Saturday, July 31, 2010

Koala! The long awaited Ultrasound!


Elephant, Zebra, Monkey, Vixen (Tortoise was on her last day of camp- Lion was with her as a Camp Big Buddy), Eclectus, Penguin, and I went to the Dr for an ultrasound to determine baby's gender and make sure all is well with development...

here is Zebra.. she is in the waiting room with the rest of us.. she set the princess dolls up in the chair next to her and was about to read to them when they called our name for the ultrasound... doesn't she look excited?! <~ see last Giggle-ism at the end of this post

here are the results: it's a GIRL! And she is perfect!!

She's measuring at 19 weeks 5 days (and whadaya know I'M exactly 19 weeks 5 days along!!)... the ultrasound tech said her little legs were long, that her heart was pumping perfectly, that there appeared to be nothing to worry about at all, she was even sucking (though not on her fingers... none of my babies have ever been finger suckers.... no idea why). She kept her tiny little hands up next to her gorgeous face during the entire ultrasound.. and even appeared to be waving a few times. The ultrasound tech had the common sense to outline the baby's little body parts for us, so those of you that aren't used to looking at ultrasound pictures can easily figure out where everything is...

Here is another picture.. this one is in profile. Koala's cute little head is on the right looking toward to upper left hand corner of the picture. Her right arm is slightly in the background with the hand right up next to her forehead. In the ACTUAL picture, you can even distinguish eyes, nose, and mouth... but those features didn't scan well.

So!!! Say hello to Baby Koala!!

Here's another couple of Giggle-isms:
This morning before we left for the ultrasound: Monkey comes to Penguin and:
Penguin: Do you want a baby brother or a baby sister Koala.
Monkey –pouting- responds: “I want a baby brother.”
Penguin asks: “Why do you not want a baby sister?”
Monkey: “Because I don’t want it to be mean to me all the time, like Vixen.”
~~ when the ultrasound tech announced that Koala is indeed a girl, he put his hands on his head and sat back down... LOL Poor Boy -- we had to reassure him that another baby girl couldn't possibly be as mean to him as Vixen is.

After the ultrasound as we were heading into Khols to shop for baby girl clothes:
Me: Zebra, are you happy about your new baby sister- Koala?
Zebra: *shakes her head no with a silly smile*
Me: Did you want a baby brother -Koala?
Zebra: *shakes her head no with same silly smile*
Me: Do you want a new baby at all?
Zebra: No.
~~ well, you can't win for losing! You weren't very happy about little brother Monkey, little sister Vixen, or our lost baby Gabriel either, so at least Koala isn't starting out life any worse off in Zebra's eyes than her now much-loved little brothers and sisters (well, sometimes she enjoys them anyway.. she is a very good big sis when Tortoise isn't around)

Friday, July 30, 2010


January 11, 2010: Baby Vixen crawled right up to me (I am sitting on the floor pulling up staples from the carpet I pulled up today) grabbed my hand & placed a book into it. Okay baby I'll read to you!!

January 13, 2010: Monkey has been having trouble opening doors - so I showed him how to turn the knob with 2 hands (after explaining that he needed to put his toys down 1st). Now he's in his room opening and closing the door repeatedly saying "I did it mama!!!" after each successful open door. Good job buddy!!

January 17, 2010: I just asked Monkey to leave the kitchen saying "you're driving me nuts Monkey". Now he's wandering all over the house telling anyone who'll listen "me driving mama nuts!". He's very proud of himself.

January 30, 2010:
Elephant while playing on his toy laptop: mama did you know I got a high score on this? Like a hundred! More than a hundred! Isn't that cool?!”
Me: that's great buddy I'm proud of you!
Elephant: I am AWESOME! Leaving me grinning

February 6, 2010: I just sent the girls in to straighten up their room Zebra came back out to ask "Mama, can we push the clothes under the bed?" -no honey put them away

February 13, 2010: Elephant says: “Mama, can you please be quiet so I can concentrate on my game?” -- no Elephant I can't.

