You know what I don’t get? He never wears a shirt; he never wears shoes: Why hasn’t he died from lack of service?

Today our friends the GM and Johnny Mic moved into their new digs. It was pretty much the best move ever because:
1. Little Miss Krissa hung out with EK all day with her daughter and his future wife, Ingyboo.

Apparently he shared and played nicely with Ingyboo. And he took a nap without much prompting. Why does he hate me so much?

2. The GM aka your friendly librarian, can pack like no other. You know I didn’t even try to unpack her boxes of books.

3. This happened. And no, it isn’t ironic since he wore pretty much the SAME outfit in 1999 during our move from the East Gilman street mansion apartment to the TINIEST apartment on the face of the earth (which stayed in the FWC family for years).

4. Their new house is dope. D.O.P.E.and they have a little room under the stairs (Harry’s place) for us to hide our kids.

Following the move I showed our place to another group of potential renters and managed to make a fool of myself yet again. Imagine your mom, add a twist of intense spazziness and maybe some meth…and you get me…the newest landlord on the block. People are clamoring to sign on with us.

We had a re-birthing ritual in my friend’s hot tub. I’m now a level five laser lotus in my Buddhist community.

I don’t know what to write about so here is our April video two days early. Two days early you lucky sons of bs!. If you can make it through the entire video you will see Ellis performing his rendition of the “ABCs” while holding the camera.

Have you ever driven out to a rummage sale the night before, stayed a hotel and shown up bright and early Saturday morning willing to elbow whoever got in your way? Sort of a “spend money to make money” mentality? I haven’t. But we almost did and it was almost amazing. Little Miss Krissa and I still watched Overboard Friday night and drank some delicious beers, but it wasn’t in a dingy motel room. In six months we will do it for real – this was just a practice run and g-d dammit, we were amazing.

Last weekend Johnny Mic and Uncle Dave watched EK while Mr. Swirley played his hippie sports and I went wedding dress shopping with the GM and Sio. Everyone survived their respective activities and Ellis even picked up a few new tricks like calling people “simple” and pulling his pants up.

Have you checked out this blog? IT’S WONDERFUL and mean! Seriously. And this one.

K bye.

I just heard from the Guiness rep. He’s not coming. He’s been fired in what he described as the world’s biggest mistake.

Remember that time that I booked a hotel in Norfolk for April when we were supposed to go in May? On Priceline? $90 well spent. A super deal for a fancy hotel, right? Except for when a room goes unused. Then it’s sort of a rip.

How about that time I took the MARC (local train) from DC to Baltimore and shuttle to BWI only to find out my flight was scheduled to depart from Reagan National? And it was leaving in 40 minutes? Add $100 cab fare to my tab.

And what about that Monday in March 2012 when I looked up previously purchased tickets for a May trip to LA and realized my flight left last Friday. LAST FRIDAY! United Airlines gave me the middle finger when I inquired about a credit (rightly so), but Virgin America was much more accommodating and credited me 75% of our one-way tickets. $bitch and moan later we are back on track for our LA trip and Virgin has added another loyal customer to their roster (they have mood lighting on their planes!). And then I punched myself in the face.

Seriously, I have no idea how I have managed to to survive up until now. A lifetime of lost glasses, keys, debit cards, wallets, bags, camera batteries, tickets (I am that person frantically searching through her pockets and as a result, holding up the boarding/event/bathroom, whatever, line). Even today, I simultaneously called both airlines – and representatives picked up 20 minutes later, within 15 seconds of one another. As I pushed a zillion buttons in an effort to answer one of the calls, I ended up hanging up on both agents. Then I cried a little bit and hit redial. I am starting to think Darwin might have gotten it a little wrong with his theory of natural selection.

On to bigger and better things. Like visiting Navy Pier on a Friday in spring. It’s a million times worse than Union Station any day of the year. Plus, I can’t yell at people to get out of my way like I used to in DC because they just stand around in huge groups and I can technically get by them, but it still pisses me off. Side note – Why is it that tourists seems to congregate at the bottom/top of escalators?

