Friday, February 15, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Living Like a Pioneer, Disturbing Disney Discoveries, and A Few Notes About "Mom Brain"

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


A few weeks ago when my 4-year-old asked me a bunch of questions about earthquakes, I Googled "earthquake educational video" and clicked the first thing that came up.

There turns out to be an entire channel of educational videos by this guy called Mr. DeMaio, and I love him. His videos are as hilarious as they are informative. I'm about 26 years older than his target audience, but I would totally watch these by myself.

Fun fact about Mr. DeMaio: my 4-year-old, who mostly interacts with adults via church where kids call their teachers "Brother/Sister Jones," misheard the name of Mr. DeMaio and now calls him "Sister Demaio."


I've been living like a pioneer for the last 6 days, which is my way of saying our microwave broke on Saturday. (I bet you thought I meant I'd been molding my own candles from tallow and nursing various family members through bouts of malaria, but you were wrong.)

We finally got a new microwave on Thursday, just in time to pop a ton of popcorn for this delicious Valentine's Day popcorn for our annual family Valentine's Day tradition.


If I ever write an autobiography, I think I'll call it Cake Wrecks, Except It's Just My Life.

I made a cake mix from a box this week, which you'd think would be simple enough, but no.

First of all, I had no microwave (see Take #2) to soften the butter. Some dodo on the Internet claimed I could do it in a double boiler on the stovetop without totally melting it which was a LIE, so whatever, I hope my family likes butter chunks in their cake.

Second, I was making a buttermilk substitute for the batter and my son dumped the vinegar directly into the dry ingredients instead of the milk.

And then smoke started pouring out of the preheating oven because I'd forgotten to clean it after something bubbled over and burnt all over the bottom a few days earlier.

All in all, it amounted to a considerable amount of stomping and screaming over a boxed cake mix. But I guess it turned out all right in the end. We ate cake and I even remembered to clean the oven for next time.


There's something about having kids that makes you reexamine everything you take for granted. Whatever you wore as a teen that was cool, your kids think is weird. Your music? Also weird. The movies you grew up with? They don't get them and don't like them.

I don't remember why, but the other day I did the Arsenio Hall fist pump to my kids and you should've seen the puzzled expressions on their faces as they tried to figure out why I was punching an imaginary speed bag and barking like a dog.

When I looked at it through their eyes, I had to admit it was pretty weird.

Then again, I take comfort in the fact that someday 20 years from now, they'll dab or floss in front of their kids, and they'll suddenly find themselves on the other end of that bewildered stare.

That's the real circle of life, Elton John.


My older three kids remember watching The Little Mermaid years ago, but I don't think my younger three even existed then so we decided to watch it again.

As always happens when watching childhood movies as an adult, I discovered something horrifying I'd never noticed before: Ariel has no fingernails.

That's right. Just five fleshy points at the ends of her fingers and that is every bit as terrifying as it sounds.

I can accept that Ariel's singing voice carries underwater like she's performing at Carnegie Hall, but this is too much for me to accept.


You know how everyone jokes about how the first child gets a fully completed baby book, the second child gets one or two pages, and the third just has a few things jotted on Post-It notes if only you could remember where you put them?

Well, by the time you get to the fifth child, apparently you forget to go to kindergarten registration and have to visit the elementary school the next day to claim the paperwork with your tail between your legs.

Sorry, fifth kid. I still love you, my brain is just full.


Speaking of full brains, I just finished making a new video!

Every time an article or video about mindfulness pops up on the Internet, sarcastic comments spontaneously begin spewing from my mouth about how none of that even remotely applies to moms with small children.

So I finally ended up putting together a funny video on the subject called "Why Moms Can't Practice Mindfulness."

I really like doing videos, but I especially loved making this one because my four youngest kids helped. It was so fun to film with them and show them the finished product after I was all done editing.

As the video ended I turned to the ask how they liked it, but was cut off  by my 7-year-old pointing at the YouTube 'suggested videos' and yelling "LET'S WATCH THE ONE WITH THE CAT IN THE TOILET!" so I'm going to guess it made a big impression on her and she thought it was fantastic.

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Diana Dye said...

"You're the same thing twice." -Mr Demaio. Lol.

Alicia said...

Loved the mindfulness video! I made my husband watch it, too. Oh, the vaseline with the toothbrush in the hair...

Also, yesterday my 3 year old saw the plastic/cardboard wrapper for her new toothbrush in the garbage. She was horrified.
"Mom! Why did you throw that away?!?!"
"Because it's garbage from your new toothbrush."
"It's not garbage! I need it for a craft."
"I neeeeeeeed it for a craft."

I thought of you and your kids' "crafts." :)

AnneMarie said...

I am really excited to watch that Mindfulness video!! That sounds awesome. The Mr. DeMaio videos sound great, and I'll have to make note of those to watch with my boys in the future. And hey, if you guys ever find yourself without a microwave again, let me know if you need brainstorming help in figuring out recipes! We've been living without a microwave for about a year and a half, and I've gotten to the point where I forget that most people own microwaves because I am just so used to living without one now (I'm not opposed to microwaves or anything, I just prefer the extra counter space to owning another kitchen thing that we don't actually need).

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Love it all. No microwave is no fun. Although I still screw up softening butter in the microwave. I am off to check out these science videos!

Rachel said...

1) Writing down the name of the Mr. Demaio channel because that is very useful info, thank you!
2) So I guess I could claim to live like a pioneer because I haven't had a microwave since we moved to Malaysia? (the smartphone probably disqualifies me from true pioneer status, although, on second thought, living in a developing nation and buying my chicken from a butcher while stray dogs run around the market booths in search of scraps of flesh...and making sure to lock the gate so that monkeys won't get in the house like they did before...maybe can earn me a little bit of pioneer street cred? 'cause that's a real thing.) In all honesty, though, I love reheating leftovers on the stove. Almost everything tastes better reheated on the stove instead of the microwave, only I would have never known that if I'd still had a microwave. I'm like AnneMarie, I am not opposed to microwaves, I actually once wrote a love letter to my red microwave in America, but small kitchen means only the basics in kitchen appliances are allowed. And a slow cooker and water-boiling kettle take top priority!

Jenny Evans said...

I think that's the best line in any of his videos so far.

Jenny Evans said...

That happened here today when I tried to throw out some random cardboard. My first grader spent a while trying to convince me that they could "use it for a game or something."

Jenny Evans said...

I think the monkeys make you pretty legit.