Thursday, June 29, 2017

Of mice and men. Part II

So, I've concluded that mice are a lot like children in that they have a knack for revealing your greatest flaws.

My children like to bring to light the fact that I am not quite as patient, easy going, and angelic as I believed myself to be approximately 6 years ago.

The mice that have taken up residence in our home like it's a thriving Airbnb destination enjoy bringing up the reality that the floor food I have lovingly provided for my baby, and the leftover dinner remnants from the elder children are the perfect nighttime snack for any vermin taking in the sights after rummaging through my cupboards.

Perhaps at times the occasional piece of white cheddar popcorn becomes lodged between the couch cushions at approximately 9:30pm. Maybe there are chocolate chips in there. Maybe a slice or two of pepperoni. Whatever! Stop shaming me for wanting some alone time, mice! 

Obviously none of these mice are mothers or they would possess some compassion for my solitary snacking needs in this season of life.

Three days ago I awoke and began my normal morning routine of shoving aside snuggling my little darlings on my way to the coffee pot. Instead of being greeted by piping hot bean water in a witty decorative mug, I instead came upon my counter covered with... 

tiny. little. droppings. 

People. I implore you.

My emotions did not hold up well in light of this revelation. The further my eyes scanned, the more mouse excrement they found. 

Behind my coffee pods, next to the toaster, under the dishes drying on the counter, inside of the pots in my oven drawer, in another cupboard, and in the drawer that holds all of my measuring cups and spoons. 

Now I will say, in defense of the mice, that the last drawer I mentioned, containing roughly 728 measuring cups and spoons, also contained enough food scraps to feed a sizable village of mice, but still! 

I used to really love our home. 

Being the consistently rational human being that I am, my husband unpacked the moving boxes I'd immediately begun to fill, and proceeded to buy every single mouse fighting contraption available at Home Depot and Amazon.com. 

He got that look on his face like when Hugh Jackman grows the Edward Scissorhand things out of his fingers and goes crazy on everyone. 

My children so far all seem to be oblivious to the plight happening within their home, thankfully, though I did find a great deal of irony in the fact that they requested to watch "Stuart Little" while I cleaned mouse feces out of our dwelling... 

After the poo removal was complete, our kitchen became a war zone. Instead of oatmeal and waffle crumbs, it was filled with glue traps and peanut butter zapper boxes. 

Yesterday morning, Wolverine greeted me as I was exiting our bedroom to tell me that he was "just finishing up" out in the kitchen. 

When he awoke in the early morning hours to assess the battlefield, who should greet him but Stuart Little himself, who found himself stranded in a glue trap that even an adorable Melanie Griffith voiced character could not rescue him from. 

I won't disclose all of the details regarding how the disposal of Stuart unfolded...but I will say it involved a pair of gloves, a large bucket, a stick, some amount of water, and a certain level of Hugh Jackman bravery.  

I will continue to provide updates on the critter casualty count as it rises. 

And I will continue to eat my 9:30pm snacks on the couch while watching The Middle. You can't control me, Stuart! 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Of mice and men

As I sit down to type this, I hear the gentle sounds of my favorite nighttime TV family (The Hecks on The Middle) and the scurrying of the tiny (or GIANT!?) feet of the critters that have taken up nighttime residence in our cupboards.

First of all, let's establish the fact that this is NOT OKAY!

I can kill an occasional spider if it is reasonably sized and doesn't appear like it could pick up my baby. I can hide in a bedroom like any sane human being until my husband returns, should a bee of any variety somehow enter my house uninvited. I once ate the leg of a fried tarantula in Cambodia.

But four legged rodents rummaging around in my pots and pans is absolutely unacceptable. It's also rude of them to point out the fact that my home contains enough of my baby's floor food to encourage this kind of trespassing!

My husband has procured special "food" to ensure they are eradicated, and Pinterest tells me to put Peppermint oil on cotton balls, which I've done diligently. But 800 cotton balls and 200 drops later (approximately), I feel like the critters are actually taking the oils internally and seeing all of their ailments cured. Irony.

Aside from taking care of our new pets, I've also been trying to attend to the two legged creatures who live in my home and demand my attention. I made homemade coconut water fruit popsicles yesterday! Pinterest helps me provide my children with nutritious treats to balance out the 8,000 grams of sugar (approximately) my daughter consumes now in special treats she can have that were previously off limits due to her peanut allergy. OIT has both set us free...and tempted us with all of the pre-packaged goodness that mother nature had nothing to do with.

We are officially finished with our year of Kindergarten homeschool! Praise Jesus we all made it out somewhat unscathed! And Emma knows how to count to 100, how to spell a few words on her own, how to operate any Apple product independently, and knows the names of every character on "The Fresh Beat Band."

