Feb 29, 2008

The Perfect Library.

I love the library. The library and I go way back. When I was a kid I remember leaving the library with stacks of books so huge I could barely manage them. I read all the time.

When we lived in Provo I actually went to some parenting classes at the library. Alot of good it did me. I forgot the minor detail of bringing along ones unsuspecting husband.

When we lived in Princeton I would lay the back of my double stroller down and load three kids in and put one on my back in the backpack and walk to the Princeton library. I am sure I was quite a spectacle. That was the first library that we had to confess to when Zachariah merrily ripped every page out of 7 books.

In Kansas we drove to the library and it was a good library. That was the stage of my life where I cannot recall what the adult section looked like. But I do not mind about that I love finding children's books that have messages to adults. This was the library where Zachariah got his picture in the paper for being the first one to check out the 3rd(?) Harry Potter book. And it was the library where some lady saw Joseph frantically itching and told me about this doctor in Kansas City that could help Joe and she was right. Parking was my only complaint at this library as it was very difficult in warm months because the parking lot was shared with the swimming pool.

Then we moved to Huntington, Indiana and I was traumatized beyond belief when I found out you had to PAY to use the library. And that GASP.....you could only check out 20 items? I eat 20 items for breakfast alone. So I joined the Fort Wayne Library but it was a 30 minute drive and it cost $80.00 a year and I racked up so many late fines because I really had to load up the car, pack food and have gas all at the same time to return the books on time.

Now we are in Massachusetts where I fully expected the library to be difficult. Everything else was. So I steeled myself for holding back tears as I had to face all the rules of the Westfield Library and I went. First of all it is an amazing old building right in the middle of Westfield. Not much parking. But when you drive a 15 passenger van is there ever enough parking? I was so happy to discover that I could save my tears for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The library is PERFECT in everyway. It probably could be better stocked but it has a fabulous website where you can get online and search and hold books so easily. It has museum passes that you can check out for a day to use to get discount prices at various museums and attractions around Massachusetts. Lots of children's CD's and DVD's. And the best part is story time.

Story time is today at 11:00. Mrs. Lisa is the storytime leader and I really like her. First we sing the feeling song .....if your happy and you know it, if you are sad and you know it, and we always end with if you are mad and you know it say, "I'm mad....and then tell your grown up that you are mad and talk about it because no one wants to stay mad". Then we choose the weather and everyone gets to put up a sweater if it is cold. So basically the whole time I have lived in Massachusetts we have put up white ground and sweaters. Although sometimes if we see the sun we go for it and put it up. Natalie will not get up and do this part so everyone claps for Natalie's mom who adores putting up the sweater in unusual spots on the board. (Once a class clown always a class clown.) Then we have stories and we always get to do a craft. Crafts with GLUE. The good kind that gets stuck on your fingers so you have something to pick off. And last week we used glitter. I have 7 kids and I know better than to ever allow glitter. Once I let Madeline have a birthday party that involved glitter when we lived in Kansas and I bet you there is still glitter between the cracks of the hardwood floor in that kitchen. Natalie had never seen glitter. Yes feel sorry for her if you must. But I am not all mean we do have pom pom's and buttons......I think.

Feb 28, 2008

"Enjoy them while you can"

When the kids were little people used to say that to me all the time. I heard them but I never really understood. Now that I have started blogging I have been naturally reading other blogs....which I love doing. And I realized the other day that alot of the blogs I read are blogs of people with little kids. I do have a 5 year old but a five year old with, 4 sisters ages 17,15,13 and 8, one brother she prays for to be safe at college and one brother who she prays will stop wrestling with her is somehow different. Her craft projects involve tangling all their necklaces together. Or finding their makeup. Her favorite music is not Disney, although I try to remember to expose her to it. But instead she requests Colbie Caillat or Switchfoot.

I look at the pictures and read the stories on other blogs of what other moms with 5 year olds are doing and think where have those days gone? Now I do not play Uno or Candyland I play who stole my favorite black camisole from Ann Taylor. I play who is hiding MY expensive straightener. (Drat now I am stuck in italics..... to bad none of the teenagers have taught the 5 year old how to get out of italics so she could help me) Anyway where was I? Oh yeah I was mourning lost babies)
So I cannot blog about all the cute little projects that I am doing with my kids. I still like reading about what all my dear friends are doing. But the stark realization finally came..... I am going to be 40 this year. I have:
  1. a kid at BYU
  2. 3 very dramatic and passionate teenage girls
  3. A very lost 12 year old boy. Although his sisters keep reassuring him that he will be so glad when he is married that he had all these sisters. And he just stares at them probably wondering how watching them sobbing one minute about no chocolate in the house and high on the ceiling and dancing the other minute because they found one chocolate chip in the bottom of the freezer will prepare him for marriage. (If only he knew!)
  4. Tatiana the 8 year old who scorns the 5 year old through skills she learned from gasp......the evil older sisters.

