Tag Archives: minivan

Pursey Rests Up

As I write up this post, Pursey Galore is living it up in San Diego with her Evil Twin, OctoPursey. But before a wild weekend of carousing with the cream of the blogging world, Pursey needed to recharge a little.

So, she came to see me.

Pursey and I test drive my Uncle's sweet ride. She helped me pick it up from the long term lot for him while he's traveling.

Pursey and I grab a Skinny Latté at Target and have a wander through the aisles.

Pursey liked these, but they didn't have them in my size.

She was quite disappointed in my flip-flops...

We grabbed a cold drink at Mickey D's on the way home.

On Sunday, she jumped in the van with Felix and I and a few Sturdy Gal tote bags to visit friends in New Hampshire!

Pursey cuddled up to my van just before she left. I think she appreciated the red.

But the last love Pursey got? From my Small Boy!

If you haven’t already, please consider donating to Pursey’s cause. Stroke is a destroyer of lives and families. Help us support the search for a cure!

Marry Me! or Stream of Consciousness in the Car

We were watching the rain out the divided lights of our front door this morning, and just for a moment, against an improbably orange Eastern sky, the sudden cloudburst looked like snow in the changing light.

The rain ended, and I packed us into the car. He snuggled with Beek, still sleepy, while I drove. I had my iPod playing, and Ben Folds’ cover of Tiny Dancer started. I love the cover. I love the original. Love me some old Elton John, before he was a Sir. But, that’s not the point.

The point was that I was almost instantly transported to the backseat of whatever Subaru my parents were driving. I was young, but not too young. Old enough to be able to somewhat accurately sing along with the radio. And I was singing along to Tiny Dancer.

Tiny Dancer in my hand…

And I’m imagining one of those miniature ballerina dolls you find inside delicate music boxes. I can’t remember if I ever had one myself, but I know that sitting there, in my parents’ car, singing along, that’s what I pictured. A tiny dancer in my hand.

And I wonder what it is that Felix will take away from the considerable hours he spends with me in the car, listening to all my crazy music. He’s starting to soak up the words to songs.

Though not always correctly.

He and Betty have been playing boat lately. They sit together on one sofa cushion and pretend to travel to exotic locales such as Disney World. Betty taught him “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” during one if their voyages, and talk about the blind leading the blind.  This is Felix’s version:

Row, row, row the boat
Gently in a stream.
Marry me, marry me, marry me, marry me!
Life is in a dream.

Up for A Breath

So, it’s been all gloomy fiction and teenage angst (and features!) up in this place lately.

But life has actually gone on behind the scenes.

Take Thursday evening, for example! Worlds collided, universes shifted, and I met Marian! If you’re a regular, you’ll know her from the comments. Her blog is full of beautiful poetry, poignant observations, and general wonderful brilliance. She is delightful, and spending several hours with her, the last of which was spent quite literally unable to part, unable to end the conversation, in my minivan, after having closed down the local coffee place, and the Barnes and Noble down the road, was definitely the highlight of my week.

Last weekend my sister-in-law was in town with my niece and nephew, so there was lots of family fun. Gramma took us to the circus, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth did not disappoint. Even Felix liked it, once he got over the noise and lights. We did a Harvest Fair at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens the next day, and marched the kids to the top of Tower Hill, with it’s lovely view out to Mount Wachusett, over the Wachusett Reservoir. It’s about a hundred yards through the forest. Not exactly hiking, but very pretty! Felix, normally used to having my parents to himself, was especially clingy with Gramma, which was both endearing and irritating. He escorted her up and down the summit path, with much drama and ceremony.

Felix and his cousin A painted pumpkins together. They’re only seven months apart, and I love seeing them play together!

So, long week at work (despite it only being four days) aside, life has gone on and gone well. Sometimes it’s nice to come up out of the fiction for a breath of my lovely life.

Penny for My Heart

“Carry me.”

“Carry you?” I repeat, in my astonished voice, all full of mock gravitas.

“Carry me to the car!” he chirps. He’s even hopping like a little chickadee.

“Alright,” I say, “but if I’m going to carry you? You need to carry the car keys for me. It’s a really important job. Can you do that?”

“Yeah,” he says, reaching simultaneously for me and for the keys.

And because soon he’ll be too big to carry, I scoop him up and settle him on my hip. I carry his still-warm-from-his-nap, pliant little body out to the car. Freedom these days means leaving the confines of my work life, and returning home where I can breathe again. And, even weighted down with thirty pounds of boy, I am flying!

“My coin!” he whines, about halfway down the long walkway from the mud room to the driveway.

