The Svendsen family car decision

Like many soon-to-be parents in their 30’s, Per and I are confronting a difficult task these days… trading in our sleek little get-around-town car for a larger family wagon. The most dreaded task of all, the one that poignantly signifies that our single party lives are over and that Family Life (aka “Adulthood”) has begun.

We need something that can fit at least a car seat in the back, and most likely also the additions of stroller, diaper bags, toys, blankets and copious amounts of prosecco bottles. I suppose there’s also a baby in there somewhere but honestly what’s the difference? The point is that we need a new car, preferably before the Melon arrives at the end of March.

But unlike many new parents, we face a different lifestyle that makes confronting a car purchase more complex. We move about every 2-3 years (at our own choice) and will probably face another such move sometime before the end of 2011. So whatever car we get now, we’ll have to try and resell it sooner than most economists would consider efficient. I can just hear the world’s financial advisers crying in their sleep at the thought.

After several weeks of shopping around used car lots in Oslo, we find ourselves yet again at a crossroads. We have several potential offers, but they all boil down to the same typical Svendsen heart v.s. mind connundrum:

Option 1: Spend money for something we’ll really enjoy driving for a few months and most likely lose money on at the end; or

Option 2: Save money on a more practical option that will manage to get us from point A to B with the Melon and his assorted accessories.

Of course the Svendsen couple you know and love (i.e. the same people that consider the installation of a wine chiller in their nursery) are leaning towards Option 1. But the presence of said Adulthood parameters are forcing us to think twice.

Anyone out there want to weigh in on this one? Leave us some advice in the Comments section below and I’ll update you on the final outcome once it’s been made.

Boys vs. Girls

So we’re expecting a boy to arrive at the end of March (or so the ultrasound promises), a little Svendsen Jr. who I hope will take after his handsome father. It’s my own little contribution to world peace – adding one more  well-trained, tender-hearted Scandinavian to the list of eligible bachelors.

I actually love that we’re having a boy because I’m not a very “girlie” girl. I don’t melt at the sight of bows and ribbbons on little girls’ clothing and I don’t know what to do with all things pink. Even my husband wears more pink than I do and, trust me, he wears it well. I think miniature plaid shirts and denim jeans are much cuter, and I’m quite happy to buy crib sheets with trucks and trains and puppy dog tails on them, thank you very much.

(Besides all the above, I’ve also always secretly dreaded my mother’s threat of, “I hope you have one just like you!” So I feel like I’ve narrowly escaped something disastrous.) 

But if we were having a girl, I’d want her to look like this at eight days old…. you’d have to be made of stone not to melt at this sight:

On a separate note, I had a wonderful surprise baby shower thrown for me last weekend, complete with international visitors from London and Ireland. It was COLD here in Oslo, but everyone fearlessly gathered anyway to fill my weekend with happy tidings for the imminent arrival. Many thanks go out to my good friend Neda who organized all the festivities.

So while Per was out skiing in Austria with 10 other drunken Vikings, I got showered with massages, gifts and good girlfriends at home…. whichever scenario appeals to you more probably depends upon your gender, age and overall level of mental health.

A few photos from the baby shower are below, shamelessly pilfered from Mariah Hartman’s Facebook account. (Click any image for full-sized versions.)

Tomorrow Per and I go furniture shopping for the nursery – more updates and photos to come!

A first attempt…

I used to be good at this.

I used to imagine fully-developed fairy tales in my head and receive high marks in creative writing. My college essay applications were easy, and my letters home from Russia were something my mother saved for future memoires.

But I’ve gotten a bit out of practice. I’ve been influenced by an era of one-liner Facebook updates and business school PowerPoint slides. Everything must be short, succinct and highly entertaining. Entire thoughts/ observations/ philosophies must be offered up in bite-sized pieces.

I want to get back into writing for the sake of writing. Plus, there’s a new family member on the way and I’m sure some people out there will want to follow his progress.

So…. since maternity and impending parenthood isn’t challenge enough, and since I now find myself semi-removed from the corporate world until February 2012, I bring to you the new Svendsen family blog, “Prosecco and Pampers.” A collection of stories, photos and anecdotes from the (growing) Svendsen family in Oslo. An instant bestseller based upon the name alone.

Anyone reading this is well-acquainted with Per and I, and the lifestyle we love to live. The overriding slogan of the Svendsen Residence has always been “Drink champagne for no reason at all.” That’s why Per & I get along so well and, quite honestly, that’s a big part of why we’re happily married. (Probably that’s also why we’re pregnant, but that’s another story for different type of blog.)

In consulting-world speak, prosecco represents the “AS-IS” Svendsen Residence. It reminds me of all things Italian – leisurely pasta lunches, dinner tables occupied by good friends, sun-filled days spent along the Amalfi coast. Prosecco symbolizes summer boat trips, it’s Per making sure everyone’s glass is filled, it’s champagne without the posh. The art of doing nothing at all. Live it, love it.

Pampers represents the “TO-BE” Svendsen Residence. Like good naive parents around the world, we have no idea what’s in store for us. We (meaning “me”) have read the pregnancy books and keep a running list of must-have items for the nursery. Surprisingly enough, nowhere on that list is a storage unit for Prosecco. Dirty diaper pails, sure, but alas – no wine chiller in the nursery. (Per claims it’s still up for discussion….) We know what Prosecco represents to us, but we don’t have a clue about Pampers.

So it’ll be interesting to see how our AS-IS and TO-BE situations merge. Or not. Either way, there will surely be stories to share and photos to post along the way. And I’m hopeful that at least some people will want to laugh with us through it all.

Welcome to the next great Svendsen adventure!