Apr 30, 2008

Awwwww ladybugs....

Anytime you ever find a ladybug it is an amazing moment right? You shout, "I found a ladybug" and everyone comes running and unlike just about any other insect on this planet everyone exclaims, "oh, it's so cute". And they try to catch it and hold it. Could it be any other way? Could you ever imagine wanting to kill one? And if you accidentally smoosh one don't you feel extreme remorse and look around to make sure the ladybug police did not just see it?

Well I am going to rock your world. There are to many ladybugs here in Massachusetts. When we looked at our house in October I remember them all across the back of our house and I remember the builder saying they were good luck. If that is the case than lots of "lucky for me things" should be starting anytime.

I do not mind any type of bug as long as it is outside. Even spiders of whom I desperately hate I can leave alone as long as they are in the great outdoors. But if a bug is inside he better look out. I am highly trained with the broom, the shoe, (as long as it isn't mine) and even if desperate a wad of toilet paper. I have done hand to hand combat with some pretty serious spiders. The kind that are so big that even though they are long dead and gone you still jump over the last spot you saw them....just in case. I wish I could go back to my innocent days of merrily using the vacuum but I have acquired an irrational fear that even though you suck them up they are still alive in the vacuum and they just crawl back out. I wish someone could really tell me if particuarly the spiders die in the vacuum or if they just crawl out and think that that was a fun ride. So because of my lack of information I have to see bug guts to feel safe and sadly hear a squish.

I never would have dreamed that I would kill a ladybug they do not fall in the spider category at all. But they have committed an offense. They are in my house. Not just one cute little one that you benevolently catch and open the door to let go free. They are here in high numbers. Miriam counted 17 in her room. So I debated...how could I even think it. But I had to. So I killed ladybugs.....lots of them. So I can kiss my goodluck goodbye.

Apr 29, 2008

What if you read the book to a rated R movie?

The very first rated R movie I ever saw was in High School I saw The Breakfast Club with a group of girlfriends. I knowingly made the choice. The only other times I made a conscious choice to see a rated R movie was when Brian and a friend of his wanted to see some guy movie called "killing people and killing more people and saying bad words in Las Vegas" and the wives went along. It was the most miserable moment of my life. I kept my eyes shut and pressed against the back of the seat and my ears plugged the whole movie. I am highly offended by violence. And the other one was Pierce Bronson in The Thomas Crown Affair. Now you have all the dirt on my fascinating movie going life.

A few times I have accidentally seen a rated R movie. Please tell me that has happened to you. You see a movie on tv or on a dvd and years later you are talking about it with friends and everyone says it was a rated R movie and you insist it was not. That happened to me with When Harry met Sally. Sometimes a rated R movie comes out that I wish was not rated R so I could see it. And sometimes I really want to see a PG 13 and even have my doubts about that.

I sort of wanted to see The Other Boleyn Sister which was a PG13 but luckily I took the book on my trip and after reading it I am glad I did not see the movie. It did get me very interested in reading other things about that time in history and wanting to know more about the Boleyn's. But I am sure they could not make the movie and ignore the opportunity to include some of the skanky stuff. Then that got me thinking about getting the book Atonement. I had been a little interested in that movie also but it is rated R so I won't do it. But I wonder if it's wrong to read the book to a rated R movie? Too late I am on chapter 3.....

Apr 28, 2008

Wondering and friends.

I wonder if it's possible to wonder too much? I can't say that I have ever heard someone say, "wow, I like her but she really wonders about things a little too much" or "if only he did not wonder so much." Actually now that I think about it do men wonder about things or is it a mostly female thing? The dictionary says to wonder is, "to feel curiosity or be in doubt about". So I guess everyone does it. I find the older I get the more I wonder about things. Kids seem to wonder about things a lot too. Maybe in the middle years we are too busy to wonder.

I wonder alot about people. People I used to know but have not seen in years. I wonder what happened to them and what they are doing. Several years ago I finally decided to stop wondering and start trying to find some of these people. Sometimes you want them to know how they affected your life because you often do not realize that until you are not around them anymore. Sometimes it is just plain curiosity. Sometimes I wonder if I am always looking for them because I never stayed in one place growing up and did not live close to extended family so I am always looking for something stable in my life, something constant.

When I go on my Seattle trip one fun part has been finding old friends. It is so strange to think that they used to be such a huge part of your daily life and then all of a sudden they aren't anymore.

