When Spiders Attack

I’m afraid of spiders. Like, deathly afraid. Ever since I watched the movie Arachnophobia as a kid, I’ve been terrified. I spent a year constantly searching for spider bites on my body after watching that movie. Usually the “bites” ended up being some of my smaller freckles. Unfortunately for me, I’m covered with freckles, so the whole “oh-my-god-I’m-dying” terror thing happened a lot. Not fun.

As far as I’m concerned, all spiders are either brown recluses or black widows (or something else that is equally deadly). Doesn’t matter what color or size they are; as long as they have eight legs, they should die. Sometimes my son brings up how great Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web is when I’m hating on spiders — he thinks he can bring me to the other side because of a fictional character. Newsflash, son — she doesn’t get a pass just because she saved Wilbur. And by “saving Wilbur,” what we really mean is she deprived the people of their bacon, and that’s much worse than lurking in a corner.

My husband is usually the one who handles spider business around the house. The first few times I screamed for him to come help me because I found a brown recluse, he dashed in, ready to save me and slay the beast. He was my knight in shining armor, just of the “wears boxer shorts and a wife beater” variety. And his sword was a flip flop. Otherwise, he was exactly like a knight in shining armor. Once my husband began realizing that my brown recluses were usually something less lethal, he stopped being so quick to run to my side. Now he comes when he pleases and grabs my shoes to kill with. Clearly we aren’t in the honeymoon phase any longer.

Look at that spider’s teardrop tattoo and tell me he ain’t about killing folks.

Now that you know I generally don’t care for spiders, let’s get into what this post is really about.

Thursday didn’t start out great for me. I went to bed the night before with heart palpitations and an on edge feeling, presumably from anxiety. Anxious about what, I don’t know — sometimes anxiety disorders like to keep you guessing. And then I woke up that morning with a sharp pain in my upper abdomen that went through to my back. That combined with the still present heart palpitations concerned me a bit since I had recently read an article about how women’s heart attack symptoms can be different from men’s. I took some Tums, ibuprofen, and aspirin to cover my bases and decided to wait and see if it got better or worse.

The pain eased up after a few hours, and I was able to go about my day. My husband, who works from home most of the time, had to drive in to Charlotte, so I was home alone with the toddler. We colored, we played house, and we made stuff with Play-Doh. After making 524 Play-Doh pizzas, I decided it was time to move on. I put on a Daniel Tiger in the living room for Baby Girl to watch while I started tidying up. The first thing on my list was sweeping up all of the Play-Doh bits from the floor. Well, Play-Doh bits and the Lucky Charms bits and Cheerios bits that didn’t get swept up earlier, because of laziness.

I reached under the table with the broom to slide out some of the cereal and PlayDoh bits, and as I looked down at what I was sweeping out, a big damn spider dashed out and began running at me.

Considering the heart concerns from earlier that morning, this was very clever timing on behalf of the spider, who was clearly hellbent on killing me.

I’m not going to doodle what happened next, because we have surveillance cams in our homes. The camera in the kitchen caught pretty much everything, including my blood curdling screams. Typically I wouldn’t post a video of myself in a public space in a million years, for many, many reasons, but I think the funny in this video is worth it being put up for a day or so. (Bonus: this video will verify that I look just as much like a bum in real life as I do in my doodles.)

Now that you’ve made it through the video, let’s continue, since there’s a little left to this post.

Immediately after the eight-legged creature was murdered, I started texting my husband about the ordeal.

It was definitely a wolf spider. Since my husband likes to act like wolf spiders aren’t anything to worry about, I’m gonna leave this right here —

Like wolves, they chase and leap on their prey.

Chase. Leap. That’s the stuff nightmares are made of. Maybe their bites won’t kill you or cause your skin to rot, but the next time you feel something brush against your face in the dark, just know it could be a wolf spider leaping on you.

My children are both having fun with this ordeal. Baby Girl has teased me about being afraid of the spider, showed Little Man how I screamed, and even told me that the dead spider was alive and moving towards me. What kind of three-year-old am I raising? Little Man watched the video a dozen times before bedtime last night. He went back and forth between saying I’m the [unintentionally] funniest mom ever and that I’m too dramatic. Hmph.

For further funny spider fear stories, check out Becca Barracuda’s Bug Juice post

I know I’m not the only person to freak the hell out over a spider, so what’s your story? 

