Thursday, November 29, 2007

Circle of Life

So as I was setting the mousetrap last night, Ryan came into the kitchen and of course wanted to know what I was doing. I told him I was going to catch the mouse. How did I know there was a mouse in the house? As far as he knew, the one I captured the other night was the only one. I explained to him that I had vaccuumed up all the mouse poop the other day and now there is more fresh mouse poop. So, he says, when you catch the mouse, what are you going to do with it? Let it go outside? Ummmm. No. The mouse will be dead, I tell him. Oh. He thought that the traps just caught them by the tail but didn't kill them. Unfortunately it only happens that way in cartoons I told him. This trap will kill the mouse. At this point I'm getting a little nervous because I can tell he's on the verge of being upset. I don't blame him. I'm feeling conflicted about the whole process myself. Why do you think it took me a week to get around to buying mousetraps? For one thing, I don't want to have to face the dead body and the disposal task. For another thing, I don't like to kill animals. On the flip side, if I allow the mice to stay under the kitchen cabinet, feasting on garbage, they will eventually reproduce in great numbers then get even hungrier and start looking for food in the cabinets. I don't know for sure, but I imagine they could also harbor diseases harmful to humans. Out in the forest, the mice and the hawks and other natural predators keep each other in balance. Here in the suburbs not so much. Are the mice endangered? I doubt it. Am I allowing for a larger problem to develop if I do nothing? Yes. Could I choose a live catch and release trap? Yes but they recommend releasing 5 miles from your house in a wooded area which I find impractical for this area. So regular mouse trap it is.

I explained the predator/prey aspect as well as the mass reproduction and disease aspects to Ryan. I told him that I don't mind the mice living anywhere they want in my yard, outside the house. But I just can't allow them to live inside. In this case I must become the hawk and kill the mouse. He seemed okay with it.

Fast forward to this morning when I found the dead mouse behind the garbage can. I felt sad that he died. Then before the kids were up and aware of what I was doing, I dumped the body behind the shed to let nature finish things off. I hope no other mice come to die in my traps. They should just set up camp in the back woods instead.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Quote and some trivia

"Christmas isn't Christmas until somebody cries."
-Donkey in Shrek the Halls

That made me chuckle. It's true!

And now for your trivia bit of the day... What is the dog's name in How The Grinch Stole Christmas? Answer: Max.

Any guesses as to what I'm doing tonight? Did you guess watching Christmas specials on TV? Probably. But I bet you didn't guess that I'm also folding laundry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Found this on a marathon-training site. (And no, I'm not planning to run a marathon!) A friend is training for a half-marathon and asked if I would like to run. I went to the website to see what sort of training is involved as perhaps I can run with her from time to time. But NOT in the race!

Career Planning

We went to see Santa on Monday. Santa was great, spent a few minutes actually talking to the kids. Guess it pays to on a Monday afternoon early in the season – plenty of personal attention. There were only four people ahead of us in line and not too many behind us.

As we left Santa’s Snow Globe, we received a coupon for Chick-Fil-A. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and the kids never turn down a chance for French fries so we went to get a bite to eat after we played in the mall’s children’s play area. As we were eating lunch, the kids were discussing their latest career aspirations.

Bella has changed her mind and will now be a rock star. And a mom, because you can be two things. No more teacher for her!

Felisa has also changed her mind. She is now planning to be a horse rider. And a mom. Originally she was planning to only be a mom.

Ryan, not to be outdone, as decided to be a writer (which hasn’t changed) and to make money, he will be a ??? (oops - now I can't remember. check back for the answer!). I asked him what happened to his librarian job. He said he had forgotten about that one. When I reminded him that he used to say he wanted to be a Milkshake Maker he laughed. Clearly he had also long since forgotten about that one too!

In other news…

Ryan won first place in the Young Author’s contest! Yippee! Yahoo! Looks like “Boxy the Fat Pig” really is a winner. The look on his face when Ron told him was priceless. Amazement and excitement and joy. I’m so happy for him. Sets the standard high though for future writing!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Mouse In The House

That's right, folks. A mouse. A live mouse. In my house. In my garbage can to be exact. And now that mouse is very cold and sad. And lucky to be alive but cold and sad all the same.

I was sitting here at the computer and I heard a noise, kind of a sizzling noise. Ron had just changed the filter on the refrigerator so I wondered if perhaps there was a leak somewhere in the line that was dripping on a hot dishwasher part, since the dishwasher was still warm from the recent washing. I decided to investigate. I do not, after all, wish to burn the house down. So I walked to the kitchen sink and stopped to listen. I could still hear the noise. So I opened up the cabinet door under the sink and a movement caught my eye along with the noise which was louder now. Holy %*^^$(#! There's a mouse (oh I hope it's a mouse and not a rat, I think) in my garbage can! Now can I get it out of the house without setting it loose in the kitchen? Ryan! Open the back door! Quick! Very carefully I pulled the garbage bag up out of the can and hold it closed. The sad mouse is sad because I had just recently taken the garbage out so he didn't find anything to eat. He was also sad because the empty garbage can made it impossible for him climb back out and make his escape. The sizzling noise I had heard was actually the sound of his tiny little mouse paws trying to climb up the slippery plastic walls of the garbage bag.

