last sunday, rachel attended the second birthday party of ms. abigail rafferty at church. it was a finding nemo party and the party favors were bubbles and a goldfish. yes, a real goldfish. accompanied with fish bowl and a little fish food. this fish (i toyed with naming him "herbie" but i just ended up calling him "the fish") was rachel's first real pet that was all her own. she was very excited about this fish, especially since the word "fish" has entered her extensive vocabulary. well, on tuesday, the fish decided he couldn't take his confined lifestyle with us anymore and gave up the ghost, as it were. but hey, he lived longer than i expected. we had a little toilet-side funeral so rachel could have some closure (which i believed she beautifully achieved when she uttered the words "bye-bye fish"). she handled the whole ordeal quite well, with much grace, maturity, and graham crackers.