Posts Tagged ‘car’

Can You Ever Just Be Whelmed?

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

SHORT VERSION OF THIS INSANELY LONG POST: I did not accidentally have a baby while my husband is gone and our van is dead. Hopefully next week I will get a new minivan and a baby. 

Now that this week is 90% over, I no longer feel – both literally and figuratively – like I am drowning. Now it’s more like I’m treading water while holding half a pool noodle and also a baby. It’s been a really, really hot summer here in CT, sauna-levels of hot and humid, except you can’t just sit around wrapped in a tiny towel and the warning not to spend more than 20 minutes at a time in the heat can’t be followed because you can’t leave. In past years we’ve had a week or two of this weather, but not so many days in a row I lose the ability to leave my bedroom. Our house feels both way too big (how can I be expected to walk down a flight of stairs EVERY TIME I have to pee? why is there no way to air condition the open main living space?) and way too small (GET AWAY FROM ME CHILDREN) and I actually cannot wait to go to the hospital to give birth. Not because I like the hospital. I hate the hospital. Not even because I want to meet the baby. Obviously I do. But mostly because they have air conditioning AND a bathroom only 3 steps from the bed. HEAVEN.

Last week was a culmination of everything that could go wrong (besides actual baby-related stuff) all happening at once. It was hot (did I mention that yet?) and I had to drop Evan off at Seaport camp every morning with 2.9 other children in tow. There is not drop off line. You park across a busy street, take everyone in with you, sign one kid in, then have to convince everyone else to leave again when what they really want to do is play at the Seaport. Last year I had no problem staying. This year I felt like I was going to die just from crossing the street, so spending several hours walking around just wasn’t possible. I am literally unable to chase Linc if he runs away and he is deep in a running-away phase. Have I told you he also refuses to wear shoes? Because that’s also true. So no shoes, doesn’t listen, bolts at every chance AND at a waterfront location is just asking for trouble. What I’m saying is that week was already stressing me out.

Then our downstairs fridge stopped working. Good news: we hardly ever use that fridge. Bad news: we hardly ever use that fridge, so I have no idea what was in it or how horrific it currently is. Pretty horrific, I’m guessing. I can’t deal, so I’m waiting for E to get to it so he can deal. In the meantime, I’m just not opening the basement door.

Anyway, back to camp, sort of. On Thursday when I dropped Evan off, the oil light in the car kept turning on and off and on and off. Since we had the car serviced and the oil changed LITERALLY 9 DAYS AGO I planned to call the car place when we got home and ask them to take a look. But by the time we got home it had stopped happening and I figured it was a glitch, the way my airbag light and my tire pressure lights are always on (I’ve had them checked multiple times, there’s actually nothing wrong). On Friday, on the way to drop Evan off, it started happening again. This time I called E at work and asked him if he could call the car place and make sure I could drive straight there after drop off because maaaaaaaybe this was an actual problem. But how could it be? We JUST changed the oil. Surely they would have noticed a major issue. He called, they made an appointment and told me to bring it in. After I hustled the children back to the car, I decided to take the fast way – the interstate – back to town instead of the back way – country roads – because I wanted to get there as soon as possible.

I’d been on the highway less than 3 minutes before I realized my car wasn’t accelerating. It was barely running. I pulled onto the shoulder and burst into tears because I KNEW how screwed I was. The engine wouldn’t turn over. I was stuck on I-95 with 2.9 children.

Luckily, E was still in his building and not unreachable (he is very often unreachable at work) and someone found him and he came to rescue us. Or at least he came to provide a car with air conditioning that worked to sit in while we waiting for AAA to come. And waited. And waited. And waiting. Eventually the state patrol truck came to check on us and suggested we put oil in the van. A while after that I called AAA back and they couldn’t find a record of my call (of course) so they put in the request again (of course) and then I got a text saying my request had been canceled (of course). So when the van started, we decided I would put the kids in E’s car, he would drive the van, and we would try to get to the car place. We made it to within 5 miles of the car place before the van died again, for real. So dead. RIP Minivan. We used the car to push it off the road into a parking lot where we could wait for AAA. AGAIN. This time, they managed to actually put my request through and we got updates from the tow truck so we knew we had time to run home, let Caroline pee, grab lunch and go back to the parking lot to wait some more. After we got the van to the car place and the kids home (Evan was still at camp) we both made calls to reschedule the rest of our day.

