Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lolli Croft

Lolli Croft
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
This is what happens when school is out for the summer and mommy is too preoccupied with writing her grad school papers. Little innocent children (girls included) turn elsewhere for other forms of entertainment . . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lizard in the house

Cnemidophorus tigris multiscutatus

Today we found a new mouth to feed in our house. It wasn't a welcomed guest nor was it a paying tenant. It was a lizard that freaked me out. Call me a wuss but seeing a long lizard tail whipping out from under your TV console (while watching TV) is worse than seeing a mouse in your house. Air Boss spotted the reptile seconds before me and he saw the thing scurry across the kitchen floor to the family room and under the TV console.
After we sent the kids upstairs, Air Boss and I, each of us armed with a box and some cooking utensil as our weapon of choice, we captured the lizard. Actually, it was really Air Boss who scared the lizard into the box while I scared myself silly while jumping up and down chanting, "He better not run over my bare feet or else I'm gonna scream!"
With the box taped up and placed outside on our patio table, we tried to figure out "what next?" Meanwhile, I felt extremely nervous as I hear the scratching noises inside and saw the box move incrementally closer and closer to the edge of the table. We spent the next 15 minutes getting the lizard out of the box and into a jar. That thing was so quick and so long, he pushed his way out of the jar (while standing on his tail) before we could screw on the lid. Air Boss ran around the yard with the jar trying to corner the thing again while I continued my ridiculous chant of "That thing better not touch me or I'm gonna scream!" [meanwhile, I had no idea that I was already screaming]
The tail freaks me out...
Well fast-forward to a few hours and one Home Depot trip later (Air Boss ran out to purchase door bottom sweeps for both our front and back doors to prevent lizard cousins and cohorts from treating our home like a motel), we had our friends the H family over for dinner.
The kids were fascinated with the lizard thing. I had looked up photos on Google and the closest match I could find was the Coastal Western Whiptail. No wonder the thing is called a Whiptail - the tail is longer than the body and it can flick it faster than you can yell "I'm gonna scream!" We all noticed that the tail was so strong. The lizard kept "standing upright " on it's tail.

Beauty and the Beast

Anyway, the H family gracious took the lizard off our hands and released it in a nearby park on their way back home. We didn't know that their son had already formed a strong attachment to the reptile and sobbed all the way to the park, at the park, on the way home, and at home. CH, thanks for taking good care of the lizard and doing what was best for your reptilian friend.
In the meantime, here is a photo of the lizard doing its best "Geico" pose:Mr. Cool

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Birthday dinner surprise

I couldn't wait to get out of class and go home. I had just parked the car at home and was walking toward the front door when I heard 'Shroom's voice. Wow - I didn't realize that the kids were so audible from the outside of the house [note to self: before yelling at kids, be sure to close the windows].

I walked in the house and realized that the lights were on in the backyard and the kids were NOT in bed. I walked over to the patio door to see what the deal was (hopefully they were not picking up more dead chick carcasses).

I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised.

Air Boss had cooked me a birthday dinner and he and the kids WAITED for me to come home from my Thursday night class to eat dinner with me. Wow! The backyard was beautiful! Air Boss and cannibalized the Christmas tree lights and strung them on the pergola and there was a candle lit dinner waiting for me (with flowers and a bottle of sparkling cider). The kids were understandably hungry but were pleasant and excited for me.

What a great surprise. Thanks Air Boss for a beautiful romantic and kid-friendly (is that possible?!?) birthday dinner. =)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Things you don't expect to see on new sod

On the Freshly Cut Lawn

Luckily I was not home when Air Boss found this in our backyard. It was also a good thing that it wasn't there BEFORE he mowed the lawn.

Apparently a new bird family has settled into the birdhouse in our backyard (the one we forgot to toss out in the trash amidst the busyness of the landscaping). Unfortunately (for us and for the birds), it appears that the chick mortality rate is quite high.

I find this pose morbidly humorous


. . . guess the nest wasn't big enough

Heavenly Peace
Heavenly Peace

. . . a total of three dead birds today. I tell you, that birdhouse needs to be tossed in the trashcan.

Hot Vegas

The kids and I (along with Air Boss and his extended family) all survived 111 degree weather in Las Vegas. Air Boss said that it got as hot as 119 but I was probably passed out unconscious from the heat so I didn't even know.

Poor kids had a tough time. They wilted right before my eyes and I was worried for Lolli whose face flushed almost as soon as we stepped out of the air conditioned car at the Hoover Dam (can you see her very rosy cheeks in the photo?).

future famous landmark @ Hoover Dam

Poor 'Shroom. His noggin' got a big whack at the MGM Grand Hotel. We were there to see the lion habitat which would have been a lot more spectacular if the lions weren't sleeping away the afternoon. Visitors could walk under the Plexiglas bridge where the lions were sleeping and see the underside of the lions (why one would want to see the underside of a lion, I don't know). Well, Air Boss being the doting father and wanting to give his son the best view possible, hoisted 'Shroom up on his shoulders. On second thought, 'Shroom sitting on Air Boss' head would be even higher and provide the best vantage point.


I guess the ceiling wasn't as high as Air Boss had thought. 'Shroom's head had hit the Plexiglas ceiling so hard, it made the lioness sleeping two inches away from his own head stir in her sleep. That Plexiglas ceiling was supposed to be sound-proof. I guess 'Shroom's head was strong enough to break the sound barrier! [poor 'Shroom cried and cried but I think it was more out of embarrassment as everyone had turned to look at him]

Anyway, Hoover Dam was quite fascinating. Quite an engineering feat but I was too overheated to marvel at the structure. Don't let my smile fool you - that's my sneaky grin as I try to release the dam . . .