Friday, November 16, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Attributing Intentions to My Car It May Not Actually Have, Face Washes for Desperate Times, and Places Not To Take Your Three-Legged Dog

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


Can I just say that this area of my dashboard really stresses me out?

It's always lit up like a Christmas tree and I'm like, "Look, I know I have no gas and my tires are going flat but you continuing to remind me while I'm running 30 minutes late with a toddler kicking my seat is NOT HELPING THE SITUATION!"

It's worse than when I set my GPS but decide to run an errand first and it keeps saying "recalculating" every 5 seconds in that thinly-veiled "you're an idiot" voice.


We've had a weird stomach thing going around (and around and around) our family for weeks, which means it probably wasn't the best time for my sister-in-law to come stay the weekend with us.

But Megan had already bought plane tickets and was piggybacking this visit on a work conference, so what else could she do?

It looked like Ground Zero for biological warfare when she walked in. At that exact moment, I was trying not to hurl because I was on my hands and knees mopping up after someone else.

But Megan seemed happy to see us and played with all of the kids anyway, even if I did see her occasionally rubbing Purell on her face like moisturizer.


My kids aren't used to having relatives besides grandparents come to stay with us, so my littler ones kept calling my sister-in-law "Grandma."

She's 29, by the way.

After being called 'Grandma' for the fifteenth time, Megan mused out loud, "If I had a baby at 14 or 15 who also had a baby at 14 or 15, I guess it's conceivable..."

Then she laughed. "Horrifying, but conceivable."


Everyone was feeling better on the last day of my sister-in-law's visit, so we went to a place near us that is a cross between the world's most beautiful arboretum and a cemetery. We needed to get out of the house and I figured we wouldn't infect too many people there since most of them were already dead.

It sounds weird to visit a cemetery for fun, but I promise the place was gorgeous and so worth the trip. While we were there, we saw several other people obviously on leisurely strolls with their families so we weren't the only ones.

My kids got a kick out of the pictures on this sign at the entrance:

The crazy weekly recap of our family of 8 that will make you say, 'I guess things could be worse!'

All throughout the cemetery, they kept freezing in a running man position and saying, "Oh, no! I'm breaking the rules!"

They also noted you aren't allowed to bring your picnic table, and three-legged dogs on the premises are strictly forbidden.


My 14-year-old bought a bottle of root beer after work and was struggling to open it in the car on the way home.

I was giving her a hard time about it, so she pointed the bottle at me and said, "Here, you open it. If you can't do it then I can make fun of you, and if you can then I get my bottle opened. So it's really a win-win."

For the record, there was something horribly wrong with that bottle and even after we got home and cut the seal with scissors the cap still wouldn't budge. I think she ended up stabbing a hole in it with a screwdriver and pouring it into a glass.


As I was picking up miscellaneous ponytails and action figures in the kitchen one day, I noticed a random chair in the middle of the floor for some reason.

My hands were full, so I flagged down my 4-year-old and asked, "Can you push that chair to the dining room?"

I'd forgotten I was the one who'd dragged it in the kitchen to reach something on a high shelf, but he looked up from playing cars and gently reminded me. What he said was: "But Mom! You have to put away your crap."

Ah, the joys of hearing yourself coming out of a preschooler's mouth. I was, at least, surprised into putting away my crap, so that's something.


Lately one of our kids has been coordinating outfits for all the siblings whenever possible. I love it, and not just because it means we might just be able to get a decent family picture for this year's Christmas card.

It especially warms my heart because it immediately makes me think of something I read in a parenting book called Hold Onto Your Kids. When we feel close to someone, we delight in finding (or making) similarities with that person. It's only when the relationship is rocky that we go out of our way to find (or make) differences between us.

So sure, sometimes my 5-year-old will walk around with toys shoved down her pants just so she doesn't have to share, but on the whole I'm so happy they love each other and get along.

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Melinda said...

Hey Jenny!! Finally remembered to go to Firefox, so I can comment! Your car lights thing is so true!! I HATE being nagged by a CAR! lol
14 is so wise!

Rachel said...

The Grandma one cracked me up! Figuring out family relationships is hard. Even I have literally told Cyrus, "You're gonna play with your sister now." ...telling him that he's going to play with Sarah, who is MY sister.
I love wandering cemeteries. They are beautiful, and especially in very old cemeteries, the stones tell quite a story!

Unknown said...

#3 is hilarious! That got a good chuckle out of me :) Also yes yes yes on #1!!! It seems like our "check engine light" is perpetually shining and it's definitely stressful to drive down the road as it glares at me.

On #4, I really enjoy beautiful cemeteries. In my college town, there was an old historic cemetery that was known for being particularly beautiful. One of my friends went on her first date with her now-husband there, my husband and I frequently went there to walk, and some religious sisters I knew once or twice even took a picnic lunch there to enjoy while they watched the wildlife around the cemetery!

Jenny Evans said...

Yes, some of them were extremely interesting!

Jenny Evans said...

Also, I still don't know what to call MY aunts, uncles, and cousins in relation to my kids so my kid just know them as "Aunt Pat" and "your cousin Scott" even though they're my aunt and cousin. Also, my cousin's children are also known as "your cousins." I should probably find out what they actually are but I guess I'm just lazy.

Jenny Evans said...

Oh yeah, there was a birdwatching board up front with a chalkboard list of recently-seen birds in the cemetary, and maps of the notable dead people buried there. It was quite the happening place.