Dec 31, 2008

What a year.


Well here it is the last day of 2008. It is snowing like crazy here in Massachustetts today. I did not even know a storm was coming but isn't that how life is? Sometimes you know and expect things and other times you don't know. I was not prepared for the storm today because I did not even know it was coming :) I had a lot of things happen in 2008 that I did not expect to happen, things I was not prepared for but I muddled through. And a lot of things I will not expect will happen in 2009 but I will be skinny so it will all be do-able :)


I turned 40 this year. I expected that to happen and I did not cause me any trauma.

I unexplainably lost a very dear friend this year...not to death...just lost them....with no explanation.

For the second time in my whole 40 years of life I had someone grossly mis-understand me this year. That was very painful. Misunderstanding's are so YUCKY.

I learned how to fake playing the organ in church this year.

I learned that there are people who are out there who are sure they can do what you are doing better and they are not afraid to tell other people to tell you that you are doing it wrong.

I learned that I actually can fight back if needed.

I learned that my soul mate is some guy named Edward :)

I learned how to get tickets on Broadway.

I learned how to spend more money than I have.



I have not yet in my whole life followed through with my New Years resolutions. I really want this year to be different. While the snow is frantically falling outside I am sitting in my cozy bed with my much loved LL Bean pajamas on making my resolution list and my very first resolution is to actually keep my resolutions. Just for one year would it not be so fun to be the one that keeps their resolutions and makes everyone else jealous? :) Can you imagine someone saying in October of this year..."wow, you have really pulled yourself together, how did you do it?" and you can smile and say with glee. "Well I just kept my New Years resolutions."


Are you not so happy when you do what you know you should?


Did you know that New Year's used to be celebrated in the beginning of Spring? Spring is the season of rebirth. New Years was first observed 4000 years ago in ancient Babylon and it is the oldest of all holidays. Back then the celebrations lasted for 11 days and each day had it's own particular mode of celebration and I read that our celebrations pale by comparison.


The Romans continued to observe the New Year in March but eventually after many kings tampered with the calendar someone made a declaration that January 1 was the beginning of the New Year, not for any astronomical or agricultural purpose, just because. The early Babylonians most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. Our most popular resolutions are to quit smoking and lose weight :)


I was so facinated when I read that traditionally it was thought that you could influence your luck for the year by what you did or ate on the first day of the year. And for that reason it has become tradition to celebrate the first few minutes of the New Year with family and friends. And it was also believed that your first visitor of the year would bring you either good luck or bad luck. It was particuarly lucky if that first visitor of the year was a tall dark haired man.....hmmm I need to find me a tall dark haired man pronto :)


In terms of food many cultures believe anything in a shape of a ring is good luck because it symbolizes coming full circle.....bring on the Cheerios :) The Dutch believe eating a donut on New Years Eve bring good luck....but how can eating a donut that will make me fat bring me luck?....I am so confused :) Cabbage is also considered to be a very lucky food so maybe if you wrap your donut in a cabbage leaf you can balance yourself out :)

So go return your borrowed farm equipment and eat something in the shape of a ring and add some cabbage and you cannot go wrong :)

Dec 29, 2008

When Plans Go Differently Than Planned.




For at least two weeks I had been planning that last Friday, the day after Christmas, would be the day that we would go to New York City as a family. As you already know it did not happen. And I really do not know why. There are a lot of things that I could surmise about the cause. But it really does not matter. The point was that we did do something, were together, and we did not sit around all day...bored...like we usually do :)


The plan change occurred on Thursday night and by the time Friday morning came and I realized I wanted it changed back it was too late to go back to the New York City plan. So Plan B was carried out. We drove to Fall River, MA where there is a place called Battleship Cove. Battleship Cove is the world's largest historic Naval Ship Exhibit. I do not have anything against the USS Massachusetts and the USS Lionfish (an attack submarine) and such...just after you spend $130.00 to get your family in to something you tend to have overly high expectations so I am really not in a good spot to sing Battleship Cove's praises since my grocery budget was shot because of it.

Although... we did get a lot of good pictures and Tatiana and Natalie and I explored a lot of the USS Massachusetts...which is a huge battleship. We went down many sets of stairs and found rooms full of missiles and all sorts of things. Natalie had to be talked through it all but I think she survived. I did enjoy seeing the tip of a shell that the USS Massachusetts shot at the Jean Burt during the Battle of Casablanca.

