Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hanson Travelogue 05-30-13



As you may have heard, all of us Hansons, plus Grandma D, crammed ourselves and a majority of our stuff into our early model, high mileage, somewhat-dependable gray minivan, and headed out to the highway. Our first stop was the fun and windy town of Derby, Kansas, to visit my Aunt and a bunch of cousins. Actually, if I were to be honest, our first stop was at a seedy gas station, barely across the border in Iowa. I thought we would be able to get farther than that before our first stop, but that was as far as the Girl’s 4-year-old bladder would allow us to get. 

In Derby, we had a great time just hanging out, and going to the park approximately 4 billion times. When you have a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 6-year-old in your midst, the park is a popular place. There was a real nice and big park very near my cousin’s house, and another nice, but much smaller, park that was even closer. The smaller park, despite being small, was home to a fluffy pine tree that apparently was very inviting to all of the kids. The 6-year-old, Cousin Alex, proved to be very adroit at climbing trees, reaching the very tip-top of this aforementioned pine tree at least 4 times. My kids, the Girl and the Boy, were not nearly as adroit, reaching 1/3 of the way up before getting covered in sap. That was the end of their tree-climbing.

Other than going to the park, the Wife and I spent most of our time in Derby dealing with the Baby. Now, looking back on things, it seems as though there were very few moments in which the Baby was happy, or even only slightly ornery. Fully engulfed with rage would be a more accurate assessment. She probably wasn’t actually that bad, but the fact that she was “sleeping” with us in our room, where we could hear every little scream, probably made it seem worse than it really was. The whole thing has made us truly excited to get home, where she has her own room. I will take this opportunity to apologize to all of my cousins for her behavior. I promise we won’t come back for a long time.

From Derby we made the short trek to the southeast to the booming metropolis of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. When I say booming, I really mean booming: the thunderstorms haven’t stopped since we’ve been here. I guess we should be happy that the thunderstorms aren’t tornadoes, what with the recent history of twisters in the state.

This has been the view from our room ever since we got in Oklahoma. Nah, you can tell I'm kidding, because there are way too many trees in this photo for it to be Oklahoma!
Other than the thunderstorms, the activities here in Bartlesville are revolving around our niece’s wedding, which will be happening in a couple of days. Tomorrow things will get interesting, as we head over to the church for the rehearsal. This will be the first formal opportunity for my kids to wreak havoc on the wedding, as the Girl will be the flower girl and the Boy will be the ring bearer, or ring bear as he calls it. I'm sure they will find some way to cause some chaos. Maybe we will luck out and they both will get it out of their system at the rehearsal, and spare the actual wedding. Could we ever be so lucky?  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bubba, the Ring Bear

In the midst of all the chaos that has engulfed us while we are trying to get our house ready for sale, we are about to leave it all behind and head to the exotic, balmy, and possibly tornadic climate that can only be found in the great states of Kansas and Oklahoma. That's right, bright and early tomorrow morning, or as early as a family that contains three toddlers can, we will be heading off in our nondescript gray minivan to join all of the other nondescript gray minivans on our nation's highways.

Unlike the other nondescript gray minivans, though, we aren't just traveling for the long Memorial Day weekend. Oh no, we will be gone a total of 9 days, the first 4 1/2 of which will be spent in Kansas, and the last 4 1/2 of which will be spent in Oklahoma. We have family in both of these states, and are excited to see them all on this one trip.

The main reason for the trip is the wedding of one of our nieces. She and her extremely tall fiance will be getting married on June 1st, in Bartlesville, OK. It promises to be a fun-filled event, but there is the distinct possibility that there might be some chaos thrown in as well. That's because two of my three children are going to be in the wedding party: the Girl is going to be the flower girl, and the Boy is slated to be the ring bearer.

I have no doubt that the Girl will do just fine as the flower girl. After all, this is already going to be the second time she has played that part in a wedding. Our good friend, Rachel, used the Girl as her flower girl when she was just a little over 14 months old (records indicate that this may qualify her as the youngest flower girl in the history of western civilization! Proud Daddy Moment!) She did just fine then, so I fully expect her to be able to handle it like a crusty veteran, now that she's 4.

