Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My father (also known at school as The Original Mr. Erb) turned 78 today so we took him out for bowling this morning. As anyone who knows the family, bowling has been our connecting sport... even though Pat, Jay, and Mr. John have all played softball together many-a-time. While Dad only shot in the mid 130s this year, it still is to his credit as he had a really bad series of strokes almost 10 years ago. He has a difficult time seeing out of the corners of either eye so bowling does not come easy any more. That being said, he did roll well enough to beat almost everyone else there today.

Dakota shot a 100, according to her the highest score of her life (yay!). Garrett and Trevor... well... somewhere in the mid-70s for both of them. My brother Jay, pictured above, bowled for the first time in two years or so and finished with a game in the 160s.

Indeed... much like Bowling Club... that's how we roll.

Later the family came over to Chez Erb and check out the newest edition to the family: Mary Jane. My sister Jo as well as my brother Jay had not seen her in person yet (yes, all these lovely blog shots are great but as with all babies, one needs to see/hold them in person). All were amazed at her happiness and spirit. And then she fell asleep in anyone's arms.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mary Jane Wants to Be Held

Eating and sleeping are fine but Mary Jane would much prefer to be held. She spent much of her day today in Mister John's weary arms. As soon as she realized he was releasing contact of her, she screamed to the highest authority (Cherry Bugg?).

Ah, to live and sleep in LA.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heading Home... at Last!

Miss Jill, Mister John, and Mary Jane are finally on their way home to Los Angeles tomorrow after a longer-than-expected stay in Arizona. That darn RSV held up Mary Jane for a few days but now she is sleeping like she always does... with that nice soft grunting sound. It was quite helpful to have Jill's family provide the overtime hospitality for us. Typically dead fish and guests smell after three days but we tried our best not to overlive our stay.

Today we managed to wander around the desert with MJ. Well, she was kinda held up in my pouch but that's ok. She'll be out and about and wandering next year and we'll be telling her then not to touch the cholla and watch out for scorpions, fried foods, and guys with tattoos on their foreheads. But all in due time.
But for now... a peaceful night of sleep and a hopefully inconsequential drive back into rainy (once sunny) California. At least the rabbits will be happy to see us... or will they? Thumpmas has come and gone yet again. Hmm...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mary Jane out of Hospital

It took three full days plus a few hours but our little girl finally was cleared to leave the Phoenix Children's Hospital this evening. She was admitted on Christmas Eve with bad congestive signs. She was later diagnosed with RSV which is some form of respiratory virus (you go look it up). It is something that could be fatal if left unchecked for too long. Luckily our girl was surrounded by lots of family that night so everyone was all, "What's up with that wheezing?"

The hospital was extremely efficient in admitting her. We never had any doubts regarding her health, it was just the inevitable wait for her to recover completely. After three full days, she sounded so much better and her eyes started to dart around like the Pilot's Boy in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." OK, so some of you have not read that recently. Well, snap to it!

Anyway, she is back at Chez Kendall now and will head off with Mister John and Miss Jill on Wednesday. Of course the fates have it lined up that it will rain incessantly on Wednesday again. Joy. Didn't we just leave that alluvial madness?

Mister John, Fashion Plate (Even in the Hospital)

Diggin' the badge too.

Three for Three!

Mary Jane has passed all oxygen clearance tests so now it's all just a matter of time. Miss Jill has a cool new hat. MJ will have many new animals to cuddle her. And Mr. John... hmm... well, he'll work on more Decathlon highlighting and outlining. And random bowl game watching.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bunnies Quiet While Waiting for Return

Cherry Bugg has been quiet knowing that Miss Jill and Mister John are still in Phoenix looking after their new daughter Mary Jane. She knows that they will be home soon and then she will be let free in the back yard.

However, Root Beer Float thinks this is a cuteness conspiracy. Someone might be cuter than her and she is being punished for it. Silly RBF.

As for Mary Jane, it should be one more day. Miss Jill has night duty tonight; thus Mister John is on-line spreading the optimism. Be good, bunnies!