Anyway, we visited the Children’s Museum and ran around the Pier. EK invited himself onto a dinner boat, climbed their ridiculously cheesy spiral staircase and checked out the starlit dance floor. It was pretty awesome. We also met some teens who didn’t heed my unsolicited advice to pool their money to buy bulk tickets for the rides. Aren’t their parents teaching them basic math skills? Jesus. Perhaps they are too busy telling their children to avoid talking to frazzled, unnecessarily pushy strangers.

Big top announcer

Peanut butter man

Papi and EK

First carousel ride EVER.

The Pier.

Saturday was consignment sale day which meant Little Miss Krissa and I got up early and drove to Evanston to beat up some moms for some choice Elmo books and two piece pajama sets with the knees still in tact. You have to spend money to  make it – and I made, um, well Ellis got a sick guitar so that has to be worth something, right?

Sunday brought the extra exciting adventure of cleaning Ho-Ho’s apartment. In case you are wondering, she has 10,000 cans of soup, 100 sleeves of saltines and Ziploc bags upon bags of jewelry and other random items. I have yet to figure out why these bags seems to be the crux of her organization system, but she apparently thinks its the best option out there. Honestly, given my track record, who am I to judge?

Then this happened. Ho-Ho is holding her own while Mrs. D carries the chorus. Note the pant-less groupie (good call uncle Rich!) in the background – dude got nuts when they opened up their encore set.

Ardie set up a little Easter egg hunt for Ellis. He searched the ballroom for tiny goodies wrapped in Christmas paper. Loot collected include: sunflower seeds (planted yesterday), Ziploc full of nilla wafers, Ziploc full of saltines since she has a few to spare, Ziploc full of cheerios, individually bagged bubble accouterments and bubble “juice”, three circus peanuts (where did the rest go?) and some other stuff I can’t remember. She unwrapped the Peeps three weeks ago and was surprised that they went stale. It was a pretty cute scene.

So yea. General takeaways from the past few days:
– Don’t trust me with ANYTHING valuable. Really, anything. But come on, you already knew this.
– Ellis is a stowaway
– Ho-Ho likes circus peanuts.

Thank you for not being shellfish…I said that just for the halibut.

Does your bathroom counter look like this? Ceramic Santa? Empty bottle of Listerine? Chalk? No? Huh.

Today marks the last day of Mr. Swirley’s early-30s. It’s a pretty big deal. I helped him cope with this realization by taking a two hour nap and dragging him to Patagonia, REI and back to Patagonia. I know, I am the best wife. Good thing we have equally good friends who celebrate Lee’s birth with a make-your-own burger bonanza and cake! I don’t know how I can trump tonight’s dinner on Mr. Swirley’s actual birthday – the only thing better than burgers, milkshakes and cake is Cocoa Krispies. Shhhh, don’t spoil the surprise.

Snort snort.

Uncle J, sweet Katelyn and Ms. Olive and her fuzzy legs.

Uncle J made Mr. Swirley this fancy homemade red velvet cake. Tomorrow night? A pudding cup from yours truly.
Just stop.

Friday we went to the park and visited Grandma Arden to drop off meds and dance around Oak Park Arms. She was in a super mood and only mentioned how miserable she was four times. Ellis banged on the piano and unsuccessfully tried to smash my fingers with the key cover thing.

Manvest.

Ho Ho and her jam band.

And on Saturday the GM and I headed up to the Good Land to celebrate the impending birth of baby Arthurs and visit with lovely Maux and her family. As expected, she raked in some sweet goods including a favorite childhood story book of hers she thought had been thrown away years ago. It’s so wonderful to see an entire (huge) family so thrilled about a new baby – but how can you not be happy when it comes to Maux and Patrick? I mean, any pregnant woman that can walk in those heels must be a bad ass.

