Mar 31, 2009

Hunger Games.

Okay, this is what you need to do today.

Stop cleaning the house.

Stop reading your scriptures.

Stop scrap booking.

Stop canning peaches.

Stop exercising.

Do not change into something more presentable.

This is not a "you need makeup" moment.

Run to the car.

Drive to library, RUN in and find the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

What? It is not there? Figures.

Change of plans.

Get back in the car drive to the bookstore you feel eternally committed to.

RUN in.

Find The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

BUY IT. You can eat beans and rice for a couple of days, if needed.

Stop at the grocery store on the way home.

Run in and rent videos for the kids.

Also purchase frozen pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner. Throw in a bag of salad so they know you care.

Hurry home and cancel your visiting teaching appointments.

Plop the kids in front of the TV (one day is going to not harm them)

Give the kids a box of sugary cold cereal to eat and their own box of band aids in case of an emergency.

Sit and Read!!

This book is amazing. I found out about this book from my sister Sarah, she found out about it because it was recommended by Stephenie Meyer on her website. So I bought it for Madeline for Christmas and she read it and then has been begging me for a couple months to read it. I was very skeptical after reading the inside front cover. I worried a little bit about it being gory. Frankly, I just was not sure if I was going to like it. But I am so glad I finally spent a day reading it. It was a very interesting story. It is a Young Adult book so when you are looking for it you may find it in the Young Adult section. I think superb tale of, "physical adventure, political suspense and romance" about sums it up.

You really put yourself out there when you recommend something. I have been thinking about that subject a lot lately. If you see or read or listen to something that I recommend then that helps you to possibly know something about me. What my thresh hold for swear words is. What my tolerance for descriptive scenes is. But I have decided the risk is worth it to me because I simply can not stand enjoying something on my own. I have to make sure that you have every opportunity to feel the same happiness I feel. :)

Mar 30, 2009

March 28th....

So if you would love to be the one to prove me wrong do not forget last Saturday's date... March 28. It is the day I drove to the garden store and bought my onion and potato seed and planted them. No matter where you live everyone has a different idea about when you should first plant your garden in the spring. Because of my loving adorable personality I tend to plant early. Last year was my first year gardening in Massachusetts and everyone kept telling me to wait to plant, so I did. I waited until I thought I would DIE. Then I went to the garden store to buy my potato seed and onion seed and they had one, almost empty, bag of potato seed left and it was a variety I had never heard of and there were only a few onions left. They told me at the store that I was too late. This year I was determined not to be late. As in everything I do, I would much rather be early than late. So I decided that when the garden store actually had the potato and onion seed in the store ready to sell that that was the sign that it was time for me to plant. I figure garden stores know better than to push something like planting. Not like the big box stores that adore pushing things, right? :)

So Saturday was a gloriously beautiful day, 7 days after the first day of spring, and I headed straight for the garden store and walked as fast as I dared into the store to see if they had potato and onion seed and I was SO happy when I saw that they did. SIX DIFFERENT VARIETIES of potato seed and at least that many varieties of onions!!! The potato seed bags were all about half full. Which I of course decided meant that lots of people had already bought and planted.

I observed the employees for a few minutes and listened to them talk to other customers until I decided which one was the best one to ask questions and then I asked him if it was okay to plant my onions, potatoes, peas, lettuce, beets and cauliflower and then I held my breath while he answered because I really needed him to say yes so that I could convince my hubby to help me rototill the garden. And after I used my amazing Jedi mind trick on him :) he said that I could definitely plant any of those things right now because they all were "winter hardy." So at that moment all my plans to clean the house this weekend went out the window and we spent most of the day outside planting the garden instead.

The garden always involves some compromising which isn't my favorite thing to do :) But Brian thinks that if you were born in Idaho that automatically qualifies you to plant the potatoes. I do not have the time to "Google it" and possibly prove to him that actually more potatoes come from Maine than Idaho so I let "Idaho boy" plant the potatoes :)and after a lot of discussing we have 16 plants, each, of Red Norlands, Kennebecs and Russetts planted in three rows. We have a row of green onions, a row of purple onions and a row of yellow onions. And three rows of peas. The lettuce, beets and cauliflower have to wait since I ran out of time besides,I need to seriously "overthink" about where I want to put them.

I talked Brian into making the garden a little bit bigger this year. I have decided to step the gardening up to the next level this year and to expect a lot more from "Mr. Garden." Which actually means I am expecting more from myself. Here are the goals for the garden this year:

Try planting some new things. I have never planted cauliflower or green onions. So that goal has already been met. WHEW

Do not plant just to have to eat fresh plan to actually freeze/store some of it. I always can my tomatoes and store our potatoes but I have never bothered with anything else we just eat it all fresh. But this year I want to freeze the beans and peas, can the beets, grate up left over zucchini and freeze it, and cook, puree and freeze pumpkin.

Don't give up in July. I have not yet figured out what makes me give up in July. Strangely, in July and August I will forget to go out to the garden and pick things and I will let things waste. It is a very painful thing to confess and I am not sure why it happens but I am working really hard to make sure it does not happen this year.

Use my space wisely. I have still not figured out how to best use my space. I tend to err on the side of planting things too far from each other because I have this OCD need to have everything look perfect and straight. This year I want every inch of space to be used well and I am still working on my plan for that. Brian sort of challenged my plan with his need for the potatoes to be in a certain spot and in long rows. :)

I forgot that with every new thing you add to your schedule something else often has to fall by the wayside. So the house is a mess and no dinner was fixed on Saturday but I am ever so happy to be gardening again. :)

Mar 27, 2009

Stealing Confession :)

Dear kind, forgiving husband,

Remember how you like to watch TV? And remember how you have that very special room in the basement that we all call the "man room"? Oh how you love your "man room," with your TV in it, and your bookshelves full of books. Well you know how you love to eat snacks when you watch TV and how a couple of years ago when we lived in Indiana I used to SOMETIMES steal your chocolate from your "man room" stash? Remember that I often exhibited signs of having NO self control? I even blamed it on the children when you would declare something missing?

I remember taking matters into my own hands and deciding to buy you a tool box with a lock and a key for your birthday so that I could no longer have the freedom to choose for myself whether to steal from your candy or not. Anyhow, you know how you stopped locking it after awhile and how I stayed away from it for a SUPER DUPER long time?

