Tag Archives: Rants

iMax-ed out…

Everyone always asks me about my car. What do I drive that can carry all these kids, it must be a bus? Until two years ago it was, we had a Toyota HiAce minibus, a huge beast that could fit nowhere but could carry a dozen people. Upgrade time came along and we decided we needed a safer vehicle, given the travel we do. Now remember I am writing about my particular model of iMax which is a 2012, they may have changed a few things by now with the newer ones.

The good stuff about it…

It is safer, air bags in all the usual places, and an engine and bonnet between me and the world. Because previously the engine was under my seat. The size of the boot (or trunk) is massive. It looks nice, everyone comments on it. It seats eight, and I’ve seen some models with a ninth seat in the front. It can fit in most car parks, mini bus drivers will appreciate that. You don’t have to get out of the car for mcdonalds, yay drive through lanes I can fit in! Reversing sensors are great and probably compulsory when driving a rectangle vehicle.

Technology, it talks to my iPhone, love that. I can make/answer calls from the dash without touching the phone. I can listen to my playlists, and get siri to do my bidding. Separate climate control for the rear if you want, or you can flick it over and the kids can’t change it. The front row of seats are comfy and lots of leg room, there is two glove boxes and cup holders. Huge pockets in all doors which hold a lot of crap, I mean books/drink bottles/toys. Cup holders for the back row too. It’s price isn’t bad for the size of vehicle you get either, especially compared to similar vehicles at the time. Servicing only has to be done every 15,000kms instead of ten.

And the bad stuff…

Big big HUGE blind spots, you can lose a whole intersection behind the windscreen pillars. You will need to lean forward and look around them at roundabouts. And don’t get me started on what you can’t see behind you.

Baby seat anchorage points are limited to the middle row, a pain in the arse given the new laws mean more kiddy carseats for longer. And its very hard to do the seat belts up once you have the carseats in place, I am still swapping my kids seats around trying to work out a good configuration a year later. Oh and you enter the rear seat by moving the whole middle row, so if you have a few seats that the seat belt goes through as well as the anchor, be prepared to have to redo the belt through the back of the kiddy seat every time.

While not a big deal, colours are limited. We had a choice of silver, silvery blueish, black and white. I am still yet to own a red car. If you are thinking of getting the fitted floor mats, don’t bother because they catch up under the chair runners which are constantly in use, even though they velcro to the floor. You will get the shits with them and take them out in a week trust me, so glad the car yard threw those in because at two hundred bucks a set I’d have been annoyed. The petrol version is a bit gutless with a full load, and can’t tow anything bigger than a trailer. The rear window openers, a pop and prop open deal, which cracks them open well just a crack. Which is what I expected on a van as we’ve had them before, I didn’t expect them to rattle so much I’m scared to drive with them open, the dealer says he fixed it. Uh huh. I know I know a rattle isn’t a big deal, but it does sound like the window is going to fall off. And another reason we went for a van instead of another mini bus was noise, you simply cannot have a conversation in a diesel mini bus, this means children get louder too.

There are so many tiny things that irritate me about this car, I could write pages, little things like there is no handle for the front passenger to pull themselves up into the car as there is for the driver. The aircon seemingly has only two settings, hot and cold. But even though I’ve said all this, I still love the car, simply because it is decidedly better than any other car we’ve ever owned, but remember we owned a Kia that the engine died in before getting to 100,000kms. So you know, for comparisons sake I’ve got some low starting standards.

UPDATE: Come November 2013, I smashed it. My beautiful black mummy van with the dark windows was no more. I now have a silver one, the same colour everyone else in town bought too, last week I stood in the supermarket car park trying to open someone else’s van. Children have accidentally jumped into the backseat at school pick up, thinking it’s their mums van, I think I need some kind of big sticker down the side of it.

You will be pleased to know it took the head on hit very well, I wasn’t injured nor where the small men in the back. Written off, our insurer gave us a new one. So, we now have a new model and it has only a few differences (a few buttons inside are different), but the squeaks remain and here I was happy about finally sorting that rattle issue. And this particular van has more glitches (more than the old one, my reversing sensors don’t work in the cold weather) that again nobody can find on service days, can you believe it ;)

So in a couple of years we will part with this van, hey Toyota have you got a 4WD people mover on the cards anytime soon?

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Kid Safety, Rants & Stuff, Reviews

Buttons

I was having one of those mornings, when pushing my buttons is pretty easy.  It’s as if my button is a gigantic bright red one with do not push written all over it, and so what is the first thing you want to do?  PUSH IT!  I decided to use today as a writing day, because I just don’t get to anymore.  Things didn’t quite go to plan, I didn’t get to write what I was supposed to write, but I do have a tale to tell.