This time on my trip I made it to remnants of my old ward that I grew up in. They do not meet in the same building and the ward boundries are different but there were still some people that I remembered. What a strange feeling. Especially knowing that these people knew me when I was an adorable, perfect teenager....haha. I wonder what they thought I would grow up to be? It is a very surreal feeling to hear a voice you have not heard in years and realize that you recognize it instantly. There was one particular couple that I was looking for when I was in Snohomish this time....The Miller's. They were the parents of a good friend of mine named Rob. I sat in the chapel that Sunday looking around wondering if I would recognize them and I recognized him immediately and when I went over and said something to them the minute she spoke her voice brought back so many memories. I sort of involuntarily said something wierd like" oh, your voice is so familiar". But it was. But also hard to describe.

It was also interesting that as I "re-met" people in Seattle I discovered that at that time in my life 22 years ago everyone called me Jenny. At the phase of life I am in now everyone calls me Jenn. And only a very few people have ever called me Jennifer.

When I was in Young Womens we had a pretty big group of kids to hang out with. We really had alot of fun. Two of my friends from this group are still in the Seattle area and I always try to get together with them when I am visiting. So interesting to think about where we are now and how our lives have turned out. And so strange to sit together and eat dinner and realize we always basically are who we are and some things will never change about us.

I occasionally wonder if I am the only person in the world that wonders about people that were in their past and actually tries to find them. I wonder if I am a freak of nature? Am I living in the past?

And last but not least I wonder how many times I used the silly word wonder in this post?

Apr 27, 2008

The Bird's and The Baird's.

In the midst of my "before the move networking" I met Jean Bird. She had moved to Massachusetts the year before we did from California. She has 4 boys ages 17 to 10. And they are in our ward here in Springfield. And most importantly when your names are Jenn Baird and Jean Bird you can't deny the destiny in that. Poor unsuspecting Jean had no idea what a party girl I am and how many questions I can ask. In 4 months I have really worn out my welcome.

In December I realized that I had a 15 passenger van and I had 9 people in my family and Jean had 6 in hers. And what is 9 + 6? 15. So it was inevitable that I conned the Bird's into taking a few road trips with us. Our first one was to Boston in December. I think it went very well. But I am pretty easy to please. Although as I say that for the first time in my life I have a nagging wonder in the back of my mind if that is true anymore? I will have to soul search on that one:)......

Our latest trip was last Thursday to New York City. Brian had meetings in New York so he found a parking lot on 42nd street that takes 15 passenger vans. (You should have seen those parking lot guys smile when 15 people piled out of that van). We picked up The Bird's at 6 am and got to New York City at about 9am. The drive was not so bad. You always have a few moments when someone is in someone's space but nothing that can't be endured, ignored, or else solved with some food with sugar in it.

I tried to help the kids to understand the significance of Ney York City..... all the amazing things that are there. But they were a little caught up in the excessive walking part of the trip. Did pioneer children really sing as they walked and walked and walked?? Because there is no way some of the Baird children would have been singing from Missouri to Utah if they were walking.

It was amazing all the people watching in New York City. The kids even managed to get a picture of a man calmly walking down the street in nothing but his purple underwear holding a shopping bag.

I continue to be amazed at how much places can charge you to get in. I wish they would at least have signs telling me what my $19.00 times 9 people is going to be going for. I hate hoping that what I am paying is going to be worth it. And I hate even having to think about it. And you could argue that I should have thought about that when I had 7 kids. All that said I confess that only "some" of the Baird's went to the top of The Empire State Building..... Madeline, Miriam, Amanda, and Joe went to the top where the visibility was an amazing 15 miles. The thought of spending the money on a ticket made Zach physically ill and Tatiana and Natalie will have alot of opportunities to do The Empire State Building. So we waited for everyone else at Wendy's where the cost of entertaining is very cheap.

Then we went to the New York City Library because our dad is a librarian. And the building was truly amazing inside. And the huge stone lions outside of it are very famous

We walked up 5th avenue to Central Park where the kids immediately recognized the bridge where Spiderman and Mary Jane broke up and that same bridge was also in the movie Enchanted. So we of course had to take lots of pictures there. We even started a list of all the movies we could think of that were filmed in New York City. (I am meaning to Google that). After Central Park we went looking for the LDS temple and found it. And then we topped everything off with a ride on the subway. Which we should have done long before we did. I came home with the most amazing blisters on my feet from my sandals that I thought were comfortable.