Well you must understand you have been out of town a ton lately and I have been all alone with the 7 emotionally needy children :) So yesterday I just took a small peak into your carefully guarded tool box "full o treats." I was not interested in the cheese Pringles so I left those. You had not opened the peanut butter M&M's and the Kit Kat's so I knew I had no chance with those. But in the bottom there were some Dove "thingy's" and some Hershey Nugget "thingys" that were open and they were sad. They have been in the tool "box o treats" for several weeks since you have been gone. I know you have OCD and that if I wake you up in the middle of the night and the house is on fire you will be able to rattle off exactly what is in the treat box so I am confessing that I ate "several" of the toffee/chocolate Nuggets and 3 of the Dove "thingys" and I may eat a few more today before you get home from Washington DC.

It may be time to find that little old lock I gave you with the tool box :)

Your wife :)

Mar 26, 2009

Homework and Joe.

Not for any righteous reasons and not because when hubby and I were dating we discussed how our kids would definitely be doing their own homework, but simply because I am not smart enough to help them, my kids are in charge of their OWN homework....gasp.

I help brainstorm if asked.
I ask questions if grades are dropping.
I ask questions if teachers are calling.
I ask questions if there is an unusual amount of tears in the evenings.
I am extremely good at purchasing poster board.

Otherwise, my evenings are free. I feel so strange when people ask me how I help get all my kids homework done and I do not have an answer. Hmmmm.... "Well, I don't get it done...they do." They come home from school and do it when they feel like it. Tatiana, Miriam, Zach and Natalie do it right away so it is done. Madeline, Amanda, and Joe choose to do what they want when they get home and do homework later...sometimes way too late but I let them figure out the consequences to that. Some people work better that way. Those may be the people who do the stuff for the Primary activity the night before the activity when they grow up.

Will you promise to still read my blog if I ruin your picture in your mind of me and my children gathered around the table in the evening with a checkered tablecloth on the table and a candle lit all doing homework with smiles on our faces and neatly pressed clothes on ?

I rarely ask them if they have homework there are so many things to be reminding kids about and talking to them about that I hate to have to constantly ask about homework so I just don't. I never call the homework hot line. They are all on their own. So far I think it has worked out fine. One kid has a 4 year full tuition scholarship to BYU and one has a half tuition scholarship to BYU. The rest have all A's and B's except for Amanda's "C" in that annoying class I mentioned two posts ago, Joe's "C" in Math and Miriam's "C" in Math. They all have their homework always turned in so I leave them alone....yes, even the kindergartner.

Occasionally this homework "plan" that has been the "plan" since the family began in 1988 will not go as it well...."planned", and it usually involves the name, Joe.

This morning (that is the first problem with this story, "homework" and "morning" never belong in the same sentence do they?) as Joe is all ready for school and watching out the window for the bus to come by I hear him mutter something under his breath. Something involving the words "forgot" and "again." I ask what is wrong. ( you should never ask) And he proceeds to explain that he has three essays due today....that he forgot about. Do you see how successful the hands off homework thing is? :) So I ask some more questions and he actually produces two of the three essays for me. Outlines written, papers typed, all looking very beautiful so I am a little confused. I proceed to listen as he starts talking very emotionally and loudly. I hear a lot of words like:

"4 weeks,"
"told to do it again,"
"didn't understand"

and then I hear phrases like:

"three paragraphs"
"five sentences in each paragraph."

So I look at the essays again. His first one is supposed to be about someone he admires. He chose to admire his friend Tom at school. And this is the gist of what he wrote:

I admire Tom. (first paragraph)

I admire Tom because he has an X Box 360. I admire Tom because he has a hot tub and it is fun.

I admire Tom because he has a very funny cat. (third paragraph)

I am beginning to see the trouble. So I say to Joe, "Can you think of any reasons you admire Tom that do not involve what he owns?" He could not think of any off hand. So I explained that most of the time we admire someone not for what they have but for who they are and how they accomplish things. So we started brainstorming about other possibilities of people to admire. And it took awhile to talk him out of admiring Tom's earthly possessions but we finally figured out someone he did admire that he could actually write three, five sentence paragraphs about. He was late to school for the first time this year. I had to call the teacher and figure out what the real assignment actually was since Joe was so confused. It is amusing how he just needed someone to ask him a few questions to get his brain going and he was able to write an awesome paper about his science teacher who deserves admiration for teaching a million 13 year olds everyday...Tom is very nice but did not deserve admiration for owning an X Box360 did he?

Mar 25, 2009

Do You Have A Uniform?

I just realized the other day as I was waiting for my favorite outfit to come out of the dryer that I have a uniform. Every chance I get I wear my black Danskin sweats and a white long sleeve t-shirt and another shirt over the top. I just realized, as I was getting ready to describe the shirt that I wear over the top to you that I probably do not match so I am much too embarrassed to describe it to you. (But I am not too embarrassed to tell you I wear it everyday :) Anyhow, I love this outfit. It is so comfortable. I confess I wear it pretty much every day. I even saw a picture of myself wearing the shirt that I wear on the top and it was not particularly flattering but I am trying to push that picture into the back of my mind because in my mind I think I look great in this very comfy outfit :)

I realize more and more as I observe all the clothes in this house that we all have a few favorite things we wear regularly and everything else just hangs around taking up space. There are so many cute things in each closet that I always hope someone will wear but they never do. It really is all about being comfortable. I really should realize this and just get rid of everything else.

So I am off to get my "uniform" out of the dryer and head to Costco.

Mar 24, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences.

Here in Massachusetts a couple of weeks before the actual conference night you call the high school to schedule your kids conferences. Every time I call it creates complete chaos for the secretaries at the school. It takes,whoever answers the phone, an enormous amount of time for them to wrap their little minds around the fact that I have 3 kids at the high school and that I need to schedule 4 conferences for each one. The girls each have 7 teachers but there is not enough time for me to see all 21 teachers so I have to choose which ones I want to see. All three of the girls happen to be doing fabulous in school at the moment so I didn't have a teacher I "had" to see. So I asked the girls to each choose the 4 teachers they wanted me too see.

Madeline insisted that I would get a "kick" out of her philosophy teacher and she was right. She was my first conference and as I walked in the door the teacher said, as almost an aside, "Madeline has a A in my class but I do wish she would talk a little more in class," then for the next 9 minutes she covered everything from Rush Limbaugh to stem cell research. I did not get a word in edgewise. She was fascinating to listen to but my conferences are booked solid, every 10 minutes, and I had to run back and forth from 3rd floor to 2nd floor so I was a little nervous as she kept expressing her views as I was trying to back myself out of her room. But Madeline was right this 64 year old philosophy teacher, with multiple earrings in her ears, and oh so many opinions was something I needed to see.

