Thursday, February 26, 2009


When I was a teenager, maybe about 13, my great uncle took me to visit his friend, Louisa. She lived on loads of acres just a fwe miles north of the Mexico border. Louisa had the right combination of time, space, money and heart that she had a kind of animal refuge on her property. A huge pen with 30+ llamas. A large 'chicken' coop with assorted feathered beauties, assorted dogs, and, the reason for our journey to see her, a baby bison.

I can't remember the details of why the bison was in need of refuge. Maybe the mother abandoned him. Whatever the case, Louisa became his mother. Her home was a classic New Mexico adobe, with an adobe wall enclosing the "yard" - since she had so much land, she wanted a semi-private outdoor space, as well. So, my first introduction to little baby bison is Louisa leaning out the opening in her adobe wall, sweetly calling, "Victorio! Victorio!" From out of nowhere the most adorable little bison - maybe only 2 or 3 feet tall, and shaped much like a box - came running to Louisa's sweet call. He followed us as we walked along the property that day, never straying far from his "mama."

His fur was not very soft, as I recall. But come on, he's a tough bison, he's not really supposed to be cuddly. Anyway, he lived with Louisa until he got too big for her property, and then he went to live with one of THE New Mexico ranching familes that own thousands upon thousands of acres. Last night I lay in bed wondering how they moved him - a big horse trailer, or a pack of guys on horses, herding him north. Or maybe they air-lifted him to his new home - I picture him in a sling, similar looking to what they use to fly water in to fight forest fires - with his legs dangling, and his head peeking out. ;-) I don't know why I've been thinking of Victorio lately, but he's been on my mind, I thought you might like to know of him.

And, unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of Victorio - what I wouldn't give now to have a picture of me petting a baby bison. :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The buns

Here are mama and her babes, just before I seperated them. I think they knew it was coming, they rarely all huddled up together like this. But, mama had a successful surgery, and one more week of recovery time for her AND papa, and they can all be reuinited. Minus 'Blacky Raisin.' The little black baby was the only boy of the babies, and also Lauren's favorite, but I really couldn't drop $110 to have him fixed, so when my friend Rika wanted a bunny and fell in love with him, it was perfect. His real name is Flubby. A combination of Chubby and Fluffy - her boys couldn't agree so a compromise was reached.
So, as it stands, the light gray one is Lauren's, and her name is Lily Lilac. Aubrey's dark gray one (I can't tell them apart in the picture) is Lucy, and the remaining dark gray I'm calling Love Bug. We'd love to find Love Bug a home, but are willing to keep her if I don't feel like she would be given a great home, you know?
Oh, and I keep not taking pictures of papa. When they're all reunited I'll get some pictures of them together. This weekend he was doing some exploring of the loving room, and sniffing at Honey's (mama) cage. They were definitely communicating with eachother. I couldn't determine if it was "Oh, I've missed you!" or "Hey, you turd, thanks for knocking me up and leaving!" We'll see how reintroduction goes next week!

It's official. I hate Dora.

I've never loved Dora. But I could understand the appeal, and was fine with my daughters, each in turn, having a mild obsession with her or her cousin, Diego. It's all part of being a kid, right, falling in love with a character? Who hasn't done that? And all was fine in our home, with this mild obsession.

But, with my ickiness lately, I have resorted to allowing far too much tv, all for the sake of my sanity. This coincides, unfortunately, with the decision we made that we do not need cable any more. So, when we are tired of the offerings of pbs, in pops a dvd. Dora "Super Babies" is the dvd of choice this week. Lauren can watch it over and over, and lucky for her, it runs in a loop, so if you aren't quick enough in hitting "stop" and "eject" and hiding the dvd, it starts all over again.

And, in all seriousness, I can handle that. It's okay. I always control the volume, so I can make it so that I barely hear it while I'm trying to rest. But, the fact that this dvd has been playing in a seemingly constant loop for a week only became a serious problem when Lauren's gift from my brother-in-law arrived.

He sent her a gift card to Target. Super cool, that part of the gift I loved. :-) The accompanying card, though, well, it's Dora. And she sings. "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to you! Cumpleanos feliz, somethingIcan'tunderstand a ti, cumpleanos, cumpleanos, cumpleanos feliz!" Like all musical cards I've seen, the sound quality is poor. And the volume tries to make up for it by being really REALLY loud. Loud, poor quality sound combined with Dora's animated voice = I'm trying to think of revenge on my single, childless bro-in-law (suggestions are always welcome).

