Monday, March 31, 2008

Is that for ME?

Is that REALLY for me?

No seriously, isn't that the expression on his face in that picture? He's like, "Oh Wow, you're going to give that to me? All for me? Really? It's not pureed squash? disguised as a cupcake?"

Anyway, it really happened. At four o'clock on Saturday afternoon my baby boy turned one. A week of birthday party angst all turned out in the end, but man am I glad it's over.

If you've read my earlier blogs, you know that we had a party at the park planned for Saturday. We have this wonderful park nearby way up the hill with awesome views of both mountains and a kick ass playground, plus a big covered picnic shelter with tables, electrical outlets, and a massive stone fireplace. We figured it would be perfect. After all, last year the week before the Chunk was born I was outside in big old pregnant shortalls (yeah, I know it's a funny visual, stop laughing and read) and I was planting flowers. And sweating. Because it was hot enough to wear shorts. And panting. Because I was two thousand weeks pregnant. So we thought that a park party would be rockin'.

Fast forward a year to this past Friday when snowflakes the size of silver dollars were sheeting down from the sky. Oh was I ever a basket case. But we sucked it up and changed our plans and moved the party to the W house, with an "open house" style vibe and lots of food and cupcakes. And in the end, it all worked out just fine. Slightly claustrophobic and lots of fun. I had dreamed of a huge sheet cake in the shape of a number one. You know, cuz he's one and that's cool and that's just how we roll. (See the November blogs for pictures of Kbear's cool bowling alley cake!) But instead I went with cupcakes. I bought cute little boy decorations and Skippy made blue frosting and we just made the best of it.

In the end I think it came out okay, don't you?

The Chunk was an angel. I swear he is the world's most mellow baby. Despite being completely overwhelmed by the sheer amounts of people, blue cupcakes, and sparkly wrapped boxes and bags, he was his sweet smiling self. And the kid likes cupcakes. A LOT.

So anyway, my baby boy isn't such a baby anymore. And every time something around here happens I'm reminded that we have fabulous friends. No one cared that my house wasn't 100% clean or that they had to step on six pairs of toes to get to the bathroom. They all just came out anyway to wish our sweet boy a happy day. And THAT made it a very happy day.

So yet another W birthday party bites the dust. To those of you who took the time to come over and hang out, thank you so much for being a part of our day! For those loved ones who live in places near and far and couldn't join us, we missed you and love you!

Some of our pictures from the day (including a frame by frame display of Chunk's cupcake destroying skills) are here:

Friday, March 28, 2008

One year ago

I was the size of a house.

My maternity pants were tight.

I was tired. My back hurt. I couldn't ever sleep.

I was STILL PREGNANT. Hell I was thirty seven MONTHS pregnant. Or at least it felt that way.

A year ago I was at the end of a rough week. I was having my blood pressure monitored. I had sciatica. I had a small human being inside my belly constantly doing back flips, throwing wild parties, and redecorating my ribcage.

I was miserable.

A year ago I went to the doctor and told her that something didn't feel right, beyond the normal pregnancy woes. She ran some tests and promptly sent me over to labor and delivery.

It was time to have a baby.

It's hard to believe a year has gone by. My Little Man has changed my life in so many ways.

At four o'clock tomorrow afternoon, my baby will be one. Happy Birthday darling boy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Birthday Party Angst

This Saturday afternoon we've rented the picnic shelter at the local park for the Chunk's first birthday party. I realized early on that we were taking a chance with the weather but I figured that it would all work out one way or another. There is just nowhere in this little town to host a proper birthday party if you don't do it at home and I absolutely refuse to do it here at the rental, with its cramped rooms and horrible yard. And I am just adamantly against going to the local pizza joint (Spooky's) like everyone else because every party I have attended there has been hot and crowded with overpriced food and inattentive staff. Plus when I called to get information (as a last ditch effort to find an appropriate indoor party location) the girl I talked to gave me a hard time about letting the Chunk tear into a piece of birthday cake, because I think we can all assume he's going to make a mess - that is after all, the whole point.

I realize I'm coming across as a snob about all this. I can't help it. If it's my biggest flaw, I can live with it.

