Quote Monday gives a lump of coal

Alex: “We were reading Mercy Watson but Mama only read one chapter because she hates me!!”

Alex: “Mama turn off that light! You’re being mean you’re going to get a lump of coal in your stocking!”
Alex: “…what does a ‘lump of coal’ mean?”

Alex, narrating story: “People who love people don’t go pooping on them.”

Alex: “I don’t like anything to stick in where my poop comes out…”
Sara: “…”
Alex: “…so all the time I’m picking my pants out.”
::Sara repeating it carefully to make sure she heard correctly::
Sara: “That’s called a wedgie.”


Hipster Mouse

Evelyn had activities late one night, so I was upstairs with Ollie when Sara and Evelyn got home. I found out later that Sara was emptying her bag when something ran out onto her arm. She wasn’t sure what it was, so she flung it off in disgust, and only when she saw it scrambling on the floor did she realize it was a mouse.

That’s when the screaming started.

And it didn’t stop until I had run all the way downstairs thinking that someone had broken in and was actively abducting Evelyn. I couldn’t think of anything short of home intruder / murderer that could cause that much screaming. (Spoilers: it was Sara screaming, not Evelyn, but Evelyn still stayed up on a chair for about 30 more minutes just to be safe.)

There is nothing more worry-making than a mouse in your house, so of course I practically covered the floor with mousetraps. However, I’m guessing this must have been some kind of escaped University of Chicago laboratory mouse, because it was a *genius* at snatching little bits of chocolate out of the trap without setting it off.

I even bought this:


So you can see I was really doing everything I could to catch this guy, but to no avail.

“Use peanut butter!” everybody said, so I dutifully put peanut butter in all of the traps and reset them. However, the second I put those out, it was suddenly no longer interested in my traps. I thought somehow it was smart enough to know that the peanut butter would spell his doom (U of C lab mouse), until I found this:


Ahhhhh, I see. This was a HIPSTER mouse, who was turning his nose up at my peanut butter in favor of avocado! (“Well of course it’s a Millennial,” said my co-worker, “why do you think it’s staying in your house? They can’t afford their own.”)

I probably could have switched to locally-sourced almond butter, but I just wanted this thing out of my house. As we all know, the best way to get rid of a hipster is to convince him that our house has become “cool” with the other mice. Nothing repels a hipster faster than something becoming mainstream. Therefore, I set up a little stage dressing:


I was quite confident we’d seen the last of our little buddy, but no, I guess I didn’t fool him. (ESCAPED U OF C LAB MOUSE!)

Well, no worries. Now that I knew I was dealing with a hipster mouse, I knew just the enticement I needed to lure that little bugger in!

I am happy to report that that hipster has canceled his last cable subscription! (I guess technically it could have been the beard and moustache wax, but I’m hoping not to need to conduct a scientific study on which hipster mice prefer…)

“Let’s hope he or she did not help make baby mice before his premature death,” said my mom, but I’m not worried: Millennials are having kids later and later these days. Now I just need to take all the signs down really fast before I lure any more hipsters to the area…those hipster mice can smell a new Starbucks location a mile away!

Shane Halbach and the search for the Holiday Party Pants

So last weekend was my work holiday party, and I realized that I’ve lost too much weight and none of my nice pants fit me.

The pants that I wanted to wear were from Gap, and there is a Gap just a few blocks from my work, so I thought, “No problem! I’ll just get the same pants, except smaller. Easy peasy!” Except when I got in there, it turns out they don’t have the same pants anymore.

I suddenly realized, I don’t have a backup plan, and I am out of my element.

I started furiously texting Sara things like “help”, “emergency”, and “I need pants”. I looked around the store but, I don’t know! Everything is too casual, and nothing goes with the shirt I was planning to wear. “Why didn’t you just buy a new shirt too?” asked Sara later, but come on! Now I have TWO problems to deal with??

So I didn’t do that, instead, I ran out of the store into the street in a blind panic. This is a shopping mecca…surely there must be somewhere that sells pants!

Across the street was a Nordstrom. “Nordstrom is a department store,” I says to myself. “Department stores have pants.”

I went in, laser focused. Found some pants. This was good. I could do this. I looked at the price tag…$200!!!

At this point it was like the camera panned back and I looked around me and there was like a woman wearing a fur cap shopping next to me and I realized, “I shouldn’t be here.”

At this point my texts to Sara are like, “Please help me”, “I don’t know what I am doing”, and “There are $200 pants”.

