Thursday, June 25, 2009

Little Bunny Foo-Foo

Little bunny Foo-Foo- I am going to get you.  And I don't mean just bopping you on the head.  

Today, I went out to check on our garden - a lovely oasis of lush green, flowering squash and pumpkins, tiny peppers and tomatoes - and, gasp!  My green bean plants are gone!  Not just nibbled a bit here and there.  No, they are nibbled down to the sad little stem that now pokes up, naked in the dirt.  

The girls planted the bean seeds about a month ago and we have all lovingly watched them grow each week, watering and counting.  We even saw a tiny baby bean.  Now, it is all gone.  

This is the price we pay, of course, for trying our best to live on the edge of civilization.  Behind our house is desert - full of coyotes, mustangs, and yes, warrens of bunnies.  When we moved in, we thought it was cute to see the little cottontails hopping away when you opened the door. 

Now, this is war!  (or at least a better fence...)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

No Fooling Them

So we have the new van - slick, dark cherry color outside, tan leather inside.  Crazy fancy!  After just 4 days, I was totally adjusted to the life with automatic doors, stereo adjustment on the steering wheel.  When I had to drive the Eurovan to the dealer to get it inspected for the new owner, it definitely felt odd -- so utilitarian!  No perks...  The family we sold it to is in my mind the stereotypical Eurovan family - youngish (early 30's), 2 kids and one on the way, planning to camp - in fact, he was going to camp in it on his way home to Seattle.  Perfect!

So the new van is a bit over the top - all leather, all automatic, etc.  But it was the right color so I'm suffering through all the amenities (ha!).  One thing it has that we flat out didn't want is a DVD player.   The last thing I wanted was to have the same argument that we have at home every other day  in the car as well (why can't we watch a show, we haven't watch one in FOREVER...).  But in the end, to get the same car without it would have only been $400 less...and for long trips, I can definitely see the argument for having the DVD. 

So there it is, the DVD player, the screen tucked into it's little compartment.   Never seen by the kids yet.  We figured that we would turn it on during our first road trip over 3 hours and the kids would think we were gods, right?  Wrong!  Today, on the way to the grocery store, my husband put in a new CD for the twins to listen too.  Ladybug pipes up, "Daddy, why don't we just watch a movie?"  To which Daddy says, "Because we are in the car."  Then she says, "But doesn't that look like a little t.v. that could flop down?  Right there!"  (she is point to the yet revealed DVD screen).  Crap!  How smart are these kids??  Well, luckily, she's 4 and didn't seem to notice when the subject was changed without an answer or a denial.  Sigh . . . it's only a matter of time. . . .

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Becoming Who We Are, Not Who We Thought We Were

Ever think of yourself one way and then realize that reality is different?  This is different than giving up on something, or dashed hopes.  This is a self-image thing...or rather, in this case, a family image.  

When we were planning our wedding, my dear now-husband and I had been camping all of one time.  That is a story in itself (hiking into camp after dark, trying to cook an entire dinner on a tiny camp stove that seemed more like a bunsen burner from high school chemistry, and "bathing" in frigid Maine lake waters).   Basking in the glow of that outdoor experience, we decided that in addition to the traditional wedding registry at Macy's, we would register at REI.  So we did and got so much cool stuff....all of which we have used about 3 times in our almost 13 years of marriage.  So, while we wanted to be that couple that threw everything in the car and camped at the drop of hat, we realized we really were the couple that planned ahead and cozied up in the comfort of a B & B instead.  (And really, who decided the size of our "2 man tent"  -- you've got to be kidding me!)

Fast forward 13 years to June 1 - and we are now the proud owners of a minivan.  Yikes!  A minivan??? Yep, and we are loving it!

Here is our progression of cars:  First married:  family oldsmobile and motorcycle.  Then gave oldsmobile back to family (lucky little sister!) and got older sister's tiny honda something, still have motorcycle.  Move to LA, give up on motorcycle, husband gets much beloved BMW 635csi (an awesome car from mid-90's, if you know about this sort of thing).  Then we went through series of borrowed cars from my traveling parents.   Rich's beloved BMW was totaled - by a minivan, of all things, rear-ending him at a crosswalk) and he bought another much loved and much worked on older mercedes.   I had a small, older audi - loved that car!  Time for first kid - safety, safety, safety - welcome Volvo station wagon!  Next, twins are born - bye-bye Mercedes, welcome VW Eurovan - the "flying brick," I like to call it (NOT a minivan, by the way).  Oh, and now husband drives the station wagon.  

So here we are - lovin' the Eurovan life, right?  Road trips - picnics in the car (the rear 2 rows face eachother, there is a pop-up table), camping and sleeping on the fold out double bed!  The perfect hippy family!  Right?  Well, wrong...or at least not really.  We already went over the camping thing - it just isn't happening.  And did you know, you can't really pop-up the table with car seats strapped onto the seats.  Plus with 3 kids and 2 spots next to the table, there is always fighting over who gets the coveted seats.  Maybe we bought it too early in the kid's lives.  Or maybe, just maybe, we aren't really hippies...  In the end, we've decided that the Eurovan itself really let us down.  I mean what kind of hippy car costs almost $3,000 a year to maintain?? 

So now we own a 2009 Honda Odyssey...and the car journey ends (for a bit).  This car is great, fun and has so many neat features - things I pooh-poohed before like automatic doors are totally worth it!  And of course, on a hot day I need to unroll my car windows 50 feet from the car - that blast of hot air in the face is totally annoying, you know?  

So now that I have given up on being a Eurovan family, do I totally embrace the minivan life?  What does that even mean, really?