TAT CN Header

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Car Buying: Not My Thang

Unlike some, I do not enjoy buying a new car.  I like having a new car, yes, who doesn't?  But, buying one?  Yuck. 

Let me back up 4 years.  We bought our Ford Escape before I got pregnant with Norah thinking that we were thinking ahead to starting a family and that a 5 passenger Escape would be plenty roomy for the family we pictured for our future selves. Past Selves: You shoulda thought again.

Turns out, the "5 passenger" Ford Escape is NOT a 5 passenger vehicle once you add 2 behemoth car seats.  May I present exhibit A:

Obviously, parenthood makes you too tired to care if you're wedged in sideways.

We "worked" with the Escape for the past year, and had planned to extend "working" with it for even longer since our other car is a very old Ford Ranger, which hauls ZERO kids.

But, then, the Escape had a hissy fit, and long story short, Jerry found himself stalled in the middle of traffic on a 90 dgeree day, with two kids in the back; Norah repeatedly asking, "The car's not working?"

A mechanic's assessment was bleak, so we did the "superficial fix" for the problem and decided it was in our best interest to trade that sucker in.  Pronto.

And, I tell ya, it's been a week!  I hate going to all the dealerships and listening to each salesman's spiel, and test driving everything under the sun, and finding that nearly everything we thought would work for our expectations, won't.  In short?  Honda Pilot, I love you -- if I had older kids -- but for people whose kids are in car seats, you suck!  We felt as though we were pretty much being forced into the minivan option, which I was totally cool with and was advocating on behalf of, but Jerry wasn't ready to toss in his man card.  Yet.  One day I'll break him.

In the end, we discovered a compromise: The GMC Acadia.  Which, as it was described by one online review: "It's got all the features of a minivan, but is for those who don't want to drive a minivan."  Yup.  Sums it up exactly.  3rd row?  Yup!  Plenty of truck space?  Yes sirree!!  Necessary new car bells and whistles?  Sho'nuff!

From there, it was a matter of price.  In the end, we went with a "new to us" Acadia that is still a 2012 and has minimal mileage.  And, after talking those suckers into overpaying for our trade-in, we got the Acadia for a price we're pleased with.  So, without further ado, here are my new wheels:

The outside: So shiny!

The front row and, yes, I was driving so the seat is ALL the way up!

A view of the 2nd row (car seats) and the 3rd row (all other passengers, you go here).

Yay!  Now, hopefully this car lasts longer than our 2008 Escape -- fingers crossed, but I hope I drop Norah off at college in this thing (that's how long I believe cars should last) -- and if nothing else, I hope it lasts far enough into the future that I can haul half a soccer team around in here.

For now, if we have someone come visit us, guess what?  I don't have to wedge myself into about 6 inches of car space!  Woohoo!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life in the Circus

There probably was once a time when Jerry could eat a meal without a kid climbing atop him...

...or, if one did, he'd notice and stop his conversation. 

But, now?  Nahhhh, Jerry was barely conscious of Norah scaling him as we talked that it didn't truly register with him until I got up to get the camera.

And, do you notice that crooked lamp in the background?  See how it's bent in about 3 different directions?  I think before we had kids, we had straight lamps.  Now?  Fuggitaboutit!

Today, Jerry and I were doing some car shopping (that's another story: coming soon!), and as we passed by a row of shiny sports cars, I joked that we could buy one of those in about 20 years (there were also some extended jokes about buying a sports car now anyway, and just strapping the kids to the back and letting them ride "al fresco"), and this evening it occured to me that also in 20 years, I should be able to live in a house with straight lamps and to have a meal without being climbed like a flight of stairs.

Right?  Life does get less-circus-like eventually? 

Just say it does.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

If You Want to Run with Mama

After the 3 day running hiatus, I was ready to run last night, so after Caleb was in bed, I got in my running clothes and prepared to head out.  I wanted a solo run, but as soon as I put my hand on the doorknob, Norah demanded that she accompany me.



So, she climbed into the stroller, and we headed out.

Half a block into the run, Norah began with "I want out, I want out, I want out!"  Like any good mother, I ignored her, and her chatter switched gears to the two principle subjects pre-schoolers discuss: Everything and Nothing.

After a mile, her chatter circled back to her initial demand: "I want out!"

Now, there have been recent runs in which I have earned my Mom Halo by allowing her to get out and run with me for a half mile or so.  It's cute, and it's good exercise for her, but it's not any kind of run for me.  Last night, though, I wasn't in the mood to be so generous; instead, I was in selfish-runner mode and I just wanted to be able to get "my" run.  So, I firmly told her: "Norah, if you want to run with Mama, you have to sit in the stroller.  There's no getting out."

The last part is, I'm sure, the motto of the modern penitentiary system.

She got the hint and piped down.  Soon, it occurred to me that she was being rather quiet, so I peeped in and...lo and behold, she'd crashed out!  It was a gloriously quiet last part of my run.

Would've been even better if she'd transferred into bed once we'd gotten home, but alas, you can't have everything...

Monday, June 25, 2012

It Took Me 6 Months...

...But I finally broke one of my 2012 running resolutions:

I let more than 2 days come between me and running.  Yes, I confess: It has been 3 days since my last run.  I have some excuses, none of them are very valid.

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised I stuck to my resolution this long, but on the other hand, having more than 72 hours between me and my last run, I remember why I made that goal.

