7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 143)

— 1 —

We’re going on a family vacation this weekend. Me, my husband, my parents, and all the kids. (I’ll share all the details next week; I think it would make my parents nervous if I told the internets exactly where we’re going to be. They’d fully expect for creepy people in trench coats to follow us around, perhaps the occasional pro-scorpion zealot running up to spray Raid in my face as revenge for my constant blogging about cruelty to arachnids.) Anyway, you may have noticed a lack of exclamation points in those first two sentences. I assure you it’s not that I’m not excited. It’s just that I am…apprehensive. Getting nine people from one place to another is no easy thing, especially when five of them spend most of their time running around in circles and screaming. Also, the vacation itself will involve a lot of activity. I think that this is something that normal people look forward to; for those of us who aspire to be a brain in a jar, it sounds a bit overwhelming. Anyway, I’m sure it will be fine. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

— 2 —

I will say that our destination is in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, which means that we need to find a place to go to Mass. I was thinking of St. Ann’s in Coppell. Anyone have any other recommendation in that general part of the metroplex? Also, we’re probably going to go to the Dallas soccer gameΒ while we’re there. That should be interesting since I’ve never been to any soccer games other than those played by my seven-year-old son. My husband is a huge soccer fan (which is not as strange as the fact that he’s also a huge cricket fan), so he’s excited about it.

— 3 —

Just checked the vacation forecast. Now this is what I like to see:

According to weather.com, there may be water falling from the clouds at some point during our visit to Dallas…what’s that called again…?

— 4 —

The fires from last week are almost entirely contained, but things around here are still dire (some crazy stats on that here). Still no rain, and now they’re saying we may not get much in the Fall either. Here’s a video of some footage from the past few weeks:

If we don’t get rain soon, it seems that more fires are a matter of when and not if. Please continue to keep those impacted by the drought and the fires in your prayers.

— 5 —

This is the first postpartum period where my hair has not fallen out like crazy. After every other baby, my hair has fallen out to such an extreme extent that I’m usually about to make an urgent doctor’s appointment just before it tapers off. This time, I’ve had no hair loss whatsoever. I’ve been puzzling over what I’ve done differently, and the only thing I can point to is that I’m taking a small dose of a kelp supplement along with the Primal Blueprint Advanced Health Formula multivitamin packets. I highly recommend the Primal Blueprint stuff. Their customer service is excellent, and I think that their supplement has a lot to do with how good I’ve felt lately, as well as my noticeable lack of hair loss. (And I have no affiliation with that company, and don’t receive a dime if people buy their products — just wanted to pass along something that works for me.)

— 6 —

I love the subject of nutrition. My fascination with it began when I was 18, and for the past 16 years I’ve read tons of books on the subject, from pop diet paperbacks to heavy textbooks. In the past decade, I doubt I’ve ever gone more than a few months without reading something related to the topic. And so when I say that I have found a book that is head and shoulders above everything else I’ve ever read on the subject, this is big news. It’s called The Perfect Health Diet, and it is awesome. (To give you an idea how good it is, I stayed up late reading it in the hospital the night after the baby was born because I couldn’t put it down!)

It’s written by a married couple, both Ph.D. scientists. The wife is a molecular biologist and cancer researcher, and the husband was an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They had some chronic health problems they wanted to remedy, and so they put all their research expertise to work in the area of nutrition. The book is a summary of their findings. It reads more like a research paper than a glitzy paperback, but that’s one of the things I like about it. The authors don’t own a gym, they don’t have their own line of supplements, they weren’t trying to push any particular product. They just learned some things about health and diet that changed their lives drastically for the better, and they wrote a book about the conclusions they came to about what works and what doesn’t. It’s refreshingly simple, with footnotes citing quality studies and data after practically every other sentence. If you only read one book about how diet impacts health, make it this one. (Also, you can check out the authors’ website here.)

