Sunday, May 17, 2015

YAA Round Dos!

We couldn't resist! After finding a pretty decent coupon deal we headed up to the YAA museum this weekend. It is seriously my fav. Ben was super impressed with it and I think we are kicking ourselves for not getting a membership--maybe this summer. This place has Caroline written all over it and I love that I don't have to worry about her getting into things that she's not supposed to because it was built for kids--and many of the sections are designed just for toddlers! We played all morning and it made for the perfect weekend!
Watching the boats

Caroline felt just at home and got busy playing with the water. And don't even get me started on the water gear she gets to wear.

Serious playing.

I was "testing my white balance". Gotta love a man with a beard and Vera backpack.

SANDPIT.
Our escapee!

This time we found tons of nooks that we didn't before.

AND the alligator wall for the girl who loves alligators...except she forgot she loved them when we were at this wall.

Chomp! Chomp!

Drummin' it!

Only our child would get halfway through this thing and strike the "i'm pooping so don't look at me" face. Good thing she met Ben halfway afterwards! 

We missed the stomp room last time but goodness--it was cool!

It's not every day you get to bang and hit everything in a room--and drum on a toilet seat.
The walkway up to the slide.
Drumming away


We still got our art on. Chunky toddler hands + glue sticks = adorableness.

And shopped.

And set the food out.


Love this girl at play!

We discussed how brilliant it is that they built this right next to the library--you can even peer in it! 

Running around the bushes

Does my head fit in this???
Caroline was ready to climb on in!

And she's off!


Sports Radio

Ben really likes sports radio and after 3 years of listening to it I can now say that I appreciate it and find it entertaining. I'm not so much a sports fan but Ben is and it has totally rubbed off. Anyways, there's a segment where Ron Magill (a guys from Zoo Miami)  joins Dan Le Batard on his ESPN radio show and answers any animal questions, zoo questions, etc.. It's a maybe five minute segment and the most popular part of the show--funny huh? That's how we've found out why there aren't a lot of pandas in zoos. China charges each zoo 1 million dollars a year per panda. And if they have a baby...that's another million bucks! Ben says for not being capitalists...they are pretty capitalist. Sports guys like the animals. It is by far my favorite part too. 

There are all sorts of off the wall questions about cat pee and bald eagles but this week there were two questions that we found sooo intriguing. The caller asked about a career defining moment for the zoo guy. He said scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands and having a killer whale swim over him. Now sign me up for that! Forget a career that would be a life defining/Lion King/Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba moment right there. The second question was if there was ever a time when working with animals that Ron didn't think he would make it home that night. He told the story about a crocodile that had laid it's eggs. To protect the eggs, they tied up the croc, and Ron jumped in the ten foot enclosure wall to retrieve the eggs. Well, the crocodile was super protective and so strong that it broke the restraints and started running toward Ron. He grabbed the eggs and jumped up the 10 foot wall and the croc snapped his pant leg. Well, this all happened at the Crandon Park Zoo. Oh, and the eggs were safe.

After some research we found out the Crandon Park Zoo was Zoo Miami back in the day (for more read/see hereherehere). It was started when some circus animals were abandoned and grew and grew on Key Biscayne. In the 80's a hurricane wiped out most of the animals and they moved the surviving to the inland zoo now down in the Kendall area of Miami. The zoo was abandoned and turned into a garden area it is seriously a hidden gem. Supposedly a lot of birds, iguanas, and crocodiles escaped and multiplied and now call it home as well. There were HUGE iguanas scurrying all over the place, gorgeous birds, and lots of crocodile signs. The old school enclosures were so cool to see as well as the murals. It was a neat little place and we wish we had bikes to explore it...also how cool would it be to go to the zoo on a breezy key and the beach all in the same parking lot??? It must have been a dream!

The entrance now is nothing special but holy moly...it's a paradise.

All sorts of cool murals have been added. SCREAMS photo shoot! And the old caging--how crazy is that?!

Loved the flamingo wall!
How gorgeous!

If you can spot the turtle--high five for you! We loved watching this little/medium/big guy snack!

Look at the iguana! He was so nice to sit still for me.


The coolest tree. If we didn't have a wiggly toddler we would have climbed it!



We think this was part of the old entrance--maybe...maybe not.

Chasing the lizards.

Caroline was ready for the beach--not the zoo

I loved the rock walls all over the place...seriously...photoshoot spot photographer friends,

More old enclosures

Peacocks were gathered at the entrance. They are so majestic.

A girl and her daddy

Just hanging out.

My two favorites

We built some sandcastles too! Well, this is about as far as we got and then Caroline had a grand old time knocking them over.

The chip is her camera and she's squinting and saying "CHEESE!!!"

Satisfied little beach goer
After watching lots of Finding Nemo--I can't resist a seagull!

It was a glorious beach day and exploring day!

What a week

We are wrapping things up here in Miami and loving having Ben home. I seriously think I forgot what it was like to have a husband! He took out the trash, left a few crumbs on the counter from his pbj every morning, and his laundry kept re appearing in the basket but it's so so nice to hang out and kiss his face. Things are moving forward with packing and we went and checked on our little new home this week.

