Lions and Tigers and ... Naps?

For Christmas last year my Dad bought my Mom a zoo membership. With all of this great weather we have been having and the new Tiger exhibit we decided to take Elena on Saturday. We took her once before when she was about 4 months but she mainly slept and couldn't really see what was going on. This time was much different! She was so much more alert and into the animals - it was so fun! We loaded up the stroller and set out into the zoo.

Our first stop was the monkeys. This Orangutan was sitting in his hammock hiding under this big dish. It was too funny - guess he didn't want his picture to be taken!
I couldn't tell if Elena could see him because he was kind of far away.

This is Elena checking out a chimp, it looks like a shadow but that is him, chilling by the window. She definitely saw this one!
Elena telling Grandma she likes the monkeys!

Having a great time getting pushed around the zoo. I wish someone would've pushed me it was HOT!!!

The Elephants weren't out so we went inside to see what was going on and they were getting baths! I had never seen that, it was pretty cool. They obviously loved the water.

Elena wasn't too sure about them, she looked a little scared.

After a few minutes she was back to her happy self.

The Rhinos were right outside when we left the Elephants.
I swear this one looked straight at us and started walking towards us like he would charge if he could get over the huge hole and fence between us!

Time for a drink!

Next we went to the see the lions and he was right next to the glass too!

I think Elena thought he was a stuffed animal. She wanted to reach out and pet him!

Then we moved on toward the gorillas. On the way we saw these cute little "skunk monkeys" (at least that is what they looked like!). There was a new baby and it was grabbing on to it's momma, it was so little and cute. You could tell he wanted to play but was kinda scared of his big brothers!
This gorilla just happened to be hanging by the window in the shade too. We got a very close-up look.

I don't think she knew what to think of him.

These two gorillas were clowning around.

Then we headed to the new tiger exhibit. It was greaaaaaat! - no pun intended :) This tiger was pretty far away in the shade.

Did you know that tigers are bigger than lions? I had no idea! I thought I would share that little fact with you. The other tiger was right by the glass napping.

I was excited to show Elena but guess what? She decided it was nap time too!

Then we saw this cute moment of two giraffes. So sweet. The big one took like 10 minutes to fold it's long legs under to lay down. Sometimes it stinks being tall!

Then we saw the bears. They were having a great time in the water.

I was upset Elena was napping because I really thought she would like the penguins. Lucky for me, my little power napper didn't disappoint and woke up after 30 min so she got to see them.

They are so cute! I wish I could take one home with me!

Last stop was the flamingos. I was looking forward to this photo-op because Elena had on her new flamingo tank top. It was super cute!
She wouldn't look at the camera because they kept making these honking noises and she would crack up! She thought it was so funny! This was definitely her favorite part of the day. She was hilarious. She even started waving at them! (she learned that this past week)
Couldn't leave without a new friend~Martha the Zebra (yes that was actually the name on the tag). We wanted to get her a flamingo since she was loving them that day but they were sold out! :( Maybe next time. In the mean time she was perfectly happy with Martha. I am also trying to get her a stuffed animal for each animal on her bedding set. We now have the monkey, hippo, elephant and zebra, all we need now is a koala bear.

It was so hot we decided to call it a day. We were there for 2 hours and Elena didn't get cranky once, I was impressed! Next time we will have to hit up the parts we missed, especially the petting zoo - I think she is going to love that!


Scary Beary.

So I told you I would post about Scary Beary so here it goes...On a trip back from visiting Robert's family in Texas we came across a little carnival. Those of you that know Robert and I know how extremely competitive we are. There was a basketball shooting game with a really cute stuffed bear with a Longhorns sweatshirt on. So of course we had to win it for Elena. After several attempts (mainly Robert missing) I finally put in the winning shot! So of course I am still rubbing that one in his face! Here is Mr. Beary:

So I'm sure you are wondering why we think he is Scary. Well Robert likes to use this very strange voice when he is playing with Beary and Elena. It almost sounds like the voice someone would use when trying to lure small children with puppies or candy. "Hi Elena, Come give me a hug" -- you can imagine the voice I am sure. The funny thing is Elena absolutely loves it! And when Robert talks in that voice she immediately searches the room for Beary. It is really cute! Last weekend, while Elena was sleeping, Beary decided to join our party:

He even played Sequence with us!
Lynette's boyfriend for the night...

Beary had a lot of fun!
Beary met a lot of new friends, he was sad to see Anthony and Marisol go.
The sad thing is I don't have any pictures of Elena and Beary...even though he is her favorite toy!


Memorial Day.

My Mom, Dad, Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim have a tradition of going out to Resthaven Cemetery on Memorial Day. My grandparents are both buried there and they also served in World War II; Dominic was in the Air Force and Dorothy was in the Navy.
Resthaven puts out flags to honor every single veteran that is buried there. It is so beautiful!
Not only do they put a small flag on each grave but they also put a full size one as well. Each flag even has the name of the veteran on it too. Each year we find both my Grandpa and Grandma's flags. Here we are at the base of Nana's flag.
And here is Poppo's flag.
They also have a nice program with music (which Elena loved) speakers, a flyover and a 21 gun salute.
This is the Garden of the Cross where my grandparent's are buried.
Here is Elena and my mom enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.
Then we went back to our house to grill (again!) :) and relax.


Ortiz Wedding.

This was a really busy weekend! Our friends Andy and Stacy got married and many of our friends from Texas were in town for the big event! The wedding was in Newton and Stacy looked absolutely gorgeous! This picture doesn't do her justice - bad photogtapher i guess :).

Nice family picture - would have been perfect if Elena would take her hand out of her mouth! I tell you this girl has to be getting a tooth soon - she has been chewing on everything! No teeth yet, even though she will be 8 months next week!
And we now have proof that Elena can stick her whole fist in her mouth!
Our friends Clyde and Twila were in the wedding too. This is a great picture of the both of them!
Me and Twila with Marisol:
The reception was at the Petroleum Club in downtown Wichita. What a beautiful place!

Robert and the groom Andy:

Twila is due with her 1st baby in September! Doesn't she look great? I was pretty much a blimp at that point in my pregnancy!
Kamara and her girls, Kanella and Kaben - the are such sweeties and were great with Elena. In fact they kept her entertained through the entire ceremony!

Robert, Clyde, Ben, Kaben and Anthony:
I love this group photo! It looks like we are having so much fun - and we were!

We had a blast at the reception which is why we decided to be a little more low key the next day and bbq at home. Here is the grill master:

Seems like we were at Anthony and Marisol's wedding just yesterday even though it was 3 years ago! Where does the time go?

We had a great time with everybody and hope to see them all again very soon!


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