Mar 31, 2008
Mar 27, 2008
So I purchased a bucket of chalk for Tatiana and Natalie they were so excited. But I forgot a very important detail, in the past 4 years since we have had chalk at our house the Baird family has acquired some teenagers. Not just plain old teenagers silly teenagers, naughty teenagers, needing negative attention teenagers. My first warning was when Tatiana came in to tell me Joe and Miriam were outside playing with the chalk....and they were not drawing they were writing words. Oh dear!! So I peek out the window and it is true. Miriam had managed to write that her sister was a "dumby" and sign Amanda's name to it. She thought she was brilliant to have thought to mis-spell it so that everyone would think Amanda wrote it wrong. Then she wrote some other things that I guess I should not mention here. Joe was busy writing the word hell and Tatiana was going along behind him adding an "O" to it to make the word hello or changing the last "L" to a "P" to spell help. Which help is definately what we need at this house. So I had to take the chalk away from the teenagers something about it makes them feel free to express whatever they want.....on my driveway.
Yesterday because I can not resist buying big boxes of colorful chalk I gave more chalk to my LITTLE girls and bless their hearts if the teenagers did not yet try again to write evil things on my perfect driveway. What happened to drawing animals? And what happened to writing loving things like they used too? Or did they used to? Needless to say Miriam and Joe carried buckets of water out to the driveway and I had to explain what some words meant to Tatiana. Then I have to smile through my teeth when friends, neighbors, or delivery guys come to my house and entertain themselves with my driveway. And then when they ask me about it I have to think of some clever reason why my teenagers would be entertained by writing bad things on the driveway.
And just when I was done dealing with the chalk issue I turn around and see the teenagers blowing bubbles straight onto my nice clean windows and then popping them and smearing the bubble stuff around with their fingers. The bubbles and chalk should have a warning on them, " please keep out of reach of children over 12 they may get carried away with the power and may end up in hell-o".
I am truly in a very interesting phase of life.
Mar 25, 2008
But I know that I resolve to be better at making sure I have cards, stamps, and addresses on hand for sending sincere cards to people more often so they will never have to wonder if anyone was grateful for what they did or noticed that they did something well. It means I have to pay more attention to what people are doing around me. It means when I am prompted I need to act right away. Isn't it wierd that it happens so rarely that we remember it and have to blog about it??
It has become such an obsession at our house that the 5 and 8 year old reguarly beg for camera's of their own.
Mar 23, 2008
I have been the driver for stake dances and had kids who are riding home with me ask me anxiously long before the dance is over , "Sister Baird can I ride shotgun?" I always an amazed that in the middle of the dance they think to say that to me. And I always wonder why they do not remember that it means they have to sit in the front with me and make small talk?
I was in Wal Mart the other day way in the back of the store and two teenage girls and their mom were shopping and all of a sudden the one girl out of the blue hollers "shotgun". And the other girl realized she had lost the front seat and said, "oh, you freak". I personally think you should not be allowed to yell it until after you are out of the building. There definatly needs to be some rules!!
Why does the phrase hold so much power? I am fascinated by watching when the teenagers are heading out of an event and they are all heading as fast as they can to the cars for the coveted front seat and some smug teenager will casually shout, "I already called shotgun." All of a sudden everything stops a few people grumble but they all observe the unwritten rule that "calling shotgun" is very final. Occasionally some poor misguided, desperate soul will try to challenge the smug winner but they never can plead a case strong enough to overcome that all powerful phrase.
So if it has so much power why do we not teach them to say it as soon as they can talk? Why can't you "call shotgun" to get into college? Why can't you call "shotgun" to get anything you are anxious you will not get? In the grocery store....last package of chicken and you holler "I call shotgun" and everyone else melts away murmuring about your smarts and you so get the chicken?
Why is the front seat so important that we have a phrase that you can save it with?
I do not remember calling shotgun back in the 80's when I was a teenager. I do not remember feeling anxious about getting the front seat. (My parents may remember otherwise as often is the case.) Is it only certain personality types that deeply care about the front seat? Is it dependent on where you grew up? What would the teenagers do if the adults poured out of church hollering " I get shotgun". Actually I think what we grownups do is try to act like we don't care and then casually drop the, "I really get carsick" phrase and voila we have the front seat. What happens if everyone in the car gets carsick?
Mar 19, 2008
My husband loves using the voice recognition on his cell phone. I love it when his phone does not understand him when he tells it who to call ...I giggle and giggle and I ask him why on earth he uses it when it makes him so angry and takes so long to get it to understand? He will say "call home" into the reciever and he inevitably has to say it again and I immediately start rattling off every thing that rhymes with home that the stupid cell phone might think he is saying....Perhaps it thought he said, call the Travelocity "gnome"?
