Friday, April 19, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Pull-Up Disclaimers, Products Not Intended for Your Hair, and Finding Your Spirit Animal at the Natural History Museum

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


A few weeks ago, another mom from church said she was giving away some leftover Pull-ups. I volunteered to take them off her hands, made arrangements to pick them up, then forgot all about it because life.

At least she remembered, though, and I walked into church on Sunday to see this sitting on the counter:

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

On a related note: if you're in my ward (congregation) and saw this on Sunday, I feel like I need to clarify that the Pull-ups aren't literally for me.

Since the note was slightly ambiguous, I'd just like you to know they will be worn by children.

2


My dad is visiting us for our spring break, and we've been doing a lot of fun things. The weather has been kind of disappointing, but on the days that are less rainy we've been trying to get outside.

We took this beautiful walk:

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

and laughed at this "pick up after your dog" sign in the parking lot:

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles
It's true.

Trust me, if there was a poop fairy I'd know. Over the last 14 years of having small children, I've dealt with and disposed of an astronomical amount of scat.

So actually... maybe there is a poop fairy after all, and it's me.

3


My 2-year-old's hair was getting long, so I got out our scissors and asked him to go get the spray bottle of water from the bathroom to wet down his hair.

Something you probably need to know for this story is that our spray bottle looks like this:

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

Anyway, my 2-year-old was gone for a while so I figured he got distracted on the way. "Can you see the spray bottle?" I yelled.

"Uh... the green one?" he yelled back.

"Yes!"

A few minutes later, he came down and handed me this, even though you could tell he knew that it wasn't quite right. But it was green. And it sprayed. And it was a bottle.

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

No wonder he was confused.

4


As one of our Easter traditions, we colored eggs this week. But we are kind of done with the lame kits from CVS and started doing something called pysanky.

Pysanky is a method of layering wax-resist designs on eggs to create colorful and intricate designs, which we've done ever since we learned about Ukraine in our educational summer vacation.

We figured that it's different and fun, and besides, when a project involves children handing unwashable dye and melting wax over an open flame, what could possibly go wrong??

Of course, our finished eggs look nothing like real pysanky and I'm probably offending the entire country of Ukraine by saying this, but we had fun and I'm proud of how they turned out.

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles
It looks like you know what you're doing when you display your finished work on a stand.

Traditional psyanky are almost always geometrical designs, but that doesn't mean much to my kids.

You can see in the picture above how my 7-year-old made a scene with clouds and grass and sky, which is kind of hard to do since you have to think in reverse to get the colors right when you're using wax-resist.

My 14-year-old made hers into a globe, because she likes geography.

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

And my 12-year-old, the violinist, made sheet music:

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

It seems like every time we get a little better at it, so we all look forward to doing pysanky every year. What fun Easter traditions do you guys have?

5


We were checking out books at the library, and my 2-year-old handed me this.

I went to put it in the bag but glanced at it and oh my gosh! Who did this to this book??

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

Indignantly, I opened it to look inside and saw this note from the librarians on the first page.

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

The children's librarian, who saw me staring at the book, said "We had so many people bringing it to the front desk and reporting it as vandalized we had to add that."

It just looks really real.

6


I've discovered the beauty of industrial products for residential use. When we realized we needed to get a mat to protect our wood floors from the wheels of the rolling chair at the computer desk, we first bought one of those flimsy little clear plastic mats.

Which never stayed in place and quickly got dirty and nasty-looking, and was basically a waste of money.

So then we decided to replace it with an industrial entry rug, the kind designed for office buildings and banks. After a month it still looks brand-new, which makes sense. Regular stuff falls apart so fast at my house, but this is meant to be walked on a million times a day and vacuumed at least daily.

From now on I have to remember that if it's not hardy enough for a school or prison, it's probably not going to cut it here, either.

7


Another thing we've been doing with my dad is going to lots of museums (again, because the weather is not great.)

We've played at science museums,

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

Checked out fine art (parenting tip: you can enjoy the paintings better if one adult waits outside with the little kids so they don't shatter a 17th century vase or ruin everyone else's visit by running through the Greek room yelling "Eww! EWWW!" at all the nude statues,)

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

Laughed at the natural history museum's attempt to "be hip and speak the kids' language" in the geology room (although when I showed this to my kids they started walking around looking for these Minecraft minerals so it totally worked,)

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

And when we were separately exploring the taxidermied animals on display in the mammal room, I received a text from my daughter saying that she'd found our new family mascot:

Another weekly installment of 7 Quick Takes, the funniest weekly recap of a family of 8. If you want to start your weekend off laughing, this is definitely what you should read. #7quicktakes #7qt #hilarious #unremarkablefiles

I'll see if I can add it to the Evans family crest cross-stitch I've been working on.

