7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 227)

August 2, 2013 | 85 comments

— 1 —


Some families visit the Eiffel Tower; we have fake toilets at Ikea.

So I took all six kids to Ikea yesterday. By myself. (You know that the level of stir craziness in your house is getting dire when taking six children under the age of nine to a crowded store with a labyrinthine layout that requires to you walk a mile to the exit is a preferable activity to staying in your home.)

You’ll be shocked to hear that it went really well: I pushed the baby in the stroller, occasionally while holding my two-year-old like a yelling sack of potatoes under my arm, and the four big kids walked in line behind me. They were allowed to check out the sample rooms and the display furniture, but they understood that when I said it was time to move, it was a code-red, the-toddler-is-about-to-do-something-that-is-going-to-get-us-escorted-out-of-here-by-security emergency, and they needed to move immediately. The stares and looks of awed admiration (or was that fearful revulsion?) made it all worthwhile.

— 2 —

shadow-diversYou know what book has the best tips for taking multiple young children out in public? Shadow Divers.

You might not think of a biography about wreck diving as offering a wealth of information for parents, but it does. Shipwreck diving is a notoriously dangerous activity that can lead to injury or death if not handled with the utmost care. These divers prepare extensively before heading down to a sunken ship, studying maps of its interior and checking their equipment for weeks beforehand. Mainly, they know that the name of the game is not pushing their luck. They set a time for the dive before they head under water, and they return to the surface according to that timetable, no matter how close they are to finding something cool.

There’s an incredible scene in Shadow Divers when, after months of effort, one of the guys finds a box that probably contains material that will identify the mystery submarine. It’s too heavy to move, so he’d have to look through it there. But his time is up. He knows that staying could cost him his life, so he swims away from the box and returns to the surface.

That was exactly like me at Ikea. Before we arrived, I mentally mapped the layout and had a long talk with the kids about my expectations for their behavior. I did extensive calculations based on nap schedules and hunger levels, and decided that we could stay for 40 minutes before it would all unravel. Sure enough, at the 36-minute mark, I found a great sale in the kitchen department. I could practically hear a clock ticking ominously in the background as I held up a gleaming salad bowl, and thought of what a thrill it would be to get a new dinner set at this price. But, like the diver, I knew my time was up. I saw a feral, wild-eyed look cross the toddler’s face, and I knew that it would cost me my life (or at least my ability to return to this establishment without police involvement) if I stayed. So, like the disciplined diver, I put the bowl down, and returned to the parking lot.

The trip was a success, and I give much of the credit to Shadow Divers. Because, like wreck diving, the key to surviving a trip out of the house with young children is to plan ahead and stick to your time tables.

— 3 —

Does anyone else find getting pedicures to be an utterly overwhelming prospect? I’ve only had two in my life, and I’m still recovering. I’m just going to be honest and say that I don’t understand how anyone enjoys this activity. There’s the fear that they’ll keep rubbing and rubbing with that pumice stone until they’ve passed the dead skin and are now drawing blood, of course, but what about the social interaction aspect of it? On the one hand, I can’t deal with paying for forced socializing. On the other hand, it seems awkward to ignore someone who is three feet away from you and touching your feet.

Is this an introvert/extrovert thing? Is there such a thing as introverts who like getting professional pedicures?

— 4 —

For the eight years that Joe and I have been parents, we’ve held out on getting a video game system. No Xbox, Playstation, or DS for us, thankyouverymuch. We had all sorts of high-minded ideals about the importance of kids spending their days staring at Netflix instead of playing mindless video games. (Wait…maybe the ideals were originally something else, perhaps involving books. I don’t remember anymore.)

Anyway, it hasn’t turned out to be the great solution I imagined it would be. Kids these days seem to be born knowing about the existence of video games, and will stop at nothing to find them. Our children have managed to find a wealth of free online game sites, and the result has been constant frustration. Even the kid-safe sites that I’ve approved usually have ads, regularly harass them (and me by extension) about creating logins or doing paid upgrades, and I worry about them stumbling across inappropriate content online that escapes our parent filter.

All that is to say: I’m thinking about getting a video game system. It would get rid of my worries about content, we wouldn’t need to worry about ads, and the kids could play games together. As hard as it is to believe, I think that getting a Wii or an Xbox might actually be a solution to my video game problems.

— 5 —

Are there any monasteries that have live feeds of the monks or nuns praying the Liturgy of the Hours? I love praying the Hours, and Joe and I were thinking that it would be cool to tie our family prayers to those of a monastery, especially if we could watch them praying in real time.

— 6 —

Can you believe that Fall is right around the corner? I’ve been trying to figure out what/how many activities to do for the kids, and I keep thinking of Dorian’s great post on the subject, in which she talks about how her family changed their views about organized sports in light of the realities of modern suburbia. Lots of good food for thought.

— 7 —

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the 7 for 7 challenge last week! I’m still catching up on your posts, and loving every minute of it.



  1. jen

    #3: I’m an introvert who loves pedicures. My nail person actually uses a Dremel tool to get the callouses off my feet so pumice not all that threatening to me. I always bring a book and read though I do ask my person how her family is doing and show off pictures of my son. She’s fine with me losing myself in a book and just resting.

