Feb 27, 2009

Our Favorite Toy.




Our obsession began in Kansas. Our neighbors down the street had these toys that my kids kept coming home and talking about. Finally I made it down the street to the neighbors house to check out these toys and I immediately had to have them. And let me tell you it is a really good thing if you are a kid, you happen to love a certain toy, and your mom happens to also love that toy..... it is like winning the lottery. I mean honestly if your mom can't stop buying the toy that is a really good deal for you. :) We have the Playmobil airport, the zoo, the island, Fort Eagle, the modern house, the Victorian house, numerous castles, numerous pirate ships, the Roman arena, the A frame cabin, the tree house, sheriff's office, grocery store, 5 big boxes full of trees, furniture, people, animals, cars, boats. Lots of little drawers full of weapons, dishes, food, hats. And even more that I am just too embarrassed to tell you about.


We love Playmobil at our house. So much that my password for anything and everything has always been Playmobil....well until now that is. :) There are so many toys out there to spend your money on that I always felt like my money was well spent when I spent it on Playmobil. Their attention to detail is amazing. My kids love all the little teeny tiny pieces. Yes, I just used the words "love" and "teeny tiny pieces" all in the same sentence :)


Playmobil is a line of toys that is produced and headquartered in Germany. It began to be sold worldwide in 1975. It has been a successful toy line for 25 years and has been a major competitor to Lego. We love Lego's at our house too. Playmobil and Lego are actually the two toys we still invest in at the Baird house. ( Well okay...we have a few My Little Pony's, Barbies, and Littlest Pet Shop things...but not many)


Wikipedia says that,
"Within the limitations of the Playmobil toy world, the Playmobil toys are unusually realistic, and present accurate representations of arms, armor, costumes, and tools from a recognizable time period. Especially notable for a fine attention to detail are the modern construction and city life toys (cars, cranes, fire-engines, trains, boats, etc.). Playmobil toys are specifically aimed at children from the ages of six to twelve. The company believes that older children tend not to play with these types of toys and so it has resisted creating toys from other, less well-known, historical time periods. However, many adults own or collect Playmobil and make movies with the toys."

I used to spend way to much time searching every where for Playmobil "deals." Playmobil is mostly sold in specialty toy stores. Target carries a little bit of it and Wal Mart recently started carrying a little of it too. But I noticed they rarely carry the girl sets. And if you are someone just looking at Playmobil for the first time in one of those stores you would have no way of knowing what an amazing world of Playmobil is out there. The years of frenzied Playmobil purchasing are slowly fading at our house. It makes me a little sad.

The Playmobil has served us oh so well at this house. It has kept my kids busy for hours. My girls take it on babysitting jobs and it keeps other people's kids busy for hours. Whenever the kids have projects at school we always have a tee pee, or very realistic looking animal on hand for the project. It is all most kids want to play with when they come to our house.

There is nothing I love better than converting someone else to the joy of Playmobil. So if you love it when someone pays attention to details then you should definitely check out Playmobil.

Feb 25, 2009

All The Stars Have Lined Up Perfectly.

dust bunnies on the stairs........check
kids jobs half done..........check
very cold, can not get warm.......check
husband out of town for a week...............check
carrots, marshmallows and graham crackers put in the lunchboxes......check
children begging to stay home..............check
my hair not combed........check
my bed keeps calling my name.......check
juicy, painful in the chest cough.......check
no Kleenex........check
Dunkin Donuts for dinner last night........check
runny nose........check
kids noises that I can usually tolerate and even embrace causing me to ground people for unreasonable amounts of time.....check
completely out of Joe's special waffles and bread that I have to drive 30 minutes away to get.....check

Yep, there is no doubt about it, everything is falling apart, I am sick.

It all started last Sunday when I was sitting in church and could not get warm and I kept wondering what was wrong with me. Honestly, I rarely get sick. So rarely that I confess I am not overly compassionate towards any one who does get sick. But by the time New Beginnings, held after church, was over and it was time to drive home I was not sure if I could make it 25 minutes home. When I got home I piled on layers and layers of clothes. My kids and Brian were very attentive because I honestly never am sick and never want attention when I am sick. They offered their electric blankets, their pillows, got me drinks of water, and made me peanut butter and jam sandwiches. I went straight to the basement and laid on the floor from 3pm to midnight.....(she sheepishly admits).....watching the Academy Awards. They watched over me waking me up at important parts in the awards.

Did I already tell you that I NEVER get sick? I wonder if that is true? I started thinking aobut it and actually I have been sick three times since starting this blog a year ago...that is way too much...maybe I am always sick?

I am not sure why but we are not a medicine kind of family. I worry about this fact. I have a huge bottle of ibuprofen from Costco that we have had for a gazillion years and I know there is some expired Triaminic somewhere. Medicine is always the last thing I think of when someone is sick. I would reckon that you should never say my name and Florence Nightengale's in the same sentence. I am such a bad mom we do not even own a thermometer. It is not for righteous reasons that we do not have any medicine, thermometers, heating pads, or bandaids in the house. I just really do not know why. I LOVE and beg with all my might for epidurals and have had 7 of them. So I am clearly not opposed to making things easier. And speaking of making things easier why am I not one of those mom's who has kleenex on hand? Good mom's buy Puffs and have one in every room in a box that color coordinates with her decor in that room. I do not even have one box. But I guess that is what TP is for....or sleeves. :)

Anyway, I thought I was better and ran/walked three miles yesterday morning. And did all my "normal" stuff but it was clear by last evening that my plan was not my bodies plan......drat. So I wonder what kind of medicine does a girl:

who has to fly to Utah in exactly a week to get her missionary ready,
who has to drive to Amherst to get Joe's food
who has to get normal food
who has to take kids on paper routes
who has to return library DVD's
who should probably not feed her kids donuts two nights in a row :)
and who has to plan a Seminary lesson

take for a sore throat, fever, barking cough and to loose a little weight? :)

Feb 24, 2009

Taking Dinner.

