Monday, July 28, 2008


Nothing much new to write. I love driving my new car - the inside materials look and feel more high-end to me than the price I paid for the car. I have volume and channel controls for the audio system on the steering wheel - great for a button pusher like me. I also like that I can plug my I-pod into the audio system. All features that I didn't have with my 8 year old car. The 30 mpg also helps.

Though I could write about the adventure to find the title for my old car so I could collect my insurance check. DH and I searched for one whole weekend. Having just moved (that is, just moved 10 months ago), there are lots of boxes not unpacked. The car title was not in the neatly filed manila folders of important documents. We started going through every piece of paper in the file folders just in case. No luck. However, I did find a $200 reimbursement check from last year that was still good. Score!

So, the only thing to do was to drive to the NW side of Houston, about 50-60 miles away, to the only local office to get a certified copy of my title. I drove all the way up there, waited in line, got to the window, and found out that their computer showed my bank still had a lien on the title. @$#!! I had mentioned to DH that I thought I should get an official paper from my bank that the loan/lien was gone, but he said, nah, if the bank mailed you the title (that we couldn't find), then they should have let the state people know. Nope.

I drove back home, stopped at my bank for the official paper, then a few days later, drove all the way back up there. This time, I was driving my new car. Let me tell you, driving my shiny new car, while still having some recent car crash paranoia, through the second worst traffic bottleneck in the country, is not very relaxing. But, I waited in line again, got my certified title, and was able to get my insurance check.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Check out my new ride

The bad news: My insurance declared my old car a total loss. The good news: I bought a new car, a 2008 Honda Accord in this color. Sweeeet!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

That darn mouse

We may have really created a monster. Little Bit has not been himself the last few weeks. Even daycare has commented on it; any change can throw him for a loop and into a crying tantrum. The only big change we can think of has been letting him watch more tv lately. Now he wakes early, saying, "Mickey!! TV!" He cries when I tell him it's too early (hello, 5 am), but will go back to sleep for awhile. Later we let him watch cartoons while we get ready for the day. Some evenings, not every one, we let him watch a recorded episode of Mickey Mouse. But, oh, boy, the tantrums, when it's time to turn off the tv to put on shoes and go to daycare or to brush teeth and go to bed. I've not seen him have such tantrums as these so regularly. I want my sweet baby boy back who gleefully runs into the bathroom when I say, "It's time to brush your teeth! Lets go get your step-stool!"

He cries in despair when we want to take off his Thomas the Train nightshirt to put on a t-shirt for the day. He kicks and cries when we try to put on his shoes. He refuses to choose a bedtime story. He screams in anger. We warn him a few minutes before it's time to turn off the tv. We even try to give him choices (which of these shirts or which shoes do you want), but it doesn't help.

So, internets, any wisdom about two year olds (he'll be 26 months old soon) and tv? DH suggested that we go cold turkey on letting him watch any tv for awhile to get it out of his system. Is the tv the problem or is it just his age?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bye-bye, Mama!

Little Bit has discovered the best joke ever. He says, "Bye-bye, Mama! See ya later!" then promptly closes the intervening door so I'm on one side and he's on the other. He first did it the other night as I was trying to convince him it was bedtime. He closed me in his bedroom, saying his bye-bye phrase. Then, I heard his giggle as he ran down the hall. Last night at dinner, he played the same game with the door at the patio of the Mexican restaraunt. It was so funny that he danced on his little feet in happiness while he laughed and held onto the doorknob.

Lately, he's also been very clingy when it's time to take him to daycare. He protests his shorts, his shoes, the car, anything, and everything. I guess it's separation anxiety. He does his clinging monkey impression at the daycare room. One of the daycare workers has to take him in her arms and distract him with toys.

In other news, I heard from my insurance guy -- he says that they are probably going to declare my car a total loss. I'll find out later today how much money they'll pay me for it. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm driving a new car

I had way too much excitement on the way home yesterday. A guy turned left into the side of my car, crumpled the passenger door and the car frame and kept going. The idiot had scraped off his license plate with my car door, so now he’s going to get a ticket for hit and run, too. Dumba$$. I wasn’t hurt, but it remains to be seen whether the insurance company decides my car is fixable or a lost cause.

Lots of witnesses gave me their business cards in case I needed their testimony, and two of them even drove after him to try to get his license plate number (not knowing he’d left his front plate at the scene).

