Blogmas: Wooden + Dots Ornaments

Hello!

As you may have noticed, and I still don’t know what happened because I had plans, but we didn’t put out any pumpkins this fall. My sister did, she decorated her entire front porch with various sizes of pumpkins, but we did not. I found it very surreal, because that’s my favorite thing to do in September and October is paint pumpkins. After that, I think my body was like, “okay, we need to find an alternative fast!” because this project came out of nowhere, but it ended up becoming a new favorite of mine.

In mid-October, I started looking for birthday gifts that weren’t books (I know it’s shocking!) and I found these wooden shapes and I sort of fell in love with them and then I found ones that were Christmas related and then all hell broke loose in my brain!

In the last year and a half, I’ve been watching a lot of reels and regular videos on YouTube of dot art. I still don’t remember what inspired the find in general, but I’m forever glad it came into my life. I used it in my 3 projects last Christmas. It was only a simple red dot here and there with a Q-Tip but it was still a new thing for me and I loved it. I have been working on it throughout 2021 and I finally felt comfortable enough to use the technique in my new project: the Christmas ornaments!


What you will need for this DIY:

  • Wood cut outs – it’s important for them to be “unfinished”
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Dotting tools
  • Damp washcloth
  • Paint palette or paper plate(s)

Before we get too into this part of the post, I wanted to show you how the ornaments came in the mail.

They were perfectly stuffed into this cute Santa Claus box. I was originally going to get the 160 pieces but I’m glad I switched to the 40 pieces because I would still be painting right now! Anyways, they were four traditional Christmas characters: a snowflake, bell, tree and baubles. You get 10 in each stack, so you have multiple designs you’d like to trade off, you are welcome to do it evenly. If you would like to purchase this set or the others, click here for the Amazon page. You also get clusters of string for each of the ornaments, plus a small bag of metallic beads, but I did not use them.

Raining Dots

I started with the Christmas trees, and I copied the same color scheme I did with my last project, so I mixed my green with a tiny bit of blue and I love how they all came out. After finishing all 10 trees with their base coats, I moved on to the trunk and I poured a small amount of brown into my palette, and I used one layer of paint for that part. I am a lover of DecoArt acrylic paints, (thanks to Lydia May on YouTube!) I usually don’t need more than two coats depending on the shade, and I was very happy with my color choices this time around, including the yellow!

Once everyone was in the process of drying, I switched my attention on my design ideas for a few of my baubles. I knew I wanted to create a series of animals, but I’m not really good at it so I went looking on Pinterest and found a great step-by-step guide of the Fox for my friend Brittany. She was the one who really inspired this part in the first place. I continued to search for guides of the Cow and Pig, but I wasn’t able to find anything, so they were basically all free-foot sketches. After that, I stopped for the day, and came right back to it the next day.

A couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to add another selection of dotting tools. I have the smaller sizes, and I’ve been using them for about a year now and they are very nice for me to grip my toes around and make my dots, but the others are various sizes and I have been wanting to get them for a while now because I wanted to try my foot at the larger dots. I am having issues how to grip them, but I expected that to happen. I knew I wasn’t going to go all out with my designs (honestly, I had the phrase, “less is more” in my mind the whole time!) and I tried to keep it that way.

When I came back to my trees, I was ready to decorate everybody, and I used two colors: yellow and a light gray (I mixed my gray with a tiny bit of white!) and I painted the stars with those colors and would switch the yellow star with silver garland. I was smart with this; I drew out a zig-zag design on most of them and would follow the lines with my dotting tool and I really loved it! Some look like traditional Christmas trees, but there are five of them with the “walking technique” which is coating your desired tool with paint and dotting down the canvas, I love this so much I did it to my Bonsai pot in the spring! My parents saw the final tree with this design, and they love it. Honestly, everyone I’ve shared it to, has expressed the same thoughts too!

So, here are how the trees turned out.

There Goes Rudolph!

The second (or third) shape were the bells. I wasn’t impressed with the bells at all, they were very boring even without paint on them…

My thinking behind them was the golden bells you normally see on pictures, but I could not get the yellow to turn to a pretty gold and I tried like three different times and was only successful after finishing with them. I was so mad at that point, but I moved on though. Since I had 10 of these bells, I was influenced by a fragment of a carol “with silver bells ringing” I kept hearing while doing the base colors and I created the silver hue again for the rest of my bells and I thought they looked so adorable!

I left to dry overnight and I was really worried about how boring they looked, so that night I thought about adding a reindeer face on it and in my dreams they looked so cute and I was over the moon when I started sketching out how I wanted the antlers to go, but once I started doing my dots I got a little worried because the design started to look a little bit like a pair of balls and by my second bell, I became terrified at what was appearing but thankfully my mom thought they were great, especially after I put the eyes and big red nose at the end.