Trips are funny things. They are always all about compromising. And the worst part is that traveling brings out all of our adorable personality faults. We get tired, hungry or disappointed and voila there is our true self for the whole city of New York to see.

Apr 22, 2008

Two extremes.

Well I am back from my trip to Seattle. I spent most of my growing up years in Snohomish WA. And about 4 years ago after watching my husband get to travel everywhere in the world while I stayed home. And after never thinking it was even possible for me to logistically go somewhere alone. I all of a sudden discovered that it was possible. I have never been an alone person but I always admired people who were. People who did things to the beat of their own drum without needing to involve everyone. So every year I plan a few days in Seattle all by myself. One year it was for my 20 year reunion but other than that I just go and do whatever I want. I spend many joyful hours researching and mapquesting possible destinations. Let me tell you when I first started out doing this I had never even purchased my own plane ticket for myself. I had never got my own rental car. I did not even know what I would want to do if I was alone. But each year I get braver and more confident. Not brave enough to go anywhere but Seattle. But with Mapquest at my command I am learning anything is possible. So I load up on books and DVD's I have never seen. I save my money. And search for the best airfare in the land and I am off.

I desperately want to tell you every detail. But I came home to Spring Break in Massachusetts (which means bored, fighting children at home needing my computer to make them happy). A garden to plant in the spot my hubby lovingly rototilled. A son coming home from BYU tonight for the summer. A 20 minute presentation to give on Food storage on Saturday. Sharing time on Sunday........plus a Primary lesson. A family trip to New York on Thursday and a family trip to Rhode Island to the Newport Beach Cliff Walk on Friday. Not to mention cleaning, laundry and feeding that has to happen for 9 people.

Unfortunantely the thing I want to do the most has to wait...which is reading all of your blogs and writing all sorts of fun on my blog.

The picture is of my favorite place in Seattle........ Deception Pass. I go there every trip and hike around and just stare at the most awesome view in the world.

The other picture is my most favorite....laundry!!

Apr 16, 2008

I'll be back

Hey everyone. In the past couple of years I have discovered the possibility and thrill of alone time. So I am off for my annual alone time trip. I know it is selfish but when you have 8 people sucking every possible emotion from you there is something amazing about getting away and going to the bathroom when you have to go and not when everyone else has to go:)

I will be back on the 22nd with lots of pictures and tales. Don't forget me. And if you are bored you could always read all my fabulous old posts:)

Apr 14, 2008

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.....

I have always loved that song from The Sound of Music. For some strange reason I sing it to Natalie and Tatiana when I wash their hair in the bath or sometimes when they brush their teeth. I think I do it just to take their minds off of the task they are enduring. Natalie always says, "mom sing the wrappers on roses song". I love that it is such a great list of favorites. And not just normal old favorites, pretty well thought out favorites....cream colored ponies, brown paper packages tied up with string, bright copper kettles.

I have been thinking about what my favorites are ever since I started this darn blog and HAD to fill out the "user profile". I know I do not have to even fill the silly profile out but for some reason I think I should and sort of want to. I do not know why I torture myself though. Coming up with favorites has never been a favorite task of mine. If anyone even looks like they are going to ask me what my favorite is I start to panic. I am pretty sure the reason for that is because there are decisions and commitments involved in favorites. I imagine when someone says something is their favorite it always has been and will be their favorite...that is a big commitment. And they must remember the shining moment when the heavens opened and they realized it was their favorite.

I remember when I was little horses were my favorite animal and I remember the day when my sister Rebecca announced that her favorite was horses also. I was not happy. I wanted my own favorites. So I switched my favorite to a bear. So does that mean horses were not really my favorite because I gave them up without a seconds thought? And honestly today I have no idea what I would tell you my favorite animal is. How could I ever decide?

I always choose mint chocolate chip ice cream. Always have and probably always will. Does that mean it is my favorite? NO, although I do like it. It means the first time I had ice cream I had that kind and liked it and never wanted to try anything else for fear I would not like it. I wonder if that is why I do not have favorites I am afraid to try new things and thus I rarely ever know the difference between hating something and liking something so much that I can declare it is a favorite.

Natalie is always checking on my favorites. My favorite colors ( yes I actually have that one figured out) are true red and true green. And Natalie often will ask me if that is still the case. And then she will tell me the favorite colors of other people she knows.