Baby blanket courtesy of Mama Finley.

Tomorrow is Mr. Swirley’s birthday and the poor guy has to work. Don’t feel too badly for him; in two weeks he is heading to the exclusive Wisconsin Dells to hang out with his high school buddies and almost remember what it was like in their heyday wearing denim, denim and high-topped black sneakers.

Meow. Mr. Swirley circa 1996.

Hey Mikey! Come over here and give me a big wet lickery kiss.

I am currently eating potato salad out of a pyrex storage bowl and loving every minute of it. I am also resting my feet on a cooler filled with beer bottles and juice boxes. Class-ay. Why do I have all of this goodness, you ask? Because this weekend we celebrated Ellis’ birthday for the second time. AJBurke and JWaller were kind enough to open their house (and roof-top) up to us, and helped feed all of the guests. We had a great time making sliders, eating various summer salads and making babies cry. Well, just one baby. Ellis didn’t really enjoy his dinner or 30 people singing “Happy Birthday”, but the other kids fared much better on a diet of apple juice, burgers and sugary goodness.

Pre-half marathon feast.
Norm and I. She is a real snugglebug. Just not with me.

Skyline views. And a pony keg.
“Show me your tongue.” Seriously, that is what was going on.
Will.
Ms. Fi
GM’s masterpiece!
Pre-freak out.
Banner still in tact.

Ellis finally got to meet his Uncle Andy and Aunt Andrea – who traveled all the way from Dayton to watch him cry, throw his cake on the ground and go to bed without presents. We also had guests who came from Madison, Milwaukee and Oak Park. As for presents, this kid is spoiled. Books, bonds, stuffed animals and trucks to name a few. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives and I hope they know how much we appreciate them – even if I leave parties without saying goodbye (cough cough.)

Sunday wasn’t as fun of a day for obvious and not so obvious reasons. After saying goodbye to JDold et al (much too short of a visit), we picked up a house full of wrapping paper and were stoked about having a free day to roam about the city. It was also the fourth anniversary of my grandma’s passing and surprisingly enough, for the first time in years, I was able to cope. I don’t know if it’s the existence of Ellis, the time/distance from her death, or perhaps a combination of the two, but for whatever reason September didn’t bring on the darkness and anxiety as it had in previous years. I think she would be happy about that. I also think she was messing with me as I received a call at around 10 AM that Ho-Ho’s flipper (tooth) had been stolen again. If you are keeping track, this is the third time this has happened (though we weren’t charged for the second flipper) in one year. This most recent appliance was picked up LAST WEEK. At $300 a pop, this clearly isn’t working. Brimming with a level of frustration that I cannot even begin to articulate, I asked Mr. Swirley if we could go about our day as planned before we go to Oak Park to ransack her place in search of finding a tooth. So to the hipster craft fair we went.

It wouldn’t be a Wicker Park event without: 1) mustaches, 2) photo booths and 3) photo booths with mustaches.

On the way to Wicker Park.

Ellis lived it up at the park and I am sure we were judged by many of the parents present for EK’s lack of shoes. We are still learning, people. Cut us some slack.

I hate you blogger…. Ellis climbed the mini climbing wall solo. Crazy.
So happy.

Don’t get me wrong. We had a great time looking at crafty things (I’m not entirely sure I could identify a purpose for many of the items being sold) and the park was awesome. But Ho-Ho’s gap-tooth smile was weighing on me the entire time we were trying to relax and take in a lovely late summer afternoon.

Mr. Swirley was kind enough to accompany me and Ellis to Oak Park in the hopes that he could temper my reaction to the situation. It sort of worked except when I found out Ho-Ho has used the money I gave her for a haircut to instead buy perfume. Is this what it is like to have a teenager? If so, it’s time to start saving for one of those great East Coast boarding schools I hear so much about.

