I'm back! We had a great time on vacation for a full week with extended family. Seventeen people together in a house on the lake!
One quick near-crisis story, then on to the rest of the catch-up:
Shoe-eating monster machine
Me, Jamie and the kids spent our nights at a resort this year, as the lakehouse is a little crowded for our growing family to sleep in. For the most part it worked out great.
On Tuesday after breakfast, we were preparing to leave the resort and go to the lakehouse to be with everybody. Jamie wasn't quite ready yet so I took the kids on a little walk to the resort's big hotel-type lobby. We actually stayed in a cabin so the kids hadn't even seen the lobby yet. It had an escalator. Escalators are awesome to kids -- at least an "8" on the Awesome-Meter. Of course they asked if we could go up and down on them for a while, so I obliged. We had a few minutes to burn.
On our final trip on the "down" escalator, Jack was doing his little Jackie dance that he is always doing. The boy never just stands or sits still, just like any other 3yo boy. Only this time when he kicked his leg back, something went wrong. His flip-flop got wedged into the side of the escalator step. And the flip-flop was getting sucked farther in every second. Jack started to scream.
I saw what was happening and somehow remained fairly level-headed. I could see exactly what needed to be done. First I tried pulling the whole foot/sandal out of the step. No dice. It was really jammed up in there. So far his toes weren't smashed, but they would be in a few more seconds.
Next I tried to get his foot out of the flip-flop. It should've been easy but I couldn't get it! Now my adrenaline was getting ramped up. I twisted and pulled his foot but couldn't remove it from the sandal. Jack was really screaming now. Samantha was too.
Strangely enough, two scenes from Die Hard came to mind at that moment. The first was when John McClaine was on the roof of the Nakatomi building and had tied himself to a fire hose to repel down. It worked, but the the hose came detached from the building and fell, nearly pulling him out a window. He could see exactly how to untie the hose, but couldn't get it loose until the absolute last second.
The second scene was the end when Hans Gruber has a hold of Holly's watch, and he's dangling off the roof. John tries to unclasp the watch, and the simple procedure is made infinitely tougher, and agonizingly slow, due to the pressure of the situation.
That's how I felt. How hard is it to get a kid's foot out of a flip-flop? But I couldn't. Finally I yelled out the loudest S-bomb of my life, belting it out for a good three seconds. That got attention in the lobby, and an employee ran to the emergency button and shut down the escalator.
I got Jack's foot out a millisecond before the shutdown. The toes were rubbed black but no damage was done. The flip-flop was at least halfway disappeared up into the escalator step. Wow, that could've been his foot.
A few more employees came on the scene to ensure we were okay. We were. One guy just had to give me a tip on keeping kids in the middle of the escalator so that this type of thing didn't happen. I refrained from knocking him out, which I'm very proud of.
We never got the flip-flop back. That thing was destroyed.
On vacation I told a few family members about the "Rise Above This" music video by the band Seether. The lead singer wrote the song for his brother who had been fighting depression and drug addiction for years. Just a few days before he got to show the song to his brother for the first time... it was too late. The singer left all the lyrics the same, hoping to encourage others who are thinking about taking their own life. The video is edited very well:
I also told them about Kid Rock's "Amen". Another interesting one:
And bro, I haven't forgotten about sending you the "Baker Street" music file by the Foo Fighters. I know it's on one of my old MP3 players... I just need to find it!
The deep-thought postings will commence again soon!