Friday, October 21, 2011

Locker Room Revisited

A couple of months ago a friend asked if she could use one of my blog posts as a monologue when she auditioned for a play. She found a post she thought would work and we worked together on revising it. She auditioned for the play, scored the lead, and the highlight of my life was that I got to see the play AND see my name in the program (she thanked me in the program, that's huge!). Anyway, it was really fun and just yesterday I saw something in the gym that reminded me of this monologue inspiring experience...someone was combing their eyelashes with a toothbrush. Is this normal? I should make a poster "Everything I Need to Know About Personal Hygiene I Learned in the Lifetime Fitness Locker Room". Because really? It's true.

Locker Room
by Kristi Bassett

I grew up in a family of five. But it was kind of a weird family of five because I had three siblings who were, WAY older (I may be slightly off here but I believe my older siblings were ages 17, 14 and 13 when I was born). And my brother Shawn, who was just four years older than me, was too busy plotting ways to raise my parents blood pressure to pay much attention to me. So - for all intents and purposes I was basically raised as an only child, with some of the joys of having siblings thrown in there - like being impaled by horse chestnuts each fall and having to watch Shawn turn his eyelids inside out just to torture me while riding in the backseat of the car (gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking back on it).

What I am trying to say here, is that I never learned how to be a girl. Really, I didn't. I mean sure, I would sneak off with Stef at recess and discuss the intricacies of menstruation. And once on a shopping trip with her family we even pooled our money together and bought deodorant (which we secretly applied while riding in the back of the station wagon). But I didn't exactly have anyone around who I could mimic- who could teach me the ins and outs of being cool, boys, and most importantly of things like make-up.

I mean, sure, I tried to mimic my mom - which is how I assume most girls learn how to primp and pamper. Growing up in the 40s she clung tightly to the trend of nearly shaving off your eyebrows and then penciling them back on, creating a look of permanent surprise. But when I tried to do the same thing I wound up shaving an eyebrow completely off and cutting my eyelashes precariously close to the lid. And maybe some people can pull off the uncle Fester look, but unfortunately, I am not one of those people. My quick thinking saved me a punishment when I falsely accused Jimmy, my childhood friend, of being the mastermind of the assault on my face. And though my eyelashes and brows have long since grown back, she’s still working on treating Jimmy civilly.
What I desperately needed was someone two or three years older who was infinitely cooler than myself, who could be my mentor. I needed DJ from Full House or Topenga from Boy Meets World, but unfortunately I hung around with more of the Kimmy Gibbler crowd, and it showed.

The moral of the story is that the locker room at the gym baffles me. I’ve never been around so much estrogen! There are women in there primping and prepping in ways that I never even imagined. Straightening Irons, finishing creams, powders, potions, it’s overwhelming! These women are dolling themselves up more for an afternoon play date than I did for my wedding! I can’t say I blame them, rather, I admire them! I want to look nice, I want to pucker my lips and trace them and make kissy faces in the mirror without looking like a moron. People probably think it's a bit odd to see me gawking as they meticulously apply their make-up, but I simply can’t help it, I want to learn!

The bottom line is.... I saw someone blow-drying their eyelashes yesterday. And I don't understand why. Is this something I should be doing? Am I unaware of some health hazard resulting from simply letting your lashes air-dry? Does it make them darker? Curlier? Or have damp lashes just gone the way of my beloved boot cut jeans? Are they sooooo 2009? I am kind of panicky about it because as much as I want to embrace my femininity and apply the knowledge I gather from the gym locker room, I can sense a revisiting of the whole "shave the eyebrow" incident, only this time involving fire and eyesight impairment rather than just social suicide. But on the other hand, they do say that pain is beauty...

What else am I missing out on? And for the love, will someone just invite me over for a sleepover and teach me the fine art of putting on eyeshadow? I'm 28 years old, I think it's time I know.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Wow. Time flies when you are having fun, eh? Not sure how this little guy went from 0 - 4 in about two seconds, but he did! Having Bentley and Ivy so close together really through me for a loop (I know, you are thinking...really? She's not over it yet? But nope, not over it yet.). I think the hardest thing about it (besides trying to care for a newborn while puking my guts out) was that I felt like I didn't really get to pay enough attention to Bentley while he was just a little guy.

So it has actually been kind of fun this past month as Gwen has been gone at school all day and I just have the younger two at home. I feel like I am getting to see a fun side of Bentley (and Ivy). It's been fun to get to spend more time with him and to make up for some serious lost time while I was in a state of "two baby delirium" for a couple of years (I can hear twin moms laughing hysterically, I know dudes, I'm not as tough as you. I admit it).

Anyway, just thought I would give a little Bentley update for posterity's sake here on Bentley's fourth birthday.

