Friday, March 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes

1. I was thinking to myself today, "With the van dying, I just didn't think to give up something for lent this year." That's right. The van that died on Fat Tuesday. The van I have lived without since Ash Wednesday. That van. It has prevented me from fasting from a privilege or taking up a new discipline. Right.

What? I'm a little slow sometimes.

But I think I got Lent covered this year.

2.  Yesterday after the two big kids caught the school bus, I pushed the two little ones in the stroller a playground. It's a two-mile walk, and the kids + stroller weigh 111 pounds, so I was feeling really virtuous. The weather was beautiful and we were enjoying ourselves when the three-year-old decided she needed to use the potty. We walked to the YMCA to make use of the facilities, and as soon as we got in the door, the sky went DARK. Ten minutes later, it was hailing. 

I was relieved that we were inside before the hail started. I let the kids play in the YMCA nursery for two hours while we waited out the worst of the storm. When I finally pushed them home, it was still raining a little, but not too bad.

See? I told you it would be AN ADVENTURE.

3. Knowing that adjustments to a van-less life would be time-consuming, I bought a ton of convenience foods for this week. I think almost everything we have eaten this week was pre-packaged by someone else. Some of you may remember my Slow Food Experiment, and know that I am not a big fan of chemical ingredients in my food. But sometimes the time-saving is necessary.

It made me realize how much a life of natural transportation (walking) is in conflict with a life of natural eating (cooking). There really is not time to do both, especially if you have a large family.

4. The kids love the school bus so far. This is a relief to me.

5. In case you did not know, there is no smoother way to be accepted as part of the landscape of a neighborhood than pushing adorable, friendly toddlers around. I have not received the glare of death from a single stranger. Instead, I get big smiles and, from other moms, sympathetic commiseration on the weight of strollers. Three-year-olds are the universal ambassador. I suggest the UN find a way to use this.

6. My parents want to buy us a used minivan. I have mixed feelings about this, but decided that refusing their gift would be more about my stubbornness than anything useful. The kids would have to give up the most if we stayed van-less, so I agreed. The plan is for my husband to fly down to Texas sometime around Easter, and then drive the van back home.

7. So will I continue our new pedestrian lifestyle after we have a minivan? I don't know. I plan to have the kids ride the bus for the rest of the year, so that will inspire us to continue some of it. But once the heavy Cincinnati summer heat starts, I doubt I'll be willing to walk much of anywhere. I am a weak creature.


  1. I am so glad your kids love the bus.

  2. I stopped in from 7 Quick Takes- Today was my first time participating! My three year old has never met a stranger, ever. Hi! I'm Noah! Hi! Hi, who are you? It's adorable and a bit embarrassing. I don't think I could go carless, but if I lived close enough to school to walk (No busses here) I'd be happy to try.

  3. I think it is great that you have soldiered on and tried to see the good. I also think it is good that you are accepting your parents gift. There's no grace in deliberately refusing gifts, for anyone.

  4. Veronica-
    I haven't stopped by here in a while because you took a little break back there and I didn't realize you'd started blogging regularly again.
    I'm sorry to hear of your van predicament. I wish I had a vehicle large enough to take you places, as I live very close to you, but right now we have 3 kids in a Buick LeSabre. However, said 3 kids are ages 3 and under so I do not go out alone with them, which means our car doesn't get much use during the week. If you ever need to borrow it, seriously, you are welcome to it. I do a lot of walking with my kids, sling, wagon and all, but I can't imagine being forced to walk everywhere because some days it's just not feasible. Plus it's going to be hot soon, and very soon if things keep going like they are.

    By the way, I always thought you blogged under your real name. Now I am very curious because I wonder if I have heard of your real name, or if I know someone who knows you. The West Side is a small world.


  5. Anonymous3/17/2012

    YAAY! You're getting a new van!

    Also, 3 year olds break down barriers faster than anything! I learned this in Mauritania. No one could be cold or distant or suspicious of me with my sturdy toddler twins! And yes, the UN should take notice!