Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

As of late, Sophia is nearly busting the Tooth Fairy's budget.

In the past two weeks, she lost two teeth in rapid succession (one of which she pulled out a little too early and it bled profusely for over an hour). Now there is a third pending (the last top front tooth dangling by a thread) and the poor girl is looking an awful lot like Nanny McPhee (when she first arrives) these days.

Cost of a visit from the Tooth Fairy these days? $2.50...cost of photos with big gaps and crazy grins????

Sweetie Pie

We just had two new babies.....Hummingbirds that is.

I have always loved hummingbirds. I love that they dart from place to place, and that they are naturally curious and ornery.

When we lived in California, we were befriended by "Ruby" a male Hummingbird that decided to take up residence in our front yard (we had a feeder that he liked to frequent). He stayed with us until we moved 18 months later. We left the feeder and food for the new owner and begged her to look out for Ruby but when I drove by the house six months later, the feeder was gone and Ruby had moved on.

It wasn't as if Ruby had taken to us instantly. In fact, in the first few months, he would routinely buzz us (and the dogs) if we dared venture too close to where he was feeding. Gradually, he grew to trust us and would come say hello to us without hesitation. He would hover within a foot of us for a few seconds and then fly off and sit on his feeder (three feet away), watching the world go by with us as we relaxed in our chairs.

So around three weeks ago, it was with great pleasure I discovered that a female Hummingbird had built a nest in our Mesquite tree in our back yard and appeared to be expecting. The kids named her "Sweetie Pie" and over the past few weeks, her trust in our family (albeit loud and chaotic at times) has continued to build. Her feeder is two trees over and is situated by our lawn chairs. She now routinely feeds while we are only a couple of feet away and does the same hovering maneuver as our beloved "Ruby."

In the meantime, I did some research on Hummingbirds and found out they usually sit on two eggs for two to three weeks and that those eggs are about the size of peas, and the chicks are born without feathers. Not surprisingly, bad weather (in particular, rain and cold), is a threat to both the nest and the eggs. So, a few days ago, I was quite unhappy when we experienced a sudden cold snap and received nearly an inch of rain in a mere 24 hours. We have been facing drought conditions, so ordinarily, the rain would have been a welcome event. This time, however, I just fretted about Sweetie Pie and her eggs.

Thankfully, her nest stayed anchored throughout the torrential rain, unrelenting wind (40 mph plus at times) and pea sized hail. All the while, we checked on her (OK, so I made Colin check on her after the worst night of rain and wind, I was too nervous to look first hand). Her nest survived, she was looking cold and miserable but she sat tight and kept her eggs warm.

So this morning when I found pea sized egg shells underneath her nest, I wasn't quite sure what to think. I didn't hear any chirping or see any little heads peering over her, oh so small little nest. But Sweetie Pie was sitting there peering down on us, so I was hoping her hatchlings were safely in her nest. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I hauled out our six foot ladder and took a peek when she was out feeding. I could barely make out the two little hatchlings. They were so tiny, so quiet, and so still, but I could see they were breathing. Later in the afternoon, Sweetie Pie seemed to wait for my visit beneath her tree, she hovered in front of me for a moment, and seemed to say "right, you have the kids, I need to get them some food, hold down the fort and I will be back shortly," then she flew off, fed for a few minutes before returning to her nest and dismissing me.

I hope we can see the little tykes soon. the kids have been thrilled with such exciting goings ons. OK, I have been thrilled too. What a treat, a very 'sweet' treat!!!

A Boy, a Girl, a Dog and the Owl

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I am just getting around to posting it.....

Picture this, Colin is in Japan, it is evening and I'm eagerly awaiting 7pm so I can put the kids into their beds and make a beeline for my own bed to catch up on some much needed and wanted sleep. At 8pm, I blissfully crawl into my bed and am asleep within minutes. The only problem is that I find myself rudely awakened at 10pm by Keenan. He has been sick and now sounds like he is determined to cough up one of his lungs. Bleary eyed, I give him a breathing treatment then I put him in the shower to help open up his lungs. After a half an hour of him singing happily away in the shower, his coughing spasms finally ease up and I bundle him up and put him in our room on the air mattress.

I instantly fall asleep again only to be awakened a short while later by the sound of crying. This time, it is Sophia, and she is having a night terror and I'm unable to wake her up. She alternates between whimpering and convulsive sobbing. I get out the other air mattress and now Sophia is now also in our room, the whimpers and sobs continue intermittently.

Sleep comes a little slower this time, but within an hour, I am in dreamland once more. That is, until I hear the dog throwing up. Cleaning up the mess, letting Marz out, and then feeding a small meal of rice cereal to help settle his stomach and it is now 1 am. I am longing to sleep and curl into my pillow hoping that everyone is taken care of and I can finally get some rest.

Only one there is a owl hooting next to our house. Ordinarily, I like to hear an owl, and usually they hoot for a few minutes and move on. But this one is hooting up a symphony, one that does not stop for three hours. Believe me, I was awake and got to count every one of those hours.

The next day, the world got cranky Kat. I truly feel sorry for anyone who had the misfortune to cross paths with me that day. But I have to admit that, since then every time I hear an owl, I manage to smile at the memory of that crazy night, one I hope not to repeat ANY time soon.