I'm home today.
For the first time in about 2 months.
And I have resolved to not leave the house for the entire day.
There is a large list of items sitting on my counter of all the things I have to do today. But I'm sitting here at my computer instead. Because I can.
Yesterday, the kids and I made our way back to the Milwaukee Zoo. After our experience last year, we thought it would be a good idea to test our boundaries of sanity and drive a total of three hours to visit the zoo during a thunderstorm.
But, in the end, that's exactly what happened.
And I think it was mostly due to the fact that sometimes the Lord likes to remind me that He has a sense of humor too.
After checking the weather in the morning, it looked like the thunder storms were going to be all north of Milwaukee. So we decided to continue on with our plans.
Halfway there, Tim calls me.
Apparently, the storm shifted or changed or something because it was going to be raining, the red zone kind of storming, soon after we got to the zoo.
Clearly, the Milwaukee Zoo and I have a twisted sort of relationship that is of the pushing-me-to-the-edge-of-sanity type.
We got to the zoo and met up with my sister, Alana, and her sister-in-law, Livia. All together we had 3 moms and 9 kids - 8 of them 5 and under. We were hungry for adventure.
We were not disappointed.
It wasn't raining yet so we thought (though I'm pretty sure I'm taking the fall for this decision, it's my blog so I say it was a "group decision") we would catch a few of the outdoor animals before heading to one of the animal buildings to hang out at during the worst of the rain.
We didn't make it 2 minutes in the direction of the elephants before it started down pouring, and by down pouring I mean DOWN. POURING.
We were a might bit surprised by the sudden down fall and were not real familiar with the zoo. We hid under an overhanging tree to protect us from the rain (Ha Ha) and asked a zoo employee for directions to the nearest building and ran for it. Most of the kids loved it. It should be no surprise that my crazy kids LOVED it. And while I can't speak for her, I'm fairly sure Livia was ready to cry (kidding).
We were drenched.
Wringing our clothes out kind of drenched.
We stayed in the Big Cat building. for. a. while.
After the rain slowed down, we made a run back to the entry building to eat lunch.
Apparently, that was everyone else's plan too. There was no where to sit, it was loud, crowded, wet and muggy - all the ingredients needed to send the faint-of-heart running --- we found a spot on the floor and had ourselves a rainy-day sort of picnic.
We ate, played a little ring-a-round-the-rosie until the rain pretty much stopped and we headed out to conquer the zoo.
Our second attempt was much more successful.
We made it through most of the zoo, I think.
Though part of me wanted to run from the fish and reptile building, I decided to brave it, seeings as how it was one of the warm buildings offering shelter from the wind and rain and because sitting outside curled up into a fetal position reliving the nightmares of last summer just didn't seem like the right thing to do.
And since we were already there, Audrey, Maddy, Titus and I took a special picture at the very spot where everything changed during our last visit to the zoo. If you ever visit the Milwaukee Zoo, you can know that this spot is the very spot that one girl (no names) puked all over her very unsuspecting, pregnant mommy.
We saw monkeys, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, snakes, GIANT fish, jellyfish, bears, lions, elk and either a white goose or a swan.
I don't want to spread all the dirty-laundry of the day out there, so I will say it this way. There may or may not have been a little disagreement as of what type of bird was spotted near the pond inside the zoo. It was white, and big, and had a black beak….. it could go either way.
And before any of you point fingers and laugh at our lack of animal identification abilities, we all know that without the signs at the zoo most of us don't know the difference between a jaguar or cougar, a moose or elk, a brown bear of black bear. Sad truth is, if any of us yuppy-fied American's were dropped down in the middle of the wilderness, we'd be lucky to identify a squirrel over the chipmunk, and the only reason we could even do that is because of the big tail.
But I digress.
We had a blast. Seriously, we did. And now we can say from experience "rain or shine, the zoo is still fun".
And I don't want to brag or anything but I may have heard a few of the kids say something along the lines of "Wow, my mom is the best mom EVER!" or wait, was it "Wow, this is the best zoo ever!!" the adrenaline rush of the day may have blurred some of the smaller details.
Either way, I think we would all agree it was a success.
(For those of you wondering, this would be Treyton's "Rhino face" - the boy has a small love of Rhinos, in fact when asked if he could be any animal, what would you be, his answer is a Rhino…. yeah, I'm not sure either).
And because I assume everyone thinks elephants are as cool as I think that they are…. I have a few elephant pictures for you!!