    Manicures, on the other hand, are harder because I can’t read during them and I’m picky about my fingernails. I love my nail person enough that I’ve allowed her to talk me into gel nails and I’m chill with those. Again, my nail person is fine with me being quiet.

  2. Kendra Tierney

    I am totally with you on the pedicure thing. It’s just awkward. I have a nine year old daughter who does a perfectly adequate job of toe nail painting. It’s cheaper, more convenient, less uncomfortable, and we’re BONDING. So many birds with one stone.

    We have a Wii. I kinda hate it, but I’m glad we have it. I wrote about it here: Why We Wii.

  3. Tori

    I cracked up when I started reading #2, having listened to Shadow Divers on road trip a few years back. I totally see the connection!

    Re: #3, I am an introvert who loves pedicures. I do understand the “what if they file my skin off” fear, but so far it hasn’t happened πŸ™‚ Usually I go with my mom, so we chat with each other and with the…um…nail stylists? And sometimes we just quietly relax. I don’t think there’s any pressure to talk if you don’t feel like it.

    We have a Wii, but I like video games myself, when I get a chance to play them. My older two are able to play some of the simple ones with us as well. I think you have good points about the online junk that harasses you. I agree that it is easier to control with a console. And it’s fun to be able to play together, instead of one at a time.

  4. Julie

    How come your kiddos didn’t play in playland? I’ve only been to Ikea once, but my kids can’t want to go back and play.

    After a few friendly comments, I think it’s fine to relax or read a book or whatever during a pedicure.

  5. Marcy K.

    We have an Xbox. We got it about 3 years ago after my children were literally weeping wanting to know why everyone else had one and we did not. They would just always go to someone’s house to play and finally we admitted we WERE the only one’s that didn’t have it, and it was actually in some ways cruel to deny them. Their friends just flat out would not come to our house because we did not have it. My oldest is 18 now and I’m glad we have it, but I still hate them. The Lego games are good.

    Doesn’t your IKEA have the ball pit? Ours has a contained ball pit/play area at the entrance and you can drop off certain age kids to play for a certain period of time. An hour maybe? I don’t remember. But they give you a beeper to be able to contact you and to tell you your time is up. When I used it a few years ago (we were renovating and needed lots of stuff) it was a godsend. My son loved it and I could shop in peace knowing he was safe.

    • Melissa

      I have a morbid dread of ball pits. It seemed like anytime my kids went in one, we were guaranteed a bout of vomiting within a couple of days. Maybe IKEA is better about sanitizing theirs, but I always view them as giant germ pits.

      • Jeanette

        I second the dread of ball pits. The worst stomach virus to hit our household of 4 kids under 5 came after my attempt to be a “fun mom” and take a rainy day trip to our local pizza place with a ball pit. Never again!

  6. Amelia

    Pedicures: bring a book. Occasionally pause and smile at the person working on your feet. Treat the nail salon like a library otherwise.

    It’s a great pleasure to be able to silently recharge so I can deal with extroverts and not have to worry about a body count.

  7. Andrea

    Don’t do it! Stick to your ideals!! Ideals are a beautiful thing and your ideals are right and good. Make them get off the computer!!

    Video games, even more than TV and other screen time, are the ultimate thing that promises to make everything easier but actually makes everything harder.

  8. Meghan

    I also took a trip to Ikea last week. In Sweden, on a Tuesday evening at Ikea, you can find many families who just hang out, because their children like to play in the different display sections. So it sounds to me like you are doing the Ikea trip properly!

    It seems like there are several pages that have audio for Liturgy of the Hours (here, for example, http://monasterypodcast.com), but I don’t see any with webcams.

    Here is a webcam of Snow Monkeys though:

  9. Blessed & Broken

    #1 you are crazy if you missed out on small land @ ikea! Yet another reason I love her so! If you sign up for free Ikea Family membership it buys you 90 precious minutes (rather than 60) for the potty trained ones.

  10. Jill

    Should you get a gaming system be prepared. You need to buy about a hundred AA batteries and be prepared to recycle them. You need a plan for which games are going to induce fits in your children after they are disconnected. Even if they only play it for 30 minutes and you warn them it’s ending and then you hold their hand afterward. The fit may not even be overtly related to the video game ending, but it is. Some games have no ‘end’ and just keep going – it’s like heroin. Their brains can’t handle it when it’s taken away. My son, no matter what we try, with certain games like Mario Kart and Mario Party, just can’t handle it. Other titles don’t do that, but he doesn’t want to play those games. It has it’s place, but it’s a tenuous, always about to leave the house place.

  11. Jenny

    Introvert who loves pedicures, right here. They are actually on my top 3 list of ‘amazing activities for introverts to recharge by,’ beaten out only by drinking a fine beer at a bar with wifi, alone, and perusing a stack of over-priced magazines I have no intention of buying in a deserted corner of Barnes and Noble.

    If your pedicurist is not a native English speaker, which, in my opinion, all the best pedicurists are not, it’s even better. Because LANGUAGE BARRIER! No pressure to make forced conversation, because you don’t speak each other’s lingo! Amazing!

    Plus, trashy magazines and massage chairs. The end.