I wonder if the businesses who use "the voice" understand that some people who call them do not have a completely silent house 24/7? I love when "the voice" asks me a question and at that very instant some child starts arguing with another child and "the voice" hears it and says, "I am sorry I did not understand you". Which part of children arguing did the annoying and persistent voice not understand?
Sometimes I must confess I sit very quietly in my closet trying not to cough or sneeze and just wait it out listening to the voice that keeps trying to get me to talk I am happy to announce that after about 5 minutes "the voice" finally gets it and says "how about I transfer you to someone you can talk to since you are so gosh darn stubborn?" Then I carefully mark a tally mark down on my side of the paper because I again bested technology and stood my ground the victory makes the fact that I am now on hold for 15 minutes so much sweeter.
The Eggo waffle addiction upsets Zach a little and when he is not at BYU he makes homemade waffles the kind where he whips the egg whites......sigh..... Zach is our hero!! And yes, we will occasionally use our Belgian waffle maker and yes, we like those too. But it can't be a perfect comfort food if you forget what you need comfort for by the time you finish the process can it?
What is very interesting is all the different ways we eat the Eggo. Madeline smothers them with syrup. You cannot help but ask her if she is having anything with her syrup. And she has to have a glass of milk in a certain cup. I use my fork to make an initial cut and then I tear a piece off with my fingers and I do not use alot of syrup. Joe can't eat Eggo's because of his allergies but he has some wheat free organic waffles (one box practically costs as much as one 60 count box of Eggo's) and he puts them in the toaster and then when they come out he puts the margarine on them and then puts them in the microwave and he never eats the outer edge.
If only you could comfortably eat Eggo waffles in bed than they would be perfect.....yes, I have tried.
Mar 17, 2008
Mar 16, 2008
What kind of person decides in a world of oh so many words that the word cookie is also going to be the collective name for files stored on your hard drive by your web browser that hold info about your browsing habits? Was that person just finishing a bag of double stuff Oreo's and needed to finish this one last naming task and then they could go get another glass of milk and be done with it?
I can hardly wait to figure out what HTML goodies are? Hopefully they are not fattening.
Mar 15, 2008
Are you born with your love of shoes? Is it nature or nurture? I really do not know. But I can tell you that I used to wear white athletic socks with everything. And white tights with all my Sunday outfits. I never wore high heels. I never knew there were rules. I mean now I know that your socks must match your pants. And that tights are okay but NEVER white. And that there are certain types of shoes for certain kinds of outfits. OH and don't get me started on the "color of your shoe matching your purse thing". I will never be able to pull that one off. Should information make one feel so limited.
I have absolutely nothing going for me in the shoe department:
I wear a shoe size 4 in kids (or 5/6 in women's if I stuff the toe).
I am short so technically I should wear high heels when I sleep, fix breakfast, take a shower, and read the paper, so basically everywhere.
And I do not come by fashion sense naturally.
But throw in some shopping buddies over the years with awesome shoe sense and a little too much reading of People and Instyle magazine in the.....ahem...dentist office and voila you have given birth to another obsessed shoe shopper.
The black shoes are my most recent purchase I love. For a purchase to reach that category it has to be a bargain and you have to leave it at the store overnight and dream about it in your sleep. These shoes are Chaps brand which is my favorite brand at Kohls. Chaps is way overpriced and I never buy it if it is not on clearance and I do not have a coupon. These shoes did not even have a box of their own I found them in the back of the clearance boots section where probably one of you hid them. They were originally $60.00 and I got them for $11.00 plus I had a 5 dollar off coupon so you do the math. And I love them.
The brown shoes crossed off a long list of first's for me:
- first honest to goodness high heel shoes I ever bought
- first shoes I bought to actually match an outfit
- first shoes I searched several stores for
- first shoes I had to order from a store in another state because my size was not in the store
I am still not completely comfortable walking in them but I get more confidence each time I wear them. And no they were not expensive. I think they were $24.00. I know that price is relative. It depends on what you spend on shoes whether $24.00 is a bargain or not.
Yes, I have realized that a lot of my posts are about worldly things like shoes, and hair, and clothes and things I am learning about them. Is it mid life crisis? Is it turning 40? Are you all worried about me? Are you asking, "What happened to good old sweat wearing frizzy hair Jenn?" Don't worry I am still here. And I still own white socks. And I do not rival Imelda Marcos in my shoe collection.....yet. So enjoy that I am going though it and not you. And wonder to yourself what is right? Where is the line between inner beauty and outer beauty? And send money to support my habits......haha.