So enjoy them while you can before they are begging for your car, stealing your clothes and not returning them, and consuming every bit of your brain power with their emotional needs.
I am not saying there is not any fun because there definately is....but I am saying occasionally maybe someone could want to do something with macaroni or playdough even if it was just making likenesses of boys that aggravate them and then tearing them to pieces.
The picture is of Natalie the 5 year old in her adored polka dot dress that she got reassurances from everyone else does not make her look fat....because every 5 year old asks that question....at least ones with 4 older sisters do.

Feb 27, 2008

A true confession.

Before we get much further in our blogging relationship there is something I must confess.......I live next to a gas station. Now before you feel sorry for me there are some benefits.

  1. Every morning I can run upstairs and look out the window and see the price of gas for the day. By doing this I discovered a pattern. Every Tuesday gas seemed cheaper. Then I confirmed it it actually is 7 cents cheaper every Tuesday at this particular gas station. And yes, I feel the need to fill up on Tuesday along with a whole lot of other people.
  2. Anytime I need a candy fix or more specifically a chocolate fix I can send a child or a husband over for a greatly overpriced "fix".
  3. I can provide you my dear friends with a conversation starter. Can you see yourself shocking people at dinner by saying,"Well we know some people who live by a gas station". Your friends will probably want to know why so let me tell you why.
When we came in October to Massachusetts to look for houses we had quite a list of needs. Not to mention that we just came from our "dream" house in Indiana and that really worked against us. Because we had been GREATLY spoiled.
  • We needed room for 7 kids
  • Our dad would die without a "man room" ( a room for his tv)
  • It had to be under $300,000 ( nearly impossible in Massachusetts)
  • A flat spot somewhere for gardening ( suprisingly hard to find)
  • Something that was actually on the market that weekend and that we could immediately put an offer on

So we ended up with a brand new home with a flat backyard, a basement to finish, under $300,000, and a gas station next door. Everytime I have to move I think house hunting is going to be fun but I soon remember it is about compromising, compromising, and more compromising oh and a positive attitude once you compromise. It could be worse right?

The picture I posted is where the gas station is you can see the downspout of the corner of the house. Can you see the price of gas? If you want to see a full picture of the house I posted one in the post entitled"Our new house"..... I think.

Feb 26, 2008

A miscellaneous morning.

I have been sitting here staring at my nice neat blank "posting" rectangle on my blog for quite awhile this morning. Too many things to blog about and I am trying to not torment you all with more than one blog a day. But today it is hard. I have three things on my mind....Barry Manilow, annoying attendance policies in Massachusetts, and coming up with books and a dessert idea for the start of bookclub at my house on Thursday. Hmmm I wonder if I can tie that all together and keep your attention?

Barry Manilow? Yes, it is true I was in the library awhile ago and had a serious 70's heyday. I found Bee Gees, John Denver and Barry Manilow....oh and Depeche Mode which I think is more 80's? If only I could have found Barbara Streisand the day would have been complete.

When I was a teenager I owned at least one Barry Manilow album, possibly two, I used to sing along at the top of my lungs. I remember Copocabana was popular when I was able to swing on swings at recess and I was awfully proud of the fact that while swinging with my friends I could belt out every single word. ("Her name was Lola she was a show girl"). When I started listening to the cd I checked out I was surprised at how many songs I recognized and they are sooo easy to sing along to which is so lucky for my children which always love to hear me sing at the top of my lungs.

But now that I am older and actually understand what Barry is singing about I could not help noticing a very prominent theme in his songs: "trying to get the feeling again" and "this ones for you wherever you are", "we're just two ships that pass in the night", and don't forget "Can't smile without you" and my personal favorite"looks like we made it". I think Barry had some unrequited love issues. He even admits in one of his songs "I sing for things I miss and things that used to be" and boy does he ever...but he does it well.

Speaking of things I miss and things that used to be I MISS the attendance policies in Indiana. (very smooth transition huh?) Madeline had a track meet in Boston last night and she did not get home until 1am. Needless to say she is still in bed at 9. In "adorable" Massachusetts if you are sick or late to school it is ONLY excused if you get a doctor's note. So if any of the Baird children stay home sick I have to take them to the doctor even if I know what they have so that they can be excused. They will not accept a note from me, the mom, saying that my child was sick and at home with me. I understand that a lot of kids could write their own notes. But isn't there another way? I can't even get through on the phone to the doctor to get an appointment to get the note.
I should have married a doctor in Massachusetts he would be making lots of money from all the people that had to see him so their kids could be excused from school....in addition to all his "other doctor money". It makes me giddy just thinking about it. And I will spare you all my other feelings about unreasonable Massachusetts policies. (Yes, there are more.) But as Barry says, "I will make it through the rain".......haha.

