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#1 of 30 Old 11-07-2009, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're expecting our first two this spring and have been talking cars. DH drives a late model Honda Accord that we plan on driving into the ground...we'll probably have it till the kids go to college. lol I have resigned myself to the fact that my hot little Mini Cooper convertible is not going to be with us for much longer.

Of course mini van has been bandied about but I can't get my head around going from mini cooper to mini van in one shot. We're also looking at the forrester, acura's MDX, the pilot and the highlander. Do any of you MoMs have any experience with these cars and are they big enought for hauling around your multiples and their gear? For example, the back seat of the forrester looks tight. Can you even get two rear facing car seats back there w/o having to move the seats all the way up?

What about road trips with two babes, a double stroller, two pack n plays and the rest of the necessities??

Between the car, cloth diapers and the damn stroller...my head is spinning!

TIA

welcomed my boy/girl twins on 04/22/10 after cooking them for 40 weeks
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#2 of 30 Old 11-07-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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I drive a Dodge Grand Caravan. When shopping for a larger vehicle we tried rear-facing seats in many different vehicles including the pilot and highlander. Prior to driving the minivan I had a BMW X5 4.4i. So, as you can imagine it was tough for me to switch. But I really like my van now.

My DH is 6'4" so having rear-facing seats behind him in most vehicles makes the front seat too tight for him. I'm only 5'3" but we only keep one vehicle (he drives a large worktruck most of the time).

I like to keep my kids rear-facing as long as possible. At least 2 y.o. so having a vehicle where the seats would fit nicely was a really big deal. Now that we're expecting #3 & 4 I'm very glad we bought something bigger otherwise we'd be in the market for a new car again right now (and business isn't fantastic).

That's just my experience. I know many people that have made other vehicles work but I just couldn't find anything that I enjoyed driving that also fit two rear-facing carseats directly behind the front seats.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#3 of 30 Old 11-07-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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We drive a Chrysler Pacifica. We loooooooove it! It isn't a minivan, but has third row seating. Plenty of room for three (or four, we just need three) carseats. If you only need it for two carseats, then this is the perfect car for you! The back row folds completely down and leaves room for plenty of storage.

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#4 of 30 Old 11-07-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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We drive a Honda Odyssey and love it. We have 7 month old twins and a 2 year old.
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#5 of 30 Old 11-07-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarigh View Post
We're expecting our first two this spring
And plans beyond that are?

Just sayin'

If you are quite certain that two is the limit for both of you, you probably can consider lots of vehicles other than a minivan. If you are going to have a third (or more) and that third baby is anticipated to follow within 3 or 4 years, I think you'd be better off looking at a mini van than various mid-sized SUVs or cross-over vehicles.

Six kids, sixth sense, six degrees of separation. . . from sanity!
Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
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#6 of 30 Old 11-07-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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I'm in a Subaru Legacy Wagon. I never took the pack and play anywhere. Or maybe I took it one place once but I didn't need the stroller. (if you plan on visiting family often maybe you could store one there?) Anyway, the stroller takes up half+ of my trunk. I can get a full load of groceries and more in there on top of the stroller, but probably couldn't get more gear. We also had the problem of dh not having enough room while the carseats were rf. Not the infant ones but the Britax Marathons. We've been shopping for a new family car for me and had considered a mini van but have decided to hold off until we're carting dc's friends around or if they get involved in a sport or something that requires a lot of gear. Diapers don't take up that much space, even if you'll be gone all day.

I'd measure some car seats and take your tape measure to the cars you're test driving. For sure you want back doors unless you want to totally ruin your back getting two people strapped in the backseat.

My sister has always joked that I should just get a u-haul.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#7 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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We have a Toyota Sienna minivan. We went from a Volvo wagon as our family car, so it wasn't that big of a deal. We have 4 children, plus the 80 lb dog! If we have any more children, I think DH wants a Suburban. (he really wanted one this time, but gas was so expensive when we were looking.)

To the OP .. why would you need to take 2 pack N plays on road trips?? We went to Florida this summer, and just had the boys sleep in the PNP when we got to the condo.

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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#8 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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Well, the twins took out count to 3 car seats, so we ended up with a TOyota Sienna.

My advice is to not wait to car shop. Car shopping at even 24 weeks pregnant with twins was HARD. You're tired, big, impatient and the salesmen know you need a new vehicle. The sooner you can switch the better. I'll also say that now (33 weeks, 5'2" height) I can no longer fit in any standard sedan to drive.

Good luck!

