Friday, July 25, 2008

The Great Cicada Invasion

My parents took Jackson out to their house for a sleepover tonight. He loves going there. Well, all my kids love going out to my parent's house, but Jackson seems to especially love it. Maybe because he's one of the middle kids and it seems like he's always trying to get attention. His behavior lands him trouble more often than not and his siblings tend to pick on him because of that same behavior. It's a vicious circle. He annoys them, so they're mean to him, so he annoys them more, so they're meaner, etc. Anyway, that's another story.

So, he went out to Yia Yia and Papa's where he gets some alone time and one-on-one, total attention. He loves it. My parents (I think) love it and it's a little quieter here at home. I'm not saying it's quieter with Jax gone. It would be quieter with any of the kids gone. For some reason, it just makes a big difference in noise levels when one kid is gone somewhere else. It's strange because if I have an extra kid or two around the house, I don't notice any difference in noise levels. It's no big deal to have extra kids here. But getting rid of one for a couple hours makes a huge difference.

Actually I like it when my kids have friends over because then they take a break from fighting with each other to play with their buddies. Although, maybe I should be glad that they fight with each other. I can only imagine if their factions should ever unite. It would be mutiny. I'm pretty sure they'd have the power to overthrow me and their dad.

Anyway, I knew that Jackson would be going on golf cart rides and doing fun things with my parents so I took the rest of the kids to see Space Chimps this afternoon. It was a cute movie. I think we all enjoyed it. It features the voice of Patrick Warburton. I think he's had a contract since 2000 that states he must be featured in all animated films. It seems like I've heard his voice in every animated feature/cartoon made over the past several years. And every time I hear it, I think of Puddy. (This will separate the Seinfeld fans from the unenlightened other readers.)

Towards the end of the movie, there was a part where the theater was absolutely silent. Not a sound came from the screen. You could have heard crickets cicadas in the background. Not a peep came from anyone in the theater. And then Lexi burped. I'm not talking about a dainty 7 year old girl burp either. I'm talking about an "Oh my gosh, did you get any on you?!" kind of burp. This was followed by uncontrolled giggles coming from each and every one of my kids. Lexi, quick-thinking and on her toes, exclaimed, "Savannah!" as she tried to pass the blame onto her sister. I was ever so proud.

And speaking of cicadas, wow are they loud right now. Last summer, Chicagoland (and some other places) had The Great Cicada Invasion. We couldn't walk outside without crunching over the shells of a thousand cicadas. We found them on our patio, sidewalks, cars, lawns, everywhere. For those of you who don't know what they are, cicadas are creepy-looking, red-eyed bugs. They don't bite or sting so they really don't bother me. They just make loud buzzing noises. They're interesting in that the female lays her eggs in the bark of a tree and the little cicada babies, then drop down and burrow in the ground and don't reemerge for 1 - 17 years depending on the type of cicada. Crazy, huh? Last year, the 17 year cicadas emerged and they were everywhere. It was pretty cool, in a very buggy sort of way.



This year they seem especially loud again. Is it just me, or do any Chicagolanders think the cicadas are really loud right now?

Here are some pictures I took of the kids emerging from cicada shells last summer at the Field Museum in Chicago where they had an Underground Adventure exhibit. (Yes, it's basically just another excuse to play with Smilebox again.)

Click to play The Field Museum 2007
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41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm in Palatine and the cicada's are extremely loud! I just realized this recently. I am terrified of bugs so last year's cicada invasion had me hibernating inside all summer. ;-) Gives me the heebie jeebies.

Michelle said...

How fun that the grandparents take the kids one on one for some great attention time!

And YES the cicadas are loud right now. In fact, I had to close the deck door because they were starting to annoy me, and I can still hear them over the dishwasher, upstairs bathroom fan (door open), husband washing dishes at the sink and the Cardinals game on MLB.tv. *sigh*

The ones last year WERE pretty cool though. I got so distracted by them swarming outside a window where I was having a meeting one day. I kept having to apologize and ask my boss's boss to repeat himself. Oops.

Brenda said...

Aren't you glad they aren't really that big????? I hope Jackson has a great time!

Gen said...

Your kids are too cute!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Our 17-year cicadas emerged in 2004. That was the one year we were living elsewhere, outside cicada range. There is a God.

Mississippi Mommy said...

Papa? Why not Papou? My father is Greek and that's what all the grandkid's call him. It's so cute when they're really young.

Holly Nelson, Farmington Hills, Michigan said...

