Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Signs of Spring

A quick scavenger hunt around our house proves Spring is in the air! WooHoo!!!!

The birds have found and LOVE the new bird feeder we installed outside of Mira's bedroom window. We love watching the birds. Mira knows to be kind of quite and still when they come for a visit - she sometimes puts her finger to her mouth and says, "Shhhhh." Since this photo, I've added a hummingbird feeder, and we will put a window box full of plants that attract butterflies out soon! The seeds are already planted!

 The plum tree that we planted last year is blooming!! It's covered in these tiny, delicate, white blossoms! Lovely to see out our kitchen window!

Our lizard friend (or one of his/her heirs) is back! We usually find one lounging/sunbathing in our sago palm each morning during the spring/summer.

Our first rose bloom! It smells SO sweet!! Tons more buds about to pop open!

One lone berry on this "holly tree," as I call it.

Unfortunately, I have no clue what the name of this shrub is - but it's about to be covered in tiny white flowers!!

The Loropetalum in our front yard is in full bloom!

The tulips that Mira and I planted have really taken off (we subsequently planted some of the left-over bulbs in another pot), and a couple of buds have appeared!! So excited to see these bloom!

Yay for Spring!!

Tyler Zoo

This past Sunday, we took a little trip over to the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, TX. It was a nice little zoo - no FTW Zoo, but it was great considering it took us at least half the time to get there than it would FTW. It wasn't huge, but at Mira's age, that's a good thing.

We were spent after visiting all the animals! I had worried that it would be too cool with the wind chill, but it turned out quite warm actually (on the verge of HOT) - it could have been t-shirts and shorts that day!

The parrots were being a little shy - one finally gave us a nice profile shot.

What are they looking at with those serious faces?

A baby Rhino staring right back at us.

Mira was being silly while we waited for Daddy to bring our snacks. This is her "giggle face." Hee Hee Hee

Not sure what this elephant was doing, but he stayed like this most of the time we were watching them.

Mira is trying to get a better view of the aquarium. Look at her on her tip-toes.

She looks like such a BIG girl standing up there like that!!!

Glad we went with the bald eagle and not the turkey as our national bird - that's one thing I disagree with old Ben Franklin on!! Otherwise, a very smart man...

Well, like I said, we really had a great day and thoroughly enjoyed the zoo. I'm sure we'll re-visit it in the near future!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ducks, Dolls, Dress Up & MORE!

A random collection of pictures that I've been meaning to share:

Her new favorite activity - trying to climb into her crib. She makes good progress, but can't quite make it. After she asks for help, we put her in, and she is as happy as a lark - it's like her own personal bounce house!

Mmmmmmm.....graham crackers with chocolate frosting - Grandma Sheila taught us that!!!

Such a pretty little girl!

Finally stopped at the "duck pond" to say hello! She yelled, "duck!" as she pointed them out to me and then quack, quack, quacked!

"Jeter, pleeeeaaaase come sit with me!" She loves when all three of them are piled up together on the pups' pillow.

It starts....she wanted to bring "day-dee" along - oh, jeez!

She's been getting into dressing up lately. Here, Jeter and Shatzie are the unfortunate (fashion) victims. Look, I know it's sort of cruel, but they didn't even try to fight it! I think, secretly, they love it!

Ummm, yeah - Jeter looks absolutely thrilled to be wearing a tankini. Hey - it matches his eyes!

Shatzie modeled all her hats.

She wants to dress up too! She brought me her bathing suit and demanded that I help her put it on - over her existing attire! Then, she added the hat - ta daaa!! She's saying, "cheese" for the camera now!

What a big helper! She likes pushing the Swifter around, so I put a pad on it and let her at it!! My very own little Cinderella!  She's really working that thing!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meet the Author!

Mira and I had the golden opportunity to meet and aquire the autograph of our favorite author!! Avi Hughes was at a book signing, and her latest release was dedicated to ME, so we just had to go!

Oh, yeah - it's published that way!!!  =)

We showed up without warning, so Avi was quite surprised to see us outside the library doors! The look on her face made the six hours of driving totally worth it!

A picture with the author! Doesn't she look beautiful in her frilly skirt and Fancy Nancy shoes!? She put the outfit together all by herself for the big day!

