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mouse-pic.jpgHave you noticed that mice have the best PR team ‘mouse money’ can buy? It was actually my wise old father who pointed out that mice are depicted as almost heavenly in every storybook. Whether it’s that Mickey who presides over the magic kingdom, those lovable mice Gus and Jaq who come to the assistance of Cinderella, Ralph who can actually ride a motorcycle or Tom of “Tom and Jerry” fame – they are some cutie patootie critters, right? Oh, I’m not convinced.

In our apartment, I’m on full alert, near hysteria, mouse patrol. Mice are a sporadic problem in our building. And just the other day, I walked by the kitchen and who did I see but Mickey or Gus or Stuart Little (honestly, they all look the same) sitting, hanging out really, on my counter top. Holy crap. I do not like mice. I couldn’t even get to my cell phone because it, too, was on the kitchen counter. I picked up our landline and felt a bit like Jodie Foster, trapped in the panic room, because I only know one number by heart. It’s my husband’s and he, of course, was swimming at the gym. My heart jumped into my throat, as his cheery voice mail picked up.

The mouse finally scurried off to… I don’t know where. Hence, the reason I’m still hysterical. My super came up and put down some of those sticky mouse pads. So let me try to understand this. The best case scenario is finding a LIVE mouse stuck to one of these pads? Yeah, that won’t work for me. So I (once again channeling Jodie Foster) took matters into my own shaky, panicked hands. I hit the hardware store and bought one of these rodent control machines that supposedly transmits powerful ultrasonic sound waves that repel mice but can’t be heard by people or house pets. Hard to verify that this $40 miracle machine even works. I mean you just plug in and, like a gullible twit, pray to never again see another rodent.

I still remember when my sister’s pet hamster Susie got loose. We were about to hold a little memorial ceremony for the MIA fuzzfest when she popped up one morning, just sitting on my pillow, staring me in the face. Holy Amy’s organic macaroni did that freak me out. And then, in my 20s, my roommate and bff Jordana brought home a rat, swearing it was a pet mouse. Rat? Mouse? Really must we quibble over the nuances of difference? It was either me or the rodent and mice have a terrible record of paying their rent. So I stayed.

Now I’m anxiously inspecting every nook of our apartment, waiting for that mouse to taunt me with its twitching little tail. Dylan and Summer are no help. They are like Hansel and Gretel, leaving crumbs throughout our apartment, basically inviting the mice to come join us for snack time. At this point, I’m just trying to spread the rumor that apartment 3A leaves out open containers of food. Hopefully, Gus and Jaq are already on their way downstairs.

mama bird notes

flip-book.jpgI’m really flipping for this. A company called Flip Clips will turn a 15 – 30 second digital video into a retro flip book. Remember those? Well, this is so much cooler than those ‘old school’ stick figure ones. Your kids will love playing with these. A groovy stocking stuffer. As a mama bird special, you’ll get $2 off in the month of December by using the discount code FC989SJ2. Or even better, win a $25 gift certificate to Flip Clips by posting a comment on the mama bird diaries this week. Any comment. No need to be smart or clever. How’s that for a deal?! I’ll announce the two winners this weekend.

Also, for you New York mamas, do you have the cutest kid in the city? Time Out Kids has just launched an online gallery of NYC’s Cutest Kids. If you submit a shot of your adorable tot by December 15th, you are entered to win a rad toy from LeapFrog Learning Moments (which means one less toy on your shopping list). Click here for more info.

13 Responses to the mouse in the house

  • Nona says:

    *giggling out loud*
    Can you hear me from there?? I too, am totally freaked by little rodent type animals… I would also feel paranoid!

    The flip book is awesome!! How cool is that?

  • Barbara says:

    We had a small furry problem as well. And when the "mouse men" (T's name for them) came, besides the usual stuff, they put a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and scattered them around, claiming mice hate the smell. Who knows but the house smelled lovely.

  • Tara says:

    We had RATS living in our attic above our bedroom for a while. We awoke every night to scurrying and scampering and what sounded like the dragging of cords and wires. We joked that every night it was like they were having Prom up there!

  • Kristen says:

    I am laughing only because we too have had problems with Stuart Little. My husband likes the sticky traps. Unfortunately, I have had to step in to help once or twice to make sure the mice are do not unstick themselves before he gets home from work. I personally like the traps where Stuart goes in but cannot get out. I am haunted by the images for weeks! I do get repulsed every time I think about it.

  • Jordana says:

    Oh Lefty, we hardly knew ye (I named him Lefty because he had a limp – as if being a rat wasn’t enough of an impediment). I don’t think I ever told you, but I was secretly grateful that you made me get rid of that rat. I felt guilty that I didn’t play with him enough and knew that a cardboard box was no place for a living creature. Rest in peace, Lefty.

    As a side note, a word of advice for all you mama birdies out there – If you ever do buy glue traps and catch yourself a little fella and see (or hear) him struggling and want to put him out of his misery in a quick way, learn from my mistake and DO NOT step on him! Glue….shoe….mouse…not pretty!

  • Kristen says:

    Oh my word! Gross! I cannot imagine the trauma from that experience. Ick! I actually put the mice (yes we caught two on one trap) in a grocery paper bag and hit it with a shovel. Not a great alternative but there was no sticky mess.

  • Terrell says:

    Hey Kelcey,
    I am totally addicted to mama bird!!
    You know the expression: "Quiet as a church mouse"? Well it's true Stuart and his buudies always seem to come back to winter with us here at the Gallery! Dana does mouse patrol for me, I can't bear it!
    You make me laugh every day!!You are sooo talented and I am loving getting a taste of your quirky and wonderful fresh humor every day or so!! I'm finally reading the back issues of mama bird diaries, thanks for mentioning me for the cils booster!!!
    Love you!

  • Pam F. says:

    I have to say that is the cutest picture of Stewart Little. Even in the burbs we have mice problems as well as cricket problems. How do you deal with a chirping problem (and not from birds) that you can't find? Most of the time they don't make a sound. You are just sitting on the couch and find one the size of a mouse sitting next to you. Talk about shock value! We all have experiences with rodents in our life in one form or another.

  • franny says:

    Husbands are perfect for rodent removal duties! We had a few and caught them dead in the hardware store traps. P.S. peanut butter works better than cheese AND if you make your living (or playing) using your fingers…..do not mess with setting those traps! I almost broke my fingers a few times but didn't want anyone else in my family to get hurt. Ahh… the sacrifices of the Mama! Next time, I bring in the pros!

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    My, my. An entire army of little children out there watching their mommies kill living things; their expanding brains sopping up all the role modeling. The solution? The mouse size Have-A-Heart trap (yes, it exists; and, works). Once Stuart is inside, just give the whole contraption to hubby and ask him to open it on his way to work (no, not in the taxi), some place far from home.

  • jennifer says:

    Time to get a cat! Rodents supposedly will not come out with the scent of kitty in the house, but one (ballsy) mouse in our place did not adhere to the rule. Well, he found his fate. I have to say though my cat is quite old now, so we'll see if we have any visitors this winter.

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kelcey kintner