Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Zoo Atlanta

Monday morning, my mom and I took the boys to the Zoo Atlanta. They're doing a special with the library that when you check out the Atlanta Zoo dvd and turn it back in, you get free tickets to go to the zoo (two free adults and two free kids) So, the boys and I spent the night at my parents house on Sunday night so we could get up early and go to the zoo on Monday morning. We left the house about 7:30 and got there around when they opened at 9:30.

We broke out the stroller, we haven't used it since our last trip to a zoo last May. But, it's so nice to have to put our bags on and the boys have somewhere to sit when their legs get tired.

The boys were so excited and hyped up when we got there. They looked at each animal for about .2 seconds before screaming "next animal" and running to the next one.

Looking at the elephant.

Zoo Atlanta is really small, but they had all the main animals. It was the perfect size for the boys at this age.

They had some fun, interactive things you could do, like feed the giraffes. But, those activities didn't start until later and we plan on getting a family membership to the Columbia zoo and all those types of activities are included in the membership, so we figured we'd do that at the Columbia Zoo when we go.

The weather was perfect for the zoo. it wasn't cold and didn't even feel warm until right when left.

The boys loved all the animal statues (more than the real animals, actually) and it worked out perfect since I loved taking pictures of them on the statues.

Trying to get a picture of the two of them together was not easy. But, they did stop and pose for me a little, even if they wouldn't stand next to each other long enough for me to snap a picture.

There were only a couple of animals that I could have watched for awhile and this lion was one of them, she had 3 little baby cubs (that we saw) and they were so cute.

The boys wanted to pose behind this, but they both wanted the top hole.

I took a ton of pictures, if you couldn't already tell. But, we had so much fun. I had the hardest time narrowing down the pictures to put in this post, so I just put all the ones I liked. ;)

The best picture of the two of them with the gorilla that I could get.

They had a few things throughout the park for kids to learn and play with that the boys just loved. They loved this enormous nest.

This zoo had tons of monkeys.

Playing with the buttons, we went in the exhibit to see the gorillas up close and the boys were more interested in the buttons on this thing. Haha.

They had an enormous gorilla area with tons and tons of gorillas.

There was a cute little Naked Mole Rat exhibit about half way through the zoo. The boys could climb through a little tunnel and get to the inside of the exhibit, look at the naked mole rats and then climb out another tunnel to get out and then there was a fun park to play on. The boys had so much fun here and we were just able to sit on the bench and rest for a few minutes.

Evan just going through the tunnel over and over, pretty sure he could have done that all day. Actually, when I told him it was time to go, he ran his little heart out to get through that tunnel as many times as he could before I could catch him.

The inside of the exhibit, checking out the mole rats.

Carter liked the little twin, baby pandas. This was one of Carter's favorite animals, he watched them for awhile.

Evan looked for a minute or two and then was interested in everything else around the exhibit, fun rocks to climb on, those machines that make souvenir pennies, etc.

There was a petting zoo, too. I wasn't impressed, it was only a few goats that the boys got to pet, but they loved it and had a blast.

They had hand brushes that the kids could put on and brush the goats fur. The boys loved doing that.

They were very gentle with all the goats, I love how sweet they can be with animals.

The zoo allows you to bring in your own food, so we packed a picnic lunch to have there. I loved being able to bring in our own food. The boys were able to snack when they wanted and packing our lunch saved us a ton of money.

The boys were ready to eat when we stopped, they inhaled those sandwiches.

At the end of the zoo, there was a train, carousel, park and also a rock climbing wall and splash park that weren't open. The boys loved the park!! When we got there, Evan ran up to me and hugged me and said "I love this new park, mommy, thank you, thank you!" and he said it several times as he was checking everything out. It was so funny how excited he was about it.

Then, shortly after being there, the boys discovered this double see saw and there were two other boys that road it with them (as well as some other kids that came over a few times to ride) and the boys spent the entire time on this see-saw. The older boy pushed everybody and Evan and Carter just loved it.

The boys saw that there was a train at the zoo and were just so excited about it the whole time. We didn't plan on riding it, but then Evan asked to in the sweetest way and we just couldn't say no. My mom said "How can you say no to that?" haha. It was only $2.50 to ride and since the boys were under 42 inches, my mom and I got to ride for free, so our entire trip to the zoo cost $5.00! The boys just loved the train ride and it went under two tunnels and they thought that was so much fun.