What do you know about taking dinner to someone? Is it always clear to you whether to cook the meal before you take it or not? Do you ever wonder if you have enough food? Do you ever wonder if your food tasted okay? No one will ever tell you if it didn't. After all these years of taking meals I always have this nagging fear that I do not really get the whole, "taking a meal to someone thing."

The first meal that was ever brought to us was when we lived in Provo in 1989. It was after Zach was born. I remember there was soup and then there was this cookie sheet with these dough colored balls sitting on it. I had NO idea what the dough colored balls were so I confess I threw them away. It was not until we were living in Kansas many years later that I figured out what those dough balls were, they were Rhodes Rolls. And most people do not throw them out they let them rise, get soft and then cook them at 350 degrees. I think people in Utah think everyone in the world knows about them and what to do with them but I grew up in Seattle and had NO idea what they were.

The first time I took a dinner, that I remember, was when we lived in Princeton, NJ. I met some very amazing women in my ward in Princeton. Women who probably have no idea how much they shaped my life. I watched them all ever so carefully. One of these women was Cindy. Now to a young mother living in Princeton University married housing, with no money, and lots of little children Cindy seemed perfect in every way. Now that I am older and have kids the same ages that she did at that time I understand that life was not perfect. But I idolized her. I learned everything I know about entertaining from her. Her hubby was a "bigwig" at Bristol Meyer Squibb and she had an AMAZING house. She was very down to earth and was always having a party or company over. She told me about the times she entertained when she did not have the ideal entertaining situation. She remembered taking a door off of it's hinges and setting the door on top of things to use it as a table. Her story gave me courage and made me realize it was not about how perfect your home was for entertaining it was about the conversation and the company.

Anyway, when something happened and their family needed meals I wanted nothing more than to take them a meal. They had done so much for my family. I agonized over every detail. I was not a good cook. (I really for all purposes still am not a good cook.) I finally decided on chicken bundles. (crescent rolls with a chicken/cream cheese mixture wrapped up inside) and I can not remember what else. I just remember the chicken bundles because after hours of agonizing I decided to cook them before I went to her house. She lived 25 minutes away and I realize now that families with older kids do not eat at 5 but I was there promptly at 5 with the already cooked chicken bundles. I am sure they were cold by the time they ate them but she was very gracious and returned all my dishes that very night with a dessert-y item in the bottom of the bag.

Taking dinner to someone is no easy task. And I know we are all grateful when we are on the receiving end of dinner. But I know that some meals that stand out in our minds and we can remember them because they were done perfectly. There are so many things to think about. Whether to take the meal already cooked or not. How much to take? And then there is that little old issue of having disposable dishes on hand. I should know better after all these years of losing my dishes across America. But I NEVER have disposable dishes on hand. I keep meaning to get some. Many people have been a little shocked when they need a paper plate when at my house and discover I do not have any. Just for the record I do have napkins and plastic spoons in the house at this moment.

Anyway, I am still looking for the perfect meal to take. And the perfect containers to take it in. And the perfect amounts. And I feel horrible about the time that Brian threw out a meal that had been brought to us and ordered pizza. I have no idea what came over him and the children but they revolted against the third night of chicken and rice mixed together in a 9x13.

I think Taking Meals 101 should be a required class. Maybe even a YW value :)

Feb 21, 2009

Do You Know About The 4 'R's?

I have been thinking about taxes this week. Wait, I guess I should clarify, using the word "thinking" makes it sound very casual, so I probably should say I have been "obsessing" about taxes this week. I have never obsessed about taxes before. But I guess it would be only natural that after a year of living in "Taxachusetts" I would start to notice taxes and their impact on me. I did not notice taxes in Indiana or Kansas. But in Massachusetts you can not ignore them they affect your little old life so immensely. They teach you about the word bitter and what it means :)


But of course there are some other factors that have added to my new obsession with taxes. The first being the paper route, you see I help the kids deliver their papers and while I am sitting in the car waiting for them I keep myself occupied by reading the front page of the ever so small, and quaint Westfield Evening News and more, and more, and more,.....and more, I have noticed a lot of articles about money and how the government needs a whole bunch more of it and how much the poor, deprived government is suffering. I read the words, "budget cuts", "programs cut", " jobs cut" and of the agony and woe of it all. And then for some reason the word "raise" sneaks on the front page along with the word "cut." A crisis/cut for them and a raise/tax for me?



The second thing that added to my recent tax interest happened this last week when the kids were home for February break and I found myself in my car in the middle of the day driving them to and fro. And I got tired of listening to Beyonce sing All The Single Ladies over and over and I got tired of the kids fighting over radio stations and so I decided that I had to do something and talk radio was the answer. But that darn talk radio started to educate me, I did not want to know what was happening in the world. I was happy in my little world of ignorance. I did not want to know how bad it really was but it is too late. I should have not driven anyone anywhere last week.



Now I know about the gas tax going up. Now I know about taxing candy and pop. Now I know about states that are not in debt paying taxes to help states who spent too much money and are in debt.


So tonight I decided I needed to read all about taxes. I mean you all know why we have taxes right? Taxes provide funds for our government, funds so they can pay for war, funds so they can enforce law and public order, funds to keep up our infrastructure, education, unemployment etc.


So I guess it would make sense to everyone that if we have a lot of those kinds of things that the government pays for then we would have a pretty big government that would probably need a lot of taxes from us to keep going. :) I keep wondering why no one seems bothered by this? Why does everyone seem to just take their lumps and not complain? What happened to the Boston Tea Party type attitude? I guess we want someone to take care of us too much to fight against the rising taxes.


So just to bore you some more on this Monday morning I found information about the 4 'R's which are the four main purposes of effects of taxes:


Revenue.....taxes raise money to spend on things. I wish I could tax someone and get in on this very cool deal.

