Friday, November 30, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Upping the Creepy Factor in Your Holiday Gift Exchange, Our New Pet Wolf, and Why I'm Renouncing My Citizenship as an Earthling

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


My fifth-grader's class is doing a Secret Santa gift exchange in December, except instead of a traditional gift they're supposed to give a box of stories, poems, and/or illustrations they've created.

Today they're drawing the name of a classmate, who they're instructed to observe until December 14th to get an idea of what they might like before starting on the project.

As my son explained this all to me, my 12-year-old walked by and said "So you're just supposed to stalk someone in your class for two weeks? Creepy."

I doubt their teacher was going for "Secret Stalker gift exchange," but that's kids for you.


Phillip was hunting all around the house for something the other day and paused in his searching to ask, "Have you seen my hooded sweatshirt?"

"The green one?" I said.

"Uh..." he looked at me with a quizzical face. "I don't have a green one."

Well, that was an odd thing to say. His forest green hoodie is his favorite one. It has warm, fuzzy forest green lining and he puts it on when he gets home practically every day.

As I was explaining this, Phillip looked at me like I was sprouting additional heads and informed me that the hoodie I'm talking about is 100% gray.

When he found it and slipped it on I took a picture. Due to the light it doesn't look as green in this picture as it does in actual life to my eyes, but it's still green-ish, right? Someone please tell me you see it, too.

7 Quick Takes is the Friday roundup of the weekly shenanigans of a big family. This week we’re getting a head start on Christmas fails and having funny arguments over the color of a sweatshirt – can you relate? #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #largefamilies #funny
Subject of the photo refused to look at the camera or stop making eggs because he thought this was a dumb argument to be taking to the Internet.

This isn't exactly a new topic, though, because we also can't agree on what color the house is. I say yellow and he says green. However, I'd like to point out I once asked a neutral third party who said "tan," proving that our house color is legitimately ambiguous.


As we were sitting down to lunch with a friend's preschooler who was over for the day, he told us all conversationally, "I don't have any pets."

Bolting upright in his chair, my 2-year-old yelled "I do!"

Seeing that for the last several years Phillip and I have held to a strict "no bringing things into the house that require Mom to clean up their poop except for babies" rule, I was curious about what pet he could be thinking of.

"What kind of pet do you have?" I asked him.

He pointed to his shirt, which displayed the outline of a wolf, and said, "I have a dog."

Phew. Well, as long as he's happy and there's no feces involved, then I'm okay with it.


Autocorrect has been driving me nuts lately. If I don't go back and edit my texts, I sound like a crazy person when I talk to people.

Not only does it insist on changing the names of my children and everyone else I know to random nouns (my friend Susan is just going to have to officially change her name to Sudan at this point,) but it also leaves the obvious typos like "someth8ng."

As if that would ever be something I actually meant to write. Get it together, autocorrect!


I was at the library browsing for some easy readers for my first grader, and as I ran my finger over the spines of the paperbacks I noticed that one of the titles was The Day My Butt Went Psycho.

At first I just shook my head and thought, "Come on, this 'using potty humor to trick boys into reading' thing is getting ridiculous." I never thought I'd be nostalgic for the good old wholesome days of Captain Underpants, but here we are.

Then I tried to envision our straitlaced children's librarian  or any librarian, for that matter — recommending it by name ("Oh, and by any chance have you read The Day My Butt Went Psycho? It's excellent.")

Then when I was sitting down to write this, I Googled it (because I like to sound like I know what I'm talking about) and found out it's actually worse than I thought.

The Day My Butt Went Psycho is merely the first volume in the bestselling trilogy that includes the critically acclaimed Zombie Butts from Uranus.

Speaking of Uranus, the next thing I did was made a desperate phone call to Elon Musk begging him to take me with him when he moves to Mars because I just can't with this planet anymore.


Those of you who've been following this blog know I've been having a hard time with the transition of being a mom of little kids to being a mom of big kids, especially since my oldest started high school this year.

I always knew they'd grow up but I never really thought about how I would feel as my role as a parent as I've known and loved it for a decade changed. And it really does change when you're taxiing around teens instead of giving baths to toddlers and watching Disney movies.

At first I thought I was having a midlife crisis, but I think I've identified the feeling now: grief.

But as grief tends to do, it's starting to get less painful. I'm starting to believe I could even like this strange new world in which I find myself.

My 14-year-old has a 6 AM scripture study class before school, and this was the first morning of the year it was cold enough overnight to leave frost on the windshield. As I grabbed the ice scraper she asked (knowing that I have Raynaud's, a condition where my hands don't tolerate the cold well,) "Want me to do it so your hands don't freeze?"

So I sat in the car while my daughter scraped my windshield for me at 6 AM, realizing that life is different and will continue to change as my kids grow up one by one, leave home, and start families of their own, but different isn't all bad. It's going to be okay.


There's a Christmas tree farm near us and even though a tiny bit of my cheapskate heart dies every time we drop $70 on a tree we're going to chuck in a month, we make a morning out of it and memories are made.

The kids love picking out and cutting down our own tree, and riding with it on the trailer back to the parking lot. And one day if we strike oil in the backyard, maybe we'll even buy the overpriced apple cider they sell at the end.

7 Quick Takes is the Friday roundup of the weekly shenanigans of a big family. This week we’re getting a head start on Christmas fails and having funny arguments over the color of a sweatshirt – can you relate? #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #largefamilies #funny

7 Quick Takes is the Friday roundup of the weekly shenanigans of a big family. This week we’re getting a head start on Christmas fails and having funny arguments over the color of a sweatshirt – can you relate? #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #largefamilies #funny

However, once we got the tree set up in our house we realized it's impossible to make it look straight because the trunk itself is slightly bowed. No matter how we position the thing it looks like we let our toddler put it up himself.

But with the trunk bent like it is, there's nothing we can do except situate the tree so the best side is facing toward the front and then privately laugh about how it looks like the leaning tower of Pisa from any other angle. Which seems like a really appropriate metaphor for our life in general.

So maybe the tree is just perfect, after all.

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me said...

I would say the hoodie is a dark olive green - I have a couch in exactly that color. However, my husband would say grey. Vive la diffe'rence!

Michelle said...

That hoodie is 100% green. It looks olive green to me.

I’m laughing really hard at the library book, but just know I would be equally horrified to find that on a shelf.

Diana Dye said...

My husband and I have arguments over color all the time and he's colorblind. The best is when he and his 3 colorblind brothers all argue and they are ALL wrong. You'd think their handicap would make them unconfident but you'd be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Colorblind boys in my family too. I suggest you have Phillip take one of those tests found online. My brother-in-law was about Phillip's age when he learned that he was colorblind which, according to my sister, explained his attire choices over the years. - Kathy

AnneMarie said...

Ok, that secret santa thing sounds kind of hilariously creepy, now I'm just envisioning a group of 5th graders trying to sneakily observe each other :P ALSO, I hate to say this but...I'm with Philip on this one. That hoodie, at least in this photo and the light of my dining room, is totally dark gray! And I think it's really cool that your church does a 6 AM Scripture study-when I Irish danced in middle school and part of high school, it blew my mind when a fellow dancer, a member of the LDS church, told me about that-what a beautiful commitment to make!