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


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!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Just in case anyone is curious. It costs approximately$14,500 to have a baby these days. That's right. Thank heavens for insurance. Thank heavens that the company Blaine works for let us start on their insurance even though I was already pregnant and previously uninsured. Talk about a tender mercy! With the insurance our cost out of pocket was $15. Hmmm what to do with the $14,485 we saved! Oh, that's right, we would not have been able to pay the $14,485. Hallelujah for insurance!!!!!!! I've cursed it's name many times, but when you are on the receiving end it sure feels good!

For those who are curious, the blessed epidural costs $2200. I hope we always have insurance or else I may have to seriously consider working on my granolaness, well that or going through about 12 more years of school to become an anesthesiologist, they sound about equally hard to me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Real men wear pink?

My brother (you know, the one that threw a hammer at me and terrorized my youth) got married in August to an awesome girl who really shaped him up. I didn't get to go to the wedding (they don't let really really pregnant people fly!), but my mom just sent over pictures. I just wanted to cry because look at my brothers! Good thing my parents didn't give up on them when they were going through the "crazy boy" stage! I don't know who talked them all into wearing pink (including my dad!), but still. . . . aren't they awesome and cute, in an older brother (wearing pink) kind of way?


So a couple of days ago our next door neighbor was over visiting with us. She mentioned that we may want to be extra cautious about locking our doors and leaving our porch light on. Apparently a couple nights before her son had been leaving for work at about 2:30AM and he saw a guy in the shadows peering into a window on the vacant house next door to them (so this is two houses away from us). Then the guy walked around and through some other yards, apparently went through our garbage cans, etc. Sandy called the police, but it took them thirty minutes to get here. They scoured the neighborhood and couldn't find anyone. They assume that it was just a homeless guy looking for a place to stay.

I was already paranoid about someone breaking into our house, so this made it worse. Then yesterday Gwen said our family prayer at night and randomly included, "please bless us that we won't die". Then before she headed off to bed she clung to me and said she was scared. When I asked her what about, she said she was scared about who was in our house. Hello! Not okay, where is all this coming from?

I have several things that I think disqualify me from being a good mom, and one of them is that I am not brave, at all. When most kids climb into their parents bed because they are afraid of thunder and lightning, I am waking my kids up in the night to make them go sleep in the closet under the stairs. . . you get the idea.

So I was pretty paranoid last night. At least, I assumed, if someone were trying to break into our house our "good-for-nothin'" dogs would bark and make a ruckus and wake us up. Ahhh, those valiant little puppies will keep us safe !

I had gone to bed a little bit earlier than Blaine (rough day yesterday), but I was awoken to the sound of our dogs barking hysterically. Um, they don't do that. They are crazy and will occasionally resist going to bed, or make yawning sounds in the middle of the night, but they don't bark during the night! I jolt up in bed to see Blaine peering out our back window, apparently all the dogs in the neighborhood (or at least the one behind our house) were barking too. Eeeeek. What the heck is going on?

So, nothing more became of it. Except that while laying awake all night feeding and caring for the brother I was doubly sure I wouldn't get any sleep because I was afraid of intruders.

No more scary movies for me for a while!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Third time is the charm?

Attempt # 3 at potty training Gwen. This attempt included stripping her down and having her watch movies while sitting on the potty. Well she went once. Then when I tried to get her to leave the potty to go do anything else she pleaded (demanded ) a diaper. She tells me she doesn't want to be potty trained.

So, what do you do? I am trying to not push it and wait until she is ready, etc. but I am going to have to start buying depends because she is growing out of the biggest size of diapers.

Stay tuned for attempt #4 of potty training, in a month or so. Are there professional potty trainers for hire ?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The third degree. . .

A few moments after coming home for the night Blaine noticed radiant heat coming from our dishwasher, which should have stopped running about two hours before. "Why is it still drying the dishes, this thing could catch fire?" he said. I braved my way through the forcefield of heat emanating from the dishwasher, proceed to open it and feel the blast of hot air hit my face, force my hand through the plastic dish holding tray, so that. . . yes, you see it coming. . . I can touch the metal heating mechanism to see if it is still hot.

Yes, I have a college degree. Yes, I think I have third degree burns. I apologize if I am not typing correctly, my left pointer finger may be permanently impaired. Help.

Friday, October 5, 2007


So what is it with our appliances and having to be beaten in order to work. Remember the computer monitor that I so cavalierly thought I had fixed? That fix lasted all of an hour, I didn't have the heart to tell my readership that I had failed in my attempt to fix it. Then last night we pop in our DVD and. . . . "loading". . . . twenty seconds. . . "loading" . . . hmm this is unusual. . . . two minutes. . . . "loading". Blaine rips the cord from the socket, shuffles off downstairs with DVD player in tow. I sit puzzled while feeding the baby and listening to the whir of power tools speckled with mutters from Blaine. Footsteps coming up the stairs. DVD player plugged back in. "loading". . . . . thirty seconds. . . . "loading". . . . WHACK! as Blaine's fist pounds the player . . . . and the DVD starts rolling smoothly.

Today, repeat. I cannot figure out how to whack the DVD player though, so unless Blaine is here I can't watch a DVD.