In tearing the place apart we found: 1) an earring, 2 ) hair roller and 3) pill box – all of which were also stolen at one point or another. After unmaking her bed, searching under furniture and going through her garbage coffee grind by coffee grind, I came up with nothing. Maybe she is right; somehow someone broke into her room while she was napping with the deadbolt and lower lock locked and chain across the door and removed the flipper from her mouth or the bedside table (she can’t remember if she took it out). BLARGH!!!

We also came across soda, french fries and an empty bag of chips her garbage – but she insists her weight gain is due to medication. And just now she called me saying that someone stole all of her batteries (I bought Costco packs and foolishly left them at her house). I try so hard to remain centered when I visit, and when I find myself snapping at her, I know that it won’t help but I can’t stop myself. This results in me not only being frustrated by the loss of material items, the general decline of her mental state, and the added work/cost any given situation will create, but I am disappointed in myself for letting it affect me to such a degree that I cannot bite my tongue. Would I yell at Ellis in the same manner when he is older? Probably not. How do you hold someone accountable while not making them feel bad about themselves? How do you accept that  things will only get worse? This is by no means a pity party – just real questions that I can’t seem to answer. And at 32 would think I would be mature enough to figure some of this out.

She obviously doesn’t mean to lose these things, and has created a  frightening world where she is a victim of a conspiracy that I can’t even begin to understand, but we have to coexist and it is getting more and more challenging to do so. A new flipper is out of the question, a bridge (which includes 3 teeth) is $2400 and an implant is over $3000. What do I do? The gap is so visible and it clearly will affect her self-esteem…but $2400 is a lot right now. And on top of that I resent her for bad choices stemming from a disease she can’t control. There are clearly a lot of decisions that will have be made regarding her long-term care and I suppose it is good to at least accept that fact now, when the issues aren’t as dire as needing 24/7 care, etc. It’s just a lot to take in. 

I suppose it’s stuff like this that makes makes me miss my grandma the most – so perhaps it is appropriate that this happened on the anniversary of her passing. Maybe that sign I saw in Wicker Park with no attribution is some divine message from her. Or from someone who knows everyone has a crappy day once in a while.

Luckily we had a little comic relief at home when young Ellis decided he was ready to eat some cake. So after my lengthy rant, I will leave you with a few pictures of a happy baby because everyone loves babies and puppies. Unless you are dead inside. Then I have nothing to offer you.

First taste.
“They’ve got Mississippi Mud and they’ve got Chocolate Eruption!”
Dad is on bath duty tonight. Sucker.

His elephun attacked earlier in the day, leaving a tiny red dot on his face. He clearly was traumatized.

Everything was a little better this AM…especially after a 30 minute snugglefest with the stinkpot pictured above.

I ride rough and tough with my gerber puffs

Our flowers in our window box are dying. I usually depend on rain to water them but might cave and throw a few extra drops their way. Last year our flowers died in mid-June and we left the boxes there, full of dead plants and dry dirt, for um, 12 months. During the holiday season I pulled out my Martha Stewart and dropped a few disproportionally small ornaments on the dirt and voila! Even if they didn’t say anything, the neighbors were so jealous. This year I planted petunias (much to neighbor and friend J’s chagrin – “they are so tacky”) and they have survived if only because we have had a very wet summer. Oh well, at least they brightened someone’s day and more importantly, successfully pissed off another person for an entire summer.

Yesterday I yelled at two separate people. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. First, I pulled over in front of our house and opened my door without looking. Brilliant. A car stopped short next to me and I apologized with a brisk “sorry”. He shook his head and scowled to which I defensively responded, “What? You’re fine. I wouldn’t have hit your car anyway!” Then, Ellis and I made our way down to the Toyota dealership to cash in on our first warranty visit free oil change magic four hour adventure (really two) and decided to walk around and window shop. Well, I obviously decided to walk around and Ellis had to follow because he still has very little say in his life. Anyway, there was a lot of digging going on in the street and all of a sudden all of the lights at a pretty major intersection go out. I notice it right away and point it out to one of the guys wearing a bright orange vest. He confusingly looks around and does nothing. I wait, since I am terrified to cross the street with a baby because apparently when people see no light, they feel it appropriate to actually speed up through the intersection. Tick tock, nothing. So what do I do? Yell at him to call his supervisor and help people cross the street.

