Fun bit of trivia for ya. Did you know that Central Park and Prospect Park were designed by the same park designer guy? Frederick Law Olmstead, landscape architect, handsome old dude... he did Central Park, he did Prospect Park, he did Niagara Falls, the Biltmore Estate, UC Berkeley, other various things... old friend even landscaped the Capitol building in D.C. Hey, don't you love it when you can come to my blog and learn things? Aren't I so handy to have around for all your party trivia and social ice-breaking purposes?

We have a habit of hitting up the zoo on the coldest, rainiest, most seasonally-inappropriate-clothing-required kind of days. It's got to be a skill we can market somehow. Also I have bike helmet hair in all these photos and you'll just have to excuse.

Oh! Not part of the zoo but just next to it is this historical home that we didn't have time for that is open for nerd tours. I want to go I want to gooooo!

Brandon Holbrook: Wears a Fanny Pack.

The PP Zoo is almost an identical layout to the CP Zoo. Which was kind of trippy. Kind of like living in a tract home and going over to play at the neighbor's house.

This is what has stuck with me about the Prospect Park Zoo, are you ready? The peacocks. Mama Peacock, baby peacocks, all over everywhere, and watching them waddle all over the courtyard together sort of sparked this very specific achy feeling in my arms. You know the one, like I needed to snuzzle something. Every kid there was enlisted in the cause of terrorizing the peacocks by chasing them around, and why are kids like that? Clearly nobody minded. Mamas gathering and kiddies dispersing. Circle of life and et cetera. But that's what I always take away from my trips to the zoo, is this overwhelming, dorky love of motherhood. Gross, I know, but it's true. Maybe that's how painters feel when they visit a museum? I don't know. Watching mothers of other species mother their babies... That's where I am right now. I mother. It's what I do. It's not all I do, but it's something I do well, and it's when I feel I'm really tapping into what I'm here to do. And that's not necessarily a value statement, either. It doesn't make me better or worse or different from anybody else and their myriad of talents. Nurturing, accounting, teeth cleaning, pole dancing, let's call the whole thing off! But that's when I feel my best, and that's when I feel the most at use, is when I am mothering. When I can extend my arm out to something cuddly and bring it in close and just let all that loose onto it. Also when I'm writing, or telling a good story. And when I'm getting dressed in the morning. Or organizing things by size and purpose or planning an itinerary. And also when I give really great nursing advice. You know, it is what it is. 

Holy tangent.

Oh but another side note: We are growing out Henry Holbrook's hair, though I am not sure to what end. (Are we going for a Beatles kind of long hair? Or a surfer kind of long hair? Or a "mistake him for a girl" kind of long hair? I feel like we need an end goal or else we're just being mildly neglectful.) It was Brandon's idea and I'm only along for the ride, though I try to take the fun and spontaneity out of it as best I can. I try to ask Huck every now and then what he'd like to do with his hair. You know, "Do you want me to cut it? Is it in your eyes?" So far Huck's seemed unconcerned with any of it, but he's really into the dramatic head tossing he gets to do when his hair gets in his eyes--"Mom, I'm swooshing it," he said to me once--so yes, that's what we're doing, we're growing it out, and in the meantime I spend a lot of time fantasizing about snipping off the rat tail that's going on right now. That, or braiding it.

Is this all over the place or what!? 

Prairie dog exhibit! This one was really fun. Please, the floating face in the left of that photo on the right, please love it as much as I do. That poor guy. I'm sure he had no desire to be in our photo whatsoever. Such a cruel world. One time I had this idea for an app that would run on facial recognition software? You'd sign up and it'd alert you any time your face showed up in someone else's photos, anywhere online, ever. Like, on Instagram or whatever. Can you imagine??? I feel like for all the times I've walked through Times Square over the years, I'm bound to be in at least a thousand random NYC Vacation Facebook albums. And wouldn't that be fascinating to see? And terrifying. Would we really want to see these photos of ourselves? What are the odds we'd be making a pleasant face? (My one flattering angle is really hard to find, ask Brandon Holbrook.) (And it's not even that flattering!) How many photos do you think you'd be picking your nose in or whatever? 

"Mm-hmm, and why don't you tell me how that made you feel?" 

"Well listen, I just don't think Modern Family needed to win another Emmy, is what it comes down to."

Tucked away to one side of the zoo is this whole huge barn, full of all the usual suspects.

As well as THIS:


This cow milking station was clearly not for the grown ups but do you know what? Highlight of my day. Weirdly, milking a cow has been in my top five things I want to do before I die since I was a kid, so, this was a pretty fantastic moment for me. It was just water in those udders, but let me tell you, that is some DEFINITE satisfaction right there. And all those times I hand-expressed because I was too cheap to buy a pump? Finally coming in handy! It's exactly the same mechanism! (Heehee, handy? Stop it.) Luckily it was raining and there was practically nobody there, so I wasn't, like, edging any kids out of the way so I could have a turn or anything. THOUGH I TOTALLY WOULD HAVE IF NEEDED. Dang toddlers. ;) 

Huck. Oh gosh.