The reindeer/bells are definitely my favorite, even with the cock and balls antlers, they still look amazing! I did a good job on them and that’s something I rarely do when it comes to painting, is enjoy what I am creating, and lately it’s been so fulfilling to believe in my artwork for the first time.

Let It…

For the third ornament, we have snowflakes.

I think both the trees and snowflakes were the easiest to do because they required a small set of skill. You can free hand your designs to make things simple and they would still end up being very beautiful. When I began on the snowflakes though, I thought I would be able to play with my various sizes of tools, but I rarely got away from the blue tool, which is a little bit bigger than the purple tool. I basically treated the flakes like the trees when it came to their designs and used the walking technique quite a bit throughout the process.

And like the trees, I kept my color scheme pretty limited, I only used white for the base and used two different blues, but my favorite shade was the bright, neon like because it reminded me of the Frozen films. I’ll be honest, I had Queen Elsa and Princess Anna (and of course, Olaf too!) in my head all while I was working on these and I’m glad I did because it got me out of my head, and I allowed myself to make mistakes with them because I mean every snowflake is one of a kind so I just left them the way they were… well, some of them! There were 3 that definitely had to be fixed but after I was done, I basically pushed them as far away as possible, so I wasn’t able to add more dots!

The Cast of Characters

Lastly, the bauble balls were my least favorite because I knew what I wanted to do with a few of them and it scared the living daylights out of me! I got through in one piece thank God, but not without psyching myself out in the first round.

So, like I explained above while I was waiting for my trees to dry, I got started on figuring out what I wanted for three of my baubles, the rest was pretty much left until I did the base coats. I treated the baubles like the bells, as I split them up as they were painted in traditional Christmas colors: green and red. I was so worried the red would be too dark for my animal baubles, but thankfully they design held up great against the paint, and I was still able see every part.

My biggest worry now was, do I have a brush that was small enough to paint the character without creating a big mess around it, and I was thoroughly surprised as I found a tiny brush that was not only perfect for the designs, but it quickly became a favorite of mine because it allowed me to gain back some of the control as far as what I wanted to bring into each animal. I didn’t stop using my dotting tools though as I had made the eyes and noses with a small tool, and they turned out as adorable as my Rudolph/reindeers in the end.

When I was done with them, I was fairly tempted to leave the rest of the baubles plain, but I thought they looked too boring for that, and I started experimenting and I made array of different ones but I did one that spells the word “Woof” for a family friend, they have a Pittie and they recently got a Beagle puppy so as my mom told me, “it fits” for them, and then I surprised myself again but creating two baubles in a Ugly Christmas Sweater design and I’m still upset I did just do that with the rest but it was just a beautiful disaster that I need to remember for next Christmas!

Bring Me the Rainbow

My final bauble is very special because it is my nephew’s. Nolan has become obsessed with the moon and rainbows, and since I already got him a Moon phase garland for his room, I figured I needed to bring out his love for the rainbow too, so I reserved a bauble ornament for him. I don’t know why I didn’t do this with my nana’s ornament since she too is obsessed with the rainbow! Oh well, I will make a note of this for next year!

I was thrilled to do this for Nolan but I was also terrified too because I had to use the ruler to create a series of lines for each color, and honestly, this was a doozy! I was having a hard time making six, somewhat equal, lines for each dot and it was a hard task at first but once I got it all figured out, I poured out my paint on my palette and got to work on the actual dots.

This media has also become a favorite of my nephew too. He currently had two or three CDs I’ve made in the last year or so, the first one he just took home and the others I gave him because he kept holding onto them. I think in the new year, I will try to teach him how to do it so he can be excited about his own creations too! Anyways, I used my pink tool, which is the middle size and honestly, it was actually perfect for this design. I was going to use the tiny brush again to remove the empty spaces in between the dots but I stopped myself from doing it and messing the entire ornament up. Nolan was very excited to get his ornament. I don’t think he understood at first why I had given him a different design compared to his mommy’s pink reindeer, but I know he will cherish it nonetheless!

It is strange when a small thought that can appear in the middle of a sleepless night, can grow into such a huge project and yet bring so much good to a slice of the world. Homemade gifts are good for the soul. I give kudos to anyone who has a small business and fix up orders every day, because that is no small feat! As I told my nana the other day, now that I am done painting and the cards were shipped out and people are receiving their ornaments, I still feel like I need to be doing something, and I really hope it was finishing this post.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading my process with this project. It was fun while it lasted, and now I can relax for the rest of this break. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a lovely time with your family, friends and/or pets. For anyone else, have a wonderful weekend!

Meet Our New Puppy!

Hello!

