Wednesday, November 12, 2008

parent-teacher conferences, birthdays, animals, voting and funerals

Man, I've been busy with work. I'm at a place right now where I'm exhausted at the end of the day, but wake up excited and eager to go back. The new animals are settling in really starting to respond to the keepers. The most exciting thing is that the giraffe boys are now eating sweet potato out of our hands. They were too nervous to approach us for several days, but they've calmed down and now come right up and use their foot-long, scratchy blue tongue to grab chunks from our hands. It is sooooooo cool!!!

All of the new animals are quarantined inside their barns for at least 30 days so I've been coming up with stuff for them to do. We play radios for most of them and the monkeys even have a television. I've been giving the lion boxes to tear apart and a bowling ball to play with. The red river hogs have a baby pool filled with mulch to root in, the zebra has a ball filled with hay and a horse apple toy that can have chunks of produce inserted. I've been emailing friends at other zoos for different enrichment ideas. Oh, and all the new animals have at least some level of training which is major enrichment in itself.

The first parent-teacher conferences of this school year were last week. I was a bit nervous about Logan's very young, fresh-out-of-school teacher, but she turned out to be pretty sensible. I liked her a lot. Her biggest concern is that Logan uses the bathroom EIGHT times a day. Seriously, Logan??? That's more than once an hour! I was kind of surprised because I don't think he does this at home! He certainly doesn't need to use every restroom at every store when we're out shopping. Eh. I had Gene talk to him about it. Otherwise, he's doing well with his schoolwork and while his behavior isn't perfect, he's no worse than any other kindergarten boy and not one of the labeled Class Troublemakers.

Kaylin's teacher is FANTASTIC!!! FINALLY, a teacher who just likes her for who she is and while she'd certainly like to see improvement in Kaylin's organizational skills, she isn't spewing dramatic warnings about FOURTH GRADE and lecturing that Kaylin doesn't CONFORM to NORMAL third grade behaviors. (Can you tell I'm still bitter about last year's teacher???) Gene and I walked into the room for the conference and the teacher just started laughing about things Kaylin says and does. We laughed the entire 15 minutes. I never thought a P-T conference could be fun! I love this woman and have a feeling she will be an all-time favorite.

Logan turned 6 on Saturday! It wasn't a "major" birthday for him like FIVE! was. He was just happy to be a year older. I think he was a bit disappointed that he didn't sprout up a foot overnight Friday night. We had a party at my parents' house Saturday night. Logan was thrilled to be with his cousins and (la la la la) Uncle Andy. He received some great presents, but his favorite of the moment was the card with MONEY from great-grandpa and grandma. It was hilarious. He opened the card and his eyes got huge and he couldn't stop smiling. He whipped out his wallet and put the money away. While the other kids were playing with his new toys, Logan and Pawpaw were counting his money over and over. I think he has something like $44 now. When asked what he's going to buy, he looks at you like you're crazy and says "I'm not going to SPEND it! I like the money!!!"

While at the party, I was talking to my dad and sis-in-law about the election. Gene chimed in that I had been disgusted with the election. I was confused for a second, because I was happy with the election results. I then remembered I was disgusted NOT with the election, but with voting. I complained that I arrived at the polls at 5:55am and was about 80th in line, with more than half of the people in front of me old people who could have voted at any time. I commented that I wished the old people would have voted before OR after their funeral so the people who had to go to work wouldn't have to wait so long! There was no reason for them to clog the early morning "working people" line. Whoops! I offended my grandma :) Her reaction?

"Soooooooze! Grandpa and I were thinking about going early, but we decided to vote AFTER our funeral and only waited five minutes!" I was like "EXACTLY." I was laughing so hard it hurt. Grandma tried to make me feel bad by saying it was Grandpa's first cousin's funeral, but she so completely proved my point that it just didn't work.

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