Cheaper by the Dozen

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Yes dear readers, I'm really going to spend an entire week being self-indulgent about my birthday. I have birthday pictures and memories to share - and I'm going to spend the entire week reading all of my favorite books. I figured after spending eight months listening to me whine about the books that I don't like, you might be curious to see what books I actually do like.

But before I get to today's book, I have a few pictures to share from today's birthday party, which was wonderful. My birthday party is the one day of the year when I don't have to look at food that I'm allergic to because my family indulges me and eats boring allergy-free food with me. Isn't my family nice dear readers? But, lest you think I'm a total birthday Nazi, let me assure you dear readers, that I did let them eat real cake while I ate my dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free cupcake (which was surprisingly good.)

Here I am attempting to read a few pages before opening my presents. I'm sure this won't come as a surprise to you dear readers, but one of those presents contained Dallas DVDs. Wow, the dog somehow knew exactly what I wanted. Yes, that's right, the dog. Today I learned that turning 30 will not change anything about the way my Mother views me, she's still going to give me a present with a card "signed" from the dog - and I think I can safely assume she's still going to give me a present signed "From Santa" at Christmas. I played the part of the dutiful daughter and pretended like it wasn't the weirdest thing ever that I was opening a present signed "Love and Licks, Oliver." And now I'm going to have to put myself on strict birthday present lock down - no Dallas episodes until after my blog entry is up for the day.

And I want to thank you dear readers for the present you gave me. I desperately wanted to get to 200 followers by my birthday, so I was very excited to hit that number two days early. Here is my reaction to finding out that follower # 200 had just shown up:

I think this picture really conveys the excitement that I felt at that moment.

Shortly after this picture was taken I forced my family members to share their favorite Angie memories. My brother's all time favorite memories include: trying to squeeze my hands in an attempt to try to make them fall off when I was a baby, saving me from choking on a Mentos (which I have already mentioned twice on the blog, but someone didn't realize that because he doesn't even read the blog), and getting sent to his room from the table while I had a look of triumphant on my face that said "I won" as he walked away in defeat. Apparently he has no memories of me that don't involve fighting or near death experiences - but at least he shared a memory, unlike my Mother who responded to my request/demand by telling a favorite memory of my brother (otherwise known as "the golden boy.")

Today's book, "No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. And there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank Jr, in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches."

Shallow thoughts:

  • Today's book has been one of my favorites since I was ten years old. I love this book - and intensely dislike the movie that was based on it. I would have liked the movie, if not for the horrible casting of the Frank Gilbreth (however, Myrna Loy as Lillian Gilbreth was perfect casting.) And I disliked the recent remake even more - which is absolutely nothing like this book (other than the part about the 12 kids) despite some editions of this book having a picture from that movie on the cover. It always pains me when I'm in a bookstore and I pass that version of the book.

  • I have always been fascinated by big families - but anyone who has read about my ongoing love/hate relationship with the Duggars on my Twitter page already knows that. But, unlike with the Duggars, I don't spend the entire book feeling like I want to slap the Gilbreths silly, or muttering "I hate him" or "He makes me sick" under my breath (three guesses which one of the Duggars I say that about.) But I do not enjoy this book solely because of the large number of children - what I like the best about it is the gentle humor. It's not the kind of book that will make you laugh out loud, but it is amusing in a delightful, old-fashioned sort of way.

  • Favorite passage: "Put out your hand," Dad would holler. Eleven hands - everybody contributing one except Mother and the babies - would emerge from both sides of the car; from the front seat, rear seat, and folding swivel chairs amidships. We had seen Dad nick fenders, slaughter chickens, square away with traffic policemen, and knock down full-grown trees, and we weren't taking any chances."