Avery tested for her gold belt in Karate on Friday. It was her first demonstration in front of a crowd and we couldn't have been more proud. Or entertained. For such a petite little thing, she's got a pretty good set of lungs on her.
In ten days, my poor little pitiful Passat will be paid off. It seems absolutely crazy that a person could still owe money on an almost 10-year-old vehicle, but alas, I do. For ten more days.
And ten days after that, I'll probably go and sign myself up for another car payment. Sounds about right, eh?
It's so hard to believe that the poor little pitiful Passat's days are numbered. For months I've been salivating over the idea of new car, taking my sweet time trying to figure out exactly what I want and what's going to fit the needs of our family. As often as I find myself daydreaming of a smoother ride, a flawless paint job, and a built-in DVD player (oh, yeah!), I can't help but feel a little tug of guilt about trading my baby in for a newer model. Strangely, it just feels like an act of betrayal. She may be old, but she has character and personality. If she could talk, she'd have quite a story to tell about the 2,190 days she has spent carting our family from one destination to another.
Like a person, my poor little pitiful Passat has birthmarks, bruises, and scars which tell a story. They make her unique to any other car sputtering down the road, and tell the exciting tale of her adventures with our family.
The CHECK ENGINE light. It's been on for about...oh...5 years. It serves as a daily reminder just how fragile she is and how grateful I should be that we are able to get to and from the Pre-K Center each day.
A few years ago, I let the kids play inside the car so I could actually get something accomplished around the house. Or to go to the bathroom by myself, I'm not really sure which. At any rate, it cost me three knobs to my car stereo. At the time, it was probably worth it. In three years those suckers never surfaced. Not a one. They literally grew legs and walked off, never to be seen again. Lesson learned.
Her very first parking lot fender bender. Of the plethora of Subaru's and Volkswagen's in the City of Portland, I had to back into a BMW. Leave it to me.
This is why my husband is a doctor and not a mechanic. He could probably perform a spinal tap with his eyes closed. But when it comes to changing a tire...well...see for yourself (In his defense, he was on the very narrow shoulder of Interstate 5 in the middle of a thundersnow. Yes, Portland does in fact have thundersnow's. Just another thing that makes Portland weird). Soon after Eric risked his life and forever disfigured my car, we were very proud members of AAA. It's a good thing too, because we came to rely heavily on their services for the next year or two that followed.
This is a picture of my headlight. Nothing super special about it, except for the fact that a very special guest has been taking up residence inside of it for a little more than two years. Here. Have a closer look.
There would be days I'd find Wyatt and Avery tapping the glass and talking playfully to this little critter who was using my headlight as its coffin. Heck, before Josie came along, it was the closest thing they ever had to a pet. Sad, but true. What I find most amusing, however, is that even after I took the car in to have this very headlight replaced, the critter remained. He was destined to be with us.
And this one wins the award for Most Colorful Blemish. This one is pretty fresh, happening the day of Avery's birthday party when I tried to back out of the parking lot onto a busy street. I backed into their marquee sign instead. Normally, I would've beaten myself up about it, stressing about the damage and how to get it fixed. Rather, I took one look, shrugged my shoulders, and thanked God it was only a pole and not another vehicle, and that the pole was still in its upright position. No harm, no foul.
Over the past 6 years, this car has literally and figuratively taken a beating. By the kids, she's been spit up on, peed on, and has had countless goldfish crackers stomped and forever embedded in her floorboard. She's been pushed beyond her limits on some of the worst mountainous backroads found in the Pacific Northwest, and has driven us safely across snowy mountain ranges with chains snuggly secured around her tires. She's covered a lot of ground, this poor little pitiful Passat. With us alone, she's burned rubber in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and now Oklahoma. Amongst the plethora of Tahoe's, Suburban's, and pick-up trucks, she is most certainly out of her element here...doesn't quite fit the Oklahoma Bigger is Better mold. Unfortunately, bigger is what our family needs right now, especially with the addition of a 50 lb animal, 50 lbs (or more) of sporting equipment, as well as other friends and family members to tote around town.
We've just simply outgrown our little VW. But she'll be a good car for someone. Until the alternator goes out and Volkswagen wants to charge $800 for a replacement. Then they'll want to drive her off a cliff and watch her burst into flames. Trust me. I've been there.
