Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm gonna git you, sucka!

We had a mouse. Yes, one mouse.

It was like Mrs. Frisby and the freakin' rats of Nihm, this mouse.

We're not really sure how Mr. Mouse got in. In all the years we've lived here (8), and even when it was abandoned, there has never been a mouse problem. (Give thanks to really high basement walls. Hallelu!) Until this year. We had one in spring. Killed it. No prob. Got another one some time this winter, and the thing just wouldn't. die.

It liked butter, this new mouse. Liked to leave tiny little paws prints in my butter. It would lick knives that had been left on the counter with a residue of butter. Or sometimes peanut butter. But not bread. Not crackers. Not any of the millions of different types of crumbs we have littering our floor. No. This mouse had special tastes. And special skills.

I discovered this mouse fairly recently, when I noticed mouse droppings amongst my pot holders and oven mitts. Really? Ooh. Gross! Apparently it makes for a cozy bed, this drawer. And I also noticed the paw marks in my butter. So I got out the trap. I had one snap trap left from Mr. Spring Mouse. The plastic kind of snap trap. Killed that mouse just fine. But, Oh No. Not this mouse. This mouse.. *shakes head*

This mouse




And I do mean clean.

I would put peanut butter. I would put butter. I would put peanut butter mixed with butter. I would fill up that little well in the middle, and the sucker would just taunt me, licking it clean every. single. time.

A friend suggested sticky traps. So I got sticky traps. But they contain no butter. So why in all that is holy would the darned mouse walk on one of those things? I noticed that, again, like the other mouse, it liked to frolic in our dirty laundry baskets, leaving evidence of it's presence.

Again. Gross.

At least it was dirty laundry.

I caught that other mouse trying to sneak into the laundry basket, but this mouse didn't fall for that trap. (haha. get it? trap? hehe. Ok, moving on.) My boys managed to stick a foot in and drag that crap all over. The mouse? He just kept on truckin'. I did find evidence of mouse on one of the sticky traps I left out. A little tuft of fur. I just shook my head.

Then I saw Mr. Mouse. He had big cute ears. I came into the kitchen one night and was surprised to see him scamper across the back splash to behind the microwave, and then disappeared from there. This then became a regular occurrence. One night, as I was walking the baby, I came into the kitchen slowly. Mr Mouse had really started to develop some cojones and was coming out with the lights on! We had ourselves a little stare down, that evening. Me standing in the doorway. He standing next to the toaster. And we just stared at each other. After a while, I went to get the camera. He kept meandering the counter top. I came back. He looked around, and slowly went back into hiding. This is just making me mad, now. In looking at this lame-O plastic trap, I see that the reservoir where you put the "treat" is not where the trap is activated. No, the mouse has to lean waaaaay into the trap, not stepping on the lever, and lick it clean that way. So I set the trap wiping the butter on the "trigger", so to speak. Nope. My mouse is too dang smart for that. Still licked it clean. Kong says, "get some old fashioned wood traps." So we did. I just about snapped my fingers off trying to set one. The package says "No bait needed." I'm sorry, but a flat piece of plastic cut out in the shape of cheese is NOT GOING TO GET MY MOUSE. Do these people think my mouse is dumb? Apparently. News flash: he's NOT. He licked the plastic trap clean, and the wooden one half clean. Must have been feeling a little cautious that day.

Last night, as we were preparing for bed, I asked Kong if he wanted to set the trap. Sure, he says. But... hahaha. He busted out his Tim the Tool Man Taylor vibe and did a little "augmentation" of said trap in hopes of making it more sensitive. In fact, he almost altered it a little too well because he then had a hard time setting it.

Fast forward to 3AM when I had to make a trip to the bathroom. Of coarse, curiosity killed the cat the mouse got the better of me and I turned on the light to check. Yep. WE WON! Victory! Big fat furry body littering my counter. That poor mouse couldn't have so much as breathed on that trap and WHAM-O! Right on the schnoz. He didn't have a chaaance. Not even one little lick.

