One day of warm(-ish) weather, and our entire town floods the parks, the zoo, anywhere to be outside to give Spring the moral support she needs to stop flirting with us and just sit down and stay a while
. Of course, "the entire town" includes our little family, and we chose to head to the local zoo.
It takes about the 100th visit in the summer months before Annika starts to tire of our itsy-bitsy little zoo, and after so many months away, the place has regained the sheen of a new and exciting adventure. And for Frankie, it really is
all brand new and almost overwhelmingly fantabulous. The great thing about going fun places with kids is that they can't wait to show you every little thing that is right there in front of you, but really, do you really see it
?. How is it that kids' fingers don't just turn into these monstrously muscular appendages, with all that constant use that they get?
And here's Frankie, just so darned excited that she can't decide which way to point:
This is the first time that Frankie has traversed the zoo on her own locomotion, and she was thrilled with all the new independent explorer possibilities that walking opened up to her.
So much like her big sister, she kept up a running monologue describing every single last thing that she saw, or imagined
The best part of the experience for Frankie was seing the goats, which she insisted on calling "doggies." Even better, if I asked her what sound they made, she shouted out loud and proud, "MOOOOOO!" Eventually we got her to moo-goats, and then finally baaaa-goats. But I think that secretly she still wanted them to be very large dogs that said "moo".
At the entrance to the zoo there was a new sign with a map of the zoo. Annika was pretty thrilled when she spotted it, and went right over to examine it. But then, in a voice either confused or indignant, she asked, "Where is Germany
on this map?" Yes, the girl loves her maps, and is getting pretty good at identifying certain states and certain European countries and her most beloved of all, Antarctica.
Another new map near the wolf habitat, allowed her to show off her "identifying Illinois" skills.
We sat on a bench near the merry-go-round in the glorious sun, enjoying goldfish crackers and teddy grahams. Well, most of us sat. Frankie was too excited about walking walking walking!! on her own!!
to sit, and I had to give her her snack one piece at a time as she wandered in excited circles around us. Annika, on the other hand, knows how to kick back.
By the very next day, the temperature had plummeted again to well below freezing. It's hard not to get impatient, though, with the forced Hyacinth bulbs already filling our house with the scent of Spring.
And then there's Annika, who insists on dressing like a Tropical Beach Babe, despite the occasional snow flurries outside.
- Frankie told her first joke on Tuesday. She found her sister's floppy bunny and was hugging it around the house. Suddenly a light bulb glowed above her head, and she lifted its foot to her ear like a phone and said, "'lo? 'lo?" Then she giggled like crazy.
- We finally got Annika a Medic Alert bracelet, and she's pretty pleased with it.
The first couple of days, she played with it non-stop. Fidget, pull, twist, turn
but she seems to have gotten used to it already.
- Annika got into the lipstick again, and chose a very becoming shade.
- On a stroll through a local store, I bent down to sniff the Easter lilies and somehow got huge globs of yellow pollen all over my nose, mouth, and most of my forehead. Bright, bright, bright yellow pollen. And, unknowing, I walked around for the rest of the morning like that. Why do I not have a picture of this? I can only blame it on the reflexive urge to wash like a obsessive-compulsive raccoon with a tasty bit of fruit upon finally glimpsing myself in the bathroom mirror at home. The really sad part is that I had even taken the time to put on makeup that morning, so I had been strutting around smiling and nodding like the Queen of Fashion with my new haircut and mascara on my lashes.
- Although I did not document my experiments in natural cosmetic wear, I did manage to capture this additional embarrassment on the same day. Having slightly burned the chicken for Frankie, or the newly picky eater who shall not eat overcooked chicken nuggets as they are just too dry thank you very much, I patiently put in a new batch for her. Which came out like this:
Frankie ate yogurt for lunch.
- Annika has finally started drawing people with BODIES!!!! Previously, all her people have looked like giant egg face people, with legs attached right where the neck would be. Sometimes they had arms, sometimes not. But they always had bottoms. Always. She would carefully draw a little line right under their chins, and say, "There! There's his bottom!"
So this magna-doodle picture, with a teeny-tiny body for the very first time ever, was awfully exciting.
Exciting for me, anyway. But that just about sums it all up anyway, doesn't it?