— 7 —

Considering that we are trying to get on the road 10 hours from now, and I need to somehow find time to both sleep and pack during that time (I’m writing this Thursday night), I guess I should wrap it up. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Comments

  1. says

    vacation? What’s that? Hubby and I only went away for our first anniversary since being married. We only have two children, so I can’t fully appreciate what it will like, but with my three year old and one year old running around, I can only guess. Hope all goes well. Prayers for all those affected by those fires. Horrible!

  2. says

    Have a great time on your vacation. We have traveled a lot with our three, and it’s always an adventure. I’m trying to imagine adding two more to the mix, and it’s making me a wee bit woozy. We also took a vacation this summer with 11 people . . . me, hubby, three kids, BIL/SIL plus three kids, and MIL. It’s hard to coordinate what to do with that many people in your party, so we opted for a cruise. That way we never felt like we all had to be “doing” the same thing all the time. (Actually, I pretty much just put on blinders to anything else other than making sure my three offspring were alive.) It ended up being a lot of fun, though. (It’s kind of difficult to have a bad time on a Disney cruise, though.)

  3. says

    St. Ann’s in Coppell is beautiful. This is out a little further, but you might also check out the Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Dallas at the University of Dallas; the church itself isn’t so ai-yi-yi, but it’s in a lovely, peaceful wooded area and the the monks chant the Mass responses. Next time you come up here, give me a little advance warning, and we’ll meet up for coffee!

  4. says

    We recently returned from a vacation – we did Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Disneyland, and swimming in the Pacific Ocean over the course of four days. Talk about exhausting — I need a vacation to recover from our vacation!

    I hope your vacation is wonderful!

  5. says

    So sorry — evidently my link is capturing the name of another post, though it seems to link to this week’s 7 Quick Takes.

    Enjoy your vacation!

  6. says

    My sympathy on your vacation — but best hopes that everyone has a wonderful time and that you can squeeze in a little rest and fun for yourself, as well. ~ Sigh~ Coming off a vacation andouting packed summer with a very large family, myself, and I’m just pooped. What the family usually doesn’t get about the vacation/outing thing, I’m afraid, is that all the fun everyone is having, not to mention the fact that everyone is fed, clothed, and kept from killing eachother — is due to the efforts of one hard working, obsessively planning, self sacrificing Momma. Bravo for the Moms that make it all happen!

    And I hope TX gets some rain, just not on the day you go to the soccer game. πŸ™‚

  7. says

    I’m already starting to realize that family vacations aren’t ever taken for you: if you want that, a trip to Bermuda (or perhaps some intellectual retreat on the East coast) is what’s in order. Since I’m only 24, I guess it’s good I’ve realized this young. On the other hand, it can be an awfully depressing epiphany.

  8. says

    You might try the Cistercian Abbey in Irving. They have a 9am mass Sunday. It is right off 114. It is neat to see if you’ve never been and they do chant. There used to be a lot of kids there too…. http://www.cistercian.org/abbey/liturgy.html

    Regarding hair falling out, not to be a downer, but after my last daughter it waited much longer to fall out, but it did all come back again!

  9. Gail says

    Hi Jen,
    I had the same experience with post-partum hair loss with my most recent baby, now 10.5 months. I thought I was getting a free pass out of that mess, but alas, it just hit me later than usual. Mine started a few weeks ago, though not quite as bad as with other babies. So just be aware, you may not escape it completely. It may just be delayed.

  10. says

    I second Anthony’s recommendation for the Cistercian Monastery. It’s such a wonderful place where you can feel God’s presence. The monks there range from older ones who fled communism in Hungary to young ones who went the UD across the street and discovered there calling the monastic life. http://www.cistercian.org/abbey/index.html

  11. says

    Enjoy that vacation, Jennifer, and I pray that you (along with all my Texas family) enjoys LOTS OF RAIN! I will send some from the soggy Northeast. Many blessings!

