2017 total: $12105.73


Ants: The Backstory

Last night when I mentioned my little ant problem, I thought I was going to be able to link to last year's drama. Turns out, that post is on the other (super-secret and super-scary) blog. So, let me just tell you about last year's ant drama.

We get invaded every year. It's been going on for as long as we have lived in Pittsburgh (six years?). So, there was no shock when I started spotting a couple around the joint. As usual, there were a few in the kitchen trying to steal the Bulldog food (they don't touch the Iams, just the extra-expensive Bully food--I don't want to know why). I practiced a few little Earth/pet/baby friendly removal methods on their butts, and away they went.

Upstairs, however, was a different story. Those ants were big. Those ants were malicious. Those ants LAUGHED at my non-chemical attempts to shoo them away. I couldn't figure out where they were coming from, I couldn't figure out what they were looking for, and I couldn't figure out why the hell they were in our house in the first place. All I knew was that they were big (as in one could not fit its whole self on a key on your keyboard--seriously), they were ugly, and I wanted them out.

After I exhausted every non-chemical remedy known to man, I decided to go for something a little bit more powerful. I spent hours scouring shelves at Home Depot, trying to find a product that claimed to be kind-ish to kids and pets. I finally found one. It was some sort of powder that claimed to kill on contact and that you just had to sort of squirt into crevices wherever you saw ants.

Somewhere along the line, I learned that when you have ants in your house, they are probably spending their free time wherever you have pipes. They can't survive without water, so if you strike at their water source, you'll get them. That meant if I wanted to kick some serious ant booty upstairs, I needed to squirt my powder gunk in the wall between Alexis' room and the bathroom. So I unscrewed a electrical outlet cover and squirted away, chuckling to myself as I imagined all those little creepy crawlies withering away in misery.

Not so much.

The "alleged" ant killer was more like ant REPELLENT. And HELLO! there were not just a couple of ants living in the wall, but LITERALLY THOUSANDS. How do I know this? Because they came pouring out of the wall. POURING.

Thousands of carpenter ants.

Walking around my hallway.

Covered in alleged ant killing white powder.

At first I figured it was just going to take a minute to take affect. So I stood around, dodging ants and thanking all sorts of deities that no animals or a certain troublemaker had decided to come upstairs.

And I waited.

And I waited.

OK, not really. I did absolutely no waiting, I just spun around in circles spraying the alleged ant killing powder on every single ant in my vicinity. Until I ran out of powder. Then I figured I would vacuum up the thousands of ants that were marching all over our upstairs, even if they were still alive. Two hours later, our see-thru canister vacuum was full of creepy crawlies and looked like it was alive.

As I am occasionally really stupid and very naive, I still figured the alleged ant killing powder would kick in.

Not so much.

Getting rid of the canister full of still living ants covered in alleged ant killing powder? Tons of fun, let me tell you. I've never had such a good time never, ever, ever.

At that point I went a wee bit crazy (OK, crazier). I ran to the store and bought the Serious S%*t, guaranteed (by an exterminator, no less) to kill the suckers. I'll tell you, Sevin dust did work, but I still get eeked out when I think about all the other stuff it can kill.

No matter. This year I ain't screwing around. The ants will go marching two by two all the way to ant hell. Because seriously? If I find them crawling around on the floor next to this one? I will go all Chuck Norris on their asses.


Signs of Spring

The daffodils have made an appearance,

as have the tulips.

Even the hyacinths are poking their little heads out.

The Pussy Willows are looking boo-tee-us. (Quit snickering, Mr. Husband.) (Mr. Husband can't talk about or hear about Pussy Willows without giggling like a 14-year old boy.)

The surest sign that Spring is just around the corner? The mother (&$#^*(% ants have invaded our house AGAIN, like they do every.single.year.

But don't worry, I am ready to fight this war. I learned from my errors last year and went straight for the good stuff. And lots of it.

Anything that promises to kill "crazy ants" should do the trick. After all, the dumb little things must be crazy if they think they can come into my house. (Are these scientific names? Who the heck came up with them?)

I wonder if it works on crazy aunts, too?


Happy as a (Boiling Hot) Clam

*Caution: Random Acts of Whining Ahead*

Yesterday afternoon as we ran all over town, as we are wont to do on a weekend, I took notice of the fact that the snot running from Alexis' nose seemed to be trying to work up enough momentum to make a run for the Mexican border. I coupled that with the fact that her forehead felt like she had turned up the thermostat on that kick butt little heater she had installed before birth and, like the genius that I am, deduced that my rarely ill child actually has a cold. It's the first time in . . . um . . . I dunno, a long time. At least four months. As I knew we were long out of Tylenol or any other sort of fever-reducing magic potion, I made a run into the grocery store to stock up on some pharmaceuticals.

When I (finally) located the child appropriate drugs, I was met with labels that pointed out that OH NO SHE'S TOO OLD FOR THE INFANT CRAP now. Besides the insulting implication that I should stop referring to her as my baby (you can't make me, Tylenol), this revelation posed a problem. There were several flavors to choose from and did you know I don't do decisions? Especially not life-changing decisions like what flavor of drugs to buy my baby. I tried to think like Alexis and eventually narrowed it down to the berry flavors.

Then I noticed that -OH NO!- I had to give her the drugs in a cup. My girl is admittedly not much of a spiller, but you know darn well that if you give a generally good kid a little cup full of super-staining sugary liquid, that will be the day that she decides to pour the liquid all over the only remaining clean spot on the carpet. So again I put on my genius cap and opted for the dye-free formula.


It took about a millisecond to discover that my genius was wasted on she who was not willing to drink so much as a drop of medicine, despite the fact that she has been known to call up her dealer in the middle of the night for a little hit just because she thinks medicine is fun. But, you know, I'm smarter than a two-year old, right? So I dug out one of those little syringes from the kitchen drawer and made it look like her old baby meds.

She didn't fall for it.

It took two adults over twenty minutes to administer one teaspoon of fever-reducer to a child who's booty hole claimed she was running around 101.8. That, my friends, was a good time.

Fast forward to this morning, and it turned out that this particular cold has decided to take up residency for a little while. Alexis' diaper was dry and her temp was over 102 degrees. So, she and I spent the day at home together. I knew I could drug her and send her to daycare, but I also knew the drugs would wear off and I would just end up picking her up early. I didn't see a reason to spread her germy love to the other kids (one of which is probably the one that gave it to her in the first place, but whatever). Besides, I wanted to make sure she drank enough liquid to grow a few humps (like a camel).

We have spent the greater part of our day fighting over medicine. I have tried diluting it in water. I have tried slipping it in a cup of juice. I even tried chocolate milk. Every time I prepare a sneaky snake concoction for her, we end up having a conversation like this:

Alexis: I want juice.
Me: Here you go.
Alexis: No, I want milk.
Me: Of course you do. Here you go.
Alexis: Water, please.
Me: You're kidding, right? Fine, here's some water.
Alexis: No, thank you.

Yeah, she gets props for the whole polite thing, but I swear on my Girl Scout cookies, she can stop with the women's prerogative crap right about now.

So right now my dear child is sitting at her little table tossing Lima beans into the air, trying to catch them in her mouth, and then getting mad when Meg the Bulldog has the audacity to actually eat the ones that fall to the ground. Alexis worships at the church of the Lima bean, so I'm not really sure why she's leaving even a tiny opportunity for anyone to steal them from her. It must be the untreated 102 degree fever getting to her brain.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy every single flavor of fever-reducer under the sun, including the suspicious looking dissolving tablets, in hopes that she will take something.