Redistribution....so after you get the money it is supposed to be transferred from the rich to the poor. Did you know that the extent to which this should happen and if it should happen at all is very controversial? Just wondered if you had noticed :)

Repricing.....I am not sure if I understand this purpose of taxing very well but let me try to give you an example...you see, this is why tobacco is taxed, to discourage smoking, and why some people want a carbon tax. It involves words like levies and externalities that I am still reading about and have yet been able to talk about intelligently. Once those words start coming up on Dora or Sponge Bob I am sure I will get it :)

Representation....our slogan in Revolutionary times used to be, "no taxation without representation" and that implied that our "rulers" taxed us and we demanded accountability. How do we demand accountability? I do not even know where to start. The government is so big how could anyone keep track of where our taxes are going?

Alright, I am done with my obsessing and rambling. See you tomorrow.

Feb 20, 2009

Do You Have Your Designer Gown Ready?

It's here....the superficial event of the year. The event that little superficial me loves, loves, loves. The one I watch from the beginning of Barbara Walters special clear to the closing credits, the one that my husband dreads because I get to sit in front of the TV for hours instead of him. So on this Sunday the 22nd from 6:00 pm on don't call because I will be watching the 81st Annual Academy Awards. I am not addicted to watching them because there have been years that I have not watched and been okay but I do feel a strange superficial emptiness when I do not get to watch them. :)



I wonder how many of us would admit to hoping that we would be famous when we grew up? I confess to being one of those who dreamed of fame. As soon as I discovered I could hold my hands over my ears and hear my own voice really well I would sit on the floor by our record player singing my guts out to Barbara, Barry, John, Abba, Olivia and Neil. When I got my first solo in a choir concert in middle school I was sure I was on my way and was determined that I would be the first one to wear a Gunne Sax dress to the Academy Awards. ( that was before I knew the awards were only for acting and not singing.) Unfortunately I turned out to not be one of those people who are driven to their goal no matter what. I played the piano for the jazz choir in high school, had a couple more solos in high school and church and sang whenever I could but for some strange reason I never pursued the singing past high school. I wish I would have.



So now I live the life I should have had, vicariously, through my People magazine fixes at the Dr office, library, and checkout line and through my viewing of the Academy Awards.

I watched them the year that that one Italian guy climbed on the back of the chairs to get up to the stage. I watched the year that that other guy did the one handed push ups. I watched the one year that the guy who wrote and had originally performed a song did not get to perform his song because it would not bring in as many viewers as someone else doing his song would.

I find that more and more the movies that are nominated are rated R and I have not seen them, and never will. I find that more and more I wonder if it is all politics as everything else in the world is. I do not agree with hardly any of the actors and actresses views but for some reason I still get sucked into watching it. Even though I wish they would all get married before they had kids, stay married, age like normal people, share their money, and stop being so liberal I still can not help watching them walk down the red carpet.

This year my one wish is that Kate Winslet wins. She has been nominated 6 times and has never won an award. She says she is an expert at making a good "loser" face. :) I will NOT be sad if Brad and Angelina do not win. And other than that I do not have any opinions. I find it interesting that the most watched years were years that the movies nominated were movies we had all actually seen like, Titanic and Lord of The Rings. I wonder why they keep wondering about their low viewer numbers when they have this information?

So I must go and finish my Seminary lesson and have quality time with my kids so I can justify 6 hours of watching people I do not even respect get awards. :)

Feb 19, 2009

Patience.

I love it when I know what I am going to blog about when I wake up in the morning. I love it when I can have half of the blog written in my head and it makes me smile. Today was not one of those days. I laid in bed thinking and thinking about what I could blog about. Nothing! I knew precious quiet time was wasting. Everyone was still asleep. No one would be interrupting me..."oh you silly old mind hurry and think of something to blog about."

I got up and wandered through the house. There was the laundry on the couch, I have previously written about that. There was the dishes on the counter, I have previously blogged about those.

It snowed here yesterday, there is thick, heavy, wet snow covering all the previously blogged about bare spots which is good because then when they are bare again I can blog about them again :)

I could blog about Madeline who broke the Smith College and Western Mass track record for 55 meter hurdles last weekend by running them in a 8.68 seconds.

I could blog about how absolutely boring the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was. I can not believe it is this years most nominated film for the Academy Awards. Thirteen nominations? What did I miss?

I could blog about the smoke detector at the top of the stairs that I am not tall enough to reach. And the reason I want to reach it is because it keeps beeping because it needs a new battery. It beeped all day yesterday and curiously stopped when Brian came home and then it started back up this morning.

I could blog about how we have done nothing this whole winter break.

I could tell you about the 13 boxes of clothes that I pulled out of the storage room and decided to sort through. I am going on the third day of a play room full of boxes and piles of clothes. I am trying to figure out the best way to organize it so that we actually remember that we have a box full of teenager jeans in size 14 when Tatiana gets to that size.

I even could possibly blog about how today is payday and about how I spent all day yesterday going through shelves, cupboards and freezers so that I could have the most perfect grocery list ever written.

I even remembered that I have not blogged about my parents going on a mission to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. Where my dad will be their accountant for 18 months and they will get to wear mumus, Hawaiian shirts and sandals.

Feb 17, 2009

This Is Very Nifty.

My very rich 13 year old who happened to have $130.00 in his wallet when we were in Costco the other day decided he could not live a moment longer without spending $126.00 of it on a portable DVD player. We have been talking about him owning one for a long time but all the stars had not yet aligned perfectly for it to happen. But yesterday everything fell into place perfectly and now I have no idea how we lived without a portable DVD player in our home, or car, for so long.

It has two sets of headphones that I love with all my heart and last night Joe and I plugged those "babies" in and sat on Amanda's bed and watched the entire third Indiana Jones. And I must say I do not think the crystal skull would have been near as mesmerizing on the non portable TV.

I am totally in love with the portable idea. It is the same reason I have longed for a laptop. It seems to me that you have arrived if you can work on your computer in your comfy cozy bed. And with the portable DVD player I am one step closer to my dream. Movies in bed is not half bad.

So as soon as they all go back to school next Monday I am sneaking into Joe's room and "borrowing" his portable DVD player and I am going to find the perfect movie to watch in bed and I am going to watch it. A girl has got to have a plan and I definitely have one :)

Feb 15, 2009

The Answers To Over Thinking And Carmex.

