House of Horrors

Just in time for Halloween, we at the Wine Please household had our own little House of Horrors. Several weeks back, I picked up the kids from daycare and the gal working the front desk casually mentioned that there were two confirmed cases of Swine Flu…one in the Jr Kindergarten class, and one in Gavin’s Before/After class. Even though in my head I was screaming, “what?!?!?! I’m pregnant! Are you trying to kill me?” I calmly smiled and said, “uh oh! guess we’ll be washing our hands when we get home!” and I ran the kids out of the building as fast as I could. The second we walked in the house, I ushered them into the bathroom where we all scrubbed our hands. I then found the Lysol and hosed down their shoes, the doors and doorknobs, and the floor where Cooper touched it while climbing up the steps from the garage into the house (I was totally NOT going to touch his hands!!!). After calling my family doctor and my OB three or four times harassing them for the H1N1 vaccine, and becoming a hand sanitizer/hand wash Nazi for over a week, none of us got sick. I am still waiting for my H1N1 vaccine, though.

However a week after this incident, I got called to pick up a puking Gavin from his grade school. Since Justin was out of town, I was left racing home from work on a Friday afternoon (read: world’s worst traffic), and my poor puking kiddo was left to puke for over an hour until I could finally retrieve him. After an exciting afternoon and night of racing to help him as he got sick repeatedly, he seemed to have recovered on Saturday and it seemed to have been something that just didn’t sit well in his stomach because none of the rest of us got sick.

Shortly after finding out about the H1N1 cases at daycare, I went down to the basement to suit-up and clean the litter boxes. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I saw what I thought was a big ol’ pile of cat yack, but once I got closer, I realized that it was a dead mouse. My brain said “yuck!” and “yay!” at the same time because I didn’t want to touch the corpse–I don’t do dead things larger than an occasional half-mangled moth or cricket (also courtesy of the cats). But I was pleased that before even knowing we had a small rodent invader, that the cats had dealt with it by simply catching it and killing it. I few nudges with the litter box shovel convinced me that they had not tried eating it (unlike the cats I had growing up). I hollered for Justin to dispose of the body, and finished the chore I had originally set out to do.

Over the course of the next two weeks, I had tripped over each of the cats several times while they camped-out in front of the stove. I wondered if they had lost a scrap of paper, or the tab from the milk gallons under there, so I pulled-out my handy-dandy Maglite and peered underneath. All I saw was several golf balls, a few Hot Wheels, and more cat-hair tumbleweeds than I could count. I made a mental note (that I promptly forgot) to re-friend my crevice tool and suck out some of those tumbleweeds over the weekend.

Two nights later, however, as I sat up working well into the wee hours, I heard the distinct noise of a solo cup bumping something. I snapped my head around, thinking a cat was getting on the counter and instead, saw a mouse on the counter next to the stove! Thank goodness my conference call was on mute because the high-pitched shrieks came forth as I ran to wake up Justin so that he could deal with the invader I just saw. He was not very happy but I told him, “well, I HAVE to work, and really, since I’m pregnant, I can’t deal with a diseased mouse,” which convinced him to at least toss a cat on the counter, who then looked confused that they were being placed where they usually are beaten for being there. Then he started removing items from that counter quickly (ala pulling the tablecloth) in the event our little friend or his friends were still hanging out on the counter. He took my Maglite to go hunting for more evidence of our new little visitors, and reported back shortly about his findings. Since it was after midnight on a Thursday night, and I still had a few hours of work left ahead of me, we decided that we’d put out a few snap-traps and would perform an all-out house scrub on Saturday.

Friday morning we woke to a corpse in a trap. Saturday we scrubbed the kitchen like crazy-people, all suited up in pseudo haz-mat gear and armed with rolls of paper towels and bottles of Clorox Clean-Up Spray. Afterwards, I tackled where they decided to leave poop in the basement…right next to the litter boxes (which wasn’t there two days prior when I had last cleaned the boxes).

After about a week of setting traps in the kitchen and garage, and monitoring the cats’ progress in the basement, we ended up with 8 or 9 total dead bodies. And we figured out that when they started digging up our next-door neighbor’s yard to trace a water leak on their property, that was when we got our little visitors. It’s now been a good two weeks since the last corpse was found, and we seemed to have either killed them all, or the survivors packed-up and ran.

On a barely related note, Melisa-with-one-S over at Suburban Scrawl totally ghosted me last week!

Now this means I actually have to interact with other folks, which I’ve totally been sucking at since shortly after returning from BlogHer. So here are the rules, which I swear I will follow because I really really really like Melisa:

(1) Go “ghost” three other bloggers — doesn’t matter if it’s your best bloggy buddy, or a new one, or maybe somewhere you’ve never commented (not that that applies to me since I have an involuntary urge to comment on anything I read or see on TV).

(2) Stop by their blogs and leave a comment on their latest post saying:

“You’ve Just Been Ghosted — Come Over and Grab A Puking Pumpkin!”

(3) Copy and paste the puking pumpkin somewhere on your blog (either in a post or on your sidebar, perhaps) so that everyone can see that you have been “ghosted” and will NOT “ghost” you again. This will also let you know who you can “ghost.”

Alright fine folks out there…have a wonderful and safe Halloween!!!

About the Author


This is a blog where I will share my adventures and mundane tasks as a work-out-of-home-mom. I now have 2 kids and my wonderful husband, so the juggling has gotten a little bit more tricky (man-on-man defense). We also have 2 dogs and 3 cats (we used to have 4) so as you can imagine, our household is pretty busy. Since I never feel like I'm being listened to, I figured I'll just start talking at the general Internet community and see what happens.



You’re much better than I if you could actually hide your reaction to the H1N1 at the daycare. I think I probably have driven the front desk staff crazy with my OCDish questions. Seriously, it’s like I hear myself talking and start screaming, “Shut up, shut up, just shut up!” inside, yet my mouth keeps moving with it’s angst-filled questioning. And, I keep baby wipes in the car to clean off her hands as soon as we get in (and it’s a 2 block ride, max), and then we come in and both wash hands immediately. And of course, I was one of those crazy people waiting in line at the Gov’t Center last Sat am for the vaccination for Tay. I considered saying I was pregnant so I could get the shot, as well, but I couldn’t do it. I figured about the time I did that, a few weeks from now, I would hear a story about a pregnant Ffx County woman who died from H1N1 complications, because they ran out of the vax. Essentially, I had myself convinced that me getting vaxed would equate with me killing a pregnant woman. So, please, go get the vax on my behalf. πŸ˜‰


I’m glad you’ve caught the mice. I hope that’s all of them! We’ve been infested here and can’t seem to catch them for love or money. The van, the car AND the house have evidence of mice. I’ve set out 3 different types of traps. I caught one mouse.


Why are you changing the litter box, my wife tells me that pregnant women should never do that. Now I wonder if she has been pulling my leg all along.

In our old house we get mice every now and again, mostly in the garage, but they have been known to worm their way into the warmer house. (Bastards!) We like the hotel type traps, since we don’t really care to see dead bodies lying around. One year we did glue traps, which worked great, except for the part where if you don’t clean up the mouse soon after he/she has expired, other mice will see him/her as a snack. Yes, it’s as gross as you can imagine. πŸ˜›

From what I’ve read, and experienced, the regular flu is worse than H1N1, but I could be wrong and you are wise to take every precaution, as I’m sure you already knew. πŸ™‚


Yikes!!!! My cat caught a mouse in the kitchen last night. Scary stuff.
H1N1 when you’re pregnant?? REALLY scary stuff!!!!!


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