Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy!

I love the sun! I also love rain, clouds, storms, wind...all of the elements that Fall and Winter in the Pacific Northwest bring, but there's something to be said about an honestly sunny, 70 degree day. Do you know what I mean about "honestly sunny"? If you've spent any time in the NW, you should. We get a lot of faux sunny days, when the sun is there, but it's a tease. It peeks out from behind a cloud long enough for you to frantically grab everything within arm's reach (including your kid), dash out your door to your car, and hurry to the park, when it suddenly makes a smooth glissade behind another cloud, disappearing for good. The temperature drops 5 degrees, you have no fun at the park, and everyone heads home totally disappointed and still seriously lacking in vitamin D.

Yesterday was not at all like that: The sun came out and it stayed that way ALL DAY. It was marvelous! Mom treated Hazel and I to the zoo, and I have to admit that I was the most excited about this trip. I love going to the zoo. Hands down, I feel it's the best way to spend a warm day outside.

Our timing for leaving the Clackamas area all came down to Hazel and her naps. She's been falling asleep as soon as I stick her in her crib for the last week (which has been wonderful), but yesterday she went back to her old routine and played for about an hour before succumbing to sleep. That threw us off a bit. We finally made it out of the house around 2pm. When we arrived at the zoo, the parking lot was packed and "Lots Full" signs were up everywhere. It was afternoon nap time, though, for most kids, so I felt sure the zoo would be emptying out steadily.

Hazel recognized animals from her books, of course, and could make their sounds, but she mostly enjoyed people watching and walking everywhere on her own. She finally asked to be put back in her stroller about half way through our walk, just wanting to take a break for a few minutes. She walked with gusto and charmed everyone! Quite a few other moms kept sighing, "OHH" whenever Hazel tottered by. My heart swelled every time...

There was a nice breeze out and the zoo paths offered plenty of shade, but it was still nice enough for Hazel to wear a light cotton spring dress and sunscreen. I love her sunscreen but it does get greasy fast. Her hair was so nasty across her forehead! It will look like she's sweating profusely in some of these pictures, but she's not, I promise.

As the day progressed, I saw more and more of her roseola spots. Her little personality was alive and kicking so I didn't feel like she was out of it due to not feeling very well, but I kept my eye on the spots. I guess I should have done my research before leaving for the zoo/sunshine: Is roseola made worse by the sun? She didn't have a fever at all yesterday and her spots are nearly gone today, thank God. (By the way, the picture shows my 26.5 week pregnant belly. I am constantly surprised at how quickly time is passing! This kid will be here with us in just about 11 weeks. Oh, and I'll be 27 weeks on Monday, which is when we started having to monitor Hazel's health closely during my pregnancy with her. If we can make it through the next few weeks without any serious scares, I'll be incredibly grateful. In fact, God, please let's just make it straight through to the end of this pregnancy without any surprises, totally bored because there's nothing crazy to report. Thank You, and Amen.)

I couldn't resist sticking her in the eagle's next at their exhibit. By the way, she is fascinated by eagles. She really does belong to Nate and I! I took an Ornithology class in college and loved it (it was either that or some other science class that didn't include weekly field trips with friends). Nate and I never really talked about birds when we were dating (beyond my crazy list of facts that I had learned in Ornithology), although there is a lake in Bellingham, WA, that we had to drive past to and from my college to Oregon that was home to an incredible number of bald eagles. But it was on our first anniversary camping trip that we fell in love with birds: We had prime seats in our camping spot to watch an eagle fly up and down the river between her nest and fishing. We were enchanted. Since then, we've always become excited by falcons and hawks on our property. We stop to watch them. We are geeks. It's true.

Hazel loves fountains. "Water" is one of her most used words, so she says it whenever she finds a reason. There's a fountain outside of her pediatrician's office, so the last time we were over there we had to stop and watch it for awhile. She was so excited to stick her hands in the water feature at the zoo (in the PacNW exhibit). I kept saying, "Okay! All done!" trying to lead her away.  She'd walk a couple steps and then turn right around and head back to where the water was the most accessible.

Don't you just love her dress?

I realize I'm writing this post for myself more than anyone. So far it's filled with all sorts of tangents that can't possibly be THAT interesting to other people...

Continue to bear with me - we're nearing the end, I promise!

[Tutu and Hazel, who is almost 18 months]

[Can you see the spots? I realize this picture isn't super clear, but still.]

The zoo closed while we were still wandering around. I felt this intense need to "obey" the lady over the loud speaker who was telling us to exit and exit now, but I rebelled. We visited the elephants on our way out (yeah right, it's clear across the park from the entrance) and there's a "garden" of statues by their exhibit. I felt it was really really necessary to take pictures of Hazel on the little stone animals. She was a trooper! She hated the elephant and felt ill at ease, so we moved her from there to the mouse (her above roseola picture) and then to the snail, where she felt totally comfortable. His little humps made the perfect saddle for her.

The sun was warm and wonderful, but I have to say that it kicked all the animals into high gear: Many many of them were mating. I could have lived a happy life without seeing polar bears or bats mate.

We left the park around 5:15 and got home just after 6pm. Hazel was pooped! She fought me when I tried to feed her, so that was awesome. She took a bath and by the time she was dressed for bed, Nate was home from work. We found him outside, working on caulking our house. She said goodnight to him and I put her in bed. She never made another sound until 9am this morning. It's been glorious that she's sleeping so long!

I'm still job searching. Starbucks isn't going to happen - no one wants to hire a six-month pregnant lady who has to have a c-section (aka 6 weeks off from work following birth). I put in an application at New Seasons, so I'm following up on that today. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

hangar52 said...

Twas a great day indeed!! Loved the time with you both!