Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Christmas, 2013

Our teeny little table-top tree.
The much more impressive tree at my parents' home, where we open gifts.
From left to right, Rosie, Dash, me, Granddaddy Jim, Monkeyrotica

Dash's favorite Christmas gift!

Rosie's favorite Christmas gift!

Dash's 2nd favorite gift, still pretty excellent.
Rosie checks out a book from Santa.
A board game? Well, maybe Dash will enjoy it later.

Nobody's touching Rosie's precious LPS toys. Look away NOW!

I hope everyone I know had a fantabulously tremendous Christmas (or whichever Holiday you celebrate) and I wish you an excellent 2014. Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Whirlwind!

Here are the results of our holiday whirlwind, with photos and video!

Thursday, December 12th, 5:15 pm. Visitors' Day, Tap Class.

Rosie's Advanced Tap Class had a "Visitor's Day." The class pretty much went on as it typically does, only parents are not allowed to observe; this is the only day of the year we get to sit in and see their progress in class.

Rosie and her class got to show off her excellent tap skills while performing to music, such as "King of New York" from the musical, "Newsies."

Same Day, 6:30 pm. Holiday Concert at School.

Immediately after tap, we ran home  to get Rosie in her outfit for the Winter Concert: white top, black bottoms, black shoes. We were late. Thankfully, she left her cello at school because we probably would have forgotten it. Somehow, I managed to still get a seat in the second row of the audience (thanks to a friend). Here, Rosie's intermediate strings class (5th grade) plays "Jingle Bells."

I was surprised to see Rosie join the chorus group to sing during the choral program. She didn't sign up for chorus, and her name wasn't in the program for chorus! What she explained to me later is that her entire class signed up for chorus and if she didn't go, she would be alone in the classroom. So she just went, and enjoyed herself!

After the concert was over, I left immediately for my dance class — it was our last practice together before (foreshadowing...) our Holiday Performance on Sunday. 

Saturday, December 14, 10:30 am. Tae Kwon Do Belt Test.

We were invited to the Tae Kwon Do studio's Holiday Party on Friday afternoon, but were already feeling harried after all the driving around on Thursday. We took Friday off from all the hectic festivities, but were back on for Saturday.

At 10 am, I drove Rosie to the dojang to practice before she started her belt test at 10:30. I was excited for her especially because this would be her first time breaking boards at a test. She was testing for her Blue-Stripe belt (between green and blue).

There were some rough points for her test, and a bit of stress and handwringing on my part, but she did pass. Her best parts were her forms, which she performed beautifully, and the boardbreaking, shown in this video.

After the belt test and lunch (the test was over two hours!), the kids packed their suitcases for an overnight at Auntie M's. Always a fun time. It's an hour and a half drive, round trip, so by the time Monkeyrotica and I arrived home, there was just enough time for us to get showered, primped, and coiffed for...

Same day, 6 pm. Company Holiday Party.

 Monkeyrotica and I had RSVP'd yes to my new company's holiday party. I have been working there a few days shy of exactly one year, so I missed the prior year's fête by a slim margin. Attire was "cocktail" and the venue a suave tony nightclub in DC, so we dressed to the nines. In our own way. Monkey's idea of cocktail, or at least party attire is his black leather blazer and pants, black turtleneck, and motorcycle boots. We looked pretty good, anyway. I loved the colored glass chandelier!

I had fun with my favorite coworkers in the photo booth!

I was the designated driver, since I needed to be sharp for the dance performance the next day...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It all seems like fun and games until... THE HOLIDAYS

My parenting plan has been for each child to have one sport and one musical instrument in addition to school. Rosie has also shown an interest in the arts, performance and visual; Dash enjoys strategy games like chess. There are after- or before-school classes for any or all of these interests; I don't discourage, but choose what we can fit in very selectively.

When our pediatrician told me last year that the kids were both overweight and needed to have at least an hour of sweaty activity every day, I enrolled them both in tae kwon do. TKD meets three times a week, which covers some of that allotment. Their PE class only meets a couple days a week and lasts about 30 minutes, so that doesn't cover much. Rosie also has a tap dance class that meets once a week, and seasonally, I put Dash in soccer or track (each meets one day a week).

