Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The invasion has begun and I'm on a mission of destruction. The other day some ants invaded the master bathroom. I got rid of them and hoped that would be that. The next morning as Lucas was using the kids' bathroom he yelled that he was surrounded by ants... they hadn't gone, just moved. Ants in my house are one of my worst nightmares. The kids don't bring food into their rooms and I try to keep things pretty clean by dusting and vacuuming regularly -- apparently, the ants don't care. They want in.

I called my Orkin guy because we have a service every two months around the outside of the house to keep ants and spiders at a minimum. The guy came out this morning and took care of the problem in the bathroom. About an hour ago I went to put the kids down for a nap. I decided to lie down with them for a bit because I was damn tired. A few minutes into naptime, I heard son saying, "I see ants!" I looked up and sure enough, there were hundreds of critters trailing all along the baseboards. I quickly shooed the kids into my room and I tried to get a handle on the situation.
Of course, since this is the kids' room, I don't want to fill it with Raid. I filled a bottle up with vinegar and sprayed all over. They were under the mattresses, along the wall, climbing on the bookcase... everywhere. Help!
After soaking them with vinegar, I sprinkled all around with baking soda. I'm not sure what else to do that is natural. I will wait for everything to dry and then vacuum and dump the vacuum bag. If they keep coming back I'm going to abandon the house and move in with my mom:) The thought of an ant climbing on my precious child while he is sleeping is more than I can bear.

Anyone get rid of ants indoors without using chemicals? I don't mind spraying that stuff outside, but inside... I'm a little leery.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's all relative and Halloween movie suggestions

I stopped by the local CVS store today to pick up new toothbrushes for the kids -- we had an ant invasion in the kid's bathroom (I swear it is clean) and I found a few of the critters on the toothbrushes. Yuck! Anyway, we had to stop by the Halloween section to try on scary masks. Amanda was scared of all of them until Lucas picked up a hockey mask, and said, "Look, Amanda, this one isn't scary at all." "You're right, Lucas," she said, as she picked up her own hockey mask to try on and my two little Jasons walked up and down the aisle wondering why people were running for their lives. My kids haven't seen Friday the Thirteenth, so the hockey mask thing isn't a bit scary. I really found that amusing. Guess I need to get out more.

Every Halloween, I rent the movie Halloween and carve my pumpkin. Since the kids came along, we carve the pumpkin first and I save the scary movie for when they are tucked in bed. Then hubby and I bake our pumpkin seeds and watch the show. I know, it is a cheesy horror flick from the '70's but for some reason, that movie always leaves me anxious for the next few nights. I'll turn out the lights and that music starts playing in my head. I usually have about 3 or 4 nights of not sleeping well.
Anyway, I think I'm going to make a change this year and skip watching Halloween, even though I love it. I need my sleep these days, so a nice, old-timey thriller will do.
If anyone reads this and has any suggestions, let me know.
I'm thinking along the lines of "Sorry Wrong Number" or "Dial M for Murder".

Monday, October 15, 2007

First day of school

My daughter had her first day of school today:)
She barely had time to say goodbye to me as I dropped her off -- so much for first day jitters.
She's been going to the school for a year and half now with me to drop off my son, so she is familiar with all the teachers and many of the kids. She is a favorite of the other two Amanda's who already attend -- that makes three Amandas in a very small preschool.
After the drop-off, which I expected to take a while, but actually only took a few minutes, I headed home to dig into work. Man, did I get some work done today. It's amazing how much I can accomplish in 4 hours when I am not constantly interrupted to have a tea party or dress up like Batman. I was really lucky to have more than 2.5 years with daughter right by my side, but I was more than ready to have her start her education:)
I think we'll all be a little better off with the kids in school a few hours a week and my boss will be happy that our customers are getting some attention.

Tonight my daughter called grandma (my mom-in-law) to tell her about the first day. MIL said that I must have been staring at the walls wondering what to do with myself while the kids were away. I had to walk in the other room and count to ten... come on, woman, I have a JOB outside of laundry and cooking and I barely had time to finish up before I gobbled down a Lean Cuisine (at my desk) and ran out the door to pick the kids up in time. I know she meant well, but damn, it really made me feel like she doesn't know beans about me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Confusion... is it really mine? Decisions....

After re-reading my last post, it seems that I am the one who is confused, not my kids.
They are asking totally logical questions but they just aren't the ones I was expecting yet. We're all ready for "why is the sky blue?" and all that, but haven't given much thought to questions about different types of people or families that are out there.
I did tell my son that, yes, some boys do marry other boys, but that most people happen to marry someone of the opposite sex. Is that all I need to say at this point? Do I need to add more, like it's OK to marry someone of the same sex but I'm hoping we don't have to cross that bridge? Doesn't that make it sound like I don't approve? I want to teach the kids to be accepting of all good humans out there and to care for other people no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak or if they choose a mate who has the same body parts as themselves. All of those things are easy for me to talk to them about at this point in time, but I'm wondering how I'm going to handle things when they demand more of an explanation.

The Crouse Haus is under a tremendous amount of stress lately. My job, which I've had for more than 12 years, is on shaky ground and I don't know if it will be there in a few months. My husband's clinic is having issues right now and we aren't bringing in the same income we were when we purchased this house with a huge mortgage. We've been in the red for about 9 months now and the savings have vanished. My husband seems to be totally out to lunch concerning these issues and being that I am the one who handles all the finances, I feel that I am shouldering all the stress right now. I've tried to approach the subject of possibly selling our house and his response was to bring in an extra $50/mo by renting out the side of our house to someone for RV or boat storage.
Of course, for my husband, moving "down" would be a totally shot at his ego. Here he is, working 50 hours a week at his own clinic and he can't even afford a decent house for his family. I don't look at it like that, but he does.
Our options are to try to cut costs at home -- cancel cable, never turn on lights, eat spaghetti every night, shop at used clothing stores, cut our own hair and cancel Christmas and vacations for the next 3 years.
Option 2 would be to sell our home and find a nice townhouse or possibly rent a place for a year or two.
Anyone out there rent with kids? I'm wondering if the kids will suffer by not living in a "neighborhood". Will other kids want to come over to play? We've owned a house since before we had the kids and I grew up living in a regular single family dwelling.

One thing is for sure, something's got to give. For my own mental health and the mental health of my kids, I'm hoping husband will go for option 2.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My kids are confused

My daughter demands to wear her brother's Power Ranger pajamas every night and now she insists that she "must" be Robin (from Batman and Robin fame) for Halloween. She has some princess dressup stuff from grandma and her cousin will loan her a mermaid costume, but no, she has to be Robin.

Yesterday my son asked me if he could marry his cousin, Benjamin. I told him no, you can't marry your cousin. "Well," he said, "I want to marry a boy." Oh, shit, it was only 9 a.m., too early for my brain to come up with some great parental comeback.
Cut to yesterday afternoon on the way back from the library... "Mom, I really want to marry Ben." I tell my son again that he can't marry his cousin and that I'm sure he'll meet a nice lady that he'll want to marry when he is a grown-up. "Mom, do some boys marry other boys?" WTF.... "You're in preschool, son, get back to me in a couple of years and I'll formulate the correct response."

What the hell is wrong with my kids? Maybe it's all the recent talk of God wanting us to love everyone no matter how different they are. God made everyone and we should all love each other. But, I'll tell you what... as a mother of a 2.5 and almost 5 year old, I don't want to deal with how I'm going to love my transgender/gay kids just yet.