Mary Jane Improving at the Hospital

Our poor little girl came down with a tough case of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) for those like me who are not in the know. She came down with a bad bout of congestion and we were lucky that we were right near a children's hospital in Phoenix. She's been in for a few days now and all is looking better for her.

It is kinda sad wandering the halls and noting all the sick children who are missing out at being at home with their families over Christmas. Santa did make a visit through the hospital floors yesterday and little Mary Jane did get a cute stuffed animal. It's quite kind of people to volunteer their services for such beneficent duties. Not only that but all the children received a multitude of games, gifts, and stuffed animals from people's donations. It's one of the few times that you can see the other side of giving gifts to charities. While MJ is still fighting her illness and does not quite get those whole stuffed animal thing yet (oh, she will some day!), it still does make her parents smile. At least I think I was smiling, I just got off the night shift so my sleep was negligible to say the least.

Anyway, throw some prayers in the general direction of Phoenix. We'll hopefully be home in the next day or two. Tonight Miss Jill will be the recipient of the night shift so I might be able to type up another update then.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do They Know It's Thumpmas?

Thumpmas time is back again! Time to get out your cards and give them to your favorite neglected rabbits. What? You don't know about the most significant event in the rabbit calendar? For shame! And a thump at thee!

Let me recount the backgrounds of the hallowed day of Thumpmas. On that night of December 25th, a tired Joseph and a quite pregnant Mary were trying to find a place to stay for the night. There was no room in the inn so they had to stay out in a nearby stable. All the animals all were allowed to stay: sheep, donkeys, raccoons, dolphins... everyone except the rabbits! They were forcefully moved out by the Shepherds. Then the Magi later came by that night and tried to eat them! How intolerably rude!!! Thus the rabbits on the scene were quite upset and rightly so. The birth of the Baby Jesus startled them with His commotion. With all the Seraphim singing and the Choirs and Hosts rejoicing, the rabbits could do only what they knew: they THUMPED. And with that thump, that startled the Baby Jesus and He cried for the very first time. Granted a few windows broke but still the upset rabbits helped create one of the seminal moments in Jesus' life. The rabbits look back on Thumpmas with mixed emotions. Yes, the great Jesus was born but they were also kicked out of their home, thus starting a tradition in many nations: the chasing of rabbits out of hutches.

Ironically, Miss Jill and Mister John are with new child this Thumpmas. But no rabbits were kicked out. Instead they shall be fed at home by a bunny sitter.

True Chip came out last Thumpmas to Arizona and thumped all night in the Kendalls' laundry room because someone (re: Miss Jill) left the light on all night in there. Rumor has it in the bunny community that Miss Jill and Mister John adopted a beautiful baby girl for the sole purpose of not bringing a bunny out to Arizona for Thumpmas.

Miss Jill and Mister John Arrive (Somewhat Dry) in Arizona

The rains were incessant, the rains were inexorable, the rains were intolerable... but the rains have now passed. But there was still a long drive from LA to west of Phoenix through the unrelenting rain. It finally stopped by the time brave Monty passed Quartzsite.
Now Mary Jane seems to be resting well in her first trip out of the state. She's sleeping well; as for her parents, who knows? They left their bunnies behind and hopefully someone else is feeding them for Thumpmas. It's the most thumperful time of the year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rain Forces Bears to Higher Ground

The rain has been coming down hard for days now and that is having an effect on the local wildlife. Suddenly in the back yard of Chez Erb, there was a brown bear sighting. Indeed, a veritable brown bear was climbing onto our patio table. Maybe she wanted a good flying leap at the oranges on the tree to the right hand side but no one knows.

Good thing this picture was taken or nobody would have ever believed it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Grampa Says Hi to the Little Girl

Some of Mister John's family came over today to say Hi to little Mary Jane again. Nothing makes people happier than seeing a beautiful little baby... and then leaving knowing that they don't have to deal with the crying and fussing and diapers for more than just a two-hour visit.

Mary Jane behaved quite splendidly as did Chip. He hopped into the living room a few times to make his presence known and then hopped off to hide wherever he likes hiding. Or maybe stare at a wall or something just as mystifying.

