Monday, December 31, 2007

Voyage of self discovery

You may have noticed the random page layout changes. I am on a voyage of self discovery. Apparently deep inside I feel that your blog template must reflect who you really are, and I can't seem to find myself on www.pyzam.com . I almost gave up and just got a page with NSYNC or something on it since I don't like NSYNC just as much as I don't like all the other templates they have on there. Who am I?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Since I've got you here...

While I have got you here reading the travails of our family life, I thought I would take a moment to get up on my soapbox about something...



Did you know it only costs ONE DOLLAR a week to recycle here in good old Austin? ONE DOLLAR and they will give you a bin and come to pick up your stuff once a week. If you have rented a red box movie, bought something at the dollar store, or off the dollar menu at McD's you instead could have helped saved the planet. It's the least you could do. I mean you will save $1 just in the garbage bags that you normally would use to throw away all of your milk cartons, cans, etc.

I would like to strongly encourage you to look in to how much this service costs in your city. If a dollar is too much for you call me, I will pay for you. Or you can bring your recyclables to my house on Tuesday mornings if you live in the greater Austin area.

I will now take my bow and step off of my soapbox, hoping that I have convinced someone to recycle. Thank you.

Lake Bassett



Just when I thought I was going to have to give up blogging because nothing dramatic, eventful, or humorous was happening in my life...


Last night Blaine and I were sitting up in our loft. I was sprawled on the couch cuddled up with a good book (a giant book that I will never get through unless I start spending more time cuddled up on the couch with it), Blaine was sitting at the computer working on something. I was starting to feel like I wanted to discuss what I was reading with Blaine. So I broke the silence and Blaine and I proceeded to have an awesome, long overdue, discussion about something I have started to feel strongly about [sorry to be vague on the details but I have learned that when I tell people I feel strongly about this particular thing they start thinking I am insane, weird, etc...]. So I was getting deep into my heart, expressing concerns, Blaine was interested and had some good council. The children were sleeping. The doors were locked, the dogs tucked away in their closet [our downstairs bathroom]. The hum of the washing machine was in the background. It was a great pleasant evening and we finally had some time to really talk about this current issue in my life.


In the back of my mind I thought, "that's weird that the washer is humming, I didn't start it. What a sweet, kind, service-oriented husband I have to start a load of laundry at 9:30PM on a Saturday night, I didn't even ask him to!" Ten minutes later we were getting into the heart of my concerns, tears were welling in my eyes as I finally felt someone in the world understood how I felt. Blaine launched into an awesome seven minute soliloquy about his thoughts on the subject, then all of the sudden he said, "hey, what is that noise??"


It was then that I noticed that what I had earlier thought was the "hum of the washer" was now sounding more like the ferocious blast of old faithful coming from the basement. We flew down the stairs in a flash {deep conversation immediately halted}, to find...Lake Bassett. There was a good inch of water all over our tile in our kitchen, hallway, and. . . .cue the dogs. . . the source...the bathroom. Those nimrods had chewed a hole in the pipe that supplies fresh water to the toilet. I turned in to Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" and launched in to my "What do we have to have all these kids [dogs] for anyway!" speech [after all it was Blaine who said we could get both and I felt the need to emphasize that if we only had one dog this probably wouldn't have happened. . .before he could mention that if we didn't have ANY dogs this most certainly would not have happened].


Well my sweet husband and I got straight to work, using every towel available in our house to sop up the flood. Our hands are wrung dry. The idiot dogs even tried to do their part by lapping up some of the water. Half our and thirteen towels later we had a clean kitchen floor. I had meant to mop yesterday anyway. No real harm done, except if you come visit us now you just have to go upstairs to use the bathroom because there is no water supply downstairs. Dang dogs.


I was really impressed though because as much as the record of "stupid dogs. Stupid dogs. Stupid dogs" looped over and over in my mind; we actually had a really fun time cleaning up the mess together. I analyzed it later and realized that if it had been Blaine's fault or my fault that the entire downstairs was flooded we would have cleaned it up in silence and the tension would be thick. As it was, it was no one's fault [except the idiot dogs] and no one to blame, so we worked together and laughed and talked and joked. And we will always remember Lake Bassett. I am going to try harder to give Blaine the same courtesy I give the dogs from now on and just be happy to be together, even if we are in the middle of fixing a mess he or I created.


Another lesson to be learned from this... if it seems out of the ordinary that someone besides yourself would start a load of laundry late Saturday night, even though you thought all the laundry had been done the day before, by all means, please go and investigate the situation right away. Trust me, you'll be happy you did!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One mothers trash is anothers treasure!


So, I bought this playskool talking kitchen for Gwen almost two years ago. I paid $4 for it on ebay, plus shipping (which if I remember right was maybe $10, it's driving me crazy that I can't find out how much it actually was, I guess it was just too long ago). Anyway, it mostly has just sat in her closet for that time, she didn't really get into it. So I listed it on craigslist today for $10, thinking that was wishful thinking. . . and, wow. There are a million people in this city who want the dang thing. Apparently they don't make them anymore. So. . .should I be selling this thing on ebay for hundreds of dollars? Should I stick to the original $10 I was asking for? Should I take it to antiques roadshow? What a pickle! I mean, seriously, I was about to take this to goodwill. Wow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

From the blogger who brought you FreeRice. . .

Comes a new totally cool website that I had no idea about until today. . .





So, I am embarrassed as an online shopper that I did not know about this earlier. If you click on the website you are going to be shopping on via the ebates website you get a certain percentage cash back on your purchases. Genius. Plus you can still use any other coupon codes you may have. Do you have any idea how much this would have saved me in the last month? Old Navy? 3% back. Target, today is 8% back. Kohls. Itunes. ToysRus. You name it. Anyway, happy shopping, oh and be sure to tell them I sent you (enter my e-mail address as kadagaba@yahoo.com) because they will give you $5 (or a $10 gift card) and me $5. Awesome.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A thousand words. . .

We were crammed in the car and ready to go. I was driving, Grandma Bassett was in the passenger seat and Blaine was crammed in between the two children in the back (does it freak you all out that I do the driving? That's another blog post for another day. . . ). We had a nice pleasant conversation and were excited when we arrived at the church to see Nick (Blaine's brother) and Stef perform in their stake choir performance. I jumped out first and, while waiting for others to get out of the car, picked up the camera from off of the trunk. OFF OF THE TRUNK?? What? What was the camera doing on the back of the trunk? I was the first one out and I didn't put it there! Blaine was quickly on the scene "Where. . . . .where did you get that from?". "The trunk". "So, where is the video camera? THE VIDEO CAMERA??!!!"

We had left the video camera and the regular (new) digital camera on the trunk and driven 15 miles through Dallas. Amazingly the regular camera hung in there for the whole ride, which is something to be grateful for, but the video camera was long gone. I drove back along the route I had taken, but with the two u-turns, three unexpected lane changes, and getting cut off. . . there was no telling where it could be. We drove the route two times looking and never could find the thing [if you see random videos of my family popping up on youtube, please let me know]. As Blaine's cousin commented, "even if it survived the fall it would be stolen within 15 minutes". Dang. And even if it survived the fall and didn't get stolen, it rained all night long. Sad sad times at the Bassett household.

But we are an optimistic clan. At least our regular camera was working, what a miracle! Well, as of yesterday our regular camera decided to take pictures only in red. It's really weird.

Was our history not meant to be recorded?

LUCKILY (and we will see just how luckily tomorrow) when I purchased the camera I also purchased an additional two year warranty. It's not normally something I do. I don't keep boxes and packaging, receipts, etc. It drives Blaine bonkers, because he keeps those things (for years I might add), and he most certainly buys extended warranties. So when I bought the camera without first asking his permission, I thought buying the extended warranty would make him happy. So I did it. And, surprisingly, I was able to locate the warranty and receipt! That was truly amazing. (I just got home from wal-mart twenty minutes ago and I bet I couldn't find that receipt if you paid me a million dollars). So anyway, with a little luck hopefully Best Buy will repair, if not replace, our camera. And hopefully before Christmas. Maybe I will through in a leappad book as a tip to see if they can speed it along.

The bad news (I mean in addition to loosing our video and regular camera in one week) is that now Blaine is totally validated in the keeping of boxes and buying of extended warranties. I mean, I am sure glad we had this one, but I sure regret buying all the other additional warranties we never used.

Say, you don't think a video camera can be purchased with flex spending funds do you?

The seven wonders. . .

So, I have been tagged to post seven random things about me, that you may not already know. . .

