A couple weeks ago we decided that Riley was going through a growing spurt. She was constantly wanting to eat, her sleeping was way off, and she was a bit on the crabby side. This week it appears she has kicked into high gear and has the energy of 40 wolverines (credit to Jesse: I asked my husband for his input on an animal that I could compare Riley's energy to this weekend and he insisted on wolverine). She's absolutely exhausting! Doesn't she realize that mommy is closer to 40 than 20 and can't keep up with her?
It didn't help that Riley was getting up earlier than usual each day. As in 5:00 or 5:30 am. Ugh. She'd be a little crabbier in the morning, but otherwise it didn't seem to effect her too much as she would just take a nap a little earlier. However, it started to wear on me. She has also been on the run more which means we are on the run more. The only thing that seemed to stop her was putting in an Elmo DVD. I'm not a huge fan of letting her watch TV, but it happens. She's also a big fan of books (she can get her Elmo fix that way as well), but the DVD has a captivating effect on her (disturbing? helpful?).
Saturday we intended to go to the Minnesota Zoo bright and early, but since she was up before the crack of dawn she went down for a nap around 9 am. We're used to having to change plans at the last minute to accommodate her so we just went to the zoo around noon. During the high sun. And apparently when everyone else heads to the zoo. It actually wasn't too bad when we got there, but got thicker by the minute with people. At any rate, we haven't been to the zoo in years and, boy, has it changed! We decided to check out the farm area first.
Once we got there we started with the goats.
Next we moved on to the cows and the pigs, but she seemed more interested in running around and checking out the other kids. Or just running. Who knows what was happening - I was just trying to keep up. I thought she would act a little surprised (or startled) by the size of the cows since she really has only seen them in books and as toys. She looked at them, said 'mooooo' when prompted, and then seemed to care less.
It may look like she is trying to get away from the cow, but she is just trying to squirrel out of my arms so she can run around.
We then headed over to the chickens. I don't think she stopped long enough to actually look at them so I took a picture for her.
And finally, in the farm area, we checked out some horsey's. She gave me a few minutes of her time before letting me know that it was time to move on to something else. Again, I was a little surprised she wasn't as shocked by the size of a horse.
The picture above was taken between a picture Jesse took and a picture I took so I am not sure who to credit. I'm including it for artistic purposes.
More horses on the way out of the farm area.
Once we headed back into the regular zoo area we realized Riley was pretty hungry. We had snacks and water, but she was chowing through those pretty fast and we knew it wouldn't last. This led to walking through one side of the zoo rather fast. I snapped off a few pictures quickly as we passed by, but didn't capture many. I look forward to going back another time when we can enjoy the zoo at a slower pace.
After this there was a whole bunch of stuff that we breezed right through so we could go eat some zoo food. We finally got to the food and it was...meh, as expected. It filled our bellies. And it was right next to the splash pad so we let Riley sorta walk into the water. It was enough to satisfy her curiosity before we moved on to more animal viewing.
She enjoyed this turtle stature, but really enjoyed the little boy who it touching the turtle's head in the picture above. I think she could have just spent the day at this spot playing with the boy.
Monkeys and duckies. Oh my!
Jesse was running after Riley and missed these turtles. He's a pretty big fan of turtles so I felt I better at least get a picture of them. I even asked a guy if he would move (and he very generously did). Too bad it's blurry since I was in snap and run mode.
Moments before she ran off to the right.
I was so beat when we got home that I practically dozed off on the floor when I was hanging out with Riley. (She may or may not have been watching Elmo so we could get to her stop moving for a moment or two.) She was nice enough to make sure I didn't actually fall asleep by banging on my chest whenever she saw me close my eyes.
Sunday was another early rising. It didn't help that I actually woke before Riley and couldn't get back to sleep. It was another big day since we had a wedding reception to go to for Jesse's cousin. The wedding proved to be a recap of the day before in the sense that either Jesse or myself were running after Riley constantly. Towards the end of our visit she discovered her 2 year old cousin, Jackson, and became giddy with excitement as she chased him around as well.
Of course, she loved playing with the balloons. It's strange to think there was a time she was petrified of these things.
Jesse with his cousin, Cheryl, (sister of the bride), and Jesse's mom, Suzie.
After I took the picture above they all posed so I could take a nice picture of them together, but my phone camera sucks and it turned out rather blurry. Besides I think this one has more personality. BTW,they are watching Riley go wild after Jackson (Cheryl's son).
Cousin Jackson showing off his skills while Riley stands in admiration.
It was a little scary how excited and wound up Riley got when faced with boys about her own age. I thought they don't go 'boy crazy' until they are a little older. Is this what we have to look forward to?
Monday morning Riley once again got up at 5:30 am and the first word out of her mouth was 'Elmo'. Sigh.