Ha ha! That outta teach ya. Don't mess with the Monkey's. We're gonna git you, sucka!

Kong did his own inspection this morning, pleased for his, erm, hunting and gathering skills. *snort* He also collected the specimen by putting it in a plastic grocery bag and chucking it on the front steps. I couldn't just leave it there, though. The kids had to see it. They were all very interested, and spent a good chunk of time inspecting it, "but no touching. Dead things carry germs," Koko informs us. (Good girl!) Cheeks woke up later, and also checked it out, but was much less interested. After about 30 seconds she said, "Ok, now get that dead thing outta here."

Haha. Ok, dear. Will do with gladness.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Crumb-Topped Cocoa Banana Bread

I promise you won't be disappointed. This bread is so delicious. It's the only banana bread I make. Once you've had it, regular banana bread seems so... boring, plain, bland. I don't even put butter on it when I eat it, it's that good. I have no idea where I found the recipe so sorry to you who I may be copying. It's unintentional. Apparently it's a common recipe. Who knew?

Crumb Topped Cocoa Banana Bread. Or simply, Chocolate Banana Bread.

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

Crumb Topping
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp soft butter
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of a 9x5x3" loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add eggs, oil and banana, and stir with a spoon just until all ingredients are blended. Spoon batter into the greased pan. Batter will be kind of thick.
  3. Prepare crumb topping by mixing with a fork in a small bowl until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle topping evenly over the top of the bread batter.
  4. Bake 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Make sure you do this.
  5. Cool 10 minutes, then loosen loaf from pan and remove. Place on a wire rack to cool. Store in refrigerator, if it lasts that long.
Note: The recipe, and the 5 million other identical recipes I found online when trying to correct the mistake, all omitted baking powder out of the ingredients list, but not the instructions. I just noticed this, apparently. So I have never made it with baking power. Maybe this is why it occasionally falls in the middle? I always attributed it to the topping or too much banana. To combat that, I would sprinkle my topping most heavily on the sides, and more lightly down the middle. I did nothing special to make the topping come down the sides, it just does that as it bakes and looks really nice.

Sorry it took so long to finally post this. I made it this morning (and I'm gonna go eat some RIGHT NOW!!) and thought hey, I'll post that. :D You're welcome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Dear God in Heaven, child. Why must you keep on crying? I understand you could be not feeling well, or are teething, or hungry, or tired, never mind that I've given you medicine, teething tablets, tried to nap you and fed you till my teats fell off. Might I remind you I am also not feeling well, what with the body aches, violent cough and now stress incontinence. I really do appreciate your distress as I am feeling something of the same in having to carry you for yet another hour of this already very long (it seems) day. And while I know you love and need me, and I certainly love and want you, I also have my own needs, one of which includes PUTTING YOU DOWN.

I'm sorry if it breaks your heart for me to do this, and frankly, sometimes, with your pouty little lip and that oh so very sad it brings tears to my eyes cry you sometimes do, it breaks mine too, but do this I must. Because, you see, well, you need to learn to exist separately from me, be it only for 15 minutes a day. Some day you will thank me for that. Team sports and dating will be more enjoyable that way. Also, you need to learn to calm your bad self down, because really, those cries that sound like a screeching cat are really most unpleasant for the rest of us, and I will not always be there to thrust a boob in your face to make it all better. Plus, at some point in time you will get married, and your wife might disapprove of me still breastfeeding you.

So for the love of everything sacred and holy, find a thumb, a pretty spot on the wall, a corner of your blankie, or the underside of your eyelids - something besides me - to bring you peace and comfort. You're much to young to know that babies rule the house, and I must try and exert my power as woman of this household and ruler of all things mommy in this domain. So consider yourself informed, warned, schooled, whatever. Just... be QUIET! Because for the next 20 minutes, I will not be picking you up. Thank you.

Ok. You win. 10 minutes.

Or.. well, I could do five, I guess.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tweet experiment

I don't Tweet. I can't rationalize paying that much for cell service for more mindless chatter, or access to internet, something I'm addicted to anyway. Cuz really, do I need to be on Facebook anyMORE? Not really.