This year has been a little bittersweet for my family as in late March, we lost our beloved dog ChiChi, three days before we left to visit some family up north. For those of you who never had a chance to meet ChiChi, she was a feisty little thing! She barked at literally everything, people, dogs, the cats, and even poor Nolan… We were happy that she had turned her tune of him in the last two months before her passing, but if he was outside and she was sunbathing in front of the screen door she would bark and bark at him for trespassing on her property.

Her death was hard on all of us, but it probably affected my dad the most as they were best buds, although I clearly remember him almost keeping her away from him when we first brought her home. I remember coming home from school and hearing my mom tell me about how they went to Walmart and dad was so worried about her getting stuck in the couch and being like that for a couple of hours, so they ended up taking her with them. Apparently she was stuffed inside mom’s purse because at that time she had a big purse and she told me, it was like Bruiser bobbing his head out of Elle’s bag at the end of Legally Blonde, she was so alert and curious of everything, but this was also before she learned how to be a guard dog too!

When my mom goes to work, it was just the three of us. Dad, ChiChi and I hanging out and fighting against sleeping the whole afternoon. ChiChi would sleep a lot. She was as bad as the cats sometimes! However, when she was awake, dad would cuddle and play with her, until he would venture outside and it was just me and the dog. Once he would leave, it was hard to resist making her sing while inside her blankets in the living room. She loved to howl (sing) to the theme songs of Cops, The Golden Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the operatic J.G. Wentworth commercial. After she died, I have heard that commercial five times and my parents do not watch Cops anymore because that was one of her absolute favorites!


Since she’s been gone, we’ve had three chances to get a new dog.

I think the main reason why it took so long was because my dad was very committed to the possibility whereas my mom wasn’t feeling the idea at all. I actually remained pretty neutral about it. I understood why dad wanted another dog but also get my mom’s reasons behind it too. I tried my best to talk them into letting my cat Stormy inside instead but neither one thought it was a good idea since he sheds quite a bit and he has never spent a lot of time indoors either.

It wasn’t until late July that my folks were on the same wavelength and decided to search for another dog. They were mainly searching into German Shepherds since they are mom’s favorite breed. I wanted another pittie and I almost got dad to follow along with me until they stumbled upon a couple of Belgian Milionis puppies. They are one of my dad’s favorite breeds, and I think what got his attention is that the guy who was saling them was a police officer or something like that and the father of the pups was his K-9. The guy was also looking for $800 but got him to go down on the price by half and that’s how we ended up with Rumer.

She was born around Memorial Day weekend so she is around 13 weeks (I think) by the time this post goes out, and she has finished with her final shot, and I’m happy to say as the vet was not ChiChi’s favorite person, Rumor loved him! Technically, dad and I spell her name with a “U” instead of an “E” so don’t be surprised if you see some mistakes on here and my social medias!

One of the things that the breeder told my parents was she likes to bite feet… And for the record, she does in fact enjoy this hobby, but the only time she bites me is whenever I try to play with her. For the most part, she would rather lick my feet instead and we are very grateful for it. She is actually incredibly adorable and is already showing off how she will protect you or me in this case. If you want to get close to me, you have to get through her first. She doesn’t quite know the deal about my wheelchair, much less how I go to the bathroom. If dad is helping me, she barks at us. I think she thinks I’m hurting him because she is ALWAYS around dad, but when mom takes me, she barks at her.

She has figured out how to jump into my bed, but not the couch, and I’m sure dad is hoping that day comes soon because she continues to eat like our cats, which is all the time. Speaking of the cats, her welcoming present from Bootsie was a big wack on the head when she went over to sniff at her. Two days later Grumpy got ahold of her as they walking outside for a bathroom break. Rumor is very curious of our cats though, and thanks to our back deck, they are able to see each other and watch the other’s movements. According to my mom, Felix did let her smell him the other day without any attacks so there is hope that maybe some will become friends with her one day.

Lastly, we kept ChiChi’s bed (although she mostly used it as a toy box than a bed!) and since she’s still small, she fits perfectly in it. Unfortunately, she’s ripped a hole in it and now she only has her blanket to lay on but I think she’s better with it, everytime she gets a toy or dental bone she’ll put everything on the blanket. My parents purchased a medium size cage for her and that’s where her food bowl is located but she hates being in it obviously. The other day Nolan came over and we had to put her in it and she actually did better than she had earlier this month.

When you have lost a family pet, how long did you wait until you brought home another animal? Are you familiar with the breed: Belgian Milionis? Do you have any advice on training or anything else for my family? Please share down in the comments.

Nolan’s Birthday | 10 Gift Ideas Under $100

Hello!