Mar 14, 2008
Mar 12, 2008
I think I have finally found exercise utopia. I did at one time doubt it existed. But I think I have finally found it. I have tried lots of exercise options throughout the years. I can name drop exercise videos with anyone.... Kathy Smith? Denise Austin? Buns of Steel? Jane Fonda? you name it I own....ahem...have tried it. I have finally found the perfect exercise video. It is Slim in 6 with Debbie Siebers. The six refers to 6 weeks but I prefer either the 6 minute or 6 year plan. The music is a little annoying but I dare you to find an exercise video with good music....oh all right maybe Sweatin to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. And Debbie refrains from telling you to many times to hang in there and that you are doing good. She does tempt you with promises of a smaller size next time you go shopping but that involves doing the exercise everyday for 6 weeks. Anyway despite the talk of videos I prefer to walk/run but some of us live where winter happens and have times where even the heartiest winter lover must exercise at home.
I have tried the walking many different ways also. In Kansas it was in the evening with Melissa and Kelleen along Clinton Parkway. This is where they introduced me to the thought that you could possibly run a little during the walk. After they moved away it became afternoon walks with Shannon where we definately solved all the world's problems.
Then I moved to Indiana. Where I had no neighbors let alone church members to walk with for miles. Finally I got desperate and told my friend Allison that I would drive 15 minutes to her house in the morning and walk with her. We would go VERY early in the morning out on the straight, dark, flat roads of Indiana. We even walked in snow. After we ran into a bobcat ( great story involving a sound that made your hair stand on end, holding hands, and running) she started coming to my house where we still ran the risk of running into animals but just not bobcats. We stuck with it for a long time but then life happened and I was without a walking partner again. But this is where I started to discover the joy of walking alone. I finally got an MP3 and I loved that music blaring in my ears when I walked. But I really lived way out in the country and there were only a few times that I could walk without a buddy that would have been safe plus there is the motivation issue it is so much easier to get up when you know someone else is counting on you to show up. So I totally invited myself to go on my nearest church neighbor Christy's walks with her. It worked out super for me but I have little short legs and Christy had awesome long legs. So I really think I held her back but it was all about me so I had a spectacular work out and Christy probably wondered how I ever weasled my way into her walk.
Now I am in Massachusetts and it took me three months of thinking, planning and experimenting and I think I really have the perfect exercise plan. I leave at 2:30pm right when Miriam gets off the bus. Red coat on, hat, mittens, Ipod set to shuffle and playing loud, cell phone alarm set to ring at 2:50pm which is when I turn around and head back home. I start up Northwest Road which I chose because of the name....no really I chose it because there is not to many cars, it has some killer hills and I can look at The Berkshires ( mountains...not handsome, manly neighbors) the whole walk. The beginning is a huge hill and then it keeps steady climbing for about 10 more minutes. There are a ton of trees. I love the smell of pine trees especially when it mixes with the smell of people's fireplaces. But don't get caught up in the smell of the air because you are supposed to be thinking about taking small quick steps and finding your stomach muscles and holding them in.( if I could just locate those stomach muscles).
There has been a ton of water lately on my walk as it has been raining alot and all the snow is melting so I do happen upon some serious puddles where if I time it just right I can get a major splash from passing cars. So when it comes to the puddle part of my walk I run so I can get past them fast before getting splashed. At the spot where I turn around in my walk there is a river that is very full and makes the rushing water sound that is very mesmerizing and loud. I can hear it over my music which is definately saying something. I get back to my real world of mesmerizing laundry and loud fighting children sounds at about 3:12pm but I am all ready to face it because I have a killer pain in my gluteous maximus from the hills that reminds me I exercised and somehow that makes me happy.
It is called Complications A Surgeons Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande. (And I would italicize that but remember the last italics situation on a post in March?) This book brings up alot of things that I think would be so interesting to discuss. He talks about becoming a surgeon and how as with anything it is about practice, "like the tennis player and the oboist and the guy who fixes hard drives, we need practice to get good at what we do. There is one difference in medicine though it is people we practice upon." And this whole chapter is about that subject of how doctors are human but we expect more of them. He writes, "It's not science you call upon but a doctor. A doctor with good days and bad days, a doctor with a wierd laugh and a bad haircut. A doctor with three other patients to see and inevitably gaps in what he knows and the skills he is trying to learn."
