Friday, October 30, 2009

Jump, Jump...JUMP!

We did some jumping and and some playing this week. More than just the normal jumping and playing. We were jumping and playing on the big jumpers!

Preston loved it. So much that I know we'll be back and I'm thinking we'll buy a pass so that we can keep going back. To do a lot more jumping and a lot more playing. Anything to help pass the long winter months that are coming.

They had obstacle courses, a toddler area, and a gigantic slide. I think Preston could have stayed for hours. Me, on the other hand, I was exhausted after just an hour. To have the energy that Preston does.


When we first arrived Preston refused to go on anything without me. By the time we left, he was an old pro. I think the older kids helped with that one. Preston loves playing with other kids and making new friends these days. Of course that means whatever they can do, he can do too.

PS. Preston has his first SoccerTots game tomorrow! I am so excited! His first sport. Be on the lookout as I'm sure there will be many pictures.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Boat Sale Later...Part Two

Picking up where we left off in Part One...


The boat sat on Craiglist for quite a while. And by that I mean months. Months of paying for the storage of something that we never intended to use again. To say that the boat became the object of intense hate on my part would be correct.

We lowevered the price once. Showed it a few times. Lowered the price again. Showed it a few more times. Can I just say that as awesome as Craigslist is, sometimes the people drive me crazy! Don't ask us to meet you to show you the boat if you are not interested. Even more so, don't ask us to meet you to show you the boat if you have no intentions of showing up. Yes, that happened. No it did not make my day that much brighter.

After months of having the boat sit on Craigslist. After lowering the price and showing and posting new pictures, I was done. DONE! Brad sugguested donating it to a company called BoatAngel. You get nothing for the boat but they do allow you to write it off on your taxes. We decided that if the boat had not sold by the end of summer we would do it. Time to stop wasting money on the boat. When I told my Mom this she sugguested lowering the price again. This time to just half of what we were asking for then. I laughed and told her that it made no sense to sell a boat like this for that price. It would mean losing around $6000 from what Brad bought it for. Not including the money he dumped into it to fix it up when he'd bought it. Or the money we'd been paying to store it. Confused she asked me why I was willing to donate it, but not lower the price to at least try to make a little bit of money. Suddenly it sunk in that she was right, I guess she had the last laugh on that one.

We lowered the price one final time with just six weeks to go until our cut off date. This is where the fun began. Do you have any idea what kind of interest you get when you list a 28 ft Bayliner on Craigslist for only $2500? I received roughly twenty, count them twenty, emails within an hour. In that same amount of time Brad had already received about five phone calls. People were interested!

Two showings in, I found a buyer! A real live buyer. Someone who wanted the boat. We were getting rid of the boat! You know if only it were that easy.

We show up at the bank that our buyer, let's call him Steve, is financing the boat through with his wife. Only to be informed that because the title to the trailer isn't in Brad's name they can't process the paper work. Meaning we can't sell the boat.

You may remember that Brad wasn't even aware that he'd bought the trailer for a couple of weeks. Apparently my husband contacted the person that he bought the boat from after he realized it came with the trailer and the guy told him that the trailer wasn't even in his name. It was still in the guy that he bought it froms name. He'd told Brad to go ahead and leave it that way because the trailer registration didn't expire until 2011. This was in 2005, when Brad bought the boat. And you want to know what my husband did? He left it all alone. Meaning that the trailer was still registered to two owners before us and we couldn't sell the boat until we got it straightened out. Even better, guess how much these guys roughly saved doing this? Thirty dollars. THIRTY DOLLARS! That's it.

But wait it gets better. Brad hadn't saved the number of the guy that he'd bought the boat from, so we had no way to contact him. After searching the boat for any and all paperwork we came across the trailer's registration and it included a name and address of the guy who owned the trailer. The man who'd sold the boat to the guy Brad bought it from. Unfortunately when I tried to look the address up at yellowpages.com, it no longer existed. We were able to find someone in the same city with the same name at a different address though.

Here's where I feel like a little bit of a stalker. You know those websites that offer to give your previous and current addresses and telephone numbers for a small fee? Well as a last resort, we went ahead and paid to find this guy's info. We just wanted to see if we could find a phone number to contact him about the trailer. Really. We were not stalking him. Although those websites are very creepy! We were able to match him up as the same guy when both addresses (the new and the one listed on the registration popped up). We'd found him!