My best friend Barry also says "that you have to be ready to take a chance again". When I moved here I decided I would not start another bookclub. Usually when I have moved somewhere if they do not have one it is the first thing I do. This time I was very reluctant. But I easily caved and the first bookclub meeting is this Thursday at my house at 7:30. At the first meeting we always choose all the books for the upcoming year. I have been staring at my books and wondering which ones to choose. And if I am not staring at those books I am poring through recipe books trying to choose which dessert to make. Decisions, decisions I would wish for a day without them if I thought that was practical but it isn't we can't avoid them. I tried to avoid one decision today by blogging about three things at once I wonder what Barry would say about being included in a blog about bookclub and school attendance policies? Probably something about unrequited love..........

Feb 25, 2008

Introducing "Kittromney".

Now that you are shaking your head in disbelief let me explain.....because we all know I have alot of explaining to do. Just the fact that the Baird family has a pet I know will have those of you who know me dearly shaking your heads. But in my defense the Baird children just went through the hardest move of their little lives. When Miriam hits rock bottom you know things are not going well. So I told her if she could find a FREE kitten I was okay with that. And bless her heart if she did not check every option on the planet. She came home everyday and sat right down to the computer and faithfully checked for kittens from either Massachusetts or Connecticut. And as you can see she finally found one.

Now before you judge this adorable kitten's name I must inform you of the pet naming process at the Baird's house. We got the kitten on Friday. Before we got it someone had already started some CRAZY rumor that the kitten's name would be Cleo"cat"ra. Then it went downhill from there.

I am the biggest problem in the process because I do not just want to randomly name the pet like we did our children. I want it's name to have some meaning to our family. So sometimes we have named pets after places we have lived like "Toto" because we lived in Kansas. Once someone TRIED to name our black lab Lafonda after a character in Napoleon Dynamite one of our favorite movies. It did not happen but it gives you an idea of the process we really do consider everything. The pets color,personality etc.

So after a weekend of batting names around Madeline finally announced at the dinner table last night that this kitten needed a name so she pulled out the paper and told us all we could choose one name and then we would each get two votes. I am embarrassed to tell you the list it really shows the state of things here. But just so you can see we clearly chose the best name here is the list. A couple people changed their minds.....aarggghhh.....but this is the actual final list:

  • Gingivitis? ( we are not sure where dad was going with this one?)
  • Bella
  • Scooby Doo ( Joe forgot the cat is a girl?)
  • Indi ( because of Indiana)
  • Kittromney
  • Grace
  • Grey

Kittromney had 5 votes and Grey had 2 votes. Kittromney just makes sense...we live in Massachusetts where Mitt Romney was Governor. It is a important election year. And would Kitobama work? Kithillary? What about Kitronpaul? Nope.

Yes, we know Mitt Romney is no longer running but I spent all day Friday reading National Reviews and Newsweeks that I had checked out from the library. I decided it was time to start seriously educating myself about my options. I really do love a election year and I think after reading about everyone from Ron Paul on up we really voted for the best name. And if you say it really fast a couple times to youself and then write it in swirly letters it will grow on you. And remember we are awfully conservative at our house it could have been "Kitlimbaugh".

Feb 22, 2008

A pear, an apple, the rectangle, the diamond?

In my never ending quest to educate myself I not just casually came across but actually specifically requested two books from the library......silly me.....when will I ever learn that educating yourself always seems to come with a price? Choices have to be made. Things have to be thought out. Gasp.....decisions need to be made.

The first book is titled Does This Make Me Look Fat? by Leah Feldon. "The defintive rules for dressing thin for every height, size and shape." The second book ( as if one was not enough) is by Sam Sambura and it is Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies.

Both were loaded with information. But along with that information came making some major decisions.....like what shape am I? Am I a pear? Am I a willow? ( ha...we all wish we were a willow they have the good life) Am I a half pint? You have to have really checked yourself out to be able to make these decisions. Am I short waisted? Do I have a long neck or a short neck? How does one figure out all this stuff out? When does that come up in conversation?

So I read on all about what to wear when the time comes that you do actually decide what shape you are. There are alot of rules my friends. Colors, lines and fit. Now that I have been educated on what short, fat people should wear to make them look like "the willow" I headed for the closet and looked at every single thing I owned and asked myself if it passed "the test". I cringed to think of things I had worn in the past before I was "educated". For a moment I faltered in my resolve to change and thought about my very "stylin" sweats from Danskin which I wear almost 1/2 of everyday. But who would listen to my political views if I were wearing sweats?

Thank goodness we were in the middle of a huge snow storm because I felt an overwhelming urge to go to Ann Taylor Loft and try on clothes. Which could mean the "fam" would be eating waffles all month.

So here's to black....it's very slimming and you should all own alot of it.

And here's to finding that perfect pair of jeans, in the perfect length, and rise, and color, and don't forget no embellishments they are tacky, andsearch high and low for the perfect pockets that make your bum look exactly the way it isn't.

And you all should be worried about where your skirts are hitting you on your leg one fatal 1/2 inch either way could spell disaster.

So I feel better now that I have passed on some of my very burdonsome newfound knowledge to all of you. And definately look for me in People magazine next to Patrick Dempsey.

Feb 21, 2008

Rescuing seals and playing with "rocks".