1- I once caught a 32lb salmon off of the coast of Washington. It's true. Had my dad had a little faith and entered me into the fishing derby I would have won. My dad did, however, enter himself in the derby and ironically enough he didn't even catch a fish (everyone else with us caught at least five, and my dad financed the whole expedition, really it is a sad story).

2- I cannot say the world ALBUM, it always comes out albLum, whether written or spoken. And to me it sounds like you are all saying albLum too which is where the whole problem started. Apparently though it is really album. What a weird name.

3- I am a certified scuba diver. Well, that is probably not true anymore since I never went diving after I was certified, but at one point in time I was a certified scuba diver, and that was a life goal-- so scratch it off the list! My dream in life is to be a marine biologist, it's not too late, right?


Wow, I guess my life is an open book, I really can't think of much. . .. I'll try harder

4- I once shaved off one of my eyebrows and cut off my eyelashes (only on one eye) and told my mom the boy across the street did it. Okay and just a note about this--- when you are plucking your eyebrows in front of your children please explain to them what you are doing so they won't try to copy you and end up looking like uncle fester. Thank you.

5- I became an aunt when I was five. And I am about to become a GREAT Aunt. I always thought great aunts had to be real old. Not true.

6- Now, don't freak your freak, but I am seriously considering homeschooling my kids. I know, you think I am crazy, and weird. I'm okay with that.

7- I LOVE to fly. There's nothing quite like the rush of soaring through the air.

One of these was a trick. And if you really know me you will know what it was :).

8- Since I did a trick I will throw in another one. I am always using words in my blog that I think sound cool but I don't really know what they mean. Like Mantra. I looked it up and it doesn't really mean what I thought. Same could be said with at least one fancy word per post, but none of you ever call me on that, so thanks, I appreciate your willing suspension of proper word usage.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A flex-spending Christmas

I came up with a great solution today to two of our current problems. 1- How are we going to finance Christmas and 2- What the heck were we thinking putting so much money in our flex spending account this year?

It's a flex-spending Christmas. The only gifts that can be given are those which can be purchased with money from our flex spending account. It's really not such a bad idea, particularly because we haven't purchased medicine at all during our marriage. My mom gave us a first aid kit the Christmas before we got married and we are still going off of that; because even though it has an expiration date, I am not buying that Tylenol actually expires. I'll tell you one thing that hasn't held up so well over the five years, Tums. Definitely someone will be getting Tums this year!

Good thing Gwen really likes bandaids, huh?

Yams

So today was my long awaited "day of servitude". My birthday is tomorrow and all I wanted was a day of Blaine being at my beck and call, and since on Sunday I would feel guilty having him do anything other than read to me from The Good Book, I chose to have my day of servitude today. Watching a soaking wet Blaine chase Swiper and Boots around the yard and through the bushes in an attempt to give them a bath while sitting comfortably upstairs in my robe eating muddy buddies, is definitely my idea of a good time!

In the morning tensions were running high as Blaine and I realized that we had different definitions of "servitude". He was going to set up Christmas lights and make some repairs to our fence, mow the lawn. . .etc. I, however, was under the impression that the servitude should entail things that I normally would be doing-- bathing the dogs, bathing the children, going to the library, doing the dishes, mopping the floor, doing laundry, and most importantly doing all of this while holding Bentley (B is a big fan of being held, so much so that he screams A LOT when not being held). We did the mature thing and hashed it out and hurt eachothers feelings. It isn't that I didn't appreciate him doing all those manly things, but if he did all those manly things it meant I would still be inside having a normal day doing the things I do on a normal day.

In the end he pretty much ended up doing all of the above! He was able to put up Christmas lights, put chicken wire around the bottom of our fence (those dang digging dogs!), clean up the house, do some laundry, and keep Gwen entertained all day. And the most glorious part of all of this is. . . I got a nap! Really it turns out that that is all I wanted. Even if that was all I would have gotten it would have been enough ( but don't tell him that!).

So it was a great day. Tonight we were going to our ward Christmas party and I was all excited to make these awesome sweet potatoes. We were supposed to be there at 6. I was pulling the yams out of the oven at 6:15.. . . and they were hard as rocks still. Yikes. So we nuked them. Still rock solid. Nuked them some more. Finally at 7:05 we were ready to leave. At that point I had to stop and ask myself if I really thought the yams would get eaten since it was likely that the party was over already. What to do. . . . should we have just bagged the yams and gone out for a nice birthday dinner?

I felt it my civic duty to go to the party with yams in hand (they called to remind me for crying out loud). When we showed up there were a few scraps of turkey on the buffet table and I proudly plopped my yams down as well. Blaine and I dished up our little bit of turkey and yams. Then a cute little boy (Cheyenne, I am pretty sure it was your son!) came and got a scoop. Then about ten seconds later the program was over and everyone was leaving (slight exaggeration), but I am pretty sure it was only the three of us that had yams. Whatever. I did my part :).

So I am thinking about baking the yams and having a yam-o-licious birthday cake tomorrow. What else am I going to do with ten pounds of yams? I thought they were good. . .

In other news. . . I finally got my wedding ring to fit back over my post partum fat finger. So that's good. And in an attempt to get a cool new hairstyle I butchered my own hair. It's okay, it will grow back.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You've got to be kidding me. . .

In light of my last few posts (the poop incident, the $100 mistake) and posts that have yet to be written about things like how we drove off with our video camera and new digital camera sitting on our trunk (an consequently demolished our nice video camera). . . I have changed the name of my blog to reflect the phrase I find myself saying the most. My mantra, if you will.

A schmuck

I am a schmuck. Seriously. So, for Christmas I decided to get Gwen a "My First LeapPad". I was a little nervous because each individual book for the system was $12.99, but I figured with planning and craigslisting I could get some good deals. I eventually found a slightly used system with four books for $15 on craigslist, sweet! Then I happened to go online and find a great sale on www.leapfrog.com on some additional books. I bought three of them for about $6.50 a piece. I was excited and figured that would be the end of our leapfrog experience.

Last night I logged on to order something else and found that the books were on a great amazing awesome sale for $3.90 a piece, plus when you spent $50 you got free shipping and $5 off your order. I was baffled. Astonished. I had stumbled on a gold mine. I checked walmart ($9.99) and ebay and these things were selling for no less than $10 a pop. I debated for a while. The sale was ending that day. I talked to Blaine about it and explained how I just knew I had made a killer find and could make at least double my money selling these things on ebay.

He wanted to make sure it wasn't a trick. I checked e-bay again, they were selling like hotcakes for WAY more than the $3.90. So I ordered $100 of these books to sell online. It was a brilliant plan. Fool proof.

So today I log on to see what the price went back up to, you know since the sale was going to be over. I log on and find that the main front page was announcing that ALL of the leappad books were PERMANENTLY reduced to the $3.90 and no price adjustments would be made to prior sales. So. . . yeah, now I have $100 of books that I bought at FULL price. Some of them I ordered 2-3 of the same book. No one is going to buy them on ebay or on craigslist. Since people who use those tools also know how to look for the best deal.

I am fuming mad and feel like an idiot. What made me think I could stumble on a deal like this. I guess I could donate them to charity and write it off my taxes. However, I don't think that kids in homeless shelters will have the leapfrog system.

Why me?

P.S. Don't tell Blaine about this, I am working up the courage.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The million dollar question

So, why do some companies that produce things that are in cans make it so their cans do not stack? Seriously. Why?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feed the hungry while studying for the GRE


I was trying to make this a little link on the side of my blog. Not happening. Anyway, go practice your vocab and feed the hungry all at the same time. Let me know what your vocab level is. It's better than playing MineSweeper, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The aviophobe

Hi, my name is Kristi, and I am an aviophobe. I don't know when it happened. I was always apprehensive, but somewhere, I believe in the year 2001, I become terrified of flying. It was pretty bad right from the get go, but much to my chagrin, it gets worse over the years. I have mustered up the courage to fly on 3 occasions in the last six years, and have passed up the opportunity to a) see my nephew get married b) go see a play on Broadway and c) go on an all expense paid trip with Blaine to a job interview. The three occasions I did fly for were a) a cruise b) our house hunting trip to Austin and c) flying to Utah from Oregon to go on a girl party weekend (I think my mom bought the ticket and forced me to go).

Alright, I know you have a lot of questions. Everyone does. So let me answer them for you.

No, I have never had a terrible experience on a plane.

No, I have not always been afraid of flying.

