Grandma Jean came to town to visit us just before Christmas. We had a blast! Whenever someone comes to visit us we like to try to do a new activity. This time we drove out to the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari, about 30 minutes from our house. One might think that a safari in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas might be a bit tame. We were delighted to find that there was no crowd, but lots of really cool animals to see up close.
We started in the petting zoo area. One cool thing was that we weren't asked to buy handfuls of food to participate in the petting zoo. All is included with admission. They just gave us 2 big loaves of bread to share with the animals.
This pig was huge and had at least thirteen chins! I see a New Years resolution with more exercise and fewer carbs in his future.
A highlight of the safari for all of us was petting the kangaroos. I had never been this close to a kangaroo before and they were incredibly soft and so gentle. Neat!
The next part of the safari experience was the drive-through. We followed a narrow road through beautiful pastures, ponds, and woods where we saw hundreds of animals roaming freely.
Some animals felt very comfortable coming right up to our car! The signs throughout the drive warn us against rolling down windows or feeding the animals. We could understand why.
If anyone else wants to come for a visit, we'd happily head out to this safari again!
We went to see Santa at a special brunch yesterday. Zadie and Ezra were not thrilled. Strange man with a big beard wants to hold them? Not happening. Maybe next year or the year after.
This year, Zeke was ready to talk with the big guy. (Unlike last year) He planned for 2 weeks what he was going to say to Santa. Clear as a bell, he climbed into Santa's lap and said "I've been a good boy this year. So I would like a toy monster truck and a trumpet."
Santa told Zeke he'd see what he could do. He reminded Zeke how important is was to wake Mommy and Daddy up VERY VERY early on Christmas morning. Thanks, big guy.
Our extremely sweet, incredibly happy little girl has a couple tiny little issues with a few things.
At one year and one month...
1. Zadie doesn't do bottles.
Nope. She used to, and then decided she didn't like them. She throws a giant fit if you try to give her one, closing her lips, shaking her head, and bucking like a wild bull. We just stopped trying. We figured she'd just go straight to the sippy cup. Except...
2. Zadie doesn't do cups.
Plastic and glass do not touch those lips. The little girl still prefers breastmilk from the source at this point.
3. Zadie doesn't do pacifiers.
See above- nothing but the real thing for this girl.
4. Zadie doesn't do utensils.
She eats it with her fingers or she doesn't eat it at all. A true lady.
5. Zadie doesn't do cribs.
We've got the princess and the pea on our hands. She'll nap in a crib during the daytime (after you rock her to sleep and set her down oh so daintily.) But at night, she'll wake up every half hour and cry until we bring her into our bed to sleep. Luckily we've got a big bed and we don't mind. It won't last forever, and she's just too sweet to deny her!
Zadie is such a happy, smiley, and social little girl that we just don't care if she has a few hangups. We're happy to indulge her!
Well let's see... What's new? In the past month and a half, a LOT is new!
Tom's green station wagon bit it. It was an awesome car for him for so many years. Honda doesn't mess around. Unfortunately, it's time had come. It is pictured here in the car auction yard.
We said goodbye to the green wagon and headed down to CAR WARS at the mall parking lot. Every car dealership in town was pricing their used inventory to move at this big event. Tom rolled off the lot in a totally pimped out 2009 Ford Fusion. It has mood lighting and butt warmers. And it talks to his cell phone.
Oh, what else is new???
The control panel on our furnace. (There were a few chilly days before it got fixed, but no biggie!) Turns out that when a turtle worked his way into our a/c system last summer and flooded it into the garage, the flood took out the control panel. Oops!
Then, a few days later...
The control panel on our dishwasher went out. Must have been something in the control panel air!
Never fear. A nice appliance technician (courtesy of our home warranty) came out and for a small fee replaced it. But he noticed something... There was a leak under the dishwasher. (Completely not related to the control panel) Darned copper piping. I guess it sometimes fails!
That probably explains the staining around the edges of my hardwood floors I had noticed the previous few days.
SO, we had a nice gentleman bring some giant air movers (not to be confused with fans. Seriously. You may offend the nice gentleman if you call it a fan.) He also brought some sledgehammers and serious cleaners and tore up the damaged hardwood floor.
BUT... the leak didn't just damage the hardwood floors... It leaked into our bedroom too! Oh no! The carpet!
More air movers.
Then we got to go to a store and choose new wood floors for our ENTIRE house (except bedrooms). We decided to try something new! We chose a 4 inch reddish dark brown hickory. We like it. We also got new carpet for the bedroom! (But we liked the previous color, so we got pretty much the same thing again).
We had to move out of our house (and into my parents' house) for a few weeks while the really loud stuff and heavy machinery were here. It just wasn't a good place for little kids to be.
Of course the dishwasher was unhooked for about 6 weeks. Somehow, this ended up causing our garbage disposal to form a leak. Not to worry! We got a new garbage disposal too!
The holiday season wouldn't be complete without a big guy on our roof.
So I called in a roofing expert after I noticed that every person on our block (no joke) is getting a new roof after the hail damage from summer storms this year. Turns out we need a new roof too! The insurance guy walked around up there and declared that we had some pretty severe damage, despite the fact that there are no leaks- yet. We'll probably wait until temps rise a bit and get the new roof put on this spring. In the meantime, we can contemplate our color choices. Who knew there were so many varieties of shingles?
It may sound like a giant pain in the rear end to have all of this stuff happen, and it kind of was. But we did get some beautiful new floors out of the deal. I met a lot of really great contractors and I now have business cards for just about any type of home problem that could come up. I'm hoping I won't need them anytime soon. Between our Home Warranty (which we got when we purchased house) and our Homeowners Insurance, we did have some out of pocket expenses for deductibles and service fees, but everything in the house was covered. Tom loves his (safe and reliable) new car and we're warm and dry. Who could ask for anything more?
Well... now that you mention it, I actually would love to paint our kitchen cabinets white, get a new faucet, sink, and granite countertops. But, that's just too much to think about right now. In time... :)
Last Saturday evening, I was hanging out in the play room with the babies. I had been holding Ezra's hand as he walked circles around the room. For the past month, he's been able to do two steps here and there, but hadn't put everything quite together. Saturday night, it all changed! I put a little toy in his hand (so he didn't dive forward to hold whatever was in front of him) and he took off!
Ezra has been experimenting all over the house with his new trick. Zadie isn't far behind now. I can see the wheels turning in her brain- not wanting to be left behind by the busy boys! For now, she's still a hand holder, but I sense a brave determination. By Christmas they'll both be running all over the house!