Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Old Do You Feel?

Leslie Nielsen passed away last weekend. It seems like the past couple of years there have been a lot of famous deaths that resonated with me. I feel like my parents when I was a kid and they'd talk about a celebrity being gone who I'd never heard of. Lately there are more and more things about me that are reflective of my parents, or in other words, make me feel old. I'd be worried about offending them but while they know I have a blog, I don't think they understand what that means, so I have no fears of them reading this. (Just in case, though, love you guys!)

Things That Make Me Feel Old
  • Going to a concert and making sure I get tickets for SEATS.
  • Going to a concert and leaving early because it's so loud my ears hurt.
  • Deciding NOT to go to a concert because I can't sit. And I think it will be too loud.

  • Hearing Young MC rap about movie tickets costing $5.
  • Talking about when gas was only $1/gallon.

  • Not knowing what Silly Bandz were until September - after they were already banned from schools.
  • I have no idea why kids sing "cha cha cha" in the middle of "Happy Birthday" now?

  • Martha Plimpton playing a GRANDMOTHER on TV.
  • I always think of my parents as being 40. I'M closer to 40 than my parents are.
  • I feel about Lady Gaga the way my parents felt about Madonna.

  • Watching Doogie Howser portray a womanizer.
  • I was talking to a friend about "Stand by Me". She'd never seen it. (Blasphemy! Best. Movie. Ever.) So I told her I owned it and she could borrow it. Then I realized it's on VHS.
  • Watch Eddie Murphy's "Raw". It's not nearly as offensive as you remember it being when it was first released.
  • The Pizza Hut where DH and I had our first date almost 17 years ago closed before we even got married.

  • The TGIFriday's where we had a memorable date (that's for another post!) closed last week. Apparently all the Friday's in town have shut down.
  • The country club where we had our rehearsal dinner burned down yesterday.
  • When DH and I have the choice between sex and sleep, the decision rate is about 50/50.
  • A night when I can stay in and snuggle on the couch with DH and catch up on our DVR that's full of NCIS, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family sounds so much more appealing than a night out on the town.
  • I told a friend that I miss going out dancing. She said we should have a girls' night and go. I told her I didn't say I wanted to go. Just that I miss going. How LAME!!

So many others, but that's enough for today. It's 5:15pm. Past my dinner time. Ready for bed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Denouement (I Hope)

Since I left off with our car situation before Baby R's bday, I thought I should wrap that all up since I know you're all dying to know how it ended. (Warning: This post is long and boring, but I know I left it as such an enticing cliffhanger before that you all are compelled to keep reading even with that disclaimer.)

We found a van on Carmax in Wichita and they were going to bring it to Kansas City for us for free. We went and test drove a different one that was the same model before it arrived to make sure they weren't wasting their time sending it. While we were waiting for it to arrive, a friend of mine who had started working at a car dealership let me know he had a van available, and he could get me his discount so even though it was listed at close to $19K, he could probably get it for the $15K max I told him we were looking for. DH and I met him that Friday over our lunch breaks and as soon as we saw it, we knew there was no way we could get it for that price. It was way too nice. But I took it on an extended test drive and dropped it off at our mechanic's to check it out just in case.

Side note: Remember how I didn't have my insurance card the day of the accident so I had 10 days to show proof of insurance and they'd eliminate the $200 ticket? Well, on day 6, I looked up the phone number to the clerk's office at work since I'd left my ticket at home so I could find out where I needed to go to show my insurance card. The clerk said she didn't even have it in her system yet, and they always say 10 days, but they rarely even have the ticket processed by then and to call back next week. Ok. So Thursday, I got to thinking and realized that when I looked it up online, I found the COUNTY traffic clerk's phone number. Not the CITY one. The municipal court was where my ticket said I had to show up. Awesome. Thursday was day 10. Thursday was also Veteran's Day so the government offices were closed. OMG if I end up having to shell out $200 because I was a super flake and called the wrong clerk's office on top of everything else, my husband may leave me. At the suggestion of co-workers that the clerk might have more pity for me in person than anonymously on the phone, I decided to stop by Friday.

