to make plans to go to the pool instead and yet, we ended up NOT going because of the threat of thunderstorms which NEVER happened.

Truly bummed out. It would have been a blast. Next time for shiggity sure count us in!

Awesome pics!

And now I'm off to a freaking Sox game where I am LITERALLY taking one for the Father's Day team... I LOATHE, HATE, DESPISE baseball and beer, and yet, when Mr. Manic told me the tickets fell into his lap and did I want to go tonight, what did I say? "Well, honey, it is Father's Day weekend."

I suck. Actually, maybe THIS will get me OUTTA Having to suck! heh heh. Naughty Manic.

Pam said...

I have a question. Awhile back you posted about a program to download that lets you blog without using the blogger tools. Another program that lets you do more and not put the pictures on backwards! I downloaded it and love it, but I took my computer in for repairs and clean up and it isn't in my tool bar anymore! Can you remind me what you are using and what I was using!!

Pam
fellow mom of six!

Cecily R said...

Best zoo post I've ever read (and since it seems to be a mom bloggers favorite, I've read my fair share...)!!

So glad you thought to take a shot of the the hairy thing with a bum bullseye (its been, what, two minutes and I already can't remember what kind of animal it is?). I needed the reminder that my bum may be too big, but AT LEAST it doesn't have that on it...

Glad you had a nice day with the kiddos!

Beaded Socks said...

Thanks for the fun posts. I am so glad your little Brooklyn wears her socks! :)
Best Wishes,
Stacey

freaky-dreamer0 said...

LOL at the human exhibit. Amusing.

I was watching a bunch of kids today and some of them I didn't know. This one little girl was around 2 years old, and I kept thinking to myself, "Gee, she sure looks familiar....."

Then it hit me.

She looks JUST like Brooklyn.

I wish I had a camera to show you the similarities.

Just thought I'd tell you that, sometimes yes, doppelgangers do exist.

Beth said...

What in the world is a ground squirrel?

Karla said...

Today I saw a little girl, and thought, "She looks really familiar."

It wasn't until 10 minutes had passed when I realized, "Wow, she looks just like Brooklyn."

Proof that doppelgangers exist? :)

Shari said...

Your kids are adorable! I, too, did the same thing and vowed to be a "more fun" Mom this summer. Last year I was undergoing chemo and that stuff so couldn't do much! I have things planned I know that will shock them. But the best part is I know they will have fun and we will be making memories with my precious kids! Have a good weekend!

Summer said...

Hello. Just blog surfing and thought I'd say hi. Looks like fun! I need to take the kids to the zoo sometime.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Lovely family. Looks like a fun day. I can't believe I was reading the Labels, "rhino," "elephant," as though I were receiving additional information. It's a mom-thing. You've inspired me to take my kids to the zoo.

momof2girls said...

Lovin' this post and the pics, especially of Brooklyn pouting and remembering our last family trip to the zoo several years ago. My youngest (who is now 10)was a combination of Brooklyn and Clayton's personalities and was so disraught when we left the St Louis Zoo (on the very hottest day of the year, we nearly had the place to ourselves), she smacked her teenage sister across the face and left a permanent scar on her older sister's face where her sunglasses cut into her. If that wasn't bad enough, we got a hefty parking ticket at Forest Park. It wasn't a happy drive home. Since my oldest dd reads this blog as well, she just might have a comment ;-) I read your blog daily and can't wait til your book comes out!

Jessica said...

That kangaroo pic is adorable. It should go in your book.

Sue in Dallas said...

Last time I was at the zoo the giraffes were mating.

Yeah.

Right out in front of God and everybody.

The usual flow of traffic suddenly stopped dead in its tracks. All the adults, with funny looks on our faces, didn't want to go anywhere else.

Oh, the opportunities to explain *that* to children!!! :)

Tammy said...

Yeah. I used to live in Schaumburg. I know you don't have to go to the zoo to see geese! Of all the things I miss about living in Chicago-land, geese are NOT among them! I'm glad you had a good outing. Maybe some day I'll have one of those with my 2 and 4 year old. Sigh.

