More Dogs

Remember the old dog post?

Sarah started preschool today so I thought it’d be worth seeing what dog she now is.  I also wanted to include Emily’s first.

Even in a less happy photo it was the same.

Emily is definitely eager to prey on small animals.

Sarah surprisingly didn’t change.  I had to rotate the photo because it was having trouble finding the sideways face.

Declaring War

We’re nearly at the end of July and for a month I’ve been out launching frogs with a pool net almost every night.

But that’s not where this story starts.

Man is an apex predator.  With technology, the apex-est predator there is.  We not only can kill an animal, we can wipe out a whole species and salt the land making sure that nothing even remotely like you can flourish in the future.

And man needs his sleep.

I live in a noisy house.  I have a toddler with endless energy, a noisy six-month-old baby, and a “loud sleeping” wife.  My house isn’t large and mostly tiled so sound waves just bounce around until they hit my ears.  It’s never quiet.

In May, the red spotted toad (above) started to crawl out of its hiding places and curse Tucson with its screams.  Frogs ribbit, right?  WRONG.  This frog screams.  All night long.

Now this is the first year that the pool chemicals have been “excellent” (because I’m no longer in charge of them), so I know it isn’t too far off either end of the pH scale.  Maybe the frogs can sense this and it doesn’t burn their skin.

These frogs are loud.  The pool is about twenty feet from my bed and I’m only separated by a single window/wall.  Within twenty feet, I have at least three of these awful animals singing to me.

Alone they will scream for 40-50 seconds, stop for about ten, then start screaming again.  When there are others, you’ll hear different pitches in their voices and like the Benedictine Monks, it never ends.

That is until July.  In July I declared war on these awful creatures.

They start up around 9PM but really get going around 11PM and will go until 4AM if you let them.  I can hear many others in the dry river behind our house. It’s only wet after it rains, and only for a few hours or a day at most.

They’ll climb the wall and hang out by the pool.  If they were quiet then they could have all the fun they wanted.  But they aren’t.  And I want those kids off my lawn.

I have a pool leaf net that is about eight feet long.  I can easily reach the other side of the pool from a single spot.  I finally went out there one night and caught them one by one and gently dropped them on the other side of the fence.

But they were back in less than a half hour.  It was my fault.  I was nice.

I slowly tossed them a bit farther every time hoping that they wouldn’t find their way back.  After about four days, seeing the same few frogs and new ones all the time, I stopped being nice.

I’ve started launching them as far as I can as if I’m using a lacrosse stick.  My strategy is to scare them into the water where they’re easier to catch in the netting.  Then I slowly lift them to not scare them and whip it as hard as I can into the dry riverbed.

I’ll normally go out there around 11PM, midnight, and maybe 1AM.  Usually by then they won’t try to come back until the next day.

By now I have launched at least 100 and only been (temporarily) outsmarted once.  One frog thought it’d be smart to climb up into the rocks beside the pool.  He was right, but I came out about 30 minutes later and taught him how to fly.

I work with my next door neighbor and he’s thanked me for my efforts.  These frogs are a menace.

I can’t do anything about the sounds happening within my house, but at least I can show a bunch of two-ounce desert frogs to fear a pool-net-wielding man in underwear.

Kids, Work, Pool

Summer is in full swing.  Daily highs top 100 and evenings are perfect.  Jupiter and Saturn are both high in the sky and beautiful right now.

The pool water temperature is sitting in the high 70’s and Sarah and I have been going out back to swim after dinner.  Once the sun goes below the fence to the west, we don’t need to worry about sunscreen.

I never properly learned how to swim but I can move around and stay afloat in water.  It’s hard to teach Sarah because I don’t really know where to start.  She’s very excited to jump off the pool stairs and go underwater.  It scares me even though I’m standing right there with her.

I believe the people who owned the house and put the pool in made sure the shallow end was really shallow.  She’s not even three and can stand above water in the shallowest end on her toes.

I’m trying to teach her to first make it to the side of the pool and grab the edge, then scream really loud for help, then make her way to the stairs.  Just in case.  We’ve got a good, strong fence around the perimeter but you can’t be too careful with kids around a pool.

Emily is sitting up and can now sit and scoot around in the “space ship” which is a canvas chair that rotates around a plastic table with some toys that keep her attention.  I remember Sarah playing in that for a really long time and I’m convinced that it helped her learn to walk.  Emily can just barely touch the ground but has the core muscle strength to hold herself up.  She’ll be five months old next week!

Sarah starts preschool in September.  She’s a lot of fun to be around now.  She can talk about things and is just so funny.  Her reasons for doing things are so innocent and funny at the same time.  We moved a couch cushion and discovered a few Cheerios.  She threw them in her mouth immediately.  I laughed and asked her why she did that.  The right answer is “they’re Cheerios”.  What else would you do with them?

Erin starts her third year with her practice in August right before Sarah turns three.  The job will change slightly but we’re both optimistic.

I hooked up a trailer to my bike and pulled Sarah around the neighborhood.  She didn’t like it as much as I thought but I’m sort of grateful because my fat butt on a bike sure ain’t what it used to be.  I’m hoping we can do more of it in the future.

I’m making room in the garage for things like this and getting rid of baby stuff.  Extra strollers and junk like that.  We need a bigger house.

Summer 2017

It’s already hot.  This will be our sixth summer in Tucson and I’ll take fifty of these over a single New York winter.

I hit 100K miles on my car after 14 good Honda years.  I’m sure 200k will be logged either by Sarah or Emily.

We’re waiting on a few new sets of photos from the wedding a few months ago where Sarah was a flower girl and Sarah’s school pictures.  She’ll be starting preschool this fall.

The last time I was this tired, Sarah was about four months old.  Emily just turned four months yesterday.  We’ve got a long way before we can get to any sort of nighttime normalcy.

May 2017

It’s already May.  So much has happened and I missed a lot of birthdays.  Keep watching the pictures on the right because it seems to be the only thing I have the time to update any more.