7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 195)

November 9, 2012 | 25 comments

— 1 —

I’ll probably be on a plane when you read this. Therefore, you can safely picture me hunkered down in a seat, my knees in my chin since airline seat designers evidently hate tall people, silently repeating to myself that I am never, ever flying again. It should be especially miserable since I will be able to avail myself of only one of my trinity of flight survival tools (the Rosary, large quantities of wine, and access to Twitter). Also, since I’ll have two of the kids with me (Joe and the others will be on a different flight), I’ll have to pretend like I’m not having a claustrophobia-induced panic attack. Not sure how I’ll pull that one off. Maybe I’ll tell the girls that the airlines ask all passengers to breathe in and out rapidly while staring out the window and holding on to the seat handle while muttering incoherent phrases about “never doing this again.”

— 2 —

We decided to leave our 18-month-old with the grandmothers, since the trip would probably be hard on her and she wouldn’t get much out of it. I’m not entirely sure that she’s even going to notice that we’re gone. Since both of the grandmothers live only a few blocks away from us she’s at their houses almost every day, and only returns home under extreme coercion. She usually plays out front at Yaya’s, and when she sees my car drive up she turns and runs screaming back toward Yaya’s house like it’s the Bogey Man in his Evilmobile coming to to abduct her. The other day she went to visit my mom, and after my mom took her we were standing in the doorway chatting. The baby kept pointedly saying, “BYE-BYE!” to me, and when I didn’t get the hint, she reached out and tried to shut the door in my face. So…not worried about her being too sad that we’re gone.

— 3 —

I got an extremely disturbing comment to my last 7 Quick Takes post. There was I, all starry-eyed and excited about the idea of one day camping in the Pacific Northwest, and then Liz said:

Okay, camping in the PNW in JULY is kind of awesome.

But November? That’s just a recipe for disaster, pneumonia, trench rot, and three kinds of fungus in places you don’t want to think about.

And if you go across the Cascades to the dry side, you’ll just die of frostbite. November is WINTER. We don’t live outside in WINTER for anything less than apocalyptic reasons.

There is a lot to this comment, and I think I even caught something about there being a time of year when camping up there might be just lovely, but all I heard was “FUNGUS IN PLACES YOU DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT.” What?? What could this possibly refer to? Which places? How does one contract this? My imagination immediately lit up with all sorts of possibilities. I thought about Googling it, but then realized that I didn’t want a variety of Can you get fungus in your _____? searches saved in my browser. Anyway, long story short, I’m back to thinking that I’m never camping anywhere.

— 4 —

Yaya has casually announced that the baby SHALL be potty trained by the time we return (to review, the child is 18 months old). She thinks it’s far past time we got on top of this, and says that it’ll be a cinch to get this taken care of. I’ve told you before that potty training is something of a second religion for Yaya. I’m more of a fan of waiting until the last possible minute before it starts getting weird that my kids are still wearing diapers, but that’s mainly because I can’t deal with potty chairs; I wait until they’re old enough to use the toilet.

The closest I have ever come to actually passing out were moments that involved potty chairs: once was when Yaya had set our two-year-old about the task of emptying the potty bowl herself, and every wobbly step she took with the filled plastic container made my blood pressure drop a little lower. Another incident — and I mean I seriously almost passed out — was when I saw one of our toddlers reach into a potty chair and eat a piece of chocolate that had fallen into it. It turned out that it was a brand new chair, so there was actually no sanitation concern, but the ten seconds in which I did not know that and did not know the identity of the substance that was in the bowl almost killed me.

— 5 —

Were you wondering why I haven’t mentioned the reality show lately? Did you think that perhaps the producer got back to New York, looked at the footage, and decided that we should just never speak of this again to preserve the dignity of all involved? Amazingly enough, it’s all turning out really well, and both the production team and I are mildly thrilled with the way it’s looking. I even have air times and other details ready to announce! More on that in a few days.

— 6 —

I am so glad I got my Google Nexus. It was a bit of a stretch financially (and was, obviously, a pre-Lovenox purchase), but I feel like I’ve already gotten my money’s worth from it. The main difference it’s made is that I’m actually reading blogs again! For months I hardly ever read my favorite sites; all the time I had in front of my computer was spent hitting writing deadlines, and it’s not pleasant to read a lot of text on my phone. Now that I have Google Reader all set up on my Nexus, which is about the size of a paperback book, I can kick back and catch up my favorite reads when I have downtime that doesn’t involve being at my desk. Throw in the Instapaper app and browser plugin and I feel like I am a hermit who has finally emerged from her cave to behold the strange new outside world.

— 7 —

In honor of my feelings about air travel, I present to you the trailer from the cinema classic, Airplane:



  1. Fat Catholic Chick

    God bless you on your trip! I have the Nexus as well! Have dropped it so many times.. It’s a good one! 🙂

  2. Dianna

    Aren’t tablets the BeST! I rarely read blogs on the desktop — always on the iPad.

  3. Claire

    Yaya needs to blog, or have her own TV show or something. She’s sounds hilariously wonderful. I would not be surprised if the baby was potty trained by then time you get back!! haha!

  4. TracyE

    Wow, a grandmother that potty trains??? So jealous. My MIL decided after one hosing down that she had had it and promptly returned our son to diapers and it was back to the drawing board….

    Stay warm camping and I’m sure you’ll find a few enjoyable moments, fungus and all! 😉

  5. Jocelyne

    Potty training, sigh. I guess I need to get on top of that myself now that my big boy is two.

    I think I need to see Airplane again. It’s been too long.

  6. 'Becca

    Isn’t the Pacific Northwest also the land of giant slugs? Maybe they’re dormant by November. Have a great trip!

