Tuesday, July 31

He's a Camry Man

It's no secret to those closest to my husband that he is a meticulous person. He is organized and efficient, and he takes great care in his appearance and the appearance of his hearth and home... and car. (In short- he's my polar opposite. Lucky we attracted each other, huh?)
When I asked him to write a little something about his Camry, I had no idea how deeply connected his is to his car. Now I wish he'd write love notes about me this way....


Like a glove...
prints of this photo available on here on etsy

When you play sports, namely baseball, you play with a worn, well used,
oiled, trustworthy glove.  A new glove is nice but it has to be formed
and fitted to the user before it really takes on the characteristics of
the player.

So goes it with one's Toyota Camry.

When I got my first Toyota Camry, I was a young husband and a young
father of two priceless gifts.  Due to this eye-opening experience, I
needed a new vehicle- one that was suitable to carry my precious cargo.
I had a moment of silence with my truck (ok, I did name her), after
all, it was my first-ever post-parents purchase.  
I started the dreadful car-shopping, dealership-dealing, and gut-wrenching hunt for the perfect family vehicle.  At every dealership I went to, I would slowly drive the lines of vehicles looking at each one carefully as if I were a Marine Officer inspecting his command for the first time.  I was all the while
keeping in mind the safety of my little "troops," and looking for style too.  
I had never owned a Toyota, but from talking to other fathers and friends I had heard of the safety (check), the affordability (check- diapers are not cheap), and the durability (double check, the baby has to drive something in 16 years) of this brand.
After what seemed like two years of grueling torture (reality- 5 days), I
came across a stylish, safe, and affordable vehicle that I could see
myself driving (with two car seats of course).  It was a charcoal gray
Toyota Camry with room in the back to keep little legs from kicking my

After running it by my wife (her approval is essential) we took the plunge and bought our first family car. 

I admit, at first I was quite up-tight about having no sippy cups, and no gold fish in the car (let's be honest though- if you have kids, you have no rules like that if you want to drive more than 2 miles).  The Camry handled nicely and was comfortable, and like my baseball glove, it started to take on the characteristic of the player(s).  
The spills in the car marked the various road trips and could be laughed about by the "do you remember that" conversations.  The outside faired about the same... teaching young ones to ride bikes in the drive way is probably not the best idea.  The dings and stains add character to my Camry.  

My Camry is uniquely adapted to fit me- a father.  It is a worn, well used, oiled, trustworthy car that fits me like a glove.
When the time is right, I will pass her (ok, I named this one too) on and start the (this time short, because I know which Toyota I will get) car buying experience. And next time it will be new glove, but "old hat".

Jeremy Butler is a husband to a fabulous lady (who didn't laugh at his
no-goldfish-no-sippy-cup rule, even though she knew better), and father to three wonderful messy (wouldn't-have-it-any-other-way) children.  He is a
former Marine and baseball player (now its church softball!).  He
commutes 40 minutes each way in his well worn (glove) Toyota Camry,
which fits him just fine.

photo courtesy of Toyota 


{ ed note: I found a very cool app from Toyota: the Camry Commute. You can log your daily commute, track your points, and win prizes like $500 gas cards, movie tickets, Pandora radio subscriptions and more! And you don't even have to own a Camry to use the app. You're just a whole lot cooler if you do rock the Cam. :) }

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

Wednesday, July 25

Surprise Poop

It's been a long time since I've been on the internet, talking about poop. As The Bunny stops pooping on herself matures into a charming young lady with model toiletry skills, I've used the #pooptweet hashtag on the twitters less and less often.

Though I didn't document it (you're welcome. seriously.), the last two days have been, well... explosive.

For a solid 48 hours, B3 has been simultaneously driving up our water water bill with all the toilet flushing, and depleting our wet wipe stash with all the boo-hiney wiping.

She's been poopin', y'all. So much that on three separate occasions, she has yelled, "Ope! Surprise poop!" and run to the bathroom.

I thought it was a stomach bug, or that she'd eaten something terrible (it's summertime, which pretty much means anything goes in the meal/snack department 'round this Bee hive). I was right on only one of those counts.

Tonight during the girls' bathtime, I heard my husband yelp. He didn't holler, and he certainly didn't squeal. I'm pretty sure he yelped. Then, like he does, he Instagrammed something. (I can't talk about it. He refuses to tweet. He only lurks on Facebook, but Instagram? He's got hot Swedish stay-at-home-moms liking every one of his weird, random photos. I can't talk about it. Lawd.)

You know what that is?

That's a bar of Irish Spring, friends. With a bite taken out of it.

So, mystery solved. My daughter is a soap biter. And, apparently, a soap eater. 
When I texted my BFF with photographic evidence that B3 was not, in fact, suffering Montezuma's Revenge, she wrote back:

Y'all are going to have to find an alternative punishment when she gets to cussin'. 

Lord, may we never see the day. 

Tuesday, July 10

The Greening of Toyota

When I got to visit Toyota Motor Sales' 130-acre national campus in June, I (somewhat naively) thought it would be one giant car sales lot, staffed by leering old white men, and furnished with cracked plastic chairs. 

photos courtesy of Toyota

Instead, I was greeted with a state-of-the-art, highly advanced technological and environmentally aware company headquarters.

From the minute we TWIN members were ushered into the building, we were treated with respect, and got to know the spirit of kaizen, a Japanese term meaning, "continuous improvement."

There was kaizen everywhere at Toyota. Many of the people who spoke to us about the business were veteran employees- several of whom have worked for Toyota since before I was born. Each of them were enthusiastic about their job, and about what Toyota is doing today.

One of the things that impressed me the most was a handout highlighting some of the environmentally-efficient aspects of the entire Toyota campus.

  • Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the South Campus provide enough energy to power 500 homes annually. (I don't know what, exactly, photovoltaic means, but that's a lot of power.)
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping saves roughly 5 million gallons of water each year, which is enough to take 200,000 ten-minute showers.
  • In the Information Systems Data Center, 100% of the electronics are recycled. Over a decade, Toyota diverted 3.3 million pound of e-waste away from landfills.
  • Reusable steel containers are used to transport automotive parts at the Parts Distribution Center, instead of cardboard boxes and wood pallets. This innovative program annually reduces wast by approximately 2.7 million pounds. 
  • Even the cafe on campus is eco-friendly: plant based plastics are used for food containers, flatware, and bags to replace petroleum-based products, and leftover cooking grease is converted into biofuel. 
  • The Ionator, a tool that electrically transforms water into a powerful germ-killing and chemical-free cleaning agent, has replaced chemical cleaners. 

These are just a very few ways Toyota is environmentally-conscious. It was a great experience to see such a large company going above and beyond when it comes to eco-business.

To me, they are a great cornerstone for other companies to point to, and be able to say, "let's do that, too."

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with
Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment
in exchange for participating. The bullet points are directly from Toyota material, but all opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota Company.