May 31, 2006

As one of the final (HA!) steps of all this remodeling business, we are going to replace our ugly-ass gray carpeting with hardwood floors. We certainly discussed the best possible timing for this endeavor, and I think we can all agree that “right before your infant son starts learning how to walk” is the hands-down winner.

Sorry, Riley. Perhaps we can encase you in some sort of protective plastic ball.

This process is scheduled for the second week of June, when contractors will descend upon the house once again, no doubt spraying lube everywhere with wanton glee, rip out our horrific Cthulu-esque carpets (the detritus that sifts through an old rug? It-Which-Cannot-Be-Named), and sand and finish the oak floors that lurk underneath.

Apparently this will fill our home with deadly toxins (score another one for being the Best Parents Ever) and we’ll have to be out for a few days. Our plan is to stay at a nearby hotel, which I am sure will be both luxurious and relaxing, much like visiting a fancy spa in Arizona.

Oh, except we’ll have the boy. Damn. So basically it’ll be three days holed up in a cheap motel with a 9-month-old. Don’t chew the comforter, Riley dear, haven’t you seen that Dateline episode with the stain-revealing ultraviolet light?

JB is leaving next week for a business trip to Taipei, so in some insanely short amount of time between his return and the Great Carpet Excavation (now showing on the lesbian porn channel!) we have to remove every single item of furniture that is currently touching the floor, and store it. Somewhere.

There’s the garage, but it’s already crammed with random house-cruft. There’s the kitchen, but it’s pretty much the size of a Triscuit. I guess we could stare at everything real hard like Luke Skywalker did when he was in that swamp and hope we’re able to levitate it all.

Honestly, I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do. It should be interesting. And by “interesting” I mean, of course, “yet another horrific remodel nightmare, even worse than the mystery lube”.


Hey! Speaking of terrible things relating to the place we call home, where our precious, edible child currently lives, we are infested with vermin. Oh, I’m not even lying:


Check that out: FOUR rats. FOUR. And that’s just what I saw when I happened to look out under the bird feeder the yesterday morning. Remember how we had ONE rat, and I called him Frank, and it was sort of cute, kind of? Well, it is officially GROSS now. As in pestilence, city-baby-attacked-by-rats (anyone remember GBH? gross.

The only good thing to come of this is the email exchange JB had with his mother today:

JB’s mom: what is with all the rats??? seriously, are these in your yard?? You need to trap and kill them, JB!

JB: Like overnight they descended on our house to feed.  Extermination process has begun but they are already in our crawlspace and in our walls. Last night I had to drill a couple holes in Riley’s room trying to get at them.  

I shouldn’t laugh, but haaaaa! Sometimes the man is all that and a bag of chips.


49 Responses to “Rugrats (HAR HAR HAR)”

  1. Rumblelizard on May 31st, 2006 5:07 pm

    Of COURSE I remember GBH! “City baby, city baby, city baby, ATTACKED BY RATS!” And who could forget the classic, “City baby’s…REVENGE!!”

    Did I ever tell you the one about the rat that stole my underwear? Just be thankful your infestation hasn’t come to that.

  2. Melanie on May 31st, 2006 5:09 pm

    I can just see Riley rolling around the new floors in a baby-sized hamster ball. It’d be fabulous!

  3. Chloe on May 31st, 2006 5:20 pm

    Haaaaa! Please encase Riley in a giganto hampster ball and then take pictures. That sounds frickin’ ADORABLE, and at the VERY most only borderline abusive. Heck, maybe he’ll enjoy it!

    And need I say the perfect Christmas card?

    I think all rodents are cute, despite their disease-carrying goodness. However, in my house? Near my bare feet? It’s making me all squeegish.

  4. Emily on May 31st, 2006 5:26 pm

    Do you realize you used the words “mystery lube,” “lesbian,” “porn,” and “carpet” all in one entry? You should have just called this one “Welcome, Googlers!” Seriously, dude.

  5. Tess on May 31st, 2006 5:30 pm

    I have one word (or acronym, depending on your english skills): PODS: Portable On Demand Storage. You can totally live in it if things come to that.

