Noah's 5th Birthday!

I can't believe my Noah Boah is FIVE YEARS OLD! :O We took a tour of his new school on Friday. Orientation is going to be on September 4th. His first day is September 7th! He's so excited. He asks me every day (about 50 times) "Mommy is school starting now?". Kindergarten... sigh... he's so big. But anyway... back to it. We enjoyed a breakfast of some of Noah's most favorite treats: chocolate milk, strawberry muffins, coco-krispies cereal bars, and I think they snuck an M&M cookie in there too. Then we headed out to the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium. It was only a 10 minute drive away. They have it set up a lot like San Antonio did, the zoo is part of a huge park (called Casa de Campo) with playgrounds and other attractions all around.

I am always nervous about going to a new zoo because I feel bad for caged animals. I appreciate that I can show my children what a tiger looks like in person, but watching him pant wildly while pacing back in forth in a tiny cage is very unsettling to me. The zoo was decent. I only cried once :P They had about 6 American Buffalo in a small enclosure with just sand and concrete and I was just too sad for them... they were so much smaller than they should be and had no grass, no room, fake shade. I felt like the Native American guy in the commercial from the 80's about littering... ::tear::. The Black Bears didn't have a big pool to swim in so they were dying out there in the heat. The Bald Eagles were temporarily (I hope, since they weren't clipped) chained to the ground outside with about a foot of chain for "wiggle room". I have a softer spot for our native American animals because I know how they normally live. I would have taken pictures of all this, but I don't want to remember it really. I don't think I've ever seen an enclosure I felt was adequate space for an animal in any zoo though. It's not the worst zoo I've been to, but I can't say I am dying to go back anytime soon. It's an old zoo and definitely needs some remodeling. The newer parts, like the aquarium, were much nicer.

Anyway..... despite all this we did have a lot of fun. The aquarium was pretty big and they had a nice collection of aquatic animals on display. Brennan even enjoyed the fishes. He stayed awake almost the entire visit! He's going to be such a smart kid. I can already tell by his keen interest in the world around him. We didn't even get to see all the animals because Tristan was ready for lunch and a nap halfway through. Noah loved the zoo and was perfectly fine with leaving because he was dying to eat his cake! We stopped and treated the boys to McDonald's on the way home (tastes better here to me). Then Tris and Bren took naps and we went swimming with Noah.

Noah and Josh played the "big boy racing game" on the wii while the little brothers napped and I snuck upstairs to blog. We made our own pizzas for dinner (Noah's request). Then we enjoyed Daddy's homemade Mickey Mouse fudge brownie and red velvet layer cake smothered in butter-cream frosting... with ice cream of course.

Noah's getting a bike for his big present. Once the banks settle their business with each other and transfer our money we'll be able to buy it. Our American bank has already transferred the money to our Spanish bank, but our Spanish bank has yet to credit our account... BOOOO! It's not a small amount of money either. Oh well... guess we'll see on Monday.


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