Friday, November 30, 2007

Maria is 3

Doesn't the zoo sound like the quintessential destination to mark a 3rd birthday? Doesn't quintessential sound lovely? I have no idea what it means. I can confirm though, that the zoo is a very good place to go when it is your 3rd birthday. Maria, with her raisins in a zoo pail, walked and ran and explored and delighted for many hours... and we delighted as well. William, Alex, Max and I spent most of the cool, gray day, following Maria up and down hills, through trails and to the exhibits of some beautiful animals.

We assume she liked it, mostly. At nearly every enclosure and exhibit she retracted her feet and said, "Don't eat my feet."

So, when Alex and Maria looked at the teeny-tiny marmosets, she said, "Don't eat my feet."

And quite understandably, when we went to pet the goats, she said, "Don't eat my feet."

She liked this activity, being a butterfly in the Children's Zoo. She liked the real, live insects too. I am not going to show the picture of the bird eating spider. Too creepy, for me.

"Don't eat my feet."

The otters like cold, gray days and they were very active.

Most of the animals were active and we got to spend a lot of time enjoying up close visits, especially with the orangutans, gorillas, and a crocodile.

Maria loves looking at pictures. She loves to sit on my lap, or her daddy's and look at Chickenblog pictures. This will probably be one of her favorite posts.

The zoo is a nice place to visit on a quiet day. We took our time, and only rushed when we wanted too... like when we ran to see the elephants and the rock hyrax. Otherwise we sat down and waited to see how long the crocodile could hold his breath. Answer: A long time.

No enclosure was secure enough to convince Maria we were completely safe, so she depended on her brothers to keep her protected.

I had to come back and add this elephant. William laughed and said, "The elephant is the quintessential zoo animal." So true. Thank you son.

And to the very end, Maria admonished every creature: "Don't eat my feet!"

OKay, seriously...


nikkipolani said...

I don't know, this could be my favorite post too! Great colorful pictures, Natalie, despite the gray of the day.

Janece said...

I read this post outloud to Paul -- we laughed and loved Maria's admonitions to all the animals... "Don't eat my feet!"

I can't tell you how much I wish that we were local and that Amira & I could have celebrated Maria's 3rd with you. Amira would have adored it... as would I.

Happy Belated Birthday, beautiful Maria!

tea time and roses said...

A Big Happy Belated Birthday to little Maria! I can tell the zoo was loads of fun!!



Anna Banana said...

Wish I'd been with you today! Instead, we were poured on by God's giant buckets all the way up to Big Bear. Double time wipers all the way. A little relief when I got back to Fallbrook. Anyway, here's to the things we do for ourselves that we say is for our children. Aren't they amazing marvelous creatures?

Laura Jane said...

Happy birthday Maria, I can see why this would be your favourite post.

Gorgeous photos Nat, what a loving record of your sons keeping their sister safe (from her feet being eaten).

When my daughter was three she loved the zoo too, especially Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, where she ate popcorn for the first time in her life. Her brother has photos with her at Milwaukee zoo, feeding the goats too.

Seems like yesterday and now they are both adults and she is out on a river cruise tonight with her friends!

Julie said...

What cuties -- both the animals and the kids.

I used quintessential in a conversation with my dh yesterday.

calamitykim said...

saying quintessential is like saying salsa or pyewackett (the name of the cat in Bell, Book and Candle). It feels good in your serendipity and butternut squash. Maria is so darling and I can almost hear her saying- "don't eat my toes"!! Thats how I feel at the zoo too! The pictures are glorious- I love the flamingos!!!! Have I told you, lately, thank you? you sweet thang! I love coming here to visit! We just had delicious egg omelette sammies with cheddar and bacon and are working on himself the elf! Hopefully we can do this! Give Maria a squeeze and a kiss from me! happy happy birthday to her!

Missy said...

Happy Belated Birthday Maria! The zoo looks like a wonderful adventure. I'd be watching my feet around that croc too!

blessings to yours Natalie

p.s. My sis's toe has healed nicely. I won't let her near any crocs with her luck though ;-)

Marisa said...

Huge congrats on her happy 3! Another year under the belt. What a little doll!