Sunday, March 30, 2008

Can a stroller fit into a Beetle?

This question kind of reminds me of the David Letterman skits where they ask "Can I guy in a bear suit hail a cab?" and that kind of thing. Only probably not as funny. Unless you happened to be watching me and Brad while we maneuvered our new stroller into the Beetle in various positions to see if it would actually fit in there.

I figured I should make a post about this question because Brad discovered, through the magic of some kind of blog tracking, that someone actually ended up at this very blog after typing that question into Google, and until now, my Beetle and a Baby blog has completely failed that person in answering his or her question! So, here goes (and I am sorry to the anonymous person who came here looking for that knowledge that I didn't post until now):

It seems that a 2007 Peg Perego Pliko P3 Freestyle stroller (doesn't that sound like a car model?) CAN in fact fit inside a Beetle, but NOT inside the trunk. Unless you were to remove the wheels or some such thing, but I think that would kind of undermine any convenience of the stroller's one-handed folding features. (The Peg Perego will however, fit inside a 2007 Prius's trunk quite snugly but completely.)

The stroller CAN fit in the Beetle's interior, and seems to fit just perfectly (if awkwardly) squeezed in the backseat, next to where the carseat would go. We will have to do another test drive of both the carseat and the stroller in the back at the same time to make sure, but all seems good for now. I had high hopes for it fitting in the empty front seat, but it seems to fit better in the back.

Of course, as soon as I was delighted that my beloved stroller would fit in any way into the Beetle, I was then immediately plunged into confusion over whether it would make me a terrible mother to put a stroller in the car next to my infant. I freaked out, until I asked one of the experienced moms I already know about this, who assured me that sometimes it just has to happen that way. Whew. I would also like to add that the stroller is pretty well wedged between my driver's seat and the backseat, and seems not to be too much in danger of becoming a projectile object.

Anyway, the stroller question is just another example of how the Beetle has raised not only some practical considerations about transporting a kid and its stuff, but also how little I know about what is acceptable parenting! Fortunately, some reassurance in this case could be found in another Beetle driver (who is also a mom). :)

Making space

Of course, Brad and I will have to contend with the Big Question of how we can create the "metaphorical" space in our lives for balancing time once our upcoming family member arrives. Right now, if we feel like lounging around all afternoon and eating too much leftover Easter candy (such as we did today...OK, Brad did accomplish some organizing-type tasks as well), we can just do it. Perhaps that's not the best example (or use) of our current freedoms as just a twosome, but it does sort of illustrate the point that we'll need to rethink how we think of our "free time."

But the matter I'm thinking more about lately is of making more physical space. For some reason, most baby equipment takes up waaay more room in proportion to the baby's actual size than I think could possibly be necessary. It seems the smaller the person, the larger stuff available to keep him or her contained/entertained/stimulated/soothed.

Our big projects for upcoming weeks involve making more physical room in our house for the third person who will be living here. (Mostly involving clearing out clutter and reorganizing to make what's left fit together better.)

As with a weird amount of baby-related realizations, this one was provoked by the Beetle. As I was squeezing my expanding body out of the Beetle, past our bikes and tools lined up against the garage wall, I realized that I don't see how we'll be able to get a carseat in and out of either of our cars when they're both parked in the garage, since I'm having difficulty now just getting an extra few inches of my waistline out of the car door without running into something!

(I would just like to point out here that having a a small vehicle like the Beetle is a good thing in this situation. Our neighbors who have trucks or SUVs can't even fit more than just that vehicle in their "2-car" garages.)

So, I hope we'll be able to resolve the storage and space issues in a way that makes everyone happy. Maybe when we do that, we'll be better able to tackle how to sort out all that metaphorical time/space stuff, too. I'm thinking the solution to that will involve fewer afternoons sitting around eating candy, which is probably a good solution for most problems, symbolic or otherwise.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Secret-keeping Beetle

Our Beetle was our vault on Friday, and contained a valuable secret known only to God, the universe, and the ultrasound technician whose name I forget at the moment.

We had the halfway-point (20 week) ultrasound last Friday morning, in which Brad, me, and my mom stared at the screen in amazement for almost all of the 45-minute exam. The rest of the time the ultrasound-er told us when to look away, since Brad and I are still hoping to keep the little one's gender a surprise until it's born!