The Boy might be a different story. He can be known to be a little squirrelly, so if any chaos ensues, I would bet it will happen when it's his turn to walk down the aisle. I'm not entirely sure what he might do, but the fact that he actually thinks he will be playing the role of "ring bear", instead of "ring bearer" might give us a hint. No matter how many times we tell him that, no, it's not ring bear, it's ring bearER, he can't seem to hear that last -er syllable with his 2-year-old ears. 

I can just see him now: Halfway down the aisle, he'll throw his little pillow up in the air, and shout out "I'm the ring bear! RAWR!", while showing his claws to everyone who is lucky enough to have an aisle seat. You're going to wish you got there early.

Maybe this won't happen. Maybe the whole wedding will go off without a hitch. Maybe Daddy's crazy imagination is even crazier than the reality of having two of my kids as part of the wedding party. We'll just have to see. One thing is for sure: I'm going to be videotaping the whole thing, just in case...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Buy Something/Sell Something

If you are a huge fan of this blog, and who can blame you if you are, you probably remember that my family and I are in the middle of moving. Yes, we are being our regular wacky selves by uprooting all five of us, our two ankle-biting dogs, and all of our possessions from the house that we have put hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into remodeling and making just the way we want it, and moving into the house the Wife grew up in, which, while having several advantages, also needs hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of remodeling to make it just the way we want it. So far, the whole process has been nothing but a laugh-a-minute riot. I can tell you're jealous.

Actually, it has gone quite smoothly so far, although everything we do seems to take approximately a billion times longer to do than we originally expected. We had hoped to have our old house completely empty, except for the furniture and stuff we are going to "stage" in it, and put it on the market last Saturday, May 11th. Well, that didn't happen. Unless you have been living under a rock, which doesn't sound like such a bad option when you think about it, you probably realize that today is May 16th, which is at least 5 days after May 11th, and we aren't even done emptying out our old house yet. It's not even close to being ready to put on the market yet. The only way we will be ready to list our house by May 11th is if we wait until May 11th of next year, which may be more realistic than we imagine...

I'm not here to write about the trials and tribulations of moving, though. At least, not directly. I want to write about all of the stuff that we have accumulated in our house over the past 7 years. If you like stuff, you would be truly impressed by the piles of it that we have had to pack up for this move of ours. I would never have imagined how much stuff we had in our comfortable-but-not-overly-spacious single family dwelling that we have dwelled in since 2006. Granted most of it has been accumulated since we became the owners of our first child, the Girl. Our acquisition of her also meant the acquisition of virtual boatloads of baby-inspired stuff - from clothes to cribs to blankets and toys, babies require a lot of stuff. Before we had children, I guess I figured they only needed a bottle, a few diapers, and some kind of bed-type thing. I was so naive.
Yeah, I think we need to get rid of some of our stuff. This is a photo of the Baby's nursery!
Being somewhat less naive now, I have come to the realization that our herd of kids probably will be requiring new and/or bigger stuff as they get bigger. So, after thoughtfully discussing it with my beloved Wife, we have decided to institute a "Buy Something/Sell Something" rule in our household. Every time we buy something new, we need to make room for it by getting rid of something old. We're not trying to break even, financially speaking; we're worried more about the space all of the stuff takes up. So, like when we need to buy the Girl some new ballet slippers, we need to either sell or donate some baby toys that no one plays with any more. Or, when the Boy outgrows his current tricycle, we need to sell or donate it when we get him a new bike. Or, when Daddy wants a new fly rod, he has to sell something like, say, a pencil. Now that I think about it, we have a lot of useless pencils laying around the house...That last scenario is starting to sound like a pretty good idea. Anybody got a home for a nice, shiny pencil? I'll let you have it cheap.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Odd Fact of the Day

Not that anyone cares to know even more about me than they already know, but I am about to disclose my very first Scott's Odd Fact of the Day. Most of my friends know that I am a huge jumble of odd facts, weird quirks, and useless what-have-you's, and, as my friend, Mo, would say, I am possibly the strangest person you may ever come across. So it behooves me (whatever that means!) to write about one of those weird quirks, just to let all of you reader(s) know me a little better.

