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Summer Speed

That’s the best way I can describe it. We have spent the E.N.T.I.R.E. summer at a super-awesome-summer-speed. Enjoying hours upon hours at the beach, sprinkled with a few more hours at the parks. We have even been the pool far less than we have in the past summers, and just thoroughly enjoyed full 7-8-9 hour days on the beach. In June it felt like we had an eternity to enjoy this. In July, I was still pretty much in the state of denial that summer would ever end. And now…. mid-August and it seems that not only has the summer started to come to a very desperate point (where you squeeze in every last second of summer bliss), but also where it seems that fall is making its appearance WAY.TOO.EARLY (at least in my book)!

So, I shamefully glanced at my site this evening saw that I had not posted since late July. Well…. I will say for very good reason for when we were not at the beach, all kinds of exciting were happening around here.  So, let us start with the most exciting happenings around here this summer…. I can’t recall if I have ever posted about the newest family member. James. S/he entered our life on D’s birthday, so you may have heard about him/her then. James is D’s birthday guinea pig surprise. The most adorable guinea pig ever, really. I went to three different stores to find ‘the perfect pig’ for my baby. I was lucky to find all of the supplies needed on freecycle, which really was the instigator to this surprise happening in the first place. At any rate, the 3rd store I go to, Wilmette Pet Center, picks up the pig of our choice, and without looking ‘at’ the pig, claims that this was a boy pig that I was purchasing. Now, I really did not care either way. I just wanted to let D know so that she could choose a name she wanted.

Next morning we present her little piggy surprise and she is not only elated, but very promptly named him James. It was true love at first sight. Awesomeness.

So…. just a couple weeks goes by and she claims something is growing on James and she’s worried. I check ‘it’ out and sure enough…. James is growing nipples. Hmmm….. So we go to the internet and google “how to sex your guinea pig”…. sure enough, Mr. James is really Jamesita. So, ok, she really did not care either way. But makes the funniest statement of all…. “wouldn’t it be so cool if James got pregnant?” (Before you ask, YES, we have never changed her name. James still remains James, because she is just a James. You’d know it if you met her.) So, no sooner does she mutter these words do we find out….. yep.

Just a couple weeks after that, D decides James really really needs a bath. I, for one, do not think we bath guinea pigs. But…. again back to the internet and sure enough, those longer hair pigs do need a bath. Well, ok. Go figure YouTube has a video for every occasion. We figure out how to give James her bath and proceed to do so together. Now, as James is getting wetter and wetter, and her hair is becoming more matted, I think to myself, “wow…. her belly is quite large. Either she is… preg—- (no, impossible), or she has some sort of digestive thing going on there.” Of course, I’m not saying anything to D because I really don’t need her to freak out about it. But then D turns James over on her back so I can help wash her belly, and WOA! her  nips have quadrupled in size! “Hmmmm…..  D….  I think James might be pregnant.”

D: WHAT?!?!?

Back to the internet we go. We find the gestational information and a description of how to feel the babies (if she is indeed pregnant). I instruct D on how to feel and with in seconds her eyes are nearly on the floor. Sure enough…. we feel little scurrying around inside her belly! So…. we calculate how long ago we got her (about 6 weeks at that point) and from the information on the internet, you feel the babies at about 7 weeks, give or take. So we were predicting a beginning of August delivery. At some points at the end of July SBJ and S were drumming and play music to try to help her induce labor : ) We were guessing and predicting how many babies and when. My guess was about 4 babies (maybe 5) on the full moon. Sure enough…. 4 babies born August 1st!!! What a delight!

So, we missed the actual delivery of the babies, but walked in the door the second it had just happened. The babies were still quite wet, and she was cleaning them. We say her chow down on her placenta, and just thoroughly enjoyed every second. We stared at the clock for the next hour because we read we could pick them up as early as an hour after delivery. We waited a wee-bit longer than that just to ensure we would not upset James or anyone. We spent the next hour or more naming them all. We have James Junior (J.J.), Chocolate Swirl (Coco), Master Shifu (or Shifu), and Okosi. They are the coolest, cutest, cuddliest bunch and so far…. we have opted to keep them all. Just a week after birth we ended up building the master-suite of guinea pig cages. It’s a pretty sweet gig, and has a super sweet cleaning tray, making it a TON easier for D to clean up after them.

I can easily say we’re all in love with them!

So, I don’t even know that I can top that story! The rest of these past couple of weeks has been getting used to these new/very hungry and messy members of our family, meeting friends at the Botanic Gardens, the beach (of course), the park, our first full moon family jam at the beach, and lovely lazy weekends at home. On a personal note, I have been very busily getting ready for my new role as Director of Golden Rule Sunday School at the Ethical Humanist Society, preparing art classes for AJCW, and maintaining (and soon closing up) the registration for Homeschool Youth Soccer League (HYSL). (This is where the fall seems to be attempting to start earlier than it should!)

And in that same respecet, the kids have been excited to pick out classes for the fall as well. New opportunities have been popping up everywhere, and they are excited to get back into that swing of things. I, on the other hand, feel a bit apprehensive. I do, absolutely, love our routine and opportunities as unschoolers, however I, for one, will *miss dearly* the beach. I worry how we will all adjust to doing anywhere from 15-20 hours on the beach to…. none. Gulp. Just have to concentrate on the excitment of the fall opportunities and look forward to the beach next spring-summer. (Though to be quite honest, we will continue to go to the beach as much as possible…. at least till it’s too cold to go.)

This weekend I am hosting my teacher’s meeting over at EHS, and just a few nights ago I was able to check off another prerequisite for my BWI/CBE certification! I hope to re-concentrate more on BWI this weekend after the meeting. I have a high-set-goal to be teaching by the end of Sept. or very early October. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!


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