7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 130)

June 10, 2011 | 94 comments

— 1 —

As you know, my mother-in-law Yaya moved 10 blocks down the street a few months ago. We had hoped that she might live in one of the few scorpion-free zones in our neighborhood, but, alas, it was not to be. I answered the phone early this morning to hear, in lieu of any greetings or formalities, “JENNIFER YOU WILL NOT GUESS WHAT WAS ON MY KITCHEN FLOOR THIS MORNING!” It was a little anti-climactic when I immediately replied, “A scorpion?” (You know she’s a newcomer to the area that she was hoping I’d be surprised by the news.) We chatted about it for a while, and though she did not specifically recount any details about how she got rid of it, I naively assumed that she did. And then, just as we were about to change the subject, she said in passing, “Anyway, it’s here in a glass in the kitchen for the kids to play with when they come over.”

— 2 —

My babysitter walked in during this conversation, and after I got off the phone she recounted a story about a woman she knows who got stung by a scorpion. Want to guess where it happened? Yeah. That’s right. IN BED. For new readers who may not have seen my extensive coverage of this issue, behold:

Click to enlarge

Everyone who has scorpions in their house eventually gets stung in bed while they’re asleep. Everyone. There are no exceptions. And it has not happened to me…yet. I generally try to block this information out of my mind, but every now and then I’ll awaken in the middle of the night thinking, “MAYBE TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!!!!!!” I’ll just keep it real and admit that I’m only talking about this so that people can feel sorry for me. And any recommendations for relaxation techniques in light of the knowledge that it is only a matter of time until a scorpion crawls into my bed and stings me in my sleep, perhaps getting tangled up in my pajamas so that I cannot immediately get rid of it would be appreciated.

— 3 —

As I was typing the above, Yaya came over. I accidentally let it slip that we have a huge yellowjacket nest on our back porch, and immediately realized my mistake. I backpedaled as fast as I could. “…which we love, ” I added hastily. “They’re kind of like pets to us. Certainly in no hurry to get rid of it, no siree!” But it was too late. As I knew she would, she jumped into action before I’d even fished my sentence. The next few minutes were a blur: Yaya running outside and jumping as high as she could, trying to swat it down with her bare hand. The kids all following her in a herd, trying to stampede outside with her. Yaya rushing back in, grabbing the wasp spray and hosing the nest. Angry yellowjackets jerking around in the air beside her while she pretended to swat them for the kids’ amusement as they watched through the window. Her trying to get back in, unsuccessfully because the kids were glued to the window on the door. The door opening, kids running out — some of them BAREFOOT — into the melee of chemicals and dead yellowjackets while Yaya ran in. Nobody sure if any of the wasps slipped into the house during the chaos.

The back porch was now covered with trampled yellowjacket parts, which my son delighted in scooping up one by one with his BugZooka. I say again: This is why I don’t have a lifestyle blog. Other women have pictures of children frolicking in sun-kissed fields of lush grass, creating delicate crafts, baking nutritious and delicious concoctions…my pictures would be of scorpions in cups, rivulets of Raid raining down from my back porch, and children running around holding BugZookas filled with crushed yellowjackets, all with glimpses of me cowering in some corner in the background.

— 4 —

How many more days until the baby gets here? I’ve been counting it in terms of the number of shots I have left to give myself:

Whoo-hoo! The end is in sight!

— 5 —

I’m experiencing a bizarre version of nesting. I have no urge to lift a finger around the house, but there is one way in which my maternal instinct is manifesting itself: SHOPPING. Normally I couldn’t care less about shopping. I’m fortunate in that I’m rarely tempted to spend money on anything other than food and books. I can easily walk into Macy’s or Kohl’s and not feel the slightest urge to purchase anything. But THOSE DAYS ARE GONE. I have the shopping bug so bad that I’m almost tempted to leave the house to satisfy it (almost). I bought all the items from my fashion inspiration board within about two minutes of receiving the links from Hallie, and have been devoting a large percentage of mental energy trying to come up with some baby product that we need but don’t already have (quite an intellectual exercise when you’re having your fifth baby in seven years). This is particularly dangerous since we have a small house and a small budget — it will be very good when this phase passes.

Anyone else have any weird nesting habits?

— 6 —

I am so interested in this concept of “barefoot” running with shoes like the Vibram FiveFinger. Has anyone (other than Michael Hyatt) tried this? I’m really eager to get some of these odd-looking contraptions to try when I’m back in jogging condition. (As we established in #4 here, it’s not like I could look any more ridiculous than I already do when I run). I’ve been fascinated with the idea ever since I read Born to Run, in which the author makes a compelling case that almost-barefoot running is far better for our bodies than using modern puffy athletic shoes. By the way, if you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it. It’s hard to describe why it’s such a page-turner — saying that it’s a part-memoir, part-instruction, part-scientific-study book about running never really grabs people — but I promise that it’s a fantastic read. Just look at the Amazon reviews as a testament to its awesomeness.