Later in this chapter he talks about how people assume that you have to have great hands to be a surgeon but it isn't true. He says, "they have to be conscientious, industrious, and boneheaded enough to stick at practicing one difficult thing day and night for years on end". I was reading something else the other day that brought up the fact that it is not really talent that gets someone to be a superstar at what they do it is the amount of deliberate practice they put into it. It is someone who is determined and disciplined. Atul Gawande says it is " ones willingness to engage in sustained training". But he is right about practicing. For years I was deathly afraid of driving in the snow. I just simply would not do it. But the more Brian traveled the more I was forced to do it. And through practice I no longer am I afraid to drive in it. I am still cautious but because I have practiced I know more what to do and how to respond and what will happen. And if I really actually practiced every chance I got I could probably start a new Olympic sport....driving 15 passenger vans in the snow. And win medals and write books.
Anyway there are 14 fabulous chapters in this book covering all kinds of subjects; good doctors gone bad, a woman who had nausea her whole pregnancy, how we all feel pain differently and so much more. And when you are done reading this one he has a sequel called Better. It is sitting in my books to read holding area waiting for me.
Mar 11, 2008
Anyway, for oh so many years I just found someone in my ward at church to cut my hair. Then I moved up to those walk in chain places and then about 5 years ago something happened and my eyes were seriously opened. All of a sudden in a serious way I cared about hair. Hair is so complicated. Is it curly ? Is it dry? Is it fine? Is it coarse? And then to make matters worse what shape is your face? And then there are movie stars on the magazines at the checkout (taunting you) who always have soft shiny perfect hair. (By the way they pay someone to do that for them so they do not count now that I realized they can't do it themselves.)
When we moved to Indiana it was the first time I had a list of serious questions for my "hairdresser" ( yes, I had even learned the lingo although I still hate to say hairdresser it sounds so gosh darn corny to me). And I learned all about becoming chemically dependent ( goodbye gray). I learned about the magic straightening iron and oh so much more. I really grieved when we moved and I had to leave Darcy the best hairdresser in the land. I thought how could I ever replace her?
Well we got to Massachusetts I knew I had to find someone new soon. The being chemically dependent thing does not give you much time. I know you are supposed to look around at people's hair and find someone random who has a great haircut and ask them where they got it and then somehow like magic you also go to that magic place and get your awesome haircut but I did not go to that much work. I just asked 2 people. My realtor and a lady in the ward. They both said they went to "Puffers". I know, "Puffers"? It took me a minute to get over the name. But if you think about it are hair salons ever known for their "naming themselves skills"? NO!!! So I made an appointment with the girl they had both recommended and when I arrived at my appointment I was told the lady I had an appointment with was running super late would I mind meeting with someone else? The gray hair thing sealed that deal and I said I did not mind. So I sat to wait. While sitting there I was watching the hairdressers and wondering which one would have been mine and which one was going to be mine? Right in front of me was a "hairdresser" with amazing curly hair. I know no one ever says amazing and curly in the same sentence. That is why I was so fascinated by her. Because I am a very curly also. And I thought to myself I bet she was going to be my hair dresser and I was right she WAS going to be my hairdresser. Maybe just maybe she could have made me look like her. Maybe just maybe I could have learned to...gasp...embrace my curl? But instead I got Adriana. Who has the same color hair as me and a little curl. But I LOVE her. And I asked her about the other hair dressers curly hair and she confessed she dosen't wear it curly all the time and that made me feel better.
So Adriana is the best. I pay dearly for her. But guess what? When they say that you get what you pay for I fear they may be right. But I really make them work for their money I ask a ton of questions about products and what they do and I might even try to get them to tell me that I look like a movie star.....I mean I am really paying alot I should get lied to. On Saturday Adriana gave me the best cut I have ever had and showed me how to straighten it with just a medium round brush and a blow dryer. It was the cut that I feel like my whole life I have been telling people I want but they have been misunderstanding. Could it be possible that I learned how to communicate that well? I doubt it. I think our family just had the worst move of our lives so that I could meet Adriana and have superstar hair. I begged her to come and do my hair everyday but I forgot I have to make a movie first to get that treatment. When I got home my girls actually said the B word. They said I looked beautiful. So now I am off to actually see if I can duplicate it all by myself. Yes, I will post a picture soon.