J A with DD1 7/06, lost twins 9/08
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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#9 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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Strangely one of my first thoughts sitting on the ultrasound table when we found out there were 2 in there was "OMG, we're going to have to buy a MINI-VAN....aaaaaaahhhhhh" Really, it's not all that bad. In fact, I think my husband secretly likes to drive it. It's just so darn pratical for kids...lots of seats in various configurations, and lots of luggage space. We have an 8 seater Toyota Sienna and it works great for our 4 car seats + stuff. We just recently had to rent when we were on vacation and what was supposed to be a mini-van turned out to be a GM Acadia, which I think they class as a 'crossover' whatever that means. Anyhow, it was a MAJOR PIA for us...the 2 captains chairs in the middle row didn't move at all (ie. you couldn't put one in the centre like in our van) and you can't really tilt them to access the rear row when you have car seats installed in them. Also, NO luggage space compared to a van. Definitely not a vehicle we would consider, so if you think you might have other children and want to use 2 rows of seating you may want to think about how you would access the 3rd (rear) seating.

I know it sucks if you never thought you'd drive a van...you'll get over it, trust me

And I agree with Julia'sMom on doing it soon...I think I was about 23-25 weeks when we were shopping and it was certainly no fun at all...definitely wouldn't have wanted to be doing that any later!

Tammy, Canadian Mama to 4 girls May-02...March-05 and...identical twin girls Jan-09
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#10 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 07:09 PM
 
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We (okay, I don't drive at all, DH does) have a minivan. Our car, which was #3 in a series of hand-me-downs, died when I was 5 months pregnant with our twins, who are now almost 8 years. At the time, DH was preparing for his job to be cut (it was a month later) and I was getting ready to switch to unpaid work If it had been left up to us, we would have bought the cheapest "safe" vehicle we could, but my parents offered to buy us a vehicle as a gift for the babies. Much more useful than clothes!

A minivan was the only option we seriously considered. Honestly, I wasn't concerned about baby gear (and the only things we consistently hauled with us were a BIG diaper bag and the slings. . . the double stroller was almost brand new when we sold it at a yard sale several years later and we never owned or needed a pack n play, as we always coslept), but I was concerned about our 4 dogs, including one tall 80# greyhound. Nothing else would fit all of us.

DH wasn't particularly happy about the minivan at the time, but has gotten used to it. And since we added child #3 last year, it's a good thing that's what we ended up buying. We did our first camping trips as a family of 5 this summer and realized that we no longer fit without adding a roof cargo hold (darn cloth diapers!). Now we joke that if we decide to have another child and end up having a second set of twins, we'll need the full-size van! Honestly if they still made BIG station wagons, I'd rather have one. Our first hand-me-down car was an old boat of a wagon and it held more than any of the minivans I've seen. There do seem to be a lot more vehicle options now, though, than even 8 years ago.

I would second - shop NOW! At the time, we were looking at the Dodge Caravan and the Ford Windstar (the Toyota van on the market at the time was SMALL, and those three were really the only decent ones available). The Dodge was the current hot "mommy" car and there were waiting lists. They saw us coming and the price went up

Cheri
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#11 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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i've had a dodge caravan since before the twins came. i love it, the van rocks mine isn't the grand, so not quite as long. if we had any more kids, i would definitely want the longer one, as the back-back seat is a little tight.

vans are awesome, i don't know why everyone doesn't understand this
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#12 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First, congratulations to all of you on your multiples and second, thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. This community is an invaluable resource.

Valerie – my hubby is tall too so the space between the front and rear seat is kind of a big deal.

Novella – you are exactly right…we’d like to ultimately have three children and that’s another reason we’re considering mini van city right at the start instead of having to car shop again in another few years.

Beckylynn – I’ve heard great things about the Odyssey. The Odyssey and the Sienna are the two mini vans that we’re considering.

Esaesa – thanks for the tip on taking the car seat measurements. I was thinking about borrowing an infant seat and a convertible car seat with us the next time we go looking to get an idea of the space situation.

DiannaK – I was thinking that we’d need two pack n plays when we road trip mostly bc I’m not sure how long they can sleep in one together. As a first time mom, I have no clue how long two kids can sleep in one pnp. Are both of your boys able to sleep comfortably in one pnp? Maybe we don’t need two? Joovy has a great big one that I was thinking could work for both babes instead of two regular pnps.

Julia’sMom – I’m 16 weeks right now and we’re hoping to get this wrapped up in the next two months. I’m worried about squishing behind the wheel of my teeny weenie car and getting in and out is going to be tricky too bc the car is so low to the ground.

SuzyQ – not so strange, that was one of my first thoughts too…that and can you make sure there aren’t any more babies in there. We will hopefully have a third child, so a mini van may be in our future…so maybe we just bite the bullet and do it now instead of later.

