Yesterday I hosted an ICAN meeting at my house. It was fantastic, and I think the change will be permanent. My leader wants me to write something up for the ICAN newsletter about how ICAN helped me in my pregnancy with Xan, too. I want to do whatever I can for them.

I have rising asthma symptoms today and yesterday from this cleaner that I used in the shower. The first time I thought it was a fluke but the second time it triggered asthma quite badly that is still going today. I took my inhalers and that is making a little difference, but not a ton. The first time it took 2-3 days for this to go away.

Originally Curtis was going to have a ‘daddy daughter’ day with Tempest and take her to a Bug Zoo. He had money saved for the admission. I told him I would just walk around downtown because the idea of being that close to spiders kind of freaks me out, but when it turned out the admission was much less than I thought it was going to be I decided to come too.
When I first entered and saw plate sized tarantulas in a box I backed up toward a wall of spiders, looked behind me (which seemed clear) and backed up into another glass case with a massive fucking spider in it. I felt completely trapped and started to hyperventilate. I stood in the middle of the room and asked Curtis to very quickly find me a corner where there were no spiders so I could crouch in it. After about ten minutes in the clear I felt better, and a little more confident that they were all behind thick glass. It also helped that none of them moved the entire time we were there. They just sat there like dead lumps. I’m also afraid of dead spiders, but not as much.

Once I felt better we caught up with the tour, which was totally awesome. The tour guide took out most of the bugs and held them, let others touch or hold them (except the ones that are too delicate) and had fascinating things to say about them. She pulled out tarantulas (I stayed way back for that one, but we actually had to drag Tempest kicking and screaming away from the woman’s LAP while she held it), scorpions, cockroaches, praying mantis’, leaf bugs and stick bugs and this horned beetle that was so strong she claimed it could push a small toddler on a skateboard around. She held one jet black scorpion under UV light to show us that it fluoresces bright white. It was actually very cool.
I had some change so I bought Tempest a little plastic emperor (king?) scorpion, praying mantis and a realistic spider under the condition that it is never funny to scare mommy with it.
She loooooooooooves the cockroaches, but her absolute favourite was the “assassin bug”. The guide explained in detail how they kill, liquefy and suck up the insides of their prey through a ‘straw’ and Tempest was absolutely fascinated. After the guide was done and a little boy walked in and Tempest grabbed the boy, dragged him over to the case, struck a pose and carefully explained in gory detail how the bug kills. She pointed out the carcass of a cricket in the corner saying, “That one is very, very dead.” He oohed and aahed and then walked away. She yelled after him, “Wait! You haven’t seen the other dead ones!”.
She was also very attached to the scorpion the guide said was able to shoot this vinegar/acid out it’s tail. She claims her toy scorpion also shoots acid and repeatedly tries to make it “shoot” me or climb up my shirt and bite.

Today she came in from the backyard with a massive earthworm in her hand and said, “Look! A worm!”. When Curtis had showed her one earlier she put it with the large one and said, “Oooh, they’re friends!”. She now loves worms.

Are we entirely sure I have a daughter?

She went totally nuts at one point in there because we wouldn’t let her climb into the guide’s lap while she held things like brown recluse spiders or that gigantic beetle that has jaws so powerful it could bite through your finger. We took her away from the scene twice so she could focus on what we were saying before she started listening.
She loved on the little boy (who looked maybe 1-2 years older than her). At one point he held a stick bug for a few seconds and shuddered as if terrified of it. Tempest came up behind him and rubbed his back. “It’s okay,” she said.
Then she accosted this little blonde girl with her grandmother. Unfortunately, like most little girls her age (it seems), she was incredibly shy and quiet. She never said a word and was absolutely terrified of her. Tempest tried to say hello by hugging, grabbing her hand, stroking her arm – we reminded her over and over not to actually touch another person without permission so she just stands there and bounces like a bottle rocket, fighting the urge to hug new people. Eventually I had to resort to telling her not to go anywhere near the little girl. Tempest and shy kids just don’t mix. At all.

The lighting in there was bad and my camera freaked out just a little bit until I realized you were allowed to use flash photography, so I did get some pictures but not as many as I’d hoped.


Tempest touching a leaf bug

Leaf bug. OMG huge!

This guy actually offered to hold the millipede the “silly” way: on his FACE.

Tempest and the little boy waiting for the bird-eating tarantula to move. It never did.

That super strong bug that could push a toddler. She had to hold it carefully because of the jaws.

There were about 17 of these beautiful bugs in the case and the guide could only find ONE that wasn’t screwing.

That one was eating and eating and eating in the corner. Poor thing. Probably Ben&Jerry’s.

Tempest holding a stick bug




  • Is that kid afraid of anything? lol

  • lolacat says:

    As a little girl, I would collect worms in the pockets of my trousers. They were my “friends.” My Mom would find them all dried up and dead when she did the laundry.

    I did not, however, like enormous scary bugs like those!!