It delights me to no end to find out what other people's favorites are. And I hate it when someone says carelessly in answer to my questions about their favorites "oh I don't know" or even worse is when they say, " I like them all". But guess who says those very things?.....yep ME. Hypocrite Jenn.

So hopefully I will be able to settle on some favorites for my "user profile" so that when, "the dog bites or when the bee stings or when I am feeling sad I can simply remember my favorite things and then I won't feel soooooooo bad." Did you hear how clear I belted that out? I think it is my favorite song because it is in my voice range.

Apr 13, 2008


I, my friends, am a bad scouting mom. I sometimes lay awake at night thinking about poor Zach who was so close to that Eagle Scout. And it is my fault. I sent him to YM's and every campout I just never really focused on what on earth a "Star" or a "Life" really was. I do know a little about the word "merit badge":) Those are the good things that you want. Zach did everything himself. If I had just looked at his book once and asked a few questions he never would have had to be the YM leader in the future that has to say he never got his Eagle. It might be a saved moment if he could work up a good, "What not to do" talk." Everyone will say, " Are you going to the fireside tonight given by that guy who never got his Eagle because his mom was a loser?"

Oh and there is even more to confess..... I never sew the stinking patches on. My poor boys hated going to court of honors or pack meetings and standing next to the good scouting mom's sons. But in my defense they always had the option of taking the little brown sack from the scouting store that had all the patches still in it.

So all that said Joe had a campout this weekend with the scouts. And packing for these campouts is quite a process. Zach (the oldest) always took pride in packing for his scout stuff on his own. A few times I attempted to supervise the process but it never went well. Me putting things in and Zach taking things out. I am sure the men who went camping with Zach could hardly wait to see what was in his pack. Wondering why his mom sent him with nothing but Cheerios and a sweatshirt. But I know that through trial and error Zach finally figured out some balance. I am still in the dark though as to what that balance was.

I have always thought the scouting thing should fall under the dad duty list. I mean especially since I have 5 girls that I am sooo busy trying to teach how to find chocolate when you are depressed and how to spend money you don't have:) But for various reasons (all good ones) it often slides onto my mom duty list.

So Joe ended up bringing me home a fabulous 4 page detailed handout about the campout.....detailed handouts make me soooo happy. So after I asked an additional 3 e-mails worth of questions to the scout master I felt like I was informed enough to help him pack. But you know moms should never pack for scout anything. Especially OCD, control freak moms.(yes I think they exist) We really do not understand the minimal manly thing. I do not really remember but I am sure that Zach took over the packing job when he showed up at some campout and everyone teased him mercilessly for having TWO pair of underwear and a toothbrush with.....gasp...toothpaste.

So I got a pen that I could gratifyingly( yes, its a word) use to mark off what was on the list on the handout. I spent 2 days finding a pocket knive, compass, tin cup, old clothes etc. And also spent 2 days figuring out food. Joe has more allergies than you can imagine so sending him on a campout where he has to eat is a logistical mess. There are so few things he can eat that don't have to stay cold and don't create a lot of questions or comments. Do the words "camping" and "rice pasta" go together?

Luckily Joe was more than happy to let me take over. It was his first campout so he did not know any better. I laid everything out and he actually packed it. But he did say several times just to prove he is on his way to becoming a true man, "Mom, are you sure I need this?" Never ask a mom with a list and a pen if she is sure you need this.

He left Friday night and I worried a little about who he would end up sleeping with, how he would eat, if he would drive the leaders crazy and if he would be warm. But by Saturday morning I really did not think about him again. They had church in the woods this morning and he got home before we got home from church. He had some entertaining tales. And I have yet to see the muddy jeans, gross shoes and leftover food. And I am proud to say I actually got his troop numbers (hopefully in the right order) sewn/glued onto his uniform before he left the house. And the joy on his face was worth it.

I do not know where that balance is in doing everything for our kids and not enough. Coddling them or shoving them into the world? I really don't know but I do know that it is a rare boy that should not thank his mom for his Eagle and I failed Zach. Luckily Zach is a fabulous kid who is very forgiving. But I will probably still think about it in the middle of the night as I am reviewing that list of all the things I have done wrong. I should blog about that list sometime.

Apr 10, 2008

Sticks, rocks and leaves.