Bentley finally started preschool, which he absolutely loves. He's been dying to go since he first found out about preschool about two and a half years ago. I am so grateful that he is finally old enough to go (misses the school deadline by two weeks, sigh). He goes to a little preschool a few houses down and looks forward to it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30-3.

Which is when he used to take a nap. And which is when he still does take a nap on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One of my very favorite things about Bentley is that he still takes naps. Willingly, readily and most of the time happily.

He is really in to puzzles right now. It's kind of fun as Gwen never really got in to them so much. He's conquered the 24 piece puzzle and is now loving 48 piecers. And I love Dollar Tree for having such a nice selection of puzzles for $1. When the puzzles get too easy we take two of them and mix all the pieces together for an added element of fun.

He's a master at the bigwheel. That happened over the summer. At the beginning of the summer we had a bike parade and we were kind of the laughing stock of the ward for a while because of how slow we were. But he really picked up on it and I think he is ready to move on to training wheels. Luckily he just got a spiderman scooter ($3 at a garage sale!) and a wiggle car for his birthday. We'll have to get some good time in before the snow starts to fall!

Bentley LOVES to sing. And he loves to sing loudly. It's really made me reconsider the music I listen too. I never thought it was bad, but nothing makes you realize how bad the music you listen to is like your 3 (well now 4) year old belting out songs at Costco. His very favorites are "Tonight Tonight," anything by Owl City, and basically any song you hear on the radio more than five times a day. Yeah, I think I am going to invest in some educational songs and start playing those because that kid can memorize lyrics so quickly! He'll hear a song once and then start singing it.

He is so sweet. Seriously. Gwen is so tough and stubborn that I have kind of learned that I have to be stern with her. But Bentley as soon as he can sense you are upset with him quickly apologizes. Most often he will burst in to tears as well. He just wants to please everyone so much. It is such a relief to have a kid that actually...I don't know... like feels remorse. The other day I was rushing to get the kids in the car so we could pick up Gwen in time. I had told Bentley to grab his shoes and get in the car. I then took out the garbage. When I came in I hollored "Bentley, get up here!". No response, then "BEN!", then forgetting how tender he is "BENTLEY, GET UP HERE RIGHT NOW!". Then I heard some crying. I went downstairs to find him, but he wasn't there. I finally found him in the van, in the garage, with his seatbelt bucked, sobbing. He heard me yelling for him and he couldn't get out of his seatbelt to come find me. And the whole time he was exactly where I had asked him to be, he was so quick that he got out there in the two seconds I was outside taking out the trash. What a sweet, obedient boy.

On the Fourth of July he was tossing a pillow around and somehow fell backwards and hit the back of his head on our coffee table. The corner of the coffee table. I could hear it. I knew it was going to be bad. He cried but I didn't see any blood. It was kind of weird. Then I moved my hand and my hand had blood on it. Then I almost passed out when I saw his small puncture wound on his head. We took him to the instacare where he got two staples put in. This is the first instance of stitches/staples in the Blaine Bassett family history. And I learned that I don't think I can ever. EVER. Be a nurse. I almost tossed my cookies like ten times throughout the whole experience.

He LOVES church. He talks about his primary teachers nearly every day. One day he came home and said, "Mom and Dad we have a big problem". The big problem was that Sister McCorriston (his teacher) wasn't there that week. A few weeks later he excitedly came out of primary to tell us he had figured out why Sister McCorriston had been missing for a couple of weeks - she had had a baby. So cute. He really listens to his primary teachers too and can tell us every week what he learns.

Whenever we ask him to do something, particularly something not fun like going potty, his shoulders immediately slump he looks down and says in a droll voice, "this is gonna take forevvvvvver". I don't know why, but he always says it, and I always think it is hilarious.

For our family reunion this summer we did a family marathon. For two hours we all ran as much as we could and tried to see how many marathons we could collectively run. I thought Bentley would stay in the stroller the whole time but oh no! That kid ran. A lot. In flip flops. When all was said and done I think he logged in about three miles by himself! We really need to get him some running shoes!

He loves to give kisses, and he has some seriously huge lips. No one but me really likes receiving the kisses though, and ironically he doesn't like to receive kisses either, just give them. To his sisters. Blaine and I pray often that he isn't going to be that kid in elementary. You know, the one that runs around kissing people.

The other day when I gave him a haircut I guess I had cut it too short and he said, "this haircut makes me look too much like Grandpa Genessy". Grandpa Genessy is bald. Ha ha.

Bentley is a pure delight to have in our family. He seriously makes me so happy. I love being with him, and everyone he meets just loves him. I feel so lucky to be his mom and so sad to see how quickly he is growing up. I tell him all the time that I want him to stay little but he says he eats too many vegetables so he is going to keep growing. Darn it all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sophie's Choice or: Why My Children Will Prefer to Take the Stairs

So, I'll save you some grief for when your youngest child is no longer in a stroller. Kids are afraid of escalators. I had absolutely no idea. See I have had one, if not two, kids in strollers for the past seven years now rendering escalators impossible. And even if I were to be naughty and fold up my stroller and take the escalator the child in question was probably small enough that I carried him/her up the darn thing.