— 7 —

If you have emailed me recently, let me just say: I am so sorry. I have not been dealing with, well, anything very well lately. Whereas I used to take some time once a week to power through my blog and personal correspondence, now I use that time to look at my inbox and let out a long, belabored sigh before going to flop in bed and read a book. One of these days I’ll get back on track.

Have a nice weekend!


Below is a 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.


  1. Genny

    I would NOT do well with the whole scorpion thing! Just tonight, we found a spider in the bathtub and my daughter and I have been checking everything for spiders since, lol!

    Hope you are feeling better soon; how exciting about your little on on the way!

  2. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    Yikes! Yaya’s pet scorpion sounds terrifying. I will never cease to be grateful to my mother for the time when she found a dead scorpion in our room on vacation, but didn’t tell anyone about it until after we returned home and were out of danger.

    In other scorpion-related news (you’ve really opened my eyes to a whole new genre of horror), a college friend of my brother returned from study abroad to tell us he’d eaten a scorpion in Thailand. Since I doubt you’ll fry one up anytime soon, apparently you put it in your mouth whole and then go for it. The shell reportedly tasted like burned popcorn.

  3. Dawn Farias

    Oh, my, but how I do love those YaYa stories!

    A girlfriend of mine wears those shoes. I don’t think she’s a runner, I think she wears them for her general body health. I’m glad you recommended that book because now that we’re living near Seattle and NOT in Texas, well, I don’t think I would look AS silly going about town in those things and perhaps I can check out a book on the subject.

    Have a great weekend and GET.YOUR.REST. And then get some more.

  4. nancy

    My husband has 5 Fingers, as do my daughters, and a bunch of people at our gym. People seem to love them, and the book certainly makes a compelling case that the padded, inclined soles of most athletic shoes aren’t actually good for your feet. I have such terrible foot issues, running is out of the question, and I’m a little scared to try the 5 Fingers myself.

    Sorry that I misspelled “Ascension” in Mr. Linky. Generally I’m a pretty good speller.

  5. Elizabeth

    I used to have a very romantic idea of life farther south (I’m in VA). Accents, more southern charm, shrimp, grits… well I just finished watching an episode of Swamp People (Louisiana) and come upstairs to read this. Good grief!! I’m staying right where I am!

    Too many creatures down there!

  6. Tracy

    My dd has a pair of those shoes and loves them. She doesn’t run much in them, but knows two others who do run regularly in their 5 fingers shoes and love them.

  7. Jessica Snell

    Golly, I think those shots look worse than the yellow jackets – though I’m sorry about both!

    I’m planning on shopping for some Vibrams this weekend, actually – I’m pretty sure my current running shoes came into our marriage with me. I usually exercise barefoot anyway, so I thought I’d give them a try.

  8. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    I wanted to cry laughing about the scorpion and yellow jackets. I love the Yaya stories!

  9. Amelia

    My fiancé recently purchased a pair of Vibrams. He finds them extremely, extraordinarily comfortable. Almost every time we’re in a store a salesperson notices them and asks about them – as in, we’ve go shopping for wedding dresses and wedding bands, and the first chunk of conservation inevitably concerned his shoes being exclaimed over. I do not know why this is, but it’s oddly amusing when surrounded by much prettier things than rubber-sheathed feet.

    Caveat with these kinds of shoes: Fit can be much trickier. If your longest toe isn’t your big toe or if your feet are a bit uneven, they may not fit you at all because you can’t leave extra space ahead of your toes like you do with regular shoes. It would appear that trying them on in person with a knowledgeable employee is a near-necessity to determine your size, as an improper fit might kill the comfort factor.

    Other caveat: You either don’t wear socks with these, or you wear their special, expensive socks. Proper maintenance to prevent/treat seriously stinky shoes will be necessary if you aren’t getting socks. My fiancé does this via a post-wear vinegar soak after each wear plus machine washing or drying (can’t remember which or both) on a regular basis.

  10. Natalie

    I love your stories about Yaya! I’m so glad we don’t have scorpions here down under, although we continue to find white tailed spiders and centipedes in our house, and red back spiders and European wasps in our backyard. No snakes yet though (my mum has them instead!)

  11. Sue

    My husband has some 5 fingers, but he’s only worn them a handful of times. It turns out that they don’t work very well if you don’t get a good fit. He has very wide feet, and with normal shoes just wears a size up from what he really needs according to their length. It turns out that doesn’t work out very well with this type of footwear. So, I’d say go for it, but make sure you get a good fit.

  12. Laura O in AK

    I’d rather avoid all creepy crawlers if possible. Glad we don’t have many up in Alaska!

  13. George @ Convert Journal

    We rarely see scorpions here in the Atlanta area but there have been more snakes lately (that I have seen). Last year after finding 4 skins in our yard, my DW (today’s our 33rd anniversary!) insisted on calling professionals in to explain it and put her fears to rest. Bottom line: they were not harmful and little could be done anyway.

    This year, while walking in a nearby park, we came across a copperhead. He was laying across the path and seemed to be in a menacing, striking pose. We turned around and went back.

