The Lazy Days of Summer

It has been almost three weeks since I last posted, and I have thought about why that may be. In the end, all I can come up with is my mind is at rest, and my heart is full of peace.

I have slept in, and enjoying the quiet of my bedroom until far too late in the morning. If I don’t sleep in, than I wake up and read or watch a show before taking a mid-morning nap. I bring my breakfast back up to bed. The boys are still sleeping, and Carleigh is watching TV or texting with friends downstairs.  Very few of our quiet morning have been interrupted. Twice we have had birds randomly flying around inside the house. They seem to have found their way down the furnace vent. Not quietly, nor gracefully, but they have lived to see another day. I wonder if it was the same bird twice. If it was, he seems to have learned his lesson now.

In the afternoons, I drive Brennan to work, or to a friend’s house. He is enjoying a new social life this summer. It makes me happy for him. He recently bought a jigsaw puzzle, and as soon as he gets home, he calls me down to work on it with him. Special memories I’ll never forget. Carleigh spends time doing errands with me. We have had a few fun shopping days. We have seen a few movies. She has a friend who sometimes spends days at a time with us. They remind me of my childhood weekends with my best friend.

Both Carleigh and Brennan have spent time camping with family “up north,” as we say in Michigan, and have spent a few nights on grandma’s farm. We have had several lunches and a barbecue with my side of the family as well. I had a very good friend and her son visit us for a day. They are Australian, and we met in Shanghai, but they have also lived in the U.S. They were passing through on their summer travels. It was a wonderful day. My childhood best friend, who lives in the south, was here with her family for two days in June. It was like we were never apart. I love her so much.

We soon leave for a week with our Chinese-Canadian friends on our yearly trip. Another blessing that came along with living in Shanghai. Although we are heading to a different site this year, it will include sun, water, fresh breezes, and plenty of fun catching up.

Loving the lazy days of summer.

Centipedes, Spiders, and Slugs…..Oh My!

Centipedes, Spiders, and Slugs….Oh My!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bill and I have been looking into moving to an apartment when our lease is up in February. We have been fairly happy with the house we have been in, but among a number of other minor reasons, we are trying to get away from some of the bugs. It is very humid in Shanghai,  which proves to be a marvelous breeding environment for mosquitos. Every time we open a door or window, a multitude fly in. If we move to an apartment above the 5th or 6th floor, we will reduce the number of mosquitos that get into our home. This last summer, we slept with mosquito nets on our beds, and Raid plug-ins in each room. Bill would actually use bug spray when he woke up in the morning, so that he wouldn’t get eaten alive in our STUDY. One night a mosquito, (or two, three, four..etc) got into Ethan’s net, and he was bitten 69 times (yes, he counted.)

We also frequently have REALLY LONG centipedes in the house. Although they seem really cool to look at in books, on TV, or in photos, I haven’t found them quite as intriguing when they are skittering across my kitchen floor. They actually, to put it mildly, complelely CREEP ME OUT! I’m generally the girl who sees a bug, grabs a tissue, paper towel, or shoe, and smashes them without blinking. With centipedes, I grab a paper towel AND make sure I have shoes on, before I drop the paper towel on top of them,  and SCREAM everytime I stomp down on it. This must be done very quickly though, as they are very speedy little creepers! I think the children, considering how quickly they jumped on my bed the other day, have the same opinion as me. There’s nothing quite as terrifying as thinking that there’s a dead centipede on your bedroom floor, and calling the kids in to see it, and then having it suddenly come back to life and scurry off. YIKES!

Then there are the slugs. I have seen a few almost “cute” slugs on the street, while waiting with the kids for the school bus in the morning. If you look closely, you can see their antenna, and I can picture them singing, like in the movie, “Flushed Away.” However, one evening, when our inside kitchen door was accidentally locked (we haven’t been able to find a key for it), Bill ran outside to go through the back door to unlock it. He didn’t take the time to put on shoes, and apparently, the slugs that visit our patio at night are of the extremely large, mutant, variety with an especially squishy, slide factor when stepped on. This makes for a very unhappy husband.

We also have a resident spider (not the spider pictured above). Her web is suspended between two bushes right outside our house, where the children wait for the bus. She hasn’t bothered us in any way, minding her own business and collecting all sorts of bugs in her giant web, but she is one of those large, white, spiders, much like the one who was in my car on my way home from my 20 week ultrasound wihile pregnant with Ethan. The one that I was pretty sure my very nasty ultrasound technician had morphed into, before she stationed herself above my head on the car’s window frame after I left the hospital (what else could it be? I had never seen a white spider before!) I noticed her, right after I turned onto the main road on my way home. I started frantically looking for a place to pull over, but before I did, I felt her drop onto my head. I made a quick turn into a condo complex, all but FELL out of the car, and proceeded to jump up and down, shaking my head and hair towards the ground, doing the ” There’s a spider in my hair dance” in front of a lawn maintenance crew. Good times. Good times.

Last week we did find an apartment we liked, and if everything goes well, we will be moving in February. We will be on the ninth floor, and are hoping to at least REDUCE the number of bugs and such in our living space here.