If Phoebe and I were ever to make a music video, it would be to the tune of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, but it would be Ch-ch-ch-chocolate face ch-ch-chocolate face!

Can’t clean my, can’t clean my, no you can’t clean my chocolate face!

Phoebe would run through the scene with a chocolate face (obviously) while I trail behind with a damp cloth in hand.

(This idea is inspired by true events.)

All the while outside my brain, the vehicle saga continues. The following developments have occurred since I wrote to you last: 1) The back up car was fixed, 2) the engine for the van was ordered (and the van will be fixed once it arrives), 3) we learned that Dave’s car is so broken it may not be worth fixing and we’ve been ruminating about that, and 4) the brakes went out on the back up car, so it’s back on the Waiting To Be Fixed list.

In related news, Lucy said “God Dammit” at preschool on Thursday and I know exactly where she heard it. Her teachers did, too. And this is why I feel so very thankful for the school we’ve chosen for Lucy. No one there made me feel like a bad parent for it. In a world where so many fingers are just itching to point out BAD! BAD! BAD! BAD! MOTHER, and for so much less (for example, a chocolate face), they were gracious. I appreciated their mercy. I could use a little more of it in my life.

Dave works about 65 miles from home. My mom’s daily commute is 70 miles, one way. And Lucy’s school is 20 miles from here. For this reason, we have a few cars – one for Dave, one for my mom, a van for me and a back up for just in case. You may be thinking a back up seems excessive, but with all the mileage we put on our vehicles, it just happens that now and then one needs to be in the shop for maintenance and THANK JESUS FOR THE BACK UP CAR. Except our back up car needs a new radiator. And when money is tight, it doesn’t feel like much of a priority to fix the back up. So we haven’t.

But then, the van died. It just stopped on the way to pick Lucy up from school on Monday. The engine locked up and it needs a new one, which will cost, officially, a shit ton of money (which is only a little less than another used van, but enough less to make it worth fixing). Thankfully, my mom had taken the day off from work for Bee’s birthday and after, at least, twenty very nice cars (most containing people I know!) blew by our hood up, flashers blinking hey-we’re-broken-down! asses, some nice man in a old beater stopped by and offered a ride home to get her car which I was able to use to pick the kids up and do the stuff we needed to do while AAA whisked the van away to the land of lost money.

Since the van will take approximately FOREVER to fix (and it’ll take just as long for me to come up with the money to pay for it), we decided to fix the back up car to use in the meantime. (It didn’t quite make it to the garage, however, because RADIATOR. And once again, I thanked God for AAA and allowed my dad to say, “I told you AAA is a good idea,” a few more times.) Luckily, it was then that Dave was scheduled to be home with his car for about 36 hours, which we had hoped would be enough time for the back up to get fixed. It looked like everything was going to be okay.

Ha! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

This morning I got a text message from Dave: “The good news is, I got the girls to school safely and on time. The bad news is, the car died. It kept stalling and now it won’t even start.”

(My response is too vulgar to share.)

So, here I sit, useless and waiting while AAA tows Dave’s car to the garage with the rest of our vehicles and my mom speeds from work to pick Dave and Lucy up at her school. And it’s raining. Let’s just hope her car makes it there.

Phoebe turned two yesterday and since she loves Boots (and by Boots, I mean Dora (Phoebe calls her Boots.)), I made her a Backpack cake because Backpack looked significantly less complicated than Boots/Dora. Rose (who bakes) made one and said it was “super easy” and “stinkin’ cute,” which was exactly what I was looking for. And so:

Bee's Backpack Cake

And a slightly less complimentary view:

Bee's Backpack Cake from a less impressive view

My edges are bad. Map ended up looking more like Cheese, but let’s not nitpick. The kid liked it.

Blurry Bee loves her cake

You could tell she was smiling if she hadn’t been jumping up and down and kissing the cake so much. Or if I had a better camera.

Lighting the candles

Lights out

Bee blows out her candles

The black spot on her nose is from kissing Backpack's eyeball

Sampling

Tasting

Devouring

And so it goes with cake.

Yum!

A happy birthday indeed.

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