Having grown up in Manhattan well away from car culture, I have no particular prejudice against getting a minivan--I have heard the arguments before about how uncool minivans are, but in my mind, ALL cars are uncool, so really for us it purely comes down to a functionality issue. Also, let's remember that I'm already uncool, so it's not like the car I drive is going to change that. (Obnoxious penis-substitute car drivers, take note!) Anyway, the most likely finalists are the Toyota Sienna versus the Honda Odyssey--we're leaning towards the Toyota because it's somewhat cheaper--but if anyone has any particular recommendations on a seven-to-eight-seater car, please feel free to recommend or dissuade. Whatever the brand, we will likely get one of the lowest trim packages (meaning no DVD players, no navigation, no leather seats, no flux capacitor), so fancy features are not a concern. The only add-on that Joe thinks we should likely get is some sort of "backing up" camera, mostly because I am, uh, not a good driver, and he wants to make sure I don't run over anything vital, like our mailbox, or a mailbox-shaped human.
(Of course I have been reading online car reviews and consumer report guides, but I have noticed one thing in the minivan guides in that after you read many of them in a row, you realize how many of them are jarringly anti-kid. One example from Motor Trend magazine: "...since children and their Cheetos-encrusted boogers are the target audience, perhaps a really nice interior doesn't mean a whole lot in this segment." In minivan reviews, apparently, there are lots of "jokes" like that, mostly related to how disgusting and annoying multiple children are. You could well make a drinking game out of it. Drink every time a review mentions crushed Cheerios messing up the backseat. Drink every time a review talks about the DVD players quieting your squalling hellions. Drink every time a review talks about how multiple kids are the death of cool, and how the utilitarian suburban drudge cart is now your cross to bear. I GET IT, CAR MAGAZINE, YOU HATE KIDS.)
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19 weeks. Look, a different shirt!
I know that externally, it seems like kind of a gradual progression, but let me assure you that it sure doesn't feel that way. Look, just think of this week-by-week photo project (granted, more for personal archival purposes than anything else) as the most boring flip-book ever. Anyway, the fundus is just below the umbilicus that this point, and I can tell we're moving along because the umbilical port scar from my old med school lap appy is actually visible now. THINGS ARE EVERTING. Sorry, was that gross? Well, take it from a doctor, that's how the human body is, kids. Gross. Gross but functional. Like a minivan.
(And that's what we call "coming full-circle.")