Monday, September 19, 2011

Thank Goodnes for Car Insurance

As most of you already know, I was involved in a car accident a week ago. As I was leaving my apartment someone back out of their parking spot in front of me. I didn't see them and I ran into them. They were driving a 1996 GMC Sierra 1500. I was driving my 2002 Toyota Camry. I was only going 10mph, or maybe 15mph. The impact was just above my bumper so it didn't absorb anything. This is what my car looked like.

It was declared a total loss because the headlight, bumper, both fenders, the hood, and the grill all needed to be replaced. Both doors needed to be painted. The radiator was severly damamged. There was also damamge to the belt and the brakes. And of course, there was hardly any damamge to their vehicle. This is what it looked like.

The good news is that we got more money than what we owed on the Camry. So my loan was paid in full and we were able to get enough to put a small down payment on a new vehicle. Let me tell you, going from two vehicles down to one vehicle is very very inconvenient. Brianne had to take me to work a couple of times so that she could have the car.

So over the weekend we went car shopping. We checked out several cars online before going anywhere. We went to a dealership in Portland to look at a Camry. When we got there we found out it had been wrecked in a test drive and would be in the body shop for a couple more weeks. So we test drove a 2010 Toyota Camry SE. It was really nice. However, we weren't prepared to buy it at that time because we were originally looking at the LE model. I didn't know much about the SE and I didn't know if I would get a good deal.

The next day we went to the Toyota dealership in Salem. Brianne was friends in high school with the car salesman. We found the same 2010 Toyota Camry SE. It was the same color, had the same options, and it had 2,000 miles less. They were asking about $1,000 more for it. But because we knew about the one in Portland we got them to drop the price. This is our new car. The SE model is sportier than the LE model. It comes with alloy wheels, and fog lights. The driver's seat also has adjustable lumbar support. This car is definitely a big upgrade from the 2002 Camry we were driving. We really enjoy it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Times at the Hospital

I promised to start posting more, so here is a little story about our misadventures in the emergency room a couple of weeks ago. As some of you know I get really sick every month when it comes to my "woman troubles". I've been to several doctors and all of them say the same thing: there really isn't anything they can do for me. Despite my disillusionment with the medical profession, we took yet another trip to the ER this month to get my usual "treatment". Actually, we went twice this month. The first trip was at about 6:00 that night. We drove to the hospital in Salem only to wait around for two and a half hours before getting bored and going home. We decided that if I was going to sit around, I should do it on the couch with my heating pad.

Here are some of the lovely accessories they gave me at the Salem hospital

I thought I was starting to feel better, but at about 2:00 in the morning it got WAY worse. This time we went to the Silverton hospital, which is a lot smaller but I've always had better service there (it's sad that I have a preference, but you start noticing these things after you've been doing this for ten years). They got me in right away and hooked me up to an IV. After a few hours they sent me home as usual, but I was pumped full of all kinds of good stuff so I was okay with that.

The breakfast of champions

I spent the next few days on the couch, and eventually I was able to keep real food down (thanks to the anti-nausea pills they prescribed me). I was back to normal after about four days. Josh was very sweet and took care of me the whole time I was sick. I don't know what I would do without him!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sweet Freedom!

My husband loves me so much he bought me a car!!! As most of you know, I don't get out much. This is partly because I have an aversion to wearing anything besides sweat pants, but mostly because I didn't have the means to get anywhere. But that's changed now that I have this little baby! Isn't she beautiful? It's a '96 Toyota Tercel with only 126,000 miles on it and one previous owner. The only problem I have with it is that there is no radio. Or speakers. But we're going to fix that! My mom offered to buy me one so I won't have to drive in silence anymore. Now I just need a job and I can start being a productive member of society again! Woo hoo!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Last Few Months...

Hello all,

Well, now that it's 2011, I decided that it was a good time to reflect on the past year and catch everyone up on the past three months or so that have been without a blog post. First of all, sorry about that. There really wasn't much to say. It wasn't until we received several complaints from family members over Christmas that I realized that people actually read our blog, and that we should post more often to avoid suspicion that we've died or something.

So here we go...

After my week of playing mommy, I got to go on a well-deserved vacation. My uncle bought me a ticket to go down to California for a week. I spent part of the week in San Jose with my uncle and part of it in San Francisco with my aunt. I had my camera with me, but I forgot to take pictures. I didn't really have anything to take pictures of anyway. I just did a lot of shopping. I did go to this AMAZING art exhibit at a museum in San Francisco that was doing a series on impressionism with paintings from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Seriously. Amazing.

