The bad news was that it was my starter that died and needed to be replaced.
The good news is that it was covered under our extended warranty. Even luckier news is that the warranty is just about to run out so timing couldn’t have been better for this to happen. A few more miles and we would have been paying $600+ out of pocket. No thank you!
I very much dislike car issues and repairs. They are so unpredictable and are never budgeted for and they stress me out.
We’ve had our fair share of issues with that Odyssey. You may remember a year ago when I had all the issues with our TPMS light and system? Fun times. Fun times.
Back to Wednesday though. Jim called with the bad and good news stated above and then I waited for him to call again and say the repairs were done.
He finally called and said he was on his way to pick me up. We grabbed the boys from school and off we went to pick up my van. Another fun night trying to get across Atlanta in rush hour traffic. Joy.
We arrive at Honda Carland and all pile out of the car. As we walk toward my mini van Jim opens the door to a minivan parked a few down from mine. He looks at me and says “Surprise!” and hands me keys to a brand new 2012 Honda Odyssey.
Yes, that was pretty much my reaction. You did WHAT?!
He explained his train of thought behind it with all the issues we have had and the warranty expiring and needing a reliable vehicle to haul soon to be three children around. Plus cheaper insurance and cheaper monthly payments. He claims it was a no-brainer.
I wasn’t arguing. I got what he was saying.
Ryan did not though. He freaked out. “This is NOT our car! We CANNOT take this car! This is NOT my mommy’s car!”
As soon as Jim said we would put his and Owen’s seat in the new car, he was ok with this idea and was excited to ride in the new car. Prior to that though, he was having no part of a new vehicle. It’s funny how a kid’s mind works.
I have to admit I was in shock most of the evening, but now that I realize it is our new vehicle to keep, I absolutely LOVE it.
My favorite features so far include the distance to empty gauge; the miles per gallon feature and the XM radio.
If you know me at all, you know I only gas up when my light comes on. I realize it isn’t the best for my vehicle, but with gas being so expensive I try to wait as long as possible before going into shock at the gas pump. If you have an Odyssey you already know that when your light comes on you better get gas ASAP. With my new gauge and light I now realize that the light comes on with 15 miles left on the tank. WHAT?! Jim’s Passat comes on at 40 miles. Mine, 15. Wow.
Yes, I have already tested this and freaked slightly when it dropped to 6 miles and I still hadn’t found a gas station. The heart attack came though when I did find a station and gassed up my new van (with a much larger tank) in the heart of Buckhead and paid $4.09 for regular gas.
Gulp. Almost $80.
I think I need to start gassing up sooner than the light so that I don’t need to mortgage the house each time I have to fill up.
As for the miles per gallon feature? I love it. It’s a competition with myself each time I drive to see if I can increase how many miles I get on average. I think it also makes me a better driver because I’m more aware of my stopping and acceleration. Plus it’s fun. Don’t you agree?
Regarding the XM radio there is nothing I dislike more than talking on the radio. XM solves that problem and still gives a variety of music. I can listen to whatever type of music I’m in the mood for at that exact moment. It makes commuting in horrible Atlanta traffic so much better.
The last thing I love about my new Odyssey is that it is CLEAN. Let’s see how long it stays that way. So far, so good.
Tuesday started like any other day. Every typical suburban mom has days like this right?!
5:55am – alarm goes off. Snooze.
6:03am – alarm goes off again. Snooze twice.
6:30am – alarm goes off again. Finally open eyes and turn on the news. Afterall, we have to know the current pollen count right?
6:35am – both boys come bouncing into our room ready to start their day. Immediately I’m asked a million questions and told a thousand things.
- “Momma. I’m hungry.”
- “Momma. I have to go pee-pee.”
- ”Momma. Get up pleeeeease.”
- “Momma. Can I vacuum?”
- “Momma. Did you make my chore chart yet?”
6:55am – roll out of bed because I’m now late.
6:55am until 7:35am – get myself ready for work; get the boys ready for school; make lunches; and make breakfast. Common phrases said numerous times during the 30+ minutes.
- “Yes, you have to change your underwear. It’s not optional.”
- “Please put your pants on.”
- “Your shirt is backwards.”
- “Why are your pants still not on?”
