Friday, October 23, 2020

7 Quick Takes about My New Favorite Stickers, the Internet Spying on Me Again, and What Not to Buy For Anyone's 40th Birthday

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


I was at the store this week and saw my new favorite product:

"Didn't cry" is my favorite.

Seriously, as a society we have this "everybody gets a trophy" mentality all backwards. Kids don't need participation awards for just showing up. Being a kid is so easy that someone else washes your underwear. Adults are the ones who need the encouragement just for doing the bare minimum some days.


My four younger kids are enjoying hybrid school. I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but they're enjoying going to school in person and on the days when they're on the computer learning from home, it's turning out to be great.

On remote days, the 8-year-old likes having long lunches if she finishes her work early, and the 6-year-old enjoys simple pleasures like being able to slip into a Spiderman costume and run around the house on his 15-minute break in the morning.  

Which seems like a pretty awesome break if you ask me.


My 16-year-old recently told me about Sabaton, a Swedish heavy metal band that sings about historical battles. 

Okay, first of all, I love the idea. Do I love heavy metal? No. But I am so in favor of things that are so unique, other people couldn't come up with an idea like that if they tried.

I also love that my daughter sometimes looks up the lyrics and researches the battles they're singing about. (I just hope she's not counting that as her homeschool history work.)


Lately I've been experiencing a series of serendipitous coincidences, and it's kind of freaking me out.

Recently we realized that our daughter needed a better chair if she's going to be homeschooling full-time, so I was on the hunt for a good deal on an office chair. And then when I was driving to drop her off at cross-country practice, I happened to drive right by one on the curb with a "FREE" sign that seemed like it was placed there especially for us.

Less than a week later, our vacuum went on the fritz and I started shopping online for a new vacuum (just looking, not buying quite yet.) The very next day, I was taking someone to soccer practice and drove right past a free vacuum on the curb outside a different house. It was the exact brand I'd been looking at online and there was even a package of vacuum bags propped up next to it.

You know how sometimes you mention something random, like tea cozies, to someone in conversation and then all of a sudden you're eerily seeing ads for tea cozies all over Facebook? It's been like that, but in real life.


Phillip is turning 40 soon, and I've been doing a little research just to give me ideas.

After doing a Google search, I clicked on an article in The Strategist. I haven't heard of The Strategist before, but it appears to be a very sophisticated, black-and-white shopping website that even says "New York" on it, so you know it's classy. The article promised to contain "the best 40th birthday gifts, according to people who've turned 40 or are about to turn 40." 

It turned out to be the most unhelpful thing I've ever read on the Internet.

It started out okay. There were some luxury kitchen gadgets, which actually could be something the right 40-year-old could indeed appreciate.

But by the time I got to the $91 scrunchie, I was dying. At the $198 tie dyed T-shirt, I was laughing so hard I couldn't even keep reading.

I was so thoroughly amused that maybe I'll just send Phillip a link to the article for his birthday. Laughter is, after all, a gift.


While we were eating dinner, I mentioned that I was tired and my 6-year-old randomly looked at me and said, "You're like a queen."

Then he added, "But you're kind of like an old woman, too."

"How am I like a queen and an old woman?" I pressed.

"Because you're tired."

"Okay, so I'm tired like an old woman?" I said. He nodded so I asked, "And how am I like a queen?"

"Well, I guess you're not, really." He picked up his fork. clearly ready to be done with this conversation. "You're just like an old woman."


I used to be an avid journaler. Over the last decade, I've written in my journal less and less frequently until it was basically just a token entry every few years when I had a baby. 

But I figured quarantine was a good opportunity to start again, both because I had more time and it might be more interesting for posterity to look back on one day than the usual "today I drove to the high school four times and used half a tank of gas shuttling kids to soccer practice."

Anyway, now my journal is getting full and I've been shopping online for a new one. I was hoping to find a nice one, maybe leather bound with a nice design on the front or something, but so far I've been disappointed. 

It's all compasses and script admonitions to "Let the Adventure Begin," and all I want is something a bit more representative of me. Like a cover with a picture of a hamster on a wheel, or maybe the words "At Least She Tried" hastily scrawled across the front.

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jen said...

My bullet journal is from Archer and Olive. You might want to check them out.

Unknown said...

So sad about #5. I was hoping for bday present ideas! I love your coincidences. Makes a frugal heart sing.

Kimberly said...

Those stickers are great. I think I earned about five of them today. For example, my family didn't fire me. Well, not yet, anyway.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Those stickers are fantastic! I still make myself sticker charts - even as an adult. All the better if they have fun stickers on them!