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Return Of The Label Maker

A couple months ago, I made a post about being a Bad Mommy (Blogger). At the end of the post, I made a comment about getting a Mom of the Year award and included the following image:

The boy saw this image while scrolling through a folder on my iPad that contains all of my doodles and loved it. I’m not sure if he just liked the doodle or if he vehemently agreed with the sentiment expressed on the cup. I didn’t ask, since I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. At any rate, a few days later, Little Man told me that he had a present for me and gave me this:

The label maker returns! Whenever I buy tape for my label maker, Little Man goes through it at lightning speed, labeling the hell out of everything. (Seriously, the chair is labeled “Chair” and he has a box containing pieces to his human anatomy doll labeled “Body Parts.”) It totally cracked me up that he thought to do this. This will be holding my pens and pencils on my desk, since I a) don’t drink coffee and b) don’t want the labels to fall off.

Happy Friday!

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Cleaning

Everyone knows that kids have an aversion to doing chores. Say the C-word, and you’ll hear the groaning and complaining start. Asking them to help with things around the house instantly brands you an Asshole Parent, one who clearly doesn’t love them. I don’t much like doing chores either, but spending more time dragging one’s feet than the chore actually requires to be completed — and having to do it anyway — baffles me.

Baby Girl likes to help me with my chores sometimes — the more likely it is that something will break, the more she wants to help. (And I’m sure that when she is more capable of doing these chores in a few years, she’ll develop an aversion to them, too.) However, when it comes to picking up her toys, she acts like doing so is torture and often refuses to do it. The threat of taking away a toy does little. When she’s in Stubborn Mode, she’d prefer losing every toy she owns to giving in and doing what she’s told.

Rather than whine, last week Baby Girl got a little creative with her attempt to get out of picking up stuff.

While straightening up the living room, I told Baby Girl to pick up the stuffed animals she had been playing with. She had been doctoring them and had left them strewn across the couch.

“Mommy, I’m just too young to pick up toys,” she told me.

Too young. That’s quite a mouthful for someone who’s too young to pick up her mess. After suppressing a giggle, I informed Baby Girl that if she was too young to pick up her toys, then she was too young to have them and that they’d go in storage. She put them away, and with minimal complaints for a change.

What’s the best excuse you or your kid has given to get out of doing chores?

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It’s Getting Hot In Here

Y'all, it is HOT. We've been having a heat wave in my neck of the woods, which is brutal, considering our typical summer day would be considered a heat wave in many other parts of the country. The temperatures the past few days have neared 100 degrees, with the real feel exceeding 110. The humidity is a bitch, no dry heat for us for the most part. And it's so hot that even getting in our pool doesn't offer any relief — it feels more like a hot tub than a pool, and that's at 6:00 in the evening, not during the hottest part of the day.

I do not like the heat. I might be Southern bred, but one day I want to be Southern fled. I usually fail the "Are You A Real Southerner?" quizzes, and my body agrees — it does not do well with all the heat and humidity. Unless I've driving somewhere and that somewhere happens to be indoors, I usually hide out inside during the afternoons. My kids aren't fans of the heat, either, so they're more than content to hang out inside and do whatever activity I've come up with until the sun starts going down a little.

My husband, on the other hand, doesn't mind the heat a bit. He loves our mosquito infested region, which is one of the few flaws I've found with him. As such, we probably won't be relocating anywhere with milder temperatures during the summer anytime soon. Boo. Silver lining — at least I don't have to pack up and move boxes.

Yesterday we had the blinds closed, the lights off, and the air set at 74. I'd prefer to have had it lower, but it wouldn't have made much of a difference since our air conditioner won't get it below 76 when it's super hot out. The best unit on the market — one that is meant for a house larger than ours — is no match for a South Carolina heatwave.

Today our area has been lucky. Some rain moved in and brought the temps down to a real feel of around 90, so it's been easier to keep the house cooler. Unfortunately for me, I've pulled a muscle in my back and have been requiring the use of a heating pad. A heating pad, y'all. I'm trying to figure out who I pissed off in the universe, because that's cruel and unusual punishment.

How's the heat in your neck of the woods? Any pissed off HVAC units that are threatening to go on strike? 

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. If you'd like to see your funny/dorky story doodled, check out the details on this post

Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

When you have young kids, you tend to do things that would make the casual observer raise their eyebrows. Things like having toddler potties in non-bathroom areas, making transportation noises for a spoonful of food, and singing songs to encourage picking up toys, brushing teeth, or using the toilet.

And then there is the clapping. Good lord, the clapping.

