Anyway, we met the Weidners at the Milwaukee Zoo a whole month ago, and had a lovely time with them. It's a nice place to get together, since it takes us each about an hour and 15 minutes to get to, and the kids love to look at animals and be goofy together. The zoo is much larger than the Madison zoo, and strangely laid out so that you have to do a lot of backtracking to see everything. I'm sure I've been there before, but it's probably been 25 years. We saw a lot of very nice animals, including a beautiful peacock showing off his tail:
The kids always like seeing the prairie dogs, and this time they demonstrated what prairie dogs sound like.
I think they might have prairie dogs confused with velociraptors. Nathaniel was very good in his stroller, and he even slept for a little while. We are using the special Neutrogena baby sunblock on him now, and it doesn't rub in very easily, so that's why there's white stuff all over his hat. It's actually hard to put sunblock on him, because he wants to eat it, or at least he wants to eat your fingers while you are trying to rub sunblock on his cheeks and nose. He is pretty good about wearing hats, though. This hat is a size 18 months, because he has such a gigantic head. And it's one that I had to buy myself (I know, can you believe it?) because Becky couldn't find Noah's hats.
The Weidners recommended the raptor show, and we all really enjoyed it. I don't remember what this bird is called, but it's one that picks up snakes and dashes them on the ground to kill them. A rubber snake was thrown on the ground, and the bird gave us a demonstration. It was fun to see.
They also had a beautiful owl, some kind of hawk, a rainbow colored tropical bird (this is why I should document the details of our trip closer to the day so that I don't forget the names) and a bald eagle. The zookeeper let the animals fly above the crowd, and most of them returned promptly to the stage.
At the end of the show, there was a raven who had been trained to take money from kids and put it in a donation box. It was pretty smart of the zoo to do that, because all the kids wanted to give it a try, and so we ended up donating $4. The raptor show was definitely worth it. I was a little surprised that my girls wanted to try it, but of course they gave it a try after seeing Natalie and Noah do it. They were a bit cautious about it.
The kids were starting to get a little whiny, so we bought them a container of popcorn to share. Brian held the container as we walked up a hill, and the kids all flocked around him like hungry seagulls.
It was a nice day, and of course the kids were interested in playing in the rotating ball fountain.
Thankfully, nobody fell in. Amelia, Natalie and Noah also enjoyed the mister, and they played in it for so long that they got pretty wet.
We did a fair amount of walking at the zoo, and the older kids liked to walk holding hands. It was very cute, but they were not very careful about making sure they didn't run into things. Or people.
In the children's zoo, the kids all wanted to ride in the big old wagon. I asked them to make a few different kinds of silly faces (since it's impossible to get a photo of them all smiling nicely anyway) and they were happy to oblige:
I think Nathaniel is the first one of my babies who isn't freaked out by Uncle Brian's facial hair. He doesn't look delighted in this photo because he was hungry, but at least he wasn't screaming!
The older kids all have such fun silly times when they are together, and they get sad when it is time to go home. They try to delay departure by giving lots of group hugs. What a cute four-way-huggie!