I was born of goodly but very yard obsessed parents. Every single memory I have of growing up ( very slight exaggeration) is of being out in the yard. Either in the garden, mowing the lawn, weeding or any other yard project. I confess I love yard work. And because of the standards I grew up with I do long for a perfect yard. But alas I married an Idaho farm boy who definately knows about hard work but doesn't understand the grass with no weeds in it thing and the worry about where the sun and shadows hit thing and definately doesn't care about a stray leaf in the yard thing:).....yes, dear I know you are reading this and yes there is love. I have very fond memories of my family I grew up in all being in the yard working. I may have been verbally abusing them and complaining while we worked but it is a fond memory.

Anyway, it is finally yard time in Massachusetts. And since we moved here on Dec 6 and it immediately snowed and I did not see the actual ground for 3 months I have been anxious to check out my brand new yard. And here is the cold hard truth.....rocks. I have never seen so many rocks in my life. Okay, maybe some beaches in Washington have as many. When I gardened in Kansas and Indiana if I wanted rocks to edge a flower bed with I would have to get in the car and drive to a new subdivision and find where they just dug for a new house and mooch rocks off the builder. Here I just have to put my fingers in the ground. Everytime I put my edger in the ground I find a rock not just one but tons and all different sizes and colors and shapes. Luckily I like rocks and I have a wierd habit of choosing a rock from places I have been to to add to my collection that I started when I was a kid. So if you need rocks definately come visit.

My next issue is sticks. In Indiana there was not a tree on my 4 acres. I planted about 8 trees but I never saw them to the phase where they would drop sticks. I certainly did not have a stick problem. Here I do have a stick problem. The new punishment for a misbehaving Baird is to be sent outside to pick up 20 sticks. You can see my picture of the the pile of "punishment" sticks waiting to be burned. And that pile is from one teeny tiny part of the yard. I remember having to call friends in Indiana for sticks for a Primary activity that will definately not happen here.

And what comes with sticks? Leaves. Another thing I have not had to deal with for many years. I wish I could think of something profitable that you could do with leaves. I have so many. Maybe I could figure out how to bottle the leaf smell surely I am not the only one who loves that smell? In Indiana if I even saw any leaves they would just blow right across my yard and keep on going. Matter of fact some of those leaves probably blew straight here to Massachusetts.

So everyday I just face one part of the yard and plug away at it. I just read O Pioneers a perfect book to read before you fight the land. And I checked out blogs on gardening in Western Massachussets just to reassure myself that it is possible. You can see from the picture that the edging is done. And today I am hoping to purchase some plants after I make some money selling my sticks and leaves and rocks.

Apr 9, 2008

Venting...and rules.

I have never felt safe when I vent because I am always wondering if there often could be another way to see what I am venting about. Have you ever sat and listened to someone vent and you see their point of view but you can also glaringly see the other side of view also? For some reason that is very hard for us to see when we are in a venting situation. We feel so wronged and so frustrated and so like well.....that things are SO not fair that we can't even think that there is....gasp....another side? So if you see the other side .....I totally understand. And besides by the time I get to venting stage so many other things have added to the original offense that it is ridiculous to even tell it all. Matter of fact I should blog about something nice and sweet like.....making dinner.

My venting today started with the chicken pox. Way back when we lived in Lawrence, Kansas in February of 1995 when Zach was in first grade at Prairie Park elementary he got the chicken pox. Everyone in the class had had them there was no reason to go to the doctor. And of course Madeline, Miriam and Amanda all got the chicken pox. I never took them to the doctor because I knew exactly what was going on and how it had happened. And never thought about it again. Then we moved to Massachusetts AKA the "unreasonable rule state". When we moved here I could not PROVE that the girls had had the chicken pox (what kind of mother does not take non stop pictures of her children's chicken pox?) so they required me to get them shots before they could start school. So we scheduled an appointment at the health department for the day we moved in for them to get their shots. It was pretty easy and fairly painless.

Then yesterday I get a letter in the mail saying Amanda has 1 week to get her second chicken pox shot ( remember she already had the chicken pox and one shot) and if she dosen't then she cannot come back to school. I ate some chocolate and psyched myself up for the amazing run around that I know I will get and I dial the health department. And they tell me they cannot give her the shot(despite the fact that they already gave her the first one less than 4 months ago) because we have insurance and because she is over 12 and many other reasons which I won't bore you with but which for some reason did not apply when I first moved here. They tell me to call the pediatrician office. Which requires more chocolate because I have never seen a more rule oriented pediatricians office in my life. And that is a whole other story in itself. Suffice it to say I had already made Amanda an appointment in January for a physical and the nearest time they could get her in was June. And they cannot give her a shot until they actually see her which they cannot do until JUNE. Then I have more chocolate and call the school and they are aghast that the health department would dare lie to me and suggest I call them again. HA HA I am not falling for that again.