Mar 10, 2008
By this point someone has let Kittromney out and she is such a pain in the morning. She attacks you while you are trying to sleep. Tries to claw your curtains and tries to climb up your $160.00 Chaps bedspread. So then I have to get up and catch her and throw her out of my room and shut the door and then listen to her meow outside my door. It is very restful. What I am I doing going back to bed anyway? The only reason I do is because it is usually soooo cold in our house. Ever since our $800.00 natural gas bill things have been a little chilly. At 6:30am I wake up Joseph and Amanda. Amanda is awesome she gets right up but it is a trick because then she proceeds to plod like a snail until she has to run to avoid missing the bus.
Joseph tries to get up but he is a little harder. I always say "rise and shout" from the BYU fight song but he just announced the other day when I did not say it and threw the cat on him instead that he prefers the cat to the "rise and shout". Then after they are up you guessed it I get back in bed. I wait until I cannot wait any longer and I get up and fix Joe's lunch. This morning while I was laying there Amanda came flying in my room hysterical because she had left her hairbrush in the van after church yesterday and the van was gone. I recommended using someone else's hairbrush and she totally freaked out at that thought. Two words every loving mother thinks of her children came to my mind at this point; spoiled and brat in no particular order. But I just firmly kept repeating the hairbrush options to her(while I was laying in my bed with my eyes closed) one of which was not driving 25 minutes to the van to get her hairbrush. Finally when firm and friendly did not work I leaped out of bed and gave her a "love push" out my door and locked my door and got back in bed.
At this point I realized I needed to get up. Tatiana gets up at 7:30 and believe me that is a special treat. The first words out of her mouth every morning are "I don't feel good". I always smile and say, "well let's have breakfast and see how things are going". Things never go well. She
mentions that she does not feel well all morning and I have to follow her around and keep her moving. So by 8:30 when she is finally on the bus I feel like the day must be over. I have just spent 3 hours convincing 5 people that they do want to go to school.
Despite it all when they leave and the sun is shining on my laundry piles, the things of mine that they used and left out on the bathroom counter, and on all the piles of clothes lying in their rooms that did not make the cut to be worn today I still smile because it is quiet. And no I do not go back to bed.
Mar 7, 2008
So needless to say I have not been able to blog as much as I would like to this week. You see giving a talk is a process I always make into a huge affair. I desperately envy people who can brag that they prepared the night before or...gasp.....in the car on the way to church.( Oh drat...there it is again another one of those moments when you see you see yourself clearly and standing right next to you is another adorable fault smiling at you. This one's name is, "making things into a huge affair". I hate that the older I get the more frequently these faults appear and not only smile at me but dare me to figure them out.) Anyway, I seriously spend a full two weeks writing a talk. How? I do not know it just has always been that way.
But never fear I am sure I will be back to doing nothing next week and have loads of time to tell you all about my fascinating life. The wild turkeys that wandered into the yard. The pile of stuff that I sweep up but put off actually dustpan"ning" up and why. The ground that is not actually white anymore. Can't you hardly wait?
Mar 5, 2008
Learning processes for Jenn Baird usually involve calling someone....actually calling everyone and gathering opinions and exploring ideas and lots of discussing. Can you say extrovert? But for some reason with "the Blog" I have been a little stubborn about figuring it out on my own. Well all right I have had to call my dear tech support friend Kristy more than a couple times but this time she did not answer her cell or home phone.....she knows better than to answer when I call.
Anyway, I recently had to change my e-mail address because of our move and I knew I had to change it on my blog and I had no idea how. So I clicked on blogger help and asked the question "How to transfer a blog from one account to another?" But it wasn't near as eloquent it was more like "how to change e-mail accounts?". I found great step by step instructions that someone had sent in. But I could not quite accept this because I like to actually talk to someone so I spent way to much time searching for a phone number at blogger.com. Finally I realized I was going to have to do this on my own so I printed off the instructions and started off with no one to talk to except myself which I most definately did. I lost one of myself for awhile and I panicked when I was no longer the administrator and could not manage my own blog for awhile. (Never tell a control freak that they have lost control of their blog the only thing that is actually theirs.) So I took a break and had a peanut butter and jam sandwich and walked through all the steps again and hooray I found myself. But it was so traumatic that I have not completed the last step which was deleting one of the Jenn's. What if I make a mistake? I am pretty sure that I will be okay but I am sitting on the decision for a few days. So when you see one Jenn you'll know I survived taking a risk.
Or maybe I will just decide two Jenn's are better than one.
Maybe one of them could learn all about punctuation, getting rid of italics, learn about widgets to fix the spacing, and become a technology geek.......but probably not.
Mar 3, 2008
Isn't it funny that we think running away will be glorious and solve all our problems and as soon as we leave we realize we have nowhere to go. How many times have I ended up running away to the church parking lot?