As his phone number's were no longer in service, we were left with no other option but to make the hour drive there and the hour drive back. Meaning we were going to knock on a complete stranger's door and ask him to sign the registration for a boat trailer that he'd owned more that five years ago over to us. Sounds like fun right? Lucky for me, it wasn't my boat and my bad decisions so Brad got to make the walk up to a stranger's home to explain the situation. Even more lucky was that the guy was polite and normal and didn't even know the trailer was still in his name and he quickly signed it over to us.

I made the second trip to the DOL with our buyer thinking that we were just about done. WRONG!

The trailer had a registration but didn't have a title and in Washington state trailer's must be titled. Meaning that we had to take a trip out to State Patrol to have a vin number applied and have the trailer weighed. The trailer that was holding the boat. That created a bit of a problem as the boat is huge and not easy to move on and off of the trailer. An even bigger problem because the boat was winterized and would have to be turned on to be put into the water. Thus unwinterizing at the start of Fall. Making a grand total of zero sense.

I was told that if I could find the trailer weight than we'd be okay to leave the boat on the trailer for the whole process. Not so easy. Why would it be? EZLoader, the company who made the trailer, didn't keep records that far back. Swing and a miss. I was then told if I could find the weight of the boat then they would just subtract it. Sounded simple. But wait. Bayliner doesn't keep records that far back either. And a STRIKE! Brad was finally able to find a weight for the boat after searching the internet for hours. Home run!

We were ready. Kind of. I met our buyer at the boat, we pulled it out of storage (in his truck I should add, you know because the boat was too big for us to move!), and the tail lights on the trailer didn't work. An hour later Steve and his handy brother-in-law had fixed that problem and we were finally on our way to State Patrol.

Two hours later, Steve was the proud owner of a 28ft Bayliner! While I was the proud non-owner of a 28 ft Bayliner. I am so grateful that Steve and his wife were so willing to jump through hoops and wait the month that it took to actually get the boat transferred into their names and out of ours.


Here's to selling the boat. And Craigslist for making it happen. Even better here's to not having to pay to store something that you'll never use again. I hope Steve and his wife enjoy the damn thing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Round One

We did a little bit of pumpking carving at our house last week. Brad was just too excited to wait. Really. Since it was already late I told my husband that there just wasn't time to carve all four pumpkins before Preston's bedtime and we agreed on one. Like a child on Christmas morning Brad gathered all the tools. He was ready!

Preston wasn't sure what was going on and was just happy to welcome his "pumkie" back into the house. He'd been a little upset when we'd banished it to the front steps after our trip to Greenbluff. But now Pumkie was back.
As this was Preston's first time ever carving pumkins and it was a smaller pumpkin we decided to just carve a simple Jack'O'Lantern.

Preston was not sure what was going on. Brad cut the top of the pumpkin and at first Preston seemed interested in what was going on. He stuck his hand inside and quickly decided he'd have nothing to do with the goop in there. What can I say he's my child. I handed Preston a spoon and he was willing to work with that. As long as it didn't touch his hands.

We hollowed that sucker out and got to work. Preston's favorite part of this whole process was that he got to draw the picture on the pumpkin. With my help of course. Had I given him the sharpie and told him to go to town, we would have ended up with much more than just eyes and a smile.

Preston then helped Daddy cut the pieces out. Which was really more of a fight with Daddy over the tools that were used to cut the eyes and smile out. Preston also became very upset as we pulled the pieces out of his Pumkie. He kept putting them back in and telling us "NO!".

In an effort to show Preston what we'd just done we grabbed a tealight candle and lit it inside the pumpkin and turned the lights in the kitchen off. Preston was completely uninterested in this and decided that he'd rather blow the candle out than watch the pumpkin light up. Another battle between Preston and Brad began. Finally I grabbed the pumpkin and tossed it back on the front steps.

One down, three more to go!


PS...Please excuse the chocolate all over Preston's clothes. We had just finished making brownies and as he is my child he insisted on licking the batter off the mixer, the spoons, and out of the bowl!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Threw A Baby Shower!

Where to begin?

I survived! And threw a great baby shower, if I do say so myself. Although I didn't do it on my own. My Mom co-hosted with me. Split the ideas, the expenses, and helped with the set-up and take down. So we survived, but did more than that we also threw an amazing baby shower!

For this amazing sister of mine.


We started with the decorations. Then moved on to the food table. However, I can't lay claim to what was supposed to be the present table and slowly became the present area when the table just wasn't enough, the guests did that. Check out all those presents! Jessie, my sister, has some pretty amazing family and friends.


