Monday, March 18, 2013

Lots of whining and a Swagger Wagon

So, we bought a minivan. Or as I've taught Marshall to call it, a "Swagger Wagon." I'm not entirely excited about it, so I'll try to not come off sounding too ungrateful for the fact that I just got an almost brand new car.

LOOOONG story short, a $10 bolt broke in my car (2006 Sorento) that had been recalled the previous 5 years but was un-recalled in 2006. Jerad is all handy and mechanic-ish and immediately bought the part, took everything apart to fix it, and could NOT get the bolt out no matter what he tried. He works in construction and has worked on a lot of cars, so he's no novice to stubborn bolts but this thing was not budging. My mechanic brother in law looked at it and couldn't get it out. It went from being a $10 problem, to looking like he'd have to replace the entire drive shaft which was a $750-$1000 part. That sucked, but it is what it is and my car only had 63k miles on it so it was worth spending the money.

When Jerad first bought the car(it was his before it was mine) in 2007 with 20k miles, they gave him a 100k mile warranty but it was one of those deals where he bought it after hours, signed all the paperwork, then had to go back and resign everything again because they had to change the terms a little. It was his first car loan and he ended up having to join a credit union to get the financing through them. Somehow during that process the extended warranty didn't transfer over to the new loan and he/we/they never noticed. It wasn't that they couldn't make the deal work with the warranty, it was just a paperwork error that didn't get caught and we didn't discover until about a year ago at which point there was nothing we could do. So TECHNICALLY it should have still been under warranty which sucks, and otherwise the 60k mile warranty literally expired 3k miles before this happened which is almost more annoying.

To replace the driveshaft in my car is a huge pain in the ass. Apparently you have to pull out the motor, and transmission, and a bunch of other crap and its really too big of a job for him to try to do alone, after work, in our garage.

All sorts of family members chipped in and loaned me their cars for about a month while we decided what to do and prayed that it would magically fix itself. Spoiler Alert: It didn't.

Finally Jerad sucked up his pride,  we called a few mechanics, and ended up taking it to the dealership who were fairly confident they could get the bolt out and wouldn't spend more than $500 in labor trying. So we were hoping that happened, then Jerad could just put it back together. Another looooong story later it will be a minimum of $5,500 to get a new driveshaft and up to $7k if we rebuild the motor which is what they recommend and the internet forums seem to agree on. There was also an option to get a used motor from Texas for $4,300 plus shipping but it had 90k miles on it (our motor only had 63k) and would only have a 30 day warranty so we didn't really consider that option at all. We still owe a little on the car, so by the time we paid for a repair that big and paid off the car we'd have paid more than it was worth.

The Sorento would have been tight with three carseats, but at this point they aren't in sports and I'm not driving around their friends, so still totally doable. The plan was to pay it off, save up for a few years, then sell it and buy a nicer slightly used minivan with cash. Probably a Sienna or Oddessy.

After weighing all our options (fixing my Sorento and being upside-down, buying a sedan and just cramming the kids in and not being able to take the dogs too, buying another small SUV, buying a really cheap "temporary" car, and buying a new-er minivan), we ended up trading in my broken car for almost nothing, putting some money down and buying a slightly used Kia Sedona Swagger Wagon. Its a 2012 has 20k miles on it AND A 100,000 MILE WARRANTY:)

I'm not happy for so many reasons. If we had sold my car before it broke (we owed way less than it was worth) and combined what we put down on the Minivan with that we would have had a much smaller loan. If the stupid should-have-been-recalled bolt hadn't broken, I was perfectly happy with my car, it only had 60k miles on it, and it'd be paid off in a year. I feel like we basically threw away a perfectly good car and it makes me sad. This isn't the minivan I would have picked out at all, but it was a really good deal. On top of this within the next 4 weeks we need to pay the midwife for the birth, taxes, and Jerad's workman's comp and liability insurance premiums. So, all together around 20k which just.... hurts. A lot. We planned and saved for some of those things, but the taxes and car were a total surprise and I'm getting ready to go on Maternity leave and not be working for 3 months so we have to keep our savings account padded to cover that.

Plus Jerad's truck really needs a new injector pump so it'll stop spilling diesel everywhere and that's apparently about 2k. However his truck has 330,000,000 miles on it and besides one $100 part has never broken down so I don't feel bad about his needing some work and it isn't a pressing issue.

