Gabe and I have decided that, at least for now, we're going to be a one car family again. We don't want to be rushed into buying a second car, especially since we have a very limited amount of cash to buy it with, (total loss payments are NOT what the car is worth!!) and we're wondering if it would make more sense to use the money to pay off our van quicker instead. We never intended or expected to have a monthly car payment, and while we're grateful that the loan was available when we needed it, we do not like living with it, and want to pay it off, well, yesterday. :)
Regardless of if we choose to do that, we're pretty sure that right now is not the right time for us to buy a second car. I personally feel that God has been preparing me for this; leading me in this direction for some months (since Josiah was born, really). I have been methodically attempting to simplify our daily life, eliminating or combining errands in an attempt to keep us at home more. Part of this was a result of the craziness of doing errands with three children in tow: when you factor buckling, unbuckling, and buckling three children at every stop, and walking at the pace of the smallest legs, ANY errand becomes a 45 minute excursion. And you can't stack too many of those when you need to be home in time for various naps! Also, as Josiah gets older he can't just sleep where he sits as easily, and when I disrupt his naps my sweet, happy baby becomes much less happy. Overall, I had noticed that the more days I spent "out and about" during the week, the less home-making happened and the less happy we all were.
So as of Tuesday evening, we will be a one car family. We think that Gabe will be able to telecommute on Thursdays, allowing us to make it to the park for Mom's Group, which I think will be important for Jonathan's pleasure and my sanity. :) Other than that, we'll be at home or within walking distance of home.
Today I had a list of "last minute" errands I wanted to get done ahead of the Day In Which We Shall Have No Car. But we all woke up sick. Nasty, uncomfortable colds. No one wants to go anywhere, thank you very much. So we are staying at home today. And it is good.
Instead of errands, we've done laundry, colored train pictures, built with duplos, and built a huge brio train track (complete with cardboard tunnel) while listening to the Music Machine. In the midst of that, I've been working on updating our budget online, a weekly chore that has been sadly neglected for nearly a month. I've discovered something wonderful: if I do my computer work on the laptop I can sit right with the boys in the midst of their play, and be much more available to them even while working on something boring and adult. The result is that I can get some work done without the frustration of kids fighting or always calling me away, which is what always happens when I sit at my desk at the regular computer. Amber, I appreciated the hand-me-down laptop years ago when you guys gave it to us, but now I am REALLY appreciating it. :)
We're sick, and we're all existing on tylenol, but it is a good day, and that makes me very hopeful that taking the stress of errands out of the day to day pattern will make our life a lot more pleasant.
In the interest of making this a success, could you all leave your best suggestion for smooth at-home days? I would love to hear them!