A Burning Question About Toilets.

Last week, my husband bought us a new toilet. During the process, I felt like I earned a “Low Maintenance Wife of the Year” Award:


I MEAN. I don’t care whether the toilet paper rolls from the top or the bottom, and I don’t care about the geometric shape of my toilet. I’m a catch, y’all.

The timing for a new toilet was ideal, as our master bathroom currently looks like this:


Yes, the toilet is unhooked from its pipes and still has water in it. No, I don’t know why. No, I wouldn’t recommend flushing it.

Last time we redid a bathroom (the kid’s bathroom that time), I did not replace the toilet, and I’ve highly regretted that heinous oversight since that day – especially since their toilet was what caused the problem.

So I remembered my past mistakes and was determined not to repeat them.

I asked the construction crew leader about it.

“Hey – I’d like to get a new toilet while everything is ripped up. Can you make that happen?”

“Sure. I figured you’d want one. You know, one of the past residents in this house was a smoker.”

“What? What’s that got to do with my toilet?”

“Oh – you know those brown spots on the rim? Smokers often put their cigarettes on the toilet seat.”





“Yeah. Come here. I’ll show you. See those burn marks?”


“Smokers do that all the time. They have burns on their sinks, burns on their toilet seats…”


“Okay. I get the sink thing. But the TOILET SEAT?!”

“Yup. See it all the time.”

“Do they put the cigarette back in their MOUTH after resting it on the toilet seat?”

“I don’t know, ma’am. I’m not a smoker.”

“WHY the toilet seat??”

“I couldn’t tell ya.”

I was astounded.

Life didn’t make sense anymore.

What was I to do with this information?

And how exactly could he be so certain about this practice but then have no further details? You can’t just drop that bomb and give me nothing to my follow-up questions.

Clearly not all people who choose the pastime of smoking also opt for the hobby of setting their cigarettes on the toilet seat. OBVIOUSLY. But that did not stop me from asking all of my smoking friends and family if this was a norm. They all adamantly said that it was definitely not normal and that they’d never heard of it.

But I had so many questions.

1. Is the point of putting a cigarette on the toilet seat because you also are sitting on the toilet seat and don’t want to smoke and poop simultaneously?

2. If so, is it because it makes the cigarette taste like poop like when you have to change a dirty diaper in the middle of chewing your first bite of breakfast?

3. If so, doesn’t the cigarette still end up tasting like poop?

4. Do you ever worry about an explosion happening while combining your cigarette with the creation of methane gases? And should you really be moving your cigarette that much closer to the source of those gases?

5. DO YOU PUT THAT CIGARETTE BACK IN YOUR MOUTH. The answer to this question could (and probably will) change how I view humanity.

6. Is the smell of burning toilet seat helpful or harmful to the relaxation of your bowels?

7. Are you a bathroom smoker because you’re hiding your habit and if so, are you a current resident of my house?

I just don’t know what to do with this information. If you do, by all means – let me know.

Tonsillectomy: The Procedure.

When I first posted about my upcoming tonsillectomy, I was shocked at how many of you also had experienced this lovely procedure as adults. My second shock was how many thought it was the worst thing that ever happened to them.

This was not exactly, shall we say, encouraging. But I appreciated the heads up nonetheless – I often prefer to plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if I never make it there.

(And for the record you all also said that it was totally worth it and you never get sick anymore, too, so you weren’t complete Debbie Downers. Thanks for that.)

I was going to share about my surgery and the recovery all in one post, but a) it got too long, and b) the recovery still lingers on like the unwelcome odor after changing a poopy diaper. So first, the procedure.

May 21.

Chris woke me up at a ridiculous hour that should not exist, as we had to be at the hospital at 5:45. I played loud music all the way there, feeling unusually pumped for being awake before sunrise and imminently close to what all promised to be two weeks of mouth hell.

We arrived and I watched the sunrise through the dirty hospital waiting room glass.


The receptionist rudely interrupted my photo op to give me my paperwork and ask for my insurance card and driver’s license.

“Oh crap! I didn’t bring ANYTHING with me…<insert panic>…OH wait – my husband handled all that.”

Seriously. Marry a man who plans ahead on your behalf. It is SUCH a good choice.

Chris dug my wallet out of his backpack and handed it to me silently.

The receptionist asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

I filled out all of the paperwork, which asked me why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I wrote my explanation.

A nurse came and retrieved me to hook me into a super fancy hospital gown that has a backwards vacuum attached to it to fill me with warm, tingly air (I guess they got tired of keeping all of those hot blankets around in recovery. What HAS happened to southern hospitality?) While attaching my blowers, she asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

She then asked me to take a pregnancy test, to which Chris said, “If it makes a difference, I’ve had a vasectomy.”

She looked at us both in the eyes, then said “No, it doesn’t make a difference.”

I appreciated her vote of confidence in me.

The anesthesiologist came in to talk about all of my knock-out needs and asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

Another nurse came in to hook me up with the drugs that my anesthesiologist wanted me to have pre-anesthesia, and asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

The surgeon came in – the one who told me I must have a tonsillectomy one month prior, and asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I began doubting my presence in the hospital at that moment and wondering if I could unhook my own dress from the vacuum and if I did, what exactly would be visible through that large circular hole.

Instead, I explained.

Finally, just when I thought the explaining would never end, they took me back to the OR and knocked me out. At least when I woke up I wouldn’t be able to talk to the recovery nurses who would, I was positive, want to know why I chose to have a tonsillectomy.

(Because I am certain that my graceful Uvula will look better without my ugly bulbous tonsils crowding her out. There. I explained.)