Now I am going to tell you something and I do not want you to panic when I tell you or worry your pretty little head. Because even though I have Sitemeter I do not know how to use it to know who you are. So if you find me fascinating and you are stalking me, carry on, because even though I have Sitemeter and should know you are stalking me, I don't. Half of you come up as "unknown" on my Sitemeter. Which definitely frustrates me. What I usually do when this happens is imagine I know who you are. I see your "number" come up and think to myself, "ahhh there is 67.145.354" what a good friend they are. :)

When I started blogging exactly one year ago on February 6. (Yes, my "blogiversary" came and went. :) I got discouraged pretty quickly at the lack of comments. In my mind comments equaled readers. Well luckily everyone on the planet has a good friend named Kristy in their life. One day I was telling Kristy, for the hundredth time about my lack of comments and my discouragement. And that was when Kristy decided to change my life and told me about Sitemeter. She even stayed on the phone with me and talked me through the installation process.



So every single day I can now know for absolute sure that only about 7 of my 38 readers choose to comment. And I am very content and happy with that knowledge. All I ask is to know. That "being in the dark" thing is NOT for me.



I think the part I find the most fascinating about Sitemeter is a feature that allows me to see what people "googled" that happened to lead them to my blog. I always feel a little bad when I see that they came to my page to find a serious answer to something and I have no doubt that they left without getting one.



Here is one example. You see when I named my blog Overthinking Everything I had no idea that over thinking is real.....very possibly an epidemic :) And that so many people are SO serious about it. I had a very good friend, who knows me way to well, tell me that I over thought everything. At first I defended myself vehemently. Over thinking definitely did not sound flattering. But within 24 hours I realized this friend may be on to something. Since then I have decided that everyone in the world over thinks at the very least one thing and I decided it was not a bad thing. But I can not tell you how many times a day someone is directed to my page to find the answer to why they over think. They google all kinds of variations but if the word over think is within a mile they get sent to my blog.



"Why I over think?"

"How to stop over thinking."

"Quotes about over thinking."

"Over thinking causing fear."

"Over thinking Everything."



I tell you with all my heart I want to have at least a few answers for these poor suffering souls who are over thinking their over thinking. But I do not know if there are any answers. I know that if you over think Wikipedia says that means you think or analyze too much. But really who decides when anyone has thought too much? I think the lazy, under thinkers in the world had a little meeting and decided to make fun of any one who thought at all and now they call us over thinkers to stress us out :) Really what could be wrong with analyzing and thinking. I assume that if you have had something bad happen to you in a certain part of your life you may tend to over think when a similar situation arises and that is just the way it is going to be so enjoy it....I think we may over think to protect ourselves. I over think because I want to know things and I wonder a lot.

Another thing a lot of people come to my blog to find out about is Carmex. I wrote a blog a long time ago about how my family loves Carmex and now anytime anyone googles anything about Carmex they are led to me. Mostly people who come here are hoping to find out, "how to get Carmex out of clothes", and "what happens when Carmex goes through the wash?" I have to tell you in all our years of purchasing Carmex we have never had a catastrophic "Carmex in the clothes" incident so I can not tell anyone how to clean it up.

On Natalie's birthday last August I decided to do something I had NEVER done before and I bought My Little Pony wrapping paper for her gifts. And when I blogged about it I mentioned it because I usually buy very plain, one color, wrapping paper. I have been dumbfounded at how many people google, "My Little Pony wrapping paper", and all I can tell them is I found it at Wal Mart and bought it on a whim....I definitely did not pre-meditate the purchase by "googling" My Little Pony wrapping paper.

So remember, do not wrap Carmex in My Little Pony wrapping paper and sit around over thinking about my Site Meter I barely have time to blog let alone analyze my Site Meter data. I am sure there is a rule about not telling your readers that you have the potential to know about them

Feb 12, 2009

Look What I Found.


You may have some questions and I definitely have a few answers.

Yes, we eat hot dogs at our house.

What kind? All beef....Ball Park franks. I tell you this because it makes me sound like I am a "responsible hot dog purchaser"...but deep inside we all know that it is not really possible to say "responsible" and "hot dog" in the same sentence but that does not stop me from trying.

Why so many? I have seven kids so I shop mostly at Costco....AKA "Large Packages R Us."

Why so many open at one time? YEAH!! My question exactly. Guess what Family Home Evening will be about this week?

Is The End In Sight?

It has been about eight weeks since we have seen the ground in New England the last two days have been 40 degrees which made Joe declare yesterday that he was going to wear shorts to school. And this morning Tatiana threw a very unusual tantrum. You can see her grumpy face in the picture. She was flopping around the house before she left for school all mad....yes, mad, at winter. She did not want to wear her coat. Two "warm" days and all heck breaks loose. Miriam wanted to do the paper route with the windows of the car down and Madeline complained that it was colder in the house than it was outside.




See the pile of snow in the picture below? Look carefully and see if you can see little branches poking out of the top of it? I am very worried about this particular pile of snow because under it is my Purple Sand Cherry tree that I searched and searched for last spring. And then, patiently, waited for it to go on clearance before I purchased it. Someone, who very lovingly, shoveled the driveway a gazillion times this winter thoughtfully buried my favorite $25.00 tree.


I love seeing a perfectly cleared driveway. And Mr Sun finally pulled it off for me. It must be sad when you are even excited to see the concrete under the snow, huh? And even sadder is taking a picture of it :)
This is the one magical spot of ground that we can now see. I must divulge that pretty much every yard in MA has this magical spot in their yard this time of year because it is the spot over the septic system. The first spot to melt :)

Next week is Winter Break in New England, an idea I am still getting used too. If I had money to go to someplace warm I could totally see the point of winter break. But at this point I am still contemplating the point of it all and what my attitude will be. :) The kids have been telling me it is supposed to snow next week and they are planning an epic snowball fight with all their friends....a gazillion kids tracking snow into my house sounds super fun. :)

Feb 11, 2009

A Few Tips......Just In Case :)

Just in case you have given birth to a boy or a girl. Just in case you also happen to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Just in case you are planning on encouraging him, or her, to go on a mission for the church let me mention a few things that may make your life easier when the time comes.