Yes, it is true The Baird's got in the 15 passenger van and went somewhere two days in a row. Today we drove 2 and a half hours to Crane Beach. I did my research and this beach got great reviews so I really wanted to check it out..... particuarly in February. It was another beautiful clear day. Yes, Mr Cold was there but we were ready for him....everyone except Madeline had hats and mittens and layers.

When we got there the first thing we saw was our most favorite thing in the world a humungous parking lot with one car in it. Nothing makes the Baird's happier. Because if our dad is happy and not swearing at the crowds of other unsuspecting tourists everyone is happy.

We figured out on the ride to the beach that the only children in the family that had ever seen the Atlantic Ocean were Zach and Madeline and that was on Christmas Day( another highly recommended day to see the beach without crowds....haha) in 1991 when we lived in Princeton, New Jersey.

Anyway Crane Beach was very nice. Alot of beautiful, fine, white sand, some sand dunes, beautiful view, plenty of shells to keep a 7 and 5 year old blissfully happy, and a very long beach. We walked a long way.

Anyway, I must explain the seal picture. We were all walking along by the water and Joseph was up on the beach farther away from the water and all of a sudden he calls to us and says"hey, look a dead seal". So of course everyone heads up to look at it. And then one of the girls hollers, "it's alive". It was just a baby. And it had been hurt. We did what you always do in this situation we stood around and wondered what to do. We had no idea how long it has been there. It's injuries looked superficial. And it was so far from the water. Not to mention you have to wonder if there are there laws about moving an injured seal?
Finally I said to Brian, "well it will either die here or in the water" so let's at least give it a fighting chance. So Brian grabbed it's "feet?" and pulled it slowly to the water. It seemed grateful and started drinking and then it rolled around and ever so slowly started swimming. We watched it for a long time hoping we had done the right thing. All the while attaching every people emotion we could think of to how the "poor seal" was "feeling" about his rescue because we ALL know how seals feel.

Then our next find was the rock in the picture with Miriam. Joseph again gets credit for this find. It was a piece of "open celled foam" (to quote the husband) that had through some twist of fate ended up looking exactly like a rock but it was incredibly light. And we entertained ourselves entirely too much with this "rock". We took pictures of each other throwing it at each other. We took pictures of little Natalie holding it. We took pictures of Miriam laying on the beach with it on top of her. There was no end to the possibilities.

So now we are under a winter storm warning and expecting 4-6 inches of snow tomorrow so I am so glad we got our beach trip in.

Feb 20, 2008

4,000 Butterflies...

Hooray..the Baird's found something to do today. After I blogged about my sad winter break I decided we just needed to get in the car and just go. I hollered at all the kids to quick get ready. I grabbed a sleeve of saltine crackers, a monster bag of Craisins, an equally monstorous bag of rolls from "good ol Costco", cut some apples and grabbed my Ipod and we were set. I love the feel of the open road. The sun was shining. Yes, it was still 22 degrees but when you are going 75mph on the Massachusetts turnpike in your big, white 15 passenger van with your music up loud and all your children behaving who really cares how cold it is?

We drove up to South Deerfield to The Magic Wings Butterfly conservatory. I have been reading about this place online and really wanted to check it out. I mean 4000 butterflies who can go wrong with that? It truly was amazing everwhere you looked there was a butterfly. Some were as big as your hand. All sorts of colors and designs. And they would land on you. Which delighted the kids to no end. Although Natalie had a very difficult time holding still long enough for one to land on her. Joe finally transferred one to her from Tatiana just in time to avert shall we say a "situation". I can see the headlines now" Five year old throws enormous tantrum in butterfly conservatory and kills many butterflies."

Was it worth the $52.00 it cost to get in? I actually think it was. I mean someone has to pay for the butterflies to stay warm.....and who better to do that than me?

Winter Break?

I had never heard of a "winter break" until we moved to Massachusetts. But it is very real. I am living it this week. Today is day 3. I had grand hopes for winter break. I had done my research carefully and I had picked out tons to do. But there is a small detail they never tell you about winter break.....it is cold.

My first grand hope was Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut but it is outdoors and today it is a balmy 22 degrees. I can visualize my happy cheerful family enjoying that.....especially the teenagers who are very blessed with the ability to communicate their displeasure at a family activity at any moment.

My second grand hope was the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island. An amazing 3.5 mile walk along the cliffs in Newport where there are tons of amazing mansions and fabulous views of the ocean. (One of the mansions was filmed in the movie The Great Gatsby.) Can you imagine how great it would be in 22 degree weather??

At this point I just started searching everything in Massachusetts and Connecticut and everything involved the word outside. Then I put two and two together and had an "aha" moment....... everyone in Massachusetts is gone this week to warmer places where you can do outside things. I am home with 6 restless children who all seem to overuse the word bored.

Yesterday I did manage to get Miriam to the movie, Joseph and Amanda ice skating, Madeline, Tatiana, Joe and Natalie to the library, and Natalie and Tatiana's friends over to play. But it was no small feat and involved alot of quality time in the car....and no dinner being ready.