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »

Friday, April 12, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Getting Up on the Wrong Side of the Crib, Why You Shouldn't Invite a T-Rex to Your Wedding, and Asking for a Favor

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


When it's my turn to teach preschool at my house (my 5-year-old does a rotating home preschool with a few kids his age,) the 2-year-old always joins in. He loves to be included, and is often more into it than any of the kids who are actually preschool-aged.

But this week he woke up grumpy and was in a foul mood all morning. When 9 AM rolled around I asked, "Do you want to come do preschool with us?"

"No," he huffed and scowled at the floor.

"It'll be fun!"

The sour expression on his face deepened. "I don't wanna."

"We're about to start. Are you sure?"

In answer, he just grabbed a blanket from the back of the couch and flung it over his head with an exasperated groan.

Need some laughter after your stressful week? 7 Quick Takes is a hilarious Friday recap of the Unremarkable Files family of 8, and I promise that we'll either make you laugh or feel good about your family by comparison. Hopefully both. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #unremarakblefiles
Pretty sure he's sure.

I get it, though. Sometimes I feel the same way about mornings.

2


Maybe one reason the 2-year-old is so tired is the hours he's been putting into his art.

I've been finding his work everywhere, to the point where it doesn't even surprise me anymore to see scribbles on the wall.

Need some laughter after your stressful week? 7 Quick Takes is a hilarious Friday recap of the Unremarkable Files family of 8, and I promise that we'll either make you laugh or feel good about your family by comparison. Hopefully both. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #unremarakblefiles
The daily affirmation I say to myself in the mirror every morning is: This is just a phase. This is just a phase.

But at least if he's going to vandalize the house, washable marker on porcelain is the way to go. It wipes right off with water.

3


My 1st grader came home from school with this drawing of dinosaurs getting married. She often brings home pictures she draws during free time in class but this was not her usual style.

Need some laughter after your stressful week? 7 Quick Takes is a hilarious Friday recap of the Unremarkable Files family of 8, and I promise that we'll either make you laugh or feel good about your family by comparison. Hopefully both. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #unremarakblefiles
I love the top hat.

"What gave you the idea for this drawing?" I asked.

She explained that the art teacher had a can filled with slips of paper with drawing prompts on them, and the one she got was 'dinosaurs at a wedding.'

"Well, it's very creative."

"Thanks, but the other kid who picked 'dinosaurs at a wedding' drew a T-rex eating the bride."

Okay, that's pretty creative, too.

4


I thoroughly enjoyed listening to general conference this weekend. (A more detailed recap is here if you're interested.)

Aside from the spiritual insights and ideas to improve our family's focus in life, I also enjoyed the way the kids misheard "discipleship" as "recycling" and how when President Nelson announced that the church is building a new temple in Hungary my 7-year-old said, "Speaking of which, when is dinner?"

Also, one of the speakers at general conference specifically used the word "figuratively" for emphasis instead of the incorrect "literally," which I really appreciated.

It was such a refreshing change from when people say things like "my mom literally burst into song" and I'm like, "OH MY GOSH, IS SHE OKAY?!?"

5


One of my favorite conference talks was this one by Mathias Held, partly because his conversion story to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so similar to mine.

Well, sort of.

I wasn't looking for a message from God like he was (if anything, I was actually avoiding one,) but I did have the same experience of learning about the church, logically believing it was true, but not wanting to be baptized until I knew it was what God wanted me to do.

It was even through the same scripture, Mosiah 18: 10, that I felt like I got my answer. Like Elder Held, I called the missionaries that day and set a date for my baptism.

If you have 10 minutes to spare and you think you can resist being distracted by what appears to be broccoli in the flower arrangement behind him, I highly recommend this talk from Mathias Held.


6


I continue to be amazed that our washer and dryer are still working. I'm not sure exactly how old they are, but they were here when we bought the house 10 years ago and I could tell then that they weren't brand-new.

Even without things like potty training and stomach flu, our 8-person family does one or two loads per day. Multiply that by 10 years and that's a lot of laundry. But they are still going strong.