Later, the car place called to confirm that our van was in fact a giant blue brick and replacing the seized engine was going to cost twice what the van was worth. It turns out there was a huge hole in the oil pan. I’m still not exactly sure how an oil pan that was looked at NINE DAYS AGO can have a huge hole in it, but they assured us it wasn’t their fault. I don’t have the energy to argue, especially because I am SURE the only way they would agree it was their fault was in small claims court and I can’t prove anything. I mean, Judge Judy would TOTALLY be on my side, but I don’t know about real life judges.

So after we took a break from that disaster to go see the show at Foxwoods on Friday night, we spent Saturday looking at new vans. It was horrible, because car shopping is horrible and children are horrible. Plus it was a million degrees and most car dealer lots are already as hot as balls, so when it’s even more hot than usual standing around looking at cars is almost unbearable. And there’s no good way to test drive anything when it means moving over 3 car seats every time. We did not buy a van. Our current car is a Ford Fusion, which means yes, we do all fit in it well enough to drive around to dealerships, but NO, we are not going to fit as soon as I have this baby. We have to have a new vehicle. We definitely want another minivan. It shouldn’t be THAT hard to buy something. But we failed on Saturday.

But why didn’t you just buy a car on Sunday? you ask, like a normal person. Oh, right, because my husband left for a week on Sunday morning. Because who doesn’t schedule work travel when their wife is 38-39 weeks pregnant? SEEMS LIKE A GREAT TIME TO BE HALF WAY AROUND THE WORLD. (It’s not his fault, just add it to the list of ways the Navy DGAF.) On the one hand, it means I can use his car this week while we browse internet listings for a van. On the other hand, if he was here we could just buy a van. Putting 3 kids across the back of a mid-size sedan is awful, especially because we still have Linc rear-facing aka perfect head-kicking height for his brother. Plus there’s not room for things like “the groceries a family of soon-to-be-six actually needs to feed themselves for more than two days”. It’s stupid. Everything is stupid. I just want a car that works.

Also, we have a fruit fly invasion, the garage door isn’t working, the a/c is about to die from overuse, the shower drain is all backed up, the shelf over the washer and dryer collapsed, the dog won’t stop eating used diapers, Linc has a rash, I’m pretty sure I have a mild kidney infection again, my heartburn is unbearable, the kids are ALL sleeping in my room, my pelvis feels like it’s going to split apart and I am still pregnant. Plus last night I realized I have done NOTHING to get ready to have a baby. I didn’t buy a new Boppy – the only thing I was actually going to buy – I didn’t find the bin that has the baby clothes, I don’t have any diapers, I haven’t even begun to pack a hospital bag. I am an actual disaster who probably should not be adding another child to her life but IT’S TOO LATE NOW.

I keep trying to focus on all the ways I am very, very lucky. We can (mostly) afford to replace the van. It’s not ideal, but it won’t be impossible. The day the van died, E was here and reachable and able to take over 90% of Dealing With It because I didn’t feel at all capable. No one got hurt. We do have a space in our house with a/c and we aren’t suffering from heat stroke. I’ve been able to put almost everything on pause and just keep the kids ALIVE this week while waiting for E to get back. I didn’t go into labor with no back-up plan while he was gone. In a week my mom will be here and she can help with finding the bin of baby clothes and making sure the kids eat something besides carrot sticks and popsicles while I lie down not handling things. And soon I will have a nice, new, clean, van with FOUR car seats installed so I can have this baby without also having a panic attack. I’ve gone from completely overwhelmed to at least capable of talking about it without crying in the course of a week. I feel like that’s about all I can ask for right now. My goal for today is the hospital bag, finding the rock-n-play, putting away enough laundry I can see the nursing chair and once again, keeping my children alive. Tomorrow, van shopping. Then I can be just plain whelmed.

p.s. Still no name for this baby.

p.p.s. God bless the lake for keeping me from completely losing my shit this week, so please enjoy these lake photos.

lake life august 2016

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p.p.p.s. My new updated WordPress says the readability on this post “needs improvement”. CAN YOU NOT, WORDPRESS?