After a week wearing shorts in October (it was awesome!) I drove back to Oregon with my uncle so he could spend some time with my siblings. He grew up in the Bronx so he's never been to the pumpkin patch. We needed to fix that. I don't think he was very impressed with it, but he sucked it up for my brother and sister.

In November I did another huge favor for my step mom (she owes me BIG TIME). She was planning a wedding for her friend's daughter and she needed a caterer. Here are a few pictures of what I did.
Macaroni and cheese shooters
Baby red potatoes filled with garlic mayonnaise BLT bites
Asian chicken salad cucumber cups

Christmas has come and gone. We had a lot of fun in La Grande, but as always, it's nice to be home (especially after a seven hour drive that should have taken five). As usual, Bert and Ernie tried to destroy Christmas. I was worried about leaving them unsupervised when we went to La Grande, but the tree was still in tact when we got home. I was impressed that they were able to practice self-control. Here is a picture of Bert in his Christmas attack zone.
That's all folks! I'm really going to try and be better about posting on the blog this year. Because we don't have kids, go on vacation, or really do anything of interest, this means you're probably going to get a lot of posts about completely inane events like what I had for breakfast (toaster strudels). Maybe I'll just start making stuff up. I don't know. Keep checking back to find out!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm not sure I'm cut out for this...

Seriously y'all, parenting is HARD. My step mom hired me to babysit my brother/sister/step brothers last week while she was out of town and my dad was at work. For the most part I just had to make sure everyone made it to school on time. My biggest job was to take care of Devin and Sam, who both have autism.

Autism is a tricky thing to deal with, especially when you aren't used to it. The condition itself is actually a huge spectrum of developmental issues that can be vastly different from one child to another (as is definitely the case with Devin and Sam). Devin is eighteen years old but functions at the level of a six-year old, so he needs to be under constant supervision. Sam is eleven years old and is higher functioning than Devin. He was able to get himself ready in the morning, but is easily upset and has difficulty communicating his feelings.

My step mom explained to me that people with autism think in black and white. There is not gray area. They need structure and concrete evidence that this is the way things are supposed to be. One of the highlights of the week was when Devin freaked out on me because I didn't use the timer when I baked a frozen pizza. I never use the timer at home because our oven doesn't stay a consistent temperature. So when a frozen pizza says bake 23-25 minutes, I check on the pizza after about 20 and continue to check on it until it's done. This doesn't work for Devin. To him, the pizza is done when the timer goes off. Even though the pizza was done, he refused to eat it when I took it out of the oven. So I had to put it back in, set the timer, and take it back out when the timer went off. Even though the pizza was burned, Devin was happy.

That is just one example of what I had to deal with all week. The worst part for me was how early I had to wake up. It seemed like no matter how early I went to bed, 5:00 AM came way too fast. It's a lot earlier than I was used to getting up, and as one who needs to be heavily medicated just to get to sleep every night, early mornings aren't typically fun for me. But, with Diet Coke in hand, I was confident that I could pull this off.

Overall things went pretty smoothly, although there were a few hiccups along the way. Sam faked several illnesses to get out of going to school, and usually threw a tantrum when it was time to take his medicine. Devin had a few issues (the pizza fiasco was the most notable), but he's generally pretty mellow. He spent most of the day watching cartoons, which he would pause every few minutes (they have a DVR) and ask me what I thought about them. It was really hard getting any homework done, so I eventually retreated to another room.

The week was starting to take it's toll by Thursday. I don't know if it was the hours of cartoons, the lack of sleep, or the stress, but I was starting to lose it. I forgot to wash my hair in the shower, which was a great way to start the morning. Sam, of course, didn't want to go to school. I was out of Diet Coke. It wasn't a good day. For anyone.

This is how I looked when I got home that day:

Not pretty. But I managed to survive. And I didn't cry once. I believe I have earned my vacation now, thanks. I also learned some things about myself along the way:

1.Josh and I will not be having kids for a loooooong time.

2. When we do have kids, they will not be allowed to watch cartoons. They are the worst.

3. I might be addicted to Diet Coke.

Mad props to all of you parents out there. I don't know how you guys do it.