¬†Woohoo! I finally figured out how to get pictures from my new phone to my computer! Now to figure out videos…..because I have some cute ones of Z doing his Tae Kwon Do:)

So, let’s play picture catch-up, shall we?

I met a friend at the zoo a couple weeks ago. I brought the stroller just in case, even though Miss E insisted she didn’t need it! She was in and out the whole time;)

Our very favorite thing we saw were the polar bears!! They were swimming and having the best time!

There is a cool place underground where you can go watch the polar bears swim over you. Very cool!

Their paws are just massive! We could’ve stayed there for hours:)

We went back to the zoo the following weekend as a family, with some friends. The weather is perfect for seeing animals~sunny, not too hot and not too cold! Look closely and you’ll see the elephant is standing over another elephant taking a nap! So funny.

I want one, I want one! Red pandas are adorable! We watched this cutie scale a tree to join his friend, who was napping.

Beautiful (and scary) tigers snoozing!

The brown bears were devouring a delicious snack that was being tossed down to them from way up high.

We learned a few things about bears in the 10 minutes we watched them. One, they like fruits and veggies. Two, they do not like banana peels and can slice them open quickly and eat the insides out. Three, they have razor sharp claws. Four, and teeth! They can eat a raw sweet potato. Try gnawing on that!!

Since it was the day before Easter, bunnies were out in full force at the zoo:) Eliana usually doesn’t like things like this but she wanted to go right up and give “Miffy” a big hug. Who is Miffy anyways??!


There were several bunnies to choose from but the only other one she was willing to hug was Buster and we talked the boys into joining:)

Love, love this beautiful trio!!!

We had another eye re-check last week. Goodness, look how big she’s getting! Anyways, the goal is to match the vision in both her eyes as best as we can. Her prescription is now pretty good but her new dr added in another element….

The patch. I was really taken aback when he said we had to do this but understand the reasons why, even if I don’t like it. We have to patch her right eye (her dominant eye) 2 hours a day for awhile (possibly 6 months) to give her left eye a chance to gain strength focusing, etc.

Surprisingly, she has taken to it really well! She asks to do it each day, which is a relief, because it’s one more thing in my day, which is hard. She has to do focusing activities while wearing it and often towards the end of the 2 hours, per dr’s suggestion, I give her a little time on her brother’s Leapster Explorer as a reward for doing so well (plus it really makes her eye focus!) She has 3 girly colors to choose from so I let her pic each day what she would like.

More on patches later!

Lots of rain and storms lately but also more emerging sunny days! Yea for outside time!!

Ben had to work this weekend so he missed some time seeing the chickies. They are all over him like white on rice if he gets down on the ground!! (Samuel was there, too, but was off sulking because of an “injury.” ūüôā

Our weekends are very busy now!! Samuel started baseball practice Saturday and Ben is the assistant coach! As you can see, his team is the Phillies, which is funny since no one on the team likes the actual Phillies! Samuel LOVED going to practice and even game home sporting dirt from a “slide” on to base;)

And while Ben took him to practice, I took Mr Z (and E) to Tae Kwon Do. We met back at home for lunch and then B had to go to work til after midnight. Yuck.

But we enjoyed a really nice day yesterday, complete with a visit to the park and some DQ!!

School break and Zoo trip!

 I have had all sorts of blog posts rolling around in my head this past week but unfortunately, they have been competing with a sinus infection and the sinus infection won. Grr. All thanks to that flu we had a few weeks ago! Thankfully, antibiotics are fighting the good fight and my brain is starting to unfog. Always a good thing:)

The kids had the day off today and I just thought I was going to be driven to drink. They were driving me mad! We’ve just had too many days cooped up together lately and the boys, especially were like two puppies fighting. Ugh! So I finally forced everyone to get out of their pjs and into the car and we went to the zoo! It was 40 and sunny today and the zoo wasn’t too crowded.

A fun picture I took this morning of Eliana’s and my cups. Love the colorful shadow!!

We went straight to the polar bears by unanimous vote and found this cutie all stretched out resting. Samuel said he wanted one for a pet….

They do look awfully cuddly from far away!!

Then my little bears lined up from littlest….

To medium sized…

To biggest!

Three little bears:)

I tried to get them to take a picture and they were like, “Mommy, we can’t see! The sun is so bright!” oops. haha.

This was Zakkai’s favorite animal of the day. They reindeer! They did look pretty fuzzy and cute.