    My 7QTF entry this week… Tornado destruction of Catholic institutions in Joplin. Hearing a prayer or “religious words” found to be the cause of “irreparable harm.” Catholic life at Texas A&M. LGBT demonstrate tolerance of differing viewpoints. Some Wisconsin public sector union members in action. Another “cool dad.”

  14. Leila

    I am actually relieved about #7. I was worried that you might be half goddess.

    The picture of the shots give me a greater appreciation for what you do to bring life into this world! A scorpion sting in bed should be a cakewalk after that, by the way.

  15. Allie

    I had a friend try the five-fingered shoes. Although they ended up not using them for running (they just found the sensation weird), they still wear them around all the time, which looks kind of funny. 🙂

  16. Sarah

    Hahaha my first laugh of the day. So funny.

    Being English, anything bigger than a money-spider has me running around with my arms in the air. If we had scorpions I would retreat into Howard Hughesian reclusive-ness, perhaps under the pretext that I’d decided to become an ascetic, and not emerge until judgement day.

    The shoes, by the way, are spectacular. But could surely only be worn with a Greek toga as they look like the marble feet of Zeus.

  17. Faith Cruz

    I haven’t had a good laugh in days – but now, thanks to the yellow jacket post, I have. Thank you for sharing. I am thankful for your deeper thoughts – the posts that convict me and make me think, but I also realize that I tend to just get bogged down in life and forget to laugh – This was wonderful.

  18. The Boring Blogger

    Glad you are almost done with the blood thinners. I had to have injections 6 weeks postpartum. And those feet shoes!! I couldn’t do it. What ever the comfort level, I just can’t get over the look…

  19. Linda Wightman

    I LOVE MY VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS! (Sorry, but I think they’re worth shouting about.

    I wear them on the rare occasions in which I’m inspired to run — it makes running feel easier, which believe me is what I need to make those occasions less rare.

    Walking is more my exercise, and I love them for walking, not that there’s any need to make walking easier.

    I wear them to grocery stores, and museums, and almost anywhere else. One day (when my husband was out of town) I even wore them to church. Mine are all black, and I don’t think anyone noticed, even though I process and recess with the choir. Mostly I think folks were looking at their hymnals and not at my feet. Usually when people notice, they say something.

    However, I do know those who have tried them and don’t like them. I’d give two cautions: One is that they do take a bit of getting used to. They change your gait — probably for the better, but you’ll find yourself using muscles you probably haven’t called upon since you were a toddler. So expect to be a bit sore at first. Also, as with any pair of shoes (at least my shoes), they’re not an absolute perfect fit. So I found it best to limit my wearing time until my feet (and the rest of my body) adjusted.

    Fit is important, but it’s hard to say what the best fit is. I ended up buying a half size larger than the salesman urged on me, and am very happy I did. I like a little wiggle room in my toes! But your mileage may vary.

    Also, they’re expensive. You know I really wanted those shoes to have paid $70 for them! And I’d do it again.

  20. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    Scorpians and yellow jackets, yikes! I love hearing your stories about Yaya, she seems like quite a gal and a great grandma. I LOVE the fashion board Hallie prepared for you, and have recently subscribed to her blog.

  21. Kathleen@so much to say

    Every time you talk about scorpions, I think, “I”m SO glad I don’t live in Texas.” 🙂 But the insect stories are hilarious.

  22. Julie Culshaw

    Those shoes are stupid, I have seen 2 girls running in them. Both very young, both new runners. Both will face injuries sooner or later.
    Bare foot running is okay in Africa where you can run on grass or sand, but running in those shoes on asphalt or, worse, cement sidewalks is asking for injury.

  23. Michelle

    I am absolutely terrified of spiders and worry that a big brown one will end up in my bed at sometime and bite me. Thank God I don’t have to worry about scorpions! Holy Moly! I have found it hard to find the nesting bug this time, but I really MUST get some things cleaned up around here before baby arrives in a couple of weeks. Prayers for you in your last few days/weeks.

  24. Theresa in Alberta

    OK,,,I am fine now!! I will never ever complain about freezing cold weather again!!! I live in northern alberta and there are no scorpions or snakes out side of our local zoo!!! I did find a tiny spider in the bath tub the other night and thought that was icky enough;-) I like that bugzuka thingy…..but i did laugh when I read that it gets rid of those bugs humane way!! any bug that cross’s the line into my house is dead!!

  25. Janet Oberholtzer

    Hi! I became interested in barefoot running after reading Born to Run also. I bought a pair of Vibrams over a year ago … and here’s my take so far.
    I think barefoot running with or without Vibrams is natural, but it’s best done on a natural surface, like grass, sand or trails (that aren’t too rocky) I think long distances on unnatural surfaces like asphalt or concrete can lead to injuries, especially if one doesn’t train slowly and carefully.
    So I wear my Vibrams on a local trail about twice a week and then wear minimalist sneakers for runs/walks on the road. So far this plan has been working well for me … and I even have beat-up legs/feet from a bad vehicle accident a few years ago.

