Friday, May 8, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Joining Instagram, Birthday Parades, and Something to Look Forward To

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


Hey, guess what? I'm on Instagram now!

It took me two full days to figure out how to post something, which I thought was weird because it should be pretty intuitive. You know, since that's the entire point of social media or whatever.

It turns out you can't post from your PC; you can only do it from your smartphone while wearing $60 leggings and posing with an iced caramel machiatto. I'm such a dinosaur, that didn't even occur to me.

Anyway, I'm still learning the ropes and my followers right now are pretty much Russian bots and my mom, so if you're on Instagram I'd love it if you'd follow me!

Visit me on Instagram!


My son turned 4 this week, and just in time we found out about a local group that will organize a birthday parade for kids in town.

And by parade, I mean parade. I had no idea it would be such a big deal.

There were two police cars with their sirens on at the front, one ladder truck and one other fire vehicle, a military truck with flags, maybe 10 other cars of assorted do-gooders and well-wishers from town honking and waving happy birthday signs, and two more police cars following up the rear.

My son was so excited about his parade, although he did express disappointment after the fact at the lack of a marching band.

Talk about hard to please.


I figured my son would really get a kick out of a birthday cake shaped like an animal of some kind, so a few days beforehand I asked him, "What's your favorite animal?"

"All the animals," he shrugged.

"But which one is your favorite?"

"Just... every animal."

(He does this whenever he can't make a decision. Probably so that if he ends up with the wrong thing it's your fault, not his. Brilliant kid.)

"Okay, but if you had to pick one animal that you thought was the best one, what would it be?"

"A worm."

Alrighty then. I ended up making him a snake cake, which he thought was pretty cool.

My son was thrilled with his snake cake. His exact words were: "He doesn't want to be alive because he wants us to eat him."

I took that as the highest compliment, because it means he thought the cake looked yummy and he wanted to enjoy it without feeling guilty.


My teenager is a super-introvert but somehow ended up in a very large friend group. Earlier this week, one of them turned 17 and they organized a birthday parade for her.

I was the driver for this event, and after the parade the kids got out and spread at a safe distance over her lawn to sing 'Happy Birthday.'

Surveying the scene, I commented to another mom how sweet it was, and she answered, "Kinda sad, though."


I know what she meant: those kids wanted to be hugging and hanging out like they used to, not standing 6 to 10 feet apart in the front yard. But I just didn't see much "sad" about it. The kids were all laughing and happy, thrilled to see each other.

And there was such a family feel there. The parents were there, talking over their cars to each other in the same vicinity as the kids, with everyone enjoying themselves. Two of the teenagers had little sisters who'd come along and they were holding their hands so they stayed with them.

This whole epidemic has been a medical and economic disaster, but when I can't go outside without seeing families taking a walk around the neighborhood together, I can't help but think that something beautiful has come out of it, too.


Phillip's company engineers building materials, but lately they've been doing a lot of stuff with masks, making plans for everyone to eventually return to work in the building.

Since everyone will be required to wear masks, Phillip has been working on a little gadget to prevent them from fogging up people's safety glasses. He recently put on a prototype and filmed himself exaggeratedly inhaling and exhaling, then sent it to his team for feedback.

Under ordinary circumstances, Phillip emailing a video of himself breathing heavily to his female coworkers would be grounds for a harassment lawsuit, but things are so weird now it's just another Tuesday.


"I don't think we're very good at this staying-at-home business," I texted this week to my mother-in-law.

"Not when your children have a death wish!" she replied.

You remember a few weeks ago I had to bring my 6-year-old to urgent care for staples in his head. Well this week, we had to call 911 when my 11-year-old fell, hit his head, and then had a seizure.

The CT scan looked good (the doctor's word was "beautiful") and my son seems to be fine now, but your prayers would be appreciated that my kids won't succeed in mortally wounding themselves before this quarantine is over.


Want to see me on Monday? I'm going to be presenting at the Weekly Wellness Webinar on Monday, May 11th at 6 PM Eastern Time. (Check your time zone!)

Luckily, the topic isn't "how to prevent childhood accidents and injuries." Instead, I'll be sharing some laughs, advice, and encouragement for parenting through the coronavirus crisis. At the end there will be a live Q&A, and I'd love for you to be there!

Here is the registration link to tune in to the webinar (you can also use this link to watch the webinar after the fact if 6 PM is Crazytown at your house like it is at mine.)

It's free, fun, and best of all, it will give you something to put on the calendar again!

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Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Yay!! Just followed you on Instagram! Such fun. I am sorry about your son; I will be praying for you all. That must have been scary.

Yes, we go on a walk about three times a day - it is great to see everyone out. Before the brunt force of summer hits and forces us all back inside.

AnneMarie said...

Wow, that sounds like an intense birthday parade! And the cake you made looks amazing-it sounds like a memorable birthday for your 4 year old!

Peggy said...

I won't even ask what that boy was doing to fall and hit his head that hard! Tell him I'll keep him in my prayers and give him a hug for me, I love that boy.

PurpleSlob said...

Your kids are just proving the hardiness of kids! wow!
BD parades?? Where were those when I was little?? All I ever got was dumb parties!!
HB to Mr. Loves to Eat his Snake!! Great cake, Jenny!
I think that was so sweet for the kids to do that for their friend!!

Jenny Evans said...

Peggy: He was doing a pull-up on one of those pull-up bars you hang in the doorway. And by "doing a pull-up," I mean "swinging on it like an Olympic gymnast until it broke."

The Lady Okie said...

I'm so glad your son was okay! I would have been completely freaking out. I have learned that I don't do well when they get really hurt. Also just followed you on IG! :)