  12. says

    About your hair loss–I always experienced my hair loss at four months postpartum. Seven times! (those seven takes were not all that quick). I always thought it had something to do with the hormone shift at that stage. I nursed with each baby also…just a thought.
    Hope you have a wonderful vacation! If nothing else, it ought to be chock full of memorable moments….
    Prayers for all you poor Texans with all you have endured this past summer.

  13. Karie says

    Our family has recently moved back to the DFW area and are going to a nice little church in Irving called Mater Dei. They do primarily the Extraordinary Form of Mass, but have a unique cry room, where it is really easy to get away (with said unruly child) and still be able to see and hear Mass (closed circuit t.v.) Plus they have an awesome fellowship hall after Mass. Please stop by if you can!

  14. Barb says

    My husband and I always laughed about going on “vacation” when our children were young. We would say “we are going on a trip with children”.
    As far as finding a church for Mass, you can always check out http://www.masstimes.org. It’s awesome for finding a church when you”re on vacation or in your case, a trip with children.

  15. Martha says

    Warning! Cistercian is beautiful, but sound goes EVERYWHERE, there’s not a carpet or any fabric in the place, and the monks are not always happy with child noise. The “cry room” is in a separate building connected by a covered walkway, with a child monitor so you can sort of, if you hush the kids and try really hard, figure out when everyone else is going to communion.

    If you are staying in the suburbs, St. Ann is great. If you are staying actually in Dallas, I’d recommend St. Monica or St. Thomas Aquinas, because Coppell is pretty far out. (if you drove 2 more minutes, you’d be in the Ft Worth diocese.) St. Monica has great priests in a very 70s setting; Thomas Aquinas has ok priests in a gorgeous setting. πŸ˜‰ We apparently can’t have everything.

    • says

      I second St. Monica’s, and they are extremely friendly and unconcerned about kids making noise. The ushers there always smiled and talked to my noisy toddlers, and nobody minds. St. Rita’s is also a good option.

      • Martha says

        Yes, the pastor at St. Monica’s is the oldest of 14 children and has made it quite clear that occasional toddler noise is to be expected.

  16. says

    Those images out of Bastrop are unbelievable. Sadly, a family member lost his house in the fire, and the pictures he sent of the ruins are amazing. There is nothing there. It’s incredible.

    I have an 18-month old, and all of a sudden I have tons of baby hairs that are two inches long all over my head. My stylist says many women don’t lose their hair until their baby is 10-12 months old, and she says my baby hairs are the hair I lost, growing back in. I’d never heard that….maybe she’s right?

    Love the Primal Blueprint. I’m a nutrition junkie, too (one who can’t handle sugar or carbs, like you), so I need to check out Perfect Health Diet! Thanks for the recommendation.

  17. Sandra says

    If you are staying in or near Dallas, I highly recommend St Thomas Aquinas. It was our home parish until we moved to CT a little over a month ago and I miss it so. Fr John is a wonderful, holy man and they are the only parish I have been to since my conversion in 2008 where you kneel to receive the Eucharist. There are also a ton of children (especially at the 9am) so you will fit right in.

    As a side note, if any of your readers can share a wonderful parish in the Farmington Valley outside of Hartford, CT, I would love to know about it. Our search has been slightly dissapointing so far.

    I hope you enjoy your vacation!

  18. says

    Jennifer,
    We live in the DFW area and would be happy to help you find a place for Mass or with anything else you need. I can even put on my trench coat and be the creepy stalker your parents worry about.

    Rebecca
    aka the Mom

  19. says

    I hope that your apprehension proves to be unfounded about Raid-carrying scorpion-lovers as well as your family vacation as a whole. If worse comes to worst, at least you’ll have some more great material to write about when you get back.

  20. Kim L says

    Jennifer,

    I live in Dallas. A lot of people LOVE St. Ann’s, and it’s a very pretty parish (my brother got married there). However, it is a bit too “praise and worship” for me – don’t know what your family’s preference is. For a bit more traditional (but not EF), I really loved my old parish of Christ the King in north Dallas, or farther east, St. Thomas Aquinas is also beautiful. My current parish is one of the big nondescript suburban ones πŸ™‚

    BTW, we are almost as unfamiliar with rain up here this summer as you are.

