May 31, 2012

A Few Little May Things

*Sam starts Karate after months of begging.
First class Monday.
Second class Wednesday.
Suspended from school Friday for Karate kicking and punching a class mate at recess.
(Don't worry--his Sensai had a talk with him and he hasn't had any problems since then.)
Actually, he LOVES Karate.  He has three classes a week and walks out of every one grinning from ear to ear.  After trying gymnastics, soccer, and basketball, we've finally found the sport for Sammy!

*Speaking of sports, Gabey finished in-door soccer and had a great time.  He got "Player of the Week" once (which came with a plastic gold medal necklace and a certificate!!!) and made a few goals and thinks he's pretty much the best soccer player ever.  Which makes it a win in my book.

"Look!  This says I'm AWESOME!!!"
*And because we can't let any of the boys have too much time to relax, we're making them take swim lessons.  A very nice young lady named "Miss Crystal" comes to our (community) pool every Saturday morning and splits 40 minutes between the four boys.  Even little Gray is getting a few minutes this summer.  She's teaching Max and Sam different strokes (Not to be confused with Diff'rent Strokes) and how to dive, and Gabey is working on the basics.  (He can swim, but it's not pretty.)  They actually all like swimming and are getting pretty good.
Let's pretend this is a picture of me, okay?  Thanks!
*In May we also went to the beach a lot despite the sometimes chilly "May-Gray" weather...

Sammy loves to Boogie

*...sometimes with friends like the amazing SHELLY who came for a visit over Memorial Day weekend...

*...which was also the weekend of the AAPD meeting and a get-together with Rhode Island friends.  (Thanks you for babysitting Shelly!)

 (Wish I'd gotten pics with everyone else, but happy I got this one with Diane!  It was fabulous to see you Jen, Melissa, Ginna, and everyone else!!!)

*Finally, we wrapped up the month with Max getting his Webelos award.  Did you know Webelos means We Be Loyal Scouts?  I did not.  
Nor do I approve of the syntax.  

However, I do approve of Max because he worked really hard and he's super cute!

And there you have it.  May in a nutshell. 
It was a great month.

Gabey Turned 5

Our "Little 3" turned FIVE not too long ago and I wanted to mention a few great things about our sweet Gabey-Boy.

Since this is an odd-age year, Gabe didn't get a friend party.  He was a little bummed he wouldn't have a huge Ninja party with all his friends.  (Namely, David T.)  Instead, we planned a "family" party down at the pool with pizza, Root Beer floats and a Ninja cake.

But it just so happened we had visitors staying with us for the big day: my cousin Kim was in town with her husband and son, and our good friend Robert W. was in town from Japan for a dental convention.   Add to that some neighbors, and we had a pretty fun "friend" swim party for him after all.

A word about Gabey.  Sometimes Gabey seems too good to be true.  Sure, he has his whiny and naughty moments...that sometimes last all freaking day long.  But over all, he's a very very sweet kid.  He's the kind of kid people want to have at their house because he plays nicely.  He has a tender heart.  He loves and protects his little brother Gray.  Plus he has really cute pouty lips and gives great hugs and kisses.  A few more things...
Silly boys!
Gabe is a total Mama's Boy.  He wont admit to loving me more 'cause he knows that would hurt Doug's feelings...buuut we all know he loves me the most!
Cuddle with Grandma Fae
He still wants to be tucked in at night, (by Mommy mostly) and likes to have at least one story and three songs.  His most common song requests are;
Twinkle Little Star
Give, Said the Little Stream
Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam
Other favorites are "The Pie Song", "Tell Me Why", "I am a Child of God" and "You Are My Sunshine".
Destin, FL
When he turned five, he decided he could in fact, say prayers all by himself.  I love his little prayers.
Disney World
Gabey loves going to Primary at church and comes home and tells me all about his lesson and what he learned about Jesus.  This is not something Max or Sam ever do, so it always surprises me.
Sweet thing!

Gabe loves to learn.  He is the first boy to request that I teach him to read and he likes to do "Home School" with me.  (It should be noted that I have NOT taught him to read.  But I did buy the Bob books!)
On the "Day of the Bunny"
Gabe has a great imagination.  He plays with his little buddy David a lot and they stay entertained for hours playing the games they make up.  One recent favorite is "Super Babies".  What powers do Super Babies have you ask? According to Gabe, "PEE AND POOP!"  (Did I mention that Gabe is a boy?  He is.)
Adorable (slightly jaundiced) baby!
So to sum up, we love Gabe.  And we're very glad he's part of our family!
Beach boys
Learning to swim
"Player of the WEEK!!!"
Ninja cake!

