Nov 30, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog.

Well we pulled into our beloved driveway this morning at 3:00 am. Even at 3 in the morning the kids were able to muster one last fight as they piled out of the car and headed dazedly to their beds.

I have so much to tell you about and so much that I wondered about on this epic road trip that I was thinking we should just go have lunch together today. I could just talk your ear off and you could sit there smiling at me, occasionally interrupting me your very wise and clever replies. It would be so much more fun that way and it would get me out of my sweats and pigtails......please, please, please..... just say yes.

Alright, I guess you are right, that is not very realistic (are you surprised that I came home from my trip still not realistic :) so I guess I will just dump everything that is on my mind here in this blank blogging rectangle so that you will know what to look forward to reading about this week and then I will go face Mount Laundry, grocery shop and stare dejectedly at the trash in the very "lived in" car.


Drinking Caffeine at Midnight...I am so relieved that I do not have to face Mr. Dr Pepper again until our next road trip.

Getting Up Early to Shop?...Yes, I went. Yes, I purchased. Yes, you want to know every detail.

The husband, killing chickens and messing with time.....Yes, you should not miss this one.

Advice to People Getting Married....went to a wedding reception on this trip..the first wedding reception I have been to of kids I really, really knew and I confess I had so much on my mind as I sat there thinking about weddings and receptions and such.

Driving By Your Old House....it had been two years since the kids had been back to Indiana.

Somewhere in Idaho Listening to, Cheaper By The Dozen....places we have been and the books on tape we were listening too at the moment.

So, my friends I am very excited for my blogs this week. But do be warned that if something major happens like I lose ten pounds, find my self confidence, my curly hair does not frizz, the children peacefully deal with their differences, or the husband gives me his man room..... that our regularly scheduled programming will be interrupted.....but I highly doubt that will happen :)

Nov 24, 2009

Road Trip.

Oh drat....I will be gone for a few days. Most Thanksgiving's the Baird family stays home and invites people from our church over to eat with us. We always talk about traveling but usually Thanksgiving break seems to small to justify a long drive somewhere. But this year it somehow seemed longer. We have rarely spent Thanksgiving with family. Everyone is too far apart. And that is okay with me. I grew up with Thanksgiving being that way, we always had people from our church over to eat...never blood relatives.

This year I realized my two youngest girls have not experienced many Baird family road trips and decided it needed to happen. So tonight at 7pm we are off to Michigan to visit my sister Becky. We will drive all night and arrive in the morning. Aunt Rachel from Pittsburgh is coming too. It is the first time we have seen Aunt Becky in at least three years so we are looking forward to it. Riding horses, swimming in her pool, shopping, fighting with cousins, shooting skeet, and much more :)

A very important part of a road trip for us is books on tape. I spent hours in the library yesterday trying to choose books on tape that would appeal to ages 7 up to 43. It is always a challenge. I am excited because I got Mayflower by McCullough. It seems very appropriate.

On Saturday morning after hanging in Michigan we are going to head to Indiana to our old stomping grounds. The kids are excited to see old friends and attend our old church building there. And then we will drive like the wind to be back to Massachusetts by Monday morning :)

I will post on Monday when I get back. I will think of you all when I have my turn at driving from midnight to morning :)

Nov 23, 2009

Over Thinking Color.


I need things to be symmetrical. I need things to flow. I need everything to match. All I really need is for things to be perfect. These small personality traits that I have been born with have really put a damper on color ever happening in the Baird house throughout the years.

Wait, hang in there, you already know that this story has a happy ending. When we moved to our brand new, very plain, very white house in December and spent a long New England winter with white trim, white walls and white snow on the ground outside something finally clicked and I realized that color was necessary and thus my desire for color was finally born. After I had the desire I had to find Mr. Courage. It took a lot of reading about how to paint and how to choose colors before I was able to convince my fears to go away finally able to recognize that the worst thing that could happen would be that I would have to paint over something. After I was able to realize that I was free to paint. I researched and researched. And in the name of research I took more of those little free color squares from Home Depot than I would ever admit to taking. I tried to notice when I saw a color I liked. I tried to figure out what items in my house had a color I really loved.

To make a long story short... I am now the proud owner of 2 red walls, 2 hershey brown walls, 4 New England "cottagey" blue walls, and several that are the color of Ralph Lauren's oatmeal. I still have a lot of plain old white walls but I am working on it.