That is the present table after a couple of no shows. Instead of the fifty people that I'd been dreading planning for, we had somewhere between 25 and 30. Thank goodness because after those people arrived I began to panic about where we would put anybody else that showed up. And I have no idea where their gifts would have gone since that table clearly was overflowing. (PS...Notice that Jessie got not only one but two diaper cakes! I made the one on the left and my Aunt made the one of the right. How cute are those?)
Of course those presents weren't going to open themselves. It was time for Jessie to get busy! Presents took up the the better part of the party there were so many! Jessie got some great stuff though. Blankets and toys and clothing. Oh the cuteness!


My favorite gifts came from my Grandma in California. She makes the cutest baby blankets! Preston got a huge pile of them throughout my pregnancy and all the way up to his birth. I love them. So much in fact that while I loaned Jessie just about everything she'd need for this little guy, I told her that those were Preston's blankets and he wasn't sharing. She could use all of store bought ones that she wanted (with the exception of Preston's "blankie") but she could not use the blankets that my Grandma made. My Grandma made Jessie a bunch of blankets too. One blanket in particular was amazing, it would match Preston's bedroom PERFECTLY! PERFECTLY people! I want it so bad! So bad that I even offered to trade one of Preston's blankets, the very same blankets that I've been unwilling to share. I'll trade one for that blanket! Oh that blanket. It's just beautiful. I could try to convince you but I'll just show you. It's in the first two pictures, the third photo was another blanket that my Grandma made for Jessie and Mason.


After presents we began some games. Of course we played the don't say "baby" game. I lost. Pretty quickly in fact. We also played a guessing game. Guess what Jessie was going to open during present time. Your guesses had to be fairly specific. You couldn't just say blanket, you had to give at least a color. Made things interesting during present time. One of my new favorite baby shower games is guessing the belly size. String was passed around and everyone cut it where they thought it would fit around Jessie's belly. There were some hilarious guesses in that game. Seriously. One of the strings not only fit around Jessie and her belly but also me at the same time! My friend Courtney won that one. By guessing the exact size of Jessie's belly. The exact size! How'd she do that you ask? She measured her own belly. Courtney is about a week behind Jessie in due dates! The final game was the diaper game. You know the one. Some chocolates melted into diapers are passed around while the guests try to figure out which candy is in which diaper. I love baby shower games!


A baby shower wouldn't be complete without a cake! Check out Jessie's. It turned out so great! And matched the theme perfectly.


My sister and some of her best friends. All of these girls have known each other since elementary school! That amazes me. I cannot believe that they all not only talk but are all together at once and still friends. It is not often that friendships survive graduating from high school, let alone elementary school all the way through high school and then beyond. Although I shouldn't be so shocked. The older sister of the girl in the purple is not only the only friend that I still get together with from high school, but I also became friends with her in elementary school. But that's my one to my sister's four.


The ladis in my family. Me, my Mom, and my three sisters. I don't even remember the last time we were all in a picture together. And smiling too!


Remember Kait? Who's baby shower I helped co-host last month? Lucy is now just short of three weeks old and she came to the shower too! How cute are they? And how amazing does Kait look for having a three week old?


Whew, now I can breathe a sigh of relief. My sister's shower is done. Even better it was not just a success, it was fabulous! And she loved it. Which would have been enough even if I'd thought is was a horrible disaster. Now I get to start planning Courtney's for November. Three baby showers in three months, not bad!

I can't believe I almost forgot. While I was hosting a baby shower, Brad and Preston were at the park enjoying the sixty degree weather we were having. Preston had a blast hanging out with just Daddy and spending a couple of hours at the park. Before he came home and dazzled everyone at the party with his adorableness.


As everyone left, Preston stood at the door and waved and said "Good-bye people!". He didn't know everyone's names so he just grouped them all together. I didn't even know that he knew how to do that. My sister is having a baby and my baby is growing up! It was a big day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Craziness

It's one of those weeks for me. I'm trying to stay on top of things and I'm slowly watching the mountain grow taller and taller. I'm desperate to stay on top of that mountain. I have to stay on top of it! By tomorrow night, I will be over the mountain. What might that mountain be, you ask? My sister's baby shower.

Tomorrow at one'o'clock about fifty people will arrive at my house to celebrate my future nephew! Fifty people! FIFTY! To say that I am freaking out a little bit might be a slight understatement.

I've spent this week cleaning, cleaning, and then cleaning some more. It's slightly difficult since we have to live here too. We have to live in this house that I'm trying to keep clean. Which basically means that I've wasted a lot of time cleaning up the same messes over and over again.