Rosie started the cello program at school last year, took weekly lessons through the summer, and (despite sporadic practice at home) is now a "leader" in the cello section, according to her Strings teacher. Dash is taking weekly piano lessons with a neighbor.

Performance Arts
In addition to Rosie taking tap lessons, I take modern dance classes and Jazzercise to stay healthy and have fun in my spare time. Rosie is in a weekly "art club" at school.

Starting today, there are non-stop winter performance/open house/holiday parties through the weekend. Thank goodness the piano teacher took a holiday — there is no piano party.

Thursday (today): 
5-6 PM, Tap Class Open House (Rosie performs)
7-9 PM, School Winter Strings/Band/Choral Concert  (Rosie)

5-6:30 PM, Tae Kwon Do Studio Holiday Party (optional, Dash wants to go)

9 AM, Jazzercise Holiday Party (optional, Nylon, going to bail)
10:30 AM - 12 PM, TKD Belt Testing (Rosie)
[no specific times] Taking kids to an overnight with Auntie, Nylon gets coiffed/primped
6 -10 PM: Office Holiday Party in DC (Nylon & Monkeyrotica)

[no specific time] Picking up kids from Auntie's, Nylon gets coiffed/primped/costumed
1 - 3:30 PM, The Dance Studio Holiday Program (Nylon performs with modern dance class)

I'm sure I'll make it through the weekend, but I'm crawling into a hole Sunday afternoon.

Friday, December 06, 2013

My tech dilemma

I accidentally submerged my iPhone last night. All the buttons work except for the main home button (circle at the center-bottom).

So, I need to get a new iPhone.

But before I get a new iPhone, I have to sync my old iPhone. I can't remember when I synced it last, probably because I came across the same error that I got this morning, paraphrasing: "iTunes could not back up iPhone because the current version is too old, you slacker. Update iTunes to a compatible version for this iPhone." (Also, I will never spell sync "synch" because whenever I see it spelled that way — like at work, 100% of the time — my brain sounds it out like "cinch" as in, "that'll be a cinch, honey!")

So, I need to upgrade iTunes.

I went to Apple.com and downloaded the latest version's .dmg. When it launched and began to install, it stalled and gave me an error message something like, "the OS running on your ragged-a$$ laptop is too old for this version of iTunes, you loser," and that I would need to upgrade to the latest OS.

So, I need to upgrade my OS.

I own an older MacBook Pro laptop, circa 2009 that's running OS 10.5.something. I'm fairly certain that if I upgrade the OS, it's going to break all the other software that's on the computer. Monkeyrotica is attempting to convince me that I need to break down and just buy a new laptop.

So, I need to buy a new laptop. (or refurb)

I'll just say here that my laptop was used primarily to for teleworking for my prior employer; they were kind enough to provide the programs I needed to do customer work from home. Long story short, I will need to break down and actually buy software on my own this time.

So, I need to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud. 

Sigh. I'm not sure what sort of year-end bonus comes with my new job, but I'm anticipating that 100% will be going into this tech venture. Thank you, Apple and Adobe for creating products that I can't live without and helping me dig myself into this tech-consumer hole.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Tetris theme, orchestral

As my sister or husband can attest, my very favorite video game growing up was Tetris. We had the ColecoVision gaming set back in the early 80s — all my friends had Atari, but my dad went with the "superior" (in his opinion) brand. And the games were pretty amazing! In addition to Tetris, we had Zaxxon, Donkey Kong, DigDug, Ms. PacMan, Q*bert's Qubes, The Smurfs, and Time Pilot. My sister beat me in most other games, but I'd like to recall that we were well-matched in Tetris, maybe with me having more high scores out of plain persistence.

So, while looking for something unrelated, I found this fantastic video of the Tetris theme song, performed by an orchestra in The Netherlands.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


A Thanksgiving letter from Dash:

"November 28 2013  Dear Mom 
Thank you for shelter. Thank you for food. Thank you for a place to learn. Thank you for love. And most of all thank you for a loving family. 

To my Blog readers: I'm so very thankful for my family and friends, and for a job that allows me to have a comfortable home and give my kids a good place to learn. 

