Monday, October 19, 2009

"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together- mass hysteria!"

Reader Beware: This is ridiculously long and I am all hopped up on cold medicine so this will either be really entertaining or totally incoherent. At least I threw in a picture of Soren in a sweet outfit putting on the bowl that he thinks is a hat. He puts it on and then goes over to the door and asks if we can go. Like, "Hey mom, I look this good so why waste it on just you?" Yet he refuses to wear a hood or other sort of head covering. See what I mean? Don't say I didn't warn you...

So things have been a little nuts around here. It all started two weeks ago when we realized were under attack by a mouse. Nobody likes having mice in their home, but I REALLY, REALLY don't like having mice in my home. I seemed to have inherited an extreme anxiety from my mother for any kind of infestation and so seeing a mouse run across our backsplash, jump over one of Soren's sippy cups and hide behind my beloved red KitchenAid is just about enough to put me over the edge.

Let me back up. A few years ago we saw a mouse run across our kitchen floor. I freaked out a little, but we figured out where it was coming in and blocked up the hole and got a couple of (totally worthless) humane traps and never saw the little guy again. We figured it was a rogue mouse that got lost on its way to the basement or something and ended up in our kitchen and soon realized its mistake and went on home. Then one day this month I walked out of our room and saw a mouse run across the floor along the base of the cupboards. I was not thrilled, to say the least, and spent a good hour standing on top of the kitchen table in my galoshes while Logan searched the kitchen for it, all the while not really believing his crazy wife saw a mouse. (In his defense, I once made him search for a roach that I swore I saw run under our couch only to discover that it was a bit of ribbon that blew across the floor when I set something down. So it wasn't that unrealistic that I was imagining things given my aforementioned extreme anxiety about anything infesting my home.) So anyway, he didn't find a mouse or any signs of a mouse but I was positive I'd seen it so went out the next day and got a couple of traps and lots of disinfectant. During the original mouse incident I couldn't bear to get inhumane traps and even then felt like a jerk trying to catch a mouse just to relocate it far away from its little mouse family and friends. But this time was different. I had a little boy who plays on the floor all day long. Who spends his days carrying around an apple that he drops on the floor about as many times as he bites it. So this time I didn't care. I got mean traps that would smash and electrocute and kill them because they were in my house where my baby needed to be safe. I was in full out momma bear mode.

Then the next night Logan walked in the kitchen to make some popcorn or something and saw it on the counter. Validated at last! We spent the next hour (again in galoshes) trying to figure out what to do with the mouse trapped behind my mixer. Logan scooted a trap in its path but the lure of the peanut butter bait just wasn't doing it. Eventually he tried to just grab it but it jumped off the counter and scurried off to safety. The next day I spent pretty much all day cleaning every surface of our kitchen and much to my utter horror, found signs that the mouse probably hadn't just ventured out for the first time. I was wigging out but the kitchen had never been cleaner! I was pretty much going crazy with anxiety and not really sleeping much. I have reoccurring dreams about mice/snakes/rats/anything at all being in my bed or in my home on a fairly regular basis so the real thing was more than I could handle. One night during the height of the Mouse War I woke up screaming and realized that I had thrown back the covers and was sitting up, curled up at the head of the bed having just had a dream about a mouse and it took me a minute or so to realize what was going on and explain myself to a very concerned Logan. Anyway, so the next night I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business and watching The Biggest Loser while Logan was at soccer practice, and I saw a little mouse come moseying around the corner from the kitchen. I was shocked! All this time I has assumed the kitchen was our battle field that the all the other rooms were safe. It went behind my beautiful new chair and I spent the remainder of my evening sitting on the coffee table watching the corner of the living room waiting for Logan to get home and rescue me. When he finally got home he tore the living room apart and discovered a hole in the back of my craft closet and it was clear the mouse had been using it to enter our home. So he blocked up the hole and a little while later we heard the tell tale sound of little mouse claws scratching on the wall in the kitchen. Logan pulled off the panel the mouse was behind and poked around the wall, causing our downstairs neighbors to think we were breaking in through their bathtub. The mouse, of course, had long since scurried away into the labyrinth of walls in the building but we put a trap in the wall and closed it back up and didn't see or hear from the mouse for a few days. We were hoping that we scared it and that my obsessive cleaning had convinced it that there was nothing good to be found here, but then a few days later I was hammering in a nail to hang up a new picture (photos soon, I swear) and heard that horrible scurrying sound in the wall. Awesome. But luckily, we haven't had any signs of mice since then because if we were still dealing with that I probably would have died by now.