On Tuesday I yelled at a moving truck parked in the “loading zone” at daycare because they were taking up a spot at pick-up time. I mean, seriously? How old am I in crotchety years?

I have to say Grossinger Toyota is probably the nicest dealership I have ever visited. Ellis and I really learned that place inside and out as it took the mechanics approximately three years to change our car’s oil. Not only do they have a kids’ playroom, but  I found out that Chevy Silverados make the perfect playpen for a one year old! Yes, they are filled with dust (even in a showroom) but he wasn’t going anywhere. Toyota Sienna’s are a close second.

What up ladies? Wanna go for a ride? I have a 50,000 HP hemi.Whatever that means.

 When I showed up at the dealership the guy helping asked if I was Mrs. X or Mrs. Y. I immediately panicked because I thought I came on the wrong day. My response? Complete and utter chaos is the only way I can describe it.
“What day is it? Is it Thursday? Friday? Wait, is it September? What time is it? My last name is Swirley. Crap? Do I have an appointment? Can you fit me in? I have a weird light on my dashboard. Do you have a bathroom?”…all the while beads of sweat were forming on my forehead and palms and Ellis was writhing around in my arms? The guy clearly thought I was an idiot, took my keys and shrugged me off. Oh well.

Later on, EK and I headed over to his doctor’s office for his one-year shots. I, of course, screwed up the appointment time and we were late. We ended up spending over an hour in an exam room where Ellis proceeded to pull out the urine specimen cups and stack them up into little clear (possibly no longer sterile) castles, push the MD stool around and around…in the buff, and get THREE shots and blood drawn. As you can imagine, it was not pretty. He did walk out with four band-aids, which is baby world equivalent to looking like a grade-A, prison yard badass. But he was still pretty pissed. And oddly enough I left my phone in the office.

Then we visited EK’s fiance, Ms. Ingrid, who is preparing for her first week with her nanny. I think Little Miss Krissa is doing her best to hold it together and maybe even contemplating stuffing I. into her shirt and smuggling her into work. That baby is so freaking cute.

Earlier this week Ellis also got to see his Auntie Mo-Mo again (KJY’s mama), who smothered him with kisses and spoiled us with dinner out.

 I love this woman. I essentially lived at her house from grades 3-12, where KJY and I guzzled Ruby Red squirt, wrestled on the futon  (yea, i gave her a black eye), played role-playing games (I still don’t get them but I pretended to), watched Unsolved Mysteries (banned in my house) and drank from fancy colored metallic cups. It was one of the most stable places in my life (second to the G’s) and it’s always so nice to see her and remember getting yelled at by Dan for staying up way past our bedtime on Erin street. I can still hear the sound of him coming up the stairs, scolding us while probably not even moving his teeth. Man, I loved that house. And the fact that they never made me pay for everything that I broke (glasses, windows, screen doors, you name it.) I call the statute of limitations is 20 years.

Happy Labor Day!

I’m As Cool As A Cucumber In A Bowl Of Hot Sauce

I just drank a cup of water mixed with a tsp. of baking soda in an effort to fight a wicked case of heartburn. At least that is what my new friend Lisa suggested as a remedy. She might have been playing a cruel prank on me since nothing has changed except for the fact that I now have a tsp. of baking soda bubbling in my belleh. I feel bad complaining about heartburn because I am pretty sure it is really common based on the number of daytime ads I saw for GIRD drugs while on maternity leave. And because I am reading We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed – which is about the Rwandan genocide. I think bellyaching about a bellyache ranks pretty low in comparison.

