Monday, July 27, 2015

Our First Trip to the Zoo

Two weeks ago Tony and I took Harper and Jack to the zoo which is something we've been wanting to do all year. We knew that the summer would be hot, so I set out to find an efficient way to cover the most ground and hit the high points for the kiddos.  I printed map in advance and plotted out our route.

We told Jack and Harper about the zoo trip earlier in the week and they woke up each morning saying "I'm going to the zoo today!" They were so excited when Saturday rolled around and they were really getting to go to the zoo. Nana and Pop met went with us, and we all crowded into the van with the big stroller and set out on our adventure. 

Overall, I think Harper and Jack had a great time. We started with the monkeys and rhinos and elephants and giraffes and then saw the lions and tigers and moved on to the kangaroos, birds, zebras and a variety of other animals. Below are pictures of some of our favorites- Tony did a great job snapping these photos.

In addition to the animals, Harper and Jack also enjoyed looking at the statues, playing in the old west stage coach, and, most of all, riding the train that runs from the back of the zoo to the front of the zoo. This train was a nice cool way to end our zoo trip, and we boarded the train at just the right time to finish up the zoo before lunch- which was one of my goals.


We did make a stop at the gift shop to get just one thing each (both kids picked stuffed animals and both kids made their selection within 3-4 minutes of being in the store- score!)

After the zoo Nana and Pop treated us to lunch at their club. Jack was very excited to watch the golfers zoom around in the golf carts and the kids got to see where Tony and I had our reception. Jack kept saying "Daddy and Mommy get married here. Daddy gave Mommy a ring!" How does he know when you get married you get a ring?  Who knows!?!

We went back to Nana and Pop's house and the kids took a nice nap and were refreshed and ready for dinner with Granny. After dinner we went back to Nana and Pop's where Pop put on the BeeGees and Harper and Jack danced in the den. It was so cute to watch to them cut a rug that we all joined in. I remember listening to the BeeGees with my dad when I was kid and dancing around with him, so it warmed my heart to see him dancing with Harper and Jack and carrying on this tradition. 

By the end of the night, the kids were wiped out and ready to sleep on the way home...we thought. Harper was out when we pulled out of Nana and Pop's house, but Jack sang and talked the whole way home (he was singing "Benny and the Jets" over and over again). When we pulled into the alley, a little voice said "we're home!" :)

The zoo trip was a great success and the kids are already talking about wanting to go back. I think we'll wait until the fall when it's not 100 degrees outside. We did manage to get a picture of the 4 of us (a rarity); don't be surprised if this makes the Christmas card.

Happy Zoo Trip from the Colletts! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Sweetest Things

This summer seems to be passing by so quickly (have you noticed the rapid passage of time seems to be a common theme on this blog?) and the kids seems to be growing up so fast. I made a "summer bucket list" of things that I'd like for the kids to do before school starts and the fall is here and things get hectic again. We checked off an item on our bucket list this weekend "go to the zoo", but this post isn't about the zoo (stay tuned for those pictures in the next post).

This post is about our week and all the little moments that I captured this week that I don't want to forget. I was reading a devotional yesterday and it was speaking about the gift of summer and how each day is an opportunity to unwrap all the day has to offer. With this thought in mind, here are some pictures of all the gifts I've unwrapped this week:

Harper and Jack played "parent" to some of the dollys this week. The picture that stole my heart was Jack reading to the baby- that boy is going to be a good daddy one day.

 I love to see the kids play together and hug each other and make each other laugh. I heard giggles and I looked over to see this coming through the kitchen.

We took two trips to the park this week- the mornings are cool(er) and quiet and we usually have the whole place to ourselves.

I finally got a pick of Harper climbing up the tunnel slide; she's so quick I haven't gotten good pics of her climbing before.

I tried to get some pictures of me and both kids....key word here is "tried". I love Jack's face in the second pic.

Our second trip to the park this week had a special featured guest appearance by Abby. I've thought about taking her more than once this summer, but I finally got up the guts to do it. She loved the walk to and from the park, but didn't really love being tethered to the playground equipment while we played. Don't worry, she was in shade the whole time, and we brought Abby her own bottle of water and a special travel water bowl (Harper was happy to give Abby her water).

The kids also decided to turn our living room into a circus act complete with tightrope walking and daredevil "bounce house" jumping. I wasn't thrilled they were doing this, but their belly laughs were worth the wear and tear on the couch...just this once :)

We normally do our grocery shopping on the weekend, but I needed to run to the store this week and grab a few quick items. I let Harper and Jack do something we've never done before: they walked through the store without a cart. I know that this doesn't seem like an accomplishment, but believe me it is. I successfully made it from the front of the grocery store to the back and to the front again without losing a child, having any meltdowns,or having a child pull anything off the shelves. Harper carried the basket for us all the way to the back of the store (when we put items in the basket she quickly abandoned it claiming it was too heavy). I asked the kids to hold hands so we'd say together and it melted my heart to see Harper and Jack look after each other.

 Harper and Jack got to play with something new this week- play doh! I wondered how this would go over, but as you can see, it was a big hit. They weren't too sure what to do with the play doh when we got it out of the tubs, but once we found some toys to use in our play, it was much more fun. The kids played at their table for close to an hour.

 We also went to Tony's office to have lunch with him. Harper saw Tony's calculator and declared "I want to play on the computer like Daddy!" Jack would rather spend his time talking on the phone.

We also made a trip to the library. The kids really like the toddler story time and they're getting the hang of checking out books. When we left the library this week, we made a short stop at the park in the square- Harper wanted to look at the fountain and I think Jack liked it too (along with the train sculpture).

Our week wrapped up with this sight:
I'm so glad this won't be a reality for another 13-14 years (that is a heart attack waiting to happen).

Here are few little bonus gifts this week:

Jack playing "peek-a-boo" with himself
Doctor Harper working on Winnie the Pooh
Daddy and Spider Man

Harper's tea party
Jack and Peter Rabbit
The infamous angry face
Just looking out the window

I love all these little gifts, and I have to remind myself of these cute faces when we're in toddler melt down mode. Zoo trip pictures are up next- stay tuned!