Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

8am- I returned my rental car after two weeks. (Yes, it took Aamco 2 WEEKS to fix my transmission. Side note- it has only been 6 months since the last time they 'fixed' it.) I paid my $350 for the rental car, then went to Aamco to pick up my minivan. On the way home I noticed it was making the same noise as before they fixed it. Sounds like an airplane taking off. Then- I also notice an awful noise that it wasn't even making before they 'fixed' it. This one sounds like an old washing machine with bad berrings. Then the 'Drive' light starts blinking. (Which usually indicates the transmission is going out.)

9am- I go to Verizon to upgrade to a new phone. It's a touch screen. It's VERY hard to hit the right letters
when I type.

10-2pm: Homeschool

3pm- Go to pick up Malorie's friend from school. My car won't start back. I am blocking the whole school pickup line. Someone comes to jump me off, and informs me whoever put my battery in last (Aamco) didn't bother tightening the connections. They just laid the cables on top of the battery. They slightly tighten it so my car will start.

4pm- Park at home. The battery disconnects again, so the doors can't unlock. Me and 4 kids climb out the

5pm- Fix the battery connections. Call Aamco to tell them I will take the car elsewhere & send them the repair bill. They are VERY rude & say the will refuse to pay it. Take Malorie & a friend to Tae Kwon Do. Come home to clean house.

6pm- Leave to pickup kids from Tae Kwon Do. A girl doesn't see me and runs into the side of my van. (At least she was very nice!) Call the police. He says he has about 10 minutes of paperwork to do. Then the monsoon starts. We wait in the car until almost 7pm for it to clear up enough for him to get back out of his car. (I don't blame him, it was POURING/hailing.)

7pm- Get home. Notice Konto's side has a big lump. Usually wouldn't be concerned, but his spleen kinda sticks out in that same spot. Nobody needs a squashed spleen. Take him to hospital to get looked at just in case.

8:30pm- Konto had to pee. I took him to the bathroom. The doctor came to our room. I told her that he'd be back in 30 seconds. She said she'd just come back in a minute.

10pm- Phone battery dies.

10:30pm- Another doctor FINALLY came into our room. They took x-rays. All looks fine.

11pm- Eat supper. Put kids to bed. Since my computer is dead, type this whole chain of events on facebook with my new (VERY sensitive) phone. With one finger.

12am- As I was trying to post on FB, accidentally deleted THE WHOLE THING. It had taken almost an hour to type.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Post MiniVan Depression...

I have a confession to make. I have post-minivan depression. Don't get me wrong- I love the minivan, with it's heated seats, DVD player & seating for 7 people. In fact, usually I wish I had enough kids to drive one of those 15 passenger vans. In general, vans are great.


It all started on Cinco de Mayo. I was able to go out WITHOUT all of the kids. I didn't take the minivan. I rode with a friend. I gotta be honest, it felt pretty amazing pulling up to the restaurant in a real
car. In fact, the coolness was so overpowering that it had several side effects. There was a little more
swagger in my step. I spoke to the grownups in the restaurant instead of playing with their kids. I even lost
the scrunchie. It was a fine night indeed!

Then came Tuesday. Since my transimission has been acting up again, I indulged in the guilty pleasure of
looking up rental cars online. The thrill could only compare to being on one of those dating sites for the
first time- where you get to shallowly judge a person solely based on a single photo. I knew most of those cars weren't right for me (and my 5 person family), but they just looked so darn good! The longer I lusted over those sleek, sexy cars- the more distant I felt from the minivan. Eventually though, I just decided to go with whatever cheap car they put me in.

In the heat of my disdain for the minivan, I was all too happy to drop it off at the transmission shop. I didn't
even look back as I got in the car with the Hertz man. When we arrived at the car rental center, there was an air of excitement. Like a blind date!

Then it happened- my Jeep pulled up. It wasn't a van. It wasn't family friendly. It was breathtaking. The
seats were cloth, the radio was loud, and the windows rolled down all the way! As we pulled off the lot, it all came back to me. The way I used to be. Before I was a housewife. Before I was a homeschooling mother of 3. Even before I was the fat sister.... I felt so young! So alive!