- “Are you wearing Christmas socks, Ryan?”
- “And are you wearing Halloween socks, Owen?”
- “Seriously, get your pants on please.”
7:35am – load everyone into the car and head to school
7:55am – finally leave school and start commute to my doctor (OB) appointment on the other side of Atlanta.
9:00am – arrive at doctor appointment.
10:10am – finally see the actual doctor. I went in for an extra appointment with a doctor I normally don’t see because of some weird pains and uncomfortable baby movements over the last several days. Basically, I was told that everything is perfectly fine and normal and that I’m carrying this baby completely different than I carried the boys. This baby is being front carried and sitting extremely low. She is very active and bouncing on my cervix. She is also a big baby like the boys were so she doesn’t have a lot of room to move and when she does move her arms and legs she is jabbing me in the exact same spot over and over throughout the day/night. It’s become painful because it’s basically like poking at a bruise over and over and over. I was told to drink lots of water; keep my stress low; and my feet elevated as much as possible. I was also told to be in water as often as I can because it will naturally lift the baby and the pressure she is placing on my cervix.
10:50am – arrive at work.
11:15am – leave for lunch meeting
11:17am – car won’t start. WHAT THE?!?!?!
11:19am – convince a coworker to drive me to a lunch meeting with the bribe that she will get a free lunch.
2:00pm – leave lunch and stress about whether or not the car will start.
2:15pm – no go on the car starting.
2:15pm until 3:45pm – call hubby; call Honda Carland; call road side assistance. Attempt jumping the car. Nope. Attempt looking at fuses. Nope. Attempt user manual. Nope.
3:45pm – As I stand next to my dead car in the parking lot I receive a call from our credit card fraud department due to suspicious activity on my account. No worries though because I was the suspicious activity. I hadn’t used my credit card in quite some time and then purchased a new vacuum cleaner on Monday over lunch during a minor freak out moment when I realized I didn’t have diapers for baby girl arriving in a few short weeks. I have no idea how a vacuum cleaner purchase came out of the diaper run over lunch, but regardless I spent several hundred dollars on a credit card I had not used in probably over a year. Thank you for checking to make sure it was legit; timing not so good though and just added to my crazy day, panic and stress level.
4:00pm – I leave to get boys from school using Jim’s car. Jim stays with the car and waits for tow truck.
4:30pm – tow car to Honda Carland.
5:00pm – get boys and run home to let the dog outside; grab the iPad for a movie in the car; grab a snack for the starving boys.
6:20pm – arrive at Honda Carland. See Jim car shopping and day dreaming about his next vehicle. His is old and time to be replaced. Not today though.
6:40pm – dinner from drive thru McDonald’s.
6:45pm – miss family night at school with pjs, snack and books read by teachers/director. Bummer.
7:30pm – finally arrive home.
8:00pm – boys in bed and mommy to follow not long afterwards.
I’m pretty sure when the doctor said low-stress he wasn’t referring to a broken down vehicle and rush hour traffic in Atlanta with two hungry kids in the backseat. Ahhh… the day in the life of a typical suburban family.
You can relate right?
If you don’t follow me on facebook, you probably don’t know how this story ends. Stay tuned to hear more about this……
Last weekend was so beautiful we thought we would catch up on all things outdoors. And we did just that.
We loaded the kids into the Passat and headed to Home Depot. Of all weekends to have my car still loaded down with conference boxes and unusable, I chose this weekend to do our gardening.
We managed just fine though and we were able to get all the dirt, plants, flowers and even a rototiller attachment home safe and sound.
Let the fun begin!
We had to do some weeding first to clean up the garden area and the flower beds, but before long we were making progress. The boys had fun digging in the dirt and helping haul away the weeds with their little tractors.
Ryan was a huge helper and filled all the pots with dirt for me so I could plant the flowers.
Owen? Well, he always seems to do his own thing his own way. He lost interest in helping after about the 2nd scoop of dirt into the pot.
Oh well. I still had one helper boy!
After the flowers were planted we stepped back to admire our handy work. Not too shabby huh?
Daddy had to do the rototiller in the garden so mommy’s big ol’ preggo belly wouldn’t allow for such a chore.
Daddy found the early stages of numerous little green friends from last year. Ryan did a great job helping collect them to dispose of them far, far away from the garden (aka the trash).
