Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prepping for the holidays, a lesson from the Cases

If there is one thing I have learned about really enjoying special events with twin toddlers, it is that practice makes perfect. With anything that might go terribly wrong, we practice with the boys ahead of time. I know this makes me look crazy to some people. On Christmas Eve, we'll be making cookies for Santa so on Saturday night, our family made some cookies to practice.

Lessons learned:
* Do not leave the flour within reach of the boys.
* Those teeny tiny ball sprinkles get everywhere.
* Colored sprinkles stain when picked up by wet fingers and flung to the ground.

This year, we were really hoping to have a fire in the fireplace for the holidays. We've never used the fireplace in our house so we decided to do a trial run this afternoon. The boys have never seen live fire and we were worried Alex would completely freak. In hindsight, that should have been the least of our worries.

When the boys went down for their nap, Jon got everything ready. He opened the flue and a few hornets came out. Here is where the breakdown in communication happened. Jon then shut the flue and asked me if it was a good idea to continue because there might be a hornet's nest up there. He was *really* hesitating but Jon is the more reserved one in our relationship. I thought he had the flue open and determined that if no more hornets were entering, we were in the clear. Plus we could smoke them out with the fire right?

Lesson we were about to learn:

* The person closest to the hornets should make the final decision on the plan of action.

Jon started the fire, opened the flue, and about 50 hornets flew out into the fireplace. I yelled at Jon to shut the fireplace doors. He shut them, but then pointed out to me that the hornets were going to be able to get into our living room through the cracks in the door. Which the hornets then did. And Jon started killing them with his size 13 shoes while I completely panicked.

Jon yelled at me to help him kill hornets and I was so scared I simply could not do it. I ran through the house with a shoe in my hand, completely freaking out, yelping like a tiny dog whenever a hornet would fly above my head.

Lesson you just learned:

* If you ever have a hornet infestation, I am not your person. DO NOT call me.

I thought we should put out the fire so we could close the flue. I got the fire extinguisher and tried to calmly talk to Jon about a plan, but there was a slight problem. There were hornets everywhere in our living room and Jon was trying to kill them as fast as possible. Conversation was not going to happen.

Eventually Jon killed enough hornets that we could focus on putting out the fire and closing the flue. Jon proceeded to kill even more hornets while I vacuumed up dead hornets. I'm fairly certain our Dyson is dead and I'm even more sure I will be too embarrassed to call customer service to find out if vacuuming hornets coming out of your fireplace voids the warranty.

Jon and I laughed about this all evening. Even typing this, I can't help but giggle uncontrollably. Because:

* What if we had decided to try a nice fire for the first time on Christmas Eve? Might have been the worst Christmas Eve of ALL TIME.

* As much as I hate cold weather, the cold was the only reason the hornets were stunned. They acted drunk and flew really slowly, or else Jon and I would have like a bazillion hornet stings right now.

* Thank goodness we did not try this when the kids were awake!

* After eight years together, it's rare for Jon and I to learn completely new things about each other. I said to him over a celebratory meal of nachos and margaritas that "he really manned up." Jon's response: "Yeah you were pretty worthless there."

* I can not stop mentally singing that Tenacious D song "Hornet's Nest."

* After an insane few weeks, I now have even more on my to-do list: figure out what to do with the vacuum, call an exterminator, and google "what do you do with a used fire extinguisher" and then do whatever it says.

* I don't look quite so crazy anymore, doing trial runs ahead of time, now do I??????


DesiDVM said...

I hope you meant for people to laugh b/c I'M CRACKING UP!! Once when I lived in Colorado I was laying in bed watching TV and 2 hornets flew right in front of my face. I got up and ran outside my apartment IN MY UNDERWEAR. Thank God it was 1am and no one was around LOL.

Today we baked cookies for the 2nd time and my new lesson is: get all the dough made during naptime or the night before, then let it chill for a few hours or overnight. a) The kids aren't involved in the messy part and b) Once the dough is chilled it's way easier to roll out and have the kids cut out shapes w/cookie cutters (if they're those kind of cookies).