I am so excited to do this post, I actually wanted to do this last year but I wanted to make this more for other families who have a little boy around Nolan’s age range so what was suppose to help our families, can help everyone! You can purely look at this as a wish list for him but you could look at this as ideas for Christmas too, although most of the items are under $20–I didn’t plan on that, it just happened!–I went for stuff he would love for the summertime. Every item I talk about in this post is subject to change, but even if some of them do, it would still be under $100 on Walmart’s website!

Nolan has a lot of interests, and according to his babysitter and OT, he is very smart and has a good imagination! He is very busy but he loves to get cozy with his blankets, books, stuffed animals and watch movies. And like every other little boy in the world, he loves anything wheels… so he has over 300+ cars, tractors, trucks, and a single toy wheelchair that is affectionally dubbed “Meghan’s” everytime he finds it through the basket at our house! I tried to remember the main things I knew he would enjoy the most for when I was creating the post but I think it could work for any kid in his age range too.

Blippi: Let’s Look and Find Book – $8.08

This year, I think, the theme will be about Blippi because he is utterly obsessed with this dude! He doesn’t watch him at our house so I’m not exactly familiar with him but I knew if I didn’t add anything Blippi related I’d probably get in trouble with him, so I was very happy to find this book. To me, it looks like this generation’s “Where’s Waldo” and/or “I Spy” and I think he might like it for that because he’s always had an eye for finding things – when he was a baby, he could find holes in things like clothes you didn’t even know about at the time!

It actually looks pretty hefty which considering the rest of his boxes, he might be ready for these thicker ones now.

Pinkfong Baby Shark Ultimate Sticker and Activity Book – $5.88

Last Christmas, when he went to visit Brandon’s family, he came back with a sticker book that he thoroughly enjoyed and when I saw that they had one of Baby Shark, I thought it was too cute to ignore. Nolan enjoys singing along with the songs and even has Aunt Meg doing the hand motions with her feet (thankfully they’re very easy for me to do!) but nothing is more funnier than dad trying to dance and Nolan getting mad at him for not doing it the right way!

Marvel’s Superheroes Board Box – $10.47

Nolan is starting to fall in love with superheroes, and so far he likes Marvel characters. Although at first he was saying “Batman” but now he is obsessed with the Hulk and Spider-Man.

There is a show all about the Hulk and his mates on Disney+ and I think he started watching it with the bigger kids at the babysitters during the week because we didn’t introduce it to him. I want to show him like X-Men but I also don’t want to scare the little dude either so I’m trying to hold off on as much as possible.

So while looking through Walmart’s website I saw this box full of books about Marvel’s characters, even I became a little jealous! The site says there are 12 books included and considering how cheap the entire block is, that’s really nice! They also have Pixar, Paw Patrol and Frozen blocks as well.

Large Plush Sloth Toy – $10.00

Besides his Hot Wheels cars, he also has a large amount of stuffed animals. He has two of my Husky pups in his toy hamper at our house but he also has Mimi’s cow she use to have on the kitchen table too! So, it was only right to include another one of his favorite animals to the mix, which is a sloth. There were a lot of different sloths but this was my favorite because it looks so cuddly and cute. He really would love it to pieces!

Bubble Play 64oz – $14.99

Another one of his favorite things in the world is bubbles! He has always loved bubbles since he was itty bitty, and it is so nice to see that he loves them so much because it is something that I still love too, so I thought it would be smart to include it in the list too.

M&M Character Candy Case – $3.00

This one might be a little weird, but for the past six months, Papaw has been giving him a handful of M&Ms from his secret stash and for a while, it was the only chocolate thing he would eat, but we think because they were covered in various colors that he wouldn’t see it as chocolate because everytime we tried to give him ice cream with chocolate syrup or chocolate chip cookies, he’d stay away from them.

I was hoping to find M&M plush toys but I think I will have to go on Amazon for that but then I saw these and I was like, I think he’d enjoy having the figurines up in his room.

Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Train & Race Car Paint Kits – $13.40

One of things that Nolan has been really interested to do is paint! I have to thank his occupational therapist for this because he use to hate having his hands dirty, and considering his mommy and I use to spend most of our childhood digging along the sidewalk of our nana and papaw’s house was very odd. Thankfully, he doesn’t mind getting a little messy now!

What I really liked about these kits is that they are wooden, so they are sturdy (hopefully) enough to last through Nolan’s playing and can be packed up and stored somewhere after he has grown out of them too. I just thought they would be cute to do with him or he could do them with his parents!

Garbage Truck Toys – $30.88

I have not included a lot of cars and trucks into this post because he has his fair share of these items already but if you are looking for something that could keep your child happy with multiple toys in one present, this might be your ticket for a lot of excitement!

It has over 10 trucks included and they range of various careers like construction to farming, and I thought it was pretty impressive honestly. It definitely could be worth the $30 in the end, you never know!

