October 20, 2014

Like Riding a Bike? HA!

Learning how to ride a bike shouldn't be so freaking hard.

There is a phrase "It's like riding a bike" for a reason.  Once you get on, you start to pedal, and you go.  It's pretty simple; in theory anyway.  I like to think that I am a pretty good teacher when it comes to certain things like riding a bike, but it turns out I am horrible at it.  It took me over two years to finally get my oldest son to ride a bike and my youngest... well he has the basics, but I just don't have the patience to teach him.

I get more frustrated trying to teach them, than they get by trying to learn.  I think there are seven phases that parents go through when they try to teach their kids how to ride a bike.  From excitement to annoyance, our emotions run the gamut.

Find out more in my latest installment for the Trusted Choice Blog.



John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?

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October 15, 2014

How I Made My Toilet the Coolest Toilet in Town

The other day my son locked me in the bathroom.  It was a rare moment of peace on an otherwise crazy morning.  Sometimes I go in there to escape.  I might not even have to go to the bathroom, but unlike a lot of other parents my kids actually leave me alone in the bathroom.  I will let you draw your own conclusions as to why.

I don't know what it is about the bathroom that turns all of us into readers.  I never read anywhere else in my home, but as soon as my butt hits the toilet seat, I will read ANYTHING. It's not even my phone or a magazine, sometimes you just pick up anything with words on it and give it a glance.  Have you ever actually read the side of a tube of toothpaste?  I have.  Those little inserts in magazines?  Sometimes you get desperate.

Whenever I go to the bathroom I have this irrational fear that a snake is going to slither up the pipe and somehow find its way into the bowl that I am sitting on top of.  I know that the likelihood of that happening is extremely rare, but I have seen pictures... and it literally scares the crap out of me.  I know that others have the same fear of spiders lurking down there, but we learned a song in first grade called "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" that easily puts those fears to rest, at least for me.

Most people probably don't give their toilet a second thought.  The only thing that they care about is whether it matches the decor of the rest of the bathroom.  I was the same way, because I thought all toilets were the same.  You put the seat down, you do your business, you push the little handle down and everything gets taken away to the sewage treatment plant.

That was before I knew Kohler made something better.

Kohler Touchless Toilet
My toilet doesn't have a handle.  I kind of wish that my kids were younger and still believed in the type of magic that opens those automatic doors at the grocery store.  Because this would be the coolest way make sure that they flush the toilet.  As it stands now, they flush it most of the time and the idea of a Touchless Toilet is one that they just don't seem to care about.  My kids only use the bathroom to actually go to the bathroom and all of that other stuff is lost on them.  They don't read, they aren't looking for a moment of peace (they have never created a moment of peace) and the bathroom is the last place they want to be.

But I think it is the coolest thing EVER.  And in five minutes time I could install it in my existing toilet!

The idea that I can just wave my hand over the top of my toilet and everything goes on its merry way makes me feel like David Copperfield every time that I go to the bathroom.  I know it's not that much effort to push the little lever down, but when you can get your hands on something that makes an otherwise boring technology a little more "exciting"... it's just something that you have to have.



But wait... there's more!

As you get older you have a tendency to get up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom more and more.  The problem with that is that either you turn on all the lights to go about your business which causes you to wake up more than you want and you can't fall back asleep, or that you leave the lights off and hope that your aim is really good in the dark.  More often than not I try for the latter, but for some reason, even though I am standing directly over the bowl I don't hear the stream hitting the water in the toilet.  Either it gets all over the toilet or a big puddle forms on the floor.  I put a nightlight in the bathroom to try and alleviate this issue but there just isn't enough light cast in the bowl to give me a good target... until now.

     
Kohler makes this really cool nightlight toilet seat that can be retrofitted on your existing toilet. It took all of about two minutes to remove my old one and put this new one on.  The "task" light stays on for five hours at a time, so all that you have to do is set the time you want it on for and there will be no more yellow stains surrounding your toilet in the morning.  I have woken up more well rested since the day we installed this in our bathroom. I'm almost to the point where I want to wake up in the middle of the night just to see the cool blue glow of my toilet bowl. A toilet with its own lighting system, how cool is that?

Who knows what they will think of next?  Perhaps a wifi enabled toilet that we can flush using our phone?  Or one that acts as its own sewage treatment facility giving you clean drinking water as you flush?  Whatever it is, I'm getting it... because I want the coolest toilet in town and you should too.

*Kohler supplied me with both of these products for review.  All opinions are my own, unless my wife tells me otherwise.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?

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