CheriK – I always used to see the mini vans with the roof cargo thing and wondered what in the world do “those people” have in that van that they also need a roof cargo holder. I think if we end up with three kids and road tripping with our dog, we’ll soon be one of "those people”

Dividedsky – it seems like every mini van owner I’ve talked to has RAVED about their van. I think once you have one and have all that room, then you simply fall in .

welcomed my boy/girl twins on 04/22/10 after cooking them for 40 weeks
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#13 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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We have a Subaru Outback Sport... this was a pre-baby car... Yes, the car seats were VERY tight rear-facing. We actually had to move the driver & front passenger seats forward a good amount, so that driving the manual became a bit of a clown show.

We cannot fit a 5th person into the car due to the width of the car seats (which really sucks if you have a visitor in town or if Grandma wants to go with the family, etc.). The trunk space is not all that great. We can't fit big items - like used furniture - into the Subaru. It feels tight. And dirty. But safe.

I sometimes dream of a bigger vehicle (it's not going to happen, so I don't spend too much time lusting). By bigger vehicle, I shamefully admit I mean mini-van. So, yeah, mini-van is my vote - not sure whether that is on your list since I'm not familiar with all of the models that you listed. Either way, get a mini-van.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#14 of 30 Old 11-08-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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While I love my Dodge Grand Caravan I do like the new Honda Odyssey. But when we were shopping a couple years ago the Honda was $10k+ more and we couldn't justify that for "bells and whistles". It seemed that the only difference was in "luxury" upgrades that we didn't need (i.e., DVD player, navigation, etc.)

But, if I were to buy today, I'd get a Honda Odyssey. The models are closer in price and the Odyssey can seat more kids. Not that I need it to sit more of MY kids but I know at some point I may want to take someone with me. With my four kids in car seats (and they all will be for some time, I have small kids at the law in Ohio is 8 or 80) there isn't any room for anyone besides the driver and passenger.

My Dodge did us well last summer though- four adults and two children for 15+ hours on a drive to Boston from Cincinnati, OH. We thought we'd need a carrier for the top of the car and we didn't! Stow n Go helped.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#15 of 30 Old 11-09-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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I have never & will never drive a mini van or SUV. When my boys were babies I traded in my sports car for a Nissan Altima & we adored her until we nearly killed her about 5 years ago. Then I got an Accord & it suits me for now - I actually just paid it off this past summer. Mine are 14 & I hope this will become their car once they start driving & then I want my little sports car back!!
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#16 of 30 Old 11-09-2009, 01:20 AM
 
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I drive an Odyssey and I love it. It's the nicest car I've ever owned. Our other car is a 2003 Civic, cheapie edition.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#17 of 30 Old 11-09-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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I'm driving a Prius. Oddly I thought we would need to upgrade. That's with 2 infant seats and one booster. Works so far. When it stops working, I'm going to have to come back to this thread.

Babywearing, breastfeeding, Mother of MoMo twins and their older brother.
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#18 of 30 Old 11-09-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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We drive a Mazda MPV minivan. With 4 dc's getting a minivan was about the only option we had. It is a "smaller" van and it just barely fits everyone with the twins rearfacing. We have a cargo box for the top and that really helps out on road trips. The biggest user of space is the double stroller. We cosleep so we don't have to bring pack and play's. And really I find that packing for the twins is a bit lighter and easier than packing for my older dc's.

One thing that we should have been checking while shopping is the location of anchors for carseats. We are limited in where we can position our carseats because the rear seat only has one anchor spot in the middle. I would definitely have preferred two anchors in the back.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#19 of 30 Old 11-09-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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Does the Odyssey have two LATCH anchors in the far back seat? The Dodge Grand Caravan only has one, in the middle, and that stinks. Another reason I wish we'd paid more attention. Only three carseats can LATCH, the fourth will have to be belted, which to me is a PITA.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#20 of 30 Old 11-09-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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we sold our hummer when i was 6 months pg and now own a volks routan minivan which is basically a new town and country. We love it and have a 1 year old and newborn twins/2 dogs.

: DD 8/29/08 and twin boys 11/3/09
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#21 of 30 Old 11-12-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Valerieg, the 2009 Odyssey has only two seats with bottom LATCH in the far back, but all three positions have Top anchors. The two captains chairs have both, so a total of 4 bottom LATCH anchors and 5 top LATCH anchors.

Mama of three.
 
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#22 of 30 Old 11-12-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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I have a Ford Freestyle. I think Ford now calls it a Taurus X? It has 3 rows. The 4-year old twins are in the back in FF Britax Marathons. There in one LATCH anchor in the back. The baby in in a RF Marathon in the second row. The other seat in the second row is flipped down and that's where I climb in to clip them all in. With the third row up I can fit the Mountain Buggy upright, with it down, it can go in flat.

It's not an SUV or a minivan. It gets decent mileage. It's not a very exciting car, but it works for us.

When we're on vacation and rent a car, I must admit I wish I had sliding doors. So nice!