  12. Deanna

    I love Ikea and wish we had a store close by.
    Pedicures are awful and I am a total extrovert. For me, it’s someone touching my feet. Manicures are doable but even then, not fun and relaxing like so many of friends describe them. However, we have quite a few mani-pedi places where you can have a drink (not iced tea) and that might help.
    Just say no to gaming systems; more things to referee. Of course, my children are in their mid-twenties, so no system for us was different than now.

  13. Brenda

    There are sisters in Ireland with a live feed of their chapel. But that would be Irish time zone, lol. I don’t have the link but I came across them not too long ago.

    The hospital I had my latest baby at gives a free massage to new mothers. You can choose to have it during your stay, or you can choose a voucher good for anytime totally free. That level of contact with a total stranger? Not if I can help it. Needless to say, I never used the voucher and I won’t be getting any pedicures either. And I’m so glad someone above mentioned haircuts as well! Oh, I dread them! Total introvert here. Nothing wrong with that!

  14. Melanie

    I was JUST thinking, maybe yesterday, that a pedicure sounds kind of nice but that I couldn’t handle making small talk with the pedicurist/other people so nope, no pedicure for me. That take made me smile.

  15. Elizabeth

    I’m an extravert (ENTJ) and hate the concept of pedicures. I also hate having my hair cut. For me it’s mostly that I’m a huge control freak about my body and tend to have a fit over the idea that somebody other than myself is doing something to alter my appearance. I also dislike small talk with the stylists because it feels like a waste of time. I don’t mind big talk – I’ve had some interesting theological discussions with hair stylists, for example – but small talk annoys me.

  16. Sarah

    I love pedicures! Just walk in clutching your book in a really obvious way, and open it at the first opportunity. If necessary, you can chat for a moment about how excited you are to have a few moments away from the kids to read it.

  17. Sheila

    Yeah, I ONLY go to nail places run by Korean ladies. I love it. Don’t do it often enough.

  18. mary

    The wii is really fun and really family friendly, plus we do our netflix through the wii. Highly suggest it! In other news, i am working on my third pregnancy in three years, and doing the end part during the summer (which, you know, is not full of awesome). I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the reminder that Fall (my favorite season) is just around the corner! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. sara McD

    Pedicures: I think the ladies who used to do mine before I moved pretended not to speak English very well, so we didn’t have to talk to each other. At least, they mostly chatted with each other in Korean so I didn’t feel rude reading my book. Now that I give it some thought, I think they were being polite to me by doing that.

  20. Danielle M.

    So with you on #3, I don’t do pedicures or manicures, and I even dread haircuts. I am not good at small talk and get edgy sitting these for so long with someone working on me.

    Ikea is awesome for the kids, I take mine there. While the kid playroom is fun for them, unless all the children I have with me are potty trained, I don’t use it or we have the little guys melting down because they can’t go too, and let’s face it, the older children can be helpful.

    We have a wii, if you get the recharging stations for the remotes, you don’t need batteries. It is a lot of fun to play 4 at a time. If I was starting today, though, I would get the Nintendo system that has no controllers, you just use your body. Whenever we go to the mall, we stop by the Windows store and the kids love to play soccer on that system.

  21. Mel

    Big fat yes on the pedicure. I have the same issue with hair cuts. I’m not am introvert. But making conversation with a random stranger that is doing something all in my SPACE is awkward to me. Then there’s the conversation itself….”you have how many kids?! You homeschool, is that even legal?!”

  22. Stephanie K.

    Haha, I am an introvert who likes getting pedicures! Although part of why I think they’re so great lately is because I’m 38 weeks pregnant and can’t do my toes myself. I didn’t mind talking to the lady about babies the entire time – however, there were several people around me reading and totally ignoring whoever was doing their nails. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to do whatever you want/feel comfortable with. After all, you are paying them. You should get to do whatever is comfortable without feeling obligated to do anything else. πŸ™‚

  23. Erika Evans

    Pedicures: get out of my head! I totally find the “do you chat or not” awkward, and I’ve only had one pedicure in my life at the insistence of a friend. I remember it NOT being relaxing because I kept thinking she was going to file through my skin or clip something off. Aaaaaand, my feet are so callused and rough that I think the poor ladies would topple over in horror when seeing them, so there’s also that. My seven year old keeps them painted and as for my feet being soft and nice, I just wait until winter when I actually wear socks to accomplish that : )

    Video games: The youngest broke our rarely-used Wii years ago and we didn’t bother to replace it. Now they just fight, whine, wheedle and complain over Angry Birds, Minecraft and Draw Something on our phones and tablets, and we sorely regret ever letting them play in the first place.

  24. Ana

    A bunch of wonderful friends gifted me a pedicure when Lucy was born, and I never used it and then it expired because I really hate getting pedicures. Hate it. Why would anyone give torture as gift? My last one was gotten simply to try to induce labor, because they are that excruciating that sometimes they cause you to go into labor. The worst.

  25. TheresaEh

    The IKEA in my city has a supervised play area. My friends 6 year old still talks about wanting to go back and play πŸ˜‰
    please share any live feeds of the hours if you find one!!