I do not care how well my kids are doing in school I never miss conferences. I go twice a year. The teachers are bewildered by it.....that I would spend 2 hours of my Monday night coming to see them when I do not need to ? I did not know that I was unusual. I could not imagine people not wanting to go to conferences. If for nothing else go for the entertainment value.

I really want the teachers to know who I am. I have a lot of kids that will be going through this school in the future and how will I know which teachers are good and which may have issues if I do not start meeting them? My girls wait anxiously for me to get home from conferences and they all pile on my bed and want to hear every single detail. What the teachers said about them, what I thought about the teachers. They seem to enjoy knowing that their teachers have met their mom. And they like that the teachers know about their families. Since the girls are all getting mostly A's and not causing any problems I often get to spend the allotted 10 minutes just chatting with the teachers. It is amazing what opinions you can form about someone in 10 minutes. :)

My hardest conference last night was one of Amanda's teachers. I am intrigued and irritated with this teacher. I really would love to understand him. Amanda has never had anything less than an "A" in her life. All her conferences are the same, "responsible, hard worker, smart girl, a little too quiet, love her." So when I walked in this guy's class last semester I was floored as he started talking about Amanda, I was sure he had the wrong child matched with the wrong mom. But he really was talking about my Amanda. And she had a "C" in his class ? I wish I could take him with me to all her conferences so he could see how much what he says about Amanda differs from what all the other teachers say about her. I think he may pride himself on knocking "A" students down a notch. It has been a tough lesson for Amanda. But she did not want to get out of his class. And last night he mentioned this fact to me and said that, the fact that she had stuck it out when she could have gone to a different class and received an easy "A" said something to him. I smiled at him but I confess in my mind I was thinking some things that I would never, ever say.

For some reason in our town all the parent teacher conferences for all the schools are on the same evening. I am not sure how that brilliant idea got approved? So, since I can not be three places at once I always call the middle school and schedule Joe's conferences for another day and I call the elementary school and do the same thing.

It is amazing to me, as I carefully watch and form my judgements of all of these many teachers that I meet, how many different personality types choose teaching as their profession. I guess it makes sense since we all have different personalities. But oh, how frustrating it is to be in a class where your little personality does not match your teachers little personality. And you both delight in making life awfully difficult for each other. That happened to me with Mrs. Felton in 6th grade and I still feel horrible for the trouble I caused Mrs. Felton. It also happened to me with Frau Pearce in my high school German class but I confess I do not feel one bit bad about the trouble I caused her. :)

It is very interesting to me that ME, "Ms. Talks Way Too Much in School" has only ONE out of 7 kids that gets in trouble for "chatting" in school. ( Can you guess who the chatty one is?) JOE!!Teachers are constantly saying to me that they really wish they knew what my children were thinking.....let me just tell you that I always tell them that they should not ever wish to know what my children are thinking and that they should count their blessings that they are quiet in school. :)

Mar 23, 2009

Some Things I Learned Over The Weekend.

If you take a post it note and run the sticky side between your keys on your computer keyboard it will pick up the annoying dust.

Going to the Bishop's storehouse, that is two hours away, to do service from 12:30 to 4:30 on a Saturday and listening to everyone who works there talk about the "times" we are in can highly motivate you to get yourself some number 10 cans with some necessities in them for yourself.

If you read the first chapter of a really good book right before a very busy weekend you will have to suffer all weekend because you will not be able to read it. ( I carried it with me everywhere though...just in case I could sneak a few pages.)

If you are gone all day Saturday your family will not do the laundry for you unless you ask them too. ( two couches FULL of laundry this morning and still three loads left :)

You can buy ribs without bones and they are very yummy. We were served them at our friends house and my kids can not stop talking about them. And I love that they are not as messy as the ribs with bones.

If Monday is going to be a half day of school all throughout the weekend all 6 of your children will make the plea that there is no point in going to school anyway so, "Could they just stay home?"

If you rent Bolt and Beverly Hill Chihuahua in the same weekend you can have some serious, high quality, quiet time.

Make absolute sure you are not giving up anything important when you decide to use 2 plus hours to watch the movie Australia.

Letting your 13 year old play air soft guns with his friends ALL day Saturday is a good way to create a very quiet, submissive child for Sunday.

The kids always "inhale" the first boxes of strawberries that you buy in the spring.

When the paper says, "lacrosse parent meeting from 8:45 pm to 9:30 pm" they are lying. They meant 8:45 pm to 9:00 pm...thank goodness.

Do not spend all week psyching the 6 year old up about her swim lesson and work very hard to plan your whole busy life around it because there is a really good chance the teacher will cancel the lesson and not call you to let you know.

Do not leave a cup of milk on the counter when you go to church Kitt-Romney (the cat) will always knock it on the floor just for the "sport" of it.

Always check the 13 year old's room when he says he did put his laundry away. He may have forgotten the definition of "away".

You can send the 18 year old in your car, all by herself to drive the 25 minutes to Amherst to pick up Joe's special waffles and bread and she will not get lost, pregnant or addicted to drugs along the way....YIPPPPEEEE.

You can not dwell all weekend on how Sun is going to get 30 years into the past to get Gin. And how you desperately want Sawyer to stay with Juliette.

Your kids will actually manage very nicely at home, alone, all day Saturday while you are gone giving service at the storehouse and your husband is climbing Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.

So how was your weekend?

Mar 20, 2009


How do you feel about choosing? Do you like to make choices? Last night was book club at my house. Once a year we have a book club meeting where we choose the books we will read for the next year and last night was that meeting. Everyone brings whatever books they want to recommend, we go around the room and everyone talks about their books. In the end everyone gets 10 , very precious, votes to vote for their top ten favorite books. Only ten because we only meet for 10 months out of the year.

By the end of the day I was tired of making choices. I had to choose what refreshments to serve. I had to choose which books I was going to bring to book club. I had to choose whether to clean both downstairs bathrooms or just one :)

But I finally did choose 6 books that I was going to bring. It is so hard to limit myself. I am one of those girls who from day one has always brought a huge stack of books home from the library. Since I know everyone is always looking for something new to read let me tell you what books I brought and then I will tell you which 10 books were chosen so you will have 16 new book ideas when you are done reading my blog today.

