Emily can into the world an animal lover. Her first words: (1) dada (2) mama (3) DOGS! (4) MOOMOOS! -- followed quickly the names of all the rest of the animal kindom! The naming phase achieved, she then moved on to the acquisition phase which was exacerbated by a pathological interaction between her strong will and animal passion and my soft heart and desire to be the mom who is cool about animals. The animal passion, as you might expect is highly contagious to younger siblings, so Emily's two younger sisters both jumped on the bandwagon immediately upon birth.
So, you name it, we've had it! Dogs, cats, birds, fish, snakes, newts, sugar gliders, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, a baby bull named "Bubbles", mice, rats, and hamsters.
Which brings me to hamsters. In 17-years of parenting Emily (and Tessa and Sara-Grace in her footsteps) I have aquired a great deal of hamster experience: hamster begging, hamster purchase, hamster names ("Hammy" being the most famous), hamster cages, hamster bedding, hamster food, hamster water bottles, hamster toys, hamster balls rolling around the house, hamster bites, hamster excapes, hamster damage, hamster captures, hamster tragedies, hamster burials, and hamster grieving.
So I wasn't the least bit phased or put off one day when, while dumpster diving, I found four panels of wonderful ivory curtains damp from a recent rain and covered in wet, confetti-like hamster bedding (you were wondering what all this had to do with free stuff, weren't you?). It was probably the hamster bedding the caused these great curtains to be thrown in the dumpster in the first place. I probably wouldn't have gotten to have them any other way. Thus, believe it or not, I am grateful for my hamster experience and for having had the opportunity to overcome hamster bedding aversion.
I took the panels home -- marvelling all the while at my luck at having found FOUR matching panels -- washed them, hung them to dry, and competely redecorated my master bathroom in their honor. They were originally intended for the living room at the Taylor house, but they provided too much inspiration and just had to stay! Here they are (and thank goodness for hamsters!):
And yes, I admit to being totally shameless about turning the occasion of my daughter's birthday into a post about dumpster curtains!