One of my goals for vacation was to take each of my kiddos on a Mommy date. On all of our summer trips so far I’ve had a pregnant belly or a nursling in tow, so this year, devoid of either, I wanted to dedicate a day to each child for some one-on-one hang-out-with-Mommy time. Bug’s turn came first! It happened to fall into place on a day when Grandma and Grandpa took the older two kids on a scouting trip, so we let Bitty tag along with us to the zoo! It’s just a tiny local zoo, but the perfect speed for little legs and eyes 🙂

Checking out the cool Lion drinking fountain that guards the entrance to the zoo. This fountain is extra-cool because Daddy used to drink from it when he was the same age and visiting his grandma!

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Bitty found a fascinating animal to check out. This guy saw her from across the pen and waddled right up to the fence and stuck out his head to say hi. Bitty Girl giggled and put out her curious fingers to pet him… IMG_5871

…And she will never do THAT again! Poor baby girl had a rude awakening when her new “friend”, rather than cozying up to her like our neighbors’ puppies, gave a sharp peck to her tiny hand. I’m sure he meant well, but I guess his mommy never taught him to be gentle ; ) Her cries were more in protest and anger than pain; she was quite put-out that such a friendly creature could be so cruel! IMG_5874

See, all better just a few minutes later : ) It was a scorching afternoon, so we savored every little spot of shade we came to.IMG_5875

Bug was in charge of the iPod-camera and proudly snapped pictures of every cool creature that would show it’s head. Like I said, it was a pretty hot day, so even the animals were hiding in the shady nooks and crannies. IMG_5893

I just followed both kids around and took their pictures as they ran from pen to pen smiling the entire time : ) IMG_5897

She finally got to take a turn playing photographer… Crazy thing is, she actually knows how to use it…IMG_5908

My snuggle Bug, getting so big! Every time I see a picture of him, I find myself in a moment of nostalgia remembering him as a bright-eyed baby snuggling in my arms… and now here he is turning into such a big boy with the sweetest disposition, always ready to go with the flow and spreading smiles and hugs everywhere he goes : )  IMG_5910

We made a quick stop at the gift shop to pick out some goodies. Bug procured a frog and T-shirt while Bitty would have nothing but a gray elephant with sparkly blue eyes! IMG_5917

No exaggeration, they were both OUT in the ten minutes it took to drive home! IMG_5919

I told you it had sparkly eyes! It was the eyes that drew Bitty Girl in. She was browsing the gift shop, casually wandering from one shelf to the next when suddenly she stopped, spun around, and hollered, “MOMMY!” I turned to see her practically leap across the open space to a small rack full of these baby animals, all with sparkly eyes in a rainbow of colors. She picked up each one, studying it carefully, grinning and giggling as she tried to make her decision. I pulled one of each animal off the rack and lined them up in front of her. This one won the pageant! I don’t know if it was because it’s an elephant like her big sister has, or because of those sparkly blue eyes that reminded her of Daddy’s favorite color, but this was the one she had to have, and she knew it as soon as she saw it. The name on the tag reads “Peanut.” Bitty heard that, and her little brain added “butter,” so we now have Peanut Butter the elephant as part of our family! IMG_5920

They are now inseparable! And this girl is completely zonked out! I carried her from the carseat, into the house, deposited her on the bed, tucked the elephant in, and she never even blinked! IMG_5921

Same with this sweet kiddo! Although, he was significantly more difficult to pull out of his carseat being 45 pounds of sleeping-weight! I full expected him to wake up, but he never opened his eyes, just stretched out and slept for another two hours! I’d say our little “date” was a huge success ; ) IMG_5922

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