zoo day.

my work, and mr. h's too, has an optional summer schedule. we've chosen to participate every year. the gist of it is that memorial day through labor day you can work nine hour days monday through friday in order to get paid time off every other friday. it's call the 9/80 schedule. when said it is just like it looks "nine eighty". anyway, these 9 hour days are brutal. i hate being away from james for an additional hour every day. but...the extra fridays off are priceless. three day weekends are so much better than two day weekends. i'd still like to know who decided the five day work week and two day weekend. i'm assuming someone who doesn't actually have to work that schedule.

so, here i am, working nine hour days and sucking it up. i've just vowed that since i have to be away from james the additional time, i'll make it up to him on my fridays off work. it has worked like a charm and made the brutal schedule worth while.

my good friend, mandy (okay - i call her mandy from college because that is what she went by back then. now i'm pretty sure that she goes by amanda, or miss amanda like i'm trying to teach james, but old habits just die hard. or they don't die at all. she is still mandy to me), is a school teacher and has the summer to play with her sweet boy. i am so jealous. my first friday off we made plans to get the boys together and go to the okc zoo. they have this amazing children's zoo, so i've heard. i couldn't wait to take james! well, we woke up and took off. i bought chocolate donut holes at the gas station to start our journey. big mistake but james loved them. that was pretty much the highlight of my drive. i know my cardinal directions and such but man, okc and the highways scare me. i used the maps app on my phone but it told me the wrong exit. and trust me, i didn't want to be in the neighborhood i did exit. i called mandy and she got me back to the zoo. phew!

once she got to the zoo. i mean, she obviously beat me at this point, she read a sign that said the children's zoo was closed due to a philanthropy event being held inside that evening. what? there are school buses of kids and me with james ready to feed the lorikeets! luckily, i was so happy to be alive (exaggeration just a bit) that i just didn't care and was ready to have fun with the boys. now i just have an excuse to go back. when it's not so hot outside. speaking of, i didn't take very many pictures because it was dreadfully hot. you could tell even the animals thought it was hot most were sleeping, playing dead or hiding. we did however see the baby elephant. that was the second on my list. well third, make it to the zoo in one piece, go to the children's zoo and then see the baby elephant. it is crazy how small it looked but knowing it was 200 pounds. i wish i had that problem.

i loved seeing james excited for the animals that were out and watching him and liam play. and getting to catch up face-to-face with my friend! let's not forget that there are perks for moms on play dates too. with the heat and challenge of keeping the toddlers in sight and happy, i didn't take very many pictures. we stopped on the way out to let the boys ride some of the little rides. until we realized that we didn't have any quarters. awesome. so, now it's over 90 degrees and the boys are just playing on the toys. they didn't seem to mind but i'm sure the spectators thought we were mom of the year. personally, i think we are! the only thing i wish i would have done now is used a clorox wipe to disinfect the animals before we let them play. oh well, they survived and came out without any major diseases or injuries. that is a success my friends.

i did manage to get in a few pictures at the very end. in the shade. on the filthy "rides".

see the smiles? those are because a family with a little girl about the boys' age came up and had quarters. they let us ride along. there were no straps but this thing moved at a snails pace so trust me, it didn't matter.

next came time to try to get both of them to smile and look at the camera.

(insert laugh)

see mandy's head. she is doing a dance and trying to get their attention.

it worked!!!

they are both looking in the same general direction. i'll take it!!!
once i saw that on my camera, we packed up the boys to leave and find air-conditioning. much needed a/c.

from there we went to lunch. this was not james' finest hour. at first he was so good and the boys were playing at the table. then, like a switch, james was a terror. we broke our first plate. i could have died from embarrassment. i ate as fast as i could, paid, tipped well, and got james to the car. fortunately, or unfortunately, mandy knows the feeling and shared that liam had in fact broken his first plate there too. she understood my quick exit and james was asleep in about five seconds flat. it was such a fun day. i'm so lucky that i have gotten to see mandy and sweet liam since then. i already can't wait to meet up and go back to the zoo! and take the right exit, of course. james may be hitting the "terrible two's" but his interaction and play dates are so much fun! i am enjoying them just as much as he is! double bonus!!

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