Before I Forget...
Odette Family Day

Well, That'll Be The Day

Y'all just don't know. It has been an interesting, educational, entertaining, fun day.

I slept on the couch, because Rob slept on his couch and is down sick again (we all still have the cough, but he's the miserable one right now), and we like to stick together.  Right now, he's at the Portsmouth Naval ER getting checked out after trying to sleep and just coughing himself puking. We've all been at that stage and now it's his turn, I guess. I just hope they'll let him out of work tomorrow.

Anyway, the kids surprised me this morning by clamoring for eggs for breakfast. Scrambled eggs. More EGGS! We are going egg-crazy right now. But that's good, since we have so many dozen. Actually, like I said in the Sophie post, they started out wanting Easter candy for breakfast. Nuh-uh, don't think so.

I didn't eat any scrambled eggs. I'm not ready to go that far into it. In fact, once this round of eggs is finally gone, I think that will be the end of my foray into the world of incredible, edible, eggs.

Eggs. Just thought I'd say it again. Eggs.

This post is going nowhere fast.

100_6117After breakfast, the kids were nutso about using their waterguns, despite it being none too warm outside. (By that I mean, maybe, low 50s) Every time I looked up, Jack was unscrewing his gun's holding tank to fill it up with water - what did he think, I wouldn't notice him shooting streams of water all over my house? So, okay, let's do this thing, y'all. I had Chloë fill up all the tanks, I screwed them on, and we headed outside to the driveway. My one rule: Don't shoot me, since I have the camera. Otherwise, go nuts! And yes, I should've made Sophie put some clothes on first, but they would have just got soaked and made her colder anyway!

100_6119 Eventually, they got tired of shooting at each other, the car, the plants, and my feet and just started dumping it on the ground. Okay, time to go back in.

Well, then I needed to, uh, finally get my shower from paste night at the hospital, because I didn't last night (I know, gross, but I was up emailing my Canadian friend Stephanie all my questions about CPAP and got too tired), and then I had to fold and wash a ton of laundry. I ran out of detergent, so I decided to take the kids on a little field trip.

They were so excited, trying to guess where we were going. Jack talked more about Robby on the way. Jack's favorite color used to be red, but now it's green, so it amused me when he said, "Robby doesn't like green, he likes red!" as if this new guy, this Robby, is trying to compete with him. He really doesn't understand where the little guy fits in at all. He'll figure it out in time.

First we had to go to the bank to deposit some checks. This was met by some groans from the backseat. THIS is where we're going? Our field trip is to the bank?? NooooO!!!  No, sillies, this is just a stop on the way. 

100_6121 Finally, we made it to our destination: Animal Jungle. It's a really cool pet store just down the road from us, but we've never been in all our time here. There are stingray and shark tanks, great big koi and other ponds, aeries where you can go in and let the birds walk all over you, and every sort of fish and rodent you can think of, along with lots of other critters. These 10" Japanese koi run $500 each!

100_6122_2 The kids thought this remora was dead, but really they just spend their lives attached to sharks and are upside-down when unattached.

100_6123 Time and child-rearing have done a number on my memory, so I'm embarrassed to say I don't recall what kind of shark this is and didn't bother to ask. Of course, there wasn't a sign. I was thinking Port Jackson, but I couldn't see the coloration as clearly in the tank now as I do here in the picture. So I just don't know. Gaddy, are you out there...?

100_6129 The children absolutely adored looking at the hundreds of species of fishes in almost as many tanks. Of course, being a former ichthyologist-in-training, I did as well and did not try to rush them along at all. And Chloë impressed me a great deal by reading off many of their names (common, not scientific, natch). (Did I ever mention she recently came home from school with a reading award? She's doing fantastic in that department and is turning into quite the little bookworm, always with a book. Whereas I always used to get into trouble for sitting around reading all the time, it gives me no end of pleasure to see her doing the same. Back to the fish.)

100_6130  It was next to impossible to get a picture of this guy, which Chloë correctly identified as a stingray. (Am I the only one who can't hear "stingray" without thinking of Steve Irwin, anymore?) Sophia kept wanting to reach into the tank, freaking out the attendant - but not me, as she was on the complete opposite side.

100_6135 Jack's favorite by far were these crayfish, which he kept calling "crabs." Close, but no cigar. I kept trying to point out how they look just like tiny versions of the lobsters we see in the grocery store, but no one would listen to me.

100_6137 Jack and Chloë were fascinated by this desert set-up, even though there were no animals. They kept pretending to get pricked by the cactus near Jack, shouting "ow!" each time. Funny kiddos.

100_6139 If we ever get an aquarium set-up, lionheads would be my first choice to fill it. Aren't they just so comical-looking? I love them. I kind of want to squeeze them, though.

100_6143 Then we headed to the bird sanctuary. I am not a big fan of birds. Rob is not a big fan of birds. And now we know Jack is not a big fan of birds. He was shrieking and screaming to get out the whole time we were in there, but I couldn't get them off of us! This little guy alternated between trying to eat Chlo's necklace and biting her earrings, which completely upset her. Otherwise, she enjoyed it.

100_6146 Chloë took the pictures of the birds on me, and there were some funny ones of them eating my glasses and digging around in my hair, but since I have 9 chins in them, I opted not to post them. Thankfully, we did not get pooped on... but that did not stop Sophia from holding up her hand with green and brown stuff on it and going, "Stinky, Mommy! It's stinky!" Oh, joy.

