Stress, Lists and a Barbie Binge! :) (And Corrie C.-You WON!)


So here’s how it went down a couple of weeks ago:

You may, or may not know, that my newest book, Midnight Masquerade, is…well, let’s just put it out there and say it…LATE!!! 🙁  Without going into great, over-verbose and heinously boring detail…let’s just say that a couple of weeks ago, I hit my “dealing-with-stress” outer limit!  Do you know what I mean?  As I said, however, I’m not going to whine and have a melt down HERE…I’m just going to tell you how I muddled through it!  Ha ha!

First of all, don’t you love that sometimes the things that end up calming you the most, are just the little things?  Anyway, remember a while back when I asked you for blogging ideas?  Well, ALL of the ones sent to me were FABULOUS!  AND I’ve kept a list of them for future use.  Ironically, the fact that I sad down and put those ideas into a “list” is…well…ironic!  Ha ha!  All of the ideas inspired me, but the one that kept popping out at me was the one Corrie C. suggested that included these questions:  “I’m thinking lists. Aren’t you a list maker?”

Ahhhhh ha ha!  Am I a LIST MAKER?!?!?!  Corrie!  Are you even kidding?  List making has been a ‘thing’ of mine ever since I was a kid!  Now, I never make daily or productive lists (other than my Christmas list, which is meticulous), but I LOVE making lists!   List-making has always, always soothed me!  You know, just random lists…lists of CDs I own or wish to own, lists of children’s books I own or wish to own…lists of memories I want to journal about one day, lists of things I used to cook when my kids were little.  I could go on and on and on about the healing powers of list-making!  Seriously!

Well, as Corrie’s questions began to nest in my mind…that stressful day hit, and I thought, “Hmm.  I’ll just make a list of Barbies I already own, and then make a Wish List of Barbies I want to  own.”  (See…people are always asking me what I want for Christmas, my birthday, etc. and though I always have Barbies, children’s books, etc. at the top of the list, only my kids seem to realize that I’m TOTALLY serious!  Ha ha!)

Naturally, before I could really make a serious list, I had to sit down and go through my “open” Barbies…you know…the ones I’ve ‘removed from the box’ and keep around for when my niece, Aubree, comes to visit and stuff.  However, I began to realize, that I keep my “open” Barbies around for ME!  Not just for Aubree!  And as I began to sort through them, I felt my stress begin to wane a little.  Just looking at their pretty faces, feeling that familiar hard plastic of their limbs and stuff (a WAY throw-back sensation to childhood, right?  Like sniffing Crayola Crayons!)…smoothing their hair back into place.  All of those ‘fee/touch’ sensations began to calm me down a bit…and I hadn’t even gotten to the list-making part!

My niece had been here just a week or so before that, and she, me and my daughter Sandy had been playing with the “open” Barbies…so their clothes and stuff needed some straightening out before I tucked them away for another rainy day as I planned to.  (I have to veer off here a minute, and tell you that I have this weird obsession with dolls being closed up in boxes!  For years, my mom stored her childhood baby doll…her only doll (a composite doll made in the late 1930s or early 1940s) in a trunk out in our garage/storage area!  It FREAKED me out!  Knowing that that little baby doll was out there in a trunk and maybe couldn’t breathe, really haunted me!  In fact, tit was so bad, that I finally talked my mom into letting me at least go out there and lay the doll down comfortably and make sure the trunk lid was open just a titch so she could breath!  Add to that the fact that when my sister was really little, one of her FAVORITE books in all the world was this ghastly story about these dolls that were stored in a trunk and would sneak out of the trunk and live it up around their owner’s house when the people were gone…and you had the stuff of nightmares!  I mean, Mom read that book aloud to my sister night after night after night…with me lying wide awake in my bed in the same room!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!  The Muffletumps!  I mean, seriously!  Look at the front page in the book!  Freaky illustrations, right?  Well, at least when you were a fifteen year old girl with a weird obsession with dolls NOT being trapped in trunks!) ANYWAY…I was settling my “open” Barbies in their plastic tote boxes…you know, making sure every girl was with her propper boyfriend or husband…did I mention that I also insist that EVERY “open” Barbie, has a handsome boyfriend or husband?  Ken will do in a pinch…but I really prefer the Ken Dolls names like Ryan, Steven, etc…OR the ultimate Barbie mate ever made…the Alan doll from the 1990s!  He’s handsome and way buff!  Anyway (AGAIN), I was straightening out my “open” Barbies, realizing how soothing a project it was, and that I really needed to get all my Barbie clothes in order…and that how wonderful it would be if I could talk my son-in-law into building me a Barbie Bridal Boutique for all my bridal and formal gowns…and I’m not kidding…I really began to feel a ton better!!!

