Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: cars, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Grand Caravan, minivan, Mom card, Mom stuff, Montana, road trip, Saturn Vue, Stuff You Need, Virginia | 12 Comments »
In 2004 we bought a car. The second car we’d ever purchased together. The first we purchased on our terms, when we weren’t in desperate need of a car because ours had died. We saw a sale, we had a trade-in, we went and got ourselves a new car.
It was a Saturn Vue.
We loved that car.
It took us back and forth to Minnesota when we were moving from Missouri.
It took us east to Virginia, both before and after we had kids. The worst leg of a road trip ever was spent in it when we were stopped in traffic for an hour because of an accident heading into Louisville with no more water, no more bottles and two screaming 11 month olds who wanted to eat. The first thing we did when we found an exit was stop to get water and then stop to get beer for when we got to the hotel. It was the longest 60 minutes of my life.
We drove west to Montana with three kids and although the seating was a bit more cramped than it was when it was just the two of us, we still had room to add a few more things on our trip home.
It was the family car.
But, it died. Unexpectedly. And with gusto.
It didn’t just die, it died hard. And all at once.
So, we had to bite the bullet. We had to get another car. We had to look at…minivans.
Now, I am not necessarily a minivan person. I liked the Vue. It was compact but it fit everyone and all of our stuff, even if it was tight.
But, the siren song of the minivan is hard to deny.
More space! Smoother ride! A place for all of your kids and their friends! And did we mention SPACE?!
So we went looking.
We did some research and were priced out of our top 2 choices pretty quickly (Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey) our third choice was the Chrysler Town and Country and our 4th choice was the Dodge Grand Caravan.
We found a few we wanted to look at, nailed down the dealerships we were going to, pulled our Carfax reports and went on our way.
The one we really wanted, the one that looked so perfect on paper ended up being a dud. It only had seating for 6, all captains seats and there is no way our stroller would have fit in the back. Boo. I’m not sure how this is possible, it’s a minivan…where is all the space?
We looked at a few more and then finally found one we can live with. It has a few more miles than we originally wanted, but not too many more. It has the 3rd row bench seat and 4 captains chairs. It’s got the Stow & Go seating which is pretty cool. It’s got the doors that open automatically which wasn’t on my list but I guess is a plus. And, it was lower than our price range, so huge plus.
It has more space than the T&C, but seriously….unless I drop the seats into the floor I’m not seeing the extra cargo room (and if you do that you lose that under seat space, so it’s kind of a draw). Yes, it has more space in the passenger area. It will be a lot easier to ride in on long trips for sure. I’ll give it that. But, with three kids in carseats, I kind of have to have all my seats up. So where is all of this extra space?
Do I like the minivan we got? Yes. I think it will end up being a great car for us. I’m not knocking this purchase at all. I think it was necessary and I think we made some good decisions.
But, I’m feeling really underwhelmed.
I thought I was going to have this big a-ha moment of
“OMG I can’t believe we’ve lived without this for so long!”
And I’m not.
Certainly I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Are they going to come take my Mom card now?
Posted: December 3rd, 2010 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | Tags: Breastfeeding, Saturn Vue | No Comments »
We’re all caught up on our vaccinations now! I was going to make an appointment for next week when it was more convenient but Judah seems to have developed a nasty little case of thrush.
I suppose it was only a matter of time, but it’s pretty gross. Thankfully, thus far it has not made the leap to me. Again, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
So anyway, I called to see if we could get in today and made an appointment. While we were there ( can I just say I had the happiest baby on earth with me today- he was just a gem!) they got us all caught up and we’ll have his 4 month appointment in a few weeks. I also rescheduled the boys 2 year appointment.
On the way home I was sitting in traffic outside of The Walker, minding my own business, feeling very accomplished after all of this. Thinking about driving to Target and filling prescriptions and rewarding myself with that Sonic Chocolate Coke I wanted last night, when I was rear ended.
