Tuesday, August 04, 2009


So yesterday I decided to take the kids to the St.Paul zoo (the free zoo) since Bekah had the day off of work and said she'd come. Lincoln had to take a morning nap and then by the time I had everything ready to go, we arrived to the zoo at 11 am. This gave me about 2-3 hours before "melt down" for Dietrich. But it still seemed like a good idea -- to get out of the house, do something new-ish (we've been to the zoo only once this summer). I parked the car. Turned off the engine. And then I realized I left both strollers back at home. Man. So we schlepped our lunch cooler, diaper bags, and the baby slowly, slowly herding Dietrich and Atticus along the "9 miles" to the park entrance. Rented a zoo stroller for $6 and somehow made it work. The morning was hotter than blazes and the zoo was filled to the gills with people, but the boys mostly had fun, though I was awfully tired and hot and disgruntled. I should have just focused on how good it was that Bekah was there to help and what a beautiful day it was, but mostly I just gritted my teeth and plowed through the two and a half hours until Dietrich's epic melt-down on our walk back to the car -- which, as you recall, I had parked in the back 40. Oh dear. The afternoon seemed like a goner when Dietrich didn't transfer to nap-time -- he sobbed for an hour in his crib -- and Lincoln wouldn't go down for a nap. But then Dietrich finally fell asleep and so did Lincoln -- so all was good and I really should have been "rejoicing with thanksgiving" -- something I am desperately praying for and striving to do -- in all circumstances, in all moods of my toddlers, and all states of my post-baby hormones.

(Notice those weird platter plants in the water -- each grouping of 5-8 platters are a single plant. Kinda wanted to just stand there and stare at them for 15 minutes. Instead I took a photo and will one day remember to really see them.)

This is one plant -- I love water lilies. When I was a teenager I went through my Impressionist phase where I was very into the French and American Impressionist artists -- and though my enthusiasm for this era of art has definitely waned, I am grateful that Monet inspired me to learn about water lilies.

The Como Zoo has a terrific butterfly garden enclosure. I've been through it every year the last three years. This year I especially noticed this particular kind of butterfly. Atticus and Dietrich were completely enthused this year -- which was even more fun. We lingered a long time.

One butterfly that looked like a dry golden leaf landed on Lincoln and stayed with us until we exited. About three different butterflies landed on Lincoln while we walked around.

This year I finally walked out the end of one of the tropical conservatory domes into the Japanese garden. It's only open in the summer months, and for some reason I've never seen it. It is very cleanly designed and peaceful the way you would think such a garden would be. Apparently St.Paul, USA and Nagasaki, Japan are sister cities -- a relationship that began back in the mid-fifties. This garden was a gift from that city. There were some particularly kind and interesting older people resting and walking about this garden, some drawing, that I would have loved to talk with. They enjoyed the boys quite a bit -- and didn't seem irritated to have their peaceful sunlit visit pierced by the rowdy scampering and laughing and jumping and wrestling. I was struck by the juxtposition of their un-contained jumbly energy and the quietness of the surroundings. (I didn't have too much time to think about it since I was trying to keep Dietrich from falling in the pond and both of them from stumbling to injury off rocks.)

Thank you, Bekah, for taking so many photos of the actual garden...good idea!

This is us being trees -- Atticus' idea -- and he told us it should look like this with our hands down by our sides and being serious.


Joslin3 said...

You new pictures made me so happy!! I've been checking your blog hoping for some :) The picture of you guys being trees seriously made me laugh out loud! And all the boys have grown in the last two months but um, Lincoln is going crazy!! What a cutie pie! He and Max are gonna need to roll around together soon!!

Elizabeth said...

I love that Atticus insisted on serious trees.
Also - the picture of Bekah, pushing the stroller, with Atticus on his shoulders - is priceless.

Bird said...

I appreciate your openness and honesty about motherhood. I have lots to learn! Your skirt is super cute too. :)

Leah Miller said...

Those are so great! And I did laugh out loud at the "tree" picture. Good job, Bekah.

Phil & Sarah said...

Oh Sara...you and your little boys...PRECIOUS! It looks like a successful trip to me! Minus the nap time craziness...that's enough to drive you crazy, huh? We're going to the zoo tomorrow! Hope we remember our stroller! :)

Sammy said...

You are impressive, Sarah! That is quite an outing. I've never been to the Japanese Garden, although I totally want to after seeing your pictures. I might just have to suck it up and and take my boys (*shudder!* ;)

Also, I want a Bekah!

PS It's hard to think about a lot of things with kids around. Good for you for still making an effort! :)