By the end of this post I will probably end up curling up in a ball rocking back and forth, but I’ll give it a shot. I have to write something today! I decided to start the day off with a bit of fun for the kids, the idea was to get them tired so that they’d leave me alone.  I took them, on my own (yes all six of them), to the local spring festival.  Usually I’ve got this shit, or so I thought.

I should’ve seen the warning signs when the first tantrum started from the four year old (Mr ‘cry because it gets me things at school‘), because I dared to stop and look at a market stall, we’d only just arrived and already it was on.  We skip the stalls and go and spend the necessary half hour on the play equipment, while they play I spend the time perfecting my apology statements to the parents of other children that may have experienced the wrath of my minions.  Eventually I run out of ideas and we move on to the gates of hell; sideshow alley.  Barely getting past the show bag stand with my wallet intact, and only doing so by distracting the smaller children as we passed.   With faces all painted like cats, we are almost out the other side and on the home straight, when they see it.  The inflatable alter at which all children come to weep, worship and bounce.  The jumping castle.

This ought to round things off nicely I thought. Idiot.

Only little ones were allowed on the castle, however my big thirteen year old autie boy still thinks he is little, and was already taking off his shoes to go on.  The lovely bloke running the ride said to me that he could go on, saying he looks like a gentle giant and shouted him a free go.  Regrets….. I have a few….. Can you hear that song? I can.

On they go, Miss 12 and Mr ’cry because it gets me things at school‘ decided to sit this one out.    As soon as his bottom touched the ground the tears began to fall for the bazillionth time that day, he wanted a lollypop.  Bawling as if I’d branded him and wanting something that I didn’t have either, so I did my best to settle him down.  While I was doing this Autie boy decided to let everyone know just how much he was enjoying the jumping castle, by stripping naked.  Yes you read that right, in front of around 20 people he gets his kit off, and puberty is not being kind to him at the moment.  ALL KINDS OF AWKWARD.

I launch myself into the castle and grab him his clothes and his siblings and drag them out and behind it, throwing my apologies in every direction as I went.  Miss 12 goes into damage control mode, which she has sadly gotten very good at and rounds up all our remaining gear and waits.  Close enough if I need her, but not close enough for people to be sure she is with us.  I wouldn’t come near us either if I was her, geez we’re embarrassing.

Autie boy clothed and shod, I attempt to leave.  That’s when I find Mr 3 standing in the tulips pulling them out, and Mr 4 sitting on a picnic blanket of a strange family eating their food.

And that my friends is the moment I pushed my own big red button.

Tantrum time!

Tantrum time!

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Moments, Rants & Stuff, The Kids, Too Much Information

Disenchanted.

We have started checking out the adoption listings for a new pooch. However this time we are finding that the rescue groups are making it VERY difficult to find a dog, and I’m starting to appreciate why people just go to a breeder.  So far we’ve been told we can’t have a dog because we have kids, we live too far from Sydney (two enormous hours), they can’t come and check out our yard and house, or we don’t have another dog it can play with. All this without knowing anything more about us, other than the contents of an email enquiry form.

Getting disenchanted people.

Last month we lost our pooches, both of whom were adopted doggies and they were the best dogs we’ve ever owned. I thought we could go without a dog in the house for a while, but I’ve discovered I really miss that little presence. We’ve always had a dog around.  I work from home, and as the kids get older and don’t listen to me, I think well at least the dog does but alas.

So I’ve been trawling through the adoption ads, and I can’t find the dog that fits or the one that looks and sounds like they might, or they have conditions on their placement we can’t meet.

That is the whole point of this post really. With so many dogs wanting homes I find the amount of conditions placed on whether or not you give the dog a home, sometimes just too much.

I’ve read too many ads that say the same thing: “Fluffy is a gorgeous little dog that will steal your heart, loves the company of others so you must have another dog (I’ve seen ads that say the dog will not be rehoused as a single dog), is very playful better suited to older children (reads: eats toddlers, needs high fences), working very hard on training so if you could be around the dog 24 hours a day that’d be great” (reads: he still craps on the floor and we can’t keep him in a yard).

I know there are very valid reasons for all this, however I spotted ads for a few dogs that I know have been in foster care for a very long time (two years nearly), could it be all these conditions that are putting people off? Do they want to help these doggies or what?

I’ve given up looking. The continual disappointment is just making me sad. Sorry stray dogs, I just don’t have the ambition to wade through the mountains of ads like the above to find the one we can try to adopt, that is after they come to my house and check it out and decide if I am worthy.  I’m starting to realise why people just buy puppies off gumtree or Facebook.

