Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shaver Lake Vacation, Part 2: Tubing

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We were so excited to get back down to the lake on the second day!  So excited, in fact, that as soon as we got down to the beach we blew up the inner tube, grabbed my cousins Danielle and Emmaleigh, and took the boat out right away!  Jack didn't need any persuading to get into the tube... he would have hopped right in if we had let him!  I wanted to show him exactly what he would be doing when he was being pulled, so we had Emmaleigh go first.  When she was done, he said "Yes, mom!  I really want to do that and go really fast!"  So, I climbed in the tube and Danielle and my dad helped Jack get in with me...
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I was so glad that I went on the tube with Jack Jack because being able to hear him and sense how he felt about it really helped me be brave for him... I was really nervous to let my little man be pulled in the tube, but apparently he wasn't nervous at all!  He kept yelling to go faster, and was laughing so hard!  Each time we got splashed he'd squeal and yell "I just got all wet!!!!" and keep laughing!  He was so brave, and I was so proud of him!  I was not a brave kid at all, so I was definitely puffed up with pride that he was!  I guess that's just further evidence that he is his daddy's son!  After a very short while (I just can't hang on as long as I used to!), I got out of the tube and let my mom get in with Jack.  They had a very fun (and long!) ride, and I was cracking up watching Jack crack up as he was being towed!

Check out the look on his face!  And he even got a little bit of air!  (No, he's not on the tube all by himself in that last picture, but it does look like it!)
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After Jack and grandma were done, we made Jack get out of the tube so that Dave could go in!  Dave had never been tubing before, and Jack and I had a lot of fun watching daddy back there!  He got a great ride, too!
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After Mr. Toad's Dave's Wild Ride was over it was about time for lunch and Sam needed to eat.  Before we headed in, though, we put Jack and my dad in the tube so that we didn't waste any time or gas!  Jack had so much fun going fast, but I think he may have had even more fun going slowly!
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And speaking of little mister Sammy Wammy... he did great while we were all playing around!  Danielle held him most of the time, and he just chilled and/or slept.  I was so proud of him and I was so relieved that he was going with the flow so well!  And Danielle did a great job with him, too!  She's expecting a little girl in December and I know she's going to be a great mom!
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Even though Sam did great on the boat, he sure was relieved when it was time to go to shore!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vacation Time! Part 1: The First Day

I was SO SO SO excited for Shaver Lake this year for a few reasons...
  1. I love Shaver Lake. Really. Love it.
  2. Jack had so much fun last time we went, and this time he was 2 years older and could enjoy it even more
  3. We didn't get to go last year.
  4. It would be Sam's first trip to Shaver.
  5. We really really really needed a vacation. Dave especially.
  6. We have a boat now!
We used to camp there, and while I love camping, it's just too much work when you have small children. So, we camp in a cabin now! Much less work, just as much fun, waaaaay more comfortable!We were a little nervous about the drive up to Shaver Lake since we weren't sure how Sam would handle being in his carseat for that long. We knew Jack would be fine, though, and as it turned out, Sam was, too! As long as he was either sleeping or his hand was being held! Luckily, Jack is an amazing big brother, and he was only too happy to hold Sam's hand for the 6+ hour drive!
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Sam's night sleeping patterns were pretty consistent at that point (the very last time that was ever the case... unless you count Will Wake Often For No Good Reason to be consistent)... he'd wake anywhere from 1-2:30 to eat and then he'd sleep between 5-5:30, wake again to eat again, and then go back to sleep until 6:15. Not wanting to mess too much with his schedule, and wanting to get as much sleep myself as possible, Dave and I planned to get the boat loaded when Sam went back to sleep and leave as soon as he woke up again. That plan worked perfectly, and we had a pretty nice trip up to the Lake! We stopped twice: once to gas up the truck/eat breakfast, and once to gas up the boat (squee!!!)/eat lunch/discuss why Dave should listen to me about which way to go rather than to the GPS who was obviously smoking crack (just so you know, I won and I was totally right- take that Garmin!). When we got up to the town of Shaver, we picked up the key to the cabin and drove straight to the boat ramp to launch our boat for the very first time!!!

At the boat ramp, the plan was that Dave and my dad (who used to own a boat and whom we were counting on to teach us how to do boat stuff) would drive the boat to the cove and my mom and I would take the truck/trailer back to park it and meet them in our usual spot on the beach in the cove. We let Jack choose if he wanted to stay with mommy or go on the boat with daddy, and of course, he chose the boat!

I was busy during The Launching of The Boat so I wasn't able to get any photos of it, but I did get some other important photos! Most notably, I got a photo of my awesome parking job!!! I was a little nervous about parking the trailer after we dropped Dave and the boat off, but I didn't need to worry- I rocked that!

