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A few days before we were trading our Toyota Highlander Hybrid in for a Toyota Sienna minivan, I took the girls into New York City to see a friend.

I was driving around her neighborhood, trying to find the best priced parking garage when I came across one of those New York City road challenges. Today’s urban challenge: Can I fit between this double parked garbage truck and this big blue van?

No problem.

And by no problem, I mean, if I didn’t care about the paint job on the right side of my car.

Oh crap. As if they won’t notice this at the dealership when we trade our car in in a COUPLE DAYS.  So I parked my Highlander and then went to survey the damage I had done to the van. Yup, pretty much scraped up that sucker too.

I was in the middle of writing a note to leave on the van’s windshield when the driver walked up. I explained the situation and he responded, “Wow. People hit me all the time. You’re the first person to ever leave a note.”

I wondered if it was too late to rip up the note, pretend I didn’t speak English and run like mad in the other direction. But you just know Summer and Dylan would have slowed me down because they needed a snack or something. And I do really believe in good karma. And doing the right thing.

My husband took the news of the incident quite well and we made an appointment to fix the car the next day. Of course, he forbid me from blogging about it because he was worried the deal would fall through if the dealership found out about the accident and you know how those Toyota dealers are obsessed with reading the humor parenting blogs.

I felt pretty guilty about the whole incident (because what a stupid waste of money) until a few days later when my husband lit our entire grill on fire and almost burned down our rental house.  Yes, that’s right. Big flames. Fire extinguisher. Almost called 911. And why did this happen?

He hadn’t cleaned out the drip tray under the grill in SIX years.

Because I am forever the supportive wife I asked, “Did you take photos?”

“Of the fire?” my husband asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“I was a little busy trying to make sure I didn’t burn down the house.”

“I appreciate the effort to protect our home and our children but next time, take a few shots on your iPhone. It would only take a second or two. Blogs are very visual.”

Anyway, we got the grill and the car fixed and then it was time to say goodbye to my Highlander.

Since you’re wondering, I’ll just tell you. It wasn’t a french kiss. I don’t believe in open mouth kissing when it comes to cars.

And then we welcomed our new minivan…

The thing feels like a sports car. A really big, hard to park, not so sleek sports car. Well, at least it has that new car smell.

Except it doesn’t. Because it’s a 2010 pre-owned car. So it does have the less popular yet still pleasing pre-owned, just cleaned smell.

Ok, so at least we got some cash back on the trade in. You know, to cover the cost of unintended grill fires and fender benders.

The kids love the minivan.

And if those Toyota Sienna commercials are any indication, someday soon I am going to love my sweet minivan ride.

mama bird notes:

I don’t even know how to explain my gratitude for all the comments on my last post, “Apparently I’m Killing Feminism.” All of your comments were so funny and beautiful and incredible. Some of them brought me to tears and I’m definitely not a crier. Ask my husband. He’s the one who gets misty-eyed during “Parenthood.”

Some of the comments made me laugh so hard that my belly was shaking uncontrollably which isn’t actually all that attractive. You proved that feminism is about supporting other women, not ripping them apart. I just want to say thank you to everyone for the overwhelming outpouring of support. You made me feel like my writing matters in different ways to each of you. And I am incredibly grateful. xo

28 Responses to car trouble

  • You will love it on road trips and tolerate it the rest of the time because it IS so darn functionablel. You can change diapers on the floor of it, if the middle seats are side by side at a good back level for you. And yours looks to be the same color as mine. My husband will need a new car at some point and he is encouraging me to get the new hybrid Highlander that I want, and let him drive the minivan. I just can’t do that to him. It’s been hard enough for me to live in the land of minivans!!! : )

  • Sandrine says:

    Oh you make me laugh, thank you thank you…keep writing please, you are helping us so much in being women and mom everyday! xoxo

  • OHmommy says:

    Be carefully when backing out of your garage in the minivan. I speak from experience when I say that the spoilerthingy in the back is detachable but super expensive to attach. Which is why I dry a minivan sans spoiler.

  • francine Kasen says:

    Welcome to Vandom!! Trust me….you will love it AND you still look HOT!!! I also look forward to your blogs. You are SSOOO right that women have to learn to be ‘pals’ to each other. Something we can learn from the menfolk. (so when are we having a farting contest??) XXX

  • Where’s the topless laying on the hood photo? Oh, right, pregnancy and mini vans don’t jive with that notion.

    My best friend once hit a car in a parking lot. He left a note for the driver and to appease the onlookers. Except the note said, “I hit your car. I’m writing this note so it appears to those watching that I’m leaving you my insurance information and contact numbers. Sorry.”

  • Jennifer says:

    OK, no open mouth kissing with the old vehicle, but surely it’s OK with a new one? I would totally french kiss a new minivan, even if it was just new-to-me. *sigh*

  • Portia says:

    OMG…Did I mention how awesome your comments are? I jusr laughed my ass off at some of these!

    Moving closer to mini-van-dom everyday. Just sold my convertible and bought an Acura TL! I’ll be in a minivan before you know it…*sigh*.
    Kelcey, you’d make a great spokesperson for the minivan cause….you look great mama!

  • MN Mama says:

    Oh goodness… you make that minivan look fashionable! You are great! Please keep writing and making me laugh. I spilled the cup of laundry detergent the other day and laughed. I thought of you helping me to laugh at myself. Thanks so much friend!

  • LB says:

    License plate on a minivan at my daughter’s school:

    PS- It’s Delaware, in case you want to see if Connecticut is taken…

  • Hi Kelcey,
    Well, I too own the dreaded minivan…same make, actually. My husband bought it the day I was being induced with our 3rd child; I knew it would be a long day, so I told him to go home and wrap up what needed wrapping up. Upon his return a few hours later he said he’d organized some receipts, paid some bills (both code for “porn” I’m sure) and swung through the Toyota dealership to “pick up a van”. Talk about timing.

    I hated it. I hate it less now, 2 years hence. My friend calls this step “cashing in your keys to cool”. I agree, but cool never felt so roomy.

  • Sarah says:

    Hmmm, minivans…you will find yourself parked at the bank, and a random teenager jumps in the backseat, because your minivan looks just like her mother’s…you will also find 5 (yes, 5!) identical minivans parked in a row, and have to peer in through the tinted windows to try to recognize your garbage in the back so you’ll know which one to unlock….but enough about that! Just found your blog via the Motherlode NY Times blog, and your twins’ naming dilemma…my favourite name book was Beyond Jennifer & Jason, as it groups names into “types,” rather than just a list of 2000 girl’s names. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-J.....=8-1-spell

    We were told we were having twins early on (not the case), and someone said you should paint one child’s fingernail and toenail a colour, so that they don’t have to wear their ID bracelets forever. Good luck!

  • Sarah says:

    Okay, one more thing, completely unrelated to this post…since I’m new to your blog, and of course had to navigate all over to check it out, I happened upon the old post of your husband recovering from Crohn’s related surgery…just thought you’d be interested to know that there’s a book that has some pretty amazing stories about beating auto-immune disorders through diet, it’s called The China Study (apologies if you know this :))

  • Ann says:

    This post was hilarious. I could see you running away screaming “NO HABLO” throwing string cheese at the girls.

    And Rick is right about the blog. Car salesman LOVE anti-feminist mommy blogs.

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kelcey kintner