Saturday, October 07, 2017

Muh carr, muh carr!

We bought a second car! We've been a one-car family for TEN YEARS, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to gripe about how inconvenient it's been, and wax poetic about how having a second car is amazing. It's going to be long. Maybe skip down to the picture of our car unless you really want to listen to me complain.

So, downsides to having just the one car:

1. It's really hard to take your car in for maintenance. Logistically you need two cars so you can drop one car off at the garage and still have a way to get home. And once your car is in the shop you have no way of getting around, which is especially true if you live in a rural area like we do. All of this leads to not taking as good of care of your car as you should, which is a kind of catch 22. Now that we have two cars, I can take our first car in for some much needed tuning up.

2. Scheduling problems. When we were first married we lived in Provo, which is very walkable, and if we drove anywhere it was usually together. Then we moved to Eugene, where Sam rode his bike to campus and I had access to the car all the time.

     2.1 Commuting for work.
Then we moved to Gallatin, and transportation was a nightmare. Sam had to have the car every day to drive to work 30 minutes away. Except there were days when I also had to have the car to take Edie to the many checkups required of small babies. Which meant all of us driving up to Sam's work, dropping him off, and me driving back with Edie. Which took an hour round trip and was difficult to coordinate with Edie's feeding schedule. And then we'd do it again to pick Sam up from work. All that time and mileage and gas and sun in my eyes, all for a 30 minute doctor's appointment. Blech.

But most of the time I just stayed home. I spent 18 months unable to go anywhere and it started to get to me.

     2.2 Commuting to church.
So we moved up to Portland, 3 miles from Sam's work, so he could bike to work every day (which he enjoys). The trade-off is that we now live 25 minutes from the church building, and we've both ended up in leadership positions since we've lived here. I spent three years as Primary president; we had ward council twice a month (plus a presidency meeting), there was no one to carpool with because of the Church's archaic policies about men and women breathing in the same air, and that meant Sam and Edie just had to come along for the ride and wait it out in the foyer. Except that didn't work when we switched to the early schedule (no way was I going to wake up a baby at 6:30am), so I would drive down by myself, and my sweet sainted visiting teacher would come pick up Sam and Edie and take them to church. It was a huge imposition, and once we had Marty we knew we couldn't keep it up.

Now Sam is the Elders Quorum president and he has meetings before church FOUR Sundays a month (two ward councils, one PEC, and one presidency meeting). That's right, I have to go to church an hour and a half early every Sunday for no reason. I sit in the foyer and wrangle Edie and Marty and feed them lunch while we wait for church to start. We leave at 11am for 1pm church and get home around 4:40pm. BUT NO MORE! Now I'll wrangle the kids at home, stuff them in the car, and show up to church ON TIME and no earlier. I have a lot of lost time to reclaim.

It's a 2014 C-Max SE Hybrid. 

Reasons our new car is awesome:

1. It's a hybrid. I've been getting 40 MPG!
2. It has all sorts of fancy features I don't know how to use. Our Galant is from 2002 and it has neither bells nor whistles. Now I can change the radio station with a button on my steering wheel! And I can set the lights to go on and off automatically. Fancy!
3. It's a hatchback. I was looking for a station wagon type car, because I was tired of trying to stuff stuff in my trunk. Every time I went to the hardware store I had to get my lumber cut down into smaller pieces. I bought a compound miter saw and spent 20 minutes wedging the box into my trunk, and when I got home I had to cut it out of the box while it was still in the trunk to get it out. Well, no more!
4. It still looks (and smells) shiny and new. That's because I haven't let the kids ride in it yet.
5. It's quiet, partially because it's a hybrid, partially because it's just better insulated from outside noises than our other car. No more car shouting for us!

That's all. I just wanted to type this up because we waited a long time to get a second car and I want to remember what life was like before awesome futuristic hybrids entered the picture.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Oregon Part, Part II (July)

July 1st everyone came over for a little BBQ and cake for Maranda's birthday, as well as to celebrate Canada Day.

I had everyone sign my Canada Day banner, of course. This was its 11th year, so it might be time to make a new one.

There was much baby-hogging of Alexis' new little girl.

 As always, the sand box saw a lot of action.

And until she actually played in one, I had been thinking about building a sand box for Edie.

Ben made Uncle Jon hang a paper bag in the tree as a pinata. I believe it was filled with paper cups.

One night we all went down to the park and played on the swings.

Andy and Ben took turns swinging with Uncle Fletcher, who would swing at crazy angles that I thought would give me a heart attack. When Dad showed up at the park Andy pointed to Fletcher and said something along the lines of "You've got to try this guy!" like Fletcher was a ride.

A sibling picture because I think everyone was going their separate ways starting that day or the next. 

Edie playing Legos with cousins.

And we all went bowling. I thought we had a good time, but either I'm remembering wrong or Jon and Fletcher are pulling an American Gothic.

Phew, that's the end. Now I can post pictures from my upcoming trips with a clear conscience.

The Oregon Part, Part I (June)

Oh mercy, it's been a year and this is just now going up. Let's see what I even remember about this trip.

There was much hanging out in the backyard around the new sand box.

Edie enjoyed seeing her Lee cousins this trip.

 Grams saved up all her quarters and let the grandkids divvy them up. In this picture they are fighting over the lone nickel they found.

Putting Edie to bed was tricky. Without a pack 'n' play all I could do was put her in my bed at her normal bedtime, close the door, let her tire herself out, and hope she was still in the bed when she fell asleep. I was worried she'd fall off the bed, and one time she did. I had to share the bed with her and it turns out she grinds her teeth.

Edie pushed Simon around in the stroller when we went to OMSI, even though they are roughly the same size.

Once we found the water room Edie never wanted to leave. It's all we did the whole time we were there.

There was a sign on the wall saying, hey adults, these green aprons are for you, so I put one on and I was mistaken for an employee several times. A lot of parents left their kids there alone, perhaps thinking I was there to watch all the kids. So I ended up helping kids tie their aprons and find missing shoes. I redistributed the toys and balls, and repeatedly stopped one little girl from drinking the water.

WINCO, oh sweet WINCO how I've missed you. Fletcher and I went to the movies to see...I don't even remember (I looked it up, it was Finding Dory) and went on a midnight WINCO run afterward. The package of jumbo straws was for Ben, who needed straws to build something he had thought up.