Sunday, August 23, 2015

"Laid back sippin' on milk and juice"

It doesn't really take long for people to realize I'm raising four young kids when they get a glimpse of my life. From my constant posting pictures of my kids to the fact that I have my kids artwork plastered all over my office like fine works of art, which they are... duh ;),  it's pretty apparent my life is summarized as a working, single dad.

My office. Fancy, right?

However, I would say the single most identifying trait that captures our little clan of 5 would be "the van". I know what you're thinking. Minivans are pretty cool now. I mean, yeah they are minivans, but at least they are getting a little more stylish and have cool features like rotating seats, build in dvd players, etc. Yep, all that is true, expect for the fact, that when I say I drive a minivan I mean it. We roll in a 2003 Chrysler Town and Country.  No frills here kid, just pure all american dadness.

Not actually my van. It's too dark outside to take a picture of mine. 
This is pretty close, except alot cleaner with less dents and scraped off paint :)

This van was actually my Nana's. She gave it to me when she got too old to drive anymore. (Side note: I miss my nana. She died a few years ago :/) I was and still am super grateful for this van. I mean, is it my dream car? Nope. Does it run super great now? Nope. However, I don't have any car payments. Honestly, though it's the perfect car for us though. It's the perfect mix about "running semi-well enough that I can trust to drive it, but not well enough that if it a grocery cart rams into it in the parking lot or if my driveway developed a sudden sinkhole and it got swallowed into the depths of the earth, I wouldn't be super upset. 

In fact, I kind of love the fact I drive a run down and banged up minivan. There's really no pressure to keep the interior in super good condition. I mean, I've hauled everything from firewood to lawnmowers in this bad boy. The interior carpet is somewhat of an abstract art project of cheez-its, pixie sticks powder, and those little church papers they give your kids when they leave nursery. Seriously though church nursery workers, do you really expect me to read 7 pages of how Tommy learned to forgive his sister for accidentally flushing his baseball card down the toilet? I have a hard enough time trying to keep my kids from wiping their butts on the toilet seat. But I digress, our car is a constant mess. You have absolutely no idea how many dried frogs I've found under Neela's seat. (Speaking of Neela, she just ran into my room to tell me she is starting a pet babysitting business, but wants to specialize in watching baby elephants. So if you are going out of town anytime soon and your trunked pet needs a weekend home, please consider Neela to care for it.)

Another reason, it's nice is I don't have to stress about Stevie decorating her window with My Little Pony stickers or Titus ripping a whole in his seat to make a holder for his power ranger sword. Yeah, they get in trouble and we need to cherish and respect what we have. They get taught that alot, but kids will be kids. In Stevie's eyes, she was just making the van pretty and Titus was just gearing up for a monster attack to protect the family as the blue ranger. 

And yes, I've seen all of the "cool minivan parent" commercials. I'm not buying it, but something about that van was just too clean for me. That's pure Hollywood lies right there :)

Notice how they left out the line about
 "I got 4 old sippy cups baking in the sun, 
it will take me getting on my hands and knees before that smell is gone."

Also, if I happen to meet someone that could accept the fact that they might have to move 7 pounds of littlest pet shop toys and a giant minnie mouse plush out of the front seat, they would be pretty cool in my book. Honestly though, what woman could resist the offer... "What up girl, you wanna grab some Happy Meals in my '03 town and country?" 

Our motto on cleanliness

Fun fact about our van, Titus loves it because on vacation he always gets his own little bathroom. I don't know if anyone out there has someone in your family like this, but I promise that kid pees about every 20 minutes. A four hour trip can easily morph into an all day trek, if I don't play my cards right. Back to the bathroom, it all started when we were driving back from seeing my parents in Alabama and had been on the road a.l.l.d.a.y. Of course he had to pee again, there was no rest stops or exits in sight, so I let him pee in a little sandbucket from the trip while we were driving. Once he did, everyone's bladder was suddenly about to burst. This is the honest truth, my girls were squatting over that little sandbucket driving down the interstate, laughing and making up songs about peeing in the car. Eventually, I found somewhere to dump this thing. However, now when we go on trips Titus is sure to bring a bucket with him when he is loading up. No joke, it's like his favorite part of riding in the car. The other day driving home from church he started to laugh hysterically, so I turned around to find him unbuckled, standing up and peeing in an old Wendy's cup. That kid will pee anywhere. Anywhere. 

From first glance our van is kind of crappy with it's peeling paint and dents; however it's not the outside that matters, it's the inside. Oh yeah, the inside looks even worse. I know we are probably flagged as "that car" at the school drop off line every morning and I could probably walk out there right now and scrape together about 20 old french fries from underneath the seats, but in the grand scheme of things, I love having a "lovingly used" van. It's just something else that I'm sure I will miss when I'm old and my car is clean and boring. 

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