So anyway, now I'm stressing out. Last night the snow levels were down to 1000 feet. We didn't get any of the white crap here in the Gorge, but the fact that we feasibly could have has me on the verge of breaking out in hives. And now there's a chance of rain that day.

Now, we'll be under a roof and there is a huge stone fireplace that we can load up so I'm not sure why I'm having a mini panic attack, but I think that's just how I am - I get this picture in my head of the way my baby's first birthday is supposed to be and of course, it won't go anything like I imagined. I do realize that this doesn't mean that it won't be fantastic - of course it will be. It's just going to be different from what I had in my own little Amy world inside my own noggin. A bunch of people already have plans and commitments that day, and most of the little kids we know already have other things going on, which really bums me out.

All of that aside, we have a fabulous group of friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers that ARE coming and I know that it will be a special day for Chunk. After all, you only turn one once. Maybe I'm just emotional. I can't believe how fast the year has flown by. My baby's not going to be such a baby anymore!

*sigh* I just want my baby to have a nice party. I don't think that's too much to ask. And it better not frickin' snow or I swear I'll have a breakdown.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring break, day four thousand fifty seven

Ok, not really. It just feels that way. We're really on day two. TWO people. And they have already made me mildly insane.

Today we are playing with homemade sidewalk paint. Why give Crayola all of our hard-earned cash when I can make my own for free? Check it out!

And before you ask, it's a quarter cup each of cornstarch and water, with six to ten drops of food coloring. Wear old shirts because I assume the food coloring stains.

Later we're going to clean the girls' bedroom. I'm going to go crawl into a corner and suck my own thumb for awhile now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hoppy Easter to one and all!

The W Family wishes you and yours a very HAPPY Easter!

May your blessings be counted and your baskets be full of candy!

New pictures of the kids are up! They can be seen at

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ack! I'm behind on my blogging - Aunt Jax's visit, part three

Ok, I've got to wrap this up because otherwise I'll completely miss blogging about Easter tomorrow and I'll be behind on blogging about my baby boy's last week of being a baby! He turns ONE in just a week.

So anyway, the bottom line is that the coast was a blast. It was exhausting but I am so happy that we decided to do it because we had an insane amount of fun. We spent the next few days hanging out close to home. We went to have hippie pizza in Washington, we drove out to get a look at Mt Hood (it wasn't cooperating but it was still fun), we went to my favorite thrift store, we grocery shopped, and we stayed up way too late. When it was time to take Jax back to the airport on Wednesday, we all felt like it had gone way too fast but I think we really made the most of the time we had to hang out. This visit was different for us - I got to show Jax my world - instead of the world I was thrust into, wandering around like a stranger in a strange land like the last time she came to visit.

Here's a few things I learned:

~ An umbrella stroller starts to sink in wet sand if you don't keep it moving.

~ When it rains at the coast, that really IS part of the charm!

~ Jacquie has gotten much better at trying new food over the years - she tried not only clam chowder but marionberry cobbler while she visited. And she liked my potato soup!

~ Sneaker waves really DO exist - when we waded out for our picture op, we only meant to get wet up to the ankles. Little did we know that our foray into the ocean was perfectly timed to get hit by a sneaker wave that left me wet to the knees and necessitated a change of pants for Jax.

~ My husband cannot be counted on to save me in the event of a tidal wave. When the aforementioned sneaker wave hit us, he screamed like a girl and ran away, abandoning my shoes in the process - and he was already 20 feet further up the beach to begin with!

~ Going to the Seaside Aquarium is an experience. When you purchase a "bag of seal food" for one dollar, you shouldn't feel surprised when they hand you a cardboard "boat" full of cut up fish pieces, complete with slime and googly eyes.

~ Seals splash when they are hungry. Just ask Skippy.

~ Seals also look really cute when they are behind a fence. Keep in mind that on the beach, they will eat your face off without a second thought.

~ The only time you EVER want to hear anyone (especially your own child) say that they have crabs is when they are at the touch tank at an aquarium. Any other time and you'd better get to a doctor, stat.

