Zoo Day; Things and Cousins/Nieces

It began with a little Chick Fil A, or lovingly referred to as Chicken Lay by Autumn.  I get it girl.  I really do.  Actually when morning dawned the Things and I rose and trekked into town to witness the girls' swim lessons.  Gemma screamed, she was dunked, she screamed some more and then she pulled herself up on the side and was done.  Autumn, being the fish that she is, jumped in, lowered her head under water and kicked those legs all the way to her swim teacher.  She might have been showing off for her cousins.  They were impressed.  So was I.  After swim we went to breakfast and thus dawned the day of the cousins.  We gave the Grandmas a break from their child care duties this day and vowed to have the girls tired out and filled to the brim with fun. 
Fried chicken for breakfast, yes please
Then it was off to the Nashville zoo, along with about twenty hundred school buses.  No matter.  The sun was shining, we had water bottles, a stroller and four capable Things willing to chase the littles to kingdom come all for the sake of fun.  And that they did.  There was bird feeding in the lorikeet exhibit, walks in the African savanna and tigers and birds, oh my!

Not to mention a visit to Meerkat manor, or something like that.
The cuteness was too much for me to handle and I had to snap a photo of my big Things and the littles.  With the flamingos in the background of course.  We all stopped and stared at them.  Trying to figure out how they were drinking water and explaining why some were pinker than others. Gemma was so enthralled with them she didn't even have time to cheese it up for the camera. 
Hot and sweaty from all the walking and running and almost falling this girl needed a water break.  Time out please.
Once hydrated we headed to the jungle gym and what might have been the highlight for Autumn.  She ran the ropes course with her cousins and even cajoled Auntie Leanna to give it a go.  She gallivanted around with her cousins trying out all the slides, running across bridges and smiling the entire time.
Good times!
Husband Jared and I so enjoyed our morning spent at the zoo.  It brought back so many memories of times gone by with our four.  And it was nothing short of pure joy to experience it through the eyes of our nieces this time around.  Especially with all the piggy back rides, shoulder rides and "up pleases", that we heard while exploring.  These girls are fun.  Watching our Things interact with them is even more fun. 
With lunch time looming and naps right around the corner we quickly headed home for both.  Only Gemma couldn't wait.  I had the Things singing to her and chatting it up so she would not fall asleep in the car.  Unfortunately for us the girl did not even have a nap on the mind, oh no, something far worse.  A blow out.  I am only telling you this story for pure entertainment value.  Husband Jared and I had hatched a plan on the way home, he was to take Gemma up, change her diaper and I would prepare lunch for the girls so we could conquer nap/quiet time together.  Ha!  Once home, we went with the plan.  Gemma's situation was worse than expected and all I could hear over the monitor in the kitchen was Husband Jared and his noises which signified the disaster he was experiencing upstairs.  For the record, it was his choice to take care of the diaper.  Moving on, after bath and two changes of clothes all was well again and we were back on track.  Mo-mo time (movie) and nap time for Gemma.  And for all the cousins as well.   The Things sprawled out all over the living room, Husband Jared and myself too, and we had some down time as well. 
What a day!  And it wasn't over yet.  There was still play time outside, walks to the skate park, tag in the front yard and dinner at Cool Café, home of the infamous fried pork chop.  We ended the night with home made chocolate chip cookies made by none other than Thing 3 and we talked in the driveway trying to prolong our goodbyes for as long as possible, all while the Things, the cousins and the neighborhood buddies ran circles around us.  My favorite way to end a day.   

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