Now that I have dealt with my fear of color I have come to the next problem which is that of accessorizing. Some people are born with the ability to accessorize, others are not. I do not have the gift. I don't wear earrings, I never wear necklaces, I do wear bracelets. I never wear scarves. I do not own a belt. I know being able to accessorize is what sets us apart from the animals but I am a dismal failure at it. There are hardly any pictures on my walls and I own hardly any kitsch. I am heavily into simplicity. I abhor clutter. It is very difficult for me to justify purchasing stuff that does not have a purpose. I want my clutter to be meaningful. I want to remember something or someone when I look at it. I will tell you a deep dark secret...I do not even have pictures of my children displayed around the house. Please don't report me to the accessory police I am actually, ever so slowly, seeing the benefit of accessorizing my house but I have no idea where to start.

So I have two bathrooms that are completely painted, that have curtains, and even some shelves hanging on the walls I just need to locate some accessories :)

Nov 20, 2009

Nothing.....

What I have accomplished today:

Watched New Moon from 12:01 am to 2:22 am.

Fell into bed at 3:00am....

Got up at 4:45 am and finished putting together the fruit pizza we took to Seminary today.

5:10 am drove in the pouring rain to Seminary in Springfield....Did you know I drive by the Basketball Hall of Fame twice everyday? It is located three minutes from our church building.

Did not exercise today...dozed in the car while the teenagers were in Seminary.

Drove back to Westfield.

Missed the turnoff to the high school as I was, yet again, day dreaming.

Turned around in the Dunkin Donut Parking lot where the answer to the requests for donut holes coming from inside my head was a resounding NO.

Dropped the girls at the high school

Tried to keep my eyes open as I drove home from the high school.

Walked in the house, walked straight to my bed, fell asleep in my coat.

Gave the 7 and 10 year old getting ready for school instructions from the comfort of my own bed...(still in my coat)...... this was an amazing discovery as I have never tried it before. Note to self: try this again :)

Got up at 8:30am and actually took my coat off :)

Checked e-mails and changed Facebook status

Thought about making a list of what I need to accomplish before we drive to Michigan and Indiana next week...but didn't do it.

Did the dishes.

Finished taping the upstairs bathroom.

Dropped one of the light fixtures in the upstairs bathroom and broke it into a thousand pieces.

Had a philosophical discussion with Gail on the phone while touching up my paint job from yesterday.

Had a philosophical discussion with Jenn D. on the phone while still taping the walls in the upstairs bathroom.

Read 3 reviews of New Moon, online.

Prayed about how to get my husband to stop commenting on my Facebook page.....noticed he is also on Madeline's page all the time maybe she and I can put our heads together and come up with a plan to convince him that his own Facebook page is just as fun as our Facebook pages :)

Decided to blog about pretty much nothing...but thankfully, Jerry Seinfeld has established that sometimes the most interesting things are about nothing :)

Now I am off to make myself some soup for lunch and to long wistfully that I had a Hickory Farms beef stick to eat with my swiss cheese and crackers :)

Nov 19, 2009

The Meanings of Words.

You know how I love words. I love to look up their meanings, knowing what they specifically mean is very empowering to me. I want to use the perfect word whenever I can. I try to think very carefully about my words when I write and I should think about them a little more when I converse face to face :) I hate when I hear someone use a word in a conversation but I am not totally sure what it means. I hate even more when I decide to live on the "wild side" and use that word in another conversation and then I have that small wonder in the back of my mind if I used the word right? I always seem to have a word or two that I am wondering about in my mind. And even though I know it could spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for my little old over thinking, love to take things literal, but cute mind I can never resist the urge to look up the word.

At church on Sunday a friend and I were chatting and this friend mentioned to me that I might want to practice being apathetic and that it might solve an ever so small problem I am experiencing. Well I realized I was not totally sure what apathetic meant, so on Monday morning I looked it up and discovered that if you are to behave in an apathetic way you have to appear unconcerned, uninterested, AND indifferent.

Whew, I do not think I have ever been any of those three words...EVER. I definitely see the benefit of having these words in your life. I have tried with all my might, at different times throughout my life, to appear to be unconcerned, uninterested, and indifferent but I really can't do it. I live life differently than that. I mean you probably already knew that the antonyms of apathetic are emotional and concerned. Yeah, that's more like it, that's more Jennifer.....sigh. I found it interesting that this friend is a guy and that guys are often quite gifted at appearing unconcerned, which is actually a very good thing, it has a calming effect on those of us not currently embracing the apathetic way of life.

One part of being apathetic that I really like and I have mused about many times before is the, "not caring" part. When "that" genie finally appears in my life and grants me my three wishes I need to be very careful, and make sure that I don't just blurt out that my first wish is to, "not care." I definitely care way too much. Being apathetic does not seem to be a good thing according to all the "experts" on google. But I still long for just a little bit of apathy. I knew that when this friend mentioned the benefits of acquiring apathy he did not intend for me to take every bit of the definition of apathy literally but it is fun to really research what a word means.