After we prepped the garden area, Ryan and I got busy planting.
I actually stuck him inside the garden and taught him how to make the rows and place the seeds. By this point of the day I was getting tired and sore and the baby was kicking like crazy telling me enough is enough.
Ryan didn’t seem to mind though. He enjoyed being my helper and being inside the garden; an area normally off limits to little children.
This year we planted cauliflower, broccoli, a bunch of tomato plants, cucumbers, onions and peas.
We have a few more packets of seeds that we want to plant (pumpkins, sweet corn, and carrots). I also want to pick up some red and green pepper plants for this year. Now I just need to find an area to plant these additional items.
Since I will be home all summer on maternity leave I figured I might as well have a big garden! I mean, not that I’ll be bored or anything. I will be home with a newborn, a 3 year old and a 5 year old and trying to entertain everyone while not losing my mind. Easy peasy right?!
Where was Delta through all of this you ask? Well, supervising of course!
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the most patient person. In addition, I am a planner. Put these two characteristics together with a pregnancy and you can only imagine how difficult it is for me to wait the normal 18-20 weeks for gender determination.
Add Christmas on top of that with my 18 week ultrasound being scheduled for December 27th. To me that was unacceptable. I didn’t want to find out 2 days after Christmas what we were having. I wanted to be able to share the news on and before Christmas with our loved ones.
I started my research on 2D and 3D ultrasound locations in the Atlanta area and decided to schedule with Stork Vision, Atlanta. I contacted them to schedule an appointment and the staff was very friendly and quick to respond. Their location was very convenient in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta (numerous locations across the US).
We decided to bring the boys with us to the ultrasound since they’ve been so excited about the baby. Ryan asks me daily if the baby is wiggling and moving. They both hug and kiss the baby all the time. If they come up and hug me and I say “Thanks buddy. That was so sweet.” I receive a response such as “Momma. That hug wasn’t for you. It’s for our baby.” Oh, geez. Sorry boys!
The appointment was scheduled and now we just had to wait
impatiently patiently for the day to arrive.
The best part was that we kept the secret from most people that we were finding out early what we were having. We wanted to make it a surprise for Christmas for the grandparents! So mum was the word for now.
We arrived the day of the ultrasound with two very excited little boys and a nervous mommy and daddy. We didn’t care either way what we were having, but it’s always such big news you can’t help but be a little nervous to hear what they say!
The facility was very nice; quiet and comfortable. The ultrasound room was perfect for the boys with two large couches and a large TV for them to be able to see the baby. The tech was amazing and super friendly and energetic! She kept the boys engaged the entire time.
We got a lot of great photos of our new little one.
We listened to the baby’s heartbeat which was strong around 150. This was Ryan’s favorite part and asked several times to listen to it again (which the tech was kind enough to do for him).
And then came the part we had been waiting for……
To purchase a custom announcement, card or invitation, please visit my Etsy store.
Again, we would have been happy with either a boy or a girl, but how fun to be having a little girl since we already have two boys! Ryan was just as thrilled and said “See I told you it was a sister.” to which Owen responds “No it’s still a brother.”
Owen’s already coming around to the idea of a baby sister though and loves to find things that are pink and girly and will tell me “Here. This is for baby sister.”
We couldn’t wait to share our news, but we had to keep it semi-secret for a bit longer. I made cute little cards (similar to the one above) and shipped them off to the grandparents. Most of them also received some pink and/or purple yarn to crochet/knit little blankets and hats and headbands for us. My mom and Jim’s grandmother always make us the greatest baby blankets which both Ryan and Owen still use. We also gave some yarn and a crocheting needle to Jim’s dad and told him he better learn in the next 5 months! Of course, we were kidding, but he seemed to get a kick out of the request.
That was our fun way of telling them the news for Christmas. Of course, my mom called approximately 3 minutes after receiving her package and the news. She was beyond excited and almost in tears. She was so surprised to hear since we had told her we wouldn’t know for another few weeks. The excitement in her voice was worth the wait and the keeping of the secret for as long as we had to.
We’ve already received several little pink outfits and toys from friends and Jim’s co-workers. It’s been so fun to see pink around the house! Next up…. the baby room and more clothes shopping! I can’t wait!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 2D ultrasound in exchange for writing about my experience. All opinions are my own and I would definitely use them again!