So back to the vans. Thursday was also the day that the Carmax van arrived from Wichita. DH went to test drive it after work while I stayed home with the kiddos, and we planned for me to test drive it after work Friday since we were already going to the other car dealership over lunch. I left work early so I could pick up the van from the mechanic (who gave it a stellar review, BTW) and stop by the courthouse. Of course, it started raining, so traffic was terrible. Then I went across the street to the jail instead of to the clerk's office, so I literally ran through pouring rain to make it before 5:00pm. Dripping wet, I related my tale. Thankfully the clerk had pity on me and let me show proof of insurance even though A) I was a day late, and B) I was a flake and called the wrong clerk's office, and C) I didn't even have the ticket with me, because, again, I had left it at home (I'm like a Grands biscuit by this point, extra-flaky).  I was also able to not have to go to court now, so I just paid my fine then as well. Whew! One more thing checked off the list.

So now I had to take the van back across town during a deluge-ridden rush hour. It took me an hour and 15 minutes to make the 45 minute drive. I dropped it off, spent 30 minutes with them trying to tell me that $150 payments over 66 months is totally doable (even though no matter how you slice it, it's still $3K over what our max price was). Finally left there and stopped by the house for 10 minutes to tell the girls goodnight before heading to Carmax to do the test drive and basically sign the paperwork.

I got to Carmax and the woman who had been helping us came out to meet me and then offered to pull the van around so I wouldn't have to walk out in the rain. I waited and waited. And waited. Finally, I saw her walking back through the showroom. I met her halfway. She couldn't find the van on the lot, so she was going to pull up the information on the computer. Someone else bought it in the three hours I had been late getting there because I was returning the other van. I actually laughed on the drive home. This is seriously my life. I know it's nothing tragic, it's just a ridiculous string of bad luck I've had lately. I've always been unlucky, but this month takes the cake.

Speaking of cake, Saturday was Baby R's 1st bday and party - awwww! Here's a pic of her cake which turned out fantastic if I do say so myself. I'm not very skilled in the cake decorating department, but I was quite pleased with this. (The cupcake just happened to be on the plate when I took the pic, so just pretend it's a silo.) Sunday she took her first steps! So amid the frustration, we found joy. And I was really needing to find it, let me tell you! Things were starting to look up. All I had left to do was resolve the title situation and find a new car and we could finally put this whole wreck behind us.

Monday I went to the tag office and thanks to the new supercool wave of technology that has FINALLY reached the government offices, I can sign up online and they will text me when there's about 15 minutes until my turn so I don't have to stand in line for an hour and a half. And I had already downloaded my form to request a copy of my lost title and filled it out so my turn would go quickly.

When I got there I explained to the woman that I had my lien release, but couldn't find my title. She said that's because I never had my title; it was still in Topeka. Ah, well that made me feel better to know I'd never lost it! So now I had to contact the state office and they would be able to send it to me. Tuesday I called, but those lucky government employees close up shop at 4:00pm so I'd just missed them. I tried again on Wednesday, and she said I just needed to go to my local tag office and they could issue an e-lien release. "But I was just there, and she told me to contact you? Don't I need to give the lien release I have to you?"

"Yes, well you can just come to Topeka and do it that way."

Uh, yeah, because I have 3 hours out of my work day to do that. "Well, can I just mail it?"

"Sure, but it will take six weeks to get the title that way. If you do an e-lien release you can have it in a week."

Why didn't the woman at the tag office tell me that the first time? Grrr....

By then it was the end of the day so I couldn't make it there in time, and Thursday was going to test drive another van DH had found, and I needed to leave early since they closed at 6pm. So the title resolution was postponed.

Thursday I picked up the van after work for another extended test drive so I could have our mechanic check this one out Friday. Friday morning, I went to get the girls loaded up and head out, but I couldn't find the key to the van. DH had driven to the store Thursday night. Please don't tell me....

