Zorro Jay

November 25, 2013

We found him “by accident” sometime back in October. Cara, Mady, Collin and I were at the pet store picking up some water conditioner for our beta fish, Fizzy and Finn. A store employee, with a green and black bird attached to her shirt collar, approached us and asked if we needed any help finding anything. I smiled and jokingly said “No thanks, but do you know you have a bird attached to you?” She laughed and said “yes, this is Zorro.”

We followed her over to Zorros enclosure and spoke about him and our other pets for the next hour. As it turns out, this store manager has Shokas brother! We traded information so that we could get our dogs together to play and continued discussing Zorro.

He’s a five (almost six) month old Black Capped Conure, a small parrot, who is very intelligent, affectionate and can learn to talk. He loves and bonds with people and will live for 30+ years! The more research I did on him, the more I decided that he’d be a great fit for our family! But, I carefully thought through this big decision and decided he’d be a great family gift for Christmas.. Since the store wouldn’t officially hold him til Christmas, we made nearly weekly visits to see him until I had the research done and his cage and supplies ordered. Yesterday was the day for pick up so we all loaded up and very excitedly headed off to the pet store to pick Zorro up! It was a wonderful experience as we learned final instructions from the store staff. They all kissed him goodbye as we placed him into his little travel case we bought for him.

He was quite frightened at first, but once we had his cage set up (his “big” permanent cage hasn’t arrived yet) up and had him inside of it, he settled down and began to explore. After a celebratory pizza dinner, we took turns letting him ride on our shoulders all night… The most heart warming part of our first evening with Zorro was when he began his nightly chirping.. From way across the room, Alexis imitated his sound and they continued to “communicate” back and forth all evening while we were doing after dinner chores!

The kids and I are in love already.. I even got up earlier than normal this morning to cut up banana bites for Zorro and I served them with dry organic Cheerios!

Oh what fun! With 1 dog, almost 50 chickens, 2 fish and now a parrot, named Zorro…. Go ahead and call me “Mommy Doolittle!!!!”


Well, considering I’m still cleaning up my Halloween costume crafting bits and pieces, consider this a somewhat timely post….please??! :) This year, I honored my kids costume requests by re using some pieces from our “dress up box” and then buying and making other needed items. Here’s how it all turned out:

Aaden wanted to be a “military guy” (his words) so I bought his pants at a local consignment shop, picked up a matching and inexpensive long sleeve t-shirt at Target (where else?), grabbed his bandana and paint at the costume store. Then… Boots. They tripped me up a bit, until one night I found myself falling asleep thinking about it. By morning, I had the solution.

Simultaneously, while making costumes, I was sorting the kids’ drawers and found an old camo thermal shirt and pants that the boys had outgrown. So, I took Aaden’s cowboy boots and shoved each one down a pant leg, covering it. I attached the edges with black electric tape and strung matching shoe laces (that I picked up at Michael’s) up the front of the boots, making faux ties. He loved it (and was extra thrilled to carry a plastic hand grenade too!)

Leah wanted to be a “dark angel.” She found a little dress in the dress up box and wore a pair of boots and black leggings that she had. I picked up a pair of wings, a halo and black face paint at the costume store. She was thrilled (and looked really cute!)

Alexis instantly knew she wanted to be a spider. I had to think about that one….and after shopping around at the craft stores, I found a black sweatshirt, bendable black wire, and fluffy black and dark purple (for pizzaz!) yarn (for knitting or crocheting) on clearance. I measured and cut six pieces of wire and covered them with black and purple yarn. Cara helped me and it didn’t take long at all. Then we cut little slits down the side of the sweatshirt and attached the legs. Once she was wearing it, we devised a system so that when she raised her “legs,” all eight legs raised up, using some fishing line I had on hand.

She happened to have black stretch pants with silver spider webs on them, so they worked perfectly for this costume! And here’s the spider costume miracle: when I was picking up Aaden’s camouflage pants at the consignment shop, I mentioned what my kids were dressing up as and the shop just happened to have a random spider hat on hand!!!! I LOVE when stuff comes together like that!!! It was the final piece that we needed to  make her a perfectly adorable spider!

Hannah wanted to be a little devil. So, she found a devil looking dress in our costume box and then I picked up inexpensive horns and a pitch fork. She painted her own mask to match! She was transformed into an adorable devil in no time!

Joel dreams of being in the FBI so his request didn’t surprise me in the least! He wore his own black pants and black shirt and I picked up his hat (it says FBII on purpose, so as to not be confused with the REAL FBI, I guess? Lol), badge, mustache and sun glasses, each for a few bucks at the party store. Once he was in full costume, he was absolutely the smiliest-and cutest — FBI agent I’ve ever met!

Collin was unsure of what he wanted to be, but when we saw this mask, he knew instantly that he wanted to be a skeleton. This one was a challenge and it took the longest to create, but it made him really happy. I got a long sleeve black tee and glow in the dark duct tape at AC MOORES and, using a photo of a skeleton, I cut and taped the “bones” in place. I thought it was passable but my kids thought it was amazing! Lol. Collin was very happy to be a scary boney skeleton.

Cara and Mady just couldn’t decide… In the end, they chose to be a cat and a mouse. I loved that they wanted to compliment each other’s costumes and this was something I could do. For them, at this age, I knew they’d want to wear a slightly “costumized” street clothes outfit. So, I picked up some hoodies/sweatshirts and pants (that I knew they’d wear again and again after Halloween) in appropriate costume colors at our local Marshall’s. For Mady the mouse,  I grabbed some grey yarn and Mady braided it into a tail which we attached to the inside of her hoodie using tape. I also picked up mouse ears, face paint and an orange ocello sponge. I cut the sponge into two triangles and glued it together to form a thick piece of cheese and shoved a wooden skewer into it for easy carrying. The “cheese” added a cute touch to my sweet lil mouse! For Cara the cat, I found a cheap little set that included cat ears and tail and using her newly purchased hoodie and pants and some face paint, she was meowing in minutes!

Six of my tired trick or treaters, taking a candy eating break “on the job.”

It was a howling fun night for all! Memories made; much candy consumed. It all turned gr8!