Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear Facebook Spam People,

(if that is even your real name)

I have 4 children. They like to hang on me. Frequently when I am checking to see my friends' hilarious status updates or beautiful vaca pictures said children are reading over my shoulder or from my lap or any other position that they seem to be able to get into and snoop my stuff.

When these offspring see the pictures of their friends at the beach or the mountains or the lake or Krispy Kreme with a sprinkle donut or any other assortment of expected Facebook pics and videos, I am only uncomfortable because of the pressure they are putting on my less-than-stellar-after-4-kids bladder.

When, HOWEVER, these pictures happen to be strange women I have not friended in birthing positions that even TLC is frightened by or large breasted women who have forgotten their bras and t-shirts before taking their pictures or Brittany Spears clones getting "caught by their dad" for things that don't belong on my fb page, I am EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE and PRETTY DURN ANGRY!!!!

PULEASE.......for the love of all that is good--oh wait, that won't appeal to you!

THEN JUST STOP!!!!!! Seriously. STOP.

Trick me all you want with fake pet videos. SPAM away with Rover and Fido. BUT. PLEASE. DON'T. MAKE. ME. QUIT.THE FACEBOOK. BECAUSE. YOU. ARE. A. BUNCH. OF. GREEDY. SPOILED. LAZY. PERVS.

Kindly and Sincerely,
Rachel

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's the little things

well . . . I made it through the first night as a parent of a camper. Just 4 to go!

Today has been a great day so far--one of those with several little things that add up to make you really grateful . . .

*Breakfast with a sweet friend and NO kiddos

*A nice rain that brings the temperature down from the high 90's to the low 70's

*Finding out you still have money on a gift card and finding a cute shirt at that store

*An Abby day

*Realizing the potty training might actually be taking (FOR THE LAST TIME!!)

*Realizing you aren't as sad about this "last time" event as you are about others

*A good work out where you ran a little harder than you thought you could and actually felt good at the end

I hope your day is filled with little things that make your heart feel big and happy too!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I am a puddle on the floor

sigh.

sniff. sniff.

WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

My baby went to camp today. For a WHOLE WEEK. She is sleeping there and eating there and playing there and I am here.

How can my baby be old enough to go to sleepover camp?! I think there was a mistake and I should go back and get her.

I have been putting it off in my mind and with my emotions for as long as I could. I've bought things here and there to get her ready and pretended the day would never really come.

But yesterday, we couldn't put it off anymore, so we sent the little peeps downstairs and put on a movie while we packed her trunk.

For some reason (a not well thought out one), we chose Father of the Bride to watch. So while we packed her for a week of camp, I held in tears realizing that as quickly as the last 9 years have gone, the whole wedding thing would be here fast too. You don't realized how many tear inducing lines Steve Martin has until you are trying NOT to cry over your baby leaving you.

Then today came. She and I loaded the 2 of us and her gear into the burb and headed for camp. We sang and held hands and laughed and enjoyed being alone. We shared a soccer chair while we waited in line for registration. We made her bed and set up her area. We hugged goodbye and may or may not have clung to each other as if a week was a year. Then I left and she stayed.

We put on brave faces for each other and I stole a glimpse of her about 10 minutes later and she seemed ok. I, however, boohooed in the lonely, empty suburban. I got myself a Diet Coke and contemplated going back and spending the week with her.  Since that wasn't really an option, I just kept driving home and cried off and on.

She is probably already 100% fine. I am so so so so excited for her and I know that she will have a blast and probably NOT want to come home on Saturday.

BUT I MISS HER!!

And when I get there Friday night . . . okay, I will wait til Saturday . . . when I get there Saturday, I am dragging her home with me and not letting her out of my sight for as long as she can stand me.

Until then . . . I will be on pins and needles wondering what she is doing and how she is doing and missing her.

Here are some pics of our day......









Thursday, June 23, 2011

A short letter

Dear Lady at Conoco Gas Station,

I am aware that we are all busy, thirsty people. I am the queen of running in to get a drink.

HOWEVER, blocking the pumps and then looking at me like, "WHAT?! YOU WANT GAS?" was kind of inconsiderate.