We stayed for two hours and then we headed to Cape Cod. Now anybody who is anybody knows that being able to casually include the words "the Cape" in your conversation when you live in New England is very important. And now I can fondly refer to it as "the Cape" also, without mentioning the small details that my "cape" experience occurred in December, involved hats and mittens, and plenty of available parking. My initial idea was we go all the way to the tip of Cape Cod to a town called Provincetown but when we realized that Cape Cod was so big we aborted our plan, yet again, and went to the beach in the little town of Dennis about half way up the Cape. We just could not drive another 63 miles in the wrong direction from home after already being in the car for 3 hours and having to get back to Westfield to do Joe's paper route.

I get the feeling it is a very prestigious thing to say that you spend some part of your summer on "the Cape." When we were driving there I was thinking in my little old head about name dropping. Wikipedia says that, "name dropping is the practice of mentioning important people or institutions in a conversation, story, song or other communication." And in case you did not know it is always done to impress other people and usually regarded negatively. You can make your social circle known by name dropping. I was around someone once who adored name dropping. I did not know her very well but she was the first person I had ever met who was a very serious name dropper. I confess I could very easily become a "wanna be name dropper"...honestly my life is so boring. No one is impressed if you mention Wal Mart in every sentence, however, if you mention going to Wal Mart on Cape Cod....then you are a happening chick and thus will greatly improve your social circle.

If you are gearing up to become a "name dropper" I must warn you that apparently it really does not get you anywhere and is a very transparent strategy, so I won't tell you any more about when I go to "the Cape" because you will see right through me :)

Dec 28, 2008

Broadway


I had never thought about the small bummer of having a birthday the day after Christmas but this year is the first time that I have a friend who has a birthday the day after Christmas. I got to thinking about it and talking about it with this friends sister in law and we decided this birthday needed to be a fun one. It did not take us long to brainstorm the New York City idea. And I am pleased to announce it actually happened.

I jumped in the car with my friends on Saturday morning at 7:30 am armed with a laminated map of Manhattan, Brian's Garmin, map quest directions for Brian's secret back way into New York City, Carmex, cash, my camera, and all the information a girl could gather on how to get Broadway tickets in New York City.

We drove straight to the Baird family favorite parking lot on 42nd street across from the Port Authority. We arrived at about 10:30am and headed straight for Times Square where we knew the Broadway discount ticket booth was. I asked a policewoman on a horse where the exact location was and we were on our way. Our big goal of the day was to see a Broadway show. We had checked online but the cost of the tickets online was enough to depress anyone. I had heard lots of people talk about the TKTS booth in Times Square and how you could get discount tickets for Broadway shows and I had a lot of questions about how that worked. So I picked as many brains as I could, gathering all kinds of information.

There are actually three TKTS booths in New York City, one does not sell same day tickets and one only sells you tickets if you can stand on your head....JK. Anyway, Times Square seemed the easiest. When we arrived at the booth at about 10:45am we thought the situation looked really good but then we alarmingly realized we were NOT looking at the end of the line we were looking at the first 1/4 part of the line and then we were lovingly directed to the end of the line which was across the street and down around the next block. We waited for about an hour and 10 minutes but it was very organized waiting and moved along at a pretty fast pace. We gathered more information from our "waiting in line neighbors" about all the shows and started deciding what shows we wanted to see.

We knew when you got up to the ticket window that you needed to have 3 or 4 choices in mind of what you wanted to see. We knew you could only pay with cash, that we did not want partial view tickets, that we needed three seats together, and that we had to be able to act fast. So when we got to the front our first choice was Chicago but those tickets were $84.00 apiece, then our next choice Gypsy only had partial view seats left so we chose Boeing Boeing for $62.00. Boeing,Boeing is a comedy that has Christine Baranski ( who was in Mama Mia) and Rebecca Gayheart ( who is in Ugly Betty)in it. And the ticket booth lady assured us that it was very funny.

With those tickets in my hand I felt like I had conquered the world and that I was now an expert on getting tickets for Broadway. We ran to get something to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe and then found our theater by 1:30pm. The show started at 2:00pm. From the minute the curtain went up I was immediately addicted to Broadway. The play was very, very funny. We really enjoyed it. There were only 6 people in the cast and the stage was very simple but the conversations were mesmerizing and I really loved it.

Now I just need to figure out how to make more money so that I can go to New York City often and see shows on Broadway all the time.

After the show we headed towards 5th Avenue so we could check out Rockefeller Center and "the Christmas Tree"..you know the one....don't you? Well everyone else was doing the exact same thing as we were and we were feeling a little squished and a little disappointed at the sight of the tree, which I felt guilty about, but could not deny. So we kept walking towards 5th Avenue so we could check out some stores.