She does not know there are critters in our cabinets however. It's better this way.

The elders spent today pretending to be Dino Dan and Dino Dana from the respective shows of the same names. For children who are afraid of everything from Jack in the box's to Nanny McPhee to zebras...it is amazing to me how they adore these giant, ferocious looking dinosaurs. They can't seem to find matching socks, but they found a dozen dinosaur bones in our backyard today.

If a mouse runs out in front of me right now, so help me, Internet...

My delightful baby child, Clairebear, is making great progress in tackling her tiny world. We're taking her to a baby chiropractor and we have a lovely occupational therapist who is like a blond Mary Poppins, and comes to our home twice a month, which means that my floors are vacuumed at least twice a month (in your face, mice!). Claire has been delayed on all of her mobility, (though she's been scootching on her bottom at lightning speeds for months now) but can now sit up and lay back down, and is tolerating kneeling and standing for longer and longer periods of time, and finally starting to pull up on certain things. She is also being raised, as were my other children, by the lovely Rachel Coleman of Baby Signing Time fame. Her favorites currently are "airplane," "car," "all done," and "bird," her default being airplane for any sign she doesn't know.

Oh, my children have started sleeping through the night now!


Just kidding.

I text my lovely friend Jaime roughly 9,000 times a day as we regale each other with stories of parenting, both the victorious and defeating. The pendulum swings from homemade coconut water popsicles and two loving, cooperative children joyfully constructing Magnatile creations on the deck while their baby sister happily interacts with her occupational therapist inside the house...

...to me, two brooms in hand, awkwardly hunched over our fence attempting to maneuver the ball that was accidentally kicked into our neighbors yard, and lacking the self-control that would keep my naughty words at bay. Or threatening my children with the loss of my sanity when the 8,759th request has been made of me as I'm attempting to escape their room at bedtime (I believe I muttered something to the effect of, "The crazy train is pulling into the station! Mama's gettin' on!"

I guess what I'm coming to understand is that the world becomes a different place at 8pm. Cups of water previously well tolerated in the daytime hours become too tepid to consume. What had appeared to be a minor scrape in the light of day has now erupted into an intolerable flesh wound requiring two or perhaps a dozen band-aids. And not the Crayon design band-aids. Nighttime abrasions demand Elsa and Anna and Spongebob.

Stuffed animals that have not been thought of in 4 years suddenly require a search party. Everything scary in the entire world finds its way into their room, despite their 7 nightlights and their adorable but not adhered to "O.K. to Wake" clock lights.

8 miles of walking snuggles, 17 stories, 40 minutes of back scratching, 82 high fives, and 49 butterfly kisses later they are finally asleep.

And that's approximately the time when Clairebear wakes up for her first round of our nighttime hangouts.

The world is a dangerous place at night, my friends. The mice understand this and are seeking refuge in my crock pot, but it's just not quite as endearing as "Ratatouille" made it all out to be...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Break out the vinegar

Because I do (mostly) everything Pinterest tells me to do, I ordered some glass spray bottles on Amazon, along with rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and corn starch. I attempted various combinations of these ingredients along with white vinegar, water (filtered obviously), and fancy oils from fields of glory to make homemade All Purpose Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, and Bleach Spray.

The motivation behind this scientific endeavor was the germ ridden people who occupy my home. It began last Sunday with the subtle introduction of some tiny man child tummy rumbles and an out of the ordinary evening nap on the floor. From there it got worse for the man child, infected the girl child, and has now caught up to the very tall man husband who has been quarantined to our bedroom apart from some 2-3 minute appearances throughout the day. So far the tiniest human and myself have escaped unscathed...

I have attempted to disinfect the majority of my house with my homemade creations. I felt like the easier option was to leave for the week, but I'm an incredibly loyal, dedicated, selfless mother...and also my car isn't wanting to start and we have to wait until my husband recovers from emptying his insides to take it in to the shop.

So, basically I'm stranded here and extremely kind people like my friend Suzanne come to drop off fancy blue Hobby Lobby baskets filled with things to delight my children, and things to delight my taste buds when my children are asleep at night.

The eldest sick child completed her Oral Immunotherapy for peanuts a few weeks ago and we have been thrilled and thankful. It's not been an entirely smooth ride, and the stomach flu makes it extra bumpy. She dosed at a lower amount today but her body couldn't quite handle it, nor could mine, as I watched her to decide whether an epi-pen would be necessary. She was fine with some allergy medicine and I prescribed myself large amounts of chocolate and a 10pm plate of nachos. I am very good at stress.

