Monday, November 12, 2012

Non-Stop Weekend!

From start to finish, this weekend was BUSY!  On Friday after work we headed out for a quick dinner and then did some shopping for a couple weekend celebrations we'd be attending.  The next morning, Craig was up bright and early to participate in a stair climb event for charity.  He walked up 20 stories of stairs in the Bausch & Lomb building here in Rochester to benefit the American Lung Association.  He did it in just over 10 minutes, which is great!  In the meantime, Jacob and I went out to a local church's garage sale (it was half price day and I was curious to see what they had), and then took a quick trip to the library since we hadn't been there in ages.  We all met back at home for lunch, then packed up and headed out to Buffalo for two days full of activities.
The first stop was a baby shower for Craig's cousin and his girlfriend, who are due for a baby boy in January.  Luckily it was a family- and guy-friendly shower, so we all got to go.  Admittedly, we kept Jacob occupied with electronics, coloring, cookies, and cheese puffs, but he did well.  Craig came in second in one of the games, the one where you pick a length of ribbon that corresponds to the mama-to-be's belly size.  It was nice to catch up with some family and receive some congratulations of my own from some family members we hadn't seen.  I comiserated with the mom in more ways than one--not only could we chat about pregnancy, but we could also chat about having four-year-old boys and being a little disappointed about not having a girl.  Another pregnant woman there was having her second girl, so she was on the other end of the spectrum. 
After the shower we headed to Craig's parents' house.  Craig went out with his father and brother, Jacob went to bed (nearly perfectly, might I add), and I worked on posting some long-delayed pictures to Facebook while Craig's mom (who's healing up, slowly but surely) and I watched a movie. 
Sunday was supposed to be a beautiful day, and when you get one of those in November, you take advantage of it!  It was nearly 70 degrees!  We had plenty of other plans for the day, but I figured we had enough time to sneak in a long-desired trip to the Buffalo Zoo.  We had wanted to go for years--Jacob's first trip was when he was about a year old--and given that we have a membership here that gives us a discount there, it seemed like a great plan.  A lot of other people thought so too, so it was busy, but it's big enough that it wasn't a problem.  The animals were active and it was an awesome day!  Here are some of my favorite shots: 
I like the profile shot of the eating elephant...just thought it looked cute :)
One of the things that drives us nuts about the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester is that the otters are pretty lackluster.  There's a few of them, but they're almost never visble.  I don't know if they're just not on exhibit, or if they like to hide, or if their exhibit isn't conducive to playing, but it's so rare to see one out playing, let alone more than one.  In Buffalo, there were three, and they were so playful!  They were running around, swimming, playing with the ball in their pool, and having a blast--together!  It was so cute and we loved chasing them from window to window as they moved around.  It was hard to catch them without blur, but I liked this picture because the one is getting smooshed by his buddy...
His face practically says, "Duuude, do you mind?"
There was a little children's zoo area, and Jacob loved this boat.  The thing above his head is a rudder.

In addition to two giant pigs, some sheep, a cow, and some turkeys, there was also a big wagon for photo ops.  Here's my big boy, almost smiling on command...

The most interesting part of the day was when we saw the gorillas.  Jacob has a stuffed gorilla that he's always talked about taking to the Buffalo Zoo, so getting to see the gorillas was exciting.  Turns out there's a baby!
So little!
The funny thing is that gorillas are much like humans in that the adults were lounging around and the baby was all over the place!  When we got over to the window where the baby was hanging out, he was climbing up the wall to wedge himself between the window and the wall.

It got crazy, though, when he saw Jacob's gorilla!  He kept banging on the window.  He pounded his chest.  He appeared to be signing.  And apparently he almost seemed to do a rocking gesture, like he was rocking a baby.  I wish I would have thought to record it, because it was amazing to watch!  I could have watched that baby for hours, in fact.

We saw so many animals--big cats (we could hear the lion roaring as we walked around the rest of the zoo), a bear, zebras, anteaters, birds, reindeer, and monkeys.  We also saw buffalo...

And the gorgeous...

We had a great time and I was so happy we went.  What a lovely day!  On our way back, we stopped downtown to check out the new French Connection statue outside the First Niagara Center.  Luckily, Craig had brought his old Sabres Hockey School jersey (from the late 70s) for our next stop, and it worked well to cover up the Montreal Canadiens shirt Jacob was wearing!

Hard to see us, but here's Jacob and me in front of the statues.  Behind us you can see pillars, each marked with a decade and bearing the names of every Sabre that played during that decade.

Look at this handsome little boy...

I don't know how well you can see it, but here's our little #7 standing below the big #7--Grandma's favorite Sabre, Rick Martin.

We hopped back in the car and headed to the hockey rink in Hamburg to go to an open skate with Jacob's cousins.  Jacob took a little rest on the way there, and when Craig woke him up to go in, he immediately said that he wanted to go on the ice right away!  Jacob has always wanted to skate, but has never been able to.  This was his chance!  He even got a hand-me-down pair of skates from his cousins that he gets to keep.  Here he is, all padded up and ready to go!

He headed out on the ice with Craig and a support bar.  It was very slow going!  He had a hard time staying up, but he had a blast.  He kept trying to do it on his own, but that would not have gone well.  Such an independent streak!

After the skate, we headed back to Craig's parents' house for a double birthday for both Craig's Nana (93!) and our sister-in-law.  Jacob and Craig played some baseball with Jacob's cousins until it got dark, and then had a great meal and some ice cream cake before finally heading home.  It made for a late night, but luckily Jacob slept for most of the trip and snuggled right into bed after we got home. 

He was a bit difficult at times today (a couple out-of-character accidents and a rough nap, for starters), but I think it's just the weekend hangover getting him off-track.  Let's hope tomorrow is better.  The weekend really wasn't bad, all things considered, so hopefully today was just a blip in the radar!

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