So, we have a car loan for another 5 years (unless we pay it off early which I always plan to do and never seems to happen). The good news is the payment is barely more than what the Sorento was and we really did get a screaming deal on what we got. And in the grand scheme of things a car loan isn't the worst debt to have and we got a great interest rate.

I was so upset and annoyed and completely ready to just walk away the whole time we were looking at cars that they pretty much gave us what we wanted. They brought out the invoice and we only paid $300 more than they did for the car. We also have 2 years of free oil changes so maybe I'll actually get it changed now! We went on a Friday night 1 hour before closing (the only time Jerad could) and almost brought the kids but my sister's inlaws saved the day and watched them for us. As it kept taking longer and longer I kept thinking how much worse it would be if we had two over-tired babies stuck there too:). Or maybe they would have payed US to leave? Who knows:)

So, all the whining aside, it IS a nice car and we're loving the extra space. Especially after having loaner and rental cars for the last month! It doesn't have a ton of fancy options (oh how I wanted leather with the kids!), but it has bluetooth which is nice so I can play music wirelessly from my phone and talk hands free, the back windows roll down, the seats fold down in all sorts of different ways, there are *13* cupholders! and there is a TON of space. I can easily fit 3 kids and the dogs and some camping gear. I pulled these pictures off the internet so you can get an idea. It's light blue, which isn't a color I'd have picked if I had a choice, but it's not obnoxious either:
And here is a better exterior picture of the same year, just a different color:

This is the interior color (fabric seats):

And there's lots 'o room:

When the back seats are up, there is a big deep cargo space with plenty of space for a double stroller, kid crap, and groceries. 

And when the seats are down it's really huge! This is the same interior we have:

When I'm inside, I really like it. It's really powerful, smooth to drive, and doesn't have that top-heavy/body-roll that minivans I've driven in the past do. It's easy to park and gets 30mpg on the highway which is a lot better than the Sorento did. So now that I think about it, in the end we probably aren't paying more a month.... we're just paying for more months:)

When I'm outside looking at it it's like "holy crap, I drive a freaking MINIVAN!" Luckily I spend more time driving than outside looking at it:)

Apparently there is some huge class action lawsuit against Kia for the whole bolt debacle, so maybe down the road we'll get a few hundred dollars back which will be sweet. Especially since I still have to pay the service department $500 for the work they did (attempting to get the bolt out) on my late Sorento.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Children's Museum

Success. It's so much fun taking them now that Miller is a little older and has fun playing too. We all hold hands and Marshall leads the way. They play together most of the time. They both love riding the elevator (and always look up for some reason) and Marshall is tall enough to push all the right buttons now instead of always sending us to the basement. I'm so glad we renewed our membership and that its only 5 minutes from home!

Sick Day

Our nanny texted me this morning saying she had the stomach flu and wouldn't be able to watch the kids. I 100% understand, but today was kind of a horrible day for me to miss work because I had a bazillion things to do and another coworker is off as well. My department only has three people in it so now my other coworker is stuck with everything... whoops! I felt guilty for about 30 seconds then started getting super excited about having the day off. Jerad had a 9:30 am meeting in San Luis so he could only watch the kids till right before 9. There were a few things I did have to get done so I went in at 6:30 and worked for two hours this morning. When I came home at 8:45 the kids were fed, breakfast was cleaned up and the washing machine and dishwasher were running. The house is relatively clean, the kids are in happy moods and entertaining themselves and since I don't work Friday's, now I get a 4 day weekend! Annnd today I should be able to get a lot of chores done that I usually am stuck doing on Friday so tomorrow will be a better day too.

Thursday is my least favorite day of the week and the one that always makes me want to quit my job and be a stay at home mom. The kids are usually fried by this point and still sleeping when I leave for work. I leave the house at 6:45, am at work for 10.5 hours (it's one of my two long days), and its almost 6pm by the time I get home. My mom comes over around 4 to relieve the nanny and by the time I get home the house is trashed, the kids are starving (we usually eat dinner around 5 or 5:30), and since Jerad usually ends up working late on Thursdays I have a little over an hour to get the boys fed, bathed, and in bed. It's the only time my mom gets to see them so I don't want to ask her to spend the time picking up or making dinner.

