Friday, October 19, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Superheroes of Productivity, Ugly Things to Do with Apples, and Accolades from the Mongolian Government

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week? Or two weeks, in this case?


I'm back from my 10-day blog break, obviously, and let me tell you that not writing a 7 Quick Takes last week was really weird.

I've written one every Friday since the inception of the blog back in 2014, including the week when I pushed a human being out of my uterus. So yeah, I guess you could say I've been pretty committed.

Parenthetically, writing the year made me realize I completely forgot the blog's 4th birthday in September. For most bloggers, their blog is like another child, making me wonder about the fervent commitment I just said I had.

And also whether I missed any of my other kids' birthdays this year.


Some people love fall because of the crisp air, pumpkin-flavored everything, and beautiful foliage. I love it because it means spending all day chasing down my children with economy-sized tubs of Eucerin and rubbing it on their blistered eczema-ridden skin.

So I actually don't love it.

I have no idea if this will be a particularly dry winter and a bad year for their poor skin, but since my daughter had an idea the other day for a superhero who starts lighting storms by taking out her ponytail and shaking out her hair, I think it just might be.


Speaking of superheroes...

An email from the middle school recently explained they're teaching a special unit on executive function, which is academic-speak for "all the skills you need to organize and complete tasks."

This week, the email informed me, kids were introduced to the superhero of the week: Plan Man.

Though I was doubtful 6th graders would be too jazzed about meeting Plan Man, I can tell you that as an organization-obsessed adult I'd be first in line to buy tickets to a Marvel movie about Plan Man saving the world through meticulous project management.


What are your kids going to be for Halloween? We've never done a family costume before but one child was particularly excited about the idea so we did some brainstorming.

Of course, our 10-year-old really wanted to be a banana so that kind of limited our options. We thought about having everyone be fruit while the toddler donned a cashier's vest and held a barcode scanner, but that idea was nixed by the one who actually works at a grocery store for being "lame."

Most of the kids seemed open to the idea of me being a dog walker and them being dogs, so I went online to explore that option, which was harder than you might think. Googling "dog costumes" results mostly in costumes for dogs to wear.

After finding out that 6 good-looking dog costumes were actually going to end up being pretty labor-intensive and/or expensive, we decided to just go with these.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Not really. In the end, we jettisoned the whole idea of a group costume and declared this an every-man-for-himself Halloween like every other year in our house. Apparently, that's what works for us.

So far we have a surgeon, Mr. Incredible, a black cat, a banana, a gypsy, and one still undecided. Should be interesting.


I happened to see this Halloween shrunken head craft and thought "Hey that looks weird, let's try it." I'm not a crafter, but apparently if it's bizarre enough I might just attempt it out of morbid curiosity.

We carved apples into faces, dipped them in lemon juice to slow the mold process, and left them to dry for a couple of weeks. As per Martha Stewart's recommendation, we dried them on barbecue skewers which actually upped the gross factor if that's possible.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Trending on Pinterest: whimsical mason jar of shriveled heads.

The one on the left is mine and I'm just proud it looks like a face. The one on the far right is Phillip's and bears an uncanny resemblance to a 3-D ultrasound.

It was fun I guess, but much to the regret of the neighborhood fruit flies, we probably won't be trying this craft again.


One of Phillip's coworkers, who has been in Mongolia for the past year on a Fulbright scholarship, just came back.

The funny part was that she even brought home a gift for Phillip to give me: a pin from the Mongolian government for mothers of large families.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
When you're the most sparsely-populated country in the world, you do what you've got to do.

This is the Order of Maternal Glory, Second Class and it was awarded to mothers of 5+ children with cash bonuses back in the communist era (hence the Russian script.)

If only I had two more kids, I could've been upgraded to 1st class with an annual subsidy of 600 tugriks per child! Dang it.


My friend Bridget invited me to the inaugural concert at the new performing arts theater her college just finished.

She's the president of the Student Trustees, meaning that I'm basically famous by association now and when we arrived this was on my seat:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
If you saw how excited I was about this, you'd know I don't get out much.

Okay, so the signs were strips of 8.5 x 11" copy paper and they were written in Microsoft Office's default font, but I reserve the right to savor this moment when I was clearly a VIP at an upscale cultural event.

I took Bridget's advice and brought the sign home, planning to casually put it on my chair at the dinner table or maybe a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup if one should happen to show up, but I realized this morning that in a cruel twist of irony, it's still sitting on top of the washing machine where I set it down when I came home.

And now the dirty laundry is mine, all mine! [insert evil laugh here]

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Anonymous said...

In regards to #6...I'm anticipating 1st Class in 5-7 years according to my plan. You know who this is...

Unknown said...

So glad to see you back on the blog! That Mongolian pin is awesome.

Rosie said...

Man, I want a prize from the government for having so many kids!!

Jenny Evans said...

I'm considering just wearing my pin around anyway, even though it's super-heavy and from the wrong government.