While in Boise, on New Year's Eve, we had an unfortunate car wreck. We survived it without injury – wonderful blessing! The other car and it's passengers survived just fine with only a tiny scratch of paint on the back bumper - another great blessing. However, our car did not survive so well, it crumpled a good amount and wasn't worth the repair. We actually had a lot of generous help and offers for getting us through this, the biggest one was borrowing my grandma's car to get us home and around for a week. Besides a financial hit, it was a fair amount of stress for our family...
Background: Alene gets some pretty serious anxiety over getting things done that need to get done, or deciding things that need to be decided. I will say that she did quite well, for her, on this one though. We made it a full week before deciding and then overnight before purchasing. Anyway, because of that anxiety, we did spend a lot of time looking, and discussing a multitude of options.
We had so many options because, although we are NOT pregnant now, we are thinking of having our next kid sometime in the next year or so and 3 cars seats do not fit in the back of any sedan I know of (until your kid can fit in the base-only style car seat). So, options:
- Fix up Earl (our car)
- Beater car to hold us off until we were planning on upgrading our car anyway in a year or so
- Decent (but cheap) sedan to hold us over, but may be good as second car or sell-able
- Bigger car now that’s on the older side, but easily in our price range
- Bigger car that we dream about, still get a used one but one we’d be excited about (we’ve looked at cars a few times long ago just for fun and found family crossovers that get good gas mileage, and other things).
With the hope that the company I work for does well we were hoping for #5 possibly at the end of the year. But, decision hit us now. We ended up going right between #4 and #5. Major financial purchase, one that drained our saving quite a bit, but will be somewhat replenished by tax returns.
Without further adieu (the car we’re both excited about, is affordable enough, and will be the family-upgrade-able car we need):
Mazda5! (nameless so far)
A minivan, right? Not exactly… As you can see by the next picture, Alene is basically as tall as it, and, technically, some call it a microvan. It seats six, has sliding doors, and has a hatch back, so kind of a cross between wagon and minivan.
It gets great gas mileage for being able to carry 6 people. It’s a 2006 with 90K miles on it. It drives more like a car than a minivan and it fits into our garage much much better. We like it a lot. It’ll be something we’ll enjoy and something that we can grow into over the next 5-6 years.
Kids and Cats
We’ve had a couple go’s at potty training Camden. The latest was in December and didn’t go well, so we thought we’d hold off a while. However, after seeing potty training for cats in the Skymall magazine on our flight back from Hawaii, I researched and found a good cheap option. We started that a week ago. Camden saw the cats sitting on the potty and getting treats, decided he wanted some of that action too. So, contrary to what Alene said she’d NOT do (back in decemeber with the failed attempts for Camden), we started potty training two species at one time.
It’s going much better this time around for Camden, thanks to some extra research Alene put into it and inspiration from my sister Tenley – we took him straight to underwear rather than the in between step of pullups.
Click this Link to see Video of Camden Helping With Dishes
Above is a movie with Camden in his big boy pants wanting to play with water – watch for the part where he says he wants to help. Below is the kitty’s setup.
It started with no hole. We went to a small hole after a few days. Then, after a few more days, to this larger hole you see above. That unfortunately was a bit too fast for Leo. We had some accidents, so we took it back to square zero for couple days and now we’re back to the small hole. We’ll let them get used to that longer this time around.
I’m excited! It’ll be great to get rid of buying kitty litter, scooping kitty litter, buying diapers for Camden and changing them on Camden. Good times ahead! Some pain along with these changes we’re going through, but it’s for the better. We’ve felt blessed through the deals we were able to find and make with the car (brought the dealership down $2,500 off their normal price), and we’ve had good success (along with the set-backs) in training both the cats and Camden.
Sorry about the long post!