So today I had a return to make at sears (side note, never buy anything from unless you know for certain that you won't be returning it, I am 2 for 2 on nightmare return situations). So I took the three kids with me, we made our return and wound up with $15 on a gift card. I figured it would be easiest to just use it while I was already there. The kids section was on the second floor. And that, my friends was when the "shizzizzle" hit the proverbial fan.

The way it goes in our family is that Ivy and I lead the way while Bentley and Gwen fight and bicker and putter along behind us. So, proceeding in our typical fashion I had Ivy's hand and got on the escalator going up. 1.5 seconds later I realize that Gwen had made it on the escalator but Bentley was still at the bottom quivering like it was a death trap. I urge him to just step on, certainly he had done this before, right? Meanwhile Ivy and I are drifting further and further up and away from Ben.

He finally gathers his courage enough to make a move but then freaks out and tries to go back down off a stair. He's completely panicking as he realizes that he could be stuck there forever and is not getting any closer to the bottom. He starts trying to go faster and... faceplants it on the escalator. He's wailing. Absolutely wailing, but Ivy and I are approaching the exit and as I think of her trying to get off the escalator alone horrible stories from the past of people's shoelaces and hair and phalanges getting gobbled up at the top of escalators flash before my eyes.

It's a real pickle. I felt like Sophie in Sophie's Choice. I really did. I quickly made a plan of action, despite Bentley's situation looking awfully precarious, I figured I would have time to get Ivy safely to the top of the escalator and then run down and catch Bentley before he made it to the top. It was kind of a nightmare all of the sudden as I contemplated the possibility that I could lose two children to the monstrosity.

Then a nice old man (who looked at me with utmost disdain for so carelessly abandoning my son-- can't blame him) saved the day. He picked up Bentley and carried him up the escalator to me.


So life goes on and ten minutes later we are ready to leave the store, we have to go down the escalator. Having graduated the school of elevator hard knocks I picked up Ivy and Bentley and proceeded with caution to the mighty beast. It was then that I noticed Gwen cowering and nudging her way backwards away from the escalator.

For twenty minutes we sat there at the top, trying to help Gwen muster up the courage to get on the escalator. Ivy, Ben and I went up and down ten times to try to show her that it was going to be okay. Now, I could have understood if Bentley had a little post traumatic stress but Gwen? Really. I got lots of fun looks from passersby as I gave my best motivational speech about how if she was afraid of escalators she would be stuck on the "first floor of life" for ever. She didn't care.

Finally, finally, after much bribery and much motivational speaking we finally made our triumphant return to the first floor of Sears. None the worse for the wear but having learned some valuable life lessons. Like that you should maybe not just assume that kids know how to use escalators. Or at least put them on it first. Or better yet...just take the elevator.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chipmunk Cheeks

That was my nickname. Chipmunk Cheeks. We did a lot of things with my great aunts when I was a kid. Our Christmas traditions involved lots of great-aunt visiting. We enjoyed eating talerina with Aunt June (and getting a pair of socks with a fifty cent piece inside), then going over to enjoy Aunt Audrey's vast collection of cuckoo clocks and birds (of the real, non cuckoo variety). It was a fun childhood. Except for that they both called me "chipmunk cheeks" like all the time.

Anyway, flash forward two decades later and Bentley's favorite thing is to play "Chipmunk Cheeks" by stuffing whatever food we are eating in his cheeks before chewing and swallowing. It's endearing, and...kind of gross.

So last weekend was our family camping trip to Fountain Green. At the end of the trip my dear sister-in-law Stef offered to take Bentley for most of the next week (WOOHOO*)

The kids were exhausted when we finally got all packed up to go to our respective homes, and Stef sent me the following images of the first five minutes of their drive.

Woohoo! Riding with cousins is the best. thing. ever! (Note that poor Bentley gets lobsterfied anytime the mercury creeps past about 75 dgs, good thing we aren't in Texas anymore eh?)

A few minutes later Stef's kids had fallen asleep and Bentley looked a little...distressed. She asked what was wrong, he replied, "I'm doing schimpmuch sheiks". It took a minute to figure out that he was, indeed, doing chipmunk cheeks. But then he fell asleep.

And since he was asleep she decided to help rid him of the Chipmunk Cheeks.
And the grapes kept coming, and coming, and coming. I am not sure I know what the final count was, but I am certainly glad that the poor kid didn't choke to death!

It sure has been quiet around this house with little Bentley gone. Gwen and Ivy have been downright civil to each other. Not sure what it is with Gwen and Bentley, but they fight incessantly. But despite the peace and quiet and calmness that has presided over our home the last several days, I miss this kid! He is like a walking exclamation point and I can't wait to kiss his face off when I see him again tonight!