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That's our trailer in the middle. My goal was to get it as close to the red trailer as possible without hitting it, or crowding it too much. Later when I showed Dave where I parked the trailer, he said that I did an "excellent job!" Did you hear that?! Excellent!!!

So excellent, in fact, that we made it to the beach before Dave and the boat! I was happy about that, because I wanted to get some pictures of Dave's first ride on his boat!
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Almost the same exact moment that Jack hopped off of the boat, he got to go right back out again, on grandma's jet-ski!  He adored riding grandma's jet-ski, and he spent so much time on it throughout the week!  He and grandma spent so much time circling one of the islands, over and over and over and over and... you get the idea.  Here are some pics of Jack on grandma's jet-ski throughout the week.  By the second day he was a pro, he knew just how to splash the water to cool off the seat, and he was very enthusiastic about it!
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We intentionally planned to go get pizza for dinner that first night so that we wouldn't feel too rushed on our first day there. As a result, when everyone else had to pack up to go make dinner we still had time to go play on the boat! I was thrilled, as I was dying to go for a ride! Sam was pretty excited, too!
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That is, he was pretty excited until I told him that he had to wear a life jacket!

The 6 of us (Dave, Me, Jack, Sam, and my mom and dad) had such a fun first-time-on-our-new-boat cruise! Dave was a great driver, too, especially for never having driven a boat before. He likes to go incredibly fast, though, and I did have to close my eyes and go to my happy place a few times. I trust him, though. Really, I do!

I've never really enjoyed driving boats. I am not sure why, but it's really uncomfortable for me. I suppose I feel like I don't have enough control or something. I don't know why that makes sense to me, since I have the exact same amount of control over the boat as others do when they are driving it! Or maybe it's that there are no lanes on a lake and I've seen a lot of really dumb people pull some really dumb moves and I really don't want to do anything wrong or cause an accident or something like that. Or maybe it's that my Aunt Joanne used to scare the poo out of me when she'd drive her boat (she made incredibly sharp turns and I was always so certain that there was no way that could be safe!). I'm definitely working on getting over my dislike-of-driving-boats, though!

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Something I was inexplicably excited about was getting to teach Jack about jumping off the boat in the middle of the lake. I always had so much fun doing that as a kid, and I couldn't wait for Jack to see how much fun it is! He was a little nervous at first, but after I helped him "jump" in he loved it! He was so excited and was giggling and he kept telling me "This water is really deep, mom!" Totally worth buying a boat, just for that!

We were by no means done playing, but we had to head back so that we could get dinner and get the boys to bed on time (or, an hour late).

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Jack had so much fun, all he could talk about all evening was the fun stuff he had gotten to do that day! He was a little wary about sleeping in a new place, though, and told me that he didn't want to sleep in the "spooky cabin" and that we had to go home so that he could sleep in his bed. I explained to him that if we went home then he couldn't do all of the fun stuff again the next day, but if he slept in the cabin then he could have just as much fun as he had that day... he liked that idea, and after that he slept great! I was so proud of him! He didn't even wake up when Sam cried!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yeah, Heaven is probably something like this.
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There really isn't anything like snuggling up next to a teeny tiny warm body. At least, not on this side of eternity!

Since Sam wakes up at the buttcrack of dawn and my body just does not function very well at all before 8am, I usually grab Sam and take him back to bed with me so that I can lay there and try to wake myself up in time for Jack to get up. Of course, when Jack does get up the first thing he wants to do is "cuddle in mommy's bed", so lucky me gets to snuggle with two beautiful babies every morning! And if Dave is home it's even better!

Heaven? Yeah, it's probably something like that ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Boat Post

Shaver Lake is our regular summer vacation spot. I grew up going there, and when Dave married me he committed himself to summer vacations at Shaver Lake. He wasn't really a lake guy, as in he didn't really enjoy the whole lay-on-the-beach-and-do-nothing aspect of vacationing there (which is kinda funny, cause when we go on vacations other places that's all he wants to do it lay there and relax while I want to go out and do stuff and see everything, but at the lake he wants to do stuff and I want to sit and relax), but he said that he could easily become a lake guy if he had a boat or a jet-ski or some toy that he could bring to the lake and play with. I always told him that I didn't think we needed anything like that just yet... I felt like those were things we had to work up to... I mean, I trust his financial decisions implicitly and I knew that we could afford it- my only hesitation was wondering whether or not we should afford it. So when asked about buying a boat I always responded with "You can buy a boat if you want, but I don't think we need a boat." And so we never bought a boat.

