never enough zoo time

when you buy membership to somewhere…you use it when you can!

we love having a family membership to the brookfield zoo! there are year round activities to do and the kids just plain love it. my favorite time to go is when it’s about 70 ish degrees. i do not like walking around when it’s so darn hot outside and that temperature is the perfect zoo day kind of weather.

it was an impromptu move to go. we didn’t have anything planned and my sister was off of work that day, so we thought…why not go to the zoo? it was a beautiful day out and, of course, the girls would love it.

it was a pinch to get there and parking was easy. we started exploring and decided to go to tropic world first {of course, not without seeing all the animals along the way!}. the monkeys were front and center and very active and fun to watch. we stayed there for awhile, as we had front row views of the cute creatures doing their thing…like nursing, scratching, and hanging around. LOL

when you go anywhere with little kids, it typically takes foooooooooreverrrrrrr to get to one place to the next. we love going to the zoo but we can never ever make it very far! every time we’ve gone, we’ve had intentions of seeing their lego exhibit and that’s been a failure each time. hahaha!

so, we were there for a couple hours and only made it though a corner of the zoo! gah! we spend a gazillion minutes at tropic world, a gazillion minutes at the play area, a gazillion minutes getting their face painted, then it was time to go home. bahahhaha!

speaking of face painting, the girls wanted to get their face done {ohmergawd…it costs a fortune at the zoo. like seriously…so much moolah and it washes off the face in two seconds}. this was ellie’s first time ever getting her face painted! what a moment! she has always resisted in fear before this. so, i was so excited she was game on! of course she chose the most colorful and detailed design. LOL she was so stinking cute while she was getting her face painted! proof in pictures below!

we had so much fun at the zoo. our on the fly decision of going was a great one! it was a perfect day, we spent the right amount of time there, and had so much fun the rest of the day {we did dinner at shake shack, shopped at the mall, and hit up target on our way home! yay!}.

cheers to having fun sisters who make amazing aunties! built in besties and PIC!

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[look at miss extra olive]

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[i love her]

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[children and water…always a fascination]

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[literally monkey see, monkey do with these two!

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[she wanted this monkey sooooooo bad]

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[getting her face painted for the first time ever! she was so cute scrunching her eyes shut]

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[she’s sooooo darn cute]

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[so darn cute]

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xoxo

butterflies in the zoo

it was going to be a beautiful day {as in not HOT}, so we decided to do a zoo day. those 70ish degree days are absolutely perfect for a day of walking around outside {and not sweating, feeling sticky, and exhausted}.

the kids kicked off our adventure with a ride on the carousel, while olive insisted on getting her face painted. oh my goodness…face painting takes forever! LOL hc came over and asked us if we wanted to experience the butterfly garden and i said yes.

once olive was finished {she was so happy with her choice…a unicorn swirly concoction of white, pink, glitter, and purple}, we walked over to the butterfly exhibit {which was two seconds away from where her face was painted}. first, you had to wait for someone to open the door and let you in. once inside, the girl gave clear, strict instructions on how to behave once inside. she then turned on a fan, blowing air straight down in front of the door and we walked inside.

ohhhhhh, it was so beautiful and awesome! the plants and flowers were gorgeous and the butterflies fluttering everywhere was like a dream come true! it was so magical and the girls were amazed! olive and ellie loved it! it was so cute when olive said to me…”kiki, did you know that the fairies paint the butterfly wings?!” oh my goodness…i love her so much!

we spent a lot of time inside the garden. the girls were having such a wonderful time being so close to the butterflies and loved seeing all the different types. i felt that we could have been in there for another 10-15 minutes but our other half of the party was waiting for us, so we reluctantly left the magical garden.

we traipsed our way to the dolphins, then the sea otters, then to get food, then to the playground. we have gone to the zoo with the intent to see the lego set up but every time we go…one thing leads to another and time gets aways from us and yet again, we haven’t seen the lego displays yet.

well, after the playground, we walked around a bit more but kim, terry, and the boys had to go to lacrosse practice. wah wah. ellie was so upset they had to leave and cried about it for a bit, she kept saying, “bennett. bennett…”. it was so cute…she really missed them! after they left, we decided to explore a little more of the zoo, so we headed over to tropic world to see the monkeys. once we were out, we explored a bit more of the zoo with the intention of heading on our way out. ellie was getting tired and a little cranky from not taking a nap.

it was another awesome day at the zoo in the books with the family! we had so much fun exploring and the butterfly garden was our most favorite part of the experience. i love how it’s a fun, different adventure every time we go to brookfield!

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[can you spot reagan and bennett?]

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[where’s ellie?]

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[ready to get her face painted]

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[she chose a unicorn design]

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[she was so good at keeping her eyes closed…even when she didn’t have to! LOL]

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[her finished look!]

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[the beautiful butterfly garden at the zoo!]

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[can you spot the black swallowtail?]

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[can you see the zebra longwing?]

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[hanging with my peeps]

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[beautiful monarch]

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[a plethora of julia’s]

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[peeking]

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[black swallowtail]

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[a great southern white landed on reagan’s hat!]

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[admiring the beautiful butterflies!]

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[i think this is the gulf fritillary]

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[sisters – can you spot olive?]

