You know you're a mummy when you go out with hubby and son to choose a birthday present for yourself and come home with a pair of cute cherry-red boots and 10 Little Golden Books ~ and you're perfectly satisfied!
On a side note: I can't stand reading The Poky Little Puppy - negative, punishment based message all the way through, and then a grammatical double negative at the end... uggh! That one's going on eBay. Our favourites are The Colour Kittens and Where Do Kisses Come From... which have momentarily ousted Wombat's previous favourites - The Little Red Caboose, The Little Red Hen and Goodnight Little Bear (that last one has been amazing for awakening Wombat's imagination - as I read it, he acts out all the things Daddy Bear does while searching for Little Bear.)
On Sunday, we took Wombat for a birthday picnic to Symbio Wildlife Gardens. My Mum and brother came along as well, and despite some threatening-looking clouds, we had a lovely day. I hope you won't mind a long post with lots of photos - it might make up for my absence lately!
First, here is my darling Wombat enjoying his new boots.
After lunch, we went for a walk to look at all the animals. My Mum fell in love with the Marmosets, who had apparently been sitting up against the glass talking to her just a few minutes before, but who suddenly became shy when the camera arrived.The Meerkats were very cute as well, though Yeti thought it was a bit rough that they didn't have at least one wall that the humans didn't have access to. They seemed to like him, as wherever he stood, they would come running over and look up at him.
The most recent editions to the park were a pair of Red Pandas. They were busy having their lunch of fruit - looking very much like a cross between a cat and a bear - I have more photos of them climbing through their trees, but don't want to bore you totally ;P
Printing off the map of the park from their website entitled you to one free bag of critter food. I will spare you all the photos of feeding the sheep and other domestic animals. Here are some very greedy deer, who kept trying to snatch the whole bag of food in one go. Yeti hung onto ours, but another group nearby lost theirs within seconds! Wombat was too scared to feed them directly (probably a good thing as they would have taken his fingers off!) but he picked up little bits of food (and stones) off the ground and threw them in, and was quite happy that he was doing his bit to help.
Some of the kangaroos were also keen to get at the food, though most were happier to stay in the background. The camel seemed to be telling us he wanted some better sand to roll in - as dustbowls go, it was hardpacked and didn't seem as comfortable as it could have been.
In fact, there's a chance you might be hearing quite a lot more about Symbio. In our recent discussions about long-term goals and where we want to build our future, Yeti and I have decided that when we move from here, we need to move into a business - something that will provide the lifestyle we want for raising children. As we were leaving, Yeti asked the owner if Symbio was for sale - he said he had been working there seven days a week for seven years and was ready for a break. It is all just a big maybe at the moment, but we are seriously considering becoming zoo-owners! It would suit all of us down to the ground (except perhaps MIL, but it is only ten minutes drive from one of her favourite beaches, so there's a chance of convincing her to live nearby if not with us)! Yeti is overflowing with ideas for landscaping and improving the gardens (Steff, if this does happen, we are going to be having some long discussions with you about habitat enrichment!!!) and there would be lots of legal and administrative work for me as part of keeping it running and sourcing funding... I'll let you know what happens when we go back - at the moment there are just lots of unanswered questions but it is a quietly exciting possibility.