~ Jacquie and I can't drink like we used to. We didn't even try.

~ We also can't stay up late like we used to, although Lord knows we did try.

~ We are all getting old. How depressing.

~ The Chunk LOVES Burgerville chocolate shakes in his sippy cup. He gets VERY irritated when there is no more which may or may not require you to vacate the premises.

~ My dog pays no attention to the rules when we are away. The dog hair all over Skippy's recliner is a testament to her naughtiness.

~ Queen sized beds have apparently gotten smaller. Because I have absolutely no idea how Skippy and I slept on one before we got our King. The one and only possible solution is that we're all the victims of a cruel and vast conspiracy headed up by mattress companies.

~ Nothing will clear out a Subway faster than discreetly nursing your baby under a jacket. Ok, maybe that was purely coincidental but I felt like I had the plague. Seriously, it was embarassing even if it was all in my head.

~ Jax and I apparently wear the same bra size.

~ If you have an opportunity to visit a cheese factory and eat "squeaky cheese" then by all means, do it.

~ Not everyone is as infatuated with my thrift store as I am.

~ I have an irrational attachment to my minivan after a three hour road trip in it with tired sandy kids.

And last but not least:
~ There is a reason Jacquie is in my life. There is a reason she is in my kids' lives and that she and Skippy are still so close. I would not be the same person without her. We love you babe.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Aunt Jax invades Oregon, part two

Once we had the ocean in sight there was no stopping us. We drove straight to Cannon Beach and promptly parked by Mo's (more about THAT yummyness later), put everyone into their beach shoes, and headed for the water.

We decided ahead of time not to tell Jax that the water was REALLY cold. The problem is that I myself forgot just how cold it really is. So when she and I headed into the surf to get a picture, I thought I'd get a good chuckle when she put her toes in but little did I know that I would scream like a girl when it hit my feet too.

Anyway, there we are in the water like a couple of ding dongs.

We played down on the beach for a bit and then we decided it was lunchtime. Jax had to experience Mo's clam chowder. It is after all one of the things that convinced me a long time ago that I could live in Oregon. And I don't even REALLY like clam chowder. Unless it's at Mo's.

So we ate. Oh god did we eat. In the summertime you'll wait for two hours just to get in the door of the place but on a Saturday in March, we were able to get a table right away - a big circle spot right up against two windows looking down at the beach. We watched the waves crash and the dogs run and laughed while it rained on one side of the restaurant but not on the other and we absolutely stuffed ourselves full of clam chowder and grilled cheese sammiches. Jacquie was fascinated by the waves, and they were putting on quite a show. It was awesome.

After lunch we were way too bloated to go down back on the beach so we piled back into the van and headed South on Hwy 101. Hwy 101 has to be my absolute favorite drive on the planet. It's absolutely stunning. We stopped at viewpoints, read historical markers, and took pictures.

It was all fine and dandy until we found ourselves at a major impasse.

Skippy had realized that we were less than 20 miles from the Tillamook cheese factory. If you've never had Tillamook cheese, you are missing out big time. Not all cheese is created equal and this is some damn good stuff. Don't get me started on the ice cream. Chunk demanded gallon containers of Tillamook peanut butter and chocolate ice cream every three days while he was in utero, and my ass is still paying the price. But it's soooooooo good.

Skippy wanted to go. He had that classic kid-in-a-candy store bounce behind the wheel and that gleam in his eye that tells me I'm in trouble. You don't come between Skippy and cheese. However being the sensible one in this marriage (God help us), I said it was silly to drive that far, that they probably wouldn't be open, etc and to turn the purple people eater around, stat.

Skippy, being Skippy, continued to trek South. I pleaded and begged and cajoled. I eventually convinced him to at least look up the number and CALL to see if they were open, only for us to realize that even though the iPhone can fold your laundry and is licensed to perform weddings, even it cannot get a signal in the middle of the Oregon coastal forest. So we drove.

And the damn cheese factory was open. And (dare I say it?) it was FUN.