Birthday’s around the holiday season are tough. Everyone is always so busy with holiday parties, shopping, decorating, family time, Santa visits, etc. It’s hard to find a perfect time to schedule a birthday party to not conflict with these celebrations.
Ryan doesn’t turn 5 until the 18th, but since that is so close to Christmas, I typically try to schedule his party earlier in the month before too much of the craziness is in full swing.
We had a blast! The kids swam and played on the slide; they splashed and chased each other in the water.
Some adults (aka daddy) went off the diving board a few times while others enjoyed just hanging in the water.
We sang a little “happy birthday to Ryan”; ate some cupcakes; rehydrated with juice; and then we hit the pool again.
What a great day for a special little 5 year old super hero!
Life has been busy + I’m exhausted = Little Blogging Time
I can’t believe it’s been a month since we went to Philly and NYC. In some ways it feels like it was longer ago than that, but in other ways, I can’t believe it’s been a month and I am yet to post any photos of our NYC adventure.
It’s actually random how we ended up there for a few days. We were in the middle of planning a last minute trip to Philly when one of my coworkers sent an email out to the company offering up a free night stay at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park that she wasn’t going to be able to use. The catch was that the gift certificate expired in less than 3 weeks. And it was only valid for one night.
Who plans a trip all the way to NYC for one night in less than a 3 week period of time?
Well, us of course.
I jumped at the opportunity and we added the extra little adventure into our Philly trip. It’s a short train ride over to the city and with two toddlers we figure one night (two days) was plenty for this time.
I have to add, that Jim and I absolutely love New York City. There is nothing about it that I don’t enjoy. I love the craziness of it. I love the food. I love the shopping. I love the sight seeing. I love just walking around with no direction and no plan.
Well, I loved all of that prior to traveling there with toddlers.
Don’t get me wrong, it was still a blast and we enjoyed every minute of it. However, with toddlers you can’t wander aimlessly because their little legs get too tired. They don’t enjoy shopping unless it involves toys. And with so much craziness and having to hand hold every second, it wasn’t so much fun for them.
They were troopers though. Amazing little troopers!
We did all the fun kid things you could do in NYC. We rode the ferris wheel at Toys R Us Times Square.
We hung out and played at a small local park near our hotel.
We climbed the rocks in Central Park.
And played at the playground.
We played on the big piano at FAO Schwarz.
We watched the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center.
The boys had picked out little Matchbox cars at Toys R Us the day prior and every chance they had they would plop down and play with them. They zoomed those cars all over NYC and were as content as could be.
We walked around down by the Statue of Liberty near our hotel and watched the water, boats and people.
And we did some of the regular site seeing including Times Square.
The new World Trade Center.
And when little feet got tired, we rode the subway. Owen was a true New Yorker and would just push his way onto the train regardless how many people were coming off. Ryan always had to sit near a map so that daddy could point out where we were and where we were heading. Ryan would count the stops and announce with each stop how many we had left until we would be at our destination.
My little New Yorkers.
It was a blast. It was absolutely exhausting, but such a blast.
For those of you who haven’t heard…..
We’re having another baby!
Photo taken at 12 weeks.
I’m actually 14 weeks today. You wouldn’t really know it though if you saw me. I haven’t felt great the last 14 weeks so I’ve actually lost weight and other than a small baby bump that is still hidden under my shirts, you wouldn’t really know that I’m pregnant.
Well, except for Jim. He would know because I’ve been extra irritable lately. And oh so very, VERY tired. If I see the clock turn to 9pm it’s simply a miracle. And that isn’t an exaggeration. I’m typically sleeping on the couch by 8pm every night. Pathetic huh?! But now you can understand my little blogging break. Typically I write up my posts and visit/comment on blogs after the boys are in bed. Not the last 2 months though. This girl has been sound asleep and my computer rarely gets turned on in the evenings anymore. Hopefully with my first trimester behind me now my energy might start coming back a little. Maybe? Just a little? All I’m asking is to make it until 9 or 9:30pm at least… that’s not asking too much, is it?