I showed amazing self restraint and didn't give you any ugly looks or raise my arms in the universal sign of "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" (thanks in part to a car FULL of kids, 1/2 of which were not my own).

But you should know that I was inwardly cussing your silver Chevy.

Especially when you came out and stared at me again.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Rachel

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Confessions

It's summer and I am not thinking in paragraph form, so here are a few of the fleeting thoughts that have run through my vegged out brain . . .

*Jake and Vienna on The Bachelor Pad?! Yes, please!! Seriously, if they want to televise more of their entertaining and pathetic drama, I can be talked into watching that train wreck.

*What kind of sad world do we live in where I get excited about $3.28/gallon gas?! I actually thought to myself, "Closer to $2 than $4!!" Oh how I miss the Quick Trip on Lawrenceville Highway and the day I could fill up my little Honda there for $0.69/gallon. I can't even get 4 gallons for what I used to pay total back in the day.

*And how old am I for using the phrases "I remember when gas was . . . " and "back in the day"?

*I am sad to report that even after a week at the beach I am pale. Age has doubly cursed me . . . I am no longer able to get tan just thinking about the sun and I am paranoid after having 2 moles removed and sprayed myself over and over again.

*Speaking of pale and at the beach . . . I used a Hawaiian Tropic lotion with micromineral something or another that kind of made me sparkle and I looked like Edward Cullen in the sun. If you aren't a Twilight fan, that will be lost on you, but I got a chuckle out of it.

*I am in home redecorating mode. It happens to me every so often and I can't stop obsessing with moving things around and adding a few new accessories here and there.

*I have no clever way of wrapping this all up.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beach Life


The Bass/Bruns trip 2011 was great! We are approaching a phase in our beach life that we have never been before . . . enjoyment with kids, relaxing with kids . . . it was (dare I say) relatively easy this time.

I have always been a beach lover. I could sit and listen to the ocean and smell the sea and lie in the sand for 20 hours of each day we are there. It is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world for me. With kids it is different, but what I am discovering is that experiences with my kids add another layer of magic and joy. I love seeing things through their eyes. And this trip, they all loved the sand and the water! When Tru was little, we had to keep a washtub full of sand-free water for him to sit in under an umbrella because he was so sensitive to light and textures. This year, we couldn't keep up with his bodysurfing and body-burying!!

The trip down there was not without experiences . . . Sascha stayed in trouble the whole way with her inability to leave her brothers and sister alone . . . the hotel we stayed at midway was . . . interesting . . . and Tru ended up running fever and coughing his head off the 2 days we drove.

This is Sascha midfit about something

Once we got there though, we had great fun and made great memories. (Even though Bo and Sascha caught Tru's fever and cough.)






There is a really fun area about a mile down from where we stay called Pier Park. It has restaurants, shops, and an area of fair games our kids call the carnival . . . such a great way to end a day at the beach!


Our last night there we took the obligatory white beach pictures and accomplished another first--there are several good shots! I don't have all of them uploaded to my computer yet, but here are a few of my faves







Monday, June 20, 2011

Sweet friendship

I know that my blogging has been sparse, but we were at the beach last week and I was trying to be security minded and not advertise on the world wide web that our home was available for burglary. (Which sounds silly in retrospect because 2 of my "readers" were on the trip with me and another 2 were watching our house and the other 2 of you wouldn't rob me. But safety first anyway.)

Anywho . . . more about the beach later. It was a great trip and all 4 kids actually enjoyed it, but this post is dedicated to some sweet friends who are packing up their family and moving to California. (And now I am singing the Beverly Hillbillies song in my head.)

Last night 5 of the 8 couples from our first community group (after Josh and I moved back to Little Rock) gathered to celebrate and pray for the Lundys before their big move. For those of you unfamiliar with community groups, let me take a moment to explain--our church believes in the power and importance of community and accountability. The catch phrase lately has been "doing life together." Community groups are usually 6-10 couples who meet on a regular basis and do some sort of Bible study and pray. What makes it so amazing is it can be a amazing and safe place to share your junk and celebrate your triumphs. There are some similarities to Sunday school, but we meet in homes and pick a night that works best for everyone rather than doing it before a church service.

