Thursday, February 23, 2017

Last trip to the Woodland Park Zoo

My membership officially expires February 28th, so I knew we had to get back to the zoo one more time before we head east. We really do love the zoo!

Sunny day forecasted on the Friday BEFORE Winter Break - pack our bags, let's head to Seattle!!

The hippos were out! We arrived at the zoo a little later than we usually do and they are most often completely submerged in the water. Brock was astounded by how big they are!

I loved how on this trip, Kade really was enjoying all the animals as well! His little voice saying "giraffe" (or trying to) is super cute!!

The lion looked just like Oscar sunning himself on the top of that rock. As soon as I took this shot, he got up and gave us his backside! Funny lion!

Brock was hanging out with the climb-able lions....

We made our way around to the playground right outside the river otters area. Brock needed to let out some energy (Maybe it had something to do with him standing on the stroller instead of walking next to it!!) and it was good for Kade to stretch his legs! He was very cute playing peek-a-boo in the pretend bamboo!

Brock asks me every trip if we can go on the Carousel and every time I always just tell him we don't have enough money for that today. Knowing today was the last visit, I felt like we had to ride.... even though I started twitching when I had to fork over six dollars for one ride!!

The boys were adorable on it! Brock was fascinated by their two horses being connected and Kade was just enamored by everything - lights, sounds, horse moving! Yeah, I guess it was money well spent!

Here's a cute video of the boys on the ride.

Next stop was the penguins!!
Brock has been on a bit of a penguin kick since our flight home from North Carolina. Did I mention he watched "Penguins of Madagascar" TWICE on the plane? Thank you Uncle Brian for the wifi! Everything has been about penguins and what they eat, where do they live, etc. While watching them here, he kept sizing himself up to the water height: "Look Momma, the water is up to here on me!"

After a stop for lunch, we headed inside to the indoor play area. I know we have videos of Brock tackling this slide at a young age and Kade being fearless, climbed right up and did it too! He didn't mind how fast he was going at all!!

There is an open area of birds in the Tropical Rainforest and Kade immediately pointed out this red bird.

Can you spot the two Red Ruffed Lemurs in this picture?? They have a black and white face.

We managed to get a little window-space at the gorilla exhibit and came just at the right time to see the baby gorilla out with her mother. Baby Yola is 15 months old now!

Baby Yola looking at Kade! (And Kade is looking at a different gorilla and making monkey noises)

Brock was being a pill and didn't care to see the actual gorillas - he was more interested in climbing all over these statues of the animals. Oh well, it was a long day.

Last stop was the flamingos - Brock & Kade enjoyed watching those "pink skinny birds."

Picture from inside the car - my birthday present - wolf leggings from my friend Abbey!! (No one took MY picture!) But I love them and felt I was dressed appropriately for the zoo!

I hope Brock and Kade enjoyed the zoo as much as I did. The zoo is in North Seattle, but really only takes us about 35 minutes to get there from our home! It has been so sweet to stop in on our favorites through the years (Brock loves that the tigers are the same age as him) and observe new animals every visit!

We love and will miss you Woodland Park Zoo!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Happy Birthday to me! And an early birthday present!

We made it back to Seattle just in time to see the snow! The next day we had terrible rainstorms;  coupled with snow melting meant LOTS of flooding. The above road is Washington State Route 900 - pretty much the only way from Renton to Issaquah as it meanders between Cougar Mountain Park and Squak Mountain State Park.

Then just two days before my birthday - I received a very exciting early birthday present! Our house went pending!! Hallelujah!!

Now we can bring out all the toys again and leave them all over the carpet!!!!!!!
But really - it was a great offer - great price, but also a nice lengthy closing date which is going to be much easier leaving Seattle - giving us time to pack and say our goodbye's!
^See! Even Kade can't believe our good fortune!! ;)

On my actual birthday, we had to rush out of the house due to the Buyer's Inspection walk-through.... worked out okay though - we had breakfast at Jay Berry's (a cafe down the street that gets rave reviews, but had never been), then killed time and blew off some steam at JuzPlay - the very cool play area in Issaquah we had gone to the month before! Brock loved having Daddy there to watch him do all these things and couldn't stop telling him everything that they had there on our way over!

