Friday, June 26, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Ten Little Jellybeans, Mariana Trench Confusion, and the Most Underrated Character from the Incredibles

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


I woke up yesterday morning to my 8-year-old running in the bedroom yelling, "Piper had babies!!!"

She was not incorrect.

Immaculate conception??

We were confused at first, but it would seem that the pet store sold us a pregnant rat.

Actually, I think they sold us two pregnant rats, because Scout has also been looking enormously fat. Please pray for us.

Since the surprise yesterday morning, I've been doing a lot of research on how to care for baby rats until they're old enough to go to new homes.

I've also been learning how to identify the sex of the pups so we can keep the boys and girls apart, which means I've spent more time in the last 24 hours examining close-ups of rat genitalia than I ever thought I would in my whole life.


This is actually the second time something like this has happened to us.

When my teenager was in 4th grade, her science class did a unit of crayfish and let the kids take them home afterward. She named hers Flippy.

After a few weeks, we became aware of teeny tiny crayfish in the tank with Flippy and slowly figured out she must have already been with child when she came to our house.

I'm not sure why this keeps happening to us, I only know that it does.


When I went to go check on the rat babies, Piper was inside her little plastic igloo taking care of them. But two were left out of the nest, rooting around for their mother and pathetically squeaking.

In my daughter's words, they "look like jelly beans made out of skin."

I picked up each one and warmed it up, then snuck it back into the plastic igloo to see if Piper would accept it.

She bit me trying to return the second one, but I don't really blame her. After all, I was poking around in her nest full of newborn babies.

I know I've wanted to bite people who annoyed me right after giving birth, too.

It's okay, Piper. I know how you feel.

Piper either didn't notice what I'd done or just decided the two rejects were okay after all, because it looks like she's taking care of all 10 babies now.


Before the babies were born Piper and Scout were sharing the little igloo, but now Scout has been kicked out.

Providentially, a few days ago the kids had built a little playhouse out of waffle blocks and left it in the cage, and Scout moved in to that.

Speaking of waffle blocks, they're the best investment I ever made. (Here is my affiliate link if you want to buy some now and set them aside for Christmas because they're amazing.)

The kids have played with them a ton over the last ten years, and lately they've been using them to make rat mazes and design all kinds of creative contraptions where the rats have to find the treat at the end.

My favorite is this little house they built:

Oh, hello.

Because the rats' fancy cage came in a box labeled "Merry Manor Rat Home," they call this little house the Merry Manor Rat Shack.

(As if that wasn't cute enough, my 4-year-old thinks it's "the Mariana Rat Shack" because he's watched an educational video on the Mariana Trench a bunch of times with his siblings.)

Between the rats and the kids, there's just too much adorableness around here for me to handle.


Last night at dinner, the kids started a hilarious conversation about who is similar to each parent in terms of looks and personality. They even ended up getting out a piece of paper and putting everyone on a continuum from "mom" to "dad."

Then someone downloaded a face swap app and started doing face swaps with everyone in the family, and it was pretty hilarious.

Can I just say that I never want to go back to real life?? We've always liked each other as a family but when's the last time we just sat around after dinner talking and laughing and just goofing off?


Saturday was Phillip's and my 17th wedding anniversary. Our original plan had been to fly his sister here to stay with the kids while we went on a trip, but with things as uncertain as they are in New England right now with COVID, we postponed it.

Sad face emoji.

Instead, we went to a local entertainment place with a bunch of outdoor activities. We got food from the grill and then ate ice cream on a bench while we watched amateurs whack at golf balls on the driving range.

Not exactly what I'd expected, but I'm still happy to be married to the guy after all these years and that's what counts.


While we were on our anniversary date, the kids were at home watching the first Incredibles movie.

When we came home, they were all quoting Frozone's wife and agreed that she was the best character in the whole movie.

Which she totally is, even if you never see her face.

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Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Baby rats!! Wow! Those are some exciting times. I love the continuum - it sounds like you guys just know how to have fun as a family, which is wonderful.

Chaun said...

I’m just over here SO relieved that Piper accepted the two rejected babies 😂 Happy anniversary you two!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I haven't commented on one of your blog posts before, but thought I ought to when I saw a funny video yesterday by the Holderness Family (I don't know if you're familiar with them - they're on Youtube) called "Disney Movies! Why does the mother always die? Acapella" and it reminded me of your Facebook post about Disney killing off mothers. I'd link the video so you can see it but it's not working. Anyway, I love your blog, and good luck with the rat babies! -FS

PurpleSlob said...

Oh my heart!! A sentence I never thought I'd say, "Those rat babies are adorable!!" Wow, I can not believe that just came out of my fingers!!
Your family is the best!! I want you to adopt me! Happy 17th!!

AnneMarie said...

I can't decide if those baby rats are cute or creepy-looking. Regardless, that's super exciting! Happy anniversary! We love the first Incredibles movie.

Jenny Evans said...

AnneMarie: They're both. Like human newborns. :)