I think what is frustrating is that none of the organizations....the school, the government,the doctor office and whoever else are trying to work together. They all create their own rules which make it nearly impossible to accomplish anything. I have to keep saying to them:

"But I do not have that yet because I need this from you"
and then they say,
"Well we cannot give that to you until you get this from them"
and then I say,
"But I do not have that yet because I need this from you"

It is an interesting thing that I have come across more here in New England than any where else we have lived..... people who secretly delight in telling you that something is going to be hard and not just hard but nearly impossible and they really honestly love telling you that. They love to see the tears start in your eyes and they think to themselves that they are so going to win the contest going for making the most people cry this month at work. It really makes them happy if they can get you to lose your cool because then it proves that you do not deserve to be treated like you are smart. I never give them that benefit but oh I do fight those tears. Of course not everyone does it. But the fact that I can name the ones who don't could possibly mean something.

Just to be fair I can imagine their side of the argument. Here is this crazy mom with 7 kids that has some nerve moving in the middle of December in the middle of a semester. And not only that she can't even prove her kids have had the chicken pox. She has their shot records and their birth certificates and their transcripts and their social security cards and their underwear sizes and a graph showing how their underwear sizes have changed over the years but she cannot prove they have had the chicken pox. I understand that there are parents out there that have made it so that these rules simply have to be.....to protect us....I know. But it still isn't fair.

So I am done with my venting and as I wrap it up and read over it again I realize how silly I sound. But it is real to me and if we could have lunch and talk about it I know it would make sense and you would agree with me.

Apr 7, 2008


I am not really sure how the addiction began do we really ever remember the exact moment? When I was a kid and I had sore lips I would always use Mentholatum. I loved the smell. My dad really hated the smell. I remember him begging me not to use the mentholatum in the car. I do not even know if you can buy Mentholatum in a little jar anymore? And I do not know how I came to my love of Carmex. But I think our family single handedly supports the makers of Carmex. I honestly have never seen anyone else with the little white tub with the yellow lid in their hand. I keep expecting to show up at the store to buy it and find that it is gone. But miraculously it continues to be there. All the Baird children get Carmex in their stockings for Christmas. There is Carmex in all the Baird vehicles, the church bag, and the backpacks. Amanda prefers the Carmex in the chap stick form but to me it is just not Carmex if you do not dig your finger into it and then smear it on your lips.

I never really thought about it until I had a dear friend point out that it was slightly yucky and a tad offensive to rub your finger in the Carmex and then put it on your lips. Now I think of that dear friend every single time I put my finger in my Carmex which is very fortunate for her because I am always using Carmex and thus always thinking of her. But after she pointed that out I find I try to be more discreet about using it. Like a smoker hiding to smoke a cigarette.

During the summer the Carmex in the cars melts and it upsets Brian greatly if the Carmex happens to be upside down and goes back to a solid that way. Yes, there is a punishment for this.

We are all very dependent upon our Carmex. You will often hear a voice in our house hollering, "I need some Carmex does anyone have some?" Like all the things we really count on like car keys and socks the Carmex always seems to be missing no matter how many we own. It truly is something we would die without. And we will shamelessly beg other members of the family for their Carmex if we have misplaced ours.

Have you ever had really chapped lips and just like Napoleon in Napoleon Dynamite you think "my lips hurt real bad"? I hate when you have that desperate dry lip feeling and you are foraging through the house frantically looking for one of the 10,000 little jars of Carmex you know are hiding somewhere. And then the relief when you find it and you open the jar to find that it is empty. And you desperately rub your finger all over the smooth bottom of the jar hoping for one little bit to hold you over. Please say you understand.