I am very restless to go see the ocean but I have been talked out of it by everyone. But I still want to go. Beach cold with no people VS beach hot with no parking and tons of people? Pretty easy choice for me.....nothing some coats,hats and mittens won't solve.

So I am off to give morning jobs to unsuspecting children, get out of my pajamas, and find something to do tomorrow when Brian has the day off because then I would have to come up with jobs for him.

Maybe since I am the only person in the world the cold doesn't bother I better cut everyone else out the winter break plans......and gasp.....go by myself?

Feb 18, 2008


Serendipity: "An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident".
This is one of my favorite children's books. I end up checking it out from the library way to much.
It is my favorite for a couple reasons:
  1. The illustrator Peter Reynolds. I love his pictures. In addition to this book he has also written some of his own books that are pretty fun. One is called The Dot and one is called Ish. And a really fun one for all grownups is called So Few of Me.
  2. I absolutely love the word serendipity. The way it sounds when you say it. The way it looks when you write it. What it means. Even better is when it happens.
  3. Yes, there is a movie entitled Serendipity with John Cusak and I think Kate Beckinsdale. It's not too bad. But that is not factored into why I love the book and the word.
The strangest thing when I was looking at Serendipity on Amazon because I really should own the darn book. The cheapest copy was $97.50. NO JOKE. I wonder why? I guess I will keep checking it out from the library.

Feb 17, 2008

Vinegar, bananas and olive oil.

I have been on a quest for.....the Holy Grail.....no seriously my latest quest is for soft, shiny hair.

So I have been reading and reading on the subject and......experimenting. There are SO many hair care products out there it really boggles my mind. And not only are there so many out there most of the good ones are SUPER expensive.

So in my researching I discovered that there are things right in your home that you can use on your hair and I thought I should try them and see if they really work. I truly must have too much time on my hands now that we have moved and I am not Primary President any more. I am dreaming up all sorts of ways to amuse myself.

First I tried apple cider vinegar....the vinegar can strip your hair of buildup and balances alkalines that make the hair appear dull so it is clarifying. But I did not notice a real difference after trying it. Maybe you notice a difference after you try it a couple times.

Then I tried banana and olive oil. You take one banana and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix them together in the blender and then you put it all over your dry hair and then put it up in a shower cap for about 15-20 minutes. I put every last bit of it on my hair....it made the grossest noise and I had to endure a million comments from my children and husband. And I definately smelled like banana bread. And I am really not sure if I was supposed to put all of it in my hair because it took 2 very long showers to get it out of my hair and even at that there were still little teeny,tiny pieces clinging to some pieces of hair. But despite the comments from my supportive family and the gross feeling of the mashed banana on my fingers it was very worth it I noticed a huge difference in my hair.

So try it if you dare. Just don't let your family know....unless they are kind and loving.

Feb 16, 2008

Steel Magnolias

Who wouldn't need to blog after watching Steel Magnolias?

I was in the library the other day browsing through the dvd's and there was Steel Magnolias begging me to check it out. The library is the best place in the world to find old movies you haven't seen in awhile and the bonus is not having to pay for them. I occasionally get some crazy notion that I need to expose my children to movies I saw growing up. And Steel Magnolias is definately one every girl should see.

I cannot remember anything about the first time I saw it except that I balled ( not sobbed and not simple crying but actual balling....where you make loud crying noises). I still cried when I watched it tonight but it is harder to have a seriously good cry when your 5 year old keeps interrupting to ask you to look at her toenail. And your 12 year old is asking you to toss his lacrosse ball at him so he can practice catching it.

I looked up when Steel Magnolias first came out and it was November of 1989. It actually was a play before it was a movie.

I did not realize how many great quotes were in this movie.

A couple of them were:

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

There is no such thing as natural beauty.

I don't like her. I don't trust anyone who does their own hair. I don't think it's natural.

The only thing that sets us apart from the animals is our ability to accessorize.

So here's to blasts from the past.....

Two days ago!!

On Valentine's Day I made little bags for each of the girls with candy in them and this is what was left when I was done, a handful of peanut M & M's and 4 Reese's. I laid them out on my bed and looked at them. They looked so small and innocent. SO I decided I should eat them and then not eat chocolate again for 6 weeks.

Everytime I eat something I know I will regret I have this adorable habit of needing to set a goal to assuage the guilt. Setting the goal usually involves me going to the calendar and seeing if it is a Monday because everyone knows you never start goals in the middle of the week. Then while I am at the calendar I count 8 weeks into the future to see what month I will be looking very skinny and cute in. Then I prove how serious I am by going to get a big glass of water. And then I go upstairs and do my "Slim and 6 Pack" DVD a very killer ab routine. "See how serious and dedicated I am?" I say to myself with utmost confidence that this time will be different.
And here it is two days later and guess what it is only two days until Monday....and guess who will be drinking water and exercising and eating good all day Monday?