The group that got together last night was a huge part of our life for 5 years. When we started meeting there were 7 married couples and a couple that was engaged and only one child (although 3 of us were pregnant!) . . . last night we added it up and there are now 8 married couples and 30 kids. We experienced the births of 27 babies (including a set of triplets), 2 adoptions, infertility struggles, job losses, the death of parents, marriage struggles, health issues, moves across town, and more that I can't say or can't remember. There was a lot of laughter and our fair share of tears. We went on retreats and played games and told stories. We know things about each other that no one else knows. There are inside jokes (gondola) and hilarious moments retold countless times (Brandon, has your life changed since kids?!). There are memories and pieces of advice and nuggets of wisdom that will follow us forever. None of us are the same because of that group--we are better people for our time together.

But with great times and great friendships there is great risk. There is always a chance that there will be hurt, and the more you are invested, the deeper the hurt. We are all so proud of Tim and Lea for taking this enormous leap of faith and following God to San Josea, but we are also so sad to lose them. Last night we spent time crying and sharing how they have influenced us and what we will miss. Tim's leadership was one of those things. For the last several years (maybe 8?), he has been the directional and Spiritual leader of our church. He has a way of charting bold paths with a rare combination of confidence and faith and humility and compassion. He was easy to follow even though he was not afraid to ask us to do hard things. So many times you find a great communicator from the pulpit who struggles with relationships in the real world or the opposite is true, they are pastoral but not good at preaching. Tim was both an amazing teacher and wonderful in personal settings--so rare. And you always knew that he and Lea were living out whatever he was calling us to in his sermons, yet they are both Tim and Lea real people. I cannot count the number of times over the years that our conversations have seamlessly morphed from the color of Bobby Brown eye shadow or lip gloss we have on to something Spiritual or from a deep topic to the latest episode of The Office. Their friendship was(is) so important to Josh and I and we believe that it will survive the 1900 miles between us now.

The Lundys are raising great kids too! GREAT kids....one of whom happens to be one of Tru's best friends. Truey and Kenty (as they jokingly call each other) have LITERALLY been friends since the womb. Lea and I told each other the same day that we were pregnant and delivered them 10 days apart. I would have contractions whenever we were together and we joked that it was because Tru got so excited about "playing" with Kent. The boys have wept about leaving each other, making this impending separation all the harder.



Tim and Lea . . . I have said it before, but here it is for posterity's sake on the internet (haha) . . . I cannot imagine the last 9 years without you and your family. Y'all have been a huge part of every huge part of our lives. Like I said last night, there is so much I will miss about Tim as our preacher and leader, but most of all, I will just miss y'all. Terribly. The Bass family loves you all so much and are proud of your choices--we can't wait to visit and hear how you are changing lives there!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stupid, stupid autoflush

Monday morning, Sascha woke up and decided to potty train herself. She refused to teetee in her pullup and was doing awesome! We were all laughing that only Sascha would potty train herself this quickly and stubbornly. Then came the kicker request, "Mommy!! I need to go poopoo in the potty!!"

You should know that we were in the car.

You should also know that I have a really big phobia of public restrooms-only use them when I HAVE too and hate taking our kids in them because they touch everything.

Lucky for us, Josh was also in the car and he wheeled into the first available public facility. They rushed to the potty with anticipation only a parent of four ready to kiss diapers goodbye forever can. He sat her down, ready to cheer for poopoo as only a parent....well you get the idea!

But before the blessed event could happen.....

SWOOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The autoflush flushed and scared the ..... well, actually,!it scared the you know what back into her!

And she is done. When we put her on the potty now, she cries and says, "NO! Potty scary!!"

Thank you autoflush for an indefinite number of diapering days ahead.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heard at Casa Bass

Tru: Mommy, did you know the day you die is one of the best days of your life because you get to go see Jesus?!

Bo: (after getting a diet dr. pepper) Mommy, I yuv my drink!

Sascha: (when her car seat got moved to the back row of the burb)Mommy, I LOVE it back here!