A lot of the exhibits are closed for the winter (boo) but we still found plenty to entertain us. We went to the aquarium part and found this funny guy.

We found some manatees, too. They are funny, gentle looking creatures. The “little” one on the left is only two months old!

The only animal we could see in the Australia exhibit were the koalas. Now that is an animal I’d like to take home!

So cute and snuggly!

And on our way out, we saw some penguins. This funny guy really liked Eliana’s light up shoes and kept coming back to look at them:) So funny!

We also saw 3 dogs at the zoo. It surprised me because it’s not something you are used to seeing but apparently they live at the zoo and do some shows and tricks. They were very sweet!

It was nice to get out and get a little vitamin D and exercise and a little break from the cooped-up-fighting. I have to admit…I’m a little thankful school starts again tomorrow:)

A New Zoo!

¬†We were gifted with a Columbus Zoo pass and we’ve already gone twice! It’s a really big zoo and even after two trips, we haven’t seen it all!

On the first trip, we went with Ben’s mom (a.k.a. Grandma!), and the boys’ cousins on his side of the family. Even though it was pretty hot out, they had a really great time together!

Last week I decided to get out of the house and took the kids to the zoo myself. It was a gorgeous day, 76 and sunny and the zoo was SO crowded but still fun! We got to check out the new Africa exhibit, which was cool. Like looking out onto the Savannah.


My favorite!

My cuties!

They climbed inside an old WWII airplane and stood in line to “fly” it. The boys took such good care of Eliana!

I see a cutie in the window!


We saw Cheetas…

And found more giraffes! There were 9 giraffes in all. Wow!

This one was trying so hard to reach some plants..

His buddy came over to help..

You could almost reach out and pet them!

There were 4 bald eages

And 2 elephants! We haven’t seen elephants in a long time because our zoo at home lost their elephants a few years ago.

Zakkai’s favorite were the tigers! This one came up eye to eye with this man.

The animals were wide awake because it was so nice out.

This is probably my favorite picture!

We had a really good time together and are planning on going back soon while we can!

Next up….the Steam Threshers Parade!

Zoo Lights!

¬†Tonight we decided to make good use of our last month of zoo membership and see the Christmas lights! It’s something we’ve never done before as a family and we were all looking forward to it!

At first my camera didn’t quite like the lights…

It was pretty cold so we all shared some hot chocolate to warm up!

Every year the zoo has community tree decorating and lots of businesses and different group decorate hundreds of trees lining the paths of the zoo.

Eliana’s into this toothy cheesy grin lately:) It’s so funny!

My boys! Man, they look so big here!

I have no idea who these people are but the lights are pretty:)

Our favorite zoo!

The Dinosaurs Alive exhibit is coming back to our zoo this spring so they had a cool section of dinosaur lights to promote it!

The boys begged me to take a picture of the volcano (last pic) and this one:)

One of the last things we did was check out the laser lights show! It was really cool. It was on a HUGE screen and they had animations to one of my favorite songs, “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” and some other cool stuff. It turned out to be our favorite part of the night!

It took forever to get out of the zoo as it was PACKED with hundred and hundreds of people and lots of traffic. We even got flicked of by a crazy angry guy who didn’t want to let anyone in the car line. Aren’t people so wonderful sometimes?

Aside from crazy dude, it was a really fun thing to do as a family and a fun way to end our Saturday!

Wild Zoo Day!

¬†We received a wonderful gift for Christmas that every family needs: a zoo membership! We’ve been trying to take full advantage of it lately and today was such a day. The boys were very excited to learn that the very esteemed (by children) Wild Kratt Brothers were coming to our very own Brookfield Zoo for a show.

The zoo opened early for members since apparently last year when they came, there was at least TWO hours of traffic backed up for miles to get in. Apparently, this show is pretty popular:)

So we went early and met a long-time friend and her two kiddos! We were lathered in sunscreen and armed with tons of water since it was a blazing hot sun today and 93 degrees. What a day to sit out in the sun!

We played on the playground for awhile with our spots already staked out (future concert preparation for our kids:) and ate an early lunch until finally it was time! Zakkai was really sleepy until the crowd started roaring and then he perked right up:)

For those of you not up on your Wild Kratt trivia, Martin (who always wears blue) and Chris (who always wears green) are brothers who go to the amazon and jungles and look for wild animals. They have a cartoon/live show that the boys sometimes watch on PBS. They told a whole amazon story complete with lots of animal noises that the audience had to participate in like the hissing crocodiles and snorting wild pigs and the flapping wings of the macaw. It was pretty fun.

