Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I Don't Like Monkeys

Earlier this year, I took the kids to San Francisco Zoo. Upon arriving, I noticed that my youngest son, Nicholas was very concerned for some reason about where the monkey habitat was located. At first I didn't understand why, until he reminded me of the story I had told him of when I was a little girl and the "monkey incident" that happened at a pet shop.

Since that fateful day, I've not been a fan of monkeys. I do not like monkeys. This is why:

I must have been may be 6 or 7 when it happened. Back then, I had very long, and thick hair that fell below my waist. It was a chore to keep my hair combed and out of the way, so my mom kept my hair in braids and pony tails and ribbons.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. My sister and I had urged my dad to take us to a local pet store. Okay, we begged him to take us. I'm not quite sure if we actually had to buy something, or if it was just to look at the cute kittens and puppies. Back in those days, pet stores actually had animals in them besides just fish, birds, and mice. This pet store in particular had a monkey. It's cage was right at the front entrance. It was a very large cage with a real monkey who sat on a swing. I was very observant of this monkey, because it always yelped each time someone walked into the shop, and frankly, it scared me, so I would make a point of walking very quickly past the cage or hide behind my dad.

On this day in particular, I apparently did not walk fast enough. The little monkey reached out his hand and grabbed one of my pig tails. Perhaps it was the red ribbon my mother had tied at the end of my braid that caught the little creature's attention, or was it merely the fact it noticed or sensed my fear. "Finally that little girl is alone..." it may have thought to itself. "Time to grab those annoying ribbons of hair.."

The monkey tugged on my braid with such force, that I didn't have air enough in my lungs to scream. It was terrifying to say the least. I was afraid to cry. I hated that monkey. I never went into that pet store ever again, and since then, I've never cared very much for monkeys in general. Planet of the Apes? Forget it! Never enjoyed watching that series, and each time I saw my brother watching the series on TV it would make me squirm. The worse movie I had to watch EVER was Return of The Planet Of The Apes. Of course I had to sit in the first row at the theatre. I don't remember WHY I went to see that movie in the first place. I think my son dragged me to that one. It was either that or Pokemon. Eeeek... NO thank you!!

"Don't worry mom, the monkey's are too high up there to reach your hair." Nicholas pointed out at the monkey exhibit. "I'll let you know if they get closer.."

I'm afraid my son doesn't care too much for them either. Once they started throwing poop, we quickly made our way to see the giraffes. those are lovely creatures! Giraffes are cool.

Yes, this is a gorilla--not a real one of course.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Cracker Story

"Ah, Julie, I need crackas sem salt!" My mother exclaimed.

In other words, my mother's half translated plea was that she needed unsalted white saltine crackers, you know the ones that come in the green box? She is diabetic, and she isn't suppossed to eat the normal saltine crackers. Having just moved to San Jose, I wasn't very familiar of the area, but I was pretty sure there was a Walmart or a Target where we could find these "very important" crackers my mother was craving. My mother was visiting and she had unfortunately forgotten her own personal stash bag of crackers in her kitchen. Her evening tea, was not the same without her "crackas", so she really wanted to get herself a box that night.

I, on the otherhand was 9 months pregnant, 3 days from my due date. I was feeling a little tired that evening, but there were a few things I still needed for the baby, so a trip to Walmart or Target sounded like a good idea. I could buy some last minute items, and my mom could get the crackers---everyone would be happy. So my daughter, Lizzy, my mom and I headed out on our quest for the "crackas"...

It was a cold November evening, and the directions to the nearest Walmart, that my husband tried to explain to me, were not working. After going down way too many wrong streets, and way too many wrong turns, by trip to Walmart went futile. "Ah Julie---I'm never going to get my crackas! I like taking my crackas with my medication." My mother explained. So, out of desperation, I headed to Target. I knew where that was.

It wasn't until we were finally walking around in the Target store, looking for those most wanted "crackas" in the cracker aisle did I feel a little "different". I didn't know it at the time, but my body was sending me messages that baby may be making preparations for an earlier appearance. Surprisingly, my two older children were both born on their due dates. I know that may sound strange, and it hardly ever happens, but it's true with me. This baby's due date was on the 7th, and it was the 4th. Hmmm, I wondered to myself, I would be so cool to have a baby born on the 4th. I was born on the 4th...

Surprisingly still, with all the rows upon rows of crackers that were on sale at the Target store, NONE OF THEM were the ones my mother was looking for. Of course. It was a disappointing trip to say the least. We left the store with 3 packages of newborn diapers and undershirt onezies, some lip gloss (for Liz--Dr. Pepper flavor) and a box of generic unsalted saltine crackers that my mother half heartidly settled for. They didn't taste the same of course, but it was better than nothing. I on the other hand was experiencing some pain in my hips.

To change the subject about how disappointing that a store that big did not carry the "right" saltine cracker, I disclosed to my mom that I was feeling some pain. She immediately stopped talking about the crackers, and glowed with excitement. Good thing my mother just happened to be in town that night. After a trip to the bathroom at home, it was definitely time for Rich and I to head to the hospital. My mom stayed home with the kids, and had tea with her generic crackas, while Rich and I headed to Dominican Hospital.

Nicholas Joseph Costa Langley was born hours later, on November 5th, two days early, and delivered by his Godmother, Karen. Karen had just started her night shift 30 minutes after we arrived to the hospital. It would be her last day until she was off on vacation. She took time off for her own birthday, which happened to fall on November 7th--Nicholas' due date. Better early than late.. :)

How about those "crackas"?!