May 11, 2012

Easter Bunny Fail -- Part 3

Sorry...sorta forgot I was leaving everyone in suspense.  Here we go...
We put the bunnies in a recycle bin in the closet.  Sure, this may seem a little cruel and unusual.  BUT, I snuck them out during the day when the boys weren't around and then we'd take them out again at night after the boys were in bed.  They were so tiny and adorable.  I'd wrap the little one in a dish towel (to protect from pee and tiny claws) and sit with it on my lap and pet its tiny head.

Still, it was a little stressful thinking of them cooped up in the closet under the stairs behind the coats.  We decided to bump up the surprise to Saturday.  The Easter Bunny could come a little early.  The fateful morning, we set the stage.  We had a book on bunnies from the library and placed it at the top of the stairs.  A stuffed animal bunny went half way down the stairs.  Other bunny Easter decorations were placed strategically along the path to the big reveal.
We set up the camera just like Christmas morning.
We put Phineas and Ferb in an Easter Basket in front of the fire place.
(Yes, Doug had named them.  The small one, my favorite, was Phineas--tiny and more active.  Ferb was slower and more cautious but also more cuddly.)

We called the boys down to the Family Room.


They came in to the room and stared at the basket in confusion.
Are they real?
Are they ours?
Can we touch them?
Just what exactly is happening here???
"What the...?"

It wasn't long until they fell in love too.

What a fun day!  The boys took turns holding them.  Built them lego houses.  Crawled after them as they hopped around the house exploring.  Sam taught Ferb to get off the couch using a big Rubbermaid lid as a slide.  (Phineas had no trouble hopping down unassisted.)  Gabe tried to feed them straw and bunny feed.  Doug and I contemplated living arrangements.  They were going to have to live in the garage.  But I was envisioning a super cute $200 wooden, raised bunny hutch.  Doug was okay with the $40 plastic version.

All was right with the world.

Reading and bonding.  Perfect.
The cuteness is astounding.

Gray did hold the bunnies.  For about 5 seconds each.

FINALLY, something fluffy to cuddle!!!
Until that afternoon.

Max started rubbing his eyes.  They were turning red.  Getting puffy and swollen.  At the same time, Doug came in contact with the hay for the first time and started sneezing.  And sneezing and sneezing.  And if you've ever heard Doug sneeze, you know it's a very...jarring experience.  We noticed Gabe and Sam had light rashes on their tummies from where the bunnies had poked them with tiny claws.

We started thinking maybe bunnies weren't such a great idea.
He went through a few scenarios:  Keeping them only in the garage.  Keeping them away from Max.
But decided it just wasn't going to work out.

That evening, with Max's eyes nearly swollen shut and Doug sneezing non-stop, I called the bunny lady and asked her if she would take them back.  She wasn't thrilled with the idea--being as it was the day before Easter.  But she graciously offered to take them and return our money.  I may have shed a tiny tear.

All of just decided to go together.  The whole family wanted to see where they were going.
The bunny lady was very nice.  She let the boys into her back yard to see Phineas and Ferb returned to their first home.  (They seemed happy to see their older rabbit buddies) 

[Then she let them go around to the other side of her house and see the miniature horses she said she keeps as lawn ornaments.  (Yes, the boys were extremely jealous...maybe we'll try those next!)]

We left her house that night a little dejected and depressed.  
But hey, bunnies for day is better than no bunnies ever, right?  RIGHT?!?!?!?

Oh well.  Next year the Easter Bunny will stick to delivering chocolate!!!

The End!

May 7, 2012

Yes! Pet! -- Part 2

Continued from here!

A few days later, Facebook intervened again.  A friend posted a picture of her son holding an ADORABLE lop-eared bunny with the caption "Easter bunny came early this year!"

I went back through my old messages and found the number Doug had texted.
Then, impulsively, I called the number.

The lady on the other end said she had a few bunnies left, but they were going fast!
Easter was only three days away!

I told her I'd talk to my husband and call her back.  "Okay, but they might be gone tonight!  They're going FAST."

I hung up.
I considered talking to Doug.
But then decided to surprise him too.  After all, he sent me the number.  That implied consent.
I called back and told her I'd come right over.

So with Doug still in his car coming home, I abandoned my children, (he was around the corner) jumped in the car, and sped to the ritzy part of town.  
The part where people have multiple acres and own many horses.  
Horses that live in stables right next to the house.