Once we got onto 5th Avenue we headed towards Central Park and we had not walked far when we could see between two buildings "that Christmas Tree" again but this time it looked much better. It was the shot you see on TV. Those TV people are SO smart :)

We moseyed on UP 5th Avenue. We stopped in Crate and Barrel and Tiffany's. I was amazed at how many people were in Tiffany's. I was afraid we would walk in and be the only people in the store and we would be stuck have to buy a fat, beautiful, sparkly, very expensive ring before we could leave. But that was not the case. I am not a jewelery girl but the sights in Tiffany's were enough to convert anyone to the bling side very quickly. My friends even talked me up to the second floor where we checked out engagement rings and oh so many couples trying them on. (Great people watching :)

We walked along the southern edge of Central Park and headed back through Times Square to our car. I had never been in New York City after dark and I must say it truly is a city that never sleeps. And all the lights are amazing.

We got back to Massachusetts at about 10:30 pm. And today I keep wondering to myself if yesterday was a dream? But it wasn't. It was just a truly fabulous day.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about our family trip to Cape Cod and Battleship Cove and give you all my opinions on the fine art of "name dropping."

Dec 23, 2008

Mr. Sunshine


Dearest Mr Sunshine,


Please do not take this wrong. You are definitely my hottest friend and always will be. I love it when you shine on the 20 inches of snow in my front yard and make it sparkle. I love it when you make it warm enough that I can go to the beach. I love to close my eyes and feel your warmth wrap around me and lull me off to other places. I love how happy and motivated you can make me feel, I love it the best when you shine through clouds and I can see rays coming out of the clouds......definitely my favorite!


But all those things said, in my kindest voice ever, could you please stop shining on the fingerprints on the windows, the dust bunnies in the corners, the dust on the piano and the hand prints on the wall. In January you can shine all you want because then I will have time to face, and deal with, all these flaws that your winter brightness has revealed. But during December when I can do nothing about the mess it is very unkind of you to remind me.


Just talk to Mr. Cloud and all his buddies and invite them to cover you until January 5th when the kids go back to school and the tree is down and I have all the time in the world to wash windows and paint walls and dust.


Go shine on Florida and California. They need you. They pay a lot to live there because of you.


Love, Jennifer

Dec 22, 2008

Just random thoughts before I have to go to work.

Monday morning 7:21.

I hoped for a two hour delay this morning, but no such luck. It ended up being a good thing because it got me going.

Had Seminary at 5:45 am this morning.

Decided to choose the "hard way" and have protein for breakfast rather than the easy way which is the "evil Eggo waffle carb way." After talking to the kids in Seminary about how we always choose the easy way and never the hard way I decided I would choose cooking breakfast over toasting breakfast....yeah for me.

Can finally see the sky today after 3 days of snow.

Zach left Utah Saturday morning to come home for Christmas break and was delayed leaving Salt Lake City, then got delayed in Minneapolis, made it to Cincinnati where he spent the night in the airport and finally made it home on Sunday at about 2 pm.

Church was cancelled on Sunday because of the snow.

Have to:
work today
take Joe on the paper route
drive to Amherst some time today to Whole Foods to get Joe's special wheat free waffles.
Finish Christmas
Harass the appliance repair guy who did not fix my washing machine for the second time.
Buy more mittens and hats. We had nothing but non stop crisis yesterday as people stole each other's mittens and hats and Under Armour as they went out to play in the snow.
Research winter activities in New York City since we are going on Friday.
Send the last few Christmas cards that I had questions on addresses.

Brian asked when we were going to take down the Christmas tree and for the first time in my life I do not want it gone. It looks so nice that I want to keep it up But I think he is tired of watering it everyday. Did you know he sets his alarm on his phone to remind him to water it? Raise your hand if you know where the OCD that some of the kids have comes from :)

I confess I rented House Bunny this weekend. And since I know you all have it on your list of "must see movies" I guess I should save you some money and tell you you probably should not rent it. I cannot believe I had such high hopes for a movie that has the word "bunny" in the title.

I still have not had a chance to really explore Facebook. I hope I can have some good reasons to ground children from the computer so I can get myself some quality time with our Dell.

