Monday, February 06, 2006

The Nine Plagues

Apparently, you can call me Pharoah. I didn't realize it right away but thinking back, you would think we were cursed with plagues.

First, let me preface by saying that I live in Orange County. And not the crappy part of Orange County. I've lived in Irvine, Fullerton and Brea. All middle to upper class towns. Erick and I have lived in 3 apartments since we've been married and all 3 apartments have had PESTS.

Our first apartment was in a nice area of Brea. One of those over-priced little places with lots of pretty scenery and fountains and crap. Beautiful. We had ANTS and SPIDERS like you wouldn't believe. The ceilings were wood-paneled cathedal ceilings and there were trees around the entire complex. So we constantly would see a spider drop from the ceiling a good 8 feet and just dangle in front of us. And the ants - they were constant. But I remember the worst day was right after McKenna was born and they decided it was the PERFECT time to re-roof our building. Let me tell ya, I don't know how McKenna slept through it or how she didn't lose her hearing. But I do recall being furious that all the work was actually causing dirt to fall on her in her bassinet. On top of that, the ants all came running in. And they were tiny ants that BIT you!! It was hell. In addition to spiders and ants, there were racoons. And for some reason, those racoons loved OUR balcony. Why ours? We didn't ever have food out there or anything. But it was always ours. And racoons are loud. I was on the phone with my sister one day and she'll tell you - I was positive one of those racoons was trying to break into my house, probably to watch my tv. I think he wanted to find out who was booted on Big Brother but I told him "I don't watch that garbage." We were so glad to get out of there finally.

We then moved into these older apartments. They were considerably older and less expensive. But the neighborhood was nice and the rent was CHEAP (for Orange County). The church owns the buildings and so that's why we got such a great deal. Our apartment was next to the trash can which meant we always had flies in our place during the summer. The apartment was too hot to keep the door closed but that meant the flies all came in. Bleck. And unbeknownst to us, the apartment was infested with Meal Moths as well. We had seen little bugs flying around but they just looked like little tiny moths and it was only as often as you might see a housefly. Big whoop, right? Ok, until the season came when their larvae hatched. I did not realize......OMG it was gross. We had these tiny little worms that would crawl from our cupboards up our walls and plant themselves into our ceiling spackle. So we had to get rid of ALL of our pantry food, spray, wait a week to make sure they were gone and then restock our entire pantry. Thankfully our landlord knocked our rent down some to help us cover the grocery expense.

But then.....

You won't believe this one.....

BEES!!! Freaking bees! This was a totally bizarre situation. This was a long story but to summarize it - a beehive formed in our bathroom air vents. They actually came IN our apartment. We had bees SWARMED IN OUR APARTMENT. Did I mention that Erick is allergic? Nice. So we had to evacuate the apartment and go stay with my inlaws while they blocked the vent with foil. They blocked both the vents on the outside of the building as well as the vent that came through to our bathrooms, figuring that they would all die. Well first, let me tell you how freaky it is to be going to the bathroom and hearing bees buzz around right above you. Then let me tell you how freaky it is when your realize they actually are smart enough tear the foil away and swarm your bathroom again. So this time he refoils it AND puts up duct tape and the bees go away. .... for a few months.....and then we get swarmed AGAIN!!! Good freaking God! Fortunately, they figured out a way to keep them from coming back in at all.

But at that point, we'd moved into our current apartment (we moved for the extra bedroom).....where we found a whole new batch of problems.

3 weeks after Kyla was born, the utility room that is next to our apartment sprung a leak. And it leaked into Kyla's room. Flooded the whole carpet. Our poor landlord had just had surgery so we didn't want to pester him. They stopped the leak and we told him we'd just put towels down until he could switch out the carpet pad. Well, weeks went by and we realized "This carpet isn't getting dry. In fact, its a puddle now." Dang pipes sprung a SECOND leak!! ARGH.

In all that, one evening I had the door open because it was a warm night and we had a screen door so why not. Well I hear something bang against the door. I turn around and I see a MOUSE run across my carpet. Great. Now we have a mouse. So for all these months (4 months now) we've been trying to catch this "mouse". Turns out, its not A mouse. It's many mice AND rats. (Can you freaking believe this??) Apparently, about 1/2 a mile up the street, there was this man who owned a huge property filled with TONS of lumber that he would give away as free firewood. Years and years this place has been open and he decides this year to close it and get rid of all the wood. Well, all the mice and rats that lived in there had to go somewhere. They went all over the neighborhood and directly into this apartment complex. Many neighbors have complained but so far we've just been advised to set traps. The traps are not working. I have yet to see a rat but we've seen mice. In fact, two days ago, I'm up a little earlier than usual and the mice must not have anticipated that because one of them was still "out and about" when I was making my coffee. I'm happily filling the pot with water when a mouse scurries across my foot and I SCREAM bloody murder. I'm a very calm person. I don't react with screams. But this moment called for a scream. It was really more of a yelp followed by a leap into the air.

And to top off the list of our nine plagues - the parrots. I mean, who has ever heard of a flock of parrots that takes residence over JUST our apartment? Of all the apartments in the complex.....of all the homes in the neighborhood. JUST our apartment?