I’ve sorted things before to chill out…sorting does settle my nerves.  I like to sort coins and look for wheat pennies, Bi-Centennial quarters, etc. (one time my son Trent and I spent six ours sorting Lego pieces when he was stressed out, too, and I LOVED that!)…but sorting my “open” Barbies was even different that all my other soothing-sorting.  While sorting my “open” Barbies, I was reminded of how much I LOVED my Barbies as a kid…what an escape to fantasy and fun they were for me…how I just loved them more than any toy EVER!!!!  It was like a miracle elixir!  I just really started feeling better and like all would (eventually) be well.

Sorting my “open” Barbies…well, you know how the song/saying goes, “One thing leads to another,”…and pretty soon I had come up with my idea for Aubree’s Christmas gift!!!  Barbie outfits!  I mean, they do NOT make Barbie clothes the way they use to!  Ugh!  It’s amazing  how different they are!  Plus…the new Barbie clothes, don’t fit any Barbies made before 1997 …because even though these Monster Bratzillaz and Monster High dolls are out…back in 1997 everyone decided that Barbie’s long legs, small waist, and big bosoms were giving little girls unrealistic body image expectations…though I’m not sure how that’s worse than the skimpy Barbie clothes of today, or the Monster High dolls.  I mean, really?  I mean, let’s look at the evidence:  Below you have a Monster High Doll, a current Barbie Doll (you know, the one that supposed to help little girls have better body images) and a Barbie doll with the original physique.  Take a minute and look these over while I go eat my oatmeal (to try and get my cholesterol in line 🙁 ) and I’ll be back to discuss this further.

Oh yeah! My body image would be MUCH better after owning a Monster Doll (big head…skinny, skinny body)! 🙂 P.S. I DO own the Fashionistas Barbie shown above…because I LOVE Barbies!  (Except for the ones that come in just their bathing suits because they have these big, wide, weird flat feet that won’t fit in Barbie shoes 🙁 )Even the new ones-even though their heads are disproportionate to their bodies…and wouldn’t that encourage a girl to try and be too skinny?!

But I’ve digressed to my Barbie’s Shape Change/The Destruction of Femininity soapbox.  Sorry.  🙁  (Clears throat.)

Back to Aubree’s Christmas gift.  You see, Aubree is a TRUE Barbie enthusiast like I was/am.  She is the funnest little girl I’ve ever played Barbie’s with!  She knows how to treat them, how to play with them, change their outfits, and share a fabulous conversation while doing so!  She’ll be nine in a couple of weeks, and of all the little girls I’ve known in my adult life, only my daughter Sandy and Aubree have been at the level of Barbie devotee’s that I was/am.  (My daughter-in-law loves Barbies, too…but I never was able to witness her playing Barbies when she was little, so I don’t now how she played.)  Therefore, I decided that for Aubree’s Christmas gift I would do this:  I’ve purchased a LOVELY little round suitcase (very vintage-looking) that has “Paris” embroidered on the front, and I’m slowly filling it with Barbie outfits, shoes and accessories!  I mean, GORGEOUS outfits…and the kind that fit any Barbie body!  Need an example?  Okay…here’s one!  Lovely, right?

Naturally, sending all the outfits in their original boxes would be too bulky.  So when I find one, I bring it home and carefully remove it from the box…then nicely fold it and place the outfit (including accessories) in a pretty organza bag, gently pull the ribbon drawstrings closed and plop it into the little round “Paris” suitcase.  That way I only have to wrap and ship the suitcase…and when Aubree opens it on Christmas morning…hopefully she’ll be pleased! 🙂

Now in comparison, here’s a new Barbie dress.  In truth, I LOVE the new Barbie shoes…because they’re glamorous and stay on!  But I still prefer the more elegant dresses, and colorful pants and shirts of the Fashion Avenue era!  Not that I don’t like the flashy, sparkly material they make Barbie clothes out of now!  I do!  But I just love the old-school clothes…and they often come with fancy panty-hose and stuff, too!  LOVE the little details, you know!?

Anyway, I’ve babbled on and on (as usual) and gotten totally of track…which was to tell you that Corrie C. inspired me to blog about making lists!  Ha ha!  But I HAVE started my Barbie Lists and typing them up soothes me, relaxes my mind and distracts me from my stress!  🙂  Unfortunately, my list of Barbies on my Wish List, is FAR too vast!  And I still haven’t finished my list of the ones I own!  Though I did finish the “Halloween Own and Wish” lists!

