Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why I love minivans. . .

Here lately I have been thinking that our next family car might not be a minivan. Not because I'm too cool to drive one, but because I wondered if there was something else out there that could comfortably fit our 3 kid family and get better gas mileage. Cross-overs were intriguing me. Could they really be the perfect cross between a car and an SUV? I was ready to broaden my horizons outside the minivan world.

We went to pick up the kids yesterday. By we I mean me and the Nanny. We have a nanny. Now before you get all "doesn't she love her kids enough to care for them herself?" on me, let me explain who our nanny is. She is a girl who used to be in our youth group but is now for all practical purposes a junior in college. She was in the youth group spending endless summers with us during my pregnancy with the twins and the first year of their life. She loves babies and children and has been a faithful, free babysitter for several years now. She even put on a bathing suit and took "Mommy and Me" swim classes with me and the girls when the instructor explained that under no circumstances were we allowed to have just one mommy per two babies in the water. She is truly dedicated. I think that she considers my family her ministry.

Don't get me wrong, we have had several special teens in our life that have pitched in here and there to help our family survive, but Nanny has been the most consistent and persevering. She's been with us through the round the clock feedings/diapers, learning to walk, potty training, and the not-so-cute-and-cuddly-anymore 3's. In fact, I am pretty sure that under "Hobbies" she lists hanging out with my family as one of them.

I know you are asking yourself right now "How can I get me one of those Nanny's?" My answer would be: get down on your knees and desperately beg God to give you one. Because, really, I think I prayed earnestly every day for a nanny and God heard my cries and gave me Nanny. That's really the only explanation I have.

So it wasn't too surprising that she eagerly volunteered to ride along with me on our 525 mile adventure yesterday. (Previously I made a wrong statement, it was not 400 miles to our kid-swap destination, but exactly 525 miles round trip.) All she asked in return is that I keep her Diet Coke filled to the brim, which is a small price to pay for some company on the 525 mile journey we drove yesterday. We piled all the diet coke, sunflower seeds, dvd's and portable players, snacks, and water bottles needed to keep us awake and set out to claim the children.

When we got to the meeting spot and were reunited with the kids, Honey's mom let us know that she'd brought along a shake to drink for lunch because she was saving her Weight Watchers points for dinner that evening. After having all the assorted grand children in town for 2 weeks straight, Grandma and Grandpa were "going out to dinner tonight because we don't have any kids." I chuckled and thought, "I know what you mean, sister!"

Nanny and I loaded up the van with the suitcases, toys, snacks, swim toys, and children and set out on our trek back home. We ran the air conditioner on HI all the way home because it was just REALLY HOT yesterday. And humid, something I am truly not accustomed to. Did I mention we drove 525 miles yesterday?

After getting home, unloading all of the supplies, and hugging the Nanny as she left, we went to fill the gas tank on the minivan. We (meaning Honey) did some simple calculations and discovered that we'd gotten 23 miles to the gallon while on our little jaunt. Loaded down, running the air conditioner on HI, and driving a little over the speed limit, we got 23 miles to the gallon. That was such good gas mileage that I was convicted then and there to renew my pledge of undying devotion to the minivan. Great gas mileage and all the room you need to haul around whatever your heart desires for a 525 mile cross-country migration. What more could a mommy want?


The Binkley Family said...

What a long day! I know you are glad to have your kiddos is strange having a silent house, isn't it?

Lisa said...

Glad you made it there and back safely. I think I know who you are talking about, Nanny, and I think she is a special person too. Also glad you are enjoying your vehicle so much. Mine does not get the best gas mileage but then again I don't drive it all that much. However, it is my favorite car out of all the ones I have ever had. Its a nice feeling to feel blessed in that way isn't it?!

javamamma said...

Yeah, I've been praying for a nanny for about 8 years now. No such luck. Maybe God thinks mamma's of twins are more in need? :o)

Cindy said...

Welcome back to your normal world of lots of little people, chipped toenail paint, and eating at home! :) It is so worth it, isn't it, to have those little kid snuggles? :)

sj said...

I'm so glad you have your Nanny...definately a God-send!

I know I dont have to tell you to not waste your time looking at an Excursion. Although the extra, extra room is extra nice...the *almost* 12 miles per gallon (highway miles) is extra, extra cruel!!!


elena jane said...

how wonderful to have such a devoted nanny!! that's awesome, you ARE blessed. i usually just pray for hot coffee each morning :)

mini vans rock, we're in one for the long the sliding doors twirl my world :) suv's don't have that....hehe!