So I was at playgroup the other day when the conversation somehow turned to insects (namely insects each person has encountered here). One relayed the story of how they caught 27 scorpions in their house last year... (my mind was kind of preoccupied observing my kids, but this comment snapped me out of it). "What?" I said in disbelief. Then another chimed in about the, not one, but two tarantulas her kids found in their yard and wanted to keep as pets (and they live a few doors down from us). She said she was deathly afraid of spiders, but her kids really wanted them, so she put up with it until one of the spiders started pulling its hair out from high anxiety and she decided to dump it over the fence when her kids were at school. My jaw grew tense as I listened in disgusted horror. One of the girls noticed my expression and asked, "Have you found anything in your house yet?" "No," I replied in disbelief, thinking they must be hiding in dark corners and gathering strength in order to give me a scare traumatic enough that would send me to the grave. Someone asked what street I lived on. After I answered she said, "Oh yeah, you should run into all sorts of things... make sure any time before you do yard work to check the lawn for rattlesnakes first." "Excuse me?" I replied weakly. "Yeah, they come down from the mountains and get in people's yards, so just look around first." Wonderful, I thought. All this time I haven't been strict about making sure my kids' shoes were on before they ran outside to play in the backyard. Now they're probably carriers of some disease or have some mystery creature implanted under their skin where it will remain until it reaches its next developmental stage and hatches out of its cocoon.
I left playgroup that day with the mentality of someone aware that they were on the verge of having an alien encounter. I wanted to bar up the doors and get my ammunition ready for when some frightful being reared its ugly head and invaded my nest. But the tight feeling subsided a little as all remained safe and life continued on without a battle to save the home front. Then the other night the kids were in bed and I was finishing up the dishes when I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was coming from the windowsill, so I cautiously approached and pulled back the curtains. My mouth dropped open and my body became rigid as I saw an army of ants that were swarming in and around an open seam in the windowsill. Looking back it probably wouldn't appear as bad to another observer, but in my mind I was hearing the freakish chirping noises from the dreaded insect scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! There were ants of all sizes including the winged variety. I let go of the curtain and gritted my teeth as I contemplated what to do. In the pantry I found all-purpose cleaner ("not toxic enough," I thought to myself), Windex, spray paint, etc, until I finally decided on insect repellent. The application probably proved more fatal because of the drowning aspect and not from the chemical itself, but it was successful. Of course my husband wasn't home to shoulder the extermination duty, but I guess I should learn to face my fears alone.
The next day we headed to the park. It was just another outing until we saw the most gigantic flying insects ever. Let me rephrase. These were the biggest monsters I've ever seen in the air or on the ground; they just happen to be the flying kind. I'm not exaggerating when I say I wonder how they could support their own body weight in flight. These guys reminded me of the little Volkswagen Beetle-bugs in the movie Cars, only not cute. They were like huge, shiny black 8-balls with wings. If one slammed into my head I'm sure I'd get a concussion from the impact. Then as if that wasn't enough, a while later I saw a big shadow pass by from a flying object overhead. I looked up and saw something that made the black beetle-bugs look like common house flies. These things were like the insect version of a 747. I swear they needed landing gear to be flight-ready. I ducked as they swerved and maneuvered in the sky like a fleet of fighter jets getting ready to launch an attack. "OK," I thought, "this is a good time to go home and make lunch..."
Finally this morning I got up and found a surprise waiting for me. As I passed the dining room on my way to get Matt from his crib I noticed something big and brown on the floor. Dismissing it as part of dinner that one of the kids must have thrown from the table last night, I hurried up the stairs to get Matt in hopes of allowing Drew to stay asleep just a little longer. On my way back down I passed the mystery object again, only this time I noticed some wiggling. My contacts weren't in, but as I peered closer it appeared to be some kind of big, long cockroach on its last leg. I wrinkled my nose, clutched Matt tighter and hurried to the other side of the room to the recliner, bruiting about why my husband is never around to give these unwanted tasks to. As I reflected on my options, the thought occurred to me that I could just leave it for Ryan to take care of. But that idea was quickly squelched as I thought of its practicality. The thing was so huge the kids would probably trip on it and then get attacked from disturbing its slumber. As I came to grips with getting rid of it myself, I resentfully took a paper towel and planned my attack. I folded it over and over to increase the thickness that would separate my skin from the wretched insect, but soon the surface area of the towel was smaller than the bug itself, and I had to unfold it to an adequate size. As my arm reached out, my head leaned far away, petrified to feel any sort of contact between us. I was able to gather it up, but not wanting to squish its body and experience the gross sensation of cracking insect gooping between my fingers, I quickly found a plastic bag on top of the garbage and used it as a body bag. As I committed this last act and ended its life, I apologized for killing it knowing it was one of God's creatures, but wished they could all fulfill the measure of their creation out of my sight.