    Good luck on the trip with your family! If you ever need anything in the Dallas area, feel free to ask πŸ™‚

  21. says

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend! I wanted to let you know I finished Donald Miller’s book this morning. I actually got teary eyed at the end. It was an interesting read and thanks for the suggestion. I’m not sure I got out of it as much as you and others did, but maybe I went in to the book with too high of expectations? Either way, it was a fun read and sometimes books get to me well after I finish the last page.

  22. says

    I live in central Austin and yeah, my dad told me yesterday (He’s in Houston) that rain might not come til the spring. It’s so crazy!

  23. says

    We only have 3 (well, soon to be 4) and we quail at the thought of vacations. At least partly b/c of expense…but also b/c the thought of keeping that much humanity contained is exhausting! Kudos to you, and good luck!

  24. says

    Thank God for the rain and pray for more! This drought is a slow moving catastrophe. We donated our ugly yellow trailer to a victim of the Pandhandle’s fires earlier this year. Let’s pray for enough rain to put out your area’s fires and douse the danger of more.

    We got some of that rain up here, too, and Childress was in the 50s yesterday after those 100 days of 100 degree days. Blessed relief!

    Have a nice vacation!

  25. Barbara C. says

    There’s no such thing as a vacation when you have children. You are going on a trip. It is normal to be apprehensive because you know you have to pack half the house, and you know that you are going to forget something.

    Post-partum alopecia normally has to do with changes in your hormone levels. You will probably have some shedding as your fertility returns and/or you stop nursing the baby heavily. But your diet supplements could be keeping your hormone levels more steady for now.

  26. Melanie says

    Mater Dei on Irving Blvd! Fantastic priests, best Confessions I’ve ever had, great sermons (so great that someone started a website dedicated to sermons, inspired solely by one of the priests while he was stationed at their parish a few years back), fantastic Traditional Mass. There is even a pancake breakfast after the 9am Mass this Sunday in the parish hall! It’s a Fraternity of St. Peter apostolate and absolutely beautiful. πŸ™‚

  27. elizabethe says

    “especially when five of them spend most of their time running around in circles and screaming. Also, the vacation itself will involve a lot of activity. I think that this is something that normal people look forward to; for those of us who aspire to be a brain in a jar, it sounds a bit overwhelming.”

    LOL!!! I only have 2 and I totally relate to this sentence. Heck, when it was just ME, the thought of a lot of activity made mw apprehensive. I can’t WAIT to see the post-vacation report. I’m laughing already.

  28. says

    I hope you have a great time on your vacation. It least you will have your parents to help out…4 adults, 5 kids, that is not bad. My hair always falls out about 3 months after my babies are born. Has it been 3 months? I have no doubt that your healthy eating and supplements have helped you. A doctor told my sister that it was a hormone imbalance which I know I have and I have also heard that since we don’t lose any hair while pregnant a couple of months later it all comes out when your hormones change. Anyway, I am glad you have still held on to your hair πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

  29. says

    Thanks for the review of the nutrition book, I’ll have to check it out! Enjoy your vacation and I say just let the Grandparents go wild – if they’re the spoil-your-kids-silly kind of grandparents I mean. What’s a vacation with five little kids constantly on sugar highs?

  30. K says

    When I was there years ago St. Ann was a little crazy…probably the pastors have changed since then. St. Thomas Aquinas is beautiful, and if you have never been to an Anglican use parish, St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington is one of the first, (they came in the in 90s) and def. worth going to. It might be a bit of a drive, depending on where you are staying.

  31. says

    St. Ann’s in pretty, and the Mass could be great or strange depending on the priest. Mary Immaculate in Farmers Branch is very close as well. Also pretty and they ring the bells during the consecration which can be hard to find. Cistercian is amazing, but you will feel like everyone is staring at you if the kids go bonkers and they have no proper vestibule or a dreaded crying room. You might want to save that one for a couples trip. Or have your parents watch the kids while you go to church. Have fun!