  26. Kris Chatfield

    The Diving analogy – hilarious and spot on! Pedicures – love them. The trick is finding a good place and sticking with it, so they know you. then they respect the silence that is essential to a good pedicure. Why, on earth, would a busy Mom GET a pedicure unless it’s to enjoy the 45 minutes of precious silence?!!

    We have both Wii and Xbox Kinect. Both are great. We put limits on the times/days the kids can play, and to be totally honest, once the allure wears off, they don’t ask that often. Both have good kids’ games, although I think Wii has more in the way of “family friendly” ones. If you go with Xbox, definitely get the Kinect because that allows the movement games. We made the kids pitch in and buy their own Wii because we usually don’t buy electronics for them (they have purchased their own game boys and ipods), but Santa brought the Xbox last year because the 4 of them got together and told us that if Santa would bring the Xbox, that could be their only present. Nothing I like better than sibling teamwork and universal agreement!

  27. Christine

    My oldest was 16 before we bought any gaming systems. They are addicting….especially for boys. We only did because his friends socialize through gaming. I only let the younger kids game on Fridays..for two hours.

    I would wait till the kids are older. but that is just me!!!

  28. Emily Davis

    Hiya Jen,

    A few thoughts… 1) it’s so hot here in Texas – I wish it was Fall/Winter all year. BRING IT! But yes, it is coming fast and I will be 50 in October. I’m not sure why, but it is panicking me. lol 2) I love pedicures. Especially spa pedicures. I highly recommend them. Wine, massaging of legs (just calf) and oh, so relaxing. 3) We had a Wii, but our son wanted the XBox. So we sold the Wii and all the games and in the end, the XBox, to us, was not as family friendly. Lots of 1-player games. Not as child-friendly. The Wii works better for us. Oh – and we have a saying “Wii is for the Weekends”. There is no Wii during the school year, during the week.

    Have a great week.
    Be blessed,

  29. Marie Meints

    We have a Wii, and I would definitely recommend it. We have sports/recreation games, board games, educational games, dance games, and TV game shows. We also use the Wii to stream YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. The only thing we have to monitor is the boxing game on one of the sports discs. They are allowed to do the practice version (punching bag) but not boxing another person. But, it is an Olympic sport, so someday we may cave. : )

  30. Amy

    I’ve never had a pedicure for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. Now I have an artistic 15yo who can paint my toenails if I pay her enough (lol, she has a thing about hating feet).

    We enjoy our Wii. It is addicting though. We keep time limits on it. I make them do Wii Fit first. πŸ™‚

  31. Emily @ Becoming the Wilmi

    Hi Jen!
    New reader here. Like you, I am not comfortable with the pedicure situation. I’ve only gotten 2 in my life as well and the pumice stone terrifies me. The second time I went, I actually told the lady she could skip that step! Looking forward to linking up with you every Friday.

  32. Matt Doucette

    Sorry to everyone who tried to visit our new blog http://www.DesignMyRosary.com/blog/rosary-designs/ and got an error message πŸ™ I was so excited to link up our 7 Quick Takes that I stayed up until midnight to post. Then the entire bluehost.com server crashed. I blame the devil πŸ™‚ Our blog is a part of our Rosary business http://www.DesignMyRosary.com and I don’t think the devil likes the Rosary much and keeps finding new things to throw at us πŸ™‚ So this was either another attempt to derail us….or a really well paid tech guy messed up big time πŸ™‚ Either way we should be back up now!

    Thanks Jen for motivating us to launch our blog!

  33. Nancy

    Wii is fun — Yaya will have a ball playing with the kids, if my parents are any indicator. The bonus for older family members is that there are sports that they are familiar with — no need to learn the rules for Mario Kart, etc.

    And it makes a wonderful “whole family” gift for an entire year of birthdays or Christmas . . . My parents gave it to our kids when our oldest two were 11 and 9. There tend to be more child-friendly, non-violent games for Wii too.

    My pedicure advice is this: go with a friend. Then you’ll have an hour to catch up with her (uninterrupted conversation!!!), and pretty toes too.

  34. TheReluctantWidow

    #3 – I do not like pedicures but I go get them in the summer. My feet are ugly without one so I soldier through them. I don’t know about your area but here where I live, the majority of the nail salons are run by Vietnamese families, many of the technicians being relatively new to the country and their English is still difficult to understand. We communicate through charades and smiles or when I say “ouch” or laugh because my feet are super ticklish. They seem perfectly content to let me read quietly or take a nap. Generally, I get in the chair, start the massage settings, exchange a few pleasantries, then close my eyes and rest. I don’t mind the pumice so much, but yesterday I was resting pleasantly when suddenly my right foot was being accosted violently. I opened my eyes to see what could only have been a cheese grater being run over my heels. I said quickly “No.” She thought I was weird, but experience has tought me that my heels get more cracked and the skin on them tougher if I let them scrape the skin off instead of using a pumice. Plus, I happen to know that in my state, they are illegal to use in salons but salons use them anyway because women like the way their feet are super smooth afterward. That feeling isn’t something I am willing to sit through the act of having my dead skin sloughed off by a cheese grater.