No, I don't think my plane will actually crash or be overtaken by terrorists.

No, I am not afraid of heights. Nor am I claustrophobic.

Yes, I know it is safer than driving, walking or sleeping in your own bed. I would put that in bold and size ten million font if I could, since it comes as a real revelation to people that I am aware of this.

I have come to realize that unless you have a deep rooted psychological fear of something you will never quite understand my fear. It is deeper than logic. I can't talk it out. I can't drug it out (well, maybe! I guess I haven't tried). And I struggle to understand it myself; trust me I have spent a LOT of time thinking about it. Mostly during the durations of the aforementioned things I missed out on due to my fear.

The best I can figure is that my fear of flying is rooted in my need to have control. I don't always have to be in control of everything, I am not a control "freak". Or at least I don't think so. When it comes to my personal safety and the safety of my children, I like to be in control. I like to be the one to drive, always have. Anyone who has driven with me as a passenger knows that they would rather me drive to, just so I won't wear a hole in the passenger side flooring from slamming my vicarious brake. I am a very annoying passenger, I know. I trust myself behind the wheel more than anyone. I am not saying I am the best driver in the world, but I have to be in control. As Nick witnessed during our San Antonio trip; I only trust myself to watch my kids near a swimming pool. As much as I know I am supposed to forgive everyone for everything, I honestly don't know that I could forgive someone if something preventable happened to one of my kids, and so to cover my basis, I like to be in control of their safety. It's weird, I know. So I think it kind of bugs me that if something goes wrong on the plane, there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it. I just have to sit there, helpless.

The best way that I have come up with to describe my fear is this: every time I am on a plane I live through every possible thing that could go wrong. Every little bump of turbulence sends my imagination off into the most violent plane crash you could imagine (for visual aides please see the plane crashes in Castaway and episode 1 of LOST). Every time someone stands up to go to the bathroom I live through my minds best rendition of a terrorists takeover. Every time someone won't turn off their dang cell phone when the stewardesses say, I assume they are working with Bin Laden [Blaine has just informed me that I should now be expecting a phone call or visit from HomeLand Security for mentioning his name]. If the pilot doesn't come on the intercom every so often, I assume he has fallen asleep and I can expect us to nosedive soon. Every weird sound--the wing is going to fly off. I just can't put it in to words but for every flight I take I live through a thousand disasters in my mind. And they all seem very real.

That being said, we really want to go home for Christmas! We found a really cheap flight out of Dallas and I am in distress!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shhh!

Okay, it's 9:00AM and I haven't heard a peep out of Gwen yet this morning (normally she never sleeps past 7:30AM). On the one hand I want to go and check and make sure she is still alive, on the other I really want to take a shower. What to do!

Whoops. Never mind, she just got up. Dang.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A River Walk to Remember

I am not sure where it all went wrong. But somewhere along the way our Romantic San Antonio get away strayed from the vision; where I was supposed to stroll hand in hand with Blaine beneath a canopy of twinkling river lights turned in to the reality of me crying and carrying Gwen out of a shopping mall stark naked (clarification: she was stark naked, not me). Well actually Blaine was carrying her, I was holding the bag of poop clothes.

Dear readers, this blog entry is not for the faint of heart. Rather it is for those who would like a good laugh at my expense and can handle reading about various bodily functions. . .of both the human and animal variety. I hate to write two posts in a row about the horrible things that can happen to parents, but I promise to end on a positive note. So, read on, if you dare.

Blaine's brother and his wife came to visit us from Dallas over the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and were excited to head off to San Antonio the next day. We had been planning this trip for quite a while. We had a hotel booked and our agenda filled. We drove to San Antonio without incident (unless you count having to pull off to feed the baby only after about two minutes of driving as an "incident", you'll hardly think so at the end of the entry, I assure you). We dropped off some friends at the San Antonio airport and headed to the Alamo (remember?). I should have brushed up on my history lessons before this trip because as soon as we paid our $7 for parking and got out of the car to go see the Alamo we realized that it was FREEZING. Didn't I move to the internal inferno in the South to avoid ever having to wear a coat? Well I had on my coat folks and it was still freezing. I bundled the children and we rushed through the Alamo exhibits.. . . Davey Crocket. . . blah blah. . .Texicanos. . . .Mejicans. . . . something about a big war or fight or something. Anyway, I still don't really get what happened at the Alamo, but it sure was pretty. It was just kind of humorous because I have never stood next to a palm tree and been cold at the same time. anyway, we'll have to go check that out again some other time. I guess I did walk away having learned something though. . .and that is that Davey Crockett was not fictitious (I had kind of chalked him up there with Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan), It's true. . . I saw some of his hair in an old locket.

From the Alamo we headed to the famed San Antonio River Walk. Again, stunningly beautiful! I had been forewarned that the river walk was not stroller friendly. Somehow though in the commotion before leaving, the sling got left behind and the stroller got packed, so having the stroller on the river walk was kind of a drawback. The quaint old stone bridges don't seem quite as quaint when you have to unload your kids and fold up the stroller to get over them. It was beautiful and still pretty cold, so we headed inside to eat lunch. So this is where our "poopy" adventure began. It was innocent enough. Ben just had a blowout in the restaurant. No biggie. Just log that away though, we'll come back to it later.

We ended up being done with the RiverWalk around 3PM, which put us in a real pickle because we had hoped to be there at 7PM when there was a big water parade and they were going to turn on all of the Christmas lights. We were all tired and cold (except, I am sure he would want me to point out, Blaine was not cold) and hanging out inside a mall on the busiest shopping day of the year did not sound fun. Going back to the hotel and sleeping did, but paying the $14 to park (two cars) again sounded a little crazy. We decided to go back to the hotel, despite missing the whole fiesta that was happening later in the evening. Instead we went swimming and took it easy.

We wound up going to the mall near our hotel for dinner. We got there and Blaine took off to go figure out what he was going to eat while I sat with his brother and the kids at a table. I was engaged in some great conversation when I noticed Gwen muttering something. I listened closer "I gotta go potty. I gotta go potty. I gotta go potty!". Normally she tells me in a normal voice, I figured she was just nervous being away from home. I leave Ben with his uncle and rush Gwen to the potty. I don't even think about it before I yank down her pants and pull-up and set her on the potty. That is when I noticed that the pull-up was full of. . . .liquidy #2. Not only was the pull-up full of it, but the process of "yanking it off" had meant that it was all over her pants, her shoes, her socks, the toilet, her coat, my pants, the floor and so forth. Sick. I try to compose myself while Gwen is having a freakout ( I don't blame her!). "It's okay" I tell myself and her. I search frantically through the diaper bag while holding her on the throne with the other hand. It's then that I realize we had taken out the wipes to change Ben's diaper right before leaving for the hotel. Dry toilet paper was not going to get me far in this situation. I couldn't get Gwenie off of the potty for fear that the "big D" would strike again, I couldn't clean her off because. . .. well, with what? I couldn't cry for help because no one would have ever heard me. Oh yeah, and since we were only going to be gone for half an hour I didn't think to check the diaper bag and resupply it. . . no new pull-ups either.

I finally manage to find some "moist towelettes" in my purse. Two to be precise. I did my best with those. Packaged up the "damaged goods" (pants, shoes, socks). Then tried to do some more by getting toilet paper wet and cleaning her off. It was a disaster and I finally decided that I just needed to suck it up and go. I found a little tiny blanket in the diaper bag and fashioned a make-shift loin cloth out of it and took my poor naked child out of the bathroom. I came out and my family was no where in sight. After a few minutes they found me in my distress. We hurriedly ate dinner ( I am so confident that it was the most unsanitary I have ever been and I hardly had an appetite, gross). Anyway, there is poopy experience #2. And I am so glad it ended there because it could have easily gotten much worse carrying a toddler with the big D through the mall and driving her to the hotel in a car seat with no diaper or pants on. Anyway, thank my lucky stars!

That night Blaine and his brother (Nick) went to a movie. After Nick's wife had gone to bed Ben started crying. I picked him up to feed him and. . .the power went out! In a hotel, not in a rainstorm. Just a random power outage. Okay, power outages are freaky enough when you are with your husband and you have a candle. Try being in a hotel with two children and no husband. There was absolutely no way to get light. It was so pitch dark. I just held Ben tight and didn't take my hand off of his pacifier. Can you imagine if I would have lost it? Or him??? That's how dark it was. I was sure I spotted some of those scorpions that glow in the dark moving along the side of the room. It was awful! Can you imagine if Gwen would have had to go to the bathroom? Anyway, we luckily made it through without incident and the power was back on before the boys got home from the movie.