How could a girl who has 4 older sisters ever survive? Especially a girl with 4 sisters with cameras. This latest picture that will be shown when future boyfriends come to call was taken by loving Miriam who has way to much time on her hands.

But I guess it would never hurt to start reading "A Smart Girl's Guide to Boys" when you are 5.

The more disturbing part was catching Joe and his two 12 year old friends reading The Smart Girl's Guide To Boys. They said they got to page 63 and I asked them what they learned and they all just giggled.

Feb 15, 2008

Writing a love letter to someone you don't know?

I am continually amazed at how much information is out there in the world. I love that any question I have I can pull up my Google page and ask away. Like once Joseph NEEDED to know how to get out of quicksand. I thought to myself there is no way that this will be on Google....I will never doubt again. There before my eyes were not just one but several options of places that told me and Joe how you would get out of quicksand. So if you ever need to get out of quicksand please call me.

The hard part is limiting myself to what I search and how long I spend. So I keep a running list of things I think of that I want to know about....and allow myself a half hour a day to just "surf" the web.

Yesterday I looked up Valentines Day....since it was after all Valentines Day. And found out that in ancient Rome they had a feast to celebrate the goddess Juno...(the queen of Roman gods and goodesses who also happened to be the goddess of women/marriage). At the feast women would write love letters and stick them in a huge urn and then the men would pick a letter from the urn and for the next year pursue the woman who wrote the letter.. So my question is how would you write a love letter to someone you don't even know? Don't you have to be specific in a love letter? Don't you have to......hello....know them?

Feb 13, 2008

A Slush Day!!

Well the kids had a snow day today.....but I really think it should have been a "slush day". It did snow about 4 inches during the night but it has been rain, rain, rain ALL day. Natalie said that it was "like we live in a waterfall". At 9:30am I decided it was time to face the driveway because I knew it would be a mess if I just left it. I am not sure if you can tell from the picture how much water we were standing in. But it totally covered our boots.

Miriam usually helps me but this time she said she did not want to "ruin her hair"...she used curlers last night and it did look awfully cute. She was so mad that her hair finally behaved and it had to happen on a snow day when no one could appreciate it. I told her to get used to that happening.
She finally realized the foolishness of her ways and came out to join me at 10:30am when she came out she looked at me and said, "Great, am I going to look like that now". I was soaked. More soaked than I have ever been. There is nothing worse than trying to peel layers of soaking wet clothes off.
I figured out how to shovel snow full of water. But it still was quite the work out. And my favorite part is coming into the house after shoveling the driveway and finding just inside the door the piles of boots, and hats, and mittens, and coats, and clothes from the other children who had been outside.

So slush day became laundry day.

Feb 12, 2008

Becoming Jane

I am sure everyone knew that Becoming Jane came out on DVD today. I have anxiously been awaiting it's release. I have been online searching for the piano music (no luck on that yet.) The soundtrack to the movie has been in my shopping cart at Amazon for oh so long. I know it isn't practical to purchase something you do not need so I have left it there.

But who was at Wal Mart when it opened this morning? ME.
Who only purchased one thing? ME.
I really needed the Becoming Jane movie. I need it because I love Ann Hathaway. I need it because I adore Jane Austen. I need it because I sigh when I watch the movie. I need it because I invited three friends over this morning for breakfast to watch it with me.

I stuck it in my purse when I came in the house this morning because I knew that Brian would wonder what I ran to Wal Mart for this morning. And he did. And I had to sheepishly confess. It amuses him. But I feel guilt.

So at 10:00am this morning my friends and I will be sitting comfortably on the floor in Joe's room because until our basement is finished that is where the TV is. And we will be freezing cold because the room over the garage has some heating issues. But when you have a good chick flick nothing else matters.

And then after my chick flick I will face my real life. Where no one wears empire waist dresses everyday. Where no one can take a walk in the most imaginably beautiful scenery in their empire waist dress and run into someone who understands them and will love them at all costs.
Happily ever after anyone??

Feb 11, 2008

Look what pride got me...

Does anyone recognize what this is? Is anyone else as vain as I am? I am a little shocked at my behavior. But who doesen't like things to match?

Okay the full story....this is the spot where any normal family would have a fridge. But my fridge is white.....no, I am serious it does not match all the other appliances in the kitchen. Mr Dishwasher, Mr Microwave and Mr. Stove all our extremely stuck up...they are stainless and black and they think the thought of a white fridge in the same room is inconcievable.

So what do we do? Well the rejected white fridge is in the garage. So my kids will someday be able to say to their children " When I was a kid I had to go out in the cold with my coat on to the the garage to get my food out of the fridge." Actually it is quite amusing how we try to get someone to go out to the fridge to get us what we need. And how now the dreaded job is carrying the fridge stuff out to the fridge. And also how we try to see how much we can carry from the fridge to the house.
When will I swallow my pride? I am not sure. When will Massachusetts stop taking my money so that I can buy a new fridge? I do not even care if it has an egg compartment or fancy cursive writing I just care about the color.