February 24, 2010 I put Scottish bagpipes on the van stereo- Monkey says "sounds like baby cow in trouble" .... but! he *says* he likes it!

April 16, 2010: Both Tortoise (with "the smartest boy in class") and Elephant (with a girl in class "I don't know why") are in love!

April 19, 2010: Zebra to Mama: "Why do you have bumps on your body?" -- pointing at my boobs.... I laughed, then explained that all girls get "bumps" when they are teenagers... she said "even Tortoise?" yes. "and Vixen?" yes. "hehe.... me too then. I hope I get big ones." and walked away. ROFLMAO

April 25, 2010: I was sanding the drywall in our room, came out to discuss colors for paint in the dining room when I heard a big sigh.... turned around to find baby Vixen was asleep on the dining room table!
March 9, 2010: as the sun was shining in Monkey's eyes: "STOP Summer!! Stop! I cover mine eyes so Summer won't get dem........ Mama, you stop Summer?"…..
I chuckled and said "no Buddy I can't stop the sun from shining"

June 27, 2010: as I am applying scrapbook paper to giant letters in my name for my craftroom…
Zebra to me: Uh Mama... there's no -letter- in your name (duh)...
me: really? how is my name spelled?
Zebra: M A M A. No -letter- Mama.
me: you're right Zebra. Mama doesn't have a -letter-, but -my name- does. and I'm -my name-.
at which point she looked at me like I was an alien, shook her head, and walked away.

July 11, 2010: as I was tucking Monkey into bed
me: Aunt Penguin thinks you're the coolest kid ever.
-he grins-
me: Do you think you're the coolest kid ever?
Monkey: no.
me: who is?
Monkey: Elephant.

July 25, 2010: I ask Penguin and Eclectus who my animal should be on Giggle’s Zoo – my blog… Tortoise pipes in with “PIG!!!”

July 27, 2010: Elclectus and I are sitting at a traffic light getting ready to turn onto a cross-street, Monkey says: “you cars gets off of ouwers road!”

that's it for the first installment of Giggle-isms!! And just for the heck of it, here's a picture of all the kiddos taken a year ago by Meerkat:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why so many children do you ask?

Why so many babies do you ask?

.... I hear it all the time.... "You DO KNOW what's causing this right?".... "You have 5(!!) children?!"..... "How many more kids are you planning on having?!" - that one with an exasperated tone like it's somehow offensive..... "Will this baby be your last?!" ... It's amazing the stigma associated with having more than 3 kids... People say this one: "WOW you've got YOUR hands full" so often I don't even hear it anymore...

So here are the answers in case you are one of the curious... even though I don't think it's anyone's business but mine and Lion's (and God's) how many children we are going to have or when we have them...

Why so many Babies? - WHY NOT?

You DO KNOW what's causing this right? - I sure do, and it's oh-so-much FUN!

You have 5(!!) children?! - well, lets count... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... yes I do have 5, and another on the way!

How many more children are you having?! -- this answer will be the subject of this post.

Will this baby be your last? - well, I don't know... maybe, maybe not. (this answer is tied to the previous)

WOW! You've got YOUR hands full! -- *big smile* well, at least my hands aren't idle... YOU DO know how the saying goes?! Idle hands and idle minds are the devil's playground.

so since the basics are covered, I will now answer the only remaining question... How many more children WILL we be having? The answer is.... I don't know. I know that that seems an odd response considering today's prevailing attitude that women, and men, should be able to specify when they are "done". Lion and I have had many, many in-depth discussions on this very topic, and the end result of every discussion boils down to this: We are leaving the number and frequency of pregnancies and births squarely in the hands of God. It seems like a fairly simple thing to do... to leave something in the hands of God... but not simple at all when actually put in practice. It takes a great deal of faith, to place such a large part of our life in someone's else's court (even though that court is God's court)... to understand that even though *I* may not think I am capable of having another child (and maintaining my sanity)... He knows if I am, or if I'm not.

