April 18, 2013

Become Callous in 100 Days or Less

Remember that one time when Tymon went to the pet store to get Graeden and the kids a Christmas present? He brought home one gerbil. Then she surprised us when she had babies a week later. Seven of them. Four died. We held a funeral and burial. It was sad.

Then about 6 weeks later we had some friskiness in the cage...and some weeks afterward, seven more babies appeared...sweet. 

The runt died yesterday. No funeral. No fan fare. Graeden found him while scooping out excess sawdust. He told me...and I'm thinking, phew! One less to think about. That's it. All the sympathy I've gained in the years since Evan died is now gone. Die in my house and I'm going to take a picture of it and post it online for the world to see. And this can happen to you, too. I will even give you the starter gerbils for your family's cage.


Here's the crazy thing. We still don't know the sexes of our gerbils. I checked all of them for nursing nipples. And when I say "I", what I mean to say is that Elliott picked them up and flipped them over. Because I don't touch them if I can possibly help it.

The crazy thing is that we know Spyra is a girl since she had babies before. BUT Gimpy and Bash also sit on top of the pups and the pups try to nurse them. So when Elliott had each adult gerbil in his hands we couldn't find any nipples on any of them...including Spyra. I totally don't get it. So who knows gerbils out there? Do they all nest regardless of sex? Or motherhood for that matter?

And my fabulous kids wait until each gerbil dies before naming it. Since a dead gerbil pup isn't the most pleasing thing to look at, I will treat you to some cuteness eye candy. 

Presenting Kira and Toby. They make me smile.

 
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April 12, 2013

Look Mom! There are babies!

 
When the boys got home this afternoon they noticed some little pink jelly beans in the gerbil cage....wonder if there will be more tomorrow? I mean, that's the most effective way to figure out the sex of the pups, right? See who has babies?

Spyra = mother of two litters
Blackie = suspected father
Gimpy = ?
Bash = ?

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April 8, 2013

Bits Of Happiness

The past several months, I've been serving on our city's community advisory committee. We've put together a strategic plan for the city, which will be adopted in the next month or so. Every time I leave these meetings, I get so excited about one project or another that I want to help come to pass. The ideas jumble up sometimes because they come so fast.

Like we should make a memorial park for the Indian chief our town is named after. It'd be a park and you could pay to camp in the chief's teepee. And make permanent farmer's market type stalls along the Centennial Trail in town...like the artist stalls along the Seine in Paris. And we should do a community garden or a food forest like they're building in Seattle. Or maybe do one at my children's elementary school and the kids could eat for school lunch all the food they grow. I even talked to the economic development manager about a possible partnership with the school and the Code.org program that teaches kids how to code. And what about a Spanish immersion program like the neighboring district has? I'd put all my kids into that. There are so many ideas and some are within my circle of influence.

Reality will hit sometime next week about the time and effort needed to be successful with one of these projects. I'll put it in the back of my mind and go on with the busyness of my life. But one of these days I just may shock myself and make something happen.

As I was leaving the meeting, I noticed two guys who were trying to push their car up hill out of a parking space. The thought went through my head like I could get in my car and drive off. Or I could help. Hmmm...it's 9 PM, dark, I'm alone. But I didn't feel like my safety was threatened...I've never gotten that vibe in my small hometown. So, I asked them if I could help. They asked if I had jumper cables. "Uh, maybe....let me check". I did and they were so grateful. I feel good that I was prepared to help and that it only took 5 minutes and I made their night.

This is just one of the bits of happiness I've felt the past few days.