I'm not sure what Jax thought of that part of our trip. I'm pretty confident that she never imagined that a trip to the cheese factory was on the agenda when she booked her flight and we said, "Hey! We'll take you to the coast!" But she was a good sport and I think we all actually had a lot of fun. We bought cheese and had ice cream, and then finally jumped back on 101 and headed back the way we came, North to Seaside. Once we checked into our hotel we promptly swam, ordered pizza, and passed out.

Sunday brought more fun in Seaside. The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds and we shopped, bought saltwater taffy, and hid from one brief downpour by riding bumper cars and the tilt-a-whirl. The most unique thing we did was feed the seals at the Seaside Aquarium, but I'll blog more on that later. We rode the merry-go-round. We took pictures. And finally, after lunch the Chunk was worn out so Skippy took him back to the van while us girls went beach combing one last time. We found shells, sand dollars, and one lonely crab who was either thankful or terrified that two little girls came along and flipped him back over the right way.

Filthy, sandy, and exhausted, we made our way back to the purple people eater and at long last, hit the road for home. Our mission to show Jax at least a little bit of the Oregon coast was complete. After a quick detour to see the views and the column in Astoria (where I dissovled into gales of giggles when I read the sign at the Holiday Inn Express "Where sleeping under the bridge is a good thing!") we arrived home a little bit before nine on Sunday night, greeted a very happy Bailey dog, got three very tired kids into bed, and collapsed. The beach was a hit.

I'll get part three up tomorrow. I think I'm still catching up on sleep myself because right now, I'm sleepy.

Aunt Jacquie's visit, part one

Last Friday evening we packed up our minivan, tossed the kids into their seats in between sleeping bags, beach shoes, and fourteen diaper bags, and hit the road for Portland. We were very excited - my very best girlfriend in the world (who Skippy and I have known since college) was due to land a little later that evening for a spring break visit.

So off we went, counting waterfalls along the way and explaining for the ten bazillionth time why no drinks were allowed in the Purple People Eater. We finally rolled into PDX just about ten minutes ahead of Jax's plane so we parked and ran inside, where the joyous reunion unfolded at about eight o'clock, complete with hugs all around and ear splitting shrieks of joy from my girls that I seriously thought might bring PDX security running. After a quick stop to grab her luggage, we headed out the door.

(Quick side note, Jax had a pair of shoes in the front zipper pocket of her suitcase when she boarded her plane in Chicago. By the time she got to Portland, the zipper had been opened and the shoes were missing. So to Mr. TSA Man somewhere in Chicago or Oakland who is now cross dressing my best friend's heels - shame on you, you pervert.)

Anyway, Jacquie's Chicago-zonked stomach was clamoring for food, so our next stop brought us to Burgerville. I would love to say it was because we wanted the first meal of her visit to be something genuinely Oregon-like but in all honesty, it's because it was the first spot we saw in a not-so-great part of the city that wasn't horrible fast food, was open, and had a well-lit parking lot. Plus they have awesome fries and milkshakes. We ate and we gabbed and then we hightailed it to our hotel for a late night swim, chucked the kids into their sleeping bags, gabbed a bit more, and promptly passed out. Kind of. As well as you can pass out in a hotel room with three adults and three kids when two of the adults snore, two of the kids talk in their sleep, and the baby insists on continuously popping up in his pack-and-play like a meerkat on speed for three hours. Good times. It's a miracle Jacquie goes anywhere with us, I swear. Somewhere around three a.m. she was probably wondering what the hell she had been thinking.

But Saturday morning we were up bright and early, ready to greet the day at about eight after a restless but adequate night's sleep. Jax and I took the kids for a surprisingly fabulous breakfast in the hotel (where Skippy not so surprisingly slept in a bit) and I'll be damned if everyone wasn't on their best behavior. After we filled our bellies, we took a swim and then packed up the van and finally said good-bye to Portland, heading down to road towards the coast at about eleven.