I called him and yes, he had the key with him. For the first time in weeks, we were ready early. I was going to be on time to work! And now I would be lucky to get there by 10am. Sigh. But at least I got some dishes done while I was waiting patiently for DH.

That afternoon, the van got a clean bill of health, so we made our way to the dealership to sign the papers after work - WOO HOO!!!

What a gleeful experience we had in that cashier's office. The girls were playing contentedly - Baby R even walked 5 or 6 steps to the doorway! Oh, happy day! We left and went our separate ways so I could get the girls something for dinner and meet DH back at the house. I got them settled and hit the highway at bedtime thinking they might drift off to sleep. Ha! I knew that wouldn't really happen, but it was a peaceful journey, and I felt more relaxed than I had in weeks.

Until we'd gone about five miles. Suddenly there was something in the middle of the road. A crate? A table? I didn't see it early enough to swerve (which is probably good since being in a top-heavy van, swerving is not very safe). However, that meant that I hit said crate/table/someone's garbage in the middle of the road that they didn't bother to come back for. NOOOOOO!!! My new (to me) van had a huge hole ripped in the front bumper. LESS THAN 20 MINUTES AFTER I BOUGHT IT, PEOPLE!!!! I. Was. So. Angry.

Suffice it to say, so was DH. I couldn't talk about it, I was so angry. (And clearly, I'm one who talks.) Crying tears of frustration and anger, I was physically sick to my stomach I was so upset. I felt so depressed, I just wanted to go to bed. I decided to watch some TV first thinking a sitcom might break me out of my funk. Nope. Went to bed on time, got a decent night's sleep. Still depressed the next day.

Sunday we had family pictures to wrap up Baby R's first year series, so I managed to put on a happy face. And I was glad to see the photographer who is a friend of mine. By the end of the weekend, I was in a slightly better mood. I was far from thrilled Monday morning to have to explain to my co-workers why my nice new van had a broken bumper, though. Found out yesterday it will cost around $750 to fix it.

I feel like this phase of my life will never end. I think it is truly the worst month of my life. Not the worst day, by far. Not the worst week even. But I don't think I can recall a continuous month-long downward spiral like this. And as I mentioned before, I know it's not the end of the world. I know things could be much worse. But I am really hoping that Thanksgiving is the turnaround point!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What Do You Do When You Can't Find Reasons to Give Thanks?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week. I'm usually so excited. I love Thanksgiving. As I've mentioned before, it's one of my favorite holidays, second only to Christmas. But things have not been going too well for me lately. And to be honest, it's taking every bit of my optimistic personality to keep finding that silver lining.

In the last month we had to give up our beloved part-time, in-home childcare, followed an hour later by our other part-time care provider, my mother, leaving us childcare-less. Two weeks ago I totaled my car. To say our 3-year-old's world has been rocked is a huge understatement. She's a child who craves stability and routine. She doesn't have either of those in her life right now. She's having outbursts, separation anxiety, nightmares. I don't feel like my husband has been as supportive as I need him to be, so we aren't on the best of terms. My health insurance is changing at work (new individual deductible is $2,500 - awesome!). The girls have had lingering coughs for 4 weeks, and Baby R is teething and has a diaper rash to boot. And this morning I woke up with a cold. Not that that is such a big deal. It just seems like as soon as I get my head above water, something beats me back down again. And it may just be a 5 lb. rock instead of a cement block, but at this point, I'm so exhausted that it feels like a pebble could sink me.

The most frustrating thing is that I feel like I had finally gotten my ducks in a row trying to do things to improve my family's life, but these stumbling blocks have forced me to put them on the back burner. For example, eating healthier. I decided to make as much homemade food as I can, changing things at a gradual pace. I started making applesauce. And instead of buying snacks at the store, making cookies or sweet breads for treats every week (instead of every once in awhile). I bought the ingredients for homemade granola bars and found a recipe for yogurt. I'm planning to ask for a breadmaker for Christmas. But juggling childcare every day means spending my evening trying to figure out where to take the kids in the morning and what supplies to pack and how many extra outfits to take, not to mention assuaging fears and providing extra snuggles. Trying out new recipes has been put on the back burner.