Last Thursday Ellis and I took a trip out to Oak Park. Ho-Ho decided her drugs had been tampered with and I needed to take her to her pain specialist to get a new prescription. Never mind that Medicare won’t cover another 30 day supply when we just got the script filled. Whatever. So off we went. And sat. And sat. I have to say that I have met some pretty interesting people in the pain specialist’s waiting room. Everyone wants to share their story and most of them make you feel like a pretty big sissy for complaining about your problems. See above. And yes, I recognize the irony of stating that and then continuing on with my rant. Anyway, after a few too many personal tid bits from our waiting room friends, we headed into an exam room. Only to sit for another 45 minutes. When I say “we sat”, I mean Ho-Ho sat and I flew Ellis around like a plane and played with the x-ray light-box screen thing in order to keep him under control. I assume the light box cost about one million dollars but it was a risk I was willing to take. Finally in walks the resident. I let mom launch into her theory of why she was falling asleep in the morning. It couldn’t be the drug cocktail she takes at 6 AM or the fact that she stays up late to watch TV. So after much circuitous logic, the resident leaves and our doctor decides to take a stab at the situation. Round two.

Doctor: So, is this new sleeping pattern stopping you from engaging in every day activities?
Ho-Ho: No.
Doctor: You are able to do things you were doing before?
Ho-Ho: Yes. I walk two miles every day. (editorial note: this is a blatant lie)
Doctor: So what is the problem?
Ho-Ho: I am falling asleep all the G-D time! I can’t do anything.

And scene.I had to step out because Ellis, fed-up with the ridiculousness of the situation, was aggravating the poor resident with his writhing and incessant whining. A few minutes later, out walks the doctor. As we talked about the situation, he literally started banging his head on the wall and for some reason that made me feel better. Like if she can get to him, then maybe my fuse isn’t so short. So we got a new prescription and off we went. Well, off we would have went if she hadn’t lost my car keys. All in all, we spent three hours at the doctor’s office and I still haven’t filled her prescription because I know it will be denied. The strange things is that after Thursday she stopped complaining of falling asleep at odd times; it’s like the visit to the doctor’s office was all she needed to cure her.

Today she told Mrs. D. that someone came in and vandalized her toilet seat.

After that adventure we decided to have some family fun and went to the Museum of Science and Industry with LMK, Ingrid and Sr. Norm on Saturday morning. In addition to supporting ” our warfighters”, Mr. Swirley’s employer also supports its staff and subsidized our tickets. The museum must have recently undergone some major renovations because the last time we visited (c. 2007) it was exactly like it was in 1988. No lie. I feel a little guilty that I was a bit disappointed when I saw the new exhibits, fresh paint and sparkling John Deere tractor. Don’t worry – they still have the Mold-a-Rama machines that singe your nostrils with that strangely nostalgic, yet somewhat poisonous odor of wax melting at a very high temperature.

Ellis particularly enjoyed the kid area and managed to topple anything resembling a tower. My little Godzilla, how I love him. See how his shirt is a darker shade of blue around his neck? That is because he poured water all over himself. Like he does whenever we are around water. First try to drink it, then pour it all over. I guess that is sort of a given with babies.

Baby version of a padded cell. Much better than the “smokestack time out” behind our house that I often tell Ellis about.

Future Globetrotter

Ingrid spent most of her time eating and sleeping – both activities that are pretty legit for an eight week old baby girl. In case you were wondering, yes, she has the most perfect nose ever placed on a baby’s face.

Sr. Norm and Ellis’ future boo – Isn’t she slimming? If you could see his hands then you would know he is holding tight to a sweet, sweet churro.

 Tomorrow EK and I are heading out into the sweltering heat to pick up some gifts for Sweet Lou who is celebrating his second birthday this weekend. Good ole’ Tom Skilling is predicting another day of record breaking temps. Hopefully our faces don’t melt off.

