Friday, January 27, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Baby Traps, Burning the Daylights out of Apples, and Staging an Intervention with Hewlett-Packard

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


Those of you who've followed this blog for a while know that my kids are bookworms to the point of ridiculousness.

I've written blog posts about the warning signs of kids who read too much for their own good, not just once but twice, and you'd think I covered all of them by now. But I have another, brought to you courtesy of my obsessed children: your kid has read so much she's made herself go BLIND.

My worst offender recently failed her school eye exam, and when we went to the eye doctor we found that she's nearsighted in one eye.

And as the American Optometric Association website clearly states halfway through the fourth paragraph from the top: "Individuals who spend considerable time reading... may be more likely to develop myopia."

So there you have it. Conclusive medical proof that my kids are destroying themselves with their bookish ways.


I've been a mom for a while now, and one of the funnest parts about babies getting mobile is watching them crawl into funny places and get stuck.

We didn't have a crawler when we bought our coffee table so we didn't think much of it, but the patented Baby Trap™ shelf on the bottom is my favorite feature.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Trapping babies since 2010.

The baby motors over to the coffee table like a heat-seeking missile. Obviously he can't wait to crawl in there, but then he tries to crawl out and can't figure it out to save his life. He cries, I go save him, and he heads right back in again.

So far it hasn't gotten old for either of us yet.


Is there any way I can get an interpreter to understand my 2-year-old? Most of the time he's pretty well-spoken, but every now and then...

We visited an indoor play area the other day. I was watching him jump into the ball pit and then I asked, "What's in that tunnel over there?"

He glanced at the yellow plastic tube and said, "Crack addict." And kept jumping.


"Crack addict."

"I'm sorry, I don't understand you. What is in there?"

"Crack addict."

At this point I'm envisioning some depraved vagrant having taken up residence somewhere in the network of plastic tubes and tunnels, and no adult even knows about it because only the kids go up there.

After asking a few more times in a few different ways and getting the same answer, I did what any mom of a toddler does and just gave up.

"Okay," I sighed, "Go up there and see the crack addict, then. Have fun!" (In case you wondered what parenting a fifth child looks like.)

My 2-year-old wandered over to the yellow tube and lifted up the clear plastic strips covering the opening, similar to the ones in a car wash. Holding up two strips in his hand he said "Crack in it!" and disappeared into the tunnel.

OH. Crack in it, not addict.


Tuesday was a snow day, and I decided to be a really great mom. I peeled a million apples and put them in a big stock pot on the stove to boil into homemade applesauce.

When they were soft, I turned off the stove, got everyone in their snow gear, and headed off to a local sledding hill for the next hour for the kids to have the time of their lives.

Or at least I thought I turned off the stove.

I didn't burn the house down, although that would've made an impressive story. But I did torch the apples so badly there was a blackened crust an inch thick at the bottom, and I wasn't even sure I'd be able to salvage the pot. I've never burned anything so badly in all my life. And I have burned some things, you guys.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
What it looks like when you buy, peel, and utterly destroy 10 lbs. of apples.

So overall, the day was a giant mom win and a giant mom fail. It's how the universe keeps balanced.


I mentioned before (Take #4) how I was having a hard time adjusting to Phillip going on little work trips every month with his new job. Well, I'm pleased to report that I'm moving beyond denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. I think I'm moving into acceptance.

(For those of you who think I'm overreacting to a few days every month, you are completely right. Then again, you try to put 5 kids and a baby to bed by yourself for several nights in a row and then let's talk about having rational feelings.)

The kids and I are finding some fun traditions to look forward to when Phillip goes out of town, namely eating all the things for dinner that he doesn't like. Our two solo nights this week were cereal night and parfait night, both of which Phillip insists aren't "real dinners."

I will tell you that I spent about 5 minutes prepping dinner each night, so that was real enough for me.


When Phillip and I were in high school, our band took a trip to New York and saw Les Misérables on Broadway. Just this week, we rented the 2012 movie version and it was like seeing it for the first time.

Of course there were entire subplots I'd completely forgotten, as often happens to me (in my defense, it has been 19 years since I've even thought about Les Mis.)

But it was also a very different show because as a teen I remember being most emotionally invested in the struggles of the younger characters in love, and that boring Jean Val-whatshisface was just an old guy. Watching it now, I thought the kids were just being melodramatic and it was Jean Valjean who tore my heart into little pieces singing about his daughter and letting her go.

Funny how time changes things.


It's 2017, and I'm really disappointed they haven't invented a computer printer that doesn't break down all the time. Or maybe they have, and I'm too cheap to buy it.

Regardless, ours is constantly having issues and flashing error lights in a completely nonsensical fashion.