But I hear the newer style machines are nice. Instead of a deafening buzz that makes you wet your pants if you happen to be standing nearby at the end of the dry cycle, you get a pleasant little tune that sounds like fairies playing the triangle.

Maybe we'll buy ones like that someday, when our current machines crack under the stress. Until then, I'll have to settle for watching this video.


These two are absolute #couplegoals.

7


For several months I've been unable to leave comments on Blogger blogs (including my own.) Specifically logging in with Explorer to leave comments was a pain in the butt, but it was a quick fix that worked and frankly that's all I had time for.

Then I started to get emails from some of you saying that you couldn't leave comments either, so I played around with my blog settings and now it at least works for me.

Can you help me out by leaving a comment below to see if I've fixed it for you, too? Something related to the post would be great, but if you can't think of anything just leave the name of your favorite superhero. Thanks, guys!

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Snacks and Other Things This Weekend Was About

You wouldn't think being trapped in a room with six children for 8 hours over the course of a weekend is something I'd enjoy.

But this past weekend was general conference, which I happen to love — even with all the wiggling and fidgeting.


General conference is a twice-yearly meeting of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made famous among my children with the invention of Conference Snacks.

I print out pictures of the current prophet and apostles in our church, which the kids attach to various snack foods. Then they all pay rapt attention to the rest of the general conference proceedings.

At least long enough to figure out who's speaking next so they can eat his snack.


I adapted this idea a few years ago from Christina at Hands Full Mom, and it's become a major part of the general conference experience as far as my kids are concerned.

If you were watching with us at our house this weekend, you might have heard this:

7-year-old: Are there any more speakers?
Me: One more.
7-year-old: Oooh, I hope it's a candy person!

Or this:

Daughter: Who's that?
Son: Dallin H. Oaks.
Daughter: *wailing* We don't HAAAVE him!
Me: Yes, we do. He's in the fridge.

Or this:

7-year-old: [mistaking someone for Elder Cook, whose picture was on the Chips Ahoy] COOKIES!!!!
14-year-old: No, that's not the cookie guy.

Or a certain someone (me) yelling, "Can you guys stop fighting about Tic-Tacs for five seconds so we can hear the prophet?!"

The Tic-Tacs heard round the world.

Even though the kids are borderline obsessed with Conference Snacks, and even though they sometimes get bored and/or silly (they had a field day when someone accidentally pronounced the word "pew" weirdly and it sounded like "poo,") I was so impressed with how they were constantly making little comments that showed they were paying attention. Things like "Dad sings that song!" "hey, we've read that story!" or "you talked about that in church!"

I also hand out little slips of paper to everyone and ask them to write down an idea from each talk.

Preschooler-to-English translation: "Loving Jesus."

Even the 2-year-old took notes. Sort of.

Turns out your own feet are a convenient and accessible place to jot down your thoughts.

I also took notes, not just on the talks but also on the thoughts/feelings that came to my mind about what God wants me to do with that information.

As much as I like the warm fuzzies I get while listening to conference, the longer I'm a member of this church the more I realize the most important part is what I do after it's over.

Right now is when I begin the hard work of prayerfully implementing the changes I've been inspired to make  and it is hard, because I'm still me. Conference hasn't magically made me into a more patient, wise, or disciplined person. (Although that certainly would be convenient.)

Even though general conference speakers aren't assigned a topic, each conference seems to end up with a few themes. I'm thinking it's probably because they pray a lot to choose one and are guided from there.

Two themes I picked out were:

  1. Increasing our faith in Jesus Christ. In the last year, our church has been making a lot of changes not to our basic beliefs, but to the nuts-and-bolts workings of our programs and policies. The average Latter-day Saint is pretty active in running various parts of the church, and we've all noticed a recent effort from church headquarters to simplify programs and cut out unnecessary meetings and busywork. The point is to allow us to focus less on our "church jobs" and more on what's really important: our personal relationships with the Savior.
  2. Making our homes, not the church, the center of gospel learning for our families. We should look at church as a supplement to the teaching, reading, studying, and praying we're already doing at home, not a place where we can send the kids to Sunday School and call it good. At least twice during general conference, I heard it said that our homes should be "sanctuaries."
So we've got some work to do.

Step One was to start a discussion at the dinner table that night. With 6 kids in the house it's pretty crazy and chaotic almost all the time, but I wanted to get their thoughts on the "home as a sanctuary" idea.

