Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

Best idea we've ever had?

Taking a toddler who is already animal obsessed to a safari park.

We had Bryce for an extra long weekend this week and we took full advantage. We discovered an awesome little beach right near our house and spent the day there on Saturday. Between playing in his alligator floaty and pushing Daddy in the water, Little didn't ever want to leave the water. As a result, he has determined that every body of water we pass is inviting us for a swim. 

Then we headed out to a big safari park/zoo on Monday and let me tell you... SO MUCH FUN! I can't tell you who was more excited, Bryce who got to sit in the back and feed animals with Little, me who got to listen to all the squealing and pet them without being directly mauled by most of them, Little Man who was seeing all these things face to face for the first time, or the animals who were stealing our buckets of food half the time. 
The whole drive up Little was talking about the various animals we might see and by the time we got to the gates he was pretty much just shouting "GIRAFFEY! GIRAFFEY!" repeatedly. When we started driving through with our little buckets of food, the animals essentially swarmed us--for the bigger ones it was more like an attack--and Little wasn't sure if he should be terrified or giddy, but Bryce helped steer the reaction toward the latter and by the end Little was wanting to offer them some of his french fries rather than hiding his face in his french fry container. So, despite a few bad moments with a bull and a rather feisty elk, we made it through with a mostly positive reaction and with some new animals added to our vocabulary (so many in fact that he talked about them all the way home rather than taking a nap).
When we were done with the drive through part, we headed to the zoo portion and walked around visiting/feeding all sorts of animals. Little was of course enamored of the giraffes and was quite put out that they wouldn't respond to his calls and come visit. At one point I was being ordered to get them to come over, but he gave up waving his handful of food eventually and just enjoyed watching. I have decided that we need a pygmy goat. And Bryce will probably smell of animal feed for the rest of his life because we made him carry it around all day. 

Not surprisingly, my favorite part was easily the birds. Little wasn't quite sure how he felt about them so we could never get him to actually hold the feeding stick, but he definitely enjoyed being around them. When he finally did get a bit more comfortable, he attempted to off-road it a couple of times and head into a roped off area to retrieve a few of them, so we had to keep him pretty close.

In short, it was a more than fantastic weekend and we all had a blast. 

A typical conversation in our house

"What's up?"
"What can I do for you?"
"Yes, sir?"
"What is it you need?"
...Continue this for about 15 minutes...
"What's this, Mommy?"
"A horse."
"What's this, Mommy?"
"A horse."
...repeat this pattern at least twelve times if not more...
"Mommy, is the horsey silly?"
...repeat this another twelve plus times... 
"Oh. Daddy at work?"
"Yes, he is."
...Repeat this at least five times before...
...You get the idea. Little is so fun to talk to and the most adorable human on the planet, but some days I think I'm changing my name.

Fun fact

I have just learned today that nothing makes you feel like a better mother than when your child locks himself in the bathroom and you have to call the emergency services to get him out. False. 

It was a first for us though, normally I am fairly careful about keeping the door shut because I live in fear of him doing just that. Turns out I was right to live in fear. After doing everything in my power to coax Little into pushing the lock button again, trying to pick the lock with any number of objects, and fiddling with it to the point of exhaustion, we ended up calling the big guns. When the doorknob has no screws and the hinges are on the inside, you are out of luck. 
Little handled it pretty well despite one fall into the bathtub, up until the end when the strange man barged through the door. That didn't go over so well. I, however, almost hugged said strange man for rescuing Little Man and I have already ordered a doorknob.

The circle of life

Little has been asking for the "giraffey song" of late and it took me a while to figure it out, but it turns out it is "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King (or as he calls it the "lion-giraffey-horsey show"). I guess the giraffe really made an impression because apparently he is the only animal singing in Little's mind. Either way, I have an urgent need to learn the words to the whole song because singing the only two lines of the chorus I know is getting terribly repetitive.
With the amount that he loves The Lion King and animals in general, Little has expanded his vocabulary quite a bit. However with every animal we've been noticing a few vocabulary quirks. Mostly that he tacs "-ey" onto the end of everything (a thing that I rarely if ever did until he started doing it), and if it isn't "-ey" it is "-io" (ex: Daddio,  horseio, even cerealio a few times). I don't think I'll ever be able to say the word giraffe normally again.

Also... I know lately this blog is turning into look-what-I-did-today, but I couldn't resist. Here is the latest project:
Don't look too close or you'll see all my oopses, but I love it. Between Craigslist.org and Lowes, I'm swiftly becoming a furniture recovering addict (how's that for a confusing sentence?)  

Guilty as charged

The guilt pot has been a joke for a long time in my life. I just re-purposed the poor thing and laughed all over again at my little pot. 

It started in high school when I took a pottery class. I think it is safe to say that I am the worst potter ever. No really... EVER. I couldn't make a pot or even a bowl to save my soul. I spent the first half of the semester making terrible deformed little blobs that in no way resembled anything usable, or even artistic for that matter. It was either laugh or cry, so me and some of the other students in the class ended up laughing for the most part at all of my terrible creations (I can see now why the teacher may have thought I was doing this on purpose, but even he tried to help me several times to no avail). Seeing that I was a hopeless case and not wanting the torture to continue for either me or my teacher, I applied to get out of the class halfway through the semester and take something different. Of course to do that, I had to have said teacher's* signature and that is where the major trouble started. Upon asking him to sign the form, he announced that he was going to give me a few days to reconsider and think about my actions. I told him that I had fully pondered and was ready then, but he insisted. If you are going to do something so life changing as drop a high school pottery class, it must be fully digested before proceeding. I gave it a few days and came back with the same plea, so he (under much duress) finally signed the thing announcing that he was teaching life and by failing at pottery I was "failing at life" (insert dramatic sigh of regret at the failure that was to be my life). I had a week or so left before my half semester was up, so every day when I entered the class he would heave the same sigh and watch me solemnly take my seat before announcing to the class that one of our number was to be--against his will and the laws of humanity--leaving the class. He never mentioned a name, but as the only other person leaving besides myself was one of his favorite students, there wasn't much mystery as he lectured on the merits of ceramics and the life choices connected with the art as to who this poor sad soul was. 
The day before I left he paused in the middle of class to present a special token to a certain student, a reminder of the eternal consequences of her actions... in short... a guilt pot. And thus the poor pot was named. It had stuck with me through apartments and marriage and all sorts of adventures. It has been used as a rubberband holder, a decoration, a temporary fish habitat... At one point my roommates and I would write whatever we felt guilty about (eating too much ice cream, not finishing a paper in time, etc.) on a little piece of paper and submit it to the guilt pot so that we could burn them later. That is probably as close as the pot has made it to fulfilling it's intended purpose. Right now it is housing quarters for laundry. I suppose the fact that the poor pot still makes me giggle would support my teacher's hypothesis that I am indeed a hopeless case, but ten years later, though I still wish I could make a pot, I don't see the terrible repercussions of my actions. Hmmm... Maybe in another ten years?

*Note that the teacher was really quite good and took an interest in the lives of his students, which makes him a fantastic teacher in my estimation, so despite the fact that I laugh at my experience with him, I still think he was great.

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