If you like that sort of thing, I mean:)

Missy was getting sleepy but she chilled in her stroller during the show, bathed in sweat. Poor thing!

She was SUPER sleepy a little while later after the show and fell asleep 2.3 seconds after we got home and slept for 3 hours!

We had to stop and see a few animals on our way out like the bears, wolves and Samuel and my favorite: the giraffes:) Such a beautiful, peaceful animal!

Here’s Zakkai being a 5 year old kid:)

And my growing-up-too-fast Samuel. He had me count down how many days til his birthday today. Only 26 days til he turns 7. Waaaaaah!

This is a truly horrible picture but please allow me to delight your taste buds by telling you how truly wonderful this was. We had breakfast for dinner tonight and part of our delicious traditional Sunday meal was a stuffed french toast with peach sauce. It was D.I.V.I.N.E. I shall share the recipe soon…

And after dinner, Eliana got silly with her brother and climbed on him to play games and inspect his all-time favorite shirt (Angry Birds!). He had her giggling so hard!

I love this picture! Sweet siblings:)

Happy Sunday!

Zoo Day!

 On Sunday after lunch, despite the suspicious weather, we decided to go to the zoo and take full advantage of our zoo membership! Unfortunately, by the time we got there (and we live close!), a nasty thunderstorm was brewing.

So we decided to walk around the mall for awhile. We splurged and spent .75 whole cents on a car ride for the boys:) Aren’t we generous? It doesn’t take much to make kids happy!

They chose a red 2 seater (although it looks orange in this pic..). Samuel drove sedately, saying he was going to the store to buy a hat and Zakkai drove like a madman, making me very glad that he’s not ready to be behind the wheel for a good 11-12 years! Whew.

When we came out of wandering around the mall, we found that the storm had passed, leaving behind a warm moist air and we decided to go to the zoo afterall. This little lady was SOOO tired and ended up taking a nap in the Moby wrap. I am so glad we can still use it!

Ahhhhhhh! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…..giant bee? The boys were a little freaked out by this, especially since randomly, a strange buzzing sound would play and the pinchers would start opening and closing. Samuel kept saying, “What if there were really bees that big?”

I would never go outside. Ever.

We ventured over to the monkey house, which was my request:) These little monkeys were the tiniest little things, the size of a few month old kitten! I really wanted to take one home but Ben convinced me that probably wasn’t a good idea.

We have enough monkeys anyways…

Apparently, the gorillas were being separated to welcome a new friend who is coming to the zoo, named “JoJo.” Gorillas are really interesting! These were the¬†girl gorillas. The big ape, the manly one, was off by himself and he seemed really disgruntled. I think he was missing the ladies.

Have you ever heard a peacock cry? It is the most chilling cry you’ve ever heard from an animal! Speaking of a “ladies man”, this guy had 4 to choose from! Or maybe that’s why he was hiding on the roof….not sure:)

“Giddyap, Lion!” The boys had a good time. We are able to keep our zoo visits short and sweet since we live so close and have a pass. We can pick a few animals we want to see, wonder around for an hour or two and go home instead of packing in an entire day and then dragging exhausted selves home.

At least B and I are always exhausted. I’ve yet to discover where kids get their energy……But when I do, I’m going to bottle it up and sell it for millions!

A Day at the Zoo

Or 2 hours:)¬†Yesterday we enjoyed an entire day together! We rarely get those so it was very much enjoyed. The zoo was not at all crowded because not many people think a windy, cold day is a great zoo day….except us, of course!

We spent most of our time inside the Hamill Family Play Zoo, which houses small animals such as iguanas, snakes, lemurs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.

Oh no, one of the lemurs escaped!! Oh wait, I know him….:) (you can see a real one behind him)

¬†Next, we talked a couple of reluctant boys into some face painting. Daddy had a secret weapon…

 He joined in! It is so much more fun when your daddy gets silly with you:)

¬†This picture explains so much of what my life is like….:)

Missy escaped her stroller to play with some puppets and snakes, not real ones, thankfully!

¬†“Please don’t stuff me back in the stroller! Please?”

This picture also explains much of what I experience in my life….;) He thought his mom would enjoy this!

Happy Sunday!