Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Little Einstein

Rilian is 3 and 1/2 years old. He has LOVED to sing his ABC's for as long as I can remember. He loves any version of that song. He knows how to spell his own name. Which is very impressive for his age, in my opinion. 

He was drawing with sidewalk chalk one day when I heard him say, "I made an A". I looked and sure enough, he had made an "A"!
Sometimes it is scary how smart my kids are!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mine By Design

We have a place in town called Mine by Design.You go and pick a piece of pottery to paint. When you're done painting it, you leave it to be fired. Then about a week later you can go and pick it up. 

Our church let the 1st through 6th graders paint a Christmas ornament to be auctioned off as a fundraiser for Missions. This meant Piper and Finn got to paint an ornament. I thought it would be fun for Seven and Rilian to also paint something, so they got to pick out something to paint. Seven picked a T-Rex. He painted it brown.
Such concentration! 
Rilian picked out a bird to paint. The color is red, but it looks pink while he is painting it on.
Gotta make sure all the sides get painted....
Finn picked a round ornament to paint for the fundraiser. 
He chose to paint it blue, green, brown and orange.
Piper picked a cross to paint for the fundraiser. 
She chose to paint it pink, orange, brown and turquoise. 
Seven and Rilian were finished painting their pieces of pottery before Finn and Piper were. So, they came to play in the play area.
Seven is so silly sometimes...
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Rilian also had fun in the cool chairs.
Piper, Finn, and Seven were at school when Rilian and I went to pick up his red bird and Seven's brown T-Rex. The ornaments that Piper and Finn painted went to the church for the fundraiser I mentioned at the beginning.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Piper's Arm

My mom has a trampoline. Everyone has heard how "dangerous" trampolines are. My mom's has a net around it. Seems pretty safe, right? Well, my kids were jumping on the trampoline, having a good time, and Seven jumped on Piper's arm. I don't think he meant to hurt her. But her elbow ended up swelling up and looked kind of purple. Piper is 8 years old and Seven is 5 years old. Seems like it wouldn't be too bad considering the age difference. Well, Seven is just about the same size as Piper. She is a petite 8 year old. 

It was Sunday and I didn't think I should wait until the next morning when her pediatrician's office would be open. So, we made a trip to the emergency room. It was around 8:45pm when we got to the ER. Piper had x-rays done. Then we waited to hear the results. The doctor came in and told us he didn't see a break or a dislocation. He tried moving Piper's arm straight and it hurt so bad she cried. She was unable to put it straight. The nurse wrapped her arm in cotton.
Then put a splint on it and wrapped it with a bandage to keep it in that position. Piper was given a sling to wear. 
The doctor gave Piper a note to excuse her from P.E. class. She was supposed to wear the splint and sling and follow up with her pediatrician on Wednesday, which was a few days later. 

It was about 11:30pm when we finally were released from the ER. She was so tired, but still able to smile.  
We went to see her pediatrician on Wednesday. She unwrapped Piper's arm and worked with it, moving it in different directions. Piper winced in pain when she tried to put it straight. Piper got more x-rays taken. A break did not show up. Her pediatrician said for Piper to not wear the sling and splint anymore and if it still hurt on Friday to call back and she would be referred to the bone and joint doctor in town. 

Friday came and Piper was still complaining about her arm hurting. And since her pediatrician told us not to use the splint and sling, she had been using her right arm to hold up her left arm, which was the hurt one. 

Friday morning, we went to the Bone and Joint doctor. He took more x-rays. There could possibly be a hairline fracture showing up now. The result of the x-rays did not show any breaks. He put her in another splint and sling and told her to wear it for two weeks and come back and see him. He said it was just sprained. She was also to refrain from running or physical activity similar to that. We were also supposed to take it off to work with it and move it around a couple of times a day. 

During the first week, Piper chose to sleep without her splint on a couple of times. I figured it would give her arm a break from the splint and a chance to breathe. That Friday (which was the end of week 1 of 2) when Piper got home from school, she decided to take her splint off. She was able to do everything with her arm that she could do before it got sprained! I figured if it was better, why make her wear it? We had our "2 week" check-up with the Bone and Joint doctor yesterday. He took more x-rays and confirmed her arm is all better! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flamingos

