I have been kind of a blog loser ever since I got my new phone and pretty much never have to open my computer once I leave my office. Which is good because this is what my desk looks like pretty much full time these days and no one wants to see that after dealing with the three to six o'clock period alone, cooking dinner, cleaning up, and put four kids to bed. This paper I'm presenting in January is no joke and Ryan's been so helpful with one chunk of the analysis that I don't feel like I can withdraw the paper in good conscience even though I had no idea how hard this was going to be and did not expect the abstract to be accepted. Live/Learn.
The good news is that I have not touched the analysis since Monday afternoon because the kids are on Thanksgiving Break and I AM THE BACKUP CHILDCARE. On the one hand, RELAXING. On the other, every time Ryan asks me a question about it I give him kind of a bitchy answer then go upstairs to compose myself for several minutes. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.
The other reason I haven't been getting much done is that some moron assigned my class of forty students a weekly two-page writing assignment.
But LOOK! On Tuesday we went to the ZOO! I had been planning this for a couple of weeks and was, weirdly, SUPER EXCITED about it. We used to do these totally impractical kinds of outings all the time and I really missed them since the big kids started real school and I started real(ish) job. One of Charley's friends and our own Miss N came with us and we had a really, REALLY good time.
Here are the primates with the primates.
Heeeeeere kitty kitty kitty.
Here's Mary with one of the two dozen or so "doggies" we encountered that day. "Doggie" equals "mammal" in case you didn't know. And all animals pant like a dog too.
The kids were SO FUN. They RAN from exhibit to exhibit (and we were practically the only ones there so this was not terrifying) and were funny and cute and REALLY INCREDIBLY OVER THE TOP EXCITED. Until we got to the orangutan exhibit and Charley and Wes started beating each other. How appropos!
I took this just before the smackdown began. The orangutan saw the boys and came over to the glass, after WRAPPING A BLANKET AROUND HIS SHOULDERS, and put his hand up to say hi. I had difficulty conveying the majesty of the gesture to the boys, but IT WAS AMAZING.
After the orangutans we had a picnic lunch, played on the playground for a while, hit Sonic for drinks, and then headed for home. Wes told every single person he encountered for the next two days "We went to the zoo. It took a really long time to get there but it was so much fun!" In the car we listed as a group the animals we'd seen and it went on for several happy minutes. So much fun and so much more satisfying than the last time we went to the zoo when the only thing the kids remembered from our three hours on the surface of the sun was that the monkey peed on it's own hand. It totally did, but still.
Today we went downtown to see a parade, but since I have limited practical skills I didn't realize that today was Friday, not Saturday, and there was no parade. We quickly recovered when Ryan found a free "picture with Santa" event close by. Mary was STOKED. What toddler doesn't love strangers, facial hair, and costumes?! Her little arm tightened around my bicep like a blood pressure cuff as we approached the Big Guy but I pressed on. We have three pictures of babies screaming on Santa's lap and now we have four. Personally I think this is my favorite.
She was fine by the time we got to lunch and then took a slightly longer than normal nap. Santa: similar to vaccinations for the Under 2 crowd.
Here's a happier picture as a palate cleanser. We tried to take her to big church with us on Sunday. It lasted approximately twenty minutes before she started loudly requesting "DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!" and trying to escape our pew. We love our nursery workers!
Tomorrow I'll have to gather together our Thanksgiving pictures and post those. I think Mary might have been crying in one or two of those too. Being a toddler is legit hard, you guys.