I went to the mall on Saturday with everyone else in Massachusetts. I honestly do not mind crowds one bit. Bath and Body works was the most picked over I have ever seen it. I guess everyone in Massachusetts will smell good this year. Very interesting to see which scents were left for my girls :)

I did something I never said I would this Christmas...I have bought 4 gifts for two teenagers right in front of them and actually told them the truth that Yes, it was for them and yes, they had to wait for Christmas :) I hate for them to not have surprises but desperate times call for desperate measures :)

Anyway, I better go get the little girls up so they do not miss the bus.

Dec 19, 2008

Stretch Island Fruit Leathers


Did your mom ever make fruit leather when you were a kid? Puree fruit, pour it onto a piece of saran wrap and dry it in a dehydrator? It was the earliest version of a fruit roll up known to man. They were extremely frustrating to tear off the saran wrap. (What about saran wrap is not frustrating?) But once you ate a bite it was worth it and you would figure out all sorts of creative ways to get to the goodness.

See that stack of green boxes in the picture? These are the new and updated form of fruit leathers. They are not thin and full of sugar like fruit roll ups they are thick, in a little rectangle, and full of natural sugar. I do not really care too much about whether something is loaded with sugar or not but you might.

Because of Joe's allergies we have found ourselves shopping at some unusual stores throughout the years and in our travels to these stores we discovered Stretch Island Fruit Leathers. I did not buy them very often because they are a little pricey. Usually 5o cents APIECE. But occasionally I would find a way to order a box. About 4 months ago I found a pallet of these green boxes sitting innocently in little old Costco. I was thrilled beyond belief. They were $10.97 for 48 of them and they were all different flavors, a very exciting option that I had never had before.

It started out that every time I would go to Costco I would buy one box. I would empty all 48 of the individual rectangles into a Ziploc bag and hide them. I would have to hide them because technically they are for Joe since there are so few things he can eat. The other kids would go to a lot of work to find where I had hid the fruit leathers. Sometimes I would hide them so well I would not even be able to remember where I had hid them.

Interestingly enough as the fruit leathers became very accessible and cheap I became less worried and less careful about where I hid them. So now everyone takes one in their lunch and not only that.....gasp..... they try to eat them randomly throughout the day. But then one day all the fun came to a screeching halt when I went to Costco and the fruit leathers were half off. That was good and bad. Good because.....well duh, because they were cheaper. Bad because clearance means they are discontinuing them. So every time I went to Costco I would buy several boxes which is why I can take a picture of a stack of fruit leathers. So we currently have 480 fruit leathers but I am afraid that will not last very long and then we will be back to not having our stretch Island Fruit Leathers.

Dec 17, 2008

A Christmas Letter For The 7 kids.

Dear Baird Children,

Today was the first New England snowfall of any consequence and the first two hour snow delay and with the arrival of these events I am reminded that I have to chat with you all about some things:

#1. Mittens do not reproduce on their own and they prefer to be in pairs. If you make it through the whole winter with the same set of mittens you began with you will be the child of the moment. And if I have to buy you another pair every week I will include that information on your BYU application.

#2. If you are walking across our hardwood floor and it is 6:30 in the morning and you are coming home from exercising and you hear a squeaking sound on the hardwood floors that sound should remind you that your shoes are wet and that should remind you that if I heard the same sound you are in trouble. (this reminder is for Brian)

#3. If you wear all the jeans you own, at the same time, outside to play in the snow and then come inside and take them off leaving them all stuck together inside out laying on the floor by the front door I am pretty sure the natural consequence of that is having no jeans to wear.

#4. If you throw snowballs or smash snow on the windows of our home, like you all did last winter, I am pretty sure you will be my window washer all spring and I may dream up some additional punishment like making you run out in the snow wearing just your underwear.

#5. If you are a boy, your name starts with a "J", and you live in this house and you are outside playing merrily in the snow and make the choice to go to the bathroom outside rather than dealing with coming in make sure you do not go to the bathroom in front of the windows where I can see you and be well informed that you will wash your own snowsuit :)

#6. Remember if you throw a snowball at another person that is just like sending them an invitation and that person will definitely RSVP. And it is definitely not a tattling situation.

#7.Remember that the million layers you put on your body for when you go out in the snow to play will get wet, heavy and stick to you and be very hard to get off your body. Before you go our to play I will make you sign a contract stating that you will not cry, yell, sob, blame everyone else and tantrum when this happens we will deal with it calmly and professionally.

#8 Another new policy for this year is that the minute you are all out the door I am going to lock every door in the house and set the timer for an hour. Then I am going to read a book ignoring all your begging and crying until that timer rings and then I will let you back in the house but only through that amazing invention....the garage where you will take everything off before you step in the house....yes, even if you really have to go to the bathroom.