  • gardenmama says:

    Not only am I not entirely sure you have a girl, but I’m fairly sure she’s not even related to you. Are you sure she’s your biological daughter? I mean, hugging and loving on complete strangers and wanting to pet giant spiders! Lol.

    Watch, Xan will be shy and retiring and want to stay home with you and bake cookies and muffins πŸ˜‰

  • tattooedmama says:

    You know, I really think Gabe and I need to come visit you guys.

    I think our whirling dervish children would be perfect friends πŸ˜› Gabe does the same thing with other children and just doesnt seem to understand that not EVERYONE is as outgoing as he is.

    That Zoo looks amazing!

  • imperfectme says:

    I now feel all crawly. Ewwwww. Awesome pictures. But I should not have looked at them while eating breakfast. πŸ˜‰

    (BTW, I’m from . Mind if I add you?)

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG Big Bugs. Creepy. I don’t like FAST bugs if that makes sense. Like the ginormous cockroaches we had in FL. I’m talking too big for the giant roahc traps. They moved SO fast and their little claws went click click click *shudder*. That giant leaf bug was awesome though.

  • the_ocean says:

    A girl on my friends list has an obsession with bugs. she used to have a millipede. she did a nude photoshoot with it for some website. oh goodness. creep crawlies and all over nude body…*eep*

    I’ve seen on TV people tethering those shiny, colorful bugs to pins and wearing them like a living brooch!

    My husband wants to get one of those bird eating spiders. Apparently you can order them (illegaly) off the internet.

  • zeldazonk says:


    What is ICAN?

  • I have wanted to go there so many times eventhough I am terrified of bugs.

  • cece00 says:

    omg, i hate bugs too. but you got good pics.

  • Spiders terrify me. Ugh.

    I once dated this girl who had a pet tarantula. The thing supposedly could stand on its back legs and rip it’s hair out and throw it at prey like poisoned darts. Just thinking about it makes me freak out.

    I’m glad I’m not the only pagan who is squicked out by spiders.

  • I still can’t decide if I’d be willing to do that or not. I do not like creepy crawlies…but on the other hand, they are kinda cool. Not holding a spider. Nope, just not gonna.

    I used to tutor this little boy that had a pet tarantula. Well, one day, we were in his room and as I walked past the cage, I did a double take; no spider. Um, not cool, so then I’m frantically peering into the cage, into the log, and finally, “Brandon? WHERE IS YOUR SPIDER?”

    “Oh, he got out. I don’t know where he is.”

    “Ok, we are going to my house, lets go, NOW”. I am soooo not interested in “finding” his spider….

  • winterbourne says:

    Insect motion patterns and anatomical shapes and very structures are completely different from people or other complex animals.

    They’re like chitinous robots that cannot be reasoned or communicated with.

    Which doesn’t make them scary. Spiders, ont he other hand, have certain characteristics that are similar to negative mammalian ones, in addition to the nightmarish number of eyes and visible fangs and gooey webbing.

    I find they seem to have a creepy kind of intelligence. The motion of their legs looks like creeping fingers and their hesitance seems to me predatory forethought.

    Which it isn’t, but if a mammal or a person acted like that, their intent would be malevolent.

    Spiders creep me out for this reason. Also certain other reactionary creatures, like bats and those ugly, ugly deepwater critters. Gross.

    Dangerous bugs like bees and scorpions aren’t creepy to me, but spiders seem to have some kind of… intent. Even the dead ones! It’s like they’re waiting for me to relax and then they’ll jump up and try to crawl in my ear or something. Ugh.

    Know what I mean?

  • six58 says:

    im extremely afraid of spiders, too.
    although. for some reason, tarantulas dont bother me.
    neither do the “pretty” ones. the ones that are all shiny and black with the long elegant legs.
    but um. that’s really only if they’re in a cage orrr very far away from me.
    im not as “AHHHHHH SHIT!” about them now. a few years ago, all i would have to do was think of a spider and id nearly have a panic attack because id feel things crawling all over me.

  • eiretamicha says:

    Bugs don’t really bother me. It’s a take ’em or leave ’em sorta situation. Sometimes I kill spiders in my house, sometimes I let them make webs in the corners so they can catch the mosquitoes. I volunteered to hold a huge hissing cockroach in high school during some bug demonstration. Oh, and my mom always tells everyone about how I came in the house with bull ants (they don’t really bite) crawling up my arm when I was three years old. She said I loved them. :p

    But bees. Oh man. Bees. Wasps, bees, hornets…I’m actually afraid to drive with my windows down because I know for a fact that if a bee ever flew in my window, I’d get in a car accident. I have a horrible phobia of bees…to the point where if anything flies near me making a buzzing noise, I panic, start crying, and run away screaming like a lunatic. πŸ™

    I had no clue leaf bugs could be so big! O_O

  • florassecret says:

    Jocelyn’s class last year went to the bug zoo. I waited for them to come out. I would not enter at all. I hate most spiders.

    Jocelyn said that she wants to go back this year for just fun.