Back to the details though. Our little peanut is due May 28, 2012. I’m sure I won’t go that far though since Ryan was 5 weeks early and Owen was 2 weeks early and both were big babies! Regardless though, our little one should make his/her arrival sometime in May. Perfect timing with summer around the corner from that.
The boys are absolutely thrilled and as excited as brothers can be. And I love that Ryan always refer to the baby as she. Although when asked directly, the conversation goes a little differently…..
Mommy: “Ryan, do you think you’re going to have a baby brother or a baby sister?”
Ryan (with his hands on his hips and a totally annoyed look on his face): “Moooommmmaaaaa. It’s a boy. It has short hair.”
Mommy: “Actually the baby doesn’t have any hair in the picture. Plus all babies have short or no hair when they are born.”
They talk about it all the time and ask a
million gazillion questions.
“Is the baby kicking you right now?”
“Did the baby wiggle a lot while you were working today?”
“Does the baby need something healthy to eat?”
“Would she like some juice?”
“Is she sleeping right now?”
“How big is the baby today?”
The list goes on and on and on. They are so excited.
Owen likes to think he has a baby in his belly too. When Ryan asks me if the baby needs some healthy yogurt to eat, Owen will quickly put his hand on his belly with a pathetic little look and say “Mommy, my baby need yogurt too. My baby is super, super hungry.”
Ahhh…. I love these boys. They are going to make great big brothers in a few short months.
Any guesses as to what this peanut is? A boy? A girl? And don’t guess based on the hair length in the ultrasound. As I already explained, all babies have short (or no) hair….
Yes, this is the view from my foyer.
A big ol’ Santa bottom.
His bright red suit stands 12 feet tall on our front porch roof. It casts quite the red shadow throughout our house when the sun shines on it. And it lights up our foyer when it glows at night.
In case you were wondering, this year we went straight up tacky. Sorry neighbors. We’ve got white littles, colored lights, inflatables, a wire snowman, candy candy lights and Christmas bulb lights lining the driveway.
It’s simply a sight to see. Nobody can say we’re not in the Christmas spirit though!
If you live in or near Philadelphia or are going to be visiting at some point, a must visit attraction with kids is the Please Touch Museum.
It’s simply amazing.
And I’m not kidding.
We played in the river and created currents for the boats to race as well as splashed around and got wet!
Owen was able to drive a city bus while Grandma Ellie rode as a passenger.
She was pretty brave considering Owen ran right into daddy!
Don’t worry. Daddy wasn’t hurt! He walked away from the crash unharmed.
After all that commotion we decided to relax on the Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel.
Owen wasn’t sure about it at first, but by the end he was enjoying it. Ryan was proud to be sitting by himself without an adult near by.
There were so many other amazing attractions within the museum, including the Statue of Liberty, Flight Fantasy, Wonderland, and Centennial Exploration.
My favorite though was the City Capers area. They had a mini grocery store were the kids could shop and then proceed to the check out with their groceries.
Owen was the shopper and he bought all of his favorite items.
Ryan was the cashier. While Owen was shopping, our cashier was a little bored.
But once Owen brought his full cart over to the check out, Ryan was busy as could be!
It really was a cute setup and so much fun for the boys.
After all the shopping we continued through City Capers and headed to McDonald’s where Ryan and Owen served Mommy, Daddy and Grandma Ellie lunch.
Jim and I were simply amazed the entire day as we walked through the museum. It doesn’t compare to any children’s museum we’ve been to before. They really did this one well! The layout was great and it flowed from attraction to attraction without being over crowded; the staff were really friendly and helpful; and the exhibits were kept up so well (and clean!!).
Thanks Grandma Ellie for a great day! We are all still talking about how much we enjoyed the day.
Jim and I both had the same thought a few Sunday’s ago. It was a beautiful fallish day in Atlanta and we needed some family photos.
I wanted to dress the boys in their Big Brother and Little Brother shirts and head out for some family photos. I figured Jim and I would wear coordinating colors to their shirts.
Jim had another plan. He decided to dress the entire family in Eagle’s shirts. Afterall, they were playing in Atlanta that day.
Needless to say, Jim won. We all dressed matchy-matchy and headed out to take a family photo.
The boys call these their “Go Eagles” shirts. They love them. Thanks Grandma Ellie for bringing them for us!