Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Three Not-So-Blind Mice

I saw how they run.

I am shocked.

I am horrified.

I am wearing shoes around the house now.

This is how it all happened:

I was sitting on the couch today, during Charlie's nap. Just a usual day. I had showered, cleaned the kitchen, put laundry in, switched laundry, checked on the little one (five times), and finally felt I could sit down and catch up on blogs, pinterest, and other mindless time-wasters. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw it. It darted out quietly and quickly. Then it froze, when it saw me, and darted back behind our bookshelf. I quickly did as any farm wife would do-- shrieked and stood on the couch. (Yes, I am ashamed at my reaction)

Finally, after I was through panicking, I put barriers on both sides of the bookshelf. It was trapped. I instantly felt like a warrior. I also instantly felt dirty and itchy everywhere. I had the chills, and was terrified to move off of the couch.

I called my dad.

I called my sister.

I received some sympathy, laughs, and mostly good advice.

The conversations were great, and towards the end of my sister and I's phone call, I SCREAMED! Then Charlie started screaming. I had just witnessed ANOTHER mouse jump out of our Christmas tree stand and run into our bedroom. This one was double the size of the first one, and much much darker. (it probably had fangs and a cape). I, again did what any other farm wife would do, closed the bedroom door, stuffed towels under it, went to get the screaming baby, and vowed to burn my bedroom down.

Sean came home from lunch with a goodie bag. Mouse traps! Ah, my knight-in-shining-armor. He set them with peanut butter, and we strategically placed them. We then nibbled on lunch, cause we had no appetite, and I took him back to work. I tried to run all my errands, so that I could stay away from our mouse-infested home, before Charlie had to take a nap. We headed home. I read, rocked, nursed, and put Charlie down for nap numero dos.

It was silent in our house, cause I had paused the Christmas music.

All of a sudden it wasn't silent anymore. I heard a mouse running across our kitchen floor. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I tiptoed and stood on a chair in the kitchen. I watched as mouse NUMBER 3 crawled up onto our cereal boxes. That was just too much! I made a little noise and it scurried under the stove. AHHHH!

Apparently the mice threw parties while we were away for Thanksgiving. I am not amused.

I have sanitized the floors-- all of them. I have vacuumed the floors-- all of them. We have set the traps-- all of them.

It's 10 pm, and we have seen three mice walking around as if they owned this place, cleaned sanitized the house, put a baby to bed, found three holes that the mice are probably coming in through, thoroughly examined all of our shoes and put dryer sheets* in each one-- because I am terrified of finding a surprise when I slip my shoe on, scheduled someone to come and inspect and set traps in the crawlspace below our house tomorrow, decided that we are probably going to become outside cat owners, dreamed of moving, and caught and killed two of the dirty rodents.

 I documented it. I'm spent. I'm going to bed. I am sleeping with dryer sheets* and shoes on (I am dreading getting up for the mid-night feeding).

*dryer sheets keep the mice away from areas you don't want them to venture through/in/around/under/over/etc.... (they are placed under our dressers, in shoes, under the crib, in closets, and anywhere but where the traps are.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grape Juice 101

Step 1: Grow grapes, or move next to someone who is growing grapes

Step 2: Wait patiently for 5 years for your grape plants to produce grapes, or just wait for your neighbors' plants to produce.

Step 3: Take scissors out to the vineyard, as well as someone with muscles-- they get heavy. Snip grapes. Get a mixture cause it makes the juice sweeter: Niagaras (green) and Concords (purple)

Step 4: Wash the spiders and all the spiderwebs off of the grapes, as well as de-stem the grapes. This takes awhile, so put in a good flick to distract you, OR have a baby play at your feet and keep taking mysterious items from out of the baby's mouth-- great workout, all the bending.

Step 5: Steam the grapes in a juicer, or clean your feet and squish them in a big bucket/basin with your toes.

Step 6: Can the grape juice, or else your fridge will explode from all the un-canned bottles/jars.
I couldn't believe how easy it was to make grape juice. I will definitely do more next year, maybe with my toes.....