Since I wasn't really home enough today to make a horrible mess, our house is relatively clean. I wasn't home because I was running around picking up things for the shower because tomorrow is the day. The day of my sister's shower. The same shower where fifty people will arrive at my house to celebrate that my sister is pregnant and my nephew will be here soon. Have I mentioned that I'm freaking out?

It's more than just that I'm going to have fifty people at my house tomorrow. This shower means that my nephew is actually very close to arriving. My little sister is going to have a baby! A real live baby. Outside her belly. One that cries and eats and needs to be taken care of. One that makes my little sister, MY LITTLE SISTER, a MOTHER! My little sister a mother. Plus I'm about to become an Aunt! I've never been an Aunt, only a Mommy. When little Mason arrives in December (I'm predicting January, just in case you were wondering!), we will have another memeber of the family! I'm excited! But I'm also freaking out a little bit.

While I spent all of today getting ready for this baby shower, I still have so much to do. There's some cleaning that still needs to be done. Particularly in the basement, where I don't expect anyone to go but like a boy scout I want to be prepared. Two bathrooms still require my attention. Our bedroom is a disaster. Food still needs to be prepared and made. Tomorrow at one'o'clock I will be ready. Tomorrow at one'o'clock my guests will arrive. Tomorrow at one'o'clock my sister will be that much closer to giving birth to my nephew, to becoming a mother herself. Tomorrow is a big day!

Tomorrow night, I will get some semblence of my life back. Meaning I will be back. Back to finish the story of the boat. Back to wow you with all of the things that Preston's been getting into. Back with pictures from my sister's baby shower. Back to let you know what being surrounded by pregnant women has been doing to me. Back!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Boat Sale Later...Part One


Way back when, okay so it was only about a month ago, we sold our boat. And by our boat I do in fact mean that I sold Brad's boat. That boat was never mine and I refuse to lay any claim to it. There was no love lost between this boat and me.

Brad bought the damn thing back in June of 2005. On a whim. Who in their right mind buys a boat on a whim? Even better who says that they are going to buy a ski boat and somehow ends up with a Bayliner? As if that's not good enough, Brad also bought this boat knowing that he had absolutely no way of moving it.

It was sitting in a slip out on Lake Coeur D'Alene when he bought it and apparently after taking it out for a tour of the lake he decided that was enough and he'd take it. Not many questions were asked and Brad did NO research whatsover about boats. Nor did he know anything about boats. Basically not a whole lot of thought was put into this purchase. None at all. He didn't even realize that he'd bought the trailer too until the company that owned the slip asked him to move his trailer about a month into his ownership. I know, I know, he's a thinker that husband of mine.

So for one whole summer, Brad used his boat. Dumped hundreds upon hundreds upon thousands of dollars into this boat. This is where being young and dumb and still living at home was a good fit for Brad. He used to joke that BOAT stood for "Bring On Another Thousand". He's a funny guy that husband of mine. At the time we were just dating and I honestly couldn't have cared less what he did with his money. It was his. Plus it's not like he had anything better to do with it. I'll admit I was a little bit disappointed that instead of spending the summer wakeboarding and tubing on his boat, instead the boat was used as a way to hop from beach bar to beach bar and as a purpose of partying on the water. I never said he was responsible back then.

However when we moved out together and then proceeded to have Preston and get married, the boat became my problem. First when we'd been living in our house for a month or two and his Mom informed him that now that he was no longer living in her house, his boat could no longer be parked in front of her house. Can't say I blame her. It was then moved to our backyard. That's right, we were the neighbors that have this HUGE boat parking in their backyard. The same neighbors that had no way of moving said boat around once it was parked as neither of us drive a truck or know anyone with a truck big enough to move a boat of this size. Do you see how the boat might have been starting to get on my nerves by this point. Also go ahead and add in the fact that now that we owned a house, we didn't have the money to rent a slip or pay for the gas that it would require to use this boat. So instead it just sat. In our BACKYARD!

For almost two years it sat back there. Until one day, I'd had enough. I was sick of looking at the damn thing. Sick of getting angry everytime I went into our backyard and realized that a full quarter of our yard was being taken up by a boat that I didn't even want. A boat that we didn't even use. Something had to be done. Especially since Preston's first birthday was coming up and with his birthday being in the summer it would be an outside party. And I refused to have an outside party with that horrible thing sitting univited and unwelcome. It was time for the boat to move on.