* I remember one time when I only had one kid someone who had two kids saying something to the effect of "well you only have one kid so you don't understand". It really bothered me. But, I have to admit in the last two months I have had the chance to only have two kids a couple of times (thanks Stef!), and it does not matter the combination of kids but in my personal experience two kids is WAY, like tremendously, extraordinarily, extremely and downright miraculously easier than having three kids. That is not to diminish anyone's one-kid or two-kid lives at all, those times were hard too. But jeepers, two kids is like a stroll in the park compared to three. But that could just be because I never really got a chance with two kids. Remember how I was pregnant with Ivy when Ben was the tender age of seven months? yeah. I am sure that three kids is a walk in the park compared to having four. Which is why I only have three :). The end.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why I Should Not Be Your #1 Choice for Family Portraits

Oh blurgh. Twenty pictures and this is the best one I can get of my three children together? Not exactly mantle worthy.

On the bright side though, I'm starting to get the hang of taking individual shots.

PS Gwen is the only person who can hold still long enough for me to adjust my settings to take a decent picture though. Oh well : )

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

gaga ooh la la

Bentley is a loud guy. Not in a bad way, he's not usually whining or complaining. He's usually singing. His current favorite is "Tonight, tonight"
La, la, la whatever
La, la, la it doesn't matter
La, la, la oh well
La, la, la

Really, he knows the whole song. It's really sweet and fun, but it can get quite loud, and perhaps a little embarrassing. You never realize what song lyrics are actually saying until your innocent child starts blaring out pop music at Costco (that one was Bad Romance, by Lada Gaga, "rah rah ah ah ah roma ro ma ma gaga ooh la la). Yeah, nothing like wide eyed glares from passersby as he belts out at the top of his lungs.

Anyway the other day I had a really bad headache and he was singing in his typical boisterous way and I looked right in his eyes and said "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" to which he responded "why?" (usually Gwen is the shusher in this family and I try to tell her to only shush bad sounds not happy singing). I responded "sorry bud, but I have a headache" and then he said, "well, what is your headache trying to sleep or something?"

I love the things kids come up with!

Friday, May 6, 2011


My child is NOT named after a car. I just want to clear that up. Because when Blaine clicked on an article about, and I quote, "the most despised baby names" we were a little horrified to see that Bentley was near the top of that list.

I have a thing about names. I like awesome ones. I take a great deal of deliberation when choosing them. I don't want a common name. Ivy's name was on the top 1000 (#299) when we named her and that was pushing it. But I loved it so much that I made an exception.

When I named Bentley it wasn't even in the top 1000 baby names. I practically invented using the name. Bentley was born in 2007, and the social security rating for his name in 2007 was #995 (it wasn't on the list for any year prior, ever.). But apparently there is some famous teenage mom (from one of those crazy shows that advocate teen pregnancy) that named her child Bentley and now, what do you know, for 2010 Bentley ranked #101 on the list of baby boy names. What a sham. And on top of being a now extremely popular name, people apparently hate it, because they assume people are using it because of the classy Bentley car. I kind of want to pull my hair out.

Let me tell you a brief history of my childrens names, lest you think I am a Bentley driving Gwenyth Paltrow fan whose favorite plant is Ivy (can you see the steam coming out of my ears?).

Gwen. Gwen is named after Blaines Grandma. Blaine's Grandma is absolutely the most Christlike person on the planet today. I am sure of it. So selfless, kind, caring, sweet. The salt of the Earth. If asked who I most wanted to be like on the planet, it would most certainly be Grandma Gwen. Gwen's name was 100% going to be Adilyn. Adilyn Paige. Up until the day she was born, when it just didn't feel right. And thank goodness for that. Little Adi would have been lost in a sea of Madi's, Abby's and Adi's. Dodged that bullet.

Bentley. My Grandma's maiden name was Bentley. It seemed perfect. We loved the name Ben but didn't want to use the common name of Benjamin. So one day I had an epiphany (I was in the HEB parking lot with Ralphie) to use my Grandma's maiden name. She was also a very sweet, kind, give you the shirt off her back, kind of Grandma. And bonus! We could stick with the using of the family name thing, which we never set out to do, but hey! Why not!

