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


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


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!


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 (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 :).


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!



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


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


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


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


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!

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!


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!

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!

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 ;).