I know I should be thankful for my health, my job, the roof over our heads, the food on the table, the clothes on our backs. And I am. I hear horror stories every day about people who have hit the end of unemployment benefits and had to move into their car, or been diagnosed with cancer, or lost a loved one. I'm not in any way trying to say that my inconveniences compare with the hardships they have to face. But the thing is, I'm a cup-is-half-full kind of gal, though I do my fair share of grumbling, and while I know things could be so much worse, they sure could be a heckavu lot  better.

So this year, the thing I'm most thankful for is Thanksgiving itself. Because I'm not able to remind myself of the things I should be thankful for on a daily basis right now. I need that big holiday looming large to keep me in check. And hopefully by the time it gets here Thursday, I'll be back to my usual chin-up self. But if not, I know that November 25th can keep it up for me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Baby R

Sweet, precious baby girl. When you joined our family one year ago, we were so thankful. You've been such a joy to us. I know it seems like sometimes we don't notice you (like when you made it halfway up the stairs the other day before I saw you and held my breath so I wouldn't startle you and make you tumble back down them). And I know sometimes you have to fight for attention. (You've convinced me that Aunt J was right; the youngest totally gets the shaft.) But we do notice you and love you and still find all your growth and advances to be as miraculous as if we'd never seen them before.  And we haven't. Not with you. You are your own special, unique person. We are enjoying watching your personality develop. And even though big sister sometimes smothers you, try not to be too upset; she just loves you so much.

Some things you've been doing recently include:
"Talking" on the phone. You hold it up to the back of your neck, so it's nowhere near your ear or mouth. Adorable.

Learning about Mickey Mouse. I sing the old Mickey Mouse Club theme song when I change your diaper because Huggies uses Mickey for their designs. Sissy will sometimes sing the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song, so you aren't being raised in the dark ages. Also, since your Uncle M & and Aunt R got you a framed Disney stock certificate, you like to point at all the characters on it, so you are becoming familiar with all of them.

You FINALLY cut your top two front teeth. You have been the toothless wonder! Until this week, you only had your bottom two front teeth. Apparently you only want to grow them in pairs.

You are getting so good at walking with assistance. Your favorite way to do that is to push the step stool Sissy uses in the kitchen. You tend to veer to one side, but as long as I can put you back on a straight path, you're all set.

Papa Duncanson is amazed at how well you entertain yourself. You'll work your way around the toys in the room, perfectly content to play on your own for half an hour or so at a time.

You love to play in the bath water. You have a fit when I take you out of the tub.

Though you're much more patient than I would be, you've started asserting your displeasure when Sissy smothers you a bit. But you love playing with her - especially when she pushes you on your swing. (She even tries to give you an "underdog" like I do to her which is so stinkin' cute.) You've seen too many of her tantrums which you've decided to replicate. Sigh. But in general, you are a pretty happy, laid back baby!

A couple of days ago, Daddy was winking at you, so you looked at him and concentrated really hard, and then gently blinked your eyes. Melted our hearts!

You babble a fair amount, but most of it sounds the same - Dada, dah (for dog), da (for that). You sometimes say Mama, but you don't actually call me that. The other day we were driving and Sissy said, "There's Costco!", and I swear you said cah-co.

My secret weapon when you are fussy is to pull out my iTouch and let you play Peekaboo Barn.

But our favorite thing you do right now is give hugs. You wrap your little arms around me and kick your little legs happily, and then you pat my back with a hearty batch of whacks. Love you, little snugglebug!!! Happy 1st Birthday!

Guest Post!