  32. says

    Hello, Jennifer. This is my first time doing 7 Quick Takes. I always enjoy this meme. My contribution involves a Very Important warning about the hazards of a chocolate dipped Dairy Queen cone!

  33. Janell says

    Hey Jennifer,
    I live in Frisco about a mile from the soccer stadium. St. Franci of Assisi is very nearby but we are currently celebrating mass in a multipurpose building while construction is starting on the sanctuary. It’s extremely family friendly tho! If you need a nice park for the kids look up Frisco Commons or Warren.

  34. says

    From what I remember, St Ann’s is a beautiful. My husband and I met on Crossroads, and that was one of the parishes I spoke at one Sunday. It sounds horrible, but I went to so many different parishes that summer, I don’t remember much more about it. I do, however, remember a very sweet woman we met there, who came and talked to us after Mass. She gave me a prayer book that looked very old. When praying in adoration one day, I was reading through her book and noticed on the back cover that it was a gift from her Dad for her first Communion.

  35. says

    I think I’m appropriating Barb’s more accurate vocabulary of “a trip with the kids” rather than “vacation.” I love that!

    The soccer should be fun BUT be forewarned: a lot of the “support” (fan) groups have cheers that are not what we want our young kids emulating. Not sure if it’s as notable in Dallas as it is here (we go to Phila. Union games mostly) but if there’s a “family” section, where fans are not expected to chant the expletive-laced cheers, you might want to try that.

    And the brain in a jar? Awesome. A friend used to refer to his commute as “taking his eyes and brain to work.” Some days feel that way in paid jobs, I hear.

  36. says

    You should go to mass at the Church of the Incarnation on campus at the University of Dallas! Aw…. I miss my alma mater πŸ™‚

  37. says

    Just posted my first 7 Takes. Hope I did it right!
    Hope you have a great vacation. It may be hard with lots of kids but it’s always nice to get a change of scenery!

  38. Amber says

    If you’re in the Arlington area, you should go to St. Mary the Virgin. Small, beautiful Anglican Use parish in N. Arlington, close to Six Flags. The 10:30 am Mass is a full High Mass, with the most incredible choir in Texas. The homilies are first-class as well. The priest is usually Father Allen Hawkins, an English former Anglican priest, but this weekend it will be Father Gerard Mary, a very powerful speaker from Nigeria.

  39. Antonina says

    We love going to the Cistercian Mass at University of Dallas in Irving. So serene and beautiful, hearing the brothers and friars chanting Mass! I disagree about the kids in church there to some extent. If they’re noisy, you can either walk them at the back of the church (inside or outside, no narthex) or go out into the reception area (off to the side towards the monastery, you can’t see the Mass, but they have speakers there, so you can hear it).

  40. says

    “five of them spend most of their time running around in circles and screaming.” So that’s you, your husband both parents and who??? πŸ˜†

    thanks for the book recommendation definitely going to check it out.

  41. says

    You might try asking the place where you are staying, as they might have a list of parishes close. When Hubby and I were stranded in Fredericksburg, TX, that is what we did, and it worked well for us. πŸ™‚

  42. says

    My hair loss also happened a lot later with my most recent (fifth) kid than with earlier babes, so I’ll second others in warning you that it might still happen. As I understand it, though, the post-partum hair loss is just the reversal of retaining *extra* hair while pregnant… so you’re not going bald, you’re just shedding the excess.

  43. says

    You’ve received a ton of suggestions for Mass, which makes me happy. Our area is a great place, I think. Our community in Denton, north of DFW, is amazing, but I think it would be a bit of a drive for you and it is not necessarily something that translates after only one Mass.

    I hope you enjoy your vacation. There are lots of fun things to do in the area.

