Couscous, our single snail that we've assumed is a boy for no apparent reason, laid a batch of eggs while we were on vacation. At first I was horrified - WHAT IS GROWING ON OUR TANK? IS IT GOING TO TAKE OVER OUR HOUSE/THE WORLD AND KILL US ALL? - and A commented, "I wish I hadn't seen Prometheus." It looked like eggs, though, and I googled "Mystery snail egg images" and bam. There they were.
(The link up there on Couscous' name is a picture of her extending her siphon. After watching her do that and freaking out a bit, we researched it and learned all about a snail siphon. So educational!)
I had already scraped the eggs off into the trash, though, because we have a SINGLE snail who has been with us for four months. Surely they can't be fertile? Well, the internet said they could be fertile (mystery/apple snails are NOT hemaphrodites like some snails, but can hoard sperm/fertile eggs for months?!) and don't call me Shirley. I felt a little bad, but what would I do with a hundred snails? Less than a week later, she's laid another batch. Sometimes they lay unfertilized eggs for the heck of it, but we've decided to leave these alone and see what happens. L, upon seeing the second egg batch, "Wow! She's so confident!" If we are eaten by a previously unknown monster, you heard it here first.
SNAILS, YOU GUYS. THEY ARE SO COOL. (And possibly deadly.)
We also have the preschool guinea pig with us for the rest of the summer. Last year she was dropped off by a woman who clearly did not enjoy taking care of her, but this year A picked her up and the dad said pointedly, "We've been spoiling her with lots of vegetables." He reassured the dad that we also spoil her with lots of vegetables and fun treats from the pet store. The guinea pig tips the animals-to-human ratio in our house in favor of the animals (overwhelmingly in their favor if you count the potential snails).
E has learned how to make her own peanut butter toast. We use a toaster oven, not a toaster, so I haven't made her learn because of the burn risk, but she's old enough now to use hot pads appropriately. She eats 1-2 pieces of peanut butter toast most mornings, so this is a huge parenting win for us. She made A's toast the other morning, too.
We are in the middle of reevaluating our karate membership. We have to sign up a year at a time and our contract is up in October. E and L will have completed two years of karate by then. There are a lot of pros to martial arts, but it takes a lot of time - enough that it excludes other activities for those of us who are sensitive to overscheduling. We told them that if one or both want(s) to continue, we will find the time/money to make it happen, but if they wanted to try something else, that would be okay, too. HOWEVER, if anyone decides to keep going, they are committing themselves to another year.
We talked a bit about potential alternate activities. E and L have been asking to do Girl Scouts so that's a possibility. The Y offers a ton of different options for a lot less money than we are playing for karate: soccer, swimming, guitar, piano, etc. Right now they've decided to stop karate and do Girl Scouts. I think we'll evaluate that time commitment and then I might make them sign up for a sport, too. We tend toward sedentary activities if we're not careful, especially in the long, cold season.
Our school starts August 1, so we went shopping for school supplies yesterday. I helped C with her kindergarten list, but E and L completed their lists with little help from me. When I tucked L in last night, I warned her, "You might not start learning cursive on the first day of school." Her face fell. "The second day?" she asked hopefully.
For the record, at the beginning of third grade, my kids are still chomping at the bit to go back to school, even with our balanced calendar school that starts early.