7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 25)

March 13, 2009 | 49 comments

— 1 —

So I did not realize that I am surrounded by a bunch of gourmet chefs. Friends have been bringing us dinners almost every night since the baby was born (thanks again to Care Calendar), and every single one of them has been a 10 on a scale of 1-10. I need to find some way to convince them to keep doing this indefinitely, because it’s going to be a major hardship to go back to eating my own cooking.

— 2 —

To my great distress, we saw a scorpion a few weeks ago (“a few weeks ago” as in “IN FREAKING FEBRUARY DON’T THESE THINGS EVER HIBERNATE!!!!!”). It is somehow not surprising that Yaya was involved (longtime readers may remember this classic Yaya + scorpion story). I heard her urgently calling the kids to come out on the back porch and ran out myself to see what all the commotion was about.

When we all got outside she was forlorn, explaining that she’d found a scorpion under the kids’ toy box and tried to catch it for them to play with but, alas, it was gone now. Having long since given up on trying to have the age-old “Are scorpions appropriate playthings for young toddlers?” debate with her, I feigned disappointed and turned to go back inside.

Just as I was about to close the door, on a hunch I asked, “Where did the scorpion go?”

“Oh, it ran in the house, ” she said casually.

Scorpion season has begun.

(New readers who aren’t familiar with my stinging arachnid saga can read the whole story here.)

— 3 —

After I published my 7 Quick Takes post from last week some of the comments made me realize that I might have made myself sound a little too pious with #7.

You see, the original version of take #7 was quite a bit longer, including a lengthy rumination on how I wish sushi restaurants would take a page from gaudy Texas steakhouses and have a deal where if you eat some unbelievably grotesque quantity of food you can get your meal free. I imagined myself signing up for some “Eat Everything on Our 10-pound Nigiri Sake Plate and Get Your Meal Free!” special, perhaps even wearing a sweatband like those people who enter eating contests professionally, a crowd of awed onlookers standing around and cheering me on loudly on as I stuff sushi into my mouth with reckless abandon.

It was then that I added the note about this perhaps not being the most appropriate musing for Lent.

I ended up cutting the eating contest part for brevity, leaving only the much more mild comment about my plan to eat a lot of sushi on a date night with my husband. So I don’t think there’s any worry of me being too strict with my Lenten observances. I’m still planning to do a great sushi dinner (hopefully on a Sunday and without being too gluttonous), I’ll just try to refrain from entering any eating contests.

— 4 —

I’ve been hearing all sorts of great buzz about Meetup.com. I know quite a few people who have found everything from playdates to exercise groups to book clubs through that site, and they’ve all had great experiences with the people they met there.

I thought I’d give it a plug since I occasionally get emails from readers asking for tips about meeting likeminded people in their area. From what I’ve heard, Meetup.com seems like a good way to meet nice, normal people who share your interests.

— 5 —

Our TV broke the week before the baby was born. In a different phase of life I might have considered taking this as an opportunity to just live without a television, but I knew that there are going to be some occasions over the next couple of months were I desperately need to break out a Veggie Tales DVD to keep my children from getting mutinous. At the same time my husband received some extra money for some work he was doing on the side, so we decided to use it to get a new television.

We decided to go ahead and get a flatscreen TV. We’d priced them a few years ago and knew that there were some tiny ones (the size that people sometimes put in kitchens) within our budget.

So I sent my husband and four-year-old son off to Wal-Mart with the famous last words, “Just get the biggest one you can in our price range.”

A few hours later I came downstairs from a nap to see my husband and son beholding a great monolith that had appeared in our living room. It was our new, huge flatscreen TV. I SEE FLATSCREEN TV PRICES HAVE DROPPED A BIT IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, I thought as I watched them “oooh” and “aaaah” at the vivid soccer game on the monstrous screen.

I gently tried to broach the subject of perhaps exchanging it for a smaller model, but they got all Gollum on me, all but clinging to it and hissing “My preciousssss!” when I tried to step near it.

I’m kind of used to it now, though I am occasionally struck by the irony of watching Sunday Night Live episodes about holy detachment or somber Lenten Masses on a huge flatscreen television that we purchased during Lent.

— 6 —

A breastfeeding update: the Medela skin shields are saving my life. They’re a tremendous help with the pain, especially on that one side that was really bad. Interestingly, I tried them with previous babies and they hardly helped with the pain at all because there was still an issue of excruciating pain from the underlying tissue feeling bruised. This time there is none of that underlying tissue pain (likely because of the diet), and only surface skin pain. So I am thrilled that I gave the shields another shot — it’s made the baby’s first few days much more pleasant than usual!

— 7 —

Speaking of the baby, everything is going well. Unfortunately she sleeps a lot during the day and is up a lot at night, though that will probably change on its own as she gets older and more alert.

