Friday, August 17, 2012

The Adventure Home

We left Boston last Friday. Micah left work a little bit early so that he could pack the car and could get a head start on rush hour traffic. We still got stuck in it, but made it to New York in decent time. My sister and her family were gracious enough to host us for the night ven though they themselves were in the process of moving (They are now getting settled in their new place in UT). We left NY early afternoon, hheading for Wilmington, DE where we planned to stay with our friends the Larsens. We were cruising along the highway in NJ about half an hour from our destination when we approached a toll booth. Micah slowed to a stop in the line of cars waiting to pay the toll, and the car suddenly started to shake. And when I say shake, I don't mean tremble. It began to BOUNCE. It was shaking so violently, we pulled over immediately and turned off the car. Micah got out, checked the oil (the usual culprit of handling issues with this car) and it wasn't that low. So, we got back into the car and drove past the toll booth with the car shaking. The shaking seemed to improve as we accelerated to highway speed, but then the check engine light turned on and soon after started to blink. At this point, I was hysterically worried that the car was going to explode and wanted to pull over as soon as possible and so we got off at the next exit and went to the closest gas station. It was tough because we were not in a highly inhabited area and I was using the gps to find a gas station and the it kept losing power and turning off even though it was plugged in.

It was 4:00ish on a Saturday afternoon and so the quest began to find a mechanic that was open. We called our friend Jacob, who helped us find the number to a nearby mechanic that would be open for another hour as well as the next day. When Micah called and explained the car's behavior, they advised us not to drive it because the problems we experienced were usually indicative of impending "catastophic engine failure". So, the car was towed to the shop and Jacob drove us to his place. We were worried because, after 5 major repairs last fall, we agreed not to do any more expensive repairs on it. We spend a few thousand more on it than it was worth already. So, we tried to not worry and enjoyed the evening with our friends, had a goodnight's sleep and called the mechanic the next morning. I don't know the technical details of what was wrong, but suffice it to say that our car has always had an issue with disappearing oil. We have had it "repaired" a number of times, with  mechanics blaming various leaks, but apparently the real problem was never really corrected and basically caused the engine to have crazy problems of doom. The only technical/quantitative thing I understood in all of the dicussion was that our engine was only running on one of the cylinders- the other 3 were blown- ad it would take a "complete overhaul" to repair it. This was going to cost thousands, so we just gave up. Sold it for parts, made enough to pay for the towing and mechanic fees, rented a car and made plans to make it to Wilmington, NC, where my Dad had a car that Paco usually would drive. He ageed to lend it to us while we figure out a more permanent solution. So, Micah had to unpack and repack the car a total of 3 times, an impressive feat, as we had crammed the car so full of stuff.

We have a little over 2 months to figure out a replacement car. Weighing all of our options, looking up stats online and deciding what we can afford.

So, we are back in Atlanta. I have seen 7 cockroaches now, 3 alive and 4 dead. I think that they must have just sprayed for them, since that usually makes the bugs try to come in to escape their fate. I hate, hate, hate, hate them. It's not too hot, I guess July was a lot hotter but now August is supposed to be atypically cool. We got to swim in our pool for the first time of the season last night and it was WONDERFUL.

I am struggling to unpack, as Natalie is going through another awesome clingy period where she must be held at all times. I can't even set her down right beside me, or she cries and crawls up to me and screams until I pick her up. It is so frustrating. Then, it seems, as soon as I do pick her up, she wiggles away towards something else. She only really plays and engages with things if I am sitting right there. At night, she will NOT sleep unless she is laying on me. Even during naps. If I leave her by herself or scoot away from her, she wakes up screaming 15-30 minutes later. Urgh. I guess I should be greatful to have a baby who wants to cuddle with me, but it is so uncomfortable at night!

She is a cruising machine and pulls herself up on everything. This has already made for one interesting fall and eyebrow bruise when she grabbed a hanging dishtowel and pulled with all her might, only to fly headfirst into the oven door. She loves our closet doors- 2 big sliding mirrors. She says "baba" to nurse and is working on "mama".

Tonight Micah and I get to go out to celebrate our anneversary, which is in a few days. Micah's brother Marc and his wife are visiting, so Natalie will be hanging out with them. Hopefully they all have a good experience :)

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