Zone Defense

The game has changed.

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Man-on-man defense is no longer employed. We’re watching our nephew, Mikey, this week so we’ve had to switch to a zone defense plan of attack when wrangling children. My sister had to go to Las Vegas on business so when our brother-in-law decided to tag along, we volunteered to watch Mikey for the week. Of course, Violet decided the minute Megan and Mike left for the airport that it was the most perfect time to start being mobile, so things have been just a little hectic around these parts (i.e. I wouldn’t eat off the floors). We’re a few days into life-with-three-kids so we’ve learned a couple of important lessons thus far.

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Behold the power of the van. I drive a Subaru Outback, which is perfect for our family of four. I love my car. It is small enough to maneuver in tight places but yet rugged, and big enough to accommodate two full-size car seats, a stroller, and a dog. But accommodate three full-size car seats it does not. So we’re using the Volvo XC90 as our main source transportation. I also love this car – I drove it for years before we traded in Clay’s truck. It has over 100,000 miles and still going strong. But I do not love this car for a family of five. Yes, it has a third row but it is impossible to look graceful when climbing into the car from the back door just to buckle/unbuckle Weston’s five-point harness because my bum can’t manage to navigate itself through a second row filled with carseats. All it took was one quick trip to the store for Clay and I to declare that if a third child were in the cards for us, we’d be succumbing to the power of the minivan with no shame whatsoever.

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Vacation without guilt. We currently have a bit of sticker shock while researching possible just-the-two-of-us vacations. Like many others, our lives are filled to the brim with IRAs, 529s, mortgages, and other little nest eggs scattered about. Our vacation fund is currently low on the list of priorities and it has gotten to the point where it feels wrong to spend money on a big vacation when it can be pumped into a resource that will benefit us later – delayed gratification if you will. I think this can be a dangerous precedent. Seeing my sister and her husband escape for a little bit has given us the kick in the pants we needed to reassure ourselves that it is okay to spend money on a vacation without our kids.

Chaos can be good. I like having two kids. The fact that we have a boy and girl just adds to the ordered and structured environment I tend to crave. But a little chaos never hurt anybody and sometimes it is good to have a solid wrench thrown into your plans to remind you that you’re never as in control as you think are.

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We’re lucky to be stationed so close to Megan and Mike – only a three hour drive. The boys are super close and love seeing each other on a regular basis. While life hasn’t necessarily been smooth during our week with Mikey, it certainly has been a lot of fun. And since Megan is due with a little girl in June, Violet will have a cousin close in age as well and things will become even more chaotic when we’re all together. That isn’t such a bad thing, right?

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5 thoughts on “Zone Defense

  1. aunt Deb February 18, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    love the pictures of the kids. This is really a good chance at seeing what life with 3 little ones would be like, but no worry, many, many parents go through it and survive!!! Good luck planning your vacation.

  2. Jenn February 19, 2014 / 1:06 am

    Oh my gosh, Violet’s face in that first picture!! Priceless. I hope things are slowing down a bit. I think we are halting at two (no, wait, I KNOW we are stopping at 2), because I can’t handle the being outnumbered thing. Also, I feel insane enough with 2. Can’t imagine where the 3rd might send me. (Although the loony bin is my first guess)

  3. Jahnavi February 19, 2014 / 10:27 am

    I love the humor! Very wonderful. Thank for sharing this with us.

  4. laura February 20, 2014 / 6:14 am

    Yesterday we bought a 2014 Ford Explorer. We researched all our third row options without going minivan. 4Runner too narrow, XC90 third row too small, but the Ford Explorer is perfect in every way. We went with the Sport, which is super fast so kinda makes you feel cool, and Captain chairs so third row is easier to access. Just throwing it out there. Nick and I have always joked we have in our wedding vows we would never convince the other to buy a minivan.

    Go on a vacation. Make it big. Spend the money. I truly believe in investing in making memories along with retirement. You will never regret spending money on a vacation. Fact.

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