I brought:

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
This is a great story told by Will Tweedy who is 14 and lives in the VERY small town of Cold Sassy, Georgia. It is about his grandpa whose beloved, saintly wife dies at the beginning of the book and how grandpa shocks the town, by very soon after the death marrying a young milliner in the town by the name of Miss. Love. It talks about how the town deals with this, how they gossip, how mean they are, and how things finally work out.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This is a true story a woman wrote about her growing up years. She is a well known journalist and for years hid from the public how she had grown up. She had nomad parents who were very free spirited, stubborn, non conforming people. They rarely had money and just were not very responsible parents. But she writes about her experiences growing up in a very generous way. And it is very interesting to see how she and her siblings survive and how they succeed despite their parents. At times the book is a little shocking but I love it because you can have a great discussion when you read this book. And I am always all about the discussion I mean, how fun is it if you have nothing to say about the book?

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
I resisted reading Rebecca for a long time. But the minute I picked it up I was sucked into it. It was written in the 30's and was extremely popular. It is a romance, suspense. And how do I get you to read it? Let's see there is handsome, rich Maxim who has a secret. He marries again after Rebecca dies and brings his second wife back to his estate, Manderlay, and all sorts of fun starts.

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
An "outlier" is a superachiever....I am one :) Don't you want to know how people succeed? What causes them to succeed? What your chances of success are? What Bill Gates and the Beatles have in common? Malcom Gladwell also wrote the Tipping Point and Blink and they are all super interesting....even though I have not yet read them :) but I totally believe all the reviews. Trust me, Malcolm has a gift for explaining anything to anyone.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My sister Sarah told me about this book. Stephenie Meyer, you know.... the Twilight author ?, highly recommends this book on her website. I bought it for Madeline for Christmas since I really wanted to read it and Madeline loved it. It is about an America in the future that is a TV dominated dictatorship run from a city called the Capital and the highlight of the year for the 12 districts is the Hunger Games, a bloodthirsty reality TV show in which 24 teenagers are chosen by lottery to fight each other in a desolate environment called the arena. It is about a girl whose little sister gets chosen by lottery to participate in the Hunger Games and about how the older sister volunteers to take her sister's place. I fear it may be violent but I am still too curious to not read it.

Expecting Adam by Martha Beck
Raise you hand if you do not know who Martha Beck is... she is Hugh Nibley's daughter. She is not a Mormon. And I confess I do not know how to tastefully describe how I feel about her. So I won't. But this book is interesting. All about her pregnancy with her Down Syndrome child. I think from a Mormon perspective what interests me about this book is how she has so many spiritual experiences and yet refuses to acknowledge them for what they honestly are.

Our 10 books that we are reading this year are:

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales
I am very anxious to read this one. It is all about how who lives, who survives and why. "True stories of miraculous endurance and sudden death."

Princess Bride by William Goldman
I have always wanted to read the book. I have heard so many people say it is great. But I do not know what could beat actually seeing it :)

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
My 18 year old Madeline decided to join book club and she brought this book. It is about 3 men in the 1950's who all thought it was possible to break the 4 minute mile and about how they set goals and suffer setbacks to achieve this goal.

The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace
This book is a tale of a young man's search for answers. And the few reviews I read about it were good.

The Life of Pi by Yan Marten
This is a young adult book that I have seen in the bookstore and the library tons of times but never actually picked it up. So I am interested to finally see what it is all about.

The Dog Says How by Kevin Kling
This book sounds very funny. It is just 29(?) short stories all from Kevin Kling's life. Incidentally, the author has performed widely on NPR as a storyteller. Kevin has a withered arm so he has a voice-activated computer and he got the title to his book from the fact that whenever his dog barks the noise sensitive computer says"how" and whenever his cat meows the computer says"why." I could find nothing but great reviews on this book also.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I confess I have never read this book. I think I own it and I know I have heard about it. But I have no idea what it is about so I am really looking forward to reading it. I again read some reviews about it and I am very intrigued by the compliments for the style of writing in this "coming of age" tale.

Vienna Prelude by Brodie Thoene
Have you ever seen a book and known you had read it but you realize you can not remember when? That happened to me when I saw this book last night at book club. I knew I had read it....actually I am thinking now that maybe Kay recommended this series to me. :) Vienna Prelude is the first in the Zion Chronicles and I am interested to read it again and see if I can remember where I was when I read it the first time. It drives me crazy when I can not visualize where I was when I read a book.

In The Heart Of The Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Nathaniel Philbrick also wrote The Mayflower. And I loved that book. I find his writing style very enjoyable. This book is about the tragedy of the whaling ship the Essex. It covers the whaling ships voyage around Cape Horn into the South Pacific and all about the ship being rammed and capsized by an enormous sperm whale. Apparently the Essex capsizing in the 1820's was huge news in New England and New York and 8 of the crew survived. Yes, you guessed it I am excited to read this one also.

Mar 19, 2009

When Did I Start Caring...Or Have I Always, Naturally, Cared?

I have been wondering for some time now when did I started noticing things, caring about things and realizing things? Surely I could not have been 5 and noticed that the fixtures in the bathroom were not perfectly shiny....or maybe I really have always been this "way"? I will cut the 13 year old boy some slack but shouldn't the 15, 18, and 14 year old girls in this house be doing some noticing, realizing and caring? Where have I gone wrong?

Like the sink in the bathroom at what age did I start realizing that while I was brushing my teeth I could run a wash cloth around the outside of the sink and over the fixtures and then when I was done brushing my teeth when did I realize I could run the water for a few seconds longer and wash out the sink?

When did I come to understand and care about closing the plastic bag that conveniently comes on the_________? (fill in the blank with your carbohydrate of choice)

Hair gathered on top of the drain in the shower? When on earth did I first notice you could grab it and throw it in the trash can and not suffer through a shower with ankle deep water?

What about loving your sister? When did I become good friends with my three sisters?

Chalk. When did I realize that if you leave it out in the rain it never works correctly again?

Trash cans....when did I learn that if the trash can is full I could empty it and then there would be room in it for more trash?

When did my conscience starting getting the best of me when dishes were left somewhere other than the kitchen?

When did I start carrying my own trash in from the car? (someone in this house may try to tell you I still do not do this but this someone is not very creditable. :)

When did I notice that brownie crumbs that I, personally, drop on the floor are happiest if I pick them up before someone steps on them and smooshes them flat into the hardwood floor?

When did I realize that if I left my favorite hairbrush out in the "open" that someone would inevitably use it and that I had no one to blame but myself?

So many questions. So many kids living in my house that do not ask them.

Mar 18, 2009

Dearest PTA.

