Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Year, Birthday and New Family Member :-))

Thank you for the kind remarks following my morose post; I feel a lot better now.

Emily's ten now :-)) We've had a very eventful week.

New Year's Eve
On New Year's Eve, my Mum and Dad cooked us all a lovely celebration meal and then we stayed up, of course, playing games. We always used to have our New Year meal on New Year's Day, but with the rush to get things ready for Emily's birthday (plus the occasional hangover, lol) my Mum had the brainwave of having the meal on NYE instead, which was much less hassled and much more fun.

New Year's Day
Happy New Year, by the way! We had a pleasant, quiet New Year's Day. Emily and Jon and I played lots of games together, and I also made Emily's birthday cake (yum - orange and white chocolate cake!) and decorated the dining room. The theme this year was tropical paradise because that's the only thing I could think of that included parrots!

Emily's 10th birthday!
So...Emily turned ten years old on the 2nd January. She had a lovely day (I hope). Presents included Wii Fit (very fun indeed), some other Wii games, a pasta making machine and accompanying recipe book, an ex-Avon set of 100 perfume samples (!) and a selection of earrings, since her newly pierced ears will soon be ready for the initial studs to come out. Plus assorted parrot related items. From Nana and Gramps, Emily had received in advance their customary £100 worth of premium bonds - they have given her this every birthday since she was born, so now she has £1000 worth! - and they had also bought the big parrot cage as part of her birthday present, but they also found some beautiful bits and pieces for her including a gorgeous white and turquoise watch and a large vanity case style black jewellery box which she was over the moon about.

We had a nice birthday tea of traditional party food bits and pieces for the family, and I made some scrummy punch from fruit juices, lemonade and cut fruit; Emily had hers in half a coconut shell to match the theme. We stayed up late playing roulette, which was another of her birthday presents as she's wanted for ages to know how to play it. Nana won hands down having broken the bank, but Emily did quite well too - me and Jon were out very early on, lol.

Tasting white wine while playing roulette, lol ;-))

Meet Lulu
Our African Grey parrot baby was due to arrive on around about the 9th January, but on Saturday 3rd we had a phone call from the breeder - his son would be in the area on Sunday and did we want our baby delivered then. Blimey. With a bit of last minute panic furniture-moving and cage-assembling-wise, we were more or less ready. It's a lovely big cage, with a large low rectangle shape and a tall tower too. We were lucky to have a temporary financial loan from Nana and Gramps because the (large sum of) money to pay for her hadn't yet cleared into our bank account - and so, on Sunday lunchtime, our baby arrived :-))

Emily named her Lulu and it seems as if she's been here forever. She's a gorgeous English-bred Congo African Grey baby, three months old today. Super tame and super affectionate and with one heck of a personality and a will to match! We're absolutely enchanted with her. The cats aren't quite so sure. Romeo, Juliet and Cassie-cat are nervous of her, but Voldemort and Severus are fascinated. A little too fascinated, to be honest - we've had to keep the door shut when we're not in the room or they'd be climbing on her cage, and we won't be letting them sleep in the sitting room at night until we're absolutely sure they've all got to grips with one another (and not around the neck). Lulu's not scared of the cats (or anything else), but cat saliva can be deadly to a parrot if she was bitten, and (perhaps more to the point, so far, it seems) she has one hell of a bite and could easily hurt the kittens if she was spooked or annoyed by them.

They'll all settle down, though. Of course the cats are not allowed in the room when Lulu comes out of her cage, and I don't suppose they ever will be, but I'm sure they'll be fine when she's in her cage very shortly. African Grey babies are notoriously clumsy ;-)) until they grow up and Lulu has certainly lived up to that in this first three days. She has a worrying tendency to fly into walls and then slide to the floor with a sickening thud (!!!!) - quite heart stopping the first few times you witness it, but she seems unfazed once you've picked her up and promptly carries on as normal. It's getting better, though. Today's she's only done that once. The very first time we let her out of her cage on Sunday, she flew straight to the highest cupboard in the room, knocked our huge wedding photo frame over on top of her and slid down to the middle shelf where she promptly pooed. Baptism of fire, lol.

Lulu's also discovered that if she flies to sit on the curtain rail, we can't get her down without climbing on a chair. Mischief is her middle name. To be fair, though, she's generally very good and only plays up when she doesn't want "out" play time to end. She loves to snuggle up on your lap or under your chin and she spends most of her out time playing on her cage top stand or climbing over the cage or climbing over her adoring public. She was a little ungainly getting from one perch/toy to another in her cage, but she's getting more adept and agile all the time and we've noticed a big difference even in days. She loves to land on your head when she's free, which is....um....off-putting...and can be painful with those talons....but we've already managed to train her to "step up" onto your hand or onto a stick when wanted, so that's good news. Lulu didn't eat very much for the first two days, but today she's completely stuffed herself on seed, banana, apple, oranges, peas, lentils, broccoli, couscous, sprouts and shredded wheat, lol, so I think she's found her appetite.

This afternoon, Emily and I finally (after an hour....patience is a strong point with baby parrots) coaxed Lulu into her large travelling cage so that we could take her downstairs into the dining room to keep us company while Emily did some maths. The idea is that once she's fully used to the environment, she'll come downstairs with us during the day and play on a play stand or fly free in the room while we work. Hmmm. We've a long way to go before we can let her loose down there yet (too many high cupboards full of ornaments), but she settled well enough in the travelling cage in the end and had fun shredding bits of paper and showing off her acrobatic skills. Not much maths was done.

So. My next challenge in 2009 is getting us into any kind of routine. We had enough trouble getting into a routine when we only had five cats to worry about. Now we have a baby Lulu as a beautiful timewaster too.... the maths may have to wait. Sooner or later, we'll figure it out and the cleaning cage/feeding Lulu/getting Lulu out/picking dazed Lulu up off the floor/cuddling Lulu/playing with Lulu/feeding Lulu again tasks will slot in around the rest of it. I read somewhere that having an African Grey is a bit like permanently having a toddler in the house with the emotional age of two and the intellectual age of five, with all the attention that demands. So far, I'm beginning to think they have a point....but my husband, my ten year old and I think it's rather lovely :-))

1 comment:

Sarahs Home said...

Happy Birthday Emily...
I love your new family member, good luck.

Sarah x