Happy smiles from my happy boys!

Happy Birthday to me! :)

Now don't get excited - this is what I wanted for my birthday. I love it. It was a much needed present - the old one is really struggling these days! Too much dog hair in this house!!

Our babysitter arrived and Brent whisked me off to dinner in Bellevue. It was the perfect ending to a full day!

We had some sunny days after my birthday. Cold, but at least it was sunny. (Doesn't mean the slide still isn't wet....)

Valentine's Day! $0.49 cards for each and re-gifted Pez from our very own pantry attached to the card! Am I good or what??? :) Hopefully the Easter Bunny will get his act together by then!!
They still loved it! :)

I do want to add that after I picked Brock up from school on Tuesday, he started singing a cute Valentine's song about "Two little hugs and two little kisses." Super sweet - I think he liked his V-day party because I have NEVER heard a song from him before!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

House Hunting Trip to NC - Part II

Before bedtime with tablets at Grandma's - I'm such a good mom! ;)

Finally got Mia in the bathtub with the boys on this trip! I think they all loved it! Mia loves the water - at one point, she just sat down! Kade doesn't get this experience at home with his big doggies!

Uncle David came in one day to visit as well! Thank you Uncle David for helping watch the boys while I ran out to look at a new house listing!!

Kade dabbled in his creative side with some crayons in Grandma's dining room.....  (one of FIVE spots he colored).... Thank goodness for magic erasers!

On Saturday night, we headed up to North Raleigh for dinner at Papa's & Miss Phyllis' home. Their home is NOT quite baby-proofed! Papa brought out his guitar and the boys were very curious!

Poor Papa tried to sing a song to Brock, but Brock was in one of his moods..... didn't quite like the attention. Alas, I still managed to get a short video of Brock strumming.

Sunday afternoon, Grandma got her second wind and decided we'd traverse to the big city of Raleigh and tour a museum! Such a beautiful day!

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences was a bit different than the Museum of Life and Science in Durham Brock was expecting - he wanted to go see the butterflies - next time Brock!

Kade pointing to the birds
I'm posting this picture to show how "helpful" Kade was in allowing me to get a picture of big brother - he kept escaping the room because he learned how to open the door!!

No Brock, these dinosaurs don't talk - you're good. ;)

What a photographer! My big one took this photo of me!!

Grandma and Brock walking hand in hand leaving the museum in front of the NC General Assembly building.

Later that night the kids and I were invited to a Superbowl gathering at Helen and Joe's house! So perfect to let the boys blow off some steam running around with Jake and Jennifer's kids too! I'm so glad they play so nicely together! And Kade totally followed Lucas and mastered those basement stairs like a champ! Looking forward to more impromptu gatherings like these!! :)

Also that night about 2,350 miles away, snow was rapidly falling in Renton, Washington! When it stopped mid-day the next day, 7 inches had accumulated and we decided we were not attempting to fly stand-by in all that mess.

Forecast predicted a high of 68 that day in Raleigh, so we felt we made the right decision. Time for the playground! .....and a preview of what my summer is going to look like. Kade and Brock do not want to do the same thing at the playground - nor will Kade listen to me when I tell him to not run away. Ahhhh! He was a lot slower last summer at the playgrounds!!

This is why moms wear yoga pants all day - because we are constantly working out running after our children!

But they look so cute and they were so happy playing!

Time for another amazingly cooked meal by Grandma!
Yummy baked ziti
 And here's two pictures I happened upon when flipping through old photo albums at my mother's house.

Uncle "Bob" - Robert Topar (my mother's oldest sibling) - I see a bit of Brock there

My Grandmother Grace Topar - an amazing woman :)
Then it was off on American Airlines again - short flight back to Charlotte, then a much longer flight, with unnecessary drama, to Seattle.

Good thing these boys are cute.... that was a long flight. :)

And in case you were wondering, no house yet. Nothing met all our requirements and I'm being a little more picky this time. Thank you to all the people who watched the boys while I did my house research in the area! My Dad took the day off and babysat them one day, Uncle David watched them as well and my mom did A LOT - especially one week before having knee surgery! Thank you!!