With the picture here, Grampa got to hold the little girl. Ah, his first grandchild was Manny and that was over 28 years ago. I guess being a grandfather is something one doesn't forget. Unlike riding a bicycle. THUMP.

Chee Says Hello to Mary Jane

Cherry Bugg hopped up on the bed yesterday to say Hello to the newest member of the family. At least she didn't bite her on the butt like she would with other rabbits. Alas, Cherry Bugg did sense the inherent irony that Miss Jill feeds the baby but will not feed her.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rainy Days and Saturdays Always Get Them Down

Fresh after a long morning photo shoot, Mary Jane (to the left, you silly goofballs, not the right) passed out and is sleeping quite heartily right now. Nothing tires a girl out more than taking hundreds of photos. She struck the poses quite well.

Meanwhile Chip sits in his cage... even though it is open, he is afraid that someone else will take a picture of him and steal his soul. I don't know how that's working out for him since Mister John has taken many pictures of Chippers.

Ah, sleepy time...

Thumpmas Is Coming!

Get ready. Thumpmas is only a week away!

Awaiting Mary Jane's First Professional Pictures

Ah, yes, it's that time of year. Well, I guess most people with children (or rabbits) get ready with their traditional Christmas photos for cards or whatever. But at least in our circumstance, it is also a "welcome to the family" type card. So then everyone can say, "Oh, that's so cute!" or something close to that effect. Or some unknowing friend or relative saying, "Wow, looks just like you." Hmm.

In any event, it is our second day of rain and it is supposed to rain all the way through Wednesday. That's quite alright as we need all the rain we can get here in supposedly sunny California. All this does is keep the light down for our little girl so Mary Jane doesn't have to deal with bright sunlight for a few days.

As for Miss Jill and Mister John, they both received plenty of sleep last night as MJ slept solidly with only small one hour breaks for eating and changing. I wish the bunnies would be so respectful!

Alas, poor Cherry Bugg is locked up in the bedroom cage. She's not big on pictures anyway. She claims it is all vanity. Smart rabbit, that Cherry Bugg. Such a large vocabulary: vanity, subterfuge... she'll teach Mary Jane very well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mary Jane Suffers Bath; Chip Begs for Food

After a long day of sleeping and eating and sleeping and eating and occasionally relieving herself, Mary Jane did not realize that she'd have to take a bath today. Tomorrow is a big day for MJ as she's going to Mister John's school for the Christmas party. Oh my, she has to look really cute for that. So Miss Jill and Mister John gave her a bath tonight. Yes, such the shiny and clean girl now.

Unlike the bunny baths, MJ didn't seem to fuss much. She kept her cool and only cried in small doses. Miss Jill attacked with the sponge while Mister John calmly kept his big hairy hand upon her so she wouldn't escape. Well, more like just roll back and forth.

Meanwhile Chip surreptitiously entered the kitchen knowing that if his two main feeders were in the kitchen, some carrot action is about to happen. Chip sat there hearing the bath continue and he had some flashbacks. Nothing worse than a rabbit getting soaked. Some of those Chip bath pictures are classics. Look at that guy over there. Doesn't he look happy? OK, he looks like he just sat out in the rain for four hours without an umbrella.

Anyway, he was later given a carrot so he was happy. Mary Jane finally was dried off and put into her night wear so she could sleep. Now it's evening and with her sleeping and Chip sitting beside this blogger, all is quiet in the house... except for the noisy computer.

Tomorrow is the last day of finals for Mister John so he'll be doing Mister Dad chores for a few days. Oh no!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Blurry Family Photo!

Yeah, either the nurse was drunk or Miss Jill and I did an excellent job of moving back and forth to either disturb the photographer or to keep little Mary Jane quiet.

Check out those gloves! Michael Jackson, you ain't got nuttin' on me!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bunny Civil War While MJ Awakens

A busier afternoon at Chez Erb than expected. This being a typical Saturday, the trio of Phillip, Chip, and Cherry Bugg were out and about in the back yard. Chip usually keeps to himself under the orange tree while Cherry Bugg and Phillip stay in their own territories.