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[reagan was our photographer!]

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[besties]

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[we took a similar picture like this on this exact statue when we i was a few years old!

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[the boys]

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[monkeys grooming each other]

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xoxo

a day at the zoo

memorial day weekend weather looked dismal. it was supposed to rain every.single.day and who wants that??? it’s the weekend to kick off summer {and to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom} and rain didn’t fit into outdoor plans.

well, mother nature fooled us. it was beautiful and sunny on both saturday and sunday, which turned out great because we had plans no matter what! on saturday, we took olive to the salon for a haircut, lunch, and came back to our abode to work on things at home. then we headed back out to buy flowers at wannemaker’s, then eat and shop at ikea. it was a busy day and night but we checked things off that needed to be done!

the next day, we hosted our family over for some grub and drinks. it was a good afternoon eating and hanging out with the best people. we cooked seasoned chicken, burgers, corn, vegetable skewers and had many other delicious dishes. it was a fun time and the weather was beautiful for us to be outside!

we decided, last minute, to head to the zoo on monday. now this time, the weather looked ominous but we were confident the rain would hold off until later in the afternoon and we were right! we had the most joyous time at the zoo! the temp was just right, the kids were having so much fun, and the adults were living their best life with beers and just having fun with the kiddos. unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore as much as we wanted of the zoo…our time was cut short by the big storm rolling in.

terry was on weather app radar and informed us of the time we had every hour. LOL. then the temperature dropped and we knew the storm was about to hit. we said our goodbyes and started walking towards our cars. i foolishly asked hc to stop so olive could get her face painted but straightened out my head and said, let’s go…and convinced olive that we would do it next time. well, those five minutes cost us! we were a few minutes from the car when the sky opened up and pouuuuuuuuuured on us. like buckets of rain! darn it!

we left the zoo and headed on our way to a restaurant to meet the fam, again, for a late lunch. it was a monsoon out! just sheets of rain coming down and blowing to the side. i was amazed at how many people were actually coming into the zoo as we were leaving. the rain didn’t pass quickly…it rained heavily for awhile!

of course, after we ate, we then went shopping, like fools. the rain didn’t let up and we all were soaked one way or another but truthfully, we really had the best day with everyone. it was good, fun, relaxing, and full of content.

this past memorial day weekend was one for the books.

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[olive just had her did]

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[chowing down]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[stan’s doughnuts]

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[she’s so sweet]

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*****

BROOKFIELD ZOO

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[azn auntie life]

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[kangaroo]

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[he’s so sweet to the girls]

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[thanks hc for taking the photo!]

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[my heart]

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[cheers]

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[beggin’]

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[crazy cousins]

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xoxo

fabulous zoo date

kim and i met up for a zoo date take two. the first time we went to the zoo with them, it was such a personal disaster. i was so unprepared and a lot of meltdowns happened, including me. hahaha!

well, this time around…we were ready! we had the right attachment to the stroller, we had snacks, we had lunch, we had drinks, and it wasn’t steaming hot {that is always a recipe for a disaster!}.

we both arrived at the zoo at the same time and we parked right next to each other! we strolled on in…it was so darn perfect out! we did our usual walk and there were a lot of animals out. olive warmed up to brady a lot quicker than what she usually does! it was so cute to watch them, olive at times would call brady’s name and ask him to, ‘come here!’ to see certain animals and brady always wanted to hold olive’s hand! awwwww!

kim’s mom joined us as well and it was awesome to see her! she’s such a sweet, sweet lady! we leisurely strolled the zoo, saw the animals, went into certain houses, and eventually stopped for lunch. the temperature started to drop but it still felt great overall. it was so nice, this time around, to be able to see almost all the animals, walk at a slow pace, and the zoo was kind of empty – which makes it great for us! {less congestion and more animal face time!}

once we got near the end, we brought the kids over to the carousel for a ride. it was olive’s first time on a carousel! i was sooooo excited for her! the only bump in the road that we ran into was that we were a minute too late for the next ride! they cut off the line right before us and poor brady and olive thought we weren’t going to take them on the ride and they both yelled and cried the entire time the ride ran and honestly, it felt like an eternity! haha! finallyyyyyyy, it was our turn and tears turned into sweet smiles! it was sooooo heartwarming to see her so happy! she told me she wanted to sit on the giraffe and the giraffe she got! kim’s sweet mom took on the challenge of snapping a pic of us and she did a fabulous job!

i love spending my time kim and her kids {and mom!}. i feel so lucky that we have become so close! i love this sweet mama! we get along so well, have a lot in common, and it seems like even when we spend hours and hours together, we never have enough time to talk about all the things we want to talk about. well, that’s having kids around for ya, right?!

anyhoo, it was a fabulous second zoo date and i can’t wait until we meet up again! cheers to great friendships!

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[the cutest kiddos]

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[she’s so cool]

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[snow leopards]

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[twinning at it’s best]

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[it’s such a challenge to get all the kids to look at the camera]

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[isn’t brady so sweet?]

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[me and my girls]

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[not one child looking at the camera…hahaha!!! olive’s shirt by @cocoaandheart]

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[mesmerized by the polar bear]

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[her first carousel ride! she had so much fun!]

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[sweet hugs goodbye]

xoxo