Saturday, September 20, 2014

Indianapolis Zoo

Today, my mom treated my crew of three and I to  a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo!

 This was Clayton's 4th time, Lacey's 2nd (but first time she remembers), and this was CJ's first time!  The day started out a little chilly, which was perfect, but by 12:00 it warmed up.  We stopped by the ocean exhibits first to pet the sharks, see the sting rays, and of course watch the playful penguins!

 CJ loved watching them...he was so curious!
 I feel like every time I go to the zoo, the walrus exhibit is always one of the highlights for me!  The walrus is always so active and comes right up to the glass.  Today, we saw her playing with her food and blowing bubbles.

Clayton's favorite animal to see was the TIGER of course, such beautiful and powerful creatures.

 I thoroughly enjoyed the White-Handed Gibbons.  This one, Elliot, was definitely showing off...cooing and swinging all around the enclosure, then coming to pose and wait for his picture to be taken.
The bats...well, they were creepy at best, but we enjoyed seeing how we measured up to them!

The brown grizzly bears look so deceiving! The kids love watching the movie Open Season, so reminding them that these bears are actually dangerous when they look so friendly was very hard.

 CJ's favorite by far was the dolphin show.  He loved the splashes of water and Clayton loved the dolphin named Jett who loved football.  He could catch the football in the air and swim backwards with it.

 My favorite was their new exhibit, the orangutans.  These animals were so beautiful and kind looking. However, when one male saw a guide dog, it became aggressive in its cage and you were quickly reminded that these animals are wild and just how powerful they truly are.
 We were able to get so close to them...such a neat experience!
 Oh, and this was the coolest! While eating lunch outside, we watched them climb on these high wires protruding above the cages around them...AMAZING!

The flamingos were fun...seeing how they could contort their bodies and their backwards bending legs. They came very close to us as well.

 CJ wasn't impressed....
 Their eyes and beaks....breathtaking!
 Oh how I love these kids and sharing the zoo with them!  I think I was just as excited at they were! We went on a train ride around the Plains area.
 Highlight of the Zoo trip for CJ!

 The giraffes were another favorite for us.
 I had never seen them bend down to eat grass before.
 They came within arms length, that if I reached out I could touch them...such long lushes eyelashes and those tongues!

 One of these three is not like the others....

 Oh, the rhinos...lazy big creatures today!
 I caught a wildebeest getting a drink...
 then went straight back to the rhinos!
 The cheetahs were sunbathing today.
 These little elephants were just too cute for words!
 The size of these elephants and their feet!

Oh we had such fun today!  We can't wait to go back again! 
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

CJ's First Birthday Party

On Saturday, we celebrated CJ's first birthday with some of our family and friends.    I love having birthday parties for our kids at home and making their day extra special for them.  Of course, anyone who knows me knows that there MUST be a theme and that theme is carried through out the party...even down to how we dress!  The theme for CJ's first birthday party was mustaches with a red and teal-blue color scheme.    The theme greeted you even before you entered!

During the first month of his life, I took pictures to capture how he had grown and changed.  Seeing all of those pictures on display to compare how he had changed in such a short period of time was overwhelming.  Looking back at those pictures makes celebrating this day even sweeter.

Oh boy is this baby spoiled!  We have some pretty wonderful family and friends!  Thank you all for making CJ's birthday so extra special! 

Yes...the theme continued throughout our house....

I caught myself staring at this display constantly.  The picture is the first time I touched CJ.  He was only a few hours old and I only got to touch him for a brief second.  That second I held close to my heart until I was able to hold him again a week later.  Every time I see this picture, I am reminded of just how fragile life is and how each and every soul is precious.  The display of diapers shows again how much he has grown in just a year.  The first diaper was too big on him at birth.   He is truly amazing.

We had a taco bar set up for all of our friends and family for dinner, buffet style.  Our guests could make burritos, tacos, nachos, taco salad...what ever they prefer!  To satisfy their sweet tooth, everyone could indulge in a RED chocolate fountain (I wasn't kidding about the theme EVERY WHERE!).  After dipping the pretzel rods in chocolate, you could choose a topping of your preference...coconut, nuts, mini-marshmallows, or sprinkles. 

 Oh, and of course there were or blue velvet...again with the theme!

CJ's "smash cake" was in the shape of a mustache.  

Another extra-special display...Mommy and Daddy's first pictures with our miracle baby.

CJ's seat of honor....
 Before eating, we all sang "Happy Birthday" to CJ.

He got a little shy from all of the attention.

Never fear...Mommy and Daddy were there to help reassure him.

After dinner, CJ had plenty of help opening hid gifts.

Finally, it was time for his smash cake. 

Which he dove in to without hesitation!

When Mommy wanted a bite...

CJ didn't like that idea!

He thought they cake was hand clapping good!!

Thank you all so much for helping us celebrate the miracle and blessing that is CJ!

 Now.....time to start planning the next birthday!!

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