Nordstrom was in a mall, and a mall is a place that you buy pants, right? I started wandering into stores saying things like, “Do you sell pants here? No?” and wandering back out. I was starting to think that shopping on Michigan Avenue was not my thing.

I finally start texting things like, “I am punching out” and “I will just not wear pants to the Christmas party”.

The thing is, I don’t want to be the dumb sitcom husband who can’t buy himself pants, but I just was very overwhelmed at this point. I guess I have just lost the knack of shopping in an actual store. I am naturally a researcher and on the Internet I can look at everything at my leisure, find something I am comfortable with, and go with it, you know? Nobody in fur hats looking at me like, “Who let you in?” No surprise $200 price tags. Nobody working there who can smell my fear and mock me for my shocking lack of fashion sense.

That night (after declaring, “THE CHRISTMAS PARTY IS OFF”), I looked around online and found a pair of pants that was in stock in my size at a store nearby. The next day I went in, tried them on, and bought them, proving that I am still an adult who is capable of social interaction and buying himself pants.

And now we can all just forget this ever happened…

Evelyn’s Mittens

Over the summer, Evelyn asked me to knit her some new mittens. When we were on vacation, we stopped into My Sister Knits in Fort Collins, and Evelyn picked out some super pretty (and super on sale!) yarn.

Our original plan was to put flip-over mitten hoods on them like my gloves, but they came out really nice. Evelyn was so happy with them, she decided to keep them as-is so she could wear them inside!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a knitting project, and it was nice getting back into it. It is certainly is much nicer to make things for people when they really like them!

Quote Monday gets distracted

::Meg telling a long story::
Ollie: Wait, what did you say?”
Me: “Well, it was a pretty long story…”
Ollie: “Sorry, I was just thinking about how Spiderman has a better mask than Batman because it covers his whole face.”

::Getting ready for school::
Me: “So…why are you wearing a cape today?”
Evelyn: “Because I feel like it.”

Me: “I heard you woke up in the middle of the night?”
Alex: “Well, in the night my body was full of sleep, so I woke up and never went to sleep again!”

“I have to go somewhere!!” – Alex, urgently, everytime he has to go to the bathroom. It *could* be anywhere, but it turns out, it’s always to the bathroom.

I guess that’s a kind of drive by?

Yesterday when I was walking home from work, I noticed a guy walking quickly toward me from the opposite direction. He seemed to be looking at me and slightly angling toward me, things that I now associate with getting mugged.

“Oh my god, that guy is going to mug me,” I thought, trying to remain calm looking on the outside while in actuality planning 15 escape routes in my mind.

Just as he was passing me (and about a millisecond before I leapt into traffic to avoid him), he kind of…aggressively farted at me.

Not really on me, per say, because he didn’t turn to angle it toward me, it was more of a farting next to me I guess? But there’s no way it was a coincidence because he clearly angled to be closer to me. He could have done it at any time before or after me, but instead he did it right next to me (and there were multiples!)

So, uh…

I don’t know, in that moment I was mostly so relieved that I wasn’t getting mugged that to be honest I was almost happy about the whole thing.

Big Boy

I haven’t done one of these Alex updates in a long time, but it seems like there have been so many milestones lately that I’m definitely in need of one!

The most exciting thing is that Alex is now completely diaper free! He has always been really good about potty training and staying dry, so we thought we’d give the overnight thing a chance. Right away, the first night, he was dry! He has had a few wet nights, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a few more, but he’s got a 4 day streak going as of me writing this! (But unfortunately broke it before publishing this. Still!)

This corresponded with us upgrading his crib to a “big boy bed”, so all in all I think he’s just really feeling like a big boy lately.

Additionally, we have started reading chapter books at bedtime, and he really enjoys them. So far we have read, “My Father’s Dragon”, “The Dragons of Blueland”, “Little House in the Big Woods” (at least twice, because Sara and I both read it to him, possibly three times if Vania read it!), “The Boxcar Children”, and we are currently reading, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”.

He has also been drawing and “writing” a lot. Sometimes I can even tell what he’s drawing! For example, I give you “a person”:

Finally, one thing we’ve really noticed lately is that Alex just wants to have friends. He plays SO NICELY with other kids now! And really has a blast. Because of this, he is fiiiiinally starting to warm to the idea of going to school. He has previously taken the adamant stance that he will NOT be attending school next year, but now that he’s starting to realize how much fun it is to go to a toy-filled room to play with a bunch of friends, he’s rethinking that.

Alex, in preschool. CAN YOU IMAGINE??