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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Big Kid Club: Zoo Atlanta

We had SUCH an amazingly fun summer! Even with Tess having a morning nap we still managed to do a lot and I think the big kids still had a blast. However, I really wanted to do something special before summer ended to really make sure the big kids felt like they got quality Mommy time. So much of my time at home (especially with nursing) is devoted to Tess since she's a baby and truly needs me for everything. 

In summer's past we have gone up to Atlanta to visit the Zoo. We went with Robyn and her crew (and met Mrs. Charlotte, Casey, and Courtney with her kids there) in 2011 and then again with Casey for a quick trip in 2013. It's ALWAYS a blast and I really wanted to make it happen again this year. I struggled to make it work and am thankful Casey and I were able to figure out a time that worked for us both so we could go on an adventure :)

We ended up only being able to go the day after Tess's party. So we had the party Saturday afternoon and left for Atlanta first thing Sunday morning. Can I just go ahead and say my foot did ammmmazing with all this craziness?!?! I actually wore my thick flip flops to the zoo (if you've ever been then you know it's a VERY hilly zoo...plus I was pushing a stroller too!) and was able to last majority of the day with them on. I did put on the tennis shoes when I felt I needed them but I had ZERO pain that night or the next day! And that's including all the activity I had done on Saturday for the party festivities! Helllo HUGE IMPROVEMENT!!!

Anyway...the big kids and I decided to coin this trip the beginning of our new club "The Big Kids Club." We have secret special big kid only events where no babies are allowed ;) Tess will get to join when she becomes a big kid too, of course! Britt was ALL ABOUT the Big Kid Club. And I really think it helped her to act more like a big kid too by being a member :) 

We got free passes for the zoo from our local library and Casey brought Carter along for the trip. I also want to go ahead and say that he did AWESOME. I'm so impressed with Casey. She's the perfect balance of scheduled but yet also flexible. I struggle with being flexible but she's great at it and Carter does super well too. I do think a lot of my rigidness comes from raising a high sleep needs baby (Britt). I had to be very, very by the clock with her because she required that sleep. Tess is a much lower sleep needs child and I have been more flexible with her, but not as flexible as I probably could be. Carter and Tess are similar in their overall personalities and tend to be very easy going and very happy! 

We got to the zoo at 10:30ish and met my good friend Kelly there with her big kids (she has kids the same ages as mine!). It was a fun filled day from start to finish! Zach has actually never been to Zoo Atlanta with us and I do think it'd be a fun family trip sometime. I LOVE Zoo Atlanta as it brings back so many memories from my childhood and I'm glad my kids are able to experience it! 







In pretty much every picture you will see Kye holding the map of the zoo. Kid LOVES some navigation and is a little mini-planner like his Mama. He enjoyed telling us what animals we'd be seeing next and also enjoyed reading the info signs at the exhibits. It's so neat to have a reader in the group now! I also only brought a single stroller because I knew Britt would need it (and let's be real...I like to have a place to store all our STUFF rather than carrying it!) but Kye walked the whole time and did wonderfully!






A fun aspect of zoos to me is that you never know what you're going to see. It's different every time you go and you sometimes luck out and see neat things! We got lucky and saw the lions awake which is a rare site as lions sleep like 20 hours a day or something crazy like that!







Britt was SUPER into picture taking this trip. Made my heart happy!



We packed lunches for the kids and the grown ups bought our lunches. Every time I've visited this zoo we've stopped at the same spot for lunch. I LOVE how shaded the zoo is. Even when it's super hot outside, it doesn't feel like it there. Sure, we got sweaty but not too bad. My big kids get along SO well with Kelly's big kids and they have a natural friendship with them. It's so nice how easily they blend together!



Willie B is my jam. Like I'm a loyalist and will always and forever love Willie B. No dumb pandas will take his place in my heart!



Best restaurant ever just b/c of the name ;)


Casey might have freaked out about the baby gorillas!


New to us was a reptile house they have recently built. It was SO nice and had some awesome AC pumping too ;) Britt is an alligator lover and Kye loves some snakes. As a kid my favorite animal was frogs (due to the fact that they live part of their lives in water and part on land, I always loved that) so we were just all about the reptile house! 


 I spy an alligator!



"My favorite!!!"


Chill Mode



Bahaha these facial expressions are perfection!


This lizard was CRAZY and so fun to watch, you can tell Casey liked him too!







My baby girl!


Carter loved all the animals and was so, so cute :)



Jordan better watch out b/c Casey may come home with a baby gorilla!



Naked mole rats are a fav of mine. The fact that God created something so ugly is pretty awesome :)




Someone was tiring out haha






Big kids!


Can you tell Carter is in that "all over the place" phase? Haha! I don't think we could get him to sit still for any pics!








The zoo has a great layout where you can end the day with the petting zoo and then splash area. It's really perfect b/c it's an awesome ending to a fun day!







Kye and Rhyan caught sight of a goat pooping and these pics are hilarious of their reactions!






Time for some water fun!











Jordan had texted Casey so I snapped this pic of her and Carter to send him...I totally didn't even notice the other child in the shot bahahahaha


Carter missed both of his naps AND had the ride up to Atlanta (which is about 3 ½ hours). And he did GREAT! He wasn't fussy at all and as soon as we were finishing up he fell asleep in his stroller :) Look at those sweet cheeks!!!


We headed from the zoo up to near my hometown to spend the night with Kelly and her crew. She was so sweet to host all of us and our craziness! They have a new-to-them home on family property with a HUGE yard. The kids enjoyed playing! When I sent Zach this pic he was not jealous of the Ford's for having to mow that beast haha! 


Tess and Daddy had enjoyed a day together! 


Zach sent me so many selfies throughout the day so I sent him one in return haha!


We had pizza and all the kids took baths...I wished Tess was there to meet Lainey and she would have made a cute addition to this crew :)



There was a LOT of play time and the kids had SO much fun! The cried the next morning because they didn't want to leave their friends. They all got along so well and it was cute to see them having such a fun time together. Casey and I slept on the couches and stayed up visiting with Kelly. Lots of memories were made and it was a fun first day of our Big Kid Club Adventure!


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