Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Who knew that goblins like spiders?

I recently bought an adorable outfit for Goblin. It’s a cute little Halloween onesie with an orange, purple, and black tutu.  It’s freaking ADORABLE.

The problem?  It says “My First Halloween” on it.


This will not be her first Halloween. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it. My friend Beth says I should add the words ‘awake’ or ‘walking’ to the shirt so that it displays “My First Walking Halloween” or "My First Awake Halloween." I’d consider it if it wasn’t a black shirt. Dangit.

So… I’ll have to give the onesie away to someone and find a new halloween shirt. I found one with a spider on it that I think I’m going to buy. Turns out that it will be the perfect shirt for her.

Goblin likes spiders.  No joke. She really, really likes them.

Sunday evening I was making dinner and The Husband had Goblin downstairs in the man cave with him. Our basement can be a scary place. I don’t like to go downstairs very often – and it’s not just because my treadmill always gives me the stink eye when I’m down there.  “You never use me!” it taunts, “Have fun with those wobbly thighs of yours, you lazy butt.” The basement is a place where the kids hang out. As a result, it's full of things like legos, X-Box controllers, socks, and those stupid frozen ice pops wrappers. (GAAAH, I hate those things. Why do I continue to buy them? Oh - because when I'm at Wal-Mart and I see 100 of them for $2.00, I think - wow. What a deal. And then I curse myself for it every time I find those stinking wrappers everywhere.)  

Anyway, I was happily enjoying a moment of peace (how sad is it that my version of "peace" involves scraping together a meal out of five meager pantry items while everyone else is downstairs?) when I heard Goblin start screaming. It wasn’t her typical fussy cry – this was a full blown “I’m mad at the world!” cry.

Goblin is a pretty happy kid usually, so I went downstairs to investigate. The Husband was holding her and she was hollering to beat the band. He was all calm, though, so I instantly relaxed realizing that she wasn’t hurt. “What happened?” I asked.

“She put a spider in her mouth.” He answered casually.

Uh… Whaaaaaat?

Yeah. She chased down a freaking spider and popped it into her mouth like it was a skittle or something.

I’ll pause a bit while that sinks in and your skin begins to crawl. Are you done shuddering yet?

HE HAD TO TAKE IT OUT OF HER MOUTH!! And here’s the kicker. THAT’S what pissed her off. Well, that and the fact that her beloved Daddy screamed “NO! NOOO!!” at her when he saw what she’d done.

The Husband is a pretty manly guy. Sometimes TOO manly, actually. But he doesn’t like spiders at all, so I’m amazed that he kept his cool in this situation. He asked me if I wanted to see how big it was and then walked me over to his home office to show me. It was curled into a postmortem ball and was still the size of a dinner plate. (Ok, ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. It was more like a salad plate.) Later on, I asked him why he’d saved it in the first place and he said he kept it in case it was a poisonous spider and he’d need to show it to a doctor.

Gack. I wouldn’t have even thought about that. I'd have flushed that mother effer down the toilet or smashed it into a pulp and asked the dog to lick it up. (What?? Protein is good for dogs!) Which proves that The Husband is much calmer under pressure than I am. He spent the rest of the evening using the shop vac to evict the spiders from the basement.

Goblin is fine. Still a little ticked off that her dad confiscated her wriggly snack, but completely unharmed.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beat that, Ryan Hall!

Did you hear that? It's the creaking sound of my aching body. By tomorrow I won't be able to move.

The Boy has been suggesting that we start running together in the mornings now that he has to get up for school anyway. I put it off last week because we were getting back into the swing of things with school being in session. Actually, that had nothing to do with it, but it sounded like a good reason, so I used it as an excuse. I just wanted to be lazy for another week.

I'm so terrible. I should be encouraging The Boy's earnest request to get fit with me. And while I love spending time with him - the thought of running again makes me queasy. So when he asked me last night if I was ready to start our quest to become runners again, I said, "Sure. If you get up, we'll go. Set your alarm."

He's a fifteen year old boy who loves to sleep. I thought I was home free.

But no. This morning I woke with a start to him standing over my side of the bed. CREEPY! He used to do that when he was a little guy and woke up in the middle of the night. Why the heck he can't just make noise to wake me up is beyond me.

So we got up, laced up the Nikes and ran five miles in 40 minutes.

HAAAA. Just kidding.

We did 2.1 miles in just under a half an hour in walk/jog intervals. It wasn't stellar or impressive. I'm totally holding The Boy back, but he doesn't care. He gets training in football practice too, but for now he just wants someone to run with.

Even though I was dreading it (seriously, I did not want to do it) it was... nice. The walking and running felt good and it was nice saying hello to my other crazy neighbors who are out walking at 5:30 a.m.

So thanks to The Boy for hauling my backside out of bed. Hopefully this will become a habit that we can enjoy together.

Monday, August 20, 2012

School Days!

Today is back to school day for the kids.

The Boy is a sophomore:


Bumblebee is a 4th grader:

We got up and ready this morning, and I had to laugh. Bumblebee wanted me to braid her hair last night so that it would be wavy this morning. Then she had me pull back the sides into a ponytail.  Her outfit consisted of a pair of jeggings, a bright green tank top, a jean jacket, and dangly earrings.  I swear I'd have worn the same outfit in seventh grade.

She was, like, totally jazzed about her outfit (see how I used some 80's words there?) until The Boy told her that she looked like she was dressed in 80's clothes. That seemed to horrify her for some reason. She has no idea that those 'cool' clothes were inspired by the Flashdance and Footloose days of old.

Goblin wasn't terribly impressed by the morning's activities:

It's hard to believe how big they are getting.

And Hollywood is enjoying her first day of classes at the U of Iowa. She's texted me several times to let me know how it's going, and I just LOVE getting her updates.

