Friday, October 28, 2016

7 Quick Takes about Giving It Your All in Walmart, Realizing that Quicksand Was Overrated, and Killing Plants Along with My Kids' Dreams

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


We went to a family day and open house at Phillip's workplace. I thought it was great, but I'm beginning to believe our 2-year-old just doesn't like open houses of any kind.

The first warning sign was at the front door when he flat-out refused to wear the visitor name tag. Wanted nothing to do with it. Somehow he even knew when we stuck it on the back of his jacket.

And then we toured the materials testing labs, where the rule is that everyone has to wear safety glasses. No exceptions. Even if you're two and are acting like the safety glasses are physically harming you just by existing in your presence.

When we crossed paths with other people touring the lab, I tried my best to give them a friendly smile that said, "Please don't call the police; we're not abducting this child, we're just trying to make him keep his safety glasses on. Thanks!"


I decided to swing by the Walmart near Phillip's work on my way home to pick up a few things.

I had a list of 6 things I needed for the kids' Halloween costumes, and I was in there for an hour and a half. I don't even know that happened. I'm pretty sure that place is a wormhole in the fabric of time.


As I was checking out at Walmart I saw a teenager near the registers wearing a shirt that said "110% ALL THE TIME."

It made me laugh because what he happened to be doing at that particular moment was zoning out on a bench eating a carton of Whoppers while he waited for his mom to finish paying for her stuff.

Maybe it would've been more appropriate for the shirts to say "110% most of the time"?


I received notification that the kids' schools are doing scoliosis checks and started having flashbacks. 

That's because the only thing I remember from elementary school is learning what a peninsula is and doing scoliosis checks. That may have been all we did from kindergarten through 6th grade. It didn't even matter that none of us knew what scoliosis was, we all lived in mortal fear of it anyway.

Another thing I thought would be more of a problem in the real world than it actually is: quicksand. A lot of my childhood was spent discussing how to escape a pit full of quicksand. I'm almost disappointed that as an adult I've never encountered it, not even once.


You may have seen me in a few other places on the Interwebs this week. (Just humor me by nodding and smiling, okay?)

Because it's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I was interviewed along with four other parents for a piece called "Here's What It's Really Like to Have a Miscarriage" at Huffington Post Parents. Read with tissues in hand; you've been warned.

On a lighter note, my post "Thoughts After the First Baby vs. the Fourth Baby (and Beyond)" was syndicated at Scary Mommy under the title "How I'm Parenting My Last Baby Differently Now That I Have a Seriously Large Family."

It wasn't until after publication that I realized my Scary Mommy bio still says I have 5 children and I never updated it to include my sixth. This was so hilariously appropriate to the general gist of the article I've decided to just leave it for now.

Sorry, children who come later in the birthing order. It doesn't mean we don't love you; it just means we don't have many functioning brain cells left.


One of the hallmarks of the elementary school mom is a windowsill full of plants in Dixie cups with their kids' names written on them in Sharpie. And maybe this plays out differently in other houses, but in ours these plants are always in varying stages of death.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Sent home by the school to be euthanized.

This is Corny, my 5th grader's corn plant.

Why the school would send home corn in October is beyond me. I'm obviously not going to be able to keep this thing alive through the winter, and even if I did, don't cornstalks get to be about 8 feet tall? This is just setting me up for failure. At least it's not a 30-foot tree (which we also killed immediately.)

Next to Corny is my 3rd grader's bean plant, which is actually still green but that doesn't mean anything. I can work miracles, as long as that miracle is killing a perfectly healthy plant and disappointing my 8-year-old who's looking forward to a bountiful bean harvest.


At the risk of having this blog turn into nothing more than a logbook of strange things I've found in the bathroom, I wanted to see what you thought of this:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Modern art installation, 2016. Artist unknown.

I like how the mystery sculptor combined two pet peeves of mine: when someone treats the empty roll of toilet paper like a shelf and just sets the new one on top, and when the kids leave their toothbrushes all over the house. It's so creative!

After finding a bicycle helmet in the bathroom two weeks ago, I got a few comments that I needed to write a post on weird stuff I've found in the bathroom. Apparently I really do.

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Unremarkable Files


Moderate Mum said...

I really want the 110% Tee, mainly because I know it would irritate so many people :)

Unknown said...