Immunizations.
If you ever plan on moving.
If you ever plan on changing where you get your immunizations.
If you do not own a filing cabinet.
If you do not use your filing cabinet.
If your filing cabinet is sometimes, just for fun, a box in the closet.
If you could not wake up in the dead of night during a hurricane and walk straight to your child's immunization record.

You may want to consider getting those little old dates tattooed on their arm....just so they are handy.

Also, in reference to the immunizations, do not worry about memorizing your insurance company's phone number because since your child will be going to college in Utah and your Massachusetts insurance strangely considers Utah "out of network" you will have to call them a lot. So much you may consider sending THEM a Christmas card.....just for fun.

Passport:
Every year on their birthday, just for fun, go to the passport office and pick yourself up one of those adorable passport forms and practice filling it out. Then for an extra special treat go and find a place to get the passport pictures taken that is cheap and do a trial run. But before you do check the requirements for the Visa pictures because it just may require some additional and different shots from the passport. After all it is the government we are talking about and I can't imagine them telling you info up front and trying to make it easy for you....I am just saying :)

Drivers license:
Now this really happened. So follow the details closely and make sure you remember what to do when this very same thing happens to you.

Once upon a time when Zach was 16 he got his drivers license in Indiana. Then when he was 17 he went to BYU for college. Then when he came back from BYU for the summer we had moved to Massachusetts. Then while he was at BYU in 2009 he got his mission call and he realized his Indiana drivers license expired in 2010 when he would be on his mission, thus requiring him to get a license that would never expire during his 2 years in Estonia. To add to the complexity of the issue Zach was not coming back to Massachusetts before he left on his mission. So where should Zach get his drivers license and how?

Well let me tell you, after calling Indiana, Massachusetts and Utah and talking to enough Department of Motor Vehicle employees to form a consensus the decision is he needs a Utah drivers license. So how ironic is it that he has to walk, quite a ways from campus, to get a drivers license in Utah ? :) But at least it is only $25.00 in Utah whereas in Massachusetts the same process is $90.00.

Money
Once or twice a month choose a quiet place in your home, where you can concentrate and sit down and practice writing checks with lots and lots of zero's so that when you write them they are in your best "churchy" handwriting ever. Make sure the "0's" are perfectly round and not oval....nothing but the best for the Lord :) Oh and if you are inclined that missionary savings account is probably a really good idea. I had no idea $10,000 dollars was so much money :) Another good idea would be to store away sleep so that when you are losing sleep over how to pay for your child's mission you will be okay because you have some sleep stored up....just like the money you should have had stored up :)

Birth Certificate.
It works best if the birth certificate is with the person who needs it to apply for the passport not the person who is two time zones away and just earned the certificate by birthing the child.

So that about sums up what I have been doing since we got Zach's mission call last Thursday. When I am not blogging I am on the phone helping my child who is two time zones away get ready for a two year mission. Good Times :)

Feb 10, 2009

No Matter How I Try.

I know my blog title claims I over think everything but I must confess there are a few things I am pretty sure I do not over think they are certain things that I am only aware of because throughout the years I have observed my friends doing them, things like:

putting sunscreen on
using moisturizer
owning hand sanitizer
not letting your kids go to a public restroom by themselves
not touching any surface in public unless you cover your hand first with your shirt
using your foot to flush
using your elbow to press the buttons on the elevator

So many mom's, and even some dad's, seem to have this radar, that is always present, detecting possible danger in every place they are, possible things to be afraid of, the gift to for see potential bad situations. Thank goodness I had a roommate in college who knew all about the dangers of wearing headbands in your hair and how they, over time (of course) squish your brain. I had never thought about it:)

Thank goodness I dated a guy who's entire family was obsessive about sunscreen and sunglasses, otherwise I never would have known. No, I still do not own sunglasses...but I have been meaning too.

I had a very clean, happy home growing up with two parents who I am pretty sure were not overprotective. Which I am very grateful for. Some personalities may not do so well in that environment. I do not know what kind of person I would be today if someone was always making me afraid of things like germs and safety and protected me so much I was too afraid to do anything like go to college or leave the state where my parents were.

I get the magazine Real Simple and in January there was a very amusing and yet interesting article written by a woman who grew up with an overprotective mother. She talks about how as a young child she used to help her mom be on the lookout for "unidentifiable smears" on the checkout conveyor belt and baggers who put the fish and fruit together. Then she says in about 7th grade she found her mom's "unchecked impulses" much more difficult to tolerate. She tells about getting called into the principals office because her mom had phoned the school because she could not remember if she had peeled the waxy edge off of her bologna and wanted her daughter to check before she ate her sandwich. Then she talks about being older and ending up sitting in her host families living room in France watching the Berlin Wall come down on TV while all her friends had hoped a train to see it in real life. But she couldn't go with them because of all the fearful thoughts of porta-potties and dust. She ends up realizing later in life, after years of fighting with her mother about everything from fire retardants all the way up to the fear of fear itself, that she realizes her mother's fears were an act of love.

I love my children but why does my brain not see the world like that? How could I be 40 years old and have 7 kids and not use the wipes that grocery stores provide for you to wipe off your cart before you touch it? How could I have raised 7 kids and been the kind of mom who let them cry in their bed when they were babies? How could I have left them with babysitters without a second thought? And worse of all.....gasp....how could I let them spend the night at friend's houses? How could I have never owned a baby monitor? You would think at some point all these naiveness would go away....wouldn't you? How could I let them go to college 2 time zones away? How am I fine with letting my 19 year old go on a mission to Estonia in April and not have a single fear or worry...well other than getting the passport, visa and immunizations on time:)

I am trying to think what I am afraid of so I can tell you and all I can think of is spiders, my kids ending up on parole, :) being misunderstood, being late, and being ignored. I used to be afraid of driving in the snow but living in New England and being forced to face this fear has made it so that is no longer a fear....not a love..... but not a fear either :) Maybe I am suppressing all my other fears, or maybe I do not know myself well enough to know what they are :)

Even if I end up not having any other fears and never end up being an overprotective parent be ever so sure that I have other issues that are definitely ruining my children :)

P.S
I noticed that as I was re reading this post and fixing grammar etc I found I kept remembering things I was afraid of and had to keep adding them to my list that originally simply said I was afraid of spiders.

