On Wednesday, Shawn's team had an "end of fiscal year" BBQ at an area swim and tennis club and Ian got to skip part of the day at school to chill with dad and his coworkers in the pool and partake in some killer BBQ. I joined later after my work day, and it was not only one of the first nice days of the summer, but a nice time introducing Ian to some of Shawn's daytime family who either hadn't met him yet or haven't seen him since his arrival home. One of my favorite of Shawn's coworkers, Edie, and her husband Jules, were there with their SEVEN adorable kids. Jules is from Indonesia and speaks some Mandarin...and is a stay at home dad who home schools ALL SEVEN kids.... Is there a special place in heaven for people like that? I hope so.
Last night, Friday, we broke the against-our-personal-code policy and drove the hectic Friday night route from our end of town to Shawn's parents for Trish's surprise retirement party. It was a tostada, corona, and sangria themed shin-dig, pulled off flawlessly by Shawn's dad with the huge help of a dear friend, Jo. Everything went off without a hitch, and a small group of about 20 of us enjoyed a wonderful congratulatory evening with Trish. Ian was awesome. Although he had been up since 5:30am with a shorter than usual nap, he was charming, sweet, smart, and EASY until after 9pm when we finally decided our luck was bound to run out soon...and loaded him in the car for home.
With less than a full night's sleep, Ian was up at 7:30am this morning, had a full breakfast, hearty playtime outside, a nice 2 hour nap...all before we loaded him up in the truck again to head the 45 minutes back down to Tom & Trish's place to commence an outing to the zoo. I've been dreaming of this day... a trip to the zoo with Tom and Trish. He went to the Phoenix zoo with my parents in December, but was only home a few weeks at that point and wasn't even walking. He's really ready now, and it was another great (and hot) day. It wasn't awesome...just great. We were disappointed with the zoo overall, and by doing the math regarding the gas down, the time spent looking for a parking spot, the cost in, hotdog and soda, and finally ice cream (although the ticket and hotdog was compliments of Tom), we feel like we paid a ton of money for only a couple of decent exhibits.
The highlights were the Walruses and Beluga Whales. The Shark exhibit was also pretty nifty, but everything else was pretty blah. I know my parents like this zoo, so I felt bad for not remembering it like my childhood, but mom, your zoo down in Phoenix was much nicer. We have another zoo closer to us that I would like to try next time.
I would like to shout out to our niece Ashleigh, who sacrificed a precious teen-aged sunny Summer Saturday to come to the zoo with us. She is not only a huge animal lover, but a selfless and kind hearted young woman, who I trust completely with Ian...something I can't say for many people yet. It was great to see her, only a couple of days before her birthday, and enjoy the zoo together. Thanks Ashleigh! (She is also probably my youngest blog faithful).
My own enjoyment of the zoo might have been overshadowed by the fact that my sunscreen ran into my eyes shortly after arriving and I was in horrible pain most of the time. So much for trying to do the right thing and take care of my skin. Neutrogena Age Shield SPF 70 might leave me cancer free, but I'll end up blind. One or the other, not both. I didn't read the fine print apparently. By the time we left, my eye was so sore and fatigued, I could hardly keep it open, and I only had makeup left on one eye. Thank goodness I had my sunglasses most of the time.
Ian is fast asleep after several days of fun and great behavior (not a single incident...and he was very excited about the zoo). Shawn and I are burning through a pitcher of well deserved Cosmos and wondering how we'll top another wonderful weekend.
Below are pictures from Ian's adventures this week. Enjoy!
A few minutes after arriving at the zoo... Ian and Grandma spot a peacock. I tried to get a picture with both of them, but the peacock ran off.
Ian with cousin Ashleigh
Three generations: Grandma Trish, Dad... and Ian. Having fun with the 1-2-3, swing game, down a hill.
Ian gets up close and personal with a giant walrus...
...Maybe a little too personal. This one hangs a BA as it somersaults against the glass. Like the aquarium, he could have stayed all day and just watched this one animal.
Holy moly. That's a big fish. Like the Walrus, this Beluga Whale left a BIG impression on Ian.
Taking a break while I tried to save my eye.
There was only one monkey. I was expecting more. Ian was, too.
We used to have a fish a lot like this in our old fish tank. Not quite as big... but just as cute.
Ian and a couple of the smaller sharks. Here sharky, sharky, sharky.
No better way to finish off a day at the zoo than with a cool refreshing ice cream cone.
...And then a little more ice cream.
...and because this picture is so irresistably cute, a little more ice cream.