March 27, 2012

The Month of March VS the Family Van

Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, the month of wind and taxes.  ~Ogden Nash

This poem lived on our super cute round chalk board for weeks and lives on on our homemade calendars for the month.  But I find myself saying in my head a thousand times a day.  No more so than on days when we are in the car a lot.  Why?  Well, because the family van is messy, to say the least.  I could blame the kids - I do blame the kids when I'm feeling on the spot - but my dad would tell you that it's all me.  When I was college bound, I took a little trip and as a surprise, my dad took my car to the shop while I was gone and had a cd player put in it for me to replace my broken cassette deck.  The card said, "A little something for your rolling dumpster."  I vowed to do better.  I vow it every January.  But there is some security in the mess.

We show up at the roller skating rink and the boys have no socks on.  No problem!  I can dig a few pairs out of the rolling dumpster!   A friend's baby has an accident in the park, threatening to cut our play date short?  No problem!  I'm sure I've got a pair of pants of every size in there some place!  The few times that Joe has cleaned it out from top to bottom, I've found myself in need of a kleenex, a wipe, a pair of socks, something, and not been able to find it!  So its safe to say that I've come to appreciate my messy car-keeping ways.

Still, the month of March has me rethinking things.  I arrived at the home of complete strangers who were nice enough to open their home for me to observe for my book research and when the kids opened the side doors, trash blew out all over the yard.  Sure, it was only a few cracker wrappers, but how embarrassing!!!  This windy month has bits of this and that blowing out of the van every single time we get out of the van.  It's not like when I was single and only one door opened at a time.  Nope.  With 3 kids, just about every single door opens all at once upon our arrival and that allows the wind to whip right through, carrying pages of school work, index cards with directions jotted on the back, those free bookmarks on the library checkout desk that never quite make it into an actual book - all of that just gets sucked right out the door!  But it ends this week.  Yes siree!  Here's the plan!

I want to make 3 of these little babies for the backs of the seats.
I found the free pattern/tutorial over at Finny Knits!  One will be a trash bag and the other two will be book, dinosaur, and hotwheels storage because every family van needs some of that!

And in coordinating fabric I am going to make something inspired by this...
from over at In My Own Style!  But I'm thinking that instead of making it super hard with sealer and an underpinning of laminate, I want to firm it up with some stiff interfacing and make it two sided.  My vision is that when one side gets gross, I can flip it to buy myself another week, and then I can toss it all in the wash.  That's the thought anyway.

Why a rug in the van?  Well, it's funny story, really.  You see, we used to remove our unused passenger seat in the middle row for better gas mileage and then toss it back in when friends or family needed to catch a ride with us.  But then one day we put it back in the van carelessly and it was stuck.  It was stuck by one latch and the release mechanism was entirely dependent upon the back latches being in place.  We could neither remove nor ride in this seat.  For months.  Maybe a year.  I don't know how long this drama lasted.  We hit the Kia Sedona owner forums and found other people who had carelessly tossed their seat back in and were stuck with the same problem, but found no solution.  Joe and I spent countless hours wrestling with it, but nothing worked.  Finally we had our car guys give it a whirl while we were there getting our tires rotated.  One guy tried with all his might, and couldn't get it.  So he recruited all of the men in the shop to hold latches just so while he tried again.  I guess since he had used all his might the first time, he did again even though people were holding the release latches open for him.  The result is that it flew off and bloodied his face.  Yeah.  Our mechanic was mauled by our van seat.  I felt like I should send a fruit basket!  Anyway, after a man shed blood for our seat, we avoid putting it in the van altogether unless we're taking a long vacation with a bonus passenger.

Long story not so short, we have a giant open space in our van that is currently filled with nothing but crumbs.  The little concave places where the seat hooks in fill to the brim with crumbs and grossness and since that seems unavoidable, I'm going to make a cute rug to coordinate with my cute trash and activity bags, and just cover the crumb caves!

So, hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll have a super chic mom-mobile that won't cause me embarrassment every time the doors fling open.  And hopefully the kids will be so inspired by the makeover that they will want to actually use the trash bag.  I know.  Not likely.  But a mom can dream!

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