Thank God For Google

It never fails. Crap always (ALWAYS) happens when the spouse is deployed. Washers break down, kids get sick, the ice maker stops working. It may have worked just fine 2 days ago when they were still home, but the minute they head out, deployment gremlins move in.

This time around the gremlins have seized our cars. A couple of days ago after dropping off the kids at school, I come back to the car to sit, look at my phone, and sip some coffee while the drop off traffic tapered down. This time as I sat idling, the engine was running funky. It felt like it wasn’t getting enough gas. With the kids’ school on the opposite side of town, I said a silent prayer that I could limp her home.

I got to the corner and she died.

Can I just say, that while I’m pretty industrious and don’t mind manual labor, car problems make me freak out exponentially. Mostly because the minute you step into a car shop as a female, the bill is instantly doubled or tripled…or at least it seems.

Taking a deep breath, I started the car again, revving the engine to make sure it was getting enough gas….and I limped home. It died twice and then the other stop signs and lights, I maneuvered my heel on the gas with my toe on the brake, never really letting it come down to a complete idle.

For two days, I’ve been fortunate enough to have hubby’s car here, so no big deal. I’ll just drive the little car (gets better gas mileage anyway). We’ll fix the big car once we can have a friend come take a look at it and diagnose her before I decide how to proceed.

I wake up this morning (my dear son’s birthday, no less) and have a million things planned (HA!) and we get in the car, every one has their lunch? Check! Turn the key, and ….

zilch.

Nada.

Nothing happening.

Kids may have left the dome light on all night….I don’t know because nothing is working now. Crap. We grab all of our stuff and pile over into the big car. The one that just a few days ago was dying on me.

“Please, please, just get the kids to school and me back home so I can jump the little car and all will be well,” I quickly muttered a prayer as I turned the key. She started right up, and I wasn’t seeing anymore of the indicator lights (idiot lights) on as they had been the other day. “Okay….”

I’ve never in 9 years had my kids be so quiet in the car. All of us silently straining to hear any indication of trouble with the engine noise. We made it to school. I made it back home. No big deal, I’ll jump the blue car and we’ll be in great shape. I’ve got this. I am woman hear me roar, right?!

Hooking up the jumper cables, this is what I see….

Perhaps it wasn’t just a drain on the battery from a light being left on. I do what any industrious lady does when confronted with an issue: I googled it. “What is the blue gunk on my car’s battery?” I typed in and got my answer and solution. Mixing up the baking soda and water and spooning it on, all the corrosion acid came right off. Yay science! Easy peasy. Hook up the jumper cables (after a quick refresher on the order, thanks again Google!)

img_4210.jpg

I get my little car to start. I idle them both and let the battery charge up. Mentally patting myself on the back for handling life, I assume it’s probably been long enough and I unhood the cables, stop the big car and start putting stuff away. I turn off the little car, and then decide, I better restart it just to make sure I’m good to go.

Nothing. No click, no trying to start, not a peep.

It is at this point my inner brat rears her ugly head. My inner brat is a 5-year-old who really likes stuff. New stuff in particular. She wants to go to the Honda dealer and pick out a shiny something that will give her no mechanical trouble. (Although a hefty car payment would be seriously headache inducing. I tell her to sit down and shut up.

Time to go to Walmart for a new battery! I can do this! To the kids’ school to drop off cupcakes for dear son’s birthday. (Thank you to dear daughter’s teacher for help with timing so I didn’t have to make another trip across town!!) Home with new battery I set out to install the thing myself! Yes, I googled that, too! Wore gloves to protect my skin from any corrosion, used proper tools (metric wrenches for imports, standard for domestic!) and got the job done.

Deep breath, please start, please start, please start….

She turned right over and purred like a kitten! YAY new battery! Yay for Google! And yay for a running car!

Is it time for bed yet? I’m exhausted….

Advertisements

Day.

We woke up (yes “we”- they migrated during the night) this morning to a phone call from Eric. That is always nice, but it happened to be a rare occasion where Hannah was still sacked at 6:30 and Jake might have been cajoled into playing quietly in his room for 15-20 minutes. The phone rang and we were up!

