Monday, April 23, 2012

Dinosaurs at the ZOO!

I've been very bad about posting lately.  I changed our layout the other day and when I saw the last post was Feb 29 I was very ashamed of myself.  Then it took another week to actually get one done!  Many things have happened since our last post:  Bryan & I now have a beautiful niece (Alyssa Mae), the Daviess County March for Babies walk was a great success, Albert had minor surgery (recovering well now), Eli is getting closer & closer to taking steps on his own, and we went to the Louisville Zoo on Sat the 21st.  I may do other posts to elaborate about some of the other topics, but this one is about THE ZOO!

This is our third trip to the Louisville Zoo since Zachary's joined our family.  Our last visit there was August 1 2010.  I remember it was HOT and I was 6 months pregnant (for those of you who remember, when I'm 6 months along I look much bigger than that, many people asked if I was overdue or how many I was carrying!).  One of the big reasons we went to the zoo at that time was because we had just come back from a family vacation (Bryan's parents, grandmother, two sisters, brother-in-law, and the three of us rented a house in Florida for a week) and there Zachary discovered his love for dinosaurs.  It started very innocently; we went to an ice cream shop and they put a small plastic dinosaur on his cone.  He thought it was funny.  He started playing with it.  By the time we left that ice cream shop we had accumulated 4 dinosaurs.  He played with them constantly.  Keep in mind that he was still two years old at the time.  Since then the obsession has grown, as most of you know.  Once we were back home, Bryan's sister Cara called & said the L'ville Zoo had a dinosaur exhibit for a few weeks that Zachary might enjoy.  So off to the zoo we went.  The exhibit was more than we expected.  They were motorized dinosaurs complete with sound.  It was really cool.  We spent a long time in that exhibit.  Zachary was a little scared at first, but got used to it and we had a hard time getting out of there.  Unfortunately, because of that visit, he thought the zoo always had dinosaurs and that ALL zoos had dinosaurs.  That was difficult to explain when we later visited the zoos in Cincinnati & Evansville.

We were talking to Cara & Andrew the other day and they told us the dinos are coming back!  We quickly checked it out online and found that the exhibit will be there until July 31st.  We showed Zachary and he could hardly stop jumping around.  We planned a trip and went on Saturday (which happened to be Alyssa's 1 month birthday!)

Again, we had a great time.  They had changed the exhibit since last time and several of the dinosaurs were new ones.  Both times they had one that would randomly spit (water) at the gathered crowed, much to Zachary's enjoyment!  I had a little moment early in the trip.  We saw the elephants early this time (last time it was one of the last animals we saw).  As I stood there holding Eli, watching him point at the elephants as they ate and stared at us, I vividly remembered rubbing my swollen belly watching the elephants on our last visit.  I remember thinking I how exciting it would be to come back as a family of four and let this baby see the elephants too.  I was overwhelmed with emotion as I held Eli and I started crying.  I was so happy to just be holding him after everything we've been through since our last visit, I was so sad because of everything he's endured and the hopes I silently had before his birth have been altered so much.  It's not been the journey we expected.  I know the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans, but what expectant parent doesn't make plans?  As we walked away from the elephants I was trying to dry my unexpected tears and gather myself when Eli started laughing.  It was the perfect moment to remind me that the path we're on is exactly where we're supposed to be and that we have two choices:  a) wallow in grief and miss the present or b) trudge along and enjoy Every Little Beat with a few reminiscent tears thrown in at times. 

Anyway, we had a WONDERFUL time seeing the dinosaurs and all the other animals.  The zoo wasn't crowded at all because it was cold (not sure it got above 55 all day) and there was a huge air show in Louisville that most people were attending instead of the zoo.

Here's some pictures to enjoy!  We're already planning our next trip back while the dinosaurs are still there :)

HELP!!!!  My boy's being eaten by a T Rex!  I love how blue his eyes are in this picture!

August 2010, Zachary was almost 3 and I'm 6 months pregnant with Eli.

Zachary's size compared to a full grown gorilla in August 2010.
This is Zachary 20 months later.

It was pretty cold so we borrowed a blanket from baby Alyssa to help keep Eli warm.  Most of him was warm, but his hands were cold all day (I'm sure it had nothing to do with him chewing on them & his sleeves all day!)

Zachary looking at turtles in the tank.

"Flintstones, meet the Flintstones...."  It's really hard to sit on a dino's back!

Cara, Andrew & Alyssa Foreman    Their first family photo on a dinosaur.

This is a Suchomimus....

this is a Suchomimus spitting and surprising people!

This is a Megalosaurus.  My boys weren't phased by it at all.  Notice Zachary's dino hat & claw gloves he HAD to wear most of the day.  It was very cute & helped keep him warm too.  He got lots of comments about his attire.  
Zachary at the dino dig.  He knew exactly what to do...use the shovels until you find bone then use the brushes so you don't damage the bone.  It took a long time to get him out of this!

Zachary-asaurus holding his baby cousin, Alyssa.  He was worried that the dinosaurs, lions, tigers, and other animals would scare her.  He decided she'd be okay if we kept telling her they were in their cages & couldn't get to us.

This is Zachary's favorite dinosaur (this week), a Pachycephalosaurus.  This gives an idea of how big these robot dinosaurs are.  We're standing several feet in front of it.  I'm almost 6 feet tall and it towers me.  The detail put into these is incredible.
Eli waving to a Megalosaurus as it growled at us and turned its head.

Eli loved the polar bear exhibit.  He thought it was funny to watch the bear swim and come up with toys.
We are excited to go back when this exhibit is finished, but it was pretty nice already!

Family photo in front of the gorilla exhibit.

There's a fenced in area with several kangaroo.  Groups of people can walk on the path in the area with a guide and be right in with the animals.  In one photo we got, a kangaroo has her hand in her pouch, guess she was cold too!

Who wouldn't have fun with this group?