But I always think Tweets in my head. Or blog posts. Problem with thinking blog posts is that I never end up blogging those posts. It's like I put it out into the universe in my mind and poof! it's gone.

So here are all the exciting thoughts I have today, while sitting at my computer for the next half hour before we have to go to the doctor again for strep tests. Yay!.

11:58 Right now, in this minute, I'm hating paperwork. Because children do not seem to understand that their incessant whining and hovering and inconsolable crying does not help me do it faster. And I can't put it off any. longer. Okay, breathing...

12:03 Ahh... Warm tomato soup and grandpa's fresh baked bread smoothe it over.
12:08 Eating while baby-wearing is a challenging task. Much easier to drink soup. But, how do you do the soup-soaked bread?
12:13 You know how you are always tripping over that one cluttery thing, and then when you need that thing... NO WHERE to be found. sigh. #storyofmylife
12:25 Hey, let's make a blog post of all my mindless chatter. Yeah. Great idea. THat'll get everyone on the edge of their seat.
12:33 I really need to clean out my file cabinet. All this filing is a pain.
12:34 On second thought, let's just file later.
12:35 I need to buy a new coupon sorter thingy.
12:49 Lego - children under whatever age can't have an email. So duh to your "what is your child's email address" for your magazine of children under 6.
1:02 Ok, Time to go!
Riveting, wasn't it?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I can't help myself

I know I call my kids monkeys, even outside of Blogland. You probably have called your children that too. It's a cute and fun and a fairly common moniker for children. Part of it is that they climb, as many kids do, everything. The world my living room is their oyster jungle gym. And to give credit where credit is due, a friend actually spurred the idea for this blog title with her calling my children monkeys, upon witnessing them climb scale her porch railing like it was a mountain. (They really do have a knack for it, though.) So there's other people calling them that. (Hey, I have another friend who calls them trolls. "Monkeys" seems a little cuter? Friendlier? Less evil, Dontcha think?)

Of coarse I tried to give our Monkeys monikers in relation to their actual personalities. So, George, he's curious, Koko is verbal, Cheeks has big cheeks, Boots did/does have a thing for shoes, Kong is the alpha male ruler of our household, nevermind his barrel chested handsomeness. And I, well, I'm bananas, clearly. If having five children doesn't qualify, I don't know what does.

But I have a secret.

I'm more monkey than I might readily appear.

Cuz think of what other things monkeys like to do. We've all been to the zoo. People make cracks about it.

Yes. I admit. I like to "pick" on my children. I love to clean ear wax out of those great caverns of dirt so deep you could plant a garden, I can't help myself in grabbing at that big greenie hanging out of one's nose (because really? who wants to look at that? It's distracting.), I've been known to be drawn to squeezing that blackhead on a certain somekong's face, and... now this.

Do you see what I see? Let's see if I can zoom in for a closer look.

See that? Skin. Dead, flaky skin. All I really have to do is brush his hair with that super soft baby-hair brush and viola! Up comes all that scaly, flaky fun. It's like peeling a sunburn. It doesn't hurt him, and once you start, you can't stop til it's all gone.

Admit it. You like to peel sunburn too. I know I'm not alone in this.

It's just like monkeys grooming, or eating bugs off eachother, or whatever it is they're doing. It's all love, baby. All love.

And besides, isn't it my job as a mom?

Yes, you can be officially grossed out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And to add...

to the last post...

Boots ran aroumd smelling like Goo Gone today as that is exactly what I had used to douse clean his sweatshirt of my waterproof mascara. I wonder how many washes it will take to get the smell of that out.

And a comment on the pic of Cheeks. See how her tongue is pointed? That is a strange side effect of her finger sucking, and it gives her this little lisp that is so cute and funny. Especially when it pokes out when she talks. I'm sure, however, there will be a speech therapist in her future.

ok. that's all i thinki. oh, 'cept if anyone has a voice recognition softwate they'd like to loan me that'd be great. my arm is about to fall off from one-handed typing while nursing.


