Friday, September 28, 2007

When can I get my permit?

It's a question I've been hearing a lot lately with Val being 17 and Liz 16. For the boys we didn't allow them to get their permit until they were 18. Out of all the kids Liz is the one that I wouldn't mind driving right now. I'm finding it hard to go against the 18yo "stance" we've had so far though. I had other reasons besides age to put off the previous kids from getting their permit. Drew can be hotheaded and reacts on it. Pat when he was their age wasn't doing what he needed to (or could do) and didn't deserve the opportunity. Michelle until recently just hasn't had a strong desire to get behind the wheel, she's also not the quickest decision maker. Val is so much on the go I really don't want her having the ability to go at her disposal (not that she'd have a vehicle to do it with). Liz, I'd love if she could drive and take the kids with her to church activities. It would save me or Tom from running out there. Not only would it make things easier for ME, she's also one of the most level headed of the kids. While she has a temper she doesn't act on it quickly or easily.

I had to rethink my thinking on Liz the other day though. I was telling the kids about how I was stopped by the campus police in the college parking lot. Seems I didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign. I was talking to Michelle about where to drop her off and wasn't paying total attention to the signs. Besides no one was trying to cross the crosswalk (kidding, really). I apologized and promised to stop next time. The officer let me off with a stern warning. Liz had been in the van with me at the time and decided to chime into the story with..."But it's ok because the sign didn't say stop all the way."

I looked at her puzzled and let out an audible HUH? Val's friend B who had just finished up her driver's ed course totally got where Liz was coming from and burst out laughing. Between roars of laughter she tells Liz..The sign doesn't say Stop all THE says...Stop all WAYS. She then went on to tell Liz what it truly meant. Poor Liz. By the time B had finished correcting her we were all ROFL, including Liz. Eventually it became too great an embarrassment though and she started crying.

I thought for sure Liz was fooling around and had made a joke. After she started crying though I realized she really did think that's what the signs said. A few days later in the car I asked her if she REALLY thought that's what the signs said and meant. She admitted to me that she really did. I then told her...I think we're going to wait on you getting your permit. I then suggested she read the driver's manual from the DMV! Guess my no permit until 18 stance is upheld for now.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Great Carcapade

I mentioned telling the story of the car breaking down during my last post. Thing is, it wasn't only MY car. On Mondays Michelle isn't due to class until noon, requiring us out door by 11:30. I consider it one of my easier days. We'd made a note to leave a bit early so we could run an errand, so leaving at 11:20. The phone rang about 10:45 and it was Drew, he was on his way to an 11:00 interview and he ran out of gas. I told him I'd stop by with some gas (it was on the way to the college) but he'd have to wait. He changed his interview time to 1 and waited for me. I changed our departure time to 11:10.

Thinking things through in my head I realized...I have a few extra kids home sick with a bad cold and sore throat. Including one who had a 1:45 dr appt. This means I have to drive the van instead of the Prism. So now I have to leave EARLIER (11:00) because the van's on E and I have to switch car seats over. (found out later...the gas can was empty and I'd have had to stop at the gas station anyways.) Michelle wasn't too happy since she wasn't ready. We managed to get out the door, get to the gas station, do our errand and rescue Drew. Silly me offered to pour the gas for Drew because he was in his dress clothes. Then I realized we were pressed for time and I had to GO! Here he's a grown man and I'm feeling like a sap for leaving him stranded on the side of the road (won't know he's not stranded until the car starts). I really am pathetic.

As I'm attempting to pull away from Drew my cell phone rings, it's Pat. Moooooom, I lost the key to the Toyota. WHAT!?!? How do you do that? Seems he is at the campus, went to leave for work (due there at noon) and can't find his keys. He searched the Toyota, his classroom, the hallways he walked and Jess's car...nothing. I inform him I'll be at the campus in about 20mins, so he'll have to wait.

I get there around noon, drop off Michelle for her class and find Pat in the parking lot searching the Toyota. He asks me to drive him to a deli so he can search the parking lot and where they sat for lunch. (traveled there in Jess's car) We go and he has no luck. He'd called into work and told them he'd be late. I decide I'll take him to work, head back to do a search for the keys. If they're still lost we'll probably have to call a locksmith to come out and make us a new set. Drew and I keep touching base on our cells while figuring out what to do. I'm also keeping Tom up to speed on the situation. What did we do before cell phones?

Driving back to campus I realize I'd just passed a Toyota dealership. So after searching around the car and campus with no luck I head over to the dealership. They direct me to the parts department and the manager tries to find me the right key. As is my luck it's not a clear cut case of which key I need and it takes a loong time. Meanwhile I have Carrie in the parking lot watching Olivia, Danielle and Sean in the van (Sean is being good and sleeping like I mentioned in my last post). The parts guy asks me to drive up to the car and test the blank key he thinks I need. If it fits in the ignition then he's cut it so it'll start the car for me.

