Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'll See You on the Dark Side of the Moon

"Who let all this riff-raff into the room?"

I can't walk without tripping on something or someone. They scream, they yell - they run around endlessly in circles. My head hurts from the noise and I can't hear myself think. I wish I could go to the bathroom without someone following me in there. Getting them all in and out of the car is exhausting. I don't remember it being this hard before - I am getting too old for this. Kids, proof that theory and practical application are completely two different things altogether! The baby is teething again. We just barely survived the last four teeth. File this under interesting things of trivial note - Garrett's teeth are falling out almost as fast as Nathan's are coming in. Proof of entropy! I always said Garrett was going to be a physicist some day. He has always been my kid who lived the theory of equal and opposite reactions and maintaining balance in the universe (if I cleaned something up, he had to make an immediate and equal amount of mess). I should hang a sign outside our front door "Welcome to Chaos Theory".

"Comfortably Numb"

Wish I were. Today brings yet another fun and festive visit to the Physical Therapist for more stretching and strengthening of the afflicted limb. If I didn't hope to get another 40 years out of my foot and ankle, I might consider just letting it go . . . though, it being my driving foot is also cause for motivation. No kids, it is not time yet to take the keys away from mama.

Last visit, after being pulled into yet another improbable position, I let out a yelp. The therapist looked up "Oh, is that bad?" Yes, that is bad, very very very bad. Bad as evidenced by screams of pain and tears quickly coursing down ones face. Bad is also being out of Vicodin and Darvocet and anything more effective than Advil for pain while enduring torture sessions. At least I have ice - lots and lots of ice. So today I will go, grit my teeth and just focus on the bowling ball that one of their former therapy patients hot glued pennies all over during his convalescence and plot my escape. I bet if I look at the small print, the certificates on the wall will all say their therapists graduated summa cum laude from the Marquis de Sade Academy of Interrogation and Torture Practices.

Atomic Heart Mother

"Fat, Old Sun"

And if you hear as the warm night falls
The silver sound from a time so strange
Sing to me, sing to me
When that fat old sun in the sky is falling
Summer evenin' birds are calling
Children's laughter in my ears
The last sunlight disappears
And if you sit don't make a sound
Pick your feet up off the ground
And if you hear as the warm night falls
The silver sound from a time so strange
Sing to me, sing to me
When that fat old sun in the sky is falling

(Pink Floyd, "Atomic Heart Mother" 1971)

They finally sleep. Sweet angel faces that make you wonder what all the fuss was about. Make me crazy? Sure, crazy in love with them. The frustrations of the day slip away - when my kids sleep, they really know how to sleep.

Now, if I could just get my van back . . .

Wish You Were Here

Friday, January 11, 2008

Total: Totally Totaled - We're not in Kansas Anymore!

Did you know Collision Centers have a "Body Manager"? Sounds a bit sleazier than it really is. Apparantly this is the person the dealership needs to operate the fax machine. Yes, the fax machine. After taking 11 days to work up the estimate, they couldn't fax the estimate to the Claims Center for our insurance company for another 11 days because, wait for it - they didn't have a "Body Manager" to do it. Much calls and frustration later, we finally just sent a field agent out to do in less than 36 hours what the dealership could not manage in more than 3 weeks.

However, it works out okay. They say the van is a total loss despite Sadie's one of a kind artwork making it a collector's piece. All the damage is restricted to the front end and mostly body. (Maybe that is why they needed the "Body Manager"? I just love saying that, and especially adding the quotes too - "Body Manager"). Slap a new radiator on the thing, add a clutch fan and duct tape the headlights back into place and we could be back on the road. Though - there may be laws governing how much duct tape you can use to hold your vehicle together. Do you think that limit is by weight or length? Hmmmmmmmmm . . .

Anywho - the really truly silly part of all this is, even after the deductible and the salvage fee that we have to pay back to the Insurance Company, we have enough to fix the silly van and continue driving it, and maybe even get a few other things fixed too. The Insurance Company had they decided to fix it instead of total it, could have come out $500 ahead of where they did the other way. Silly agents . . . brains are for "Body Managers"! Actually, we think it is all a part of a conspiracy theory to get us to buy a new car. New car = higher premiums.

Randy at the dealership is now my new best friend. He actually gave me a date when work would commence on the van and promised me a loaner on Monday. We'll see if he follows through. I wonder if he knows how to use a fax machine . ..