My daughter tried to print something for school and came to me saying an error message kept popping up that said: "Problem With The Printer  User Intervention Is Needed."

Woah. This sounds serious. Although staging some kind of intervention might help, because a substance abuse problem would explain a lot of its erratic behavior over the last few years.

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Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

"Crack addict". That's awesome! Sorry about the apples. All that peeling - I admire your efforts.

Ellen said...

I love your printer! I worked in am office for a year and had similar struggles with the copier. It felt like a personal thing when it would jam.

Laurie said...

I am a reader too and also nearsighted in one eye only. We discovered it when I was a teenager, and after a brief stint with eye glasses, just decided to let it be as my other eye is fine and I only notice poor depth perception. (And my state will license drivers with only one "good" eye.) Now that I am knocking at middle-age's door, I went to see the eye doctor to ask about LASIK for my "bad eye". The doctor suggested I may not want to do LASIK. Turns out that my body adjusting itself for one long-distance viewing and the other for up close reading is going to delay the need for me to get reading glasses. Whoot, whoot! Now I don't call it my "bad eye", it is my "best friend" eye!

Jenny Evans said...

It was annoying, but I do have one of those Pampered Chef peelers that basically does all the work for me. So it could've been worse.

Jenny Evans said...

Oh, I know that it's a personal thing. It's always me in our house. And then I spend forever monkeying with it before Phillip says, "Did you turn it off and on?" Which of course works.

Jenny Evans said...

It's all about perspective. My daughter doesn't need glasses, either - at least not yet. Her other eye is compensating for now so we're doing nothing for the time being.

AnneMarie said...

The "crack addict" thing is cracking me up! Little kids are hilarious. Oh, Les Mis! Such an amazing story. I love the 2012 movie,and I love the book even more. I am so thankful for Victor Hugo :)
That's rough about those apples. I've had similar experiences with potatoes-one time, I really considered just throwing the pot out because I did not feel like scrubbing through all of the gross blackness and burned potatoes. But, because I didn't have another big pot to use, I pushed through and scrubbed it clean, and I'm not sure that was the right decision, because it was rough. Ugh.

Chaun said...

It bugged me forever as a teenager that Jean Valjean had "Jean" twice in his name. ;)

Unknown said...

We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week. Breakfast meaning yogurt, scrambled eggs, and toast. Husband hates it, my 2 kids love it, and I love it because it takes 5 mins to make. Cereal and parfait dinners sound awesome (and completely real)!

Jenny Evans said...

My kids are way more excited about cereal and parfaits for dinner than literally any other meal I've ever made.

Rachel said...

That is so sad about the apples...I think the saddest part for me would have been trying to scrub that pan back into useful existence.

Having fun traditions when Dad is gone can work so good it can even gradually make it so that people are somewhat excited when he's away. In our family, for years the "Dad's away" dinner of choice has been popcorn and apples. The baby sister gets to sleep in Mom's bed. And Mom stays up way too late watching Korean dramas with the girls. All things that cannot happen when Dad's home.
I always read too much. When I was about 12 I complained to somebody about how my mom kept me too busy, didn't give me enough time to read. Mom was walking by and asked, "How many books have you read this week?" I said, "Seven." She rested her case.

Jenny Evans said...

I actually thought of you when I realized that parfait night had become a "dad's away" tradition in our house. Popcorn is a good and simple meal food - popcorn and smoothies are our usual Sunday lunch (but Phillip makes those because he's always home for the weekend!)

PurpleSlob said...

Needing a 2 yr old interpreter made me laugh my belly off!! (Oh how I so wish!!)
At 3, my grand still bum fuzzles me on occasion!
If the kids are eating food, that's a real dinner!!

Jen said...

Totally random first comment, but I hope you sprinkled baking soda in the pot, added water and let it boil. I did the same thing with apples tonight, & the apples came out like magic after about 10 minutes.

Jenny Evans said...

I did! (I Googled it, of course.) And I think it's the only reason the pot could be saved.

Purfylle said...

Well that explains my myopia, but I never got glasses for it and it never really got any worse until now (I'm in my 40's)

Unknown said...

So, I don't blame you at all for having a hard time with your husband being away for a few days each month. It's hard enough getting three to bed by myself. I can't imagine 5. I'm kind of to the point that one night a week is easier than four days in a row. One night is easy, by the time you get to the third or fourth, things get a little haywire.

Also...that crack addict story is hilarious! Thanks for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

Queen Mom Jen said...

Oh my gosh, crack addict!! Kids. I have things like that happen all of the time. Remind me to share the story about the spelling word "condiments" that I thought was totally something else...

Jenny Evans said...

I can just imagine! Sometime you'll have to share.