This is getting to be too long for comfort. Let's just shorten it up here. When we got home today we found that our dogs also had the big d and let it all out in our bathroom. Our neighbor had been good enough to bring the dogs in at night and apparently they were real sick. It was awful. Really really awful. And Blaine's brother is the hero of the story because he cleaned it all up. What a guy!

So, if I had to pick one word to describe our Thanksgiving trip to San Antonio "romance" would hardly be it. Actually "poop" would be it. By the time we came home we had two grocery bags tied shut of completely poop covered clothing. We got home to a house that reeked of dog poop. It was a very stinky weekend.

Luckily though so much went wrong that it was just humorous and I know that we will never forget the trip, never. I am sorry you had to read about it, but it was just too amazingly ironic to not write about it :). Through it all though I just felt so grateful to have two wonderful kids (active as their bowels may be), and a family that I love! I am grateful to live in such a lovely, generally pretty warm, place. I am grateful that we have such a wonderful life and that we have funny experiences that we will always remember.

And, almost more importantly, I am grateful for washing machines, and Lysol. Lots and lots of Lysol.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Serenity Now- update

I hate how the last post made me sound like a Thanksgiving Scrooge, so I thought I would offer an update.

Bentley screamed for the following two hours after the grocery store. While I was elbow deep in a spiral cut ham. For some reason it didn't occur to me that I would not be able to cut my spiral cut ham into cubes. It was already cut razor thin. This kind of ham doesn't lend itself well to being cut and frozen for soup later. It was kind of a mess.

Totally distressed I turned on Bob the Builder for Gwen, let Ben cry it out in his room, and drowned out my sorrows in our last half box of Chocolate Chip Buddy Grahms. I hadn't realized how starved I had felt. I fed Gwen lunch and finally got Bentley down for a nap.

Should I clean? The guests are coming! I couldn't. I marched myself right to bed. I just woke up, I am not sure how long I got to sleep. somewhere in the 30-40 minute range. I honestly hugged and kissed the corner of my bed as I rolled out. I still feel so tired. I know that Ben will start screaming soon, but somehow I am excited for Thanksgiving again. I even called my guests and told them they have to bring lettuce for tonight. So that's under control.

The house is indeed a mess (I have been doing awesome on my November goal, but for some reason last night at 10 PM I thought "hey, I've waited six months, but I will not wait a second longer!" and I started cleaning out the garage. So my house is a mess and my garage is a mess.), but the guests are family, they'll understand right? And I haven't showered in a long time, but I just decided that I will hand the children off to my guests and take the worlds longest nice luxurious shower when they get here. Then, knowing my children are in capable hands, I will prop a door up against my bedroom door, lick the remaining buddy grahm crumbs from the package, bury my head under the blankets and sleep. Sweet sleep.

But, I am excited for Thanksgiving and glad that the old lady got her turkey and that I have some very expensive ham slices in the freezer :). I have so much to be Thankful for and I'm sorry that I had to vent about my frustrating day. I love my kids and they are really good most of the time. I couldn't ask for a better happier life, even though it certainly includes its trying days :).

Well, I better go, Bentley has woken, and the crying has begun!

Serenity Now!






Don't you love it when. . .

Your cute little son decides to have an all night temper tantrum. You know, the kind where he is not consoled by pacifier, food, cuddles or anything. Somehow you find a way to drag yourself out of bed to kiss your husband goodbye (he was nice enough to get your toddler breakfast, thank you!), and then try to compose yourself for a busy day full of preparing your house for guests coming at 5 and grocery shopping for all of the food for Turkey Day. You feed both the children and drive off to the store. You are pleased to find that it looks like there is some way to get a free turkey. Unfortunately it requires buying a $25 ham in order to get a free $8 turkey. You are not in charge of the ham. Can't pass a good deal up though so you decide to buy the ham. Then you go search for the free turkey (has to be under 10 lbs). Your frostbit fingers dig through the endless piles of turkey. . .12 lbs. . . .13 lbs. . . . 15 lbs. . . . where are all the 10 lb turkeys? You see a small one, way in the back of the enormous freezer. You are about to dive in when the old lady next to you comments to you that she can't seem to find a small enough turkey. You literally dive into the freezer (literally your feet are off the ground and you are hoping that no one is kidnapping your children from the cart that you can't see because you are headfirst and rump deep in turkey gizzards). You find the golden 10lb bird, the free one. The only one. The one you dove into the freezer for and potentially will lose 8 of your 10 fingers to frostbite for. You hold the prize in your hands. You look at the old lady.




You look at the bird. The old lady bats her eyes. You look once again at the bird. Consult the little angel and the little devil sitting on your shoulder. You fork over the turkey. She shuffles off. "It's no problem, no need to thank me!" you mutter as she walks away. You hock your 15 lb not free turkey into your cart and walk away. Just then your infant son begins to cry, nay, wail. You rush hurriedly through the aisles throwing green beans and stuffing in at will. Passerbys can only come up with one thing to say, "Boy, he sure looks upset!". You think "Excellent observation!". He keeps screaming. They don't have buddy grams. He's still screaming. "Wow, he sure is loud" comments are flying at you left and right. You realize you forgot lettuce for tonight's dinner. "Ah to heck with it" who is going to notice that the Cafe Rio salads you have promised your guests don't have any lettuce.

Finally you've got your cart and head to the car. Kid is still screaming, other kid is trying relentlessly to get out of the cart and walk. You make it to the car. You seriously forgot your keys at the register? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?


Broken eardrums, broken spirits, and a 15 lb turkey and $25 ham later you make it home. Everyone is screaming. And the garage door won't open.

You realize you forgot to buy the earplugs, chocolate ice cream and bedroom door lock that are necessary to remedy the situation you currently find yourself in.

Oh Montego Bay! Where are you!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Brilliant!

And all this time I thought I was going to have to start exercising and eating better, sweet!

This is good news! Now if only I knew how to accomplish it!

Priorities

I should compose a book about all of the interesting things I choose to do when I really should be sleeping. There is a golden hour in my life, about every 2-3 days where my kids are taking naps at the exact same time. You would think this would be an excellent opportunity to take a nap myself, read a book, clean the house, write in the kids' journal, etc. No, there are much more important things to do! For some reason it was extremely urgent that today, during the golden hour, I plan a trip to the Caribbean . It took a lot of searching through various resort websites, discount airline sites, etc. but I have finally decided that our Caribbean vacation (next year is our five year anniversary by the way) will be taken in beautiful. . .


MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA! Don't worry we will be staying at an all inclusive resort with several formal and casual dining options. All of our equipment for snorkeling, sailing, etc will be provided for us with the cost of the resort. Scuba diving will be extra, but it will be worth it. I have our airfare all worked out too. It's going to be great!!! And should it all fall through I have an alternate vacation planned for Caye Caulker Belize. Oh and one in St. Thomas. It's a fool proof plan, and it is going to be amazing. Except for that it is not going to happen :).

*Can't leave a new baby
*Don't have the vacation time
*Don't have the money
*Tremendous fear of flying

blah blah blah, but should all of those factors change it is good to know that I won't have to research all of the information again. Because I did it today. It was important to get it done. Way more important than taking a nap. We've got to have our priorities in order.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

and finally

Okay, we are all on the same page, and my honorary mother Josie is a doll and good humored (as I suspected!). So here is the final episode of the trilogy!

Josephine writes. . .

It is late and I am tired, but I just had to stay up long enough to say "HAPPY THANKSGIVING" and thank you for the good laugh! You mademy day! My daughter is in Jacksonville, Florida with husband and three grandchildren. Allison (16) plays a viola and Savanna(15) plays aviolin and will play in the high school orchestra for the tree lighting ceremony. It will be our first time to see them play in the orchestra. Theyalso play in the Jacksonville Jr. Orchestra. Savanna is first chair, a VIP. We are so proud of them. Valerie Robin is 4 years old and busygrowing up. We'll have tea while I'm there, I'm sure. She will keep us busy drawing, playing ball, reading, etc. FUN! It's been fun meeting you by Email and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving even though we are going to Florida instead of Texas. Perhapswe can make it to Texas another time. I would love to see Gwen. Bet she is a cutie. It is great that she is doing so well with potty training.APPLAUSE. She will be a big help entertaining Bentley and keeping the puppies busy. I'm happy for you that Blaine is doing well at work (I wonder what his job is now although I didn't know what he did before.) You may havemoved from Utah because of Blaine's new job in Texas. In any case, good luck and keep up the good work. We love Ohio because of the change of seasons. Right now the leaves are a little much because I have no help to rake and bag themunless my son, Steven and his wife, Cindy come to help. I baked them an apple pie and will take it to Columbus where we will be catching the plane to Florida. Steven will take us to the airport. I was surprised to know you were in Texas when I was planning to see you in Florida, but I know this will work out eventually and I will get to where I am supposed to be as long as I don't rely on my typing on the computer. This is a machine I am going to have to work with a whilelonger. Your surprise Mother, Jo, Josie, Josephine or Jitty-eye Josie Pie (Oh, boy!)