  44. Rose says

    I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to let you know that you can’t beat the Cistercian Abbey in Irving for a reverent, simple, beautiful mass. I think so, anyway. I’m a University of Dallas grad, and going to Cistercian for mass was one of the best parts of school. Here’s the website with mass times, etc. If you don’t want to click on the link just google it. Irving is a small town between Dallas and Ft. Worth (closer to Dallas). Looks like the only Sunday mass is at 9. Good luck!

    http://www.cistercian.org/abbey/index.html

  45. says

    I see others have already explained about the hair, but just in case you wanted all the technical details πŸ™‚

    All hair on your body has three phases:
    Growing (anagen phase)
    As long as it’s going to get, follicle going into rest mode (catagen phase)
    Rest mode (telogen phase)

    Hair might fall out during the rest mode, or it might not come out until the follicle starts growing again (the new hair pushes out the old one).

    I think the shortest cycle is eyelashes. They grow for about two weeks and rest for about four weeks – so every six weeks you have a brand new set of eyelash hairs.

    The longest cycle, of course, is head hairs. For me, the hairs on my hairline cycle every six months (that’s how long it took me to start shedding again post-chemotherapy). The longest hairs vary from person to person – some people have head hairs that only grow four years before restarting, while others can grow for ten years or even more.

    Pregnancy hormones interfere with head hairs from going into the catagen phase. So post-pregnancy there is a backlog of follicles wanting their turn to rest. Normal rest mode for head hairs last between one month and four months, and then lots of new baby hairs come in.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  46. says

    Enjoy your vacation! And thank you for the book recommendation. I’ve been reading a lot about nutrition and health lately and am interested in digging deeper.

  47. says

    Father Flynn at St. Thomas Aquinas in Pilot Point is the best! If you’re willing to drive north a lil bit. Our 2mo old son will be baptized at the 5pm mass on Saturday. Hope you enjoy your stay up here!!! πŸ˜‰

  48. says

    You’re speaking to someone who spent five minutes unblocking our bath plug of hair with a hairgrip this morning. Not only do I have postpartum hair fallout, but something bizarre happens with my fringe. Actually, I don’t normally have a fringe (bangs), but every time little wisps of hair start to grow back to forehead length – without any command from me! Hormones are such a mystery to me (I am just starting to conclude that the reason they are so complicated and difficult is because that’s what it takes to make new life.)

  49. Katy says

    For mass check out the University of Dallas’ Church of the Incarnation. Small, quiet, reverent and kid friendly.

  50. says

    Thanks mucho for the tip on those vitamins. I am always glad when someone tells me about something that actually works for them, because there is an oceanic amount of vitamin propaganda through which I simply cannot hope to wade. Hope you have a non-stressful and FUN family vacation!! Or at least FUN! πŸ˜€

  51. says

    When I was younger, I though vacations were so carefree! Now that I’m older, I realize how much effort my parents had to put into them to seem that way. Definitely not very relaxing for them, but they were great memories. I think I have a personality similar to you, Jen, and I dread organizing large hectic trips. But your kids will come to appreciate how much you’ve done for these trips for them!

  52. Amanda says

    Jennifer,

    I would also suggest St. Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Fort Worth, it’s gorgeous, and downtown FW is really cute and fun.

  53. Anne Marie says

    Thanks for posting “The Perfect Health Diet”. What a blessing. My relationship with food is becoming peaceful for the first time in years, and I’m losing weight at a remarkable pace w/o trying AT ALL. I decided to try it myself before converting the whole fam, but I think transitioning the entire household to a grain free, sugar free, vegetable oil free diet isn’t far off.

  54. Amanda T. says

    Have you ever heard of Weston A. Price? I think with your interest in the Perfect Health Diet this is someone you would want to know more about! He has a very interesting story. Google him! And check out the Weston A. Price Foundation.

  55. Kara says

    Did you end up maintaining the no-postpartum hair loss? I’m closing in on the time period where I’ll start losing my soon and am thinking about buying the supplements you recommend.