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 . 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 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?


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 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?