100_6151 Finally, we headed over to the small critters and checked out the bunnies, rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs. They were interested in each one as much as the next and kept going around looking at all the bitty babies running on their wheels. I love that, too.


Chloë asked me for a bunny. A few days ago, Rob mentioned that we should get a bunny. We talked about it. I seriously didn't think we would get one. And then I spotted this adorable little Holland Lop who just spoke to me. I asked to hold him. OMG, he was so sweet, just burying into my neck and being this small, warm package. I've been wanting a baby. I found him today.

I called Rob, who was all, "Sure, get a bunny, go ahead," and did nothing to try to talk me out of it. Hello, you're supposed to say NO! So I picked up some information on caring for a bunny, gave the attendant my name to put "our" Lop on hold for 24 hours, gathered up my crew for a late lunch, and left before I bought him right then.

On the way home - well, with a quick stop at the Wendy's since we're plum out of lunch fixin's and the kids won't eat egg salad, the rats - Chloë read to me from the info sheets. "Mom, you can't feed them iceberg lettuce! Does that mean you can feed them lettuce, it just can't be cold?" "Mom, you have to feed them lots of hay! It has fiber in it!" "Mom, we have to get bananas and apples and carrots for the bunny. What's kale?"

It was beginning to sound like a lot of work. For me. Food to buy, litter to buy, bedding to buy, nutritional standards to upkeep... and I already have seven mouths to feed. I started to tell them that I wasn't sure we would actually get the bunny, and we would talk about it with Daddy when he got home.

We ate a quick lunch, and then I sent them upstairs to rest. I finally had a chance to read the information myself. It didn't sound too bad after all. It actually sounded manageable. Doable.

{ So, um, Steph - you wanna take care of a bunny while we're gone? Too? Please? }

Rob came home, and by then I had decided we would go back and get the bunny. None of the kids were sleeping, so I sent him upstairs to get them so we could go pick up our Mr. Bun!

100_6152Is he not the cutest?!! He is somewhere between 10 weeks - 4 months old, three pounds, and he has green feeties (I guess from his litter at the store?)!

We got a big cage with the whole set-up - food, litter, bedding, a bed and blanket, food dish, water bottle (which leaks like crazy), treats, nail clippers, brush, shampoos, stuff to make his poo not stink, and probably more I'm forgetting. I got him a few extra toys and treats, too.

In the check-out line, Sophia spotted a penny. I told her she could get it, and then I promptly forgot about it. I carried out the bunny in his box and held onto the three kids while Rob carried our gigantic new cage out to the van.

Once buckled in the car, next thing I know, Sophia is shrieking something awful! Really terrible, and I knew something was wrong. She was holding her mouth, and I thought maybe she bit her tongue, and then it seemed clear she ate something. But what? The penny!!! "I have a penny on my mouth!" she wailed. Oh, dear me. She wasn't choking, exactly, but she seemed to be having a hard time getting it out of her throat. Rob held her upside down and beat her back to try and dislodge it, but nothing came out.

We buckled her back up, and I was going to speed to the ER to have them take a look at her. Soon, though, she recovered her composure, and we decided to take her home and wait it out. Rob assured me that the poops she drops are way bigger than any old little penny. Haha!  I called Dr. Lisa to make sure we shouldn't take her right in, and she agreed with the conservative approach. Whew. Just more drama in an already packed day!

100_6153 He's just the sweetest little bun. We're having a hard time deciding on a name for him. Rob suggested Cujo in the store. I have come up with Peppermint, Mr. Greenjeans and Pistachio in recognition of the green feet. Also Peter Pan and Smee in keeping with our pets' names from that movie (our dog is Tiger Lily and our cat is Tinkerbell) - and Rob came up with Nibs, the Lost Boy from Peter Pan, who wears the bunny outfit. Pretty clever, I think. But we just can't decide. Vote for your favorite in the comments - or suggest your own!

100_6163 After the kids went to bed - though he does surprisingly well with all their hovering around him and banging on his cage, argh - we let him hippity-hop around the living room for a spell. He really liked that, and no poopies or weewees! I don't think he's gone since he's been here, although he did eat some hay, yay! And he seriously enjoys being brushed. I got some kisses and nuzzles for that. So that'll be a nightly ritual for us, because there is nothing sweeter than bunny kisses. Well, kid kisses, but that's a given.

100_6165 Tinkerbell is being very well-behaved (so is the pooch) around Mr. Buns. She's definitely curious but isn't swiping at him or anything. Phew.

So what do you think? Are we freaking INSANE or what?!!

After all the excitement wore off, I finally finished sewing in all the ends on the Racing Stripes Cardigan, and here it is:

100_6160 I'm unhappy with it. As a whole it's a great pattern, really soft yarn, and the work would have been almost perfect if I had not goofed on that one diagonal. I should have fixed it; it detracts too much. Now it looks like a "second" you'd buy in a Big Lots or something! But at least the buttons are really smart.

100_6161 Stephanie picked them right out of my button bag, going in a completely different direction that I had planned for them. Nice choice, Steph!

I'm going to leave you with one last image. The doorbell rang today while I was waiting for Rob to come home, and it was a certified mail package containing a disc of Chloë's photos from the NYC photo shoot with Lenka Drstakova. I haven't copied them to my computer, save one, so I'll leave that as a teaser until I can do that for another post:

Chl01clor2_2 Is there no end to what you can accomplish with a little recombinant DNA?