The Day the Music Died

It’s been a while since I’ve chronicled the latest sagas of the Yota.  (Previous post HERE.)  Our 1992, mouse gray, Toyota Camry keeps on ticking.  I think the thing I like the most about our car is that I care jack squat about it.  It’s one less thing that vies for my heart’s affection that has no business having a place in my heart’s affections.  That’s what THINGS do to us, isn’t it?  That’s what things do to me anyway.  Nice things are… nice.  And there’s probably nothing wrong with nice things.  But big expensive nice things can make me crazy and I could go for a little bit less crazy most days.  Which is why I have a love hate relationship with our Yota.  Wish it was nicer, but glad I don’t care.  Case in point:

A few months ago, the whole family was coming home from a trip to Home Depot in Jeff’s truck.  Why we had a big huge 2×4 sticking out the back, I don’t remember… but there it was, red flag and everything.  As we pull into the alley, Jeff decides it would be a good idea to back into the driveway… I’m convinced boys always think it’s a good idea to back in.  I NEVER reverse in… anywhere… ever.  For one, I usually don’t see any advantage to backing into a space.  For two, I couldn’t do it if my life depended on it.  It would take me FOREVER, multiple tries, and unnecessary stress.  But Jeff is always backing into places.  Anyway, he starts backing up the driveway.  “Hey, don’t hit the Toyota” I half tease.  Ten seconds later…. CRUNCH!  What?!?!?!  That totally didn’t just happen.  I look at Jeff with huge eyes.  “Don’t even say it…” is his reply.  I keep my mouth shut, but inside I’m dying!  I can’t believe he just hit the car!  Getting out, sure enough, the red flagged 2×4 has smashed the rear tail lights of the Toyota.  That was a pretty big bummer.  But heck, I don’t really care… it’s the Yota.

The Toyota has survived the Minnesota winters… for the most part.  We were skeptical considering its lived it’s whole life in New Orleans.  But it starts when it’s cold and gets us from A to B.  There have been a few mishaps this year.  Three weeks ago, we had a play date with some friends.  It was about 1* outside.  When it came time to go home, I loaded everyone into the car.  What the heck?!?!?  The front passenger side door won’t close!  I slam it shut no less than 10 times, hoping it’s user error.  Nope.  Inside I go to sheepishly ask my friend Kristen for some duct tape… because really?  What else can you do?  I take three pieces and head back out.  That should do it.  I back up, turn to go forward and the door flies open like nobody’s business.  Uhhhh, guess I need more duct tape.  Back inside I go.  Fifteen pieces of duct tape later, we are good to go.

Check it

Check it

It doesn’t get much cooler than that people.  Need a piece of humble pie?  Try driving around with your door duct taped shut.  That will do it for you.

A few weeks ago, the alternator on the Yota went out.  It had unfortunate timing.  After Jeff’s Dad’s funeral, Jeff drove his mom home and I followed in our car.  As he was unloading her car in the frigid -20* weather, Ava, Oakley and I waited in our running car for him.  Hmmmm, why is the battery light on?  I don’t know.  “Hey Jeff!!”  I yell out the door.  He doesn’t hear me and it’s freaking cold outside.   Guess I’ll ask him when he’s done.  5 minutes later… hmmm, are the dash board lights dimming?  That’s weird.  5 mintues later… hmmm, what?!?!?  There are no more lights!!!  “Hey Jeff! I think there is something wrong with the car….”    I literally get those words out of my mouth and the car dies.  Great.  After replacing the alternator the next day… hallelujah! our car radio is working again.  That thing hasn’t worked for at least 2 years.  Getting in the car on Friday to head to an appointment, what?!!?  No radio!  And that was close to the last straw for me.  Can we just get a working radio?!?!!?

In conclusion, here is my list of requirements for our next car, in no particular order:

– working radio.  I guess I care a little bit if it has a CD player.  An MP3 player would be nice, but not required.

– keyless entry.  I don’t even care if it has a remote start, I just want to be able to unlock the DOORS with a remote.

– 4 windows that roll down… all the way.

– it must be manufactured in this millennium… which isn’t asking for much, it’s 2013 people.

That’s it.  That’s my list.  I’m not hard to please here.  But in the mean time, I’m still thankful for the Yota, that it runs like a clock… and that I don’t care a stitch about it.

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Poopy Monday

I was upstairs in our bedroom this morning when I heard splashing coming from the bathroom.  I had last seen Ava in the bathroom, on the potty chair, doing her thing.   Oakley had been with me in the bedroom but had toddled out a few minutes earlier.  He likes to be where ever Ava is.  Uh-oh.  This is not adding up to anything good.

“Hey… what are you guys doing??”  I asked as I hurried out of the bedroom.   Seconds later, here is the scene that meets my eyes.

Ava is standing in the middle of the bathroom, stark naked from the waist down, her pajama bottoms around her ankles.  She is holding a rubber ducky that looks like it may have just taken a swim in a poop puddle.  The floor of the bathroom is smeared with poo, which Ava has been industriously trying to clean up with wet wipes.  There are about 8 used wipes in a pile near the toilet.  Oakley is standing by the toilet; my guess is that he has been splashing in the water, thus alerting me to the current situation.  He has poop all over the front of his pajamas and on the bottoms of his feet, and upon seeing me, steps into the hallway for some lovin’.   AHHHHHH, NOOOO!  There is now poop in the hallway.  Ava’s business is still in the potty chair.  I return to the rubber ducky.  Why is there a rubber ducky covered with POOP?!?!?!

I’ll let that sink in for a minute….

