Friday, September 19, 2014

Grant's Real 4th Birthday

Right after Grant's 4th birthday (actual birthday, what this post is about), my schedule went haywire. Not unexpectedly, this is the time of year at work when we start our fair prep and fair travels. But that's why I'm posting this three weeks after the fact. Husband and I took the day off to spend with Grant and we had such a great day that I've really been wanting to write about it. We told him we would spend the day doing whatever he wanted. He said "Ummm...I know what's fun. We could get snow cones! Is that a great idea?" So we named a bunch of that could be done in a day trip and Grant picked the zoo. 

The night before we stayed out too late at a baseball game. We were all having so much fun and we didn't have to get up for work or school the next day so we stayed until the end.

I made sure not to sleep in too late the next morning so I could do a little birthday surprise for Grant. Last year I blew up a bunch of balloons early in the morning and put them all over his floor while he was sleeping. This year I did that and took some leftover streamers from his party and made a barricade across his door to break through.

I did all that before jumping in the shower. I was sure he'd wake up while I was in the shower and I'd miss the whole thing but he didn't. Not long after I was out of the shower, we heard him rustling around and at the moment he noticed the balloons we heard "Huh?!" So we were standing outside his door when he opened it, saw the barricade, and said "Who put this here?!" So we explained that he had to break out.

It was a bit anti-climactic but he had to pee. But after hitting the potty he was right back in his room having a blast with the balloons.

Then it was getting ready and heading for the zoo. After opening one present that I knew he'd want to bring along in the truck.

It was Firefighter Dusty from the new Planes movie.
So the zoo ended up being a fantastic pick. It was a Tuesday so there was no crowd at all and at some points feeling like we had the place to ourselves. It was great. We once again started in Africa, with me bound and determined to feed a giraffe. And once again, I left without feeding a giraffe. I really need them to cooperate, it's on my bucket list!

I still think they're awesome. Moody, but awesome.
I don't think anyone was going to forget how old he turned that day!
It was a warm day but not unpleasant and the lack of crowds made it perfect. We got there a little late (since we all slept in a bit) so we didn't really make a point of seeing everything. We made sure to hit all of Grant's favorites!

We seemed to have caught the lion during his afternoon nap.
Grant thought this monkey hanging out way up there was too funny!
Grant & Daddy checking out the monkeys
And we saw some zebra butt.
At this point I think Grant had asked where the elephants were about 47 times and, thankfully, they were next.

What boy doesn't love a helicopter he can climb on?
The elephants are my favorite :)

After that we wandered through the trails, had lunch, saw a bunch of stuff, and enjoyed our day together.

I love this picture!
Grant thought the giant eggs were so fun!

 On our previous trips to the zoo they'd had a dinosaur exhibit but this time it was a giant bug exhibit. 

He loved all the big bugs (they moved too) and waved bye
to all of them as we moved on to the next one.
This one you could move with controls, he really liked that.
He loved the dung beetle poop too!
The second to the last bug was some kind of beetle that sprays acid to protect itself. The bug in the exhibit sprayed water. Husband and I made it through without getting sprayed and were trying to tell Grant when to run but he wasn't fast enough and got sprayed (nothing drastic, he wasn't soaked or anything). For the rest of the day, to anyone who would listen we heard him say "That bug peed on me." Even when we left the zoo and asked it he had a good day and talked about all the stuff we did. He'd say he had a good time, what he liked, and then say "But that bug peed on me." Scarred for life.

This geyser was a bit attraction for Grant. I think he could
have watched it all day! And it sprayed a nice mist too.
It was a nice cooling off point :)
We stopped at the playground area for just a bit before moving on to the seals, polar bear (who was too busy banging on his door for food to come see us), turtles, and of course...the alligators!

Grant was point out the seal to a woman standing nearby.
Always a favorite with Grant.
I think what amused me the most that day was Grant's friendliness. I wouldn't say he's super shy but he's not generally a "talk to everyone" kind of kid. But that day? I swear everyone we came across at the zoo, Grant had to talk to them. At one of the bear exhibits, the bear had just gone through some door just as a man and his girlfriend were walking up. Grant heard the guy mumble something about no bear. Grant stood there with his arms crossed and said "The bear was just here. He went around the corner. I think he was looking for food!" So the guy asked him some stuff about the zoo, they had a little conversation, and we kept going. He did that so much that day! I was so amused.

We left the zoo just as they were closing and took the bus shuttle back to the truck. A ride in a bus was the topper to the day for Grant. Husband and I were exhausted but Grant was a little bundle of excitement on that bus. Then he was asleep in the truck before we left the parking lot (I napped too!). When we got home, he got to open the rest of his birthday presents (one of which was a new board game that is now his favorite game to play).
He told me he wanted Boulder from Rescue Bots...he's loves
his new Boulder!
A week-day-off to celebrate Grant, just the three of us, was a great way to spend the day. I'm glad we got to do what he wanted and that he had so much fun. We didn't end up getting the snow cones he suggested but later on that week was his 4 year check-up that included his kindergarten shots. Who can't use a snow cone after shots? So I took him for a snow cone after dinner that night where he told me "Mmmm...this is delicious. This was a great idea." He's all about the great ideas lately!

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