I must stop for yet another brief side note here, because I was very proud of myself this weekend for not being an insane minute-by-minute micro manager. When you have three small kids and a husband who works long hours, things like schedules and structure help keep you sane. And when I plan something and it doesn't go my way or we get off schedule, I get cranky. Like, crazy eyes hate the world cranky. It drives Skippy nuts. And I'm trying to be better. Sometimes you have to just say forget it and go with the flow - life's too short and all that jazz. So when we didn't roll out of town until the morning was practically gone, I didn't worry. The sun was peeking through the clouds in between intermittent periods of rain, everything was green, the kids were being good, and I had my husband next to me and my best friend in the car. Plus we were heading for the coast. Life was good.

After about an hour and a half of driving, the trees started to thin out a bit. We crested yet another hill and off in the distance there it was - Jax's first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

Time for the baby to nap. I'll be back later!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And she's leavin' on a jet plane

Don't know when she'll be back again. Major bummer.

Jacquie's visit went WAY too fast. But holy crap did we have fun. We packed a bunch of stuff into five little days, including a trip to the beach (that's Jax with the kids at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach), plus a trip to the cheese factory (no, really) and a road trip over to Washington. I can't wait to blog all about it when we get home from the airport later today. But for now, we're busy getting her all packed up before we head over to the Goog for lunch so I'll just say travel safe girlfriend, and we love you!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


<----- See that? That's my wedding day. I mean obviously it's my wedding day, because me and my girlfriends don't usually just get dressed up in white dresses and carry flowers around the house, pausing for obviously posed photos. We need at least three margaritas on a boring Tuesday night before we get that crazy. Anyway, that chick on the right is my bestest girlfriend in the world.

Tomorrow the wonderful, sweet, generous, and fabulous "Aunt Jax" is coming to visit.

Jacquie and I have been best friends for ten years now. Damn, we're old. We were RAs together. She was my Maid of Honor with her badass Little Bo Peep hairdo. She was in the delivery room when Banana was born - she VIDEOTAPED! - And she STILL loves me!

Unfortunately airfare dictates that our visit is a short one, but we're going to make the most of it. The last time she came to see me, I had a new baby and I wasn't too sure about Oregon yet. But I think she'll be able to see how happy this place makes me. Hopefully we'll have time to see some friends but mostly we're just going to catch up and hang out.

Her plane gets in at 7:15 tomorrow night and the purple minivan will be there waiting! From there we're going to overnight in Portland and then head to the coast on Saturday morning. The weather isn't supposed to be great, but that's the coast in the spring in Oregon. At least we'll be able to say that we went and got our feet wet. And we'll go to Mo's. Because you have to go to Mo's when you go to the coast, even if you don't like clam chowder.

We'll probably come home on Sunday and then it will be back to the grind - school for the girls, and bumming around town for Miss Jax and myself. Maybe we'll go get hippie pizza. Or get our toenails done. Or go thrift store shopping. Or make some fruity girlie drinks.

Or just enjoy being together. Love you girl! Travel safe!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Let's talk about my minivan some more

It really has changed my life.

Up until two weeks ago, the typical Tuesday morning went like this:

7:00 Get out of bed, get the girls up for school.
7:05 Poke the girls again.
7:15 Finally haul Kbear bodily out of bed and help her find clothes
7:20 Ask Banana to brush her hair
7:29 Tell Banana that it's time to stop brushing her hair, it looks lovely
7:30 Start looking for shoes and jackets
7:33 Get annoyed with kids for not putting shoes and jackets by the door
7:35 Warm up the car
7:40 Finally get the kids out the door. Take Banana to school.
7:55 Drop Kbear off across town at preschool

(now here's where it gets fun)

8:05 Return home. Poke Skippy and tell him it's time for work.
8:15 Nurse the baby. Have some cereal. Poke Skippy again.
8:30 Sharply pinch Skippy's foot, insisting that it's time to GET UP NOW.
8:45 Get annoyed with Skippy for not knowing where his shoes and keys are.
8:46 Realize the keys are in my pocket. Oops.
9:00 Finally drop Skippy off at work. Run errands.
10:30 Pick up Kbear.
11:00 Pick up Banana.

Ok, got all that? So I had to run one to school, then run the other to school, THEN come home and run Skippy to work. Talk about a pain in the ass huh?

