Friday, January 13, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Google Tasks, Haphazard Painting, and Reasons Not to Have Identical Twins

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


Well, our college kid went back to school last Friday afternoon. And because Phillip and I are terrible at planning ahead, we forgot to tell the other kids that by the time they got home from school, she'd be gone.

I didn't want them to just come home in the afternoon to find their sister had fled the state without even saying goodbye, so I ended up driving around for 45 minutes that afternoon picking everybody up early so they could see her off.

Next time, I should plan ahead better. But I probably won't.


Assigning chores on a chore chart was great when my kids were little, but as they've gotten older I've wanted them to take more ownership over the process and figure out for themselves what needs to be done. I took down the chore chart and the kids tried to take the initiative, they really did, but in reality what happened was that the toilet just never EVER got cleaned.

Then I discovered Google Tasks. Listen up and I will give you instructions that will change your life.
  1. Open up Google Tasks. It's the blue checkmark icon on the sidebar when you go into your Gmail or Google Calendar.
  2. Type in your household chores. For each one, set a date when you'd like it to be done next. Then mark it as a recurring task, setting the frequency to ___ days depending on how often it needs to be done.
  3. Sort the list by due date. 
  4. Install the Google Tasks app on your family tablet/device so the kids can check it easily.
Now you have a list of household chores, featured in order of urgency. When something gets checked off, it disappears from the list and reappears again in 7 days (or whatever frequency you have that specific chore set to.)

My kids are already pretty good about doing a chore every day, but now they can direct themselves but still all the chores that need to be done are getting accomplished. And the list repopulates itself, so it's not like it falls apart if I'm not directly managing it every second of the day. It's amazing!


This week we had a minisplit system installed, which is a ductless heating and cooling system for the house. Phillip is so happy to be done with lugging out the old behemoth window A/C units every summer, he doesn't even know what to do with himself.

Unfortunately, our inability to get on top of life and plan ahead came back to bite us again. 

When you install minisplits there have to be refrigerant lines running down the outside of your house, and to make that less ugly they have plastic covers that go over the lines that can be painted the same color as your house so they aren't so obvious.

Long story short, what ended up happening is that we only had time to hastily apply one coat of paint that was barely dry in time for the installation guys to put them up on the house. (I was literally painting frantically as the guys were coming in saying, "Are any of these dry yet? Can I have them?")

So in the spring I'll have to get up on a ladder and add a second coat, but I guess this is fine until then.


As our last Christmas experience gift, my family went to see a family-friendly improv comedy show on Saturday. I wish we could've done it before our oldest daughter had to go back to school, but that's just how the schedule worked out.

It was a fun show, and the kids enjoyed it more than I thought they would. It was so silly, and there was plenty of audience participation. 

They did lots of improv skits, and when I asked my 11-year-old which one she liked best she named one that involved the actors pretending they were playing with a dog named Taco. "Why was that your favorite?" I asked.

"Because at the end of the skit, she carried Taco over and gave him to me to bring home," she said. I must have missed that part, but I guess we have a dog now.


I volunteer twice a month at the temple for my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and I love it. People of our faith come to the temple to participate in various ordinances all day and I help them when they arrive. It's pretty much the best job.

However, I was just TRICKED into becoming a shift coordinator! That's like the supervisor: the person who makes the schedule of who's doing what, and also the one responsible for handling anything unexpected that comes up. 

First they asked if I'd do it after shadowing the current coordinator for a few months. Being the one in charge and running around putting out fires isn't my favorite thing, but someone needs to do it and that's basically what I do all day long as a mom, so I said yes.

"I'll put you in the computer system now as a shift coordinator so you can access the system," I was told. And then I got a call from the current coordinator saying "Now that you're listed as the coordinator, I actually can't get in the system to make the schedule. Can I walk you through it?"

So I was basically tricked into doing it on Wednesday. But actually, it went great. I learned a lot, and guess what? When someone came to the temple who only spoke Spanish and last-minute accommodations needed to be made, I was like, "No hay problema."


My 6-year-old was telling me about a classmate's mom, who visited his first grade class and happened to mention that she has a twin. Here was the conversation we had about that:

6: Mom, I don't want to have a twin.

Me: [laughing] Well, don't worry because you don't have one!

6: I mean when I'm older.

Me: ... twins are two siblings born at the same time. If you don't have one now then you never will.

6: No, I mean when I'm a grown-up. I don't want to have a kid that's a twin.

Me: Ohhhhh. Why not?

6: Because I won't be able to tell them apart!

When I related the conversation to Phillip, his eyes widened and he asked, "What if you actually did mix them up as babies, and you just never found out? Worse yet, what if you knew there'd been a moment of uncertainty about which one was which? What would you do? Do identical twins have the same fingerprints? Can you go back to the hospital and find out for sure??"

And now I'm stressed about a hypothetical situation involving newborn twins I don't have. Does anyone know what would happen in a situation like this?


A friend from church gave us a bag of hand-me-down clothes from her young adult daughters. And it's too bad that in our faith we don't call ourselves Mormons anymore or I would totally wear this shirt:

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Anonymous said...

Well, as the mom of identical twins, I have to answer your questions. Identical twins do NOT have identical fingerprints, although hospitals don't fingerprint babies, so that wouldn't help you if you mixed them up. Identical twins have the same DNA but they express it in different ways, so they don't look exactly the same. They might to people who don't know them well, but not to their own mother! When mine were born they looked different enough that I didn't think they were identical (although we later had DNA testing and they definitely are identical). I was worried before their birth about telling them apart so I brought a bottle of nail polish to the hospital. I was going to put a little nail polish on one twin's toenails to tell them apart until we were sure we knew, but I didn't end up needing it. The real answer is: if you accidentally switched them around when they were very young, you would never know! But I just don't think it's likely to happen. Even my cell phone camera correctly identifies them most of the time from photos when they were very young (they are teenagers now). Anyway, I hope that helps. And I highly recommend having twins. It's so much fun!

Diana Dye said...

Re # 5 I bet it's happened that babies get mixed up. Maybe just temporarily but what if back and forth a couple of times and then settled the wrong way?? What if Lenny was Benny for the first week and Lenny thereafter? Could that cause some deepseeded emotional trauma? Now I'm stressed.

MommaMcCarthy said...

I am so going to set up Google tasks today!! I’ve tried to do similar things but printing on paper and I’m the weakest link there…