So if you haven't noticed, I've been MIA for a while... blame it on July! So I'm going to start with this weekend-- and work backwards-- until I'm caught up... this could take a couple days! But there are a few things, that just can't go unpublished!
Ok, this all started with talks of adding another Bowman to the clan. Please note that there is nothing in the oven, it's just that we're beginning to think about the ingredient list and what we need before this becomes a reality. I have mentioned my wonderful car before and how I bought it MYSELF when I graduated college and started working at North Metro Church- and I love it. But the car just won't fit 3 car seats-- this is nutty, I know- and Gabe is 7 and seems kind of weird for him to need a seat, but he has to be 4'9" or 80 lbs to NOT ride in a booster seat and he isn't close to either of those markers. So, with baby #3, comes car seat #3, all needing to buckle at the same time, meaning we need a bigger car.
This is cool because my car is worth twice as much as we owe on it, SO selling this car will give us the extra cash to buy a new (old) truck for Chad with cash, sell his truck, and get me a new car-- meaning that when it's all said and done, we'll only have one car payment. We'll be able to make double payments regularly and pay it off quickly, since we won't have a truck payment (which is currently our boat anchor) which will take us one giant leap closer to being debt free: our ultimate goal. We currently write checks for the stupid tax, monthly, and this would help us see the light at the end of that tunnel- wahoo!
So this weekend we began the process of narrowing the field for a good, safe, reliable car with a 3rd row of seats. My favorite option is the Sequoia, so we headed to the Toyota dealership. The first problem we ran into is that our 30 year old house has a garage that is only 6 ft, 5 in tall. And Chad is insistent for safety reasons, and loading and unloading, that I be able to park in the garage. So we showed up at Toyota with our tape measure, only to find out that basically every full size vehicle was knocked off our list with this one criteria.
So we move onto mid-size vehicles- The Highlander, all the crossover vehicles, and even some new 4runners come with 3rd row seating. We're looking around and admiring their features, only to open the back and discover that there is NO storage or trunk room in these types of cars. This is not an exaggeration- if we wanted to take all of our children on a trip, would we have to all hold our toothbrushes in our hands and wear the same clothes the whole time we were gone-- there is not room for a stroller- let alone a suit case, or the double stroller that we will need in the future.
So we begin processing the original plan again- the full size vehicle, and realize we might be parking outside. Luckily, I don't melt (although I'm endlessly trying to convince Gabe that I do) so what's a little rain while carrying children and groceries? At this point, we are hit with strikes 3 and 4: #3- Full size vehicles don't have any trunk room either-- they have a better 3rd row, but when it's folded up for sitting, the trunk room is very minimal. Daily, I carry a stroller, 2 ballpark chairs, a tote-able picnic blanket (perfect for any ground playtime or diaper changes) and a big bag full of reusable shopping bags in the back of my car. This does not include the diaper bag, my purse, my children, or myself that ride in the front of the car... and we're talking about just the average day. #4: In order to keep Max's car seat and new baby Bowman's (that has NOT been formed yet) car seat buckled in at all times, the middle row would have to be bucket seats, so that Gabe and any other car rider could get to the 3rd row, without 15 minutes of unbuckling, wrestling, sweating, and re-buckling... only to do it all again when we arrived at our destination. Fun? No.
So what is our next option? My nemesis: the mini-van. I have sworn my ENTIRE life the regardless of how many children I had, I would never drive a minivan. I have ALWAYS said that I would drive a bus before I would be consumed by "the mini". I LOVE being a mom, LOVE it-- but I am not ready to turn in my cool card completely. After the tummy pooch body addition, the never have time to dry my hair because someone else always needs something dilemma, the same deal with make-up, buying baby stuff instead of clothes for myself, realizing that carrying at 22lb chunk of baby isn't that great when wearing trendy high heels no matter how cute they are, have crumbs and smears on every outfit, toys decorating my living room, and my realization that even on vacation I have to do laundry, I honestly only have 3 cool points left, and a mini-van would trump those, no doubt.
My mom had 3 kids in car seats without getting a van-- although the car seat rules have changed quite a bit since the 80's as have the car seat bulkiness- but there are people out there that do it... I just know it.
The worst part is the salesman we were working with had 3 kids and his wife had a dodge caravan and was so pumped when they upgraded to a Toyota Sequoia ONLY to then trade that in on a Honda, Odyssey Mini-van within a year, because of cargo space and the ease of having a van.
Really guy? The last thing I need is you and my husband ganging up against me and simultaneously trying to talk me into "considering" a van. Even as I type, the word "van" makes me shudder-- and it's not because anything is wrong with vans, I get it- they're awesome, they're sensible, they're effective.... but I'm like a teenager doing anything I can to be "cool" despite the 17 pimples on my nose.
But somehow I got talked into test driving a Toyota Sienna anyway- it was pimped out- fancy, buckets seats, all the gadgets, and rode like a charm. This was devastating and all around depressing for me. I am currently still processing... I mean eliminate debt- AWESOME, lose cool card- TERRIBLE, have enough room for another Bowman- AWESOME, driving a mini-van after promising myself I would "never"- TERRIBLE.
So this may be my new theme song and music video, and courtesy of my BFFA Ruth, let me just say: Mini-Van, MEGA fun!