The youngest non-sick child will begin in-home therapy soon because she's apparently got wide hips and low muscle tone. I just thought she was content to scootch around the world on her bottom, but apparently she's months overdue for being able to pull herself up and other things that have gone entirely unnoticed because she's the third kid. Sorry Clairebear. In her defense, what she lacks in mobility and strength she more than makes up for with her fuzzy head and delightful countenance.

I'm thankful for the professional in-home intervention, both because I love anything that doesn't require me to leave my house, and I assume it's probably fine if I leave for Target while it's going on. It's not a big deal you guys.

We are mostly surviving homeschool and have 3 more months to learn everything there is to learn in Kindergarten. She can spell b-o-y, skip across a room, draw a cat on my phone to text to my mom, and has nearly perfected snapping her fingers. So, we're basically ready to move onto first grade!

Time for my nachos...

Monday, January 2, 2017

The lap of (broken) luxury

I have not one, not two, but an impressive THREE "Space Grey" iPhone 6's in, or soon to be in, my possession.

Now, anyone who knows me knows of my deep affinity for luxury, as they couldn't help but notice the retractable roof on my mini van, my fancy coffee machine that crafts espresso drinks at home, our complete collection of Curious George episodes spanning approximately 82 discs on DVD (thanks Nonna), and our Costco sized bag of toilet paper that takes up the entire space underneath the kids' bathroom sink. 

My growing iPhone collection however has far less to do with my luxury addiction and far more to do with a tiny almost 10 month old human.

We were having the first of our 73 nightly hangouts, my phone settled in next to me so I could properly escape into the world of social media instead of engaging with my sleepless child at midnight...when suddenly one of her tiny ninja legs abruptly shot out, sending my phone flying off of its resting place and crashing screen first onto the hard metal base of her cuddle-me-bunny swing.

Similar to the feeling I had when I landed awkwardly on my arm in the backyard in 4th grade playing catch with my dad...I was pretty certain something was broken. 

My fears were confirmed, both for the arm in 1990 and my phone in 2016, as the room which holds my tiny ninja baby was gently illuminated by me holding a tiny shattered screen. 

My husband kindly taped up the glass shards the next day and a replacement phone was at our door within 24 hours. It did indeed replace the first phone, in every way except that it refused to make phone calls.

In my replacement phone's defense, it probably read the Buzzfeed article about people who hate talking on the phone, and could quickly sense I was one of those people, but I still appreciate that the phone companies continue to offer this feature.

So, just after noon today, I made my children change out of their shorts and t-shirts and into something mildly presentable for both the general public and the 30 degree weather, brushed at least Emma's hair for good measure, changed a diaper, put a mix of toxic and non-toxic facial products on myself, as well as pants that were made from actual jean material rather than the stretchy kind I normally sport while skillfully homeschooling my children for 6-8 hours a day, made our way to the car and were off on an exotic adventure to our local AT&T store! 

Almost. 

We've had a bit of a cold streak here the last few days and our van doors have a habit of freezing when it dips below 68 degrees...

Now, before going further with this saga, I do realize this phone situation is totally a "first world problem" like the kids in 2016 used to say. 

So, in light of this perspective, I thanked Jesus for our minivan (with the retractable roof) as I poured water over the frozen doors to defrost them, was thankful that my children would be abundantly hydrated with all of the snow they had consumed while I chiseled away at the van, and was thankful that our nearly hour wait at the phone store was filled with a very small percentage of whining, mild overtired baby cries, only one utterance of "I have to go potty!!" which was quickly forgotten about (or perhaps the AT&T couch was more absorbent than it appeared...we can never know), 3 minutes of sunshine shadow puppets on the wall, and a good 40 minutes of my children playing with iPhone Virtual Reality glasses. 

The nice AT&T employee man turned my phone off, turned it back on, checked something and said it appeared to be working. Great!

After a healthy drive-thru lunch was consumed (it was almost 2 o'clock by this point, and also I haven't put all of the finishing touches on my 2017 Resolution List so "healthy eating habits" isn't technically on the list yet) we returned home and replacement phone #1 again refused to make any calls. 

My children and I read foreign novels, sewed our outfits for the next day, tended our virtual garden with our new pair of iPhone Virtual Reality glasses, and did some quick algebra equations to pass the time until my husband returned home with his working phone so I could call the nice AT&T people for help.

The gentleman I spoke to at customer service was quite kind about everything, even if he did dare to ask me "What's for dinner?" and I was forced to confess that I was making a frozen pizza for dinner at 6:45pm...after the 2pm drive-thru fiasco! In my defense, we ate vegetables with dinner, and Buzzfeed tells me my awkward phone aversion/overprocessing is normal.

So, all of this to say, my third Space Grey iPhone6 should be here in 1-2 business days...as well as a lovely rose gold shatterproof shockproof case to keep it safe from ninja babies and clumsy mamas.