    • Smoochagator

      Most vomit-inducing comment ever. Actually now I’m going to Google “giant slugs.”

    • anna lisa

      Giant banana slugs are *not* dormant in November, at least not in the Redwood forest of CA. I had one that liked to hang out on my garbage can. He was kinds cute. When my JP was in second grade, when I couldn’t find him at school, I would always look at the river/creek across the street where he loved to have banana slug sailing competitions with the other feral second grader.

  7. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Last time I flew, I let them know that I was having a panic attack, and they put me in a nice roomy seat and kept the beverages coming 🙂

    Also, when I first started reading your blog, I always got YaYa and Simcha confused. Now that I know who each is, I laugh so hard when I think about Simcha being your kids’ grandmother!

  8. Smoochagator

    You receommendation of the regular-old-Kindle as a great post-partum e-reader made me want one badly badly badly but now you’ve got me lusting after a tablet. But first I need to buy an “old-fashioned” laptop for practical business-type reasons. All these spending opportunities and nothing to spend.

    My son has often “encouraged” me to just leave him already at the babysitter’s or grandma’s house. In fact, for his first year and a half I think he expressed sadness at me leaving him a total of THREE times. But right now he’s in the middle of a phase where he cries heartbroken, hysterical tears when I drop him off before work, so… yeah, that kind of sucks 🙁

    Have fun on your trip! And be safe!

  9. MrsDarwin

    Airplane: the great cultural gem to come out of the Seventies. So many many great line:

    “That’s when my drinking problem began.”
    “And don’t call me Shirley.”
    “There’s a sale at Penney’s!”
    “It’s basically like a big Tylenol.”

    Yeah, I could do this all day. Happy flying!

  10. karishma

    I can’t be the only one who read the story of the “chocolate” in the “brand-new, never been used” potty, and immediately thought of Hawkeye in the final episode of MASH. That’s got to be either a self-delusion or a lie that helps you go on with your life.

    Or someone set you up as a practical joke.

    I would have thrown up and quite likely have made the kid throw up as well, not to mention washing their mouth out with the strongest cleaner I thought would not kill them. OMG! just the thought of that is making me gag.

    Yeah, all the moments I am least proud of as a mom have involved poop as well.

  11. Briana

    Couldn’t agree more with the caveat of camping here. The one time we went camping I had dreams all night about people freezing to death, even though we went in July and it was a hot day. This summer, at 8 mos pregnant, I did discover a way to make it work. The Cave B Inn has yurts set up in the vineyard. Complete with heat, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. And in-door plumbing. It’s on the other side of the mountains so you don’t have to worry about slugs. And there is wine tasting!

  12. Donna L.

    So excited to hear you speak this weekend!

    The slugs are huge, but they don’t have stingers or anything–they just devour all of your flowers and plants in the garden….I’d take them over scorpions any day of the week!

    May St. Christopher bless you and keep you

    God bless Yaya, and the rest of your family

    (Here in Kitsap County, it’s just 31 degrees…but clear, so I am in the hope that there is no snow!)
    Donna L.

  13. Hannah

    Hannabert (just turning 21 months) also is anxious for us to leave and frequently tries to shut the door in our face when we pick him up from daycare. Makes a working mama feel GREAT!

  14. Jimmy Mahoney

    Hope your trip goes well. Nice post. I love the movie Airplane – it’s a funny classic.

  15. anna lisa

    All grandmas are obsessed with potty training. They’re traumatized from the cloth diaper era. Personally I think three is just fiiiine. Who wants to have to panic when they panic and say, “It’s coming out!” at the grocery store. Yup, three.

  16. KJ

    You don’t have to completely give up the thought of camping in the NW. Here’s a compromise: the Oregon Parks Dept. has some wonderful cabins and yurts for rent (for a few dollars more a night, you can rent one with its own restroom). Here’s the link: http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PARKS/Pages/cabins.aspx I’ve stayed in several cabins during October, and they’re GREAT! Then, if you find that the weather is acceptable, you can come back and really camp another time.

  17. Claire

    You’re cracking me up! Are you sure that Simcha hasn’t temporarily hijacked this blog? Thank you for some very much-needed comic relief!

  18. T'onna

    My husband is tall, so flying is hard on him as well. He always complains about his back and knees hurting after a long flight. I’m just scared of flying, so unless I find someone to talk to, I gaze out the window and cry. :-/

    You’re lucky to have both grandmothers nearby. Both of our families live in Tennessee (right on the Kentucky border), and we’re in Georgia (right on the Florida border). We’re about a 10 or 11 hour drive away.

  19. Lauren

    I just read the Pioneer Woman’s blog and then clicked over and read this blog post and I’ve decided you and her should be friends. You both have a similar sense of humor. And hair color. That is all. 🙂

  20. Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace

    I would also be freaking out if I thought someone had just eaten poop, which apparently Grace blogging at Camp Patton actually had happen with her children. Yucky!! When I read that take it reminded me of the candy bar scene in Caddyshack where everyone evacuates the pool.
    Airplane is such a hilarious movie! Some of the best one-liners ever.
    That’s really awesome that both of the kids’ grandmothers live so close and are such an integral part of their daily lives. And hey, if you’re going to be known for something, why not have it be that you’re the potty training expert?! Way to go, Yaya! 🙂

  21. Kathleen Basi

    The proximity and willingness to babysit of your kids’ grandparents finally gives me the “aha” moment I needed to realize how you do everything you do!

    Hey, if she has the baby toilet trained by the time you come home, fall down and praise God. And treat her to a REALLY NICE DINNER.

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