30 March 2010

Kia

We got a new car yesterday!!!

As you can see by the exclamation mark explosion above, I am just a little excited. It's mine & hubby's first new car ever, individually or collectively so it's a pretty big deal for us.

I wasn't overly excited at first. Well hubby commented a few weeks ago that I didn't seem excited and, while I liked the idea of a new car, I suppose I didn't really believe that we would get one.

I think that to fully understand the excitement, you also need to have an idea of what the Kia replaced: hubby's first car - a 16-year-old Camry with a bit over 290,000kms on the odometer (I'm relieved we won't be around to see it tick over to 300k). It had been a great car and hubby had loved it. He had bought it 2nd hand when he was a uni student. We had gone on many road trips together in it, brought it with us as we moved from place to place, and it had been the car to take us on that all-important trip to hospital for the birth of MissyMoo1. But those were all the better days seen by the poor Camry. Time and travel had ravaged it. It squeaked when it should have vroomed and the fuel door had to be opened by pulling on a wire on the inside of the boot. The last straw, though, was getting through summer without air-conditioning. So many years as kids we survived 10 hour road trips in the January heat, with the windows opened whilst travelling at 100kph and frozen poppas cooling our sweaty necks. But we just can't do it any more - we've gone soft. And after getting through the summer, the thought of driving in winter without a working heater was just too much to bear.

And now, presenting the latest addition to our family, our little Rio. Although it's not red, it still looks good in white. This afternoon hubby asked me what I like about it. It was then that I realised how excited I had become, as I could not pick a favourite aspect. I just rattled them all off. The air-conditioning works. It's smooth, small and suberb. The little shorty that is me can see over the steering wheel. MissyMoo1 can see out the window. It's a hatchback so you know that when you're reversing, the car ends where the rear window is; there's no guestimating how much room you have at the back. Oh and I love the little windscreen wiper at the rear. I don't think I've loved a car as much since OJ - my parents' white little hatchback I learned to drive in as a teenager. Hmm, there's a few similarities there.

Now I just have to figure out the radio and blue-tooth stuff before the annoying salesman rings to check that everything is ok...

20 March 2010

Do you want fries with that?

The upsize phenomenon has been around for a while, I know, and I have come to accept the irritation it makes me feel as simply a part of ordering fast food. From memory it began with McDonalds although on the odd occasion when I do go there, I don't hear it any more. It's vaguely annoying but expected at KFC when, even when you specifically ask for a regular sized meal, you are faced with: "Would you like to upsize for an extra dollar?" (I think it might be $2 now though). Until today, the most irritating one I had come across was at Baker's Delight, when a request for a loaf of bread subjects me to: "would you like the two loaves for $6 today?" This provokes my inner scowl, particularly as I'm usually served by the same person two or three times per week and I never get more than one loaf at a time. I think I may have actually rolled my eyes at the woman last time.

Today topped the lot though. We bought a new car. Yes, very exciting and all that, especially because when we get it, it will be the first new car either of us has ever owned. Hubby and I were both left with a bitter taste in our mouth though when the formalities got underway. By way of background, the car is new, but cheap. It's small, on sale and we're trading in our old car which, frankly, we should probably have dispensed with a while ago; so we're hardly flashing money around at the caryard. We signed the contract for sale of the car at around 11:15. We didn't get out of there until midday...

The car salesman left and a woman took his place at the desk. She began by complimenting us on our two beautiful daughters, who had been happily playing on the carpet earlier but were now beginning to look, sound and act tired. She then began to try getting us to buy window tinting for the car. It was for safety, to stop our kids getting sunburnt (ah, why don't we just put sunscreen on them?) and to stop glass shattering all over them if there's a car accident. She actually seemed to be insinuating that we would be unfit parents if we did not succumb to the upsell. It made my blood boil. My exterior remained cool but inside I was screaming: "not looking after my children's safety? Well a big f%#k you to you too! I'm here aren't I? I've just bought a new car haven't I? Who do you think you are?!" It turns out I wasn't over-reacting - hubby got the same impression.

With rejection of the tinting she seemed personally offended. With less friendliness in her tone she then began to rattle off all sorts of extras we might "need". We told her we weren't interested in any extras. "Don't you even want to know the prices of them?" she asked. "No," was the simple response. But apparently we weren't clear enough.

She eventually got the picture and slightly snappily told us we'd have to sign a disclaimer which she presented to us and which I had finished reading before she had finished 'explaining' it. (It was a pretty pathetic excuse for a disclaimer - much more wishy-washy than the ones I used to write for a living). She seemed to be withholding the pen for a little too long - I had time to contemplate reaching into my handbag to get my own, reaching across the desk and taking it from her, as well as asking if I could borrow it. She eventually handed it over at which time I quickly signed it and ticked all the boxes of extras we were not adding on. Hubby could have sworn that he saw "steak knives" on the list.

It wasn't over yet. When paid the deposit there was a spiel from a different woman about a premium warranty, which was also flatly rejected. By this stage MissyMoo1 (3) was alternating between lying on the seat sucking her thumb and bouncing off the walls. MissyMoo2 (9 months) was grizzling and wriggling all over the place.

We were finally let out of the room, with dignity and wallets intact. The upsize beast could capture and interrogate us, but it did not win out in the end.

05 March 2010

Crawling

We've had a big week of milestones.

On Monday MissyMoo1 (3) wrote her name for the first time and on the same day MissyMoo2 (8 months) said that name for the first time (her second word). Those milestones were very exciting and it was lovely for each of them to have done something new on the same day.

This week's prize for "milestone causing the most change to the household", however, goes to MissyMoo2 for Wednesday's effort: she started crawling. By today (Friday), she has managed to crawl the length of the house to "chase" her big sister. She has also discovered that she no longer needs mummy to get her to the toys - when she crawled to the toy room this afternoon, I wish I had taken the camera with me to capture the look of glee on her face!

It's great that MissyMoo2 can crawl, really it is. I mean, she has been trying for weeks and getting really frustrated. Looking at her now, you would think she had been doing it for weeks. The only trouble is that now it's mummy's turn to get frustrated - I have to make sure the house is babyproof, crawling babyproof. This is something that is not too much of an issue with a first baby - making the house babyproof is something that must be done, but it is not something that must be done continuously as, I am finding, is the case now.

Because MissyMoo2 has an older sister, the house is full of toys that are not appropriate for a baby to play with. There are so many little things: Polly Pockets, Barbie's shoes, coins from her little purse, beaded necklaces and bracelets, play forks from the play picnic set (my heartrate is increasing just thinking about it - luckily MissyMoo2 is safely sleeping in her cot right now). There is of course the ever-present danger of eyes being poked by sharp objects, but my main concern is choking. This problem is amplified by the fact that MissyMoo2 likes to put things in her mouth ... a lot. In fact, just about everything that makes it into her hands also makes its way to her mouth (another new thing for me - MissyMoo1 was not a 'mouth' baby).

I envisage that soon mummy will have bald patches from tearing her hair out every time MissyMoo2 decides to explore any part of the house at all. (I bet she'll be a cupboard opener too - that'd be right.) MissyMoo1 is learning that the little toys need to go in a special container which lives on the top shelf of the doll's house, but getting a three-year-old to pack up is not something I can rely on. The picnic forks were living on the play kitchen bench ... until this afternoon when MissyMoo2 pulled herself up onto her knees and reached them. Maybe we should all just play with cuddly teddy bears and teething rings for a while...

On the upside, I might not need to be concerned about weight gain when I stop breastfeeding in a few months - looks like I'll be very active chasing after children and their toys :-)
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