Wouldn't you know it, that dang card is her favorite toy right now. My only saving grace is Lauren is afraid Aubrey might want to play with it, so she asks me to keep it up high for her. It comes down several times a day, with strict instructions to play it in a room mom is not in. (which doesn't mean I don't hear it, of course, just that it's kinda muffled by a wall or two) And then it rest on top of the fridge for hopefully a few hours.

So there you have it. I now officially hate Dora. Her voice is like nails on a chalk board to my ears. I want to vomit. And that's not first trimester nausea talking.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.....

I'm still here. Still battling my morning sickness. The zophran worked wonderfully for exactly two days, and then the side effects of tiredness and weakness were too much for me to handle, and so I sometimes take the zophran, sometimes don't, and go back and forth between feeling just barely okay and just barely alive. I'm about a week away from the end of my first trimester, and I'm hopeful that I'll be better soon!

The baby bunnies are still here. One (I hope two!) will go to his new home this weekend. I need to take more pictures. Mama gets fixed tomorrow, and the babies get sexed tomorrow, so we'll know what we're dealing with. And my online research said that typically the cost of fixing a rabbit is $50 to $75. So I was thinking, okay, not bad. But our vet, no, she charges $110 for a male, $125 for a female!!! I did not think it would be that much more then the typical.

Lauren turned 3 yesterday, and woke up with a fever, so her party that should've happend has been post-poned until next weekend. Which is fine with me - more time to think about her cake. :-) Also, more time for her to change her mind as to what she wants, but hey, that's okay with me. I try to decorate with mostly just frosting, anyway, so she could change her mind as I'm frosting it and (so long as I can kinda create what she's requesting) it's not too big of a deal.

Every once in awhile I come across an adorable project that I want to try someday. Now, whether I do actually try it or just imagine making it, well umm, there are lots of projects done in my head, let me tell you! And a handful of half-started bits here and there in real life. This is one that I hope I do follow through with someday - it's so cute, and the tutorial makes it seem really doable, despite the picture. Seriously, I saw the picture and said, "Crap. There's no way I could do that." Then I read the instructions, and I could do it, if I sat down and did it. So check out this peek-a-boo lampshade, and tell me it's not so cute and maybe, just maybe, a little doable! :-)

There's a chain restaurant up here, Egg Harbor Cafe. They are only open for breakfast and lunch. And they are BUSY. We got a gift card to go there for Christmas, so we took Lauren's Godmother Paula out Saturday morning. Mmmm. My food was amazing. For one simple reason. They have green chili. Seriously. I was a bit nervous, but decided to try their potato and egg skillet, topped with ham, cheese and green chilies. It was amazing. I was in heaven. The chili was mild, but had such great flavor. I could go there everyday. And, breakfast for 5 was about $36 - not bad, I thought.

This just in....

"Mommy, when I grow up I be Dora. D-d-d-d-d-dora. Dora Dora eenie meenie Dora."

But earlier this morning, she had plans to be The Little Red Hen when she grows up, and also maybe a gumball. We've also talked about being a pancake or ice cream cone or pizza. Umm, we really like food in this house. :-)


Did you know that I can kick Andy's butt in Wii golf, even when I'm lounging on the loveseat? Even when Aubrey wants to try so I let her finish my turn and she hits it 20-some yards right into the hole? Aubrey beamed. I laughed. Andy cussed. And the Wii sat quiet the rest of the day.

And, my last little rambling for now.... every morning, and I mean every monring that we take Aubrey to school, I end up yelling at Lauren to get her shoes and coat on. WIthout fail. I hate it, but I don't know what else to do after I've asked her 6 times nicely to please get ready so Aubrey isn't late. Anyway, so unfortunately yelling happens here. This morning my neighbor called to see if she could take Aubrey to school since Lauren and I both are icky right now. So wouldn't you know it, Lauren comes around the corner with her shoes and coat on. I think tomorrow I will try to just say "Okay, let's get ready." and see how far that takes me, because it was so nice to not yell this morning.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

a bunny update

As soon as Andy held one of the little baby bunnies, he decided the girls could each pick one to keep. :-) He really is a softie.

And, the shelter went above and beyond and offered to have both mom AND dad fixed! Dad is now recovering, and mom will be fixed in about 2 weeks (once we wean the babies).