Feb 9, 2009

A Review of Something I Have Never Seen.

For about three weeks now my husband has been talking about wanting to see this movie called Taken, he and I rarely like the same kind of movies so I have sort of been putting him off hoping he would find a guy friend to see it with him. To my credit ,one weekend, I did TRY to find another couple to go see it with us but had no luck. Just FYI if you have have not seen a preview or heard anything about a movie it is very difficult to convince your friends to go with you to see it. Besides I have just not been sure if I could handle a movie with the title Taken. It just does not sound like comforting, warm fuzzy kind of movie. I am really not good at suspense or killing.

Anyway after weeks of mentioning the movie and no one knowing what in the heck I was talking about last night we had company for dinner and they had seen Taken and said it was amazing. They actually said a lot more than that but I am not sure I could repeat everything perfectly. Suffice it to say they should both be promoters of the movie they convinced me....."Little Miss Never See Anything Suspenseful" that I needed to go see it right away.

The gist of this movie, coming from someone who has not seen it, is that there is this former government agent (Liam Neeson) who gives up his career to be close to his daughter Kim. One day Kim and her friend go to Paris for a trip and are abducted (taken :) by an organization that specializes in human trafficking. I could not find a bad review about this movie anywhere. Is it possible to call a movie a, "deeply satisfying action film?" Action has never been deeply satisfying to me I hate that feeling you get when people are being chased. But I confess I have decided to see this movie. I have too.

Our friends told us the movie has tons of twists and turns that have you continually turning to each other and exclaiming that you, "never saw that coming." Sounds like my life :) And the reviews are raving about the performances of the entire cast.

Several reviews talked about how when you see a preview to a movie you always assume that the best stuff from the movie is in that preview and how that is definitely not the case with Taken.

Check out this quote from the movie:

“I don’t know you who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for a ransom, I can tell you, I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career in the shadows, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you.”

So are you going to see it? Or maybe you already have and are going to tell me you hated it. Or maybe like me it takes all your courage to see movies like this :) But remember that just like when you eat something sweet and then have to have something salty. That as soon as you are done getting your suspense fix you can go watch Bride Wars :)

Feb 6, 2009

I Have No One To Blame But Myself.

Today is one of those days, the kind that keep waking you up the night before because you are trying to figure out how it will all work. Because everything has to work out perfectly. Here are all the cold hard facts.

Joe has a dentist appointment at 11:20 am. I debated about canceling this but since the poor child's mother has not had her People magazine fix this month we are not canceling :)

We have to pick up our 60 papers from the newspaper at 12:00. Usually they bring them to our house but today I can not wait for them to bring them because I have to get the routes done long before they would be viciously thumped on my porch. Yes, they seriously do it just as I said, "viciously." And yes, you are right Joe is delivering papers long before school will even be out. Please feel free to judge me:) Employment before education is our motto.

At 12:30 I have to pick up Miriam and this is where you may want to stop reading if you are the perfect mother. What I am going to say may shock you :) Miriam has a dance tonight. She is honestly going to DIE if she does not have a dress for this dance. She has plenty of money now that she is doing the paper route and she thinks she needs to go to Kohl's. Yes, I am picking her up and taking her to Kohl's. She will miss study hall and who would not be bummed about that? In Massachusetts it is VERY common for the kids to have a study hall. I was always taught it was not a good thing but it is the norm here.... though it still bothers me :) Anyway, Miriam will have just enough time to dash into Kohl's and grab this dress off of the rack that I saw there yesterday and purchase it. I really do not even think she will have time to try it on :)

I have to be back from Kohl's and paper route's by 3:00 to pick up someones girls from school for them. Then I am going to drive those girls up the road a long ways to their house. I am ever so happy to do this. I actually really enjoy the ride up into the Berkshires. But it will make the day very interesting. But I think if I crank my Killer's CD I can force any thought of not keeping to my schedule out of my head :)

After that I have to grab Tatiana, Natalie, Miriam and Joe and head for the church where Miriam is meeting her ride to the dance, which is at least 2 hours away. And I am staying at the church and helping with food for the "man party" at the church :)

Sometime during the day I have to figure out how to purchase two $5.00 gifts for the "man party" gift exchange at the church. My instructions from the "men" are "something funny." Hmmm what would be funny to a room full of men? Dish cloths? Hot pads? Empty toilet paper tubes still on the holder? I am thinking I will purchase two Barbies and call it good :)

Now this all may seem trifle to you but remember I am....... dum, dah, dah, dum...... ( I worked a long time on figuring out the spelling of that intro so cut me a break :)........ "ON TIME GIRL." I do not know why but I get a stomach ache if I am late. I have always been this way. I was always the first one to stake dances when I was a kid. I know, who is first to a dance? ME.

Last night I was a little late to my Seminary Meeting at the stake center ( long story involving the words East and West registering in time to make the right decision :) and as I was driving along trying not to look at the clock and hating how anxious it feels to be late I found myself wondering how people who are always late can live with this feeling that lateness creates? I could not think kind thoughts about all the people who make mistakes on the road, because I did not have time to be benevolent to stupid people. I had to use all my usual peaceful, alone, thinking time thinking up excuses for the policeman that may catch me for speeding. I really hated it.

So now I have to post a less than perfect blog because I have to go fill my car with gas, change the laundry, do the dishes, do my hair and makeup and bill the children $100.00 apiece since they left their newspaper billing to me. Oh, do not worry about me I definitely get my cut for helping with these %*&#$ paper route's :)

And remember I get to read People magazine in the dentist today so do not feel so bad for me.