Here's my Kira at almost 21 months old begging to use the toilet. She doesn't actually pee. But she likes to sit there. No pressure...but I hope it continues and develops into actually using it. I sometimes hear stories about kids and self-initiated potty training. They usually go something like, "She just refused her diaper, put on a pair of panties and started using the toilet. I didn't have to do anything!" Mind you, this has never happened to me. But a girl can dream....
On Saturday and Sunday, we watched via internet our church's general conference. Here's the boys with Toby. Notice what a couch hog he is...and what a nice smile he has on his face. The kids listened to several of the talks. My favorite was one by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland regarding faith. 
Hold the ground you have already won. Even if that ground is limited...hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes...when problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your unbelief....let me be clear on this point. I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have.
It was like Elder Holland talking to me directly. Altering my self critical perspective to acknowledge what faith I have instead of what I lack, gives me courage to stretch and grow, building on my mustard seed of faith. The entire speech is less than 15 minutes. Watch it if you missed it.



This quote made me laugh out loud. 
Except in the case of His only perfect begotten son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him but he deals with it. So should we. 
And this one gave me courage.
Fan the flame of your faith because all things are possible to them that believe. 
My last bit of happiness is partly due to a natural cleaner and partly due to my budding artist. I'm preparing to do a class at church on natural cleaners. I was reading that a baking soda paste (soda + water) takes scuff marks out of floors. But I kind of skipped over the floor part and wondered if it would work on the ball point pen on our high gloss wainscoting. Nothing worked to clean it and while I am normally a big fan of Magic Eraser sponges, I wasn't looking forward to using mine, since it takes off the finish and this drawing was on a highly visible section of the wall.

Baking soda paste WORKED! I danced around the dining room singing, "It's a miracle, miracle, on the wall. And it's coming off like it never has before!" Maybe you've heard the song. It kind of sounds like the chorus to  "She's a Maniac" from Flashdance. Check out 0:58 in the video.

So, I asked my little maniac to help me clean the wall. She was happy to help but at some point wanted to quit. I wouldn't let her. 

Jocelyn: Why not, Mom?
Me: Well, because you did this. You're cleaning it. 
J: No, I didn't...It must've been a robber.
Me: A robber came into our house just to draw on our walls? 
J: Yeah, he was an artist robber.

So there you have it. There are robbers that go around breaking into people's homes just to draw on their walls. That explains so much. So, I guess we need to be more diligent about locking our doors. But seriously check out that pen and how it disappeared off that panel. Baking soda is MAGICAL!

One of my friends posted a picture of a wall hanging on Facebook this past week. I loved it. Found it on Etsy. Ordered it. Came today. Framed it. And now it's hanging on my wall. Thanks Tania!


So many bits of happiness these days and so little time. Ahhh.
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April 3, 2013

Dr. Snip

We've had some beautiful weather this past week. It was so warm on Sunday that I got an afternoon nap on our deck and soaked in the sunshine. The kids wanted nothing to do with naps, though. They wanted me to fill water balloons with them. I meant to. But droopy eye lids and a gentle heat lulled me to sleep...until the kids decided that they'd just bring me the balloons so I could tie them. In case you wondered...I can do that with my eyes closed. Ahhh....

  
Later in the afternoon, I visited with a friend. When her min pin ran outside to greet her, I told her about Toby. And the fact that he's peed on my headboard and the leg of my bed and also on one of my sheets that was at the foot of my bed. Does that mean he's working up to kicking us out of our bed? My friend recommended getting him neutered. Said it cuts down on territorial peeing. 

I called the vet on Monday. They fit him in this morning for some shots and a little castration. Here's Toby recovering this evening. He seems to be doing well though isn't eating or drinking much. Of course that didn't keep his diarrhea butt from leaking all over the living room. Talk about disgusting. It cleaned up a fluorescent yellow color, too. I'm guessing that's anesthesia passing through.



The best email I've had in a long time came from Tymon this morning when I asked him how the office visit went. I'm still laughing about it as I copy and paste it here. He writes: 
Toby was really nervous in the car. Most of the time he just sat in my lap being nervous. Once we got to the vet he laid a giant deuce in the entry way. After a lady came and cleaned that up, he went and peed on the leg of a bench I was sitting on. As the lady was cleaning that up, he went on a potted plant near by. She invited me to take him for a walk at that point.
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