So now when someone tells you you need to get yourself some apathy you will know what it is and when you figure out how to get it will you call me....on my cell phone.....and make sure they take debit cards :)

Nov 18, 2009

Everything You Wanted To Know About Midnight Showings But Were Afraid To Ask.

It's official. I am attending the midnight showing of New Moon. I mean everyone knows that if a movie comes out that has the name moon in it you must attend at midnight :) I really honestly, went back and forth on when to see New Moon. I asked friends what they were doing a few weeks ago and strangely no one likes to commit to plans as early as I do. I secretly wanted to go to the midnight showing but I was having a hard time finding someone who does the, "midnight showing thing." I tried to convince myself that I did not need to see the midnight showing, I even said out loud a few times that I did not need to do the midnight showing....but, I lied....to myself, and possibly Jacque and Jenn D :)

So this morning when I was exercising on Gail's elliptical and she asked me if I wanted to go to the midnight showing of New Moon I blurted out, "yes" with tears of joy (another lie...the tears part). I had thought about asking Gail if she wanted to go but I knew she had not read the Twilight books so I did not ever imagine she would want to participate in the madness. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong. So I cut 5 minutes off my exercise time, skipped the Health Rider and we purchased the tickets on line at 6:18 am from the comfort of her home. I was interested to see that they had already loaded up 4 theaters with New Moon viewers in our theater in West Springfield.

My first midnight show I ever saw was The Holy Grail at BYU. A pack of us walked down to the off campus movie theater and I confess I immediately fell in LOVE with midnight showings. Since then I have seen many more midnight showings and I have even occasionally taken my children to see midnight showings, yes, on a school night. What have I seen at a midnight showing? All the Lord of The Rings movies, Star Wars prequels, and some of the Harry Potter's. There are not many other movies that have been released at midnight...Spider Man, Batman, and The Pirates of The Caribbean sequels. Most of the midnight showings of movies are reserved for B type movies. Movies whose titles I would never recognize in a million years.

When did the midnight movie thing start anyway? Yeah, you know that I had to know. Midnight showings started in the 70's and they were a screening of non-mainstream movies that was designed to help build a cult film audience. The words midnight showing, B movie and cult film are actually all synonymous. (yes, in case you were wondering I did spell that without a spell check :) It is a purely camp experience. You will not be surprised to know that midnight showings started in New York City.

Speaking of New Moon let's chat for a moment shall we? My Madeline begged me, and begged me, and begged me to read those darn Twilight books. I resisted for quite awhile. But when we moved to Massachusetts I had nothing to do, no friends, no life. It was the perfect scenario for a series. So I decided I should give these books about werewolves and vampires a chance, even though it seemed ludicrous to me to imagine that I would like them. But I did like them. And now like every woman and young teenage girl in the world who has read them I have the very realistic idea that there is a vampire somewhere out there that loves me no matter how human I am. He sneaks in my room at night and watches me sleep, thinks I am beautiful...not "cute", which I get way too much, but actually beautiful :) Did I just ruin your notion that I had a grip on reality? :)

So tomorrow night I am attending book club and then heading over to the theater. Amanda is going with me. The show is 2 hours and 15 minutes long and I live 25 minutes from the movie theater which means I should get a good 2 hours of sleep before I have to get up for Seminary. And no we will not skip Seminary because we have been assigned to provide breakfast this week :)

Nov 16, 2009

Are You On Time?

I did it. I left Amanda this morning. It was not easy. She likes Seminary. She wants to be there. I like her to be there but every morning Miriam and I are sitting in the car waiting for her. I pull out of the garage. I sit there and wait. I pull a little further down the driveway and sit there and wait. Usually she comes bursting out of the front door with her arms full of her cross country stuff, her backpack, her shoes, her socks, a cup of milk and a bag of cheerios. But today....nothing.

I looked at Miriam and I said, just like I do everyday, "I am leaving." She replied, just like she does everyday, "You always say that and you never do." But today I did it. The deal that is understood by all is that I have to leave the driveway by 5:10 am in order to be on time to Springfield. Today I waited until 5:13 and then I just left. Amanda called me at 5:19 when I was already in town. She was hysterical. I could not understand a word she was saying. I just told her very firmly but in a friendly tone that I was not coming back and hung up.

I always get ready the night before. I find things, I set things out, I think ahead. I can not seem to pass the joy of this feeling onto my daughter Amanda. Who is very neat and very organized. It is bewildering to me. Out of all my children she is the most capable of having a lunch made, clothes picked out, and cross country clothes washed, yet she does not do it.