It’s curtains for you Dr. Horrible. Lacy, gently wafting curtains.

This is a boring entry. I shouldn’t post it but it’s too late now. 

Before we headed out to my Aunt Margaret’s 90th birthday party on Saturday, I tasked Ellis with making a “0” birthday card for Ms. Carmen Pickle (his future wife). She was due on the 14th, but decided to bask in the warmth of Little Miss Krissa’s belly just a little longer. However obstinant Carmen may be (I think she is playing hard to get), we still wanted to celebrate her due date. We needed a card. So I took out my magenta stamp pad and embossing powder and got to it. I rolled Ellis’ fat hand in the ink and then tried to press it on to the card. It didn’t go very well and to make matters worse, I was too concerned with fixing the print than with washing Ellis’ hand. So after making the stamp look somewhat like a hand (or elephant), I looked up and Ellis had crawled across the room. On beigish carpet. And to throw salt in the wound, he made perfect little hand prints when it didn’t matter. Whatever, Carmen will still love him.

Then we headed out to Northbrook and sat in the car while Ellis napped. Yes, we are those kind of parents. I finally poked him until he “woke up” and we trekked inside with our caravan of baby items that seems to follow us wherever we go. Upon entering, we were immediately greeted by three adoring aunts that scared the Hell out of Ellis. After a bit of lower-lip quivering and shoulder nuzzling, he finally settled in and enjoyed watching older boys run around, being cuddled by random cousins and participating in the family sing-a-long. This was my first-ever sing-a-long…we had lyric books, enlarged photos that corresponded with certain songs and a set of musical twins that led the exercise. It was a resounding success. How could it not be?

Sunday brought breakfast at our place with FWC folks and then I met up with Mrs. D and we descended upon Ho-Ho’s apartment like the two cleaning fairies you always wish would show up to your door. Mrs. D is a little crazy when it comes to cleaning. Just stay out of her way and follow directions and you will come out alive. Four hours later, mom’s place was sparkling and we found a few “missing” items that will likely go missing again soon enough.

I came home and Ellis was not only pulling himself up on any and everything, but he also has figured out how to open and close doors.

You wouldn’t think I would be so proud of this discovery; it’s like he found another planet or cured a disease or something. I am 95% sure he waved at me this morning and my head exploded.

Since returning home from DC I have become a hardline sleep-through-the-night advocate. This translates to an hour of crying Saturday night while I sat in his bedroom, 30 minutes Sunday and nada last night. I am sure last night was an anomaly and by typing this, tonight I will be faced with five hours of earsplitting, vein-pulsating crying, but what can I do? Sweet dream you lucky scoundrels.

By "fight the man" I mean "just suck it up, pay him and go cry into your beer"

Mr. Swirley and I have found ourselves in a situation that I think is absolutely ridiculous…even for us.

As you know, we purchased a new car two weeks ago. It’s a RAV-4 and overall I am pretty pleased with it. Yesterday I realized that I can open and close the windows while the car is off. Amazing, right? However, I will need to remember this little tidbit when Ellis is old enough to try to escape.

We also have remote start which will be great in winter. I mean, I am using it now, but it serves no purpose other than to provide me with instant gratification when I push the little button and the car magically turns on. Unfortunately I can’t seem to figure out how to put the car into drive when I use this function, so I end up having to start it again;  thus rendering the remote start part of the process moot.

But get this. Day one of owning the car we lost one of the two keys. Yes. Within an hour of purchasing the new car we lost a key. It looks like this. Have you seen it?

No? You haven’t? We couldn’t find it either. So Mr. Swirley went to the dealership to have some aftermarket stuff installed (you know, spinners, underbody lights…regular family car stuff) and get a new key. Do you know how much this keys costs? Do you? $300 plus tax!!!!! What? I still throw up a little when I think about it. I asked them for the “jackass discount”, which is apparently 20%. Little Miss Krissa told me to pinch EK in an effort to trigger the waterworks to try to get a few more bucks off. I also called Friday (pick-up day) and asked if I could just get a regular key without all the fancy buttons and the manager said that it was a good (read: cheaper) idea, but it was too late. Obviously it would have been too difficult to suggest to Mr. Swirley the previous day when he dropped the car off.

