Halloween in September

I was scrolling through Pinterest to find a way to make a ghost dog for the front lawn this evening. That was a fail, by the way. Turns out, there is a total lack of ghostly lawn ornaments in the shape of dogs. You'd think there'd be a market for that. There sure is a market for skeletons of dogs, because they're everywhere. I'd rather have a ghost, though. Because I want to be difficult.

Micah was watching me scroll the 'net. He was looking at doggie Halloween costumes and choosing which ones he wanted for each dog. He is pretty sure one of ours needs to be a pirate. He is rather fascinated with the dogs dressing up, and has already twisted my arm into buying 2 costumes for the reluctant canine victims. He almost talked me into a third costume while at Walmart today. It was a sock monkey that strapped on to look like it was riding the dog. Hilarious. Anyway, Micah was all sorts of excited about the costumes for the dogs, because he loves dressing up, and he naturally assumes that everyone else loves dressing up, too. Including the dogs.

That's about the time I told Luke that we should get the Halloween decor out of the attic. He agreed. I asked Micah to come help, and the boy willingly followed me upstairs to the hallway. When he saw me reaching for the pull cord to the attic steps, he clapped his hands and jumped up and down with glee.  That is not a metaphor. It was literal. Micah loves Halloween. And Christmas. And all the decor that goes with the respective holidays.

It was Luke, however, who made the evening. He declared that the kids should always decorate for Halloween while wearing Halloween costumes. So they did. Batman and Spiderman assisted with the decorating this year.

And hush with the "it's not even October" comments yet. I'm well aware. And obviously am unconcerned about that.

My Weapons

The evidence shows up about this time every year. The weather gets cooler, leaves change, and the mice move in. It's like clockwork. While fall is my favorite time of year, I could do without the invasion of mice. I'm not wholly opposed to mice, just when they're in my home. They belong in fields and forests, not indoors with me.

I got a bowl out of the pantry the other week and the evidence was there. A small brown dropping in the bottom of the bowl. Stupid mice, soiling all things in their wake. I've used traps and more traps and another variety of traps. They're effective, but only for the ones stupid enough to get caught. It seems that I can only eradicate the house of about 5 before word gets out that traps are to be avoided at all costs. Stupid mice and their communication skills.

I asked Josh to set traps in the pantry. If the mice were going to move in early, I was going to take action early. He baited 2 traps with peanut butter, which is always a win for catching mice, and set them in key locations inside the pantry. I woke up the next morning nearly wringing my hands with sadistic glee. I would not let the mice get the upper hand this year. But alas, the peanut butter was still awaiting discovery.

It was around this time that I moved my sewing room to the basement. I set up all my fabric and fun in a corner, and in that corner I made a happy place for Louie to join me. He has a bed, some toys and a bowl of food in the basement to keep him content when I'm busy. Louie normally cleans up his food when I feed him in his own bowl, but he was so busy exploring the basement that he didn't snarf his food that day. Or the day after. In fact, he hasn't eaten that food yet. While I was sewing this evening, I checked that food bowl again. The food is still there, and even more shocking is that there are no mouse droppings in the food bowl.

You guys, clearly we have no mice. I'm still processing this. I'm trying to figure out exactly what I saw in the bottom of the bowl in the pantry. I'm wondering where all the mice went in the house, because after nearly 10 years here I've given over to the fact that we just have mice and there's not much I can do about it. The pantry bowl aside, I have come to a conclusion that I have the cats to thank for helping us achieve mice-free status.

I got those cats last fall while Sam was away, because Sam doesn't like cats. They're outdoor cats, so I figured he could fuss, but it's not like they'd be a real nuisance. And for the most part, they're not. Except that part where they walk on cars. Cats do things like that. They walk where they want to. But they also do things like catch mice. And we have some winners that way, because I've seen them firsthand hunting the chipmunks that play in the hedge. Come to think of it, we're rather chipmunk-less up in here also. Those cats. They rock. And even more shocking? I haven't seen rabbits in the yard this summer. I used to love the frolicking bunnies, until they ate $200 worth of shrubbery one winter. It's been all-out war since then, and I'm clearly winning with cats. If I'd known half our problems with four-legged nuisance things would be solved by the addition of cats, I'd have added them to our menagerie years ago.

I should probably go buy those felines some catnip.

Mind Games

The first week of school, Micah had an accident in his pants. This has never happened. He's had accidents in that he's not wiped sufficiently and had things seep through his pants, but not where he's just not made it to a bathroom in time. Poor kiddo. Thankfully I was working at the school, they tracked me down in the lunch room, and I took him home to get some clean drawers.

For the record, the small child (who's not exactly small) didn't have a horrific accident. His aide noticed a tiny, wee spot and intervened so as to avoid embarrassment to my son. She rocks that way.

The second week of school Micah had an accident in his pants. This had only happened once before, and that was the week previous. Thankfully I was working at the school, they tracked me down just after lunch, and I took him home to get some clean drawers. Again.

The very next day, Micah had an accident in his pants. I was, once again, working at the school and was tracked down in the copy room. I was informed that he asked to go home. I figured two could play at this game, so I told the nurse to wrap those stanky underpants in a plastic bag, put them in his bookbag, and send him back to class commando. He's not going to go home every time he has an accident because he'll soon figure out that he can go home every day. Two can play at this game.

He really wasn't phased, but it did make him think of another tactic since that one didn't work. We were onto him and he knew it.

Today at school, Micah's aide found me in the copy room. (I spend a lot of time there while working at the school. I am single handedly responsible for an entire forest being de-forested what with all the paper I use in making copies. It's insanity.) Micah, apparently, came out of the restroom and said, "Poop. Mom."

So he's trying to just see me instead of going home now, because he'll do just about anything to get out of school work. That didn't work, however, because his mom doesn't need to be notified if he  poops in the potty. That boy. If he'd harness his intelligence to conquer school work, he's be a Life Skills genius by now. As it is, he's trying to poop himself to get an extra chance to get out of work.

So much to be proud of with that boy. *sigh*