Hey everyone! I have the honor, nay the privilege, of being featured as a guest blogger at Kludgy Mom today. I'm very excited to be included in a series of posts about Thanksgiving written by an amazing group. Check it out: The Forgotten Holiday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

If These Walls Had Ears: Some Things You May Have Heard Around Our House Lately

I really need to have a video recording of some of these for the full impact, but use your imaginations. Spoken by our 3 YO daughter:

  • Category 1 - Funny because what 3 year old says these words?

This zipper is being stubborn.

S: Is this banana bread cool yet?
Me: Yep.
S: Hallelujah!

(Regarding the alphabet magnets that have fallen under the refrigerator and her inability to move it by herself.) We need a bunch of people to to move the fridge. Unfortunately, it's stuck there. (Also funny because she had good problem solving by thinking of getting more people to help.)

I really love this banana bread. (I found this amusing because she had just been saying, "Mommy, I really love you." SOOO melting my heart. Though I questioned her sincerity when that was followed with "I really love this banana bread" spoken with the same earnestness.)

  • Category 2 - Visually hilarious, mildly amusing in writing
There is a big... HUGE... MONSTER fly that just flew into our house. (Spoken with growing intensity and a deeper voice.)

I'm going to say "Hi" to E bcause she's my friend. (E is her aunt - adorable that she referred to her as her friend.)

At my softball game, S was incredibly animated and cheering so loudly I could hear her in right field. (Yes, that's how awesome I am.) Then when one of the guys on my team was up to bat, she was standing behind the backstop yelling, "1...2...3...Aw, man!" when he wouldn't swing. She will kick butt at "Swing batter" when we teach it to her someday.

What up, G. (Spoken in as deep a voice as she can. I must confess, I said it first and she was mimicking me, but it's WAY funnier when she says it.)

Fantastic! (with a triumphantly raised fist)

  • Category 3 - Funny because she's incorrectly repeating something someone said

Whoopsie, Spaghetti-O.

S: Sometimes we say sonofapit. (I debated if I should address this since it wasn't technically bad, but decided I should to be on the safe side in case she accidentally said it correctly at a later time.)
Me: Um, no. No, we don't.
S: Yeah, we do. Sometimes.
Me: Well, maybe sometimes people do, but we don't say it.

Other amusing anecdotes about our 3 YO.

I picked S up a little early from preschool to get a haircut before our big family photo a few weeks ago. As we walked away down the sidewalk, she turned back and yelled at the door, "I'm getting my hair cut guys! I'll be back later!" This was funny because 1) she's pretty quiet at school; and 2) none of the kids were paying attention and the door was shut so they couldn't hear her anyway.

Before Halloween, S said, "I want to be a doctor when I grow up." I was kind of surprised. So far her aspirations had been to work at Hy-Vee, the grocery store we frequent. Not that there's anything wrong with that vocation; I just had hoped she would make lots of money so she could afford to put me in a good home when I'm old and senile. Then last night when we were giving the girls a bath, she was checking Baby R's ears and saying, "Looks good, looks good" in almost exactly the same intonation as our pediatrician. This may be her calling after all.

Sometimes we have waffles for breakfast. Ok, often we do. S likes her waffles cut into squares with syrup. Then she likes to "share" mine and not eat hers. Sigh.

They say toddlers/preschoolers don't have much of a memory which is partly why they can be distracted when they are building toward a tantrum. "They" have clearly never met S and her elephantine memory. A month ago she said something about how we had left cookies for Santa on the hearth last year. We haven't talked about that since Christmas. Today she said, completely out-of-the-blue, that when Baby R gets bigger, she can go to Sesame Street Live with her and Daddy. And I can go, too! Um, she went to Sesame Street Live last December. Sheesh!

And regarding distracting her, yesterday when I picked the girls up from my parents' house, she wanted to get the mail with my dad before he left for work, but he was running late. Here's their conversation:

S: Let's go get the mail.
Dad: Sorry, honey, I have to go. I'll get it when I get back. I love you!
S: Let's go get the mail.
Dad: Do you know how much I love you?
S: Let's go get the mail.
Dad: Do you love me?
S: Let's go get the mail.