What does one do with someone who proceeds slowly or tediously? There are 78, 400,000 results on google for how to help someone to stop being late. Clearly it is something a lot of people have a problem with. Can you really teach someone not to be late? That anxious, sick feeling I get when I am late....where did I get that from? Where do you get your sense of how long it will take you to be ready? Will she always be this way? Will she even learn anything from me leaving her? :)

Nov 13, 2009

Sign Ups Are Happening Now.




Dear Baird Children
,

I have just done my morning, "walk through" of our house and assessed the damage you have manged to inflict in just a mere 18 hours.....8 of which you were all sleeping. I regret to inform you that there are some mandatory classes you will be enrolled in. Resistance is futile. There are some things that I thought you would just come knowing and that is not the case, you are actually all defective. Since I have lost the receipts from when I purchased you and can not return you it is clear we must have a little intervention. So please take note of the classes you are REQUIRED to attend. If you do not attend them I will no longer fix your dinner, drive you everywhere on the planet and deal with your daily dramas.


Getting to know your towel.

This class is not just about your common everyday dry towel it is also about your wet towel. Wet towels have some preferences and it is well worth your time to figure out what those preferences are. So come learn how to either; hang up your wet towel or...gasp...put that wet towel in the laundry. This class will be held in the upstairs bathroom.


Appreciating Your Hangers.

You may have thought they were just for untwisting, straightening out and using to cook marshmallows over a fire but in this class you will be shocked to discover the other lesser known use for these devices found hanging in your closet. Please bring your own kleenex because in this class we will be exploring how shirts, skirts, pants and dresses feel inside when they are laying on the floor getting trampled on. This class will be held in Miriam's closet.


Closing The Top To The________. (insert favorite cardboard box item you daily open here)

A previous and working knowledge of air and hands is required for this class. In this class we will practice inserting the tab into the little slot convienently located on the top of the cardboard boxes. This skill will be useful anywhere you go since most people who purchase groceries have some of these cardboard boxes in their home. This class will be held in the kitchen.


What to do with an empty pitcher.


All that is required for this class is thirst. In this hour long class we will practice drinking the contents of the pitcher, learning to recognize the bottom of the pitcher and practicing what to do when you do see the bottom of the pitcher. It will go against everything you feel but you will soon see the brilliance involved behind the skill of, "putting the empty pitcher in the sink", that I will personally teach you in this class. This class will also be held in the kitchen.


Returning The Scissors and Tape.

For this class you will need to provide your own scissors and tape since mine are missing. But when you come be prepared for fun. We will be traveling to every room of the house where we will all sit in that room and cut and tape an item for a school project then we will map the best way to travel from the remote location to the kitchen drawer which is the natural habitat of the scissors and tape.


Ever SO lovingly,
Your director of fun,
MOM

Nov 11, 2009

Ruining Everything.

Okay I just have to get this off my mind today. I know you love being inside my mind and knowing everything I think about and all the misconceptions I have...I bet those are your favorite. You really do not even have to read this post it is just for me to get it this off my mind and say it out loud.

Anyway, do you have a friend that no matter what you do it seems like you are always saying the wrong thing to them? Are you always having to apologize to this friend?

I have a friend like this. This person has been a friend since the 80's. We have not kept in touch all that time but we have been and always will be friends. It is one of those type of friends that you had a great time with and hung out with but didn't really actually know that well. You tried to get to really know them but it was hard to get them to open up. But you always loved doing things with them.

Well I am friends with this person on, "gosh darn Facebook" and it has been fun to reconnect. In reconnecting I have found out so much about this person that I never knew about them.

The bummer is that I have made every possible communication mistake possible with this friend. I have never had to apologize in my life as much as I have had to apologize to this friend. I have not come off as myself at all. Almost like the whole friendship is doomed. I may have tried too hard. It may be possible that I am over thinking.....I never do that :) I did not know if you knew that it is very hard to read people when you are just communicating on Facebook so maybe that is why I keep jumping to conclusions and messing everything up?

So it has been awhile since I heard from this friend and last night I had some time and this friend was on my mind so thought I would just go to this friends Facebook page and see how they were. I typed the name in the search spot and uusually the name you are starting to type pop's up but this time it didn't. I have dial up computer that is oh so slow so I figured it was just being slow so I did other things for awhile and then tried again....hmmm it did it again. That got my attention. SO I pulled up my list of friends which are arranged so nicely and alphabetically and I found where this persons name should be and it was gone. I really did not know what to think. I sat there processing for several minutes. I really actually totally understood why the name was no longer there. I pulled up Facebook "help" because I had heard rumors of people blocking you or unfriending you and I wondered if that was what had happened to me? I read about both and figured that must be it. I felt sad but I knew that there was nothing I could do about it. As I told you I have had my foot in my mouth the whole time I have been reconnected with this friend. I really deserved what ever I got.

