Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In big trouble!

Scott called me from work this morning to tell me that he had something for Emma's habitat container. He found a salamander on the sidewalk at the DU office and decided to bring it home for Emma and Gage. I was anxious to see it. I have tadpoles on order via the internet, but I don't think they ship until November. When he got home at lunch time, I had the habitat sitting right on the table waiting. When he opened the box to dump it in I just about crapped! It was HUGE! I was not expecting it to be that big!

Check him (or her) out! Emma wants to name it Sally the Salamander, which I think is perfect, but Gage refuses to let that name stick until he finds out if it is a boy or girl. I told him if it turns out to be a boy, we can call him Sal. He wrinkled his nose at me. I didn't tell the kids about it at all until we got home and waited for them to find it on the table. Emma went right up to it and she hollers out, "What the!" She thought it was a statue until it moved, and then it startled her. When I told them that Dad caught it for them they were all excited! He is actually quite active and fun to watch. I was feeling very sorry for him. The poor thing was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and now his peaceful way of living is over. I think the habitat is actually too small for him because he can't really walk around in it without dropping down into the water, or having to climb a rock. I'm sure we'll have to get our aquarium set up for him so he has a bigger space to live in. Before Scott left on his trip this afternoon, we went to PetSmart to buy some crickets. Great, just what we needed, another mouth to feed! At 10 cents a pop for big crickets, I'm thinking maybe I need to get into the cricket business!? NOT! When we got home with the crickets, I put 2 in the habitat and I couldn't believe how quickly he snatched them up! Scott printed off some information from the internet and these salamanders aren't supposed to be handled unless absolutely necessary because the oils and things from your hands can penetrate through their skin and make them sick or even die. (He didn't know that when he first caught him!) The information said not to feed them too much because they can become obese. After the kids checked him out for a little while, they wanted to see him eat a cricket, so I put another one in the habitat. The stupid cricket jumped right into the water and had the most difficult time getting back onto dry land. We had to leave for gymnastics before the cricket met his demise. Just before we left; however, I was sitting at the table watching the salamander and he was just sitting in one spot for awhile. Finally, when he moved, I saw something and said, "What is that?" Emma saw it too. He pooped. OMG! I had no idea what a salamander's poop would look like. We had a tiny anole once (it came in a tree/plant that our realtor gave us around Christmastime a few years ago) and it's poop kind of resembed bird poop to me, but in a much smaller amount. I assumed that's what the salamander's poop would look like. Boy was I wrong! Gage heard Emma and I making a fuss over the poop and he came into the kitchen to check it out and immediately started gagging and nearly puked. (Okay, so he's probably not going to be a medical doctor when he grows up!) After I finally removed the "turd" from the habitat, I had to take a picture of it because I couldn't believe how BIG it was!

How disgusting is that??? It took me quite awhile to get the stupid thing removed from the container. I finally got rid of the paper towel and went for the plastic spoon. I sure hope he doesn't poop too often! Maybe it will change with a diet of mostly crickets now that he's in captivity? I guess I'll find out tomorrow! We couldn't find the cricket that we put in the container when we got home from gymnastics, so he must have gotten eaten. I'll be seeing it again, in a much more disgusting form!

Now, you may be wondering about the title of my post "In big trouble!" It has nothing to do with the salamander.

Last week, when I started my volunteer job at the Northridge School library, while Mrs. Schmidt was telling me about the Dewey Decimal System and showing me how to shelve the books, she came across a book and pulled it out of the shelf. She says, "Oh, have you read this book, Marley?" I told her I had not. She said, "Oh, this is such a good book! My kids loved it and it was soooooooooooooo funny!" I told her I would have to tell Gage about it so he could check it out. I wasn't aware, until she told me, but one of the perks that come with working in the library, is that I can check out books!! I was excited to hear that and decided I would check out the book myself and read it to the kids. We started it that night and it was pretty funny, until the end. Marley is a book about a dog. A yellow labrador retriever. The cover of the book is adorable. I mean, who wouldn't want to read this book?

Marley: A Dog Like No Other. We finished the book tonight at bedtime. This book tells of Marley's life with his owner, and is a true story. While I was reading, I knew I was in trouble. We were nearing the end of the book tonight, and I'm sure you know where this is headed. The story reminded me so much of Branta it wasn't even funny. As I'm reading, I can tell that there's no way I'm going to be able to make it through this book without crying. I kept taking deep breaths and I was proud of myself for how well I was keeping it together. I'm sure part of that was because Emma was distracting me because she apparently had some ants in her pants. I had told her a few times to please lay still and listen to the story. Gage was laying in his bed while Emma and I sat on the floor in his room. All of a sudden, while I am reading, I couldn't keep it in anymore. I burst out into tears and sobs. I think I scared Emma to death because she looked right at me and was all concerned. I continued to read, aloud, as I'm sobbing uncontrollably. Have you ever tried reading out loud while you're crying? Well, let me tell you.....................it's not easy! I had to have Emma go get me a box of Kleenex, which she did as quickly as she could. She continued to watch me while I tried to read as tears were collecting on my glasses making them impossible to see through. The whole last 4 chapters of the book were heart-wrenchingly sad. As I was reading (and sobbing) I said aloud, "Boy is Mrs. Schmidt in trouble!" At one point, I could hear Gage crying too. I wasn't even going to look, because I knew I wouldn't be able to stand seeing him look so sad. Emma on the other hand, is completely oblivious. The ants in her pants apparently had her too distracted and she wasn't listening very well. FINALLY, the book came to an end and I have never been so relieved in all my life. I took Emma to her bed and laid with her for a few minutes to get her settled down and ready for sleep. She says to me, "Mom, why did you say Mrs. Schmidt is in trouble?" I told her it was because she had told me about how great the book was, and that it was so funny and had her kids laughing like crazy and didn't warn me that it had a sad ending. When I went in to get Gage tucked in he asked me, "Mom, why did you say Mrs. Schmidt is in trouble?" LOL! I told him the same thing I told Emma. The kids are all concerned about Mrs. Schmidt being in trouble. Gage has library tomorrow and will be returning the book for me and I'll be anxious to hear what he has to tell her. (Juanita, you'll have to take notes and let me know how the conversation goes!) Boy is Mrs. Schmidt in trouble!


Emily Jennings said...

First of all, Silas is going to be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO jealous of the salamander! What a find! (poop and all!)

Second, I know exactly how hard it is to read while crying! Am I a sicko to say I think we may check out that book? I love true stories and sometimes I am just in the mood for a good cry!

Kysa said...

Well...I wonder what you are going to do with the spoon the poo was on....that is making me sick to my stomach...maybe cuz I just ate or something.....haha!!!! Sorry I had to laugh at the story .... Wow... I should tell Dustin to read it.....He cried at school with "old Yeller" when he was in 3rd grade.....haha!!! It's so good to have such big hearts....
take care!