Okay, so I know that you all know I just "googled" carmex. And I laughed out loud as they described our families Carmex addiction to a tee. Did you know that true Carmex junkies prefer the white container with the yellow lid. And yes the Baird's can all recognize the sound of a container of Carmex falling on the floor and rolling away. Paula Poundstone apparently does a standup comedy routine that talks about there being a secret floor in the Betty Ford clinic for Carmex users and that, "the users roam the halls begging for just one little dip."
  • Did you know there is more brand loyalty to Carmex than any other lip balm?
  • That the first pot of Carmex was produced in 1937 by a still family owned business that prides itself on it's lack of advertising.
  • Was voted the number one over the counter lip balm by pharmacists in 1998.
  • If the 1/2 ounce jar is to small for you you can order 8 fabulous ounces directly from the manufacturer for under $10.00. ( and you think the little 1/2 ounce container is awkward?)
  • Carma Labs is one of 5 single product companies that has continually bucked the downward trend of the recession. ( my husband should have got his masters degree in the popular field of creating addictive lip balm)

I couldn't believe all the articles and urban myths about Carmex and it's addictive qualities. Apparently we are not the only people who drive to the store in the middle of the night for Carmex...did I just say that out loud? Okay, all this talk has made my lips feel dry I must go find some Carmex.

Apr 6, 2008

Why do we write?

I am currently locked in my room trying to have quality time with the computer AKA my blog. I have sat through all the sessions of conference today. Yesterday I shopped, cleaned and did yard work. And now I want to write. I can hear Baird children down in the basement hollering my name, my name is "mom". Amanda just went to all the work to actually carry the chair that is the source of the contention up to my room so she could tell her side of the story without possibly losing the chair. And Madeline just headed for the shower with the parting words to me, "when I get finished with my shower I get the computer". The uplifting yet somehow also "guilt conference feeling" is lurking around and it causes me to be torn between going downstairs and cheerfully announcing that we are all going to turn off the TV and have a group hug and read some scriptures or just giving up since they are all past any hope of me changing their little personalities. And then when I finally have dealt with all their issues I sit here and wonder what do I write about? All the yard work I did this weekend and how it made me feel inside? How I have been interrupted by fighting children 10 times since I started writing this and how that makes me feel inside? Or about world peace?

I have been thinking alot about writing. I never liked writing in school. I think back now and I have a few theories:
  • I hated being forced into a topic.
  • I have serious punctuation challenges.
  • my inability to understand which form of "to" to use at any given moment.
  • my consistency in spelling "dosen't" wrong.

I am an awesome letter writer but that is a little out of fashion at the moment. I was a pretty good journal writer until I had child number 4 (poor abandoned 5,6 and 7 who only got a page written in the hospital when they were born).

So in the midst of all of this thinking about writing I finally got around to reading through the winter 2007 BYU Today magazine (winter 2007 was a bit busy) and hidden in the back of the magazine was an alumni update about Stephenie Meyers, (she is the one who wrote the Twilight books.) And in the article she said, "A true writer is someone who writes whether or not anyone else is going to read it". Hmmmm is that how I feel? Do I need the comments? Do I need the audience? I looked up blogging in the encyclopedia and it was very interesting to read about it. There are so many different kinds of blogs. In the section on personal blogs it said that, "personal blogs may not be important to the readers but to the people who write them they are works of art".

I have been doing a ton of reading lately. All different kinds. In the last 3 weeks I read Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elizabeth Buchan, Better by Atul Gawande and O Pioneers by Willa Cather. All interesting books for different reasons. And so many different kinds of writing. Then I happened upon a library book sale yesterday and it really struck me how many books there are in the world......especially romance novels:) and there were so many people there buying all different kinds of books....especially the romance novels. Speaking of writing I should try a romance novel they are very popular. I wonder how a romance novel with some supporting characters that were fighting children would sell?

Apr 2, 2008


It's not fair!!!! How many times a day do you hear this? The dictionary definition of fair is, "Free from bias, dishonesty or injustice". The thesaurus said to be fair is to be impartial. Now I ask is it fair for our kids to expect us to always be impartial and free from bias? Actually when I "googled" the phrase "it's not fair" there were 3 million references so in all fairness I think adults expect things to be fair also. Do we ever learn that nothing is fair? Even though we know it can't be why do we keep looking for fairness? I hate when I feel that sense of injustice welling up inside of me. Even worse is knowing I can do nothing about it. I want to stomp around the house just like a certain child in my house does and yell as loud as I can just like they do, "It's not fair".But fortunantely I am out of that phase. I hate having to say to my kids "nothing is fair and don't ever expect things to be fair". But it is true. Someone else will always seem to get all the breaks. Someone else will always seem skinnier. Someone else will always be ahead of you in line. Someone else will always have more stuff. Someone else will always seem happier. And I could go on and on and on. But since I have to finish up and head to a parent teacher conference and find out if my child is being treated fairly I will stop. But I must say that yesterday just for fun I did not tune out all the cries of, "it's not fair" that echo throughout the Baird house and I doubt I will ever do that again there were alot more than I ever thought there would be......it's really not fair that they say it so much.