I’ve been reading Seven Storey Mountain during our late-night feedings. I think I’ll look back on this time in my life with warm memories, recalling these nights of cuddling with the baby as she nurses, sitting in my silent house at three o’clock in the morning, reading Thomas Merton’s poetic story of leaving the world for the silence of a Trappist monastery. There’s something ethereal about it*.

* I realize that I will probably be using words far different than “ethereal” to describe middle-of-the-night feedings when I no longer have family around to let me sleep in and get naps throughout the day.

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. plum
2. puellaq
3. Lindsay
4. Christi @ The Journey
5. Hannah @ Confused Agnostic
6. Venite
7. Anja
8. Lerin @ Beautiful Chaos
9. Laura
10. April @ SALT for the Spirit
11. Carrien@She Laughs at the Days
12. Debbie
13. Charlotte
14. Ingrid Airam
15. Sara @ A Shower of Roses
16. Tami @ The Next Step
17. Betty Duffy
18. Sarah@With A Hopeful Heart
19. Sarah Reinhard
20. Chloe
21. Mrs. C.
22. Love2learn Mom
23. CheekyPinkGirl
24. theRosyGardener (Nzie)
25. the luxurious life of anna
26. Sara @ Coffee Randoms
27. Ordinary Time
28. TwoSquareMeals
29. Christine the Soccer Mom
30. Trena @ The Third Prayer
31. Milehimama (Mama Says)
32. So… Now What?
33. majellamom
34. SortaCrunchy
35. Stina
36. My Twenty Cents Keeps Moving
37. Aubrey in NE
38. Annemarie
39. Gillian-Life of a Photographer
40. Kaycee (In The Moment)
41. Maggie
42. Joy B.
43. Sarah @This Heavenlylife
44. Lenae
45. Becky
46. Pam @BeyondJustMom
47. Scarlett @ Frankly My Dear
48. Mrs. B
49. T with Honey
50. Christine @ Good Company
51. Eliz at Tink\’s Mom
52. CJ
53. Enjoying Sweetness
54. Kerry @ ramblings
55. Anne, PalmTree Pundit
56. Kacy @ Meandering Home
57. Tracy
58. Erin@RunningatLarge
59. Elena @ My Domestic Church family reunion cookbook
60. Renee
61. Aussie Therese
62. Tiphaine @frog\’s life
63. Peace Garden Mama (Roxane)
64. Melanie @ The Wine Dark Sea
65. Dawn
66. Diane @ At Least Three
67. Jenny
68. Party of Eight
69. Kathryn @ The Bookworm
70. Denise @ Full Nest
71. Emily in NC
72. Rachel
73. Erin@ Seven Little Australians Plus One

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. plum

    Aloha, Jen, and thanks again for hosting. I must say I’m impressed you’re reading Merton in the wee hours while breastfeeding — my 21-year-old memories of that involve watching Bob Costas doing the summer Olympics from Seoul. And not on a big screen TV πŸ™‚

  2. Christi

    Oh my goodness, she is adorable. I just love tiny little tongues.

    And fingers.

    And yawns.

    But anyway, scorpions are gross. I am so glad that we don’t seem to have many here. I have heard rumors of them being here, but I haven’t seen one. Or maybe I blocked it out.

  3. Sue

    I wish I could have you over for a sushi party. No one avoids raw fish during pregnancy over here in Japan. Our fish is very fresh!

  4. Lerin

    I just have to second your recommendation to check out MeetUp. When we moved to Houston with my husband’s job transfer, I spent 8 long and lonely months away from all the family and friends a woman could ever want. Being an at-home mom in a corporate typre apartment, I wasn’t rolling in playdate invitations!

    If you visit me today, my friends I mentioned in #3 were originally met on MeetUp! Two years later, our MeetUp group is no more but we are seriously the best and closest friends. I hope you find women like I did! πŸ™‚

  5. April

    Your little one is just so beautiful, Jen. I posted from the hospital post-partum. It’s been such a full, beautiful week. Thanks for providing an opportunity to reflect.

  6. ingridairam

    First real try, hope the linking back is good enough, since I stil haven’t figured out how to link properly.

    And what a cute picture of the little one πŸ˜€

  7. Charlotte

    Yummy food that you did not have to prepare, a sushi night in your near future, a big new TV, boobs that aren’t as sore as they could be, a beautiful, sweet baby, and, Thomas Merton…

    You have had a lovely week. πŸ™‚

  8. Tami Boesiger

    I am still in awe that you can string seven coherent thoughts together already. You are my hero, Jennifer!

  9. Chloe


    Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! She’s such a little cutie-pie.

    (I posted a 7 Quick Takes on my blog…just to join in the fun.)

