The cats are now on stage 2 of the LitterKwitter and are using the hole in the center most of the time. Mabel continues to go in the litter beside the hole, but Henry has it right and uses the center hole to potty into the toilet. How cool is that!? I'm going to wait until Mabel uses the center hole consistently before moving on to the thinner ring (stage 3).
Tony continues to live stream his gaming every evening after the kids go to bed on Twitch. He's even made a server to host his own world on Terraria if anyone out there is interested in playing.
We are currently working on baby-proofing the house again, as #5 has now learned to move around. He's got a cross between a scoot and a crawl, but he certainly gets from place to place. The cats now dine up by the fish tank so that #5 doesn't try to eat their food.
I brought home a new fish. I have a 30-gallon tank that was set up several years ago for a foster turtle I was caring for. When I found the turtle a new home, I never bothered to tear down the tank as there were some fish in it at the time. Well, this spring we moved the last two fish upstairs to the actual fish tank, and I had an idea. The reptile light for the turtle is on a 12-hour timer, so the tank is getting 12 hours of light every day, which makes the algae quite happy. The tank has been established for quite a while and I don't treat it with anything (only add water as it naturally evaporates). No filtration, no bubbler, and I haven't put food in the tank for probably two years (the fish in the tank before ate the algae and the moths and such that were attracted to the light and fell in the tank). I decided to toss one small snail in the tank. It's making neat trails along the glass as it eats the algae. I added a plant to keep the water oxygenated, but then I was worried the algae might overtake the plant, so I've been holding off adding more plants for now. I did add a betta to the tank though. He's clear/white with translucent aqua tips on his fins and a black head. I've never seen one quite like him. We've named him Mister Cellophane. He is doing a fantastic job of patrolling the tank and eating any bugs that fall in. His roll in the tank is to be the fertilizer producer for the plant. I'm hoping the tank can be 100% self-contained with enough work. The light providing algae growth, the snail keeping the algae in check, the fish producing nitrates for the plant to grow, the plant oxygenating the tank for another future fish (since a betta breathes air from the surface). Small steps, so as not to disrupt any natural cycles already going on in the tank. I'm considering adding a second snail, but I know they're asexual, so it's just a matter of time before the one in the tank becomes many. If we get too many snails, I do have a turtle who loves to eat them - I'm sure she wouldn't mind if we dropped some extras in her tank. Anyway, welcome Mister Cellophane! And yes, his name is a Glee / Kurt Hummel reference.
And in exciting news - this morning I got a confirmation email that the online school has shipped the supplies for #2. He's going to be so excited. I can see him doing really well with this set up. He's a very smart kid, and he loves to learn.