Put me in the zoo! By:Steph

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DSCN2252Spring break has sprung in my household. I have the privilege of my before and after school day-care kids here 10 hours a day for two full weeks. Can you hear the joy springing from my keyboard? LOL The older kids throw me off my routine a bit and the house erupts in chaos. But, I love my job so I think I can deal with it 🙂

Yesterday I had the insane awesome idea of taking them all to the zoo. Not only did we take my group of six, we added my oldest daughter, the three kids she is watching over spring break, and a friend with her two kiddos. So our group of 14 headed off with a picnic the size of a small dump truck to the park. We arrive and find that everyone else in town has also decided this lovely 80 degree day was a perfect zoo day (The top picture is only about 1/4 of the line we were in). Trek from the car to the line winding halfway back to the car. Take a few pics before the kids get dirty lol. Then finally we are inside the zoo.

First thing the 3 older boys take off running. We get them back and explain that they will be hanging out in the car with me if they take off again. Yes…I used myself as punishment! 🙂 About 10 minutes into the zoo one of the little ones is crying and trying to drag herself behind her big sister. We release the older one to the group of older girls and free her from the prison of older sister-bondage. The little one makes it known to everyone in the vicinity that she is unhappy with this decision. 5 minutes later, there are choruses of the one hit wonder, “I’m hungry”. This goes on for the next hour until we blessedly arrive at the petting zoo portion of the day. Everyone is excited (except the adults) and ready to go. We walk up to the gate and are told they are closed for 20 minutes. That went over like a fire drill during recess! We then decide a bathroom pit stop is in order. The boys go in with threats of bodily harm should they come out without the others and with dirty hands. They come out with clean hands, together AND vying for the quickest tattle tale title. He pushed me, he cut in line, he was drying his hands, he was sending an S.O.S. to Mars, he created play dough…. We continue past the most boring of God’s creations (at the zoo anyway) and get back to the “cool” animals. There is general happiness for the next 3 1/2 minutes and then BOOM a refrain of “I’m hungry” starts up again. We get to another restroom send everyone to wash up again and head to the picnic hill. Unfortunately at that moment the Bird Show is also in full swing. So it’s a toss up between “I’m hungry” and “I want to watch the Bird Show”. Hunger wins out. We have several brawls over who gets the little Cutie tangerines and a few, “Do I have to eat the crust, she’s not eating her sandwich, I want cheese crackers, I want milk, I want grapes, I want to lock these kids in the animal cages go to the Dino Dig…” Finally we get to Sea Lion Cove and the kids are all actually happy at the SAME time. We spend awhile there and decide that it’s time to call it a day after a fun 4 hours of whining, oohing, aahing, and looking at some animals in between!

As we go to leave I am saddened to find that the staff doesn’t even try and stop us and keep some of the animals we’re taking with us. At the very least, they could have kept ME and sent the rest of the group off without me.

I know this has been very low on the weight loss/fitness info but, there were a lot of really great moments. I ate healthy and well even on an outing with the kids. I packed a half sandwich on a high protein, high fiber sandwich thin, with extra turkey and provolone. Had half of a tangerine, several bottles of water some grapes and even a pink popcorn as a snack 🙂 I put one of the little ones on my shoulders and ran/galloped with him giggling for longer than I could have walked a year and a half ago without getting out of breath. Walked a few miles in the zoo and chased kids. All in all it was a great day and I was blessed to be able to spend it with a good friend, all of my children and some great “borrowed” kids 🙂

Weight loss has been a life changing experience and it’s something I don’t want to let fall by the wayside.

Hope you are all enjoying your kids if you have them and your Spring.

Move, smile and hug someone you love,

~Steph

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