I mentioned selling it to Brad, who refused. What if we wanted to use it again? It was the perfect size for spending a lot of time on the water. Especially with Preston. He had a point. There were two bedrooms, a bathroom, a dining room, and a kitchen in that boat. And that was just below deck. Above deck there was space to hang out too. The best part being that there was a door separating below deck and above deck and that door locked making it safe to take Preston on the boat and not worry about him escaping from below deck to upper deck. I was convinced, we'd hold on to it for now. As long as it wasn't in my backyard.

So away the boat went on a tow truck. Off to a storage center. Where the boat began costing us money. When Brad bought the boat he paid for it in full. Living at home with your Mom when you're twenty-one has it's perks and extra cash is one of those perks. When you factor in him working full time and not having to pay rent, Brad was well off financially for his age. No bills will do that to a person. Plus Brad had savings from when he was young. Although somehow this boat that had been paid for for three years was now costing money.

It went on that way for a year. It took a year for it to finally sink it to me that it was time to get rid of the boat. That we were wasting money renting a spot at a storage center for something that we just wouldn't be able to afford any time in the near future. Remember those nasty slip rental charges and the gas? Plus we couldn't even move the boat without paying for a tow. A craigslist ad went up and we hoped for the best.

To be continued...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Train Ride

I've mentioned that Preston loves trains. Loves loves LOVES them. The boy is crazy for trains. Borderline obsessed even. Knowing this I'm sure you can just imagine his excitement when we went on a real live train ride this weekend. Oh yes we did.

We took a nice little drive out to the small town of Ione, where we met our train. We arrived early, really early, because we'd planned on sitting inside. It's been in the fortys around these parts lately and there was no way I was toughing that out in an outside cart. We lucked out though and this weekend was gorgeous. It was just warm enough for us to sit in one of the outside carts and not having to worry about freezing to death.

I'm so glad we did. Preston was able to stand up and run around and explore and really get to see the scenery. The BEAUTIFUL scenery. I can't even explain how fantastic everything looked. I won't even try. Instead I'll just show you. And tell you that I think that Fall is the best season ever to take this train ride.


As we'd arrived early for our original plan of obtaining an inside seat, we had some time to kill. A whole hour and a half. To be exact. An hour and a half to explain to my two year old that we needed to wait for the train to come back and that yes we would be riding it soon. For the most part Preston handled it well. He explored the tracks with Grandpa. He drove Thomas on the tracks. He played with his Auntie Marrissa and my cousin Maycie. He rolled Thomas up and down the handicap ramp and chased after him, so they could do it all over again. He waited.


Just as a full meltdown was about to ensue...the train pulled in.


We boarded and found our seats. Then we waited some more for the train ride to begin.


Once it began, Preston refused to leave his "Nonna's" side. Seriously refused. Everytime I reached for him he screamed at me. He didn't want me, Brad, my Dad; he only wanted my Mom.


Half way through, when we were stopped and "robbed", Preston finally was willing to sit with me and visit people other than just "Nonna". Although when the train stop began to take too long, Preston insisted that he wanted out. "Out, OUT!". One of the "robbers" heard him and offered to take him away to "live in the woods" with them. Preston was all set to go too. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the guinea pig one of them was holding.


Finally we were off again. Preston decided he needed to lay down and pretend to take a nap.

Once he'd "woken up", he informed all of us that he would like to go back in the "dark, more dark". Meaning Preston would like to go back through the tunnels that we'd gone through on the way there. He was in luck since the train had turned around and was retracing it's steps for the second half of the ride. Preston loved the tunnels. After each one he would insist over and over again "dark, more dark. DARK!". My Mom thought it was hilarious, especially considering that I am afraid of the dark.

The rest of the ride back Preston spent his time watching the scenery fly back, snuggling up with me, visiting his Gigi, and all around just enjoying his ride. He was also starting to become a little bit tired. I think it was all the rocking of the outside cart.


Somehow though, he not only survived the train ride without falling asleep, but also our drive from Ione to Colville for lunch. Not a single wink of sleep. We kept expecting it, but nope. He was zoning out, but not sleeping. He made it through all of lunch. Bouncing off the walls even. Then was awake the whole ride home. Seriously people, we probably spent four hours in the car on Saturday and Preston slept a grand total of none of them. Not to mention the hour or so that we were on the train as well.

I think that this train ride is going to become a family tradition for all of us now. It was so much fun and a great day away with family. Plus I love traditions! Almost as much as Preston loves trains.