So to make a long story short at some point I sent this friend a message ( no I did not wonder how I could send them a message :) just to let them know that I understood and that I would never bother them again. I really am the one to blame.

Then I started thinking and I went back to my profile and pulled up my friends list again and went to that spot again where the name should be and lo and behold my blood ran cold the name was there right where it should be. I hate my dial up computer....pure and simple.

What was done was done I yet again failed at being a normal person :) I would try to fix it but I have been on a crash course anyway. How many times can you misunderstand and say the wrong thing in a friendship? I am bound to do it again and again and again so I better just let it go and spare this person the agony of me and my over thinking mind. I do wish they will have fonder, more sane memories of me in their mind but it is a little too late for that. Aaaaarghhh misunderstanding how I loathe you :)

Nov 10, 2009

Things Your Mom Told You That May Not Be True.


Today I was cutting out coupons and I noticed on the page with Lysol products that there was a little box next to the coupons with HINI Safety tips written in it. I smiled to myself wondering how much money Lysol is making right now. Because how would you be disinfecting "commonly touched hard surfaces" without Lysol? Then my mind started wandering and I realized I wanted to blog about myths today. Whoa, no I don't think HINI is a myth...my mind just wandered as it so often does.

I love it when myths are wrong because I am a, "hands off" mom. I own one bottle of ibuprofen that I purchased from Costco, who knows when, and my dear friend Karen uses it way more than the Baird family does. I never have medicine on hand. I take my babies to church the Sunday after they are born....which is probably why they all have anger management issues as teenagers :) I rarely have Kleenex. I let my kids read in dim light. I let them go to school without coats. I do not care if they swallow gum. And the worst? Read this in your whisper voice....... I let them eat sugar.

So this morning I decided to Google some of these myths to see what I could discover. And if I seem a little giddy as I tell you what I found it is because I am being validated and that rarely happens so be happy for me and continue as you were :)

Okay, so you know how you always hear parents saying how their kids have had so much sugar they are bouncing off the walls? Well I googled, "Does sugar make you hyper?" and there was overwhelming evidence that it does not in any way affect behavior. More than 20 studies have been done on the subject and I read the results of 5 and it seems that situations where kids would tend to eat a lot of sugar are situations where they are going to be excited anyway...like parties or family gatherings etc. If you want them to be hyperactive you would have to give them a ton of caffeine, crack or dopamine. Sugar actually has a more opiate effect on your brain. Think about how many people eat sugar to comfort themselves? Would they eat it if it made them feel hyper? Now the part about it being bad for your teeth and the part about it making you fat.......both true :) And now is the part where I confess that I let my kids eat, and eat, and eat their Halloween candy until they are sick...then I have them brush their teeth and we are done....no non stop begging for candy.


How many of us say to our kids that they need to wear a coat because they will catch a cold? I said that until I had my first junior high age child who wore shorts and no coat to school in Kansas winter and nothing happened to him. So, you guessed it, I googled, "Can you get a cold by going outside without a coat? "And the answer was a resounding no...matter of fact who really needs coats ? :) JK. It turns out people think catching a cold is from being cold because people seem to get more sick in cold weather but the reason they get sick more is because they are inside more cooped up with all those adorable germs. Rhinovirus which is the cause of colds actually is technically dead so he is not even affected by temperature at all. Guess what? You can even send your kid outside with wet hair in the cold with no coat and nothing will happen....well, except they will be cold :) And no you can't get pneumonia from being cold either :)


I love to read and I will often be reading somewhere and my husband will ask me if he can turn on the light. I always answer no and without having any proof I tell him, "that is a myth." It turns out I was right...reading in dim light does not affect your eyesight. In 2007 this myth was actually listed as one of the top 7 medical myths that even doctors are likely to believe. Think of the generations of pioneers that read by candlelight and they all seemed to turn out fine.

It is funny how there are certain phrases that parents just always say because their parents did without ever wondering if they are actually true. It was so easy to just google it and discover that they were all myths and now I can go back to being a bad parent and have a little less guilt. Unless......GASP...... google isn't true and then my little world is definitely in trouble :)

So have fun eating as much candy as you want, not wearing coats and reading in dim light...actually try all three together and see what happens :) And before you start spreading rumors about me I do teach my children to tell the truth and to be nice to other people.

Nov 9, 2009

Addiction.

"The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma."


