Friday, September 25, 2009


1. Our driveway slopes downward, which has its disadvantages when it rains and our garage floods yet again. As you can imagine, it gets rather tropical in there in the summer, and mold is the very expected result.

(The much less expected result is the opossum that moved into the garage recently. We have to leave the door open periodically so things will dry out. Meanwhile, we saw Olwen recently, so we baited our live trap. We didn't get her, but we did find a very full opossum, who apparently decided to stick around and see if we felt like leaving out more food and hey look, here's a lovely semi-dry place to hide. We're like the best opossum hotel ever. I discovered it recently when I went out to dig out some of the baby toys and saw a pointy little face peeking at me from the corner. Since it was wearing neither a hat nor stripy shirt, and definitely wasn't speaking in a folksy humorous manner, I think we will be deploying the live trap again and relocating our guest)

Anyway, one of the casualties of the mold was our older Graco stroller. I had taken it in the house so I could try to wash the moldy fabric, but it was sufficiently inconvenient to remove that I hadn't gotten around to it. We have a much better stroller, a Baby Jogger City that I got at a shocking discount and love with an indecent passion, but it would be nice to have a stroller we could clip the baby's car seat to. And for preference, not so teeming with microbial life that it could possibly walk away on its own.

Enter Babies R Us, which decided to run a sale where you could bring in your old baby equipment in exchange for 20% off of new baby equipment. So we unloaded Biohazard Stroller on the suckers them, and were even allowed to use a 15% off coupon on top of that to acquire a double stroller, for about the price I see for lightly used ones on Craigslist. And now we can take both children for long walks without either having to flog K into walking the entire way or wind up both carrying a 15 pound baby and pushing a 40 pound child, a recipe for hot back death if there ever was one.

2. I did a bit more research on the tax incentive for buying a car this year and discovered that 1) it was for new cars and 2) it wasn't really that good. So since my brother is going to have a lot of trouble coming up with enough money to pay off our ten-months-left-on-it car loan before paying the rest in installments, we decided to wait a while on the new car. The longer we wait, the more he'll be able to collect, and the less will be owed on the loan. I don't want to wait until next August to do this, but certainly we could wait until spring.

I've still been doing car research. A phrase I never thought I would utter when car buying is "I think we should seriously look at this Kia." And yet, the Rondo has that right combination of more space but not too big, decent gas mileage and a good reliability record. Apparently Kia has been improving a lot in recent years. And while I've never thought I would be the type of person to be changing cars so often, my goal for this car is really to last long enough that someone comes out with a good station wagon or minivan as a hybrid or other alternative fuel vehicle. What I would really prefer is to own something like a Prius for driving around town and a minivan that B could drive the mile and a half to work and we could take on trips, but we can't afford insurance for two cars living here.

Another phrase I really really never thought I would utter is "I think we should look at these SUVs." And yet, apparently the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V are both relatively small and have comparable gas mileage to the other cars I've been looking at. The main drawbacks are that 1), they cost considerably more than the other cars I've been looking at and 2), I saw a couple up close in a parking lot the other day and found myself thinking that even though I know they have decent mileage, they're still so large that I would feel like an asshole driving around in them. Part of my problem I'm sure is having to accept that if I want a larger car, I'm going to have to deal with a car that's, well, large, but there are larger cars with less aggressive profiles than an SUV.

So currently the state of the car project is still unexpectedly leaning towards a Kia and waiting for spring.

3. My mother's birthday gift to me this year is money for a new dress for B's sister's wedding, since nothing in my wardrobe fits over my breastfeeding rack. Surprisingly, I have no tales of agony and woe, stumbling through store after store full of clothes that have been beaten liberally with the ugly stick. Instead, I found a dress from Lands End almost immediately and ordered it without hesitation. It's a flattering cut, has easy access for exposing myself and has a belt to compensate for the fact that my milk-enhanced bust is a full size larger than my waist. The fact that Lands End currently has a coupon code available that give both 25% off and free shipping was just gravy.

I read a lot of sewing and crafting blogs, which have been giving me a lot of treacherous thoughts lately about converting t-shirts and button-down shirts into dresses. But I keep feeling hesitant about possibly ruining perfectly good clothes so I can produce something that looks amateurish. But then I walked into Target and saw a rack full of dresses that looked like they had been badly adapted from thrift store rejects and then sat upon by a team of elephants for the extra wrinkly look, and realized that if people are walking out in public wearing those, I have nothing to worry about.

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