  26. sara

    My husband and I both have Vibrams, though he runs much more than I do. I walk in them and do sprints and my back feels so much better when I wear them! Sometimes I just wear them out and about for the posture improvement. Hubs kind of switches back and forth between running shoes, but I think he’s finally convinced that his knees don’t hurt when he wears the Vibrams, but they do in the running shoes. The cost is comparable to average running shoes, but they don’t have to be replaced as often since they don’t wear the same way. The cushioning won’t get all compressed and useless because there isn’t any!

  27. the cottage child

    We lived in a “scorpion house” once, that’s how my kids refer to it. I can’t believe we made it out of there without any of us getting stung. Ick.

    Baby countdown – so exciting, congratulations!

  28. Kate Wicker

    Total pregnesia strikes again. I actually posted this Friday’s post first at last week’s QTs post. Ugh.

    Praying for you, Jen, as you quickly approach the finish line. I won’t be far behind! Not much nesting yet. Mostly, I’m just pining for naps right about now!

    God bless.

  29. Elizabeth

    I had to take a statistics course for my final college semester this spring. The one thing that got me to class each morning was my utter fascination with the guy who sat across the aisle from me – or rather, my fascination with his feet. Rain or shine, he would come to class wearing what I secretly termed Puddleglum Shoes (I don’t know why – the name just popped into my head). To me, they looked like water shoes, but since surfing isn’t really a big pasttime here in Indiana, I had no idea why he wore his strange, toed shoes every day. After reading your post, I realize he was wearing Vibram FiveFingers. They’re the spitting image. Thank you for clearing up one of the greatest mysteries in life. If I had known this sooner, I might have spent more time learning math and less time examining my classmates’ feet.

  30. Emily

    Ahh! Scorpions scare me! I would probably not last living in your area! Your baby is so close to being here! What a blessing. I pray that everything goes smoothly! Also, my friend tried those running shoes once.. I remember him saying he loved them!

  31. Judy

    If there were ever some sort of “National Merit Award” for people who brighten the days of others with their charm, wit, and clever anecdotes…you will win, hands down.

    Having had 6 of our 10 kids in 7 years’ time, as well…I hereby grant you permission to stay on that bed with those books as looooong as you like:) xo

    And, for the record…Yaya ROCKS!

  32. Rebecca

    I hate scorpions, but I think I hate roaches more. They seem to be nearly unkillable.

    Regarding the shoes — I would steer clear of them (and I am a long time, fairly serious runner). I suspect that they might be difficult to find & fit in a size 12, too. I suppose that technically they might be okay for someone very petite and light. However, how often do you see elite runners wearing these in races or training? It may happen occasionally, but I have never seen it. I think that says something right there.

    • nancy

      They definitely make the shoes big enough. My hubs wears a men’s 13.5 and he found Vibrams to fit him.

  33. KimP

    I don’t know. Those barefoot running shoes sorta remind me of . . . TruckNutz.

  34. Stephanie

    I love your Excel chart. That looks pretty ominous, Jen!

    As for creatures and creepy crawlies in the deep South, I have to admit that this Louisiana girl is so happy that she’s lived 3 years in Maryland and has not seen ONE cockroach that whole time. There are definitely things I miss about New Orleans, but that’s not one of them.

  35. Mandy P.

    I’m in Central Florida, so I’ve only seen one or two scorpions here. We have a lot of palmetto bugs and spiders, though. We recently cleaned out our garage and came across a nest of spiders. That wasn’t fun trying to clear out. And about to weeks afterward, our son got bit by one in the middle of the night. It wasn’t a recluse or a widow, but he did have a bit of a nasty reaction to it. His hand was swollen and pretty angry and seeping a the site. Soaking it in Epsom salt a few times a day and putting on a little cortisone cream cleared it up in a few days.

    The one thing here that does bother me is the snakes. We live a little off the beaten path so we’re surrounded by some wooded areas and there’s a small bog down the road. I’ve never seen a poisonous snake, but there is a really big black snake that likes to sun himself in my front planter. He’s not a poisonous guy, but it’s still a bit jarring to walk out my front door and have a snake as long as I am tall go slithering by. I also came across a baby snake in my mailbox last week. It looked like a rat snake, so I left the door open and left him alone. He vacated the premises after about a day. It was pretty creepy, though.

  36. Erin @ A Full Heart

    OK, I consider scorpions to be one of the most creepy things on the planet! Your statistics chart really freaked me out!

    My husband does barefoot running, but he didn’t like the 5-Fingers because of the whole “toe” thing. He runs with Merrell Gloves instead, which have the Vibram sole, but are designed to look like real shoes. He loves them because he can wear them anytime, not just for running.

    Hooray for Baby Countdown!!

  37. Angie

    One of our massage therapy students wears the barefoot shoes. I’ve heard they’re comfortable, but I find toe socks slightly off-putting and wondered if the shoes would be the same way. My favorite, though, was seeing a man with the barefoot shoes and a utilikilt walking into Logan’s Steakhouse. My then 3 year old son thought the shoes were interesting, but apparently didn’t even give the kilt a second thought.