I asked the kids what they thought it meant, and after some discussion my 10-year-old looked up 'sanctuary' in the dictionary.

My 13-year-old was the first to burst out laughing at Definition #3:


Because we already think of our home as an asylum. An insane asylum.

I lost it not too much later at Definition #4.


Like I said, we're still us.

But with personal inspiration from heaven and the direction of a prophet at the head of our church, I think we'll be okay.


Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »

Friday, April 5, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Butternut Squash, Unconventional Instruments to Play Your Wedding Processional, and Alternative Uses for Googly Eyes

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


I completely forgot Monday was April Fool's Day. That afternoon, my first grader came home from school with a little rectangle of foil. Practically giggling out of her pants, she said it was a brownie for me.

I opened it, only to find it stuffed with some pom-poms for volume and... a brown E.

Laughing my head off at these funny 7 Quick Takes, my new favorite weekend recap of a big family who finds the humor in just about everything. #7quicktakes #funny
Womp, womp.

Even after I opened it, I didn't make the connection about what day it was (it didn't help that she forgot to say "April Fool's,") so I was more confused than anything.

2


My 13-year-old hates squash. She thinks everything about it is revolting, including (but not limited to) its taste, texture, and smell. So we don't eat it at every meal, but we also don't avoid it.

This week she offered to help cook dinner, only to find out too late that we were having butternut squash risotto.

She agreed to stay after she found out what we were having, but even so she couldn't help but make some comments (with maybe a few retching noises thrown in for good measure.) "Ugh, who invented butternut squash, anyway? And why?"

"God did," I said, chopping away. "Because He loves us."

Shaking her head, she said, "Well, He needs to show His love for me in a different way."

I guess I won't argue.

3


Sometimes the Internet is like a cesspool of utter nonsense, and if you have kids you've probably seen YouTube videos so annoying and pointless they make you want to scream "WHYYYYY?!?" and possibly become Amish.

At first glance this might appear to be one of them, but keep watching this guy play Canon in D on the rubber chicken and you will change your mind.


To me, the best part of this video is the guy's face. He is SO SERIOUS. He looks like he's defusing a bomb.

And honestly, I'm jealous. If I could approach my life with even half the focus that he brings to a rubber chicken quartet, I'd probably be president right now.

4


My 2-year-old is going through a "coloring on everything" phase. (As a matter of fact, as I write this the couch cushion covers are in the washing machine after he attacked yet again earlier today.)

Laughing my head off at these funny 7 Quick Takes, my new favorite weekend recap of a big family who finds the humor in just about everything. #7quicktakes #funny
At least his weapon of choice is washable markers.

When some of my older kids went through this, I stressed about it a lot. But the beauty of having parented five kids already is that now I understand it's just a phase he'll grow out of, pretty much regardless of anything I do (or don't do.)

I've actually been saying out loud to myself this week It's not like he's going to be drawing on the walls when he's a teenager.

Then we took a walk and saw this on the underside of a bridge we passed. It made quite an impression on my 2-year-old and he couldn't stop talking about it.

Laughing my head off at these funny 7 Quick Takes, my new favorite weekend recap of a big family who finds the humor in just about everything. #7quicktakes #funny
My impressionable 2-year-old, just formulating his life choices.

I guess he didn't realize his favorite hobby was actually a long-term option, but in this picture I really get the sense that he's exploring all the possibilities.

5


My kids like to give me a hard time, but sometimes I overhear conversations that make me relieved that at least they like to give everyone else a hard time, too.

My 13-year-old was talking to two friends (let's call them A and B for creativity's sake) and the conversation went like this:

Friend A: Guys, I know a lot of songs. Give me a word and I bet I can sing a song with that word in it.

13yo: 'Wobbly.'

Friend A: Uh... I mean, give me a word that would actually, you know, be in a song.

Friend B: 'Brick!'

Friend A: This is... actually a lot harder than I thought.

13yo: Do you want to quit?

Friend A: Yeah.

Friend B: Okay, because my next one was gonna be 'stapler.'

6


In case you didn't know it, kids are weird. The other night just before bedtime, we were herding cats calling all the kids to the living room for family scriptures and prayer. No 2-year-old, though.

It was weird that he didn't come, because if he knows something is going on he's usually the first to be there. He doesn't want to be left out of anything.

