Friday, March 11, 2016

7 Quick Takes about Toys We'll Never Buy, What Saturday Mornings Look Like, and Reading Material That Can Seriously Damage Your Reproductive Health

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


Phillip got roped into manning a booth at a Boy Scouts math and science career fair on Saturday, so he borrowed some things to demonstrate from his workplace's lending library of cool sciencey stuff.

He brought home a box of these things, some super-fancy modular robotics cubes you can stick together in different combinations.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
These are called Cubelets, and this set of 20 costs almost what our minivan is worth.

Our kids enjoyed playing with them immensely, but I'm not sure that they were absorbing all the educational value promised on the box.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

When my son showed me a robot he'd built and I said, "Cool! How do they work?" he explained, "You put them together and they make this noise."

Well, that's $500 I'm glad we didn't spend.


Since Phillip was gone at the Boy Scout thing, I had to bring all 5 kids to my daughter's violin lesson at her teacher's house. It is not a large house.

I brought the iPad to keep them quietly entertained and out of the way, which was working pretty well until I peeked in to see my 7-year-old casually lying on top of their kitchen table propped up on one arm watching a movie.

When the teacher told the kids to "make yourselves at home," I don't think she knew what it's like at our house.

But at least they weren't taking their socks off everywhere and using the toilet without flushing.


If that's not enough of a mental picture of the kind of weekend we had, also consider this scene that took place Saturday morning.

Phillip got up early to go for a run at a local conservation area, and then woke me up by calling home afterward saying he'd locked himself out of his car.

No problem, I could come to the rescue as long as I could wear my pajamas.

I left the older kids with instructions not to kill each other for 10 minutes, grabbed the baby (and a kitchen towel to put in the car seat because his diaper was leaking,) and had just showed up to unlock Phillip's car when the kids called to inform me that their little sister had just thrown up.

Yay for laid-back Saturday mornings!


Every once in a while (okay, all the time) I'll get carried away with an idea that sounds great, but it's only after I get started that I realize I've completely lost my mind.

Phillip's been motivating us all to eat healthier lately; I'll admit that at first I wasn't on board because snickerdoodles are apparently "not good for you," but whatever, I guess it's an alright thing to do.

Anyway, after deciding I was on board I thought it would be a good idea to make a boatload of healthy, homemade, not-processed food for this week.

(Luckily I reigned myself in when I realized I was Googling recipes for making your own ketchup, but I still did some crazy stuff.)

In a move that is so typical for me, I decided that pacing yourself is for losers and when I got home from the grocery store I commenced to make carrot lemonade, healthy blueberry muffins, yogurt-and-fruit popsicles, and the cauliflower rice we were having for dinner  all at the same time.

Needless to say, my kitchen was utterly destroyed and I did nothing but cook all day. And now I'm mad when the kids eat the food I worked so hard to make.


Phillip mentioned he'd ordered something for work and it was being shipped to the house, so when a gigantic box showed up on the doorstep I didn't think much of it.

He was completely perplexed at the size of it but figured out what the problem was when he opened the box.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Under a holy ton of styrofoam packing peanuts were the devices he'd ordered, in ten packs of ten, instead of the single pack of ten he'd wanted. Whoops.


Speaking of which, let's talk about packing peanuts for a minute. What kind of sick, sadistic person invented them? And why did s/he hate humanity so much?

When you open a box full of packing peanuts, kids are immediately drawn to it like moths to a flame and within seconds, their hair, their clothes, the walls, and every other surface in the house are covered with tiny, staticky styrofoam pieces.

In my unscientific observation, every 2 minutes that packing peanuts are present in your house represents another month you'll be vacuuming up those little styrofoam bits of wretchedness.

Those things are like plastic Easter grass on speed.

I may or may not have expressed my feelings about packing peanuts to Phillip in my usual hyperbolic fashion, only to have the 4-year-old overhear and ask me for the rest of the day, "Why did Satan himself mail packing peanuts to our house? Then why did you say he did?"


I get why the fine people of the Interwebs write clickbait titles for their articles, but sometimes they try a little too hard.

Exhibit A:
It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Courtesy of Huffington Post Parents

I guess it's supposed to mean it's so adorable it'll make me want to have a baby, but since it sounds like reading the thing would be fast-tracking my way to an emergency hysterectomy I steered clear of the article.

(If you're braver than I am and you do read it, let me know if it was as cute as they claimed. And then probably, you know, call your doctor, just in case.)

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Rosie said...

Ugh, I'm with you on the packing peanuts - I detest them!!! For some reason my 3yos like to chew them up and spit them out all over the floor, so we've got some clinging to us because of the static electricity, and the rest are soggy little surprises to step on throughout the day :( Almost makes it worth going to the store instead of just ordering online! *almost* ;)

Jenny Evans said...