Meanwhile Root Beer Float was brought inside to show off to a visitor. She was then locked up in Chip's cage. Ah... but Mister John and Miss Jill forgot something quite important... RBF knows how to escape. So she hopped up and over the 30 inch barrier (well, her father is the famous European show jumping rabbit Root Beer, Sr.) and she hopped out into the back yard to pick a fight... or two.

Alas, Root Beer Float does not get along with her younger brother Chip so they must have tussled. Then she and her aunt Cherry Bugg went at in a few different battles in the back yard. Oh those silly fur pulling battles.

Mister John got out there much too late but he saw the empty cage in the house and went outside to break it up. As he settled the rabbits' scrimmages, poor miss Mary Jane grew hungry and voiced her own opinion on this. She cried out loud demanding food which awakened poor sleeping Miss Jill who had been up for many hours. But all problems were averted as MJ got her food, RBF was put into her cage, and Cherry Bugg was assured that she was cute and smart rabbit.

Saturdays just aren't the same at Chez Erb anymore. Much more festive... Tis the season, I guess.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Second Day Home: Bunnies Still Unsure

Mary Jane has been home now for over a day and she is quietly resting while her mommy drives off for errands. Meanwhile Mr. John has asked the bunnies about the new member of the family. The comments are mixed but one concern is universal. "Does this mean less food for us?" That was headed by Root Beer Float when then proceeded to jump into a bin and hide lest the new being chase her down. Mister John had to console her that Mary Jane wouldn't be able to chase her down for a very long time but she still worried anyway.

Phillip hopped into the nursery and approved the safari layout in there. While some of the animals in there do scare him, Phillip was still committed to keeping the baby in there and not in his capacious cage. Mister John later told Phillip that babies don't sleep in outdoor cages. Phillip's quick response, "Ah, that's why Chip sleeps indoors." Ouch.

Anyway, Mister John went back to work and tested his sophomores on Macbeth. Meanwhile Miss Jill spent some home time with the baby this afternoon. All's good on Dewey Street.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Wow, the long and winding road has finally returned home. And quite soon I may add. After other possibly failed adoptions in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, it was quite a relief to add a child in California and thus avoid all the inter-state paperwork which would take over a week (depending on the state, day of the week, and incompetent bureaucracy.

Mary Jane is now sitting in the a small swinging-rocking thing with music playing. Beats the heck out of me what it is called; I only use great nouns and adjectives for term papers. Otherwise it's a whatchamacallit.

The bunnies have already hopped freely into the house and wondered what that noise making creature is. Ah, that will be the monster which will chase you in years to come!

I have no downloaded pictures on the computer yet. Boxes and bags still remain laying around on the ground. Nothing like re-coordinating things after a trek... albeit a shorter one.

The nursing crew at the Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville were great. They helped us with whatever we needed and even allowed us to stay in a room there. Hey, at least the TV had ESPN but I didn't watch it much. No WiFi though thus the slower response in saying, "It's a girl!"

Now I think I'll pull a Miss Jill and take a nap.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mary Jane Eats, Sleeps, Cries!

And Miss Jill and Mister John are learning how to deal with a newborn infant! More pictures as soon as we return home. Until then... nothing but hearsay. Or something like that.

OK, time to go back to the hospital and help out my wife.

12 Hours of Parenthood!

And now a much longer time to go!

Miss Jill and I are quite ecstatic (and exhausted) after the first half day. Mary Jane eats quite voraciously but I guess 9 pound babies do!

I'd add more right now but it's my turn to go back to the hospital and for Jill to come back to the hotel to refresh. Ah, nothing like a good hot shower...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jill Naps

From what we have heard, it will be a long night so night as well sleep now...

I already napped so I am doing what I do best this time of year: I'm typing up Decathlon notes.

I Don't Know My Metric System

Four centimeters? Good? Bad? Is that like an inch?

And what's taking so long? Shouldn't birth mothers be all "Snap, let's get this thang done!"

