Posted on 12 Comments

Alphabet blocks and backyard visitors

Classic toys

Eamonn had a Target gift card and chose to spend some of it on a set of alphabet blocks. It doesn’t matter how many elaborate newfangled toys end up in our family room, it seems the most popular are always the classic toys. They are particularly fond of anything with letters on it, as letters lend themselves to spelling silly words. And silly words lead to giggles. Lots of giggles. This set of blocks is very cool because there is more than one of each letter, so they can actually spell their own names without having to employ creative spellings, or turning V’s into A’s and Z’s into N’s.

At my suggestion, Eamonn also bought a clear tub to put the blocks in. And yet, well, let’s just say maybe I should start a pool here on how many days it will be before the first block finds its painful way under my foot while I’m holding a heavy laundry basket on my way to the washing machine… I’m going to have to come up with a good way to entice him to keep the blocks put away. And if I’m successful with that, maybe I can branch into keeping the computer games in their cases and his socks off of the floor. A mother can dream, right?

Backyard visitor

Look what was in our yard late this afternoon. What a ruckus this little one was making! I don’t think I’ve heard a full-size cat meow so loud, let alone a kitten. He wasn’t the least bit afraid of letting me get close, either. Yesterday there was a different kitten in the yard – all black – but he was super skittish. I’m guessing they’re related. Too bad Neil and Eamonn have bad physical reactions to cats, or I’d have put a bowl of something out for the fuzzy little guy. The boys would both love to have a pet, and cats are at the top of their list.

Anybody ever have bunnies? I keep thinking a rabbit might be a nice pet, but I wonder what the “upkeep” is like. At this point I don’t want a high-maintenance animal, but I could handle a pet that has similar requirements to cats. Dog-level requirements would be too much for me. If you’ve placed an order with me in the last few weeks, you’d agree that adding one more big distraction to my plate would be a bad idea!


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Posted on 12 Comments

12 thoughts on “Alphabet blocks and backyard visitors

  1. what an absolute cutie that kitten is. too bad it can’t live with y’all cause I think the boys would have a blast with it 🙂

    As for the block under the foot…I say two days tops The boys look like they are having a blast playing with them.

    See what Kathi has been blogging about: Closer to Hannukah

    1. Oh, yeah, the boys have been *dying* to have a cat since they were old enough to speak. One of them once said “Can we get rid of Daddy so we can get a cat?” Needless to say the answer was No.

  2. Guinea pigs! I have two and they’re less maintenance than rabbits because they stay in their cage (bunnies need more room, and can chew up the place).

    You can build your own cage that’s much bigger than what you can buy in the store and is much healthier for the pigs. Lots of info here:, and

    1. Thanks for the links. Donna and I used to have one – I didn’t really like it. It didn’t really know anything about showing affection, and its cage smelled bad unless you were *really* good at cleaning it out. Which I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be. Maybe that wouldn’t be an issue as much with a bigger cage?

      Do you find that your pigs are at all cozy/friendly? Or do they not really know the difference between your lap and their cage?

      1. My guinea pigs will settle down in my lap and allow petting and cuddling, but you do have to treat them with care. Their function in life is as prey animals, and so, it is their nature to be afraid. All guinea pigs are different – they really do have personalities. Hildy, my pig that died, really came to love having me “scritch” her. This is similar to cats – some are really cuddly, and some are not.

        As to the smell, they are far less smelly than any cat I ever had. First of all, they are vegans, so their poop is much less offensive than any cat or dog. Next, yes, the size of the cage does have something to do with it – check out that cavy cages link. I use “Care Fresh” to line a part of their cage, and they are virtually odor free. Much less offensive than a litter box! I only clean the cage every 5 or 6 days, and it’s nice that I don’t have pet fur all over the house.

        Now, I will say that teaching to boys to be respectful to their level of fright might be a challenge. Some rescues will not adopt out to families with young children. However, you will find the same with a bunny. These are delicate animals, really – and need a gentler hand than a dog. And, you won’t want to get a guinea or a bunny from a pet store because they might sex them incorrectly or they’ll be full of mites.

        The lady I adoped the pigs from also has bunnies. And the bunnies hop around her garage, and they can be litter trained, but the things chew on my shoes when I get there! :-).

        1. The boys are surprisingly gentle with the animals they come into contact with. Aidan has his own fears to overcome, so he’s not a threat. And Eamonn gets down and talks sweet baby talk to animals at eye level. Eamonn’s only a threat when the animal starts to run away – he likes to give chase. But I think that’s something that can be overcome with the proper instruction.

          I’ll have to do some research. My prior guinea pig experience wasn’t one I look back on fondly, but I’ve heard other people besides you speak highly of them.

          If we had a rabbit running loose in this house, we’d all be shoe-less in a matter of hours. Nobody puts their shoes away, ever. Including me 😉

  3. The thing with guinea pigs and rabbits is that it must be hard to keep them smelling nice! Well, I’ve never had one, but all of my friends had stinky ones growing up. 🙂

    See what Sarah has been blogging about: It’s not just your home that needs sprucing

    1. Yeah, the guinea pig my sister and I had as a child never smelled all that pleasant. But then, I think we probably could have cleaned out its cage more often than we did…

  4. My sister had a rabbit a long time ago and didn’t take very good care of it. I don’t think they’re as exciting to have as kitties, they don’t give you the love. Know what I mean? I’m really allergic to all things bunny & guinea pig myself. My fiance has outgrown his cat allergies, maybe your family will too. Um, I’m not helping you. sorry. What about a bird? Fish?

    1. I had been under the impression that rabbits were trainable, almost like cats. If you took the time, anyway. I do think a pet that can show some affection is a must. I don’t really see the point otherwise, you know?

      Eamonn’s alergy just showed up this year (he’s 4), but my husband has had an allergy all his life. And he really dislikes cats to boot. So even if the allergies were no longer an issue, getting a cat would still not be likely.

      Birds freak me out. A fish, I can handle. Although they’re not all that good at the affection thing 😉

      Something tells me one of these days I’m going to have to suck it up and get a dog…

  5. Go ahead and get the kitten. Neil will never notice.


    1. Heh, yeah, and when he starts wheezing and tearing the house apart looking for Visine, I’ll send him to your house. And just for fun, I’ll throw in Eamonn who has meltdowns you wouldn’t believe over runny noses. Make sure you have handkerchiefs handy, since he won’t accept a mere tissue when he’s like that 😉

      Then with the two of them gone, Aidan and I can enjoy our new cat. Heh.

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