I guess he was absorbed in more important matters, though, because when I went to go look for him I found him in the mudroom painstakingly gluing a googly eye on his belly.

Do you ever wish you could look inside a child's mind to see the thought process that led up to a particular moment? I know I do.

7


Lastly, I wanted to let you know what I'll be doing this weekend and cordially invite all of you to join me. Virtually, of course.

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even though we aren't living and traveling en masse anymore like the Israelites following Moses, we believe the church is led by a modern-day prophet just like him.

That's why twice a year, we get excited to watch general conference, a worldwide broadcast from our prophet President Nelson and other church leaders. I personally love it because as I listen, it helps me remember what's important and I can hear my inner spiritual GPS saying "Recalculating."

No matter what church (if any) you belong to, you're invited. I highly recommend it to anyone who's curious about Latter-day Saints, feels stuck in a rut, or just needs something uplifting to listen to while they're washing dishes. Conference times and ways to tune in are here.

Happy weekend, you guys!

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Top 5 Awkward Situations Featuring Yours Truly

Have you ever been trapped in a really awkward situation? Maybe it's become an infamous family story that relatives tease you about at holidays. Or maybe it's something you haven't told a soul because it's too embarrassing.

Well, you're not alone, and today I'm here to share my top 5 most awkward moments!

More awkward than a blurry accidental selfie!

#5: Misadventures in Anthropology 101


In college I took an anthropology course. I can't remember my exact reasoning for this, since it wasn't part of my major and I don't think it fulfilled a general education requirement.

Apparently I just thought it would be cool to spend $594 per credit hour on something that was mildly interesting and had zero practical application to my life.

The day we learned about altered states of consciousness in different cultures, the professor turned off the lights and showed us a video. In a certain Amazon tribe, they do cataract surgery without anesthesia. They simply put people into a trance and do it.

I vividly remember the grainy black-and-white closeup of the scalpel moving toward a person's eye, the patient's eyelashes fluttering madly to an intense drumbeat, and then...

The next thing I knew I was face-down on the table in front of me, gradually realizing that the lights were back on, the professor was standing over me asking if I was alright, and the entire lecture hall full of students was staring at me.

I had fainted.

Twenty years later, I don't remember anything I learned in that anthropology class, except that I would never cut it as a surgeon or a horror movie producer.

#4: Performing the World's Saddest Flute Solo


When they introduced band in fifth grade, my daughter wanted to play the flute. I looked briefly into renting a flute through the school, but I decided to save some money and scout around for a decent used one instead.

I found a good deal at a music store. When I went to go pick it up, the employee on duty was super-chatty. While he led me to the instruments for sale, he got me to tell him in detail about how I had played the flute all through high school.

"Here it is!" he announced, reaching the back room. He removed a flute from its case, assembled it, and handed it to me. "Go ahead. See what you think!"

A little background: the necessary lip shape for playing the flute requires the use of some seldom-used muscles called embouchure muscles, and that's why beginning flutists spend the first few weeks of lessons unsuccessfully trying to make a sound.

Something which I, who had not used my embouchure muscles for over a decade, had forgotten about until that exact moment.

After blowing soundlessly into the flute with the employee looking on for what felt like an hour, I hurriedly said it was fine and that we'd take it.

If my face was any hotter as we took the long walk of shame back to the front desk, I would've caught on fire.

#3: In Which I Win 'Mother of the Year'


A few summers ago, I found myself at the Southwest Airlines desk at the airport. My 10- and 12-year-olds were flying solo to visit their grandparents in Minnesota, and that means I needed a special "boarding" pass so I could take them through security and bring them to their gate.

I was answering all the lady's questions about myself when she suddenly asked, "And what's the baby's name?"

"What?" I asked.

Gesturing to their 3-month-old brother in his stroller, she said, "I have to put him on your pass as an infant-in-arms."

Oh, okay. Just like when you actually fly with a baby. I gave her the baby's first and last names.

"And his middle name?"

I opened my mouth, then froze with my jaw hanging in the breeze. What was his middle name?

He was only 3 months old, and as far as I could remember the only time I'd even used his middle name was when I wrote it on his birth certificate. Plus, I was so deep in the fog of sleep deprivation I could hardly remember my own middle name, letalone his.

I should have said he didn't have one. Or just given her the first name that popped into my head. But I didn't think of that, so I stood there like a deer in the headlights until my oldest daughter came to my rescue.