Feb 5, 2009

Wicked

No, do not get all excited this is not that glorious post, that I have already written in my head, telling you how I FINALLY got to see the play Wicked that I have been wanting to see for a gazillion years. It is not even a post about me reading the book Wicked which is sitting on my nightstand waiting for me. This is a post about the word wicked yes, the word.



Wicked
1.evil or morally bad in principle or practice; sinful; iniquitous: wicked people; wicked habits.
2.mischievous or playfully malicious: These wicked kittens upset everything.
3.distressingly severe, as a storm, wound, or cold: a wicked winter.
4.unjustifiable; dreadful; beastly: wicked prices; a wicked exam.
5.having a bad disposition; ill-natured; mean: a wicked horse.
6.spiteful; malevolent; vicious: a wicked tongue.
7.extremely troublesome or dangerous: wicked roads.
8.unpleasant; foul: a wicked odor.
9.Slang. wonderful; great; masterful; deeply satisfying: He blows a wicked trumpet.



Did you read the last one? Read it again. The slang form of wicked is what I am talking about today. My kindergartner, Natalie, has a great teacher who was born and raised in Boston. She has the "Bawston" accent. She says, "kindegawhten" is great. If she was in the car with you she would say, "Where are you going to pawhk your cawh?" She also uses a term that I am told is very New England....."wicked." I have been around her teacher a teeny tiny bit and I tell you the woman uses the word "wicked" a ton. And since I do not homeschool my Natalie is with her fabulous kindergarten teacher 6/5 (6 hours a day, 5 days a week) and that is most definitely enough time for Natalie to have learned the proper use of the word "wicked." here are some examples in case you do not understand:



Two nights ago she woke up at about 2:00am and came to my room and said, "Mom, I had a wicked bad nightmare." How can you refuse letting someone into your bed with you who had a "wicked bad nightmare?"



Yesterday she was running fast and she declared to us all, "I can run wicked fast." I hope that is what she will do if something wicked is ever presented to her.



Also yesterday we were inspecting her class picture for the hundreth time and she announced, "Mac is wicked hot." Okay, that one really got my attention. "Hot" and "wicked" both in the same sentence?



Mac is a little boy in her school class who according to Natalie is going to marry 4 of the 5 girls in the class. The 5th girl does not get to join Mac's harem because she took his cupcake one time and apparently Mac can hold a "wicked" grudge. I mentioned to Natalie that if she marries Mac she can not get married in the temple and she exclaimed in a very desperate " Romeo and Juliet tone", "But I love him." I totally understood how she felt but sometimes the "wicked" truth can be hard.

So I googled, "Boston" and "wicked" and all my suspicions were confirmed. I found ever so many t-shirt sites with sayings like these on their Boston t- shirts:

"Wicked big tea pahty."
" Pahkin ya cah is wicked hahd."
" R's ah fah losahs." (did you figure that one out?)

While we are on the subject of weird ways to say things. be aware that a "shopping cart" in New England is a "carriage" and a "garage" sale is a "tag" sale.

So now you are educated on how to talk when you come here and maybe you could throw out the word "wicked" a few times in the midwest, south or west just for fun. And I am not spell checking this post it might cause someone at blogger to report me :)

Feb 4, 2009

Follow The Leader


Follower:
1. a person or thing that follows.
2. a person who follows another in regard to his or her ideas or belief; disciple or adherent.
3. a person who imitates, copies, or takes as a model or ideal: He was little more than a follower of current modes.
4. an attendant, servant, or retainer.


Cast your eyes over to the side of my blog...the left side...now scroll down, down, down, now stop, do you see the word follower? Yeah, I know. It freaked me out at first too. One day when I was minding my own business and logging into blogger to write yet another exciting and informative post for you there was this little green guy on my dashboard page and next to the little green guy were the words "1 follower." I was intrigued. Usually you do not want to tell people that you are a follower. Life teaches you to be a leader, right? And I have never considered myself the leader type. Leaders come up with their own ideas. I never, ever do that. I read, listen, ask a gazillion questions and carefully research everyone else's ideas and then combine all the info I liked from everyone else into my own idea that works for me. I am not disciplined enough to be a leader.I liked the idea of a follower, who wouldn't? But it did make me worry a little. What if I let my follower down? I did not even know who they were but I was very grateful to them for being brave enough to say they followed me :)


Now honestly, we all know they do not truly follow me they just like to read my blog regularly if they truly followed me that would mean that:



they really love to do what I say to do (boy, I wish just once I knew what that felt like :)

like me, they wear their coat in the house in during the winter...yes, even when fixing dinner :)

like me, their favorite colors are red and green

like me, they say they are going to exercise everyday and then don't

like me, they like water with ice

like me, they wonder about everything

like me, they choose to blog rather than do the dishes

like me, they choose to play with friends above everything else.....yes, even above a BYU education :)

like me, they think that ignoring someone, rather than communicating with them, is the rudest thing in the world and the most inmature way of dealing with your problems



Nah, I think it just means they read my blog a lot. Which is ever so nice for the little old self esteem. I have a blog that I regularly read and I happened to notice one day that she had 114 followers. I know crazy, huh?


One day I was signing onto blogger and guess what? I saw the little green man standing in the corner as always but now the words next to him said, "2 followers." I was thrilled. That was when I decided it was time to go public and I moved my two followers to my front page for all to see. And when I did that I acquired 2 more followers bringing me to a total of four followers. If you want to follow me you sure can. I should confess up front that I really do not know where I am going. But if someone tells me where to go I am very good at following directions :)

Feb 3, 2009

Eternal Questions.


Why do we worry about what other people are doing? My kids are always worrying about what the other one is doing. They are incessantly reporting to me what is happening and I ALWAYS tell them that life will be so much happier for them if they only worry what they are doing because they can change only themselves not anyone else. I am so proud of myself for learning this about five years ago. :)


This morning when I was combing Tatiana's hair for school and listening to her long list of complaints about what Natalie was doing with her morning I found myself saying for the umpteenth time that she should only worry about herself and not Natalie......blah, blah, blah. Then all of a sudden after YEARS of saying this line to my kids in sweet, ignorant bliss I suddenly found my world turned upside down with one thought, do I only worry about myself? Do I let everyone else take care of themselves?