The zoo started back up their preschool classes. The first one was about Flamingos. The teacher's name is Joy. She started out the class by talking about how a flamingo stands and how they eat. Rilian was standing like a flamingo.
Joy read a story about a baby flamingo who asked its mom why they are pink. The mama flamingo told her baby that they are pink because of the food they eat. This is true. If you didn't know how a flamingo gets its coloring, now you know. In the story, the flamingo ate different things and turned that color. He wanted to be green, so he ate grass. He wanted to be purple, so he ate grapes. He wanted to be paisley, so he ate a woman's swimsuit. It went through alot of different colors. It was a cute story.
After the story, we went and did a craft. There were different colored feathers to put on a flamingo. Rilian chose to put these colored feathers on his flamingo.
And then he went and showed it to Joy and told her what his flamingo ate in order to have that colored feather. His flamingo must have eaten something gross by the look on Joy's face.
 Everyone got to see and touch a flamingo egg.
Next Joy brought out a kiddie pool full of dirt and eggs so the kids could make flamingo nests. She also brought out a container of plastic bugs and a strainer so the kids could pretend to eat like a flamingo. Flamingos don't eat bugs, but Joy was unable to find any plastic shrimp, so she improvised. I thought it was funny that all the kids gravitated towards the dirt like magnets. Hardly any went to the water to eat like a flamingo. Rilian has the green egg and is moving the dirt to make his flamingo nest. 

You can watch Rilian move the dirt like a flamingo does. If you have never seen a flamingo nest, they move the dirt to make a tall mound and then they make the top flat so the egg will not roll off.
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After a while Rilian decided he wanted a pink egg in his nest, too.
I finally got Rilian to look at me!
After the kids were done making flamingo nests, we got to go outside and look at the flamingos and feed them.
I really need to learn to not stand with the sun behind me when I want a picture of my kids looking at me...
After looking at the flamingos, we went to look at the other animals in the zoo. WARNING! This next video is gross...if you have a weak stomach, you may not want to watch it. Apparently, it was feeding time and this bird was tearing into this rat! Feel free to make the video full screen if you want a closer look. 
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My kids always want to run down this hill at the zoo.
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We had to walk past the flamingos again to leave the zoo. So, I took another picture. Do you see the white one? That is a mama flamingo. When the mamas feed their babies, they lose their coloring and turn white. There are also two gray flamingos. They are a little harder to see in the picture. These are the baby flamingos. It will take them about 2 years to become pink. They were actually born in the spring when I went to the zoo with Seven's preschool class for a field trip. I saw them hatch out of their eggs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mingus

A friend of mine texted me this picture and told me her friend found it out in the rain. She asked if I wanted it. She said it was really sweet, but they couldn't keep it.
I am a cat lover and haven't had a cat in about 16 years, due to different circumstances. About 5 years ago, Piper asked for a kitten. We were renting our house and Seven was in the crawling stage which would be perfect for him to play in the litter box. I told Piper we couldn't get one at that time. She asked again, but I had Rilian then, who was a baby and would also be tempted to play in the litter box. She occasionally asked and as much as I wanted to get her a cat, there was always an excuse as to why we couldn't get one. We were renting and didn't have a good place for the litter box. You ask, "Well, why didn't you just keep the cat outside?" If you are a cat lover like me and have children who love cats, you know that wouldn't work well. It would be too tempting to bring the cat inside.

At first I told my friend that as much as I would love to take the kitten from her, I would have to decline her answer for now. We already have a snake, a parakeet, 2 fish, a Siberian Husky AND four children. I really didn't want anything else to take care of right now. I am usually the one who ends up taking care of the pet that someone else wanted at the time. I really think that if it weren't for me, some of the pets we have would have died already. 

The next day, my friend posted a picture of the kitten on Facebook and said they couldn't keep it because they already had two cats and those cats didn't like the kitten. She said if no one wanted the kitten, they would have to send it back outside that night. I felt really sorry for the cute kitten. And it was raining! I showed Jeremy the picture that my friend had texted me the day before. I told him, I'd really like to get it, but my downfall was that I didn't know where we would put the litter box.  Jeremy said, "The door that goes out into the garage has a cat door in it." All of a sudden, a light went off! I knew that! I guess I had forgotten about it. We bought a house a couple of months ago and the door leading to the garage has a cat door in it. I guess I got so used to seeing it, that I forgot it was there. Perfect! After debating for awhile, I texted my friend and asked if we could come just look at the kitten, but I still needed to think about it before committing to bringing the kitten home with me. While I was debating in my head about the kitten, I asked Jeremy, "What will we name it?" Jeremy, who is NOT a cat person, immediately answered, "Mingus." 