  • the_wanlorn says:

    Oh, wow, I forgot how much I hate bugs until I looked at the photos. Gorgeous photos, though! The spider and the toddler!bug look wicked cool!

  • myluckeestar says:

    Well I was headed to bed, but now I think I’ll go sit on the sofa with all the lights on and rock back and forth for awhile.

  • miss_boots says:

    oh my gosh, those bugs are AWESOME.
    i wish i had somewhere like that out here to take my son to. but vegas sucks and has jack crap for children.

    i must look for the bug zoo closest to me.

    haha i used to love worms when i was a kid too. still to this day if i find a worm on the sidewalk i always put it back in the grass.

  • I’ll have a comment once my full-body freakout spasms stop. o_0

  • sillyboho says:

    doe she like other really freindly kids?

    everyone we meet is boos freind. he wants to hold hands, hug and play with EVERYONE! it’s so nice when he meets kids who you know, LIKE that. πŸ˜›

  • jellho says:

    I wish I had the courage to make it to an ICAN meeting. Maybe one day I will show my face. But for now, the email list will work for me.

    Plus the meetings are about 45 minutes away from me.

  • missrayder says:

    pbbbbbtttthhhhha ha ha ha! Ben and Jerry’s!

    Hmmm, I wonder if they still make Cricket magazine? I’ll bet Tempest would love it. (Although she may still be a little young for it; I don’t remember what ages it was for.)

  • nevaehrae says:

    Its crazy how kids are so carefree when it comes to certain things. As an adult….I hate bugs. My son loves them! Im just in awe how your daugther is so interested in so much! My son is 4, he is curious, but not like your daughter! BTW I love reading your blogs! Always so interesting!

  • lakme says:

    You could not pay me enough money to wear a millipede on my face.

    I sympathize with the fear you experienced…I’m terrified of lobsters live or dead. And asshole Mike brought home a live one for supper last New Year’s and expected me to be happy about it. He even thought I would enjoy looking in the cooler at it, even though he was well aware of my fears. I did not enjoy it and promptly locked myself into the bathroom.

  • I love spiders and have never been afraid of them.(We have a spider safe home, no one is allowed to kill one, they have to come get me and I resue them and put them outside.) Maybe because my favorite book when I was little was “Charlotte’s Web”? You should read it to Tempest, I think she would enjoy it.

  • Bugs = cool. But creepy, don’t get me wrong. Ugh.

    When I took my nieces to the bug zoo here, it was everything I could do to go ahead and pet the giant hissing cocroach and not freak. I had to do it, else they see my behavior and learn to be afraid. Oy. Being a good behavior model is hard.


  • Oh wow, I went somewhere similar for work a few years ago (I worked with special-needs kids). I highly recommend going back again sometime in the future, if that’s something you are comfortable with. I went from hyperventilating and hiding in the snake area of the zoo at the beginning of the first trip (I love snakes, go figure), to being able to tentatively touch the leg of a tarantula once by the end of the third trip. I think it’s technically called immersion therapy or something? Anyway, I definitely didn’t cure my fear of spiders by spending so much time there, but I now have what I consider to be a healthy fear instead of a crippling fear.

    Oh, and your daughter? I bet she is going to lead the world someday. She’s so bright and so awesome.

  • _evalution says:

    oh wow. tempest is a girl after my own heart. (i don’t like spiders but i love beetles of all kinds.) those cockroaches are so pretty. i’ve never seen any like that before. i’ve only seen the big old nyc kind:

    part of my collection:

  • bardocka says:

    Ugh I feel the same way when I’m surrounded by fish. I can’t even go to the section in a pet store.

    Where is this Bug Zoo? My kids would love it.

  • erinmdmd says:


    I should NOT have looked at your photos, however nice that they are. Thanks for the nightmare material! THANKS!!

    I have never found a cleaner that I can handle for the bathroom- its something about the windowless small space. I just scrub the tub/tiles with a bunch of baking soda and rinse. It certainly *looks* clean and shiny after that….

    • admin says:

      Normally I use baking soda/vinegar for the bathroom, but our shower collects an insane amount of mold. I’m extremely allergic to mold, so I use this harsh cleaner about once a month on top of maintenance.

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    Clea is dying to go to the Bug Zoo–it actually looks very cool. I think we may have to check it out… And, btw, she was the same way as Tempest–VERY enthusiastic, always wanting to make friends and talk to anyone who would listen. I’d rather have a kid like that than a shy kid, even if it’s more work!

    Just going to the one ICAN meeting has already been helpful. People said things that have helped me to rethink some of my feelings about my csection. I hope I can make it to more meetings–it’s a bit tough with my work schedule but I hope I can come.

    • admin says:

      The meetings have been really hectic the last many months because there was no space, and then no one showed up when they were at the leader’s house so I volunteered mine (closer to bus routes and highway). I’m SO HAPPY with the turnout and after everyone left I told her I wanted to be a permanent move if she was okay with that. πŸ™‚

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