adventures in babysitting,  diary illos

sketchbook catchup vol. 7


Inspired by Ponyo and the fact that I can’t really draw or blog about what is bothering me. Maybe I should channel my feelings this way more often.


The church I sometimes go to has a bounce house sometimes, maybe once a month or so. I’m not sure since I don’t go often enough to know their schedule. I think it’s part of their attempt to attract more children. It’s a great idea. It seemed terribly irreverent to me at first when I was sitting in the service and I heard this horrible loud air-blowing sound but then when Bug begged to go back the next Sunday, I had to agree it was a pretty good idea. Her Sunday school class also put on a little play about creation for the whole congregation and Bug got to stick little felt animals onto a felt board on stage. I thought that was pretty cool.

And more on the pinkness. I think I’ve written enough about that.


Old news! Boo hiss! Bethany has already come and gone. Sob… Oh! Did I tell you about my car transmission going out? I can’t believe I never blogged that story. It was terrible! My car is only four years old and it only has 42,000 miles on it. WAY too young to be having transmission problems already. We knew when we bought a high performance German car we’d be in for trouble in the long run but this is the short run!

I was at a gas station. I had just filled up and was about to put the car in drive and leave the station. When I put the car in gear it went in REVERSE instead of Drive! The gear shift was in drive but the car went into reverse and scared the crap out of me. I looked down at the gear selector and sure enough the lever was on D not R. So I slammed on the brakes (of course), turned the car off and started it again. This time it drove fine but then the gear selector indicator in my dash started blinking. Then my engine warning light went on too.

If I’ve learned anything over the years of being a big sister to an auto mechanic and being married to a car snob, I’ve learned to NEVER ever drive with warning lights on. So I found a parking spot in the shade in a nearby parking lot and parked. Then I called my brother and Toby and a car dealership nearby. (I’m skipping over the part where I freaked out and started crying and couldn’t carry on a conversation with Toby without yelling so I handed the phone to my sister-in-law, CC, and let her handle everything. I love her.)

Toby did some googling and found out that this wrong-gear problem has been happening to a lot of Audi A3 drivers and figured I was probably okay to limp home to my mom’s house (that was my destination) as long as I stayed in the slow lane and was ready to pull off the road if anything funny happened again. Well, I tried that and my car wouldn’t even go into second gear! It was stuck in first and revving like crazy. Of course this happened on the on-ramp of a freeway with several impatient cars and a semi honking behind me.

I pulled off at the next exit and called a tow truck thanks to my brother’s triple-A plan. I’m so thankful to my brother and his family right now. They saved me about a trillion dollars in towing. A tow truck came and drove us all the way back to my home dealership where I left my car for a week and a half. The dealership set me up with a rental car and I was as good as new.

Two weeks later the dealership contacted me and let me know that Audi was paying for the repair (a simple computer program problem) even though my warranty was up in June of this year. Phew!!! That was such a huge relief. We couldn’t even begin to afford to pay for transmission work right now. Toby’s half-tempted to sell this car even though we love it so much and it’s already paid off just because we really can’t afford to be fixing it all the time. But we’ll see. Now that it’s back from the dealership and running great it’s hard to think about offloading it.

I almost forgot the best part of this horrible day! After I got the rental car and was home for dinner etc, I locked the keys in the rental car trunk! Good times!! It took not one tow truck but two to come and unlock it with a funky slim-jim thingy. And because I didn’t want to admit to Toby that I had done such a stupid thing (I have a history) I forced CC and Bug to sit outside in the cold with me while we waited to be rescued by the tow truck. I should have made this its own blog post. I even have photos of our incredibly long horrible day.

But at the end of it all you know what I remember the most? How great Bug behaved and how wonderful my sister-in-law is when you are in the thick of it. You know what they say about people’s true character showing up in times of stress? Her character is golden and mine is a black hole of failure.


Blah blah blah…everyday life.


I’ve been babysitting a lot which is great for the budget. And it’s great for Bug who desperately wants someone to play with all the time. I love it that people will hire me to watch their kids and I can bring my kid along too. It’s a great job for both of us.

And that’s that!


  • Erin

    Audi likely covered the cost of your repairs because the computer problem would affect the emissions controls. Manufacturers are required by federal law to fix these things (like the ECU) for up to 8 yrs or 80,000 miles. I only know this because the computer went out on my Toyota and they fixed it fast and free. Toyota didn’t tell me this, but the nice mehcanic down the street did, so I googled it. Here is the law:
    P.S. I don’t think any decent person who has ever met you would say your true character is a black hole of failure. Quite the opposite. Where do you get such silly ideas?

  • Jenn

    have you ever thought about making (and selling) a coloring book? that first sketch especially looks like it would be a ton of fun to color!

  • a chris

    “…mine is a black hole of failure.” Part of me wants to laugh at the hyperbole, but I think there was too much misery behind it for that to be fair play. Most of us must feel that way once in a while when a stressful situation has been just too much. I can think of a couple of my moments without trying too hard. Try not to be so hard on yourself!

    I liked the soap bubble face.

  • MargieK

    You said you can’t really draw or blog about what is bothering you. But if it’s something you don’t want to share with the world (we all have lots of these; some things are not meant to be shared), can’t you write it and just not hit “publish?”

    I know there are different kinds of blog software out there, but from reading others’ blogs, I get the impression that some of them allow you to write a draft and let it sit there forever. Others allow you to password-protect certain entries so that you can control who can see what.

    Sometimes when you have a problem it helps to write about it, so these are just suggestions. I hope by now whatever was bugging you has been resolved. I always love your illustrations, don’t feel like you’re short-changing us — particularly when you’ve filled in so many of the details with text to boot!

  • noe

    I guess Ponyo inspired many people around the world in different ways. I loved your drawing in many ways and it made me think of my little Ponyo :( but also reminded me of new beginnings and future projects.

    Thanks for sharing your drawings with us!

  • Angela

    I love your illustrations and comments! Arrgh! Hate having car problems, fingers crossed that the problem has been resolved forever. That’s so great that Bug can be with you on your babysitting gigs, hope more come your way.

  • BeachMama

    Gah about the transmission, yay that they fixed it. We had a huge bill the week before vacation and the DAY the warranty was finished on our truck. THankfully they called us on vacation (after we logged a complaint) and refunded our money… but we too are thinking of offloading our money machine, I mean awesome SUV.