Friday, December 14, 2018

7 Quick Takes about How You Know Your Mail Carrier Is Feeling Overwhelmed, a Not-So-Silent Night, and Delectable Desserts

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


My toddler's current book obsession is The Sweet Smell of Christmas, a cute little children's read about a cartoon bear family getting ready for Christmas. Creatively enough, the family members are named Father Bear, Mother Bear, and Little Bear (or sometimes just 'Bear' for short.)

My 10-year-old thinks it's weird, because calling the main character "Bear" is like naming the protagonist of a story "Human," but whatever.

That's why you don't read picture books with a 10-year-old. They think they know everything.


The funny thing about The Sweet Smell of Christmas is that it was originally published in 1970, so a few things are a little dated. On the last page Father Bear is shown smoking a pipe which you obviously don't see in kids' literature today, and the last time we read it my 4-year-old started asking questions.

"What's that in his mouth?"

"It's a pipe."

"What's that?"

"You put stuff in it and light it on fire and then breathe the smoke. But it's not good for you."

"Do you do that?"

"No, the Word of Wisdom [the code of health in our religion] says we shouldn't smoke. And I follow the Word of Wisdom. Do you?"


Well, this was news to me! He's four. "Why not?" I laughed.

"Sometimes in the driveway when it's cold I breathe smoke." He looked up at me anxiously. "Is that okay?"

What followed was a discussion about water vapor and condensation that went completely over his head and next time I think we'll just skip that page.


For some reason, my younger kids went through the Lego bin, collected the heads of all the Lego figures, and have been carrying them around in a basket.

I don't know why. Kids are weird.

I've seen them making a 2-3 foot long tower of Lego heads, and the other day I went to put on my shoe and recoiled in horror only to realize that the kids were keeping their heads in there.

Sometimes they just leave them on the kitchen counter, which is actually very creepy when you start looking at their facial expressions.

7 Quick Takes Friday is the funniest weekly recap where you can feel better about your domestic fails, mom fails, and just about every other kind of fail. This is real life. #7quicktakes #7qt #friday #unremarkablefiles #real #relatable #momlife
Why no, this doesn't remind me at all of a grotesque painting from the 15th century depicting the souls of the wretched in Purgatory, why do you ask? 


Phillip sang in a winter recital with our daughter accompanying him on violin, and then at the end there was a beautiful rendition of Silent Night with accompaniment from a string quartet.

It sounded so lovely, but my 2- and 4-year-olds had already sat through 90 minutes of music and it was an hour past their bedtime so they were going nuts.

To preserve the peace, I stood in the back and told them they could run around in the space outside the recital hall. No one would be able to hear them through the thick double doors, but there was also a window in the doors so I could keep an eye on them.

Let me tell you, it's a priceless experience listening to the world's most moving arrangement of Silent Night when you're simultaneously watching two slaphappy little kids careening around bouncing off the walls and each other like pinballs.


I looked out the window to see the mail carrier coming down our driveway with a package, so I met him at the door to get it.

This is what he handed me:

7 Quick Takes Friday is the funniest weekly recap where you can feel better about your domestic fails, mom fails, and just about every other kind of fail. This is real life. #7quicktakes #7qt #friday #unremarkablefiles #real #relatable #momlife

7 Quick Takes Friday is the funniest weekly recap where you can feel better about your domestic fails, mom fails, and just about every other kind of fail. This is real life. #7quicktakes #7qt #friday #unremarkablefiles #real #relatable #momlife

The best part was, he wasn't even mildly apologetic about it. He just handed it to me with a smile like, #sorrynotsorry.

Luckily the package was nothing breakable, but just in case you're thinking of priority mailing your grandmother's antique teacup collection you may want to wait until after December. It looks like the post office guys are a little stressed out right now.


We've been listening to Christmas music and my middle schooler had questions, specifically about the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.

"That just doesn't make any sense!" she said. "It's completely random. You have to kiss someone if you walk under mistletoe? Why not, if you're with somebody and you see some poison ivy you have to slap them?"

Which, now that I think about it, is probably the most hilarious idea I've ever heard.

Also, there's a lot of poison ivy in New England, so I'm actually kind of scared to walk around with my daughter now.


When my 12-year-old and I got back from her violin lesson, the younger kids were running around screaming and the house was destroyed and covered in Nerf darts.

Usually Phillip supervises cleanup and has everyone halfway ready for bed by the time we get home, but he was a short work trip so I'd just left them in the care of the 10-year-old with instructions not to kill each other while I was gone.

It took a long time to get everyone in bed and once I did, I still had a Christmas letter to write and a 14-year-old to pick up whenever she got back in town from an indoor indoor track meet.

It had been a long day and looked like it was going to be a long night, so I decided to make myself a nice treat.

I found a decadent-looking "hot chocolate for one" recipe online, mixed everything up, popped it in the microwave, and burst out laughing when I opened it to behold the splendor of my creation:

7 Quick Takes Friday is the funniest weekly recap where you can feel better about your domestic fails, mom fails, and just about every other kind of fail. This is real life. #7quicktakes #7qt #friday #unremarkablefiles #real #relatable #momlife
There appears to have been a struggle.

Full disclosure: I poured that hot chocolate into a clean cup and drank it anyway and it was delicious.

Happy Friday, guys!

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Rosie said...

My kids do the tower of Lego heads too! And then they wonder where all the heads have gone...

AnneMarie said...

The Lego heads! Yes! It's so weird that that is a thing. Also, your middle schooler's poison ivy idea is hilarious and kind of awesome :)

Laura @ Life Is Beautiful said...

The water vapor smoke thing is adorable!!

And that hot chocolate...that's the WORST when you open up the microwave to get a food or drink treat and that's happened!

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

You are cracking me up! I wish your middle schooler lived close enough to babysit my kids. We have some poison ivy in the front yard ;)

April Cleaver said...

I'm going to start slapping people whenever we walk past poison ivy. I think that's a great tradition to start. It alerts people to the danger! WAY more useful than spreading germs under the mistletoe ;)

Jenny Evans said...

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes...

Jenny Evans said...

I'm glad to hear from other people whose kids do this with the Lego heads. I thought it was so weird.