Ivy Jane. Now this was a hard one. We had used family names twice, but was that going to be our thing? I didn't want to commit to a trend. We stewed and stressed. My desire to name my child something unique reached an all time high. I really really loved the name Scout. I thought it would be darling for a little girl. I could not sell Scout on Blaine to save my life (much the same as Charlie with Bentley). One day on the phone I was teasing my dad, Ivan (goes by Don), that I was going to name the new baby after him and call her "Ivy". It was completely a joke. But then...I really liked it. In the hospital we had the names narrowed to Lyla Jane or Ivy Jane. We had penciled in Lyla on the certificate. Then I told Blaine I was sick of trying to figure it out, and that he was to leave and not come back until he had for sure named our new baby. He came back with tears in his eyes and said her name was Ivy Jane. He really wanted to honor my parents (Ivan and Jan). He new I wasn't the best at showing grattitude, and I really did have amazing parents. He wanted to show them how much we love and admire them by naming our daughter after them (in a round about way).

So SEE. My kid is not named after a car, nor was his name inspired by teenage pregnancy.

Now, if your kids name is popular, that's great. I love popular names too. And if you named your kid after a car, more power to you. I just didn't and I want to clarify so that if you think Bentley is a very uppity thing to name your kid you can realize...I named my Bentley after a humble old lady, who lived in a tiny house in Ogden and had a heart of gold, not a pot of it.

(PS the spacing on this post will not be fixed. I tried. Repeatedly. It's like hard wired in here. Sorry)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fever Pitch

I've never been much of a runner. One of the many reasons I feel like a social outcast in the stay-at-home mom community. I've tried really hard to love it but I just....don't. On January 1, 2005 Blaine decided that he would run the St. George marathon that October. He wasn't much of a runner either. I sent him out on his first run with a big pat on the back and an enthusiastic "you can do anything you set your mind to Honey!!". He hobbled back heaving and ho-ing about five minutes later after having made it about half a mile.

He persisted though and his runs became longer and easier for him, until he was consistently running several miles a day. That summer we had the opportunity to live in Portland, OR (which ranks #2 on my "Places I Want to Live" list, right behind Round Rock, TX). Throughout that summer I would sporadically try to run. It usually didn't go well and would turn more in to a leisurely stroll.

Rarely did Blaine and I go running together because, well, what was the point? He would run at a much faster pace than me and he would actually, you But one day I was feeling particularly pudgy and I decided I would do my very best to go on a run with Blaine. I loaded Gwen up in the jogger and we were off.

It was sunny and warm, the scent of pine trees wafted through the air. I was at the top of my game. We started out kind of together but eventually, and you may want to sit down for this part, I got ahead of Blaine.

Now I had never actually gone running with someone and gotten ahead of them before. I am usually panting and puffing and clutching my side, urging for the sweet release of death. This feeling of leading the pack was absolutely invigorating. I found a strength deep within myself that I hadn't known existed before. I ran and I ran and I watched Blaine grow smaller and smaller in the distance. I had never felt so alive.

Now you might think that maybe Blaine wasn't trying. Oh, he was trying. I could tell. He looked how I normally looked during runs. Once we got home I went on and on about how wonderful I was, I had really shown him who was boss.

And that's when he nearly collapsed. And that is also when we took his temperature and saw that he had a 104dg fever. And then spent the night in the Emergency Room. Yeah.... that explained a lot.

And that was the last time I went running.

Zumba anyone?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seek First to Understand

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of working at Franklin Covey for several months right after finishing high school. I truly loved the job. It was a typical post-high school job, I took inbound sales calls. The beautiful thing though was that my shift was from 5AM-9AM every day. Being done with work by 9AM? That was something to rejoice about. Going to bed at 8PM though...was social suicide, but that's beyond the point.

One of the perks of being an employee of Franklin Covey was getting the chance to attend lots of seminars and things that other people had to pay hundreds of dollars to attend. For all of the seminars and motivational reading material I received there's only one thing that really stuck with me, "seek first to understand and then to be understood." I think that's one of the seven values of highly effective people, or something like that.

Even through my numbskull teenage head that phrase seemed profound. I made a concerted effort to apply it in to my daily life, and it's been my go-to wedding shower advice for nearly a decade.

It served me well when we were first married and Blaine was really really late getting home from work and I was worried (and we shared a cell phone - the horror! - so I had no way of contacting him). I was borderline call-the-police worried when he finally walked in the door. It's funny how as soon as you know the person you were worried about is safe that worry can turn in to anger real quick. Turns out he had stopped to help someone (or given someone a ride home and then stopped to help someone, something very selfless and kind), and I was sorry that I hadn't sought first to understand before I verbally assaulted him once he finally came in the door.

Anyway, I think it is a wonderful motto, seek first to understand and then to be understood.

Blaine just got home last night from a four day trip to Boston. A lot of yelling rang through the halls of our home while he was gone. Turns out single parenthood is emotionally taxing. And for some reason, completely beyond my scope of comprehension, I decided that while Blaine was gone would be a good time to dejunk Gwen and Bentley's room. After a very tiring day of sorting, cleaning, and dejunking I got to the last drawer of Gwen's dresser. And it that drawer, I found this...