Fast forward to this morning:

We got up.
We got dressed.
I took the girls to school in my spiffy purple minivan.
I went out for coffee with my neighbor while the Chunk slept in.
I came home with just enough time for Skippy to sprint out the door. Then I hung out with the baby until it was time to get the girls.

The End.

Isn't that MUCH better?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chunky Monkey update

Today was our first full day at home following our hospital stay. All I can say is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bed. Good God I love it.

The Chunker had a good day today. He ran a little bit of an on-again-off-again fever but it always came down with Tylenol. He ate a massive lunch (I'll pay for that in tomorrow's diapers) and a good dinner and he felt well enough to play peek a boo with me through the storm door this afternoon so I think he's most definitely on the mend. Hopefully by the weekend he'll be back to his sunny little self.

Skippy comes home on Saturday. I can't wait to see him - usually when he goes away it's not a big deal but this was a rough one. I haven't been able to talk to him much over the last few days because he's been in training but it seems like he is enjoying himself.

The elementary school book fair went off without a hitch tonight. I obviously had to hand off responsibilities (which were thrust on ME without much notice) but the rest of the PTA board handled things beautifully.

I'll be glad to put this week behind me.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

There really IS no place like home

So in case you haven't heard, we are back home after two nights in the hospital.

All hell broke loose on Monday night. I was getting the Chunk ready for bed. Chunk hasn't been feeling too great since this past weekend but honestly, it's just kind of going around so we've been riding it out. He felt a little feverish and he was mighty cranky, so I was putting him down for the night when he scared the cookies out of me.

Basically, Colin had a febrile seizure around 8:40 Monday night. One second we were putting on his pajamas and the next, his whole body went rigid and started to shake. In five years I've had three kids and never in my entire life have I been so frightened. I don't know how long it lasted, maybe 30 seconds. But it felt like forever. He couldn't cry. He couldn't breathe....he just shook with his body all tight and his eyes scrunched up. Then all of a sudden, it stopped. The poor baby gasped in a big breath and just absolutely started to howl.

Needless to say, we beat a path to the ER. Skippy is out of town this week so on the way up the hill I dropped off the girls with a Google friend and we were in triage by 9:00. After three hours and several tests, they told me that Chunk had RSV.

RSV is pretty scary stuff. In adults, it manifests as a bad cold. In itty bitty babies it's extremely dangerous. For most kids it's miserable at its best and scary at its worst. There were actually two other babies at the hospital being treated for the exact same thing and of the three, Chunk was by far the best off but that's not saying much. He still needed to have round the clock breathing treatments and 24 hour monitoring. He received extra fluids via IV and spent some time in the oxygen tent to keep his numbers up.

Probably the worst times where the ones when he was getting an IV and having blood drawn - no one likes to see their baby being held down by two big strong male nurses while he screams. The IV was the worst - the first time they stuck him three times before I'd had enough. They did eventually get one in, which was good because RSV can cause major dehydration but it still sucked like no body's business.

But I'm getting off track. Back to Monday night - for a little while in the ER, things kind of went downhill. I realized that the baby would be admitted to the hospital and went into major mommy-panic-mode trying to figure out what to do since Skippy was out of town. Then the help started rolling in. It was going on eleven o'clock at night when my dear friend Katy called and told me to stop worrying, that she and Crystal (who was watching the girls at the time) had everything under control and would coordinate getting them from Crystal's house to Katy's, where they could spend the night.

And that was just the start of an amazing trend. Our friends, neighbors, and co-workers started calling, emailing, instant messaging, and otherwise tracking us down and offering to help. For the last three days, I've only had to leave the hospital twice - once on Tuesday morning to get the girls off to school and once on Tuesday night to shower, grab clean clothes for everyone, and drop off overnight bags for both Banana and Kbear with the friends they were staying with. In between I was able to be with the baby for every chest x-ray, breathing treatment, vitals check, needle stick, and snot suck. He received fluids by IV and spent some time in the oxygen tent but overall he did very well. I can't say I slept well in the hospital recliner, but we managed and they fed me, which is always a bonus.