Don't worry it's not like I usually waste my life away watching DVDs, but if Gwen's asleep and the baby is eating it is a nice way to pass the time.

Guess I will have to invest in books. Or boxing gloves. Whatever.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

1000 words

The greatest form of flattery

So I am going to try to copy two people in one foul swoop. I am going to copy Janssen by requesting, nay demanding, that you leave a comment on this post and I am going to follow it up by copying Joanna in introducing those who comment on my posts with a flattering line or two about them in another post. So post you must. Janssen gave people something to post about, so I will too. . .

If you read this post please leave a comment telling me the best thing that happened to you today OR in case you had a horrible day, you can tell me something nice you did for someone else. Heaven knows that if you are having a bad day you can at least try to make someone else have a good one.

So go on, let me know who is reading the blog, I will be sad and a touch embarrassed if no one responds. .

These are the moments. . .

I had this great idea for a blog post yesterday. As I was driving to Ben's 2 week doctor appointment the Sarah Mclaughlin song "I Will Remember You" came on. It's not like that is my favorite song in the world or anything, sure I've heard it before but it holds no real significance with me, but for some reason I just got all emotional and started crying my eyes out. I was pretty sure that it was the line, "Don't let your life pass you by, weep not for the memories" that really got me. So that got me thinking about a post I could do about memories and why they are so precious to me; however last night while I was feeding the baby (clarification: I am constantly, constantly feeding the baby at night. . . he sleeps all day, eats all night) I realized that the part of the song that really made me cry was probably, "I'm so tired, but I can't sleep." That made me laugh, both parts are worth crying over :).

On with the post about memories. . .

It puzzles me how so many people hated high school and junior high. "I'd never go back" they say with determination. Me? Not like I would trade my life now for my old life, but I certainly wouldn't mind doing high school all over again. I am sure I am looking back in rose colored glasses; there certainly were hard, trying, emotional times back then; but SO many good times too ( I am about 90% sure it is illegal to use two semicolons in one sentence, but since I don't fully understand them anyway I cannot be held accountable)!

I was contemplating this and other really memorable times in my life, Oakcrest and my time serving with the young women in Minnesota in particular. What is it about these times that makes me so emotional when I reflect back on them. I yearn for those times. Am I a 14 year old trapped in a 25 year old body? It's not like I secretly long for braces and zits (how could I long for zits, those happy little reminders have stayed with me always, what true friends!). I think the thing I miss are the "familiar masses". Getting old is a lonesome process!

In Junior High and high school you go to school, every day, with the same people. Over the course of three years you know almost everyone. Your lives are intertwined so much even with the people you hardly know. There are so many people to be with all of the time; football games, dates, girls nights, classes, work etc. Something fun or funny will happen several times a day. When I read back in my journal from these times I make lists of "memorable moments" nearly every week. Of course funny things happen as a mother all the time; but those are a sweet kind of funny, I am looking for a make-the-milk-come-out-your-nose kind of funny.

At Oakcrest and serving in the YW there was just such positive energy, and so much love! At any given time at Oakcrest something funny was happening and there were always 30 of my dearest friends within a mile. Always someone to talk to, to laugh with, to cry with, to sing with, to pull a prank on, etc. When else can you be sitting in a meeting and then have ten people run in decked out in cheerleader outfits and lip sync to NSYNC (or some other boy band!). Those are the kinds of fun times I am talking about. If I were to run into FHE and perform a lip sync I would be met with blank stares and rolling eyes. Not Oakcrest! Where else would you perform skits and go bum sliding down a river? Where else would you sing for 30 minutes after every meal the most ridiculous camp songs? I love this place!

Being called to serve in the YW in Minnesota was the best thing since Oakcrest. I was around a giant group of girls, and it was okay to act silly and to sing songs. To do skits and to play jokes. I remember going to the campout and while the other leaders were doing grown up things like cooking the meal, I was dancing around, singing and playing games. . . I was home! And the beauty of it is that the others wanted to be doing the adult things, and I would have hated to be doing them.

It's puzzling because I have never felt like I needed a big group of friends to be happy. Most of my life I have had just one close friend. And I certainly would choose one close friend over a million "kind of" close friends.

I just miss the kind of good times that can be had with really close friends and the masses, there is a happiness and an energy that you just can't seem to find too often later in life. It can be found, mind you, it is the kind of silliness that comes when your waiter at the fondue place can't seem to hear a word you are saying and starts peppering your friends salad uninvitedly, or it can be found in the wee hours of the morning having a sleepover with your two best friends right before you move away to Texas (even though your sleeping babies are just a room away); the problem is that these times are so rare now and back in the day, back before I knew how precious they were, they happened all the time.

Hmmm. I can see you all laughing at me on the inside. I am a 14 year old stuck in a 25 year old body. Can I help it if my best idea for celebrating Ralphie's birthday was to go and kidnap her at 5:00AM for breakfast, or to cut out little teepees and "TP" her door. Those kinds of silliness just aren't appreciated any more--- who wants to get out of bed at 5:00AM or clean up paper teepees off your doorstep-- probably just me :). I guess I will just hold until Gwen is going through these types of fun times. I will warn her to enjoy them because they go by too fast. She won't listen, she will think they will last forever, just like I did!