June 2010

William sleep eating, originally uploaded by Justpowers.

We went to the Boston Children’s Museum today and had a great time, except it meant William missed his morning nap. So he got in a few extra zzz’s at lunch.

AFSCME Convention 2010, originally uploaded by Justpowers.

Our family is in Boston this week for the 2010 AFSCME Convention. Well, Mike is in Boston for it, we are just along for the ride, enjoying the adventure of a new city, seeing old friends and hanging out with Grammy and Grampy.

Traveling is always a mix of fun and stress, especially when kids are involved. So far we have had far more fun than stress. This picture was taken in our first few minutes in our hotel room that has an amazing view of Boston Harbor. It is incredibly similar to the photo I took of Emma in our hotel room at the 2008 AFSCME Convention in San Francisco.


We have already seen the Swan Boats and the Make Way for Duckling statues, hung out in Boston Common and had lunch at Faneuil Hall. We are here till Friday, with big plans to storm the museums – Children’s, Science, and the Aquarium – with a boat ride and trip to the Harbor Islands somewhere in there. Oh and a little train named Thomas happens to be visiting the Boston suburbs this week too, so we will also be making a trip out there to visit with him.

We are going to be wrecked when we finally get home. Wrecked but happy and with lots of stories to tell.

We bought a minivan a few weeks ago. I have to admit that I was not prepared for the level of emotion I experienced after the purchase.

I was never one of those people who vowed I would never own a minivan. In high school my family had a white Dodge Grand Caravan with wood paneling, and I loved it – the size, the myriad of places to stash things, the fact that I could sit in the third row far from my siblings. I always kind of assumed that I would own a minivan someday. When we bought the Mazda 5, classified as a “microvan” by some, it was a tiny step in that direction, what with the sliding doors and third row of seats. The Mazda was different enough though that I felt special in it – it had sliding doors sure, but it also had Zoom-Zoom and a sunroof. People stopped us to ask us about it and we loved to tell them. I was a rock star in my cute little red Mazda and no one could tell me any different.

When the Mazda got totaled, however, we had to replace it with something and it seemed to make sense to replace with something that was newer, more reliable, had more space and ended up being substantially cheaper for us each month, so we decided on a silver 2009 Toyota Sienna.

For a week after we bought it, I will not lie to you, we thought we had made a terrible terrible mistake. I will go so far as to say I was downright depressed about our purchase. I was no longer a rock star, I didn’t have any zoom-zoom, and no one stopped me to ask about my cute little car. Emma started saying “I just saw another silver mini-van! Mommy, why are there so many silver mini-vans?” and I wanted to cry.

When you are a stay-at-home mom who lives in the suburbs and cares for small children all day, it turns out your car plays a pretty vital part in shaping the identity you create for yourself. I hadn’t realized this when we had the Mazda, but once we had the same car everyone else has, it became clear that the car had become my identity. And I didn’t really like who I had become. In the Mazda I was cute, different, agile and downright sexy. In the Toyota I was big and cumbersome, not to mention boring, practically invisible, and definitely NOT sexy.

I am feeling better about the purchase now. The Sienna is comfortable, it gets us from point A to point B safely and it seats eight with room left over for the stroller, the bikes, stadium chairs, a kitchenette and a porta-potty (ok, a kitchenette doesn’t really fit, but if we put the back seats down it almost might.) It isn’t sexy but in the end I know we made the right choice for all the reasons we decided on it in the first place. Someday, all too soon, I won’t need all this space and then I will buy something tiny and zippy that decries my age. But as I drive it off the lot I will probably be jealous of all the young families in their generic mini-vans driving on the road with me.