Monday, July 21, 2008
We are beyond excited to announce that our family will soon be welcoming another BOY! Can you believe it? We were starting to believe maybe it was a girl. It seemed everyone around us (who took a stab at guessing) all voted girl. Even the lady at the airport ticket counter blurted out, "... and one on the way? You're having a girl." "Oh really?" I said, somewhat amused that a total stranger would have the goods on knowing the gender. After a while Ryan started thinking it was a girl, and I (not one to trust any gut feelings I may have without hard evidence) started to wonder myself. Every time Drew and I talked on the subject he would say there was girl baby in Mommy's tummy... (then again, he also said there was a boy baby in his tummy and that Matt's baby was at Wal-Mart... not exactly profound insight). Nevertheless, all this one-sided input had me kind of geared up to expect news of an impending girl. After the ultrasound I was sort of in a confused daze. Could it be true? Another boy, really? I called Ryan and he was just as stunned. After stammering for a response--I think he actually said something like, "Are you serious?... Wow... Well, congratulations..." as if this was just happening to me! (nice)--the news finally settled in and he said he was happy and excited. I know all children are a gift and intended for our families, but for some reason the feeling of foreboding seems more intense than I remember in my two previous pregnancies. I have a stronger sense that this person is truly meant to be part of our family, and I can't wait to meet him!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
For those who recently moved, I'm sure no one took longer to post pictures of their new house than I did. And what's even more sad is that I'm not even done yet. The upstairs rooms don't have window treatments or pictures hung yet, but if I wait until that happens I might never get these pictures posted. Unfortunately I'm still new to this blogging thing and couldn't figure out how to imbed the slide show in this entry, so the photos are at the bottom of the page. We're loving it more every day here. Hope you're all doing great!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
The kids must be adjusting to the area, because the park has returned as a much-loved activity. I think part of the struggle had to do with the novelty of walking on sand. At first they seemed scared of the surface's instability, but our trip to White Sands kind of initiated them, and now they don't give it a second thought. Last week after a particularly fun morning at the park, feeling relieved that life and regained some sort of normalcy, I happened to be driving by a McDonald's and saw the sign for 59-cent ice cream cones. Usually I avoid fast food, but I was in the mood to celebrate and made a split-second decision to pull in. This was to be their first cone, so I was a little concerned about a mess, but I felt like, "What the heck? What's a childhood w/o ice cream cones?" As we went through the drive-through and handed out the treats Drew asked, "What's that?" I answered and in unison they both replied, "Oh!" like they were in for some fun. As they tested the water and then became more immersed into the experience with the occasional "Mmm" filling the air, I noticed Drew was more concerned with keeping clean. Matt just plunged face-in and wasn't fazed by the melted mess dripping down his arms and chin. Then I received a phone call from my sister and got absorbed in a story. I should have continued to monitor things closer, because after the call I turned around to see Matt's hand squeezing the soggy cone bottom with all his might while the ice cream dripped out like water. This must prove I'm learning to relax, because my scream didn't shatter the windows. I just took a picture and retained the fun mood in the car. Sweet!
"What is this fabulous concoction?""I've died and gone to heaven.""Thanks Mom, this is fun!""Hmm, what happens if I... ""... Awesome! I can make ice cream flow like water!"
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The other night we were having a hard time keeping Drew in bed. He kept getting out and crying for me at the top of the stairs to tuck him back in. Ryan and I were gritting our teeth with frustration since we can pretty much count on the kids sleeping soundly through the night. It was almost 11:00pm when I made what I thought was my last trip upstairs to put Drew back in bed. It wasn't two minutes later when I heard the patio door blinds suddenly flutter around and the door open. My heart lept out of my chest, and with a hiss I whispered, "Someone's in the house!" Ryan heard the noise too and went to the bedroom door to peak around the corner to view the glass door. My mind started visualizing his head violently whip back as some intruder struck him with a baseball bat (or worse) when Ryan turned to me and said, "I can't see... maybe I should turn on the light." In horror I responded, "You mean so the robber can see you better before he shoots you in the face?" Ryan returned to the nightstand to retrieve his glasses and then disappeared out of sight to investigate. I held my breath and started to contemplate life without a spouse when he came back to give the report: It was Drew! In a flash he had snuck downstairs and slipped outside because he wanted to play in the pool. I knew the pool was a good find, but good heavens! Did we really need the heart attack?