This went on for a few minutes before he gave up and got the mail.

Finally, S is just growing so much. I marked her height on our broom closet on her bday at the end of July, and when we measured her again a couple of weeks ago, she was half an inch taller! In the last week or two, she's learned how to pump her legs to swing by herself. And she really grasps interacting in conversations now. She was telling her baby sister a story this morning, and not talking at her, but really talking to her, even though Baby R clearly wasn't able to reply verbally. Amazing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quick Update

So I've been scrambling to get things with my car resolved, and the happy news is that it is totaled and worth about twice what I thought, so we are mini van shopping. The other good news is that we chose a daycare provider - another in-home, part-time - and we start on Friday. Whew! I'm WAY behind on NaNoWriMo because of last week, but I'm not giving up. I may not be able to hit the deadline, but I'm enjoying writing again. I have tons of cute kid comments that I'm going to try to compile from all the scraps of paper they are on and include in a post soon. I submitted a couple of posts to Gigi at KludgyMom for her Thanksgiving ebook, so I haven't had a chance to put anything together here, but I will soon.

My mom had a follow up visit with the orthopedist and he said she didn't break her arm - it was the old break that had healed that they saw on the x-ray. And her other arm is fine. But the one they thought was broken had the ulna shoved into the elbow, so she's not supposed to lift anything with it - not even a cup - for two weeks. They won't put it in a sling because it will get too stiff - she needs to move it, but not lift with it.

Also, my sister-in-law is part of start-up called Skinny Gene. It's a company dedicated to helping people find out if they have pre-diabetes to get them the help they need before it becomes full-blown. Diabetes is a huge growing problem in the U.S. and they have won awards for their ingenuity. They are up for a Pepsi Refresh Good Idea grant, so I've added a link about them on the right side of the blog towards the bottom. Check it out and vote for them!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Joke of the Day

Did you hear the one about a crazy woman and a deaf woman driving on perpendicular streets? The crazy woman tries to turn left in front of the deaf woman, and WHAM! Totals her car.
Where's the punchline???

Sadly, there isn't one. Yesterday morning I was taking Baby R to my in-laws and S to preschool before I stopped to vote on my way to work. I decided to take a shortcut. Unfortunately, the main road it led to was a parking lot as traffic had been diverted from the highway because of an accident. I was trying to turn left, the car directly across from me was trying to turn left, and the car to my left was trying to turn left. All of us had to weave our way through the solid line of cars on the eastbound side of the road. I looked left and there were no cars coming, so I eased out and tried to figure out how I could make my way around the other left-turners since the hole the line of cars made wasn't flush with the intersection. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car coming right at us. I had just enough time to suck in my breath and tense up before the crash. My car spun 90 degrees and the air bags blew.


My car. :(

All I could think about were my babies.  I was gripping the steering wheel and saw the powder from the air bag squirt out. Briefly I thought that I should move because I knew it could cause chemical burns. Then Baby R started crying, and I asked S if she was ok. She said yes, but said, "Mommy, your car's broken. Your car's broken!" She was starting to get hysterical. I was shaking but knew I had to pull it together for the girls. "It's ok, baby," I said. "As long as you're not hurt, I'm not worried about the car."

I sat there unsure what to do. I'm not wholly unfamiliar with car accidents, though I'd like to say I was. But I'd never been in anything more than a fender bender. I was always able to drive away. There was no driving my car yesterday. How had I not seen that car coming? I had looked. I remembered exactly what the street looked like and there was no car there. It literally came out of nowhere. After a minute or so a woman approached my car. She was a kind bystander offering her help. I tried to open the door, but it was stuck. I finally was able to push it open far enough to squeeze out. The woman from the other car had gotten out, too, and seemed unharmed. I did exactly what you're NOT supposed to do. "I'm so sorry," I gushed. "It was completely my fault."

"I'm deaf," she mouthed to me.

Holy crap. What kind of evil person crashes into a deaf woman? "I'm so sorry," I said, again looking directly at her so she could see my lips. "Are you ok?"

