Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Catch-up

This was a busy but fun weekend for us!
Friday found Andrew and Elliott camping in at Bear Canyon Lake, in the mountains of AZ about two hours away from here.

It was a beautiful site, and they had a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, my sister-in-law Stephanie was husband-less also, so we took the opportunity to can tomatoes.

Meanwhile, Henry learned some new tricks.  He has learned to do pull-ups on the fireplace in Elliott's office.

He also took his first half-step on Sunday morning.

Saturday night I was able to attend the broadcast of the General Relief Society meeting of our church.  It was just what I needed!  Elder Uchtdorf reminded me that there is strength in knowing that I am a daughter of God, and how great his love is for me, and for all women.  If you missed the meeting, you can find highlights here.  I'm guessing the transcript and full video will be available next week.

Lately, the mornings have been nice enough for us to open the windows and let cool air in. It isn't that crisp Fall air we got in Indiana, but it is amazing how cool 83 degrees feels when the highs have been topping 99!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Emma: I have sensitive skin.
Me: You do?
(I sat for a good 30 seconds waiting for her to explain, while she sits there pondering...)
Emma: Yeah, my back is sensing something, but I'm not sure what.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

But we still want you to come and visit...

I don't want to spend too much time talking about scorpions, because they are pretty gross, but there were lots of comments and questions on my FB page when the previous post (about Henry getting stung) went up, and I thought I would quickly answer them here.

Before we moved out here to Arizona, I was concerned about scorpions, but my sister-in-law, who has lived here for 6 years, assured me she had only seen scorpions twice in her house that whole time.  That didn't seem too bad!

When we got the RESPA disclosure documents from the seller of our house, she noted that she had seen scorpions, but the way it was worded on the document made it seem like it was a rare occurrence.  So you can imagine my dismay when our very first afternoon at the house we found a LIVE scorpion in the carpet in the living room.  We went on to find several more the next day, and all together we found about 20 scorpions IN THE HOUSE that first week.  Elliott and the kids also had great fun using the black light we borrowed from my cousin to go scorpion hunting around the outside of the house at night.  They killed 11 the first night, and 6-7 each of the remaining nights of that first week.

Needless to say, we called an exterminator right away.  He sprayed the inside and the outside of the house, but I'm not sure it made much of a dent in the scorpion numbers.  When spraying for insects, scorpions aren't super affected because of their hard exo-skeleton.  The spraying does however get rid of their prey, and after that first spray, we were privileged to find lots of dead roaches outside the perimeter of the house! Lovely.

It doesn't seem to me like the spraying did too much.  We do see less scorpions now, last week we were killing about 2 a day inside the house, and this week we have seen slightly less than that, but as we move into Fall and Winter, the scorpions will start to go dormant on their own.

When we talk to the many Mesa residents we have met here so far, they are always shocked at the number of scorpions we have found in our house. Even for a home that is in a former orange grove, which tend to have more scorpions than the average neighborhood, we have larger than normal numbers.

We have spoken with two of our neighbors who have lived in the neighborhood since it was first built, about 25 years ago.  They both said, separately, that they never saw scorpions around their houses until a couple of years ago.

The scorpion that stung Henry was an Arizona Bark Scorpion.  I found a blog post written on the Orange Dragonfly blog from September 2010 that mentioned these scorpions.  Here is what she said:

About 40-60 species occur in Arizona, the Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda) is the only species in Arizona of medical importance.  In the USA the bark scorpion is found in southeastern California, Arizona, Nevada, southern Utah, and southwestern New Mexico. It is most commonly found under rocks, logs, tree bark, and other surface objects. The bark scorpion (1-3 inches in length) is the most commonly encountered house scorpion. They are common throughout many habitats but almost always in rocky areas. This is the one we most often see hanging out unwanted on our living room floor.

Most scorpion species are solitary in nature. The exception to this is bark scorpions, which may over-winter in colonies of 20-30 adults. Each adult can have up to 20 young! The bark scorpion is also one of relatively few species that are able climbers ~ and they love palm trees.

The venom of the bark scorpion may produce severe pain (but rarely swelling) at the site of the sting, numbness, frothing at the mouth, difficulties in breathing (including respiratory paralysis), muscle twitching, and convulsions can occur.

After Henry was stung, I called Poison Control to see what they recommended.  Belinda, in the call center, gave me the symptoms to look for (all those ones listed above), and  said she would call back in 15 minutes to see how he was doing.  She called back several times, and I was happy that I was able to report he seemed fine.  We do think he had a tingling numbness in his leg for a little bit, like you get when one of your limbs falls asleep, but we gave him some ibuprofen to help, and he seemed fine after that.  The final time I spoke with Belinda, she mentioned that he could have gotten what they call a "dry sting", where no venom is released.  I think that may be what happened.

We have found scorpions in almost every room of our house, but the place we find them most often is in the living room, and especially under the piano.  It makes me nervous every time I sit down to play!  I am wondering if there was a female that had a litter of babies that took up residence under the carpet.  We may end up putting hardwood in much sooner than we originally planned!  


Monday, September 19, 2011

Our first sting.

This is my sweet baby.

This is the scorpion that stung him (it's fairly small, about the size of a half dollar.)

This is the spot of the battle (the outside of his right leg, between calf and shin.)
Luckily, he is doing fine.  He seems to not be having any of the serious, or even not too serious, reactions that can occur from a scorpion sting.

Have I mentioned that I hate scorpions?

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Sometimes Henry is my "helper". 

Usually what happens is I am busy folding laundry, cleaning the kids' bedrooms, or doing dishes, and Henry is busy messing up piles, pulling books out of bookcases, or his new favorite, taking the dirty silverware out of the dishwasher.

Case in point:

At least he's having fun!