Drat, I hate it when that happens. When you talk the talk and do not walk the walk. That age old mystery of why is it so much easier to see what everyone else is doing wrong AND that startling realization that you are not as perfect as you thought you were :)


Why is so and so doing it that way? I am worried about them doing it that way. I think it may be the wrong way. Maybe I can help them do it better if I tell them.


Why does so and so get to break the rules and get away with it and I don't? I am going to tell someone...actually not just someone but basically anyone and everyone that will listen..... that they are breaking the rules so they do not get away with it.


Is it not weird to think that we do the very things we tell our kids not to do we just do them in a in a more sophisticated and subtle way. Thinking that we are smarter. Trying to act more grown up.

Feb 2, 2009

The Annoying Feline.


TO DO:



Shut the bathroom door (So she does not open the drawer and steal the ponytail holders)

Clear all cups off the counter (so she does not knock them off and bat them all around the house all night on the hardwood floors)

Shut all the kids bedroom doors (so she does not pounce on their feet and heads in the night...thus waking them up.)

Collect all the little trash cans, put them in my closet, and shut the door....tight. (so she does not knock them all over in the night and pull the stuff out)

No, I no longer have a two year old, this,my friends, is my to do list every single night before I go to bed and every day before I leave the house all because of our one year old cat Kittromney. I thought cats were supposed to be sweet little cuddly things that just sleep all the time. But not Kittromney.

I am very proud of myself because I frequently pull my furniture out and clean behind it. But when I pulled the couch out from the wall when I was painting last week I was not prepared for the sight that met my eyes. See the picture? That was what I found. Kittromney's treasures. I have no idea how she gets her grubby little paws on the milk tops but she adores them. And you and I already know how she gets the kids ponytails. I kept seeing her go under the couch but I had no idea it was her closet.


When I was painting last week I laid plastic drop cloths everywhere because that is what you do when you paint. The first night after I put them down I went to bed and after about 15 minutes heard the cat racing across the plastic so I turned on the light to investigate and the heater vents were blowing up pieces of the plastic and Kittromney was leaping from billow of plastic to billow of plastic in definite "cat glee." So I moved the plastic off of the vents and went back to bed about 15 minutes later I hear Kittromney on the plastic again so I turn on the light and go to investigate and this time she has managed to get under the plastic and has dragged one of her toys with her and is again experiencing "cat glee."

I decided enough was enough. Brian was not around to defend her so I tossed her in the below zero garage.(report me to the pet police...I dare you :) But even "tossing her in the garage" is not as nonchalant as it sounds, you have to trick her. You find one of her favorite toys and throw it bit by bit towards the garage door until she chases the item into the garage and then,and only then,can you again congratulate yourself for being smarter than the cat.

Once you get her in the garage you still have problems, you see she loves to leap up onto the door between the house and the garage and attempt to reach the door handle....could someone explain to her that she has paws? So after I tricked her into the garage I had to barricade the garage side of the door with a pile of boxes then I have to go around the outside of the house and back in. Finally, sweet sleep!!

By morning I heard her claws making the "claws on chalkboard" sound on the door from the garage to the house. It took her most of the night but she had managed to move my barricade.

I confess I dream of Kittromney disappearing without a trace. Tatiana asked me the other day why I did not like animals and I told her I really do like animals when they are outside. I told her I grew up on a hobby farm in a little town north of Seattle and we had lots of animals but they were all outside. Kittromney is not outside :)

Feb 1, 2009

Admit it You Have Always Wondered.




Admit it you have always wondered about chia pets. Does anyone really buy them? I always thought Chia pets were just something you joke around about but never, ever, ever own. Why would someone own a Chia pet? Why would someone give a Chia pet as a gift? Are there really people who ask for Chia pets? What about people who NEED a Chia pet?

Frankly it is my own fault that I can even blog about a Chia pet and let me tell you the whole story from the gosh darn beginning.

As you know the Baird children have a cat. One, very annoying, living in our house, eating our toilet paper, stealing our ponytails, cat named Kittromney. As most mothers do I have ended up being the one to feed Kittromney and change Kittromney's litter. Not one person in the house lifts a finger to take care of Kittromney. So naturally when the children and husband started talking about a dog I knew what the answer was and trust me I will never change that answer. So to help the children feel better about the lack of a dog the husband thought it would be funny to buy them a Chia pet for Christmas.


We ended up with a Chia Shrek. Some company in San Fransisco makes the Chia Pets which are defined as, "traditional Mexican animal shaped clay figures covered with chia." The first chia was a Ram in 1982. In the 80's Chia's were very popular. As they have declined in popularity the Chia's have been relegated to fad status. Even I, who did not have a television when I was growing up, knows the ch-ch-ch chia song sung in the Chia commercials. Did you know the name Chia comes from the plant that grows in it? And, in case you did not know, the chia plant is supposed to resemble fur. :) My children discovered a Chia Thug, a Chia Britney Spears, a chia Mr T and oh so many more.


The Chia Shrek is the most unattractive thing I have ever seen in my life. The family "planted" it on one of my plates. They wanted to put it on top of our fireplace so all could see it. And for the record I fought it all with all my might. No, I do not know why.....I just felt onery.


Finally yesterday Brian let Joseph destroy the Chia Shrek and not a moment too soon. People on Facebook had organized a shower for our Chia. Someone named it Chet Pia. Brian would write about how mean I was to our Chia. And people would beg me to love our Chia. I finally got involved in our Chia's life and "kidnapped" Chia while Brian was in Colorado and posted pictures of Chia Shrek at knife and gun point and listed my demands....none of which were ever met. :)
I read a nasty rumor that Chia pets are coming back into poularity. Zach knew a kid at BYU that got one for Christmas and we have heard other rumors of people actually spending money to own one. before you know it leg warmers will be back and side ponytails :)