Garbage bag in hand, clinched tightly closed, and held oh so gingerly, I dash out the open door to the back porch. Now what? I head for the edge of the grass, set the bag down, and step back into the light. Ewwww!!!! Live mouse! In my house! Ewwww!!! Can I just say that I prefer my mice stuffed? Though I bore the nickname Mouse for all of my years as a Girl Scout Camp Counselor, I did not receive any special live mouse loving skills during that time. I did bring home a dead mouse in my suitcase one weekend. I guess he ate too much of my towel and died of a tummy ache. I even had the job of disposing of several dead mice we caught in our house one winter in Colorado. Luckily though, no real mice in my life since then, except at the pet store. Until today.

Now here is where I put forth my confession. For the past week or so I have noticed some suspicious black looks-like-mouse-poop bits in the cabinet next to the Cascade. But, being the Queen of De Nial, and seeing no other signs (i.e. teeth marks), I just shrugged it off. That option is officially no longer available. Darn.

So I guess that means we have to stop by the hardware store tomorrow to stock up on mousetraps. I don't really want to kill them but allowing them to live in the house and eventually move up from garbage to fresher foods isn't really a good option either.

In the meantime there is one hungry, cold, sad mouse in my backyard. Oh and it is Full Moon Day. Does this count as a family activity? Watching Mommy freak out a little while catching a mouse and settting it free?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Heat Wave Expected

Everybody get ready for a heat wave... I'm ready for winter (finally) so I'm expecting a heat wave. Based on the fact that I spent about 3 hours yesterday sorting the rest of the summer/winter clothes and inventorying the winter coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc. I am expecting a heat wave that should last at least a week or two! If only I were a faster worker...

In other news...

I am allergic (or sensitive perhaps) to sulfur. I had forgotten apparently. I always tell the doctor that I am allergic to septra when they ask for drug allergies. On a related front, I am generally not a fan of red wine. I'm thinking it must be because of the sulfites. Last night at dinner, Ron was drinking wine. I tasted it. I thought, oh that doesn't taste too bad. So I drank a little more. About an hour later, the headache started. A multi-point vise grip squeezing my head. Ouch! Not debiliatating but definitely uncomfortable. There's a bit of it still hanging on this morning.

Ryan's cookies won Best Tasting in his Den. It's a good thing they did because, seriously, these are the best cookies ever! And to prove my point, I've been eating them nonstop since last Wednesday night. Not good for the diet but oh so good for the taste buds!

I ran the Turkey Trot a week ago. 5K. My time was 30:36. About 45 seconds slower than last year but much faster than I felt like I was running at the time, especially with the minimal training I did this year. Maybe next year will be better.

Oh and I almost forgot this one - a tick. A big ugly disgusting deer tick (looks like this - the one at the top of the page and the one in the third row, last on the right) on the living room floor last night. Ryan found it first. Thought it was a shell. Picked it up. It moved. He freaked out a little then tossed it away. Told Ron and I about it (or so he says - neither of us heard him). A few minutes later, as I was walking through the living room I saw a bean or something on the floor. But wait - it has legs. That are moving. Eeeew! What is it!?! Put it in a bowl so I could look at it some more. I just could get over how big and bean like the body looked compared to the tiny legs at one end. Ron used his super information finding skills and found a picture. It was a tick, just as he had guessed. Then he made me kill it. I wanted to spray it with chemicals or something but he told me to use a shoe. So I sandwiched it into a paper towel, put on my shoe, and stepped on it. Bigger eeeewwww! The shell cracked and squished. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

I'm getting a haircut today. I've decided that I like the new short hairdo and so does most everyone else so I guess I'll keep it going for awhile. After the haircut, I'm off to the Donut Store with Felisa to buy food for Thanksgiving. 7 adults, 5 kids, and lots of fun!

Now it's time to get these kids out the door to school!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Labor of Love

We started the sugar cookies last night. Ryan decided to go old-fashioned this year (his words) for the Cub Scout Bake-off and chose Aunt Lana's sugar cookies as his entry. The batter has to chill overnight so we made it up last night. It took a long time... and we both had tired arms by the time we finished mixing the batter. As we were working (with the two girls watching of course!) we talked about how hard Aunt Lana must work every year when she makes all of her delicious cookies for the people she loves. We always love her cookies but we will have an even deeper appreciation this year as we devour her scrumptious creations.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I'm not sure what it is but the last few days I have been feeling very jangled. Over-stimulated in excess. I have come to recognize over that past year or so that I don't respond well to repetitive stimulus that I cannot control. Also multiple concurrent stimuli.

