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14 May 2012

A Wild Birthday Celebration

Well, that was an unintentional little blogging break.  I'm going to go ahead and blame my sweet little girls for that one...more specifically my littlest of littles who has slept right next to me the last three nights {and will probably do it again tonight}.  I'm not sure if she is cutting a new tooth -- she is drooling like crazy -- or if she is coming down with a cold -- runny nose {which could also be a sign of a new tooth} -- or if she just hates sleeping alone.  I'm fine with it for the most part.  The hardest part is having NO time to myself at night to blog, watch television, or just relax.   So, while we have had some exciting things going on around here, they haven't been properly documented.

Thursday was David's 35th birthday!  He's now my age.  Even though I am only 15 days older than him, he likes to act like I am such a cougar.  Puh-lease, baby.  Anyway, I decided to take him and Olivia to a "Breakfast with the Elephants" at the Phoenix Zoo.  We left Sydney at home with my mom because I was told that she and I wouldn't be allowed to do one of the activities {although, I saw a mom and a young baby doing said activity, but whatever...}

We got to the zoo before it opened and met our group outside.  I had made Olivia a little elephant shirt {I'm super talented - I ironed on an elephant decal onto a Target tank top} and she had her two favorite elephants with her.  We walked with the group up to a place called Ruby's House {named after an elephant Ruby who used to paint} where there were lots of little snacky breakfast foods for us.  There were also about 8 or 9 different elephant activities for us to do.  There were little plastic elephants {Olivia's favorite which took up the majority of our time}, a station where you learned how to wash an elephant, elephant stamps, elephant ears, creating a zoo habitat for an elephant, elephant "feet...lots to do in about a 45 minute time span.

After our time at Ruby's House, we went to the elephant yard where we were given lots of "elephant cookies" to hide for the elephant to find.  {The elephants stayed behind in their holding cages.}

After everyone exited the yard, we waited for one of the elephants to come out to find the treats.  Olivia was so excited to see the elephant and she kept asking the handler all sorts of questions and kept showing him her little Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo elephant.

She was so excited seeing the elephant eat the treats and kept asking the handler if she could give her some more treats.

We ended up walking around the zoo for a little bit since it was still early and not yet hot outside.  As we were hanging out in the orangutan exhibit, the leader from the class came in and told us she had been looking all over for us.  Apparently, the elephant handler loved Olivia's enthusiasm over the elephants and invited us to come back an hour later for a personal meeting with one of the elephants!  We were blown away by their willingness to do that and of course accepted their offer! 

We really had no idea what to expect, but when we went back to the viewing area at 10:30, the same elephant was hanging out.  Olivia started singing "Baby Mine" to her and she stood there swaying back and forth.  It was so precious.  A woman came out and got us and took us back to one of the holding cages.  Apparently there are 3 elephants there, but none of them get along with each other so only one can be out in the yard at a time.  She gave Olivia some cookies and told her she could hand feed the elephant {Sheena} some of the cookies under the bars.

Olivia sort of clammed up and didn't want to do it.  David fed her a few cookies and Olivia sang her "Baby Mine" again.  She kept telling the lady that she wanted to pet Sheena.  She called the other guy on her walkie talkie and we met him on the other side of the cage that was more open.  He brought some bananas and after Olivia petted Sheena on her side, she fed her bananas and cookies.  She absolutely LOVED it!!  It was such an incredible experience and we feel so lucky that they chose Olivia to go back and meet the animal she is currently so in love with!

See her little Dumbo in her hand?

I'm pretty sure they were impressed with her as well!

She's telling Sheena "I love you" in sign language!

At this point, Sheena was blowing air through her trunk at David and Olivia.

I love how it looks like she is pointing at Olivia!
Now, you come back and see me, ya hear?!

It was such a wonderful morning - a great birthday for David and a wonderful experience for all of us!

I hope to catch up on the rest of last week before we head out to Portland on Wednesday.  And, I really want to apologize that this is written like a 6th grader, but I'm trying to hurry through it so that it gets up.  Forgive me, will you?


Mom Cooper said...

What an exciting experience for all of you. Amanda, you are so good at finding wonderful, cool experiences for Olivia and in this case all of you.

Irma said...

What a great outing. I have never seen a child so obsessed with elephants!