Play Food – $9.97

My nephew still loves his play kitchen, unfortunately, it didn’t come with food and for some odd reason, he still doesn’t have any after two years! I feel bad for him because he still “makes” us things and will use his actual snacks in the dishes so I feel like the poor kid needs something and thankfully, they are incredibly cheap on the website so that’s why I decided to include it on this post.

Melissa & Doug’s Vehicles 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles – $9.79

Another thing that he really likes are puzzles. My mom bought him this little tin of puzzles for Christmas but nothing is in English nor did it come with an actual picture of how it was suppose to look like after you finish! We’ve had to hide it from him because we still don’t know what to do with it.

Once I started searching for puzzles, I was very careful as to what I was looking for, easy for all ages and most importantly for the adults, the main language is English! And I found Melissa and Doug brand of puzzles and I thought these would be perfect as you get more than one puzzle and again, they are wooden so they will definitely last longer than any of puzzle piece I think. And of course, they are of various vehicles, so I think we have a winner here.

I really hope you find this post helpful for you, as at this moment, I will not be doing a post for toddler girls but in the future, if you would like me to do it for Christmas, please let me know and I will consider the option. For anyone who have used these products in the past or present, I would also like to hear your thoughts (both good and bad!) and will relay the information back to my family.

If you could, what is one item on this list that you would purchase for their little man?

Life | Love, Death & Sickness

WARNING: I don’t usually do this, but I felt the need to include this little warning for anyone who can be triggered by the events that have happened recently. It involves a death of a beloved pet.

Hello!

This past month has been a freaking roller coaster! There were so many random things happen that were bad and good that they’re starting to blend together. For today’s post, we are going to go back to the very beginning of the chaos and weed out the special things that happened.

We start at the last day of March. It was a bittersweet kind of day for my whole family. I was able to get on the floor early in the day to go outside and visit with the cats, and after I came back inside I decided to hang out with my mom and ChiChi The last few days, Chichi had been feeling like crap. She was having issues breathing and my dad had noticed her heart was running a lot faster than normally, to the point where my mom was having to monitor with her nursing equipment. Anyways, while I was in the living room and actually leaning up against her “step” onto the couch and as I was doing it, the little dog decided to scare the crap out of me by coming out behind me and licking half of my face until she was ready to get down on the floor again.

She was enjoying lying on her blanket basking in the sun by the front door. I had been told to not play with her because of how she’d been feeling the past couple of days, so I gave her some of her toys and we enjoyed looking at our neighborhood for a little bit. After a few minutes, she decided that it was too hot and she curled up next to mom on the couch. After a few minutes I asked my mom to help me back on top of my bed, and then all hell broke loose. Chichi had collapsed at the bottom of her step and had a seizure, which resulted in my parents taking her to the vet immediately where they made the ultimate decision to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

The best thing about this story though was what happened when they arrived at the vet’s office. He was just about to close for the day and was probably looking forward to going home, but ChiChi wanted to make sure she left this world on her own terms. She tried to bite the bastard, so they had to put her in a muzzle but I have to say, I hope when it’s my time to go, I want the same amount of spunk in my veins to do something like that!

We are still healing after her loss. The house is definitely quieter without her high-pitched barks at the poor neighbors that enter the house or yard. I’ve had the operatic J. G. Wentworth commercial eight times and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to ask my parents where ChiChi is, and I know she can’t be anywhere on the couch because my mom doesn’t keep a blanket out for her. The food bowls and pee towels are put up and her step has been fixed to match with the rest of the couch. The only thing that is still out are her toys and none of us have dared to move them yet. I actually sleep with her blanket she used to soak up the sun to cover my feet at night.

Two days later, we left home to start our road trip to visit my mom’s side up north. We hadn’t seen anybody since late September I think. The drive went pretty good, we were unable to visit our favorite Starbucks in Martinsville because they were working on the road and GPS took us on another route that really messed with us. My brother-in-law Brandon was driving and I sat in the passenger seat with limited space for my legs and feet but as we reached Indy, Brandon and I were more than uncomfortable at that point. I had to literally remind the both of us to be patient as we attempted to shift positions in our seats. Our destination couldn’t arrive fast enough for us!

Once we got there, I heard Brandon’s back pop like four times. After my sister opened my door and removed the pillows that were shoved underneath my feet for the whole ride; I was so happy to bend my legs again and they were somewhat sore for like an hour later. As we went into my aunt and uncle’s house and hugged everyone, I was busy observing my nephew have an absolute blast with my Aunt Laurie and nana. He showed them his cars and played with Myla a couple of times too. It wasn’t long before we ate pizza and had even more family come over for the evening. My cousin Amy and her wife Danielle and their kids came over. Nolan had playmates and was thoroughly enjoying himself! He was a flirt and a mooch at the same time.