This morning he found a penny on the floor of the minivan, and he has been pressing it between his fingers, safe in the pocket of his cargo shorts, waiting to bring it home to show his Dad. He’s still young enough to find small talismans everywhere.

I reach into his pocket and find the penny, caught in that deep pointy part where the seams all come together.

I hand it to him, and we continue on our way. He has the car keys in one hand, his penny in the other.

“Lovey, do you want to open your door?” I ask.

The minivan has the automatic sliding doors, and he loves to press the button to open his door, but it takes both hands for him to both hold the remote and push the button.

So he sets his coin in the vee of my tee-shirt, just a little to the left of my sternum, where humidity and the curve of flesh defy gravity to keep the penny in place. Over my heart.

Mama's Losin' ItInspired by the prompt to define freedom, though, as these things often do, it went in a different direction.

Dear Mama: Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

Mama's Losin' ItThis week’s post is inspired by Prompt #1: Dear Mommy and/or Daddy… write a letter to yourself from one of your children. (inspired by Denise from Laughing With Spoons). In lieu of something sentimental, I chose to write the letter my nearly three-year old would dictate, right now, if he were here. Enjoy!

Mama!

Actually I got my new phone at the building over the train tracks in the new town but it didn’t work so the man fixed it and I took my new phone home and we went to Betty’s house and I want to go super fast on the see-saw swing can we go on the sun-porch and play with the bubble lawn mower? my dad has a push lawn mower so anyway I have a new phone and we got a mini-van it’s red these are the points where Thomas and Toby and James on are the tracks I talked to Gramma on the phone so anyway Gramma said “gobble gobble” to the turkeys and we went to the WalMart and I got a new car last night we went to Betty’s house and we played on the playground can we go to the library tomorrow and get some new books? my pug dog is naughty outside are there any peas in the garden? do I have to wash my hair in the bath? what is that truck? why are we going this way? who’s that guy? is my Dad at home? can I watch a show? will you spread my Beek out on the table? I’m hungry can I have pasta? can I have some juice?

Bye Mama!

York’s Wild Kingdom: Wordless Wednesday

Poolside Cabana on Wheels!

A few weeks back, while I was wrestling with the younger, less encumbered version of myself over giving up the VW for a minivan, several moms I know reminded me of all the advantages of the van. They touted cargo space, comfort, convenience… and they are proven correct.

What I didn’t expect were all the silly perks. Yesterday, it was raining when I got to work, but my umbrella was in the back of the van. Not to worry my flat-ironed hair! I walked to the back of the van, got Felix out of his car seat, gathered our things, collected the umbrella, and opened the rear hatch with the push of a button! I stood under the hatch while I opened the umbrella, and walked to the C’s house with dry hair!

Felix ran ahead, and got his hair and his flip-flopped feet nice and wet.

When I go to the drive-through ATM? I am the perfect height! No more reaching, stretching, fumbling, dropping, and opening my door to make a bank transaction with a sleeping kid in the car.

My favorite minivan perk thus far?

It doubles as a poolside cabana! Last week I took the kids to the spray deck at the local playground. Mrs. C. is not the “oh just ride to the park in your swim diapers and bathing suits” type, so I sunscreened the kids, packed the swim suits and swim diapers, the towels, water and snacks into the spacious rear of the van, strapped Felix and Betty in for the 4.5 mile trip to the playground. Once there, we parked, and I opened up the sliders to unbuckle the car seats. I sent my passengers to the back of the van, where I met them with towels spread out and sprinkler friendly clothes waiting for them.

They changed in relatively tidy comfort in the back of the van. We spent an hour getting wet, grubby, and mercifully cool in the sprinklers. We returned to the van, and they got clean and dry in the relatively tidy comfort of the van! I felt like a spray deck nannying ninja!

Couldn’t have done it quite so neatly in the trunk of the VW…

Enter Title Here

I’m staring at my empty post, my blank Add New Post. Today? I have nothing.

It’s been a long day. Work, picking up the new car, Felix’s daily shenanigans. And dinner isn’t even near being on the table.

*****

Dinner is in the oven, which might not be as hot as outside is tonight. Ugh. When it’s this hot, I lose my will to function normally. I want to curl into a puddle of something like watermelon, and wallow until the air quality improves. It’s like some ass backwards version of seasonal affective disorder.

I forgot my book at work today, so not only do I have nothing to read tonight, the C.’s are being treated to a borrowed hardcover edition of The Winter Rose. My illusion of being highbrow is shattered, three weeks into the new job.