Sadly, that wasn't the only time I've basically shook hands with someone and introduced myself as the world's most clueless mom (please see this recent incident with the high school health teacher) but it was probably the most embarrassing.

#2: At Least I'm in Excellent Health


Phillip was with me at a prenatal appointment when my obstetrician, who happened to be male, looked at my chart and noticed I was overdue for a breast cancer exam. "Do you want to do that today?"

"Sure," I answered.

I think my OB quickly wished he'd never asked. Apparently when you're a man doing a breast exam on someone whose husband is sitting on a stool three feet away, it brings up some questions.

Clearing his throat and looking at Phillip, he asked, "Um, do you want to step out for this part, or...?"

And then realizing what he'd asked (think about it,) his voice just withered up and died. Obviously he felt awkward, and now we were all going to share in that awkwardness whether we wanted to or not.

Ultimately, Phillip stayed and stared a hole in the ceiling, and the OB finished the exam despite his apparent worry that Phillip would jump up and grab him by the collar of his labcoat, yelling, "Hey, buddy! Get your hands off my wife!"

It was just weird all around. However, they found no evidence of breast cancer so I guess all's well that ends well.

Maybe next time, I'll accompany Phillip to his yearly physical for the 'turn and cough' part so we're even.

#1: Willfully Impersonating a Registered Nurse


Several years ago, my family was selected to participate in a media consumer survey. (Obviously it was random, since we don't even have a TV and my 2-year-old thinks Mickey Mouse is a weirdly-shaped monkey.)
Not a monkey.

Everyone over the age of 6 was given a meter  a little black box about the size of a bar of soap  to clip on their belt, and they supposedly picked up any nearby TV or radio stations.

One day the kids and I were in line at Staples when the cashier pointed at my meter and, assuming it was a beeper, asked if I was a nurse. I was in a hurry and he'd given me an easy alternative to explaining the entire study, so I just said "yeah."

"What kind of nurse?" he pressed.

It was a trap! I couldn't back out now, so I lied again and said the first thing I could think of, which was Labor & Delivery. (Figures.)

I was desperately hoping the guy would just drop it. Or scan our purchases quicker. Or that a masive sinkhole would open up in the floor and swallow me whole. But as luck would have it, none of those things happened.

"Wow," he whistled, "You must be an important nurse to have a beeper!"

GAH! I was dying to get out of there. How would I explain the kids' meters if he saw them and wanted to talk about that next? OH MY GOSH, THE KIDS.

They were all standing there, blinking like baby owls and watching me lie through my teeth to this nice man! What were they learning from my behavior, and more importantly, how long before one of them spoke up and blew my cover?

Luckily, the kids kept quiet. The cashier ended his interrogation. And after I'd paid for everything, we peeled out of there so fast our cart left skid marks on the floor that are probably there to this day.

--------------------------

They say that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, which is why I fully expect my life to produce more of these awkward moments. In fact, I'm sure once I post this, my kids will remind me of others I've lived through and already forgotten. (They're great at doing that.)

What was your most awkward moment? Has anything like one of these ever happened to you?

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »

Friday, March 29, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Wise Sayings Attributed to Godzilla, Important Apps for Your Smartphone, and a Pop Quiz about My Kids' Toothbrushes

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


There's no regular Sunday sermon delivered by a minister in my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) Instead, a few members of the congregation are asked to prepare and give talks on different spiritual topics, and this week was my turn.

I was given a reference from the Book of Mormon and the topic "the word of God." It took a while for my ideas to gel, but as I started typing out my notes, the talk started to take shape.

The thing is, every time I typed "the word of God" into the computer, the autocorrect function kept changing it to "the word of Godzilla." Which alters the meaning significantly.

2


While looking ahead in my calendar, I noticed that the 2-year-old has been doing a little dabbling in the graphite arts.

Laugh along at the chaos our big family got into this week in another edition of 7 Quick Takes! Always relatable, funny, and random stories to give you a good start to the weekend. #7quicktakes #funny

Why he scribbled out some dates and left others alone I'm not sure, but I couldn't help but notice he blocked out our anniversary, which is June 20th.

Since the next day is similarly blocked out, I'm going to assume he's made us reservations at a nice restaurant and booked an overnight getaway for Phillip and I to celebrate.

3


My first grader was coming down to dinner and yelled "Wait! Where's my phone???" I naturally had no idea what she was talking about because she doesn't have one, but she went to go look for it, anyway.