Forgetful Jill Brings One Hiking Shoe!

Miss Jill wanted to hop through the forest like she was on a pogo stick.

She does have two shoes in the hotel now though.

By the way, nothing says staying in a hotel like reading the USA Today.

Back from the Park...

Not much on the adoption update for now. Knowing that we still might have many hours to wait (and it's not like we can sit right in there in the waiting room), we drove out to the park to hang out and waste a few hours. It was actually quite scenic in a chilly December sort of way. Very few people in the park which was the size of Central Park (as we were told). As you may or may not see to the left, there is a sizable lake created by a beaver dam. Originally this whole area was a lake but the man-made levee broke and when the levee breaks, mama, you gotta move. That is until the beavers come in and establish a natural order. They decree that there shall be no flowing rivers through here!

We also hiked around for quite a while, wondering about the hours to come. There's nothing quite like standing around and waiting. It's easier to wait when being out and about. At least that way there's some some of physical release. A nature hike of catharsis? Something like that.

In any event, we are due to call the hospital again shortly. Hopefully the poor birth mother will be further along. She was induced yesterday morning and it's into tomorrow afternoon! Yikes. Or as Shaggy would say, "Zoinks!"

Mojave Narrows Regional Park... for now...

The birth-mother still hasn't proceeded to full labor yet so we're driving out to the local regional park for lunch. Some trees, some lakes, some wilderness...

Yeah... just more waiting. But that's ok... gotta think long term. Like when our child will be 15 and stomps their foot and says how mean we are. (Wait, our rabbits do that every day!)


One other thing I forgot about the desert: static electricity. Nothing like the sudden jump after creating an electrical arc seemingly the length of a banana. I feel like the Emperor!

Hmm... for some reason I now feel like saying... together, my adopted child and I will rule the galaxy as father and son/daughter!

Small Problem Avoided

OK, we've figured out how to snap the base of the carseat into the car. Small steps, don't ya know.

Meanwhile we are preparing ourselves for the short drive (through oddly immense traffic) to the hospital. Methinks we'll stay until we become parents. So unless I somehow commandeer a computer at the hospital, this might be the last pre-adoptive parent blog entry. Oh my!

For Those Map Fiends: Victorville

There it is. After potential matches in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana which all fell through... California, here we come. Then again we already live here. Hmm... I guess that's an easy drive.

So... now there you go.

Victorville, Day Two

We have been up here for almost a full day now. The birth-mother has been induced so it is just some amount of time until the child is born. But until then we are in this purgatory of sorts. Just sitting here... waiting... waiting...

At some point we need to go to the CHP and figure out how to deal with the child seat in the back of the car. Silly small things when you look upon them are not so silly.

Meanwhile we are both sitting in the hotel room with laptops tapping away. Alas, we only have one plug so we have to rotate our power cords. So if this computer suddenly dies... well, I guess I'll type this all up again at a later date.

Now the most important question people have is: how will the bunnies deal with this?

I'm not sure they will. Cherry Bugg is quite Chee-centric and no one else comes before her. I'm sure she'll thump at the thought of a child. Oh well, at least Chee will not have to give up any extra carrots for a year or so. Then again I wonder how much the Chee will like carrot-flavored baby food.

At some point today we will receive the call and we will... sit in the waiting room? I'm not actually sure. Miss Jill might know more of what will happen next. But there will be some waiting. Some hand holding, some prayers, some hard-level Sudokus.

WHOA! The phone just rang. Nope... a friend of Miss Jill's just called. But yeah... that's a bit of tension when you jump at any sudden ring of the phone.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Poor Chip Gets Scratched Eye

Chip, the boy who thinks he is a man, was scratched in the eye on Thursday night and had to go to the vet on Friday. It doesn't seem to be anything too major but he is taking eye drops three times a day now as well as a few drops of medicine as well. He seems to be taking it well. However, when putting eye drops into his eyes, he often thumps afterward. So sorry Chip.

Maybe we should a patch over his eye and call him a pirate bunny. Arrrrr!