#9 But, don't worry, you won't have to go to the bathroom because we are not drinking 24 hours before any predicted snowstorm so that you do not have to go to the bathroom once you get outside. What a smart mom you have :)

So I think that about covers it. Just think, if you follow these simple rules you will still have a mom in the spring :)

All my love,
MOM

Dec 16, 2008

Facebook.

Several of you already know that I have added one more thing to my life. One more thing to think about, fret about, and wonder the deep meaning about.....Facebook. Or as my friend Jacque cleverly calls it "crackbook." (because it is addicting:)

I signed up all by myself. I did not need to call anyone and ask how. I did not invite anyone over and serve refreshments to get help, I just did it. After months of having people "friend" me on Facebook and after weeks of my 3 teenage girls telling me that I needed a Facebook I am really not sure what finally made me give in. I think part of it may be that my readers (according to my Sitemeter) on the blog have gone down from 41 daily to 27. Do not worry, I still love blogging the best. But I am just saying that within 3 hours on Facebook I had 12 friends and I have NEVER had 12 comments on my blog :)

My teenagers are very excited about me having a Facebook. When they discovered that I had finally done it they all gathered around the computer, they wanted to choose and upload my Facebook picture, they kept exclaiming to each other all the friends I had already, and it was a little nauseating how they repeated over and over, "oh how cute it was that I had a Facebook page". They wanted to make all my friends for me. I said, "absolutely not," I can actually make my own friends. They want to be my friends and at this moment I am not going to be their friends on Facebook. It just does not seem right. It feels like I would be spying on them on Facebook. I told them they need to know I am not everywhere in their life. So I will just pay my friends who are their friends on Facebook to spy on them :)

It is truly amazing that you submit your name, where you went to high school, where you went to college and the computer can immediately give you a list of people it thinks you should be friends with. And the computer never gives up it keeps suggesting friends, it is very concerned about me having a high self esteem. Blogging is not for low self esteem girls like me I am always equating love with comments, which is not what you should do. So is it asking too much to ask Facebook to work on self esteem?

I am now doing a little bit of wondering about all the ins and outs of "friending" people. I have seen my girls agonize over who to make a friend and who not to make a friend. They do not want to hurt people's feelings, some people you may not want to see everything you are writing. I am pretty sure my life is not as complicated as their lives are. I want to be friends with everyone....right?

So blogging is still my first priority, speaking of which, have you noticed that I am not fixing dinner anymore so I can blog? :) But I am looking forward to finding old friends, updating my status every freaking minute and making sure I know what your status is every freaking minute.....good times:)

Dec 15, 2008

Just in case this ever happens to you.

So, it was about 2:00pm in the afternoon yesterday, we were having company for dinner and I was trying to cook 4 things at once; sour cream potatoes,
chicken rice casserole, rolls, and my lunch :) I was constantly being interrupted by children who wanted to wrap Christmas presents but could not find tape and scissors and by little girls being chased around the house by Joe, so my mind was in about 8 different places.

It was inevitable that I would make some kind of mistake I do know myself oh so well. The mistake occurred with the chicken rice casserole. I have made this chicken rice casserole a million times. The bottom layer of this casserole is a box of chicken Rice A Roni. The only time I ever use Rice A Roni is in this recipe. Somehow I got the amount of margarine that you saute the vermicelli in (love the word vermicelli) wrong and instead of 2 tablespoons of butter I put 6 tablespoons of butter in.

You see, the 6 tablespoons of butter was for something else. By the time I discovered it I really did not want to start over so I decided to live on the edge and see if the 2 tbs was a hard and fast rule. Guess what? It isn't :) I think they should add the word "recommended" after their 2 tablespoon declaration. Oh, do not get me wrong, I definitely think 2 tablespoons is best but the benefits of 6 tablespoons was that it came out of the pan with no trouble at all and that it was 3 times as good.

So if you ever find yourself in the kitchen on Sunday afternoon, cooking way to many things at once, and you mess up on the amount of margarine that goes in the Rice A Roni. Remember that if it is a mess up that puts you up to 3 times the amount called for you are still okay.....but if you go past 3 times the amount recommended you are on your own....I have not made that mistake yet but I will definitely let you know when I do since this is my happy, sharing of all my mistakes, place :)

Oh, and just in case you think you are way too good to have a casserole with Rice A Roni in it. This is a very good casserole titled Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole. The person who named this recipe must have known that "Rice A Roni" in the title might cause some people to pass it over but the word "Poppy Seed" in the title for some reason makes you feel more elegant. SO if you are ever worried about the name of a recipe and how it may appeal to the masses just throw a teaspoon or so of that oh so elegant poppy seed and voila....your recipe will be spoken of in hushed tones forever :)

Dec 12, 2008

My Job, My Brain and Being Stupid.