    #4 – I have the same dilemma with computer games. My kids are always wanting me to upgrade them on a game, which I just won’t do. At the suggestion of the Attachment Therapist here in town, I did go out and get us an Xbox Kinect. She wanted us to get Just Dance 4 and dance together to help build attachment and have fun as a family. Problem is, I won’t let my kids dance to most of the songs! Um, even with computer animated goofy characters, the words of the songs are still what they are. The other problem is that I have had a hard time finding games that I feel comfortable with my kids playing. I think the Wii has more choices that are kid-friendly. The reason I wanted the Kinect was because the controller was not something you had to hold in your hand and have attached to the game system. I really wanted my kids to move their bodies. However, I am thinking about selling the Xbox and getting a Wii instead.

    Congratulations on successfully navigating through Ikea with 6 kids! A place like that is my worst nightmare to take my four children and they are older than yours.

  35. Rosemary

    I’ve gotten one pedicure in my life and loved it. I am an introvert, but I felt I could just sit back and relax and enjoy having my feet massaged. πŸ™‚ Haircuts though? I hate haircuts!

    Now, if the hairstylist is SO extroverted that she all but keeps up the conversation by herself, that is fine. But if I’m expected to contribute 50% of the talking? Nuh-uh.

  36. Caitlin

    I too am a introvert who LOVES pedicures. Generally I just sit there and zone out. You can always tell the technician ahead of time that you’re ticklish so you don’t want the pumice stone (or very much of it).

    MAJOR props to you for taking all of the kids to Ikea. I have such a love/hate relationship with that place- I love Ikea products but hate the physical store for the very reasons you have mentioned. I am convinced that if somehow hell is an eternal store, hell is a crowded Ikea.

  37. Katie

    I went to college 10 min from the Abbey of the Genesee which is a Cistercian Monastery and I LOVED joining them for LOH. It was so beautiful. I think it is one of the most powerful community prayer experiences I have had. I wish they streamed it too!

  38. Sarah

    I am an introvert, and I hate pedicures. I don’t like manicures, either. The idea of a stranger touching, not just my feet, but my toenails. That seems to personal. No Thanks! I just do not like it at all. I am so relieved to finally know that I am not alone!!

  39. Patty

    I hate the addictive nature of gaming systems. I do not think kids need much screen time, and are better off if it is very limited. You would be amazed at the creative things they come up with left to their own devices, and in a big family there is always someone else to play with. My kids had a very old gaming system that my son got in a trade, and it came out occasionally, but they also made their own “TV” and “radio” shows with video and audio recorders, built blanket forts, played store, and on and on. These are my older kids’ favorite memories of childhood.

  40. Camille

    Next time, line up the IKEA trip for a Tuesday. Kids eat free on Tuesdays and then they would be full and you can look at salad bowls!

  41. Grace

    I am an introvert, and I adore pedicures. I just go to a spa where everybody speaks either German, Somalian, or Cantonese. Then, I don’t even have to worry about socializing! πŸ˜‰

  42. Elizabeth @ Rocks, No Salt Mommy

    Hi! Linking up for the first time this week!! This may become my new favorite blog hop!! Your IKEA story is hilarious! The description of how your corralled all the kids made me laugh out loud! Have a great weekend! I’ll definitely be back next Friday!

  43. Janet in Toronto

    Introvert here who loves pedicures (except for the ticklish part). I take a book (or, more likely pick up a magazine that I don’t usually read), turn on the massage chair, and just relax. I think they’re used to it as I don’t see a lot of other clients chatting during pedicures.

    And what’s with the mention of the F-word (Fall)? Please…. πŸ™‚

  44. Morgan

    #3. Yes!!! And what about the part where you have to shave your legs to get one? *Looks around to see if anyone else is nodding their head.* Oh, is it just me?

  45. Will

    5: I’d kind of like that myself. I tried listening to the Divine Office podcasts, but they kind of drive me nuts. I don’t like them emoting at me, and the extra voices in the responses seem forced. It’s like a bad radio show.

    Maybe I’m so introverted I can’t stand dealing with recorded people. (!) I also dislike getting my hair cut. Forced conversation, stranger touching me, ick. Also, as my father warned me would happen, I’m getting to the age where the crazy old-man eyebrows and ear hair are growing in, and the hair on top of my head is falling out. It’s just a drag, they spend more time trimming the eyebrows and ears than my scalp.

  46. Juliana B

    RE: the pedicure. I’m a complete introvert, and I love pedicures (now hair salons, another thing. Just shut up and do my hair already–you’re messing with my hair Zen). But the pedicures. I just take a magazine and ignore them. They are mostly little Korean ladies with poor English, so they aren’t trying to talk to me anyway. Maybe try that route??

    Also, IKEA. Yes. Did you know kids eat free on Tuesdays? It is a steal with big families (I know!) It would be above the 40 minute limit, but maybe walk the route, then head for the cafe. That’s our preferred MO.

  47. Becky

    It’s 12 ‘o clock noon and you’re already at 47 comments?!? I see if I ever am going to be first to comment on your blog, I will have to wake up at the crack of dawn.

    I’m with you on the pedicures (awkward and I have ugly feet phobia. Mine, not theirs.) And IKEA, I can so relate but not at all have ventured out with my 5 children. Too afraid! The IKEA near us is right across from the MOA so of course they had to go and make this IKEA 3 or 4 stories to compete with MOA. We went into IKEA one day and we spent more time looking for our way out than we did shopping.