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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#23 of 30 Old 11-12-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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Hi there and congrats on your twins. We went from a Volvo wagon to a Toyota Sienna. We once owned a Mustang GT convertible and a Mercedes Kompressor. I understand how you feel about jumping from a Mini Cooper to a mini van but I will say that our 8 passenger 2008 Toyota Sienna is still luxury but in a different way. We have 5 month old twins and 2 other childern and we have a ton of room.. Just drove to Florida in September. Good luck with your decision..

Shawna!! DH Kevin, DD Kaelen (12) DS Drew (10), Sam and Jocelyn 11 months and TTC!!
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#24 of 30 Old 11-13-2009, 03:06 AM
 
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My brother's got the Pilot and it's a helluva truck if you ask me. I'd choose it over the Acura in particular.
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#25 of 30 Old 11-14-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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Has anyone been looking at older vehicles?
My husband and I would both rather find something other than an suv or minivan. His first idea was to get one of those limos like you see on the east coast- less 'luxury' and more seats. I shot it down because it's still car height and I'd have to bend over A LOT. We've been looking at VW's. The Euro van is our current favorite, but we have to keep and eye on the year, some of the way older ones had seats facing backwards.
I have 2 now and am expecting twins. When the possibility of twins even came up the first thing I said was 'we are going to need a bigger car!!'
We are currently rolling in a Subaru outback Legacy. I've never had much of a problem with storage, but I also don't take much. I have squeezed my can in between the two car seats and while it wasn't really comfy, it was doable.

Queen of the Universe, Wife to Dave, Mama to Cupcake and Mr. K with a surprise bundle of 2 on the way!
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#26 of 30 Old 11-14-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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We have an '07 Odyssey. I swore I"d never drive a minivan, yet here I am. With 3 kiddos in car seats, it was pretty much our only option, since we also need to have seating for 3 adults fairly often.

While I liked it well enough for 2 years, we just took the kiddos on a LONG drive from MN to PA, and I now adore my Ody!!!! I get back pain sitting in a car for more than 2 hours, but we were in the Ody for 19 hours getting out there and I had no discomfort at all.

Our Ody only has the 1 lower anchor in the back (middle seat) row, so it's great that the newer ones has the 2.

Denise, mama to ds1 (03/26/05) and boy/girl twins born 08/12/08
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#27 of 30 Old 11-15-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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I have a Ford Freestyle. I think Ford now calls it a Taurus X? It has 3 rows. The 4-year old twins are in the back in FF Britax Marathons. There in one LATCH anchor in the back. The baby in in a RF Marathon in the second row. The other seat in the second row is flipped down and that's where I climb in to clip them all in. With the third row up I can fit the Mountain Buggy upright, with it down, it can go in flat.

It's not an SUV or a minivan. It gets decent mileage. It's not a very exciting car, but it works for us.

When we're on vacation and rent a car, I must admit I wish I had sliding doors. So nice!
F&P, do you think the Ford Freestyle/Taurus X would work well with 4 kids? (3in carseats, 1 in booster). We already have a minivan but were thinking it would be nice to both be able to take all the kids at once without switching vehicles. Not sure that we wanted to become a 2-minivan family, though! We were really thinking about the Ford before we bought the minivan; I wonder if I would miss sliding doors, though.
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#28 of 30 Old 11-16-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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F&P, do you think the Ford Freestyle/Taurus X would work well with 4 kids? (3in carseats, 1 in booster). We already have a minivan but were thinking it would be nice to both be able to take all the kids at once without switching vehicles. Not sure that we wanted to become a 2-minivan family, though! We were really thinking about the Ford before we bought the minivan; I wonder if I would miss sliding doors, though.
Yes, it would work. It would be a full car, but you could easily fit 4 kids. I was pregnant for a week this summer and thought I would not have to get a new car for 4 kids. Especially since a booster seat can easily come in and out of a car for everyone else to climb in. You would miss sliding doors, though!

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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#29 of 30 Old 11-22-2009, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well we decided on the Odyssey and I'm working on a little song for it.
Sing it to the tune of GnR's Paradise City...so far it goes like this.

Take me down to mini van city
where the children scream and the diapers are shitty.
Take me home, yah yah

If you have anything to add please feel free.

Thanks for all of your responses.

welcomed my boy/girl twins on 04/22/10 after cooking them for 40 weeks
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#30 of 30 Old 11-22-2009, 05:18 AM
 
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I just have to put a plug in for my Toyota Avalon. I REALLY didn't want to go to a van yet (unless I could afford a BRAND NEW one, which I can't). So, we bought a used Avalon for way cheap. It is like a '95 or something but we are able to fit all three car seats across (my 2 year olds forward facing), the trunk is huge and fits the double stroller and a single stroller for my daughter plus a ton of groceries. It doesn't get too bad of gas mileage...seriously...it's exactly what we were looking for!
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