Get it, Huck!

Milking a cow is way easier said than done, friends, but Huck was determined.

(And take a minute too to appreciate how strikingly low quality these photos have been. Holla!)

Making nice with some freshly shorn friends.

I wonder how many times I've posted photos of us feeding various animals in this blog. Four or five times at least, easily. But it never gets old though! It's like some freak law of physics!

Anyway, the PP carousel goes so fast it practically gave me whiplash. And I wasn't even on it! The end.

Wait--Look how many posts I've written about zoos over the years!


Apologies for the weird mood I seem to have found myself in tonight.
Fatty Ratty, over + out.


  1. i really enjoy this goofy, funny, simple kind of posts. Make me laugh and smile!
    Keep 'em coming, please!

  2. Wonderful post...all of it! Have faith, you are where you should be at this very moment.

  3. Oh gosh, those pictures of Huck trying to milk are so priceless! He was so determined!
    And is it weird of me to say I'm kind of digging this little weird mood-ed post of yours? Get it girl ;)
    xo TJ

  4. Glossy, overedited photos are overrated! and overused BRB gone to milk a cow!

  5. Slightly idiotic, yes, yet wildly entertaining as per usual. :)

  6. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air...from all the fashion blogs and outfit posts!!

  7. Seems like you a lot of fun at the zoo.

    I love reading your blog.

    Best wishes

  8. I always manage to wear a white tee when it's raining out. I feel your wardrobe woes!

  9. The picture of Henry looking under the cow had me cracking up "hey! why isn't this working?!". You seem very happy and content these days :-)

  10. I hear ya on the to cheap to buy a pump....glad that talent came in handy. haha a.

  11. Huck milking that cow was too cute! Also, I would totally wear his outfit. Is that weird? I need to find some good white jeans. Any suggestions ladies?

  12. Okay so this might have to go down as your best post everrrrrrrrrrrrr. The perfect mix of a great story, your wonderful mind flicking back and forth between anything and everything, opportunity to reflect on one's life (aka you helped me realise why I love zoos so much.... FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON! It's totally like an artist going to a gallery! I totally dig that! I don't even have babies yet but I know that I am meant to do just that and have always loved watching mama animals with their babies at the zoo). Where was I? Yes. Okay so this post was just fantastic and cute and funny and great. You rock.

    jemima jane x

  13. Brandon Holbrook: PULLING IT OFF.

  14. God, I love your blog. In a world of glossy over photoshopped over sponsored boring blogs, yours stands out. "You are a lone reed... waving boldly..." Thanks for keepin' it real. :)

    And man, that fanny pack. DANG.

  15. There are no such freak laws of physics that govern animal feeding photos as blog content; blasphemous! I am a physicist and that makes my heart hurt :(

    It's like when overly religious people get touchy about people saying "oh my god," haha.

    I clearly have abnormal priorities :P

  16. Oh my gosh I have TOTALLY thought about "how many pictures am I in over the US?" because we would go to places like Disney World, or I lived in Chicago, and I've got to be in a ton-those places are picture central. Too funny :) When I lived in Chicago I'd go to the Lincoln Park Zoo (free 365 days a year) and just aimlessly walk around (or jog) every Sunday. Such a cool thing, having a zoo in a big city.

  17. the floating face! is all.

  18. Oh how I adore your tangents! They make me laugh. A contemplative laughter? Whatever, they totally do it for me. Hooray for udders!

  19. Love your blog, but please tell your husband to wear a helmet! I know a guy who went just around the corner from his house by bike, got hit by a car, and is now brain damaged. Ironically, he was a neurologist. His doc said if he had a helmet on he would most likely be fine. It's extra sad because his daughter has Down's syndrome and now he's too disabled to help care for her.

  20. Oh how I love it when you go off on a tangent :o) let's hope you get mothering another wee bambino reeeeal soon then lady x

  21. beautiful as always. and I kind of love that this post, as well as 2 of the other zoo posts you linked, involve you wearing black and white striped tops. after my heart, you are.

  22. Great post as usual. Re Henry's hair, I think it looks perfect right now. My son had a boy from the USA in his class for a year. The poor kid had one of those pudding-basin haircuts that was always in his eyes. Every mother in the class confessed that they dreamed of taking to it with a set of clippers!

  23. fatty ratty you my boy blue

  24. You crack me up. Never apologize for your weird moods!

  25. What fun times here! I"m so glad to have arrived (don't ask me how, I couldn't retrace if I tried, but yo, I'm here now!). Henry is fabulous, as is his hair, A friend of mine has a 3yr old boy and he rocks the bowl cut like it's nobody's business. Now perhaps it helps that he lives in Oregon and has the best outfits ever, but my point remains- Huck can carry his hairstyle too, what with his zip code and clear sense of style ;)

  26. It's OLMSTED, not Olmstead. Not to be a nit-picker, but I am related to him on my mother's side. No A is needed!
    Also: he really was a handsome dude, right?

  27. I had no idea that was there.
    Learn something new every day!

    Valentina Duracinsky Blog


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