Every once in awhile I just need to make sure that Mr. Blog knows who is boss. He often tries to make sure everything is all about him. I would love nothing better than to oblige him but the thought that blogger.com could run my life is a little scary. So I sometimes force myself to back off and to do without expressing every thought in my head for just a few days just to prove that I can.

Are you enslaved to anything? I really preach moderation anytime the subject comes up. Do I practice it? Good question. I do as soon as I realize I am not doing it :) Apparently the word is if you are alive you are probably addicted to something. I am trying to think what I have been addicted to in my life? What am I enslaved to? What can I not live without?


Reassurance.....no reassurance is not a brand new caffeinated beverage...why would I be addicted to something normal? I instead have to be addicted to, "a positive declaration intended to give confidence," and be sure to notice it is not just plain old assurance but RE-assurance.....just great. I hate that I need to know I am doing okay from someone other than myself.


Flannel Pajamas...Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring you name the season I am wearing them anytime after 9 in the evening. I have been wearing them since high school. My college room mates enjoyed teasing me about them. But I adore them. The cessation of flannel nightgowns would definitely cause severe trauma to me.


Well manicured lawn..... I honestly do not necessarily care what is growing in the area where lawn is supposed to be but it better be mowed. On October 9, 1999 if you were looking for me you could have found me mowing my lawn..how do I know? Because I was three days away from giving birth to Tatiana and I was mowing the hill in my front yard and the hill in my backyard in our yard in Kansas. Don't feel too bad about it I am still making my husband pay for it :)

Roller Coasters.....The minute Six Flags New England( which is 35 minutes from my house) opens I become obsessed with figuring out how I am going to get there as many times as possible. Once I am there I am obsessed with riding the roller coasters as many times as I can. When I am not at Six Flags I am often thinking about riding those roller coasters. I love to share the Six Flags experience with my friends but my uncontrollable need to literally run from roller coaster to roller coaster really cramps my friends style...I may have to start going...gasp...alone. That is definitely not a good sign if your addiction makes you want to be alone :)


Asking Questions....I do love knowing what makes everything tick.


You see addiction is caused by the emotion that the substance or behavior brings about in the user. The body and mind become dependent on that feeling and seek to maintain it. If you are addicted to something you apparently can not be cured you just have to learn how to control it, withstand impulses, and recognize it. So that means that I am a ticking time bomb and any minute without your support I could go back to:

Watching Survivor, Amazing Race, and Ugly Betty every week.
Needing a Reese's peanut butter cup every time I went to the grocery store.
Needing the dishes to be done before I went to bed...(so glad that addiction is gone :)
Folding the socks.
Needing straight hair
Purchasing People magazine....yeah, very embarrassing time....I justified it because it was better for me than that Reese's peanut butter cup...so I would reward myself for not getting the chocolate by getting People magazine....okay, now it is your turn to over share :)

You know there are some addictions I could use:

Folding clothes right when they come out of the dryer
Flossing...I do floss just not twice a day
Putting the lid on the toothpaste...my only fault.
Not caring if you like me.
Determination...yeah that one skipped me completely :)

So I am back to blogging but don't forget every once in awhile I may need to take a few days off because I don't want to become addicted to entertaining you....do I?

Nov 4, 2009

All About Raking.

I know, I know, I missed you too. The day just does not seem the same does it? Wednesday is a tough day at the Baird house. Usually I can work in a blog but not yesterday. So if you promise not to be jealous of what I did without you I will tell you.....

First it was all about getting ready for cub scouts. Den meetings are on Wednesday night. On Monday I always look through all the cub books and decide what I am going to do for the weeks activity just in case I need time to prepare something special. Then on Tuesday I usually do absolutely nothing that has to do with cub scouts. Then Wednesday I work hard on it all morning. I have to organize activities for Bears, Wolves, and Webelos every Wednesday. It is almost more than my brain can handle:) I do "mucho' better with uno focus rather than tres. But that is the way things are here in New England so I must learn to do the best I can. But I am just saying, for the record, give me one thing to focus on and I am your best friend.....forever. I do not have an official label for my condition but I am sure that could be arranged :)

Anyway, I spent the morning browsing on Cub scout web sites. Very educational and a little depressing but it needed to be done, it helps me stay focused as best I can so I try to check them out once a month.

