On May 27th, Marky's first birthday, my sister Sara and I took the two kiddos to the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate Mark's birthday, and having Aunt Sara with us is always a real treat!
I dressed up the two cutie patooties, packed the car full of snacks and drinks, and Aunt Sara came over and dropped off her car so she could drive with us. It was about a 40 minute drive, but that was good, because Mark got to have his morning nap, and Julia got to sing and talk to us. She pretty much had us laughing the whole time. She says things like, "Oh my gosh!" "Oh my word!" "Oh my goodness!" "Oh my dear!" and it is really funny. You just don't expect a 2 year old to say those phrases :)
At the zoo, I decided ahead of time for us to each have a stroller instead of using the double stroller. The zoo is very hilly and I couldn't imagine having to push the heavy double stroller up hill by myself. I had the birthday boy, and Aunt Sara and Julia were buddies. Honestly, I got the easy job, but Sara is such a trooper.
We first saw the penguins, then the prairie dogs, then the bald eagle, horses, llamas, ostrich, peacock, then all the farm animals which we got a chance to feed. (Julia's ultimate favorite part.) I was afraid she wouldn't want to leave that section, so I decided beforehand that after all our pellets were gone, I'd have Sara wash her hands and then offer her, her very own apple. Julia loves being a "big girl" and so if I say, "Julia do you want to hold your own apple and eat it?" as opposed to cutting all the skin off and cutting it up like I do for Marky, she just thinks it is the bees knees...so that little trick worked and there were no problems leaving the farm area.
Then we saw a leopard, monkeys, more birds, more peacocks...we got to have our lunch, played on some toys and took photos...had a potty break...Julia loves using the potty when we are out, it's like a novelty for her! And we ended the day with...Cotton Candy!!! I know, I must be crazy, but we were having a little melt down because some little cutie pie wanted to go IN a fountain, and I needed a distraction, and what a great day to splurge, right? Well, Julia loved the cotton candy, and Mark thought it was some kind of joke. Every time I offered him a taste he cracked up laughing as if to say, "MOM you don't EAT cotton!" It was cute.
Then we headed to the parking lot to leave where Julia promptly told me, "I don't want the car, I want to see ANIMALS!" But once she got in the car and settled down, she was out like a light! :) Going to the zoo with both kids was very hard, and I could NOT have done it alone, so, thank you Aunt Sara. We loooooveeeeeeeeeeeee you!
All in all Marky had a wonderful birthday...and we had another great learning day to add to our book of memories! One of my favorite memories of Mark at the zoo was how he pointed to EVERYTHING, he just thought all the sights and animals were TOO COOL. I can't wait to take them again, and next time, I'm asking more adults to come! The more hands to help, the better :) Any takers???