I'm thankful that when November comes around, it reminds me that I should write more and document our lives better -- I use this record quite a bit to remind me of when events occurred! It's come in handy several times when school projects included a time line, for example. Now that November's over, I'll try not to slack off quite so much'

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bunny Adventures!

The bunnies have been having a grand time exploring the kids' beds, romping over piles of toys and burrowing under blankets. Rosie and Dash love it, too, and have been asking for "bunny adventures regularly. 

The first time it occurred to me to have supervised play with bunnies in the beds was after I found the bunnies escaped into Rosie's room (door left open a crack) more than once, and they were almost always in the bed. 

It's hilarious watching them burrow under the blankets -- their heads go up/down/up/down until they've made it through. They climb over all the toys and peer over the edges of the beds to check out whether it's safe to jump (from a loft-bed, no). 

I've read that rabbits need to be climbing/burrowing for exercise, as that's most of their activity in the wild. We're certainly glad to find a way to fill the bunnies' needs that everyone enjoys!

(Sorry for the blurry photos; the bunnies are just constantly in motion while they're exploring. It's almost impossible to get them to be still for a shot.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A virtual play date

There's a boy in Dash's grade, Max, who has been his favorite friend since kindergarten. For reasons unknown to me, his parents have rebuffed all my attempts to get the boys together outside of school. They love all the same geeky stuff and have been in soccer, track, chess, and engineering clubs together, but in four years, Dash has been to Max's home once and Max has been to our home once (not for my lack of calling, emailing, etc., believe me). I have been so frustrated on Dash's behalf. 

Tonight, Max called my cell number for the first time ever. The boys had made an appointment to meet each other virtually in the "Wizards 101" game. I put Max on speaker and waited until the boys found each other's avatars in the game, also for the first time ever. I was going to take my phone back at that point, but they were both so exuberant that their plan worked! I left them to play and walked away, listening to the laughter and joy erupting from their voices. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rosie's GS troop cooked meals for a shelter

On the menu, relatively trouble-free recipes for Girl Scouts to make from scratch with minimal adult supervision:

Chicken soup
Fruit salad
Green salad

Then "breakfast for dinner" for the girls: pancakes and sausage links. I'll have to admit that I was assisting the girls and socializing during the making of the donated food; all my photos are from the end when they were making their own dinner.

They all had so much fun!! I'm very proud of them for the way they all worked together and took charge of their assigned tasks. They did a great job.

Rosie helps with the fruit salad

The girls brown the pancakes while the troop leader adjusts the range's heat.

Mixing pancake batter!

Cracking eggs and mixing batter

Once they were finished, the troop leader took all the freshly cooked food to be consumed by needy people. Cheers to the Girl Scouts!

Monday, November 25, 2013

S'mores cookies

I entered these cookies into a baking contest at my company's picnic this summer and while they didn't win, they were a clear favorite with the younger picnickers. It's a very simple recipe, with only about eight main ingredients: graham crackers, butter, sugar, an egg, flour, marshmallows, and Hershey's kisses. 

This great recipe came from http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/. 

S'mores Cookies Recipe:
(Makes 2 dozen cookies)

1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 large marshmallows, cut in half
Approx. 40 chocolate kisses

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  
2. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside. 
3. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. 
4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.  
5. Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix until just combined.  
6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet, 1-2" apart. 
7. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are just getting golden brown. 
8. Remove from oven and gently press a half marshmallow, sticky side down, onto each cookie.  Let cool completely.  
9. When all cookies are cooled down, preheat broiler.  Place cookies back on baking sheets and broil for 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they don't char. 
10. When marshmallows are golden brown, remove from the broiler and place a chocolate kiss on top of each cookie.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Buying glasses online, just my experience

Rosie's misplaced glasses, last seen June-ish 2013;
photo taken on Memorial Day '13.

Back in January, Rosie had an eye exam that showed a need for vision correction. We purchased glasses for her the traditional way, through an optometrist's office and insurance and received her pair by February. However, by the beginning of last summer Rosie lost that pair of glasses. It wasn't a big deal during summer camps and outdoor activities, so I put off replacing them for a few months. Our insurance only allowed one covered purchase of glasses per year, so with September and the start of school looming, I was at a loss as to how we would get another pair for less than $350 (starting prices at brick-and-mortar shops around here).