  38. Kimberlie

    I just stumbled across a blog of a runner who advocates barefoot running and I saw those funky shoes on it. I have been reading Chi Running which is similar to the Pose method that barefoot runners use. I am not running YET but walking and working up to running. I plan to run a 5K in November with a girlfriend and am giving myself plenty of time to get in shape. And no, I have no desire to run barefoot or almost barefoot in funyky shoes. I will take my puffy air shoes, thank you very much. Those other ones just look painful. 🙂

  39. Maria Johnson

    My son loves the Vibrams. We couldn’t get him to wear shoes (he’s in college now) and was forever in flip-flops. They’re a little pricey, but not compared to good running shoes. Like I said, he loves them, and he has developed some amazing calf muscles. Most of his cross country team used them, so, maybe that’s a good sign. Do shop very carefully regarding your choice of tread, and beware — they stink (could be I just have a stinky kid, but I don’t think so).

  40. Linda Wightman

    Mandy P, be happy with your “really big black snake”! It sounds like a black racer, and while their bite is nasty, it’s not poisonous. We also live in Central Florida, and when the black racers prosper in our yard, the rats don’t. End of story as far as I’m concerned!

  41. Sarah

    My weird nesting thing was baking. I wanted to bake cookies, cakes, breads, etc. for the whole third trimester. Except I’m diabetic. Oops. So I would make all this food while my husband was at work, eat three bites, and then send it all off with him. His co-workers loved me!

    my grandmother lived in Texas for two years and got stung in bed. Just saying.

    Have a great weekend!

  42. Bryan

    A good friend of mine at work was talked into getting some of those “barefoot” running shoes by her brother. She jogs about 4-6 miles a day. She got horrible shin splints that nothing could make go away until she ditched the things and went back to her Asics running shoes and cut back to 2-3 miles a day for a week or two. She thought maybe if she stuck it out her legs would get used to them, but to no avail.

  43. Someone Being Me

    We just moved into a new house in a brand new subdivision and I got to kill my first scorpion about 2 months ago. I called my pest control company and they came and put purple granules all the way around the outside of my house and I haven’t seen one since (knock on wood). They poured more granules when they came out last week for my quarterly pest control and assured me they will do this every time they come out to keep up the protection. I’m totally freaked out by the idea of them being in my bed. The people I know who have been stung have all been stung by scorpions who got on their towels. So it might not hurt to shake out your towel before drying yourself off out of the bath or shower.

  44. Elizabeth

    I sympathize about the yellow jackets. We had a whole colony living in the wall of one of our bedrooms. When we got the honeycomb out, it was 5 layers deep! My husband had to rebuild the entire wall – and avoid getting stung, as he is allergic!

  45. Elizabeth

    I sympathize about the yellow jackets. We had a whole colony living in the wall of one of our bedrooms. When we got the honeycomb out, it was 5 layers deep! My husband had to rebuild the entire wall – and avoid getting stung, as he is allergic!

  46. Sheryl

    Hopefully I’m not telling you anything you already know (I skimmed through your posts tagged “scorpions– dude, you have a lot of scorpion posts– and didn’t see this info).

    Growing up in the southwest I have a lot of scorpion experience, again this may be stuff you already know.

    1. Scorpions can be discovered with a black light, so if you want to turn of your lights before you go to bed and do a scan of your bedroom, it might put your mind at ease

    2. The only successful way to kill a scorpion, as they seem to be impervious to almost everything, is to cut them in half. The best tool for this is a metal spatula–my dad always used a BBQ spatula. This is not as hard as it sounds, and they die quite quickly once their head has been separated from the rest of them 😉

    3. Scorpions are territorial, so once the allotted number of scorpions around your house has been killed, that’s it! They can have up to 30 babies — sorry to freak you out, BUT gestation can be up to a year, so that helps your odds.

    4. Scorpion bites are dangerous to very young children. If a baby or toddler gets stung, get them to the ER.

    5. Ending with good news, NO ONE in our family or anyone that I know has EVER been stung by a scorpion in bed. Hooray!

  47. Christina

    I will totally support you if you decide to wear the crazy shoes, but just promise us one thing: you won’t have the uncontrollable urge to talk about it constantly with everyone. I’ve known a few people who have these shoes and LOVE them (and I don’t doubt they’re great), but the only reason I know these people is because they strike up conversation on the subway about it with anyone within a five-meter radius. It usually starts with them saying, “Hey, I like your shoes…” and then it’s all downhill from there.

  48. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    I highly recommend the Five Fingers! I have a pair of KSOs (almost exactly like the ones in the picture in your post actually) and I love them. They are great for running (though they do teach you to run differently) but also water sports and getting strange looks at the grocery store.

    I’m actually planning to wear them in labor since they are so comfortable and closed toe…. I’m completely grossed out by hospital germs/chemicals!