Reading, Reading, Reading!!

Since we have moved I have found myself with an unusual amount of time to read. It has been fabulous. I can never read a good book without wanting to tell the world about what they are missing if they have not read them. So let me catch you up.

Three words Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon..... by Stephanie Meyers. I think the first time I heard about them was from my sister Rachel. It took me awhile to figure out what they were....when you hear about vampires and werewolves you do have to wonder if this is the book for you. Well Madeline's birthday was in November and I was at a loss of what to get her so I bought all three of the Stephanie Meyer books Madeline inhaled them and then proceeded to BEG me to read them. I waited until we had "gotten" our move out of the way and then one lazy, cold, grey day I snuggled down in my bed with the books and read all three in 2 days. I am not sure what we ate and what else happened but now I too am trying to convince everyone to read them.

Now once again Madeline has checked out another book for me at the library and kept handing it to me and finally last night I started it and I cannot put it down. It is called The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I love the premise of this book...listen to some of what it says inside the front cover......"When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carroll. Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly....". And then it says later on inside the front cover that "The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blonde girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for imagination" I am on page 83 and had to take a break to do laundry and dishes and read some books to Natalie and of course BLOG about this great book.
Now just in case you think I am just reading teen books I am also reading 1776 by McCullough and I love that....to read both the American side and British side is very interesting.
So I am off to.....read.....I mean make dinner, can peaches, and mop the floor.......haha.

Feb 8, 2008

Madeline is going to state.

Madeline is finishing up her Indoor Track season. Every Friday night we drive up to Smith College in Northhampton for her meets. Tonight were the races that qualified the kids for state. They could choose two events. She qualified in 4. So her first event was the 55m hurdles and she ran a 9.45 and made it to state. She was very happy.

Her second event was the 4x400 relay. Her team won with a Western Massachusetts record of 4:18 but they were disqualified because no one had told Madeline that you were not supposed to turn over the top of your shorts. But luckily the team had already qualified for state.

Northhampton is a pretty amazing town. I am very anxious to get back there during the day and check out the amazing array of little shops. A VERY thriving downtown. Since Madeline runs the first of the track meet and the very last of the track meet Brian and I left the meet and walked in the Massachusetts cold along with everyone else who acts like it is so normal to stroll through town in 20 degree weather from Smith College down into town.

We were very hungry and stopped at a Mexican restaurant that some Smith College girls said we should go into for the atmosphere. I figured out later that they were there for a waiter named Kyle.

Feb 7, 2008

Does this look familiar?

So what is up with this? Why is it that only mom's know how to put a new roll of toilet paper on?

Here's a picture of the dining room

Slowly but surely I will get each room clean enough to send pictures.

Notice that the dining room table and chairs are now red. When I was right in the middle of packing up to leave Indiana I decided it was a perfect time to finally do something about my table and chairs. There is something about the power of spray paint. As soon as I get all the boxes out of my garage here I already have a list of things I want to spray paint.

My dear friend Joan helped me sand and restain the top of the table.

Feb 6, 2008

Making curtains

The curtain making process at my house is very painful. I wonder everytime I start it why I subject myself to it?

This particular curtain process started about a year ago when I found this pattern and really liked it and bought it. The pattern decided it really wanted to get to know all the other patterns I had ever bought so it found it's way to my pattern box and "hung out". Occasionally it would see the light of day when I was contemplating sewing.

I have the desire to sew...I have sewn lots of things...but everything about the process is slow and laborious with me. Starting with the fabric store trip. I love fabric all the colors and patterns. I am like a kid in a candy shop when I am in the fabric store. I definately cannot make a decision once I am faced with it all.

This time I tried to focus and think about a favorite picture that I have hanging in the bathroom and thought about matching the colors in it but that didn' t help pretty soon I was talking myself into a new picture and a new bathroom rug.

Luckily I had a friend with me who can make decisions and that is the only reason I bought fabric. This friend probably wonders how I can ever make the decision to even leave the house. If it was not for her I would still be wandering up and down the aisles of this amazing fabric store called Osgoods.

SO now I have the fabric it should be easy right? Oh no. Then I have to pull out the pattern and read it...not just once but about 50 times....talking to myself each time I do. Looking up the word selvage again. I have to do that everytime and then I remember what it means and then as soon as I am finished sewing the definition leaves my brain again.

Then I lay out the fabric and stare at it. I can actually get the pattern pieces out of the envelope and identify them pretty quickly and get them cut out....but getting them on the fabric and actually cut out...yep...you guessed it it takes awhile. It involves a lot more talking to myself and wondering what each word exactly means. People like me should have to get a permit before they sew. Everything has to be exact. What if I make a mistake??

I am amazed at people that do not need a pattern. People that can improvise. People that can think outside the box. I think it should be clear that I am not one of those people. But the sad part is I really want to be one of them. If you really want to do something like sew wouldn't it reason that with some practice you would get better? Not me. My skills stay the same. So I guess I should just accept the fact that sewing is not for me. But I love the power and joy you feel when it is all done and it worked out and you created something.

