Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mini Van!

As soon as we decided to have a third kiddo, we knew we would need to get a bigger vehicle!  Our two sedans fit the four of us and our dog "snugly", especially on trips where we brought along fishing or hunting gear...but there was absolutely no way a third car seat would fit!

Our debate about whether to get a mini-van or a SUV spanned quite a few months.  While I preferred the "look" and "style" of an SUV, really the only thing I REALLY cared about was that I wanted all three kiddos to sit in the row behind us (not 2 kids in one row and 1 kid in a different row).  If you know my kids at all, you know they are both chatterboxes, and I wasn't sure I would be able to understand/hear either of them very well if they were in the third seat.  Furthermore, I often am handing back water, snacks, sunglasses, etc while I am driving and would not be able to reach the third seat from my spot in the front.  For these reasons, I really wanted to find a vehicle that would seat three carseats across the backseat.  After researching vehicles, I came across this awesome blog that outlined which vehicles (and years and models of those vehicles) would safely do this.  Paul preferred a mini van for several reasons including more trunk space for hauling, more space for the kids on long trips as they get older, more room to cart around the kids' friends to sports practice, and better gas mileage.   I agreed with him on each of these reasons, so when I found that there were actually a few models of mini vans that would seat 3 across the second seat (vs. the two captains chairs), we found a few vehicles (namely the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey) that would meet both of our criteria.  The Sienna got better ratings for long-term reliability, and since we were buying used, we decided to make the Sienna "the car" we would look to find.

After watching car soup and craigs-list for months for a van that would fall in our agreed-upon price range, and having one Sienna be sold literally hours before we arrived to look at it, we found our current one at a dealership in Mankato, a little over an hour south of our home.

This morning, we packed up the kiddos and their breakfast and headed to see it.  (We got there just in time as another person was coming to look at the exact same vehicle only 2 hours after us!)  While it was a bit dirty on the interior (which we both felt could be easily fixed), it was otherwise perfect!  We traded in Paul's car and drove our new van home.

We spent the afternoon vacuuming, steam cleaning, and washing down both the Sienna and the previous family car which would now become Paul's work car.

In the evening we headed out to use the gift card to Olive Garden that the saleslady gave us when we purchased our Sienna.  We had a perfect relaxing fun family dinner with lots of laughs :).

I am so excited to now have a car that will fit our new little girl too, when she comes.  I love the space it offers and I love that I don't have to bend over (especially pregnant) to buckle in Colton- he is right at my level now!  I also love that the doors slide instead of swing open- no more worrying about knicking other cars, and I can even open the doors from my remote (yes, I feel pretty cool!).

While I never thought I would say this, I am VERY excited to be a mini-van mom and I absolutely love the family that fills it!


Jill said...

Perfect! So thrilled for all of you! Sounds like you bought the perfect vehicle for your growing family!

The Baum Family said...

Yay!!! Glad all the decision making is over and you have a fabulous family car!

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