She nodded her head yes, and asked if I needed help with the girls. The other woman was trying to get Baby R out. Suddenly I had a moment of clarity which resulted in embarrassment as they looked at S who was wrapped up in her quilt. "Oh, uh, hang on. I need to get her dressed still." So there in the middle of a busy road during rush hour with all eyes on us as a scene of an accident, I frantically tried to get my 3-year-old dressed in 45 degree weather. Never mind that they don't know that she refuses to wear clothes until the very last second so ends up thrown in the car in her underwear most days. I just look like an irresponsible mother on top of being evil for crashing into a deaf woman. Fantastic!

The other woman was trying to bounce Baby R in her infant car seat to soothe her. I looked over and realized she's covered in snot. She's had a cold for 3 1/2 weeks. I took her back to the doctor Monday because the neighbor's son was diagnosed with croup, and I felt like her phlegmy cough was getting tighter. Nope, ears were clear, lungs sounded fine;  just wait it out. Sure, easy for them to say. They don't have an accident with her in the car the next day coated in mucous for everyone to see. I'm sure this woman was thinking, "Ever heard of Kleenex, lady?"

I called 911 and the dispatcher said someone had already called it in and an officer was on his way. She asked if we could move our cars and I told her no, so she said she'd send a tow truck, too. I called my dad and asked him to come get the girls. I called my father-in-law to tell him I wasn't bringing them over right then. I called work to tell them that I was going to be late. I called preschool to say that S may or may not be in later. I started gathering the things I needed to get out of the car right then. (Upside to wrecking my car - I finally cleaned it out later that afternoon at the tow lot.) Another good Samaritan had seen I had a baby in the car and offered to bring us a blanket. I already had one, but told her thank you for stopping.

The policeman arrived at the same time as my dad. I got the girls passed to him and started to dig out my driver's license and insurance and registration. At this point, I realized that my right hand was really hurting. There was a red mark from my thumb knuckle across the back of my hand to my wrist where the air bag powder had landed. The officer asked if anyone was hurt and I told him no, I just had a burn from the air bags. The other woman had a sore knee where she'd bumped it, but that was it. He asked if the girls had been in their carseats. I told him yes. Everyone was in agreement that that was the important thing, the girls were ok. I nodded and bit my lip, but I couldn't hold back my tears anymore. I buried my face in my purse pretending to look for my ID until I could get it together again.

It's kind of hard to see, but this is the burn on my hand from the air bag.
I found my insurance card. It expired last week. $#!@. I knew we must have gotten new cards in the mail, and we just hadn't put them in our wallets yet.  So I got a ticket for that which will be thrown out when I take my updated card to the courthouse, but what a pain. The policeman asked me what happened, and I told him. He asked me if any environmental factors contributed to the accident like the sunlight. This will totally sound like I used it as an out, but it made perfect sense. I swear I looked and there were no cars coming. But the car that hit me was black and coming from the east, and the sun was just above the roof of the houses so it was blindingly bright, and below it was dark shadows. It made me feel better to realize that's probably why I didn't see it.

The tow truck guy came and asked us where we wanted the cars towed. Uhhhhh....he suggested their lot and the insurance adjusters could come look at the damage there, and then we could decide where to take our vehicles for repairs. (Though he thought mine was probably totaled due to the air bags having deployed and the state of the axle/frame as seen in the photo below. Awesome.) Sure, fine. I called my dad to tell him he could come back for me. He still hadn't made it to their house yet, traffic was so bad. He'd heard there were a dozen or so accidents that morning. What the...? No problem. I called my father-in-law. He was kind enough to come get me.

At least the tire doesn't look damaged....

The officer had us move to the other side of the street from where I'd started out. The other woman's daughter arrived to pick her up. I heard someone call my name. A guy I used to work with had seen me. Grreeeaaat. I LOVE running into people I know when I do stupid stuff. Thankfully, he's a really cool guy. He came over to see how I was, and we chatted for a bit, and he offered to give me a ride, but I told him my FIL was on his way. Then the officer came to give me my $90 ticket for failing to yield. Perfect.