Awesome. Or opposite of awesome.
We’ve got some slippery, sloppy streets out there tonight in Minneapolis, let’s be careful folks.
Lucky for me I was hit by the nicest guy who apologized and thanked me about 10 times for not freaking out. Seriously, what was I going to do- it happens. He gave me all of his info and requested that if the damage wasn’t high dollar that he’d rather I not go through his insurance. In reality I don’t think I have any damage at all. We’ll see what she drives like the next few weeks and make the call on whether or not to bring her in.
When I got home, Yogi Dad made the trek to Target and 16 hours later he returned with my Chocolate Coke and bagful of prescriptions. Did I mention yeast is super gross? Also? The roads. If you don’t have to drive, I think it’s a good idea to stay home tonight.
Posted: October 7th, 2010 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: Family, Montana, Saturn Vue, Travel | No Comments »
Linc and Dubs- 1 large bag
Judah- 1 medium bag
Me and the Mister- 2 small suitcases
1 bag of blankets and beach towels
1 wooden tote of toys and books
1 dual screen DVD player
1 laundry basket of snacks for the car
2 bags of “special” toys and treats to be doled out when bored
1 laundry basket of diapers, wipes and miscellaneous items for car
1 bag of plates, bowls, sippy cups, snack cups, plasticware, pump parts and bottles
1 breast pump with 12v battery pack
2 umbrella strollers
1 vibrating infant seat
1 Baby Bjorn
1 Moby wrap
1 bag of cleaning supplies- hand and face wipes, anti-bac, 7th Generation wipes to clean up spills, etc.
What am I missing?
Posted: October 5th, 2010 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: Family, Montana, Saturn Vue, Travel | 1 Comment »
Oh. Dear. Lord.
What have I gotten myself into? I’m leaving on a cross-country car trip in less than a week with 3 kids, 2 and under. In a Saturn Vue. SATURN.VUE. That’s not a big vehicle if you haven’t noticed. Oh it’s PLENTY big if it’s just the two of us. Hell, it was plenty big with the four of us when we went out east last year. I’m not sure how this is going to work with five, but this is what we signed up for when I said I wanted another baby and I was not under any circumstances getting a mini-van. Ever.
I cleaned it out yesterday. All that’s in there right now are two umbrella strollers (well, one umbrella stroller- the other is in my dining room), a Baby Bjorn, a jug of anti-freeze and a behind the seat “organizer” that I’m pretty sure will not be the thing that keeps me organized on this trip.
At this point the car is looking pretty roomy. Unless you look at the three carseats in the backseat. Two Recaro Signos and a Sunshine Kids Radian. Boom! It’s doable people. I can even get the baby in and out while still standing on the ground- not something I could do 4 weeks ago mind you.
So the car is “clean”. What’s going into it? I’m still working on that. Here is what is NOT going into it.
Pack n Play– there are two double beds in our room at grandmas, these boys will get a lesson in sleeping in a big bed there and in Missoula I’m pretty sure someone (Awesome Auntie JuJu) is rounding up PnP’s for our stay there. And, much to my dismay, the baby is a co-sleeper. I know, I know. I had nothing to do with it. He likes the boob and at night likes to be quite near.
Cloth Diapers– We are leaving these at home. I love them, but I do think they are kind of a PITA to travel with. Sorry. Does that make me a bad cloth mom? Are you going to take away my Cloth Diapering Mom Card? Because I’m pretty sure having three kids in cloth full-time gives me a pass on disposables for a two week road trip.
Toys– We’ll bring one small wooden tote bin with books and toys but that is it. Experience tells me they aren’t going to play with them anyways, so why waste the space. I’m sure Grandma has plenty of trinkets for them to play with.
So I should have plenty of room to spare without all the extra “stuff”. Right? Who out there has road-tripped it with lots o’ kids in a smallish vehicle? How did it go? What would you do differently?
Stay tuned for tomorrow…What IS being packed! I know, you can’t wait.