The same night I heard the mouse in the wall, Soren had a super high fever. The first sign of the doom and destruction that was to come. Soren and I proceeded to get a really awful cold, causing Logan to stay home from work to take care of us. Isn't there some unwritten law of nature that both parents can't get sick at the same time otherwise the family will cease to function? Because that's pretty much what happened. Logan soon caught the bug and we all felt so horrible. We were just a big pile of blankets and phlegm and aches and soggy tissues watching episode after episode of Curious George. Soren was refusing to eat anything and was just miserable. This is the kid that has never been sick with anything other than a random runny nose. He's never even had diaper rash. But he was so pitiful and didn't have the energy to do anything. So there we were, three sickies trapped in about 800 square feet and getting crazier by the minute. I think I realized that it got to the point of insanity when I was holding down a screaming Soren to try to force feed him a milk shake with a medicine dropper. Eventually, Soren and I started to feel better and he has finally started to eat again. He's pretty much back to his normal self other than a residual cough and I feel fine other than the massive amount of congestion in my head that refuses to drain. My ears constantly feel full and I've had some pretty awesome headaches.

So that's what we've been doing and why I haven't posted anything. We've have moments of respite from the craziness which have been a godsend and no doubt what has been keeping me from going totally nuts. Logan isn't feeling any better and we're pretty sure he's got the flu. No, not THAT flu, just the regular kind. We hope.


eunice said...

hee hee - fyi i got sick after coming over saturday night, and was wondering who the bug-passers were (i thought it was that sniffly pat donigan...). poor wangsgaaaaards!

as for your mousewarz, we can loan you rusty, and he will totally play/lick/bunny-kick your mouse to death.

Kate Wangsgard said...

Eunice: Let's continue to blame Sniffly Pat so I don't feel bad. But sorry if we got you sick. I tried hard to air out the place and clean up all the germy spots. And if we have another rodent uprising, we will be bringing in your mouse assassin.

Bonnie said...

Hey! Sniffly Pat is completely not contageous! I didn't get sick from him. Of course, I upheld my social obligations and got a flu shot this season...

Sorry you're sick. I should have been better at providing distractions or at least some chicken-free chicken soup. But I was too scared of the combined powers of your sicknesses. And not just the mental ones this time- the real ones :)

Kate Wangsgard said...

Bonnie: Don't feel bad. I wouldn't have let you and your fetus anywhere near us even if you tried.

Ken and Jen Perkes said...

Okay, first of all, Katie, you should ALWAYS take cold medicine before you write: HILARIOUS!!! And secondly, I guess I shouldn't be so entertained at your mouse crisis, since I know that it is anything BUT entertaining to you. So sorry for laughing so much.

At least you know that Jen will "feel your pain." She reacts just like you do! Hope you win the war!


J I L L A I R E said...

We had mice when we lived in Boston. I saw one scurry once or twice. We called the landlord, who called in an exterminator: basically some of those gluetraps behind the fridge and kitchen shelves. We caught one and that must have scared any others.

We had mice when we lived in England. I could hear them in the walls/ceiling when I was nursing Maggie in the middle of the night. We called the campus maintenance office and they sent a guy. He put something up in the attic. No more scurrying noises.

I thought we had mice when we moved to White Salmon. We called the landlord. They said since we hadn't reported it when we first moved in WE must have caused the infestation. (As if.) Again, I would hear scurrying at night and Damon didn't really believe me. Oh, he believed me when I called and left him a crazed voicemail when a SQUIRREL (!!!!!!!!!!!) was running through the house!!!! Yes, we had a squirrel that was getting in the walls and when it eventually fell down to the basement, it found its way up the stairs, through the kitchen, and into the living room. I herded 3-year-old Adah into her room and grabbed infant Maggie, only to have the squirrel follow us in there and run under the bed we were on. Once it left the room, I left the girls there, closed the door and proceeded to close all other interior doors and open all exterior doors. It finally found the front door.

The landlord believed me then. The maintenance guy found a hole in an outside vent. I can't remember if it actually got fixed, but I think all our screaming scared that squirrel enough that he never came back!

betty said...

Really there is nothing scarier than a mouse infestation.
Except maybe aliens.
Glad you're rid of them/it and I can come over again.
Ask Max about my Provo mouse.