    My husband has solid black KSOs and he wears them everywhere, business meetings included.

    Love the bug stories!

  49. Amanda

    We have scorpions in our house from time to time, and have never been bitten or had them in our beds (knocking on wood).

    Those shoes creep me out. I left my running shoes in someone else’s trunk after a recent road trip, and went running in an old pair of running shoes with very little support left. I ended up running barefoot for the last mile…oh my. Barefoot running and me don’t mix. And having part of the shoe between my toes? No, thank you!

    I know this is totally off topic but I remember you saying you are bad at NFP. Turns out, so are we. Of course we tried our own lazy version of just counting the days and skipping the most common fertile ones. Guess that’s not really NFP, haha! I’m glad you’re almost through with your pregnancy! I’ve got a whole 36 weeks to go 😉

  50. Ruth

    I don’t know anything about the shoes, but I’ve thought about getting some several times, but the price has always held me back….Because I have finicky feet, spending that much on a pair of shoes that I might not be able to tolerate for longer than five minutes is a very scary prospect (heels are pretty much out for me if they are taller than a 1/2 inch, it is so bad). However, I have begun buying cheaper tennis shoes, like the book, Born to Run mentions. I agree that it is an Awesome book, and it is definitely very motivating if you have ever thought of beginning to run. I keep wanting to start, but tend toward overdoing and then injuring myself. Now that I’m back in school, I’m working on getting into shape by taking pe classes, and hope to take a running class in the spring (weight training and conditioning this summer, kick boxing this fall!).

  51. Wendy from Zoom

    Wow! I knew you had to give yourself shots, but seeing them lined up like that… God bless you!

    Loved the Yaya story!

  52. Maia

    Oh, that Lovenox picture brings back memories! I can still feel the scar tissue from twice daily injections, and I’ve only been through TWO pregnancies so far! On the homestretch! Prayers for you and your family!

  53. Trisha Niermeyer Potter

    I really needed a good laugh this morning. Thank you so much for providing me with a few good bursts of laughter by sharing your recent escapades! Yaya sounds like quite an awesome grandma and quite a threat to all creepy crawlies:)

  54. JoAnna

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, scorpions. We found one in our bathtub once and I was freaked out. Thankfully, we haven’t seen any more. (But we have had mice, black widow and wolf spiders, and ants…)

  55. Wendy from Zoom

    Just had a thought. They used to prevent bedbugs from getting into a bed by setting the legs of the bed in tins filled with something (I believe even water might do it as long as you kept them filled). You would also need to not have the bed touching the wall or the bedclothes trailing on the floor, but I think it would guarantee not getting stung at night.

  56. Michelle

    My youth minister is a runner,and she uses the vibram shoes – she loves them, but recommends doing a lot of walking around in them first before trying to run in them. The muscles in your feet have to work a lot harder without the support of typical running shoes, and it takes some time to build up enough strength to run barefoot without getting injured.

  57. Becky

    Hi Jen!

    I’m a regular reader but don’t comment often–but your stories are SO FUNNY! I LOVE Yaya! Seriously, you paint the perfect picture of this feisty woman! You make me wish for a Yaya in my life who would knock down all our bee hives! (We do not have scorpions in MN, and for once, I am grateful to live in MN!)

  58. Jeanne G.

    I’m soooo glad we don’t have scorpions in Ohio.

  59. Grace

    ooooo if you get the shoes PLEASE do a little review…I’m so curious about them!!

    and those shots look positively terrifying…bravo to you!!

  60. Christie

    I feel much much more comfortable working out without shoes that I’d be willing to try those running shoes. It’s impossible to run here in Texas without some sort of footwear. Even the plants bite.

  61. Lynn

    I have a pair of vibrams, and am disappointed. I get terrible blisters from just about any shoes–I even have to toughen up for Birkenstocks. So I thought Vibrams would be great. After about two miles, I had blisters between several toes and on the bottoms of both heels, which were 1/3 to 1/2 the entire surface area of each heel. Now I will wear them for only short periods around town, and never specifically to go for a walk.

    To my dismay, I have found that the best shoes to avoid blisters seem to be flip flops, which i dislike on principle.

  62. Ashley

    When I was growing up in NM we lived in a house surrounded by the mesa, so occasionally centipedes would come into the house. Every night before we went to bed we’d do a “centipede check,” looking between the sheets to make sure there weren’t any hiding. If I remember correctly (this was 20 years ago) we found a few this way. You might want to do something similar. Obviously this won’t keep them from coming into your bed, but let’s not think about that.

  63. elizabethe

    Maybe you could take a repost request? Would you mind reposting the Yaya advice post: “what you think is out there, it ain’t out there!”? It’s so great.