However, once we began nighttime, either we were delirious after the long day with driving, playing and talking our heads off, Nolan wanted nothing to do with sleeping and he became a complete goofball. We all slept in the living room and Nolan is used to having a fan and nightlight, and as we were inching towards sleep, he wanted to argue who he wanted to sleep with and at that point, we had the lights off but one cell phone light that shone brightly on the wall and Nolan was like Peter Pan and found his shadow and we just erupted with laughter! Suddenly everything he did in those couple of minutes were hilarious and I mean, I had tears coming out of my eyes and I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thankfully, he figured out the best position was in between his mom and dad and we all drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Laurie and Mike made breakfast of both cinnamon and orange rolls! It has become a great traditional and is the only time I get to have my favorite orange rolls because neither one of my parents like them!

On the agenda for that Saturday, once Uncle Rick came over the younger kids were going to hunt eggs all along the front yard and it was so precious to watch all three of them search for the eggs. Amy and Danielle had made Nolan special eggs and they were full of different goodies like candy (he likes gummies the most!) and little toys, but the most popular were the confetti eggs! He had so much fun and was sweet enough to share his treasures with his mommy, mimi, and his favorite bestie: Danielle.

After the eggs, we went back inside to have some lunch and I wasn’t able to eat very much but I figured it was because of the rolls I had a few hours ago. Now there was something very different about this visit, because Easter finally landed on my nana’s birthday. So, once most of the guests were finishing with their plates, the cake was brought out and it was so good! My Aunt Laurie made array of cupcakes in both carrot cake and vanilla batters. I had a vanilla cupcake and it was really good, but my eyes were still glued to my nana’s as it much larger than anyone else’s and I knew she would make it last for a while as she has her own freezer for this exact purpose! She’s smart like that but really, she just has a bad sweet tooth!

The next thing we did was make our way into the garage to paint Easter and spring-y scenes. My nana and I each had a different thing, she had this beautiful bumblebee windmill that she did very well on and I got this beautiful sign that is of a mason jar of flowers with the words “Hello Spring” at the bottom. I took my time on it, because I was working with something I don’t usually do and I am still shocked how good I was able to do the lettering, because I was going to have my sister do that part because she can do various things with this sort of thing but Danielle and I were the last ones to finish our masterpieces. I was thoroughly impressed with what I was able to do with it!

Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot that happened after that. My uncle David made a late appearance and I remember seeing him and enjoying his voice and laughter again, and then I wanted to go on the couch and Nolan also went to lay down on the lounge chair on the opposite side of the living room, and we both passed out. I’ve been known to crash early but usually I show symptoms of it like crankiness or just being uncomfortable and since I was just painting and having a great time like not even 15 minutes before this, it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The next day I felt fine again but I just thought it was from the pain I had and took medicine for while in the garage that afternoon. We didn’t leave Sunday until probably noon but we hugged everyone and I made sure I had enough for any movement in my seat because I refused to be stuck in the same place for a 4 hour drive back home!

Sunday night, I felt pretty good overall. I allowed myself to relax and watch some TV, but honestly all I did was binge watch Criminal Minds on Netflix and had a good sleep that night. As far Monday, it was absolutely beautiful! I was able to go outside with my current Harry Potter book, journal, and camera to hang out with the cats on the deck. We have found out that sitting on a rug helps my bottom a lot especially for multiple hours! It has been somewhat odd to sit like on the wood without being in my wheelchair mainly because I am up close with our cats again and they are clearly loving this just as much as I am and really hope I get to continue to do this as we go into summertime!

And then, everything changed and time seemed to go faster than any other time, including the three day visit I just did basically, because the same day I have a steady knowledge of was the 7th of April 2021, after that, everything is a blur. In the matter of two days, I came down with the stomach flu. I hadn’t had it since possibly late 2008 or early 2009. In the thick of it though was probably the worst because I was so depressed as I was sick. I despise being sick in any form but stomach flu has to be the worst in my opinion because I was basically attached to my commode for 72 hours at best. I wouldn’t eat anything other than applesauce, popsicles, and ice cubes. I drank Gatorade and water like they were nothing and tried so many pills to make everything stop flowing out of my body. I was having to call my mom every 20 minutes or less and would have to call her in the middle of the night for the same reasons. It was so much and I just wanted out of there emotionally and mentally, and then as suddenly as it came into our house, it went away.

I have been extremely lucky at avoiding different sicknesses, except for what happened at the start of 2020. Other than that, I have not experienced anything else and I do not understand how it came about because we only had two other members come down with similar things but nothing was hardcore as mine. The first three days I started getting better, I was so hungry and would literally ask my mom if she was going to the store to look for this , this, and that. I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting food but as my body began to center again, the cravings subsided and I am not as worried about how much movement I do that could produce bad consequences for everyone!