Apr 1, 2008


This one has taken me a few days to get up my courage to write. But maybe just maybe admitting it could help someone else. Okay here it goes......I paid someone to teach me how to blow dry my hair. I have reached a new level of worldliness.

If you recall last time I went to the "hair place" I was thrilled with my hair situation. But there was a small detail to get to that thrilling hair situation I had to blow dry my own hair with my own two hands. My lovely hair that Adreana styled lasted 3 days and then I finally had to wash it. So I was all set to reproduce my "do" and oh my was I devastated to realize blow drying is a talent. As I stood looking in the mirror at my oh so frizzy finished product I wondered what I had done wrong. So I stewed about it for a couple days and then decided to call and see if I could just talk to Adreana on the phone. I don't even know how I finally spit out what I needed to the receptionist at the hair salon but all of a sudden she said do you need a blow drying lesson?? I was stunned do they have those? Do I have to wear special clothes? Do I have to be in the same class with advanced blow drying students? Thankfully it was just Adreana and I and it was cheap and it was 45 minutes long. And I really learned a ton about hiding my extremely naturally curly hair. I have to embrace so many other things that I have no control over like being 4' 10" tall and having a "gonzo" nose why should I not be allowed to hide a little curl if I want to?

Anyway today was the second time in my life that I blow dryed my hair. And I talked to myself, and my brush, and my blow dryer the whole time. I told the brush what his job was and he got stuck a few times and I told him what was what and he did better. This time turned out much better. I did not feel discouraged when I was done. And I just keep remembering that everyone I talk to says that it took them a long time to learn how to hold the blow dryer just so and get the results they wanted but strangely no one else has mentioned needing actual blow drying lessons.

P.S. About 25 minutes after this post I looked in the mirror and things had not gone well after all. That means I have to practice more.

Getting to church.

In Provo when we were first married we walked to church. In Princeton we drove about 10 minutes. In Lawrence we thought 15 minutes was outrageous.

When we moved to Indiana our ward was geographically challenged and to drive 25-30 minutes to church was not unusual. It was a shock to us and we thought we needed to be close to the church to be able to survive. Our realtor in Indiana thought we were crazy but we perservered and found our perfect house 5 miles from the church. I mean we are at the church all the time. With our callings, early morning seminary, and activities our priority had to be being close to the church. When we moved here we really could not live close to the church. The church is in downtown Springfield and since they have to hire a security guard to be at the church when people are at the church it did not seem like a good idea to try to live close by.

So we drive 30 minutes to church. We go through the toll booths on the turnpike every time we go to the church. I have always associated toll booths with long road trips but now I go through them everytime I leave the house, now I recognize the toll booth workers and they recognize me. They will probably make my Christmas card list. On the way we pass the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and cross the Connecticut River. I actually do not mind the ride. It is freeway the whole way and actually very beautiful and last week I finally figured out that if I play EFY music it lulls the children into a quiet mesmerized state. I do not know if I will be able to pull off EFY music when Brian is in the car. A man has his limits.

The church building is not like most cookie cutter Mormon buildings. The podium in the chapel is not in the center it is over in one corner. There is a huge circle window at the front of the chapel. There are tons of windows in the Primary room and the Relief Society room, lots of stairs and corriders. I really love it. It has a very strong New England feel to it.

Once we get to Springfield and get off the freeway Brian loves to count how many people we see pushing shopping carts with their posessions in them. Natalie keeps wondering why they have shopping carts out of the store. And we keep trying different ways to explain to the 5 year old about why. I love the opportunities my kids have had to see lots of different things. The conversations might never have come up otherwise. But I am not a protective mom. It feels selfish to me to try to make their world as perfect as possible.

When we first moved here Madeline and Miriam were getting up at 3:30 in the morning to get ready for seminary since it was so far away. They recently switched seminary to a home a little closer to us and switched the time so they get a little bit more sleep. But I always know the possibility is there that I may have to again make the trek all the way to the church early in the morning for seminary. And for some strange reason it does not bother me....I will make Brian do it..