There was a time when we did NOT do this, however. I was on a form of birth control after Tortoise was born... for 3 years... it wasn't until I converted to Catholicism, and Lion returned to the Church that we came to the conclusion that it was the one area in our lives where we can safely say that God is firmly in control. And I have to say that it wasn't The Church that forced us into this line of thinking.. but our own conclusions drawn from the teachings OF the Church, in the bible, and the "classes" we took together for me to convert. We don't "preach" our viewpoint to others... unless they sincerely wish to know, or unless they ask dumb questions and I feel put-upon enough to tell them to butt the hell out of business that does not concern them ( I Do realize that this is not a Christian attitude, but sometimes pregnancy, nursing, and post-preggers hormones get the better of me - and sometimes I have no excuse... I'm just tired of having to hear stranger's opinions of MY life, when I didn't ask for them). Of course, I have no medical conditions or anything else that makes pregnancy and childbirth dangerous for me, so that helps with the faith aspect... I can honestly say I don't know how I could deal with that... maybe HE knows that 6 kids and a serious medical condition are too much for poor-little-ol-me to handle. There was a time -- very recently (after the loss of a pregnancy -and child- in December), when I thought I might have to insert my own opinions on how many children we should have... and when... but -- as always happens when my Faith in His Plan with regards to our children wavers or weakens-- He placed his hands into our lives yet again, and with the help of 2 very wonderful and kind and generous people, I am once again squarely on the right path again. I know it is the right path simply because any time I begin to falter, He is there to light the way... to make it just a touch easier in one way or another... and I Thank God and those Wonderful and Kind and Generous People (KaGP) for hearing Him and me, in my (our) time of need. THANK YOU GOD. and God Bless You KaGP!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zoo Names

Lion - Zookeeper Daddy
Mama Roo - Me
Tortoise - Our oldest girl
Elephant- Our Oldest Boy
Zebra - Our second girl
Monkey- Our second Boy
Vixen - Our Third Girl
Koala - Our 4th baby - Due in December of 2010

The Far Far Away Enclosure:
Eclectus bird - My Mom
Tiger - my Dad
Peacock - My Brother - adopted

The Farm Enclosure:
Penguin - Lion's sister
Meerkat - Lion's Mom
Ostrich - Lion's Dad
Moose - Lion's Brother

The Barn Enclosure:
Owl - Lion's Uncle
Ruffled Lemur (or just Lemur) - Lion's Aunt
Dragonfly - Lion's Cousin - Owl and Lemur's daughter
Giraffe - Dragonfly's husband
Mole - Lion's Cousin - Owl and Lemur's Older Daughter
Chinchilla - Lion's Cousin - lives far far away - Owl and Lemur's Older Daughter - twin to Mole
Chimpanzee - Chinchilla's son - also lives far far away
Mountain Goat- Lion's cousin - Owl and Lemur's Son
Platypus - Mt Goat's Wife
Ladybug - Mt. Goat and Platypus' daughter
Caterpillar - Mt. Goat and Platypus' unborn son

The Ridgeline Enclosure:
Badger - Lion's Grandfather - Owl and Meerkat's Dad
Hummingbird - Badger's Wife

The Nocturnal Animal Enclosure a few miles away from Giggle's Zoo ( I made them Nocturnal cause we usually only see them at night):
Hedgehog - Lion's best friend
Wombat - Hedgehog's Wife
Raccoon - Hedgehog and Wombat's youngest daughter
Sugar Glider - Hedgehog and Wombat's middle daughter
Feathertail Glider- Hedgehog and Wombat's oldest daughter

The Fox Enclosure- comming soon to Giggle's Zoo (all Fox names are temporary):
Fox - Lion's best-bud buddy from the Military
Kitsune- Fox's Wife
Red Fox- Fox and Kitsune's little boy
Kit Fox- Fox and Kitsune's unborn child

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Thoughts on Charity

One of the lessons I was taught (maybe inadvertently) from an early age was that "We don't need Charity" - because "charity" wasn't seen as simply a gift given out of love, but as something given in spite, without care. There is very little I remember of life as a child, but the concept of accepting "what we don't need" still reverberates in my brain.

