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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Not a creature was stirring, except...

My sweet husband has lately been in a kitchen cleaning mode. (I'm hoping he's experiencing the sympathy symptom of nesting.) I came downstairs to find him scrubbing the counters. He held up a sponge and asked, "Are these mouse droppings?"

I shrugged. "I don't know."

I grabbed something to drink and then suggested he look behind the microwave and see if there were any of the black specks there. He pulled the microwave away and both of our hearts sank.

"Oh no," I lamented. "What do we do?"
I thought about how nice it was having a mousing dog (when he wasn't yapping).

Dave wiped up the droppings; I looked in the pantry. Yep. "Ugh."

I felt so frustrated and angry.

We immediately dealt with the new crisis. Dave cleaned. I posted the news on Facebook.

We quickly received some great tips, ranging from "vibrating repellents" to standing on a chair and squealing. We immediately implemented some of the ideas and are saving the others for an actual rodent sighting. We initiated the emergency rodent plan. Well, we didn't have one; we just made one up.


Phase one.
Freak out. Clean up droppings. Acquire mouse traps and repellent.

Phase two.
Sani-wash all utensils, gadgets, and kitchen rags.

Phase three.
Spray foam in the hole in the basement we've been meaning to block for four years.

Phase four. Ban eating in all rooms outside of the kitchen. Watch for new droppings.

Phase five.
Clean the house as if the Queen of England was coming over for tea and crumpets.

Phase six.
Ask British neighbor for Queen's phone number.

Phase seven. If all else fails, torch the place.

We began cleaning the kitchen in silence, each in separate areas, lost in our own thoughts.

I broke the silence after finding droppings in four kitchen drawers.

"At least, he was thorough."

"You say that like it's a good thing," replied David.

Quiet. Clean, wipe, empty.

I spoke again.

"I'm hoping these are old droppings, and the mouse has moved on."

David said, "I think he was here while we were in Hawaii."

"You mean... when no one was stirring... "

We completed the statement in unison. "Except for a mouse."

Quiet, clean, wipe.

"It must be a healthy mouse. We haven't gotten sick all this time even with it running across our utensils," I said.

(Weird look from Dave)

I continued cleaning in silence. I wondered things.
Where is it getting in? Where does it spend most of its time? Why did it come here? I don't want a mouse. We don't even have the Disney channel. How big is it? How often does it poop?

I spoke again.

"How often do mice poop? Is it like once a minute?"

No answer.

Clean, scrub, wipe.

It was David's turn to break the quietness. "Well, at least, we don't have a constipated mouse."

(Notice how we keep assuring ourselves there is only ONE?)

I must admit one point of gratitude for the mouse. He/she has given me the extra incentive to snap out of my tired fog and get going each day as I clean and declutter spaces in the house.

So, the house is clean, and every night, we clean the kitchen thoroughly before going to bed. But we find a few droppings every morning. Dave says he heard it early one morning while he was reading in the living room.

Several neighbors have offered their helpful (and disturbing) mouse stories. I think our mouse is smarter than my neighbors' mice because ours did not "just walk onto the glue trap after only a day of it being out." I even put bread crumbs by the trap. Bread crumbs: gone. Glue trap: empty.

Seriously, after the hornet problem this summer, and the Black Widow problem in the garage, I'm wondering if lice and 3 days of darkness are on the horizon. Glad I have my food storage!

Hm. Maybe I should check my food storage...

[Posted song: "Mickey Mouse Club March"]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mullet Over First

Baby Dhis' bangs have been getting long. She was looking a little too Harry Dunne. I tried pinning them back, but she pulled off clips, flowers, and headbands within the minute. I finally grabbed the scissors.

Oh, well.

When I cut her bangs, not only did some end up shorter than other parts, but the hair on the sides of her head looked even longer. Except more mullety. An awkward mullet because she only a few months ago stopped rubbing the back of her head from spinning on her back in her crib, so the hair there is still short.

The solution to the worn-off-in-the-back mullet: Whoville Pigtails.

Here's to hair that grows back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Urine Trouble!"

I'm not sure which is worse, peeing my pants or what I did today at my prenatal appointment.

If you're not familiar with the process, I'll fill you in. Every time I go to a prenatal appointment, I am asked to go in their special bathroom, write my name and birthdate on a plastic cup, pee into said cup, and place it into a metal chamber on the wall that I then spin around so the nurse on the other side can grab my cup and make fun of the color.

Usually, I am disappointed in the amount I am able to offer up to the Urine Inspectors. True, they only need a very small amount of urine to test, but I hate seeing that cup only a quarter filled. Seems like such a waste of the rest of the cup.

Today, I didn't do anything special to prepare for my offering, but when I provided my special sample, I found I filled the cup almost to the brim! That was a very satisfying feeling! I couldn't wait to submit my specimen, so I didn't bother getting up from my seat before reaching up with my cup to the metal chamber. I was contentedly guiding my cup to its destination, when -- I don't know what happened-- the sun got in my eye? I blinked? I had a mini stroke? -- I spilled my very full cup!

"AAAAAACKKKK! OH NO!" I screamed.

Urine was everywhere! Running out of the chamber, down the wall, behind the toilet paper dispenser, all over the handicap bathroom rail, running further down the wall, and pooling onto the floor where there was a surprisingly generous puddle forming. I WAS MORTIFIED! All that was left in the cup was a measly collection of drops.

I grabbed some paper towels and pushed the puddle of urine out of the chamber before a nurse spun it around to her. I grabbed the marker and wrote on my cup "I spilled it. Sorry!" and embarrassedly put the nearly-barren cup on the chamber and turned it around. I heard normal chatter and then some mumbling.

I began the quick work of getting dressed. That's when I found out I had also spilled my cup's contents onto my underwear and pants. (Ew!) (Ugh.) This proves that there is more than one way to pee your pants.

I grabbed more paper towels and began wiping down the wall and dripping rail. I threw massive amounts of papertowels on the puddle on the floor. (Ugh.) I tossed wet paper towel after wet paper towel into the garbage and thought about how the room would smell in another hour. (Ugh.) As I was mopping, I heard a spraying sound and the room began smelling like disinfectant. I looked up and saw the metal chamber spinning around and around as the nurse was spraying and cleaning it. I wanted to hang my head in humiliation.

I frantically washed my hands and accidentally ran my arm under the running faucet and got water on the cuff of my sweatshirt. Great. Looks just like I spilled the golden offense on my sleeve, too. I dried my hands and rolled up my cuff to hide the spill.

It was time to come out of the bathroom. And I didn't want to. I paused in front of the door. I would be facing the very people who cleaned up my pee.

I inhaled, exhaled, put on a smile and opened the door. There was my doctor and two nurses. I chuckled nervously. They were smiling a little too big and being a little too quiet. I was searching for an appropriate comment about the situation when my doctor jumped in and bailed me out by bringing up my cute daughter. If only he would have given me another second or two.

I will be content (and careful) in the future with my small yellow offerings. I know, though, that from here on out, the nurses will refer to me as that one patient with the incontinent hand.