Dear PTA,

Yes, I received your information about all the fundraisers the school is participating in. Be reassured that it has been coming in the backpacks and by e-mail... daily. I actually did very carefully read all one million of the papers and e-mails. And I thought very intently about if I needed sweet smelling, light giving candles or food for the family and sadly for you I decided it should be food for my family....not ever so nice sweet smelling light. I even went through my whole address book to see if I was right that I really did not know 20 people that I could send a postcard to begging them to purchase magazines through my kids school so that hopefully (fingers crossed) my kiddos could win a VERY needed Scooby Doo glow in the dark t-shirt.

You did a fantastic job of making my kids think that participation in these fundraisers was going to make or break their social lives. They both went to school in serious tears today realizing all the dreams and hopes they had for being the top seller and winning a trip to Florida for the family had been dashed by the only mean mom in the entire school. They are even a little worried that their class members will ostracize them for being the only ones to ruin the chances of the class winning a prize by not turning in the fundraiser forms.

I totally understand how much you need the money to do fun things and buy fun things for MY kids. Although I have noticed that neither of my kids have been on a field trip this year... but maybe that is because they have not participated in the fundraisers. :)

I know it may be hard to understand why on earth someone would knowingly have 7 kids when they know that supporting school fundraisers is such a huge part of their kids self esteem. I realize I really should have factored school fundraisers into the decision making process way back in 1988 when I decided I wanted to be a mom.

The good news is that I am probably raising 7 kids that will be completely obsessed about making sure their children never have to suffer embarrassment the way they did when they were kids. I imagine, after they finish therapy, they will be the kind of parents that will take their kids to every single door in every single neighborhood in town so that they can be the top seller. They will be the kind of parents that can not wait to get the fundraiser forms in the backpack. Maybe the whole family will sell the items together and then get ice cream for the whole school when it is over. So I guess in a twisted way I may be helping you out. :)

Most Sincerely,

the bad mom

Mar 17, 2009

Spending Their Own Money?

I think most of you already know that Joe and Miriam have paper routes and both have more money in their bank accounts and wallets than I ever do. I have been letting both of them just spend their money how ever they like. I just keep myself aware of whether they are giving the amount they need to to our church and then I just let it go. I do not micro-manage their money. Partly because they are both great at saving. Joe has (actually the appropriate word is HAD.....a little foreshadowing, for your reading enjoyment. :) over $400.00 in the bank and he has not yet had the paper route a year and during the last 9 months that he has had the route he has purchased his own Wii, his own portable DVD player, his own air soft gun, numerous Wii games, a $50.00 Christmas present for Amanda, the Ironman DVD, and the Indiana Jones DVD, plus he has all that money in the bank.

Last Saturday morning he decided to put all his money that was in his wallet in the bank. So he drove to the bank and deposited every last penny. But by Saturday afternoon, after playing air soft guns off in the woods with 4 of his friends, he decided the money would be happier at home with him. He even wondered out loud if the "bank was a safe place for his money right now." Which means he was contemplating a purchase, he wanted a BETTER air soft gun. For the first time I hesitated about him spending. But the child was obsessed. And he did say, way too many times, that it was, "HIS money," which is true, and he does have, "a lot saved," which is also true. So even though his dad said he could NOT take money out of the bank Joe spent all afternoon yesterday looking for his bank book and with my blessing went with Madeline to the bank to withdraw some money and go purchase an electric air soft gun, the spring loaded air soft gun that he already owned was a distant memory.

When they got home from their mall excursion Amanda was fairly bursting to tattle that Joe spent $149.00 on his air soft gun upgrade. To make a long story short let's just say that the new guns are currently in top of Brian's closet and Joe got in a little bit of trouble from his dad for spending that amount money and I got in a little bit of trouble for letting it happen. :) Joe laid on my bed last night while I was working on my Seminary lesson and just kept mumbling under his breath that it was HIS money and he should be able to do with it what he wants. Is that true? What do you think?

The picture I posted of him is one they took of him to put in the paper a couple weeks ago....very staged....but oh so cute :)

Mar 16, 2009

98 Other Requests.

Okay, I have been a member of Facebook for about three months now. I am really enjoying checking everyones status everyday and I love that I have reconnected with some people that I "always wondered where they were and how they were." I also love that if I need to get a message to someone I now have another way to reach them. But there is something I am struggling with....

REQUESTS!! 98 of them. I guess it is clear I have a problem. I take so long to figure things out that I have not taken the time to figure out what on earth it means if someone sends me a, "water balloon request" or a "what princesses are request." I guess you all already guessed that I have been ignoring them. Not actually committing and clicking the ignore button but just letting them sit there. So many applications, so little time. Maybe I should just collect them and see how many I can get? The problem with that is guilt. All these people have gone to the work to send me a request and I am "ignoring" them.

I have 17 kidnap requests. Last time I checked you usually do not ask somebody if they want to be just kidnap them and that is that. Now I understand this may show my ignorance I mean maybe all 17 of those people have already kidnapped me and it is a done deal. If that is the case they should all get together and coordinate their efforts. Also just FYI I have been told I am "high maintenance" so you should really rethink kidnapping me. I actually just checked and I have honestly and truly been kidnapped... to many amazing places like, Tokyo, Quito, and London to name just a few and not only that I have been kidnapped with the, "Olympic Toilet Flush", The "overstuffed suitcase," and the "creepy London Fog." If only I knew what it all meant and of course I am wondering if my kidnappers are enjoying my constant demands for salad with the luscious blue cheese dressing from The Market Street Grill in Salt Lake City?

I have 10 "cause invitation requests," how many do you have? Again, I am SO sorry but the only causes I can be involved in right now are the:

"fixing dinner cause,"
"losing weight cause,"
"making my bed everyday cause,"
"blogging every day no matter what cause,"
and the, "meeting the emotional needs of 7 children cause."

Is it wrong that I do not have time for the, "getting pedophiles banned from Facebook" cause? Or the, "Mormon's are Christian" cause?

And then there is the really painful requests. The ones that are causing me much mental anguish. I mean how could the girl who was voted, "most friendliest" in her Senior class be ignoring nice peoples requests to give me chocolate (fake Facebook chocolate but chocolate nonetheless), hugs, to be the nicest person...not just once but 4 times, I even ignored one sweetest person request. What is wrong with me?

I have some, "Dr Phil test requests" which I am afraid to take..the answers would probably give me way too much information about why I am ignoring all the Facebook requests.

I am even ignoring 3 "relative requests" so do not feel bad that I am ignoring you I am apparently ignoring family too. For no special reason. I actually just found out I had them.....not the relatives, the requests. :)

Mar 13, 2009

The Tour.