We spent a lot of this week just relaxing at home. I was totally zapped earlier this week so not too much got done and we hung around the house. We had Julia, Peter, and Lila over and Caroline and I got dressed for the first time before, oh, say 2:00. Yeah. It was a week. Caroline loved playing with her friends and friends always make her toys that she doesn't play with--all of a sudden magical. Oh, that Caroline and her friends.

The pool called our name several times this week. When Ben walks in the door Caroline says, "Swimming? Swimming Soup(suit)?" So apparently when Ben comes homes that is the sign that it's time to swim. Caroline is also a swim lesson pro. We will miss our little swim class but are hoping to find something similar close to our new home.

Ben took a fancy pants personality test at school for some group project so we have been talking a lot about our personalities, an article my friend's husband posted about what hell would be like for each personality type (Jill, we seriously could not believe how spot on they were...it was both scary and hilarious), and embracing the introverts that we are. I'm totally borderline introvert/extrovert and can be the most outgoing person you've ever seen if the situation is right, but since being married I think I am so much more content with staying home and doing my own thing. Ben is a total introvert and dreads group things. I think I dread them depending on who is going to be there (or not be there) but more on what the activity is...hahaha. I have lived in my "personalities" version of hell...having a huge project and receiving no direction or insight. My sophomore year of college and this stupid job where I would spend hours working on projects for my flighty boss to give no direction or pop in and totally change something. Seriously. Drove. Me. Freaking. BATTY. BONKERS. UP THA WALL. I still have nightmares about that job. Anyways, it was fun to revisit and personalities...so complex and funny.

We went to the beach this week too. We had planned on doing one last South Beach visit but embraced our introvertness and went to Crandon Beach. We are totally the last ones to the party but Crandon South Beach is the superior beach to go to. ANNND we went and visited an abandoned zoo turned botanical gardens. Ben and I were both dreaming of getting bikes and biking through it. It was like a little walk back in the past--with huge iguanas and peacocks. The beach was perfect and shallow and Caroline wanted to hunt for shells. I would pull out a seashell and she would examine it very Caroline and say "Seashell! Another one! Please!" Ben also got to see her mighty fearless water moves--walking until it come up to her chin. We will miss this little slice of paradise.

We took a trip up to our house on Friday. All sorts of things were supposed to be done--fixing cabinetry and it was supposed to be clean. The listing agent was walking around telling me how clean the whole place was--since her friend cleaned it--and I was like..."There's a cob web on my face...but yeah, it's clean if your consider cobwebs clean." She was quite the character. Our agent was there and then the owner showed up and was like "why isn't this place clean?" and then pointing out things to replace and get done for us. The landscaping and outside of the house is PERFECT. But we are anxious to start bringing up boxes and for the inside to look as good as the outside. We are pretty excited and Caroline really loves her house. She can run circles around it. It's not the fanciest thing but we were going for the yard...and we love it and Caroline loves it so much. We are excited to make it our home sans barking dog and yelling mother daughter duo oh, and a huge garbage can.

Several of my friends have read "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" I had wanted to read it but we are pinching pennies right now--but Ben saw it and was like "buy it. read it." so I did and we've both read it. HOLY COW. Such a simple idea but we have already gotten rid of so much. I had already gotten rid of three garbage bags of clothes...but I got rid of a whole other bag last night. Ben got rid of 3 and still has more to sort through. It's so nice that we won't have to move them and we are totally digging the idea of having less crap to keep up with. I think my old roommates would be like--whoa--you only have maybe 20 pairs of shoes as opposed to like the 80 I had. And clothes. I have my favorites that I rotate through but the rest can go. It's nice to just think--forget about how much this cost and think--does this spark joy? Also, the gratitude for what we do have has totally increased.

We also went on a hot date night and got a real bonafide babysitter. Ben's class had a party--we chatted some of his friends and then once the food wasn't too appealing we bolted it for Pei Wei. We split a few appetizers and enjoyed being able to eat and have a conversation. Kudos to Drew who put Caroline to bed at 6:30 because we struggle to put her to bed...all the time. It was fun. Life is good sweet and goes by way toooooo fast.
We went to a park and it was like 1000 degrees but CAROLINE loved it.


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We got a deal on bubble wrap!

After not napping she decided to fall asleep right when we pulled into the parking lot and 10 minutes before swim lessons.

The back yard. Totally worth the easy bake oven I get to use for two years (ha!) and the non double sinks...and this isn't even the whole yard. Awesomeness.

Caroline exploring her own floor. Haha.

She was telling be all about the tub...ready to take a bath!

Caroline's room!

Come on mom! Let's play! 

Knocking on the door

She ran circles and circles around the patio doors--we have 3 sets of sliding doors so she can just go in circles to her hearts content. My heart is so happy because there is nooooo white tile. Seriously doing cartwheels. But my heart is even happier because Caroline has room to roam and play.
Found a 2 for 1 and went back to the Young at Art Museum.

My morning girl

Caroline really really loves this skirt--it's a new favorite hiding spot. She even walks around the house like this...it's not an easy feat!