Everyday at work I make a mistake. There, I said it out loud, and now you, my most dearest friends, know how work is going. Everyday I leave work wondering how I ever got through 40 years of life being so not smart. I have spent a lot of time lately wondering why my brain works the way it does and if it is too late to change it :)

If I could change it at right this very minute I would give my poor little brain the gift of... math. You see it is a tad humiliating to be 40 and not be able to see the world the way a math brained person does. Counting back change. Quadrupling a recipe. Adding up the times I feel stupid, all are amazingly hard for me :) I will not bore you with the agony that being a non math brain person has caused me in the last 6 weeks. Humiliating is definitely the best word to use to describe the situation. But do not worry a bit about me because since I do not have a brain all clogged full of math I have plenty of room in my little old brain for a sense of humor which I am using to get me through this humiliation. How is it going? Hmmmm..... not so well.

Every one's brain works differently, right? There is more than one way to skin a cat, right? Some of us are ants and some of us are grasshoppers, right? It takes all kinds to make the world go around, right? So why does there continue to be people in the world who think their way is the only way? And why is everyone else who sees it another way stupid?

There is that word..."stupid." I have been thinking a lot about this word the last couple of days. Someone recently declared to me that they do not tolerate stupid people and I have been having a huge conflict in my mind because of this statement, maybe I have this conflict because I am stupid :)

Tonight I was reading the dictionary.com definition of stupid and my eyes wandered to an opportunity to take a test to see if I was stupid. I thought that it would be fun to blog about taking the "stupid test." But it was not fun when in the middle of it I realized it was very stupid and then at the end of it when this test had the nerve to tell me I was the stupid one I really knew it was a stupid test. It ruined my chance at a good blog I mean, how can you blog about taking a test about being stupid when the test claims you are? Oh, I am blogging about being stupid....silly me.

Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does"

Okay, I get that. But there is no universal definition for stupid. Who decides who is stupid? Well, other people do, people who are too stupid to think of another word to describe the things other people are doing that either annoy them or are making them jealous. Isn't it just your opinion against someone elses what is stupid and what isn't? You may think what I do/or did/or am going to do is stupid and sometimes you are right and sometimes you aren't.

Okay, all this stupid talk is making me dizzy. I really should keep my thoughts to myself so that you do not have any reason to wonder if I am stupid :)

So have a great weekend and definitely do not do anything stupid :)

Dec 10, 2008

Notecards We All Must Own.




I had not been in a Barnes and Noble bookstore in over a year because here in Western Massachusetts the Barnes and Noble is all on it's own thus making it oh so much more work to get to where as the Border's bookstore is attached to the mall and so much easier to make a point to go to since you are already in the mall at Ann Taylor Loft and Target.

But the other night on a whim I went into Barnes and Noble and the reason I am blogging about it is that even though I kept getting distracted by Joe and Tatiana playing on the escalator I saw something I had never seen anywhere else and I simply must figure out a way to own them.....notecards.

Not just any notecards these were "amazing" notecards. There were several different sets, they were all blank inside, and on the front were pictures from well known children's books. There was Frog and Toad, The Hungry Caterpillar, Where The Wild Things Are, Curious George, Dr Suess, and Sock Monkeys (is that a book?) Does not matter because the cards are A_D_O_R_A_B_L_E. There were many other titles but I cannot remember the other's at this moment.

After thinking about these notecards for 3 days and having dreams involving me writing notes on these notecards to my new best vampire friend, Edward I "googled" the cards and they are on Amazon and for $7.95. For that price you get 12 cards and they are printed on very nice heavy paper. You even could frame them if you wanted. Each set has 2 pictures from the appointed book, so 6 cards of each. I am trying to figure out how I justify $7.95 a week to start collecting these babies.

Can you not wait to get a note on them? Which ones do you think Edward would like :)

Dec 9, 2008

If I did collect.


Lately I have been thinking about collections and the act of acquiring them. I have a few things that I have always wanted to collect but strangely it has never worked out. When is the point that people know you collect it? Do you make an announcement?


"Ahem....thanks for all coming to my announcement, I just wanted to let you know that I am now collecting (insert item name) so as to make it easy for you to think of me whenever you see this item. So that when you are shopping and you see it you will know immediately that I will love it."