    Anyhoo, I’m so intrigued by barefoot running/walking, and am actually completely sold intellectually on the concept. BUT there are a small but noticeable segment of people in my uber-trendy urban neighborhood who wear them around (not that we’re trendy, oh no, if they were allowed to screen for that sort of thing we would never have gotten our house). But they look SO STUPID — Jenn, I don’t care what you think, they would indeed make you look stupider while you jog. It is impossible not look at the person wearing them and think “you look SO STUPID with those things on.” They need to make them with a “real shoe” upper. If I could get a pair of unobtrusive ballet flats with a “barefoot” sole, I would be all over it. It would be better for people to just go barefoot, but then, you know, glass, parasites, really dirty feet and big callouses, all that stuff. But really, all that stuff would be preferable to looking as stupid as people look wearing those shoes.

    call me shallow, whatever. I’m socially awkward enough as it is to not want to wear a big neon “hey, LOOK HOW STUPID I LOOK” sign on my feet.

  64. Amy B

    A scorpion in my bed sounds like my own private hell. How can you live like that?!?!?! 😉

  65. Christy from fountains of home

    Hi Jennifer!

    Just wanted to let you know I’m linking up for the first time today!

    And I can’t get over those needles! I’d be excited to have the end in sight too! Take care!

  66. Lisa

    Jen, I think we’re due on the same day — June 24th? Hope these next couple weeks go by quickly for us both! And I loved Born to Run, it convinced me I could be a runner (let’s just say I’m built more like a sprinter.) My husband just got some five fingers and he likes them, but you have to make sure you slooooowly ease into them, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for injury.

  67. Sara in D.C.


    Ditch the Vibrams, go barefoot! I started running straight up barefoot a month or so ago (after reading Born to Run, of course) and I am telling you, it’s amazing — just be careful where you step. I’ll echo the sentiment to take it sloooow. What I did was start my runs in my regular shoes, then take them off for the last mile or so. Then work your way up to running barefoot or with the Vibrams exclusively.

    I just signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon for “No Greater Sacrifice” (amazing cause, by the way). Sounds like a perfect training goal for you post-baby! Washington D.C. is lovely in the fall. Think about it…


  68. Clare

    EEEKS, as far as the scorpions go. Likewise the yellow jacket nest. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen any of the former, but we have a nest of the latter somewhere in our house, too, as well as a bumblebee nest lurking somewhere else.

  69. Bobbi

    Take #3, “This is why I don’t have a lifestyle blog…” Hilarious. That is why I love this girl.

  70. Ann-Marie

    I know that those shoes seem so natural, but I can’t get over the idea of having something between each of my toes. I have a hard enough time with just regular flip flops – but each toe being encased? Yikes.

  71. Dianne

    I am not usually freaked out by bugs or spiders, having grown up on a farm. I don’t know how I’d deal with scorpions though – yuck. I hope you avoid the bites!

    How wonderful that your MIL not only lives close by but you have a good relationship with her. So cool.

  72. Louise

    I LOVE your Yaya stories! You could write a book just about those!
    Less than 2 weeks left 😀 I’m very excited for you!

  73. Jackie @ Family Daze

    I was laughing so hard I was crying. Very very funny! I can so relate with the creepy crawlies, the fear of being stung by the creepy crawlies –all made so much worse by pregnancy! Hang in there! You are almost done! So excited for you!

  74. Bev

    My cousin just bought some vibrams and says: The vibrams actually have a decent sole on them, it is just very flexible and can move in all three dimensions. You do feel the terrain much more so than in regular shoes, but I have found so far that this actually makes me less apt to trip because my feet actually know what they are touching and can respond appropriately and more immediately. I also don’t kick myself in the ankles anymore, because I don’t have a big sole sticking three quarters of an inch to the side all around my foot! My form is also much better, or at least it feels better to run. My feet are light and unfettered and I feel really nimble and energetic in them!!

  75. Mindyleigh

    Thank you for hosting! I find you remarkably brave for living among scorpions. Even though the mosquito is our state bird here in Alaska, I find great comfort in knowing we have no ticks, fleas, native cockroaches (my son has one but he’s pretty cute), scorpions, etc. YIKES!

  76. M.T.

    I always love your Quick Takes — great, funny and quick. Perfect. 🙂 God bless.

  77. Alek

    Woohoo, this is my first time doing 7 quick takes friday!. I’m glad my post doesn’t involve scorpions.

  78. bearing

    If you’re wanting to try forefoot running (landing on your forefoot instead of with a heel strike — the single biggest difference between what most runners do in cushioned shoes and what “barefoot runners” do), you don’t have to do it in any kind of “special” shoes. I switched to forefoot running a few months ago, and I do it these days in cross-country racing flats. The ones I use are Saucony Kilkenny XC — less than $50.

  79. Jennifer G.

    Love, love, love your blog. You offer the perfect balance of absolute humor, with deep Catholic connection, with a past I can relate to. Thank you!!