I arrived at a beautiful huge home and was taken around to the side yard.  
An amazing side yard filled with raised garden beds and large, walk-in style, rabbit cages (housing smaller rabbit hutches inside).

I was introduced to a Dwarf Netherland bunny.  I don't like large animals.  The smaller they are, the cuter they are in my humble opinion.  So I wanted the runt.  
He was tiny and gray and adorable.  I fell in love.  (As I am want to do with tiny things.)

The lady was a great saleswoman!  She talked up how great they are--and clean and good tempered...
"Are you SURE you don't want two?  They're very social!  They'd keep each other company when your kids aren't playing with them!  Your boys wouldn't have to fight over them if you had two...!"

Okay, fine.  I'll take two.  Good thing I carry cash (because of stupid Dave Ramsey.  Although I don't think Dave Ramsey would have approved this purchase.)

I forked over $100 and drove away, totally clueless about pet ownership, no pet stuff whatsoever, with two tiny bunnies in my lap.

When I got home I made Doug come out to the car.

He was a little baffled that I, a life-long fur hater, had actually just come home with two bunnies.
But he agreed that they were absolutely adorable.  He started falling in love too.  They were really, really cute little gray puff-balls.

We conspired.  It was Baby Gray's second birthday.  Should we surprise the kids immediately?  Or try to keep the bunnies secret until Easter three days away?

Easter Bunnies Easter morning would be EPIC.  A memory the boys would never forget, right?

We decided to keep them a secret...

To be continued one last time...

May 6, 2012

To Pet or Not to Pet? Part 1

We've been playing with the idea for awhile.  The boys have begged.  They all want one.  We go back and forth...

Pet or no pet?

I'm strictly a "no pet" girl myself.  I had bad allergies as a kid and was pretty much taught to hate and fear anything with fur.  (DON'T TOUCH THE DANDER!!!)  The only pets we ever had were goldfish won at the school fair. (Much to my mother's chagrin.)  And those never lasted long before they took their last, long swim down the toilet.

Doug was the opposite.  His family had quite the managerie over the years.  Cats, Dogs, Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Hermit Crabs--most of which met with tragic ends.  (Some given away, some run over...)  But surprisingly, he never wanted to add any of these to our family.  Happily for me, he's been content with the occasional snake or fish.  So the pets I HAVE had over the years, (post High School) were of the swimming or slithering variety.

(With the exception of a Chinchilla we got from Wendy and had for a short period of time before Dental school.  I'm pretty sure we sold it at a garage sale before we moved.  Or possibly just gave it to a neighbor...?)

Anyway, I've had fish, frogs, and two or three snakes but nothing you can cuddle with.   And that's been fine.  Until now.

NOW, the boys want a pet.  And not the slimy or slithery kind.
Oh no, they want...

Something to cuddle.

Problem is, Max has allergies.  He's definitely allergic to cats--that's one of his worst reactions.  Dogs used to score a big reaction but didn't show up as strongly on his last prick test.   So we thought maybe he was growing out of his dander allergy...

(We'll always keep that cat one though.  We're all allergic to cats in this family.  Mentally if not physically.)

So I came up with the brilliant idea to get a chicken.  I've seen around the blogosphere that they're sorta hip pets to have these day.  Fun and functional!  Free eggs!  Kids love 'em!  And they eat the bugs in your grass!  And if you get sick of them, you can have them for dinner!  (Kidding!)

Unfortunately, upon checking with the landlord, we discovered they're not allowed by the HOA.
No chickens.

Then, in my quest for something that would satisfy the kids and not be too gross for me, I learned
(on Facebook and then on YouTube) about Sugar Gliders!
Weird, slightly rodent-like, but also cute and cuddly and tricky!  They'll sit in your pocket all day!  A pocket pet!  How cute is that?

Sugar Gliders would be the pet for us!


They're ILLEGAL in California!  Along with Ferrets, Gerbils, Hedgehogs, and concealed hand-guns!  (California=Fun killer.)

No Sugar Gliders.

Then one day on a bike ride, Doug saw a sign advertising "Bunnies for Sale".  He texted me the number.
Hmm.  Bunnies.
Bunnies are cute.  And it was almost Easter.
I've never actually wanted a bunny, but I've also never NOT wanted a bunny.

Wendy had bunnies.  I never wanted to touch them, but I figured maybe if I bonded with it as a baby...

In my indecision I proceeded to do...


At least not that day...

To Be Continued!