This past weekend we made a trip up to Collierville, Tennessee to visit our good friend, Derek, from college. David visits Derek a few times a year (and he comes to Madison sometimes), but this is the first time that we have brought the girls to visit him at his home. We’ve been wanting to visit the Memphis zoo, and Labor Day weekend seemed like the perfect time to spend with him and plan a trip to the zoo.
We left on Friday, which was my Daddy’s birthday, so before we hit the road toward Collierville, he and David went golfing and then we met them for lunch at Rosie’s Mexican Cantina.
We got in to Collierville around 7 or so and met Derek at Huey’s, a neat little local restaurant where you can shoot toothpicks into the ceiling with your straw. When we got back to Derek’s house we got the kids in their jammies (and Derek put on his) to watch part of a movie before bed.
Once the girls were finally asleep, we played some Jackbox TV games until we were ready to call it a night as well.
Saturday was Zoo Day! We were all so excited to go to the zoo. I’ve talked about how much I love the zoo in my post about our trip to the Birmingham Zoo. Well let me tell you – The Memphis Zoo definitely holds up to its reputation. I had mentioned how I thought the Birmingham Zoo was overpriced for what you get, but the Memphis Zoo is worth every penny. It’s laid out well, spacey, the animals have plenty of room in their exhibits, there is a huge variety of animals, there are fans with misters all over the place to cool you off, and there is plenty to do for kids. We were there for 6 hours and didn’t make it through it all.
I could stroll through the zoo at a slow pace and just watch the animals all day long. I just think they’re so entertaining. My children are not that way. Raley is worse than Audrey (Audrey actually gets excited about the animals) but Raley is more concerned with when we’re going to play in the splash pad or get ice cream. She’s like “yea I guess that’s cool, but can we go to the splash pad now?” And we’re like “no, stop asking!” (There is a wading pool when you first enter the zoo that was closed when we got there. We had told them that they maybe could play in it later if it was open, which was why she was constantly asking if we could go see if it was open.)
Audrey’s not quite so bad. She gets excited to see them and sometimes gets in other people’s space or jumps in front of people to get up close. She saw an elephant from far off and she was going “look! It’s a real life elephant! It’s a real elephant! *gasp*” It’s pretty dog-gone adorable.
We got there around 10 and I knew that they did a giraffe encounter where you could feed the giraffes from 11:00-12:00. We decided to make our way toward the giraffes while checking out the animals along the way.
I’m so glad this is something we planned for, because being that close to these beautiful creatures was very cool. The girls thought their long tongues were funny. One boy dropped a piece of lettuce on the ground and the giraffe reached under the fence with its tongue to get it and they thought it was the funniest thing.
Raley wanted to take a picture of the momma giraffe with her baby and she did a pretty good job!
I always like seeing parent animals with their young. We saw a baby hippo, whose mom was laying with her head on the baby’s back in the water. We also saw a baby orangutan trying to hold onto its mom’s leg as the mom was walking and trying to shake it off. Then the mom walked to the back of the exhibit and put a red blanket over her head as the baby played by itself for a minute and then went right back to the mom trying to get her attention. It was pretty hilarious, because I think all moms have wanted to hide under a blanket at some point or another.
The polar bear is always a favorite of mine. The male polar bear (named Payton) was putting on a show. He kept swaying his head back and forth in front of one of the windows as if he was dancing, then he’d back up and do it in front of the other window. He kept going back and forth between the two windows, dancing his head around. Then he’d swim around for a minute and do it again. It was pretty adorable. I could have watched him all day. But of course my child was saying “come on mommy, let’s go to the splash pad!”
If you follow my Instagram, you may have seen that I mentioned that this trip to the zoo was far from our “ideal zoo day” and I’ll explain why. First of all, my ideal zoo day would involve strolling leisurely from exhibit to exhibit, taking our time and watching the animals do their thing, then resting our legs while breaking for lunch or eating ice cream. Somewhere toward the middle of our trip we’d take a break to let them play on the playground or splash in the splash pad to cool off before tackling the other half of the zoo. This is not how it went down for us.
The following story involves poop so if that makes you squeamish, just scroll past.
Raley kept urgently needing to go #2 so I had to rush several times (I lost count, but it was at least 5) to the bathroom as she held her rear end to try and keep it from coming out. She was wearing her swimsuit under her clothes since we had planned on playing in the splash pad. Well she ended up not making it to the bathroom before going in her bathing suit twice. (The first was not bad so I washed it out.)
