Chapter 1

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"Thirteen is our number. It's the number of games my husband, Tom, coaches at Lincoln College every season. It's the number of times we zero out our bank account to make ends meet; once a month, then twice on Christmas. And it's also the number of kids we try to keep track of."

"Come on, guys! Dad just left!" I leaned out the bathroom door from where I was brushing my teeth before any of my other siblings got up. I learned quickly to be an early riser in my family. It just seemed to solve a lot of problems.

I watched in amusement as practically all my younger siblings, along with our dog, Gunner, raced past with giddy grins on their faces towards Mom and Dad's room. Mom was in there at the moment, sat at a table in the corner, flicking through page after page of her novel, a pen either in her hand, between her teeth or behind her ear at any point in time. She had been doing this for the past couple of days, sitting and proof reading her book. I was really impressed that she had finally finished it. It was called 'Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen'. It wasn't hard to guess what it was about; our family.

I had twelve brothers and sisters. Twelve! I was the fourth child, after Nora, Charlie and my twin sister, Lorraine. I'm sixteen years of age.

Nora's the oldest at twenty-two but she lives off somewhere with her new boyfriend, Hank. As my little sisters Kim and Jessica call him, he's a total doorknob. Nora brought him to meet the family a while back and it had ended in a devious plan which resulted in his pants being set on fire. He didn't get hurt, of course, but he did freak out. Sadly, not enough to get rid of him. Nora could do so much better, she just can't see it yet. He is a total creep and I can only hope his wandering eyes don't escalate to become wandering hands. I had caught him on more than one occasion watching Lorraine and I, which made me totally uncomfortable. I originally thought it was nothing but after about the sixth time, I knew better.

The youngest in our family are the identical twins, Kyle and Nigel. Don't let their cuteness fool you, absolute troublemakers the both of them. But so were most of my family, now that I thought about it. They are both five years old. Five years since our family finally had reached its' limit.

The boys are Charlie, Henry, Jake, Mark, Mike and then Kyle and Nigel. Charlie is a year older than Lorraine and I. He is the stereotypical angsty, teenage boy. All he cares about is his girlfriend and doing his own thing. He argues with Dad a lot. Henry is quite close with Charlie, he is also a bit full of himself but okay, usually. He plays the clarinet and has his own little band with his friends. Jake loves his sports and is also one of the friendlier of the family and doesn't cause as much trouble as the others. Out of all our siblings I would say he was closest to our sister, Sarah. But I'll talk about her in a moment.

Mark is quiet and loves nature. He is incredibly smart. He keeps a pet frog, Beans. Bean's mother, Pork is buried outside in the yard. I know interesting names. Mark is really sweet and doesn't usually get involved in any mischief. He seems to be forgotten about a lot because he doesn't get involved and Mom and Dad are trying to handle everyone else. Mark and I are quite close. Though the same cannot be said about Mark and the rest of our brothers and sisters the majority of the time. His flaming red hair, slight frame and geeky glasses and quiet demeanor resulted in him being constantly being teased about not belonging in the family. The younger ones normally referred to him as 'FedEx' as in the delivery company as they say he was dropped off by a FedEx truck, the only explanation as to why he didn't exactly fit in among the group. Mike is also quite sporty. He, Jake and our sister, Sarah, all love skate-boarding. Mike is also presently into Karate. He is a human ball of energy. He never seems to stop moving or slow down.

The girls are Lorraine, Sarah, Kim and Jessica and obviously, me. Lorraine is my twin sister, she is a complete blond! She is totally obsessed with fashion and can be quite an airhead but she has her moments. She is still my twin sister and we are really close, especially as we have to share a room and have done since we were born. Sarah is probably my favourite out of the family. She is either going to end up running the CIA or in jail. One or the other, it's a toss up. As Dad calls it, 'she has a dark gift'. She is the mastermind behind all the big pranks and plots in the Baker house. She is almost like the Godfather! Just kidding (not really). She loves her sports, especially lacrosse. Kim and Jessica, like me and Lorraine, are fraternal twins. They are super smart but they also never shut up, which can sometimes be amusing, other times annoying as hell.

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