Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bleary-Eyed Yet Happy

Last night was one of those True Test of Your Mettle nights. I had a hard time settling in. Pretty much the instant that my body relaxed, Lily Ruth woke up crying and really hot to the touch. Those who have been or currently are mothers of toddlers know that administering any sort of fever-reducer is usually an experience that is pretty closely akin to wrestling a cranky alligator. I wasn't about to try it in the middle of the night unless she was unable to sleep. Luckily for me, moving into mama's bed with her pillow and blanket was enough to put her back to sleep. Me, not so much.

It was constant, and it was ALL NIGHT. Every 30 minutes or so, the baby would jerk herself awake and yell 'WHAT HAPPENED?' or the dog would use her clickiest toenails and pokiest nose to force me into letting her (and the cat) out or I would snore myself awake or the dog (and the cat) wanted back in or the baby kicked off all of her covers and now wants mine... all. night. long. Add in periodic Mama Checks to see what the fever situation was, and the total is No Rest For Mama.

Due to the sleep (or lack thereof) situation, I did not have high expectations of today. I knew that I couldn't take Lily in to Parent's Day Out, and I assumed that her fever would last most of today. I pictured a fairly whine-y, low-key day on the couch. I pictured wrong.

Lily Ruth woke up feeling a bit tender-hearted, but was fever-free. I mixed some tylenol into her juice anyway. Aside from forgoing breakfast, she seemed to feel great. When our play time erupted into a full-blown game of chase around 10 am, I decided to see how much we could do.

First, a trip to Payless for shoes. A friend had purchased a pair of cute baby sneakers there, and we have almost zero fall/winter shoes, so I needed to scope it out. Damn them. Princess shoes. Everywhere. Instead of sneakers with cool stripes and brown suede Mary Janes (my first choices for her), we ended up with these:

The camera doesn't lie, my friend. You really do see pink glitter Disney Princess shoes. There are no princess pictures on the outside of the shoes (I have to draw the line somewhere, right?). Just glitter, rhinestones and bows. She is in hooooog heaven. "I pick out dese shoes fo ME!"

After a quick bite to eat at Jimmy John's that included showing off her shoes to everyone in line and a light spot of chair dancing, we proceeded to the zoo. The weather is finally changing here. A week or two ago, we wouldn't have made it through the zoo at noon. Today was humid, but nice...

You know what? Today was a gift. A giant, bow-wrapped gift. The flamingos didn't stink. The otters were out playing. The Nile crocodile swam STRAIGHT AT US (giving us the ol' stink-eye the entire time) and then turned and floated (still with the stink-eye) so that we could see him up close. The Loris were fairly polite and only one of them landed on Lily Ruth's head (and she didn't panic!). We got a cool lesson in goat behavior from a keeper and a hormonal 4-year-old goat. The female hippo hung out with us and even pressed up to the glass for several moments of 'kissing':

Lily Ruth told her about the new shoes! Then the Nile Crocodile swam up to us AGAIN. A 'Sneaky Chicken' (Guinea Hen) walked up to us, but did not (for once) bite Lily Ruth. The African Wild Dogs were frisky and silly. We got to see the sharks eat... *WHEW* It was amazing. We've never had such an incredible day at the zoo. A true blessing. The kind of experience that refills your well.

I really needed that. I don't even care that I'm tired. I feel good.

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