The girls are getting used to life in the Southwest and the new world of plants and critters. We've had lots of encounters with wildlife from the bobcats who like to use our backyard to hunt rabbits on the golf course to the snake who decided to take a drink out of the pool while the girls were swimming. Ella saw something sticking out of the pool and realized that it was a snake taking a drink. Rick came to the rescue and tossed it over the fence with a pool cleaner.
Scorpions have been another new friend for us. Rick got the girls scorpion flashlights at the hardware store and when the lights are out the skeleton glows like a fluorescent light. We found a bunch in the rental house but didn't have anyone get stung. Ceci stepped on one on the carpet in our bedroom but it didn't sting her and I came to the rescue and killed it.
One morning after rolling out the garbage cans, Rick got up to see our trash all over the street. We learned the hard way that javelinas patrol the neighborhood like raccoons, knocking over garbage cans. Hard to believe that we are now living somewhere with packs of hairy pigs cruising around.
The most notable natural encounter for us so far was Katie versus the cactus. I was sitting outside while the girls were riding bikes and scooters in front of the house. There is a small hill at the end of the block that the girls like to gain a speed coming down. I heard a yelp from Katie and looked up to see her crying and walking slowly holding her arms and hands away from her body like Frankenstein. Then I realized that she was COVERED from forehead to ankle in cactus needles. Literally hundreds of needles. Sophia, Ella and Ceci were so upset looking at Katie that they ran inside crying and told us later that they went into our room and started praying for Katie to be ok.
Rick ran out and we had no idea what to do to help poor Katie. She kept asking us to call an ambulance so they could make her better at the hospital. I called the pediatrician who said that all they'd do at the hospital is use tweezers to pull out the needles. So Rick and I went to work. There were needles all over her face, forearms, legs...it was a disaster.
I was wondering why she didn't bail off the scooter as it was headed toward the cactus patch when Katie murmured
"I'm never doing that again"
me: "Riding down the hill like a maniac?"
Katie: "No, riding down the hill on a scooter with my eyes closed"