See? That's the great thing about the Internet - whenever I complain about something, I find out that someone else has it worse than me and I don't feel so bad!

Luckily most of the things we order online are packaged with those little air pillows instead of packing peanuts, which are great because we can either reuse them or the kids take them out to the garage and jump on them - no mess, easy disposal, everyone is happy.

Crystal said...

#6 is hilarious! My grandma and MIL really overdo the Easter grass, so our Easter grass is Easter grass on speed! I am always worried about the kids eating the peanuts, but mine also nearly murder each other if the little ones don't give the bigger ones time to do the division problem to determine how many air bubbles each child gets to pop. Then somebody gets a dud and there is crying anyway!

Jenny said...

My husband also gets the "lets eat healthy" idea once in a while. I usually, very quickly, shoot him down and remind him I like food and wont be doing any kind of diet at this point. I also remind him that he's pretty lucky to have a home cooked meal every night as it is and if I have to put too much more work into it, that might not be happening at all. We do eat healthy-ish most of the time. Just not healthy like taking out processed food or going vegan or anything like that.

Jenny Evans said...

A few years ago I just stopped putting in Easter grass altogether. It began as a revelation at the store when I asked myself why I was buying a bag of stuff specifically designed to throw away that was providing 0% enjoyment for anyone in my family. We've never been happier.

Jenny Evans said...

We've always eaten reasonably healthy-ish too, but he's all into vegetables now which is hilarious because he hated vegetables with a passion for the first 30 years of his life.

Rachel said...

"And now I'm mad when the kids eat the food I worked so hard to make." ahahaha! That happens in our family, too, which is why, although we eat fairly healthy (processed foods like, oh, say, frozen or canned veggies, boxed mac-n-cheese or cans of spaghetti o's, etc. generally don't exist in malaysia). So, all of our veggies are fresh produce and it takes a good half hour or so to clean and chop up enough veggies for lunch. If a labor-intensive meal that was supposed to last for two meals got eaten up in one...we could be in trouble. But basically nothing lasts for two meals in a family of nine...

Lyndsay said...

A box showed up at our house with packing peanuts as well! I about had an anxiety attack when I opened the box. Lol
Plus the idea of the the peanuts in the house with the baby gives me chills.
I have a system for dealing with with them.
We don't buy Easter grass either.

Rachel said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! Your QTs are my absolute favorite! Keep writing and sharing!

Queen Mom Jen said...

I would be mad if my kids ate all of that healthy food too. Much better to take pictures and put it on the wall for display!! Amen on packing peanuts! If I open a box with packing peanuts it goes outside the second the item is out, so that the children will not even know of it's entry into our home.

PurpleSlob said...

Easter grass on speed Bwhahahaha!!
Carrot lemondade???? But the blueberry muffins sound good.
I get mad when people eat my food too. So, I just don;t cook! Problem solved.

The Lady Okie said...

#4 is like watching the class frog, yes? ;) and too funny about "typical hyperbolic fashion" and Satan mailing packing peanuts. I see what you did there.

Jenny Evans said...

You know, I never made that connection. But yes, it's exactly like that. I apparently have more of a problem than I thought!

Jenny Evans said...

Well, there's one solution! The carrot lemonade was actually way better than I thought it would be. Only one of the kids didn't like it; I think I'll put in less lemon juice next time, though.

Jenny Evans said...

Oh, please do share your system. I hate even trying to dump them in the trash because they bling everywhere and fly all over!

Jenny Evans said...

Glad to have you here!

Michelle said...

You never fail to crack me up. I feel the same way after my family eats a meal I cooked. Why are you eating it?? Don't you know how much effort that went into it?

Lynne at The Sweet Midlife said...

Okay, you are writing about healthy eating. I can cosign this only because I an eating an orange but only after I ate several biscuits accompanied by gravy. And the child on the table at the lady's house is everything because mine would have been up there with her. Oh. Yes. And oh, those babies in Afros were amazing. I had one of those (who is now almost 4) so I can attest to their cute power. But my ovaries are okay where they are.

Tubbs said...

Packing peanuts are the worst! They get everywhere.

Jenny Evans said...

So glad it didn't cause any permanent damage! And I think you can still count that. The biscuits and gravy thing can be on a need-to-know basis only.

Jenny Evans said...

It's annoying, isn't it? They've got some nerve.

Katy said...

Hee hee! I thought snickerdoodles were healthy because of the cinnamon. It's like a spice so that's good for you right?

Packing peanuts and glitter both come from the devil, I'm convinced.

Sarah said...

Easter grass on speed, lol. I despise Easter grass, so I can't even imagine. We have been fortunate (thus far) to not have packing peanuts shipped to our house. :) Anytime we ordered something online it gets sent with either a) bubble wrap (which is AWESOME) or b) those big bags of plastic that contain nothing but air.