So, that night, we adopted Mingus! Before going to pick Mingus up from my friend's house, we went and got supplies for our new kitten. My friend and her roommate thought Mingus was a girl, so we got a pink collar for her. Turns out, when we got to their house, the figured out he is a boy, so for a few days, Mingus wore a pink collar. Until somehow he lost the collar in the garage and we couldn't find it, so we bought him a blue one. 
Rilian has always loved cats! So, I knew he would love Mingus! He used to take all of Piper's stuffed animal cats from her room and put them in his room. Then he got his very own stuffed animal cat for Christmas and sleeps with it every night. 
Mingus is not going to ever feel unloved in our home! 
Rilian likes to play with Mingus with the laser pointer. Mingus likes to chase it!
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There are quite a few pictures of the kids with Mingus in the garage. Until we knew Tymbre, our Siberian Husky, and Mingus would get along, we kept Mingus in the garage.
While Mingus was getting comfortable with us and his new home, he liked to hide alot. Going out into the garage to spend time with Mingus was like playing "Where's Waldo?" He found several hiding places...on top of some shelves...
 In a crate...he was actually small enough to climb through the holes on the crate! It took me a LONG time to find him here!
 He also hid behind the crate...
Then came time for the big introduction...Tymbre stays inside alot. She is basically a house dog. Tymbre was beyond excited to meet Mingus. Mingus was NOT excited to meet Tymbre! After a couple of days of slowly introducing the two, I was finally able to sit down on the couch with Mingus and Tymbre was calm enough to sit beside me and Mingus. You can tell that Mingus still isn't too fond of Tymbre.

 But Mingus allowed Tymbre to sit there and touch him without any hissing.
 Rilian brought his pillow to the couch because he thought Mingus would like to use it. 
Mingus started to slowly warm up to Tymbre on his own. His curiosity started to grow. By this time, he had accepted that Tymbre will not hurt him, but he still doesn't quite know what to think of Tymbre.
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For someone who doesn't like cats, Jeremy sure does look like he is enjoying Mingus!
I was out with some friends one evening and Jeremy texted me this picture. He said Mingus fell asleep like that.
When we went to the store to get some supplies before we brought Mingus home, we decided we didn't have to have a scratching post that night. When I saw Mingus sitting on our firewood, I decided he had found a natural scratching post and we didn't need to buy him one. He has actually been scratching on the wood, too!
Looks like Tymbre thought she could play with Mingus's toy, too. I later found that toy had been destroyed by Tymbre...
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A few days had passed and Mingus had finally accepted that Tymbre is harmless. Mingus attempts to play with Tymbre. 
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Tymbre just ignores him. Every time I watch this video, it cracks me up! It's as if Tymbre is oblivious to Mingus swatting playfully at her.

After a few days, I was able to leave Tymbre and Mingus alone together. They were laying on separate couches but near each other as I was leaving one day to pick up the kids from school.
Mingus is trying so hard to be friends with Tymbre. I think Tymbre could really care less about Mingus. Tymbre was laying on the couch and Mingus got up there with her.
Tymbre loves laying in this spot under the table between the couches. I call it her cave. Mingus saw her laying there and makes another attempt to play with her.
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Once again, Tymbre ignores Mingus's attempts to play with her. So funny. Talk about patience! Perhaps, Tymbre thinks she will get in trouble if she plays with Mingus because we told her to leave Mingus alone when we were introducing them. Poor, Mingus. He wants to play with her so bad! 

Mingus really likes Tymbre and likes being close to her. The table to the right is Tymbre's cave, that I mentioned earlier. Mingus likes to sleep on these blankets right next to Tymbre's cave. 
 At bedtime one night, Tymbre was laying on her bed and Mingus curled up beside her. 
Mingus has been caught more than once like this on our parakeet's cage!  
We have taught Tymbre to leave Fluffy alone. I let Fluffy out the other day to exercise his wings and he was walking around on the ground for a bit. Mingus saw him and came within inches of Fluffy. Fluffy didn't move! I guess he isn't afraid of Mingus because he knows Tymbre won't hurt him. I got scared for Fluffy's life and quickly put him back in his  cage. We need to work on Mingus and Fluffy's relationship still.

That about sums up Mingus's first month with us. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about Mingus in the future. Our pets are a big part of our family.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Just Hangin' Around

Jeremy had these shelves and didn't really have a spot for them anymore, so he gave them to Granny since she wanted them. Finn and Rilian decided they were a good place to climb and just hang out. Rilian was touching the ceiling with his head. Look at him craning his neck! It looks like Finn was playing with his shadow.
Then Piper climbed up there to join them. Piper is a natural-born climber. If you haven't see this, check it out! I'm not sure why Rilian was sticking his foot out.
I've got fearless kids...Finn and Piper are so comfortable up there, they are playing on the iPod and iPad! And Rilian just smiles.