Krissy said...

That is too dang funny! Glad no one was stung!

I think your motto of practicing ahead of time is one I will adopt!

JenFen said...

That is the funniest story I have heard in the longest time and I am glad you are able to laugh about it while it is still so fresh - I might still be having nightmares from it. Yes, there is a method to our madness, us planners. Thank goodness in this case huh?

mames said...

only you, girl. that story totally killed it. they do say practice makes perfect.

Joanna said...

I'm laughing my butt off. This is one of the funniest things I have ever read. I'm picturing you hoping around like a little yappy dog, freaking over the hornets. Classic.

And you know, I'll never say anything about your practice runs. I'm as much a planner as your are.

Cynthia said...

Your trial run idea is awesome!
And I am hysterical about the fire story. Good luck with the vacuum!

Susan said...

Thank you for brightening my Monday at work....I'm laughing so hard I had to be careful no one else heard and wondered what I was doing. I know at the moment it wasn't funny but to read this...hahahah. I, too, am glad your kids were NOT up. You may have taught me something about "pre-planning", never thought of it.

Steph said...

Oh. My. GOD! I would have had a heart attack! One wasp flew in my apartment this summer and I grabbed the boys and ran outside. Called my mom on the cell and stayed outside for two hours until she got there! That is SO funny and scary too!!

Eva said...

Thank you for the huge laugh -- sorry at your expense. I'm so glad the boys weren't in the room when that happened, yikes! The whole thing makes me even MORE glad that as soon as the kids were able to crawl, we moved a couch in front of the fireplace. One more thing that could have gone wrong, hornet infestation!

What A Card said...

Hee! I'm cracking up here!

So glad you're all okay, though I hate to hear about the death of a Dyson. Hope it gets fixed!

Steph said...

OMG, that is too funny! I would have freaked out with hornets flying out of my fireplace too. Good thing you did the trial run!

In our prior to homes we had gas fireplaces, this is the first one where we have a wood burning one... we had a chimney service come out and clean ours out last year before I would let Ben have a fire in it. They found some things, but no hornets!

Brooke* said...

oh laura...too funny! i'm glad i'm not the only one with a house full of crazy this holiday season...what is it about fires?! our house still reeks from the one we made yesterday- bad idea!

bb and mtb said...


Lindsay said...

Too funny! Glad you made a fun memory with Jon when all is said and done. =)

London said...

WOW! I was about to say how jealous I was that you have a fireplace, but um, no never mind. Not jealous at all. That sounds like quite the ordeal!

Cathy said...

Laura! That is just crazy!! I am so sorry to hear that there were hornets in your home!

I am still freaking over the mouse we had to get in our bedroom.


Libby said...

Add to your To-Do list: 1) Buy meat tenderizer paste next time you're at the grocery store, if its not already in your pantry. 2) Stock up on Benedryl.

In the event that there are any more hornet incidents, you'll be covered for stings just in case.

Growing up, we frequently had bees make hives in our rafters and would get inside the house. They'd collect on the window and my Mom would vaccum them up then discard when they were dead. Perhaps a more successful method than chasing with shoes.

Too funny! Thanks for sharing and glad it had a happy ending.

t + j said...

that was HILARIOUS! i'm sure it wasn't in the heat of the moment, but it sounds like y'all had a good sense of humor about it shortly thereafter.

your real-life story would make an awesome scene in ANY should try to pitch it!

The Adventures of Carrie, Brook, Finn and Reid said...

Oh if only Google Earth's satellite signal was strong enough so we could zoom down into Casa Case and see that footage!

P.S. Sorry about the Dyson! I don't know what I'd do if mine bit the dust. It's one of the best purchases I've ever made.

Nichole said...

That's would've been the end of me. But happening to someone else, it's pretty darn funny.

There was a duck in my dad's fireplace a few years ago. I can't even type that without giggling.

lesleysmeshly said...

Life at your house is never ever boring and dull is it? =)