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Insanity

Adam ate a penny, again.

The car dealership is holding my van hostage and won't release it until they can figure out the terms for their ransom note. I can only suppose they have become emotionally attached to my vehicle and have no intentions of returning it for ransom or otherwise, since it is nearly a month since they acquired it. Kind of like a reverse Stockholm Syndrome thingy.

I started physical therapy for the foot I injured while breaking my car. The therapist told me almost gleefully "You have ZERO range of motion!" She is enjoying the "rehab" - me not so much, I am out of Vicodin. Ice I have in ample supply.

I have a six pack - wish that were abs. No, I have a six pack of kids. They are the cheetahs circling the herd and I am the weakest Gazelle in the bunch. When I was on crutches the week before Christmas (oh so fun when you're 39 and decrepit with a six pack, not abs) - they delighted in turning them into weapons and carrying them off so they were never around when I needed them. Seeing mom crawling around on the floor prompted more than one gleeful shout of "Horsie!" from my 2 year old. I probably need rehab for my back now too. Then it was "the boot" and now the "brace". The boot was heavy and clunky and made me jerk around like Lurch, but I had the use of my arms back. The brace is lighter, basic black, so goes with everything and has enough velcro on it to attach my 7 year old to the couch. I do not exaggerate - we literally velcroed Garrett to the couch. Was seriously tempted to duct tape the entire six pack to their beds for bedtime tonight. Seriously.

I made a lovely Minestrone for dinner. It was poked, prodded and eyed very suspiciously - but not ingested. All the garlic toast - nary a crumb left over. I have a gallon of Minestrone with penne rigate going seriously soggy in the fridge.

Do you think they would take a trade - the Minestrone for the van? Then I could get back to the business of driving around lots of people like a crazy woman.

How did I break the van in the first place you may ask? Driving to the post office to mail Christmas packages. In over 15 years of marriage, I have not once sent Christmas packages to my siblings. The first year I do - bitten with a large dose of Christmas spirit, I pay for it with a broken van and a mangled foot. So much for the joy of giving. Though, really, it was all Garrett's fault. No - he wasn't driving like another child (who shall remain nameless but HE**cough**trentschuck knows who he is and why he won't be getting his own car at 16) of mine did a while ago when he was 7. He just was bouncing around in the back seat not strapped in appropriately. Mom had to verify he was firmly anchored to the van. Gee, look away from the road for one measly second and someone changes lanes in front of you. The funny thing is - the van I hit was the same color and model as my own van. Guess it is true, run around enough like a crazy person and eventually you will run into yourself. This caused all sorts of confusion and distress for the insurance company and police officer on the scene who had trouble figuring out which driver belonged to which identical green van. The insurance agent who called afterward was prompted to ask, "just how many green vans were there?!" I wanted to ask if it really mattered, since the same insurance company insured both green vans - either way, they got stuck with us both! Of course the better half was out of town on a business trip. Nothing quite so festive as a trip to the ER with a seriously bored 7 year old and being told to stay off your foot for at least a few days and handed a pair of crutches - and now, Happy New Year! I still don't have a vehicle that seats even half my six pack. The last time I tried to fit three carseats in the back of Matt's Neon, the doors wouldn't close. Too bad I didn't have the foot/ankle brace then - I could've just velcroed Garrett to the seat and saved myself a lot of hassle and pain. They treated Garrett like a prince at the ER - they brought him two cans of soda, dinner, cookies and a room with a TV. Lovely, they give him sugar and me crutches . . . sadists!

Yes, the van was showing it's age too - and starting to look like the Partridge Family bus with the customized paint job rendered by my 4 year old budding artist. However, it turned on, turned off and got from point A to Walmart and back to point A again fairly consistantly and reliably. So now it is day 23 sans van. I feel like someone ripped my foot off and then stapled it back to my ankle. I sent the little ones to bed at 8, the shrieking and cacaphony died down around 10:15. Now I sit here, a quarter to 11, M*A*S*H reruns in the background, enjoying some hard earned silence - silence meaning no childlike voices to interfere with my reminiscince of being footloose and fancy free with a van that seated 8 and a foot that didn't require a mile of velcro to hold it together.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, the good old days.

To be Continued . . .