*shudder*. What the WHAT? My mind raced thinking of how I had one time found an entire measuring cup full of sugar in her closet, all the candy wrappers I had found behind her bed, all the distrust she has earned recently. I assumed it was probably a hunk of cheese she had squirreled away to eat after bedtime and then forgotten about.

I took a breather, before berating her about sneaking food I decided to just try to seek first to understand. I asked her what it was.

Her response? "Your Mothers Day present!"

Boy did I feel loved. But then she continued, "remember a few weeks ago when we had pineapple with *salt on it and you wanted another piece but it was gone? I saved a piece for you to give to you for mothers day!".

Ahhhhh. See! Good thing I hadn't yelled at her, right? It was a sweet gift. I mean certainly what I want most of all for Mothers Day is for my kids to stop fighting for even just ten minutes, but a very close second is a moldy piece of pineapple that had been squirreled away with utmost care, remember it truly is all about the little things.

Happy Mothers Day, may you receive gifts as thoughtful (though hopefully not as smelly) as mine!

*Am I the only person who salts my pineapple, my husband and children think I am a such a freak show, but it is so much better that way!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday

I mentioned a while back on facebeook that I was considering applying for a blogging position. I was really excited about it. I would love the opportunity to earn money from home while Blaine is in school. Well, I never applied. The main reason is because the blog was a homemaking blog. And that's great and all, since homemaking is my full time profession, but...I'm no good at it. As Kayla once noted, I write about the black eyes of homemaking, the epic fails. To be frank, I am kind of tired of that, of being the person who can't do anything.

I mean, I've tried photography. Fail.
I don't dress well. At all.
Can't grow a garden to save my life.
We all know that my handyman skills are dire, and that's being generous.

Everyone who is anyone (or at least anyone who is a stay at home Mom in the Mormon community) is good at something homemakery like. Take for example a small case study of my friends. We've got the photographer, the gardner, the fashionista, the crafter, and finally the decorator/crafter/entrepreneur extraordinaire; it kind of begs the question...what am I contributing to the world?

Well that's about to change folks. I present to you my first first do-it-yourself tutorial.

See I noticed the other day that the bottom of my stools were kind of scratching the wood floor. I knew Laurie, Kayla, Meleah, Ralphie, Janssen et. all would be able to solve this type of problem on their own, using their mad homemaking skills. So I figured it out by myself and took pictures along the way, so I could contribute.

Be edified my friends.

Homemade Floor Protecting Mittens

by: Kristi

First you will want to gather your needed supplies. I decided to repurpose all of the socks from our mismatched sock bucket.

Now, take the sock and place over the leg of the stool. Like so.

When sock is completely over stool leg...

Get a rubber band. Any kind will do. For this project I chose one of Ivy's hair bands.

(that's sparkly blue nail polish from the Easter Bunny, it looks really gross in this picture and I'd be lying if I said it looked better in real life.) Now, be careful here to not snap the rubber band. I found that doubling the elastic around twice, to make an 'x' pattern was very visually satisfying.

And voila! Now not only have you added to the warmth and loveliness of your home, accented your decor (and the random piles of laundry hanging around), but you've also protected your wood floors. And it didn't cost you a dime.

Go and feel validated in your homemakery my friends. I feel like an official crafty Mormon housewife now. Whew!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fairies gone wild

And while on the topic of Gwen....she told me some of the kids had decorated their homework folders and asked if she could do the same. I consented, and I can only imagine how excited her teachers are to see this little number every day! Boom chicka wow wow!

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You may have already heard how Gwen busted open Bentley's box of valentines and labeled them all "To: Gwen From : Bentley" but did you hear how she labeled all of her valentines?

I'm not sure who this Fred kid is, but apparently she has the hots for him :) Just kidding, I told her to label them all "To: Friend" but apparently I need to enunciate better : )
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You know, I'm a self professed bad teacher. I'm just not good at it. I have lots of talents (most of them have something to do with changing two diapers at a time), but teaching simply is not one of them. I've taken strides, however, to make sure that I teach my children the important things in life. That they are children of God, that they should be kind, to only buy things that are on sale, and so on. And every once in a while I get what I like to call a "parent payday" when the efforts of my tireless teaching and patience pay off. I got one of those yesterday. Now that Gwen is getting older we've tried to teach her about stranger danger and what to do if someone attempts to kidnap her. Yesterday, out of the blue, she wrote down a step by step plan for what to do if a "bad guy, or almost bad guy" tries to kidnap her.

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Because many of you aren't fluent in kindergartenese I'll first rewrite what she wrote with her own spelling, and then I will interpret it for you.

1 AKT lik u dum kid
2 Yel Help!"
3 puch the priuris if is u Boy if is u grle puch hr in the nipl

And now, for those of you who use regular English rather than phonetic English

1. Act like a dumb kid
2. Yell help
3. Punch the privates if it's a boy, if its a girl, punch her in the nipple

It's nice to know that she is retaining the important things that we are trying to teach her : ) Also how cute that she puts a dot in between every word, attempted to use punctuation, and...I don't know, she's just so darn cute. And don't you dare try to kidnap my kid, unless you like a good punch to the nipple!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Surprise! I posted!