I agree that the cicadas are REALLY loud. Even here in the Detroit area. I was just noticing that the other day. I said, "Man, I've never noticed them sound that loud before." But, thanks to your blog, I now know what one looks like. Up until a few minutes ago, I had some doubts to their existance.

Donna said...

Just think, the cicadas have it right......have the baby and then LEAVE for 17 YEARS.........

freebutterfly said...

Can't... let it... go...

It's Puddy. David Puddy. Forgive me. Please forgive me.

I don't think I've watched a cartoon without thinking, "High five" in a while, though. His voice is EVERYWHERE!

Anonymous said...

OMG...you're actually saying bugs that size are NORMAL? And here I thought an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars (which are destructive, but SMALL, thank you very much, and pretty much the worst we get here on the East Coast)was bad! We haven't had them in years, but I think I'd take them over those monsters of which you calmly posted pictures. Yeesh. I think I may have nightmares now.

Dawn said...

Oh my gosh, you're right! Duh! Must change it to Puddy immediately!

korkie said...

YOU are a COOL mom, hence you have cool kids.

If I ever feel like a 17+ hour drive, I'm stopping by the meet the Megan family in person.

I love the 'bug birthing kid' pictures.

When do the cicadas go after they emerged from their 17 year nap?
Do they just wander under human feet to be crushed?

Just doesn't seen fair....

Sarah said...

I grew up in Texas and we used to take the shells that the cicadas had molted out of and put them in each other's hair. Needless to say, you would immediately squeal and swat at it only to have it crunch everywhere. Gross!

They're a little noisy here in Florida, but I think I only notice it because I just moved from Colorado. We didn't have them there.

Anonymous said...

We have cicadas EVERY year here in southern Arizona. They are sand-colored, though. Which makes them, in my opinion, kind of creepy. Especially when the cat has one in her mouth, wings fluttering.

The sound is definitely deafening. We know it's officially hot here when the cicadas start singing? chirping? screeching?

I always think of the Gary Larson comic of Noah standing on the Ark. On the side of the little house on the top deck, one of the animals had written, "Tell the cicadas to shut up!" (I know it was one of the other animals because all the "s's" were backwards.

Sandy in Tucson

Anonymous said...

Love the slides. Thanks for getting that song stuck in my head right before I go to bed!! Look, now you've got me rhyming!!!!

Gotta love Puddy! I really miss Seinfeld!!!!

Donna in PA :)

Jillcookie said...

Cicadas! Amazing creatures. It has to be more than a coincidence that I just came to your blog from another blog that had a series of photos of a cicada molting that were taken with an point & shoot camera (maybe a cybershot). The photos are amazing. Check them out.

http://aheadofmyability.blogspot.com/2008/07/cicada.html

Debbie in Kansas said...

High five!! :)

Shari said...

Those bugs are LOUD! Last year I flew to Chicago and I hated those little things. They grossed me out and they took away my sleep! Hmph! God's creatures are always amazing to me! Even the ugly, noisy ones! :)

LeeAnn said...

Patrick Warburton will always be Puddy to me.

Anonymous said...

The cicadas are loud in Missouri as well! We went camping and got little sleep the first night because the cicadas sang all night!

erika325 said...

Puddy!! One of my favorites on Seinfeld :)

My favorite quotes:
"Feels like an Arby's night."

Elaine (whilst being whisked off to jail in the finale): "Don't wait for me!"
Puddy: "Uh, okay."

Puddy: "You stole my Jesus fish!"

Oh, and remember his multi-colored leather jacket?!?

Ahhh, good times :D

Hee hee.

Michelle said...

Yuck..on the bugs
Your kids are just too darn cute

Lanette said...

Love the smilebox. Have you tried Shutterfly? Sounds like they are similar. I used Shutterfly for my one & only trip out of the United States when I visited Italy. It's free to join & you only pay when you order. It keeps your pictures in one place & lets your friends check them out too without you actually having to remember to email them. No...I don't have kids, just senile all me life!! hahaha

Tom said...

"baby cicadas burrow into the ground and don't emerge for 1-17 years" -- Those cicadas have it right. There are times when I would love for my preschooler to burrow himself into the ground for 17 years.

Debbie Yost said...

I think it's great each of your kids get a little one on one time with their grandparents. I loved coming from a big family, but it's nice to be on your own fo a little while.

Kayla said...

We are huge Sienfeld fans and have loved Patrick ever since! Our favorite quote is when he is having a conversation with elaine and he says very casually "your going to hell" we use this comment a lot in our house!