There are many times when you genuinely want to clap for the stuff your kid does. Crawling for the first time; those first steps; not spitting out spinach baby food; catching a ball — those are all very deserving of clapping.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Eventually some children — cough, mine — expect you to clap for everything. It’s hard not to share in their enthusiasm, but after they’ve done a certain mundane thing X number of times, you’re not feeling it quite as much.

And other times, they don’t want you to clap for milestone type things so much as they want you to clap for things that were never goals in the first place.

Sorry, Baby Girl — you were the gassiest baby I’ve ever met. You did “drunk frat boy after eating a greasy pizza” type farts when you were less than a month old. They horrified everyone, and I’m pretty sure there were a few times people thought we were letting one rip and blaming it on the baby. I’m used to your “fahts” by now, so you’re not getting any claps on this one.

Sometimes kids want claps just for literally nothing — not for making a hoop for the umpteenth time or for flatulence. They just want claps and they want them now, dammit.

Before I develop carpal tunnel syndrome from all the clapping, maybe I should just download an Instant Audience app for my iPhone. Not only would there be lots of claps at the press of a button, but there could also be cheers and maybe even rebel yells. Or, if I’m lucky, maybe there would be boos and jeers that would come in handy for other situations — like being a sassypants or smudging my freshly cleaned glass door. Lazy parenting for the win!

Instead of asking what silly thing your kid likes to be clapped for, what do you do that deserves being clapped for once in a while?

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Lessons I’ve Learned

A few weeks ago, I had fun with graphs. I showed that children are clingy as hell when you need them not to be. That was probably already a universal parenting truth, but the graph made it official. Today you get a few more graphs on parenting lessons I’ve learned. (And I had an idea for a cute pie chart, so there will probably be even more graphs in this blog’s future. Yay — I think?)

The first lesson I’ve learned has to do with puking in the car.

Back when Little Man was a baby, we bought a used car that was a few years old. It wasn’t overly nice, but the price was right, it was safe, and it got us where we needed to go. If something got spilled in it, it wasn’t a big deal — that kind of car. Care to guess how many times LM puked in that car? Once.

We now have a pretty new (we bought it brand new a year ago) and expensive (for us) car. It has all the bells and whistles, leather seats, and is just gorgeous. Now would you like to guess how many times that car has been puked in over the past year? Well over a dozen. The last time was yesterday, which just happened to be a few days after I cleaned it good and conditioned the leather. Little Man got car sick. He was able to get some of it in a paper bag, but as luck would have it, the bottom of the bag collapsed.

The next lesson has to do with diapers being soiled. This particular lesson is what made me take Baby Girl’s diapers a little earlier than planned, because I was annoyed with 30 cents worth of diaper being ruined in five minutes.

Baby Girl was one of those kids who often wouldn’t poop unless she had on a clean diaper. As soon as you’d take the diaper full of pee off, she’d work her magic and ruin a brand new diaper by crapping in it. This was true as a baby and true as a toddler. After we got to the point where I knew that she could tell me and use the toilet, that whole “get changed and squat” act started wearing thin. Diapers aren’t that expensive, but still.

The last one is something I’m sure all parents — heck, anyone who has ever given a child a gift — are familiar with.

That’s right — spend a buck on something and you’re guaranteed hours of play. Spend $50 on something and it might get played with a grand total of five minutes. Such was the case with Baby Girl’s birthday party over the weekend. We were supposed to have a pool party, but decided to move it indoors the morning of the party because of rain. We went to Walmart and bought some stuff to have indoors to make sure the kids would be entertained. We had a little bounce house that the toddlers spent a few minutes on, a bowling set that I don’t think anyone touched, a bean bag toss that wasn’t touched by anyone other than adults, and then we had some balloons and pool noodles that cost a grand total of $4. I don’t even have to say which items the kids gravitated to.

Any lessons or other universal parenting truths you’ve picked up on that you’d like to see in graph form in a future post? 

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Vacation Expectations vs. Reality

Another family vacation bites the dust. As I mentioned in another post, we went back to Myrtle Beach and spent several nights at a fun resort. (“Fun resort” means there were water slides and splash pads for the kids and a poolside bar for the parents.) There were no major hiccups while we were away, every day was either overcast or sunny, and Baby Girl’s in-restaurant meltdowns were fewer than in the past. Winning!

