Aug 4, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day!

We had a crazy weekend (I'll post pictures soon of the festivities) and the kids were pretty sleep-deprived. Yesterday morning I had to drag them out of bed at 6:30am for the second day in a row so we could run some early errands. They were cranky most of the when 1:30 rolled around and they were both asleep I was quite relieved.
Our cable and internet were both down because of a storm so I couldn't 'waste' any time during their nap. I was downstairs getting some things done when I heard an odd noise. At first I thought it was Elliott dumping toys on the floor or Emerald using her little play hammer to try to break out of her crib. I went upstairs and both kids were sound asleep.
Then I heard the noise again. This time it was extremely loud and sounded like a window was being broken. After a few minutes, I pinpointed the noise to the basement. I can see one of the egress windows from our new staircase, but I can't see the other one.
We've had animals in our window wells before. One day two opossums huddled into the spot. Michael got a board and put it down to them so they could climb out, which they did to our relief.
One Sunday as I was getting the kids into the car for church, I heard a noise and saw a raccoon sitting in the window well looking at me! We got it out too and it must have been sick because our neighbor found it dead in her yard later that day.

But yesterday, the noise continued and kept getting louder. I started to wonder if the animal had broken the window and gotten into the basement. The noise was SO loud. Then I started to worry a bit because if it were to get into the basement, I wouldn't be able to stop it from getting upstairs. There's no door to shut to keep it down there and there are 2 staircases for it to come up.

I went to the garage and grabbed a shovel, just in case. :) Then I went around the side of the house to see what was causing all the noise. I couldn't see anything and was too wimpy to really get close.

I tried to call Michael - who picked a fabulous day to forget his cell phone. So I called his work number. They accidentally cut me off. I called again. He wasn't at his desk so I left a message.
And the noises kept getting louder. If the kids were awake, I would have gotten them up and just left the house...but I really wanted to let them sleep. So I called Michael again and asked them to find him. By now, I was totally embarrassed that everyone at his work would know that his wife was crazy! (or they thought I was in labor or something)

Finally I got to talk to him and he came right over. Husband to the rescue! Here is what he found in the window...a groundhog.

It was trying to dig through the bottom of the egress window and refused to climb out after having tree branches and a plank put down into the hole for it to use.
One of Michael's friends came over to try to help...but it didn't work.
An hour later, another friend came to help. They eventually got it into a bucket and released it in a park. It was a super tough little thing. But I'm glad to have it away from my house.

Now we need to cover those windows. We have been too cheap to do it until now because they're all custom sizes. But I think Michael will rig something up to at least keep large animals out. I don't think I can handle anymore creatures that close!


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