Thursday, January 5, 2012

Snakes, Sleepovers, and Swimming

Snakes, sleepovers, and swimming.  This is how we have started our New Year.  Well, some of these things were already history by the time 2012 rolled in… but that doesn’t really matter.

Fernando brought a snake into the house the other night.  We heard some strange, very dramatic deep meows while we were in the kitchen cooking and finally Joe declares, “What in the world is going on with the cat!?” 

I go to investigate.

I see a black rope coiled up at Fernando’s feet in the dining room.  Except for that the rope is still moving – slightly.  And Fernando is batting at it and licking his chomps.  The snake is about to become dessert.  Joe, the sling-the-snake-out-of-the-house Hero comes to the rescue and uses a dust pan with a long handle to scoop the half-dead snake OUT.  Except he accidently slings it up onto the roof.  It can’t slither back down and inside… can it?
Snake #1
About 30 minutes later, with friends over by this point, we find another snake in the hallway.  Is it the same darn snake?  Or his baby cousin?  You look at the pictures and judge for yourself.  I happen to think we had two snakes in our house that night.  
Snake #2
On happier notes (snakes aren’t un-happy I guess, they are just heeby-jeeby-ly gross), on Saturday morning we discovered a beautiful park outside of the city (about a 30 minute drive east) which provided us with much-craved for time in the outdoors.  It wasn’t exactly the wilderness – ok not even close – but it’s been one of the main things we’ve missed from home.  Public green space that is.  In Seattle, we often frequented playgrounds or parks or rugged beaches with gorgeous views.  It’s difficult to find anything like that in the city of San Jose. So this was a very happy discovery!
Then, Kate had a sort-of sleep over on New Year’s Eve with her friends Caia and Isaac.  Their parents came over to celebrate with us, and the girls ended up making little beds in front of the TV before it was actually time to hit the rack.  Kate decided to go southern on us and make a palette on the floor (for all you un-southern folks, a palette is not only made of wood and used for transporting things – it’s also made of blankets and put on the floor for sleeping).  As for the adults, we just ate and chatted and ate some more and watched the Toros on TV.  It’s a Costa Rican Christmas tradition.  Check out the first minute or so of this YouTube video:   We were greatly entertained and it was a memorable way to celebrate the New Year.
And finally, Kate started swimming Tuesday.  She told us beforehand, “I don’t like my swimmin’ teasher,” but then we quickly reminded her that she hadn’t even met her teacher yet and that we would be with her the whole class.  She is taking class with Isaac and she LOVES it.  A huge bonus for us.  (She also turned a corner this week at school – after a 2 week break – and is actually playing with the other kids and enjoying it more!  She still cries hysterically when we drop her off but quickly stops and according to her teachers is doing ‘excellente’!)  So 2012, here we come!  
New swim cap.
Getting warmed up doing some stretches.
Happy girl!
They get a big marshmellow and stamps on their hands after each class.

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