Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Introducing the Duke of Juban

No, he's not throwing gang signs. NOT YET.

Please welcome the second in line to my royal throne (...yes, shut up), the Duke of Juban. Born Wednesday, March 7, 11:02am here in Brooklyn, NY and clocking in at a hefty 9 pounds, 8 ounces, 21 inches long.


All that complaining and whining I did about how big my belly was, how much it hurt, and how uncomfortable I was all the time was, you know, kind of justified because I gave birth to a second grader. I'd like to think of myself as a sort of hero, but I've been told that heroes whine less.

Anyway, he's super cute and no, you cannot eat those chubby cheeks because as his mother I called dibs and already ate them all up.

The Juban Princeling has taken to big brotherhood like a pro. I'm so proud of my little guys. 

What's that inside my brother's nose? Lemme just check and see...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Animals Hate Me: The Squirrel Story

Meredith's Note: 
This week I'm off to have a baby, so for the next few weeks you lucky readers will get to enjoy guest posts by some of my nearest and dearest. They are all super awesome and wonderful, so please make them feel welcome!

First up, my cousin-in-law Mary Jo (aka "Mrs. Rudy" to some), who has several hilarious animal stories to share, starting with this one.


Ah yes. The simple joys of owning a home: mowing the lawn, gardening, painting, decorating and, best of all, cleaning the squirrel poop off the kitchen counter.

Hubby and I got home kind of late one night, about 8:30, and I went upstairs to change while he sorted through our pile of mail in the kitchen. I got back downstairs and picked up a handful of mail, turned to put it with the rest of the mail we've accumulated for the former owners of our house, and saw that the pile was spread all over the kitchen counter and onto the floor. We hadn't noticed this when we walked in - keep in mind, the Hubby had turned on the kitchen light and been in there for about 5 minutes without any indication that we were not alone. So that pile was a mess and there was dirt or something across the kitchen counter. I looked across the counter following the trail of "dirt" to the corner of the kitchen, where I made eye contact with, what I affectionately refer to as, the Little F*@&er.

There was a squirrel, chillin' on my counter, eating a banana. We made eye contact for a moment, neither of us sure what our next move would be. I swear the thing looked like it was going to pounce. Hubby claims I screamed, I think it was more of a loud gasp, and I turned around and took a few steps back. Hubby, not being able to see around me to see the L.F., asked what was wrong. It took a moment for the words to actually come together in my head. "There's a squirrel…on our counter…eating a banana" I slowly gasped. Then the L.F. realized we both saw him, leapt from the counter and bolted into the living room. Hubby opened the patio and tried to shoo him out, but L.F. ran upstairs. Hubby followed him, and when he couldn't get him to come out of the bedroom, he closed the door, trapping the LF. During this chase, I protected the couch by standing on top of it doing what would I would like to think of as a secret squirrel exorcism dance – not a chicken-shit-terrified-of-a-squirrel-attacking-me dance.

So we called Animal Control for an emergency visit, which in our neck of the woods is a private service and crazy expensive for an emergency call at night. But after telling Hubby that I was not living with Wild Kingdom going on in my house, he asked the guy to come right out. The guy showed up and slipped into the bedroom with LF, holding his cage. There proceeded to be a sequence of banging, chirping and crashing for about 10 minutes. He finally came out, with the cage full of the mutant ninja squirrel. ["Mutant Ninja Squirrel" would be an awesome name for a punk band. - Meredith] I think the squirrel gave me the squirrel-equivalent of the finger (the claw?). And I'm pretty sure it was deranged because the entire time we talked to the animal control guy, the squirrel was gnawing at the cage and running in circles in it. The guy told us the squirrel would be released back to nature and despite being a pretty hardcore environmentalist, I told him I could not care less.  We wished the nice man with the cage a good night and then I turned to the squirrel and wished it happy trails (or more exactly, "You will never see your family and friends again, useless rodent"). If any wildlife is waiting for us ever again, I am going Christmas Vacation on it, throwing a jacket over it and hitting it with a hammer.

 Lessons learned:

 1. If you hear noises coming from your chimney, don't waste time, get someone out there. We heard what we thought were birds on Saturday, but figured we would take care of them in the next week when we weren't busy. HA, joke’s on us!

 2. Squirrels like bananas. LF ripped into one of the banana's on counter and ate the entire thing.

 3. Squirrels save up all of their poop until they break into someone's house, and then find annoying places to leave it. Hubby cleaned, disinfected and fumigated most of our kitchen counter because the LF left all sorts of doots on it. And then I cleaned my desk and the floor in the bedroom, because amazingly he still had more doots to distribute.

 4. Animals hate me. I've been chased by a cow, a deer hit our car, and now a squirrel busted in my house and pooped all over. What’s next? A bunny going to jump me in a dark alley?

 5. There is a rather severe gap in Home Maintenance for Dummies: Deranged, Mutant Squirrel Maintenance.

Mary Jo Mullen is a mom of two wild boys (ages 1 and 3), wife of a huge Fighting Irish fan and employed by the federal government.  If she didn't have a sense of humor, she'd be wearing a pretty white jacket that ties in the back.