To tell the truth- I had almost forgotten. There used to be more. I used to wear cute little sundresses (and
fit in them!), I used to hang out with friends at somewhere other than Cici's pizza. I used to buy panties with
ruffles...Yes, I love being the housewife/homeschooling mother of 3. (I'd adopt 10 more kids if I could.) But
is that all I am? I've struggled with it off & on. More off than on lately. I've come to accept that I am almost 30. I now quickly realize that when the church says 'teen/young adult activity' that I'm not invited. I don't even swoon over college football players anymore- because I realize that I'm WAY too old for them. But I still feel like I forfeited a small part of my youth and femininity when I committed to the minivan. A part of me that I was actually quite fond of. A part of me that I have started to remember piece by piece since sitting in the driver seat of my little silver Jeep. In fact, I've been to Goodwill twice- and bought 6 cute little dresses! (Not quite as cute as they'd have been 20 lbs ago- but the important part is that I feel cute.) I've worn makeup more often, scrunchie less, and have shaved consistently. I'm even planning on taking my little jeep on an adult only roadtrip for a day.

Seems strange to say that Cinco de Mayo and a Jeep could be so revitalizing. But it's true.

Life won't always be this thrilling. Soon I'll be back in the gold minivan. But look closely- the real me will
still be there somewhere. Behind the automatic sliding doors & the windows that pop out instead of roll down. Beyond the blaring Disney Channel CD and the laughing kids. Somewhere amidst the ample seating. I'll still be there.

Monday, May 7, 2012


This post is long overdue. But, it's a fun story- so I will share it. (Momma always said, 'Better late than never'.)

Back in the summer of last year, I went to our (wonderful) dentist to get my daughter's teeth cleaned. Everyone there knew we were in the process of adopting our two children from Ghana, West Africa. They graciously OFFERED to give us enough toothbrushes so that all children in the orphanage could have one.

 *Brand new toothbrushes, provided for the orphanaage by Cedar Bluff Dentistry, Simpsonville SC*

In October 2011, I finally set out to Ghana to bring Serwaa & Konto home. We spent a few days at the orphanage. On one of those days, 'Grandmother' (the orphanage directress)  had all of the children line up to receive their new toothbrushes. (They have to be lined up, because there is usually a riot when things are being given away. The children are not bad children. Deprivation will cause anyone to act this way.)

One by one, the kids came up to proudly take their new toothbrush, say a very sincere thank you, then run off. (I wish I could've gotten pictures, but they ran off to hide their new toothbrushes as soon as they got them.)

It was so fun to watch them. Especially the teenagers. You see, most of the toothbrushes were children's
toothbrushes shaped like rocket ships. It was so sweet watch the teenage girls beaming from ear to ear as they accepted their rocket ship toothbrushes. There is a level of appreciation there that is rarely seen in America.

When the line finally ended, there were a few more toothbrushes left. They were given to random children we found in the street. (It's pretty easy to find kids wandering around by themselves. If they have parents, they are usually at work. The older kids care for the younger kids all day.)

Since my children have come home, I've heard lots of stories about their dental hygeine in Ghana:

- When they were very small, they lived in a small hut with their grandmother. At one point they had a
toothbrush. But the kids all had to share it. (Much of the family lived in a little village. Any cousins are considered brothers and sisters. So who knows how many kids were using The Toothbrush!)

- If you don't have a toothbrush, you burn a piece of old cloth until it is very black, then you chew on it. This is what Serwaa & Konto usually did when they didn't have a toothbrush.

- People very often chew sticks or roots, which helps to keep their teeth clean.

- Another way to clean teeth is to chew on burnt charcoal. My children used to do this, too.

- If you get a toothache, cavity, infection, etc.... you just live with it. That's not usually something you go to the hospital for. Even the children lucky enough to have access to medical care probably won't be seen by a doctor until the problem has become very bad.
And just because they are so adorable- here are some of the kids who received the toothbrushes from Cedar Bluff!

Afia Ketewa

Madwo, Ivy, Paul

Maame Kwadu, Ivy, Maame Faith, Emina
Owosua & Yaa Rose

Oleman & Askia

Amankwa & Paul