Here is the very first Scott's Odd Fact of the Day:

I am completely unable, no matter how hard I try, to get myself to write or highlight in any of my books. There, I said it. I can't do it. I can not get myself to deface the written word, no matter how much I want to.  I see other people openly highlighting and scribbling in their books, and I become unequivocally jealous of their freewheeling, devil-may-care mastery of this art. I yearn to be able to do it. I ache when thinking about how freeing it would be to jot down important thoughts and highlight meaningful snippets of prose that I would like to be able to find again at a moment's notice. I make attempt after attempt at doing so, but each time my pen or highlighter gets close, my hand gives way. It's a terrible curse, or at least it's slightly odd. Maybe some day I will finally find a way to fulfill this dream.
I can't do this, no matter how hard I try. I know, it's weird, isn't it?

OK, that is my first Scott's Odd Fact of the Day. If you want to find out more odd facts, just keep reading this blog. More are bound to turn up, sooner or later. Whether anybody wants that or not.

The Greatest Song of the 1980s, So Says Me

I know a little about the 1980s; in fact, I'm kind of an expert. I came about my expertise honestly - by living through every single day of the decade. Yup, when it comes to the 1980s, I can pretty much remember every important detail like it was yesterday. OK, maybe not yesterday, but less time than, how long has it been since the 80s ended? 24 years? Holy cow, that's a long time ago! I am getting old! At least my memory is still good. What were we talking about again?

Oh yeah, the 1980s. Yup, there was a lot of great music back in the 80s. And a lot of mediocre music. I think it is safe to say that I have heard pretty much every song ever recorded in the 1980s, and I am about to reveal the greatest song from the decade.

There were a lot of great songs back then, but the greatest song of the decade epitomizes what made 80s music great: awesome guitar riffs, addictive drum beats, a melody you can hum, lyrics that combine drama, intrigue and humor, and a really cheesy video with a statuesque blonde model. Oh, and it was performed by a one-hit-wonder, which was another thing the 1980s was full of. It's got it all!

I would like to say that I have been working diligently over the past 24 years to try and figure out just what song was the greatest song of the greatest decade ever, but in all reality, the idea that this song was, in fact, the best, just popped into my head this morning while I was frantically trying to scarf down my three eggs and catch all of the Cheerios the Baby was hurling all over the dining room. For some reason this song popped into my head, and the light bulb went off.

So, now, without any further delay, the Greatest Song of the 1980s, as determined by me, the only person whose opinion matters, at least on this blog: "Ah! Leah!" by the bespectacled Donnie Iris.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bad Timing

My timing has been off lately, and I can't seem to get it back on track. Maybe' it's just the way it's going to be from now on. I guess I could get used to having bad timing, if I have to.

My timing might be off in all facets of life, but it really shows itself on the two mornings each week that I take the Girl to preschool. Her preschool is attached to another school, which, by the looks of it, specializes in teaching juvenile delinquents, but that's a rant for another day. The part of the building that the preschool is in isn't real close to the main parking lot, so most of us preschool parents park in the special drop-off zone that is on the street right outside the main doors. It's usually quite convenient, since this drop-off zone is pretty much just for us.

The problem for me lately has been that, no matter when we show up for drop-off, all the parking spots in the drop-off zone are full. So I have to park near the far end of the building, and then spend great amounts of energy herding the Girl, the Boy, and the Baby back down to the entry doors. Then, after getting the Girl all situated in her classroom, the Boy, the Baby and I head back outside, and we always see that, miraculously, all the cars in the drop-off zone are gone! Our lonely minivan is all by itself, way at the other end of the building. If we had arrived a minute later, we could have parked right in front of the doors, and my herding of children would have been that much easier.

This has been the normal scene outside the Girl's preschool lately. No good. Photo courtesy of mottolicious.com
This has happened every time we have gone to school for at least a month or more. I have tried everything I can think of, which, when I write it down, doesn't seem like all that much: We pretty much just leave the house a little later each morning, in hopes that our timing will finally be right, all the other parents will already be gone, and we can finally get a parking spot close to the door. But, for some reason, that doesn't seem to be working. Even though we get there later and later, there still aren't any close parking spots. It's almost like all the other parents are conspiring against me...hmm.

I guess I could do the opposite, and try to leave the house a little earlier each day, to try and beat all the other parents to school. That would probably mean I would have to get out of bed earlier, though, wouldn't it?

...That seems a little harsh, so I guess I'm OK with my timing the way it is.