Last weekend we made a quick trip down to the Birmingham zoo for a fun little flamingo encounter I had set up for Audrey. You may or may not know that Audrey is obsessed with flamingos (or as she calls them, “flinginos”). She wanted a flingino “big girl room” when we moved to our new house and she’s already asked for a flingino birthday party when she turns four in January. I do yearly photo shoots for my girls around their birthday and I usually do some sort of style related to their birthday party theme for that year
*See Audrey’s Trolls or Pancakes and Pajamas photoshoots and Raley’s Tinker Bell or Lilo and Stitch photoshoots all by our amazing photographer, Elles Photography Studios, who always embraces my crazy ideas.
Since Audrey wants a flamingo birthday party this year, I thought how cute would it be to have pictures taken with live flamingos? So I emailed the Birmingham Zoo, thinking it was a long shot, and the zoo keeper who is over the birds, Kirby, emailed me back saying that he would be thrilled to facilitate this for us! I can’t tell you how elated I was when I received his email saying that they could make this happen for Audrey! He said that they enjoy facilitating encounters like this because it fosters a love and a care for wildlife from a young age, which I think is wonderful. Audrey is an animal lover and I knew she would enjoy this experience.
So why did we do it in August when her birthday is not until January? They are actually closing down the flamingo exhibit at the Birmingham zoo for renovations next month. It will hopefully be opened back up around Spring Break and Kirby said it will be a more interactive exhibit, which will be awesome! We can’t wait to go back when it’s done and see it.
Kirby had arranged for us to get there around 8:30, before the zoo opened, so that she could go in and entice the flamingos with their breakfast. They were so cute when we walked up. They were all still sleeping, standing on one leg with their heads buried back in their feathers. He shook their food and their necks popped right up. I understand why Audrey loves these birds so much, because they are so funny and interesting to watch.
She tried to feed them from over the fence for a minute, then he let her in with them! She was so excited, but she didn’t really know what to do or think in there. I think they were a little off-put by a tiny person being in their space. They all sort of flocked together and they wouldn’t come real close to her. I was hoping they would come up and eat out of her hand, but they never did get that close to her. She still enjoyed being in there and I think she was fascinated by how tall they were and how they moved.
They ended up all flocking into the water so we brought Audrey out of the exhibit. They ended up coming back out of the water though, and Raley got a turn to go in too. I was thankful he let her have a turn as well because I would have hated for her to miss out on the experience! All the while our photographer, Danielle, was snapping the cutest pictures (Here’s a sneak peek…I can’t wait to share them all!)
We tried to feed them from the outside of the fence for a little while, but they weren’t really having it at the moment. Audrey ended up giving up and saying “Ok I’m done!” As we were about to head off and explore the zoo a bit, we happened to run into Elsa and Anna! The zoo was having a special ticketed princess event, so we saw a few characters wondering around.
We had not planned to stay at the zoo for a very long time because it was supposed to be over 100 degrees that day and we had to make it back home by that afternoon. We stayed for a couple more hours, visiting the animals we most wanted to see. We grabbed some Dippin’ Dots to cool us off. By the time we left the girls were getting super whiny and we were ready to go anyway.
When you take your kids somewhere special, like the zoo, do your kids care more about ice cream or souvenirs than actually seeing the thing that you came there for? This gets incredibly frustrating to me. I hate telling them “no, no, no” when they continue to ask for things, but we can’t buy them every little toy or snack that they see. I just feel like things like that put a damper on a fun outing. I want you to be excited to see animals, not cry because you can’t have another stuffed animal. It makes me not want to take them places because we pay a lot of money to do things and we leave exhausted and beat down instead of feeling like this was a wonderful day. Just wondering if anyone else has this issue?
David’s sister Lindsey and her husband Brian live in Birmingham so we had arranged previously for them to meet us for lunch. We went to Urban Cookhouse in Homewood (such a cute building!) and got to visit for a little while. The girls were especially excited to see “Baby Bailey.” She’s such a sweetie! She was even matching the girls with a little “flingino” outfit of her own.
Raley started school a few weeks ago and this week it was Audrey’s turn. I was very relieved when she woke up very excited to start school! I wasn’t sure what her attitude toward school would be because she was not really feeling Open House. She got a special breakfast of Nutella pancakes with sprinkles and that had her in the best mood. She even eagerly smiled for her first day of school pictures without me having to bribe her (ha!).
She was also excited that a frog hopped right over to her when she was standing there taking her picture.
She waltzed right into Mrs. Morgan’s classroom with a big smile on her face and came home telling me all about the great first day she had! She tells me every day “I love Mrs. Morgan!” which makes me so happy (because I love Mrs. Morgan too 🙂 )
I love getting pictures throughout the day of what she’s up to. She seems like she’s having a great time and so far she’s behaving! She likes telling me about the friends that she plays with and she’s even told me about two boys in her class who she thinks are cute (oh boy!)
Have your kids started school yet? What is their favorite part of the day?