So here’s the deal.  We have a warm house, fenced yard and good kids. What more do you want? I’ll even let you sleep on my bed.  Here is what I want in an adopted dog. A small adult dog, no preference on the sex.  Indoor loving and outdoor pooping.  Not too evil and yes the dog will have to be a lone wolf, but that’s cool because I’ll be here and I’m a be a lone wolf too.

A bit gutted, because I am always shaking the adopted before buying from a breeder tambourine, and I don’t want people to stop adopting because it is too hard.

UPDATE: Because there are awesome people in the world, things changed… meet Dobby.

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Pets, Rants & Stuff

Today only, an AMAZING deal!

Dear Drivers, I’d like to introduce you to a nifty little gadget.  It’s a one of a kind, why didn’t anyone think of it before sort of invention that makes you wonder how you ever did without it before.

This innovation can save you hundreds or even thousands off your next smash repair bill, because the use of this fabulous little device can help you avoid a smash altogether. But what’s that I hear you say? You have so many buttons to push in your car already, you just don’t know how on earth you could coordinate using another one?  Well I have exciting news for you, this device can be operated with just your pinkie! How effortless is that.I know what your thinking.  Where can I obtain such a marvelous device? And just too excite you even more, for today only you can get two for the price of one.  That’s right, one for the left and right side of your vehicle, and it can be fitted to any kind of vehicle.

But hold your horses, and put down that phone, because you’re not going to believe what I’m going to tell you next.  If you have a vehicle then chances are you already own this amazing invention and didn’t know it!  Head out to your car and hop in the drivers seat and take a look behind the steering wheel, can you see two levers (I know! Where on earth did they come from?! The sales guy never mentioned those things! Maybe they appeared in the last software update?) Push the lever down and you’ll see a flashing light on the dash (it’s ok it is supposed to do that) now hop out and check out the front and back of the car.  How awesome are those matching flashing lights?  Those lights are called indicators and let everyone know where you are going, and it is the done thing to use them when going around corners.

Right now indicators are totally on trend, and now that you’ve got your own fabulous flashing indicators you’ll be on your way in up to date style.  Tell your friends, because everyone will want to know where you found yours.

Still not convinced? Then check out this amazing indicator action below, totally pimps my ride don’tcha think? And I just love to be seen accessorising ;)

Flashing fantastic!

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Filed under Complaints Dept, Rants & Stuff

Feeling blue about Autism

It seems I’m not the only one feeling a bit cynical about Light it up Blue for Autism today.  Especially given the amount of money raised specifically just to light buildings with a blue light, AND doing so is apparently meant to make us autie parents feel better, less alone and the world better informed.

The autie mum in me is all for the Autism Awareness awareness campaign, I really am I WANT to be shaking that tambourine and I usually do.  Last year we raised $600 for autism awareness, but as someone who is always desperately clawing for services seeing money obviously wasted shits me, especially such a large sum (40 grand if you haven’t clicked the links above)  I think we can all come up with at least 20 services that the money could’ve been spent on.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see such crowd sourced fundraising enthusiasm for other causes?

Autism awareness campaigns are necessary. I deal with ignorance from somebody every other day, and not just from strangers, friends and family too.  Autism isolates families.  However I have always felt the people that are unaware of what autism means for a family or child, are people that we don’t need to have in our lives.

Here is my symbol of Autism, my four autie babies :) I decided that they need a rainbow instead of being blue, because they’re anything but blue.

My rainbow picture of what autism means to me.

So while the parents of high functioning autie kids get to go to balls and dos tonight, sans kids because they CAN get someone to care for their child.  I hope they spare a thought for us autie parents with kids on the other end of the spectrum, who are sitting at home with their non verbal and incontinent teenagers, scrubbing poop out of the carpet for the third time today.  Put that on a flag and wave it.

If you wish to help out an organisation that provides services for Autism, head to ASPECT and check out their fundraising effort.

Some of you reading will disagree with me, and feel that the blue lights are important, and to those who hold that sentiment I have no doubt it is important. To you.  I don’t take issue that awareness is not important, I just snapped at the cash wasted on brighter lights than those offered.  That 40 grand could have sent a lot tired autie mums to a spa for the day… just saying ;)

To all my friends who lit their facebook pages up blue, wore blue, shared awareness info, had blue lunches, and blue events today, lit their offices windows up blue tonight, I thank each and everyone of you for taking on the cause.  Don’t let my crankiness dampen your enthusiasm, I am really grateful you care.

I will continue my autism awareness campaign right here on my blog, and hope that whatever I spew out into written words can help someone know that they really are not alone, because unlike a blue light you can reach out and contact me.

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Filed under Autism, Rants & Stuff