Monday, August 29, 2016

The Story of Our Bathrooms

I am sure you have always wanted to hear the story of our bathrooms. Well, today is your lucky day!!

We have three bathrooms in our house, but when we first moved in only two of them got used. The tiny master bath in our bedroom was used by the Wife and me, and the medium sized bathroom down the hall was used by our kids, which we only had three of at the time. The biggest bathroom in the house, which is downstairs, almost never got used, because we are your typical American family, meaning we are all too lazy to walk down the stairs.

A year ago or so, that all changed, because the shower in our tiny master bath started leaking into the basement, but thankfully our big, unused bathroom was directly below it, so nothing of value got ruined. It did mean that we had to do something about the leak, though, so of course we decided to gut our tiny master bathroom so that we could fix the problem, and re-do it to our liking. The Wife and I considered forcibly taking over the medium-sized bathroom down the hall, and kicking our kids down to the bathroom in the basement, but we decided that making a 4-year-old go all the way downstairs every night in the dark when she wakes up at 4AM to go pee might cause much undue stress on the entire family, so we opted to move ourselves down to the bathroom in the basement, and leave the kids in the medium-sized bathroom down the hall.

Now that our master bathroom has been renovated, the Wife has moved back up there. I haven't been so quick to move my stuff out of the basement bathroom, though. It's kind of fun to have my own little oasis in the basement, if I must be honest. Plus, the fan in that bathroom is nice and loud, which is a bonus on those occasions when I don't want to hear any wailing and/or screaming from the rest of the house...

I was going to continue the Story of Our Bathrooms by going into the grim details of how children don't always remember that they need to flush the toilet after going to the bathroom, and how this fact continues to surprise me even though our children are all getting older, and how I often think that they should be old enough to remember such a simple rule, and how this is just one of the many things that I never thought about before I became a parent, and how I sometimes think I should write a book about all the things that have surprised me about parenting, but this post has gone on long enough already, so I will save all that stuff for another day. Keep your eyes peeled for The Story of Our Bathrooms, Vol. 2, coming soon! Oh goody!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Too Smart to Slide?

You might think, by the title of this post, that I might be writing about the sliding that can occur during a softball or baseball game. And knowing that I love to play softball, and that two of our kids, the Girl and the Boy, are playing baseball this summer, I can see how you might think that. But you would be wrong. Oh, so wrong! As I always do on this blog, I zigged when you thought I was going to zag. My zagging when you think that I would be zigging is a normal thing around here, so you better get used to it.

My first smartphone is on its way to my house as we speak. I have mixed feelings about this. For one thing, I have a strong feeling deep within me that it isn't all that healthy to be connected to the rest of the world at all times. It's good to have some down time every day to let my brain settle down and recuperate from the day's events. Some of you probably read that and thought "Scott's brain is always in down time...", but nobody asked you, so please keep your opinions to yourself, thank you very much!
Courtesy of LG

Secondly, I am going to miss my old slide phone. I feel like it and me have forged a special bond over the years. It seemed like my old slide phone always knew exactly what I was thinking. If I wanted to write a text, it would eagerly slide open to reveal its full keyboard. I knew where all the function keys were, so I could write a lengthy and boring text to any of my friends as fast as I could, even with my eyes closed. If I wanted to call someone, it would instantly advise me to hit speed dial number 2, because it knew that I almost never called anyone except the Wife. If I would drop my poor old slide phone and all of its pieces would come exploding off, which seemed to happen more often than I would care to admit, I would gingerly put it back together, and that old slide phone would seem to look up at me and say "Thank you for putting me back together with so much love!" Yup, we have had a special bond, my old slide phone and me. It's going to be sad to send it off to retirement...

But, on the other hand, once I get my new smartphone, it will kind of be fun to be connected to the world at all times. My kids will now be able to harass me at any time, trying to get me to let them watch their favorite Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons at all times of day. If one of the kids asks me why the wolverine is my favorite animal in all of God's Green Earth, not only can I tell them that they are as fierce as can be, but now I can find a youtube video showing one ripping the guts out of a grizzly bear 6 times its size. How much fun will that be?!?

So, as you can see, I have mixed feelings about getting my new smartphone. If you want to talk about it more, perhaps I can send you a long and boring text some day.

Friday, August 5, 2016

4 Records in One Day!

You probably don't pay as close attention to world records as I do, which is good, because I am about to claim that we just broke four of them in one day, and I don't need you calling me out on it...

Yes, we broke four, count them, 4, world records in one day. When I say we, I mean me and my family, which at this point in time includes the Wife, the Girl, the Boy, the Little One, and the Baby. If the kids were writing this they would probably say that our family also includes our two annoyingly yippy dogs as well, but I don't feel that way, plus our two annoyingly yippy dogs weren't with us at the time we broke the four world records any way, so they shouldn't be included in our glory.

It all happened on Tuesday afternoon. We were on our way home to Minnesota after spending a few days in the Africa-like heat of Wichita, Kansas and Bartlesville, Oklahoma. We were in Bartlesville for our nephew's wedding, which went as smoothly as possible, at least as far as I could tell. My job at the wedding was to get the flower girl, the Girl, to the venue on time, and then sit around and eat most of the food while waiting for things to happen. I think I accomplished that quite well, thank you very much. After the wedding we then motored over to Wichita to meet our newest baby cousin, and to show off our own newest baby. Our baby cousin showed his enthusiasm for meeting us by sleeping and crying loudly, and our baby showed her excitement for meeting her cousins by throwing most of her food on their floor. Babies can be difficult to impress some times...

So, any way, we were on our way home from Wichita on Tuesday. We made our first stop just after we crossed the border into Missouri, at one of our favorite places to visit while on the road, a QuickTrip gas station. I can't tell you how many QuickTrip hot dogs I ate on this trip, only because if I did you might get physically ill... So, we stopped at the QuickTrip in Kansas City, MO, and then didn't stop again until we reached the Trails Travel Plaza in Albert Lea, MN, which is a distance of 336 miles!!! None of us set foot in the state of Iowa on our way home! It was so cool!

This amazing feat singlehandedly broke 4 world records at the same time: Longest Distance Traveled By Car W/O Stopping by A Family With A Child Under 1 Year Old; Longest Distance Traveled By Car W/O Stopping by A Family With 2+ Girls; Longest Distance Traveled By Car W/O Stopping In A Vehicle Over 15 Years Old; and Longest Distance Traveled By Car W/O Stopping In A Vehicle With 3+ Dashboard Lights On.

I am super proud of our accomplishments, mostly because our van had stalled on our first attempt to leave the QuickTrip parking lot, so I was more than a little worried that we wouldn't get home at all that day. But, the old hunk of steel came alive and performed flawlessly the rest of the day. What a great day of breaking records!