  6. ginger on May 31st, 2006 5:49 pm

    EW! GAAAHHH! If there are four of them in broad daylight – dear Lord, what happens come nightfall? You are making me very grateful for my neighborhood population of elderly, incontinent cats. Even though I live in fear of a showdown between the cats and the very timid raccoons. (I figure a Popular Girl will come along and teach the shy raccoons that if they take off their glasses and use a little mascara and wear their hair down, and possibly wear ankle socks with high heels, they’ll turn into confident raccoons that talk out loud in class and get the cute guy. From there it’s a short step for them to transform into the raccoons we had in Oakland, which regularly killed and ate the neighborhood felines and were afraid of NOTHING including a Black-Ops trained Marine who came to dinner one night and poked them with a broom.)

  7. kara marie on May 31st, 2006 5:59 pm

    What’s disturbing is tonight as I was closing up at work I saw a bag of that SAME TOBACCO on my boss’s desk.

    It’s contagious!

  8. wickedfun on May 31st, 2006 6:14 pm

    Rats! Tess beat me to it…PODS. Kinda pricey, but very convenient.


  9. oregoncoastgirl on May 31st, 2006 6:17 pm

    Mark another vote for the PODs, or rent a U-Haul trailer for a couple of days to put the stuff in.

  10. Stacey on May 31st, 2006 6:40 pm

    I swear that rat on the far left looks more like a ginormous frog. I have no wildlife skills.

  11. CartwheelsAtMidnight on May 31st, 2006 7:05 pm

    That was fun! Now I’m a little nauseaus.

    But I am a little distracted by the Great Carpet Excavation.

    Unfortuanately now the big-screen inside my head includes rats and coochies. Ugh.

  12. pippa on May 31st, 2006 7:08 pm

    The good news is that with enough rats, they can break Riley’s falls. Kidding. Sort of.

  13. Anne A. on May 31st, 2006 7:09 pm

    Awww, GBH! Man, that brings me back to the elmer’s glue mohawk days! Hee!

  14. kalisah on May 31st, 2006 7:11 pm

    I spent nine days in a hotel room with a six-month-old when the ice storm of ’94 wiped out our electricity. (What?? YOU try living with a baby and no electricity in the dead of winter.) My son had diarhea on the bedpread and threw up on the carpet outside the elevator. The housekeeping staff loved us.

  15. Shannon on May 31st, 2006 7:19 pm

    Rats and mice are precisely why we, bird lovers that we are, finally did away with our bird feeders out in the backyard. The rodents, they love the free lunch! Stop using the birdfeeders and they’ll vamoose.

  16. sundry on May 31st, 2006 7:29 pm

    Shannon: NOoooooooO! Say it isn’t so! JB is on the warpath to get rid of the birdfeeder but I love it so very very much; isn’t there some kind of feeder that doesn’t dump so much seed on the ground? Help!

  17. sooboo on May 31st, 2006 9:00 pm

    We just did our hardwoods and put the furniture outside. Hmmm… I’m guessing that’s not an option here.

  18. Laurie on May 31st, 2006 9:11 pm

    Just one more vote for the pod–very, very convenient.

  19. Pete on May 31st, 2006 10:43 pm

    I sent the family to San Diego when I finished the hardwood floors I put down. Win-Win. They got a vacation and I didn’t have to hear “Are you done yet?” or have foot prints in my Polyurethane. Of course two weeks later the contractors working upstairs (wife’s idea) burst a water pipe which leaked under my floor and warped it. :-(
    Good thing about hard wood floors is I can again sand it smooth and refinish it.
    Moral of the story….. at least your contractor used KY.

  20. Karin on May 31st, 2006 11:36 pm

    Maybe you can fit all the stuff into the kitchen if you use lube?

  21. victoria on June 1st, 2006 1:40 am

    Rats are highly intelligent and social creatures and they are just trying to survive. Yes, you don’t want them in your house, or even under birdfeeder (maybe it’s time to get rid of the birdfeeder?) but you don’t have to kill them. Just stop providing them with incentives to visit and they’ll go away.