Well if I have learned one thing in my short life, it is that if I get behind on writing in a journal (or blog for this matter...) I will get intimidated and never start writing again. It's really sad isn't it? You keep thinking how you are going to just sit and catch up and write a thousand posts in a day but then you never do.

But the good news is I think the whole reason I haven't written is simply because I don't have time. First off I got a job! And it's a job blogging! Blaine's cousin owns a Utah real estate business. Did you notice how I made the link the key words that we are trying to get up on the google page for? See how I am learning all about SEO and so when I decide to become a rich famous blogger sometime I actually maybe can. I am also learning a lot about html* < / slight exaggeration > . So everyday I take Gwen to school, come home, wrasstle the young 'uns in to their naps (getting harder and harder) and then spend exactly two hours down here blogging on a real estate blog. Don't judge my posts yet, I am still getting the hang of it, and it is more factual than entertaining, but it's a start! My first humble paycheck is on the way.

And what will I do with that paycheck, you ask? Well, for starters I will put a deposit down on the SIXTY DOLLARS WORTH of donuts Blaine bought yesterday. You heard me.** He got a special clearance at work a few days ago and can now go in to a different part of the building and apparently you have to bring donuts (specifically not the crappy kind). We wound up taking gourmet donuts that cost their weight in gold. Anyway, let's let bygones be bygones.

Another reason I am busy is because I freaking LOVE the gym. Remember how I posted that one time about Zumba? Turns out, I LOVE IT! And also turns out that trying to fit the gym in while shuttling around a kindergartner is nearly impossible. But I'll be darned if I don't try. Anyway love zumba, and am trying to work up my courage to become an instructor. Not sure if they allow people with ZERO rhythm and coordination to actually teach, but I can't imagine a better job (if the whole real estate blogger thing doesn't pan out).

So.. it's been a while...over a month and then before that it was another month. It pains me, especially because for Christmas I printed out ye olde blog and gave it to Blaine and it made us happy that we have some documentation of our lives the past few years.

So, in honor of me getting overwhelmed and knowing deep down that I never will really catch up, I present, my list of things that deserve their own blog post but simply wont get one.

  • Law School - Just the very words make my heart beat fast. To go or not to go? Blaine applied to ten schools, we've heard back from seven (all yes!) Blaine got full tuition scholarships to two (University of St. Thomas - not in St. Thomas, unfortunately, in St. Paul, big difference AND Baylor), and a meager scholarship to another (George Mason in DC) we've yet to hear from University of Texas, University of Washington and University of Colorado (ironically our three big dream schools). My thoughts? Wellllllllllllllllllllllll, originally I was the reason we started this whole thing because I wanted to get back to Austin, RIGHT then. Life was miserable (a true blue depression I've decided, brought on by a big move, a friendless ward, a dark basement, financial woes, having three young children at home - one who was really really ready for school- and last but certainly not least, really bad renters). Last March we got new renters, then in June we moved to a beautiful non-basement house, I got some friends (Hello Bunko Group, Dinner Swap, Movie Nights!), Gwen started kinder (hello sweet sweet freedom) and so on. Turns out being not depressed is freaking awesome. So I kind of hesitate to shake things up again, because we always shake things up just when they start getting to awesome. But I agree higher education is important and I want to do this, but then are we going to afford things like...oh say diapers, let alone insurance for the children. Anyway, look at how I sneakily turned this in to its own blogpost within a blogpost. Sorry, won't happen again.
  • Bentley got a $1 watch for Christmas and it has turned in to his personal decision maker. He'll be like "Mom! My watch says it's time to go to a movie!" or "Mom! My watch didn't say that it is naptime, so I am NOT taking a nap". I kind of hate that thing, but I am super impressed that he keeps it on him at all times. If I could only be that way with my keys.
  • Turns out my incredibly trustworthy daughter is not so trustworthy (guess I should have figured that out last year). She's been snitching up a storm. It started out with me finding finger marks in the sugar bowl. Then a bunch of Valentine candy wrappers in her room, and culminated in me finding a sugar encrusted measuring cup on a back shelf in her closet. I don't even want to think about how full it had been and how fast she ate an entire cup of sugar. Anyway, any awesome parenting tips? Do I lock every cupboard? Forbid her from going in the kitchen? I'm a bit at a loss. She is big enough to get in to everything if she wants to.
  • I am a professional matchmaker. Remember the last ward I was in? How I kind of only made one friend? On about the first time I met the friend I found out she had a single, handsome, awesome brother and as it turns out, I have a single, awesome, amazing sister-in-law. A few weeks later I had a bday party for Ives(uh, nickname for Ivy) and my sister-in-law came as did Katie (the friend), when Katie met Janey she gave the go ahead to her brother to call her up. And they are totally getting married in June. Aren't I amazing? And won't they be conflicted on September 23, October 23 and December 9th (read hyperlink)?
  • I would be remiss if I didn't say something about IJ. Where did that girl come from? She is about the naughtiest two-year-old I've ever met, but she has the guise of an angel. She looks like she is about 12 months old (though she is now over two), still barely has hair and what she does have is all cornsilky and blonde, gorgeous blue eyes, but a fiery fiesty temper that will scare the bejeebies out of you. You would just have to see it to believe it. So naughty. And on the bright side her new favorite phrases are a) "HELP ME" and b) "______ hit me! Help!" no one actually hits her, so..... its made for some awkward situations, especially because if I say "no, Bentley didn't hit you, he's not even in the room" "her eyes open wide, her lips start to quiver and she says, "MOMMY hit me! Help" so if I get hauled away for child abuse ... I swear, I didn't do it, she is just playing the innocent youngest child a little too well. I bought her a leash for her second birthday and life has been happier since. What a crazy child. I love her though, too much for words!

