Wow, it seems that everytime I post the months have just slipped by without me even knowing it. So much has happened this year. Lex finished the 1st grade with flying colors and Layla finished preschool and is gearing up for Kindergarten in the fall. And Ridley will also start preschool in the fall - but just 2 days a week. He is so excited to be going to big boy school and mommy is excited to finally have a little bit of a break during the week.
Years ago before we had kids we bought a MINI. I went to test drive it thinking it was a silly little car that I would never want and left the dealership completely in love. Right before I had Lex I had to get rid of it. And I'll admit it was a bit traumatic. I didn't want to. I think I would have kept this car forever. I loved it.
Last month we decided to trade the mini van in for something a little smaller that got better gas mileage. Here is our new addition. Her name is Rose and we're kind of in love with her. She's a 2014 MINI Cooper Countryman. The main reason I'm posting this is because when I was researching this car for a family of 5, I just couldn't find any information. The information I found was people saying "You're crazy for even thinking about something this small". In reality this is a great car for a family. I hope this helps someone.
This is our family of 5. My husband is 6'3. My kids are 2.5, 5 and 7. I don't normally have the 7 year old in the middle because of the sibling fighting but I was trying it out this day. Usually the carseat is in the middle. All 3 of my kids are big for their age. (80th percentile and above) My daughter is leaning way over just to get in the picture. There is more than enough room for everyone to be comfortable. When we were considering another MINI I went to the dealership with a few carseats and tested them out in every configuration with all three kids with me. Seriously our Motoring Advisor was a saint.
When we bought the car we decided to get a new carseat. We had the Britax Marathon and it fit but it was VERY big in the car. I did a lot of research and found that the absolute smallest carseat/booster seat was the Diono Radian R100 Convertible Car Seat . This carseat is awesome. It is crazy heavy but super slim and folds in half so it is great for traveling. I haven't tried it but I'm pretty sure 3 of these would fit in the back of the countryman.
We also had pretty large booster seats for the older two. We had the Graco ones with the cupholders. I bought two of the Bubblebum Boosters and they work great but are a little small for longer trips so I bought this Cosco which is still narrow and can be easily buckles. I do have to help them buckle most of the time.
Now let me tell you that I don't do long distance trips very often. About once a year during the summer me and the kids go from Houston to south Mississippi to see family. It's about a 7-8 hour trip. Normally we are cruisin' around Houston - dropping kids off at school - going to church and the grocery store - nothing major. Oh and we've done a few trips to Sam's Club with all 5 of us with no problems what so ever. The boot is quite large. If I traveled very much I might think differently about having 3 kids right behind me.
The really nice thing is, now that the kids don't have tons of room to haul junk around, my car stays clean!! My mini van was liking a rolling garbage can. I couldn't keep the boxes full of junk out of it that my kids would try to haul around.
Here is another picture of my friends' family of 5 in her Countryman. She has 2 teenagers and is using the bigger carseat for her daughter.
So, needless to say, I love this car. My kids love this car because we can put the windows down and the sunroof down and it's like having a convertible. :)
When we travel we'll probably get a rooftop cargo box. But even if we don't, there is plenty of room for a weekend of luggage in the boot.
And just for cuteness sake, here is a picture of us washing the car last weekend.
I haven't been sewing or designing much at all this year but I have been baking lots of cookies and cakes. And when I say a lot I mean a lot. It started as a fun little venture and lately I've had at least one order a week which is really about all i can do out of my house. Here are some examples of the ones that I've made this year.
This was my brother's wedding cake. The flowers are silk and paper.
Christmas Cookies. WOW. I made close to 500 in the span of a week.
47th Anniversary Cookies for a dear friends parents. I had this old photo printed on an icing sheet that my local cake decorating store does. (Make a Cake Houston - If you are local check them out. They are incredible!)