It’s better than it looks.

The new van is awesome, except that-oops!-they don’t have a second key/remote for me. Ummm, that’s kind of a big fumble… It’s an ’09. WTF? So, I have to go back to the dealership on Thursday and get my inspection sticker, and apparently strong arm the dealership into hooking me up with a proper set of keys.

Yay.

I think I’ll call it a night, watch some Deadliest Catch, and work on my Mama Kat’s post for Thursday.
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Sweet Mother of Minivans!

We didn’t spring for one of these loaded babies. $35,000 brand new is a little rich for my blood. (Chances are good that if you’re reading this blog, you’ve seen this, but I’m just covering my bases.)

But we did go one step up from The Family Car. (I love me some Twiddlebugs.)

We signed the paperwork yesterday on an ’09 Nissan Quest, bringing me into the G family tradition of Japanese branded cars. Seriously, the whole immediate family in law drives Nissans, Subarus, and Hondas.

My little VW wagon will head off to auction, and I will join the many, the moms, the minivan drivers. It’s got a power slider and a power liftgate and a DVD player! It’s got an auxiliary jack for my iPod! (Go big or go home, right? and yes, I’m that easy to please.)

It’s RED.

My first two Subarus were red. I love red. I wear a lot of red. My favorite shoes have all been red. A great red paint job can elevate a Subaru wagon or a Nissan minivan from mom-mobile to foxy. And it is foxy. I love the lines of the Quest, and the color is deep metallic red. Yum!

I had a hard time reconciling myself to the whole minivan/soccer mom thing, but here’s the truth. I’ve outgrown the capacity of my little wagon. My Jettas were sporty and functional, so very German, and I was one of those smugly stick-shifty drivers. It’s hard to let that go. On the other hand, I can handle the bulk shopping, the three car seats, the stroller, and the tricycles–at the same time! I am unstoppable. Our trip to the beach this year will be absurdly easy to pack for! Oh, yes.

I feel good about buying a late model pre-owned car. Not being responsible for a new car coming off the assembly line assuages my guilt over going from an earth-friendlier 25-29 MPGs to a less impressive 16-24 MPGs. It’s a start.

So, there it is. Mommy blogging, a minivan…  Thank goodness I still have a cute (if wind-blown and post-pool air-dried) haircut!

First Week Back on the Job

It has come. It has gone. I am employed. I have returned to the workforce.

I am, once more, a nanny.

All things considered, after a week, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. Mr. & Mrs. C have been very gracious and welcoming to both Felix and I, and Betty and Felix are on the road to being good friends.

Elmer is just a delicious bowl of baby smell and gummy smiles. He totally has a little old man face, and I am just a teeny bit smitten. Given the smiles and the sleeping on my chest in the Bjorn, I’m sure he’s smitten, too.

We had our hiccups. Two two-year olds, both bright and confident, are going to butt heats; especially when one is a well-socialized pre-school alumna and the other is wild animal stay-at-home only child. Felix has a very hard time sharing. He is fiercely protective of things he views as his. Betty is far more open to compromise. She’s also accustomed to having a third-party authority figure in her life, which made transitioning from teachers to a nanny super easy.

On my end, I’m learning my way around a new family dynamic, creating the database of information crucial to my survival once Mrs. C. goes back to work. Examples? where the extra toilet paper is, what the “getting ready for the day” routine is. Where Betty’s hair elastics are, and how she likes her scrambled eggs. Adapting to practices to which I might not subscribe at home, such as cleaning produce with commercially prepared vegetable wash, and feet washing in the morning. It’s the details and the routines that separate a nanny from a babysitter. Okay, and the hours. And the commitment. And hopefully, once day, the love!

It took three days to get Felix comfortable with his new napping arrangement. He’s been given one of the empty guest rooms in the new house, and I’ve set up a “nest” for him to nap in. Essentially, it’s a crib mattress with sheets and a pillow, tucked into one corner of the room. In theory, to achieve nap success, just add Beek! Not so much until Thursday. I’ve brought in a light blocking curtain and his trusty white noise machine, and now he’s napping nicely. Let me tell you, though, those three napless days SUCKED.

I’ve got all kinds of ideas to keep us busy this summer, and I’ve started looking seriously at cars that can handle three car seats–which I’ll have for more than a few years, with Felix, Betty & Elmer all driving around with me. I’m optimistic about next week.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been optimistic about being back at work.

Because I can, I’m going to end on a non-sequitur. As I type, Felix is watching Cars, and let me tell you, Doc’s solo lap around Willy’s Butte still gives me chills. Every time.