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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Things That Go Bump In The Night (Also In The Morning)

On the weekends I enjoy just tuning off the humidifier and relishing the silence of the house before our day begins.

But wait.


There. If you don’t sneeze you can hear the pitter-patter of little feet.

Not kidlet feet. At 26 weeks it’s still chilling in my belly.

It’s not little cat feet either. Harley is on my lap and I can see Antigone curled up on the couch in the front room.

There’s a scuttling in the ceiling above our dining room and I am pretty confident at this point that we have a bit of a rodent problem.

We have not spotted any signs of droppings and there are no visible holes in the walls (minus the gappy floorboard vent in the upstairs hallway and the hole in the kitchen ceiling). But we did find two dead mice when we moved in and there were mouse traps in the garage.

Maybe this is the third blind mouse?

Maybe it’s like the corrupted toys from “Toy Story,” like the Erector Set spider baby which then makes me think of Jonathan Coulton’s song “Creepy Doll.”

At this point though, we suspect that the sound is coming from the floor joists, between the second and first floors, where the bees had their hive over the summer. It is possible that whatever residue is leftover is sustaining the skittery critter.

And it needs to die.

I usually don’t feel that violent toward small creatures. Cockroaches, yes. But not fuzzy things. However, with April just a few months away, I don’t feel as though we have time to coax the little furball out from our floors. Listen, Jade House, we have other things that need to get done.

Monday or Tuesday someone is coming and they will fix this problem. We looked on Angie’s List and contacted a few pest removal outfits. Only one has returned our request … which is a problem I have found with Angie’s List that I find somewhat frustrating. There are only two major problems with this whole scenario.

  1. If it not a mouse or rat, they don’t have the certifications to deal with anything bigger (like a squirrel).
  2. It’s in the freaking floor boards.

I guess this is what we get for living in a neighborhood that prior to 1969 really was just farmland. The ecosystem really doesn’t care that we’re trying to build a life here and that we have two cats who should be perfectly capable of handling mouse-shaped noms. They certainly take care of all of the spiders in Ravenholm for us.

We’re laying down baseboards in the kidlet’s room this weekend and maybe we’ll also excavate the library and just verify that there aren’t any obvious signs of rodent habitation. You know, just in case there is a creepy doll hiding up there or something.



Healthy Stress and Breakfast Cereal

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One of the best parts about being pregnant is the Self-Care Mandate.

As in, now that you are a baby incubator, you need to not stress out and eat right. For me that has boiled down to the fact that nothing happens when I get home from work until after I have had my afternoon sit and a bowl of cereal.

I am working my way through the cereal aisle, revisiting all of my old favorites from when I was a kid. Last week was Kix. Now we’re working on Frosted Mini-Wheats…but the healthy variety.

It’s a pretty good routine.

The forcing myself to sit down and decompress part. Not the giving in to baby’s cravings for breakfast foods part (although that’s a good thing too).

Stress management has never been something at which I have excelled. My senior year of college I had three jobs on top of some 15 credits a semester and justified that working that much was a fine thing particularly since I never worked more than 15 hours a week at any one job. Never mind the fact that if you added them all up I probably logged an easy 20 -ish hours in a week. I had it under control, so it was all good.

In high school, I quit ballet after 10th grade because that was the one thing I felt I could part with. Marching Band only lasted for 3.5 months. Theater only took up time when we had a show going on. French Club was pretty low stress in that all we ever did was plot coups of our own elected officials and sell candy. I mean, it’s not like my work for yearbook was any big deal. It was one of my extra-curriculars at school and school work counted as a regular part of my day. Right?

I like to think of my high school self as driven rather than over-committed. Involved, rather than a bad manager of my own time.

My folks probably worried about me a lot more than they ever let on.

On the one hand, I didn’t have time to get in trouble. On the other hand, I wasn’t friends with people who got in trouble. I hung out with a group that was similarly academically-inclined. Our idea of a wild party usually involved sleep-over study sessions and eating too many marshmallows.

Yep. Real teen rebel here.

I like to think that my time spent being driven and involved led to me having an early understanding of what types of positive stress I need to thrive (side projects as a distraction but also being able to decide who gets my time). That, and I can handle the pressure of working on deadline like it’s a coffee break.

If time travel were possible, I would probably steer clear of ever meeting my high school self.  She turned out just fine without me.


Let’s Do This 2013

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Hello New Year!

My apologies for not staying up to greet you at o’dark thirty in the morning. I don’t have to work today so sleeping in past my usual alarm at 3:30 is my own way of celebrating 2013. That and rubbing my pregnant belly for good luck.

Owen also has today off so we’re tackling the problem of the floors in the baby’s future room being the worst in the house. I had forgotten how bad they were until after we moved out my craft desk and baby’s mini library shelf. Am still not entirely sure how they managed to imprint a 2-foot in diameter circle into the hardwood floors, but there you go.

Even if our attempts at home-ownership and remodeling are slow, I still firmly believe that the Jade House is better off with us.

So, we are off to the hardware store today to rent a floor sander and pick up some polyurethane. We have approximately four months to make that room livable. Ready? Go!

But first! A video tribute to pretty much all that was awesome of YouTube last year.

People will ask me if I’ve seen one show or the other, and if it happened in the last couple of years, my usual answer is no. Now the Internet on the other hand, yeah. Probably.

It’s not that I have a moral stance against television, it’s just that in the four years since we moved out here, we have only had the Internet as our home entertainment. We have a TV, it just exists for the PlayStation. Our house is less pop cultural vacuum, and more nerd culture safe house I think.