7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 192)

October 19, 2012 | 30 comments

— 1 —

So, today is the craziest day ever. I drop the toddlers off at Mother’s Day Out; run back home; throw the baby in her crib for a power nap; flash-homeschool the big kids; go back to MDO early to watch the preschoolers race tricycles and jump through hoops for Olympic Day; go back home, throw some leotards on the couch and tell the two big girls to get ready for ballet while I dump out some granola bars on the kitchen table and holler, “LUNCH!”; take the big girls to dance class; dash out of dance class, see if the girls can finally figure out how to change clothes in the car while keeping their seatbelts on (attempts at which have yielded mixed results in the past); drop off my five-year-old at the main American Heritage Girls meeting place; dash over to PetCo with my six-year-old for her unit’s American Heritage Girls field trip to get a pet care badge; somehow find time in all of this to write my 7 Quick Takes post. I think my son has Scouts too.

If you never hear from me again…know that it had something to do with the events of this day.

— 2 —

“You’re overscheduled!” some might say. “You don’t need all those activities!” I too used to be of the “kids’ activities are overrated”/”reject the frantic pace of The World and cultivate a peaceful life at home”/”what’s wrong with our house that we would ever need to leave it, ever?” school of thought. And then my kids started asking me why they should brush their hair or wear clothes or since we never see other human lifeforms, and began developing startlingly close relationships to their imaginary friends, and I promptly signed them up for 1, 000 activities.

— 3 —

I hung out with my friend Rachael at the big Texas Alliance for Life benefit dinner this week, and just had to get a picture with her since she has perfected the “baby chic” look. She wore this incredibly cute poka-dotted dress topped with a black cropped sweater, then had her new little man tucked neatly into a sling in a lime-colored sling. As if knowing that he needed to chill lest he spoil his mother’s fabulous vibe, the baby sat there happily for almost the whole event.

— 4 —

This is so different than when I try to leave the house with an infant. I always remember at the last minute that I need to feed the baby so she won’t scream in the car the whole way there, and then I remember with exasperation (for whatever reason, this shocks me anew every time) that the feeding process can take over 30 minutes. Thus the time I was planning to spend glaring into my closet and proclaiming that I have Nothing to Wear™ is used nursing the baby instead. Now late, I end up grabbing the first clothes I see, usually a mix of ill-fitting maternity clothes and ill-fitting normal pieces. I get to the event, and about five minutes in my sling starts unraveling and the baby’s legs and an arm are flailing around, knocking drinks out of people’s hands. My attempts to fix it end up angering the baby, who is now crying and wants to eat again. She has somehow ended up getting wrapped up in the sling like it’s a strait jacket, and just as I untangle everything and lift her out of it she looks down at me, smiles…and spits up all over me.

I think I would have to have about 10 more kids to be able to socialize with a baby without it being a total disaster.

— 5 —

For those of you in the Austin area, I’ll be speaking on Tuesday at the Relevant Radio luncheon and on Wednesday at the University of Texas as part of Professor Rob Koons’ Chrisitian Apologetics series at the UCC. Rumor has it that an Atheist Club as been invited to the latter event, so bring your popcorn to kick back and enjoy the festivities.

— 6 —

You know how I’m always recommending that book Organizing Solutions for People with ADD? I think that the author should take the book, slap a new cover it, and release a second version called Organizing Solutions for People With Big Families, with the exact same content as the first. Having kids is like having a house full of people with ADD. Her totally streamlined, ultra-simple, eminently functional organizational tips are incredibly helpful when you live in the kind of environment where you might tell someone to “put that shirt in the laundry basket, ” and the mere presence of a lid on the basket causes enough of a distraction that 10 minutes later you find her playing princess dressup, using the shirt you gave her as her magic cape. Just a tip.

— 7 —

The astute reader may have read #1, 3, and 5 and thought, “That’s a lot of socializing for a self-proclaimed introvert!” I know. I don’t know how it happened either.



  1. Ashley

    I may have to look into that organizing book. Not because I’m disorganized (my label maker is my second-best friend) but because I spend at least an hour each day when I get home from work trying to sort out where the two other adults in the house left things.

    Lol… I think our family’s version of organized is when all of the mail makes it five feet from the mail slot to the desk (along with a dog’s chew toy, a glass of tea, two broken ink pens thrown in randomly into the stack and three month’s worth of expired hotel fliers.

  2. nancyo

    re: #7, I was noticing that very thing – all those activities which involve other people, and back to back days of speaking engagements. Good luck – it all sounds action-packed and fun!

    (and not to be super-picky, but I think you might mean “eminently functional” in #6?)

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Ooh, great catch on the typo. Thanks!!

  3. Patricia

    You just made me laugh. I can just visualize it all. Whose playing your part in the film.

  4. Mike

    Jennifer, THANK YOU for posting that link to “Organizing Solutions for People with ADD”! Being both ADD and utter rubbish at staying organized, that is exactly the kind of book that I need. I’ve already bookmarked it and plan on ordering a copy ASAP. 🙂

  5. Dorian Speed

    Do you have to actually implement the organizing solutions, or can you just buy the book? Because that’s my usual approach to self-improvement. I have quite the library of resources for when I get around to reading them.

  6. Jane

    Oraganuzing book back orderedon Amazon.

  7. Rachael

    I’ve become really good at “faking it till I make it”. ;0)

  8. Becky

    I am so with you on the baby sling thing. I see people at church, stores, and other places with their babies sitting contently in their slings, and I have never been able to master the dumb things. I have not yet been able to even wear a sling without the entire thing falling apart, which is why I don’t wear them anymore! I have a very pretty lavender one sitting the closet that I have never used, if anyone wants it.