When Tortoise was 6 moths old, Lion and I decided to move away... to come live near Lion's family halfway across the country. After the first few months of living here, Lion finally convinced me to go to Mass with him at the somewhat-local Traditional Catholic Church (where the Mass was still spoken in Latin).. and I was blown away by the beauty, devotion, and reverence paid to our Lord during and after the service. After many months of attending the Latin Rite of the Mass, I began talking to the Priest about converting. During the talks between the Priest, Lion, and I had - in preperation for my conversion, baptism, and our remarriage within the Church -- we talked at length about Charity. What true Charity is, what it means, and that the giving and accepting of Charity is nothing to be ashamed of - just the opposite. Charity - giving or accepting of - is God's Grace shining down upon someone in need, and God's Love showing the path to someone who can help. Both sides of the equation are blessed by the experience of Charity.. not just the one being helped, but the one helping as well... it was then that I finally understood that the way of thinking that I knew from childhood was wrong... truly unhealthy to both the heart and the spirit. Charity is God's Love in practice. If a person in unable to accept charity in it's true form, then it shows a lack of faith that God knows what you need, even if it is contrary to what you think you need or want. And that a person's denial of the Charity being offered not only hurts him (and by extension - his family), but denied the giver the full blessing that God might have been able to bestow. I know that I feel a flutter in my heart whenever I am able to give 5 or 6 extra dollars to the school to help pay for another child's field trip, knowing the joy that that child will feel, and the relief of the child's parents - especially knowing they won't know who helped, only that someone did. I've also been on the other end of exactly that charity... when I was unable to come up with said 5 dollars, but my child was able to go simply because of the anonymous charity of another....

Over the years I have not given as much as I should... not nearly as much as I should. I have been given a great deal, and I have graciously (I HOPE!) accepted what is needed. Almost 2 years ago, when we were in a car accident (my fault) that totaled my minivan, and nearly totally Lion's truck and my oldest son Elephant. Elephant was flown by helicopter to a children's hospital an hour away.. . at the time I was 36 weeks preggers with Vixen, and the other 3 children were being watched by Penguin, Meerkat, and Ostrich (God Bless You Penguin, Meerkat, and Ostrich) while Lion and I remained at the bedside of our critically injured son. Luckily, Elephant recovered very well in the hospital - he lost the use of a kidney and his spleen ruptured, both both healed well without surgery. After we returned home with Elephant from the hospital, I was told by his Pre-K teacher that the school had collected money to help our family through the crisis - I broke down. I accepted the money with humility in my heart and tears in my eyes.. At every point in Lion and my life together, when something was needed, it has always been provided... God takes such excellent care of our family. He, in his infinite wisdom, knew we would need financial help to get through the coming weeks, and months... and he helped others to see us as well. That money rode us over the coming financial storm, we got Lion's truck repaired and eventually bought a new-to-me van... but honestly I don't know how we would have made it without the help of those very kind and thoughtful people. Our meager letter of thanks could not convey my gratitude. God Bless You Thoughtful and Caring People.

Of course, charity comes in many forms...

Penguin frequently watches all 5 of my children at the drop of a hat - for FREE. And, I'm sure, NOT only because she loves them so much either... but because she knows we couldn't - can't - afford to pay her. God Bless You Penguin!!

Meerkat used to pay me to pick Penguin and Moose up at school, then to clean her floors, and after that to iron and starch her clothes... she didn't need to do that... I had nothing better to do besides watch TV... but she did it because she knew it would make me feel better to know that I was bringing in some small money to keep my family afloat - or just to help me keep my sanity. God Bless You Meerkat.