She reappeared a few minutes later, brandishing a "phone" she made by cutting up a cardboard box and gluing a piece of paper with pictures of apps on the front.

Check out her home screen:

Laugh along at the chaos our big family got into this week in another edition of 7 Quick Takes! Always relatable, funny, and random stories to give you a good start to the weekend. #7quicktakes #funny

There's a keyboard at the bottom, and starting at the top there's a camera, YouTube, a workout app, time, and... send a message to the president?

I don't know where her ideas come from, but if she envisions one day having a shortcut to texting the chief of state on her own personal phone, she's definitely got big plans in mind.

4


When my 14-year-old and I went shoe shopping, we didn't know quite what to say about these "statement shoes." Some things, I guess you just can't argue with.

Laugh along at the chaos our big family got into this week in another edition of 7 Quick Takes! Always relatable, funny, and random stories to give you a good start to the weekend. #7quicktakes #funny
Accurate.

Well... yeah. If there's one thing people are, it's people. Truest statement I read in this Payless store today.

Then we moved on to another store and were looking at some flats. The pair my daughter liked came in three colors: black was called black, brown was called cinnamon, and white was called sugar swizzle.

Laugh along at the chaos our big family got into this week in another edition of 7 Quick Takes! Always relatable, funny, and random stories to give you a good start to the weekend. #7quicktakes #funny
Don't panic, we didn't buy $50 shoes. They were on sale.

Seems like there was a breakdown in continuity somewhere along the line:

Why didn't the black shoes also get a cute name like 'charcoal' or 'eclipse?' Or why weren't they all called plain old 'black,' 'brown,' and 'white?' And what the heck is a "swizzle?"

5


I take my preschooler and toddler to a local playgroup where they free play for a while, then we all sit down for a little lesson with a related song and a craft. This week it was on brushing your teeth.

The leader was going around the circle asking every kid what color toothbrush they had at home. One of the kids wouldn't speak up so her mom said "Emily has a blue toothbrush with fishies on it!"

That's when I started to sweat.

Moms are expected to know what color their kids' toothbrushes are? I'm sorry, but I have no idea. That kind of information was forcibly shoved out of my brain about three kids ago. I know that they have a toothbrush, and that's about as involved in their dental hygiene as I can possibly be.

Luckily both boys knew (apparently their toothbrushes are red) and yelled it out when the lady got to them, so crisis averted. This time.

6


After passing the pop quiz at circle time, the kids moved on to the craft area and I really loved the activities that were set up there.

At one station, the kids used dry erase markers to "dirty up" laminated pictures of a tooth, and then scrubbed it clean with a toothbrush. Isn't that an excellent visual representation of why you should brush your teeth?

Laugh along at the chaos our big family got into this week in another edition of 7 Quick Takes! Always relatable, funny, and random stories to give you a good start to the weekend. #7quicktakes #funny
Did not want to stop.

At the second station, they used toothbrushes to paint a giant outline of a tooth with white paint.

Laugh along at the chaos our big family got into this week in another edition of 7 Quick Takes! Always relatable, funny, and random stories to give you a good start to the weekend. #7quicktakes #funny

My 2-year-old liked doing this so much, he painted until he tore a cavity-like hole in the tooth. This was kind of at odds with the message the craft was designed to get across, but he seemed to enjoy it, anyway.

7


Earlier this week, our family to a trampoline park. They were running a special where buying 2 hours of jump time per person was a pretty good deal, so we did that. 

It sounded like a good idea until Phillip and I dragged ourselves of the trampolines, exhausted and dying, to the relative safety of the benches on the sidelines and realized we'd only been there for 35 minutes.

It wasn't just us, either. Even the kids were tired.

Only the 2-year-old kept going strong the entire time. He reminded me of the Energizer bunny, if the Energizer bunny also pronounced 'trampoline' tamperline and had a body shaped like a Dr. Seuss character.

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »

Thursday, March 28, 2019

All the Buttons Your Kids Will Push

Do your kids push your buttons? Of course they do.

When they ask for a snack immediately after eating nothing for dinner?

When they hit that exact frequency of whine that makes you lose it in the cereal aisle at the grocery store?

They're just kids, and pressing all your buttons is what they do.

But you know, I think it's really because the world looks different to them. They're not trying to drive you crazy. It's just that everywhere they go, they simply see a smorgasbord of buttons they can't wait to push.