Also this morning, I am supposed to be working. I have a project for a client to have done in about a week. And a beginner's class to teach tonight. But I just can't think or work when other people are in the house. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the multiple concurrent stimuli of trying to think and focus while other things are going on around me. I even prefer not to do mindless chores like folding laundry when others are around. I have no idea why.

So, if anyone has a cure, please let me know. At least consider yourself warned that Grumpy Mommy has been hanging around lately. Approach at your own risk.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who wouldn't wanna be me?

I heard that song on the radio the other day, "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" by Keith Urban and I thought to myself "Hmm... that would make a good blogpost title." And lucky me, I didn't have to wait long for the opportunity to use it!

Yesterday after we picked up Felisa and Corey from school, Corey needed to go potty. Of course we were already in the parking lot by this time so Shani took him over to his customary spot in the bushes by the dumpsters. I loaded Felisa and got ready to head out for gymnastics class. Somehow Corey had managed to pee on Shani's hand and she was grimacing and we laughed a little at the joy of it all and then I drove off. As I left the parking lot, I commented to Grandma R that it just isn't motherhood if you don't get peed on.

(insert suspenseful music and foreshadowing galore!)

We start to drive down the block. Felisa announces that she needs to go potty. The power of suggestion perhaps? I asked if she could wait 5 minutes until we got to gymnastics. No, she says. Okay. There really isn't anywhere to stop here, no bathrooms. So I ask her again. Do you have to go right now in the bushes or can you wait until gymnastics? I figure this will help her (and me) decide how desperate she really was. In the bushes, she says. We have rounded the corner at this point and I'm thinking maybe we can pull in at the doorstoop of the elementary school, leave Grandma in the car, and run inside to use the bathroom there. No sooner than I have asked the question and formulated the plan does Felisa say, Noooooooooo!!!! I'm already going!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Alrighty then. I guess I'll pull over into this empty pool parking lot and change Felisa's clothes. What was that I just said about parenthood and being peed on by your kids?!

When we got home from gymnastics, I pulled the soggy carseat out of the car and left it, with the wet clothes, sitting in the carport. I left again right away to meet Ron for lunch. Then it was time to pick up the big kids from school. Then I was too lazy to go out in the rain to take the cover off the carseat to be washed. Then it was dark. Then Ron and I went out for dinner (gee, isn't it great when the grandparents come to visit!!!). When we got home from dinner, I brought the carseat inside and left it in the foyer next to the hibiscus tree. It's late, I'm tired, I'll deal with it tomorrow, I think to myself.

Now it is Saturday morning and I decide that I really need to just take the darn seat cover off already and quit procrastinating. I bring it up into the living room and pick the dirty clothes up off the seat. And it's alive! The seat cushion under the clothes, full of pee and cracker crumbs has attracted the ants that were living in my hibiscus tree (they moved in and set up camp in the plant pot while the tree was on the porch for the summer and I haven't decided yet how to get them back out of the pot). They are crawling all over the carseat. Ewwww! Quick! Where's the vaccuum cleaner?!? I suck up a few of the ants and a couple crumbs but it's not really working all that well since everything is wet (remember the rain? And the pee?). So I get some paper towels and bleach spray. And clean and vaccuum and disassemble the car seat. Finally all apart. I put the seat cover and the clothes in the washer. I go outside in my pajamas to freeze my buns off while I hose out the car seat. And I think to myself... Who wouldn't wanna be me?!

In other news:
We went to Arby's this morning after collecting food for the Scouting for Food drive. The Kids' Meal bag had mad libs on it. After we did the mad libs, Ryan went back and read the "Words of Wisdom" section exactly as it was printed... The adjective bird gets the noun. A watched noun never verb. etc. Then he read this one: A noun a day keeps the occupation away. Then he created this funny one:

Ryan: A noun a day keeps the teacher away.

Editorial comment from Grumpy Mommy...
Frustration: trying to think and type this post while Ryan reads me the jokes from Boys Life (all 3 pages of jokes of course), Bella runs and hops back and forth past me, Grandma cleans and plays the piano, and Felisa tries to talk to me. AAAAAGGGGHHHH! Leave me alone! My overstimulated brain can't handle all this simultaneous input!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hammer Time

20 Boys... 20 Hammers... Hundreds of nails... One hour... 20 birdhouses... A Miracle!

We had Cub Scouts tonight. A joint meeting of the Wolves so we had about 20 boys present. The project of the evening was to build a birdhouse. The leaders of the other den precut and drilled the wood so all the boys had to do was hammer in the nails. As an assistant leader I was making the rounds, helping out where I can. Several times I offered to hold the wood steady while the boys hammered in the nails. Talk about taking the life of your fingers and thumbs in your hand (okay that doesn't sound right but you know what I mean!)! But the boys all did great and no one hammered my thumb! My ears are still ringing from all the hammering but that's another story!