I've happily had no car payment on my car for three years now and would be glad to keep driving it. I hope they can fix it. At least Little Bit wasn't in the car with me, though, and I wasn't hurt. I have a 2008 rental for now. I suppose I'll think a little about what kind of new(er) car I might want. I suspect that the cost to fix my old car will be at least as much as, if not more than, what it's worth.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Little Bit can amaze me daily with his insight and his sense of humor. He likes to 'hide' things behind his back, then ask, "Where crayon?" So I say, "Where is the crayon?" He grins and says, "Hiding!"

Last week, he was playing in the tub for his bath. DH opened the drain. As he watched the water disappear down the drain, Little Bit asked, "Where wa-der?" so I answered, "Where is the water?" He answered, "Hiding!"

Little Bit loves, loves, loves to play outside. This is a little boy who has been known to get out of bed, still in pajamas, and run to the backdoor immediately, saying, "Outside! Outside!" This past weekend we had a heat index of 105+. He wanted to go out, but then refused to go into the sun, staying in the shade where it was slightly cooler than Africa-hot. After coming inside for a bit, DH asked if he wanted to go outside again. Little Bit answered, "No outside." DH asked, "Who are you?! What did you do with my son?" Little Bit put a hand on his chest and answered DH's first question, who are you, "ME!!"

I think part of his reluctance to go outside was his hope that we would turn the TV back on. I love watching TV. It's my de-stressor. I watch everything from National Geographic and Discovery Channel documentaries to HGTV makeovers and dumb reality tv shows (Hell's Kitchen). One of the doctors at our son's pediatrician office is a big proponent of no TV until age two, then no more than two hours a day. We stuck by that -- no tv really until he was about a month before his second birthday. I'd sometimes watch tv while he was playing on the floor, but he never seem interested in it. He preferred building with his blocks or examining his books.

That's changed now. Oh, how that's changed. My parents gave him a Mickey Mouse doll last Christmas. He had never seen a Mickey Mouse cartoon, but he seemed to like the doll ok. Then, one day a few months ago, we turned on the tv to "The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse". I'm sure it was magical to see his doll alive and speaking on the tv. A few weeks ago when I was sick and DH wasn't feeling well either, we let him watch several episodes of Mickey off the DVR. I've created a monster. Now, daily, we are greeted with cries of "Mickey!! TV on!!" If we say that it's time to say goodbye to Mickey and turn off the TV, he throws himself on the couch in despair.

We've also added "Little Einsteins" and sometimes "Handy Manny" to the mix. "Tigger and Pooh" fills in once in awhile on the weekend. On the positive side, the Disney Channel has few commercials during these shows; just at the half hour, there will be a message that So-and-So is proud to sponsor Playhouse Disney. I must admit too that it is unbearably cute to hear Little Bit answering the questions posed by the characters on the tv. "Do you want to help us find Donald?" "Yes!" He'll pat his legs along with the kids on "Little Einsteins" to help Rocket go faster. The shows are just his speed. Just don't tell the doctor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Girls Gone Wild

Wow. Just wow. Being wasted is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to excuse being disrespectful to yourself and to young, impressionable women who might look up to you. It's not feminist to drink yoursef to oblivion all the time and have (unprotected) sex with anyone and everyone. Saying things like, 'only stupid girls get raped' and 'I was raped once but I like didn't do anything about it because I had better things to do, like get drunk.'? Yeah, definitely not feminist, just terribly tragic.

I'm reminded of news stories I've seen about young girls in high school having their stupid acts come back to haunt them. Topless shots instant-messaged to the cute boy in chemistry which then land on the internet and every other boy's cell phone. Video of them drunk on youtube and myspace. Many people make mistakes when they're navigating the road from childhood to adulthood, but now, the internet can broadcast those mistakes long into their futures.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

There is no snooze button on a toddler

Scene - early morning, our bedroom, DH and I trying vainly to leap, gazelle-like, out of bed. Little Bit is bright-eyed and bushy tailed, alternately playing 'Hop Bunny' and climbing the chest at the foot of the bed.

Little Bit: (sing-song voice, from the side of the bed) Maaaaa-maaaa!
Me: (blearily open one eye from the depths of the pillow) Yes, sweetie?
Little Bit: Up!
Little Bit: Daaaa-daaaa!
DH: Yes?
Little Bit: Up!

There is no snooze button on a toddler.