Monday, July 6, 2009

A Zoo and a Puppy

We had an exciting weekend. Although, we did not participate in any 4th of July activities, we still had fun! And, we didn't do any of the 4th things for reasons like mosquito's and schedules - not because we are making a political statement or anything. In fact, I was disappointed that George was not going to experience parades and fireworks - but we always have next year.

So, we decided to go explore the Madison zoo. I have always heard good things about it, but we lived so close to the Milwaukee zoo, and had a membership, so it was just more practical to go there. We love Madison, very cool town, and when Friday turned into a beautiful day, we decided to hit Madtown.

The zoo was wonderful (and here's the best's free!!!). I was a little concerned about George as I had heard stories of Ethiopian children running scared of the animals. George did great! He really enjoyed seeing certain animals up close - especially the African animals. The lion started roaring as soon as we walked through the gate. Thankfully, he kept it up much of the afternoon! How cool it was for all the kids running around the hear a lion roar!!! George also like the tiger, but kept his distance. What really surprised me was his reaction to the alligators.

For some background, George always asks if there are crocodiles in the water, wherever we go. River, Lake Michigan, doesn't matter, he always asks, "Momma, crocodiles?" This time, I could say, "Yes, George - that IS a crocodile."

As we came upon two very large alligators, George nuzzled his way right up to the glass, knelt down and stared intently at the reptiles. And he stared and stared and then dared to touch the glass a bit. He was silent, and so serious as he looked over every inch. It took quite a bit of urging to get George away. I think he would have sat there for at least an hour if we would have let him.

We had a fun day, topped off by a carousel ride and some play time in a tree-fort.

On Saturday we needed to pick up Eleanor from camp and enjoyed a wonderful time of worship with the teens and middle schoolers at Timber-lee. Those kids can worship! After the closing ceremony, Eleanor took us to Saddlehorn Ranch to show us the horse she worked with all week. What a beauty. Then George and Isabel had the chance to take a horse ride, on a 29 year old horse -ha!

Joe and I decided to then surprise the kids and go pick up a German Shepherd puppy!! Joe and I both grew up with GS and couldn't wait to get one of our own. It has taken 13 years - ha! We finally felt that the kids were a good age and we have enough yard for a big dog. Remind me of how excited I am in January when there is 2 feet of snow on the ground and we are stuck inside. No...this dog will love the snow (positive thinking!). We had the pick of two males left - one chunky and one feisty. We chose the chunky one, especially when the owner said, "He'll probably look like his dad." OK, Dad is 124 pound of pure muscle! Cowboy, the stud, is a beauty!!! Joe and I were sold - we'll take that one. We named him Gunnar and have truly enjoyed the first few days with him.

George has taken to Gunnar very well. Considering he screamed, ran away and cried the first time he saw a dog, we are making great progress!

By the way, two notes I wanted to add before I forget. We got a letter from Joe's aunt last week with the most interesting information. She wrote, "I know how you name your children after relatives. Well, I thought you would like to know that Joe's great grandfather's name was George Washington Weldie." How cool is that? Again, a little picture of God smiling down on us with that gift. Now we can say ALL our children are named after family!

Second, we had immunizations and such today. George's first trip to the doctor (I purposefully waited until we had bonded and had some language). George did very well - got 4 shots, had a blood draw and had to urinate in a cup for the first time. He initially said "No" to everything, but complied and left the office with two stickers, a sucker and a smile. What I loved was when he stepped on the scale and I read the number "52"! George has gained 10 pounds in his first two months with us! I can tell you he packs in about 10 pounds of food each time we sit down to dinner, so I was not surprised. It was wonderful confirmation on how well he is doing. Not only is he gaining weight, some markings on his chest (bumps all over that we didn't recognize) and some white spots on his skin have all gone away. Signs of a healthy boy.

All five kids are outside right now enjoying a beautiful day with a new puppy. I think I will go join them....


Stephanie said...

{I came to your blog from the Ethiopian Adoption Webboard}

This is just crazy! We were at the Madison zoo on Friday too! To think we were that close and didn't even know it! Interesting about his fascination with the crocodiles... And how cool to hear the lion roar! He was snoozin' in the sun when we were there.

MzzLily said...

What a fabulous weekend! I was wondering when the dog would come...

Sounds like George is doing super! I'm wondering how the other children's bond to him is growing.

mhomes said...

Traci, it is exciting to see how far things have progressed--both in your home and in your outlook!! PTL!!