We are estimating that the babies are 5 weeks old. In about 2 weeks 2 of them will find their new homes. I joked around that they'd make perfect party favors for Lauren's b-day party, and no one seemed very happy about that, can you believe it?
Some random ramblings.....

First, the zophran I've been prescribed for my morning sickness is not working as well as I would like. When it works the best, I feel 80% like myself. When it doesn't work well I feel 40% like myself. Still near-constant nausea, still puking just about every day. I've left a message with my midwife to see if there's anything else I should be doing, or if messing with my dosage is a possibility. And I feel like a wimp even sharing that I'm having such a hard time - I know many moms have morning sickness worse than this. But I need help, and am hoping there's more help out there!

And, Andy's been offered a job in Texas. Officially, now. We're still waiting on the start date, but hopefully sometime in April. Texas is not my final destination, but we'll be a 10 hour drive from family, as opposed to the current 25 hour drive. And, this job, once he's got everything established and running smoothly, he can work remotely from anywhere. We anticipate that we could move to New Mexico 2 years after we move to Texas. Also, these Wisconsin winters are kicking our butts. Our utility bills for December - just under $500. No joke. (I know we'll have heating/cooling costs wherever we go, I'm just sharing our utility costs with you so you can imagine how freakin' cold it's been.)

Also, every once in awhile I come across an article about immigration that just gets to me. And my feelings on immigration (specifically illegal immigration) are extreme. At least I think they are, because I rarely read anything that similar to the way I think. And that's okay. But I am ready to share my thoughts. And I'm feeling sarcastic. Don't feel like you need to read any farther, unless you really want to. Oh, and if loads of comment appear, I will be liberal in my removal of them (not that I'll remove them because I don't agree with them, but if I don't know you and/or you are being disrespectful of my opinion on my blog, out you go!).

Yesterday I read this article from NPR. (Please note that I'm kinda an environmentalist.) The Nature Conservancy has a preserve along the Rio Grande - 1000 acres of jungle. Congress and Border Patrol want to erect an 18' tall concrete and steel fence through the preserve (though apparently not 'forestland'). Construction alone would disrupt this forest and it's imperiled inhabitants so much. Also, imagine how this beautiful piece of land will look with an 18' wall running alongside it. But apparently it will be a permeable wall and allow for wildlife to pass through the barrier.

Please, someone, tell me how the ocelot and jaguarundi will pass through this permeable wall designed to keep humans out. Will the animals be given key cards they swipe at doggie doors? Will the animals be trained to go to the gate and wait in line? Secret password? Pawprint identification?

Also, I have to wonder (and here's my extremism showing through) if someone is so incredibly desperate to flee their homeland that they hike through a jungle inhabited with ocelots, jaguarundi and other rare, threatened or endangered species, why do we have to turn them away? Are their needs less worthy than ours? Are they somehow less deserving of what we consider to be basic needs?

Oh, that's right, it can be argued that they are taking our jobs. Except that the jobs I see 'illegals' (and I hate that term!) doing are often the jobs I see most Americans refusing to do. Low paying manual labor. What? Oh, an American would happily do that job, except they get looked over because an 'illegal' will do it under the table for half the pay? Yes, that's a problem, and it makes me angry. Angry that an employer would devalue any human so much as to offer so little pay. Am I angry at the 'illegal' trying to feed his family? Not one bit. But anyway, isn't that the society we've created? Look at bids to do big construction projects - how often is the offer to to the exact same job for twice the pay the one chosen? If I can get a gallon of milk for $1.50, you can bet I'm doing it. Why spend $3.00 when I can get it for half as much? Right or wrong, this is the system we are part of.

And they are burdening our healthcare and welfare system. Isn't that another argument? People need to eat. People get sick. When they work for so little pay that they can't afford groceries or basic healthcare, it's sad. Citizen or 'illegal,' it's sad. It's true our government wastes an awful lot of money, but I cannot be convinced that giving 'illegals' food stamps and check-ups is a waste of that money.

People are people. Period. And if living with your 10 closest family members in a one bedroom singlewide, scrubbing toilets in the middle of the night and making strangers' beds in the morning is a better life than the one you left in Mexico (or wherever else you fled from), please, come on over! My God taught me to love my neighbor. Though he wasn't especially specific on what he meant by neighbor, I'll take it to mean fellow mankind, and I'll make you dinner.