Posted in Nature observations and thoughts, Raising kids

We want a furry, cute pet!!

Kids want a pet: anything furry and cute. This topic is brought up on a daily basis and potential animal choices run the wild gamut: dog, cat, bearded dragon, baby otter, or a cub cheetah. Their latter choices baffle me. I’m like, what?! How do you cuddle a cheetah?

We’ve had various tiny pets over the years, like butterflies, ladybugs, frogs, fish and snails (still our pets), and now a horde of ants. Yesterday two plastic vials of ants were delivered to our mailbox.

Thankfully, they survived the journey this time. The first batch died from overheating in the mailbox.

So we’re excited to spend the next few weeks learning more about ant behavior, life cycle, and characteristics. They’ll be released outside after a month or so. Attachment is little and care minimal. So for a month, kids will be preoccupied and less prone to badger me for a furry pet. Oh yay!

But when I’m feeling energetic, I wonder how much fun it’d be to have a small Corgi. Their tailless tooshies and short legs are so cute. Chris is unlikely to say yes unless I surprise him by getting one. Lol. Nah, too big a commitment to decide myself.

Pinterest photo
2 hours later. Busy building tunnels. We added some water and a halved grape.

Couple hours later: building new paths. Peculiar behavior observed: ants carry a dead one to the top of the hill or drop them into a tunnel.
Almost 24 hours later. New workers have begun digging on the back side of the farm.


Newborn kitty getting fed at animal shelter. Kids wanted to see what kind of animals you would find at a shelter.
Our Silver Molly, named Shiny, resting on the Betta hammock.
Posted in Raising kids

Kids say funny things: Part 3. A new fish tank

The fish tank saga started a few months ago when we mail ordered an African-clawed frog as part of our science project. Since then, we’ve raised a tadpole into a frog, lost that tadpole turned frog and its frog buddy we ordered; and gained 3 neon tetra fish, 5 snails, and 1 betta fish. These fish buddies were housed in either a 3.5 gallon tank or a goldfish bowl.

One of our frogs named Ribbit. He’s in frog heaven now.

It didn’t matter that these fish were small. The amount of waste they produced was mind-boggling. We learned that the black long floating things in the water were snail poop.

When I mentioned maybe getting a larger fish tank, kids got fixated on the idea. The whole let’s-butter-up mommy with our art of persuasion, cuteness, spontaneous hugs and flattery, and promising to do lots of homework (I saw right through this one). I tried to ignore it, but they reminded me everyday that their life was incomplete without a larger tank and more fish pets.

I relented and got the starter set from PetSmart. The salespeople there recognize us and we don’t even own a big pet.

After the set up, Ellis sat down in front of it and said she could sit there all day watching the fish.

Ellis: “When I meditate, I’m going to sit right next to the fish tank.”

Me: “Meditate?”

Ellis: “Yes, I sit down and close my eyes. Fishes are peaceful.” Then, she looks suspiciously at me and asks, “Wait, why are you asking me? Are you going to put this on your blog??”

Me: “May-beee? You say lots of funny things!”

Ellis: “Don’t do it!I don’t want it!”

Elliot: Big brother jumps into the conversation. “Why not Ellis? You say cute things and people like it,” he says trying to convince her to say yes.

Ellis: “Oh fine. You can put it on your blog, but don’t say I said it.”


One of the many things that drives my family crazy is that I don’t read instructions. I try to figure it out myself…this leads to lots of troubleshooting later. The new tank filter made some funky sounds and I was ready to call PetSmart to ask them about this when my neighbor, who owns the same tank, adjusted it to make a waterfall sound. I did not put water in the filter itself. Duh?!

Before bed, Ellis stands in front of the tank again and says, “I think that sound will help me fall asleep.”

10 gallon full of happiness: tetras, snails, catfish, and live plant that supposed to grow like crazy

Me: “That would be nice because you never want to go to sleep.”

Ellis: “I think it will help me go to sleep right away and you (pointing to me and then her back) massaging my back. Okay?”

It didn’t sound like a question but more an expectation. She may have realized how demanding that sounded, because she followed it up with a big smile, lifting her chin up to and moving her head side to side with both hands clasped in front of her chest.