    You have convinced me about the arcade game counsels. Me and my husband are sort of in the middle of the same delemna (sp? I tried spell check on this word and it came up with lemonade.). I came downstairs today to see my 3 year old watching the next thriller movie coming up that was supposed to be a commercial that also comes with the game that she was playing. WHY are they putting these types of commercials in children’s games??

    I do not know of any live feed of the Liturgy of the Hours but I would be interested in any information from anyone that does! I do a lot of clay work and am trying to give up some of the shows I watch on netflix that I’m addicted to.

    Thanks for the 7QTs and chance to relax, now I have to try to get my toddler down for a nap for the second time…

  48. Mamabearjd

    We had a wii, and then upgraded to the Wii U this year. My kids are 10 and under, we like to stick to the sports games mostly, but they like to play Super Mario Brothers together. My favorite is to watch toddlers try boxing! I have to limit their time – but they really don’t watch tv. We don’t do computer games – except we use Dreambox for math supplement and it has games.

    I have the divine office app and like it, though it hasn’t worked for family prayer time because the kids think the voices are “creepy.”

    I’ve had one pedicure in my life. Can’t handle it. The nail salons feel like sweatshops – even the nice ones feel prostitution-y to me. I know that’s insane.

  49. Kathleen

    I would possibly get a Wii, only because they sort of have to move around. So far we haven’t made the plunge, but I think if I ever did, wii would be it.

  50. Holly

    I am an introvert and I would almost kill for a pedicure right now. I don’t usually chat with the person working on my feet. I am too introverted for that business. I always end up saying something that makes me sound dumb or something because estheticians always try to solicit advice to me on random subjects (the ultimate cure for insomnia, how to protect your kids from facebook predators, or how I can stop having kids now that I have one boy and one girl). Then, there was the time where I was shamed for my absolute neglect of my velcro heels. I was told, “everyone has a couple minutes every day to care for their feet”. I had a 3 month old and a 2 year old at the time. I had no time to shower- let alone pumice my feet (both of them?!) every day. I began to pray a rosary for the angry esthetician. Now, I just pull out my kindle. They probably don’t want to talk to us anyway. I haven’t had a pedicure in so long. One- income, people.

  51. elizabethe

    Going out with kids is exactly like deep sea diving. exactly! You’re out of your natural element. How many good sales I’ve left b/c the kids are at the limit.

    As for pedicures, you need to think of it a different way. You are giving the pedicurist a break from all the people who gab their ear off. they are probably thrilled that you don’t want them to talk to you. A good pedicurist/hair stylist/manicurist, I’ve noticed, is trained to figure out if you want to talk or not. they ask you one or two leading questions, and if you answer with short, one word answers, they will then leave you alone.

    Just start off saying you have tender feet and to go easy with the pumice if you’re worried about it.

    I swear, you are me. I always have that conversation with myself (should I be talking to them? Am I being rude? Is this normal to not talk? Should I ask them a question? arggh!!!!).

    I just decided to embrace being an introvert. I don’t need to talk to everyone. Plus everyone is on their iphone now anyway; I figure on the ettiquette ladder, merely not talking to someone is a step up from having a text conversation with another person in front of them.

  52. Gina

    Pedicures — and manicures — sound horrible. It’s not just the having-to-make-small-talk part, it’s also the oh-yuck-a-stranger-is-messing-around-with-my-nails! part.

  53. Dwija {House Unseen}

    We LOVE our wii. The whole family plays it. I can take down my kids in boxing and not even have to go to jail. It is the greatest!!!

  54. Sarah

    I had an experience in B&Q (DIY store) that involved a toilet in a bathroom display and my youngest daughter. πŸ˜€

    I love IKEA…if I am alone, with oodles of cash, and it isn’t busy. Otherwise, I’d rather walk around Manchester with a nail in my shoe. Haha. I admire you for being able to negotiate an IKEA even for just 40 minutes with 6 children in tow! Perhaps I need to implement a plan like you do.

    Re: pedicures, I have the same thing with hairdressers, I feel I have to make conversation and I totally clam up. I’m OK if they chat away, that makes it easy.

  55. Christie Martin @ Garden of Holiness

    I am with you on the pedicure/manicure thing. I had to keep up with weekly manicures and false nails for the two years before I had tenure. I did not in the least find it relaxing. The whole process was awkward, “Hi, I’ll pretend I’m not socially awkward while you hold my hand and fiddle with me for a half hour.” Plus, I could barely function with the tips. I felt like my fingers had been taken over by aliens and then PYANG! I’d accidentally break them off and they’d go flying at people like klutz-girl shrapnel. “Don’t mind me, I’m just exploding in very tiny increments. Need a band-aid?”

    Pedicure? No way. No. Nope. Never.

  56. Sarahs

    Pedicures: I go with a friend who also likes to sit in silence (like, the two times I’ve had pedi’s). And I went to an inexpensive place run by Asians, who are much more respectful of quiet.

