September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Of vans and babies

By Jennifer [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Vans and babies. They just go together, don't they?
Well, to date (Jan. 21), Ryan and I have one of those - and it's not the newborn baby.
That's right; as of last November, Ryan and I are now the proud owners of a minivan. Who would have thought?
It's really not that surprising. Being from a large family, I grew up with minivans. I do remember a time before my family had a van, but those are some pretty foggy memories. I, along with at least two of my brothers, learned to drive in a van - a Chevy Astrovan, to be exact. Needless to say, that van made it through many tough miles and some interesting adventures.
With one child already and another one on the way, Ryan - who has many van stories of his own - and I had figured that our next family vehicle would be a van; we just never thought it would be so soon. We figured we would get another couple of years out of my trusty Buick LeSabre before making the transition to the status quo of a family vehicle.
Well, a deer thought otherwise.
I was making my morning commute to work the Thursday morning before deer hunting opener when, suddenly, two deer appeared in front of me. And it was that quick. By the time I saw them, they were about 10 feet in front of me. One was far enough along to get out of the way, but I knew there was no avoiding the other one.
So, I hit it, head on. As I slowed, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw it soaring about six feet in the air, doing a flip. It must have been a gymnast deer. Amazingly enough, it still managed to run off somewhere in the large swamp on the north side of the road. Many people have asked what the deer was - a buck or a doe - and how big it was. I can honestly say I have no idea. I've come to the conclusion that any deer looks huge when it appears out of nowhere in front of you and you hit it.
Of course, the ironic thing about the whole situation is that just the day before I had been talking with the Dairy Star intern about deer and how I had never hit one - knock on wood. Apparently the wood I knocked on wasn't the good stuff.
I pulled over, inspected the damages and did what any self-respecting, pregnant woman would do: I called my husband to rescue me.
Long story short, my car was totaled, and Ryan and I were suddenly in the market for a minivan. Within a couple weeks, we were driving out of a dealer lot with a sage green '05 Chrysler Town and Country.
I think we've both come to appreciate the vehicle. For Ryan, it means not having to bend down to get Vanessa in and out of her car seat. I love the space - especially the Stow'n Go feature, which came in especially handy when we did some house cleaning that should have been done two years ago and ended up with a load of stuff to bring to Goodwill. I think even Vanessa likes it better than the car.
So, with the van, we are now ready for this new baby, at least in terms of vehicles. The baby, however, doesn't seem to be ready to enter the world yet, even though he or she is a few days overdue. (I think this baby just wanted to wait until warmer weather to make its arrival, which was rather considerate as it was pushing 20 below zero on its due date.)
Now if only we had names picked out, then we'd be truly ready. But I guess that, too, will happen when it needs to.

P.S. Apparently all I need to do is write a column about baby being late to go into labor. Bridget Marie Burggraff was born at noon on Jan. 22. She weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 ¾ inches long. All are doing well, and Vanessa is loving being a big sister!
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