Mom Tips

Mom Mobile…Hello Minivan

camry two car seats Not enough room for a third carseat in my Toyota Camry.

Tomorrow, I hit the 9-month mark in this pregnancy, so I guess it’s about time that we finally got a car big enough to hold three car seats. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh?

On Facebook last month, I posted a request for recommendations on SUVs with a third row that will fit into a split garage. I got a ton of great recommendations, so I spent some time doing my research and narrowing down our options. My husband was adamantly against minivans from the beginning, and if he had his way I’d be driving a huge Infiniti QX45 or the Nissan version of that same car, the Armada. But neither of those would come close to fitting in our garage, and with three young kids, I didn’t want to deal with the rain, snow, frozen windshields and summer heat that accompanies parking outside a garage.

My family has been Toyota/Lexus drivers for the past decade, and never had any major issues. My past two cars were both Toyota Camrys, which held up great, and James drives an older Lexus. So we were immediately drawn to the Toyota Sequoia, but after I realized I’d have to push in the side view mirrors every time I pulled it into the garage, I decided that was too much work and had to sadly cross it off the list.

So the search narrowed, based on what would fit into the garage and what brands of cars we felt comfortable owning. The Honda Pilot was a great option and I test drove a few, but unfortunately, we didn’t find many on the market in our price range and those that were available weren’t in the best condition for the price. And when I installed our infant carseat, there still wasn’t enough room with the middle seat pushed as far back as it would go. (I do realize this Britax car seat is probably one of the longer ones, but still.)

infant car seat in PilotInfant carseat in Honda Pilot.

So James finally recommended opening up our search to the Honda Odyssey Minivan. I was never anti-minivan after finding out we were pregnant with Baby #3, but I hadn’t even entertained the idea since he was so against it. All of a sudden, I had to do a 180-degree turn and change my perception. Thankfully, I’ve never been a cool mom so it didn’t take too long for me to jump on board 100 percent. Minivans are so darn functional, especially with young kids. The automatic sliding doors, the captain chairs…functionality at its finest.

Once we finally knew what we wanted to buy, James prematurely listed my Camry on Craigslist, and we sold it last weekend to the first guy who looked at it. This meant the hunt for a minivan was in full force. Of course, in the meantime, the health of our family had taken a turn for the worst. Between Beau’s pink eye, two battles with bacterial infections and the flu, mixed with James Michael’s croup, searching for a minivan was stressful. Heck, life was just stressful. And then James came down with fever and chills the night we actually decided on a van to buy the next morning. So it’s been a little chaotic lately, to say the least. I’m just praying Baby Scarlett stays put until 38 weeks when our household is well again–fingers crossed.

But aside from the sickness, we finally pulled the trigger and I officially have a Mom Mobile. It’s used and defiintely not perfect, but it’s in good shape and will hopefully serve us well for the next 4 or 5 years. I’m sure we’ll run it into the ground and it will be worth pennies when we decide to resell it, but that’s part of the point of buying an older minivan–well that and having a budget and wanting to pay cash for it.

James Michael and Beau absolutely love it. Or maybe they just love the fact that Mama let them play around in the van and crawl over all the seats and push all the buttons on the dashboard. Yesterday, JM kept peeking out the window to look at the van and got excited every time. Little does he know that it’s not exactly the coolest car on the block, but we’ll keep that a secret for a few years 🙂

mom mobile



I'm a full-time wife and semi-stay-at-home mom to four young kids. Day to day, I help my husband with his small business, but when I have any extra time, you can find me cooking or being active outdoors with my family. We live at the foothills of the North Georgia mountains and are embracing modern homesteading month by month.

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