7 quick takes: cars, birthdays, no surgeries, and pigtails!

I am shamelessly stealing this post idea from A’Dell (and a few others who I think have borrowed it from her as well) It’s just that I feel like I always have tons I want to share but sometimes they are random and short things that don’t really warrant a whole, long blog post, so I end up not writing for days and what the heck is the point of having a blog if you don’t WRITE ON IT? RIGHT? RIGHT. So, here are seven random things I want to talk about.

1. We have two cars. Mine is a 2008 Honda CR-V and Dan drives my old car, a 2001 Honda Civic (spoiler: we have become Honda People, apparently.) He used to drive a Ford Mustang that he bought after we graduated from college and I thought he was insane, but we weren’t married at the time so I felt that I couldn’t beat him over the head with a book when he pulled down my parents’ driveway in his brand-new, REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE sports car in WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA where it snows and the weather is crappy 6 months out of the year. But whatever, it ended up being a pretty good car and he loved it but when Maggie was about a year old, we realized we would need a second car that would accommodate a carseat, so we traded the Mustang in for the CR-V and he inherited my Civic. THAT car? Is a GREAT CAR. It’s old and smells like feet and coffee, but it gets Dan to work every day and it’s been paid off for like 6 years. And the past 2 years it has only cost us about $60 total in inspection fees, plus a few oil changes.

Of course, last week it heard us talking about it and decided to stall and start smoking while Dan was driving home from work. He was able to make it to the car place by turning off the air conditioning (and probably praying a little). Turns out that blahblahblah lots of boring car things, it cost us $1200 to fix a bunch of busted belts and stuff. Yeaaaaah, that was kind of a bummer. But, I figure if it gets us another 3 months or so, that’s still better than another car payment. You see, my CR-V isn’t paid off for another year, and we’re trying to hold out until then to choose a replacement car (which I will drive, then he’ll take the CR-V.) So, you know: fingers crossed we can get through the winter, at least.

2. Audrey is turning two in like… 6 weeks or something insane. So it’s that time of year again: BIRTHDAY PARTY PLANNING TIME! Every year when my girls’ birthdays roll around, I think, “I’m just going to keep it simple! Mellow! Easy!” but then once I start brainstorming and planning and thinking… it turns into quite a production. But you know what? I love it. Maggie’s Snow White birthday party for her 4th was one of my favorites, followed by this past year’s 5th birthday with a Beach Barbie theme. Now, Audrey’s only going to be two so she will barely realize what’s happening, so I probably won’t go QUITE that insane (I had spent a looooong winter cooped up inside with a reflux-y infant (AUDREY.) and I needed a project, I think. heh.) but I have Some Ideas. And I’m very excited to get started.

Also: cheesy, tear-inducing 2nd birthday slideshow video time, wooohoo!

3. Before Audrey turns two in September, Maggie will start kindergarten. She’ll be in the morning session every weekday (our district now and forever will have half-day kindergarten, ARGH.) On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Audrey and I will be on our own in the mornings while Maggie is at school, then in the afternoon we’ll all just hang out and do what we do. I AM actually excited about having some Audrey-and-Mommy time, because we really haven’t had time for just us since she was a newborn (and, uh, she was kind of boring and demanding of my boobs back then. ahem.)

In the afternoon on the three days a week when I work, Maggie will be at home with me. Audrey will still be in daycare those days like always, so I’ll only have one kid to entertain while I’m trying to be productive. But I’m a little nervous about how all of this is going to pan out, I’ll be honest. On the days where I work at home, I have a plan that involves lots of crafts and activity books on hand to keep Maggie out of my hair for a few hours. The only day that was in question is the day where I work in an office as a contractor for a local company. We looked at a few options for afternoon care for Maggie, but the issue is that someone has to pick her up from school at lunchtime (no mid-day buses anymore) so even if I had somewhere to TAKE her that one measly afternoon a week, I have to GET her there on my own. And based on timing and traffic and distance, it would probably be at least an hour or more breaking up the day and it just seemed kind of dumb to me. So the resulting plan is: cutting back my hours at the weekly contract job to just the morning and attempting to do work for them at home via network login (jury is still out on this, but we’re working on it!)

Anyway. Lots of changes coming up!


5. We are entering a fun phase of sisterhood (or really, just siblinghood) in which the girls fight over Everything, All The Time. So if you need me, I’ll be hiding in the closet upstairs where nobody can whine at me. And also maybe eating chocolate. It’s my coping drug of choice.