The Elevator, When We Step Inside It:


For example, this is what a small child might see in the elevator.



To adults, it looks like a set of floor numbers. But to kids? It's the Old Country Buffet of button-pushing (both figurative and literal) with attractive options like:
  • Cage match with siblings
  • Cry because you wanted to take the stairs
  • Fight over who got to push the button last time
  • Comment loudly on physical characteristics of other passengers
  • Press random buttons for floors we're not visiting
  • Alert the authorities for absolutely no reason (the alarm button is my toddler's favorite.)
If you don't believe me, just wait until the next time you're trapped in one of these things on your way to visit the pediatric dermatologist. You'll see.

Video Game Controllers, When I Tell the Kids to Stop Playing:


It's not just elevators. Kids see their video game controllers differently, too. When I say "time's up!" they suddenly look like this:


As you can see from this closeup, it all makes sense now. The kids literally only have four possible options:
  • Whine
  • Complain
  • Argue
  • Ignore
This phenomenon is observable across all different video and computer game platforms, by the way. I asked around.

The Washing Machine, At Chore Time:


Chore time is prime time for your kids to push all your buttons, but what you may not know is that the settings on your household appliances are totally to blame!

Our washing machine, for example, appears this way to my kids:


When asked to do their chores, kids can use any of the following pre-selected responses:
  • "I don't want to."
  • "You can't make me."
  • "I'm tiiiiired!"
  • temper tantrum
  • "I need help."
  • "In a minute."
  • "I don't know how."
  • "Ugh, I do EVERYTHING around here!"
  • move so slowly mom does it
To which I'd like to respond here's a quarter (call someone who cares,) oh yes I can make you, I haven't slept more than 4 hours in a row since you were born, two can play at this game, you sure do, you said that 10 minutes ago, indignant rage, and fine, I give up

The Car, Whenever We Go Anywhere:


This LCD display for your minivan makes it easy for your kids to push your buttons on the go!


Halfway to school, they can let you know which item(s) they forgot with the touch of a button. (Was it 'shoes,' 'homework,' 'lunch,' 'coat,' 'backpack,' 'brain,' or all of the above?)

Two adjustable knobs also allow your child to select his/her volume level in the backseat and how urgently they need to pee, even though they swore before leaving the house they didn't have to go.

My Computer Keyboard, When I Try To Get Anything Done:


Should you attempt to accomplish anything on your computer while your children are awake, two things are certain.

One, they will be on you faster than a kindergartner on the extra cupcake at a birthday party. Two, they're going to see something like this:


Then they'll probably push at least one of the following buttons:
  • Fight with siblings
  • Start doing something dangerous
  • Spill juice on the keyboard
  • Cry
  • Request snacks
  • Climb on you like a baby koala
  • Send a half-finished email
(The half-finished email, incidentally, always goes to someone you're actively trying to impress and makes you look like a complete idiot.)

The Light Switch in My Kids' Rooms, At Bedtime:


Technically not a button. But it doesn't matter! This is what my kids think their bedroom light switch says when it's time for bed:


They can flip the switch to choose between one of two modes:

  • Get hungry, thirsty, lonely, or scared
  • Ask one million questions about lava

Neither one means they're actually going to sleep any time soon.

The Phone, Whenever I'm On It:


If you pick up your phone and examine the keypad, you probably just see numbers. But your kids? They see something else entirely:


That's why kids see you talking on the phone and think, this is an excellent time to:
  • Scream
  • Make a mess
  • Hurt myself
  • Bang pots
  • Show mom all my papers from school
  • Poop (and either ask for help wiping or just announce it loudly)
  • Play a loud instrument
  • Ask mom to find things for me
  • Argue
  • Throw up
  • Make embarrassing noises

There's a reason I take most of my calls in the garage.

If Kids Had an 'On' Button:


Unless your child is a cyborg, his body probably doesn't feature an actual 'power' button. But try to imagine that he did, because this would be it:




Kids draw on the walls. They stab the table with their forks. They throw rocks at the van. They make the little rip in the couch cushion bigger and when you ask why, they just look shocked that anyone would need a reason to deface property. They have a 'destroy' button, even if it's not a literal one, and it's always on.

If you have a child who pushes your buttons daily, it's not intentional. The pictures in this article explain why, which probably makes you feel a little bit better about your little button-pusher. And maybe also a little bit worse.

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files
Read More »