So here is the picture of what I accomplished today.....cut out a 33 inch rectangle across the entire WIDTH of the fabric and the ties and bows. And that word width really held me up.

Is it any wonder that I have a blog titled overthinking everything??

I will figure it out

I know, I know, the picture of the house is not with the blog about the house I am going to figure it out so everyone be patient.

By the way my family all had opinions about my new blog.....

Madeline said "OMG (G=Gosh at our house) you have got to be JK." Which means she cannot believe her technologically challenged mother is making a fool of herself for the whole world to see.

Brian ( my husband) sent me 2 e-mails ever so lovingly telling me what I needed to fix and add but I just casually mentioned to him that it was my blog and he could always get his own that would definately be "way better" than mine.

Miriam ( the 15 year old) groaned because she is addicted to Facebook and now she says I will take all the computer time.....she is very possibly right.

And Amanda ( the 13 year old) hung out watching me try to figure out how to get a picture to show up and she has listened to me continually wonder out loud why I cannot get the lines to line up the way I want them too.

Joseph (the 12 year old) considered it a free ticket to go chase Tatiana( 8 yr old) and Natalie(5 yr old) and make them scream since I was so pre-occupied.

Our new house

I know several of you have not seen or even heard about our new house in Massachusetts so I am going to catch you up.....and even include pictures.

Our house is brand new. So we got to learn all about the things that you have to buy for a house that no one has ever lived in.....such as mirrors, shower curtain rods, toilet paper holders, all the things you usually take for granted. But thank goodness for IKEA. Any of you that has not been to an IKEA you should find the nearest one and go. It took me a couple times to understand IKEA and appreciate it and now I never leave without.....sigh...spending money. If your 5 year old begs to go to IKEA you know something is wrong.

Anyway, the house is not quite finished. Brian is currently working on the taping, mudding, painting, putting up trim and cussing in the basement. We will all be grateful when it is finished. There are a lot of boxes in holding areas waiting to be emptied.

I cannot lie it has been difficult to "downsize" from our house in Indiana. But it is very good for us to be closer together and have to learn how to share.

Things I miss about my old house: storage space, laundry room, jacuzzi tub ( which I only learned to appreciate right before we moved). Things I like about my new house: hardwood floors and a paved driveway.

Feb 5, 2008

Meet Madeline

(I am now in the process of figuring out how to add pictures to the blog.)

This first picture is your introduction to Madeline. Everyday when Madeline comes home from school she makes a peanut butter and jam sandwich and gets a big glass of milk. She ALWAYS leaves everything on the counter. But she is 17 and there is no one in the world except her so it's okay. After she leaves her food out she gets ready for track practice and leaves.

The word leaving is coming up alot. She wishes she could leave Massachusetts. But we have only lived here two months so I am hoping her attitude will improve.

She is also always telling people to leave her alone.

And don't forget leaving her room....which technically is not just her room.

So anyway you can tell that today was probably not the best day to choose to tell you about Madeline.

"You drive I'll talk"

Before we get much further I should warn you this is definately my element. The story began when I was little.....possibly 3..... my parents say that I got in the car with Grandpa Griffin and I said, "okay grandpa you drive and I will talk".

They say I have been talking ever since. Is there a recognizeable pattern to the thoughts? Tragically...no. So again be warned rambling definately happens here....yes, along with no punctuation a fascinating combination.

When you read about starting a blog "they" tell you to think about your niche.....what are you good at? What could you be an expert on? I thought long and hard about that and almost abandoned the thought of a blog with despair I am not good at any one thing. I am a wanna be. I wanna be a quilter. I wanna be an interior decorator, I wanna be an expert gardner, I wanna know everything about stocks and politics. And yes the "wanna" list goes on for a long time so I will stop.

Do not fear tomorrow I will delve into the people that define me and stop me from doing all the "wannado's.......the 7 children and husband.

Testing Testing

I cannot believe it. I finally have a blog. It took me long enough. Of course that's because I had to read everything ever written about how to blog. It made me a little nervous.....words like html, template,posting, do not just pop up in my normal everyday conversation. And then I realized there is no wrong way. And then I realized I am always re-realizing that there truly is no wrong way to do anything.

So I am sure this will be fun for all of us as I figure out how to add pictures, how to be concise in my thoughts, ( I am really not sure if that will happen I dearly love to ramble). Oh and punctuation? You probably won't enjoy my blog if you truly and deeply care about punctuation. I am working on it because especially on the computer when you cannot see my expressions you could easily misunderstand my meanings so I will try to work on the punctuation.

I also decided I am going to resist the urge to rush out and tell all of you I have a blog. Probably the biggest reason for that is I have to figure out how to e-mail you all the link.....so who knows how long it could be before I figure that out? In the meantime I will blog away pretending all of you are anxiously awaiting my next blog.