Which reminds me, I need to start saving up my allowance!  Because, even though I LOVE LOVE LOVE all Halloween Barbies (old, new…normal heads or big heads), there the one at the TOP of my Wish List is soooooooooooo expensive!  She’s the Holiday Hostess  Halloween Haunt Barbie!  She’s a Silkstone one…which I usually don’t lean toward…but isn’t she a toooooo FABULOUS!?!?!  Don’t worry…when I was five or six I saved up my pennies until I had $10 or $15 and could buy my first Barbie RV…so I figure I’ll get enough pennies saved up in my penny jar to eventually feel like I can drop $100+ on the Halloween Haunt Barbie!  (Don’t know how I missed her when she was new and cheaper!)

(P.S. In case you were still freaking out about it the way I tend to do…don’t worry about my mom’s baby doll!  🙂  Mom gave her to me years and years ago, and she now sits comfortably in a little Victorian sleigh in my entry room!  She can breathe fine, and she’s nice and warm in her little furry white cape and matching furry white muff! 🙂

So, yes, Corrie C…I DO like to make lists!  Thank you for reminding me, so that I started my Barbie lists and settled myself down that day when the stress hit me so hard!  You’ve won the Candle and DVD!!!  E-mail me at and let me know where to send it!  Okay?  I’ll get it in the mail right away!

Meanwhile, for this week’s contest…I think I’ll go with two of my favorite children’s books again!  As you know, Andrew Henry’s Meadow rules as the book I loved most as a child, and Over in the Meadow was one of my favorite poems when I was little.  So, whether or not you have children, these will be a nice, relaxing escape for you!  Just leave a comment about something you loved as a kid, and I’ll pick a winner the next time I blog!

Thanks for letting me babble, thus purging my stress a little more!  And thank you, again, for all the FABULOUS blog ideas!  P.S. Corrie C…here’s the Halloween section of my “Barbie List” for your approval! 🙂


Halloween Barbies

Enchanted Halloween Barbie AA (Black dress with orange sparkles)
Enchanted Halloween Barbie Blonde (Black dress with orange sparkles)
Halloween Fortune Barbie (Gypsy Outfit)
Halloween Fun Barbie and Kelly (Orange and Black kitty outfits, auburn haired Kelly)
Halloween Party Barbie (Jack o Lantern’s in background, Big Head)
Halloween Princess Barbie (Purple with Orange Sparkly Spider Web Dress)
Halloween Star Barbie (Kitten Whiskers and Black/Pink Outfit)
Halloween Treat Barbie (Pumpkin Outfit-Big Head)
Halloween Wishes Barbie (Purple Overdress, lace up boots-Big Head)
Happy Halloween Barbie (Pink Plastic hat, Pink empress waist dress-Big Head)
Maskerade Party Barbie (Orange spotted Kitten outfit)
Perrr-fectly Halloween Barbie (Pink and Black Leopard Outfit)
Pink Halloween Barbie (Black dress with silver spiderwebs-Big Head)

Need: (Any and All African American, as well!)
Halloween Haunt (Holiday Hostess) Barbie (2011-Pricey!)
Trick or Chic Barbie (Standing w/Orange Brimmed Hat)
Halloween Glow Barbie (2002)
Boo-tiful Barbie
Halloween Enchantress Barbie (Spanish on Front?)
Halloween Charm Barbie (2006)
Halloween Hip Barbie
Halloween Star Barbie (Estrella de Halloween-Black and Gold Bodice/Black Hat)
Trick or Chic Barbie on Broom!
Halloween Haunt Barbie (Multi-colored dress, holding broom-2011)
Halloween Party Barbie (Orange skirt, pink and black striped shirt)
Fashion Spell Barbie (Pink hat and skirt, black top)
Halloween Treat Barbie (Purple midriff, long orange skirt, 2008)
Happy Halloween Barbie and Kelly (Jack o Lantern sweatshirts)
Halloween Party Barbie and Ken (Pirates-1998)

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11 Responses to Stress, Lists and a Barbie Binge! :) (And Corrie C.-You WON!)

  1. Annalisa Thaler says:

    I’m swept away to childhood with this entry. My daughters now play with the Barbies that I had as a little girl and I’m always finding myself caught up with them. Another of my absolute favorite childhood toys were my Cabbage Patch Dolls – love love love them! They were my babies. I couldn’t get enough of the dolls, books and even the cassette tapes with stories and songs. Thank you Xavier Roberts.

