Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ocelots and Owls and Orangutans, Oh My!

Love throwing the kids into the van and telling them we're going someplace special. Drives them up the wall, and any time you can do to them a smidgen of what they do to you daily, it's a bonus.
We got all the way to El Paso before C. finally clued in to read signs - and figured out we were headed to the ZOO about two minutes before we pulled into the parking lot. We have a great little zoo in our town, but bears are our largest animal - and Daddy sees those daily at work! C. had been to the El Paso Zoo before, but S. and L. hadn't, and they are just the right age to appreciate what they are seeing.
Plenty of "o" animals:
Blurry Owls
And camera-shy Orangutans.

I kind of identified with this guy. Bad hair day, fat belly, and moving kind of slowly.
Lots of animals for the rest of the alphabet, too.

Totally posing.
We felt sorry for the tortoises, with the javelinas running around taking the food literally right out of their mouths.

Then we discovered they had other...er...past-times to keep them busy. They...um...play leapfrog. A lot. Moving right along...

Where did he go?

There he is!
We also saw several types of primates, birds (L. is really into birds for some reason), various reptiles and amphibians, wolves, etc., and of course the elephants. The Galapagos tortoises made our sulcatas look pretty puny. We even saw the lion training, which is done through a steel mesh door just a couple feet in front of you. It was funny watching two huge lionesses jockeying for treats just like our cats! We ran into friendly zoo volunteers and workers everywhere, who several times went out of their way to show the kids something.
The highlight had to be the giraffes, though.

As in, feeding the giraffes!

C. was not about to get any closer than necessary.

S. had no such qualms.

And I wish I had sound recording of L.'s delighted little laugh! Given their propensity for puppy-dog kisses, they all found that tongue especially impressive.
After a late lunch, we headed back home, totally worn out. As we started up the hill in the bright sunshine, Daddy turned the fire department radio back on, just in time to hear something about a house getting washed away, and needing evacuations. Wha??? That woke the two of us up in a hurry, and we listened the rest of the way up, as others responded to some pretty severe flooding just north of us. By the time we got home, half our department's units were already en route, so we stayed home and battened down the hatches. It ended up skirting around us, but some other communities were hit pretty hard. 
That's supposed to be a road.
And that's a grassy field. (Pictures by Teresa Coburn)
No worries, though, the kids are skilled dam builders:
C., at this point, was unconscious on the sofa, two seconds after insisting he wasn't tired enough to go to bed.
The night sort of went downhill from there.
Between the walking, occasionally carrying L., and hours in the car, my side and leg muscles were in pretty bad shape, and I started off fighting some cramps.
Then L. woke up yelling that he had pooped. He hadn't.
Then the husky started barking her fool head off, so Daddy went out and looked around. Nothing. Must have been another bug.
Then C. woke up, about 10PM, asking what was for supper.
Then the dog started barking again. My turn. Nothing.
Then S. joined us in our bed, where she tossed and turned and talked in her sleep all night.
Then the cat hacked up a noisy hairball in the kitchen.
Then the dog started barking. Daddy's turn.
Then L. woke up and yelled that he had pooped. Just wet. Changed him.
Then C. woke up crying, but couldn't tell me why.
Then the dog started barking. My turn. I told her that unless a bear was actively climbing into the house through a window, to SHUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUUUUP!!!!
Then L. woke up and screamed. We have poop! Poor guy, I would have screamed at that one, too. Cleaned him up.
Then S. had a nightmare and woke up. And then had to go potty. With an escort.
Then the dog started barking. She got locked in the (empty) chicken house for the rest of the night.
Then C. woke up and come into our room, and I mustered my last shred of patience to ask him what he needed in a nice-Mommy voice.
He had just thrown up all over his floor.
Cleaned that up, tossed soiled clothes and toys in hamper and sink (I'll bet that never happened to GI Joe on his cartoon), tucked C. back in.
Oh, and every time I lay back down, baby-to-be started the next game in his soccer tournament, and M.'s cat tried to park herself on my sore legs.
Woke up to heavy rain.
And an upended trash barrel with garbage strewn from one end of the property to the other.
(There was also a trail of corn cobs leading up the hill)
Maybe that wasn't a bug after all.

Husky is hereby vindicated.
The plan had been to work at least half a day Monday, but by this time I couldn't even get my van out of the driveway, and was worried the highway would get shut down again with me on the wrong end of it. Plus the sick kid. And the trash needing to be picked up. And, did I mention the bathroom ceiling is leaking?
And then S. got sick. Okay, a day at home it is! At least we all had a good day yesterday, with plenty of zoo-animal-follow-up crafts to do if we start feeling better. Like, you know, ark-building. Just in case.

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