Another Christmas has come and gone. Alice laments the days that she still believed in Santa, but still loves the holiday season.
This year we started out the holiday weekend in Dallas seeing Varekai, by Cirque du Soleil with her Aunt Papa. Alice really enjoyed watching the show and told her aunt she would like to make this an annual type of thing. We stopped over at Aunt Papas house later that evening to meet their new puppy Jake.
The next day Didi and I took Alice to Northpark mall for some holiday sight seeing. They have a miniature train exhibit and a couple of puppet shows. Alice thought the trains were OK, liked one of the puppet shows, and thought the other was boring - haha. Alice took one of her early Christmas presents (an American Girl named Sage) with us and did a photo shoot of her around the mall. We ended the trip with chocolates from the Godiva chocolates store.... Yum.
Christmas morning Alice wakes us up at 6:15, which is way earlier than usual...the excitement of Christmas morning won't keep her in bed for long. This Christmas could be summed up by one word.....squishies! Pretty much the only things on her list this year were squishies, so almost everyone got her at least one. Another big item for her was Stranger Things....she got a bunch of Pop toys of the characters and an Eggo tee and a Hawkins MS AV club sweatshirt....which she wears almost everyday!
After we got back home from the holiday festivities, Alice decided that she wanted to go to the American Girl store on January 1st to get the new Girl of the Year. We did this 2 years ago for a birthday surprise and had to drive to Houston as the only stores in Texas are in Dallas and Houston. I had prepped myself for another drive to Houston on the 1st, but remembered there was a "pop up" store here inAustin for the holidays. I checked out the web site and LO and behold...they were staying in Austin through January and would be selling Lucianna Vega - Girl of the Year. We popped over this morning at opening time and miracle of miracles, we were one of the first to enter the store and get the new Girl. We were back home by 10:30am and I now had the whole day back! Truly my Christmas Miracle!
In the last post Larry updated the weights of the Guinea pigs. Cookie was noticeably heavier than S'mores, and we noticed she was quite a bit fatter than S'mores, but little did we know - Cookie was pregnant. We never knew this and the vet who weighted them didn't pick up on that either.
One evening, Larry is looking at the piggies and realizes....there's an extra piggy in there!
We realize through backwards math, that she must have been newly pregnant when we adopted her.....as far as we knew both of our adopted Guinea pigs were girls. We started to do some research on babies, and then realize that they are sexually mature by week 3! If this new little piggy is a boy, we could have a lot more piggies on our hand.
We thought about bringing the baby to the vet that had seen Cookie and S'mores, but we're not excited about the expense, so I contacted the zoo keeper we adopted the, from and told him about our surprise baby. He was surprised that a Guinea pig that young had given birth, and to bring them all by so he could sex the baby and do a double take on S'mores.....make sure she's a girl too.
Only 9 weeks after trekking out to the zoo to adopt the girls, we were making a return trip to visit the zoo keeper again! The new baby had been named Twiggy, which worked for whether it was a boy or girl. If Twiggy was a boy, we were going to have to get him neutered, which is an ordeal I'm itself since he has to be older before they can do it. The best outcome would be if Twiggy was a girl.
The zoo keeper picked up each piggy and examined them and proclaimed our herd to be ALL GIRLS....Hallelujah!
We originally just wanted the 2 piggies, but apparently the universe decided, we really needed 3. All are happy and healthy. Wheek! Wheek! Wheek!
Brief update: The guinea pigs are adjusting to their new homes. They make more noises and get excited when Alice and Cristy put out their veggies. They have a new crinkle tunnel they enjoy running in, plus the ramp is a favorite for their running from second floor to frist. So its mostly good times. Smores has a sore place on her noise we are treating with medicine and extra vitamin C. Cookie looks fine though. Alice is really showing responsibility with their care, and the fleece lining that Cristy made is really working out great.
Smores was just under 300g at her Vet visit, and Cookie was over 500g.
Hurricane Harvey hit the Austin area on August 19th. Luckily for us, it was just wind gusts and rain. It was also the day Alice and I were originally scheduled to be in Dallas for the Musical.ly meet and greet. Alice had been having sever stomach pains all week, so she agreed a trip to Dallas was not the best idea. However, she was greatly bummed about missing the event.
To cheer her up, Larry called the Capitol of Texas zoo and asked if we could come by that day to adopt a couple of Guinea pigs. The zoo keeper said he would be there holding down the fort (literally) so we could swing by after lunch.
With the weather forecast predicting "squalls" all day, we all piled into our small Prius and headed towards Bastrop. The car ride was not too bad....just rain and wind like I mentioned before, but the last mile or so was on less maintained road, and then a muddy gravel road to the park, but I call my car "the little Prius that could..."
The entrance building had about a foot of standing water in the walkway so we had to do a balancing act on the side landscape timbers to get into the building.
We zoo keeper met us and brought us 2 young female Guinea pigs, one was a short haired black and white and the second was a longer haired tricolor. The tricolor immediately was named S'more. The black and white was originally named Harley (like Harvey...the hurricane, but more feminine) but was renamed Cookie within the week.
We look forward to taking these cuties and having years of fun with them.
Meet our Hurricane Harvey twins....Cookie and S'Mores.
The day started like a normal Saturday morning. The family took their time getting up in the morning, and went out for breakfast. We came home and I (mom) lingered out front and picked a few weeds before coming into the house. Alice comes running up to me and states excitedly "there are 3 puppies in our yard!" I, of course thought she was pulling my leg, so I went outside. To my surprise, Larry was corralling 3 puppies.
We are unsure how they got into our yard, but Alice quickly began to mother them and names were established. Simba was the natural leader of the group, Marie was more dainty but still adventurous, and shy Gus Gus. It was only hours later that we realized these were all Disney animated character names.
Cupcake and Pepper were extremely wary of the puppy bomb that was set off at their home. We knew Cupcake was scaring Pepper with stories about how she was no longer the cute one in the house and now no one would love her. Eventually, Cupcake and Pepper settled down and decided to tolerate the puppies, because - who can resist such cuteness?
We spent the entire day holding, playing, fussing over the puppies and Alice got quite attached. We fantasied about being their foster family, and Alice dreamed about keeping all the puppies.....but it was not meant to be. Later in the day we saw a sign posted in the neighborhood looking for 3 lost puppies.
We called to let them know their puppies were safe, and said our final good byes. The family came to pick them up and it turned out that Alice knew the little boy from her kindergarten class a few years back. Alice was sad, but it was a fun and memorable day.
Alice has had a nice spring this year. She has sleep-overs nearly every week-end, and play-dates most weeks. She has a nice varied group of friends. She continues to enjoy her music lessons with Ms. Tracy, and we've been spending hours at a time outside swinging from the tree, usually having conversations about anything and everything. She's pushing to be more independent and usually walks home after school now. She has also been practicing on her bike and has a small but growing range of freedom for exploring and practicing.
Alice still maintains her fairly recent appreciation of Olive Garden and prefers it to any other restaurant, so we go there more frequently than in the past. Although its P. Terry burgers if she gets anything she wants... plus the chocolate shake of course.
Also... don't want to ever forget the budding chemistry interest. Alice, like many others, is really loving playing with slime this spring. She has been looking up and experimenting with numerous online recipes. She keeps most of the results in old yogurt containers in a stack in the play room with creative and interesting names.
Also... she just finished her second after school coding club session (daddy was proud, certificate for office wall!, but Alice mostly goes for the social hang-out I think, whatever coding activities they do she seems to do easily).
Its really been a wonderful year being a parental unit. Good times.