    Have a wonderful day,

  10. Charlotte (Matilda)

    That is a gorgeous picture and I hope you have it framed somewhere! Seriously! The colors surrounding her, her rosy pink skin and that little tongue! Precious!

  11. Nzie (theRosyGardener)

    Well, I haven’t anywhere near as good an excuse as having a baby for a posting-slowdown, but I’m back this week with the Quick Takes. Thanks for hosting them, Jen!

    Your daughter is simply beautiful- congratulations on a wonderful addition to your family.

    Have fun with sushi… I have fish issues (fissues?)- completely psychological- that make me very glad you’ll be enjoying them, and that I won’t be nearby while you do, but I do hope you’ll have a great dinner out. πŸ˜€

  12. passingdowncrazy

    What a precious baby! Thanks for the photo.

  13. Heather

    Your new daughter is adorable. I too was impressed at the meals delivered to me after BB was born. My husband really missed those meals when people stopped delivering them!

  14. Trena

    your baby girl is absolutely breathtaking. You are so very blessed.

  15. Betty Duffy

    I’m with you on the sushi eating contest. That was the first thing I wanted to do after I had this baby. Unfortunately, it’s so expensive to eat as much sushi as I COULD eat–but I’ve had some luck at China Buffets with sushi on them. There’s the cost of the buffet to factor in, and the fact that most of the sushi is made with stale rice and krab (with a K), but cover it with enough horseradish and soy sauce, and one hardly knows the difference.

    Blessings on your baby!

  16. lvschant

    living just a bit north of you (FW), we also found 2 scorpions in the house last summer… not looking forward to more this year, but we are resigned to that possibility.

    glad to hear the baby is well and you are getting some help during this first month…

    the big flat screens have come way down in price… just enjoy it πŸ™‚

    cheers, j.

  17. Starrball

    I wish we had soemthing like your number 1 where I am up here in Canada…

    Loving the baby girl pics πŸ™‚

    I linked up.

  18. Kaycee

    Thanks for hosting this again, I participated for the first time last week and it was one of my favorite blog posts so far.

    I love snuggling a warm baby and reading too. Just not at 2am.

  19. Maggie

    I’m finally giving in and joining… what a great idea, Jen! Thanks for hosting!

  20. Lenae

    The part about them acting like Gollum with the television made me laugh aloud πŸ™‚ And your daughter is cute as a button! Reading about her is getting me very excited about meeting my third baby in September!

  21. Christine the Soccer Mom

    Merton, eh? Well, when I was up in the wee hours, I wasn’t very pious at all, and spent most of the time on the interwebs playing games and debating (um…fighting?) in chat rooms. LOL

    Thanks for hosting, as usual. And sorry about the scorpions. And that Yaya seems to think they make good pets.

  22. Tiphaine

    #4 share YOUR interests.

    I’m not giving lessons, but I really appreciate when people point out mistakes I made (for example when tired… )

    Your baby girl is so beautiful!!

  23. Kate Wicker

    She’s so beautiful!!!

  24. lp


    What kind of camera do you have? I’m looking at getting a new one, and the lighting in the baby photos you’ve posted here is fantastic!

    (Of course, it helps when you have such an adorable subject!)


  25. Flexo

    Unfortunately she sleeps a lot during the day and is up a lot at night

    Is this common among newborns? I’m wondering if she is still not used to all the daylight, and so she basically avoids it by sleeping, but is more comfortable in the dim light of night, which is probably more like the light level of the womb?

    (as you can tell, I’ve not had any newborns of my own)

  26. Melanie B

    Dom is hoping that our tv will die so he can buy a big flatscreen. But it’s still holding out.

    That little girl is one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen! Glad to hear you’re finding more relief from the pain.

  27. nicole

    Geez she is beautiful. Almost makes me want another, but I’m so not there yet. I’m so glad breastfeeding is easier this time around. What a gift in this busy time of your life.

  28. Amy

    Oh my goodness! I lost your blog quite a while ago and was so surprised to come and see you have a beautiful baby!!! I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations and God bless!

  29. Kerry

    I just found a new meetup myself… a local crochet and knitting group. I included it on ym quick takes so I chuckled when I posted and read about it here as well!

    Many congrats on your beautiful baby!

  30. Elena

    What a gorgeous little baby! So glad that the nursing thing is working itself out.

  31. Anonymous

    Really cute baby! Thanks for posting pictures. My mom used to say she thought of the monks in monasteries getting up for prayer at 3 a.m. when she was up with babies at that hour.

    Jane M

  32. Denise

    Okay, I can say without a doubt, if I would have had one brief encounter with a scorpion in the one year I lived in San Antonio, TX, I wouldn’t have all the fond memories of TX! Maybe it is a good thing I am near the Mason-Dixon Line..don’t see scorpions in this neck of the woods!

