Tuesday, May 24, 2011


WWYD: What Would You Do?

I need advice on two topics.

1) As you all know, we are having our 5th child this summer.  We have two minivans - a 1995 Dodge Caravan with no car payment but over 100,000 miles and needs brakes, and a 2010 VW Routan that has a car payment. 

The Dodge Caravan can fit 5 carseats, but the VW Routan can not.  Technically, John-Paul will not be required to be in a booster seat, but it's recommended and of course, we want to be safe.  Besides, in order to fit him in the VW, he has to squish himself between the two carseats in the back bench and he tends to get car sick back there.

So, we are trying to figure out what to do with our car situation once baby arrives.  I think we should keep the VW Routan and trade the Dodge Caravan in for a *real* van. 

That way, we'll have two cars that are reliable and can fit all the kids, but one will be for short trips (like to school) and the other will be for longer trips.  However, then we will have two car payments and a van so big that I don't think I'll be able to drive it.  Is there another solution that I can't see clearly?

2) OK, this one is more fun.

Next week, I have a week off.  I'll explain why later.  Phil will be at work, and the kids will be in school, so I'll have FREEDOM to do whatever I want. 

 For now the only things on my agenda are: daily Mass, daily walks, get pro-life license plates, and I have one meeting scheduled.  The rest of the time is up for grabs.  So, what would you do if you had a few hours to yourself each day?  This is so exciting!


  1. My oldest being 9 at the time, we only needed 4 carseats, which was tricky in itself. Now, with baby #6 we will need more room...it might work, but I'm not thinking about it yet...I'm excited to see what you do! Margaret (MN Mom) drives a big bus like the one you have pictured, hers is white though, and if she can do it, (she's like only 5 feet tall) you can!!

    I can't even imagine a few hours off to do what I wanted....even for one day, so, gosh, have fun!!!

  2. AnonymousMay 24, 2011

    I would go for a new or used "real" van. I have a few friends who drive one like you've got pictured and they told me all it takes is some practice in an empty parking lot to feel comfortable driving. We went with the 8 passenger suburban, but there is a 9 passenger one as well and they are not as big as a van so you may feel more comfortable with that.

    I would nap with few hours each day. Or at least just lay down and relax, but I'm 8 1/2 months along so I don't know what much else I would want to do. lol

  3. We have a suburban and it fits all of us pretty well. We need one to tow our camper. I WILL NEVER TENT!

    ok...time off...I cant imagine either...IKNOW I would go see my grandma. I would have people over and visit my friends. Seems like all I do is clean and cook and shuffle kids around.

  4. Oh, as far as next week . . .try to do a mini retreat! That is what I would do. And pamper yourself in some way!

    The car situation is tough. I would get rid of the Dodge too and get a real van. I would buy used. Do you really need two cars that can fit all the kids??? What we did was get my hubby an older, small, cheap car that he could drive to work (no car payment) and then we have the van. But, no matter what, I would totally get a real van. You will need the room!

  5. As the oldest of 9 kids, I learned to drive in a 15 passanger van. It's really not that bad! :) And you would never have to worry about not having enough room for anything!

  6. my husband wants to go with a 12 passenger van. I tell him not until we have another child. we have a chevy suburban that fits 8 and we are a family of 8 so we will squeeze in until we need to get a bigger one for an extra child.

    the price of gas is too expensive for me right now to move up to a bigger car.

  7. Oh the possibilities!! Road-trip to Maryland for a coffee date with ME!!

    Here is what I would do: Strawberry picking, cooking, baking and freezing for later, reading, movies, napping, shopping on Craigslist and Freecycle, blogging, coffee a laptop and a book at Starbucks, coffee dates and lunch dates with friends, walks, farmers markets, drives in the country with the radio on, scrapbooking, photo calendars and other fun projects on shutterfly, Christmas shopping...hmmm...that's all I can think of. HAVE FUN!!!!

  8. I'm enjoying reading the comments because this is seriously something on my mind. Not that I need to worry about it any time soon, I'm always contemplating the 'what if' and the vehicle is one of the first things on my mind!

    I'm wondering too if you really need two vehicles to fit all the kids? Keep a 'runner'/good mpg vehicle and then the family vehicle. Hubby just got a newer/used good runner/mpg car last year and if we are taking one or two kids or just he and I go somewhere, we take that. The Dodge Caravan gets taken everywhere else.

    I just talked to someone recently who said that the Toyota Sienna is equipt to take on 6 carseats and you can take seats out and move them too. A swaggerwargon!! Woo-hoo! :)

    In all seriousness, I always wonder about those big vans (Margaret calls hers 'the barge') and how difficult they are to drive. Hmm...keep us posted either way and good luck on that decision!! It's a tough one with a $$ pricetag too.

    As for time off....I always think I'd do a million things IF I had the time, but in reality I'd probably do a whole lotta nothing. A manicure, massage or just reading a good book would be at the top of my list. Or just catching coffee with a friend or two.

    Enjoy the time next week!!

  9. enjoy every second of that week off. sounds wonderful!

  10. Personally I would go with a new {or good used} "real" van. But then again, I've kind of always wanted a roomy van ;) You'll have more than enough room for everyone {plus extra!}, and I would think you'd get used to driving it very quickly. We have a full-size truck that I used to drive almost exclusively until Kameryn was born. The other day I drove it while hubs took the SUV to work, and I forgot how much I missed it ;)

    Ooooh, free time! I would probably spend it crafting or sewing items for our newest little one. Or preparing in some other way {scrapbooking, journaling, organizing baby's new things}.

  11. Growing up we had a full size van, I learned to drive in it. You can totally drive it, and you will love having enough room for all of the kids and all of the groceries :)

  12. We have four kids right now and just upgraded from a minivan to a 9-passenger Expedition. Our oldest is only 4 so I imagine we'll have a couple more before she's out of a car/booster seat. So more than likely we'll have to get 6 seats in the back 2 rows and I'm not worried about it at all. It' significantly wider than our van was. To fit 3 seats on the back bench in our van was barely possible it was so tight. I really wanted to get a 12-passenger, because I know we'll probably be needing one. We just couldn't find a decent one in our price range. I really love the Expedition though and plan on sticking with it through a couple more kids so we can hopefully be saving up for a big van. Also, it seems like a good transition vehicle since I was worried about driving a big van too. It's much bigger than the minivan but not quite at big as a passenger van, so it makes a good stepping stone.

  13. Get the big van! You will fill it up with kids anyways, right??? :) And wouldn't it be nice to have all that extra room for longer trips also! We are so squished in our mini van and it is a big one.

    A week to myself? Oh my gosh I would be in shock for the first day, and then either waste it away being lazy and reading books, or be a woman on a mission and accomplish so much. Have fun!!!

  14. I am no help about the van, I am still putting all three kids in the backseat of my liberty and it is more than cozy with three carseats. We are planning on a minivan, but we cannot decide what to get..

    A few hours to myself? I would go to the library and check out two or three books I have been dying to read and get them. I would clean my fridge (boring but necessary) and I would take a few naps. Enjoy your time off!


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