Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good-Bye Nocturnal House

We made our final tour through our zoo's Night Exhibit today. After evaluating ways the zoo could save some money, closing it's Nocturnal House apparently made the most sense...

We said good-bye to the ant eaters, armadillos, sloth's, bats, loris', and others. It was unexpectedly somber for me; I'd made my way through that hall many times as a youngster, and countless times as a parent. It's sad.


The rest of our visit was very pleasant, we even witnessed a little cat fight between the tigers! N was able to see a few animals, and E of course was bouncing around from exhibit to exhibit relaying all the information she had about each animal to her dad. It was a nice family outing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SEA to PHX and back

We needed a trip. We've all been aching for some sun and time away. I've pretty much been tethered to the house since N came along, and it was time to introduce him face to face with his Arizona family. D's grandpa really gave us a scare a few weeks ago, he ended up in the hospital with a very serious blood infection. We could have lost him. Thankfully he's slowly recovering, and we really wanted to see him. The timing was fortuitous; E had a week-long break from school, and 3 round trip stand-by airline tickets made their way into our hands. D flew in from his European tour on the evening before Valentine's Day, and the next morning we were back at the airport and on our way. I know I've written several times about just how special this place is, but I am amazed every time how effortless these visits are. E would rather be down there among the animals, climbing fruit trees, and splashing around their pool than anywhere else. Every night at dinner she would let out a content sigh, and say, "This was the best day of my life!" N had a nice time too, although chose that particular week to exhibit an impressive bout of separation anxiety, and I was lucky to hand him off to anyone other than his dad without his brow furrowing and a tearful "Mamamama," tumbling out...oh, and did I mention teething? They're coming, but really taking their sweet time, and he is u-n-c-o-m-f-o-r-t-a-b-l-e. Our nights were periodically and abruptly interrupted with caterwauling at the loudest decibel. And we're even still trying to fight our way back to our former restful nights. Even with all of the good must come bad, but it was not enough to inhibit me from extending our trip another 3 days. D flew back to get some work done, but the kids and I hung around to walk the zoo, go out for doughnuts and squeeze oranges. It was really nice.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All In Good Time My Dear.

Yes, yes, we're back. I just walked in the door from a totally exhausting day (more to come on that later). We flew home from Phoenix today. I hope to get more up soon, but for now here is this: The Grand Canyon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Inger!

Our little dolly has been with us for a whole year, I cannot believe it's gone by so quickly!

Kinda the Coolest Valentine Ever!

We got a mysterious envelope in the mail a few days ago from an unfamiliar address, with instructions to open on Valentines Day. Well, we'll be getting up extra early tomorrow morning for a flight, so we opened it today. Inside the padded envelope E and N received the world's smallest valentine from their friend Oliver (and a magnifying glass to read it)! Check this out!

*Oliver (Ben & Danika), thanks so much for the very thoughtful letter, we are so happy to know you too!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hearts, Hearts & More Hearts!

This year marks my first Valentine's Day School Bake Sale. I'll be at the school for most of the morning tomorrow, trying to whittle away a few more mandatory volunteer hours, but also was appointed to donate 1 dozen individually packaged baked goodies. Well, I went for the easy sugar cookie, and came up with a cute little gift bag for each:

I Heart Cinnamon

E's been diligently working on her valentines all week, and whew, I'm spent. To be fair she did almost all the work, it's just mentally draining to be a cheerleader...but we're done now.

She cut all the hearts

We used a straw to poke holes, and then let them dry over night

The next evening we dipped them in red and gold glitter

The next day we let them sit in an oven that was preheated to 400 then turned off

While they cooled we found a free printable valentine & glued it onto a festive heart themed craft paper & cut ribbon.


*The dough is super easy (1 cup+ ground cinnamon, 1 cup applesauce & 1/4 cup Elmer's Glue)