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem said...

Okay, I am totally cute-ed out over your kiddos!

Shanana73 said...

I have a question for you. How do you handle the situation when someone else's kid is being mean to your child/children. We ran into this at our local zoo recently. A boy was intentionally trying to ram a stroller into my 3 year old as we walked passed him. His parents were oblivious and only heard me say to him that wasn't very nice. Am I right for correcting someone else's child or should I have just talked to my kids about his behavior later? I just wanted someone else's thoughts about this.
Thanks. Shannon

Robin said...

Looks like a fun day! I'm wondering how that Olay box got in their habitat in the first place?!?!?! I know it's the Windy City but sheesh!!
And I love that pic of Brooklyn...I never would have thought she was pouting...she just looks like she's resting or loving on her brother. It's sweet.

Michelle said...

That sounds a lot like Mister Man's preschool trip to the zoo -- same eating place with distractions, same fascination with geese, same obsession over riding in the wagon....

Here's hoping getting them out of their habitat continues to work. On the flip side, if you get them used to being out of their habitat by taking them outside, will they then behave at home because they aren't used to that?

Robin said...

I just read the comment from your reader in Australia. It reminded me of a couple I met who were also from Australia and they were completely fascinated by watching the squirrels play in our backyard and perch on our deck to eat seeds from the bird feeder. Isn't it funny the things we take for granted that others find such entertainment in?

Kyra said...

What a great day!! Jax also has no cast?! Hooray for a wonderful summer!

Anonymous said...

(According to Wikipedia) The thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), also known as the striped gopher, a squinney in parts of Iowa, and as the leopard-spermophile in Audubon’s day, is a brownish ground squirrel with 13 alternating brown and whitish longitudinal lines (sometimes partially broken into spots) on back and sides creating rows of whitish spots within dark lines.

The thirteen-lined ground squirrel is the namesake of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers teams, and responsible for Minnesota's nickname as the Gopher State.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, My son took a school field trip to the zoo this spring. He said that fountain was working then. Just wanted to tell you that. Kristine in Michigan.

My Semblance of Sanity said...

I LOVE taking the kids to the zoo but it is always 306 degrees the day we end up going...ya know, that day that everyone bolts for the air conditioned exhibits...then you have the make the choice...fresh air and heat stroke or monkey pee air and cool temps. UGH!

I just read your side bar - YOU ARE SPEAKING at BlogHer '08?? So, are you gonna give away tix so we can all be in the audience with signs...DAWN FOR PRESIDENT!

Mary said...

I like the Meehan exhibit the best!!!

Hope I spelled that right, well, you know what I mean.... your kids are growing and cute as ever.

I love taking my kids to the zoo. I usually sleep like a rock that night. They wear me out!

TheHMC said...

I want to go to that zoo!

Oh, and no worries.. it looks like Jackson was only being gored by the ..buffalo? Is that what that is? Bison? Are those the same thing?

See that? I leave the comfort of my living room and I become disoriented, how do you like that?
(glad that you had fun with the kids.. I've been trying to do the same kind of thing over here.. yesterday it was the reniassance festival)

Steph said...

The Brookfield Zoo now has a human exhibit??? Or were they people trying to get wet in the fountain???

Boy, it's been about a year since I was at the zoo. I miss it. :-(

Ari said...

This totally reminds me of the last time my family went to the zoo, which was atleast two years ago. Maybe three. Your captions are sooo funny!

Britney said...

It looks like you had a great day. I love the group pictures. I just went on vacation with my mom's family (all 24 of us!) and I realized we never got a group picture. And I didn't even get a picture of my immediate family together!

Dorothy said...

It looks like a beautiful day with the family. And the photos were great.

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call gram
grammology.com

Angie said...

Your comment about your kids being good when they're out made me think of this song from Animaniacs (the best cartoon EVER).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isc0uPjXiFI

Anonymous said...

Maybe the little man in the cup is giving Brooklyn instructions for her next rampage.

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