After chatting with Daddy, getting breakfast, spilling milk, spilling Kix, taking someone else’s Kix, having a time out, deciding on a cut up apple instead – no wait, make that pancakes…we make it into the living room to “play” for a bit while I attempt to fold the 37 loads of laundry that have piled up that stubbornly refuse to fold themselves!

I say attempt to fold for a reason. Hannah loves to “help” with the laundry. It is pretty funny to watch as she lays out a kitchen towel just so, making sure the corners are all straight, then she rolls them up real fast into a crumpled ball and piles it on the other folded towels. Then we get the excitement of the sheets. Basically she sits on the floor with a sheet on her head and I sing a rousing rendition of “Where is Hannah!? Where is Hannah!? I don’t know… I don’t know”. And of course not to be out done by little sister, Jacob abandons whatever he is doing to take the sheet off of Hannah and put it on himself, much to her dismay. Now we are breaking up kid quarrel #2, 30 minutes into our day.

Sigh.

Clothes eventually got folded, workout was worked out, more kid quarrels ensued. I take a shower and get dressed-only to find Hannah needs a DESPERATE diaper change and thank goodness I didn’t take the time to shave my legs or she would have had it EVERYWHERE. Pooptastrophy averted.

We pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the playground before preschool. I use the term “enjoy” loosely. Both minions sat at the counter while I made their lunches.

Me: “Hannah, do you want peanut butter and jelly?”
Hannah: Nodding, “Yes!”
Me: “Jacob, just peanut butter, no jelly, right?”
Jacob: “right!”

Okay… So sandwiches made, string cheeses, cantaloupe, cucumber slices from our garden, homemade ranch dip in the cute little containers, some pretzels and off to the park we go. We open our lunch boxes to eat after playing for a bit.

Jake: Whining and picking at the sandwich “I don’t like peanut butter!”

I felt like cracking my skull on a brick wall.  Long story long, he ate 4 big bites, and ate the rest of his lunch so I’m gonna count that as a win.

Drop him off at preschool and off Hannah and I go to the grocery to grab just a couple of quick items and then head home.  Hannah is crying that she wants to go the playland (the genius play area at the grocery store where they watch your kids for an hour while you shop!) Okay, I think – she gets to play, I’ll pick up the 3 things we need and we’ll be on our way.

Not so much. As soon as I lifted her out of the cart she cried that she didn’t want to go. No biggie. Back in the cart, we’ll do the shopping together. She THEN cries THROUGH THE ENTIRE STORE that she wants to go back to playland.

Again the desire to crack my head on a hard surface arises.

We finally make it home, I get her now hiccuping, crying self laid down for a nap, and I have to wake her up 30 minutes later to pick Jake up from preschool.  When I put her in the car, she wakes up and without missing a beat, starts crying yet again for the grocery playland.

More cracking of head thoughts.

Upon arrival to pick him up, Jake is happily playing trains. I ask him if he is ready to go after chatting with the teachers a bit. One of the teachers gets down next to him and says “Are you ready to go Alligator?”

He responds by blowing bubbles at her and states loudly “don’t call me that!”

Can I just die now? I really don’t know when I’ve ever been more proud. Then after collecting all his art projects from the day that have all of a sudden been scattered on the floor, he heads for the door around the corner. I have Hannah on my hip, still wigging out about the grocery store, picking up papers all over, while simultaneously attempting to respond to someone’s question. Papers now collected, I round the corner to see Jake in full melt down mode, being held away from the door by the preschool director.

I instantly feel sorry for her. I get down and attempt (unsuccessfully) to get him out of his tantrum, not to mention the middle of the door way. Other parents are trying to get through. Can you say hot mess? With Hannah still on one hip, I bend down and hoist Jake on my other. (Have I mentioned I grow HUGE KIDS? Good thing I work out!)

By the time we make it to the car, all three of us are in tears.

It is now 8pm. The kids are bathed, tucked in bed and sleeping soundly. My house (completely destroyed this morning) is now back in order and I am having a beer and toasting (aka, fervently praying) that tomorrow will be better than today.

Cheers!