I drive back to the car, get out and smell's burning rubber. The van brakes are starting to act up again? I decide to deal with the Toyota first and ignore the brakes. Unfortunately the blank is too fat to fit in the ignition's the wrong one. I head back to the dealer and the parts department. I can smell the brakes even more. He takes forever again (and Sean is still sleeping!) and hands me another key to try. Repeat the above scenario again, including the smellier brakes and key that won't fit into the ignition. Back to the dealer. Wait, wait, wait. (Sean's stillll sleeping...see what I meant?) This time he hands me a key he's cut, this should work, it's a temporary ignition key to use until the keys we're ordering get here. So I head back to campus for what I hope is the LAST time!

The key doesn't work. I don't have time to deal with the key anymore because Carrie's due at the dr's in 10mins. I call Tom and let him know that my brakes are really really stinky now and I'm not sure I'm going to make it home. Then we head to the dr's. I barely pulled out of the campus parking lot when I realize the van is pulling REALLY hard to the right and is too unsafe to drive. So I do a U-turn and head back to where Pat is parked. I get out and look, my brakes are now smoking.

I call the dr's and inform them we won't make the 1:45 appt. They give me an appt for 2:15. If I don't make that one they'll leave me on the schedule for a nurse's visit to get a throat culture. I need to at least get Carrie a throat culture. Michelle had seen us drive by, calls to see what's up and comes visit us in the van during her lunch. Tom calls to let me know he's leaving work, going home and getting the Prism and switching cars with me. Drew calls, he's done with his interview. I BEG him to come pick up Carrie and take her to her dr appt...he says ok. One problem solved! Michelle heads back to class and we head out to take a stroll on the nature trail and sit under the trees to wait for Tom.

As Drew is pulling into the parking lot to pick up Carrie, Jess is pulling out. She decides to turn around and come say Hi to Drew and pulls up next to him. While talking we wondered if the key was in her car. She said Pat searched it earlier and didn't find it. Drew opens the passenger door and starts searching in the seat anyways. I wonder aloud if maybe it was between the seat and the seatbelt. Jess pulls the seat cushion away from the center hump of the car and looks down. TADAAAAA! She found the key! Second problem solved!

Drew and Carrie finish up with her appt and stop by Wendy's to get us some lunch (we're STARVING!). Midway through our lunch Tom pulls up with the Prism (had lunch for him too). He's happy to hear the key's been found. Now we need to get the car to Pat so no one will have to pick him up after work. It's decided that Tom will drive the Toyota to the mall with Drew following him. They'll then come back and get the van, problem is it's 3:35 and Drew needs to be somewhere at 4. They'll be cutting it really close. I in the meantime buckle in car seats, load in the kids, pick up Michelle and drop her off at work (since we're heading that way anyways lol) head to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, then head home. Tom and I pull into the driveway within minutes of each other.

So much for one of my easier days. So much for parenting being easier once they grow up and become adults. I'd take a fight for a Barbie and a skinned knee over that day ANYDAY!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Almost 2 months old

Time is flying by and my little man isn't so little anymore. He is such a pudge with sweet rolls all over the place. It's the one time when having a second (and third) chin isn't a bad thing. :o)

Here are the newest pics of Sean taken last week....

The quilt Sean is cuddled in is the beautiful quilt Jill/jeeps made me that I mentioned a few weeks ago. (it's light blue train top, backed with red bandana )

Here he is showing off his new trick....big toothless grins that melt your heart

He likes to be held. So much so that I'm not getting ANYTHING done. I'll get him to sleep, put him in his seat and head to the bathroom. He's awake before I'm finished. Or head to the kitchen to make coffee (hate drinking hot coffee while holding a baby). Get to my chair with the coffee and he's awake. I'm in the habit of telling's a good thing you're CUTE!!

The amazing thing is, he's slept at all times that I NEEDED him to. I was a birthing coach for someone when he was 5wks old. He was NO problem and slept most of the time (from 1am to 12:20pm). Went to a wedding this weekend, he nursed during the ceremony and slept all through dinner. Then woke up for the rest of the fun and enjoyed all the people. Dealing with broken down cars (next blog post) and slept until I couldn't do anything more and had time to nurse him.

While it's occassionally frustrating to not get much done around here. I really am enjoying snuggling, smooching on him and eating up those delicious cheeks. Sometimes I feel like I want to hug him so tight that I might break him. When the frustratin starts to creep in I try to remind myself...this only lasts but a short time. ENJOY IT! It's the last time I'll have this opportunity again. (won't be the same with the grandkids but I am looking forward to that stage eventually).

Time seems to speed up each year. I look at Sean and he's so tiny and helpless. I know that in a blink of an eye 2mos have passed already. Next thing I know it'll be a year and he'll be trying to run off. *sniff sniff* Then it'll be 5 and he'll be heading to kindergarten. I look at each of my older kids and were once that little and I couldn't imagine what you'd turn out to be like. Yet here they are, growing up, working their fannies off, planning their own futures and families. Next thing I know I'll be hearing one of them say....Look how big my baby is! It seems like they were just born....