Then, I remembered that Kelly had recommended shopping online with ZenniOptical.com. Rosie really wanted a pair that was exactly like the one she lost, and Zenni didn't appear to have it.

After searching a couple of other glasses sites, I found a pair that was close to identical to Rosie's old pair at GlassesShop.com. I dug up her Rx, but was a little stumped as to what "PD" meant. It wasn't on the doctor's Rx and the site didn't give any details, so I just went with their default number. I placed my order, and waited. And waited some more. And sent some frustrated emails. The estimate was nine days to deliver, but it ended up taking two months. I understand that they shipped from China, but they shouldn't say nine days if they can't back up their claim. To add to my frustration, the GlassesShop 800 number never seemed to get answered, so I was dealing with everything primarily through emails with a major time lag. I learned later that the GlassesShop glasses order got held up in medical customs in California and I was less than thrilled about the wait.

Rosie's absolutely favorite new glasses from Zenni Optical
(photo effects added by Rosie).
Since we were a month into the school year and Rosie needed to see the chalkboard, I ended up ordering a second pair from ZenniOptical.com. The Zenni website is more robust and the services (online chat!) are more helpful. Their pupillary distance (PD: finally found out what it meant) ruler was especially helpful (it's a PDF that you can print and take your own measurements).

Our order from Zenni arrived exactly on time at the beginning of October and Rosie loves the new glasses. Rather than returning them, we are using the second pair (which arrived in late October) as back up to the first, because they were both so cheap...compared to local prices anyway. That's the intel! I recommend giving this a try. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Making "Chocolate Pots de Crème"

Dash wanted to make "chocolate cream," but none of us could figure out what exactly he meant. His description was, "I want to heat up some chocolate and then drink it." Since he wasn't talking about hot cocoa, we discussed a few different recipes that came close before deciding to go for Julia Child and Jacques Pepin's "Chocolate Pots de Crème" from their co-authored Cooking at Home book. 

Here are the ingredients (not too intimidating, right?): 

We started out by separating out four egg yolks and whisking in 1/3 cup sugar. 

Dash tried some of the whisking, but it eventually got too thick for him to whisk. We heated up a pint of heavy cream to a simmer, then gradually poured the hot cream into the egg-sugar mix (careful to temper the eggs! didn't want a scramble).

We poured the custard through a sieve over the broken chocolate pieces (Dash smashed them with the butt of a knife through plastic wrap), then added 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla. We realized immediately that we should have done this over a double boiler, because the chocolate wasn't melting. Lucky for me, Monk already had one ready to go!

After the chocolate melted, I poured the mixture into ramekins (recipe called for six 1/2-cup ramekins, but I only had two 1/2-cup and three 3/4-cup ones) using a ladle.

The ramekins needed to sit in a baking pan with hot water poured in to fill halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 

I baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Here's how they looked right out of the oven:

They need to cool for at least four hours in the refrigerator, so I'll have to wait to taste them! I'll update when it's time.

Verdict = delicious!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dash and Liam

These two cuties have been buddies since they were born. Liam just turned eight this past Monday -- happy birthday,  Liam! Whenever they've been apart more than a few weeks, Dash begs to visit Liam; they get along better than any two kids I know. When we visit with Liam and his family, the two boys disappear to run in the yard, check out new toys, or play non-stop Wii games. I hope they continue to nurture and share each other's interests and wish them a friendship that lasts a lifetime. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eating with picky kids and gout-man

Before kids, Monkeyrotica and I did go to more exotic restaurants and consume with more abandon than we do now, but with young ones in tow, we started limiting our outings to eateries with childrens' menus. Dash is willing to try several more sophisticated meals that require multiple utensils and have spices added, but Rosie is still very flavor- and texture-averse when it comes to dining. Now that Monk is living with gout, even he has been forced to limit his palette. Since his first attack around the summer of 2011, we've learned quite a lot about what foods trigger his gout.

Gout is similar to arthritis and attacks joints, most often at the base of the big toe. It causes intense pain and swelling; when Monk's first attack happened, he thought he'd broken his foot.