    Video games: We have a Wii, which I really enjoy. Especially when the weather is bad, I’ll have the kids play the really active games we have. We have one game that has a pad thing and they have to work together to paddle boats and such things. They have fun, they’re moving, and they’re gaming. I like the Wii Fit because it’s the only way I can hula hoop! My kids have gotten into Minecraft on the computer, which I like, but it does tend to crowd out the other types of games. I prefer video games over tv because they’re thinking and often interacting (my kids watch each other play Minecraft, or they play together on separate computers).

  57. grace

    i’ve grown up getting pedicures, and it’s tripping me out that so many women hate them! I usually take something to read or catch up on instagram while I’m there and the ladies usually are chatting amongst themselves in korean so it’s fine.

    I feel like finding the right nail salon is important, i spent too much time in places i didn’t like for a lack of wanting to go exploring but i found my favorite place for a gel manicure and pedicure and look forward to going there every couple of weeks.

  58. Kara

    I love IKEA, but will only do it because of the child care. They will take my oldest 2, and I can bribe the little two with ice cream from the snack bar and walk around in peace.

  59. grace

    p.s, i just finished reading biblical womanhood, and the author stays at a benedictine monastary in alabama and it seemed nice πŸ™‚


  60. Jane Hartman

    Hate pedicures. And the leg massages tha come with them – No. Real time monks or nuns – Yes! Let us know whenever you find such. So glad you’re doing well and can’t wait to read the book.

  61. Jules @ Flow Chart to Surrender

    I find the mere thought of pedicures can send me into an anxious tailspin. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    Regarding video games, one year my mother got a Super NES for Christmas. My mother did not play console games at all, but they gave it to *her* so she could control when it was used.

  62. J.

    Hate pedicures & massages!
    I always thought it was the Catholic guilt– somebody doing a job that I could be doing myself! …Even though I am paying them decent money per hour of work!
    It is also so personal and intimate for me to enjoy with a stranger! Am I being too modest?
    Small talk after, “How are you?” makes me feel like I am prying!
    I thought I was an extrovert….

  63. Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings

    IKEA. We are going tomorrow with our three kids four and under. I have already mapped it out. Now, instead of thinking of myself as Possibly Slightly Obsessive, I will just think of myself as a Shadow Diver.

    Thank you for that.

  64. Erika Marie @ Simplemama

    Ha! Yup, you definitely know you’re desperate when going out to the store with all children is better than staying home. πŸ™‚ I tend to avoid the store with all kids too much…pretty much until we are eating crumbs off the floor or can’t stand to even look at another peanut butter and jelly sandwich again. Once we do finally go, I wonder why I didn’t just get out sooner.
    I used to feel weird about the pedicure thing – but as I’ve gone more often, to the same place and people, I feel like I’ve established a relationship with them that has taken the awkwardness away.
    I think you might be on to something with the game consoles…much more control over all the ads and inappropriate content when it’s limited to one purpose. With all things – moderation, limits and clear guidelines are the key.

  65. tradconmom

    Wii. We have one. But I ban all games with neverending stories and levels and plots, etc. Wii play, wii sports, Wii party, mariokarts, wii fit, basic games like tetris, and realy old games are limited and fun…not as obsessive. Oh. And they only play together! Never alone. So at least they are making memories!! Not having a relationship with a machine (I’m one to talk…computer)

    I hope there is a live feed somewhere. If you track one down, please share in a future post. Great idea!

  66. Leanne

    I’m going to read your comments to see if there is any live-Daily-Office monasteries out there. But also to add, that I don’t like pedicures either. I’d rather stick my feet into a bowl of skin-eating fish.

  67. nancy in ak

    I was always against video game systems and I still am anti-video games. However, my husband bought a Wii without asking me beforehand a few years ago. We have three boys under 10 and I only let them play for about one hour on Sat and one hour on Sunday when I am making dinner. They love it. The games we own are not violent. It is a good outlet for winter days. I often take it away when they misbehave. Still, I wish we did not have it because they always ask to use it. And it is hard to get them to get off of it to come up for dinner. I do not own and would never let my children play any of the small video game type things such as smart phones or DSs or ipads or ipods. If you can resist, I say don’t buy a game system – Wii or otherwise. We have lots of board games and arts and crafts and I am a book nut. I want my kids to do other stuff and not go to video games first. So many kids, if they have the option, choose to play video games before choosing anything else.

  68. christine

    You are one wise woman. That analogy with Shadow Divers is spot on! I am always good at the giving of expectations, but still need work on the exit at the appropriate time. You’d think, after 14 years of raising my kids, I’d have that down by now.

    We have a Wii, and I’m fine with it. It isn’t on at all school days, and only 30 minutes each on weekends. That’s only if we have time. There are plenty of games for little kids, and some are actually quite fun. Even funnier to watch them play. (Watching my kids play the boxing game that comes with the game system makes me laugh harder than any of them.) I am much more afraid of them playing games on the computer.

    Always a pleasure to read your quick takes!

  69. Eva

    Never had a pedicure, never had a massage.
    I’m pretty comfortable with that fact.

