pNut!

I’m an aunt! Again!

My little sister and her husband welcomed their first child, a beautiful little girl, into the world on 4/16. At 7 pounds, 7 ounces, pNut is a little bundle of adorable goodness.

pNut!

And because the embarrassing baby pictures need to start early…

She reminds me of the Home Alone kid here.

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Happy birthday to me!!!!

Today I’m 30. I can remember being in my early teens thinking that 30 was old; it was the end. That once you hit 30 it was all downhill from there. I’ve come to learn that those thoughts couldn’t be any further from the truth. (Regardless of what the birthday card from my aunt tells me.)

I’ve certainly lived it up the past 29 years. There are so many awesome experiences that I’ve had and I cherish the memories I have from them. Eventually I’ll get around to sharing some of the stories. My friends and I are hilarious.

I feel that my life is just getting started. I’ve been blessed with a loving husband, a wonderful family, and fantastic friends.

Here’s to the best that is yet to come.

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A little bit of heaven in my mouth

Oh. Eme. Gee. You guys. I made the best pizza tonight ever. It really was a little bit of heaven in my mouth. Even Y, who was all “I don’t eat avocados” loved it.

I didn’t think to take pictures until I was half way through.

First I cut up 2 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and pan seared it to get it a little crispy on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside.

Next I took some lime juice and olive oil and mixed them up and brushed it around the crust.

Then I took some guacamole and spread it around the pizza as the sauce.

I chopped up some cilantro and sprinkled it on.

I cut cherry tomatoes in halves and spread them around.

I put the chicken on top of all of this.

Before the cheese.
Before the cheese.

I sprinkled some cheese on top of that.

With the cheese.
With the cheese.

I broiled it for a few minutes and then switched to baking for a few more. The cheese was nice and melty and the crust was just the right amount of crispy.

 

Perfection!
Perfection!

I think that this is going to be one of our most favourite dinners.

Extreme close up!
Extreme close up!

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Surprise!

We’ve met many people online on the way to our happy ending, including each other.

I said yes!

Here’s our way of sharing it with you.

Tune in at 4:00 pm Eastern time to celebrate with us.

Watch Live!

(Best viewed using Windows Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player)

If you miss it don’t worry, you’ll be able to catch it again. Message me for details.

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Part 3: Kill them with fire

I was not at all confident in Mr. Landlord’s ability to send these pests back into the flames of hell. Flames? Not a bad idea. It would certainly kill them. But as much as I hate bed bugs, I like living more. I didn’t want to end up like these people or this moron. No actual fire would be used. The term “kill them with fire”, to me, means throwing everything I have at it and hoping that something works.

I searched the internet far and wide and came across Diatomaceous Earth on Amazon. After reading the reviews I ordered it. I sprinkled a nice film around everything in our bedroom, the spare bedroom, and the bathroom. With that down, the bedding encased, and the climb-up thingies, I finally felt like I could sleep at night.

Before bed, every night, I use a flashlight and get on my hands and knees and check around everything. It was during one of these checks that I noticed a tear in the box spring cover. Commence freakout. Y had to come in and help me lift the mattress and box springs off of the bed and Shazaam! Found one little bastard who had escaped from the depths of hell the box springs. A piece of duct tape, lots of folding, and some sinister laughter and ding, dong the witch was dead. Finding him also meant reapplying the diatomaceous earth and applying it to the places I didn’t think of before: behind the headboard, in all of the bed frame joints, etc. Our bedroom looks like a volcano erupted and we got hit with the ash cloud a winter wonder land.

The box spring cover is fairly thin and with the rubbing of the wood and the metal bed frame and the sharp corners a hole had formed. We spent the next hour duct taping every seam for reinforcement and padding all of the sharp edges.

I feel confident that we’ve tackled the problem and I can sleep easy and possibly quit being such a psychopath about it. (Ha! Fat chance! About quitting at being a psychopath about it; I’m no quitter!)

Every now and then I have a nightmare or think I have a bite mark on me. Y is great at sighing and rolling his eyes reassuring me that everything is fine.

G-d forbid we find anymore because I don’t think I could handle it mentally.

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Part 2: Let the frenzy begin

It had been too late the night before to go out and get the things that I wanted to get. I was tired and hysterical and wanted to sleep but couldn’t. I got up early in the morning and emailed my boss to tell her that I wouldn’t be coming in to work that day. I said something came up the night before that we had to take care of. At that point I didn’t tell her what our something was. I didn’t want people to know.

I woke Y up way earlier than he normally gets up to go to Kroger with me to by the biggest garbage bags that we could find. We got home and proceeded to put everything that was in the bedroom into these bags, tying them up as we went along. Curtains? Check. Bedspread? Check. Bed skirt? Pillows? Sheets? Clothes? Throw Pillows? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. I wasn’t kidding when I said everything. Oh, don’t let me forget all of the same things from the spare bedroom as well. We had a mountain of black lawn bags when we were finished bagging. I didn’t think it was enough, Y thought it was too much. Commence with the crazy.

At this point there was still no sign of Mr. Landlord and I was growing annoyed. “First thing in the morning” to me, meant before 8. Since this wasn’t the case we head out to Bed Bath & Beyond (as soon as it was open) to get mattress, box spring, and pillow protectors for the bed in our bedroom and the bed in the spare bedroom. Holy. Shit. Those things are super expensive! I’m guessing we aren’t the only ones with this problem because there was a big display of them immediately inside the door. I grab what we need and pile it into Y’s arms. I also grabbed two of The ClimbUp® Insect Interceptor for Bed Bugs to put them under the feet of both beds. These work best on hard wood floors. If you place them on carpet then the unevenness of the weight of the bed pressing down on them might cause them to crack. Thank goodness we have hardwood. You also have to be careful because the powder inside can be rubbed off and then you’re S.O.L. and the little bastards can climb up and out no problem.