Now we’re trying to get back into the swing of things. The luggage is mostly unpacked and put away, which is a step up from in the past, when I ignored a suitcase full of stuff for more than a week. (No, I’m not going to specify how long.) I’m also trying to organize all of our summer activities, plan Baby Girl’s birthday party, and catch up on dozens of blog posts. And there’s the matter of my own blog, of course. I’m sure some of y’all are in withdrawal mode, going without a Dorky Mom post for over a week. (And some of y’all might be thinking, “Back so soon?” Hehe.)

Since I know y’all are chomping at the bit for some details, I’ll give you a few. And I’ll save some for later, as my kids definitely gave me more material for this blog.

Here goes.

Remember when I posted about the odd — but not really bad — sunburn I got a couple weeks ago? Despite sunscreen and an umbrella, I got a weird sunburn on my leg. Odd, but no biggie. This vacation — despite plenty of preventative measures — I got the real deal of sunburns.

Yes, the most aspire to is a few splotchy tanned areas and red cheeks.

I made the mistake of not wearing my cover-up for a while and got a nasty burn on my chest. Other parts of me were dark pink/reddish and this part was more of a Merlot color it was so dark. The worst part (aside what legit feels like nerve pain in that area)? I got a nice reminder of how my body is doing gravity-wise when I take off my bra. You ladies know what I’m talking about. I think. Every damn shift or sway, I not only get a nice jolt of pain, but also get reminded that things ain’t where they once was. (Channeling my inner country girl on that last bit.)

Non-gravity defying breasts aside, let’s talk about what a kid should be excited about when going on vacation. Little Man counts down the days until he gets to get on water slides, body board in the ocean, and dig in the sand. Baby Girl gets excited about something different.

Before we went on vacation, I asked Baby Girl what she wanted to do at the beach.

“See the ice cream man!” she answered. I was rather impressed with her memory of getting ice cream at the beach a year ago, but that wasn’t quite what I was going for. True to her word, though, this is what she looked forward to every single day.

Spend hundreds of dollars on a vacation for the kid to care about a sweet treat that costs two bucks.

“I gonna see the ice cream man today?” she’d ask after waking up in the morning. The same question would be repeated twenty minutes later, after breakfast, in between breakfast and lunch, during lunch, etc. And finally the music from the ice cream truck would play and her dad would take her to pick something out.

And, I kid you not, if you ask her what kind of ice cream she had on vacation, Baby Girl will tell you all five of the different types of cones and popsicles she had. Again, her memory is most impressive.

Now for the last vacation expectation vs. reality. Since Baby Girl is getting older, there are certain things I expect of her — namely not eating poop or crapping in the tub. Anything gross that’s related to poop, really. I’ve been pooped on in the tub a few times, but now she tells us if she has to go. As Little Man would say, “Thank Zeus!” As such, I expect the same from her when swimming. Water’s water, so give us a head’s up so we can head to the bathroom, right?

Wrong.

Just a reminder — the squiggly marks on me are from sunburn, not poop.

She did tell me about the poop — after the fact. Just as I stood her up on the edge of the pool to jump in for a cannonball, she told me that she had pooped. Sure enough, when I glanced down at her crotch area, I saw watery streams of poop coming out. For the record, she was wearing a Little Swimmer diaper, but it was no match for Baby Girl’s bowels. I’ll spare you the details from there, but just know that some beach towels were ruined and that I had to avoid eye contact with people.

All in all, it was a great trip. We spent the majority of our time either by the water or in the water, which is what it’s all about for me. In the past, it has been a challenge to get Baby Girl to even touch the sand or ocean water without tears, so it was awesome to see her work her way up to digging in it a little and splashing around. As Borat would say, “Great success!”

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Family Vacation

The family and I are headed to Myrtle Beach tomorrow morning. Well, the plan is to head out tomorrow morning, but if I know my slow, disorganized family well at all, then we probably won’t make it out the door until after lunchtime. Drama over how many toys a child is allowed to bring will almost surely happen. If we’re lucky, though, maybe we’ll remember to bring our underwear, bras, and swimsuits. Somehow those things always get left behind and a trip to Target is necessary. Sometimes I think my husband believes I intentionally forget things just so we can stop at Target, but that isn’t the case.

Those of you who read my post about my and my husband’s anniversary trip know that we had a relaxing time at Myrtle Beach a week and a half ago. It was amazing. No “I hate the water!” or “I hate the sand!” or “Hey, I’ve got poops!” to get in the way of relaxation. (Well, no poops that I had to manage, anyway.)

