Friday, January 12, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Impressing Your Houseguests, Bad Places to Eat Brownies with Ice Cream, and the Living Room Mantel That Proves Less Is More

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


My 1-year-old's vocabulary is exploding and he's discovering that he really likes to talk conversationally.

His favorite type of conversation goes something like this:

"Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?"


*pointing* "Dat phone."

You know, really important stuff like that.


There are two methods kids use to show they're excited to have visitors over. Unfortunately, neither of them is sitting down and having a nice, normal conversation.

Predictably, when we had the missionaries from church over for dinner on Sunday, the first thing the kids wanted to do was show off for them. The length and exact content of the show varies, but generally it involves a lot of bouncing off the walls and couch like pinballs, yelling "Look what I can do!"

Then it's time for Phase 2, which is dragging out their treasures. First, my 3-year-old treated the missionaries to an up-close and personal examination of all his favorite new toys from Christmas (literally, he was practically shoving them in their retinas.) Then my 6-year-old brought down her own collection of precious things from her room, the capstone item being the tooth she lost on Christmas Eve.

The missionaries were very nice about admiring it all, although internally they were probably really hoping nobody else had any other dismembered body parts to pass around the dinner table.


Phillip and I went to see the new Star Wars. He'd already taken the kids over Christmas vacation, but had to leave during the most climactic part of the entire 2.5-hour movie to take someone to the bathroom.

We figured seeing it a second time might help him get closure, but just to be safe, we left the kids at home and both of us visited the restroom before it started.

The theater we went to was just built and it was really nice. Before the show you can order food at the counter (not just candy and popcorn, but actual restaurant-type food like burgers, salads, and desserts) and they bring it to your seats when it's ready.

Which sounds like a groovy idea, but in actuality there's not that much light in a movie theater and you can't see. Trying to eat with a fork in the dark is not as good an idea as you might think.


Along with his burgeoning language skills (see Take #1,) the toddler has also developed very specific requirements for his food.

For instance, a banana for breakfast sounds like a simple enough request. But you'd be wrong.

First, the banana cannot be placed on his tray. Attempting to use the tray that came with his high chair will infuriate him more than anything else you could possibly do.

Second, it must be cut in half. If you slice the banana, or serve it whole or in any other shape or formation, you will have successfully ruined his life.

Third, and this is important, it needs to be in a bowl. Not a plate, a bowl. Exactly why bananas belong in a bowl is unclear to me, but I'm assuming he must have his reasons.

All I know is, these three points are all complete non-negotiables for him.

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

And when it's something so important, I always deliver.


Home decorating isn't a particular skill of mine. Or even an interest, really. I like a clean, picked-up space but beyond that, I'm kind of domestically impaired.

We took down the Christmas decorations on New Year's Day, and it took me until Wednesday to even realize we never put our regular stuff back up on the mantel and it's looked like this for 10 days.

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

I meant to bring it back out when I noticed on Wednesday, but then I forgot again and it's still bare as I write this on Friday morning.

I wonder what people think of it when they come over. The missionaries didn't say anything at Sunday dinner, but that was probably because they were distracted by the bloody baby tooth.


A while back we somehow misplaced our two oldest children's social security cards, and getting replacements has been hanging over my head for almost a year now.

I made an effort. Last spring I went to the social security office and after taking a number and waiting for a half hour, was told that birth certificates don't count as identification and I'd need to get signed papers from their pediatrician at their next physicals.

After finally making the appointments, remembering to go to the appointments, and getting the appropriate paperwork compiled, I finally went back to the social security office to try again.

I brought an iPad for my 1- and 3-year-old to play on, thinking the wait couldn't be more than 40 minutes and this would be plenty for them to do. Unfortunately the iPad was dead on arrival, I had no snacks and no toys other than a single matchbox car, and we sat in the waiting room for almost 2 hours.

The kids were champs, though. We practiced hopping on the tiles. We looked out the window. We talked about excavators. We talked about birds. We played with the pennies in my wallet. Good times.

At least this time we actually got the replacement cards.


I came across this inspirational tile in a wall in a public space recently, and I don't know why but it has really stuck with me.

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

I think I may somehow adapt it to become our family motto. I'm thinking:

Ignore the noise as though you were used to it
And be late to everything as if you liked it.

I think that sums up our family quite nicely. Feel free to print on a mug or something for your next gift-giving occasion. Any other suggestions?

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Jennifer said...

But, you never said if you liked the new Star Wars movie. How was it?

Jenny Evans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny Evans said...

You know what? I really did. I was pleasantly surprised; I was kind of dragging my feet because I thought The Force Awakens was sort of boring. They're definitely re-inventing the franchise though, so don't be surprised at the new directions they're starting to take!

Rachel said...

Nice and clean and stark empty is pretty much my ideal for home decor. Although I have a soft spot for family photos so that's the decor that makes the cut. Also laughed at #2 because I feel like I've seen that exact scene so many times...

Jenny Evans said...

Glad it's not just us. I have had to say so many times, "When we're excited to see people, we do not hit them!"

Kelly M. said...

Spend an inordinate amount of time making dinner as though you were used to it, and watch your kids turn up their noses at all of it as if you like it.
I'll be thinking up more fun mottos all week with this template. Maybe I'll even turn it into a writing assignment for school.

PurpleSlob said...

Jenny, there is never a wrong place to eat brownies and ice cream!! It was dark, you could have eaten with your hands!! And then lick it all off, of course, before the lights came on!
My 20 mo is discovering her conversational skills too, about the same. I'm still "Mommy", which irritates the every loving life outta my daughter! lol I know she CAN say "Omie", cuz I've heard her say it. Twice.
BC are NOT identification?? WHAAA???