Caroline: If I didn't have dance, I would be so lonely!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Well of course she does

We joined the pool this week. It is an amazingly fun and perfect pool for us because of the variety of activities it offers. There is a shallow and sprinkle area for the younger 2, a deeper swimming spot and big slides and diving boards for Caroline and Tru (and, let's be honest, Josh and I too!).

It's a little bit of a drive to get to, but once we are there, everyone is happy for hours.

Ahhhh. Summer contentment.

(Well, not today, because Tru lost the pool privilege, which means I lost the pool privilege. Boo on him.)

So, Tuesday we loaded up, suited up, and drove out to sign up. We pulled into the parking lot and I realized that I had forgotten Bo and Sascha's floaties. BUGGER. The good news is, the shallow end is shallow enough and fun enough that they were quite happy.

The questionable news is . . . Sascha was pretty happy to be without her floaties. She loved going under the water and didn't seem to mind swallowing half of the pool or needing a parental rescue every 2 1/2 minutes. She will be jumping off the diving board before Tru.

So . . . in answer to the question does she love to swim? Absolutely.

Does she still scream bloody murder when I rinse her hair out in the bathtub?

Well of course she does.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hooligans on parade

Well . . . we tried.

I feel sorry for Caroline and Tru because back when Bo was a baby and before Sascha was born, I was Mommy on the spot! School party? I'm there! Presentation or special moment? You betcha! Lunch at school at least once a month? No problem.

Now days . . . School party? Our contribution is in the backpack. Presentation or special moment? Let me know how it went. Lunch at school? ONCE ALL YEAR.

"Why?" you ask.



Because these two lovable hooligans are not suitable for public consumption.

They are loud and unruly . . . likely to break doors at Target . . . not afraid to RUN . . . boogers.

I love them.

A lot.

I even find them precious and endearing sometimes.

But do I ever WANT to take them out in public? Do I look forward to school events where I end up having to take them?

To both questions I say, "NOOOOOOO!"

In time, hopefully, prayerfully, we are totally trying and discipliningly, they will be enjoyable to be around outside of our home and will learn to whisper and sit still and not feel like they should grab as many perceivable "nonos" as possible and run away from me.

Until then, I apologize to Tru and his first grade class.

It could've been worse.

She could have pulled the tablecloth all the way off the table along with the cupcakes. She could've taken the markers and written on the smart board. She could have destroyed the computers.

And maybe everyone but Tru and I thought it was cute that she wanted to help him present his report on bats.

video

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dancing queen

This weekend was FULL. F.U.L.L. FULL.

It was wonderful and bittersweet and sometimes just plain sad. (But more on that later.)

This was a big dance weekend. Rock City Dance Center had its first recital. Y'all. Mrs. Kristen and Ms. Kaitlin (and of course Mr. John David) have done an AMAZING job with this studio. If you are looking for somewhere to enroll your kids for dance in Little Rock . . . STOP LOOKING!

Let's be honest for a minute. We have established that I am NOT an athlete . . . have I confessed that I am also NOT a dancer?

All my life I wanted to be a cheerleader. I would clap and pop and cheer all over the house. My junior year I decided that I wanted to go out with a bang my senior year. By this time I had exhausted all the B team sports available and so I thought, "What the heck?! I'm going to try out for cheerleading!"

Our cheerleaders also did some dancing . . . and some back handsprings . . . and most of them could do a back tuck as well.

I could do some high V's and some low V's and clap crisply.

Clinic was 4 days (Mon-Thurs) and tryouts were on Friday. Monday, I was pumped. We learned the cheers and the dance and Tuesday when we came back, I had the cheers down, but the dance . . . umm, not so much. (And let's not even talk about the back handsprings.) Wednesday, I was getting worried because I was NOT catching on quickly enough. At all. And I didn't want to quit, but I didn't want to look like an idiot either.

Enter a very sweet friend. Fact: high school girls rarely speak the truth in love . . . it's usually spoken in snark to your face or just behind your back. Perhaps there had been some of that as well, but one sweet friend pulled me aside and said, "You know I love you and I think that you are great at lots of things. But I am worried that you are working so hard and struggling to get it and I am afraid of you getting your feelings hurt and being disappointed. I just don't think this is for you."