“Don’t worry Mama, I’m cleaning it up!”  Ava’s proud proclamation while smearing more poo with a wet wipe.

A few facts that add to this scenario… Ava continues to be on a magnesium supplement.  This supplement gives her diarrhea.  We are also trying to get Ava to use the potty independently.  She has been potty trained since turning 2 years old, but using the potty on her own has been slow coming as she regained strength and dexterity after this summer.  She has been pretty enthusiastic about taking over the business of all that is potty since we instated an incentive program (a sponge capsule for every successful trip to the potty that doesn’t require assistance.)  She has taken it so far as to even emptying the poopy potty her self, which I’m not such a fan of, but don’t want to discourage the enthusiasm.

Ahhhh, hence our current situation.

“JJJEEEFFFFF!!!!  I need some help!”  Good thing it’s Monday.  Jeff comes up the stairs, stands in the bathroom doorway for a moment in disbelief… it’s like shock and awe people, shock and awe.  He then starts laughing.  What else can you do?

“One of us is going to have to get dirty.”

Where do you even start with such a mess?  Oakley was deposited into the bathtub, stripped and left contained.  I’m guessing he was the main culprit for the poopy duck.  I cannot imagine Ava thinking it would be a good idea to put a rubber ducky in a poopy potty.  Oakley however… I can see him thinking that would be a good idea.  How poop got all over the floor is still a mystery.  Perhaps they were waddling the duck over to the toilet for a wash off.  I don’t know and I haven’t asked.

Jeff got the paper towels out while I sanitized the duck.  Pajamas got rinsed and spot sprayed.  Bathroom floor and children cleaned up.  Life has resumed.

There are several bright sides to this story.  At least it wasn’t in the crib, tile is easier to clean than sheets… Ava has been trying to do things by herself!!… Jeff was home to help clean up the mess.  The moral of this story is… when in doubt, laugh it out.

American Housewife

Today was like a rite of passage for me.  I bought my first grown up vacuum.

I think I was about 12 years old when our family piled into our blue suburban, drove the 1.5 hours to Rapid City and got my mom a vacuum.  We went to a vacuum store and everything.  It was called the Princess II and my mom still uses it.  My biggest memory of the Princess II is that it has a compartment where you can put a cotton ball sprayed with a scent.  While the vacuum runs, it disperses the lovely fragrance of whatever scent you choose.  We had vanilla.  It was a big deal getting that vacuum.  I also remember thinking that it was pretty lame that grown ups got so excited over a vacuum.

Well, my day of lameness has come.

I’ve been wanting a new vacuum for a while.  The vacuum I currently have was inherited upon my marriage to Jeff.  Jeff got it out of a trailer house in Wyoming.  The tenants just up and left it; Jeff decided to bring it home.  I’ll admit that it’s origins did not inspire much confidence in me… not that you can’t find a nice vacuum in a trailer house in Wyoming, but more because I don’t think people tend to leave nice vacuums behind.  In any event, it has done it’s job up until a few weeks ago.  And then it started making the sound.  You know the sound… the sound of vacuum death.

So I went on the hunt for a new vacuum.  I had one major requirement besides that it suck dirt… it had to be light.  Jeff and I have had a back and forth about where to store our vacuum.  He wants it in the basement; I say “Only if you are going to be the one hauling it up and down the stairs.”  Jeff doesn’t vacuum much.  The dying Bissell is a beast.  That thing has to weigh at least 20 pounds.  I loath carrying it up and down the stairs.  So I wanted the lightest vacuum I could find.

I took a Facebook survey.  Survey said Dyson was the way to go.  Dyson was not in the budget.  So the search continued.  I found myself wishing there was a door to door vacuum salesman that would find himself at my front door.  Do they even sell vacuums door to door anymore??  They should.  The concept is brilliant.  You can test the thing out in your own house.  If someone had knocked on my door selling a vacuum in the last three weeks, they would have probably made themself a sale.  As it was, I had to resort of internet browsing.  I hate internet browsing.  I need to FEEL it, SEE it, TRY it out.  The internet said there was a Hoover that was on sale at Sears that claimed to be super light.  So today I drove myself over to Sears.  And thus ensued my first vacuum buying experience.

I entered the vacuum section of Sears soon to be spotted by Aaron, my friendly Sears vacuum associate.  I’ll say he didn’t look like the type who would be doing a whole lot of vacuuming himself, but vacuums were his area none-the-less.  He showed me the Hoover.  12 lbs is a lot heavier than you’d think.  The picture online showed a lady holding it with 2 fingers… I don’t think so.  Hmmmm, what else you got for me Aaron.

One hour later, Aaron has sold me a vacuum.  It is nothing like I thought I would end up buying.  It’s a canister vacuum.  It has a retractable cord.  I swear the thing weighs 4 lbs.  It’s neon orange…. I KNOW!  Who the heck makes a vacuum neon orange??  Who the heck BUYS a vacuum that’s neon orange??  Me I guess.

In all it's glory... the picture I sent to Jeff from Sears

In all it’s glory… the picture I sent to Jeff from Sears

Got my vacuum home and ASSEMBLED it MYSELF… no husband required.  I did have the help of Ava and Oakley of course.  They were crawling all over that thing.  Oakley doesn’t know what to think of the new vacuum.  He pretty much just stands right in the way and stares at it.  Ava has taken a huge liking to it.  She spent a big chunk of the afternoon vacuuming for me.  Granted, it was the same space over and over, but doggone, that’s one clean spot now.

Remember this day children, remember this day.  The grown up vacuum has come home.