I woke up to offers of popsicles and ice chips, but seeing as how I couldn’t hold my eyes open, thought all of these options were severely premature.

I worked on my eyeballs while listening to the conversations in the curtained-off recovery areas around me, trying to remember them all because they were SO bloggable.

(I remembered none.)

Finally, they brought Chris in to sit with me. After a minute, he informed me that I was way too lucid to record me coming out of anesthesia.

He sounded slightly disappointed.

He also told me that my voice hadn’t changed.

He sounded slightly relieved.

Then he told me about his conversation with my surgeon – that he told Chris my tonsils were “full of stones and seeds of infection” and that they would have kept getting me sick if we hadn’t gotten them removed.

I mused out loud that Tonsils are just like Jedi. They protect you and keep you from getting sick…unless they go to the dark side. Then they make you sick and you find out that they are your Daddy.

The only thing that really hurt were my calves. I asked the nurse if the knife slipped and WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH MY CALVES, and she said something vague about the effects of anesthesia. I was pretty sure they’d been doing some sort of experimentation on me and I wasn’t happy. I’ve done a lot of running work on those calves in the past year for them to get messed up during a MOUTH surgery.

(A couple weeks into recovery they started hurting again and I was certain I would die from blood clots due to anesthesia. I did not.)

She wheeled me to the car, and Chris took me home. I was surprised at how well I could talk and how not horrific my throat felt. We took a nap together that afternoon, me propped up in a sitting position and snoring like a bullfrog in heat, him laying next to me and pretending not to hear.

That afternoon, we talked about how not-so-bad I felt, yet how foreboding the whole thing was. Everyone had said that a different day that was the worst for them – Day 3, Day 5, Day 8….I felt as if I’d been pushed off a cliff and I was currently enjoying the ride down, but there was no way to stop the imminent fall. Or like I’d just stepped foot in a haunted house, and I would never know whether the next scary thing was the worst or if the worst was yet to come.

Foreboding. It’s my least favorite movie quality.

(Right after train wreck.)

Good thing I didn’t know that I would experience a buttload of both in the next month.

Recordkeeping All Year Long. {Free Homeschool Templates}

Warning: Homeschool post ahead.

I am not the most organized person. Based on my personality profile, I should be, but organization is the first thing that goes when life gets busy.

And life has been busy since approximately…2008.

However. One thing that I do stay on top of is our homeschool recordkeeping. I have several reasons for this departure from my status quo of laziness:

1. It gives me something to do to keep my impatience at bay when Ali is working on a particularly arduous worksheet. It’s either that or ferocious doodling, something in which I often also take part.

2. It helps me see how much we’ve accomplished through the day, week, and year.

3. It’s good accountability – after all, I’m accepting the responsibility of educating my child. What the crap am I thinking??

4. I can see when we get ahead. And when we get ahead, we get to take Fridays off.

When we started first grade, I couldn’t find a recordkeeping book that I liked, so I created my own on Excel. I’ve been using my template for two years now, and have continued to tweak it each week. I’ve also shared it with many people who have then edited it for their own needs, so it’s basically the Sisterhood of the Traveling Spreadsheet by now.

Free Homeschool Recordkeeping Template Downloadsclick image to download

Here’s how my highly objective system of homeschool recordkeeping works:

1. I write the work as we do it – NOT in advance. I don’t like crossing things out, and as I said, it gives me something to busy myself with while Ali actually does the work.

2. Ten “credits” counts as a second grade school day (I counted 8 credits as a school day in first grade). If we do double the work in a particular subject in one day, then it counts as 2 credits.

3. If we were especially aggressive and earned 50 or more credits by Thursday, then we get to skip school on Friday. We usually still do a little school on those days, but don’t stress about getting an entire day in.

4. Most importantly, I get to give myself a sticker for each credit earned. In rainbow order.

Free Homeschool Recordkeeping Template Downloads

Did my dedication to rainbow-order stickering fall off by the end of the year? Absolutely. But did I keep on keeping on with keeping up with my records? You bet.

Free Homeschool Recordkeeping Template Downloads

This seems like a weird time to bring up recordkeeping, what with school just getting out and all, but I do it now for a reason: I have added Summer recordkeeping this year.

Free Summer School Credit Recordkeeping Templateclick to download

In Alabama, you don’t have to be a legal homeschool student until second grade. As such, this past year was our first year to have to “count days” – i.e., school for a particular number of full school days.

We do not school all year, but the nature of our lives tends to swing toward the educational side, even in the summertime. Plus, I’ve decided to get Ali to do one lesson of math each morning during the summer to keep her brain from getting sloshy.

(Yes, that’s a verifiable school-child condition.)

Fortunately, her math curriculum came with an entire book of review sheets that we didn’t need during the school year, so we started the review book from the lesson we left off at and are going backwards. This seems weird to Ali. This seems perfectly logical to me.

BJU Math 3

By keeping up with our summer school log, we can count the things we do this summer as school days toward next school year. Not so that we can slack off next year, but so that we aren’t as stressed about getting our required 165-175 of days, and we can take off a few extra days around Christmas and other holidays.

Plus, I won’t feel guilty about the fact that I want to have a proper 1950’s summer and not start actual school until Labor Day.

Our school log will not look this busy all summer, especially since the kids are about to get a ten day break from me, but we had a busy first week…

Free Summer School Credit Recordkeeping Template

I, for one, find this extra bit of paperwork highly worthwhile – especially since by doing it, our summer can be just a little bit longer.

Click here to download the template for both sheets.