Dear Anonymous. . .

This was sent in your honor, and to appease my conscience. .

Dear Josephine--

I wanted to apologize to you if my e-mail seemed impolite or disrespectful.
I thought you may think it was humorous! I sure had a good laugh when I
got your response that said you were my mother, but after re-reading the
e-mail I sent to you I realize that my tone may have come across in a way
I did not mean for it to. I promise I am a nice person :). I just want to make
sure that you don't change your plane to Texas, and that you get where you
need to go. I wonder if you are getting my e-mail address mixed up with your
daughters. Could hers be kristibassett@gmail.com (with no period between
kristi and bassett) ? Just wanted to apologize and make sure you know that
the tone of my e-mail was meant to be light and teasey, not malicious and
mean. I hope you have a wonderful time visiting your family for Thanksgiving,
I am jealous of your Kristi Bassett, as I wish we had family coming in to town
for the holiday! We are lonesome here in Texas! Anyway, enjoy your trip
and make sure to forward your itinerary to your real daughter so she can be
there to pick you up :).

Kristi

Going private. . .

Hey everyone, the blog is going private. . . . thought about it for a while now and decided on it today. So if you want to be invited to read it, just attach your e-mail address on to this post. Thanks!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The mother I never had!

So last week I got this e-mail from one Josephine Michelson. . .


Flight: 95 Departs: Columbus, OH at 1:05 PM
Arrives: Jacksonville/Daytona Bch (St. Augustine, FL) at 2:54 PM
-------------
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Flight: 96 Departs: Jacksonville/Daytona Bch (St. Augustine, FL) at 3:19 PM
Arrives: Columbus, OH at 5:08 PM
------

To which I responded with:

Not that it is not fun to get your itinerary or anything, but
who are you?

------
To Which she responded with:

Hi! Glad you received the itinery for our flight to Florida. What do you mean
, "Who are you?"
Is there someone else writing you who doesn't know what they are doing on
these computers? I thought my address went along with whatever I forwarded
to you. Maybe not. Forwarding my itinery seemed like a good idea because
you would have the info on our arrival and departure times and know when
to meet us and take us to the plane when leaving.I will am not ready to come
down there but I will come any way. The heater in the kitchen has to have
a new valve put on it. No heat coming out at all. Toilets have not been replaced.
Carpet has not been cleaned. Three layers of leaves in the yard to rake and
take to Leaf dump. On and on and on. How can I leave here with so darn
many things that need to be done? I don't expect an answer, some empathy
maybe.Steven and Cindy planned to come up this weekend to help with the
leaves. Now what? I'm excited to see you all soon. I am your mother,
by the way. Love you all.

----
To which I responded with:

Hi Mom!

So glad you cleared up the confusion. I hate to complicate things further
but it is going to be really hard to pick you up from the airport on
Tuesday since you are flying in to Florida and we live in Texas. I just don't
know how I will find the time to make the 24 hour drive; not to mention
being in the car for that long with the new baby and Gwen. I wonder why
you are flying in so far away! Do you think you can change the flight or is
it too late? And what are you doing coming from Ohio? Are you and Dad
on a trip there or something? Weird. I could have sworn you guys were
living in Utah the last time I checked (which was like yesterday!).

Speaking of Gwen, she is doing great with the potty training. She has only
had two accidents this week, woo hoo! Only one in diapers now!

Little Bentley has really started smiling a lot this past week. Thanks so
much for coming and staying with us when he was born, we really miss
you and all the help!

Blaine is doing well at work and we are finally settling down with our new
life in Texas. It is nice now that it is November, the weather is beautiful,
you're going to love it.

I'm doing good. Kind of busy with the two kids and the two puppies, but
I love it!

We just can't wait to see you! I didn't think you would be making a trip
out again so soon! What a fun Thanksgiving surprise. I am in a flurry
trying to get the house ready for your arrival, hopefully we will get it done
in time!

I was sorry to hear about your heater (brrrr), carpets and toilets. You
better get Steven and Cindy to help with that too! Speaking of Steven
and Cindy, how are they doing? I can't quite remember. . . are they my
brother and sister or cousins or?

Seems like I am forgetting a lot of things lately. . . like I could have sworn
your name was Janice and not Josephine.

Hope all is going well! We sure do miss you!

Love,

Kristi

P.S. I hope this eventually finds its way to your "Kristi Bassett" I am
pretty sure I am not her. . .though you do sound like a wonderful
and fun mother.

P.P.S. Enjoy your trip to Florida, it sounds fun! Happy Thanksgiving!


-----
What the. . .?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Homeless

As Gwen and I were driving to Toys R' Us today we got stopped at a red light right by a homeless man asking for money or food. I don't like to give money. Well, I don't mind giving money, but I would rather give out some food (that was what Rosanne Orgill always did, and it seemed more logical to me). Unfortunately I didn't have any money OR food with me. So I just locked the doors and gave my best smile for him. My smile earned me a sign switch; I have never seen this, but after I smiled he switched his cardboard box around on the front it had said something like "even a nickel is a blessing" but on the back this sneaky man had written "You're cute" with hearts and the like. Either way I still had nothing to give. I felt ridiculous for the rest of the drive. There we were going to spend $15 on a silly toy that Gwen probably doesn't need. I counted my blessings for the whole rest of the drive home and made a vow to do my best to serve others when and how I can. Anyway, just wanted you all to know I am grateful for what I have and I had a horribly awkward time trying to explain to Gwen about homeless people, which broke my heart even more. . . it went something like the following, but involved even more circular logic and repitition :).


Gwen: "What is that man doing?"
Me: "He is asking for money or food."
Gwen: Why doesn't he go to his house to get some food
Me: He doesn't have a house
Gwen: He doesn't have a HOUSE?
Me: Nope, we are so lucky because we have a house and food, not everybody is that lucky, that is why we thank Heavenly Father for our food and for our house everyday.
Gwen: Why doesn't he go to his friends house to get food?
Me: I don't think his friends have a house or food either.
Gwen: ohh. But where do they sleep?
Me: They sleep outside. Do you think you could share your food with someone who doesn't have any food (note: I was debating on bringing up the cookie incident but decided the emotional trauma it would bring was not worth the moral lesson it would provide).?
Gwen: I share my food with my friends. I share my food with Erin.
Me: But Erin already has food, do you think you could share your food with someone who is really hungry and doesn't have any food?
Gwen: Erin could share her food with me. I share with her and she shares with me.
Me: But Erin already has food, and you have food, do you think you could share with someone who doesn't have any food.
Gwen: I could share my house with him!
Me: uh. . .
Gwen: And I could share my friends with him! I could share Erin with him!!!
Me: er. . . . . uh. . . . . but what about your food. . .?

Somebody snitched on me!


Just a note: If you ever want to put a picture of stockings on your blog, be sure you type in "Christmas Stockings" or else you will see some images that you will wish you hadn't.
Am I a bad person? Today I got most of Gwen's Christmas shopping done. Most of it from the comfort of this very computer chair. I love online shopping. It's the best. Anyway, so I went over the limit as I usually do, and I caught myself justifying it with "It's okay because we don't need to get Bentley any Christmas presents.".
Hello? What kind of mother am I? Sure he wont notice now but when we are gathered around the fire sipping cocoa in twenty years and we decide to flip through our old photo albums (I can hear it now "hey remember back when all they had were digital cameras? Ahh, those were the simple times) and Bentley will notice that Gwen was showered with gifts and he got. . . what diapers? Maybe some wipes?
Also, Gwen is a fairly observant soul. I bet she will notice the injustice of it as well. It's not like Gwen is our favorite or anything, but Bentley a) doesn't need anything right now and b) will not notice if he does not get anything fun.

