Friday, July 3, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Naming Our Technology, Divine Intervention in the Chore Department, and Some Sad News

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


We got a new desktop computer! It was definitely time to replace our old one, which overheated and crashed several times a day.

Phillip and our 12-year-old decided to build one since they're both into computers, and they had a good time scouting out the parts they wanted. If you ask me, the gigantic fan they ended up buying is overkill, but at least this computer won't melt like the old one.

Some people name their cars, but I guess in our family we name our computers. Because of the massive cooling system, they've been referring to it as "Ice Beast."

Then the kids realized our laptops needed names (we have two and we're always getting confused about which one when someone says "the laptop,") so they had a vote and named them Phineas and Ferb.

Why? Because "Ferb" is a refurbished laptop.


My kids have continued doing daily chores into the summer, much to my 4-year-old's dismay.

I get it. Taking 5 minutes out of your busy schedule of playing every waking moment is a drag.

The other day he was moaning and carrying on about how he didn't want to do his chore, and when I didn't let him off the hook he huffed, "Fine! What's my chore today?"

I consulted the chart and told him it was watering the garden.

With a devilish smile he pointed outside and said, "It rained today, so God did my chore for me." And he skipped away to play.


I just finished re-watching all the Hunger Games movies a second time because my 14-year-old read the series and wanted to see the film adaptations.

So I've read the entire series and seen each of the movies twice, and it wasn't until now that I realized, "Waaaait a minute... 'the boy with the bread' was named Peeta? As in pita bread?"

Whether it was or wasn't meant to be a joke, my 16-year-old has most definitely decided that it is now. She's now writing her own Hunger Games fan fiction that focuses on Peeta and his six brothers, who all have the misspelled names of different kinds of bread.

Never a dull moment around here, folks.


Now for some sad news about our unfolding rat saga.

As you know, we brought home rats from a pet store about three weeks ago that turned out to be pregnant, and the first one had her babies last Thursday.

The next day, the new mom seemed agitated. Maybe her cagemate was bothering her (they were fighting so we moved her cagemate, but maybe she'd already been set off.) Maybe she didn't like us touching the babies, even though we were specifically advised to do that by a New England rat rescue. Or maybe it was something else entirely.

Whatever it was, Piper abandoned her litter of babies. We waited for hours and hours, hoping she'd start taking care of them again, but she just ignored them.


After biting our nails for half a day and seeing that Piper just wasn't going to take up her maternal role, the girls decided they wanted to try to save them.

It's technically possible to hand raise baby rats. It doesn't have a high success rate, but they were determined to try.

They fed the babies with paintbrushes dipped in baby formula, but they were just too weak. By Saturday, we'd lost 9 of the 10 babies, and the last one was just barely hanging on.

For the next 6 hours, my girls put more love and care into that pathetic little baby rat than any animal has had in its life.

They continuously held it, fed it, helped it go to the bathroom (baby rats actually can't go on their own, you need to wipe them down with a wet paper towel to simulate their mom licking them first), then started all over again.

My daughter asked me if it was cruel to even try keeping it alive at this point. "I don't think there's a right answer," I told her. "Whatever we do either way, there's a compassionate reason for it. It's up to you."

They decided to keep trying, and miracle of miracles, the baby rat started to rally.

By the end of the day, it was eating and going to the bathroom and we started to think that it was going to make it, after all! That night we all woke up in shifts to feed it and make sure it was warm, and by morning it was actually looking really healthy.

Then, out of nowhere, it wriggled out of its bedding and onto the heating pad, overheated, and passed away.

For that to happen so unexpectedly after everything was so devastating.

The burial site.

I know how hard it is to raise baby animals. I know there are a hundred things that could go wrong and if it hadn't been that one thing, it probably would've been something else that day or the next day or next week... but I really miss that cute little jellybean.


On the same day that we lost the last baby, Scout (the other rat) gave birth to her litter.

My 6-year-old was the first to spot a baby. After licking it clean, Scout promptly rolled it into the nest and proceeded to have ten more.

It was pretty cool to watch, although I feel like that might be creepy to say. Is that creepy to say?

"Wow," my teenager remarked. "It's kind of weird that rats can have 11 babies in an hour when it takes like 12 hours for one person."

It does seem rather inefficient when you put it that way.


I've said before that I've been pretty okay with quarantine. Of course not the pandemic part of it. But canceling everything and hanging out with just my family? That part has been just fine by me. I'm pretty sure I could do this forever.

There's one thing that's been bothering me, though. I've been internally freaking out about the kids' cancelled dentist's appointments, and it was getting worse as the weeks and months have gone by.

Thank goodness, dentists in our state are back in business and we were finally able to go in.

I was a little teary-eyed for my appointment, because my dentist is right next door to a vet's office and that made me think of the baby rat. But I was really happy not to have any cavities, and so far, none of the kids do, either.

So all in all, it was quite a week.

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AnneMarie said...

Oh, the poor baby rats! That's so sad.

Unknown said...

That's exactly the kind of thing that breaks my poor animal loving heart. Which was why I resisted getting a new dog when we came home from Japan. Dont know how Taylor got us to do that. But now as Pepper gets older I just know how painful it will be when she goes. She has a heart murmur and is slowing down so I dont think she will have Angel's long life.

r0b0d0c said...

Sorry, Jenny! I know how excited the kids were for their new babies, and how gently they cared for them! I hope the new babies do well!

PurpleSlob said...

Yay for no new cavities!!
RIP ratlings.
Haha, God did his chore!!