But it doesn’t end there, friends. See this fancy rubber cup holder that retails for $50? I am sure some tiny child made in a hot, sweaty factory. Well, we lost it.

Let me back up. Mr. Swirley asked me to keep this car clean because he apparently didn’t like the dirty diapers, Walgreen’s bags and plastic bottles that littered the car and slid under the break pedal. Fine. So Mr. Fancypants got a little snooty on Day Three of RAV-4 ownership when he told me he had to throw out a few plastic water bottles that were in the cup holders. Gold star buddy, gold star. The next day we got into the car and lo and behold, one of the $50 cup holders was gone. GONE! Apparently it stuck to the bottom of one of those dastardly plastic bottles and was tossed in the trash like yesterday’s diaper.

Within one week of owning this car, we owe another $350 for basically nothing. And I have used approximately 59 exclamation points in this blog post. Totally unacceptable on both counts.

On an unrelated note, Ellis is now scooting around daycare and is stealing other babies’ toys.

By “fight the man” I mean “just suck it up, pay him and go cry into your beer”

Mr. Swirley and I have found ourselves in a situation that I think is absolutely ridiculous…even for us.

As you know, we purchased a new car two weeks ago. It’s a RAV-4 and overall I am pretty pleased with it. Yesterday I realized that I can open and close the windows while the car is off. Amazing, right? However, I will need to remember this little tidbit when Ellis is old enough to try to escape.

We also have remote start which will be great in winter. I mean, I am using it now, but it serves no purpose other than to provide me with instant gratification when I push the little button and the car magically turns on. Unfortunately I can’t seem to figure out how to put the car into drive when I use this function, so I end up having to start it again;  thus rendering the remote start part of the process moot.

But get this. Day one of owning the car we lost one of the two keys. Yes. Within an hour of purchasing the new car we lost a key. It looks like this. Have you seen it?

No? You haven’t? We couldn’t find it either. So Mr. Swirley went to the dealership to have some aftermarket stuff installed (you know, spinners, underbody lights…regular family car stuff) and get a new key. Do you know how much this keys costs? Do you? $300 plus tax!!!!! What? I still throw up a little when I think about it. I asked them for the “jackass discount”, which is apparently 20%. Little Miss Krissa told me to pinch EK in an effort to trigger the waterworks to try to get a few more bucks off. I also called Friday (pick-up day) and asked if I could just get a regular key without all the fancy buttons and the manager said that it was a good (read: cheaper) idea, but it was too late. Obviously it would have been too difficult to suggest to Mr. Swirley the previous day when he dropped the car off.

But it doesn’t end there, friends. See this fancy rubber cup holder that retails for $50? I am sure some tiny child made in a hot, sweaty factory. Well, we lost it.

Let me back up. Mr. Swirley asked me to keep this car clean because he apparently didn’t like the dirty diapers, Walgreen’s bags and plastic bottles that littered the car and slid under the break pedal. Fine. So Mr. Fancypants got a little snooty on Day Three of RAV-4 ownership when he told me he had to throw out a few plastic water bottles that were in the cup holders. Gold star buddy, gold star. The next day we got into the car and lo and behold, one of the $50 cup holders was gone. GONE! Apparently it stuck to the bottom of one of those dastardly plastic bottles and was tossed in the trash like yesterday’s diaper.

Within one week of owning this car, we owe another $350 for basically nothing. And I have used approximately 59 exclamation points in this blog post. Totally unacceptable on both counts.

On an unrelated note, Ellis is now scooting around daycare and is stealing other babies’ toys.