I’d always heard that the South had critters that the North doesn’t. My grandma told me once that when her, my grandpa, my dad and uncles and aunt were living down there my dad and uncles would catch lizards and put them in their pockets and she’d find them in her washing machine. I was like whatever. Then when I told my husband about it, he said yea they are everywhere. Neither one of them was joking. Now we own a snake, I used to be the reptile queen when I was working at my past clinic so I’ve dealt with my fair share of lizards. They don’t creep me out, they are kind of cool I think. BUT when you open the front door to your mother in laws house to go finish unloading the truck and this bright green thing goes running across the front steps when you’re not expecting it, your naturally going to spaz a little and ask “what the hell was that?!” That’s how my Wednesday morning started. It scared the crap out of me, I was half a sleep so give me a little slack. After I knew what it was and put my heart back in my chest, my son and I attempted to catch the little bugger. They are fast little things. I never did catch it, but I got a really good picture of it.
That day was a pretty chill day, my husband, daughter and I went to the store to get some groceries for the week and let little dude stay home and spend some alone time with grandma. We bought a cake to celebrate little mans birthday the next day and my husband stocked up on Crimson Tide gear. It’s a lot cheaper down there then it is online or up here. No joke I think he came home with 10 hats from this trip. When we got back to ma’s house we decided we needed to just relax and hang out we were still pretty wore out from the drive. So the kids played outside and drew with some chalk and entertained grandma and I for the afternoon and night. I sat on the front swing almost all afternoon just relaxing in the southern heat and sun listening to classic country while my husband napped. When the sun started going down my son came out of the house and I had seen a lightning bug on the side of the house. I showed it to him and when it lit up he was absolutely amazed. I know we have them up North but down there, it’s like a light show it was beautiful. my husband had told me once before if you catch them and squeeze their butts when they are lit up you can smear it on your clothes and you can glow. I tried to talk my son into letting me do it, but that wasn’t going to fly. In the middle of may when I was pulling up the rocks around the foundation of our house, our son was standing there helping me when we saw a bizarre looking bug. He was a little nervous because we did teach him that there are bugs that will bite, and some of those bug bites could kill you. He asked if it would bite and I said I don’t know. Then some how we started talking about other bugs that live in the North and then we started talking about bugs in the South…..I believe that talk scared the hell out of him because the entire time we were down there I’d hear “mom there’s a bug! does it bite?” apparently I should’ve filtered our bug talk a little better because he is so scared of so many bugs now. Anyway, he asked if it would bite him. I told him no, but he didn’t believe me so we had to wait for dad to get home from running an errand to tell him they don’t bite. He didn’t believe dad either, so dad said he would catch one some time while we were there and prove it.
While we were eating my brother in law called and I answered the phone, when I handed it to ma she laughed and said “yes she is a Yankee.” HA I knew I’d be called a Yankee at least once while we were down there, it’s even funnier that it was by my brother in law. Then my husband talked to his brother, which they haven’t talked in about 10 years for different reasons. They decided to have a family get together that Saturday and we would celebrate little man’s birthday and just spend time with the family. Again, now I was even more nervous. Family coming that I haven’t ever met, family that I haven’t seen in years, having to watch what I say. At least I had some time to prepare myself. my husband told me to be myself, but also take some time to read everyone. The thing about southern families is they hug, if you’ve never met them doesn’t matter your family you hug. So the biggest thing was make sure to hug everyone, no hand shaking. Ok I can do this I have two days to figure it all out and try to learn how to read his family, ha I can hardly read mine some days so this could be interesting I thought.
After we ate we all got ready for bed and hit the hay. Apparently letting mom sleep that night wasn’t much of an option. little man kept waking up saying there were bugs, at one point the kid was standing in the middle of the bed dancing around saying there were bugs in the bed. Finally I asked him what bugs he was seeing, I thought maybe he was seeing the lightning bugs. Nope, grandma had a large amount of ants outside her house and he said he saw ants and felt them crawling on him. So we checked the bed, nope no ants it’s just a dream buddy. He did that 4 times that night. Then at around 4 am our daughter coughs, and throws up. Really? Is this how this week is going to go? She only threw up once but there was a lot there and it smelt like taco’s…apparently dinner didn’t sit well with her. We cleaned her up, cleaned the bed up and went back to sleep.
I woke up Friday morning and felt like crap….oh good this is how this week is going to go, ran through my mind. After getting the kids breakfast, telling my baby boy Happy Birthday and attempting to not throw up, I gave in and did. Awesome, cause this is how I wanted to spend my son’s birthday. When my husband woke up I told him I was going to lay down and take a nap. While I did him and the little dude went to the store and little miss finally had some alone time with grandma. After about a 4 hour nap I woke up and ate some saltines and my husband asked if I still wanted to take our son to the zoo. It was his birthday and I really wanted to do more, but it was already almost 3 and I didn’t know how much we would really be able to do before all the fun things closed. So I got ready and we headed to the zoo. They were only going to be open for another 2 hours and the animals were only going to be out for about 45 minutes. We walked around and found this thing that looked like a ski lift. It went over a good portion of the zoo, so we decided to see most of the zoo that way so the kids would still get a chance to see a lot of the animals before they went inside. my daughter and I went into one chair and the guys went into another. It was really cool, our daughter loved it. She got to see some giraffes, hyenas, lions, a peacock sitting on a roof, a hippo in the water and a bunch of different animals that live in Africa. Once the ride was over there was still time to walk around and see a few animals that were still out. So we saw the tigers, a rhino-my husband didn’t want to leave he kept trying to get it to come over by us but it wasn’t moving. We spent about 10 minutes at the elephant exhibit and the African exhibit where there was an ostrich that kept walking closer to us and fluffing up. The kids thought it was hilarious. We saw some alligators, it took one swimming towards our daughter for her to finally see them then she freaked and loved it. We came to the end of the zoo and saw a bunch of Flamingos, I’ve discovered these birds are so cool and I think they are my new favorite.
Once we finished up at the Montgomery zoo I wanted my husband to take me to see Hank Williams grave. So we drove to the cemetery and I finally was able to see a country music legends grave sight. It was amazing! The cemeteries down south are so different from up here. After spending 5 minutes there we headed home and gave little man his presents and the kids and my husband played with his new bubble gun that made the bubbles glow in the dark. Bed time came pretty quickly, we had a big day a head of us and mom was going to get sleep tonight.
To be continued……….;-)