The second time was much worse. David, Derek and Audrey were eating lunch when I took her the second time and I didn’t think to grab the bag with the wipes and the change of clothes in it. So we get in the bathroom and I realize that it’s much worse than I thought. I honestly don’t know what to do. Obviously, she can’t put the swimsuit back on and it had got on her outfit as well. I have nothing in the stall with me and there are no paper towels in the bathroom. To spare you the gross details, I end up cleaning her and her swimsuit as well as I can, put her swimsuit back on her, basically run back to where they’re eating, grab the bag, and run back to the bathroom. All the while she has poop on her leg from where I pulled her swimsuit off of her.
Once we get back in the bathroom, I clean her with the wipes, put the dirty stuff in an empty ziplock bag (that I had brought for their wet clothes after playing in the splash pad) and put her in the only clean clothes I had with me – Audrey’s 2T shirt, panties and shorts. Luckily Raley is small and it didn’t look too ridiculous, otherwise she would have been wearing a gift shop shirt.
Once I finally sat down to eat I felt like my legs were going to fall off. The trek to and from the bathroom was not a short one. I’m not sure what the deal was with all of that. It has happened other times too and I don’t know if she just tries to hold it too long, or if she’s somewhat constipated and not able to go when she tries, and then she ends up having an accident. Because she tried several times and wasn’t able to, until after all these accidents. Does anyone else have these issues? I’d love to hear how to avoid this in the future.
Ok so, as exhausting as this was, this isn’t the end of our poop story.
We decided to sit down and watch the sea lion show at 2:00 and while we were waiting for it to start, Raley noticed something brown on her leg. We started looking around and realized that Audrey had a blow out in her pull-up. The more we looked, we realized it was on my shirt since she was sitting on my lap and on the seat (which was how Raley got it on her leg).
So once again, we rush to the bathroom so I could clean her up. Luckily, she was wearing a dress and when she sat down it didn’t get her dress dirty (which was how it got on me and the seat I suppose). This was fortunate because Raley was wearing Audrey’s extra set of clothes. However, this now means that both swimsuits are dirty so we couldn’t play in the water (which they weren’t too happy about.)
It’s safe to say that spending (roughly) an hour rushing back and forth to the bathroom is not how we would like to spend our time at the zoo. It also meant my feet and calves were screaming by the end of it. This is not to say that we didn’t have a good time, because we did – it just wasn’t ideal. After the “poop-tastrophe” we made our way back to the front of the zoo, seeing several more animals on the way, then decided to let the girls play at the playground for a bit since they didn’t get to play in the water.
The cats sure were lazy but, boy are they beautiful!
We ended up deciding to just go home after the playground since we were all so tired. There were several areas that we didn’t get to see, even though we were there for a good 6 hours! The place is huge!
One thing that we’ve done since Raley’s first zoo trip in St. Louis (back before Audrey was born) is let them pick out a little stuffed animal in the gift shop before we leave. They call them their “zoo pals” and they sleep with them each night. They are all the small Aurora brand animals, which I love because they’re so soft. If you ask Raley what her favorite animal at the zoo was, she’ll tell you the snow leopard. If you ask Audrey, she’ll say the gorilla. These are the two “zoo pals” they picked out this time.
After we left the zoo, we went straight back to Derek’s house for the evening. We made “game day” food and watched the Alabama football game (after taking a shower – I felt like I had poop all over me!) The girls passed out so quick! We were able to kick our feet up in Derek’s leather recliners in his awesome media room and watch the game in peace.
The next morning we grabbed some breakfast and took the girls to the park. It was crazy hot so we didn’t stay long. We went back to his house, visited for a little longer, before grabbing some lunch and heading home.
After putting the kids in bed Sunday night, David and I propped our feet up and didn’t move for about two hours while we watched a couple episodes of Sharp Objects (we’re hooked!)
For Labor Day, we went to my parents’ house to swim and grill out for a bit before heading back home and taking naps. Audrey has decided to start swimming like a little dolphin which is hilarious.
They had a great time swimming, and actually behaved very well considering they were probably still tired from the weekend. Today is their first day back at MMO and I for one am pretty excited. My goal was to fill our summer with fun and memorable activities and I feel that that’s what we did. It’s time to get back on a schedule, which I think will be good for me and the girls.
I hope everyone had a fun Labor Day weekend! If you’ve got any tips on our poop problem, I’d love to hear it!
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