  70. Pam H.

    The only way I think a gameboy type thing could work is if they have to “check it out” from Mom, like at the library. Otherwise, you could end up with kids who never get off the thing, like to socialize with their siblings (and parents). This has happened to both of my brothers’ kids. We only have computer games, and all my kids gather round to participate in each other’s games, so they are socializing with each other as they play, which is a benefit.

  71. Jan

    We have the Xbox 360 Kinect and everyone about 3 and older can play. The sensor needs to detect the players, so 2 years might be a bit short. My 16 year old plays with the 14, 8 and 4 year olds. I recommend the sports games rather than Dance Central because of the song lyrics. I like to do the fitness activities, too. The kids have to be moving and there are no paddles to hold. The sensor takes quick video clips of the action and my kids enjoy seeing themselves. There are realistic avatars or create-your-own look, as well as silly cartoon ones of animals and snowmen. The announcers sound realistic in their commentary, and are supportive. The participants learn game rules and scoring, too. Our pediatrician said as long as they are really moving, I don’t have to count that activity as screen time. I get a workout, too, with some of the games. My husband put a Ceton card in a pc, attached to a cable card, $5/month, which becomes our dvr, streaming through Media Ctr. I hope this helps. πŸ™‚

  72. Carolyn @ 4Life4Life

    I am a firm believer that with pedicures and haircuts for introverts, you have to search for your pedicurist/hairstylist soulmate.
    I have been going to the same hairstylist for about 5 years now, who has the same “energy” as I do. She doesn’t like cheap chit chat, and is a-okay with me closing my eyes and letting her work. Because being anxious about a new hairstyle AND having to work to strike up a conversation is EXHAUSTING.
    That said, you’ve obviously got to trust her styling techniques (which are as unique for each stylist as an artist). And this is why I call her my Hairstylist soulmate. Not easily found.

    Pedicures are the same… if it’s a new nail tech, I just stick to my phone the whole time! Most beauticians can recognize who wants to be chatty Kathy and who wants to relax within a few minutes of you sitting down.

  73. Catherine

    I hate pedicures, and I’m an introvert, but the real reason is because I got a nasty toenail fungus from one. Blech! Never doing that again.

    Was just talking with dh about how a live audio of the Divine Office would be sooo much better than the recorded voices on divineoffice.org.

  74. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Man, I tried your 7 in 7 challenge, and I really think I could have done it if my site didn’t go down. Mark me down as mentally finishing it.

    And, if you’re still looking for a wii, let me know! We’ve got an unused one πŸ™‚

  75. RAnn

    Don’t like manicures, pedicures or getting my hair done, though I tolerate them all periodically (mostly hair,nails only once or twice a year). The idea of a massage, a stranger’s hands all over me–YUCK

  76. Patty

    Am I the only person here who has NEVER had a manicure OR a pedicure? Well, the only female here anyway. I am serious. I did not even have one for our wedding about a million years ago. I keep my nails short for guitar playing, so I just smoothed them with a file and applied clear polish.

    Also, I did not mean to be a curmudgeon about the video games/screen time. I don’t think it is all pure evil, but have just seen too many kids who practically lived and breathed them, including a nephew who took it along when we took all the kids camping, and fumed when we took it away so he could…gasp…enjoy nature with his brothers and cousins. So, just beware and be watchful of kids going overboard. It can be so easy to let them have electronics or TV to gain some peace…I totally get that! But think of what they are NOT doing during all those hours spent with a joy stick. My two cents, or maybe a whole quarter’s worth.

  77. Julie

    We have an Xbox and a Wii. Their dad loves video games and all three play together and they have a lot of geeky fun. They still read too, so I don’t feel that worried. I think you are on the right track with getting one and hopefully avoiding the free online games. Those things will destroy your computer.

  78. Kris, in New England

    Another introvert here who loves pedis! My tech is also a dear friend so it does make the interactions easier; that said I have seen others come to their pedi with a book/magazine and spend the entire time reading. Doesn’t seem to phase the techs at all; they probably appreciate the quiet time themselves…

  79. WB

    I loved my last pedicure–I brought a book. It was the only time in months (we have young children) that I had peace and quiet to read. I simply told the kind woman that I appreciated the chance to unwind and she didn’t seem to mind at all. I don’t like manicures, but pedicures are relaxing to me.

  80. Nina

    I just have to give you a quick suggestion on the video game system. Im not sure if its available for Wii, but my fiancee and I were searching games the other day on XBox and we came across one that is just AMAZING!
    Its called Babel- and is all about the tower of Babel of course. In the game you get to play as God in control of the four elements (Wind, Water, Earth and Fire) and the goal is to destroy the evil sorcerer “priests” and their peasant followers who are trying to build the tower by using the elements- which include things like lightning, tornados and earthquakes. The sound effects of the people as you punish them will have you rolling with laughter!

  81. Topaz

    I am totally with you on #4. My seven-year-old son has discovered YouTube which he freely explores on our iPad during the day when I’m at work. My wife thinks he’s just watching Harry Potter videos. My son has discovered how to type in search terms, and the results are sometimes not what he expects.

  82. Karen

    Well, yea! So glad I found this again, stumbled upon it the other day, and your description of your Ikea trip was great, and I loved the analogy to Shadow Diver! Have thought of it several times – even though I have only a mere four children. πŸ™‚

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