Ants, spiders, racoons, flies, meal moths, bees, floods, rodents and parrots.

So I can only assume that God is mad at me for something. I can't figure out what it is. I'm not holding his people as slaves. Didn't imprison any of his chosen servants. I can't figure it out. All I know, is I'd like a home that isn't infested. I don't live in the slums for God's sakes. Suddenly, spiders and ants don't seem so bad! We're actually considering getting a cat if we don't get rid of these mice/rats. If you ask me, cats are a tenth plague.

Anyway, how about some LO's?

This is pre-digital photo of my DD#1's first visit to the beautiful California coastline. I love that the photo is grainy so I played off that by going with a "dream" quote.
Credits: Ashley Olson's "Beach Cottage" kit was perfect for it. Other credits: Stitching by Lie Fhung, Paper tear action by Atomic Cupcake, Fonts are 2peas Brainless and akaFrivolity.

Credits: Modsquad's "Hey You" kit. Nancie Rowe Janitz tea-stained edges. Fonts are Papyrus and Wishes.

Credits: Loved this kit by Lisa Cohen called "Sangria Dreams". The brads on "2b" are by Gina Miller. Frame (altered) by Nancie Rowe Janitz. Inked edge action by Atomic Cupcake. Vivid Color photo action by Photoblast. Fonts are Dymo, nu-century gothic, problem secretary.

Aaaaaand, I'm spent. Night everyone!


traci said...

Ew - don't you ever get off the computer and clean?! HAHAHA!!

It's funny, I was just trying to convince Greg the other day that we should rent out our house for $2000 a month (our mort. is only 900) and move into one of those apts. that gives cops a huge discount! We'd only pay $200 a month for a big place. Thanks for making me rethink my genius of an idea ;)

Ali said...

I used to live in Orange County too.. small world.!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the advice.. you are a doll!

Jen said...

oh blech! we had a mouse once- it wasn't fun. we saw it at 1am- we went to walmart to get a trap by 1:30. thank goodness it was caught and that was the end of our mouse.
i hope something gets down about your creatures- i would be all willy nilly knowing they still were taking up residence.

Gina said...

OMG I am gagging as I drink my coffee. They are rats?! Holy mother! What are you gonna do??? I'd be freaked with the kids.... that someone will get bit while they are sleeping. Oh man, I hope you can get rid of them!

Elaine said...

I FEEL YOUR PAIN. Every apartment we've been in has some kind of pest. The last apartment we had was behind a house that had a brush pile in their backyard. When they decided to clean it out, guess who they evicted out of the pile? YUP. RATS! One got into our apartment and was by the window, I thought it was a CAT that got in, I poked it (to try and scare it to go back out the window) and OH MY GOD, I saw the icky tail and screamed like I've never heard me scream before. ew ew ew! Thank god it was only that one incident but still.. sick.
I hope you get rid of your pests soon! Its so inconvenient with kids running around too!

Kim said...

OMG Shannon. I can not believe what you have had to deal with in your apartments. I thought the world was coming to an end when I would get ants once a year for a day, but ants, bees, mice, worms, etc. Yikes. I am so sorry. I can only imagine that is hell to deal with.

On another note, great pic of McKenna. And of course I love the LO of you too! Very cute!

Julie Jewels said...

Oh my! I've heard you talk about all these pests, but to see it all grouped together! Poor thing!
I screamed when we had mice in our house too. Gross gross gross!!!

Cute cute layouts!!

Laura said...

Now that you mention it all together like that I do think you've been subjected to a plague! LOL Ooooh yuck!!! I have to say the spiders would bother me the worst, but mice, I don't know, you can't just squish them. Ewwwww!

I hope God will remove this curse from you soon ;) so that you can live in peace. I guess in the meantime, just don't start persecuting his people or anything to make him madder at you. ;)

Alyson said...

Shannon, let my people go. :) hahaha, I remember when we went to your old apartment (the one on Tam...yeah, as if I'd spell the street...there are psychos here...but you know the one) and you told us about the spiders. Mike was scared as HECK to go in there. hahaha Mike's #1 fear is spiders. And I LOOOOOOVE your LO with the castle!!!! I love them all, of course, but I REAAAALLY love that one! And I think Mel thought I was mad when I was teasing her about not giving me enough notice. Somehow, my humor didn't come across as I was stifling my tears. I hope she knows I was just bummed about the circumstances! :)

Erin said...

Oh no Shannon! I have heard the stories but when you put them together like that......poor girl! I would fah-REAK with the rats/mice thing. And the worms. Ummm, and the spiders and ants lol.

On a side note I love that I can now picture the actual apartment buildings you are in and the area ;) It is a very nice area and the apartments are nice too!

Beautiful layouts too. You are a pro all the way girl!

momy4him said...

eeek!!! rats! i hope you can get rid of them soon! that is almost as bad as sleeping with roaches...
(you'll have to ask me about that later ;))

ramblingmuse said...


I came across your blog a while ago and stop by from time to time.

Haven't felt like posting until I read all about your apartment sagas. That's quite a lot you've been through!

On another note, love the blog!


Shabby Miss Jenn said...

OH Shannon!!!! You OC Queen you! Love this shot! Remember that castle lit up like it was yesterday! You are sooooo darn cute!!!!!