So there you have it a brief (kinda) synopsis of where I've been, what I'm doing, and the plights of everyday motherhood. Now I can write another post of things that I am doing that you should be doing too, without feeling guilty about shamelessly plugging programs that I get rewards for.

Is anyone even still out there? If I promise to write more will you come back? I have funny stories, they still happen every day....lots of them involve poop, I promise I'll share! Missed you guys. Okay, peace out.

*The funny thing is that I tried to do the opening and closing tags for that sentence as a joke, but it kept doing funny things, like striking out my whole post, so really I have quite a bit more to learn about html : )

** Note the vagueness, because I kind of am in fear that Russian Spies will read that and come kindnap Blaine, I promise it's not THAT BIG OF A DEAL. Geez, I am kind of nervous though. Stupid blog anonymity, I crave you!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Blaine and I got married during his first semester of college. Very nearly in his first month of college. See Blaine and I dated all through high school and got engaged about ten seconds after he returned home from his mission in Spain. He started BYU in January of 2003, and we got married on Valentines Day of the same year [insert big romantic sigh here, but it's really unnecessary since we only got married that day because it was a three day weekend and we had a day off of school--and as an aside to this aside, do yourself a favor and get married when you can have longer than a 48 hour honeymoon].

Needless to say, we were poor. For a looooooong time. Two college students, random low paying student type jobs. I mean sure our 350 sq ft apartment was only $395 a month, but that was about all we were pulling in at that time. You may think I jest at the size of the apartment, but I assure you...I do not. You could sit on the loveseat and cook a meal on the stove at the same time, and if you are good at multi-tasking you could probably be cleaning out the fridge all the while. And, no joke, the bathroom was like one foot by five feet, very long and skinny, so you actually had to sit sideways on the toilet. Ahhh, those were the days. Yes, I am certainly glad that I can now plug in two appliances without burning a fuse and sending our apartment into blackness until the landlords got home (because the fuse was on their side of the basement).

But I digress.....we were poor. Did I mention that? And on top of being poor we were frugal. Didn't spend money on much. We scrimped and saved so that Blaine could buy this. Which was like...the first ipod, but like three years before ipods. (not sure why I am throwing that in here, other than the fact that it is SO HUGE compared to what everyone uses for music these days and we saved so long and spent so much on that sucker!).

One day I was quite sick of being poor, sick of living in an apartment with no sunlight and no space at all, I was sick of being a student. I had just had it. And Blaine made me mad. Real mad. I really can't remember what he did (probably nothing!), but I decided I had had enough.

And I went to the store and I bought Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner AND even splurged for some face wash. It was my way of rebelling. My way of sticking it to the man.

Not real sure my logic there since I did the finances and likely Blaine never knew or cared about my spending spree. But it felt good. It felt good to be able to comb through my hair after the shower. It felt good to smell nice. It felt good to wash my face.

Well after four long years we finished school. We got our first job, got our first house, had some kids, and so on. And we've never been rich by any means, but we've certainly been very blessed and very comfortable. Able to buy things like diapers

And now that we have been in the working world for four years, I finally had another breakdown. And I did something I've been wanting to do for about eight years now. I bought shaving gel.

I know right? Gluttony in the very sense of the word. I have no idea in the world why I haven't ever felt that I could drop the two dollars and eighteen cents that shave gel costs, but I haven't...till last week. And oh baby. Life is pretty much complete. And for some reason, I thought you all might like to legs are shaved, I didn't cut myself, and life is good!

Now....who's ready to go to law school and plummet in to debt again? ! Yay! (maybe I will stock up on shave gel....)