"Ahhh I love my theater tech professor :)  He's so funny and relaxed... we have to call him Jim."
"Just had free lunch at the Newman Center!"
I'm trying very hard not to text her every time I think about her. She'd be annoyed if I did that, so I'm trying to keep it under control. I can tell she's a teensy bit homesick because she commented on an Instagram photo saying how big The Boy and Bumblebee look. (She's been gone less than a week. They don't really look that much bigger, ha!)

But I remember that feeling from when I went away to college. My baby brother was 8 that fall and had trouble pronouncing his "R" sounds. When I came home for a visit, he could pronounce them. It sounds weird, but I felt a profound sense of sadness when that happened. He was growing up without me! I had a hard time with it for a while, and I expect Hollywood is experiencing a bit of that.

We had a fabulous weekend. The Husband and I walked up to the football game with the little girls on Friday night. It's about 1.5 miles there, so it's a decent evening walk to go up and watch the game for a bit and then come home. Goblin was dressed in her football leggings, and was a hit while Bumblebee got to bring a friend along. The Boy plays football, but the JV games are on Monday, so we were there mostly to let Bumblebee have a social event on her calendar and to support the team for a bit. It was a nice evening.

I babysat my nephews Simon and Will on Saturday, and consequently didn't get much accomplished on that day. Will and Simon are 12 1/2 months apart. They keep my brother and sister-in-law hopping! Yesterday was spent attempting to do some organization.  As a result, my house is a disaster today! Totally a one step forward/two steps back process that I will have to dig out of this week.

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moving Day

Hollywood has flown the nest. She moved into the dorms at the University of Iowa yesterday. Today is a weird day. I feel almost hung over - with sore muscles and a general emotionally drained and weary feeling. Here's how the day went.

I wanted to grab a photo of Hollywood and me together so I could update my facebook profile picture. After the queen of all eye-rolls, she agreed. So we posed for a photo together:


We planned to leave around 1 p.m., and people were coming over to say goodbye at 12:30, so in the morning we had some time to kill. Hollywood checked and rechecked her belongings, making sure she had everything. As she was digging through her stuff, she found the present I had stashed in her laundry basket full of stuff. It's just a dorky little drawing with a Thoreau quote, but the sentiment is so important. Go confidently in  the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined:


I hope she takes it to heart.

The day was charged with extra feeling. I was hyper sensitive of everything I said. I didn't want to accidentally say the wrong thing and have her remember that as she went on with her life. It was important to me that she knows I will miss her, but also that she knows I'm so happy for her, so proud of her, and so excited about her excitement right now.

The Husband was in his element yesterday. He and I went to college at Iowa State. Hollywood is going to school at the University of Iowa. They are, of course, bitter rivals. TH decided that he had to wear his brightest Iowa State Cyclones shirt on move in day. Hollywood protested, but he ignored her pleas to change his shirt. I have a feeling this will be the start of a war between them for years to come. (A good natured one, don't worry.)

Hollywood has been together with her boyfriend for the better part of three years, and is very close with his family. He is going to school at Iowa State (smart boy) so they will be apart for the first time. Moving day was yesterday for him too, so his family stopped by to say their goodbyes as they headed up to Ames.



Then it was time for Hollywood to say goodbye to her boyfriend. Aren't they cute in their matching cut up t-shirts?


After they left it was time for us to leave. We piled into the jeep, which isn't a six passenger vehicle, but we let Bumblebee sit in the back with all of Hollywood's stuff:


So I had been pretty good all morning and not even a single tear had escaped until we were all sitting in the jeep waiting for TH, who was taking an unusually long time in the house for some reason. I checked facebook on my phone while we waited, and saw this status message, posted by The Boy:


It made me cry. I passed my phone to Hollywood. It made her cry too. It's cheesy, I know, but as a parent there's something really special about seeing your kids be nice to each other.
We were finally en route to Iowa City when The Husband revealed the reason for his delay while we were all waiting. He had printed off a stack of Hawkeye jokes to read while in the car. You know, jokes like these:

How many University of Iowa freshman does it take to change a light bulb?
~None, it's a sophomore course.

What did the average Hawkeye player get on his ACT test?
It was all in good fun, and Hollywood was a great sport about it.

We arrived on campus and moved in her belongings. It was a pretty speedy process, actually, considering how many kids were moving in that day. Hollywood is in extended housing, which means that she won't have a permanent dorm room until one opens up. That can take 3-4 weeks. Until then, she will be sharing a room with seven other girls. It's not as bad as it sounds - the room is a lounge located at the end of one of the dorm floors and has huge windows overlooking the river.

We got into the room and The Boy and Bumblebee helped make Hollywood's bed. I had to snap a picture because, you guys... I didn't know that my children even knew how to make a bed! But really - that's cooperation!


Goblin loved crawling around and getting into things. Her favorite was to empty out the recycle bin. Here she is with her big sister - I think her face says it all. "What do you mean, we have to leave her here??"


The Husband kept up his joking by writing "Go Cyclones" on her message board:


Then, all too fast, it was time for us to leave.

I can't explain how that felt. Hollywood walked us out to the car and hugged each of us. The Husband got choked up and that was rough. She hugged The Boy and he gave her a crushing bear hug. He towers over her now, so that was definitely a sight to see. But then it was my turn. I hugged her with all my might and did my best not to turn into a sobbing mess.

I didn't succeed at that very well.

It was so hard to let her go. When we got home, it was tough to see her bedroom and know that she wasn't going to be sleeping there at night. But this isn't about being sad, although I will miss her fiercely. It's about being happy for her, and excited that she's off on this adventure in her life. We are so proud of our baby girl. She's going to rock her life.