But, long story totally made short for the sake of, well, a lot of things, after everything that's happened over the past year and a half I suddenly realized that Dave totally deserved to get his boat, and the next time he asked me I told him to go for it, and that I thought it was a great idea. It only took a little bit of convincing for him to realize that I was totally serious! So he started researching, set his budget, and started looking at boats!

It was discouraging at first... as we'd never owned a boat before we knew that we wanted to buy used, but we also wanted to get a reliable boat that would last us for a quite a while. We kind of had a deadline as well, as we had already scheduled our Shaver Lake vacation for the last week in July! Dave's research led us to a few boats that we considered, but we never felt absolutely right about any certain boat. Finally, after making a trip all the way out to Perris, a trip which we were certain that we were going to come home with a boat, and coming home empty handed, we were pretty sure that we weren't going to have a boat at the lake this year and I was so disappointed for Dave.

The next day, though, Dave called and said that he had decided to look one last time and he sent me to an ad on Boat Trader. He had called the guy and set up a time for us to come meet with him the next day to check out his boat. After all the disappointments we'd had so far, Dave and I agreed that if this boat is exactly what the ad said it was and as nicely kept as the pictures made it look, we weren't going to try to barter and would offer what they were asking. We weren't very optimistic going in... the ad looked too good to be true and you know what they say about that, right?

The boat totally was as nice as the ad made it seem. It was a 2002 Four Winns Horizon 200 with a wakeboard tower and a 3 foot swim step and way more than I was expecting! The couple that was selling the boat were so incredibly nice- the husband took Dave up on the boat and showed him around it while I stayed down to watch the boys and chat with the wife- a short but great conversation. As Dave looked over the boat, I could see Dave's thoughts in his body language and the way he quietly sidled over to me and whispered "What do you think?" out of the corner of his mouth. I knew he was sold and that was the biggest thing for me. I took my turn to check it out while he watched the boys and chatted with the owners for a bit, and that solidified my opinion on the subject! I hopped back down and grabbed Sam from Dave so that he could go talk with the husband (who totally reminded me of my cousin, Matt, by the way!) and the couple's kids came out to chat, too. Their family made a great impression on me, and I loved the idea that a boat that had served this great family so well could soon be serving my family, loved the thought that buying this boat from them meant that our boat already had so many great memories made on it- memories that we could add to!

Dave came back from talking with the husband and said to me that he told the guy that he had to ask me, but that he was really sure that I would tell him that we could buy the boat and that we'd give him what he asked. I told him that he was right and that I thought this was definitely the boat for us, and that we could definitely meet his asking price! Yay!

Two days later we met up with the couple at the Credit Union so that we could settle the finances and transfer ownership. The couple was so nice, they even offered to bring the boat with them so that we didn't have to drive all that way to pick it up! Jack was so funny... I had told him that we were going to pick up our boat and when we pulled into the parking lot at the credit union he looked around and asked "Um, mom? Where is the lake?" I probably should have clarified that a bit!

Dave was really nervous driving that boat home, but we made it safely. I was so thrilled that he finally got his boat, and the whole way home we talked about names for the boat. Jack's first contribution? "I think we should name the boat Mom!" Awwww, he loves me! Other names that were tossed out there, Duckie (after Jack's beloved sleeping companion, a duck lovey), Locomotive (apparently it's not okay to name a boat after a train such as Thomas or Percy, but you can name it after the engine itself), Loco-boat-ive (get it?), and Amazing Grace. I don't think the boat will ever have an actual name, as we probably will never decide on one if we haven't done so by now. But that doesn't really matter, as we have a boat!

And yes, we've heard all the jokes... Boat=Break Out Another Thousand... The best days of a boat owner's life are the day he buys it and the day he sells it... blah blah blah. We're excited, okay? And we already have our first trip under our belt (post coming soon eventually), and we had a great time, so we are not regretting our purchase!

Here are some photos of us showing off the boat to my parents after we got it home!
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And one more of Sammy, just for good measure and because I can (besides, he's ridiculously cute so you know you want to see it ;) )

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Miss Naptime

I've already posted a video of one of the reasons watching Jack attempt to nap is so amusing. Here is another...

I looked in the monitor (absolutely love having a video monitor, by the way) and saw this:

If you look closely, Jack's legs are in his pillow case. Next, I noticed him flopping his legs up and down, up and down. When I went in to get him up, he was still doing this. I asked what in the world he was doing and he says "Look mom..."

"I'm a mermaid!"