Of course, when we told the boys that it was time to leave, they got super interested in the animals and wanted to see some "one last time" and say bye to them. We checked out the flamingos since they're right at the entrance/exit and the boys sat and actually watched them for a few minutes. Then, Evan said he wanted to see the giraffes one last time. The giraffes were really close to the exit, so we headed over to the giraffes to say "bye" before we left.

It was about 1:15 or so when we left. The boys had a lot of fun, but they were so exhausted when we left. Evan fell asleep in the car on the way home but Carter managed to stay awake and watched a movie the whole way home. Justin Beiber actually came to the zoo on Monday too, but must have came after we left because I'm sure we would have noticed the security and crowds of screaming girls.

We had so much fun at the zoo. It was perfect that we were able to go for free. It was a long day with getting up early and driving, but it was so worth it. This was what I envisioned when I thought about being a stay at home mom, fun trips to the zoo with the boys. And when we thought about one day finally living in Georgia, I would think about all the fun things the boys would get to do with my family and going to the zoo with Mamaw was exactly why we moved down here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lunch, Swim Lessons and Outdoor Play

Thursday, I met my sister for lunch while the boys were in preschool. Barberitos was having a special all day for $1.14 burritos! The weather was beautiful, so I was able to wear one of my new spring skirts.
The boys Valentine's day party got moved to Thursday because of the ice storm last week. When they came home, they brought me handmade cards and these cute, handmade magnets. How sweet is that? I have them on my magnet board next to my desk so I can see them while I'm blogging. They're so cute!

Thursday night, we had Balsamic Brushetta Chicken. I've been wanting to try the recipe for awhile and finally got around to it. Greg didn't love it. He doesn't like grilled chicken, he prefers it baked--I'm not sure if that's the case or if he just prefers chicken he doesn't have to cook, but I loved it! It was just chicken brushed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then topped with fresh mozzarella cheese until it melts. Then, you serve it with a bruschetta topping of diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt, and balsamic. I thought it tasted so fresh and delicious. We had it with steamed broccoli and I'd definitely have it again.

The weather was so nice, that the boys played outside until it got dark again. They could play in the backyard all day and I love that.

They were worn out by the time it got dark outside. We let them watch tv before bath time to let them calm down a little before we start our bedtime routine. A lot of the times, they'll jump around and play and not pay much attention to the tv, but you can tell the days they played hard outside, because they'll both sit down, share a blanket, and watch whatever show we've put on for them. (like their current favorite, Wild Kratts) --and yes, Carter is picking his nose, I've had to leave out several pictures lately because of that, so this one was making it in, even though he's picking his nose. We're working on that.

Saturday morning, the boys had their 3rd swim lesson. They were so excited to get started and they were being so good for me when I asked to take a picture. Immediately, Evan put his arm around Greg to pose for my camera. All these are just about the same, but I love them so much. Look at that happy face!!

He grinned for me to take a picture by himself.

Even Carter was smiling for me.

Then I got these pictures! I LOVE it. The arms around each other, the smiles--it just makes me so happy.

I think they were just in such a good mood to be at swim lessons and excited to start that they were just being so easy for me to take pictures of. The young girl that worked there that came around to talk to the parents about upcoming swim lessons was really surprised to find out the boys were identical. I'm always surprised to hear that people actually think that they are. I don't think they look anything alike. I guess when they're wearing the same clothes (swimming trunks) and have the same haircut, they can look similar, but I definitely don't think they look identical.

After their nap, we took them to the park. Everybody else in Augusta had the same idea. It was extremely packed.

Carter climbing the rock wall, they each did this several times.

Carter decided he wanted to go for a walk, so we all walked around the park area and the boys had a blast. They ran around, pretended they were racers, jumped, etc. They burned off so much energy, more than they ever would have at the crowded park.

They took an extra long nap today because of swim lessons, so we thought they were going to have a hard time going to sleep tonight, but they wore themselves out at the park and went to sleep just fine that night.

Sunday is supposed to be nice and sunny, so we're going to spend as much time outside as possible and then the boys and I are going to my parents to spend the night because on Monday morning, my mom and I are taking the boys to the Atlanta zoo. I'm so excited--probably way more excited than the boys will be, and I can't wait to blog about it when we get back.