6. School shopping: this is the first year we’ve had to do it- partly because it’s Kindergarten and it’s a Big Deal! so why not? And also because this is the first fall where Maggie has exactly zero pants left from the end of last winter that fit her. She has grown 1 1/4 inches since the beginning of March! So! We will shop. My question for you all: How do you handle school shopping for your kids? Maggie is still young but I feel like I should start letting her have a little bit of a say in what we buy her for school (within reason, OBVIOUSLY.) and maybe teach her a little bit about money at the same time. Dan remembers getting a set amount of money before school started and was allowed to buy whatever he wanted- if he spent it all on CDs or candy, then he had to wear his clothes from last school year, whether they fit or not. Now, this sounds like a GREAT method for older kids (good money lessons!) but for younger ones, I’m not sure the best way to do this. Curious if anyone else puts as much thought into it as I am or I’m just being a huge dork. ha.

7. Audrey looks adorable in pigtails. Just FYI.


  1. Roberta

    July 31, 2012 12:41 pm

    My husband’s Civic made it to 17 years before we just couldn’t repair it any more, so I have high hopes for your Civic! We bought an Accord to replace it, because, DUH 17 YEARS. I am now keeping my fingers crossed for another year or so on my 14 year old Jeep Cherokee. On kids’ clothes – my daughter is 3, and we let her pick out a few things on her own when she needed new summer clothes. She picked out about 3 things until she lost interest. ;-) I think when kids are a few years older, you can teach them more about the value of money, and let them choose & spend for a few things (and maybe all when they are teens or so). But at this point, I think parents still have to be mostly in charge of that, to be sure things fit, etc.

  2. Tracy

    July 31, 2012 12:44 pm

    Back to school shopping is fun. I usually take a day and go to the outlets with Dom and get him what he needs (he helps pick things out within reason). He doesn’t really get a limit on money, I just tell him if something is too expensive and he understands. (but he is also older)
    My suggestion would be to make a list (I am a total list maker) with Maggie, have her give her opinions on what she thinks she needs and then you give her your input on what she actually needs. Then write down your favorite stores and take her with you. (I did a lot online this year and Dom just approved of the things and now we are going to Target Friday to get the supplies)

    Have fun!

  3. A'Dell

    July 31, 2012 12:54 pm

    Oh, it’s totally Jen at Conversion Diary that started the 7 Quick Takes thing (I think?).

    But I will take the credit for introducing it TO YOU! OH YES I WILL!

  4. Becca

    July 31, 2012 3:18 pm

    I have a honda accord that we’ve owned for 2 years, I think, but it’s a ’97. Anyways, it’s awesome and we love it and we won’t neccessarily stick with honda, but japanese cars all the way!

  5. Michelle

    July 31, 2012 3:21 pm

    We have a 2004 Saturn Ion (I think) that I’ve been praying will hang on as long as possible. It’s been paid off for a couple of years but the husband has decided we need to trade it in (mainly because he drives it and it is not really cool and I drive the semi-cool car a Mazda CX-7.) I just want to keep the Saturn until it breaks because it is costing us nothing but gas, insurance and oil changes right now.

    Also, I always have the same aspirations for birthday. Let’s keep it low key. Fun. Nothing big. Then we invite everyone and are up half the night decorating, cleaning and cooking. Not that I experienced that this past weekend or anything.

    And Audrey is adorable in her pigtails.!

  6. Shari

    August 1, 2012 3:17 pm

    Our schools starts tomorrow (Aug 2)!!
    Our school system is doing the YEAR ROUND system. The fancy name they give it is.. the balanced system. I think we are going to like it – except start school soooo early!!!

    Happy almost birthday to the pigtail princess. Mine will be 8 in 2 weeks and we are having a zebra (and hot pink) birthday themed party. I found the zebra cake on Pinterest (btw – I stalk you over there ;)) and did a test drive of the cake this past week end.. and it turned out amazing. Pinterest rocks!!

  7. Jennifer

    August 3, 2012 11:33 am

    Scott finally said good-bye to his 1989 Honda Accord with over 180,000 miles on it this year. And promptly bought a used 2009 Accord that had low miles and in perfect condition. He didn’t even look at anything else.

    Good luck with those afternoons! Juliana tends to bother me much too often for me to get much accomplished on the days she has been home. I recommend setting up a routine – snack at x time (not every hour, etc), list of activities to choose from..

    And I am stealing this 7 Quck Takes idea from you and I see there is another source above in the comments.

  8. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes: Rock-a-Bye Boom Boom and More | Three Weasels

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