  33. TL.

    I did a 7QTF!! I thought I could not finish a post on time!! πŸ™‚
    But hey! I did it! thanks for hosting that, it’s really something I’m looking for on Fridays. I especially like to try all the mr Linky and find new great blogs, or just some inspiring posts.. πŸ™‚

    Thanks and all the best to your family!

  34. Dawn

    That’s a beautiful picture!! Congratulations!! Thanks for hosting.


    7 Quick Takes – The Rest of the NFP Story

  35. Anonymous

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. I loved your story about the big tv. I laughed and laughed about the gollum part. Funny. I too have good memories of what I read while feeding my babies. With one of my last two babies, (I can’t remember which one it was! I think it was probably baby #5.) I read all of The Lord of the Rings trilogy during feedings.

    God bless you and your family, Amy

  36. Missy

    I had to read #5 out loud to my hubby (through my tears of laughter) because your description of husband and son “going Gollum” sounded somewhat familiar! Have you posted details about your diet? I would love to know more specifics – sounds like it’s working wonders!

  37. JoAnna

    Are you in Arizona, by any chance? We just moved here in October and are on the alert for scorpions — haven’t seen any so far, thank goodness, and I hope it stays that way!

  38. Laura

    What a beautiful baby! I used the shields with my first and they were what got her to nurse. Unfortunately it was hard to ween her off of using them. Hopefully that will not be the case with you.
    God Bless!

  39. Courageous Grace

    Good to hear you’re doing well! I don’t remember where in TX you live, but in Addison (on Beltline) there is a restaurant called Tokyo One where they have a sushi buffet. It is around $20 a person for lunch and $30 a person for dinner, but you really can eat ALL the sushi you want.

    And it’s very very very good sushi. Unfortunately the one time I went I was pregnant at the time so I didn’t get my money’s worth. But I’m sure you would!

  40. Kim

    I just love everything in this post! God bless you and your little one!

  41. Kelly @ Love Well

    Oh my word, Jennifer. That baby is just adorable. (I was going to say precious, but in light of #5, I thought it inappropriate.)

    Do you mind sharing a few of your favorite delivered meals? I’m making quite a few meals for friends who’ve had babies lately. I’m always looking for new material.

  42. Kristen

    She is so beautiful, Jen!! What a gorgeous shot.

  43. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

    What kind of camera do you have?

    I’m lucky enough to have a Canon Rebel (a Christmas gift from my parents a couple years ago), and it is AWESOME. Although we recently got a Sony Cyber-shot DSCH50 on sale at Amazon for my mom and, honestly, I think it’s as good as the Rebel — and MUCH cheaper. I highly recommend the Sony Cyber-Shot.

  44. The Cochrans

    Ahhh… I’ve missed reading this blog. It’s good for the soul. I, too, found a scorpion in February, IN MY HOUSE this year. That’s 2 months earlier than last year. Could the Apocalypse be near? I chased it around the living room and muscled the huge leather sofa all around until I found the **insert very bad word here** hiding beneath it.

  45. Agnes Regina

    For some reason the linky thing isn’t working, but I do have the weekly takes over at the Steel Lily. Enjoy the sushi!

  46. Gina

    “In a different phase of life I might have considered taking this as an opportunity to just live without a television, but I knew that there are going to be some occasions over the next couple of months were I desperately need to break out a Veggie Tales DVD to keep my children from getting mutinous.”

    Can I just say a heartfelt THANK YOU for that. I’ve had about all I can take of the pseudo-saintliness of the “and then we threw the TV out of the house and lived happily ever after because we could NEVER subject our precious darlings to that” crowd. πŸ™‚ It’s not that I mind their stance itself; it’s just that so many of them are so good at shoveling out heaping helpings of guilt to others about it.

    And your baby is beautiful!

  47. momof2boyz1

    I found your post very intriguing. I am a recovering alcoholic, and I also struggle with overeating. The concept of admitting that food (or certain types of it) can be an addiction, and taking healthy eating “one day at a time” is precisely the approach found in 12 step programs… and it is very effective! I very much enjoy reading your blog, Jen. I am actually a former Catholic- I found my home in the Episcopal Church, but I still retain a great respect, and affection for, many aspects of Catholicism. I have found your story fascinating to read.

  48. lp

    Thanks for the camera info! The Rebel looks fantastic, but since I usually have a baby or toddler on my hip while I’m taking pictures, I think it would be too large for me. (Maybe in a couple years!)

    We actually have a Sony Cybershot now, but it’s pretty old–I’ll have to take a look at the newer ones!


  1. RealTime - Questions: "Has anyone asked you lately if you'd ever considered joining the convent?" - [...] www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/02/09/reader-mailbag-49/ 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 25) | Conversion Diary HELP ME PLEASE Saturn in Virgo in 12t... -…

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