I have to give credit where it's due. I can't say thank you enough to Crystal, Katy and Aaron, our dear long time family friend Dana, Nicole and Kevin next door, and last but not least, Laura who may find herself with a Kbear on her doorstep since she told me she wanted to stay there FOREVER when I picked her up this morning. You all contributed to keeping our spirits up, but those are the folks who were able to actually step in and help out with the girls, feeding them, hosting them overnight, and in general freeing me up to stay where I belonged, with the Chunk and allowing Skippy to stay down at Google HQ, knowing that we were all in good hands.

When we moved here I left almost my entire family behind. It was very emotional and challenging for me. But this experience has taught me that we have an amazing family here - one that is not related to us by blood but that will pitch in and help out whenever it's needed with a generous spirit that far exceeds anything I could have ever imagined. We are truly in your debt.

While I sit here and type the Chunker is sleeping in his crib. He seems content. I think it's going to be a week of PJ pants, Papa Murphy's pizza, and movies but it's good to be home. Our love to EVERYONE for your prayers!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


<------------------------------- Isn't it PRETTY?

Yes, I realize it's purple. But it's MINE! And look! Look at how nice and shiny and roomy it is! Look at how the rays of sunshine stream over it, making it look like the gift from heaven that it IS!!!!!

So first things first. No, I will not be changing the name of my blog. I realize that I no longer need to lament the fact that I do not own a vehicle with a capacity for more than four and a half people, but I figure it's good to hang on to the things that remind us of more challenging times. Like having to cram three car seats into the back of a Grand Prix while your ass hangs out the window. Or seeing if you can keep your cool when one assorted child or another kicks the back of your seat for the four thousandth and sixty ninth time. In ten minutes. Or attempting any kind of road trip with more mileage than going to the grocery store.

So my blog name stays. But lo and behold (*cue fanfare*) I HAVE A MINIVAN! ALL HAIL MY MINIVAN!

Here's how that beautiful sanity saving piece of metal came to sit at my curb:

Last Saturday after the dodge ball tournament Banana had a play date across town with one of her little Kindergartner friends. So I tossed her into the Pontiac and we headed off on our way. I dropped her off and on my way back, there it was.....sitting at the curb on 12th street with a nifty little "for sale" sign on it. I eyeballed it while driving by and continued on home. I was hungry. And even my desperate desire for a minivan couldn't trump the needs of my stomach after a full day of dodge ball spectating. Besides, I figured it was out of our price range and our tax refund hadn't come yet and I barely spared it a second thought.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday. I picked Kbear up from pre-school and since she insisted on getting in the car on the side the Chunk's seat is on, I had to coordinate the logistical nightmare that ensued while getting her buckled into her car seat. Poor K is the munchkin stuck in the middle of the Pontiac's backseat. Have you ever been to a movie where the people on both sides of you won't share the armrest? That's been Kbear's life for the last year or so. And let's face it, even adults don't like to share the armrest on the airplane. Four year olds don't like to share ANYTHING.

We finally got her settled and headed back towards our house to pick up Banana at the bus stop. And on the way, that shiny purple minivan popped up in my memory bank. A quick glance at the clock showed me that we had plenty of time to meet the bus, so we took a short detour.

And there it was. This time I pulled to the curb and got out to take a better look. A 2000 Dodge Caravan. A very PURPLE 2000 Dodge Caravan that looked to be in pretty darn good shape. And the price was right. I wrote down the phone number on the sign and after grabbing Banana off the bus, ran home and promptly called for some more info.

That's when I met "old guy." Old guy's name as it turns out, is Chester. Chester is eighty five years old and gets vans from government surplus auctions because they are well maintained, cheap, and easy to resell. He also has a slight tendancy to spit bits of fried chicken at Skippy when he's talking but we didn't know that until later and anyway that's really neither here nor there. Chester told me that it was a great van and had 60,000 miles on it. That's when I started pestering Skippy to come with me to go look at it. I pestered him and pestered him and then I pestered him some more and finally on Friday we left the girls with the neighbor, grabbed the baby, and we made it over to see Chester and take the van out for a quick spin.

Two hours later, it was ours!