Tag Archives: Audi

Considering Ending My Relationship With Black Thunder

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love cars. Fast ones, big ones, small ones, and of course my own. I’ve had Black Thunder since 2002, the first year the Jeep Liberty was made.

Black Thunder

I named her that because when she gets out on the open road, she roars. She’s seen me through many times good and bad, road trips, traffic jams and precarious close calls on Chicago’s winter ice. As time’s marched on she’s been going to the shop more frequently and a few weeks ago, she began making a scary grinding noise.

I warned Hubby about it, but Black Thunder never made it to the mechanic. Then Ethan was born, Hubby went to Florida for business and it was my mother-in-law and me holding down the fort.

On the way to take Logan to daycare Black Thunder Ka-THUNKED followed by a rhythmic flap, flap, shutter so I pulled over, convinced something happened to the tires. I walked around the car, found four perfectly fine tires, so I trudged on to daycare and Black Thunder sounded normal.

That night Hubby and I agreed, if the cost for the repairs were more than $1,000, we’d look at getting a new car, if not we’d fix Black Thunder. We’d just fixed the radiator and scores of other things, not to mention the motor to the rear passenger window broke the week before so we had to tape up the window from the inside so the glass didn’t slip down into the door. It was classy, let me tell you.

The next day, I had to get Logan to daycare and I was afraid to drive the Jeep for fear of getting stranded with my boy. But I made a plan that if Black Thunder died before we made it to school, I’d call a cab to finish our trip to daycare and the garage could send a tow truck for the Liberty.

On the way to school, Logan asked me to drive a different route, I told him no we needed to get to daycare fast before the car broke.

“The car will break into pieces?” He asked.

“Yes, it very well could.”

His eyes got big and we rode the rest of the way in silence.

After dropping Logan off, I headed to the dealership, one block away a metallic grinding noise came from under my feet, I began to pray. Screetching into the Jeep dealership, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief, I had made it.

Turns out my drive shaft was broken and that plus the window, the tally was $1,100. We were back to the question that we’d visited and visited again. Is it time for a new car?

Both the Jeep and the TT are paid off, which has been great not having a car payment. And the start of a six-month maternity leave is not the greatest time financially to start paying on a car, but we needed safe, reliable transportation. What to do?

Working Moms Hustlin’ Through The Rat Race

We’re busy. Everyone’s busy. In this 24-hour, gimme now, result-obsessed, I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-dead-society, we’re all just too damn busy. I know this, you know this. We can talk about changing it later, when we’ve got time.

I do, though, want to discuss some of the creative ways we’ve handled the hustle. Just last week, hubby and I had to do a car hustle because one of ours was in the shop. We’ve got two: a Jeep, the family car, and a two-seater left over from our wild and free days. Anyway, the two-seater is an Audi TT that has been chipped to go even faster and we get it serviced at this high-performance car place light years from our house.

After a long day of work and I know we have to make that haul from Chicago’s Loop to the suburbs and then travel another 20 miles to another burb all means that Logan isn’t going to make his 7:30 p.m. bedtime. He probably wouldn’t eat dinner until 8 p.m. So before picking him from school, I busted out three ziploc bags and filled them with diced chicken, broccoli (I know, he’s one of the weird kids in that it’s his favorite veggie) and grapes. That and a huge vat of juice and we were good to go.

At first I felt a little guilty for having him eat out of bags, but then I loved the time it saved. I briefly considered always picking him up from daycare with dinner in a bag, but dismissed that idea. But if I’m really pressed for time, dinner in a bag it is. Though I love McDonald’s fries as much as the next chic, we try to limit our fast food.

Other ideas to shave some time:

  • Morning hustle to daycare force you to wake the little one too early? See if the daycare minds if you bring kiddo to school in her PJ s. I don’t know about your babe, but 10 to 15 minutes of extra sleep can mean the world to Logan (and his mama!)
  • We all know we need to plan and prep our meals for the week ahead to make life easier. I try and only get it together about one week out of a month, but still. Be better than me. Do it.
  • Grocery shop online. Tired of cajoling hubby to watch the kids while you grocery shop? Or worse yet, bringing them with you and have them beg you for every eye-level, brightly colored sugarbomb along the aisle? Take your shopping online. (If you’re big into organics and don’t want to spend tons of money, many communities have local organic farms that can deliver to your area, it’s the new big thing and it’s catching fire. Google around, you might be pleasantly surprised.) You can take the time you saved and do something else. Preferably read a book, go for a walk, but honestly it’s more like getting on top of the laundry or cleaning the kitchen. Regardless you’ve reclaimed some time.

 What are your time-saving tips? Post them here. I’d share more but can’t, you guessed it, I’m busy.