My father-in-law arrived then and asked me where I was having my car towed. I told him just the tow lot. He asked me how much they charged since he'd heard of people getting scammed for $100/day. Yikes! I didn't know, so I asked the guy and he said $20/day. Whew. That's more reasonable, I guess, though charging people anything for this kind of thing seems like highway robbery! It's like weddings, they can charge more because you NEED them. Pfft.

We got to my parents' house, and we decided the girls would just stay there that day since my FIL didn't have car seats. My hand was killing me by this point, so I got on-line and looked up what I was supposed to do to treat it. Rinse it immediately in cold water for 20 minutes. Hmmmm. It had been about an hour since the accident, but I rinsed it anyway. Don't use ice, but a cool, damp cloth and take acetaminophen. So I wrapped it in a washcloth, and Dad and I took S to preschool, and I called the insurance company. By the time we were back at my parents' house, they had set up a rental car for me.

My hand was hurting even more, so I decided to call the Ask-A-Nurse hotline. They didn't know what chemicals were used in the air bags, so they couldn't dispense accurate advice. They suggested calling poison control. The woman there (also named Jennifer, shocker) told me to try zinc oxide ointment. Ok, sounded like a plan. I decided to stop at the pharmacy after I got my car before I headed to the office. My dad took me to Enterprise, but that location didn't have any cars available. It was going to be later in the afternoon before they had any. So Dad took me to Walgreens to get some zinc oxide ointment. I walked back to the pharmacy and asked if someone could help me find any. "Oh, sure it's in the baby aisle." Oh? "Yeah, Desitin." SERIOUSLY? I have an 11-mo-old teething infant. We have 3 tubes of this stuff at home. Sigh. I just left the store and decided to apply some when I got home.

We headed to preschool to pick up S and I couldn't delay it any longer. I called my DH. I had had plenty going on so had a legitimate reason not to call yet, but I was avoiding it, too, because I knew that 1) I would start crying when I heard his voice, and 2) he was NOT going to be happy to hear I had wrecked the better of our two cars. Got that over with and picked up S. She and Dad dropped me off at work since an Enterprise employee could pick me up later to get my rental. The rest of the day was much less interesting.

Oh, I never did end up voting. First time in years I missed it. I decided I will never again take that shortcut. Oh wait - there's the punchline - the street on the shortcut is Twilight. Jinxed by the damn vampires since I was finally convinced to read the stupid books!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo Wha?

So last week I found out about this writing challenge, National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in November. I minored in creative writing in college but haven't written anything since, but was inspired by Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points to get back into it recently. I hadn't done anything about it though. Then I heard about NaNoWriMo and, gulp, signed up! What was I thinking?!?! Have you read my blog lately? Do I sound like I have time to type up 1,600 words every day? Um, no. And yet, I'm so excited to give it a try. I don't expect to hit that goal (though I was surprised that I got about 1,200 words today), but I do hope it makes me write a little every day. That's really what's more important.

That said, my blog posts be a little sparser.  As a quick update, I've had 3 interviews with childcare providers, two of which were promising, and I have one more this week. The girls have been sick forEVER, but I took Baby R to the dr. again today because our neighbor's son was diagnosed with croup today (poor guy!) so I started to get paranoid, and it they told me the same thing they told me last Monday - chest sounds good, ears are clear, wait it out. But I saw on Mamapedia today that other moms have kiddos who've had it 6 weeks. REALLY? So hoping it doesn't last that long for us, though we're already on our 4th week here.

Halloween was fun. S had a blast trick-or-treating with DH and our neighbors and their son. After we put the girls to bed, DH went to another neighbor's who had a fire pit in the driveway and they were making s'mores for kids if they wanted some. The parents all hung around and had adult beverages whilst passing out candy. If only the baby monitor reached further...
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