It's a step up from what happened to me when I was about 7. I had decided there was no Santa Claus. When I snuck up on Christmas morning (I was a total sneaker, Blaine is repulsed by that) all there was was a lump of coal. Not a joke lump of coal with other presents hiding elsewhere. Just a lump of coal.

Santa came later in the day after much distress and pleading on my part.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hallelujah!

Okay, I just spent over an hour looking for a way to have the Hallelujah Chorus blaring when you log on to my blog. Not happening. So, in your mind start it blaring really loud right . . . . wait for it. . . . .right NOW!

GWEN IS GETTING POTTY TRAINED! Seriously, she went like twelve times in the regular big girl potty today. We crossed a serious barrier. Yesterday she sat on the little potty in front of the TV almost all day. That was seriously boggy and frustrating. Today as much as I wanted to throw in the towel I didn't. She had an accident first thing in the morning. I was so mad. I was mad because it wasn't an "accident". She showed zero remorse or disappointment, she just didn't care. I held in my emotional break down that was brinking and instead sat her down for a nice loooong talk. For some reason that was the magic. I swear I have "talked" to her about it before. Anyway, something clicked and she totally gets it. She even woke up from her nap dry.

Now for tomorrows adventure when we will venture out into the real world (or at least out of our tiled floor) with big girl panties. . . . cross your fingers for me!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Vicarious living


Have you ever had the joy of feeding Lorikeets?




It's really fun and makes you really happy. Until they start biting you, resulting in a horrible picture that shows all four of your chins.




And as if biting you wasn't enough they follow it up with a little poop on your pants.



Count your blessings it wasn't on your head huh?


P.S. To see more fun pictures (and more flattering pictures) of our trip to SeaWorld check out our web album.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Oui!


So, have you seen the movie "Sicko" that just came out? It is a documentary, by Michael Moore, about our healthcare system. We watched it last night and I was horrified, or should I say terrified at what I learned. I understand that he is only showing us one side of the coin, but in my opinion he made a pretty good argument. What are your thoughts on universal health care? Surely there must be some flaw with it, some big problem, or else we would have it right? Ever since I finished the show I have been concocting some way that we can move (and take all of our families with us) to France. France has universal health care. France has 35 hour work weeks. France requires employers to provide a MINIMUM of 5 weeks of paid vacation, even for part time employees. They get six months paid maternity leave. They have 24 hour doctors that make house calls. Free, or nearly free, daycare. Why are we not all living in France? Or Canada, eh?

Anyway, I am not saying I know it all or that Michael Moore does, so if you have an opinion on why universal health care is a bad idea please tell me. I even wrote my congressman this morning asking him to co-sponsor the bill for universal health care. The movie just horrified me. It made me want to start a protest or something, but then I realized that if Michael Moore can't make a difference, how the heck do I think I am going to. I have no exposure, no connections, no $. So my best solution so far is to pack up and head to France. Either that or commit a felony if I ever get some sort of cancer, since our prisoners get free healthcare.

So speaking of healthcare. Bentley has reflux and the doctor prescribed him a medication. The medication can only be found at a certain pharmacy WAY in the hay across town. So I look up the directions on google maps and head out that way. I followed the directions and wound up smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. So unless this magic pharmacy was located in someones garage (which seems a little questionable), google maps had failed me. I've never had that. Anyway after several phone calls around I finally found someone who had access to a computer (thanks Mom) who could look up their phone number for me. Turns out that google maps was about four miles off in where it showed me to go.
So I find the magic pharmacy, give them my insurance card and two prescriptions. First they tell me that they don't have the name brand prescription for mine, and apparently my doctor specified that it had to be the name brand (what the? How rich does she think I am?). So theoretically it would be cheaper for me to have another pregnancy and child ($15 total) than it would be to buy a one month supply of birth control. And that makes sense how? Anyway, I was kind of ticked because I am sure they would have had this NAME BRAND medicine at a pharmacy that wasn't thirty miles away from my house. Fine, I'll go somewhere else, on with the magic stuff that apparently only this pharmacy carries. Sure they have it, but they won't bill my insurance for it. They give me all the paper work and the claim forms and charge me $50 for the two Tbs of medicine and send me on my way (my LONG way!). I wanted to write my congressman again.
Surely this would not have happened in France.


*Just a little disclaimer, I know there are bigger medical crises out there than me having to drive across town and pay the $50 which hopefully most will be reimbursed for later, I just was sharing my woes for the day. I am grateful that the health problems for me and my family are minimal!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

untapped

Do you ever wonder if you have some incredible talent that is laying deep inside you waiting to be uncovered? I wonder it all the time. I think I wonder it because I don't seem to have any real showy talent (I say that so you don't all comment and say that I am a real nice person and that is my talent. If it were true that is one thing, but. . .;) ). Sure I can plunk "Away on a Manger" on the piano, and screech out "Good King Winsislaus" on the violin. Shhh, I know that isn't how you spell Winnsischlausx. Spelling is also not my talent (though from a young age I have been able to spell Czechoslovakia, which I have always been proud of). Oh and I also got like 4th place in our elementary school spelling bee. We all know that punctuation (especially semicolon usage) is not my strength.

So when I go to talent shows, recitals, sporting events, etc. I have to ask myself the obvious questions:

What if I would have had the brains to eat breakfast that morning of basketball tryouts in 7th grade? You know the tryouts where I ran out of the gym moments before I "lost my lunch" in the parking lot and had to go home. You know my three friends that I was trying out with all made the team, they all played all through highschool. Was I supposed to be with them?

Or what about that one time, also in seventh grade, when I ran in the Liger Chase. I had never really run before but I kept pace with Annie Hoerschl, she was the best runner in the whole school and admittedly I was quite a bit behind her, but I stayed the same distance behind her the whole race, which means I was running just as fast, right? What if I could have been an Olympian, had I just gathered the gumption to try.

Art? Who knows!

And isn't is suspicious how good I am at Dance Dance Revolution? Is my inner dancer just waiting to come out?

Anyway, just curious what you think your untapped talents are. Today as I cut Swiper and Boots I realized that I was probably meant to be a professional dog groomer. I will post photos later, don't worry.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Let's try again!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZZnDeNkKcA

Tribal Council

I am pretty sure I have been voted off the nablopomo island. I opted for sleep on Saturday night at 11:00PM instead, and it was all downhill from there. Better luck next year!

Birthorder

Being a sociologist and all I find the way that birth order affects us for the rest of our lives very interesting. Lots of differences have become evident since Blaine and I have been married; he is the oldest of five and I the youngest of five. It has brought up several interesting debates about who is more spoiled, who had it better, etc. etc.

Now that I have TWO of my own children and Gwen is no longer the oldest and the youngest, it has been interesting to see how birth order affects how I treat my children and how they behave.

Take the pacifier for example [note: I grew up calling them binkies, but that really weirded Blaine out so I have converted to calling them pacifiers]. When Gwen was little I was adamant that she used Nuk pacifiers or just any kind that wasn't the weird kind that you could see right through into her mouth (Soothies). I was kind of a pacifier snob. Well, Bentley LOVES the soothies, I used to fight it, but resistance is futile, it really doesn't matter what kind of pacifier he has right?

The thing about Soothies though is they are pretty hard to keep ahold of. I have contraptions for keeping other types of pacifiers attached to my kid; all sorts of straps and stuff. The soothie just kind of floats around our house and car,etc.

With Gwen I would wash her paci meticulously every time it fell on the ground. She could not have it again until it had been thoroughly washed. With Bentley I give it a good scrubbin with my pants or dress or shirt and give it back to him ( true blue "dry" cleaning).

Bentley's pacifier has had quite a rough week. It started on Halloween when a cute little girl bedazzled us all by using his pacifier as a baton and shuffled it around her little toes. It was cute, and I rinsed it off before giving it back. Yesterday Blaine frantically asked Gwen to pick up Ben's paci. Gwen sensed the urgency of the situation and rather than putting down her sandwich to pick up the paci, she picked it up with her feet and handed it, with her feet, to Blaine (talented kid I've got). Rinsed it then too. Also yesterday one of Gwen's little boy friends got hold of the paci and adopted it as his own for a minute, no worries. We rinsed it off. But yesterday when Swiper was walking around with the pacifier, that crossed the cleanliness line and it was off to boil the pacifier. I think in any one of the aforementioned instances with Gwen I would have discarded the pacifier and bought new ones. The fact that it takes a dog sucking on Ben's paci for me to sterilize the thing is pretty sad. Or maybe it is just more practical. We can't have a weak immune system in this day and age, can we?