She autographed my copy of the book for me! How sweet!

Mira LOVED exploring the library! She was showing Avi the tiger that she found and roaring for her.

Ummmmm.....not our best library behavior, but she was having fun, and it wasn't a normal library scenario. There were plenty of loud voices and food & drink, so I figured it was okay if the 16 month-old Army crawled under the table and chairs.

At first, Mira stuck with Avi as we traveled around the school.

Then, after getting comfortable with the setting, she got a mind of her own! Poor Avi - she's trying her best to be a vigilant cousin! It's hard running in heels!

Then she broke into a full-on run! She was laughing hysterically as she "ran away" from Avi. Avi was trying to play it cool and fight the smile that was creeping across her lips.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hidden Oak Farms

This past Saturday, Kenny, Mira, and I went and checked out another little petting zoo in the area called Hidden Oak Farms. The website looked really nice, so we thought we'd give it a try. I've really been aching to take Mira to a "real" zoo because she just adores animals and knows so many. But, this is the best we can do locally.

When we pulled up to this place (which is in the middle of nowhere!), we were a little skeptical since we were pulling into someone's driveway! Well, there were lots of cars parked there, and, again, the website was pretty convincing, and we had driven a long way to get there, so we decided to go ahead and see what it was all about!

I'm so glad we did! It was a wonderful morning - we all really enjoyed the place a lot! These people really do run this little zoo (which is accredited by the USDA and is a member of the National Wildlife Rescue/Rehabilitation Association - they rescue and rehabilitate animals native to Louisiana).

I'll let the pictures tell most of the story! There were a lot more animals than I'm posting pics of - this was a BIG place to be on someone's personal property!
We were greeted right off the bat by this adorable and super-friendly baby goat - an orphaned kid who had just joined the Hidden Oak family! He loved all the affection but wasn't too pushy about it! Sweet guy! He was roaming around the entrance (donning a rhinestone collar) right along the family dogs who were just as friendly and well-behaved.

These guys were very vocal and actually responded in sync everytime I "gobble-gobble-gobbled" at them!! They were quite the bullies though - stole a carrot from a rabbit and pushed the kangaroo out of the way to try and get our food (that's pretty bold considering the kangaroo could have sent them flying with one swift kick - lucky for them, she was carrying a baby)! Thankfully, there was a fence between us and them!

One of the cutie-pies in the petting zoo portion. They were all so well-behaved (didn't act like they were starving for food and attention) and friendly!

Give me some carrots...please! I told you, they were very polite (for farm animals, at least)!

If you keep making that face, it's gonna stick! Oh, wait....too late!  

Neither Kenny or Mira were crazy about feeding or petting any of the animals, so they stayed strong in numbers while I had a great time feeding and loving on all the goats, sheep, rabbits, etc.

This rooster was really showing off his vocal cords - Mira joined in with her adorable rendition of "cock-a-doodle-doo!!" I think he might have been her favorite part of the whole deal.

This lamb and kid were so cute! They were like totally BFF's and played together the whole time - frolicking all over the place.

Momma Roo coming in for a close-up!

Do you spy the joey??

The "train" ride - Mira seemed to enjoy it. I'm surprised I was able to get in this thing and even more surprised I was able to get out!

I had never seen a four-horned sheep before. That is not it's scientific name or anything, I don't even know if this is normal or some genetic fluke. Very interesting, but I had worn tired of reading signs at that point.

I'm pretty sure this goose was saying something to the effect of, "Go ahead, do it, I double-dog dare you - make my day!" Not sure what he thought I was going to do to him, but he seemed ready for whatever I was bringin'.

Daddy is so funny and swinging is so fun - swinging with Daddy is the BEST!

Which way next? Mira doesn't need the sign in the background; she knows where she wants to go! Kenny doesn't seem convinced...

We decided to pack some food and have a "picnic" for lunch. The snack shack at this place has a pretty big menu, but it's ALL meat! This was really nice, and Mira thought it was so cool sitting in the back of the Escape with us (yes, we all squeezed in there) while having chips and salsa and Oreos! You can see that Kenny was overly-excited about his PB&H sandwich, too! Well, we had worked up quite an appetite!

Like I said, I'm really glad we went, and I'm sure we'll go back! It was a lot of fun!