Okay, I think I am finally done talking about everything. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy their Easter weekend and to anyone who has the stomach bug or who had it recently, I really hope you start to feel better sooner rather than later.

Life | Meet Da Bunnies!

Hello.

Well, we have had some new additions to our family, and no, it’s not a baby!

My sister and brother-in-law have started their own little rabbit farm.

I don’t really know how it got started, but one day at the end of February, they came home from a day of doing errands and brought home a bunny from Rural King. During this time, they have a series of farm animals for sale there. They have baby chickens, ducks, birds, bunnies, and sometimes piglets. The only time I’ve been there, my mom and I spent too much time at the baby chicken station. They were SO adorable but we knew it would be a lost cause bringing them home because our cats would definitely make a meal out of them! .

Before I continue, I have to mention that we do know if they are short or long haired rabbits, nor do they know the exact breeds either! I think we should just be happy that we know each is a boy or a girl instead! My sister has never taken care off rabbits before. I’m not so sure about Brandon, but they’re making the most of it though.

151206218_3527529334039666_7867404390755435175_nHopsin

This was the first rabbit they bought, as you can see Hopsin looks like she could be a long hair bunny, but honestly she only has this in patches along her body. All around her face is short except for the very top, so she has a “woke up like this” look to her everytime of the day, but I think it gives her more personality.

The first time she came over, we kind of trapped her in my room but she must’ve like it because she never stomped the floor very much! She definitely loved my bed though, at one point after she was finished exploring every inch of my bed, she found a comfortable spot and just kicked her back legs out and laid down and we were all in love after that!

After that, my mom was a little afraid she would get too relax and pee on my bed so Blondie put her on the floor and she was back to sniffing everything in my room. She decided that lying underneath my wheelchair was the best place ever! In her defense, it is next to my closet and kind of dark in that corner so she obviously felt safe in that little space to the point where she did the same thing when she was on my bed, and just went flat on the cool floor. If we knew she wouldn’t chew on any cords or go under the door of my actual closet and get lost in there, we would have just let her stay over there for a while. She looked so content and sweet over there, it was sad when my sister decided to go back home!

I watch a lot of different vet shows on the National Geographic WILD channel, so I have learned quite a few things about rabbits in general. One thing that I remembered the most was that rabbits are very social, and they like to be in pairs, so it wasn’t too long before they went and got a buddy for Hopsin–actually, they didn’t even last a day! They came home with DaBaby.

151832882_3527529267373006_5418038604478109955_nBunz

I tried to warn you when I said they had started giving them rap names! 

When one became two, Nolan was beginning to get really interested in them. He has only been around cats and dogs, so rabbits are relatively new to him, but he seemed to form some kind of bond with Bunz. The reason why the name was changed to this, is because they are not looking to breed any of their rabbits, but wasn’t sure what sex this one was at the time so it was automatically named “DaBaby” but once they found out it was a girl, she ended up as “Bunz” . I don’t really know the significance behind it so I apologize for that!  

Bunz is absolutely adorable! Hopsin being black and white like their cat Samuel, Bunz is an entirely color to any of their animals in their house. Bunz is all shades of brown with a little bit of pink in her ears. Before bunny #5, she was the tiniest of the pack and I thought it was perfect for Nolan. He loves to give them their breakfast and thinks they eat cute and interesting! I have seen try to eat his crackers like them in the last three visits so he has been watching quite a bit but honestly it’s so sweet that as long as he doesn’t get choked, I think we’ll be okay about it.

If you didn’t know Blondie is attractive to animals. She is the main reason why Bootsie wasn’t able to leave our back yard when she first came around, our dad had told her to keep working with her to become comfortable with people, but after her dog Sydney died, nobody could bear to break her away from Bootsie so we ended up keeping her and thus, she started birthing liters and liters of kittens before we finally had to stop it and got all of the cats fixed. Funnily enough, now that she lives on the corner of our block, Bootsie now lives over there, underneath this bench that she dressed bottom part with cushions and a large blanket to shield them away from the cold. Oscar, Bear-Bear and Tavis all live over there and only come back when the humans come over to visit us!

152834021_3531959006930032_96444902443671838_nThumper & Chance 

Now, there was a reason why I mentioned about the story of Bootsie, because my sister can’t really be trusted to go on solo missions when animals, especially ones that are on sale, because if they look sweet or injured – like in this case, because she will come home with more than one species. I have to say, she’s done this before because one time we came home with 2 sets of hamsters in a number of four years! This should have been our warning that no animal is safe because she will bring it home!

