Monday, March 29, 2010

C'est Moi!

(Photography assignment: Take a self portrait that tells us something about you)

Not everyone gets to wake up on the morning of their birthday to find a tick embedded in their leg.

The first time I heard about these blood sucking creatures was when I was a teenager in a camp-preparation meeting where they warned us that ticks were hiding in the bushes and trees ('so don't get too close to a bush if you're peeing on it' was their warning), and that leeches were lurking in the lake. I was terrified, and a little obsessive about checking myself for the unwanted parasites. My sister got one at camp that year...on the top of her shoulder where her hair fell. I felt sorry for her, but secretly felt glad it was her and not me.

Even when we moved to North Carolina, I've managed to escape the ticks. Our friends have had plenty, McKenzie has had two, but I have had none - - - until my birthday, that is. Right on the outside of my thigh.

Oh no. No, no, no. I thought to myself the moment I spotted it. Are you freakin' KIDDING me?

You could say that I have a slight wimpishness when it comes to killing bugs. I don't like the way it sounds, and I don't like the way it feels. When McKenzie had a tick on the back of her ear, we waited hours until Daddy came home, 'cause Mama just couldn't handle it. But here I was faced with a grim reality: I could spend my whole entire birthday with a tick in my leg, or I could grab it with a pair of tweezers and get it out, knowing full well that I would probably end up crushing the life out of it. Neither option sounded like a true winner.

In the end, I decided it would be best to get it out - so I summoned up my courage and recalled some research I had done on it last year. Some of my favorite lines from the webpage I remembered were,

"Do not be alarmed if the tick's mouthparts remain in the skin..."
(What the WHAT? I do NOT want any 'mouthparts' in my skin, thank you very much!)

"Throw the dead tick away with the household trash."
(Whew...I was hoping they'd have disposal directions...)

And then, this picture:

Well, there was a lot of muttering under my breath, 'stupid, disgusting tick, this is crappy, crappy tick'...but in the end, I was successful. I even managed to keep the mouthparts attached to the tick instead of me! I only had one freak-out moment which resulted in me dropping the tweezers with a startled yelp. Who knew that when I grabbed the tick's body, all eight of it's legs would move?! Disgustingly terrifying, if you ask me.

Thankfully, the day could only get better from there. I came out into the kitchen and was greeted by beautiful roses, a birthday banner, balloons and streamers - - - it was obvious that my sweet hubby had gotten up extra early before work.

And, it was great to pull the birthday card for an entire day. Whenever a fight broke out between the kids, all I would have to do is start singing, "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me..." and the fighting would grudgingly stop. I learned a very important lesson that day about those kids: they do know what I want!

How long do you think it would take them to catch on if I put up balloons once a month and told them it was my birthday?


  1. Your blog is one of my favorites to read. You interesting, humorous, and I find we have more in common each time I tune it. Happy Birthday!

  2. ok now I am SO scared of waking up to a tick somewhere on my body!! AH! Good job on pulling it out yourself. I don't know if I could. Happy birthday to you, though! I love the pic of your kids. So cute! And btw....Cody took the pics with his phone. I wish I could have been there.

  3. Love the pictures! You are very talented! Got my first tick last year right on my boob! It was pretty freaky, so I can relate. I'm glad you were brave about it. Ticks are gross.

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Amy, you crack me up! I agree- the legs moving is the part I hate the most. And you got the "mouthparts"- good job! I am never able to do that, but it's good to know I shouldn't be alarmed. One time Briggie found one on his [I don't think I have to specify the part] and he took one look at it and just started screaming at the top of his lungs and wouldn't stop until it was out, a good five or six minutes later. So you're in good company:). And Happy Birthday!!

  5. I feel the same about ticks--yuck. Your buggy birthday surprise reminds me of the time I was running through my backyard (barefoot) and stepped in doggy doo--on my birthday. Anyway, I'm glad the rest of the day was much more pleasant! Cute pictures!

  6. Beautiful picture of your kids, and of course you already know that Luis & I love the other one! ;) Can you believe I've never had a tick? I'm knocking wood, right now....

  7. Your self portratit is awesome. I thought it was your birthday soon, in fact I just emailed you about it. Sorry I didn't call. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  8. I love your self portrait. It's so unique. It's an awesome picture. I'm sorry that your birthday started out so badly. Yuck!! I thought about you all day and wished you could've been with us playing. I hope you had fun though.

  9. You should totally do it! The monthly birthday balloons, that is, let me know how the experiment works ;) Hope your birthday was truly fantastic, minus the icky tick! blah!

  10. Yuck. Sorry about that, dude. That's gross. At least I got popularity out of mine. :)

    Love the self portrait. It's totally you.

  11. Absolutely LOVE the self portrait....the tick, not so much!

  12. Ugh! I despise ticks, like really despise. Next time touch the sucker with a hot match, he'll run for his life and then you squish the life out of it. Ew gross! Even talking about this makes me shiver.

    And I love the self portrait. LOVE!

  13. Love the self-portrait. Don't so much love the tick. So sorry about the undesirable bday gift...

  14. What?? I thought I already commented on this.

    #1. I love the self portrait. So perfect, and so sweet.

    #2. Ticks. are. nasty. He just wanted to be the first to say Happy Birthday!

    #3. I think you SHOULD walk around announcing that your b-day is coming up, thereby giving everyone ample time to prepare for your birthday. Next year, okay?

    #4. I'm glad your birthday was fun.

    #5. That pic of your kids is BEAUTIFUL!

    I am done now.