If there’s ever a Whining Olympics, I’ll bring home the gold

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately writing two paragraph blog posts in my head and then promptly forgetting them. It’s mostly due to the fact that I’m doing all my brainstorming in the middle of the night when I a) can’t fall asleep to begin with or b) can’t fall BACK asleep after waking up for no apparent reason. This pregnancy is doing weird weird things to my internal clock and thermometer and electrical system and pretty much any other part of me that could be compared to something mechanical. When the weather changed suddenly last week and the barometric pressure went way down (or up or lopsided or whatever it is that happens when it goes from mild and humid to clear and cool) I woke up twitching from head to toe feeling like my skin was trying to crawl off my body. It was rather unpleasant. And not at all conducive to sleeping. So I stay up too late and toss and turn all night and then totally crash during Baby Evan’s nap time which means I stay up even later the next night and get even less sleep and am more exhausted so the vicious cycle continues forever and ever amen.

I felt the same way last pregnancy, only then I wasn’t chasing a toddler around all day so napping wasn’t really a problem so much as a glorious, wonderful way of life. I’m hoping if I can make it through the rest of this week sans nap and with a 10 pm bedtime my body will readjust and I can start stocking up on zzzzz’s while I still can – that number on my pregnancy ticker ain’t getting any bigger and it has DEFINITELY not been long enough since I had an infant around that I’ve forgotten what that’s like. Ugh.

My exhaustion is making every other little tiny annoyance in my life seem like a Huge Deal this week, which is just making it harder for me to relax. Huge Deal #1 is that I’m still laptopless after almost a month because we’re still deciding if we can afford to buy E a new computer or if I should just buy ANOTHER power cord for my clearly defective yet much beloved HP. So we’re “sharing” one laptop, and by “sharing” I mean I’m currently up writing blog posts at 1:20 am because it’s pretty much the only time of day E isn’t involved in some vitally important online game that he tries to guilt trip me into not nagging him about by claiming he’s “spending time” with his brother and his dad. To which I say: THAT’S WHAT PHONES ARE FOR. Because, obviously, I NEED to get online to comment on all my internet friends’ blogs and whine about things on my own. Priorities, people.

Huge Deal #2 is more bullshit with one of our worst purchases ever – E’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. Go ahead, Google “problem with my 2004 Jeep” and come back in 12 hours when you finish reading eight bazillionty forum posts about stupid problems like windshield wipers that don’t work and cruise control that fails every time it rains and the ridiculous trash they call the “heating system” but I’m pretty sure is just a hamster on a wheel working a little fan that costs $1000 every time we have to have it replaced. Which has been twice. So far. But most ridiculous of all is the windows that simply FALL INTO THE DOOR at random times and then can’t be fixed without taken the entire panel apart. It’s because some genius made the little piece that holds up the electric window out of cheap ass plastic. So the piece itself costs like $7 but the work costs $500 plus two days of being a single car family in an area that does not lend itself to single-car-ness. Did I mention this is at LEAST the second time we’ve had the window fall? I’m pretty sure it’s happened to both the driver’s and passenger’s windows once before but E thinks this is the first time on the driver’s side. He’s been driving the Jeep around with the window down for weeks now rather than getting it fixed (I think we were both secretly hoping it would just sort of…self-heal or something).  I could complain about this for another fifty years (I hate our dealership! Taking my car to work is a HUGE pain for E because of security! Being housebound with a toddler in the rain is the 8th circle of hell!) but let’s just sum up by saying the weather report for the rest of the week is so grim we’re going to bite the bullet and take the Jeep in for repairs today so I’ll be Mr. Grumpy Pants for the next few days. 8th circle of hell here I come.

