Monday, August 29, 2011

Snakes in the House

Yesterday, one of my fears became true. I found a snake inside my house.


It was crawling...scratch that... SLITHERING on my kitchen floor. It was much larger than the 5 inches John is telling people it was. It was at least a foot long...a ruler is a foot, right? It was at least a foot long. But it might as well have been a python because it was INSIDE my HOUSE. Inside.

When I spotted it on this lazy Sunday afternoon, I did what any good mother would do with her two toddlers in the same room. I screamed and jumped on top of the kitchen counter. "Sssssnnnnaaakkkeee" I squealed to John. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh" and the shudders were taking over my body like a seizure. Colt asked me what was wrong and I smiled sweetly, grit my teeth and said "nothing, honey, Mommy is just being so silly!". I eyed John to GET OVER HERE THIS IS NOT OK.

He caught the snake, thanks to my quick actions of finding a mason jar and a fork. I'm a downright hero around here. He took it next door and, with our neighbor, determined it to be a garter snake. Then he walked about 300 yards in the field behind our house and let it go.

He let it go. Yes, it's head was still intact. This was unsettling to me, but I assumed I was just being a weenie.

But the consensus among social media, which I took to within minutes of discovery, is that SNAKE IN HOUSE NOT OK. SNAKE IN HOUSE NOT NORMAL. Every single suggestion, except my sister-in-law's (which, she is related to my husband so I assume the lack of common sense is genetic), was to KILLITSHOWNOMERCYCUTTHEHEADOFF.

But nope. It's out there. In that field I can see from my kitchen window. It's going to come back, probably with friends and family. It's a regular AT&T commercial up in my house.

John kept teasing me, as a good supportive understanding husband would do. So I punched him and told him to stop. Colt said "what did Daddy do?". I told him that Daddy was being mean to Mommy. Colt got very serious, walked over to John and pointed to the hallway. "Daddy, you go timeout RIGHT.NOW. We don't be mean to Mommy".

That's right, the 2-year-old put Daddy in timeout. It was the right thing to do. Then Colt took my hand, showed me the window on the backdoor and said "the snake can't get you's ok, baby".

Guess who I love more? Geez, that kid eats me up with the sweetness and compassion.

I slept fitfully last night. I now walk with my head down to make sure I don't see any snakes, or worse STEP on one. I have been shaking all shoes before slipping my bare feet into them.

I'm thinking of interviewing realtors this week. We clearly can't keep living here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Swimmin' Pools...

We actually have done a lot of swimming this summer. As long as it was between 9a and 11a then the sun wasn't too scalding! About every weekend we went, and once a week each boy had "water day" at school and wore their swimming suits to play in sprinklers and slip-n-slides.

All that swimming and I didn't get a picture of them in their swimming suits until today! We went late afternoon for once, but only stayed about 30 minutes before poor Owen (he got my complexion) was turning very red despite SPF 70. But they LOVE to splash and swim and jump in the pool, float on floaties and play ball. Next summer I'm putting them in swim lessons for sure...they're both little daredevils in the pool!


This summer has been insufferable. Nearly 60 days of temps over 100 degrees. We haven't been in our backyard since May. MAY. So we've been doing A LOT inside. Not ideal, but we manage to have fun! Here's a glimpse of a few of our recent activities...

Learning to bowl, eating spaghetti, building blanket forts, having dance parties, and roadtripping to Missouri where we visited family and stayed in our first hotel as a family.

We've actually had a lovely summer, lots of fun, and we've learned a lot. But we sure are ready for fall-like temperatures. Preferably BEFORE the time change so we have the evenings to play outside...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

What's in a Name...and Little Brother

I was searching through old financial records the other night and came across a file with all of Colt's hospital records at his birth. Standard procedure in adoptions is that the baby is identified with his birthmother's last name at the hospital...relinquishment is normally long after all are checked out of the hospital, and he was not our child legally. Even after we left the hospital, we were caring for him but we were not legally his parents. He was someone else's little boy.

Colt's birthmother listed his full name with Anderson on his original birth certificate. But the hospital records list him as "Baby Boy" J (her last name). It hit me like a ton of bricks. It's really the only record where his name is something other than Anderson. And to see him referred to as Baby Boy instead of Colton...

It was a glimpse into a different life. How different a path he could have had. What a different person he would be. For most of us, a different name wouldn't change who we are. But for adopted children - the difference in name means a different life.

Not a bad life, I know he would be loved and cared for. But a different life and different family and different house and different love. It was a lot for me to take in. It also brought back a lot of emotions as I remembered how complicated that time in our life was. So, so worth it...but it was just so complicated.

Who would he be if we were not his parents? Who would WE be if he was not our son?

Shortly after that emotional hard hit, I got an e-mail from Owen's sweet, sweet teacher. Owen is moving into the next class at school next week and leaving my favorite (and his favorite) teacher. She wrote to tell me how much she will miss him and how much she has fallen for our little blonde-haired man.

She went on to explain how happy, joyful, jolly, laid-back he is. How all her stories to her husband begin with Owen. How he fills her day with so much joy. She said he reminders her of herself, which really sent me over the edge because that's one of the biggest compliments I could hear because she is just that wonderful. She's full of joy and is so kind and gentle. I love the thought of Owen being a little Mrs. A.

She gets him. She understands him, even though he doesn't talk. She communicates with him, she sees him as a leader in the class and watches how helpful he is, how kind he is to his friends. She really gets him.

So, of course I got weepy. But then it was made even harder because I realize that she sees the "him" that not even John and I get to see very often. She sees him as Owen. Not ColtandOwen. He's not with his big brother, she didn't know Colt before. She just knows sweet, wonderful Owen. I get sad that we don't spend enough one-on-one time with him. He's a different kid when not competing for attention. It's not a bad thing, he's just more laid back and Colt is an attention hog!

Also, I wonder if we'd be more patient, more understanding with Owen's speech delay if we didn't have the boys so close in age. It's so easy to get caught up in what Colt's doing and what Owen isn't. Mrs. A doesn't see that...she is able to stay patient because Owen is who he is.

We are BLESSED to have the teachers that the boys have. I don't take them for granted. But I am very, very sad he's leaving her. He is a special, special boy and I love it when he's "favorited".

Don't know what it is lately, but I'm just overcome with emotion and my heart is just full with my family. I'm just so thankful for THESE children. I'm thankful I'm COLT and OWEN's mom.