Okay, here is the deal. I spent all day yesterday painting my bedroom. And now I want to show you how amazing it looks and I can not for the life of me get a good picture of it so I think you all need to come on over to see it and ohhh and ahhh at way that my my good friends Kilz and Behr have transformed my room and I think even my very life. Yes, paint can do that and so much more for did I waste all those years with white walls not knowing that happiness was one or two perfect colors away? So since I can not get a good picture of the room I am going to tell you all about it in great detail so that you catch the vision and of course be jealous.

Let's start with describing the "before"..... hmmm let's just say......WHITE, yes, that is the perfect word, every wall, every baseboard, the molding around the two windows, the curtains, the ceiling, the paper in the books on the bookshelf, the paper in the printer.....all white :)

My bedspread is my very dearest possession and is definitely what I will grab if the house ever catches on fire. Every time I went to Kohl's for about 6 months I would always "check on" this particular bedspread. I looked at it so much that when Christmas time came around a couple years ago, and Brian happened to be in Kohl's shopping for me with the five year old, she could confidently take him straight to the Chaps bedding section and point out the bedspread "that mommy likes and always looks at." It has reds, browns and greens in it.

I guess I should also cover in the background information the exact location of the master bedroom in our house. I know when you hear this you will think you would never be so stupid as to buy a house with a master bedroom in this location but you have no idea what kind of houses we looked at before we saw this one. And you have no idea what kind of house we came from. So be kind when I tell you that you walk in my front door and my bedroom is EXACTLY to the left. I mean EXACTLY.(check out the picture on the left up there at the top ) The front door covers the doorway to my room when it is open all the way. You may not know it but there are some positives to this situation. I can keep very close tabs on the teenagers. What? You want more positives? I will get back to you with my entire list it is really oh SO long and boring. :) Suffice it to say that the master bedroom is seen by all and I need it to look nice. When company comes over they naturally end up in my room. Which I actually do not mind a bit. But you would think it would motivate me to make my bed more often. :)

So when you walk in my bedroom to your left is a wall with two windows on it. They face the front porch and the front yard so that I can see all my guests arriving ;) The wall that is straight ahead of you is just a plain old wall. On your right is the bed and beyond that a door to our walk in closet and a door to the master bathroom. And that pretty much covers it. I have a red rug from Ikea on the floor. I have a really nice bookshelf I managed to "acquire" from my parents many, many eons ago. And I have a small computer desk with an old chair sitting at it that is from the former Dean of the libraries at the University of Kansas' home.

I knew I had to paint the wall on the left, the one that had the windows with white trim around them and the white curtains on them, I guess anyone would know all that white needed a color :) It really was very easy for me to choose my color.....brown. The first time I walked in Natalie and Tatiana's dance teachers house in Indiana about 2 years ago and saw her brown, Pottery Barn inspired, walls I knew someday, someway I would have a few brown walls somewhere. When the time finally came choosing the perfect shade of brown was very tough. Anytime I had walked into a house with brown walls in the past two years I would always ask what the name of that brown was and I think I am the only person in the world who remembers the name of her paint because no one ever could remember their color. Or maybe people do not like to share that information? Maybe that is why there are all those shades of brown so no one can be the same? Hmmm I may have to blog about selfish secret keeping painters sometime in the future :) It is definitely a conspiracy I am not in on because I will tell you the name of the two brown walls in my bedroom is "chief." Now when I think of the word chief I think of the color red so it threw me off a little and now that I have "chief" on two of my walls in my bedroom I am darn sure they meant to name it "Hershey."(They probably chose the name before poor unsuspecting "chief" was born and decided it was such a hassle to change the announcements they had already printed.) It honestly is the color of a Hershey chocolate bar. I painted the other two walls in the room with that Ralph Lauren oatmeal color that I have used in other parts of the house. And I LOVE it. The brown looks so nice up against all my white molding and trim. And the reds look great with the browns and the oatmeal color.

Amanda claims my room looks like two kinds of pudding chocolate and vanilla. I do NOT adore that description adn I mumbled about it under my breath for quite awhile after she said it. And I asked all the other kids if this description was true and they all emphatically declared it was NOT like pudding.....poor Amanda...the only child willing to speak the truth. :) All two of my friends that have seen it absolutely loved it. And it was not the fake pretend love it was very real love. And I definitely can tell the difference so do not try to fake it when you see it :)

I will take some more picture now that the sun has moved and see if I can get a good picture that is not glaring. But if it does not work you should book your tickets to Massachusetts soon because I need you to see my room. :)

Mar 11, 2009

My Philosophy.

In our ward here in Massachusetts we have this very adorable girl who works at a TV station in Springfield. I know for sure that she anchors the weekend news and I know she does other things too but sadly my brain has not done a good job of retaining that info. We have had this girl and her hubby over to dinner several times. We love fun conversation and they are always willing to oblige. I would love to do anything I could for her. But yesterday I discovered that maybe that is not true. :) She is searching for someone to do a grocery shopping piece for her for the news. A piece showing me grocery shopping and explaining how I save money in these tough times and feed my 7 children. She had called a few people and was not having any luck finding someone willing. Funny how you imagine that you would jump at the chance to be on the TV and tell the world your philosophy then when the moment comes you are not so sure. I think the thing that held me back from yelling, "heck, yes" to her was that I had this realization as she was talking that I am, very sadly, not sure if I am that great of a shopper anymore.

What does it mean to be a great grocery shopper? I must not have much of a life because I laid awake last night thinking about this topic. The Baird family is in a very expensive phase of our lives and I am wringing my hands every day wondering how to cut things back. (what? give up movies and eating out with friends?) I have a missionary, a child heading to BYU, (she is strongly encouraged to get more scholarships since her older brother had his whole first year completely covered) and 5 other kids in varying stages of need at home.

When we were first married and lived in Princeton I really think I was a great grocery shopper. We had 4 kids by the time we left Princeton. I got $60.00 every week to go grocery shopping with, I cut coupons, I made lists, I NEVER went over that $60.00. I was afraid I would melt away if I did. Plus, I would always take one kid shopping with me and it would be their "special time" with me. AHHH the "good mom" days.

That 3 years in Princeton was the "Mt Everest" of my shopping career, things basically went downhill from there. It happened slowly and very sneakily as everything evil does. You go over your budget just that one fated week and your nice husband covers for you and then all restraint is over when you realize you have an "out" and that you did not melt as I afore mentioned.