I don't know what my mom and Brad were doing to distract themselves while the big secret was being broadcast, because I had my head turned away with my eyes shut, and only occassionally opened them to peek at Brad to make sure he was peeking at my mom to make sure she wasn't peeking at the screen.

The ultrasound-er didn't help any when she kept exclaiming, "Okay, REALLY don't look right now...yup, I can definitely tell what you're REALLY don't want to look now." My eyes were actually tearing up from all the willpower it was taking me NOT to look (or to tell her to knock it off with the taunting!).

In any event, we all made it through the exam with our honor intact, and I was feeling confident and proud of us for having toughed it out. And then the ultrasound-er gave us some pictures from the one separate one, taped (with only one flimsy piece of tape) in an envelope. "Just in case you want to open it later," she said. It had "Gender!" written across it.

We couldn't decide what to do with it, but since I knew it wouldn't last long with me or my mom together all day, I hid it in the Beetle (which Brad was driving that day). And there it remained until I placed it in a drawer all by itself, still sealed shut, only with a lot more tape around the edges now.

But really, I am now more excited than ever to find out the big surprise after the baby's born. It's more than miraculous to have a baby floating around poking me from my insides--and for me, knowing the sex wouldn't make it any more miraculous. There's a whole, brand-new person in there! How could it get better than that?

But I am glad that the Beetle was the perfect secret-keeper on that very tempting first day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Babymoon roadtrip

Brad and I drove to Southern California on our honeymoon in our Beetle, and, although we hadn't planned on it, it seems that we might be making another road trip...for a "babymoon"!

We had planned a big trip to Paris and the Netherlands...two months before we found out we were expecting a much bigger event! (That would be the baby.) I'd been optimistic about still flying and having a great time on the trip, but in the last month, my doctor's warnings and my own paranoia were really starting to make staying grounded a much more fun option.

Still wanting to take at least a little bit of a vacation before shifting organs make urinating my number-one priority, our solution: give our Disneyland Annual Passes one last workout as a twosome, and take another celebratory drive down south!

We're "planning" on driving down and back up the coast. (I say "planning" because I have a feeling that being "sure" of any "plans" is not really going to mean the same thing ever again!) Our trip will be in the Prius, since the Beetle, as much as I love it, is something of a gas-guzzler. But I hope the Beetle's festive spirit will follow us down the coast.

Of course, I guess that with a babymoon, there isn't a ceremony before you leave, and your friends don't get your car all decked out like for a honeymoon, but that's OK. This time, for this drive to LA, we've already got an extra person cheering us on.

We can be tourists in our own state, right? I've never been to Big Sur before, so I think yes.

Baby Needs a New Pair of Speakers

A miraculous event happened to me this morning, and it happened while I was sitting at one of a dozen red lights on the backroad I take to work. (I like to take the backroad because I like seeing the sheep grazing by the road. This morning, I saw baby sheep!)

While sitting at the light, listening to a generic but upbeat rock-type song (I can't even remember what it was, or who the band was--it was a song like you might hear at a "cool" dentist's office), I realized the music was a little too loud and reached to turn it down...when I felt three little poke-poke-pokes from my abdomen. From INSIDE my abdomen.

I have felt the baby-to-be flipping before, but these were definitely little pokes! So of course I turned up the generic rock song and giggled at the kid, until the light turned green and I noticed the guy in the truck next to me was looking at me funny.

As I eventually merged from my backroads adventure onto the freeway via a curvy onramp (and turned the radio back to a reasonable volume), I realized that whatever crummy wiring I'd been tolerating in my Beetle's speakers had long since gone completely nuts. It's been like this for probably two years: most times that I turn a corner, or even change lanes, one of the speakers cuts out. It eventually settles back into place, and then I forget about it, until I make another turn.

I have no idea what this is about, other than that I can't stand the thought that I might have blown out my FOURTH pair of speakers in one of my cars. I think this is ridiculous, though, so I am maintaining that there is faulty wiring that's causing the bad sound quality in the Beetle. I can't explain the other three sets of speakers in Suzi.

So, while I have somehow accepted this fact about my driving experience in the car, I realize this shoddy sound is not acceptable for the kid! What if it will be the next great composer or musician? It deserves clear, digital sound (whatever that might be). I think a new set of speakers is clearly in order...for the baby, of course.

Some mega-watt inspiration from a Beetle owner at Crutchfield Advisor.