Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cousin Swap

We had a quick visit from Shaggy's sister.  The kids enjoyed some time with their cousins--a fairly rare treat for them.  Notice how J has his arm around his baby cousin, bringing him into unusually close proximity to Aunt S who is virtually a stranger to him.  Apparently, his adoration of babies chases all his worries away.  Good to know.

And adoration is really the only way I can describe his feelings for cousin K.  He wanted to be near her all the time, regardless of how SHE felt about his proximity.  He lavished attention on her.  He fretted when she fussed and did his best to find something to help her feel better.

She was not quite so enthusastic about this new relationship.  But considering she was on the tail end of a cross-country road trip, and meeting 7 extended family members for the first time, I think she was quite justified in rebuffing his attentions.

J really, really wanted a picture of him holding cousin K.  Cousin K was a little worried about that scenario, so it was very short-lived.

 The biggest reason he wanted the above mentioned photo was so that he could always remember his baby cousin.  The cousin he adored.  The cousin he was so smitten with that he was willing to trade his own baby sister for her. 

Yes, he actually asked us multiple times if we could trade Baby B for cousin K.  He loved her so much, he said.  He liked her way better than Baby B, he said.  He was truly disappointed that we refused his request.

First, I am glad that he adores his baby cousin.  Really. 

Second, I am glad that B is too young to realize just how easily she can be replaced by a novel new cousin.  

And finally, NOTE TO SELF:  we might have to be somewhat
more overt in teaching family loyalty. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Leaping Lizards

I would consider it no great loss if I never saw a lizard again.  I have no problem with reptiles, per se, they're just not my thing.  So I find it rather baffling that our household reptile population is now nearly double that of the human population.  I think it's getting out of control.  But since it's not MY thing, I don't know how to make it stop.

After the first batch of baby geckos, mom and dad lizard were supposedly separated to prevent further proliferation.  A policy I backed wholeheartedly.  But since we now have a total of TEN baby lizards, it is readily apparent that nightime trysts have been happening without my knowledge.

The cat (or little lizard, as it were) is out of the bag.  Shaggy and S have been secretly breeding an army of lizards.  I don't know when or if they ever plan to stop.  All my opinions about enough is enough tend to fall on deaf ears.

But there is a glimmer of hope that S will withdraw her encouragement of the prolific lizards.

Because now there is talk of the possibility of another reptile coming into our home at an unspecified later date.  A snake.  Who would require regular sustenance.  And who would rather enjoy having an endless supply of lizards to snack on.

S is decidedly NOT in support of this plan.  Which might have something to do with the fact that she is usually the one who first spots the tiny baby lizards once they emerge from their hidden eggs.  And she has played a leading role in naming them.

Merry & Pippin are the busy, busy parents.  Their offspring are as follows, in order of appearance:  Sam, Frodo, Eisenhower, Bilbo, Tiny, Spiny, Whiny, Toothless, and Dot. 

The tenth baby gecko, who appeared only a few days ago, is still nameless.  I am hopeful that it will remain so.  I consider it rather reasonable to stop naming babies at ten.

K and I are really the only ones who remain strong in our apathy towards the lizards.  We're not interested in feeding them rotten fruit.  Or live crickets.  We prefer to have nothing at all to do with the crickets.  We would rather not see them, or hear them.  We've never discovered yet another baby and shared the joy with the rest of the family.  In fact, we are usually the last to be informed of a new lizard. 

But my apathy is truly that.  Apathy.  It is not phobia.  Or even extreme dislike.  I don't squeal when the lizards are brought out of their tanks and allowed to roam around a bit.

About the only thing I really LIKE them for is that they offer a photographic challenge.  Even when they crawl on my new lens.  But I did NOT like it when one jumped onto my camera as I was trying to take a picture of it.  That was a little unnerving.  And maybe I squealed, just a little.  Depending on who you ask.

 But K and I are out numbered.  Both by crested geckos, and by humans who like the leaping lizards.  Shaggy, S, J and even R are entranced by them.  They like to watch them hunt.  They like to hold them and let them craw up their arms.  Brave R even remained mostly calm when one jumped on her face.  *shudder*

So I am stuck.  I guess the only thing left is for me to research the legality of selling the little buggers.  Because if they can bring in a nice price, then this whole breeding program will be seen in a new light.  Apathy might even transform into active participation. 

Because money talks.  Even through lizards.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Watermelon Love

This has to be one of my all-time favorite photos of B.  That smile is sooo hard to capture.
She loved her watermelon.  Especially once she figured out how to take bites of it.
We thought it was pretty funny how she refused to hold onto it.  So we had to keep propping it up.
Happy girl.  With melon stuck in her crooked teeth and oozing from her mouth.  Good stuff.

Freedom Fest

4th of July weekend.   We did a little of everything from run-of-the-mill traditional to downright odd.
Watermelon.  One of the true joys of summer.
BBQ with lamb.  Yes, lamb.  Topped off with cotton candy, popcorn and an outdoor theatre.  When I grow up, I want to be just like the couple that invited us.  They rock my world.  Haven't had such a relaxing evening in a very long time.
Did I mention that there was cotton candy?  I'm afraid the BBQ bar has now been raised unattainably high.  I'm not sure the kids will ever again be satisfied with a regular BBQ.
We built an eagle's nest in the back yard.  Naturally.

When you have a husband who occasionally turns into a landscape berserker, it makes perfect sense.

Plus, a certain little miss someone who is currently in love with little feathery friends and their homes has a birthday coming up.  I bet you'll never guess the theme.
Did I mention watermelon?  And machetes?  We're serious about our watermelon around here.
Patriotic nail polish.  Courtesy of some family friends.  It's always nice when your children return from a playdate more patriotic than when they left.
Pinwheels, dubbed "spinwheels" by the kids.  Courtesy of the awesomely amazing BBQ hosts.
Everyone had a great holiday weekend until baby B decided to catch Roseola and refused to leave my arms for 2 1/2 days.

So on the 4th, while Shaggy and the kids went swimming and to see the fireworks, I camped out in the rocking chair with a feverish baby who was finally giving me all the cuddles she's denied me for nearly a year.  Suffice it to say that I didn't hate spending the day that way.
And we finished it all off with s'mores on a stick (from the idea room).  They were seriously good.  Actually rivaled the real thing. 

Happy birthday, America!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Road Rage

Just in case you wanted to know what toddler road rage would look like.

What?!  You talkin' to me?

This is MY dead lawn.  Get outta my way!!

Slithering Serpents

We went to a celebration at a great natural history center that emphasizes all things hands-on.  Above, J and R are digging for worms.  They didn't find any.  But the dirt found them.
So we moved on to something bigger and better.  Snakes.
It may look like R is backing away out of fear.  But no, she was just trying to get a clearer view of the snake's face.  I guess she needed to see what sort of mood it was in.
J would have happily brought one home with him.  He was entranced.

He is currently in negotiations with his father about getting one as a pet. 
We'll see how that turns out. 
But if they get one as big as this, somebody will have to move out just to make room.  Or maybe the snake could just eat the dog and then curl up in his trademark spot on the sofa.