After my, "cub scout morning" I was ready to face what really needed to be done.....raking leaves. Tuesday night Miriam, Tatiana and I raked the whole front yard. We decided to make the biggest pile of leaves ever made right in the middle of the lawn. So we brought our music outside and we raked, and raked, and raked. When we were done we all jumped in the pile then it was time to face the reality....bagging the leaves. My least favorite part of my relationship with the leaves in my yard is bagging them up. I was very proud of myself this year because I bought a huge package of 25 brown paper lawn and leaf bags from Costco. These bags are enormous, so enormous that my little old petite arms cannot reach all the way to the bottom to open them properly. So what would you see if you drove by my house when I was bagging a pile of leaves? You would see my two legs sticking out of the bottom of a lawn and leaf bag, you see I have to put the sack over my head and push my hands against the bottom of the sack to get it to open completely. My kids think it is hilarious. I am always happy to entertain :)

Anyway, most years I buy a package of only 5 lawn and leaf bags from Wal Mart and then I have to go back the next day to buy more, and then I have to go back the next hour for more.... forever in denial about how many leaves I actually have. That is why I was so proud of myself this year for buying 25 in one shot. I imagined I might even have some left for...gasp... next year. I imagined people complimenting me on my foresight :) I even imagined the left over ones sitting on the food storage shelf in the basement. But can I tell you that all my visions were dashed when we used 13 bags for JUST the front lawn. So that left a much bigger back yard AND two long side yards for (let's see 25-13 = 12) the 12 bags that were left. Yeah, I was bummed out. And then can you imagine how really bummed I was when I woke up this morning and could NOT see my front lawn again? Aaaaarrrghhh.

Well I love to divide things up. It just makes everything more do-able. So today my goal in my head was to get leaves and acorns into piles. I really do love to rake leaves...minus the acorns.....and the bagging part it really is fun. You know the rumor is that I could just forget bagging and rake everything into the woods. You see on two sides of our house there is deep, dark woods and a lot of people in New England give their leaves back to the woods without a second thought. But I confess, I have this small thought in my mind that they will end up back in my yard the minute the wind blows so my first choice has never been to rake them into the woods. Although I do longingly think about it when I am bagging my leaf piles :)

I felt a little panicked when Miriam arrived home from school at 2:30 pm and I had not even touched the back yard. You see it is supposed to rain and snow tomorrow and Friday and I just want the leaves done. So I decided it was time for the riding lawn mower to serve two purposes at the Baird house.....leaves and lawn. So I asked Miriam to mow the leaves in the back yard while I was doing the paper route....I told her I just wanted to see what would happen. She was not happy about having a job since she was "busy." But when I pressed her for a definition of busy and she stated the word"facebook" I knew I had her.

When I came home from paper routes I did not even go in the house I just headed for my rake. And as I headed for the rake the back yard caught my eye. I walked back there staring in disbelief, not a leaf in sight.....well not a leaf on the grass. I ran into the house calling Miriam's name. When I found her I said, "I think we found what you are good at." She laughed. But seriously she just mowed, and mowed, and mowed those leaves and now they are little teeny tiny minuscule pieces that will actually nourish and strengthen Mr Lawn. I swear to you all I will never buy lawn and leaf bags in bulk again. I got her to mow the rest of the yard and.....the neighbors yard too :) It truly is a miracle how easy and perfect it was.

So the yard is leaf free for the moment and I had a small chat with the rest of the leaves that are in the trees and I told them that they must at least have the decency to fall in the night when it is dark and I can not see them. And I mentioned to them that the neighbors yard is much better than mine :) Also, I thought I should mention that next time you are looking to buy a house you might want to count how many oak trees are on your property. And understand the consequences of your choices :)

Nov 3, 2009

Eeyore Lives Here.

The old grey donkey, Eeyore, stood by himself in a corner of the forest, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he did not quite know what he was thinking about.

So when Winnie-the-Pooh, the bear, came stumping along, Eeyore was very glad to stop thinking for a little, in order to say "How do you do?" in a gloomy manner to him.

I have been thinking for many years about Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh. Ever since I came to the realization that I had a real live Eeyore living in my house. I was very startled when I finally casually mentioned to someone, that for lack of a better description, I lived with an "Eeyore" and this person immediately knew what I meant and admitted to me that there was an "Eeyore" in their family also. I since then have discovered that most people seem to have a good picture in their mind of what you mean when you see fit to mention that you, for some reason, gave birth to a child with an "Eeyore" personality. Although I guess if you really analyze Rabbit, Piglet and Tigger things could be worse :)

Wikipedia describes Eeyore using the words, "pessimistic, melancholic AND depressed." Whew, that's a pretty intense character analysis for a stuffed donkey made into a cartoon character. So as I read a few analysis's about Eeyore (yes, people have had time to analyze Eeyore) I discovered that Eeyore actually has some good qualities too. He apparently will pretend to help his friends because he has, "nothing better to do" but secretly he enjoys it. Also, Eeyore does not view himself as gloomy. That's a relief. Although now that I think about it have you ever heard anyone describe themselves as gloomy? :) Eeyore is also very smart but he chooses to keep his knowledge to himself. And Eeyore is very capable of a lot of compassion which apparently he showed one time when he grew a plant that Rabbit was unable to grow just by showing it a lot of love.