What Causes Gout? From NIH.gov:

"Gout is caused by the buildup of too much uric acid in the body. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are found in all of your body’s tissues. They are also in many foods, such as liver, dried beans and peas, and anchovies. Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood. It passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine. But uric acid can build up in the blood when:
  • The body increases the amount of uric acid it makes.
  • The kidneys do not get rid of enough uric acid.
  • A person eats too many foods high in purines."
For Monk, the gout-friendly foods he's learned to eat more of are:
  • fresh, unrefined, and unprocessed foods. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, soy, beans, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, and halibut)
  • unsweetened cherries (canned, fresh, or frozen); cherries lower uric acid levels and can prevent gout attack
  • blueberries, blackberries, and other deeply pigmented berries are also helpful as is pineapple
  • lemon water, apple cider vinegar
Gout-aggravating, high-purine trigger foods that he needs to avoid:
  • organ meats like kidneys, liver, and sweetbreads
  • red meat
  • oily fish like sardines, anchovies, and herring
  • certain vegetables, including asparagus, artichokes, spinach, and cauliflower
  • lentils
  • mushrooms
Some foods have medium-to-low levels of purines in them, but because they are foods that we tend to eat in larger quantities, Monk needs to severely curb his intake when he eats shrimp (only 2-3 shrimp, then full stop) or chicken breast meat (only 1 small breast, no more). I'm sure there's more that I've forgotten, but that's quite a bit for us to handle! Good thing there are cherries and medication that he can take.

He's been managing his symptoms very well, despite a few occasions where he knew he wanted to eat trigger foods despite the consequences and he planned ahead by taking preventative measures for it. Life's no fun if you can't break the rules once in a while.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rainbow loom craze is at my home

Both Rosie and Dash have been making Rainbow Loom bracelets and necklaces on their looms. Even though I'm finding little rubber bands in random places all over my home and am regularly fielding demands for new colors, I'm glad that it's a craft that crosses the gender barrier. 

Rosie and her loom

Loop colors, separated in a compartmentalized bin

Dash's bracelets

A complex bracelet Rosie made for Grandma I

A yellow and green bracelet that Rosie made for Dash (his fave colors)
The kids have a few books that show how to make different designs and sometimes watch YouTube videos to improve their craft. I'm impressed with their dedication!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Balancing your child's school lunch

Anyone who knows me or who has read earlier articles on this blog knows that I struggle with feeding my picky children healthy foods. I've tried various ways, some even deemed ingenious, to get my kids involved in choosing healthier options and balancing their portions. My kids have seen a nutritionist on a few occasions and I've educated myself a great deal on the protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios in many foods. The majority of the foods we buy are raw, unprocessed, and contain whole grains; vegetables and fruits are primarily served raw, and we make attempts to prepare meals to keep vitamin content intact, with minimal added salt or sugars. After Monkey was diagnosed with gout a few years ago, I needed to become even smarter about his trigger foods and learn what proteins to avoid in foods on his behalf.

I can't imagine how I would feel if my kids' school sent home a note like the one below, and attached a monetary fine for not including one arbitrary item, in this Canadian mom's case: grains. What if my kids had eaten more than their daily allotment of grains in their breakfast cereal that morning and I was compensating that overage by leaving it out of their lunch? I would be outraged if a school had force-fed them fatty and processed-grain heavy Ritz crackers!

From the Weighty Matters blog out of Canada:

From Yoni Freedhoff's blog entry:

"Apparently if a child's lunch is deemed 'unbalanced,' where 'balance' refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada's awful Food Guide, then that child's lunch is 'supplemented,' and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.

She did not send along any 'grains.'

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine."

Outrageous and crazy! I know some of us aren't as informed as others regarding proper nutrition, but what if you didn't have the money (or didn't get/have access to the store that week) to provide all food groups, or if your child has serious allergies, or if you have valid, personal reasons for not providing certain foods that are none of the government's business? If I were fined for providing a non-compliant, but healthy lunch I would be rightfully livid.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weegee, the Senegal parrot

Weegee is our oldest and noisiest pet. He's 16 years old, and while it's not likely that he'll outlive us, he's probably going to be around after our kids leave for college. That's fine with me, because he's pretty entertaining.

The parrot version of the cat-sitting-on-the-newspaper-you're-reading.