I enjoy reading your blog, and look forward to coming by again soon!

my3boys said...

ummm...Just so you know...we actually do have Cicadas in Colorado. But anyway-- Your pictures of the Field Museum underground thing reminded me of taking my (then) 2 year old there. Your baby is smiling. Mine was terrified and wouldn't stop screaming or sqeezing my neck until I got him out of there! He wasn't generally fussy in other ways, but he HATED that exhibit!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I miss Senfeld so much. Not that they're not perpetually on in reruns on some channel or another, but I used to love the new quotes I'd get every week that were so usable in everyday conversation! The Jesus Fish one is one of my favorites.

In our house, though, the talented Mr. Warburton will always, at least for those under 30, be Buzz Lightyear from "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command," that great cartoon that introduced us all to Mira, Booster and XL back at Star Command--they presumably held down the galactical fort while Buzz was off galavanting on his two adventures with Woody et. al. His deadpan sense of humor and attitude problem is just great for Buzz (not that Tim Allen wasn't perfect in the Toy Story movies, too). I also enjoy him playing off of Megyn Price in "Rules of Engagement"...they are both just so sarcastic and too jaded for words, and just hit the spot on my funny bone after a long day!

I may just have to take the kiddos to see "Space Chimps" now; "Kung Fu Panda" was great for all the talent they had for their animals as well (but I missed Jackie Chan, and then kicked myself during the credits for not realizing it was him). Thanks for the recommendation!

~Laura

Mandy said...

My hubby and I always call that guy "Puddy" to the point that I forgot he had a real name...he IS in every cartoon! The most disturbing is the Disney channel Buzz Lightyear cartoon-ugh...he creeps me out a bit. Oh! Did you ever see The Tick? it was a short lived FOX show where Puddy was a super hero, he best part was his antenna moved to his emotions...whoa, sorry for taking you along on that train thought.

The cicadas...yes-I'm in Lexington KY and they are loud and do they seem later then usual this year...I thought they were more of an early summer occurrence. Our family collects the shells and hang them on our clothes...it really freaked some people out at our yard sale today!

Debbie said...

To the "going to hell" line from Seinfeld.... don't forget to add the finger horns and the blah blah blah noise. :) My husband and I use that one all the time, too!

Momma Bear said...

I love your blog! You've inspired me to create my own!

http://mytwobears.blogspot.com/

Becky said...

I LOVE that your folks took your son away for some one-on-one time. That was so sweet on all counts.

When we were kids, my grandma would often do that with me because I was the oldest of four, and heavily relied upon to do LOTS around our house, and seldom got a break. So she'd 'rescue' me for a few days every now and then and invite my same-age cousin Juli over, and we would have a ball together free of the usual responsibilities, and doted on by our sweet grandma. She's gone now, but I still take those memories out often and remember the special times with her.

Those cicadas look freaky. I'd flip out if I saw them, lol.

Jen said...

Yes, the cicadas are VERY loud, almost as much as last year. My daughter is still worried that she's going to get dive bombed like last year.

Oh and I love Puddy. He's hilarious in Family Guy too. Did you ever notice that the characters he voices resemble him in some way?

Jessica said...

Here in Cincinnati, we had the 17-year cicadas this summer, but they were gone by July 4, so that was nice. We still had the rest of the summer without those creepy things . . .

Mary said...

Oooh, I love cicadas. We have them here in Australia too, although not right now as it's winter. Weird how some years there are so many and they are so loud and some years there are hardly any.

Rick said...

So, if I was a cicada I could plant my kid in the ground and not see him until he turned 17? Wow! Why didn't we humans think of that?

Mark Twain advised, “When a boy turns 13, put him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole.”

Same idea I guess.

Vicki Sullivan said...

I love the cicadas too. We haven't had them in our area for quite a while.

JCK said...

I LOVE the sound of them. But...would prefer NOT to see them.

Noel said...

Talk to the Eight Ball.

Jennifer said...

Holy cow! Smilebox is the best thing EVER! Thank you so much for introducing it to me. I have told all my friends about it. It blows Shutterfly out of the water! I only wish you could save your creations on disc...

I love your blog and look forward to reading it every morning!

Michelle said...

We live in Bartlett and this summer when I brought out the summer toys I opened a drawer to a child's table that we keep outside. I was horrified to find no less than 100 cicada shells that my DAUGHTER had collected last summer.

They are loud this year, but at least we don't have to deal with them plastered all over everything like last year!

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