SO I could not help myself, after reading all these big words describing Eeyore, and I went straight to dictionary.com and looked them up:

Pessimistic is defined as, "a tendency to stress the negative, or unfavorable, or to take the gloomiest possible view."

Melancholic is defined as," sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness."

Depressed? Do I really need to define that? You know what it is, right?

One thing I noticed as I read these definitions is that the word gloomy appeared everywhere.

I worry about my particular Eeyore all the time. I do not want life to be hard for this child and I can not imagine that if you are gloomy all the time life will not be tough. As all mothers do I often wonder what I have done to cause this. I also have been known to search my mind frantically to see if I have ever met any grown up Eeyore's. Or if it is something you possibly grow out of? I sadly, do know some grown up Eeyore's. They are very helpful people but they do tend to have a, "that can't work" kind of attitude and they adore pointing out to you what is wrong with your plans. And they do speak their mind. But those are not necessarily bad things. I like to know where I stand with people and to know that I can trust them and you always know you are safe with Eeyore's. Trust me, I live with one and I know that they will always tell you what is what :)

To give you some better ideas about what an Eeyore would be like here are some of Eeyore's quotes:

"Thanks for noticing me."
"If it is a good morning."
"It works. Didn't expect it to."
"Days. Weeks. Months. Who knows."
"Most likely lose it again."

When I think of the opposite of Eeyore I think of Pollyanna. Pollyanna was always was figuring out how to be glad about everything. Playing the glad game. When her mean aunt puts her in a upstairs attic room with no pictures or decorations she declares that she is ever so glad she has a room and that she has an amazing view because she is up so high. In the Pollyanna movie there is a quote that is sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it." I am pretty sure that is what Eeyore does, looks for the bad, I actually know because I have one at my house :)

Nov 2, 2009

In A Muddle.

Have you ever thought or acted in a confused, aimless way? Have you ever made a mess of things? How about being in a confused mental state? Well I recently learned that all of these things are defined as being in a muddle...... so congratulations you can join my muddle club. I fear I am the queen of muddles :)

SO how on earth did all this talk of muddles come up? Well I was finishing up reading my book A Room With A View this weekend and I came across the word muddle. I never noticed it when I read the book before but this time it caught my attention it actually spoke to my soul :) I quickly fished in my purse for something to write with and as if my life depended on it I started diligently underlining all the information about Miss Honeychurch's muddle. You feel so deeply for her when old wise Mr Emerson declares to her on page 422 that she is in a muddle. The book is almost over and you have been reading along for 422 pages feeling anxious as you have watched Miss Honeychurch arrive at her muddled state. You have longed to tell her. But Old Mr Emerson does it so well that it is well worth waiting for I mean listen to what he says to her, "There's nothing worse than a muddle in all the world. It is easy to face death and fate, and the things that sound so dreadful. It is on my muddles that I look back with horror_on the things that I might have avoided."

Miss Honeychurch has been lying to herself avoiding any opportunities to confide in anyone, even her own mother, because she knows that confidences just might lead to self knowledge and self knowledge always leads to light which is sometimes not as comfortable as the dark. She does not want to deal so she just keeps lying. Oh don't worry Miss Honeychurch figures it all out in the nick of time and gets to marry George. But it is oh so painful until that time arrives

I wish their would have been a old Mr Emerson in my life pointing out my muddles. You see if someone points out your muddles and persists long enough and you just happen to listen just the right amount of time all of a sudden you can feel the layers of darkness that you have created falling away piece by piece until you can see all the way to the bottom of your soul and have that amazing moment of realization. Once Miss Honeychurch realizes what has happened she declares sobbing, " I'm caught in the tangle." I know that feeling that, "being caught in the tangle" feeling. Sometimes you are so caught there is nothing you can do. The earlier you face the muddle the better. But you really have to know yourself or be hanging around with someone who has enough courage to warn you of the muddle. I wonder if people in my past saw my muddles and didn't dare to meddle in my muddle?

When I googled muddle just to see what would come up there was nothing good in regards to muddles....there was insurance muddles, there was Barak Obama muddles, there was a Bush vs Korea muddle way back in 2005, and there was a man named Debesh who lives in India that is caught in a muddle of some type.

So here's to avoiding muddles. When you have that moment that you can see the whole of everything at once even if it means you have to be incredibly brave and admit something you don't want to I am pretty sure it is worth it I mean nothing can be good about a tangle....right?