I did not do too bad grocery shopping in Lawrence either. But how can you go over your budget with a Checkers and an Aldi together in the same town ? My money went super duper, fantastically far. I got more lax with the menu and "making a list" thing but I had a little more money to spend so I got "cocky." I always had enough money and I never remember noticing prices going up, like I do now days. I did not clip coupons anymore. ( Do you see how carefully and slowly without me noticing things were going downhill?) It was in Lawrence that I first started noticing how other people shopped and if they paid attention to prices or not. I started getting out more with girlfriends. I remember harassing Kristy for buying grapes that were not under a dollar a pound. SO sorry Kristy. :)

Everywhere I have lived I have always been able to find cheap places to shop. But of course Massachusetts had to change that. I was shocked when I realized last night that I do the majority of my shopping at Costco. (my 30 year old self would be aghast!) I was shocked when I realized I buy things I never used to buy. (Eggo's and Nutri Grain bars) I was shocked when I realized that my kids can be in a house full of food and think there is nothing to eat because what they mean is that, "there is nothing with a wrapper on it" to eat. I lost the plan and I can't get it back. My lame excuses:

I have older kids that eat more.

They need food for lunches that is easy to take to school.

They eat 24/7.

I have no control like I did when they were little.

Sit down and eat dinner is not as easy as it used to be.

I offered my TV friend a few suggestions of people that shop oh so much better than I do and would not embarrass themselves on televison. And I realized, as I was offering suggestions, that the people I suggested were all young mom's, not evil mom's of teenagers that just do not care anymore about being better :)

I mean can you imagine me on the television telling all of Massachusetts that I buy Nutri Grain bars in bulk from Costco? Shame on me. I should be making my own and posting the recipe for you all.

Mar 10, 2009

All About Flying.

Oh hello, my little Dell computer sitting in my bedroom, on the computer desk, that I stole from Zach, I missed you so. Yesterday was my first full day home from Utah and I could not even get within a mile of the computer because the kids had a day off of school. So I used my time wisely,I shopped and I cleaned so that today I could spend many guilt free hours on the computer today blogging, Facebooking and e-mailing.

So about that flying thing.... how could I possibly describe to you how much I love to have control? The only way I have figured out how to have control over the whole "out of anyones control" airport thing is to show up to the airport way too early. Everyone thinks I am crazy when they ask me when I am going to the airport and then they ask when I am leaving. After I tell them I can usually see them fighting the urge to ask me if I know how many hours that is. Yes, I do know that my flight is at 6 and yes, I do know I arrived at my seat in front of my gate at 3:20. But it was an ever so peaceful experience. :)

But then along came trouble, in the form of "mechanical difficulties." I had exactly an hour layover in Atlanta and due to those "mechanical difficulties" with my plane in Hartford I had to run like I was on steroids (but I am not :) to catch my plane in Atlanta. I arrived to the door of my flight to Salt Lake City at 9:31 was scheduled to leave at 9:35 pm, I could see the plane sitting there looking at me but according to the Delta folks I was too late. I had never had that happen to me before. It is the whole reason I do the "early to the airport thing." But this was one of those times where you just have no control over anything so you just have to let it go. They gave a whole bunch of us meal vouchers and hotel vouchers. I used the meal voucher at the one restaurant that was still open at 10:30 at night in a airport for a very cold piece of $4.00 pizza but I decided that my little personality would function best if I slept in the airport. I have slept over night in an airport before in the Midway/Chicago airport and Atlanta was definitely an upgrade. The cleaning people were not near as noisy, the lighting was not too bright, the seats move together to make a very cozy bed, and they let you sleep in the terminal by the gate. Whereas in Chicago they made me sleep down in baggage claim.

The last couple of times I have flown I have found myself thinking how I think my future will include me being a stewardess. I think I could handle showing people how to lift up the metal flap on the buckle and where the exits are and I could definitely hand out peanuts and drinks. But then someone mentioned to me how you may have to be tall and that you have to be calm if there is an incident...and I am definitely not tall and I would like to think that I could be calm but then I remembered the time I got my fingers stuck in the beaters of my hand mixer (don't ask) and I panicked and had to call Brian at work so he could remind me that I should try pressing the eject button for the beaters to solve my problem. How comfortable would you be with your stewardess calling her husband as you were "going down" to ask him what she should do?

I ended up traveling this time without any good reading material and trust me that will never happen again. I have never ever had that happen before. On my flights home I solved that situation by buying a $7.00 copy of Revolutionary Road. I have continually been tempted to see this movie so I finally decided that reading the book would be a good idea, it definitely kept my attention, but it made me realize that it was a really good thing that I did not see the movie. The ending of the book caught me quite by surprise and I had never any idea from the previews that this particular "yucky" ending was coming. So I am glad I again made the choice to "read" the rated "R" movie rather than see the rated R movie. :)

I think religiously watching the TV show Lost has made me rather silly. I found myself looking at all the people sitting and waiting with me for my flights and wondering which one would be Kate, which one would be Jack, which one would be Locke.....etc. Very entertaining.

It is so strange to chat with someone on the airplane and realize that you will never see them again in your life yet you know that they are in dental school and their boyfriend lives in Alabama and they go to dental school at UConn.

I have noticed that when I do travel that on at least one flight I always have the pleasure of sitting behind or in front of a "ME" guy. This is the guy who talks and talks and talks about himself, how much HE flies, all the important places HE flies, what an important guy HE is, did I mention HE talks about how often HE flies? If HE is so important why is HE not sitting in the first class cabin far far from ME? I never saw the face of the "ME" guy on my flight from Atlanta to Hartford but I know way too much about him, that he just flew to China, that he has flown pretty much everywhere on this planet and that he thinks the guy next to him wanted to know all about his successful life.

And somewhere right now someone is blogging about me, the girl they sat by on their flight, the girl who had to keep blowing her nose, who puts Carmex on every 2 minutes, the girl who read an entire 463 page book on the flight, the girl who seemed a little panicked about her hour layover in Atlanta and made little nervous comments about it hoping someone would want to chat with her about how it made her feel :)

Mar 4, 2009

I Am Off.

Hey, all my best friends, I am flying to Utah today to spend all the money I do not have on suits, white shirts, belts, ties etc for Zach who is heading off to Estonia for his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When I am done with all this preparing I will be able to write a book about "How to get your child ready for a mission while you are two time zones apart." :)

I have not been to Utah in oh so many least 6 years...I think. I have not been on BYU campus since Brian and I left Utah in 1991. I imagine things have changed a ton while I have been living my life in Kansas, New Jersey, Indiana and Massachusetts.