Eclectus frequently sends money to help with "unexpected needs" like school field trips, clothes, shoes, and ice cream for the kids, ER visits, or just when I get to the end of the month and realize that there's just NO WAY I can pay that bill!! "Mom... what am I going to do?"... of course, she wouldn't be able to do this without my Dad working so hard and so much that they have that little bit of extra to help us with. God Bless You Eclectus and Tiger.

I wish I could name everyone who has been so kind and wonderful and CHARITABLE over all these years, and all the years to come... and I pray that some day Lion and I will be able to pay the charity forward to others in need of help... until then, I will do my best to help where I can, and try to remember that sometimes we all need a little help.. that there is no shame in accepting what is needed from someone who is able and willing to give.. that God will continue to look after us and all His flock in His own way, and in His own time. Sometimes we must experience the hard times in order to know what true goodness is. So a heartfelt Thank You and God Bless you to anyone out there who had ever given freely out of the goodness and godliness of their hearts, to anyone in need - no matter how little or how much - you are all blessed in God's eyes, and you are all my heroes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hello Blog World!!

Hello all! I am Zookeeper Mama (aka: Mama Roo). Zookeeper Daddy (aka Lion) and I have been married nearly 11 years now and even after 5 (nearly 6) kids, we're still INCREDIBLY in love, and massively happy together. I still can't figure out why God has chosen to bless my life with such a wonderful man, but he did, and I'm oh-so grateful. Then, of course, He (in His infinite wisdom) further blessed us with 5 (going on 6) beautiful babies:

Tortoise is our oldest (and before you ask SHE chose her zoo animal - the others didn't get a say cause that's the way I am!) and is a beautiful, talented, intelligent girl.

Our Oldest Son - Elephant - comes next, he is calm, caring, sweet, and helpful boy.

Zebra is square in the middle (at least until December when the new baby will join us). Zebra is an introverted, silly, crazy, sweet, beautiful girl who does her own thing in her own time and flat-out ignores anyone she doesn't consider worth her time.

Monkey-boy is next, our (currently) youngest boy is the life of the party... incredibly outgoing and funny, adorable and sweet little boy.

Vixen is our (currently) youngest girl. She is GORGEOUS but cranky, sweet AND a jerk, sunshine AND rainclouds... she's alternately a JOY and a pain, but always my darlin girl.

Also, I am currently pregnant with our 6th baby (Koala) and "due" December 19th (but since 5 out of 5 children were consistently born 2 weeks early) will probably arrive sometime around the December 5th. We are scheduled for a gender ultrasound next Friday, but who knows if baby will cooperate and let us know which color clothing to buy ;-) PLEASE baby, let me know!!

Giggle's Zoo is physically located within 2 miles of the vast majority of Lion's family. I LOVE that his family is so closely linked, even if they don't talk for days, or weeks, they have regular family get togethers that are always a blast (I'm certain there will be several posts on Lion's family so I will pick their zoo names then). Lion's little Sister (Penguin) does need a specific mention as there's no one else on the face of this planet that's willing to take over Giggle's Zoo when the Zookeepers aren't home... and doesn't ask to be paid for it either!! So I guess I should make her the Zookeeper Alternate!! LOL Although Penguin and I had a REALLY rough start, we are as close (or closer) than sisters now, and I honestly don't know how I'd maintain sanity in this zoo without her (
although there ARE days when I think SHE will be the cause of me being locked into the nuthouse!).

MY family is spread out all over the country and are not particularly close emotionally. My parents (Eclectus and Tiger) live in Texas with my adopted little brother Peacock. Mom (Eclectus - an exotic bird - I choose this cause she owns one and she's a bit eclectic) and Peacock visit at least once a year for several weeks, but Tiger very rarely is able to come due to work. Other than my parents, I don't talk to my family except through facebook. *shrugs*

that's the long and short of my family and this crazy life I call Giggle's Zoo!!