*Side note* You probably get a few spiders in each container of Welches that you buy. YUMMY!
*Side note #2* Even though both juice and jelly is wonderful, we prefer to have grape jelly, so make sure to can extra so that we can make lots of jelly!
*Final side note* If you feed baby grapes, the diaper will have seeds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the life of a ping-pong ball

I am a ping-pong ball. I go back and forth and back and forth.

One night I am in bed telling Sean that I need to be a better mom, and then the next day I am apologizing and telling him I need to be a better wife.

On the days I feel I've been a 'good' mom, I feel I've been a terrible wife and visa versa. If there is an unexpected day where I have been both, don't look at me-- I have bags under my eyes, zero make-up on, the dishes are in the sink, the bed isn't made, I have the worst hair-do, Charlie has bruises from being adventurous around the house, and I cry in the shower that I take at 11 pm before I go to bed because it finally feels good doing something for me.

The daily goal of finding balance has to be practiced each day because I have failed at it the day before.

Thankfully I always have tomorrow to perfect it once again.

Thankfully they both know how to forgive.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The unexpected, not drug-induced, trip to employment

While in dental school, we spent a lot of time discussing where we would end up when the books finally were able to rest on the shelf. This topic was discussed until we couldn't discuss it anymore. We talked about it with friends over dinner, with friends at holiday parties, with strangers on plane rides, with doctors at my many prenatal appointments, with family members over the phone, with church members at weekly church events, and on our knees in prayer.

Deep down, we had a feeling that there was a place that was meant for us. I don't think we shared that with many people.

Sean started searching for employment possibilities early on and even interviewed for several positions. We looked for opportunities for him to buy practices as well as be an associate. He received different offers, we even had them send us contracts to accept, and then we always knew, in the end, that those offers weren't going to be accepted.

The long days of not finding 'the position' turned into long weeks and even longer months. Poor Sean.

We made the move to the area we thought we were supposed to be, but before that move, we lived with Sean's parents. We then stayed with my parents as we continued our search. We even house sat and then moved back to my parents' place, to then finally move to the area we are currently. Before we moved into our new, semi-permanent location, we even lived with a family in our new ward for a bit.

Needless to say, we were SICK of living out of our suitcases. We lived out of them for 5 MONTHS!!! We finally got our stuff out of storage two weeks ago and it was like Christmas-- we were sooooo excited!

So, as for the rest of the story.... After losing track of how many places/people we looked at/interviewed with, we finally found 'the place'. For four months our search consisted of looking in our ideal location/state. We set a date to look outside of that ideal place/state as of September 1. Ironically enough, Sean happened upon a position available and had a conversation with the owner that same day. Sean found out that they had served in the same mission in Chile and that they were both married in their third year of dental school, and the commonalities continued. Sean found out that the offer was by far better than other offers, he'd get to speak spanish, it was in the country (which is what we wanted) right outside of a couple of cities, and it was within an hour from a temple, airport, and Costco (our other requirements). We drove to interview on August 30 and accepted the offer the next day. THE DAY BEFORE OUR 'DEADLINE'.

Even though we felt that we were forgotten about and that the position that we were looking for didn't exist, someone was on the other end of our prayerful pleadings. It is a better set-up than we could've imagined, but we would've never picked the location on a map.

There have been lots of blessings in the relocation, including:

1. The ward has lots of young families just out of school.
2. I was able to learn all sorts of canning, jamming and juicing techniques from my mother and another canning expert here in our new ward.
3. We live on a vineyard
4. There is GREAT shopping close by
5. I am in a knitting group, book club, and exercise group
6. There is LOTS of fresh produce (ie: items to can/jam/juice)
7. We are a drive away from both sets of parents
8. We have lots of sunny and warm days
9. ETC....

It was a LONG and stressful five months, but we are happy and both feel we are where we need to be.

Onto the pictures....
Charlie doesn't want baby food anymore, just our food.

Cousin time with Simon

Cousin time with Lincoln

At a local orchard/pumpkin patch

Charlie was fascinated by the corn maze or just the leaves

Searching for our pumpkin

Picking apples-- Charlie likes to have his arm in front so that he can be completely face out.

As Sean and I painted our new place, Charlie caught up on some much needed sleep. When he wasn't sleeping he could be found pulling our hair and causing our straight lines to be less than straight.

Where we take our evening walks-- it smells like grape juice

Charlie loves bath time and mom loves those cheeks!