  2. Kelly Winland says:

    I was somewhat of a tomboy, being the only girl in my family for years, and years 🙂 and almost always played outside – no matter the weather! I absolutely LOVED my red wagon – I had the one with the removable sides. The adventures I had with that wagon are some of my fondest childhood memories!

  3. Tara B says:

    What a sweet post… I Happened to read when the day was getting a little to much and it made me relax. So thank you…. I was a kid that stayed out side from sun up until wayyyy past dark. Love the 80’s for that but what I loved most was my small little cottage play house my dad built for me. My most prized possession was my gigantic 5 foot chalk board that I had so i could be the neighborhood teacher and boss everyone around. And course when I was done doing that I’d spend hours on my red big wheel pretending to be Daisy Duke. Chalk boards and big wheels… My favorite.

  4. Michelle Christensen says:

    How many Halloween Barbies are there? Although I am not a collector, (where would I put the collection?) I love giving my girls Barbies. When I was little, my dad built us a huge doll house and we would play Barbies for hours. As adults and mothers we all wanted it and “claimed” it for our kids. My dad settled it by building each sister an exact copy and had us decorate it the way we wanted. Now my girls spend hours playing Barbies just the way I did.

  5. Teya says:

    That was great Marcia! Fun, interesting, and I love lists too! It calms me as well, which is just funny to me. Your great!

  6. Dusti says:

    This blog literally made my heart happy, for the simple fact that I decided the other night (at 10 pm) that I needed to make a list of all the heroes and heroines, their first and last names, and the coinciding MLM book. It was the ONLY thing to do because it had been one of those days, and after all I have procrastinated making this list and it was bugging me. Therefore, though it took me until 1 am to complete (ya’ know, because I had to stop and read ALL my favorite parts of course), I now have a list worthy of making into an access database. The only problem is that my list is incomplete because I could not find Malaina’a last name anywhere. BIG problem when it comes to sorting the database into different lists (and it totally bugs me that I cannot complete the list)!! So, this blog just made me feel A LOT better about my lists and gave me a chuckle too!! 😀 (Oh, but can anyone help me out with Malaina’s last name??)

  7. Jackee says:

    This post was so sweet! I grew up with 4 sisters and we all loved barbies! We would play for hours. One of the fun things that we did was tie strings (or sometimes all we could find was the laces out of our shoes) around the barbies and have them bungee jump off the banister on our stairway. How fun that was! One of the other fun things we did as sisters was to have a sleep over on our trampoline in the summertime. We loved that because it was a time for us all to be together and have fun as sisters. We still enjoy getting together, but I’m not sure I would like sleeping on the trampoline I enjoy my bed too much!

  8. Jennifer H says:

    I LOVE Barbies, the clothes – was always frustrated that the shoes never stayed on… we (my siblings and I – my brother had his own Ken doll) played for hours as kids. We didn’t have a whole lot of toys growing up so I had exactly 2 Barbies, Beach Barbie and her Ken – they are tucked away in a box with all their camping gear and clothes and things that we made out of fabric scraps and whatever else our imaginations could come up with. And the things my mom made for us out of scraps.
    My 9 year old wants them, but I just can’t give them up for her. I’ll have to pull them down and show them to her sometime ;^) Plus she has a whole box full of Barbies so I don’t think she needs mine!!

  9. Tammy Beverley says:

    Marcia, I love your blog!! So many of the things you said were so much like me I am always writing lists! My family likes to tease me about making lists of lists!! Also Barbies wow my best fiend and I would play them for hours!! When I had my girls I passed my barbie things down to them and it was so fun to watch them do the same as I did my husband even built them a huge Barbie house and it as well as the Barbies both mine and the ones I bought for each of my 3 girls has now been passed down to my Granddaughter! So fun! Thank you so much for taking me down a fun memory lane!! Have a great day!:)

  10. Anita Ganowsky says:

    Your post made me remember my own excitement over barbies as a kid and though i wasn’t the biggest on making up a whole story to go along when playing with them I loved dressing them up in all of the different clothes. As a kid though my favorite thing to do was play games. I loved card games, board games, make believe games and any other type of game you can think of. And even now I love to play games!

  11. Linda Gibbs says:

    In 2004, I went to China to adopt my 14 month old daughter. (She’s 10 1/2 now) In Guangzhou, we stayed a a fantastic hotel, right by the US Consolate. They had a contract with Mattel and gave all babies being adopted a Barbie with a Chinese baby. Seriously, so cute! She has never been into Barbies, but she did take it out of the box. I will have to find them and email a picture to you.

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