“The dog did it.”

jody and iainMy son ran into our bedroom and slammed the door after some incident today. My wife immediately followed him in and discovered a puddle of piss on the carpet.

Dawn: Iain, did you pee on the floor?
Iain: No. The dog did it.

The dog was outside.

Maybe my son is getting up in the middle of the night and shitting over the living room carpet, too.

Keeping Kids Busy

iain's first soccer game june 2008My three year old son started playing soccer last week. My daughter’s in gymnastics and piano lessons. My wife goes to the YMCA for exercise regularly, and I play World Of Warcraft.

I watch less than a couple of hours of television a week, but the kids watch it a lot; it’s their baby-sitter. We want to reduce our dependency on it, keeping them busy with creative and engaging activities instead.

I know a couple people who are tv-less, which I respect a lot. I’m doing some googling about breaking the tv-habit, but I could use any advice and ideas:

How do you keep a 7 year old and 3 year old busy
without a television and without destroying the house?

Moving Day

3:51pm. I’m moving today. I’ve got myself a Uhaul cargo van out front. I just began filling it up with the large items, mostly bookcases. There’s still a lot of junk left.

Jenny and I made the final inspection of the new house this morning and now we’re waiting for our lawyer to call and tell us the sellers have our cheque. Then we move in. Until then, we’re not allowed on the property. So I’m here filling up the cargo van. I may drop in throughout the day to update this post. Or maybe not.

First question: Do all Uhaul vans originate from Arizona? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Uhaul van that didn’t have an Arozona licence plate.

4:40pm. The van is full, but we still can’t go to the house. We called our lawyer and she said everything looks good. Now she’s waiting for some other document, whatever it is. And once that document arrives, we can start moving into the house.

I’m going to write a post in a week or two about how insane it is trying to buy a house in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Anyone living off a moderate income — you know, average folk like me — have almost no chance of finding a house in this market. Finding this house was like winning the lotto. If an expert told me we got the best possible deal anyone could hope for under the current market conditions, I wouldn’t doubt them. Just before we came across this house, we’d resigned ourselves to living in a tiny condo or a real run down place — the “handy man’s special.” Thank jebus we managed to dodge that bullet. For the longest time, it felt like it was coming right for us.

Lots of dust behind our bookshelves.

5:15pm. We’re still waiting for our lawyer to call us and say we can take possession of the house.

First she gave us the impression that the sellers simply had to accept our cheque and we could go in. She said, “That’ll be in about 30 minutes.” That was 4 hours ago.

We’ve called her since and she tells us documents have arrived, but now more are on the way. So we still have to wait. We just called her again and now all we’re getting is her voice mail.

We’ve been looking for a house for the past 6 months. The longest 6 months of my life.

7:00pm. We’re moving. Gotta go.

9:02pm. Done for the day. Our lawyer not calling us was a misunderstanding. She called our real estate agent who assumed she was going to call us next. She should have called us anyway, but whatever. Who cares. Time to order a pizza and collapse.

Looking forward to seeing how crazy the cats go when we bring them up, which will be in about 5 minutes. Over and out.

Reduce Clutter

The Minimalist’s Guide to Fighting (and Beating) Clutter Entropy:

…no matter how much we simplify our lives, even after a huge decluttering session and after a vow not to buy anything ever ever ever again … entropy always always sets in.
Here are my favorite tips for beating clutter entropy, for the minimalists among you.

My household could (should) put those tips to practice: they’re logical and easy. The one tip I like a lot is Designate a home for everything, and be fanatic: every item should have a storage place – bills, books, receipts, manuals… find a place in the house to store different types of crap and ensure the items are placed there.

I’m always looking for ideas on how to simplify and organize my life, although reading about the ideas and then implementing them takes the most discipline.

Drinking Breast Milk Will Make You Smarter

Breastfeeding Associated With Increased Intelligence, Study Suggests:

The largest randomized study of breastfeeding ever conducted reports that breastfeeding raises children’s IQs and improves their academic performance…
“Our study provides the strongest evidence to date that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding makes kids smarter”…

I was never breastfed (obvious, I know), but my kids were.

Someone posted a slightly amusing (and expected) comment about it on digg:

If it works on children, does it work on adults?