Bits - o - nothin'

Just rambling.

I made Honey Butter today. So yummy. I just want to sit around eating buttered bread all day. I don't think that's a good idea. For many reasons.

These guys like having their picture taken.

Cheese, mommy, cheese? Mommy. Mommy. Cheese?
Ok. Cheese.

Huggyface didn't poop for 3 1/2 days. I know, you really wanted to know that. There is a point. Breastfed babies don't get constipated, especially not at 10 weeks, so it's a little abnormal, and on my mind. I was discussing this fact with some ladies (because he ended the BM strike during a prayer session we were having. Gotta love timing.) and one older mom (her kids have kids) said, "Great job, mama!" I was kind of taken aback by that, so I asked why. She said that that meant my milk was perfect for him and he has no waste. She said that when some other person I don't remember had that same problem with their baby, the doctor said that then your body is making the right amount and baby is using it all. I found that really interesting. See, because my interpretation of his lack of poop or even his normally small poops was that he wasn't getting enough. That I was inadequate, my breast milk inadequate. But it's not. Why do we, as parents, always feel like we're not doing a good enough job with our children?

This guy,

Yeah, this one right here. He's not giving me any indication of separating himself from me any. time. soon. Sleeping in a crib? Yeah right. Three months seems to be the magic age when all our others left our bed for one of their own. Not this guy, I'm guessing. It's a wonder he came out of the womb. In fact, I do wonder if I hadn't been induced if he would have just stayed in there indefinitely. I'd probably still be pregnant if he had his way. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don't. I love that my baby loves me so much. I can enjoy it knowing it's my last time to do this. Sometimes I feel like I have no freedom. You know, like when you have to go to the bathroom wearing your baby in some sort of carrier? Yeah. Or when you want some, ahem, "alone time" with your husband, and he feels the need to keep scrunching up to you, no matter how many times you move him to the other side of the bed, and nuzzle your chest. It's a total buzz kill, if you know what I mean. Hard to be romantic with your baby holding daddy's hand. Just sayin'.

We had another birthday party. Miss Cheeks turned 4. She's totally hilarious without knowing or trying, very very girly, getting so "grown up" and yet still loves sucking her fingers and carrying her blankie. We kind of give her a hard time about that. I asked her today, "Who do you love more, your blankie or your mom?" She tilted her head (while sucker her fingers), gave me this "aw mom" kind of smile, layed her head on my shoulder and pointed at me. Phew! I was worried there for a minute.

I just don't have the creative energy to come up and implement some fancy, elaborate cake, but I got some late night delirium inspiration while at Wally World the night before and found some cute cake topper candle thing. While there, out of the corner of my eye I spied these really cute cupcake papers. So snatched some up. I'm sure I'll be using them again. I think next time I'll use another cupcake paper as a liner and then put these on. So the oil doesn't taint the paper.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just cuz

Did I show you this yet?


Cheeks kept putting these on him. I kept taking them off, and then turn around to do more dishes, turn back around, and there they'd be. It took me a bit to see who did it. It was kinda funny.

What about this one?

I coulda swore I posted this one. I don't see it. Maybe it's on FB. Look at that big smile on the "big" brother's face. So proud he's playing with his baby "brudder" "Wookus", and sharing his Elmo radio.

These next two?... (smile)

That's that puppy dog look I love. All wrinkly skin. Beady eyes. A little furry. Big jowel-y cheeks.

Jack Hanna was on that new talk show called lamely "The Talk". He, naturally, was showing off animals, one of which was a chinchilla. He said it was the softest thing in the world, that he could hardly tell when he was touching the fur.

I just sat there and thought, well, you've never touched my baby's cheeks. So soft you can't tell you're touching them. So soft I couldn't stop my self from rubbing my face on them constantly from the moment he was born.

These daddy shots are my favorite. We have one of him and Cheeks that's probably one of my favorite pics of all time. Really.