I am meeting Melissa, Kathy, Kelleen, and Kristy in Provo on Thursday night to eat at PF Changs. I am staying with Kristy in Salt Lake City. And I am SO excited. Brian is worried I won't focus and remember that my main priority is getting Zach ready and not partying. Brian is also a little worried about Zach and I shopping together. You see Zach and I are both money conscious freaks and we do not believe in, "you get what you pay for," well I guess we do believe, we just can not muster the strength it takes to spend the money.

I confess that the strangest thing about living far away from family your whole life is that your family becomes the people in your ward at church. So I am feeling a little guilty that I love extended family but I am more interested in seeing my old friends. They know so much more about me. They have been there witnessing all my struggles. They have been my family. I really do not have any idea what it is like to live by family. You know, I could see my cousins on the street and not recognize them? How sad is that?

Anyway, I will be back on Sunday night and back to blogging on Monday. If you miss me you should look through my old posts there are more than 250 of them and there is actually some really good stuff in the time we rescued an injured seal, stories about the kids with chalk and all about our trips to Boston and New York City.

Mar 3, 2009

Deciding It Does Not Matter

When do you decide something is not worth pursuing? When do you decide to make something an issue or not? When do you let them just face the plain old consequences? When do you indulge their notions? When do you MAKE them do something?

My child number 2 is graduating from high school this year and child number 2 definitely gets notions. Like the time in 8th grade that she decided that she did not like the way we chose to spell her name and she changed it. Just like that. There ought to be a law. I think Madeline looks so much more elegant than Maddilyn. I am not one of those people who is into creative spellings of the originals. But I let it go. Even though it hurt my feelings a little. And even though I wish she could see how "hokey" the spelling Maddilyn looks. I mostly let it go because when I was in Jr. High I decided to change my name to Guinevere. I did not have the determination that Madeline has and did not carry this notion very far. I gave up pretty quickly.

Madeline's latest notion is about graduation from high school. We have only lived here in Massachusetts a year and three months and Madeline does not feel like that has been enough time for her to want to do all the graduation stuff at her high school. I have been thinking and thinking about this decision she has made. Will she regret it in years to come? No pictures in a graduation gown? No walking in rows with other kids....that she does not know. No memories? I think when she sees herself graduating she has always seen herself in Indiana so she can not wrap her mind around any other idea. And frankly I am okay with it.

I have never been the kind of mom to get too deeply into the ceremonies and rights of passage involved in life. I recognize them, understand their significance, but I do not obsess about them. I do not feel like I will die if I do not see my child in a cap and gown walking to Pomp and Circumstance with hundreds of other children. My only worry is that she may regret it. But isn't life full of regret from decisions we made? Honestly where does high school graduation fit into life? Would you be the same person you are today if you had not worn that gown and walked?

She is a straight A student. She was the captain of the track team. She made it to All State's in the hurdles and long jump. She is in National Honor Society. She took all AP and Honors classes. She got accepted to BYU with a half tuition scholarship. What more could a mom want? I probably should be grateful that she does not care what other people think of her and that she makes her own decisions. So I am going to let the "not going to actual graduation thing" go. I am going to make her write about her decision so she can have something to look back on years down the road when her kids want to know about her high school graduation. I am going to be grateful that I am saving all the money that graduation costs.

Did you ever miss anything that you wish you wouldn't have? I have a small list in my head of things I wish my parents would have MADE me do even though I know they never could have made me do them. We need someone to blame for our regret other than ourselves. :)

Mar 2, 2009

Every Single Time

Have you ever noticed that there are certain words you ALWAYS type incorrectly? Please, do not tell me if you are perfect and that never happens to you. I have several words (4 means several) that when I type them I never get the letters in the right order and these words are starting to really bother me. Here they all are in their uncorrected forms so that you can analyze them and get back to me:

form (from),
nto (not)

Maybe I should try writing without them? I never took a typing class in high school. I am definitely a "hunt and peck" kind of typist. I never look at the screen when I am typing I always look at my fingers. Which is why I really do not understand why those four words are always wrong...they should not be. All those myths floating around out there about piano players being good typists...definitely wrong. Piano and typing have nothing to do with each other.....other than needing your hand and fingers for both. :)

Mar 1, 2009

Usually This Does Not Happen.

Usually when I am sick I just ignore it and it goes away. This time that plan did not work. In case you report me to the "stupid" police let me defend myself...... I had to ignore it...... Brian was in Texas and Louisiana all week. Seminary still had to happen. Piano still had to happen. Fixing food still had to happen. Paper routes still had to happen. And I know it may be hard to believe but my children did not just hold hands, skip, sing, clean the house and take care of themselves. They.....gasp..... fought and made messes.

So when Brian finally got home midnight Friday night I let down just a little and when I woke up Saturday morning I knew something was definitely not going right. I had been sick for a week. I had plugged through my whole week with a constant fever. What? You do not think I should brag about that? :) But Saturday there was a new twist, my chest was so tight. My cough was so wicked. I had sick, ugly, very large fever blisters on my previously beautiful face. :) I was so weak. I even called the doctor but you see in Massachusetts you can not just show up at a doctor if you are sick the doctor has to have met you sometime before while you were well so that you could be referred too as an "established" patient and then when you are "established" the doctor will care that you are dying and he will not brush you off on the emergency room. So many rules that make no sense. So many rules that create emergency rooms where you wait for hours. Needless to say the cruel heartlessness of it made me cry for a good minute and even caused me to think for a moment if there was some way I could hurt the doctors practice....but nothing came to mind. :)

So I got up and drove kids around and while I was driving I sheepishly called my two sensible Indiana friends Joan and Allison to explain all my symptoms. I was starting to panic a little because I have to get on an airplane on Wednesday and fly to Utah and I need to be able to PLAY and I needed the cold sores to be gone....never mind the tight, painful chest thing. I just cared about the outward appearance :)

By the time I got home from running kids I knew my plans to shop for Zach's mission stuff and maybe a new shirt for me (for my trip) were not going to happen. I crawled into bed. Miriam and Joe crawled in with me and we watched, While You Were Sleeping, Dumb and Dumber, Dumb and Dumberer. And then Tatiana and Natalie crawled into bed with me and we watched Snow Buddies. I felt guilt. I knew there were things I should be doing. But honestly it was exactly what I should have done. I feel much better today. There is no food in the fridge but I feel better :)

The cold sores? Let me tell you about the magic teeny, teeny tiny $20.00 tube that I bought at CVS. It changed my life and gave me hope and I will definitely insist that a grandchild be named Abreva in honor of the awesome cold sore miracle medicine. You can put it on 5 times a day and believe me I am.