I think there may be some small hazards in collecting something. Do you ever get tired of receiving it as a gift? What if you choose something that it is possible to duplicate? ("I already have that Edward PEZ but thanks so much for thinking of me")


I already have a list of things I might be interested in collecting. But something tells me that that is not how it happens. I think it is something you do not think about or talk about until one day you are sitting in your special room made just for your snow globe collection and you realize you seriously have a collection. Or maybe it is when you are in Egypt purchasing something for your camel collection.


I have had friends ask me to pick up a pin for them from Niagara Falls for their collection. I have gone with a friend to dig through piles of Kelly dolls in Target to find the one she was missing in her collection. I have bought people key chains from states for their collections. I have admired snowman themed Christmas trees with all of this persons snowman collection on it.


One thing on my list of things to collect is bracelets. I am not really a jewelry kind of girl but I do love bracelets. My first bracelet I remember getting was in high school when we had a girl living with us whose parents were in Saudi Arabia working. One January when she came back from Christmas break in Saudi Arabia she brought me a bracelet. Then about 6 or so years later when Zach was about 10 months old we went to American Samoa to visit my parents for a month and I got a beautiful bracelet while I was there. I wish at this point I would have made some announcement or determination that I was going to collect bracelets from places I went but I was too busy having and raising the kiddos to think about it. Then when I lived in Kansas my dear friend Shannon made me a bracelet and she made some my other dear friends the same bracelet. I adore this bracelet and I love that I think of all those dear friends when I put it on and wear it too church. When Brian and I went to Hawaii in January 2003 I got a great bracelet but sadly it broke. The next bracelet I acquired when I was shopping one time in Indiana with my friend Camille and yep, you guessed it, I think of her when I wear it. So that is the end of the bracelet collection...is five of something a collection? I like the bracelet idea because you do not have to worry too much about duplication and you do not have to have a special hutch with lights to display them in.


The second thing I fear I would like to collect is pitchers. But that is as far as that idea has gotten. I love them and I always am attracted to them in every store I go in that has them. But these require space. I have one that is for display that I got from my friend Camille in Indiana. And I have one clear pitcher bought from the prestigious Wal Mart. And I have two plastic pitchers that were wedding gifts. You get the idea.


I have collected state quarters and this morning when Joe and I were updating the collection with our newest find....Hawaii. I realized I only need 3 more and my set is complete (Minnesota, Maine and Alaska) and then I realized it really is not worth anything. It is not in a fancy display book. It is not all shiny new quarters. I then had the evil thought I should just spend them.


I confess I could collect fabric in a minute. I am not smart enough to do anything with it but oh how I love it. All the colors and patterns greatly appeal to me.


I read a little bit about why people collect and one lady said if you call yourself a collector you are one...it is that simple. Your collections say a lot about you so the fact that I do not have one says a lot about me because I am by nature a "throw a way" things kind of person. They say it is definitely a psychological thing that we collect. It also has to do with disposable income...hmmm what on earth is that? That must be what holds me back from collecting :)

Dec 8, 2008

The Weekend.

It was one of those weekends. The kind of weekend that you look at your calendar and cannot believe your eyes and you feel extreme glee because there is nothing written on those weekend squares. You imagine all you will accomplish and you can hardly wait.


I had imagined that by the end of the weekend I would be able to say that I saw Twilight for the third time (serious Edward withdrawal). I thought I would be able to say I had all of Natalie and Tatiana's Christmas presents purchased and hidden away. I thought the upstairs would be vacuumed. And I thought my car would be able to fit in the garage. I thought I would finish all the thank you notes I owe for my birthday.....ahem.... that was in October. I thought I would have found something at Deseretbook.com for Zach for Christmas. I thought I would get to go to the library.

What really happened? Well Joe got his haircut, so that was good. I went shopping on Saturday with Joe and Miriam and came home with nothing for the little girls....very bad. I watched way too many episodes of the last season of Ugly Betty. I have discovered that my life is too crazy to add to my calendar TV shows that absolutely have to be watched at a certain times. So I wait until the whole season comes out on DVD. I save all the projects that are mindless that I can do while watching TV and I sit on my bum until I have watched the whole season. I got all 90 Christmas cards in envelopes, addressed and stamped while I watched disc 4. And during disc 5 today I am going to fold socks, sort an enormous box of papers hoping to find my lost gift cards, and clean out my seminary papers. That my friends is how you justify TV.

Oh, back to the weekend.....guess what? I accomplished nothing else. Isn't it strange how if you are busy you use your time better and accomplish more?

