Friday, May 26, 2017

The bird show that ... wasn't!

Wednesday night, May 24, was a special Member's Only night at the John Ball Zoo. The big deal was the brand new "Realms of Flight" show that was supposed to happen. This is the first Member's only night I have attended, and Brendan was able to enjoy it with me. Everything was discounted 25% (entry was "free"), so we rode the Funicular for a total of $3.00 to the tippy-top of the zoo where the new bird exhibit was all ready for the show!
The Funicular is an odd little contrapment that doesn't look a bit like a train--so it is a good thing they haven't called it a train. I should have snapped a picture before we boarded. Anyway, we rode it up to the top. Brendan was very pleased.
 The tigers were a bit elusive (always it seems!) ... but I was able to quickly snap this shot.
 It turns out that the bird show was actually not a "show" at all, but rather an introduction as to what we can expect when they actually DO a show. I was truly disappointed because I was sure we were going to see the birds in action! Brendan was not put off one single bit. He sat and listened to the bird handler tell us very interesting facts about this eagle.
 First of all, it only takes 3 months for an eaglet to reach adult size! PLUS ... can you guess what this bird weighs? That was the question posed to the audience. I was figuring somewhere around 20 pounds, but I wasn't even close!
LEWIS weighs UNDER 8 pounds! Did you know that birds' bones are HOLLOW?!!! I had no idea! LEWIS is a bald eagle, America's national symbol. His wing span is around 7 feet. 
 LEWIS has 7000 feathers that he can "operate" independently; in other words, he can make all of the feathers on his head stand up! Or he can make his back feathers look like a mohawk! 
LEWIS has an eagle friend by the name of CLARK--but we did not meet CLARK Wednesday night. We did, however, meet WAGNER, a red-tailed hawk.
 Red-tailed hawks are actually quite common in Michigan. 
 The trainer said the reason we don't see more red-tailed hawks is because we are NOT looking! They sit on fence posts, street lights, and are often seen flying high in the sky. Look up!

We stayed and listened to the trainer for about 30 minutes, and then we moved on. All of the kids enjoy playing on this wooden train, and Brendan is no exception. 

 Brendan LOVES the flamingoes too! He says he thinks their skinny legs are funny.
 This little penguin came right over to the glass to meet Brendan. So cute.

It had threatened rain all day Wednesday, but thankfully, we were able to spend about and hour-and-a-half at the zoo before the drizzle bothered us enough to leave.
 It is always fun to be at the zoo. Look at Nessie (below)!! She was an Art Prize entry once upon a time but now resides at the zoo pond.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kaity time on May 22

I am SO RELIEVED to finally be well enough to invite Kaity over to play. The last 10 days or so I have struggled with a nasty "bug" that had gone around and around the office for weeks on end ... I was actually to the point where I thought I would escape it; but NO.

I missed this little minion a ton. Kaity is a sweetheart in every way. I know the older kids think she is annoying and a bit of a "dictator" (to quote them); but she isn't like that here--and perhaps it is just the circumstance of her home that she presents herself that way there! 
 We had a delightful time with our play doh, making 3 little puppies (white, brown and bright orange) with 3 dog houses (made of popsicle sticks and play doh) with matching beds inside. The creating of this took us a little while and I was really glad to see how intense Kaity was as well as how LONG she actually stuck with this activity yesterday. Kaity has a tendency to hop from thing to thing in a flash and a half--it is hard to keep up with her--PLUS, I think school is going to be a real trial for this little dear IF she isn't able to relax and stay with a task for more than two seconds. 
 Kaity happily played with our creations at the table for 30+ minutes (a new record). She was so pleased to use her little hands and make stuff. I loved watching her joy.

We tested out the weather and played outside for a tiny bit, doing a mixture of yard work, chatting with my new neighbor, Gloria (and her little dog, Angel), and blasting off our rockets. Out of four rockets, we now have three remaining. One is lodged up on my roof somewhere--hopefully the wind will bring it back down to us ... eventually. 

It was a little bit chilly outside, so we came back inside and built a nice train layout and combined it with our wooden blocks to make some extra bridges and tunnels ... 
Again, I was really happily surprised at how long Kaity played with this too. I think we milked another 30 minutes out of this activity before Kaity decided we needed to play hide-'n-seek. It is not my favorite game because Kaity-dear gives herself away after about 2 seconds of me pretending not to find her. PLUS, she orders me about as to where I am allowed to hide!! 

But we had fun anyway. We decided to visit the same playground I took Brendan to the other day--it is a school playground not far from where Nana lives. 
 Kaity absolutely loves playgrounds ... because ... she is athletic, physical, strong, active, and an excellent climber too!
 Emma taught Kaity how to "pump" the swing and pull with her arms. She doesn't need anyone to push her anymore and can get quite high all by herself.
 Doesn't she have a darling little face? I just love her so much, darling face or not. But I must say that she is a pretty little pixie, so delicate, so fair ...

 Kaity thought this "baby T-Rex" was quite the thing as well! So cute.

The slides are always her favorite. She is fearless. Climbs up and down them, rarely using the ladder. 

Grandma loves you to pieces, Kaity-girl. So thankful for you. Ooo ... we practiced saying our first Bible verse today. "I will never leave you."  Hebrews 13.5. Five little words. We used our 5 fingers to say the verse and then we put our hands together in prayer, thanking God for His kindness to us.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 11 with Brendan

I had an abbreviated time to be with Brendan tonight due to a "visitation" I needed to attend over in Coopersville. Brendan and I took a little trip to Casa La Parrott over on 28th Street to talk with all of the pretty birds.
This bird is "Cloud" and he really yaps up a storm--VERY loudly. 
 Brendan was super happy to be here to see all of the birds once again. Below is "Orsen" which is a great name for him! He was very talkative too and he bobbed up and down while doing it.

I love watching Brendan interact with the birds ... he wants to touch them SO badly, but he is just a bit afraid at the same time. 

We found a pretty good "toy" parrot for only $1.25 and brought him home with us. 

The pictures below are Brendan trying very hard to sneak a tiny touch of this parrot's tail feathers ... but Mr. Parrot was always too quick for Brendan and found him out every single time! 
Brendan showed Mr. Parrot HIS toy bird thinking it might help his chances with actually touching the real thing. 

 I love the expression (below) on Brendan's face. He still has that beautiful soft chubby-cheek face and I just love him so.

 Brendan did get to touch "Max" for a little while tonight. Brendan was very gentle.
There is absolutely NO admission price to just walk in to Casa La Parrot, look around and talk to the birds. It was a super nice way to spend our time together. Afterwards, upon Brendan's request, we ate at Taco Bell. The food is NOT very good, but Brendan was happy enough and that was fine with me.