Weegee has no fear of consuming food three times the size of his head.

Weegee and Dunecat, via an iPad

Weegee keeps an eye on the bunnies from above.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Post-birthday sleepover

Seven girls stayed the night after Rosie's party. Auntie M took Dash to have a special auntie-nephew sleepover at her place. Last night, four of the girls played Wii "Just Dance" until around 8, when the last three arrived. I put "Monsters University," on and made popcorn for them. Around 9, a few girls claimed to be "starving!" so I heated up and passed around chicken nuggets and ketchup. Two of the girls needed to be up by seven in the morning, so I threatened the girls around 10 pm, to go to sleep, or else! They actually stayed quiet. 

They must have been exhausted. Three of the girls ran a two mile race yesterday morning, two others had been in a soccer tournament, and almost all had been to Rosie's swimming party (they swam for an hour, then played tag for 30 minutes after pizza and cake). Active girls!

It's 8 a.m., two girls already left for part 2 of their soccer tournament, all the girls have finished breakfast and are playing a another rousing round of Wii Just Dance! Their parents should be picking them up in an hour or two. Happy extended birthday to Rosie. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Math tutor

Wish us luck! I just hired a math tutor for Rosie. Last year, I had several friends and family suggest that we should hire a tutor and I'm finally following up on that advice. 

Fairfax County schools have had some low scores on overall math comprehension at elementary levels, and several of Rosie's classmates' parents have expressed concern about their child's skills. All that combined with the fact that the 5th grade math skills review period is over and I'm concerned that Rosie will be falling behind. 

We start next week!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Forever home for our bunnies!

Cookie, sweet and adventurous
I haven't explained yet how and why we still have the bunnies, have I? Looking back through my more recent posts, I realized that I said we just had them for the summer, etc. But, nope, they are still with us! Here's how this happened.

Honeybun, dominant and a little set in her ways
During the school year, Dash's classroom had two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and two turtles that I know of; there may have been more. Mrs. C. loved her animals and the enrichment activities (animal care and feeding) that they offered for the students, who of course adored all of them as well. Dash, in particular, begged us to get him a bunny as a pet for months. Watching them over the summer was, in my mind, a trial run to see if our household could support a rabbit or two.
Bunnies sharing a snack

I heard some rumblings from a parent or two over the summer about the rabbits, with comments like (insert comically musical voice), "Ohhhh! So *you* have those rabbits, hm? I was woonderiiing how that was goooiiing!" But it wasn't until I caught the parent of one of Dash's classmates at the grocery store in August that I found out what the tone behind the comments meant and why Mrs. C. had been so quiet all summer.

Because of all the mess that six animals (especially the large rabbits who were often left running wild in the room, to be sure) were making in the small classroom, the school custodians had held a meeting with the principal. They were tired of cleaning all the animal feces. The students created enough of a challenge for them, and they hadn't signed on to be zookeepers as well. The ultimatum the principal had given Mrs. C. was "no more animals."

So, the bunnies couldn't go back to the school. Where would they go if we tried to return them? With the "bad rep" they had gotten with the other parents (that is, messy and stinky), would any of them step up? I had litter-box trained them and we all had gotten pretty attached to them. The idea of our rabbits going to a shelter... well, not going to happen. After a family meeting about the bunnies, we agreed to keep them. I insisted that we would get them spayed and change their names, since they were ours now! I was never a fan of the name "Mary Potter," and even less fond of "Bugs Bunny" for a female rabbit. Their new names are respectively Honeybun and Cookie (with prior names as nicknames when they slip out).

They're still not free range in our home, just because they chew on everything. They occasionally escape through a door left cracked open, and we end up chasing them under a bed or couch. It's working out just fine to corral them to the back hallway/bathroom, or alternately, the kitchen as needed. Just for fun, I sometimes let Cookie have an adventure in Dash's bed, hopping over all of his toys. I've tried it with Honeybun, but she seems more stressed out by the change in scenery than loving it. They do love getting their faces scratched! Over time, I'm hoping they'll get comfortable enough to get more snuggly with us. If not, there's plenty of love to go around! We all enjoy Cookie and Honeybun's company. Well, maybe except for Weegee the parrot. He's still not sure what to think.
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