Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brookfield Zoo and Clow Airport pics

The weather here can't decide what it wants to be (literally 97 degrees one day and 55 the next), but we've still been able to make a few fun outings lately.

Brookfield Zoo

We went to the Brookfield Zoo on June 2nd with Grandma Kay Ellen and her friend, Mr. Mike, who is a member of the zoo. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful that day -- 70 degrees and sunny, with no wind. This was John and Lila's first trip to this zoo, and my first trip there in at least 15 years!

John did a lot of things at this zoo that he'd never done before. At the Children's Center, he got to paint his own face and pet a snake and a hamster. I was so proud of him for being brave enough to touch the snake! I pet it too, even though I didn't want to, since I wanted to show John that it was o.k.

The petting zoo wasn't as nice as it used to be, so we only spent a little time there, mostly in the goat section. John was hesitant at first to get close to the goats, which didn't surprise me, since when we went to the petting zoo in Portland last fall, he was terrified of them. I showed him how to pet the goat on the head, and then John did it too. He also got to pick out a brush (a "broom," John kept calling it) to use on the goat. What good-natured creatures goats must be to tolerate life in a petting zoo!

We left the goats to head over to the 11:00 dolphin show. John waited very patiently in line with Mr. Mike and Grandma, and he got to sit on Mr. Mike's lap during the show. There was so much for John to take in during the show that I think it was a little overwhelming for him. One of the dolphins would do a trick, and John would get so focused on that dolphin that he'd miss the other dolphins doing their tricks, hehe.

Later, after lunch, we went to the new stingray exhibit, where John got to pet some stingrays! He had to wash his arms all the way up to his elbows, and then we laid him on his tummy on the side of the pool where the stingrays were swimming. John dipped his arms in the water and waited for the stingrays to swim close enough to him that he could touch them. It took a while, but one finally swam right past his hands. He immediately pulled his arms out of the water. I think he thought the stingray felt gross (I know I did -- it was completely slimy) because he was very cautious about putting his arms back in the water. He didn't really want to touch another one!

We wrapped up our trip to the zoo with a visit to the Africa section so John could see his favorite animal, the giraffe. While we were there, John wanted to take a "ride" on this aardvark display.

I snapped a few photos of Grandma, Mike, and the kids, but of course I didn't think to have someone else take a photo of me with the kids!

Literally minutes before we turned around to head out of the zoo, Lila had a bit of a diaper blowout. This was her first public blowout in months, and it could have been a lot worse. I was so glad that I had remembered to bring a change of clothes for her! Mike helped me change her on a park bench right away, before the poop got everywhere. Thanks, Mike!

I am totally excited to take the kids to the Milwaukee County Zoo in the next few months. Everyone I talk to tells me how kid-friendly the zoo is. And it's actually in Wauwatosa, where we'll be living, so I'm sure it'll become a frequent destination of ours. Update: I just checked Mapquest, and the zoo is exactly 2.81 miles from our house. Not too bad a drive!

Cavalcade of Planes

We went to the Cavalcade of Planes at Bolingbrook's Clow Airport on June 4th. It was SO HOT that day, it felt like we were back in Texas. Our family friend, Ray Jakubiak, has a hangar at the airport, and we hung out with him most of the time so we could watch the goings-on from the shade. We missed seeing Aunt Wrenne, who was helping out at her grandkids' soccer game that morning.

Lila, dressed in her adorable giraffe-print outfit from Aunt Jen and Uncle Norvel, sat on Grandma's lap and helped herself to some of Uncle Ray's arm hair. She is also a big fan of Daddy's and Papa Jeff's arm hair.

Here is the little giraffe in the stroller, trying to stay cool.

John and Uncle Ray are good buddies from way back when. We have visited Uncle Ray at the airport several times before. Usually we meet for breakfast at the airport cafe and watch all the planes taking off and landing. That day, of course, there were even more planes, and there were parachuters and other cool displays too.

Here's John with his fireman's hat (that he procured from four Bolingbrook firefighters!) in front of Uncle Ray's Navion plane.

There were a couple of helicopters at the cavalcade, including a Blackhawk, and it was awesome to see how excited John was to get in them. He had to wait in line for awhile to get into the cockpit of the Blackhawk, but he was very patient. I kept reminding him that Daddy flies helicopters, and he would shake his head in agreement. I think he is very proud of his Daddy.

Coming soon: John's 29-month post!

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