Huge Deal #3 is..oh nevermind. Whatever. Let’s just say I’m annoyed at myself and annoyed at the world and annoyed at my husband and pretty much nothing is going to change that right now besides a good night’s sleep and a day without being smacked in the face by my child. And maybe a few hours of peace to get the house clean so I can stop feeling like I’m YEARS behind on my to-do list. I’d settle for weeks. The best case scenario is days. I’m exhausted already just thinking about it.

This wouldn’t happen if I drove something cool. Like a Prius.

Monday, August 16th, 2010

I’ve been having really bad luck lately, which all seems to be car related, which also all seems to be somewhat my own fault. OK, maybe entirely my fault – this pregnancy brain thing is REAL, no matter what “science” might have to say about it. “Science” also says alcohol is bad for you and we all know THAT’S not true. But seriously, pregnancy brain plus bad luck is the worst thing ever.

On Wednesday, I did my daily morning juggle of baby-water-bottle-purse-yoga-mat-stroller out to the car minivan only to discover the doors were locked and my keys weren’t in my purse. I dragged everything back inside and spent 10 minutes tearing apart the kitchen to find my keys before I remembered I put them in my other purse. THEN I remember I had just seen my other purse. On the floor of the car minivan. The locked one. So instead of a morning workout followed by an hour or two of playground time followed by a nice afternoon nap, I spent my day trying to entertain Screamy McScreamerson, King of the Split Personality who thinks smacking you in the face just so he can kiss the boo is HI-LAR-I-OUS.

Thursday was better. Besides the screaming match E and I got into about what the definition of “on top of the stroller” is. True story – we might be the first people to ever put “irreconcilable differences re: stroller anatomy” on our divorce petition.

On Friday afternoon I needed to run to the post office and finally mail those Lbaggies to my giveaway winners (sorry it took so long guys, they’re on the way!) so I left E with a napping baby and hopped in the van. As I was backing down the driveway I thought I felt a little…lopsided. Normally, being the super-responsible very automobile knowledgeable person I am, I would have convinced myself I was imagining things and run my errand anyway. But this time I got out and looked at my front left tire. My totally – TOTALLY – flat front left tire. Flat like a pancake. Flat like a board. Flat like my chest in the eighth grade when I bought that bathing suit with the built in cups and then couldn’t go in the water for fear they might collapse.

It was really flat. It sort of looked like it might have been flat for a while.

And then I remembered how the car scraped on the bump pulling into the driveway.

And then I remembered how the car scraped on the bump pulling out of the Wendy’s drive thru.

And then I remembered how the car sort of…pulled to the left on the way TO playgroup.

And then I remembered the “low tire pressure” light that’s been on pretty much since we bought the car.

I am a genius. And pretty lucky I (probably) didn’t permanently damage my axle. Or cause an accident.

In my defense, the light was on when we actually bought the car and the guy said “Oh it’s just because of the temperature. Once the weather cools down you’ll be fine.” Which is why I yelled “The salesman said it was OK! Tell them he’s a lying liar!!” in the background while E talked the dealership into replacing our OBVIOUSLY PREVIOUSLY PATCHED tire for free. I’m going in at 8 am today to sit in the waiting room with a hyperactive toddler for probably several hours until the mechanic tells me they don’t even have that tire in stock so they’ll have to special order it and can I come back in two weeks? And bee tee double-you, that’ll be $150.

Did I mention the part where the van FELL OFF THE JACK while E was changing the flat and I had to call AAA to come with their special heavy-duty jack? Or the part where the van FELL OFF THAT ONE TOO? Apparently the jacking mechanism is all…jacked-up.

Maybe the universe is telling me to just stay home. Which is the kind of advice I think I should follow – as soon as I go to the store for chocolate ice cream jelly beans milk and bread.

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