We get home and carefully put the covers onto everything. We checked the seams again before we put them on and didn’t find any more. We were careful not to jostle the mattresses and box springs too much as we didn’t want any of the pests falling to the floor and hiding in the cracks. The covers trap air inside so we used the vacuum to suction it out before sealing the zipper all the way.

We head to the laundromat. Y goes down to the car and I start throwing the bags to him through the window. Neither of us wanted to make the bazillion trips it was going to take to lug it down 6 flights of stairs. (I didn’t want to think about lugging it all back up.) It took two trips to get it all in. From what I’ve read, and this varies, temperatures in excess of 120 degrees for 10-20 minutes will cook and kill them. This kills them in all life stages. So at least 30 minutes in the big dryers should do the trick. At one point we had 15 dryers going with things that didn’t need laundered and 6 washers full of the things that did. Getting the stuff into the dryers was tricky because we didn’t open the bag and pull stuff out. We placed the bags right inside the dryer and opened it to take the stuff out. We didn’t want to risk any getting out and into the laundry mat.

I almost got into a physical fight with the old bitch ignorant old lady that was manning the place. She obviously knew very little about bed bugs and tried to pick a fight with me. She kept yelling at me for bringing our stuff in and muttering under her breath about how her boss was going to have to treat the whole place now and G-d help us should any other customers find them in their laundry. I got quite sassy and set her straight. She didn’t talk to me anymore after that but still went around muttering just loud enough for me to hear her. I’m not a violent person but I was at the brink of crazy and she just about pushed me over the edge.

We finish one car load and I run it back to the apartment. At this point it’s well after noon, closing in on 1 pm and it’s only now that Mr. Landlord has decided to show up to the building. I take a load of things up expecting him to be there. He. Isn’t. There. I call and tell him that he needs to come spray now. He finally moseys on in and checks in other places where you might find bed bugs. He doesn’t see any. He sprays. He said that our infestation was very mild and that he’d be back in two weeks to spray and check again.

I ask him if any other apartments have reported them? Have you seen them in other apartments? Are you sure what you are doing is going to work? I was basically putting my faith into a man that has given me little reason to believe in him so far. He isn’t a bad landlord. He’s just forgetful.

By the time Y and I cleaned, checked the furniture, and got everything laundered and back up to the apartment and put away it was late. We had worked for well over 12 hours and we both were exhausted. But it wasn’t over yet.

Coming up – Part 3: Kill them with fire

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Part 1: How The Machinist ruined my life

Just writing this is giving me the heebie jeebies. It started innocently enough. Y and I were on the couch watching a movie. Have you ever seen The Machinist? Besides being a horrible movie it ruined my life. Y got up to go to the bathroom and I paused the movie. It was then that I noticed what appeared to be 3 little bite marks in a row, near my wrist.

While I was still looking for apartments, before I moved out of my parents house, I researched the heck out of bed bugs. I wanted to know what they looked like, how they spread, how to kill them, what to do if you got them, etc. I basically became a one woman expert (I use that term very loosely) on the little shitheads. I would put the address of the potential apartment I was looking at into the Bed Bug Registry to see if they had had any reports of them. If they did, I automatically crossed it off the list. It was the one thing I was terrified of. Okay, that and cockroaches, but there is no cockroach registry and cockroaches prefer filth; bed bugs are nondiscriminatory. They’ll pick up and go wherever there is a warm body to feed on. Ick. Nast.

So, I’m sitting there looking at the 3 little bit marks in a row and the light bulb went off in my head. I ran to the bedroom and took the sheets off of the bed. You don’t want to fling because then any that might have been in the sheets go flying. You want to fold them all up into the middle of the bed. I start at the foot on my side and don’t find anything. We have a pillow top mattress and I had to lift the fold to see along the seam. I move up toward the head of the bed and see a brownish dot. Immediately my heart starts to race, my face flushes, and I get a hot flash. I poked it with my pinky nail and it moves. At this point something in my brain snaps.

I hear Y washing his hands and call out for him to come into the bedroom right now with a glass. The urgency in my voice has him questioning me what is wrong. I only tell him that I need him and the glass immediately. He comes in with glass in hand. I show him the dot. I poke it. It moves. He asks what it is. I tell him that my worst fears have taken up residence in our bed. The dreaded “B” word. Bed bugs.

I scrape the first one into the glass and calmly (if you ask Y, he’ll say crazily) move my way up the mattress. We turn it at an angle and I find more in various life stages, but don’t see any eggs. I scrape those into the glass too. We check the rest of the mattress and flip it and check what was the bottom side. Total, we found about a dozen of them. That is about a dozen too many for me.

I call Mr. Landlord and I’m on the phone with him for an hour. At this point I’m hysterical. Y is on and off the phone with my mother. Mr. L is trying to calm my nerves. Y is trying to calm my nerves. I get off the phone and call my mom back. She tries to calm my nerves. Nothing. Is. Helping.

Mr. L tells me that he’ll be over the first thing the next morning and to try to relax. HA. Nice try buddy. I have nightmares all night about giant bed bugs trying to eat me alive. I get little to no sleep and dread the day in front of me.

Coming up – Part 2: Let the frenzy begin

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