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Background for a trip to the Oakland Zoo


By ginny - Posted on 26 September 2009

We have been planning this trip to the zoo for about a month. We wanted to include another family (some friends of ours with kids the same age) in the trip. So, after much back-and-forth on dates we settled on the 25th. How many things can go wrong in one week? A lot.

First, a little over a week before the trip, Kyle got sick. Standard runny nose. That wasn't enough to stop us from going. Then Kristian started complaining that he didn't feel so well. But again, nothing major and not enough to keep us from going. Finally, Joanna started complaining that her stomach hurt. This went on for several days, in the usual child's way: it hurts when I don't want to eat something and feels much better when I do want to eat. Still, we were going.

Then, early Thursday morning, Jo came down the hall around 5am saying "Mom, I'm filthy." In the dark it is very hard to gauge just what "filthy" means. My first guess was that she had an accident in bed, which she said wasn't the case. Meanwhile, Kristian turned on the light and I saw the "filthy" before me. Jo had her first experience throwing up. Not knowing the feeling of it coming, or even what had happened, it was everywhere. Her hands, face and hair were covered as was the bed. Kristian took her and I took Kyle (now screaming in bed) and we started to clean things up. After a bath and new sheets we get her and Kyle settled back down. Everyone went back to bed, for a bit. About 45 min later Kristian and I jumped out of bed because we heard something coming from their room again. Sure enough, she had thrown up again, mostly making the bucket that had been set next to her bed. Less cleaning was required this time around, but we decided to separate the kids. Kyle went back to his bed. Jo, who was no longer sleepy, went to the couch with a light on and some books (as well as a bucket on the floor).

Being Mom, I couldn't sleep. Any noise I heard made me jump. I decided I'd have better luck in the living room with Jo. So, I spent the rest of the night there (Kristian will tell you he slept great the rest of the night)). The rest of Thursday was spent quarantined at home. No more puke, but no appetite for Jo either. This was almost enough to make us stay home.

We checked with out friends, and agreed that as long as there was no more throwing up, and we all got some sleep, we would still go. Then they got it. Their daughter had a fever and started throwing up Friday morning.

After much debate and a late start, we decided to go to the zoo anyway. Jo still had little appetite and was more than usually whiny, but we were going to make the most of it. The ride over wasn't bad. The weather was great, warm but breezy and not too hot. Jo had a great time. She loved all the animals (I will put together a separate entry from her memory of the zoo). We spent about 2 hours in the zoo and ate lunch there. Jo did get tired of walking, but did quite a bit on her own two legs. If you ask her, I'm sure she will tell you more then you ever wanted to know about it.

After the zoo, we went into Berkeley. There was a gellato place that had been recommended to us. It was great. The kids had a blast. It was one of the few things Jo ate that day, but who can turn down a frozen, strawberry treat? Not Jo. The drive back was not so pleasant, but it was worth it to enjoy the rest of the day as a family. As for the zoo itself, I would highly recommend it to anyone with little children. Great fun at a reasonable price. You don't feel like you have to stay all day because of how much you spent. Just enjoy it on the kids schedule (something I'm still trying to learn to do).

We still have some family trips to do in the next few weeks. I'm hoping that they get off to a better start than this one did.