Friday, June 29, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Things You Don't Want to Crush You, the Implications of the Word 'Never,' and Virtual Personal Assistants Who Would Get Fired If They Were Real

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


It feels good to be home. For our 15th anniversary, Phillip's mom came to stay with the kids so we could go on a trip to Québec City!

Thank you to all you fine folks of Facebook for helping us decide where (and where not) to go. For us, Québec City was the best of both worlds: enough to give us the taste of going to France but we got to drive there in a day and stay in our own time zone.

I promise details and copious amounts of photos next week, but for now let me just say we had a great time. Although seeing the locals with their children made me really miss the kids (which is ironic because they're up in my grill all the time at home.)

I think the kids missed me, too, even if my 2-year-old's response to us coming home after 6 days was to look up just long enough to say "this is a rock" and go back to digging in the yard. We get it, man. You're busy.


We saw lots of interesting things in Québec, but one of the oddest was these massive planters on the sidewalk. Seems overkill for geraniums, but my flowerbed is mostly crabgrass so what do I know?

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  [posted @ Unremarkable Files}
For reference, I'm 5'6" and this thing could crush me like a bug. 

Maybe I'm biased since I saw this on our first day in the city, but it seemed to me like the French Canadians have a thing for oversized planters. I saw several of them.

Which was especially funny because I noticed that the "watch for falling rocks" signs along the highway actually looked a lot like "caution: giant flowerpots tipping over."

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  [posted @ Unremarkable Files}
As you can see, gardening is very dangerous here.

Seriously, you don't want to get trapped under one of those humongous planters. You might have to cut off a limb to escape.


Also, we slept. A lot. We are so well-rested after 6 days away, it feels like it should be illegal.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  [posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Unable to believe how awake we are next to the wall around old Québec City.

After the first few nights, we realized we were sleeping on the opposite side of the bed we sleep on at home. It was weird that it was never a discussion, it just happened that way.

Then we figured out that after a billion years of getting up with kids (or being pregnant and waking up five times a night to pee,) I just automatically take the side nearest the door wherever we go.


Back at the ranch, the kids were having a great time themselves with Grandma. They went to the beach several times, had ice cream, watched movies, and the 2-year-old went a little crazy and ordered a Google home wi-fi router for $120. Let the good times roll.


We missed the kids' last few days of school due to our trip, and I do have to say I wasn't sad about skipping the early morning wake-ups. (Thanks, Grandma, for taking one for the team.)

On vacation it really hit me and I turned to Phillip, saying, "Oh my gosh, I will never have to wake the kids up at 5:45 again... until September!"

He argues that the sentence doesn't work out if I have to qualify 'never,' but the relief I feel just can't be expressed in a way that's grammatically correct. I stand by my earlier statement.


Has anyone seen the new documentary on Mister Rogers? I was never a huge Mister Rogers fan, but I do remember his show from my childhood and I appreciate as an adult what a revolutionary he was in kids' TV.

I was telling Phillip how Fred Rogers got the idea for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood when he looked around and got worried about the state of kid's programming; in fact he's quoted as saying, "I got into television because I hated it so."

"That's why I do pull-ups," Phillip said, smiling.

"Not really," I said, rolling my eyes. "He did it to benefit others."

"So do I."

We both laughed, but I thought the bicep flexing was unnecessary.


We've had an Amazon Echo Dot since last November, which Phillip thought was a great Black Friday deal but turned out to be an overpriced doorstop. Alexa can give us a daily news briefing and play Parry Gripp songs ad nauseum at my kids' request, but is rarely useful outside of that.

We tell her to set an alarm for 9 AM and she asks, "What time would you like me to set it for?" We ask her the hours for Famous Footwear or how old Steve Jobs was when he died, and she usually says "Hmm, I don't know that one." We ask her for the population of Chicago and she answers "I couldn't find any search results for [something that sounds vaguely like your search but not really]" or the even more unhelpful "Sorry, I didn't hear that."

I wanted to like Alexa. I think I gave her a chance, I really did. But the last straw came when we planted some grass on a bare spot in our yard and I asked, "Alexa, how long does it take grass seed to sprout?" She proceeded to tell me exactly how many miles I was from Sprout, Kentucky but since she didn't know my speed, she was unable to say when I would get there.

I don't need this kind of aggravation in my life.

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Caitlin Spearson said...

Funny story.. my best friend and I have known each other since we were 5, so there were a lot of sleep overs growing up. She always took the side of the bed closest to the door, because she also gets up a lot during the night. When I married my husband, we realized that I will always take the side of the bed furthest from the door, because I was used to sleeping in the same bed as my friend. So now he gets to blame her for his ever changing side of the bed when we stay in new places.

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Sounds like Echo Dot is Siri's twin. Uselss.

Glad you had a great trip! I'd love to visit Quebec City some time. With or without kids in tow, but we've never been away from the kids over, like ever, so it's looking like it'll have to to with them.

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Good grief. I should really proofread my comments, huh?

Jenny said...

Oh yes...Alexa and I have a love/hate relationship. What makes me the most mad is she always works for my husband. I think she's biased ;)

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Those flower pots!!!

The Not So Perfect Catholic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimberly said...

I have the BEST memories of a fall trip to Quebec City. I, too, love to hate Alexa. Mostly she’s a great kitchen timer you can set without hands.

AnneMarie said...

That giant planter is wild! It's neat that you two had a getaway together. Quebec City sounds awesome!

Jennifer said...

After you visit Sprout, swing by Louisville, Ky and my kids and I will take y'all out for ice cream. :) (I've lived in Kentucky for 30 + years and never heard of Sprout.)

Rachel said...

Now I want to see the Mr. Rogers documentary! Many happy childhood memories of his show! I'm glad you guys got to get away together! Grandmas are awesome. Staying with my grandparents while my parents went off traveling were some really, really good times. Of course, my grandpa was the kind of guy to set me up with a push lawnmower in his yard and taught me to mow the lawn by myself when I stayed with him the summer I turned seven. But grandma made us sugar sandwiches so it all evened out.

Jenny Evans said...

I just love that you are leaving them. I prefer to think that it's a mom-brain issue and I'm not alone.

Jenny Evans said...

I have suspected she plays favorites in our house too, purposely understanding some people better than others in what is probably a scheme to take over.

Jenny Evans said...

Yes! She's good to set reminders, although I'm never 100% sure she heard me right when I tell her so I'm never that confident it will work!

Jenny Evans said...

I would love to. I also have a free Echo Dot that I'm giving away. I can bring it with me if you're interested.

Jenny Evans said...

Do NOT tell my kids about sugar sandwiches...