I must confess that I was very busy breaking a commandment this weekend. But, luckily, I can blame Brian for it :) Our 20th anniversary is on December 16 and to celebrate it Brian surprised me with tickets to see comedian Brian Reagan in Waterbury, Connecticut....the catch....it was on Sunday evening :( I won't bore you with all the conversations that went on at our house about this situation but I will understand if you stop reading my blog since I am a commandment breaker. Our friends the Hall's in Indiana introduced us to Brian Reagan and if you have never seen him or heard of him you should go to his website and order one of his DVD's. I would even very highly recommend going to see one of his shows...as long as it is not on a Sunday :) He is a very clean comedian that your kids will love too. He makes me laugh so much. His DVD's are a great gift for those people who already have socks, books and other needs and you do not know what to get them.

Anyway, now that my non productive weekend is over and all the little Baird children and Baird husband are away at work and school I must go clean the dust bunnies, mail Christmas cards that did not turn out so well this year, Christmas shop, work on a Seminary lesson, repent for breaking the Sabbath....and cross blogging off of my list.

Dec 6, 2008

Why does my car do this?

Okay, I am seriously suspicious. Someone out there knew that I was going to get in a car accident they knew that my husband was going to find a Kia Sedona mini van at a delearship way out past Longmeadow and then they went to the dealership where the car was sitting and they evily installed this annoying feature. Nearly everytime I go around a corner the car beeps at me. I am not driving any differently then I ever have before. But I am so annoyed. And it not only beeps 4 times but a red light comes on on the dashboard that shows the word brake. Yeah, you would think I am careening around every corner in Massachusetts on two wheels huh? At first I wondered why the car has this feature? What good is it to make your driver feel indignant and bitter towards you? I have experimented with it and I cannot figure it out. I have even tried listening to my music super loud so I cannot hear the beep. It is like having a constant back seat driver in the car telling you that you are definitely doing it wrong.

I have received one ticket in 40 years of life. And I have been involved in two accidents that involved people rear-ending me and getting tickets for it. I backed into two different cars in my driveway in Indiana and that pretty much brings you up to date on my sordid driving past. No tickets for 2 wheeling corners, no tickets for irresponsible turning....so why oh why does my car keep doing this? Does your car do it to you ?

Dec 4, 2008

Don't Forget.

List of things to blog about....soon.

Wreath making excursion to Boston on last Tuesday night.
Ornament Exchange at my house tonight...interspersed with wonderings about people who do not RSVP.
Twelve food items I am serving at the ornament exchange.
Things I have not taught the kids to do.
Christmas lists.
Can't stop going to see Twilight.
Edward Cullen
Mama Mia coming out on video on the 16th
Annoying warning beep my car gives me when I take a corner to fast :)

Hang in there I am writing oh so many blogs in my head :) After theis party tonight I will have time

Dec 1, 2008

I look out the window and what do I see?


I have been waiting for this moment since late August when I yanked out the last of the tomatoes and peppers from my garden spot. And this very weekend it finally happened. We had to wait for the mortgage people to randomly send us money :) We had to wait for a weekend when Brian was home, in the mood, and the weather was good for it to happen. After the ground froze twice I had my doubts as to whether it would happen but my hubby came through for me. And now everytime I look out the window when I am doing the dishes I am SO happy that my garden spot is rototilled. I am very obsessed about it. Just ask Brian.


And now for the first time in 20 years of marriage the Baird's have their own rototiller. No more waiting for the courage to ask someone to borrow theirs. I can now rototill whenever I want. Oh the freedom!! I would truly be amiss if I did not thank all the people along the way who loaned us their rototillers, or sent their husbands over on tractors to till our past gardens :) I promise to be a grateful rototiller owner and always share my tiller with anyone and everyone....sorry dear :)


There is nothing that I like better than perfectly beautiful tilled up dirt. I am so sad that I cannot do anything with it until March or April.....oh alright this is Massachusetts....it will probably be MAY. Every year at this time I have such grand plans for the garden for next year. I dream of perfectly straight rows. I dream of a spot for flowers that I can cut. I am hoping this is the year that the flower dream can come true. I think I finally have a handle on the straight rows thing. And I have a method for dealing with weeds. So I think I have earned the flower dream. I did have a tomato fiasco last year and that makes me a little afraid but I will not let it discourage me I will remember that every year is different.


So I am going to request at least a thousand free seed catalogs and make a master plan that will keep me company all winter long.
What is your favorite seed catalog?