Haha! Last June my kids came home with quote a collection of plants in cups. One was parsley which looked like a tall string worth 3 leaves. I stuck it in the garden and forgot about it. Apparently it liked the garden because it now looks like a bush and I have more parsley than I will ever use in my entire life. Lol

Unknown said...

I hate my autocorrect. Lol

Jenny Evans said...

I guess either way, you can't win. You'll have to find some inventive uses for parsley. And I'm seriously impressed, can I send my kids' plants to your house instead?

PurpleSlob said...

Congrats on the Huff Post syndication! Thank you for sharing the pain of your losses, so other people will know they are not alone when they lose their baby. And also so others will be educated that a miscarriage or stillborn baby is STILL a baby!! And it's a death of a BABY!!
Yep, you definitely need to do the weird bathroom things post!

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

The 110% is hilarious for anyone who watches Celebrity Apprentice. The knife skills class is at I think the class might still be free!

I really enjoyed your article on Scary Mommy.

The Runcible Pen said...

Your two year-old sounds like an older version of my toddler. In fact, I tell people he was born two :)

AnneMarie said...

It's so funny that you bring up quicksand, because I also learned all about how to escape it when I was little! But I haven't ever encountered it, to my knowledge. I guess there's still lots of life left in which I may encounter quicksand-so who knows?

It makes me feel so much better about my very non-green thumb to see that there are others who kill plants. Occasionally, I think that I can grow cool things, but it never goes well. A year-ish ago, one of my parents' neighbors gave me some basil plants and told me that they're near impossible to kill...and I killed them. I followed specific directions from a book on how to sprout seeds...and all I did was create a bunch of mold. Maybe by the time I'm in a nursing home I'll figure it out?

Beth Cotell said...

As I was reading that your child brought home corn, my first thought was "IN OCTOBER???". One year (in the spring!) my daughter brought home a sunflower see and we planted it and it actually grew. We were all pleasantly surprised!

Rosie said...

It's that one scene in The Princess Bride that spurred everyone's obsession with quick sand, I'm pretty sure - so many hypothetical quick sand scenarios played through my head as a child based solely on that scene!

Jenny Evans said...

That's a good point! You're probably right about that.

Marilyn said...

"A bountiful bean harvest." Hahahahahaha. Awesome.
What is it with growing plants in cups? Does it really teach kids THAT MUCH about how things grow? Because I never saw so much as a single bean from any of my efforts as a child, either. And it's not like when I grew up and planted a garden I could be like, "Oh yes, I know exactly how to do this---it's just like taking care of my bean plant." Ha!

Alicia @ Sweeping Up Joy said...

Thank you for the giggles this week! I think you should do a "weird stuff I found the bathroom" post, too. :)

Mrs. Andy said...

Lovin' that modern art installation!!

Crystal Green from Sharing Life's Moments said...

I can see why the art in the bathroom would get on your nerves. :)
I can see what that shirt would make you chuckle considering the setting of the kid wearing it.
Congrats on being on Scary Mommy. I think it's cute that it hasn't been updated yet.

Wendy said...

Loved the Modern Art installation, primarily because it wasn't in my bathroom this time!

I know what you mean about quicksand. I've only met (to my knowledge) one person who actually encountered quicksand. It was my dad, and, in real life, it is not a slowly sucking death trap, but a sand/water mix that looks like sand, but acts like water. When he stepped in it, he fell immediately to the bottom. Which meant he was standing in sandy water up to his waist. It was sticky, but not difficult to crawl out of. I think I was so disappointed in the story (I heard it as a teen) that I have never told anyone until now!

Jenny Evans said...

I really enjoyed yours, and just like you I find all kinds of weird things in the bathroom but NEVER the hairbrush!

Jenny Evans said...

Hey, none of us can give 110% all the time. If you don't believe me, just read my bio at Scary Mommy!

Jenny Evans said...

That is so disappointing. I've heard that it's the same texture as the water/cornstarch goop you can make. Not scary.

Jenny Evans said...

I can see the value in growing a few seeds just to see how it all works, but I feel like I've killed 100 Dixie cup plants already over my kids' educational careers, and half of them aren't even in school yet! They'd better grow up to be farmers after all this, is all I have to say.

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

Way to go on the two publications! Walmart, Target, and Meijer are definitely wormholes. Especially when your kid free. Which is why curbside pickup is probably a lifesaver for me. Ha.

Michelle said...

I forgot about the scoliosis checks!! Don't our doctors check for that? Why the school? I never understood. They used to make me so uncomfortable.