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Rachel is already five months old. Her newborn infancy has come and gone, and now our girl is wanting to grow up and PLAY! She does full-body wriggles when excited, and she flaps her arms and legs when she watches her big sister Madeleine run, jump, dance, etc.

She seems eager to eat solid food (she positively panted and drooled over our pesto pasta the other night), but in the meantime she sucks on her big toes a lot. A couple weeks ago she began rolling over and she's never looked back.  She loves to practice making new sounds, and we swear sometimes she vocalizes "just to hear herself talk." We are still yearning for the time when she will begin sleeping through the night and taking more than 30 minute naps.

Now that Madeleine has started pre-school two mornings a week, Rachel gets some special one-on-one time with mom, which we hope makes up for all the time she gets set down so we can get something done around the house. In the last month, Rachel's Grandpa Naffziger got to hold her quite a bit during his two week-long visits. Look at just a few of the newest photos and you'll see why we call her our "little Pauline girl."

We've posted new photos here:

Month 4:

Month 5:

 
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So last month we finally put up my Christmas gift from Ann: a bat house!  Hopefully some area bats will discover it, although we probably will have to wait until next summer.

Bat's are great... a single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in one hour.  There are a lot of misconceptions about them and it's often difficult for them to find lodging in urban areas.  Being nocturnal, they stay in the bat houses during the day. 

We spent a lot of time trying to find the best location, as it needed to be placed where it gets plenty of sunlight to stay warm.  We ended up placing it along the roof of our old shed.  The bats enter from the bottom.

Some more bat facts:

  • Bats are not infected with rabies more than any other animal species, and they very rarely are aggressive when infected (unlike other animals).  Bats that get rabies usually become paralyzed, so you shouldn't touch a bat that is laying on the ground.
  • Bats are a protected species.  It is illegal to own, sell, or purchase bats.
  • Bats are not aggressive, and will not intentionally people or other animals.  They may bite if you try to touch them, though.
  • Bats can live up to 30 years.
  • About 70% of all bats are insectivores.
  • Bat houses will not encourage bats to roost in attics or attack people.
  • In our climate, bats hibernate to warmer areas from late Fall through early Spring. 
We'll keep you updated on the house's occupancy...