So, this is Thumper and Chance the RapHare. I don’t know exactly know how they came up with Thumper, other than maybe watching Bambi recently but Brandon definitely named Chance (the bigger one!) after the actual rapper. One of the things that is both sad and special about these guys are, she got them for the fact that they were injured. You might be able to tell in the photo, as they each look like they have missing fur around their noses. As you might’ve noticed, these are both boys and don’t worry, they have their own cage. They live next door to the sorority house, so hopefully no baby bunnies anytime soon!

These guys were actually the first ones that I got to meet, because just after coming home, they came right over so I could see them. They enjoyed exploring the living room and kitchen. What we didn’t expect them to do was hang out around our fan in the kitchen. They seriously just sat in front of it and chilled out for a bit. Our dog ChiChi was curious about these guys but for the most part, didn’t mind them as much!

151797352_3522769534515646_5152127849276818603_nTrixie

I almost forgot about this one. My sister just randomly came home with her. We thought that after getting the boys, that they were done, but I know my sister too well – she has a soft spot for anything left behind and with Bunz, Trixie and Letti (as you’ll meet soon!) were all the last bunnies in the container at the store.  

This bunny is named Trixie, but I’m not too sure how she came up with that name but I wonder if our cat Tavis had inspired it as he is also black and white too! Tavis is also one of the quietest love bug out of the entire pride, and I haven’t heard too much about Trixie so I’m thinking her demeanor might be close to him. 

Personally, I think she is my favorite as she is mostly white with a tiny bit of black. She reminds me of their cat Samuel as he is all white with a few black shapes around his whole body, but Trixie is definitely smaller compared to Samuel! I think it’s far to say all of the rabbits are smaller than Samuel, because he is like a monster with a huge body and a small head!

Unfortunately, that’s all I can say about her right now. She seems to be a very chill bunny compared to all of the others, but the next one is somewhat similar too, which is how I was able to completely skip Trixie in the process!

155888494_3557424364383496_6680387382770280284_oLetti Lou

She took what our parents use to say to us ALL THE TIME when we were growing up, and that was, “when you move out of the house, you can own as many animals as you want.” It wasn’t until she took another solo trip that I begin to hear the voices of my parents saying that exact statement in my head over and over again. A part of me had to laugh because she came home with Miss Letti Lou. This one is actually smaller compared to the rest of the herd. I vaguely remember Blondie saying that she was around 8 weeks, but we’re not too sure though. She does really good with her sisters, so that’s all that matters!

Letti is the second bunny to not be inspired by a rapper, according to my sister, she named her after the character Letty from the Fast & Furious franchise. My poor sister hasn’t watched the entire series but remembers when our Uncle David took us to see the newest film at the time, and it had to been when Letty was found and Dom went to get her back, so my mind is saying Fast Five is the exact movie, but there have been so many that I’ve sort of lost track but I think I’m right though! Anyways, Letti Lou is by far the smallest and the color of her fur is the same tone as what Blondie’s hair use to be back in school, so I find it odd that she found a bunny like her in some way!

160771608_3592360780889854_8346094878614777932_nAxel & Onyx

And finally, we have hit the last two rabbits (at least we’re hoping so!) and for a few days, my dad didn’t know about these guys! For a good three weeks he only thought they had four bunnies, but Blondie and Brandon haven’t taken loads of pictures so for the most part he hasn’t seen them. I have a feeling that once this post goes up, he’ll find out all about them. 

Now this photo was taken a few days after they got them so they’ve probably put on some weight since they came home. I think Onyx is the on the left, as he is a lot darker to his brother. Axel has some brown tones in him but he is very spunky and unafraid of the cats. Blondie sent a video on Facebook to show Axel roaming around the living room and when Em called for him, he came back but first had to sniff–or at least try to!–Samuel and this seemed to spook him enough that Samuel went flying into the kitchen with Axel on his heels and what was so hilarious by it was the fact that Axel couldn’t stop, even after trying to spread his front paws out and that still didn’t help him all that much at first, but thankfully, he did figure out how to stop, but the whole thing was so cute and funny that I can’t get it out of my mind!

The rest of their household seems to mind the rabbits okay. The cats are a little unsure, especially when they are out of their cages, but for the most part the cats can tolerate them. Chipper, however, he is desperately looking for a playmate I guess and doesn’t quite understand why the new kids on the block can’t rough house with him. He is curious about them and loves to hang out by their cages, he is a very protective big brother to the cats, Nolan and now the bunnies! So far, everybody is getting along and loves to cuddle with everybody, including me! Dad doesn’t really care for them all that much but I think he’s fine with it, if he doesn’t have to necessarily have to do anything with them…

Have you taken care of rabbits before? If you have, how many did you have and what were their names? Do you have any advice for them or any other people wanting to take care of a bunny full time?