The point of this whole e-mail though is that I was the FIFTH child. What the heck do you think my pacifier went through before it got sanitized?

P.S. For your reading pleasure I am including a link to one of those forwarded e-mails regarding this subject, I thought it was pretty funny! http://www.forwardedfunnies.com/birth_order_of_children_011430.html

Friday, November 2, 2007

Everyone that we know is just giving out candy?!?!?!

Here is a more worthy post for nablopomo. I know Halloween is past, but we love this clip from Seinfeld!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkez7JMeB9g

There are too many kids (and puppies) in this tub!

I guess deep down in my heart of hearts I do want to participate in this Nablopomo (National Blog Posting Month, I found out that is what it is officially called), because even though I don't have much to say it was kind of bugging me that it is almost midnight and I have not yet blogged. Don't worry though-- the house is clean and cleaning it today counted as my exercise. Today the focus was on getting everyone bathed -- so by 4PM Ben, Gwen, Me, Swiper and Boots had all had baths. The yard had been pooper scooped. Two loads of laundry. Bathroom cleaned (you have to do that after you bathe two puppies). And the downstairs and main rooms upstairs are still clean. Come on, you know you want to drop by and see! I'm amazing. And pooped. Deep down I will tell you that these two days of trying to keep my house in viewing order have done nothing but make me realize what a genius I am to not care so much about maintaining order. Sure I got all those things done, but I didn't do anything fun all day, not cool.

Anyway, I am sure you wanted that little update on the cleanliness of my house. Don't worry; I promise a thought provoking and/or embarrassing blog entry tomorrow. This one is a cheap shot, but it is 10:30 and Blaine was gone at work today for 13 hours (how did I survive him being gone that long every day for our last year of school???). So today you get the lame blog entry. Tune back in tomorrow!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day by day

I was informed yesterday that it is National Blog Awareness month (or something of that nature), and everywhere bloggers are going to try to post a blog entry a day through the month of November. And while I support this idea and encourage some of you who haven't updated your blogs since May (you know who you are!) to participate, I think I am going to opt out of this one. I plan on blogging my usual 2-3 times per week, don't get me wrong.

Since I am doing okay in the blog writing department, I thought it might be nice to work on something else during the month of November, something that is more important to me. So I have zoned in on two choices. I am either going to a) keep my house clean enough so that if anyone drops by unawares I can excitedly throw the door open and invite them in. Normally my visitors are greeted with my door creaking open a crack and me asking for a password, then me asking if they can wait five minutes while I clear a path. Okay, maybe it isn't like that all the time. I was inspired by my mother-in-laws visit here last week. She was always looking for what needed to be done and just doing it, not waiting or complaining. So, I have a goal to be more like that and a clean house is bound to be the result.

My second goal was going to be to exercise every day in November, but then I remembered in the recesses of my brain something about needing rest days and not trying to do so much at the beginning that you get discouraged and quit. So I think I may modify this to say that I will at least do some sort of physical activity a day; be it a walk or mopping the floor with vigour. I will also try to do a true blue workout three times a week.

So I am off to a good start, today is November first and so far I am doing good on both of my goals (I know it is only 10:37 in the morning), and actually I am blogging, so maybe I can even participate in Blog Awareness Month. We shall see.

So, feel free to drop by any time in the month of November to check on my progress! If I ask you for a password you will know I have failed ;).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dignity, always dignity

Life Lesson # 687 (aren't you glad that you get to learn from my life experiences in addition to your own, I promise, I am saving you a lot of embarrassment with this one. . . )

When you think it might be a good idea to show your in-laws home videos so they can catch up on what they missed during the first six weeks of your new child's life, be careful to preview the videos and sensor any unsavory shots your husband may have gotten while you were still a little groggy and didn't realize he had the camera on. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. And so will your twelve-year-old brother-in-law.




Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blog Hiatus

The blog won't be updated until November 1st. . . please come back then!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

To know her is to love her!





Happy Birthday Gwenie!!!

Gwenie's birthday was yesterday, good times were had all around! It was a great day! I can't believe she is three years old and at the same time I can't believe that there was ever life before Gwen ;). Here's to many more good years to come!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Breaking out of the Cage


Let's be honest. Is there anyone goofier looking than Nicholas Cage? Let me clarify-- if he were a normal guy walking down the street that is one thing, he doesn't look like an alien or anything. I probably wouldn't feel strongly one way or the other, he would leave no impression. But the fact that he is supposed to be the heart throb, handsome, hero of so many movies just doesn't work! He is creepy. He's not a bad actor, but the movies he is in are kind of ruined for me because he looks so . . . not hollywood leading man-ish. There are others who I would put in this category (like Ben Stiller or Owen Wilson), but they have the humor and charm to compensate. But Nicholas Cage? I don't think there is a weirder looking leading man out there.

Once again, I want to make it clear that I do not go around judging how beautiful people are, except in movies. And even then I don't really feel opinionated about anyone else but how not good looking Nicholas Cage is. Well, I guess I have one opinion and that is that I want the guy who plays Mohinder on heroes to read books to me (doesn't he have a nice speaking voice?).

We watched some show last night with Nicholas Cage and Jessica Biel (?), they were in love-- she is a year younger than me. Gross. The movie was good, but how much better would it have been with some other actor, instead I was closing my eyes when any affection was shown because it made me queasy.

Notice how I have not used the word "ugly" . I feel so bad about this post and I think I am secretly afraid that Nicholas Cage will read it one day and be offended. Once again, if he were a normal person he is just fine looking, but compared to . . . . anyone else in Hollywood. . . Sorry Nicholas. To each their own.

What's your opinion. . .?

Friday, October 19, 2007

I believe. . .

There are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me, in our darkest hours to show us how to live, to teach us how to give. . . .

That song has been in my head for the last two hours because I was served by an angel today! Actually I could argue that I have seen angels almost everyday in the last couple of weeks, particularly the last couple of days; which is awesome, because I have really needed them!

I'll start with today's adventure. Today was one of those days where at 2:00PM I was still in my PJs and hadn't brushed my teeth, yick. It all started last night. See, Bentley doesn't really sleep at night. . . and as much as he doesn't sleep on most nights. . . he really didn't sleep last night. He was all congested and sad and inconsolable. This made for a rough night for me. What was really sad was that when he finally fell asleep (at about 6:30AM) our fire alarm batteries died, or started dying, which resulted in a repeating chirp from our fire alarm. Is there anything more annoying than that high pitched continuous noise, I think not. Blaine must have fixed it when he left for work (thank heavens!). So I was finally drifting off to sleep at about 8:30AM when Gwen sprang into my room (I couldn't help but envy her obviously well rested body and the energy and zeal that came with it), "Waaaaake uuuuup Mommmmy!!! Wake up little brudder!!!" "It's not time for sleeping, it's time for breakfast!".

I drag myself out of bed. The brother starts screaming as soon as I set him down. I pretend I don't hear (I am surprised that I can still hear at this point due to the continual screaming that was happening all night long). We get down stairs and... we are out of Lucky Charms. This may not seem like a big deal to most of you. They really are magically delicious to Gwen, so magical that she refuses to eat any other kind of cereal (we have Dora cereal folks, that says a lot!). Anyway, so after all this stuff the doorbell rings. It is my visiting teachers. I am in my robe. I guess I should be thankful that at least I had on a robe!! They were so nice to come and we had our usual chaotic visit. For some reason Gwen is very anti younger children these days. So she wouldn't let them play with her toys or come within a ten foot radius of her. Then the brother started screamin' again. Wow.

Anyway, the day carried on this way. Finally at 4:00PM I was ready to go to the store. Just a few necessities. That's all. I was gonna get in, get out and get on with my real life! An hour and half and an entire cart full of groceries later I was in line at the checkout. I had a very delicate balance going on with the brother. He was in the sling, but I haven't quite learned how to get him in there securely yet. Needless to say, getting the groceries onto the conveyor belt without dropping the brother was a challenge. He had been so good the whole time we were shopping, but right as we got to the checkout he started wailing. Screaming. Ehhh. How was I going to make it through the checkout process and to my car, and home and unload the groceries. I didn't have enough hands and I feared that I did not have enough patience.

I was in the checkout lane for eternity. The checkout gothic. . . I mean girl, was not pleased at the ruckus. By the time I had all the groceries back in the cart Ben was a big mess in the sling and not happy. I had to hold him with one arm (pretty sure the point of a sling is to free up both hands, whatever); which left me with one arm to push our 500lb cart and to keep Gwen from being hit by a car. She refuses to ride in a cart [I have to note though that she does AWESOME usually at staying by me, I just worry as we walk through the parking lot]. Have you tried pushing a full grocery cart with one arm, it's hard on its own but with the two additional children, wow.