  80. Allison Welch

    My yellow jacket story… We were geocaching and the hint was: “Under a piece of bark.” My two sons found a dead tree and pulled a huge piece of bark off of it, and with it came the largest hive you ever saw. It was just like the cartoons — only not funny (until MUCH later.) My husband and I watched from a distance as the hive spread out like an accordion. Time froze. “RUN!” we yelled. A cloud of bees followed my young boys, with my husband and I not far behind. After about a quarter mile we realized we needed to start yelling, “STOP!” (I think they’d still be running…) When we caught up to them their clothes were COVERED in bees. I swatted at them and naively expected the bees to scatter but they didn’t budge. There, in the middle of the forest I stripped the boys naked, leaving a puddle of clothes in the middle of the trail. And then we all ran for another quarter mile. (What a picture!) We all got stung, and the counts get higher with every telling. But we all survived and even though we’ve never gone again, we still highly recommend geocaching! 😉

  81. Stuart Buck

    I’ve run in Five Fingers shoes for over 3.5 years now, before Born to Run came out. I’m on my second pair. The most I’ve run in them is 33 miles per week (and 15 miles in a single long run). I don’t run in anything else — regular shoes now feel heavy, like ankle weights, and accordingly make my stride feel too awkward.

    My only advice is get used to them slowly. If you run too far at first, your calves may reach a level of soreness you wouldn’t have thought possible.

  82. Anthony S. Layne

    The first three bits, taken all together, just about had me crying with laughter! And then the wierd nesting habit …. Actually, that would make a fun post, if every woman who’s had a child related a wierd nesting habit.

  83. Canaan

    My husband is in love with his Vibrams and this is a man who would never change anything unless it was forced upon him and who buys his jeans at the Dollar General. He NEVER spends money and something overcame him (possibly delirium from all the Air Force’s stupid physical requirements) and he bought them. He loves and wears them ALL the time. It took some time but now he can’t live without them. He was lamenting the fact he couldn’t hike in them this weekend with my son at Cub Scout camp.

  84. Roxy

    Those barefoot running shoes creep me out! Do you know if they’re just as rave-worthy for those of us unfortunates with flat feet? I can’t imagine they have much arch support.

    I accidently linked to my blog URL and not my post. Oopsie. I promise I’ll get it right next time.

  85. Emily

    Like Alek, this is also my first time doing 7 quick takes Friday! I had yet to hear of the concept of “running barefoot.” You’ve piqued my interest now; thank you!

  86. Barbara@IntimateGeography

    I had a regular spider in my bed once, only once. After that I would obsessively check the covers every time I was about to get in it. I’m with you, Jen, spiders freak me out.

  87. Brittany

    Just ONE of those shots would be too much for me. As if a 5th pregnancy wasn’t already worth admiring, you’re sticking yourself with your own medication on top of it?! I can hardly imagine you “cowering in some corner in the background” of any picture. Sticking oneself with anything puts me in the mind of novels on survival in hostile conditions and legendary heroine bravery. (no pun intended regarding the “heroine” reference. haha!)

  88. thomas tucker

    The bad news is: I know a woman who got stung in bed five times!
    The good new is: I lived in Austin for twenty years and never got stung in bed, although I did get get stung once in the kitchen when i stepped on a scorpion. My best advice is to get your house sprayed regularly, especially with the drought,which causes them to search out water.

  89. Veronica

    I absolutely love the Yaya stories! Your descriptions are so vivid, I laughed so hard I cried a little!

  90. SteveG

    I don’t run, but I am an avid Urban Ranger (which just means walking a lot, at a very fast pace during my lunch hour). The same issues regarding running apply to walking as well (<a href="http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/&quot; How We Are Wrecking Our Feet).

    I don’t have the 5 fingers, but rather a different pair of Vibrams from Terra Plan (they have quite a few choices for running, walking, or just normal wear) that are in the same barefoot family. Mine are barefoot, but without the toes.

    I really like my barefoot shoes for normal wear, casual walking, and even fast walking on natural surfaces. But what I found is that walking on concrete at a very fast pace (let alone running) was actually extremely uncomfortable (bordering on painful).

    At that point, I tried a pair of the Nike Free barefoot shoes. These have a super flexible sole which allows your foot to move naturally and they have no padding whatsoever. This emulates a barefoot experience very closely with regard to foot and gait motion, but with a thicker sole, they feel much much better when walking(running) on pavement.

    I have to say that between the two, for everyday wear in normal city/suburb conditions, the Nike Free is much better in my opinion. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn in general.

    If you decide to go with a barefoot type shoe, give some thought to what type of surface you’d likely be running/walking on.

  91. Erin

    Jen, I don’t know if anyone has commented on this yet, because as much as I would love to read every comment, I need to go to bed. I have been near-barefoot tunning for a little while now and just need to offer one caveat. Becaues your calf is providing not only your propulsion but also absorbing every footfall, it can take some conditioning to get to a place where you can get back to your normal distances. I ran two miles (read: one then ran/walked/limped) the first time I wore my ked like shoes and iced, adviled and walked funny for at least three days afterward. Not smart. But it is easier on my knees by a long shot.

    Good luck! And I am very excited for the new addition for your family. I will be praying for you all.

  92. Edna Stemmler

    Scorpions are truly scary and I would probably not to live in your place, I can’t sleep with that horrible creature! By the way I love your yaya she is nice.

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