I am ITCHIN' to run today!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ground Rules

First of all, thank you VERY much for such a warm welcome back!  Your comments re-confirmed that returning is the right decision.

But, then, who wouldn't welcome me back with open arms?  My charm and charisma are pretty much irresistible.

As for my hesitancy about returning, I had two major hurdles that I had contemplated when I thought about returning to blogging.  I think it's pertinent to describe them because it describes some changes to my new approach to the blog.

1.  It's time consuming keeping up with everyone else's blogs.

Dilemma: A lot of blogging is reciprocal: You read my blog, leave a comment, and the expectation is that I'll read your blog and leave you a comment.  As much as I enjoy reading others' blogs, this expectation is the blog element that I find exhausting.

Solution: So, here's the dealio: I'll read what I can, when I can, but I can't guarantee that I can read and comment on everyone's blogs, as much as I'd love it.  Not happenin.  If that means a smaller readership here, that's okay.

2.  What to do with the children?

Dilemma: One reason I needed the blog-break back in January was actually a two-fold reason: A.) A bloggy-crisis-of-identity.  Is this a running blog?  A mommy blog?  Just random YouTube videos of kittens wearing human clothes?  Okay, so it definitely was NOT the last one, but just think, readership would skyrocket!  Everyone loves kittens in human clothes.  B.) Were the kids too public of figures?  I was concerned that I was exploiting their non-existent privacy by making them such public fodder for my blog.  I don't want to have to pay for expensive pyschotherapy one day because I made them "characters" for my own personal amusement.

Solution: In this day and age, maybe NO kid gets privacy.  These kids in this generation will just have to reconcile themselves to the fact that naked pics of them were posted online WAY before they even had an option of leeking their (hopefully adult) versions.  So, in short?  I've started a "pyschotherapy savings" for each!  College?  Pfffftttt, who needs that?  They're gonna need therapists!

As for the blog's identity?  I knew this was no longer entirely a running blog -- especially after I quit back in January and not a single one of you commented that you'd miss my race reports (it still stings...) -- but I also knew this blog could never qualify for "Mommy Blog" status.  Why not?  Well, the term itself pretty much makes me wanna vomit, but aside from the nausea-inducing label, I am not the sort who fits into "that" category; i.e., I don't think giving kids McNuggets will make them serial killers, I think TV makes for excellent quiet time, and I am highly in favor of candy as a form of bribery.  I don't think my lassiez-faire parenting approach is fit for mommy-blog-dom.

Solution: This is MY blog and I get to blog about whatever the hell I want.  So, I will still talk about running, and dammit, my race reports are stimulating reading!  But, I will also talk plenty of kid talk and further prod your sentimental, gushy cores by posting ruthlessly cute pictures and videos of them.  Of course, on this "mommy blog," what you're gonna get are more likely stories of how Norah caught her hair in the spokes of her bubble gun's mini-fan, or how I found Caleb messing with his dad's electric razor last week. 

Why would I bother feeding these kids organic?  They're just gonna electrocute the nutrients right out of themselves anyway!

So, that's that: This is the "New 21 Days" philosophy and approach to content.  Like it?  Great!

I assume there's no other alternate way you'd respond; this site is rad.  Can't imagine that anyone would argue with that.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Baaaack!

After a 6 month sabbatical, I've decided to return!  Ta-da!  (Go ahead, act surprised.)

I've been anticipating returning for awhile.  I hemmed and hawed on it, and then decided after the Bolder Boulder in May (best race ever!), that I wanted back to blogging.  I just waited a spell because I like symmetry and I wanted to return to blogging today, June 21st, which is this blog's 7 year anniversary, and exactly 6 months after I left for "retirement."

So, what's been happening in Jess-land in the past 6 months?

Brief run down:

I ran 2 half marathons: A1A in Feburary and the Miami Beach 13.1 in March.  Both were my worst HMs ever.  Eh, it happens.

I also ran 2 10Ks: The Green Turtle Gallop in Boca in April and The Bolder Boulder in Bolder in May.  Neither was a PR, but both were good races.  The Green Turtle was fun because I got to meet up with my old running friend, Wendy, and Bolder was quite simply the most awesome racing experience I've ever had (more on that in a separate post; I have a detailed race report I want to post for that one).

On the family front, Caleb got his helmet off back in early March -- his head shaped up nicely -- and at the end of May, the little dude turned 1!

He's not walking yet, but he's close.  Oh and he's kinda-sorta allergic to Scooter.  But we still have that damn dog.  Kidding Scooter, I love you!  Kinda-sorta.

As for Norah...

...She's almost 3, going on 13.  I get a whole lotta attitude from this one these days, but she keeps things interesting, that's for sure. 

And, the Jer-Bear is doing well -- he's busy right now with bowling league and being the Commish of his fantasy football league (don't get me started; football is still MONTHS away, so why he has to already be spending so much time "researching" is beyond me, whatev). 

And me?  Well, I was born awesome and continue to remain that way.

This summer, I'm just teaching 2 days a week and the other 3 days a week I'm being a full time SAHM, which means that everyday that I don't commit child abuse is a successful day.  And, of course, I'm running.  Sometimes with 1 kid, sometimes with both (bought a dbl jogger!), and sometimes solo.  Whatever way, I'm getting the miles in that I need to stay sane and to keep the beer gut off.

So, that about catches us all up to speed.

Ahhhhh, it's good to be back!