This coming week will be different. Very different. I have no doubt that we’ll have an amazing time and make some wonderful memories, but y’all know how it is with little kids. They’ll try their damnedest to make sure relaxing doesn’t happen and make sure the bags under your eyes pre-vacation are twice as big post-vacation. Mama’s got an umbrella drink? Let’s get sand in it. Daddy’s trying to listen to music for a few minutes? Let’s get sand on him. We’re all nice and clean and ready to go out for a good meal? Let’s get sand coordinate meltdowns of epic proportions so Mom and Dad get to do the walk of shame and haul us out.

Remember this?

Things are definitely gonna change.

Bye bye, relaxation.

Bye bye, voodoo juice bucket (most likely).

Okay, maybe the shade and the beach bag won’t really disappear, but only crossing out one or two things wasn’t as dramatic.

Hello, family vacation.

And hello, judgmental strangers.

Not pictured is the fishing rod and net that Little Man wants to bring. I imagine that he’ll inspire a doodle with those.

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Active Volcanoes

Sometimes Little Man and I play a game of sorts where we try to one-up each  other. For example, I’ll tell him that I want to hug him so hard his eyes pop out. And he’ll counter that with, “Well, I want to hug you so hard that your intestines come out of your mouth.”

Yes, he usually wins.

And, yes, we’re dorks.

We typically deadpan our comments to each other, which can make things more interesting if we’re out in public. If you were the casual observer and overheard some our conversations, then you’d probably be a bit shocked. You might even be tempted to call CPS, and you’d most definitely shoot a look of disgust at us. (Can you tell that we’ve been there and done that last part a few times?) For the sake of not having dirty looks shot at my blog, I’ll leave those conversations out for now.

Today’s doodle shows our most recent one-up exchange. This one won’t appall you and is rather sappy, but he one-ups me all the same.

He definitely wins. And he didn’t even make a comment about Anakin’s face burning off in the lava, which was surprising since that comes up more often than it probably should.

Is there anything that causes people to give you odd looks when you’re out?

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Force Sun Ray Attack

My husband and I went away this past weekend to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. The anniversary isn’t for a few more days, but we’ll be going on our family vacation right after our anniversary and didn’t want to do that much driving back to back. After much talk, we ended up going to Myrtle Beach, which is also where we’re going for our vacation — clearly we aren’t “variety is the spice of life” people.

One thing that you should know about me is that I’m pretty white. Casper looks like he’s been hitting up the tanning bed compared to me. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but trust me — the non-freckled over parts of my body definitely have a ghastly pallor. It probably goes without saying that I burn very easily. Sunscreen, cover-ups or t-shirts, and shade are absolute musts for me at the beach if I don’t want to be slathering bottle after bottle of aloe vera gel all over my body later. (The shade is also a must if I want to hang out on the beach for more than 15 minutes without feeling like I’m going to puke — I don’t do heat very well, which can be rough living in the South.)

You’d think that between the umbrella, cover-up, and dusting of sunscreen so thick that other people gagged when they passed by the fog, that I’d finish the beach day unscathed. But, much like my ovaries, the sun hates me and was determined to find a way to mark me.

See all that lovely shade? Not pictured is the sunscreen fog, which I made sure to apply routinely. Also not pictured is my husband with the darker skin that doesn’t burn (not that I’m jealous), because I’m lazy and didn’t want to draw two people.

Those preventative measures were no match for the sun.

Forget force lightning attacks — we now have force sun ray strikes.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and clearly the Evil Kool-Aid Man sun was dead set on getting at me.

Technically the burn is on the inside of my left leg (which is even more in the shade), but that wouldn’t show up so good on the drawing, so artistic license and all that.

First things first — that isn’t much of a burn. I’ll acknowledge that straightaway. It stung like hell in the hot tub, but that’s about it. So, as someone who has had severe sunburns in the past, I know that I made out pretty good on this beach trip. But that’s not really the point. The point is — look at it. That leg was under the umbrella and multiple coats of sunscreen. Yet the sun worked its mojo and gave me that odd burn that looks like I’d broken out into hives or something. This is what happens nearly every time I go to the beach — lots of skin safety measures taken and lots of funky, splotchy burns.

All the sun silliness aside, we had a wonderful and relaxing time. It was nice experiencing what the beach could be like without two kids who are determined to stuff sand in your mouth and complain about the salt in the ocean water nonstop. I’m mostly kidding — I know we’ll have a wonderful time with the kids next week — but it was nice to get a break.

Did y’all have a nice weekend?