  22. Anonymous on June 1st, 2006 2:25 am


    Google news and reviews

  23. Kay on June 1st, 2006 2:37 am

    Maybe you can embrace your inner Willard..;)

  24. warcrygirl on June 1st, 2006 4:46 am

    Doesn’t PetSmart sell giant hamster balls? I thought I saw it on a commercial once when I wasn’t paying attention to the t.v. It’ll protect him from the rats as well, just keep hit away from pockets of lube lest he hit one and shoot across the house at Mach 3.

  25. Sarah on June 1st, 2006 5:51 am

    A quick Google search turned up the best product for your rat infestation. You won’t have to get rid of the bird feeders OR kill the little buggers, because you will be using the “scent of your pests worst enemy, the Coyote, Fox and Bobcat” which means it is manly enough for JB to want to use. Because it has to do with “the strongest force in the animal kingdom… your critters, inborn, instinctive FEAR.”

    haha! How could you not use a can of powered FEAR?
    Also, I love how they have variations from domestic cats to deer to armadillos.

    Okay, in all seriousness though, in the testimonials several people mentioned the bird feeders = rats problem was fixed by this magical powder.

  26. Laura on June 1st, 2006 6:05 am

    Yet another vote for PODS – Dang, and I thought I was going to be so original!

  27. Lisa on June 1st, 2006 7:54 am

    Just three days to do the floors? How lucky you are! We had to get our hardwood floors refinished in February (post-house flooding) and it was a WEEK with the sanding, the finishing and the “curing” of the finish. The charms of living in a hotel wore off after three days, however. I blame the cats.

    As for the rats … well, what is Cat for?

  28. JudyU on June 1st, 2006 8:18 am

    RATS! yuck ptoooiiii GAH!

    Ok yes the birdfeeders are the culprit…..but one thing you can do is get some cayenne pepper, and a cheapo store brand of pam cooking spray. Spray the grass under the birdfeeder and sprinkle generously with the cayenne. The oilyness in the spray makes the cayenne stick on the grass and the seeds in the grass. Get a GIANT SIZED superstore variety of cayenne pepper (sams club, costco…etc ) and sprinkle it on the grass where the birdseed drops. Birds don’t have the capacity to feel the heat in their birdy beaks. Do it daily and after it rains. When you notice they are gone do it anyway for another week…. I got rid of the destructive squirrels with this method. The downside is….Dog! She might get a mouthful and WHOA ……while your description in a future blog would be probably become a classic (although really….aren’t they all) I really don’t know how she would react.
    You could get a goldfinch feeder. They eat thistle seeds and have a special feeder. They hang upside down and eat. It’s pretty cute. I really don’t know of any other creature that eats these seeds. The squirrels never bothered it even when I accidentally left a bag on the table overnight.

  29. aoife on June 1st, 2006 8:58 am

    Do they have PODS in your part of the country? Its Portable On Demand Storage… they basically set a container down in your driveway and you fill it up. You can leave it there for a few days (like you need) or have them take it somewhere for you.

    Good luck! thanks for writing!

  30. Ang on June 1st, 2006 9:01 am

    “the Great Carpet Excavation (now showing on the lesbian porn channel!)”

    hee!hee! — made me shoot Diet Coke out of my nose.

    I, too, thought of suggesting PODS, but I won’t since it’s already been done! : )-

  31. janet on June 1st, 2006 12:12 pm

    why don’t you just rent a uhaul for a few days? load up the furniture, the neighbors will think you are moving (I dunno if that’s a plus or a minus), unload it a few days later?

  32. Sonia(DDM) on June 1st, 2006 12:20 pm

    Uh, this won’t be a popular opinion here….but my cat takes care of our rat issue. And mice, some birds, moles, and very possibly – low flying aircraft……….We’re pretty sure he’s part Puma. Shall I bring him over for a play date? Muwahahaha!

  33. Annie on June 5th, 2006 5:59 pm

    I swear to God, I think I can feel them crawling on me. CRAWLING.

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