So I was thinking wouldn't it be nice if someone from the ward would walk by and help me. It wasn't even really a prayer or anything. When I get to my car this man (who looked a lot like Doc from Back to the Future) approached. "You look like you could use some help" (I am sure he meant "it SOUNDS like you need some help" since the brother was screaming still). I practically burst in to tears as he took my groceries and put them in my cart while I buckled the kids in.




He will never know how much that meant to me. I will vouch for him in Heaven.

And you Ralphie, will not know how much it meant when you made me dinner the other night (and the ten thousand other things you have done for me recently)

And you next door neighbor whose name is John I think, will not know how much it meant that you trimmed our tree for me yesterday.

And Blaine won't ever know how much it meant to me when he didn't go to Scouts last week because I needed help.

And Gretchen, thanks for shaking all of the fire ants off of my shoe yesterday while I was standing in my car crying like a baby!

And so on, and so forth.

Here's a shout out to all of the angels in my life!


P.S. Just to note-- I stepped in a fire ant mound yesterday. About ten minutes later I accidentally rolled up the window and smooshed three of Gwen's fingers in it. I am on a roll!

P.P.S. I love Bentley, he just is a little noisy sometimes ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Giddyup

It's happened. I am a Texan. I felt chilly yesterday. I came and looked at the temperature. Low 80's. Don't tell me I am going to be one of those lunatics wearing sweaters when it is 75 dgs outside.

In my defense my temperature decrease is more significant than most others. I lost my little internal combustion engine (Bentley), who I personally think added about 20 dgs of body heat.

Anyway, I am a Texan. [Don't worry Rose: I still don't think that Texas is the best place in the whole wide world or anything. . . so I guess the conversion isn't truly complete]

Monday, October 15, 2007

Omega 3

The other day when I got home from the store I noticed that I accidentally picked up catfish instead of tilapia. Catfish. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about catfish is that they never die. I swear my mom told me a story of my brother catching some catfish and they tried everything to kill them. They stayed alive for like three days in the freezer. Or something. Remember this memory is coming from the recesses of my brain.

It's not like I was going to go and return the catfish. We have a goal to eat fish three times a week now, so I may as well expand my horizons beyond tilapia and salmon. Still all day today when I would look up catfish recipes or see the fish in the fridge I would get a chill down my spine. I half expected the catfish fillet to start flopping around in my fridge.

I was explaining this paranoia to Blaine. He didn't believe me that catfish never die (or are hard to kill). I knew a surefire well to settle the dispute... call my mother.

This is how the conversation went:

MOM: Hello?
[Bentley starts screaming]
Me: Hey mom, I have a question. Do you remember telling me how you can't kill catfish?
MOM: Well, you can kill them, they are just hard to kill.
Me: Don't you remember telling me how James caught a catfish and you tried to kill it for three days and it wouldn't die even in the freezer?
MOM: Well, I spent a lot of money on a catfish one time because I knew they were hard to kill.
Me: You spent money on a catfish?
MOM: Yeah, I got one and put it in the garden?
Me: You did WHAT? Why would you do that?
Mom: Because I heard they were hard to kill and I thought that would be good for the garden.

A light bulb goes on in my head.

Me: CATFISH mother not cactus!

It was a really funny conversation and you probably had to be there. Let's just say that apparently catfish and cactus are hard, but not impossible, to kill.

Thanks for the laugh mom!

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for...

Alright so it isn't so much the moment you've all been waiting for, so much as it is the moment that I have been waiting for, but you can still be excited!

You know how people are always reminding you to not wish your life away because it passes too fast already, etc. etc. That has always been kind of hard for me. It's not that I really wished my life away, but I was always excited for the next big thing.

As a kid, of course, you couldn't wait to be grown up. I couldn't wait until high school, particularly for when I was 16 and could drive and date. When I turned 16 driving and dating weren't enough. I wanted a car and a boyfriend. I couldn't wait for the first time I held hands, my first kiss. Then I couldn't wait for graduation and college. My college years found me not being able to wait until Blaine got home from his mission.

Once Blaine was home I couldn't wait to get married. Once we were married I couldn't wait to finish school. Once I finished school I couldn't wait until Blaine finished school. I couldn't wait until we would have our own house. I couldn't wait until we had our own kids. I couldn't wait until we had a real job.

And of course we all know, for my whole life I couldn't wait until I could have a dog!

This year so many of the things I couldn't wait for came to pass! Blaine finished school, we moved into a house, we got a real job. I still found myself waiting. I absolutely could not wait to not be pregnant anymore!

Well folks. The moment is here. He is done with school (for now), we have a nice house, we have two great kids, we are all happy and healthy and doing so well. I kind of want to freeze time and just live like this forever. I would gladly take living in this happy little life forever over letting time pass . . . getting a bigger house, a better job, etc. because at least right now I know that I am extremely happy and everyone is healthy, and there are no promises of that for the future. I feel like I just finished a wild roller coaster ride; so many life events in such a short period. And while the change is exciting and fun, I am loving settling into a routine and meeting friends that will hopefully not change every semester, etc. etc.

Even with all this satisfaction though, in the wee hours of the night I sometimes find myself thinking. . . I can't wait until Bentley sleeps through the night ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Leapin' Lizards!

Living in Texas has introduced us to a whole new ecosystem of wildlife that we had not encountered any of the other places that we lived. I was really nervous to move to Austin because I thought that I would have to fight my way through fields of rattlesnakes to get into the grocery store and sleep with a mosquito net over my bed to keep the cockroaches and arachnids from eating me alive. I was pleasantly surprised once we got here to find that our bug problems are minimal (unless you count those pesky fire ants, but those aren't gross- just annoying). And we have only encountered two snakes. One tiny, almost wormlike, snake in our yard. It doesn't bother me because it lives underneath our grass and, if you've seen Texas grass you will know, it's like a who different world under the first layer of thick grass. The second snake was like something out of a horror film. I am pretty sure it was an Amazon python or something, it seemed like 20 feet long and as thick as Gaston's neck. It was slithering it's way across a major street a couple miles from our house. It is debatable as to whether it was slithering or whether it was roadkill, I couldn't tell. Anyway, surely it fell off a truck that was headed to the zoo because snakes like that cannot possibly live that close to my house.

What we didn't expect was that our house would be literally covered with transparent little lizards (geckos?) everynight when it gets dark. They are super fast and kind of creepy (since you can practically see through them), but lizards don't really bother me. Plus I am confident they are eating the giant arachnids that want to come and eat me alive. So, we have a pretty symbiotic relationship. [Do you like how I am pulling out vocab from my zoology 201 class, I knew I took that for a reason!]

Another fun surprise was Erb the toad. He might be a frog, I'm not really sure the difference. He's huge, like the size of a softball (that's big compared to the Minnesota frogs I would catch on our walks). He only comes out sometimes, like after a rainstorm and at night. And we haven't seen him in a while. I have faith that he is still alive (actually I am pretty sure he got mowed over, but we are trying to not think about it).

There are bunnies and birds and lots of fun things here in Texas.

About the cutest thing I have seen though are the offspring of the transparent lizards. The tiny transparent lizards. They are so cute (in a reptillian kind of way--- wait, reptillian or amphibian, not quite sure. I knew I should have taken another zoology course. . he he he). I have seen a couple in our garage and every now and then in our flower bed. . .

So the other day I was opening the back door to come inside from the backyard and there was one of these tiny little lizards in the crack of the door. He wasn't running away as they so often do. No, he couldn't be. . . dead, could he? So I shakily reach my hand forward to scare him away. He doesn't move. I touch his little tail. He doesn't move. He got squished in our door. Sad times at the Bassett house. It's not like it was an insect that I could just get with a paper towel or something. It was a cute baby lizard. So I shut the door (knowing I was shutting him in it again, I felt bad), and left the job for my super manly husband to take care of.

The next day I was doing the dishes and I saw a piece of food or something fall in the sink. I went to go and grab it and. . . .LEAPIN LIZARDS! It was a lizard in my kitchen sink. Not any lizard, but I am pretty sure it was the reincarnated little lizard I smooshed in the door. He was out to get me. Luckily my super manly husband was home (he screamed like a girl when he saw it!) and resolved the problem.

Never had a lizard in my house before!