  9. Valerie @ Momma in Progress

    Just imagining all those activities and traveling back and forth with my three Agents made me a bit woozy.

  10. Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama

    Loved the description of busy day in #1… especially the part about throwing granola bars on the table and hollering “Lunch!” We, too, we’re going minimal with activities until the questions started as to why we bother getting dressed or taking baths because we don’t leave the house.


  11. elizabethe

    I read a book on the meyers-briggs type (I’m an INFP) that said in times of stress we start behaving like the opposite of a certain two of our letters (can’t remember exactly which two), so instance, an Introverted intiuitve type flip to social butterflies who start to gather lots of hard data to make decisions. This definitely happened to me in graduate school. I was constantly awash in social activity, completely unhappy, but refusing to accept my own intuitive sense that this was not the right place for me and feeling like I needed hard data to justify making a change. It was a terrible terrible 7 years. (I may have the two letters that flip wrong, but you get the picture).

    • Dorian Speed

      That is so interesting – I am fascinated with Myers-Briggs. Going to have to track down that book. I definitely notice that about myself, that when I’m stressed, I just start doing more of the things that make me stressed. I have even flirted with the idea that I might be an introvert who doesn’t know what’s good for her.

  12. Andrea

    Jen, my husband and I will be at the Relevant Radio event too!

    I’ll be socializing with a baby strapped on as well, but I don’t think I can pull off the glamorous look of your friend!

  13. MargoB

    Jennifer, I *so* enjoy reading your ‘blog; thank you for writing!! I appreciate your writing not only about the good you do, the funny that happens, and the blessings that come into your life, but also about the not-so-pretty/perfect things that happen or that you do. I can relate to more than a few of your posts, and find myself relieved that someone else who doesn’t always see the obvious or react in the best way doesn’t (apparently) waste her time worrying about *that*, but gets up and keeps going. That’s been such an encouraging example to me these past many months I’ve been reading your blog.

    I also wanted to thank you for mentioning S. Pinsky’s book again. I haven’t seen your earlier posts about it, but followed your link to the Amazon spot this time. O my werd! I’ve got it coming my way from the library, because some of it sounded so familiar — but with solutions! Hooray!

    As a trade, and just because it’s a good show, I’d like to recommend the ABC show, “Once Upon A Time.” It’s now in its 2nd season (but you can see all of Season 1 on Netflix or Hulu+). Although the producers/writers probably didn’t plan this, it’s incredibly — and powerfully — catechetical. You probably have no time for a Sunday evening TV show (8/7central), but if you ever get a chance to see it, I don’t think you’ll find it to disappoint.

    Thanks again for ‘blogging!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Margo! I’ll definitely check out that show.

  14. Elisa

    Lol. I’m still in the “I’m not driving my kids all over town for activities” camp. We’ll see. We’ve got a few more years and then…3 boys – sports..it’s bound to happen.

  15. Cassidy

    Baby wearing has both saved my sanity as well as almost had me in the HaHa Hotel…Love your blog. 🙂

  16. Kendra @ The Nerdy Wife

    I still haven’t mastered the art of getting out of the house with an infant either!

  17. Kathleen Basi

    #4 just makes me laugh! I don’t think you’ll ever get it…because the brain chaos just keeps getting worse the more kids you add!

  18. Jeanne G.

    I remember days like your busy day when I was on the swim-team as a young teen! I’m excited to be joining Quick Takes again for the first time in weeks or maybe months!

  19. Mrs. K

    Here’s a tip, when in a hurry, nurse the baby while sitting on the floor/chair staring at your closet. You can at least visually look at your options even if you can’t try them on right away.

  20. Gloria

    Jen! I just HAD to comment after reading you’re going to be speaking at the UCC. I started reading your blog my sophomore year (so like 1 1/2 years now), and could not stop laughing out loud in the library; it was like everything you wrote about struck a chord, especially about faith. And then I found out you had gone to that SAME school. ‘How awesome is that?!’ I thought, and ever since then hoped to run into you somewhere so I could tell you in person how much your blog has helped and uplifted me. And I would, too, except I’m back home taking a ‘break’ from university, (gotta love my timing) and Texas is such a big state Austin might as well be across the country, so this post is what I’ll do. 🙂

    Anyway, I know some people involved at the UCC who are planning to go, and at least one is friends with someone from the Atheist Club, so it sounds like they will be there too. I’m going to try and convince my boyfriend to go.

    And finally, congrats on your baby! Prayers for you and your family!

  21. Elizabeth

    As my tween daughter would say, “You and I should totally be friends!”

  22. Stephanie

    This whole post made me laugh, which I was desperately in need of. Thank you!

  23. Christine Dalessio

    The crazy schedule is amazing… and if you ever feel overwhelmed by it, remember the gift of those kids that keep you running! What joy.

  24. Nicole

    I can relate to #2. I knew I had to get the kids out more when my oldest (5yo) told me I couldn’t kill a fly because it was his friend.

  25. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I can’t tell you how many times my daughter has had a meal of goldfish and saltines because I forget about the fact that she has to eat lunch…and other minor details like that 🙂

  26. Paul

    Hot Dog! Your friend (#3) is hot!

  27. Francie Escovedo

    Organizing Solutions…. I bought that book based on your initial review. Now, if I could only find it. **sigh**

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