Relief washed over me. I hugged her and went home. No tears shed. No dent in our friendship.

ALL that to say . . . Caroline didn't get her dance genes from me. She dances all over the house and spins and twirls and leaps and shakes and so dance felt like a good fit for her. We joined some friends who were switching to RCDC and it was one of THE BEST decisions we have made. The girl has confidence and moves! Rock City has this amazing ability to challenge and teach and raise the bar while keeping it fun and encouraging. I'm constantly amazed. They expect their dancers to have character above all.

I just love those people.

So, Saturday I watched 96 dances and (call me a nerd) I loved every minute of it. When you know how much talent plus HARD, HARD work goes into those few minutes of a dance, you can't help but appreciate it.

Congratulations RCDC!! The Basses totally ETJODT!!

Caroline and Mrs. Kristen

Highlights from the first competition in January . . . if you can believe it, they are even better now!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

That's how we roll

There was a drawer FULL of clean silverware . . . but Sascha decided to go a different route with her cutlery . . .




Yep. That's a wrench and it was open to the perfect size for her grapes. The American chopstick, if you will.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Busy busy busy

This week felt like a ride at Disney World. Monday afternoon, as I thought ahead to all I needed to do and where I needed to be, I could hear the slow click, click, click of my week going up the track and then WHOOOOOOOO, up and down and around we have gone.

It has been a really fun week, just non-stop. 

If you are interested in it . . . keep reading. If you, like Josh, prefer the short version where as little facts and details as possible are shared, then you are caught up.

Tuesday . . . the great and amazing Abby came to babysit and, once again, preserved my sanity. I treated myself to a relaxing pedicure at a new salon my friend Robin told me about--loved the place . . . nicer interior, none of the people yelling across the chairs at each other and the price was lower than my usual. Total score. I justified it as summer craziness preparation. Some errands at Target with my sweet Abby H and, then (GULP), I bought Caroline's trunk for camp. 

*Tear* My baby is going to a sleep over camp. 

*Sniff* And she won't let me go with her. 

Ok. I'm fine. Probably. We'll see.

Anyway, that afternoon Tru, Bo, Sascha and I joined Robin (pedicure sharer) and Emily at the pool and swam for almost 2 hours. This is where Sascha debated becoming a mermaid. In the end, she could not deny the call of the ocean (what she calls the pool) and enjoyed swimming in and drinking the water (gag).

Wednesday . . . I went in for (perhaps) my last pre-summer spray tan. (All of the sudden my crazy week is sounding more like a spa week for me. Shhh. Don't tell.) Major came home with us and Bo proceeded to solidify why I don't let him have friends over (and remind me why I should more often). I rewarded his unwillingness to share with a trip to Chik Fil A thinking maybe it was just his toys he was hoarding. Turns out, nope, he felt like the Chik Fil A playground was his too. Sorry, Maj. I was thrilled to take him to Speech Therapy to see Mrs. Lauren! 

Caroline had an orthodontist appointment where we remembered that I need to schedule an appointment with the dentist to get more of her teeth pulled. Bless her. But in a nice twist, we found out that our dental insurance covered almost all of her treatment and we have a CREDIT at the orthodontist office. I felt like I was playing Monopoly and there was a bank error in my favor!!

(Are you still awake?! HANG IN THERE!!)

Thursday . . . talent show at 8:30, doctor's appointment for me at 10:30, and lunch at 12. Fast and furious and fun (well, most of it, I love my doctor, but does anyone really enjoy an appointment?).

I am trying to upload Caroline and Maggie's dance from the school talent show. The whole show was so cute. I especially loved when the kids in the audience would clap or sing along with the performers' songs.  They rocked it out and I am so excited for their recital this weekend! 

Tomorrow is crazy full as well with sweet and fun activities. I keep searching the weeks and days for some down time . . . I'll let you know if I ever find it.

Here is a smidge of the dance . . . can't get it all uploaded yet, but you get the idea (and yes, I cheer loudly at one point . . . sorry):

video