Triple-digit temperatures this summer have made spending long (or even short) periods of time outdoors rather unbearable. For two people completely against having a pool, Eric and I have pretty much "warmed" up to the idea. It's no longer a matter of if, but when!
Last night we decided to brave the elements in the small town of Porter, OK for the annual Porter Peach Festival. At 5 0'clock, the heat index must have been at least 106 degrees and didn't really change much by the time we finally decided to throw in the towel 3 hours later. It was so hot, there was nary a peach to be sold, save for one small table with about 3 bags on it, and those were most likely just for show!
But we made the most of it and played a couple of carnival games, rode a few rides, and made a valiant attempt to enjoy an ice cream cone before it formed a melted puddle at our feet.
Goodness, this boy is getting so big.
Nothing about him looks like a 5-year-old.
Enjoying the nice breeze on the dragon ride
On the carousel with Dad
Our final stop before seeking refuge in our air-conditioned vehicle was the face-painting booth, the one thing Wyatt's festival experience would not have been complete without. I strongly encouraged him to pick a design that was simple, one that wouldn't itch his face off. But I should've known better. Subtlety is not one of his strong suits.
Avatar and Lil' Angel
Today you can bet we'll be staying inside, furthering our research on pool installation and design.
When Eric and I married almost 8 years ago, he did so on the condition that I would produce only boys for offspring. He was dead serious. And scared shitless of having a daughter. Ever. So with our first pregnancy, Eric was more relieved than excited to learn we were having a boy. The second time around, I think he was a little nervous but overall felt confident in our ability (as if we had anything to do with it) to produce an XY baby. Needless to say, he was a bit caught off guard with the news that God doesn't actually take gender requests. We were having a girl!
Warming up to the idea of having a daughter didn't happen overnight for Eric. He was raised by a woman, married a woman, yet was terrified of raising one. I didn't quite understand it and didn't spend much time trying. However, by the time Avery started dishing out bedtime kisses with protruding puckered lips that never smacked, or producing golf-ball-sized tears that never dried, he was putty in her soft, delicate hands. To this day, even when Eric is being dragged against his will (so he claims) to events like dance recitals and birthday fashion shows, he never fails to admit that he's so glad we had a girl.
(on stage, in front of...well...the whole town)
Apparently this is Eric being dragged kicking and screaming
to his daughter's dance recital. I don't know about you,
but I'm thinkin' Mikey likes it.
Now, the picture above was my inspiration for writing this post, taken on the day of Avery's 4th birthday party. Good-golly-miss-molly! it's so hard to believe it's been 4 whole years since someone actually succeeded in getting into that thick skull of my husband's and changing the way he thinks. Who would've thought an 8 lb 5 oz little blob with alien eyes could make such an impact on a then 28-year-old grown man. She is so much like him in so many ways (at the ripe old age of four, she's convinced that the only person who knows what's best for her, is her), so I guess it's only fitting that she be the one to crack his code, per se. Now if I could just figure out some way to get her to get him to realize that Mommy is always right, then we'd be golden.
Just for the record, that fancy new mixer I wrote about in my previous post apparently does perform magic. I emptied all of the ingredients for Avery's birthday cake into the mixing bowl, turned it on, sat down for an hour to read a book, then came back to find this perfectly assembled on my kitchen counter:
Alright, so it wasn't that easy. But the mixer did cut the prep time in half, at least. And! I ran into no major snafus as with cakes I've decorated in the past, which made it a very successful and therefore delightful baking experience all around. Avery loved the cake and praised my work--declaring repeatedly that I was "such a good baker"--but refused to eat a single morsel of her own 3-tiered birthday cake. Not because she was afraid to mess it up, but because I had made the mistake of infusing raspberry filling into the middle of each tier. "Mommy, you know I don't like jelly," she scolded. "Well, more for me!" I replied.
We threw a Fancy Nancy dress-up soiree at a little studio called Diva Girlz for her and a few friends. They all had so much fun, and I think the adults had just as much fun watching them!
My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition
(most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and
kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great
outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match
that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very
characteristic of a merlot.
“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771