I then explained that the boy mermaids are called Mermen.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Super Cold Summer

The weather this summer has been so weird! You won't hear me complaining about it, since I really don't handle heat well at all, but it's really been so cool all summer! A little too cool to have very many backyard water days, which are Jack's favorite. So we were thrilled when there was a mini-heat wave in July and we were able to pull out the pool! We invited Ang, Austin and McKenna over and had a playdate! It was warm, but it wasn't that warm, so the boys spent just as much time out of the water as they did in it, playing with Jack's beloved lawn-mower and trains. And the babies mostly just hung out on the patio and just dipped their toes. Still though, it was so nice to be able to get wet!!!

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One more, shared from Ang's camera... Sam was a little too tired to enjoy dipping his feet in, but I couldn't resist it!
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Under The Sea

We discovered a fun new place to play this summer- an indoor playground! I found it online at the beginning of the summer and thought it would be an interesting place to try, and I was so excited when I saw our playdate calendar included a visit there! Unfortunately not many of our friends were able to make it to the playdate that day and we had a very small group, only me and my kids, Ang and her kids, and one other mom and her son were able to make it! We still had a great time, though! As the name of the place was Under The Sea I expected there to be some fun ocean-y themed toys to play with. There weren't. There were, though, some brightly colored sea-themed paintings on the walls, so I guess that was a good enough reason to call it Under The Sea.

The kids had a great time with the toys that were there, and I was pretty impressed with that little"playground". There were a lot of different things to play with, including a baby swing, which Sam enjoyed; a ton of cars, which Jack and Austin enjoyed (especially Austin... he spent most of the day just going in and out of all the cars, one by one. It was pretty stinkin' cute!); some playhouses; hamster tunnels; a Freaking Scary Slippery Slide; a Lego table; and... a train table! I managed to keep Jack from noticing the train table for a good long while. Eventually, though, he did see it and it was all over at that point- there was no way I was getting him away from there!

Here are some pictures (and a little bit more commentary) from our day:
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Okay, that Freaking Scary Slippery Slide...
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Yikes! Austin had the same experience... when he hit the bottom he just sort of laid there in shock for the longest time!!!

Um, yeah. Neither of them went anywhere near that slide the rest of the day! Especially since right around then was when they found the train table!
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I have a feeling that we will definitely be returning to this place, as I know that Jack would love to go back! You know, as long as he avoids the slide ;)

Two more photos... I neglected to get any pictures of the fancy sea-themed designs on the wall, but here in these photos (taken by Ang) you can get an idea of what the walls looked like. That is, if you can get past the adorable-ness happening in the foreground (but be sure to check the adorable-ness out, too!).
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh, Joyous Joyfulness!

So, my hard-drive. I spent $65 for a guy to tell me that it would cost me $2500 for them to see if they could get anything off of it. That didn't include how much it would cost to actually GET stuff off of it. I was so bummed. Heartbroken, really. Everything was on there. Everything. Sure, most of my photos were backed up online, but hardly any of the videos were, and none of my documents! I mean, the documents themselves weren't really that big of a deal- I could re-do most of them... eventually. But the videos?! Oh, my precious videos! I can never re-create those moments, especially as Jack Jack has grown so fast!

Sadness. Mourning. Big ugly frown. Utter disappointment and depression.

And then a friend asked if I'd like her husband to take a look at it. Um, huh? YES, PLEASE! I wasn't holding out any hope for it, but if anything could be saved at all, I'd be thrilled! I'd already written it all off as a total loss and was trying to come to terms with it, so imagine how freaking excited I was when my friend (who happens to be the momma of these adorable boys, by the way) said that her husband was able to recover a lot of my files!

Celebration! Happiness! Huge cheesy grin! Elation and joyous joyfulness!

As is the nature of these things, I have a lot of work to do to organize the files. Almost none of them retained the same file name and so I have to go through and sort and figure out what each file is and where they go... pretty much one-by-one. I am excited, though, that I even have to do that as it means that I actually have something to sort! And as I'm sorting I'm going to be uploading so that I don't lose anything ever again! The reason I hadn't previously uploaded my videos was because in order to do so I have to change the formats... something that takes an average of 10 minutes per video, and I have a lot of videos! But trust me, I've realized through all of this that it's so not worth thinking "Oh, I can just do it later!" and from now on I will be uploading my movies to my smugmug the moment they are on my computer!


I mean, can you imagine if I had lost this video, taken in September of 2006?

Or this video, taken in December 2007?

Or how about this one?

I am so stinking excited that I want to post them all!!! But I won't ;) Please, though, join me in rejoicing at the marvelous wonderfulness that my data has been recovered!!!


And a HUGE Thank You to my friend and her husband for doing that for me! That can't have been easy, and you saved my life!!! Any time you guys are ready for another photo shoot, let me know... no charge! Seriously, I OWE YOU!!!!!