By the time I get home, I'm exhausted from working all day, barely get to see the boys before its their bed time, and the time we are together is not usually nice quality time. Then when they finally are in bed I have to clean up the dinner mess, toys, and start some laundry that is usually behind. The first time I sit down is usually 8:30pm which is just annoying and hard.

All that whining to say, I usually hate Thursdays and am looking forward to spending this one at home! I'm catching up on blogs and sipping tea while the kids are playing trains and we're going to leave for the Children's Museum when it opens at 11. I thought about taking them to the Monterey Bay Aquarium today but I knew Jerad would be bummed if we went without him and its a 2 hour drive each way so it would take up most of our day and cost a lot in gas.

I'm planning on a mostly lazy afternoon and have some fun Pinterest inspired activities for the kids later. Yeay for long weekends!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nursery Dreaming

Well, now that I know I'm having a girl I reeeaally want to get started on the nursery. Obviously I'm not due for another 20 weeks and in all honesty it'll probably be at LEAST 4-6 months after that until little Miss Thing even takes a nap in the crib and a few months after that (if we're lucky) that she actually sleeps in there. So in reality there is no rush. BUT... I don't know, there's just something about a finished baby space that makes it seem like "this is really happening."

There's just something so fun about decorating kid's spaces! I had so much fun doing Marshall's nursery, then changing it up again and making it more child-centered at 7 months, then decorating his room at our new house. Then of course doing Miller's nursery as well. We also Montessoried (I'm declaring it a word) Miller's room around 8 months but it looks like I never blogged that one.

Anyways, I'm really looking forward to doing another baby space. Right now the kids both sleep fantastically at night. As long as they're in their own beds. In their own rooms. So we're not in any hurry to move them in together and possibly mess with a good thing. Our house has 4 bedrooms, but one is downstairs and besides that being too far away to put one of the boys, I like having it as a guest room. So it looks like baby girl gets to move into our closet. In a lot of ways it's perfect; its a small space but big enough for a crib, some shelves and a dresser to hold her things, it's obviously close to our room, and its far enough from the kid's rooms that she shouldn't wake them up at night. Also the way our closet is set up is not at all practical and we've been talking about taking everything out and building customized shelving and repainting since before we bought the house so this will be the push we need! Once the space starts seeming too small for her or it looks like we can put two kids together and everyone will still sleep, we'll move her out and be left with a nicely painted closet that's all ready for shelves and closet poles.

The plan is to move our clothes into Miller's closet which is now empty since I moved his clothes into the same dresser as Marshall's and put it in the living room. This should only inconvenience me since Jerad gets 99% of his clothes from his dresser and only wears the hanging stuff for special occasions. I'm fine with having to walk a few extra feet in the morning to get my clothes or maybe I'll even learn to be on top of things and pick out my outfits the night before and move them to our room!

It should be a pretty budget makeover. I'm hoping to do the whole room for $150. That's just a random number that I pulled out of thin air so we'll see. We still have Miller's crib and mattress, a glider (that I'm not sure will fit or if I even want it in there), and an extra dresser. I'd like to put bead-board on the ceiling, and a new light fixture. I'd love there to be some natural light so we're thinking of either putting in a solar tube (which would cost around $200 and is not included in the budget), or framing out a window in the back wall which would open onto our staircase.

Here's a few inspiration pics I'm loving:

I'd like the colors to be aqua, white, yellow, and of course pink. The crib is currently yellow and I'm thinking of leaving it that way, otherwise I'll paint it a nice bright pink.

I love the blue crib bedding set we have, but I don't think it'll look great with the aqua walls so I'm thinking of buying or making something pink instead. I'd LOVE something like this:

Here are a few pieces of wall art or hanging mobiles that have caught my eye. I'll probably try to DIY something similiar:

You can find all the sources on my "baby girl" pinterest board. Along with a whoooole lotts other cute girl things.

Even though I'm DYING to start on the nursery, I'm trying to hold firm about us finishing up other projects first, especially the built-in and our laundry room. Jerad made a lot of progress on the built-in over the weekend so maybe it won't be too far off after all!

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's a...


I was worried I'd be disappointed because I really thought another boy would be a blast. But I'm stoked! So is Jerad. He already had been thinking girl so he wasn't too surprised.

Now we just need to agree on a name.